Matthew Liebenberg

Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

There was a good turnout on a cold day to welcome the CP Holiday Train to Swift Current, Dec. 18. This is the 17th year that the CP Holiday Train is travelling to communities across Canada and the United States to raise awareness and support for local food banks. The entertainers at this year’s stop in Swift Current were the well-known Canadian country music band Doc Walker and the up-and-coming country music singer-songwriter Kira Isabella. Swift Current Deputy Mayor Ryan Plewis welcomed the holiday train in the city. A cheque of $5,500 from Canadian Pacific was presented to the Swift Current Salvation Army's Major Don Grad during the event.

 

 

The Melodies of Christmas musical celebration, a popular annual tradition hosted by the Swift Current First United Church, took place on Dec. 17. A variety of performers, including five different choral groups, provided music for the Christmas season. A goodwill offering of around $1,800 was collected during the event and donated to the Southwest Youth Emergency Shelter in support of its initiative to develop an emergency shelter for the region's homeless youth.

 

Construction activity on the site of the new 225-bed Swift Current long-term care facility is on schedule for completion by end of April, 2016. The Cypress Health Region has been organizing regular media tours during the past few months and the most recent site visit took place on Dec. 15. The facility will consist of 21 resident homes with 10 single bedrooms in each building and a 15-bed home with rooms for palliative care.

 

The 7th annual Lyric Theatre Children's Christmas Matinee took place on Dec. 12 and 13. The event continues a tradition that started many decades ago at Swift Current’s historic theatre, when a Christmas movie was shown to children. This year’s program included the performance of an original short play called Three Wise Trees that was written by local artist Nancy Bridal, the reading of a children's story by Shalayna Reetz, carol singing with local musician Michael Eckert-Lyngstad, a craft session to make a unique Christmas gift, and a visit from Santa.

 

The Swift Current Comprehensive High School (SCCHS) Senior Ardens won gold at their Dec. 11-12 home tournament. Eight teams participated in the 2015 Swift Current Ardens Basketball Invitational and the Ardens claimed the top spot after three victories, starting with a 60-30 win against Moose Jaw's Vanier Collegiate Institute on Dec. 11. The Ardens then outscored the Yorkton Regional Lady Raiders 65-48 in the semi-final on Saturday morning and played with confidence in that evening's final against the Estevan Elecs to win 58-31.

 

The Swift Current Comprehensive High School (SCCHS) Music Department showcased the musical talents of students at the annual jazz, band and choral winter concerts on Dec. 10 and 13. Over 50 students participated in the performances of the Junior and Senior Jazz Band and Vocal Jazz choral group on Dec. 10. There were around 175 students on stage during the band and choir concert on Dec. 13, when there were performances by five ensembles – the Grade 9 wind symphony, Grade 10 wind ensemble, senior wind orchestra, the Meistersingers and the auditioned Chamber Singers.

 

A 350 ton all-terrain mobile crane was used to lift 28 modular housing units in place at the Chelsea Green townhouse development on South Railway Street East in Swift Current from Dec. 8 to 11. Chelsea Green is a “systems built” property development by Crownwest Continental Developments. The first two phases of the project, consisting of a total of 32 units, were completed between 2011 and 2014. Work is currently taking place to complete the 24-unit third phase of the project. A moving crew was on site for four days to install the fully constructed ready-to-move units, which were built by Jayco Builders in Bow Island, Alberta, and then transported on flatbed trucks to Swift Current.

 

The final sitting of the Saskatchewan Legislature before the next provincial election was a useful dress rehearsal for the upcoming political campaigns of the Saskatchewan Party and the Saskatchewan NDP.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Swift Current presented a live outdoor nativity pageant as a service to the community to make it possible for families to enjoy the true spirit of Christmas. There were three showings on Dec. 3 and four showings per night on Dec. 4 and 5, each 15 minutes long. This was the fifth time since 2010 that the outdoor nativity took place to tell the story of the birth of Jesus. The pageant involved 14 actors with a few more angels on some nights, a number of backstage volunteers and a handful of live animals. The cast consisted of members of the local congregation as well as community volunteers. Refreshments were provided by the women of the church after each showing. This year's performance was directed by Esther Dudragne, who played the role of Mary in the previous outdoor nativity hosted in 2013. She was assisted by co-directors Rosemary Unger and Jason Parsons.

 

The Swift Current Comprehensive High School (SCCHS) Junior Ardens basketball team won gold at their Dec. 4-5 home tournament. The Ardens were undefeated with four wins, starting on Friday afternoon with a 30-24 victory against Moose Jaw's Vanier Collegiate Institute and a 35-24 win that evening against another Moose Jaw team, the Central Collegiate Cyclones. The Ardens continued their winning ways on Saturday by defeating the Eston Mustangs 27-19 and also beating the Leader Saints with a score of 46-16. Pictured is action from the Ardens game against Vanier Collegiate Institute.

 

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