Giving the gift of laughter or putting a smile on someone’s face is one of the best things to give. Opaskwayak Cree Nation’s Greg Personius has been doing this in the tri-community for quite some time. With his witty and outgoing personality, combined with his musical and entertaining talent, he has kept people smiling and engaged.
“I’m kind of a jack-of-all-trades in a sense,” said Personius. “Right from 12 years old I started singing and that’s where it all kind of began. Then at 16 years old, I started doing emcee jobs and learned from my role model, Shorty Lathlin. He showed me the ropes on how to emcee and interact with people.
“I just got into joking around more and entertaining people. Singing has been in my life for a long-time and I entered several contests. I really get involved by singing at funerals, wakes and wherever there is a need for music.”
The snow is here to stay and with that comes the opening of the Asessippi Ski Resort. The resort opened last weekend and staff is busy making more snow, and getting all the runs and features opened for the winter season.
“We are still trying to hire some more staff for this season,” said Asessippi Ski Resort Assistant Manager Shannon Johnston. “We are still kind of short staffed at the moment and need a few more full time liftees and people in rentals. This season our focus is to get as much terrain open and as many features as we can as early as possible. Last weekend, we were still snowmaking and opened up the Quad Chair, Bunny Hill as well as Robin’s Run with some features with the terrain park. Next our focus will shift to Triple and the Bear Chair. The Bear Chair has been a couple years since it was open and everyone is asking about it. Those are our main focuses right now and then will work on tubing. There are a couple of fun things we will have out there, such as moguls for those people who like to do freestyle,” said Johnston.
“We’re going to have the two terrain parks, as well as a big full slope style course and a ski and snowboard cross come in the beginning of the year. After COVID-19, we kind of back into full mode. The bar and food court is open and we have some new fantastic menu choices. All three stations will be running with an assortment of homemade soups, pizzas, pastas and an amazing Rueben on the menu. The Bear’s Den offers an array of espresso coffees, lattes, along with beer and wine.”
Asessippi Ski Resort has some big plans for New Year’s Day celebrations as well as some other events throughout the season.
Get the full details in this week's Roblin Review!
The issue of who will be the town’s sanitation pick-up service provider was a hot topic at the Ratepayers Meeting on Wednesday evening.
What was thought to be the difference between Roblin Sanitation’s tender and OSS’s was made public and was actually incorrectly portrayed.
“There were statements made that Roblin Sanitation’s tender was $32,000 higher than OSS and my question is how did you arrive at that amount?” asked Greg Perchaluk. “Roblin Sanitation’s tender has an amount for residential and commercial and OSS’ only had for the residential, nothing yet for the commercial, so how did Council arrive at amount as the difference between the two?” “I had said $30,000 to $32,000 was the difference,” said Misko. “I had just taken from my memory $89,000 and $119,000. Those numbers weren’t quite right.
In Roblin Sanitation’s case their amount included GST. The one from OSS didn’t, so it was closer to $20,000 on the weekly, on the bi-weekly it was about $48,000.
“We considered the way it was proposed to us, that was including the commercial pick up. Whatever wasn’t needed for the residential, those containers would be reduced and we’d have front load pick up on the other. We don’t yet officially have that number, hence why we haven’t signed a contract. At this point, we’re still looking to get confirmation on everything."
Check this week's Review for more!
The Manitoba Aboriginal Sport Recreation Centre (MASRC) has awarded one of the tri-community’s biggest supporters and encouragers of physical activities. M30’s Savanna Sayese was awarded MASRC’s Community Champion of the Month for October.
“I was surprised and honoured to receive Champion of the Month by Manitoba Aboriginal Sport Recreation Centre (MASRC),” said M30 Co-Founder Savanna Sayese. “It is always nice to be recognized for the work one does in their community.”
Sayese knew the importance of playing sports at an early age. From being athletic youth she knows the positivity of being involved in sports and she also knows not everyone has the financial means to do so.
Local self-taught artist Tyler Tobacco has been pursuing his passion for art since he was a child. He has spent a lot of time developing his style and technique. What started out as a past time for art and has grown into commission work over the years.
“I was doing art since I can remember,” said Tobacco. “I was usually drawing something with a pencil, which is the most basic tool for creating and it’s all you need when you’re a kid.
“I’m not quite sure what drew me into drawing and painting. I guess my dad provided the fuel needed to pursue it more. All I did was draw until I was an adult. Then when I had my own income, I invested in some paint and paper, and haven’t stopped since. What kept me painting were all the commissions I got. I just can’t stop. I have obligations to the people who trust me with their ideas and I work on bringing that art to life, for as long as it takes.
“It took a lot of time to develop my art talent, probably thousands of hours over the years now,” said Tobacco. “It took some self-motivation and a willingness to sacrifice my time to something and that’s how I developed my skill and talent. So, if anyone out there is reading this, and they want to be good at something, I think we both know what it takes; time and sacrifice, that’s all.”
Just this month some community members in Moose Lake seized an opportunity to become more proactive in helping to care for dogs in their community. Originally this opportunity was meant to go to Pukatawagan, but due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, that plan fell through, so it was important to provide the services and help to animals where needed.
“An initial plan to travel to Pukatawagan was no longer an option due to the train being out of service,” said MAA North Paw Chapter Volunteer Irene Huculak. “Niagara Dog Rescue (NDR) and the Manitoba Animal Alliance (MAA) North Paw chatted on how we could salvage this trip. We decided to ask neighboring communities if we could come in and help where we could.
Aurora House along with the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters (MAWS) have been busy this month creating awareness for November is the National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Several engaging activities were scheduled throughout November and were free to participate in.
“MAWS hosted a virtual Film Fest every week of November,” said MAWS Communication Specialist Amrita Chavan. “We held our final screening on Nov. 25, which was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. We screened Dr. Gabor Mate’s award-winning documentary, The Wisdom of Trauma.
Every year the Manitoba Credit Unions Order of Merit is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated a significant commitment to the Manitoba Credit Union system, as an employee or elected official. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, The Manitoba Credit Unions Order of Merit was unable to facilitate a ceremony for two years. Two weeks ago, a former Swan Valley Credit Union (SVCU) Board member received the Manitoba Credit Unions Order of Merit for 2021.
“Alex Eggie’s time on the Board from 1988 to 2012, including nine years as President, was during an important era in SVCU’s nearly 70-year history,” said SVCU CEO Craig Zamzow. “Hailing from the Big Woody District, this community of people is known for their rarely matched pride and volunteerism, and included many who were founding SVCU directors in 1953.
“Alex brought that commitment to the SVCU Board and set a great example for fellow directors and managers. Alex was a key leader when SVCU decided to expand and opened a branch in Benito, purchased the Bank of Montreal branch in Swan River, and purchased three insurance agencies as the credit union diversified.
“I still clearly remember Alex explaining to new directors about the amount of time that should be invested in reviewing Board packages before the meeting to ensure everyone was prepared,” said Zamzow. “His passion for fairness, commitment to community, and willingness to ask the tough questions when needed, still help guide our leadership group today.”
Eggie was drawn into being a part of the SVCU through his interest in a grassroots collective approach to providing a need or service in the community and helping it grow.
“I was always interested in the cooperative movement and one of the SVCU directors put my name forward to be elected to the board, and that was how I got started in it,” said Alex Eggie. “I was elected in 1988 and over the years I was Vice-President for two years, President for nine years and then was our delegate from District 6 to Credit Union Central for nine years. Then after that, I served on the SVCU Board as a board member for three years after that.”
Over the years Eggie has seen and experienced firsthand, how the SVCU has grown to what it has become today.
“The growth the SVCU has seen over the years has been significant,” said Eggie. “One of the highlights was that after the difficulties in the 1980s with high interest rates and accounts that were overdue, was the fact that in a few years we were able to pay patronage dividends because we had 10 percent equity. From then, we continued to grow. We were around $40 million when I went on the SVCU Board to just about $200 million when I left.
“Along the way we acquired the Bank of Montreal branch in Swan River and opened up a branch in Benito. There was growth besides the natural ones that we acquired. We built a new building, which is environmentally friendly. We acquired an insurance group that is still active today. That was to provide better service and wealth management to our members.”
Eggie has enjoyed his time on the SVCU Board and saw many benefits that the SVCU has brought to the Valley.
“My time I spent on Credit Union Central’s Board was rewarding,” said Eggie. “I had an idea of how the whole system was performing.
Despite all the achievements we had, I will always remember best the people that I met while I was on the board.”
Eggie travelled to Winnipeg for the Manitoba Credit Unions Order of Merit ceremony, which was held on Nov. 17, at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
“It was a well-done event,” said Eggie. “The Manitoba Credit Union presented the Order of Merit to recipients for the past two years, but because of COVID-19, they couldn’t do presentations in person.
There were five members in total that received the Order of Merit.”
Other past and current SVCU Board members were also in attendance to see Eggie presented with this honour.
“I’ve learned a lot from Alex over the years and am proud to count him as a key mentor for me personally,” said Zamzow. “Being recognized in the Manitoba Credit Union’s Order of Merit is very fitting and I was honoured to be able to be in attendance for Alex’s special day of recognition, acknowledging his significant positive impact to SVCU and the Manitoba Credit Union System.”
A Kelsey Community School Teacher is being recognized and acknowledged for her teaching efforts and abilities. Myrna Ducharme was recently announced as one of the recipients of Indspire Indigenous Educator Awards.
The Indspire Indigenous Educator Award is one that recognizes Indigenous educators who guide their students’ journeys through leadership, innovative practice and dedication to the community. One of Ducharme’s nominators, who also works at Kelsey Community School, Cheryl Antonio, knew that Ducharme was definitely an excellent candidate for this award.
“Myrna is not just an excellent teacher and role model for students, but for her coworkers as well,” said Antonio. “She has been taking time from her personal life for years to educate herself on how to educate others on the importance of Indigenous Education and to incorporate it into the classroom daily. She is able to share these teachings with a calm passion that entices you to learn more and want to be involved.
Going to see Santa can be a real challenge when one has an autistic child. The rush, noise, flashing lights can be too much to take in and cause the child a sensory overload. Sensitive Santa was created in the tri-community to give those who have autism or sensory issues, a chance to experience the magic of Santa in an atmosphere that is comfortable for them.
“Sensitive Santa was created for families who would otherwise not get to have a visit with Santa because of the nature of a traditional visit,” said Melanie Young. “For some children, especially autistic children, a traditional visit is too overwhelming for them. Autistic people may have many challenges associated with sensory information. Large areas with loud music and lots of people talking, bright lights, Santa calling out to children, bells, standing in a long line with too much going on around them can be very difficult to navigate.