The tri-community is one of the best places to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Residents are no stranger to the excitement and joy of winter fun and last weekend was no exception when more than two dozen people gathered to take part in the first Explore the Trail Event hosted by Opaquia Trails.
“We are really excited about it. The snow shoe trail we started last year however, we started a little bit late in the season and it was a hit, an absolute hit,” Opasquia Trails board member Al McLauchlan commented. The excitement of the trails last lead the organization to work to ensure people had access to the trails earlier this year. “People were using it more than what we expected. We wanted to make sure we got the snowshoe trails open early this year so it’s been open now for over a month. As soon as the ice was safe, because the trail does go across the lake,” he said.
Margaret Barbour Collegiate Insitute basketball teams were in action this past weekend with the Junior Varisty boys playing in the MacGregor Invitational and the Senior Varsity girls playing in a tournament in Gimli. Both teams had a great weekend of play, with the boys taking tournament champion and the girls bringing home a third place finish.
In JV boys action, the Spartans went undeafeted, beating St. Luarent 74-45; Carberry 67-39 and Virden 68-42. As result, the boys are ranked fifth in the MHSAA Power Rankings and according to their coach had a good weekend
“It was a good
test for us,” Coach Darcy Hanchuk commented. “Although there is still a lot to work on, the boys played very well.”
The Royal Canadian Legion warmed up Friday evening, when the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra (WJO) performed “Brazilian Season” featuring vocalist Marco Castillo. The WJO were joined by the MBCI Jazz Band for the evening that included an ambiance of the finest affair, with drinks, appetizers, and the smooth sounds of jazz.
Opening the evening was the MBCI band under the direction of Heather Gibson. The students played to a full house as the event was sold out. “It was fantastic to see so many faces come out to the event,” The Pas Arts Council President Andrew Legeny commented, adding, “Heather Gibson and the MBCI Jazz band did a great job opening for the WJO. This was a good opportunity for the jazz band students to see where life can take them if they keep practicing and working at their craft.”
A newly formed community organization is bringing unique fine dining on a local level and raising funds for community projects. The Guest List recently held their first event in the community and it was a huge success.
“The Guest List is a grassroots community non-profit organization that was founded by myself, John Chartrand, Emily Doucette and Alexis Yahnke,” said The Guest List member Gabrielle Swan. “It began as an opportunity to bring people in the community together for unique dinning experiences locally, but evolved into an opportunity to support larger community projects, all of which will be spearheaded by the founding members.
The Dauphin Kings remain in the midst of the tight race in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s MGEU West Division.
After dropping a 4-0 decision to the OCN Blizzard, Tuesday in OCN, the Kings swept and home-and-home with the Waywayseecappo Wolverines, 5-1, Friday in Dauphin, and 3-1, Saturday in Waywayseecappo.
As a result, Dauphin enters the week in a three-way tie for second place with the Wolverines and Swan Valley Stampeders, two points behind OCN.
Kings head coach and general manager Doug Hedley said the team took a step back in the game against OCN.
“The structure wasn’t there. The stick-to-itiveness, the trust in the process. We just didn’t battle hard enough. You’ve got to give OCN credit. They came at us hard. They used their speed,” he said. “We weren’t real tough to play against.”
After some good practices during the week, the Kings were able to rebound with a pair of solid efforts against the Wolverines.
“Wayway is a very good hockey club. They’re well coached. We played like we had to. We were responsible away from the puck. We didn’t leave a lot of chances on the rush. And then, if we didn’t (Cole) Sheffield had two great games and was outstanding,” Hedley said.
Last season, Swan Valley finished in fourth place, the last playoff spot, with 22 wins. Entering this week’s games, Neepawa is the only team within the division with fewer than 20 victories, sitting at 17.
Hedley figures 30 wins will be needed to get into the playoffs.
This weekend, the Kings will host the Blizzard, Friday for Ukrainian Night at 7:30 p.m., and again on Sunday at 4 p.m.
Hedley is looking forward to the weekend contests.
“We’re going to have some good practices this week and really focus on OCN. Any kind of tendencies we’re looking for, we’ll pass on the our players and get them prepared as good as we can. All it is is staying on our toes and playing to the best of our abilities,” he said.
The Parkland Rangers showed what hard work can accomplish by earning three of a possible four points over the weekend.
After starting the week with a 6-4 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings, Parkland snapped a 10-game losing skid with a convincing 7-3 win over the Eastman Selects, Saturday.
Eastman got a measure of revenge on Sunday, beating the Rangers, 5-4 in overtime.
Parkland got off to a slow start against Brandon, falling behind, 4-1 after the opening 20 minutes, but rebounded to make a game of it, pulling to within a goal with under a minute to play.
Rangers head coach Tyler Carefoot said there was a lot for the team to be proud of in the three games.
“There’s lots to feel good about,” he said. “We teased the fellas a little bit, it’s almost like we’re peaking almost two months too late. But when you’re a young roster, it takes a little bit longer to be ready to execute and be ready every shift. But I think now we’re starting to see what the future holds for our program.”
The Rangers were noticeably active with their sticks in the defensive zone, part of the team’s commitment to team defence.
“That’s all about being responsible to team defence, to sticks in lanes, getting into shooting lanes, D side of the puck. And I think almost to a player, we are doing that,” Carefoot said. “And I think for any player, if we’re going to trust you, it starts with D.”
The whole team played well, which allowed Carefoot to use the entire roster. Players, he added, are starting to feel good about themselves.
Sunday’s game was the first time newcomer Havryil Simchuk did not get on the scoresheet. He had five goals and four assists in his first six games with Parkland before getting shutout on Sunday.
“He just adds depth. He’s a strong player and we’re leaning in him a lot and he’s doing really well,” Carefoot said.
The Rangers hit the road for two games this weekend against the Pembina Valley Hawks, Friday and Saturday in Morden.
The Hawks are currently third in the league with a 23-7-5-0 record. Their 51 points has them four points behind the Winnipeg Bruins.
The Rangers, Carefoot said, match up well with the Hawks. The two teams split a pair of games in Dauphin in early November.
“If we keep competing they way we have been the last five or six games, I think we’ll hang in there and who knows what will happen,” he said. “It’s just nice coming to the rink. The kids are smiling. Nobody really has a piano on their back right now.”
With nine games left to play, Parkland is 14 points out of a playoff spot. So, although they are not officially eliminated from the playoffs, their chances are slim, leaving them to play spoiler, something they are having fun with.
“I think this group is proving in most games we don’t quit. We just keep working. But just to go out and compete just for the spirit of the game, I think that’s what we’re focused on,” he said.
A provincially-led program aimed at improving the quality of life in the community has the City of Dauphin anxiously awaiting word on when the promised assistance is forthcoming.
Dauphin was one of 12 communities selected last April to receive provincial funding to develop and implement a Community Safety and Well-being Plan (CSWP) following a successful pilot project in Thompson in 2019-20.
While the City had hoped the process would begin last summer, it is still waiting on the province to appoint a consultant and provide the approximately $100,000 in funding, half of which will be used to formulate the plan with the other half being to used to implement its initiatives.
“The delay is starting to become problematic in the sense that we’d love to get going on it and we have to hurry up and wait,” mayor David Bosiak said. “I just wish that the province would pull the trigger on this and let us go. Who knows, that call or email could come any day, but I can’t really say when that will happen.”
The City had informal discussions with Manitoba Justice late last year regarding the process, and was able to educate the department on the work, which is already underway in the community.
Over the last number of years, the Crisis Prevention Task Force and Under One Roof have been working to effectively co-ordinate social services with various providers and have had some success in the approach.
The City has also met with those local service providers and other community groups to inform them about the program and its process, as well as offer its leadership with respect to the plan and how it will fit into the community. To that end, the City has created a repository for organizations to populate with information they want to share with the group and for the purposes of the CSWP.
But despite the work that has been done, Bosiak is fearful that given the complexity of the program and the diversity of the communities involved - six Indigenous communities and six municipalities, all of different sizes and facing different issues - the province will attempt a “cookie cutter” approach that produces results adequate for all, but perfect for none.
The City, he added, is more interested in developing a plan tailormade for Dauphin.
“I’m hoping there’s some flexibility from our end once they see that we have capacity, we have capability. We have people already doing this, so let’s not spend time and money doing stuff we’ve already done,” Bosiak said “One of the things we’re hopeful of is once this process starts with the provincially-appointed or identified consultant, that we can quickly come to a place with them to say ‘okay, we don’t have to get a community meeting, we don’t have to get the partners lined up, we don’t have to inform them, because we’ve already been doing that for two or three years anyway.”
What the City is looking for from the consultant, Bosiak said, is advice on some implementation strategies, with input from it’s community partners.
“Maybe even to help us assess how well or not the current Under One Roof programming is going for us,” he said.
The City will host the next meeting of the social service providers and community groups, as part of the CSWP process, at the end of January or early February.
A group of Parkland residents have received a special honour courtesy of the Province of Manitoba and Dauphin MLA Brad Michaleski.
At a special ceremony in Brandon last week, Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medals were presented to Kay Slobodzian, Michelle Mazurkewich, Tony Safronetz, Bev Harvey, Carole Shankaruk, Alex Lytwyn, Al Gray and Rodney Juba were presented their medals by Lt-Gov. Anita Neville, Premier Heather Stefanson and Michaleski. Two other Dauphin residents, Brian Damsgaard and Jim Perchaluk were unable to attend the ceremony and will receive their medals at a later date.
Manitoba was one of five Canadian provinces to celebrate the 70th anniversary year of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne through the medal program.
Read more in this week's Dauphin Herald!
I suppose it’s true that when you shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you end up among the stars. Not that I would consider what former Swan Valley resident Brett Madill does for a living to be ‘missing’ anything, considering that with the application of an evolving skillset and a little luck of being in the right place at the right time, he has ended up on film sets with some of Hollywood’s elite talent.
Notably, Madill served as visual effects technician on the set of A Man Called Otto, a film currently in theatrical release starring Tom Hanks about a grumpy man who meets someone that turns his life around. The production is just the latest in what has become a long list of high-profile projects since Madill entered the entertainment industry. Madill, son of recent Swan Valley exports David and Elaine Madill, is a 2001 graduate of the SVRSS and went on to
get two previous Bachelor’s Degrees from the University of Manitoba before switching course and taking a Creative Communications Diploma from Red River College in 2013. “When I went to Red River College, I didn’t even know you could study visual effects (VFX) in college,” said Madill, who graduated from the program in 2015 with a media production major. “Creative Communications was integral to helping me develop the skills, mindset, determination, motivation and opportunity that led to the career I now have.”
Madill’s final Creative Communications internship was at a VFX studio in Toronto — Spin VFX – and has been in Toronto ever since.
“I was in the right place at the right time with the right attitude and aptitude to be offered a full-time position during that internship,” said Madill. “I started as a rotoscope/prep artist and learned almost everything I know about
VFX from the artists I worked with and work I was doing. “After about a year or so, I was able to learn enough trust with my company to begin going on set occasionally.” Madill has since moved on from the original studio he worked
for and now works for WeFX, heading up the On Set Department, and is an IATSE 667 union member as VFX On Set Supervisor and Lead Data Wrangler.
“As VFX On Set Supervisor, I execute the VFX plan on the day of shooting,” said Madill. “I communicate with the Director, Director of Photography, Script Supervisor and other department heads to ensure that the needs of each VFX setup are met, and troubleshoot when unexpected issues arise during a shoot day — which happens quite often.
“When I am on set as Lead Data Wrangler, I’m recording the specifications of each camera setup, shooting a halfdozen different types of reference photographs, and using a LiDAR scanner to capture scans of the environment. I
do quite a bit of LiDAR scanning, which uses a laser surveying tool to take millions of measurements per minute in 360 degrees, allowing me to create an accurate digital model of a shoot location or set. I’ve been everywhere from
a haunted old west jailhouse to deep space.”
His talents were taken on the road to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he shot A Man Called Otto with Tom Hanks. The film was also shot in and around Toledo, Cleveland and Niagara Falls. “I interacted with Tom Hanks a number of
times in the course of performing my duties, and it may not shock you to learn that he’s charming, funny and a great actor,” said Madill. “It was an amazing and irreplaceable experience to work with Tom, Rita Wilson and their son Truman all on this film.”
Madill’s movie and television credits are numerous since 2015, with the full list appearing on his IMDb page. “From 2015-2021, I put a lot of time and energy into The Expanse, both on set and on the computer,” he said. “I
learned so many valuable lessons from that show.” Other major highlights of his career include recent shows like Stranger Things, What We Do in the Shadows, See, The Umbrella Academy, The Handmaid’s Tale, Reacher, and She-
And, while the jobs on a film set or in postproduction can often be demanding and long, Madill loves his job. “I am positive and full of gratitude,” he said. “The hours on set or in the VFX studio can be long, but you’re all in it
together. “I often still find it hard to believe that I get to do this for a living. My life has become very satisfying, and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. “I am inspired by the head of the WeFX studio, Mo Ghorbankarimi, and the fantastic quality of the VFX produced by the entire WeFX team,” Madill continued. “I am inspired by good storytelling, and by John Carpenter, Jaws and Jurassic Park. “I continue to be curious about filmmaking. I love to learn about
everyone else’s job on set and try to absorb as much as I can.”
Most importantly, Madill encourages Swan River’s future filmmakers that it is possible to make it in the movie industry. “I didn’t believe it was possible to have an actual career in film/TV when I was growing up in Swan River,” he
said. “I’d like the youth growing up in Swan River to know that it is reachable.
“Winnipeg has a lot more production now than it used to. You don’t even have to leave Manitoba to get started.”
A Man Called Otto is currently in theatres and is scheduled to play at 7 p.m. at the Star City Cinema on Jan. 27 and 28 as well as Feb. 1 and 2.
Crime around town is out of hand in Swan River, affecting properties and business owners. A piece of graffiti on the back of the Veterans Community Hall seems to illustrate how the repeat criminals in the area are ruling the community. McKay’s Self Storage units are now fenced off after several doors were broken and bent out of shape in an effort to get inside.