Matthew Liebenberg

Matthew Liebenberg


The City of Swift Current's flood planning team and residents living near the creek kept a close eye on water levels last week when the Water Security Agency increased water volumes released from Duncairn Dam on March 9, when the inflow reached 23 cubic metres per second (800 cubic foot per second). In reaction the agency started to release six cubic metres per second (200 cubic foot per second) from the dam. Sections of the Chinook Parkway in Swift Current were covered by higher water levels and the Lee Lam bridge on the city's south side was closed for traffic. By March 13 the water levels have dropped significantly and City workers removed temporary dykes that were installed at a few locations to protect residential properties.


The Swift Current Group 2 Scouts Kub Kar Rally took place at the Swift Current Mall, March 7. There was stiff competition between the Cub Scouts (ages eight to 10) for top honours in the different racing categories (obstacle, straight line, stop-on-the spot, speed track) and for the prize of best workmanship. The younger Beaver Scouts (ages five to seven) were also able to practice their racing skills but did not compete for medals.


The International Women's Day celebration at the Swift Current Museum on March 7 was hosted by the International Women of Swift Current. The event was also sponsored by the Filipino Association, Grandmothers and Others for Change, Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre, Southwest Crisis Centre, Southwest Multicultural Association and the Status of Women Office in the Ministry of Social Services. Métis elder Cecile Blanke opened the event with prayer. Pat Faulconbridge of the Status of Women Office brought greetings on behalf of the Minister of Social Services Donna Harpauer. The keynote speakers were Swift Current resident Zakia Zanidean and City of Swift Current Chief Administrative Officer Susan Motkaluk. Zanidean spoke about her journey as a young woman from Lebanon to Canada, and Motkaluk spoke about her career as an engineer and her desire to make a difference through building community partnerships. Musical performances were provided by the Great Plains College English as Second Language (ESL) choir and Jacqueline Ravino, while Grade 10 student Ankita Das performed a Bollywood dance.



The National Farmer Union's Women's Advisory for Saskatchewan Region 6 presented an International Women's Day event at the Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre in Swift Current, March 6. Marcella Pedersen (standing in first photo), a bee farmer from the Cut Knife area, hosted the event on behalf of the National Farmer Union's Women's Advisory. The theme of the discussion was how women can be agents of change. Local speakers Christine Ciona (speaking in second photo), Icasiana De Gala, Tekeyla Friday and Sylvia Thorburn provided different perspectives on how women can influence their communities.

Swift Current area residents were able to have a really close look at a variety of wildlife species from across North and South America during the Wildlife Festival tour stop in the city on March 4. The Palisser Pavilion at Kinetic Park was turned into a zoo with exhibits and live demonstrations of reptiles and raptors that vowed young and old. The species on display varied from spiders, toads and turtles to snakes and iconic animals such as the bobcat and American bald eagle. The Wildlife Festival is a partnership between the Canadian Raptor Conservancy, Little Ray's Reptile Zoo and the Backyard Conservation Fund of Canada, a non profit reptile and amphibian rescue organization. The tour introduces people to some of the fascinating species from across the Americas as a means to highlight species at risk and to create awareness about conservation.


A head shaving fundraiser took place at the Swift Current Broncos game against the Red Deer Rebels, March 4. The event was organized by the Swift Current Kinsmen and Kinettes and raised around $11,500 for TeleMiracle 39. Participants who had their heads shaved were Mark Carlson, Chris Pool, City of Swift Current councillors Denis Perrault and Ron Toles, and Mayor Jerrod Schafer. The Swift Current Kinsmen and Kinettes presented a cheque of $24,351.01 at TeleMiracle 39 on March 8, representing the total amount raised from various activities, including a silent auction at the Kinsmen gala and the ugly chair fundraiser. There were 25 volunteers from Swift Current helping out at TeleMiracle 39, of whom four were on the shadow committee for TeleMiracle 40.


JayDee AgTech celebrated its new 100,000 square feet facility in Swift Current with an open house and grand opening on March 2. The new dealership facility is located on a 28 acres site next to the TransCanada Highway in the R.M. of Swift Current. It represents an investment of $15 million with spacious showroom, storage and service facilities and a 90-plus seat lecture theatre that will be used to provide optimization clinics to clients. The ribbon cutting ceremony included a number of speakers and presentations. Plaque presentations were made by R.M. of Swift Current Reeve Bob Neufeld and City of Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer. Keynote speakers were JayDee AgTech CEO and General Manager Duane Smith and Jim Pattison, the chairman and CEO of the Jim Pattison Group, which acquired JayDee AgTech in May 2014.


Toronto Argonauts football legend and Canadian Football Hall of Fame member Michael “Pinball” Clemons was the guest speaker at the 2015 Field of Dreams sports dinner hosted by the Swift Current Indians baseball club at the Legion Hall, Feb. 28. Clemons delivered an inspiring keynote speech that touched on his career as a player and coach as well as his public appearances as a motivational speaker. He noted that people who achieve more are bigger than their circumstances and he challenged the audience to “learn to cheer for people in life.” A capacity crowd attended the event, which has been held for the past 16 years to raise funds for the baseball club. There was a silent auction and auctioneer Skip Neufeld conducted a live auction.


Soil scientists were on hand to answer questions from people at the Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre (SPARC) open house in Swift Current, Feb. 28. The event took place to celebrate the International Year of the Soils and coincided with the March 1 birthdate of Russian geologist Vasily Dokuchaev, who is considered to be the father of soil science. The displays and hands-on activities gave visitors an opportunity to learn about soil zones, the biological, chemical and physical aspects of soil, and how soils have an impact on people, their food supply and their environment.


The third annual Carhartts & Caviar welding showcase and auction took place at the Swift Current campus of Great Plains College, Feb. 26. The live auction featured 11 unique metal art pieces by welding students, including a Saskatchewan Roughriders trophy piece created with input from Roughrider player Taj Smith. This item fetched the highest price of $3,200 at the auction. The theme of this year's event, Art from around the World, included a replica of the Eiffel Tower, an oriental artwork and an Egyptian artwork. The Eiffel Tower fetched the second highest price of $2,600 during the live auction. Auctioneer Gordie Cameron was joined on the stage by Great Plains College welding student Andrew Meyer, who was the guest auctioneer. A total amount of $18,168 was raised through the auction and ticket sales. The funds raised by the event for the welding scholarship program will be matched by the provincial government's Innovation and Opportunity Fund.


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