OCN’s Smart Farm has had a few successful harvests so far under their belts for the month of August.
Despite not having any produce last year due to COVID-19, the return of the Smart Farm’s produce has been a huge success, leaving nothing to go to waste.
“We’ve been in operation for about six years,” said OCN Smart Farm Operations Manager Stephanie Cook. “Unfortunately the pandemic shut us down, because they were using the hall as a COVID-19 hall and test site for OCN, so we basically just got back up and running.
We have done two harvests now in the community and they were very well received. We had no produce left over at the end, which is really good.
“There were over 50 families that came to get produce at each one of our harvests. There are families that consist of two people or some with six to eight, and as a result, this produce is feeding a lot of people.”
Local fiddler Caitlin Armstrong is making her mark in the fiddling world. For the second time, Armstrong is headed to the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Competition where she will compete against fiddlers from across the country.
The event will be held in Winnipeg August 26 & 27th with Armstrong joining a select few fiddlers from Manitoba to represent the province.
“A handful of people get selected from each province and then go to compete. It’s the biggest competition in Canada,” Armstrong said. The competition is based on provincial selection which occurs as a result of getting noticed in the industry.
There’s a familiar face on the fire department that has a new role as the Town of The Pas Fire Chief. Cody Langlois started his new role as Fire Chief last Monday and is excited to be back in the community.
“I’m not necessarily a stranger to the community, but new to the role I’ve been hired for,” said Town of The Pas Fire Chief Cody Langlois. “I’m originally from Winnipegosis, which is a small town about 30 minutes north of Dauphin. That is where I attended my grade school and began my firefighting career as a junior firefighter through a school program we had.
“This junior program sparked a career long passion for helping others when in need. I was always a kid who cared for others and this was a career path I knew I could enjoy.”
Food security is an issue in Manitoba thanks to rising cost of food and the high level of poverty in the province. Most communities have a locally run food bank to assist those who are struggling to provide enough food to feed themselves on a regular basis.
The Pas Friendship Centre took on the role of running and facilitating the food bank during the spark of the pandemic, but now has no choice but to close it down.
“The Pas Friendship Centre has run the tri-community food bank since March 2020 and we just can no longer do it,” said The Pas Friendship Centre Executive Director Douglas Bartlett. “We started it because the pandemic put a strong focus on food shortages in the tri-community. We were up to about 200 hampers a month and then it went down to 150, with 100 of those hampers going to seniors.
Q. How long have you been in this industry?
Elaine Forsyth: We both started when we were about 15 years old. Brad started in Brandon and I started at the Dairy Queen here in Swan River. We both worked at various businesses.
Brad Forsyth: I used to work at a restaurant on the highway in Brandon, Harry’s Ukrainian Kitchen.
EF: We moved to Flin Flon in 1991 and worked there at the Victoria Inn for just over seven years. Then, we moved here and started here June 1, 1996.
Q. What do you like about working in and running the Timberland?
EF: The people and the staff are like family.
BF: Running bars, room and restaurants and overseeing all of that is a lot of work. This is more fun, working with young people.
We know everybody that walks in the door. Some people give you a wave and some people give you the finger, but it’s a small community and it’s all fun. We have so many regulars, seeing the same faces twice, three times a day.
Q. What were some of the challenges in running this business?
EF: COVID was the biggest one, as well as prices and inflation.
BF: Since COVID, meats are up at least five percent. When we were selling a box of chickens from the freezer, we were selling them for about $48 and made about eight or nine dollars. Now that same box costs me $57.
Another challenge was the maintenance of the building. When we bought it, it wasn’t in great shape. We’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.
EF: Finding staff can be challenging as well during certain times of the year, such as when the students go back to university.
BF: And, that affected us especially during COVID because usually we have a couple of high school students that could bring their friends, but nobody was going to school and we couldn’t pick up any extra people. A staff of 35 turned into 15.
EF: When we made it through COVID, that was also a staffing challenge because we were instantly busy, sales coming back almost instantly.
Q. What will you miss about running the Timberland in your retirement?
EF: All of the regular customers and staff. They’re family.
BF: Lots have been around long enough to see them have children and bring their babies in. Everyone starts at the Timberland when they’re about four months old.
Q. What are some highlights of the last 24 years?
EF: I think it’s rewarding daily to see people so happy and thankful.
Q. What are your plans in retirement?
EF: Haven’t made many plans yet. We’ll definitely do some travelling. Eventually we’ll probably get some part-time jobs.
BF: I’ll get to see some of my grandchildren.
Q. Anything else you’d like to add?
EF: We’re thankful for the community support. We’ve been very fortunate.
BF: It’s nice to see how many regulars come back here all the time.
EF: And staff too. Many started when they were in high school and they still come back for summer when they go off to university or work a little on the weekend if they have a different job.
BF: They have fun together. It’s a fun place to work.
Q. Switching gears to you Ramandeep, are you new to the community? Where did you come from?
Ramandeep Singh: Yes, originally I’m from India and I came to Canada in 2015. I started studying here. Post-graduation, I moved to Thompson and started working in the hotel. I’ve been running that hotel for the last five years.
I decided I wanted my own business, so that’s how I found Brad.
Q. Do you have any plans for changes to make this place your own?
RS: Right now, I’m just learning things, so maybe down the line I will put my things in, especially with the hotel. I think the restaurant is running great. Brad is here to help me with that. The hotel part, I have another friend coming in so we’ll start looking at that later down the line.
Q. What’s your family like?
RS: I brought my family to Canada this year only. Right now they are in Ontario. They will join me soon this month whenever I get settled here. I have a wife and 10 year old son.
Q. Anything you’d like to say to your new customers and community?
RS: I’m looking forward to building my relationship with the community, for the best.
The Swan River Kinsmen Nursery School (SRKNS) benefited from the Greening Canada’s School Grounds program, getting several trees and shrubs of different varieties planted in their playground, contributing to the natural play atmosphere, and provide other benefits such as food, clean air, shade, shelter, wildlife habitat and aesthetic beauty. The trees were planted by Tree Canada, with $3,500 of funding provided by Northbridge Financial Corporation. Here (from left to right), Charlie Burnside, Blair Burnside and SRKNS Vice-President Holly Markin stand amongst the newly planted trees alongside David Dayson, who is representing on behalf of Tree Canada Manitoba Community Advisor
Referee Cole Zwiep keeps a close eye on the action as A.J. Sanchez tries to escape a hold applied by Headline Shaun Mertens as Canadian Wrestling’s Elite made its return to Dauphin, Friday, at the Watson Arts Centre in front of about 60 people.
The event featured five matches including Zombie Killer MENTALLO defending the CWE Championship against EZ Ryder.
More than 100 people took part in the annual Night Light Golf Tournament, Friday at the Dauphin Lake Golf Club.
There were prizes for the best lit golf cart, a hole-in-one contest, putting contest and chase the ace, with proceeds going to the multi-sport court at Dauphin Beach, which is expected to be in use next year.
Shortly after 3 p.m., Aug. 9, the Dauphin Fire Department was dispatched to assist Ochre River Fire Department with a water rescue on Dauphin Lake.
A boat had overturned sending both occupants into the water.
The mission was a success, with both of the boaters returning to land unharmed.
Thanks is extended to the civilians that assisted in bringing boaters and their boat back to shore.
Dauphin Consumers Co-op is looking into the possibility of starting a Citizens on Patrol Program in Dauphin.
The local business had a table set up at their food store, Wednesday and Thursday, offering information to interested patrons.
Co-op asset protection/safety manager Richard Ives said the first discussion took place in early May.
“And then we heard about all the stuff going on in our community and thought that maybe we could somehow help out as a Co-op. We’re a part of the community and a big part of Dauphin. We thought that maybe this is an avenue that we could take and try and get off the ground,” he said.
Response to the initiative was light on Wednesday, but picked up the next day.
“We’re giving out lots of information today. Hopefully in the weeks to come, we get the applications back and enough interest to start a group in Dauphin. Then we can start up some training and all that,” he said.
Details of what the program will look like have yet to be worked out. Ives said they will have to work with the City of Dauphin and RCMP to determine where support is needed.
“Is it weekends? Evenings? Later mornings? And with a crew of two per vehicle and a few vehicles, hopefully, on the road at those times, just to drive around and be an extra set of eyes for the community of Dauphin,” he said, adding as soon as they have a good number of people willing to take part, they can take the next step to start the program.
About 35 people have expressed an interest in joining the program, which Ives finds encouraging. He adds there is no limit to how many people they will accept into the program.
“I think the more the merrier. It takes less pressure off everybody else and less commitment if there’s a lot more volunteers. But if we have to start small, we’ll start small and go from there,” he said.
Anyone interested in acquiring more information on the program can visit the local Co-op food store administration office and ask for Ives.