Storm step up to help young students, players
The OCN Storm were invited to present to Oscar Lathlin Collegiate youth about the challenges as Indigenous student athletes last week.
Chavez Constant, Captain of the OCN Storm acknowledged the peer pressure and obstacles he faced as an Indigenous hockey player, when sharing his story with the studnets.
“We had Chavez Constant, Blaine Dorion, Harlan Jacobson, Hutton Foster, Rowan Fenner, who took the time to speak to our Indigenous youth,” teacher Savannah Henderson commented.
In addition to speaking at the school, the OCN Storm also hosted a youth sport evening camp at the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre. The camp saw 15 youth come to participate. the event was made possible through support from OLC, OCN and M30 Goalie.
Podcast provides space for young northern voices
On February 28th Owen Dawe and Jann Brooks were joined by Arlo and Jo to discuss their identities as two-spirited youth in the north. This was the first podcast that was launched under Young Voices of The North, an initiative funded through Say Yes! to Kids grant.
Since that first podcast episode, the youth involved have dropped three more episodes - Education and Career Opportunities; Newcomers; and Songs We Each Picked. The podcast variety is reflective of the young people that are invovled in the project itself. Currently actively invovled in the project are Dawe, Arlo Fenner, Namirembe Afatswo and Eniola Atoyebi. Joining the youth is Rev. Brooks, who has provided support and guidance but emphasizes that the podcast goal is to be youth led.
IIHF gold medal coming to the community
Hockey runs deep through the communities in northern Manitoba and for those with a keen interest will have the opportunity to hear from and former NHL player and current goalie coach Kelly Guard.
Guard founded Guardian Goaltending in 2004 but prior to that played professional hockey for six years, including playing for the Ottawa Senators, Binghmaton Senators, and Charlotte Checkers. Guard also ventured over to Europe for a few seasons making stops in Italy, Austria and Belarus. He played his junior hockey for the Kelowna Rockets where he won a Memorial Cup Championship and was named the Memorial Cup MVP in 2004. He also set multiple goaltending records for the Canadian Hockey league while playing in Kelowna. Kelly just finished his 8th year as a Goaltender Coach for the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders. Guard was also the 2023 IIHF World Juhior Team Canada goalie coach and while visiting the community will be bringing with him the gold medal from that event.
For Guard hockey has been a part of his life more by default than anything, “I think by default you played because all of your friends played. It was also always on the tv when I was younger. My father being a habs fan and my mom a leaf’s fan.” Hitting the ice is not uncommon for Canadian kids however, wanting to play goalie isn’t for everyone but Guard new early its where he wanted to be. “By Atom I started playing more and more. I had to share equipment with another kid on our team then by second year atom I had my own gear. Got a set for Christmas, I remember it like it was yesterday,” he said.
Junior Varsity basketball teams end season on high note
Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institue Junior Varsity boys and girls were both in action this past weekend, making a run for the title of provincial champions.
In JV boys action the team headed to Cranberry Portage were they defeated Birtle 96-24 to open the tournament. The boys lost a close 55-49 game to souris and then beat Gabrielle Roy 56-37. In the end the team took the bronze medal and finished the season 20 and 3.
On the girls side of things, MBCI play provincial hosts where they fought hard on the court but ultimately losing in the consolation final a close 37-35. The girls won two games against Treherne 52-29 and Ross L. Gray 40-35. The team lost to Praire Mountain 36-27.
Both teams had a very successful season and represented MBCI with pride.
Legion reflects on another successful Chase the Ace
After an exciting round of Chase the Ace that saw the pot grow and the cards shrink, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 19 The Pas executive has taken a moment to reflect on another fantastic round. “We definitely want to thank the volunteers, members, non-members, staff and of course our patrons that have been with us from the beginning of this current CTA,” Legion President Angie Nikolychuk commented, adding a congratulations to the latest winner Monica Ross. This round of Chase began back in 2020 with a pot of approximately $17, 000 and grew to the $245,878 that Ross’ won March 4th.
Reflecting back on the event, Nikolychuk said the first Chase the Ace was different than the current one. At the beginning patrons had to buy a drink on a Saturday night to receive a ticket. “It was a very slow growing pot, but we also saw that it was not a great way to promote the event. So once that was given away, we relooked at our options and worked with Lotteries Manitoba to hold the event as it is now done,” she explained.
Chase the Ace win a surreal experience for winner
The excitement of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 19’s Chase the Ace has come to end with Monica Ross taking home almost a quarter of a million dollars. Ross’ ticket was pulled and because it was the last card in the 54 card deck this round, she was a guaranteed winner. Despite not having to “guess” where the ace was, a smiling Ross nevertheless placed the free drink chip on the face down ace, more as a matter of ceremony than requirment.
“Before I even went up, I had like five other peoples (tickets) that each had sent me $20. I wrote their names, took the pictures, here’s your tickets, wrote my name on mine and when they called the number, I looked and I could see I think its in this one. Then I showed someone at my table is this the number they called, they were like ya that’s it,” Ross explained.
MBCI basketball teams compete at zones
MBCI Spartan Basketball has continued to have an impressive showing on the court with all four teams in action this past weekend.
In Junior Varsity play, both the boys and girls teams took top spot at their respective zone championships.
The JV boys played in Cranberry Portage winning all four tournament games. The team defeated Hapnot Collegiate 64-11; Moose Lake; Cross Lake 81-51 and Cranberry Portage 65-45. The team is entering provincials this weekend ranked number one.
The Junior Varsity girls team also went undefeated during zone play in Flin flon. The team defeated Oscar Lathlin Collegiate 48-6; Hapnot Collegiate 54-42; Norway House 47-20 and Cross Lake in the Championship game 37-32. The girls will have the home court advantage this weekend as MBCI host provincial basketball action starting tomorrow.
Trappers’ first official event highlights the Fur Queens
The Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival has, for the past two years, dealt with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, like many organizations in the community, Trappers’ Festival was held in a modified, and in many cases, virtual manner. For the first time since the pandemic, the Fur Queen candidates were able to break through the realities of modified event participation and hold the annual Champagne Brunch. The brunch is the first official event the 2023 candidates participate in and after a two year break they were able to bring fashion and fun to a sold out crowd.
More than 120 people supported the 2022 Fur Queen court and the three 2023 candidates. The event included a fashion show and a brunch hosted by Legion Ladies Auxilliary.
“This was our first Champagne Brunch since 2020 and we were so excited to see a full house with so many smiling faces out to support the 2022 Fur Queen Court and 2023 Fur Queen t,” Trappers’ Festival Fur Queen Director Krista Tooley commented.
Smooth sounds of jazz fill the Legion hall
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.”