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Canora Courier Year in Review

Canora and area had plenty of excitement going on in 2021


January 14- Chris Rakochy had a good day when he went fishing on Good Spirit Lake and caught a 43-inch long northern pike that tipped the scales at 22 pounds… Laura Lazurko joined the staff at Canora Composite School as a student support teacher for all grades… In his New Year’s address to the community, Mayor Mike Kwas said the construction of the new aquatic facility would be one of the most exciting projects Canora has seen in some time.

January 21- Pat Thompson, president of the Canora branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, was appreciative that they received $5,000 in funding to help with day-to-day expenses… Canora/Sturgis RCMP and the Canora Fire Department responded to a situation where approximately 40 vehicles were stuck on Highway No. 9 near Amsterdam due to icy road conditions… Cst. Lucas Carvery, previously stationed in Manitoba, started his duties at the Canora RCMP Detachment.

January 28- Senior John Tataryn and Kathleen Young (LPN) were among those who were immunized at the COVID-19 vaccination rollout at Gateway Lodge in Canora… Brandon Edgar and Dallas Harrison of Richardson Pioneer met with Canora town council to discuss the reinstatement of Daniels Drive as part of the heavy haul route…Gord Dolan of Canora shared several pieces he had created since taking up the hobby of woodcarving.


February 4- Mayor Mike Kwas said attending the annual MuniSask convention was a good introduction to the workings of municipal government… Spirit Week at Canora Composite School covered a variety of themes such as: winter sports, farmers and flannel, and blast from the past day…Canora/Sturgis RCMP reported multiple false alarms, likely caused by the lengthy stretch of unusually cold weather.

February 11- Ready Roll Truck Tarps of Canora, with new signage on its Norway Road storefront, officially opened for business… After receiving a significant amount of snow which exceeded most area forecasts, Joe Chubak of Canora made good use of his snowblower to clear off his Main Street driveway… Canora/Sturgis RCMP reported that icy roads were a contributing factor to a collision on Main Street in Canora.

February 18- The Good Spirit Cross Country Ski Club reported a significant increase in memberships… RCMP reported a break-in to a Swan Plain residence, where thieves made off with a Mastercraft toolbox and approximately $2,000 in tools.

February 25- Due to many factors, including the age of the existing Canora swimming pool, Town Council made a resolution to move forward with the planning and construction of a new swimming pool facility… Canora/Sturgis RCMP responded to a snowmobile collision in Sturgis by the CN tracks, and were able to rescue a male trapped under his snowmobile… In finding safe ways to have fun during the pandemic, Canora Composite School students and staff enjoyed a school-wide bingo competition.


March 4- Tim Haltigin, who grew up on a farm near Canora and is the Senior Mission Scientist in Planetary Space Exploration at the Canadian Space Agency, said he was enjoying the excitement of the Perseverance mission to Mars… Kathy Thomas, president of River Ridge Fish and Game League, presented Doug Lapitsky of Mikado with the SWF Gordon Lund Memorial award for his contributions toward the conservation of Saskatchewan’s renewable natural resources… Pink Shirt Day at Canora Composite School brought attention to the importance of taking action against bullying.

March 11- Bill and Linda Wenarchuk of Canora were definitely surprised by their $100,000 lottery win, after purchasing the winning LOTTO MAX ticket at Gateway Co-op Gas Bar… Canora/Sturgis RCMP reported significant damage to a motor vehicle after a collision with a deer on Highway No. 9 near Stenen… With the initiative to spend more time outdoors during the pandemic, Grade 9 students at Canora Composite School successfully completed their assignment of building quinzees in the snow.

March 18-  Victoria Ryczak of Canora cherished her treasured memories after the passing of her pen pal of over 70 years… Porter Wolkowski, a Grade 9 student at Canora Composite School, was already looking after many ranching duties as he planned his future career as a cattle rancher… Adeline Dutchak of Buchanan initiated the rejuvenation of three country cemeteries in the surrounding area.

March 25- Chloe Doogan was among those who took part in the Pysanka (Ukrainian Easter egg) workshop in the basement of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canora… River Ridge Fish and Game recognized its top achievers for the past year, including Brad Thompson, who took down a moose which qualified for Henry Kelsey Records… Forbes Brothers helped install a new pole and platform to be used to help relocate the nest of Osprey in Endeavour.


April 1- Interest was high and lineups were long at the Rainbow Hall Easter Bake Sale & Market… At the Preeceville Minor Hockey season windup, Jacob Danyluk, Bronson Heshka and Hunter Lamb of Canora; and Toby Olynyk of Buchanan were among the award winners… Gail Krawetz presented copies of her book Risk and Reward, The Birth and Meteoric Rise of the Saskatchewan Party, to Parkland Regional library director Anna Scott.

April 8- The Saskatchewan Health Authority advised the Good Spirit School Division that a positive case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in a student at Canora Junior Elementary School and to minimize further risk of transmission, all staff and students in Prekindergarten to Grade 4 were temporarily moved to remote instruction…. Among the Canora winners in the Royal Canadian Legion Poster and Literacy Contest were: Isabella Chabun (first in junior essay contest), Jade Nordin (first in intermediate colour poster contest) and Cody Vangen (first in intermediate poem category)… Canora students Rebekah Thomas and Carrie Schaeffer were among the winners of Parkland College Scholarships.

April 15- The Wildlife Management 30 class at Canora Composite School, taught by Curtis Baillie, learned how to frame First Nations maps to hang in the school from instructors Terran Finley and Andrew QuewezanceCanora town council accepted SveinCo Developments’ proposal for design and drafting services for the new aquatic park service building… Even though competitions and concerts were cancelled due to the pandemic, the Canora Veselka Ukrainian Dance Club completed its season which included weekly practises.

April 22- As the weather warmed, at the Canora Composite School football field, Bronson Heshka, Ethan Curtis and Rylan Bletsky hit some golf balls to fine-tune their swings for the rapidly approaching golf season… Canora/Sturgis RCMP received a report of mischief and theft of equipment at a gravel pit operation located in the RM of Buchanan... Owners Sam and Graham Profit rebranded the Canora Home Hardware store inside and out, and have thrived in spite of the pandemic.

April 29- Brian Bjarnason, support worker at Canora Group Home, decorated a window by painting a scene of an old truck transporting an overflowing load of roses for the residents to enjoy… Canora town council amended the traffic bylaw to included all of Daniels Drive in the heavy haul route with a time limit of Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.… Crossroads Credit Union elected Arlette Bogucky and Jim Vewchar as directors for the Central District (Canora).


May 6- Due to pandemic guidelines for Ukrainian Easter, the blessing of Easter (Paschal) baskets was performed by Rev. Fr. Petro Tsenov outside the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canora… Saskia Dockrill had no problem using an antique laundry wringer in her effort to create an off-grid lifestyle on her acreage between Canora and Kamsack… The Canora Memorial Tree Sponsorship Project reached maximum capacity for the location at the north junction of Highway No. 9 and No. 5.

May 13- Myron Kopec of Tiny was one of the increasing number of farmers across the region who were hitting the fields and seeding the 2021 crop… Due mainly to the dry conditions, Canora & District Fire Rescue members were kept busy fighting grass fires around Canora and were also called to aid Cote Fire & Rescue… An increasing problem in Canora with contamination in blue bins means empty blue recycle carts will no longer be accepted if they contain black garbage bags, according to Michael Mykytyshyn, chief administrative officer.

May 20- Irene Homeniuk was one of many Canora gardeners to visit Canora Greenhouse looking for colourful flower ideas for the upcoming growing season… After being closed for the summer of 2020, the Canora swimming pool opened with pandemic guidelines in place… Canora/Sturgis RCMP received a complaint of a young man on a bike in Canora attempting to illegally sell cannabis.

May 27- Canora town council relocated the site for the new aquatic park to the open space 150 metres east from the existing pool… Canora Minor Baseball announced a training program to get local players back on the field, with athletes separated into groups of eight to abide by current COVID regulations… Kerry Trask of Canora turned his pandemic hobby of making custom wooden stands into a thriving side business.


June 3- Elizabeth Bahnuik, president of the St. Joseph’s Council of the Catholic Women’s League, added the last shovel of topsoil to a newly planted tree at a ceremony to commemorate the centennial of the Catholic Women’s League in Canada… It is with regret that after 35 years the Canora Wheatland Lioness club must fold due to the restructuring by Lions International, said Sharon Ciesielski, Canora charter member… Jordelle Lewchuk, 2020 Canora Composite School graduate, won the 2020 Governor General Award as the graduate with the highest grade point average.

June 10- After a lost season in 2020 due to the pandemic, Greg Andreychuk, player/coach of the Canora Supers, said the team was excited to get back on the field and defend its 2019 league championship… Lorie Negraeff and Deb Gabora, members of the Canora branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, were joined by Legion secretary Kylee Toffan as they laid wreaths at Veterans’ graves at the Canora Cemetery during the Decoration Day service… Mackenzie Gulka, Canora swimming pool manager, reported a strong turnout of swimmers as the pool opened for the first time since 2019.

June 17- Canora author Ken Rolheiser encouraged readers to anticipate the end of life with joy in his recently published fifth book, Heaven Bound Amid Pandemics… Canora resident Denise Loucks was the interim president for the Maverick Party, the new federal party representing western provinces… Due to pandemic restrictions, the 2021 Canora Composite School Annual Awards Night was a virtual awards ceremony and focused on academic achievement and positive contributions to the school and community.

June 24- At the Canora Legion Dugout, Terry Dennis, Canora-Pelly MLA, presented a cheque for a grant of $24,189 to the Canora branch of the Royal Canadian Legion… After lengthy pandemic restrictions, everyone enjoyed the opportunity to see live music again at the 88 Keys Music Studio Recital in Canora, said Gillian Leson, instructor… Greg Pelechaty, a new addition for the 2021 season, drove in the only runs of the game as the Canora Supers opened the new season at home with a 2 to 0 victory over the Parkland Pirates.


July 1- The Canora Golf and Country Club hosted a day of Junior golf lessons, with approximately 20 golfers aged five to 15 participation, said Donna Rock, clubhouse manager… Town of Canora workers Randy Danyluk and Kris Currie were busy planting a variety of trees and shrubs in the Memorial Garden at the north intersection of Highway No. 5 and No. 9… The Canora Composite School garden, new for 2021, was expected to have a wide-ranging impact on local education.

July 8- After a year like no other, 28 graduates from Canora Composite School celebrated their accomplishments with family and friends at King George Park… Saryn Leson was chosen by her classmates to give the valedictorian speech and urged them to cherish the many positive memories of their years together as classmates… In a ceremony held at Triffon’s Pizza in Canora, the Superannuated Teachers of Saskatchewan, represented by Maxine Stinka, presented Mike Kaminski of Invermay with a Certificate of Honorary Life Membership, “For outstanding services rendered in the cause of education.

July 15- The RCMP was investigating the suspicious deaths of Bryton Lawrason and Seth Hildebrand, both of Edmonton, after their bodies were discovered in a vehicle parked along Tiny grid road near the Burgis Beach turnoff… Kody Rock pitched a complete game with 14 strikeouts and added a pair of home runs to lead the Canora Supers to a 7 to 1 victory over the visiting Langenburg Legends… Saskatchewan Agriculture reported that the extensive heat spell across the region caused significant crop damage and reduction in anticipated yields, with canola crops that were flowering during the extreme heat expected to be the most impacted.

July 22- There was backhoe activity taking place at the Co-op Cardlock site outside the Canora Centre Mall as the underground storage at the site was being upgraded, said Brad Chambers, Gateway Co-op general manager… Stacey Tress of Garden Therapy Yorkton is realizing her dream of building a thriving permaculture lifestyle, including plans to offer workshops to visitors that include horticulture and holistic nutrition… Randy Gazdewich decided to take advantage of the nice weather and go for a spin around Canora on his antique 1954 John Deere 60 tractor.


August 12-  Ground breaking took place for the Canora Outdoor Aquatic Centre… Children aged 6 to 12 had the opportunity to play fun outdoor games at King George Park, thanks to summer play programmers from the Parkland Valley Sport, Culture and Recreation District Summer Tour… At the Gateway Co-op annual information meeting in Canora, Brad Chambers, general manager, expressed gratitude for support from membership and staff in dealing with a year like no other.

August 19- With a lot of help from family and friends, Mary Huebert created a new garden which pays tribute to Saskatchewan homesteaders… The Canora Keen Age Centre held its first birthday barbeque for approximately a year-and-half, not since February 2020, before the pandemic… Cole Marcinkoski of Canora beat out the competition and finished first in the compound-male category at the Assiniboine River Archery Club 3-D Shoot.

August 26- At the Better Than Before pie throwing contest during the Canora Live & Play Street Festival, Bryan Harder, Gateway Co-op C-store manager, took a pie in the face from Gateway Co-op staff member Susan StushnoffThe Canora swimming pool took part in the Live & Play Street Festival with its version of The Amazing Race where contestants competed in swimming pool basketball, diving, and, of course, swimming… Local baseball players who were members of the Parkland Expos U18 AA team that won the provincial Tier 4 championship included Logan Wolkowski and Grady Wolkowski of Canora, and Brendon Babichuk of Invermay.


September 2- Canora and District Fire Rescue members added a new fire truck to their fleet, which is a significant improvement over their previous unit for fighting fires, according to Devon Sawka, fire chief… The flags of Ukraine and Canada were raised outside the Ukrainian Heritage Museum in Canora to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the independence of Ukraine… Kendra Simon was excited to join the staff at Canora Junior Elementary School as vice-principal and Grade 4 teacher for the start of the new school year.

September 9- The Town of Canora Tourism Fundraising Committee, made up of prominent local citizens, is striving to create a tourism-friendly town while adding community enhancement projects… After a lengthy absence due to the pandemic, mass registration returned to Canora to give local youngsters the opportunity to register for fall and winter activities… Bolstered by Ty Sleeva of Canora and Xage Miraflor of Sturgis, the Parkland Expos U15 AA baseball team won the U15 AA Regina Minor Baseball League championship.

September 15- For the first time since 2019 PALS Draft Horse Field Days were held in Rama, featuring an early 1920’s vintage McCormick Deering threshing machine, belt-powered by a late 1940’s Massey Harris tractor… Canora town council accepted the resignation of Matt Thompson as councillor… Candidates competing in the Yorkton-Melville riding in the upcoming federal election included: Cathay Wagantall (Conservative), Braden Robertson (PPC), Jordan Ames-Sinclair (Liberal), Valerie Brooks (Green Party), Halsten Rust (NDP) and Denise Loucks (Maverick Party.

September 22- Members of the Grade 8A career education class at Canora Composite School set up their display table and held a Farmer’s Market featuring produce from the first year of the CCS garden… New members of the teaching staff at CCS included Kim Merriam (student support teacher) and Peyton Secundiak (English, science and biology)… Fundraising continued for the Canora Aquatic Park project, with a $5,000 cheque presentation from Gateway Co-op, represented by Brad Chambers, general manager.

September 29- 2021 Saskatchewanderer Felipe Gomez and his traveling companion, Irish Setter Fozzy paid a visit to Canora and dropped in at the Canora Ukrainian Heritage MuseumAbby Wilson, a Grade 12 student at Canora Composite School, was chosen to represent the entire Good Spirit School Division on the Saskatchewan Provincial Youth Council… Kendra Simon, vice-principal, and the rest of the staff and students at Canora Junior Elementary School, recognized Orange Shirt Day as an opportunity for reconciliation and education.


October 7- Students from Canora Composite School and Canora Junior Elementary School, along with a number of their teachers, set out with plenty of enthusiasm in support of the Terry Fox run on the CCS track… Canora town beautification continued as plaques arrived for the concrete flower pots, the memorial garden and the memorial trail in Canora… Brad Chambers, Gateway Co-op general manager, reported that over $2,600 was raised during Fuel Good Day for community groups in Canora, Buchanan and Sturgis.

October 14- An estate bequest from the late Ernest Lewchuk was to provide ongoing support for the maintenance of the Canora Lesia Statue… As His Grace Bishop Ilarion entered the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canora during his visitation, petals were thrown for the bishop by: Kiarah Federuik, and Hanna, Madison and Danielle DutchakCanora Composite School sent seven athletes to districts in Melville and all seven qualified for provincials.

October 21- Trish Mureseanu, manager, said The Canora Vape Shop received a high level of interest when it opened its Main Street location for the first time… Performing his unique brand of Christian music on a street corner in Kamsack, Troy MacNaughton of Canora said he was touched by the people he met and the conversations they shared… After the previous season was cut short due to the pandemic, the Canora Cobras senior hockey team announced its new schedule for the upcoming hockey season.

October 28- The Crossroads Credit Union Investment Fund awarded $15,000 to the Canora Fire Brigade to be used to purchase a new Side by Side… Lines were being put in place on the newly-installed ice at the Canora Civic Centre in preparation for the upcoming hockey season… As the new hockey and skating season started, a one-of-a-kind historical digital trophy cabinet and archive was unveiled at the Canora Civic Centre by Aaron Herriges, director of leisure services.


November 4- At the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, Damon Paley of Canora bought a sawmill as part of an effort to make his family more self sufficient, and quickly attracted customers… Robert Nicholson and his sons Lucas and Silas were among the many Canora families who went all-out in dressing up and celebrating Halloween… A ribbon cutting ceremony at the entrance to the Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park marked the completion of road improvements in the area, with Highways Minister Fred Bradshaw cutting the ribbon.

November 11- Tannum Wyonzek, who has ties to Canora, worked his first game as a linesman in the AHL, only a phone call away from his dream of being in the NHL… Gail Ostafie was one of those who dropped in to be vaccinated at the flu vaccine clinic held at Rainbow Hall… At the first ever Canora Junior Elementary School Cross-Country Meet, Keira Owchar won the gold medal for 6-and-under girls and set a school record in the process.

November 18- At the annual Remembrance Day service at the Canora Cenotaph, Canora-Pelly MLA Terry Dennis laid a wreath while giving his grandsons Lewis and Oliver Ostapowich a close-up look at the importance of Remembrance Day… For the first time since 2012, the Canora Cobras senior hockey team was back on the ice at the Canora Civic Centre, opening the season with a convincing 17 to 5 win over the visiting Ituna Avalanche… The first major snowfall of the season hit Canora and the surrounding area and forced drivers to slow down in dealing with the slippery roads combined with reduced visibility.

November 25-

As part of celebrating her 100th birthday, Jean Zarazun of Canora emphasized a positive attitude as a secrete to living a long and happy life… Inside a recently purchased home in Canora, Canora/Sturgis RCMP discovered an illegal fake revolver… In the first road game of the season, the Canora Cobras senior hockey team travelled to Whitewood and downed the Orioles by a score of 11 to 3.


December 2- Filling the Gap Food Bank was in urgent need of financial support for the Christmas season, according to Pastor Mavis Watson, volunteer administrator… A Common Thread, a Canora needlework group, completed a series of quilts and donated them to the Regina Cancer Lodge to help with the lodge’s fundraising… Ron Kalmakoff, originally of Canora, released a new album connected to his time growing up in Saskatchewan.

December 9- Many local businesses reported a busy and successful day during Light Up Canora COVID-Style & Shop Local NightDenise Leslie was declared the winner over Gina Rakochy in the byelection to fill the vacant Canora councillor position… Clay Sleeva of Canora scored in the shoot-out to give the Yorkton Terriers a 1 to 0 win over the visiting Nipawin Hawks.

December 16- Eugene Tretiak of Pine Star Creations in Rama had his one-of-a-kind items made out of wood on display at the Rainbow Hall Christmas Market in Canora… Amanda Monich opened ‘A Cut Above’ a popular new hair salon in Canora… The U15 Highway 9 Predators, a combined team from Canora Minor Hockey and Preeceville Minor Hockey, celebrated a first-place finish in the Kelvington Park Rams U15 tournament.

December 23- Enthusiastic young volunteers collected donations and helped youngsters enjoy the colouring contest at the annual Fill The Sleigh Day at Red Apple in Canora… Fred Krukoff, a long-time barber in Canora, was looking forward to turning 100 years of age on Christmas Day… The Canora Group Home received a special gift of new Christmas lights donated by: Mayor Mike Kwas, Jessica Kwas, MLA Terry Dennis, Lori Dennis, Deryl Ortynsky, Joan Kowalyshyn, Kelly McTavish and Jodie Kowalyshyn.