Year in review

            (EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article includes highlights of some of the events which were reported in the Kamsack Timesduring the course of 2016. Dates listed refer to publication dates and not necessarily to the dates of the events.)


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            January 14 – Kamsack Mayor Rod Gardner said that 2015 had been ‘a very successful year” for Kamsack… A New Year’s Eve benefit raised over $30,000 for Teddy Hudye, a spinal injury victim… Ottenbreit Sanitation Services sent a letter to town council thanking it “for educating your community members on how to use the cart system effectively”…Canora’s Bob Kolodziejski rink topped the Super League curling competition…The annual bird count at Togo records 18 species of wild birds.

            January 21 – It was announced that Eaglestone Lodge required a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system expected to cost $300,000…Kamsack delegates attending the annual convention of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) planned to support at least nine of the 15 resolutions presented…A sold-out supper was served to raise funds for the Veregin HallWarren and Brenda Summers of Cote Siding prepared to begin a bed-and-breakfast business.

            January 28 – Sarah Monaghan opened Soulward Bound, a massage therapy and counselling practice…The KCI junior drama club was preparing to stage Disney’s The Little Mermaid…It was announced that Carol and Lyle Daniels, Aboriginal storytellers, were to return to the area to teach and entertain district students…Judges were selected for the Parkland Music Festival that would be held in Canora in February.


            February 4 – Among communities within the Sunrise Health Region, Kamsack has the highest rate of potentially vulnerable families, town council was told by a delegation from the health region… Family Literacy Day was observed at Victoria School… Yorkton and Saltcoats teams topped the district junior bonspiel that was played in Kamsack…The Neil Watkins rink of Swan river topped the Norquay mixed bonspiel…the Kamsack Cancer Self Help Group hosted a luncheon to raise funds for the Prairie Women on Snowmobiles… Former resident Russell Thomas of Fort McMurray, Alta., was praised for his unique art work that represented the four victims of the LaLoche shooting.

            February 11 – It was announced that Holly Hudye of Norquay and Kelly Kim Rea of Pelly would be included on the Prairie Women on Snowmobiles tour…Petrie Whitehawk and Holden Labelle of Kamsack Comprehensive Institute’s track team distinguished themselves at the Knights of Columbus indoor games held in Saskatoon…Brad Knutson rink of Norquay topped the Arran Bonspiel.

            February 18Tori Todosichuk of Kamsack competed in a downhill skiing event at Silver Star Mountain in B.C., winning a bronze medal… Mayor Rod Gardner accepted the first-place trophy in the ninth annual Saskatchewan Municipal Awards during the SUMA convention in Regina in recognition of the community’s health care initiatives…The Kamsack Library displayed banned books for the Freedom to Read Week…The KCI senior mixed curling team won silver at the district competition…The KCI senior girls basketball team topped the Langenburg tournament.

            February 25 – Among the Kamsack competitors of the annual Parkland Music Festival were Kade Wishnevetski and Curtis McGriskin…Women of Cuba prepared the World Day of Prayer service being held…A total of 225 sleds participated in the annual Togo Snowmobile Derby…A team of Kamsack air cadets, comprised of Kira Kitsch, Cade Henry-Martino, Braydon McLean and Curetis McGrsikin advanced to the provincial cadet bonspiel…Art created by residents of the Kamsack nursing home was sold to raise money for Telemiracle.


            March 3 – A large banquet audience attended the annual awards banquet held by the Kamsack branch of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation…Jim Pollock of Kamsack relieved staff affected by the La Loche tragedy…Organizers were pleased with the turnout for the first KCI Winter Carnival…The Ralph Hilderman rink of Togo topped the Togo Bonspiel…The Peter Wiwchar rink of Canora won the Norquay Seniors Bonspiel.

            March 10 – A benefit function was planned for Derek Cherkas, a former resident battling cancer…Breanna Issel, granddaughter of Norma Woodward of Kamsack, was named the Technologist of the Year by the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association…The KCI senior drama club was to spoof the Cyrano de Bergerac story on stage…A team of Joyce Maclean and Vince Broda won the Club 55 two-person stick bonspiel.

            March 17 – It was announced that the Kamsack nursing home auxiliary planned to construct an outdoor courtyard for the home…The Sharon Draper rink of Preeceville won the first event at the Norquay Ladies Bonspiel…The annual Swan Plain poker derby attracted 205 snowmobiles…It was announced that the Norquay High School senior drama club was to stage Superheroes, a comedy, at the regional drama festival…Cartoon Minions was the theme of the Togo Figure Skating Carnival.

            March 24 – District First Nation chiefs issued a request for government intervention in the ‘health care crisis”…The Hiawatha chapter of the Eastern Star at Kamsack received 3,780 live daffodil blooms which were sold in bundles of 12 to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society…The KCI senior girls basketball team ended season at Regionals…Norquay senior boys basketball team won bronze at Regionals…The KCI senior drama club staged A Nose for the News…Norquay figure skaters perform year-end carnival.

            March 31 – Subscribers were told that the rural water pipeline was in good shape…The KCI junior drama club staged The Little Mermaid…The Norquay School senior drama club received several awards at the regional drama festival…Minions were the special guests at the 24th annual Norquay Trade Show…Pelly and Norquay players helped Preeceville Midget Pats win the B-side championship…The Bob Roll rink of Canora won Kamsack’s Club 55 bonspiel.


            April 7 – Kamsack property taxes were unchanged from 2015…Cousins Jimmy Tao and Kevin Luu of Kamsack discovered a clump of willow trees with their distinct pussywillows …Sarah Jackson of Victoria, BC passed through Kamsack on a walking trip along the Trans Canada Trail to Newfoundland…The Glen Becenko rink topped the Kamsack Curling Club bonspiel…The Norquay junior drama club was to stage The Wizard of Oz…Work began on the first phase of construction of the Kamsack Walking Trail.

            April 14 – Kerri Bletsky of Canora opened The Flower Mill at Kamsack…Brody Vogel of Saskatoon, the great-grandson of Ann Vogel of Pelly and June How of Norquay, was a member of the Saskatoon Contacts AAA midget hockey team that was seeking the Telus Cup…Terry Dennis of Canora was elected the Canora-Pelly constituency’s MLA…Richardson Pioneer donates $50,000 to the Norquay CommuniplexJarod Hilderman of Kamsack was working for a playoff spot for the Fargo Force in an American junior hockey league.

            April 21 – Jim Woodward of Kamsack was re-elected the Royal Canadian Legion’s zone commander…A Kamsack audience was entertained by Eh440, an a cappella group…The Norquay wildlife federation held its annual awards banquet…Former Hyas resident Dean Kush of Regina formed a group to record a Cancer Society fundraising song.

            April 28 – It was announced that the KCI students would be staging a P.A.R.T.Y. event in two weeks…Wild crocuses were seen in bloom…Kamsack resident Cole Smith was praised by various celebrities for his invention of The Hangman…Kamsack Indoor Rodeo association begun the Lasso the Two fundraising game…Barry Golay and Dave Hoffert were named the Kamsack Volunteer Fire Department’s Firefighters of the Year.


            May 5 – Sunrise Health Region volunteers who work at Kamsack were honoured at a reception…Golfers were on the Riverside course in Kamsack…Volunteers were to begin a door-to-door campaign in Kamsack for the Canadian Diabetes Association…Sandi Chomyn of Togo won $440 in the community’s annual Togo Car Drop fundraiser…Randall-Dre Friday won the silver medal at the Yorkton archery competition…The Kamsack Karate Club held its final class of the season.

            May 12 – Victoria School Grade 1 students visited Grandpa’s Garden and Greenhouse …Kamsack’s Sadok Ukrinian Dancers and Norquay Rose Ukrainian Dance Club ended their seasons with concerts…It was announced that Capt. Velvet Pomedli of Shilo, Man., would be the reviewing officer for the Kamsack air cadet squadron…It was announced that Kamsack was to receive 100 seats from Taylor Field…Students at Chief Gabriel Cote Education Complex participated in a Red Cross Pink Day walk as a protest of bullying.

            May 19 – The Kamsack Players Drama Club staged A Night of Dark Intent…A monument commemorating the HMCS Kamsack was dedicated… Students at a Kindergarten class at Victoria School incubated chicken eggs and watched the chicks hatch…A film of Doukhobor history was included in the Yorkton Film Festival…A benefit for victims of the fires at Fort McMurray was held at the Wolkowski Funeral Home garage…Mayor Rod Gardner accepted Councillor Joe Kozakewich’s challenge to go up a climbing wall that was set up in Kamsack.

            May 26 – The Kamsack air cadet squadron held its 59th annual ceremonial review…Ardis Irvine began her 17th term as the Honoured Royal lady of the Kamsack Royal Purple Elks…A ceremony marked the end of renovations to the Kamsack Co-op gas bar…It was announced that the owner of the Fields Store had purchased the Kamsack Shopping Plaza…Students from Cote and Keeseekoose First Nations held the first Endurance Walk to fight against alcohol and drug abuse.


            June 2 – A reception honoured long-term service of Sunrise Health Region employees…A Sunday fundraiser helped to purchase cupboards for the Runnymede Hall…More than 100 youngsters were being taught the sport of baseball at Kamsack…Nick Martinuik of MySpray Therapeutics in Canora launched MyPain LiniMint, a new, revolutionary liniment that he said provides long-lasting pain relief from 100 per cent natural products…Kamsack artists were to be included in a new Godfrey Dean Art Gallery exhibit.

            June 9 – Members of the Kamsack branch of the Royal Canadian Legion held Decoration Day services…A ribbon was cut at the Victoria School playground marking the official opening of Sparty ParkArran Mayor Rick Nahnybida was promoting the Arran centennial celebration was to be held in July…Sunrise Health Region employees at Norquay were honoured at a reception held at La Campagna bed and breakfast…The Keeseekoose Chiefs Education Centre won the SGI Buckle-Up road safety campaign…KCI arts students were busy decorating Kamsack fire hydrants with colour…Eighteen new chairs for the Assiniboine Valley Health Centre were being assembled.

            June 16 – Proceeds from a cookbook written and published by Karen Pfeifer of Grandma B’s Greenhouse in Runnymede were donated to Ronald McDonald House in honour of Sophia Hvidston of Canora, a cancer patient…Youngsters of the Kamkids Daycare were photographed in their Lone Wolf Cabin that had been erected in their playground…Norquay band students received awards…The KCI Voyageurs embarked on their fifth annual outdoor education experience…Kamsack nursing home prepared for its annual spring tea.

            June 23 – KCI band students presented a concert on the lawn of the Kamsack hospital…KCI senior students were honoured at the annual Spectacular Spartans program…Jim Pollock, the owner of Duck Mountain Ambulance Care of Kamsack and Norquay was thanked for donating an ambulance to Ukraine by the Ukrainian ambassador…The community of Arran, Scotland, wished Arran, Saskatchewan a happy centenary…The Development and Peace Solidarity Quilt was exhibited in Kamsack.

            June 30 – The Kamsack Community Choir presented a concert to the theme of Heaven and Earth…The 72nd annual Veregin shishliki barbecue and beer garden was held…Kamsack realtor Nicole Lachambre was awarded the ABR designation by the Real Estate buyer’s Agent Council…Lloyd and Rose Virag of Lebret included photographs of district Ukrainian churches in their book…Mike Quewezance of Pelly celebrated Father’s Day with a hole-in-one at Riverside Golf Course in Kamsack…The annual picnic was held at Sandy Beach.


            July 7 – It was announced that the third annual Smoke on the Water fundraiser was to be held at Madge Lake on July 29…Graduation ceremonies were held in honor of the KCI Class of 2016…Kamsack was represented at the Windscape Kite Festival in Swift Current…A ceremony was held in honour of the members of the graduating class at Norquay School…Representatives of the Kamsack TD Trust branch participated in a Canora ribbon-cutting ceremony for a soup garden.

            July 14 – Former Kamsack air cadet Brooklyn Andrusiak was selected to attend the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa…Mud bogging was a popular event at the July 1 festivities at Kamsack…The Saskatchewan Municipal Award and plates with donors’ names were placed in the reception area of Assiniboine Valley Medical Centre…Riley Pickett, the great-grandson of June How of Norquay and Ann Vogel of Pelly, was one of six Saskatchewan athletes on the 38-person Team Canada that was competing in the 2016 International Federation of American Football World Championship in China.

            July 21 – It was announced that the Communities in Bloom judges would be touring Kamsack on August 10 and 11…Chelsey Cherkas of Okotoks, Alta., who is a granddaughter of Peter and Lydia Cherkas of Kamsack, was profiled on her way to launching a career as a singer and songwriter…Good Spirit Beef Club members held their annual achievement day…Doukhobor heritage was celebrated at Veregin event…A summer literacy camp was held at Cote First NationAssiniboine Aces took home Saskatchewan’s first slo-pitch gold medal.


            August 11 – Fourteen riders took part in the 10th annual Old Dog Run…With 285 persons served at the Arran centennial supper on July 30, the three-day celebration was being considered a success…The second annual Sandy Beach Disc Golf Tournament was said to have been a big hit…Hilda McLean, a resident of Eaglestone Lodge in Kamsack, celebrated her 100th birthday…Kamsack residents participated in the Quill Lake Homecoming.

            August 18 – Ben Hudye was presented with the Garden of Saskatchewan Citizen’s Ring…Major funders of the Assiniboine Valley Health Centre toasted the project’s near completion…The final Tragically Hip concert was being broadcast live at the Kamsack Playhouse…Tim Derwores of Kamsack purchased the drain cleaning portion of Kurt the Plumber’s business and continued to provide the service under the name of DM Drain Cleaning…For a third consecutive year, Vicky Koreluik was named the grand aggregate winner of the Kamsack and District Horticulture society’s annual show.

            August 25 – Saskatchewan Roughriders Jonathan Newsome and AC Leonard visited the Kamsack Co-op grocery store as part of the Co-op Game Day Approved campaign…Four members of town council announced that they would not be seeking re-election in October…Brody Vogel, a great-grandson of Ann Vogel of Pelly and June How of Norquay helped Team Saskatchewan win the Canada cup baseball tournament in Fort MacMurray, Alta.


            September 1 – Students of the Good Spirit School Division returned to school…Chester and Gladys Olson of Chester’s, a fast food restaurant in Kamsack, was beginning its 40th year in business…Bryan Cottenie of Kamsack, who has served on the local school board for 19 years, announced he would not be seeking another term on the Good Spirit School Division board of education…Lloyd Smith of Pelly participated in the fifth annual Draft Horse Field Days in Rama.

            September 8 – Former Kamsack resident Chris Bear, a journeyman electrician, returned home and began a business called Chris Bear Electrical Solutions…Eastern Star grand chapter members visited the Hiawatha chapter in Kamsack…The Kamsack Cancer Self Help Group was to begin its 15th year…For a second year in a row, Matt Procyshen of Saskatoon won the Golden Duck match play golf championship.

            September 15 – It was announced that Brittfit Fitness, a women’s fitness and dance studio would be opened by Brittainy Spence in the former K Café building in Kamsack…The Kamsack air cadet squadron was to begin its 60th year…Peter Popoff, a resident of the Kamsack nursing home, marked his 104th birthday…A successful HarvestFest concluded the Kamsack museum season…Eugene Remezoff of Veregin, a mechanic and farmer, was profiled in the Kamsack Times’ annual Harvest Edition supplement as he was beginning a tree growing and moving business…Benjamin Galay of Stenen shared his passion for naturally grown affordable produce and for many other products used to develop an alternative way of doing things.

            September 22 – Former Kamsack resident Craig Aikman and members of his Calgary-based band The Northern Beauties were performing in Reeperbahn, Germany’s largest club festival…The third annual Garlic Festival and Trade Show was held at the Kamsack Legion Hall…A group of 17 adult students were enrolled in a year-long course at Keeseekoose Chiefs Education Centre for future educational assistants…The KCI was host of adistrict senior golf competition at Madge Lake…The Norquay Active Aging exercise group made a video for the Sunrise Health Region.

            September 29 – Kamsack Councillor Nancy Brunt was elected by acclamation to succeed Rod Gardner as Kamsack’s mayor…The Saulteaux Healing and Wellness Treatment Centre was officially opened at Cote First Nation…Genealogical society members talked about family research and history during a meeting in Kamsack…More than $3,000 was paid out to participants at the 11th annual team penning event held at the Broda Sportsplex in Kamsack.


            October 6 – An outreach centre, funded by Health Canada and managed by a board assembled by Cote First Nation with the objective of helping to create a healthy community, was officially opened in Kamsack in the former Glass Door Jewelry building…Students and staff at the KCI wore orange clothing as a way to show their commitment to reconciliation of the First Nations residential school experience…Former Kamsack resident Stefanie Brown of Regina was named the top cosmetics manager in Saskatchewan and Manitoba…Ed Yurkiw of Kamsack was presented with two medals in Roblin in recognition of his long service with the Roblin Fire Department.

            October 13 – The 18th annual Kamsack Indoor Rodeo was held at the Broda Sportsplex…Kamsack received four Blooms in the Communities in Bloom competition…Dr. Wayne Strukoff of Strukoff Chiropractic Clinic in Kamsack was participating in the Saskatchewan chiropractors’ Toasty Toes sock drive…Ken Krawetz, the former Canora-Pelly MLA, was awarded the Taras Shevchenko Medal at the Ukrainian congress.

            October 20 – Kamsack district First Nation members announced they would be going to North Dakota in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe oil pipeline protests…Kamsack Mayor Rod Gardner congratulated small businesses in the Times’ Small Business Week promotion…Dylan Abbott of Norquay proposed marriage to Brianne Fialkowski at the Scottish church where his great-grandparents were married.

            October 27 – The Kamsack Players drama club was preparing to stage Dad’s Piano, a play with one actor (Adrian Hovrisko) portraying 10 roles and supported only by one person, Marilyn Marsh, at the piano…Kamsack fireman Barry Golay was presented with the Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal in recognition of his years of service with the Kamsack Volunteer Fire Department…Craig Aikman and his band The Northern Beauties received a Western Canadian Music Award in the Best Roots Duo or Group of the Year category…Ryan Crouse of Yorkton and Cole Smith of Kamsack, who produce Knights of the Dark on Access 7 television, were profiled.


            November 3 – As a fundraiser for Eaglestone Lodge, the second annual Girls Night Out was held...After the municipal election results were in, it was discovered that voters tended to favour the incumbent candidates…Kamsack children were attending a Teddy Bear Clinic to help “take the scare away from care”…Yvonne St. Germaine of Saskatoon, who is an award-winning gospel singer, entertained at the New Beginnings outreach centre in Kamsack…The annual KCI Fun Night raised money for the 2017 graduation program.

            November 10Bruno Lemire of Kamsack was presented with the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association’s volunteer-of-the-year award in recognition for his work with the Duck Mountain Loppet…Kobe Laevens, grandson of Octaaf Laevens, a long-time Kamsack Royals coach, was named the top peewee baseball player in Alberta…The wartime experiences of several Kamsack veterans were revisited as a Remembrance Day feature story…About 150 people attended a Halloween cabaret in support of minor hockey.

            November 17John Welykholowa was named the Kamsack branch of the Royal Canadian Legion Legionnaire of the year…Maj. Shannon Woodward, who was posted at Frederickton, NB, was the guest speaker at the Kamsack Remembrance Day banquet…The KCI and Victoria School’s Remembrance Day service highlighted the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

            November 24 – Kamsack workmen were busy installing the Christmas decorations on the community’s light standards…Donna and Steven Toffan of Norquay talked about the Country Music Association Awards show that they were treated to in Nashville, Tenn…Former Kamsack resident Leanne Keys of Yorkton, who had directed the Kamsack Players’ production of Dad’s Piano, was the winner of the award for best director at the Theatre Saskatchewan’s TheatreOne festival in Regina…Super League curling began with the same teams that played last year.


            December 1Santa Claus was in Kamsack during the Moonlight Madness pre-Christmas shopping promotion and he was the featured guest in the community’s annual Santa Claus parade… The Kamsack Family Resource Centre celebrated a grand opening…Former resident Dr. Keith Brunt, son of Russell and Nancy Brunt of Kamsack, was profiled after having been named the New Brunswick Health Researcher of the Month…The Kamsack Co-op launched its “Good Buy to Hunger” program to benefit New Beginnings outreach centre.

            December 8 – The Kamsack Players staged Scrooge Macbeth as a dinner theatre… Lloyd Smith of Pelly and his team of Percherons won three “best all-around” banners at Agribition… An early childhood family events group in Kamsack was funded by Affinity Credit Union.

            December 15 – The Kamsack Community Choir, under the direction of Susan Bear, held its annual Christmas concert entitled A Christmas Gathering…The antler measuring event held by the Kamsack branch of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation indicated that district hunters were more successful this year than they were last year…The Hiawatha chapter of the Eastern Star installed its officers for 2017…The KCI GLOW (Gay, Lesbian Or Whoever) club was urging students to “learn a fact; be a lifesaver”…Chelsey Johnson of Parkland Valley Sport, Culture and Recreation and Kacie Loshka of Saskatchewan in motion conducted three meetings at Kamsack with the objective of constructing a physical activity community profile.

            December 22 – The Kamsack Playhouse staged a Community Christmas Concert that packed the house…Evelyn Falkiner of Kamsack celebrated her 100th birthday…It was learned that the parent company of the Kamsack Rexall Drugstore was obliged to sell the retail outlet…Members of the Heart and Home Quilting Club of Kamsack held their end-of-season get-together…The community was invited to attend a benefit function at the OCC Hall on December 31 in support of the family of Zarah Gouge who is battling leukemia.