Eight teams from around the province participated in the 2016 Swift Current Ardens Basketball Invitational at Swift Current Comprehensive High School, Dec. 9-10. The Swift Current Ardens placed third in the tournament after a 50-35 win against the Weyburn Eagles in the bronze medal game. The Ardens started their tournament with a convincing 56-28 victory against the Shaunavon Silhouettes, but the home team lost their second game 60-51 against the North Battleford Vikings. The Carlton Crusaders won the tournament after a 54-27 win against the Vikings in the gold medal game. Pictured, action from the opening game at the tournament between the Swift Current Ardens and the Shaunavon Silhouettes.
People braved bitterly cold weather with a wind chill of -33 degrees Celsius to welcome the Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train to Swift Current, Dec. 6. This is the 18th 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 Vancouver power pop/rock band Odds and platinum selling country star Dallas Smith. Swift Current Mayor Denis Perrault welcomed the CP Holiday Train to the city and a cheque of $5,500 from Canadian Pacific was presented to the Swift Current Salvation Army's Major Don Grad during the event.
The Swift Current Oratorio Choir's annual festive season performance took place in front of a full house at the Zion Mennonite Church in Swift Current, Dec. 5. The choir also performed its Christmas program, Cold Snow and Hearts Aglow, at the Centre Street United Church in Shaunavon, Dec. 3. The choir was directed by Marcia McLean and the accompanists were Sheila Braun and Amy Wiens. The program included contemporary arrangements of classic and new songs, as well as traditional carols with an opportunity for the audience to sing along. The concerts included a performance by Prairie Spirit, a smalled auditioned choir that is also directed by McLean.
The very successful season of the Swift Current Comprehensive High School (SCCHS) Ardens volleyball team was acknowledged by the City of Swift Current during the team’s attendance of a regular council meeting, Dec. 5. Councillors congratulated the athletes on their provincial success and they received pins from Mayor Denis Perrault. The Ardens made history when they became the first SCCHS team to win the Saskatchewan High Schools Athletic Association 5A girls volleyball provincial title in Regina, Nov. 19.
The inaugural Prpick Boss Holiday Sweater Run took place along the Chinook Parkway in Swift Current, Dec. 3. The event attracted a total of 34 participants, with 25 competing in the five kilometre run and nine completing the two kilometre run. The Holiday Sweater Run was the third event on the 2016 Prpick Boss multi-sport series circuit in southwest Saskatchewan, with previous events taking place in Swift Current and at Lac Pelletier. The 2017 Prpick Boss multi-sport series will start on April 22 with the Mother Earth run/walk. A portion of the registration proceeds from each event is donated to a non-profit organization. In the case of the Holiday Sweater Run a donation of $340 was made to the Swift Current Friendship Centre and Vic-Tory Boxing Club. The top four finishers across the two distances were:
Five kilometre (position, name, time): 1st Tom Judiesch, 22:01; 2nd Nick Habscheid, 25:04; 3rd Mailyn Janette Leyeza, 26:18; 4th Stephen Boss, 26:47.
Two kilometre (position, name, time): 1st Lexi Boss, 10:02; 2nd Houston Finlayson, 10:52; 3rd Ty Andreas, 11:15; 4th Eve and Joey Boss, 11:52.
Swift Current Broncos fans showed their generosity by throwing hundreds of teddy bears, toques and mitts onto the ice after Artyom Minulin scored the team's first goal on the power play at 13:24 in the first period against the Calgary Hitmen to equalize the game during JayDee AgTech Teddy Bear Toss Night, Dec. 2. The Broncos scored four more unanswered goals during the game to win 5-1. All the items from the teddy bear toss were donated to the Salvation Army's Christmas campaign in Swift Current. This year's event collected over 700 teddy bears and other soft toys, 400 toques, mitts and gloves, as well as one pair of slippers. There were plenty of goals during the two Swift Current Broncos home games against the Calgary Hitmen on Dec. 2 and the Regina Pats on Dec. 4, which left the home team with a 5-1 win over the Hitmen and a 6-3 loss against the Pats. The Broncos are playing entertaining hockey this season with an attitude of never giving up, which result in exciting games for fans. They currently have a 15-9-2-4 record and the team is third in the East Division standings behind the Regina Pats and Moose Jaw Warriors.
The Swift Current SPCA received some help from Santa and Mrs Claus at the annual Santa Paws fundraiser, Nov 26. Pet owners visited Cowtown in downtown Swift Current to have their pets photographed with the two North Pole visitors. There are many ways for people to still show their support for the Swift Current SPCA this festive season. The 2017 SPCA pet calendars are on sale for $10 each at the animal shelter, the SPCA bookstore and many businesses in the city. The SPCA also has a Christmas shoebox program this festive season. People are encouraged to fill and donate a shoebox with dog or cat items to the shelter or they can purchase a pre-made box for $20. The Swift Current SPCA 2016 holiday giving guide can now also be viewed on the shelter's website at http://spcaswiftcurrent.com. The guide gives an option to select a donation amount for a specific purpose, for example a $25 donation will feed a shelter pet for one month.
A large crowd enjoyed unseasonably mild weather at the annual Christmas tree lighting in downtown Swift Current. People cheered when the lights on the large Christmas tree on Market Square were switched on at 7 p.m. Santa Claus and Mrs Claus arrived shortly after the tree lighting in a fire truck. There was a long line-up of children who wanted to see Santa and each child received a treat bag after meeting him.
The Registered Music Teachers of Swift Current hosted several events at the Art Gallery of Swift Current in celebration of Canada Music Week. Pianist Andrea Neustaeter performed some of her compositions during the reception for the Prairie Gothic exhibition at the gallery, Nov. 23. There was a performance by the Millar College of the Bible choir over noon on Nov. 24. Music teacher and guitarist Michael Lyngstad presented introductory workshops for guitar and ukulele on Nov. 26. Canada Music Week takes place annually during the third week of November to raise public awareness about the importance of Canadian music and to provide an opportunity to Canadian musicians to perform their work. Canada Music Week was initiated in 1960 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Association.
Over 600 middle year students from different schools in Swift Current attended the eight annual Middle Years Youth Wellness Forum at École Centennial and All Saints schools, Nov. 21. The event, which is sponsored by the Swift Current Kiwanis Club, aims to provide students with information about lifestyle choices through presentations by two keynote speakers. The presenters at this year's forum were Keith Hawkins, an international speaker from California, and professional entertainer and motivational speaker Scott Hammell from Toronto. The event took place during the morning and in the afternoon Hawkins also spoke at Swift Current Comprehensive High School. Pictured, Keith Hawkins speaks to Grade 7 and 8 students in the École Centennial School gymnasium during a session at the eight annual Middle Years Youth Wellness Forum. He asked students not to judge others, but to find acceptance within themselves as a way to accept others. “What you see in others is what you see in yourself,” he said.