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The Outlook presents 2021 - The Year In Review: Part Two

The stories & headlines that stood out in 2021

OUTLOOK - Part Two of our annual Year In Review, revisiting the biggest stories and headline news from the second half of 2021!


Outlook High School was saying a hearty goodbye to a longtime fixture, as teacher Shannon Stephenson was set to leave OHS to take on a principal role at the Milden Colony School.  Mrs. Stephenson was credited for being the "chief cheerleader" at OHS for the past 20 years and her enthusiasm for all things Math, Chemistry, and sports knew no bounds.  Shannon would be missed for her skills in the classroom and in her coaching roles.

A student from Lucky Lake School raised some eyebrow-raising dollars in support of a great cause after organizing a classic car show in the community.  Grade 10 student Olivia Netzel organized the Young Heroes Car Show that was held in May as part of her Leadership 20 class, and the non-profit car show benefitted the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital in Saskatoon.  When all was said and done, Olivia's efforts amounted to a raised total of $3,845.

Outlook celebrated Canada Day in style on July 1, bringing back community events with a bang after COVID-19 shelved them in 2020.  Keeping the pandemic in mind, masks for indoor events were a must and it seemed that nobody had a problem with that, as everything went off successfully and people seemed to truly enjoy being together once again in their community.  One of the events that seemed to bring the house down was Indigenous hoop dancer Terrance Littletent, who held the audience at the Jim Kook Rec Plex in the palm of his hand with his dancing routines.  Taking a moment to reference and shed light on the recent discoveries of unmarked graves at numerous residential school sites, everyone in the room shared a moment of remembrance.

Tragedy struck on Lake Diefenbaker on Canada Day when Central Butte resident Eric Tourond vanished under the water at Palliser Regional Park.  Tourond left behind family that included sons and daughters, and financial donations were being accepted at the Conexus Credit Union in Central Butte, as well as a GoFundMe page that was started in order to help the family.

A unique opportunity had presented itself for the memory of a fallen pilot to be honoured in the Lake Diefenbaker area.  Captain Walter Niemi, AKA 'Nemo', was killed in the crash of his CF-18 Hornet at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta in January 1989.  Now, Niemi's surviving family was presented with an idea that they hoped would serve as a picture-perfect memorial - the opportunity to purchase Walter's aircraft and put it on display in his hometown area.  The plan at the time was for the Starfighter aircraft to be placed on-site at the Sandy Shores Resort area located by Lake Diefenbaker, and people could support the initiative by giving to the GoFundMe page that was launched, 'Remembering Wally'.

Darci and Greg Morken of Outlook spoke to The Outlook about their experiences in dealing with COVID-19.  One of the toughest aspects of dealing with the virus was the isolation, Darci said.  She remarked, "You don't realize how isolating it is until you're sick.  You can't see anybody.  Not even each other."  Another local couple, who requested that the newspaper not use their real names, spoke of becoming stir-crazy in their home and not eating anything solid for six days.

One Outlook resident was all smiles as she greeted guests who stopped by to celebrate her monumental 100th birthday.  Ruth Gibson, surrounded by family, was the star of the show at her Golden Acres residence, with many coming out to wish her well and give their congratulations on reaching such an incredible age.

The Outlook & District Regional Park hosted a summer movie night and wound up attracting an incredible crowd, who enjoyed popcorn and snacks for sale by Reel Theatre.  On the marquee for the evening was the 1985 classic, 'Back to the Future'.  Those gathered seemed to enjoy going 'back in time', and the park was set to host two more screenings featuring the movie's two sequels in August and September.

Emergency personnel including the Outlook Fire Department were on the scene in Outlook when a transformer burst into flames on a power pole located in a back alley behind businesses along Saskatchewan Avenue.  While crews worked and investigated, a number of businesses close by were affected as their power was shut off.  The fiery flames certainly grabbed the attention of motorists driving along Outlook's main drag.

Ten years of stays and stories were being celebrated by Judith and Glenn Annand, who operate Bird Lovers Bed & Breakfast in the Rudy Landing Estates development just north of Outlook.  Taking a tour of the location on a gorgeous summer evening, The Outlook's Derek Ruttle couldn't help but be overwhelmed by the attractiveness and sheer beauty of the location as he and Judith ventured to a set of lawn chairs decked out on a hill that overlooks the South Saskatchewan River.  Touching on the number of guests who stood out and the stories that helped tell the tales, Annand was happy to have a treasure chest worth of memories.


A major announcement that carried into the seven-figure mark was made surrounding the future of Outlook's water infrastructure.  The provincial and federal governments together announced more than $5.3 million in joint funding in order to improve the town's potable water infrastructure.  Outlook's water treatment plant was set to be upgraded to increase access to safe and reliable drinking water, including the addition of UV disinfection, improving flow through the reservoirs, and constructing a new raw water intake in the South Saskatchewan River.  The landmark news meant a sustainable raw water source for not only the people of Outlook, but for tourism, recreational partners, and rural partners accessing treated water.

The Outlook River Hawks baseball team were now the defending champions of the Coteau Hills Baseball League after the team bested the Elrose Aces for the title.  Outlook managed to best Elrose at a score of 7-1 in front of a hometown crowd, who cheered their team winning the championship.  The River Hawks, with coaches Dean Corbett and Les Langager, consisted of players Tristan Kotzer, Tanner Prentice, Steven Lee, Mark Langager, Matt Lyons, Brent Larwood, Sean Prentice, Jordan Rolleston, Jeff Lee, Dale Murdock, Eric Skaalid, and Keith Theoret.

The Outlook Bakery's fourth annual Donuts By Donation fundraising drive was another success, raising a massive total of $3,452.41 with 100% of the proceeds going towards the STARS air ambulance service.  With another mountain of goodies leaving the doors of the bakery for another year, a grand total of $14,032.35 had been raised so far over four years.

The aftermath of a horrific fire that broke out at the Allstar Automotive shop just north of Outlook had not gone unnoticed by those in the community.  Shop owner Guy Derdall and his family were devastated after flames destroyed the business and everything that was contained within the building.  The shop, along with merchandise, an office setting, a line of tow trucks, as well as a race car and parts were among those that were considered a complete loss.  As a result of the fire, a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign was launched by family friend Arielle Annala, and it had amassed over $3,500 in funds at the time of the article.

Sarah Hicks, the daughter of Dale and Leslie Hicks of Outlook, spoke of her love for adventure in being part of an all-female climbing expedition.  Hicks had done many expeditions in Canada's north, and also found time during her journeys to create art as she liked to paint and draw much of what she sees on her outdoor adventures.  Based out of Canmore where she'd spent the summer climbing and painting, Sarah had a regular booth at the Farmer's Market in Banff where she would sell her art and learn of where to go next on an outdoor adventure.

Local farmer and well-known philanthropist Cor Van Raay, whose charitable efforts included a gargantuan donation to the Outlook pool fundraising committee of $500,000 in 2016, had passed away at the age of 85.  Having started his farming career in Alberta by growing beets, he would later add a number of others to his crops and eventually buy land in order to develop future cattle feedlots.  Remembered as a prominent producer and a giving individual, Van Raay was remembered with a funeral mass in Lethbridge, Alberta on August 5.


With its centralized location at the fourway stop location in the town of Outlook, the upcoming Veterans Memorial Park had made a few leaps and bounds during the summer, and organizers were looking forward to holding an opening for the revamped outdoor space.

Just a short while ago, Fraser Tolmie was the mayor of the city of Moose Jaw.  Now, he had resigned and decided to join the federal political arena as the Conservative candidate in the Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan riding.  In trying to get to know the people of the constituency, Tolmie hosted an open house meet-and-greet event in Outlook at the Legion Hall, welcoming a few dozen people who came out to meet the federal first-timer ahead of the upcoming election in Canada.

The people of Elbow had their say in a community vote and it was now official - the Line 10 Multiplex facility was a go after the public vote was held on September 8.  Leading up to Decision Day, the lakeside community was awash in signs related to the topic, many claiming their support and others claiming their veto to the plans.  In the end, 244 votes were tallied under 'For' while 121 votes were tallied for 'Against'.

If you were in the village of Conquest on September 4, or even within a few clicks of it, odds were pretty good that you could hear the music of Lisa Moen and her band, who played a show outside the community rink.  With over 250 tickets sold, the group entertained a healthy turnout of spectators on the grounds in an event that was designed as a fundraiser for the Conquest Fire Department to do upgrades to the fire hall.

The province's Minister of Highways, Fred Bradshaw got to know the town of Outlook and area a little bit more as he stopped in the community and neighboring sites to tour around with local MLA, Dana Skoropad.  Along the way, Minister Bradshaw stopped in at the Town of Outlook offices to speak with Mayor Maureen Weiterman and Town Council about a number of topics.

Jill Lee and Jaimie Malmgren welcomed people to the Mid-Sask Community Futures open house in Outlook, seeing a number of faces come through the business's new location on Franklin Street.  In an interview with Derek Ruttle, Jaimie spoke of the directive of Mid-Sask and the desire to bring the ideas and proposals by local entrepreneurs and business owners to fruition, seeing the vision of people come to life in order to provide more options for people looking to do business in Outlook and the surrounding Lake Diefenbaker regional area.

After what was a rather brisk federal election season comprised of just a few short weeks, Canadians went to the polls on September 20 and the end result was a minority government for the Liberal Party.  The Justin Trudeau-led party was hoping for a majority win, but to no avail, and many were left asking just what exactly was the point of even having a federal election at that time, and in such a short span of time.  It was reported that the election carried a price tag of approximately $610 million, a number that Saskatchewan premier Scott Moe shook his head at and asked, "For what, exactly?"

On a day that appropriately happened to fall on what's known as Military Family Appreciation Day, two local veterans of World War II were honoured with a celebration in the village of Loreburn as they circled 100 years of age.  Robert Taylor and Lyman Peardon, proudly clad in their Royal Canadian Legion colours, were the focus of the afternoon.  Peardon wound turn 101 years old on Christmas Day, while Taylor would mark 100 years on December 14.  The military history of both men was shared with those present, and Taylor spoke in front of everyone, thanking them for being there and even singling out The Outlook's Derek Ruttle, who was covering the event.

Longtime local artist Susan Robertson seemed to finally find the perfect location to craft her wares and realize her creative visions as she opened her brand new art gallery in the village of Broderick to a sprawling number of people who came out on a Saturday afternoon.  Offering tours of the new location, many people found something they just had to take home from Robertson Gallery and Gift.

Outlook outdoorsman and friend to many, the late Art Brown was remembered by those who had gathered in the clubhouse of the Outlook & District Wildlife Federation.  Longtime friend Eugene 'Curly' Hallan acted as MC for the evening, and many were happy to volunteer memories of good times spent with Art, whether it was on the hunt for the next whitetail buck or in the boat fishing for the next big fish at Gardiner Dam.


Outlook mayor Maureen Weiterman had started an initiative she called, 'Monday Mornings with the Mayor', in which she had set up shop in a room located in the town offices building and welcomed anyone who wanted to stop by for a chat or have any of their questions answered.  The Outlook's Derek Ruttle took the opportunity to go and speak with Weiterman about a number of things happening in the community, including the current direction that Outlook was headed.

The town of Outlook was the place to be over the Thanksgiving long weekend as the community hosted several days worth of events that ran the gamut. Whether it was tantalizing one's taste buds with your choice of over ten food trucks, checking out an impressive car show on the grounds of the Heritage Museum, or watching any of the entertainment such as the hypnotist or magician, there was something for everyone of every age.  The event proved to be so popular that it's already set to become an annual occurrence in Outlook.

The Outlook's Derek Ruttle, alongside his two brothers Perry and Brendon, ventured up north to Candle Lake to lay to rest a small handful of their mother's remains.  As the ashes were let go in the water, Ruttle shed tears as he read a few personal words that he'd written to mark the day's events.  The day was peaceful, the water was calm, the tears were plentiful, but the boys' hearts were full.  It was a hard day, but a good one.

A sizable crowd was on hand in the village of Elbow to witness the proverbial corner being turned on a major infrastructure project that will reshape the potential of the lakeside community, as the sod was officially turned on the future Line 19 Multiplex.  The ceremonial event was a landmark one as far as the project was concerned and marked the beginning of work on the 18,500+ square foot facility.  Those on hand saw drawings and illustrations of what the building would eventually look like and what it would feature, and the event started to get people excited for the possibilities surrounding the infrastructure.

Author Doug Griffiths, a former Alberta MLA who speaks to communities on ways they can enrich themselves and better promote what they have to offer, made an appearance in Outlook to give a presentation to those gathered and touched on various ways that he's seen small towns like Outlook grow and discover new ways to prosper in order to stay relevant in these ever-changing times we live in today.  It's a shame that the turnout for his appearance wasn't so good, as Griffiths made some very good points during his talk that centered around the material written in his tongue-in-cheek book, '13 Ways to Kill Your Community'.

Outlook resident Tori Anholt, who had recently competed at a provincial meet in Moose Jaw, spoke to The Outlook's Derek Ruttle about her passion and appreciation for her sport of choice, powerlifting.  Tori came in 4th during the provincial event, a feat made even more impressive when it was discovered that it was her first in-person meet.  Geoff Dolan, a strongman competitor who's competed in the World's Strongest Man event, also spoke on Anholt's beginnings and progress in the sport, stating how impressed he was with Tori's drive and tenacity.

Although an official and more elaborate grand opening celebration was being earmarked for the spring of 2022, the Outlook Legion Branch 262 held a dedication ceremony for the almost-finished Veterans Memorial Park located at the intersection of Saskatchewan Avenue and McKenzie Street in town.  Legion President John McPhail welcomed everyone for joining, and introduced Outlook Mayor Maureen Weiterman to say a few words to mark the day.  The work being done to wrap up the park and bring the vision to completion had become very noticeable by the public.


When the production team behind the new James Bond flick needed an airplane for the world's most famous spy to fly, they called Jenson......Roland Jenson, who had advertised his 1973 Cessna 185 for sale.  The plane, bought by the production team of the newest Bond film, 'No Time to Die' for just under $1 million, could now be seen being flown by Daniel Craig in the movie.  Jenson was proud to see his plane in the newest blockbuster as he'd just seen the movie prior to being interviewed by The Outlook.

If people thought the monuments that had been brought together to form what's now known as Veterans Memorial Park looked impressive during the daytime, then nighttime imagery brought a whole new meaning to the structures brought together.  The Outlook's Derek Ruttle shot photographs late at night on-site at the park, and the front-page image on the issue that was published on Remembrance Day spoke volumes about the impacts and the messages that are both closely tied together in the park.

Remembrance Day services in the town of Outlook were an online affair, with a fantastic program put on by the Royal Canadian Legion at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church.  With help from some talented people behind the scenes, the service was broadcast on Facebook and had a sizable audience.  As well, wreaths were laid at the site of the Veterans Memorial Park, bringing the message home about the impact that the day hopefully had on people.

When the Northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche was lacking the necessary supplies to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, Dr. Kendra Morrow was a key figure who saw the need and did what she could to reach out and help.  Because of her efforts, the Outlook native turned Saskatoon physician was recognized for her leadership by the Saskatchewan College of Family Physicians, who presented Kendra with an Award of Excellence.  Morrow spoke to The Outlook about the award and the path that would eventually lead her to a life in medicine.

Plans were said to be in the works for a lighthouse to be constructed and installed next to the future marina at the Sandy Shores Resort location by Lake Diefenbaker.  Rauncie Kinnaird, owner of Sandy Shores, spoke to Derek Ruttle about the plans for the lighthouse as well as other features that one day will be unveiled to the public.  The lighthouse would make for only the second operational one in the province of Saskatchewan, with the other one located in Cochin.

Loreburn Central School played host to 1A Girls Provincial volleyball playoffs, playing co-host with the school at Davidson.  The hosting Loreburn Aztecs would come up short in bronze medal action against Annaheim, and in the end, it would be the squad from Rose Valley that left the tournament as champions.


Whittney Greig, the activity director at the Outlook and District Health Centre, spoke to The Outlook about her daily routines and explained how even the smallest gestures could make all the difference in the world to someone.  In her role of preparing activities for residents, Greig said everything was focused on the people involved in order to make the days more enjoyable and so that everyone can have some fun in one way or another.

With the holiday season right around the corner, Gail Borsa of the Outlook & District Food Bank spoke to Derek Ruttle about how Christmas amplifies the needs of those who use the food bank's services.  In addition to putting the call out to the public to support them in whatever way they could, the article shed an important light on the fact that the Outlook service isn't used solely by Outlook people, as hungry mouths from a number of communities all over the regional area turn to the Outlook food bank at times.

An early draft report that explored the future of Outlook's water supply shed some light on where things seem to be headed as far as H20 is concerned in the riverside community.  With steady growth comes steady demand, and the numbers and data contained in the report reflect how Outlook's population seems to be shaping up.  Should the town grow considerably over the next twenty years to the point where the population is in the neighborhood of 3,400 people, the need for clean and reliable water will only grow.

Liam Jones, who began attending LCBI High School in Outlook in Grade 9, was a graduating senior this year, and he was the winner of the Vimy Pilgrimage Award.  The award is given by the Vimy Foundation, which is dedicated to raising awareness of the role that Canada played in the First World War and the implications of its success in the Battle of Vimy Ridge.  By putting together essays he'd written describing his volunteer work, his hobbies, and his knowledge of the First World War, Jones was gifted with a trip to Ottawa alongside other award winners.

It had been just over a year since Maureen Weiterman was voted in as the newest mayor of Outlook, and she spoke to Derek Ruttle about her progress so far in the role, her discoveries of what it means to be Mayor, and what Town Council is looking at doing in the new year and beyond.  For Weiterman, she said that serving in the role is a privilege that she doesn't take lightly at all.

For the second year, the lakeside village of Elbow was turned into a Christmas community as the annual 'Flip the Switch' event saw people turn their holiday lights and decorations on at the same time.  People enjoyed driving around the community to see everything, and many took the chance to stroll by the entrance to Harbor Golf Club in order to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus and collect some hot chocolate and goodies.  Fireworks to cap the evening events outside the Elbow bar were a welcome addition to the night's itinerary for many.

Kickstarting his hockey career was Outlook resident Cole Peardon, as the 15-year old centreman for the Saskatoon Blazers U-18 team was drafted by the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL as the 13th pick in the first round.  Peardon was drafted because of his work ethic, his character, and his commitment to his team and to the sport.

Outlook resident Olga Moore had seen plenty of Christmases come and go in all her 104 years on this earth, and she spoke to The Outlook about some of her favorite holiday memories.  Moore, a resident of the long-term centre, said she had fond memories of the holidays spent with her large family while growing up, including singing carols such as her favorite, 'Silent Night'.  In Olga's words, “We had it pleasant growing up. Those were good Christmases. They still are. The dear Lord has seen to that.”

There was something in the air if you ventured down in the Outlook & District Regional Park, which hosted its second annual Winter Wonderland exhibit. Businesses, groups and individuals from Outlook and beyond put together holiday lights and displays, and apparently the collective mindset was, 'Think bigger, think louder!' as everyone seemed to want to build on the success that was the event in 2020.  The extravagant colours could be seen as far away as the traffic bridge leading up into Outlook, and it kicked off with a two-night walking tour in which Santa Claus and some helpers were on-site to hand out treats and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

These were the stories, the headlines, the reports, and the news that helped encapsulate the year that was 2021.  Time will only tell what 2022 has in store for all of us.  Thank you for reading!