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The Outlook presents 2022 - The Year In Review Part One

Revisiting the top stories of the past year.

OUTLOOK - There are years that seem to cruise by and there are years that seem to jet by at blazingly high speeds, and 2022 may have chosen the latter, dear friends and readers.

As our world continues to move further along from everything that came from the COVID-19 pandemic, this year saw people in Outlook and communities that dot the surrounding Lake Diefenbaker region once again pick themselves up and truly get on with their lives, creating and hosting events that brought Saskatchewan people together and making memories that will last for generations.

In short, things may have truly gotten back to normal, and the result was happy faces and grateful residents.

The job of any reporter of any news outlet is to capture what life is like in their coverage area, and in this neck of the woods, I'm proud to say that I capture the events, happenings, and goings-on in a very unique, must-see and must-experience part of the province. It's what The Outlook has done for 114 years, and with your support, we'll do it for many more years to come.

This past year also saw a change in scenery for yours truly, as my brother and I actually moved to Outlook at the beginning of September. It was the best move I made, and I want to take this time to personally thank everyone who has been so welcoming of me to the riverside community. I've worked here for almost 16 years and went to school here before that, but one's perspective on any town changes when you can actually call that place 'home'. For that, I'm grateful.

With that, let's hop in the time machine and catch up on the biggest stories and events of 2022 in The Outlook's annual Year In Review!


- The Outlook RCMP issued a public notice following a very large theft that took place in the RM of Rudy between the middle of October and late November, in which suspects stole approximately 96,000 pounds of canola, equating to roughly 48 tons.

Jillian Brown spoke with The Outlook about her new job with SIPA. Derek Ruttle

- Jillian Brown, starting her new role as an executive director for the Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association in her Outlook office, said it was an exciting time to be involved in the irrigation field as Outlook was on the cusp of showing just why it's called the Irrigation Capital of Saskatchewan.
- The late Brad Barton, a native of Conquest who died tragically due to a snowmobile incident in February 2020 at the age of 44, was posthumously honored by the Outlook Ice Hawks. The longtime goalie's #31 jersey was put on display behind glass in the lobby of the Jim Kook Rec Plex, surrounded by photos of the man who was affectionately known as 'Danger'.
- People and businesses in Outlook and the surrounding area were digging deep for a local family after it was learned that 3-year old Thea Halonen was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a form of cancer. Before the holidays, she was set to undergo surgery to remove her left adrenal gland and a tumour that was attached. A GoFundMe page was launched online, and had raised over $24,000 as of that week's issue.
- A highway collision saw one man lose his life in an incident that took place near Sovereign. Police responded to the scene on Highway 15 roughly four miles west of Sovereign, in which a westbound truck had collided with an eastbound truck. A 61-year old male from Elrose, the driver of the westbound vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. STARS Air Ambulance assisted in transporting the other people involved to the hospital.


- Singer Jenna Fleck, a Grade 12 student at LCBI High School in Outlook, talked with Derek Ruttle about the recent release of her original song, 'Lonely Blvd'. The young performer, fluent in many musical instruments, said that what she enjoys most about playing music is when it's just her and her guitar, crafting something with meaning.

LCBI student and singer Jenna Fleck discussed her newest single and her singing aspirations. Derek Ruttle

- A reprint of a blog entry on the website known as Road Stories saw travel writer Carol Patterson discuss her visit to Outlook, in which she captured several eye-grabbing photos of the area and talked about why she might have to 'change her outlook on Outlook'.
- The gymnasium of Outlook High School was a flurry of activity as the entire student body got involved in an attempt to establish a new Guinness World Record for having the largest turnout for a game of Four Corners. The previous record was established in October 2012 in England with 261 participants. The winner of the game at OHS was Grade 8 student Sawyer Spence.
- New information from the 2021 Census population data report showed that the province of Saskatchewan grew 3.1% to 1,132,505 residents, up from the 2016 numbers that showed a population of 1,098,352. Locally, the town of Outlook saw growth of 2.5%, with 2,336 residents in 2021, up by 57 from the 2016 Census. It was noted, however, that the Census pollers may have botched their data collection in 2016, pointing to perhaps a missed neighborhood in town.
- Local musician Ardell Ylioja, a resident of Kenaston, saw success in his musical endeavors when it was announced that he'd signed with a BC record label. Ylioja was looking forward to taking his music to the next level with the help of Kelowna-based label, LMS Records. At the time, Ardell's outlaw country tunes had seen over 200,000 streams online from nearly 15,000 listeners in 78 countries.
- Outlook Branch #262 of the Royal Canadian Legion began having a presence in the pages of The Outlook, with President John McPhail writing a monthly series of articles that looked at the past, present, and future of the Legion and put a focus on the efforts and sacrifices of Canada's Veterans, spotlighting those with a connection to Outlook and area.


- A unique attraction made its debut in Outlook down in the snowy trails of the Regional Park when Eagle Ridge Dog Sled Tours welcomed people to get onboard and go for a ride around the area. Garrick Schmidt and his team of nearly two dozen racing dogs, from Kenosee Lake near Moose Mountain Provincial Park, enjoyed exposing local people to the fun activity of mushing through the snow.
- The Line 19 Multiplex located in the village of Elbow was a project that had grabbed the attention of many people, and now the dream to have a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility in the Lake Diefenbaker district was starting to become a reality when the building started to take shape as construction was well underway.
- For the first time in two years, the sport of wrestling returned to high schools when Outlook played host to the boys and girls regional championships tournament. Girls action took place at Outlook Elementary while the boys wrestled at Outlook High, and only one local wrestler took part as Taebyn Tulp ranked first in the Female 60 KG division. She would advance to provincials in Saskatoon later that month, where she won the gold medal after four victories and became a provincial champion.
- The Outlook Civic Centre unveiled itself after an eye-opening transformation following extensive renovations and upgrades. Having begun in June 2021, the building's new amenities featured a more spacious and inviting lobby, updated washroom facilities, and a main hall that looked and felt more wide and expansive. The new look seemed to bring the old hall into the modern age with its required updates.
- In the wake of the anarchy starting to spread in Ukraine following the invasion by Russian forces, the community of Outlook showed that Canadians stood with the people of Ukraine. Shelley Luedtke wrote a story that highlighted that fact, speaking with Olena Shevchuk, who had moved to Outlook two years earlier from the country.
- The Outlook began a series of stories that proved to be popular when Derek Ruttle began interviewing employees for the Town of Outlook, who discussed their daily jobs and their perspectives on life in the riverside community. The first edition of the 'Spotlight' series began with Luke Lockhart, Outlook's municipal operations superintendent.

The Outlook Ice Hawks were all smiles after winning the provincial championship last March. Derek Ruttle

- The Outlook Ice Hawks went the distance and won the big one, claiming the Provincial 'B' Championship in a fiercely dramatic series of games against Kindersley that concluded at the Jim Kook Rec Plex in front of an enormous hometown crowd, with many flooding the ice afterward to congratulate the team and take in the landmark victory. Outlook wasn't the only local team who won provincial gold that season, as the Dinsmore Dynamos took the 'C' Championship and the Kenaston Blizzards took the 'D' Championship.
- At an informational meeting held in the court room of the Outlook town offices building, the idea of an irrigation museum in the community was explored. Outlook is known as the Irrigation Capital of Saskatchewan, and the idea was that it was now time to capitalize on that title and showcase it.


- A friendly betting wager between the mayors of Outlook and Kindersley over which hockey team would take the provincial championship saw Kindersley mayor Rod Perkins don an Ice Hawks jersey at the annual SUMA convention. The maroon and gold never looked so good.
- It was revealed that the town of Outlook was entering the fast food arena, with Riverbend Co-op announcing the arrival of a Dairy Queen franchise to the community. The DQ Grill and Chill location, at 2,273 square feet with seating both inside and outside, is slated to open this coming spring between the Co-op cardlock and New Way Irrigation.
- Aces were high and so were the expectations of those who walked through the door of the newly-renovated Outlook Civic Centre for the updated venue's first event, a casino night known as 'A Night in Monte Carlo'. In exchange for their tickets, patrons were issued $2500 in 'irrigation cash' to be used for the night's gaming options.
- The newest officer of the Outlook RCMP sat down with The Outlook, with Constable Fraser Cameron talking about the vast changes in scenery he was now seeing on the rural Saskatchewan landscape, as opposed to the much-busier Ontario setting that he was more used to.
- Part Two of our Town of Outlook spotlight series saw Derek Ruttle sitting down with Crystal Fisher, a municipal office clerk in the town offices building. Fisher, who previously worked for Loblaws for decades, said that one of the biggest challenges that town staff have is that there are perhaps not enough hours in the day.
- An open house event at the Outlook Civic Centre brought out many people who were interested in learning all they could about local organizations, businesses and groups. This being the first of its kind, the goal of the event was to spread awareness of everything that the community offered and perhaps inspire a few to volunteer their efforts.
- The community of Dinsmore celebrated its provincial championship victory by the hometown Dynamos with a banquet supper and program, which included team and players awards, as well as a video presentation that capped the team's incredible season that led to a championship victory.
- As temperatures mellowed to spring conditions, the chances of a fire breaking out only increased, and that's exactly what happened in the village of Elbow when a residence on King Street suffered a fire that broke out in the garage and also inflicted major damage to a truck. The home, luckily, was spared from any extensive damage.

Borek Lizec, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Canada with Larry Mikulcik, President of the Jan Hus Society in Glenside. Derek Ruttle

- In an effort to highlight the importance of knowing one's roots, local residents of the village of Glenside and area with Czech heritage welcomed an honorary and distinguished guest to the community hall when Borek Lizec, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Canada spoke with people at the activity center and learned all he could about the deep roots of their Czech backgrounds.


- Megan Anthony, Outlook's recreation director, was the next candidate for The Outlook's special spotlight series, discussing her daily tasks in dealing with the community's recreational needs and desires. It was a chance encounter that pushed Anthony to pursue a career opportunity in Outlook, and she hasn't looked back since.
- The Outlook Riverview Golf Club was marking 50 years of putts, drives and short games in 2022. Mario Chabot, chairman of the club board, said Riverview was a place for every golfer of every skill level, touting its popularity with players across the board as a place that welcomed everyone.
- Putting their best feet forward were students taking dance lessons in the village of Conquest, who put on an enjoyable show for an audience in the gymnasium of the old school building. The kids who made up the class from Expressions Dance wowed spectators and made parents proud with the skills that were on display.
- A presentation by Outlook RCMP officers Jesse Kimball and Fraser Cameron cast a spotlight on what was now the Town of Outlook's newly-minted anti-bullying bylaw. At a presentation held at Outlook High School, the two officers spoke with teachers, parents and citizens about the bylaw, which would cover every person of every age in the community.
- An informational meeting held in the gym of Dinsmore Composite School highlighted a number of prospective plans for renovations that were being explored in order to address some structural issues that had come to light. Leading the discussion was DCS Principal Jade Ballek, who looked to gather feedback on the possible plans.

Rauncie Kinnaird of Sandy Shores Resort welcomed a large crowd to witness the creation of the resort's new marina. Derek Ruttle

- In what fittingly was more of a water-breaking moment as opposed to a groundbreaking one, the Sandy Shores Resort development that overlooks the shores of Lake Diefenbaker broke ground on a 200-slip marina. A large crowd parked lawn chairs up above and watched as the soil was lifted and water started pouring down into what would become the lakeside haven's new boat marina.
- For the first time since 2019, a production by the Outlook-based Equinox Theatre group took to the stage, enjoying a return to local audiences at the newly-renovated Civic Centre with the play, 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown'. The show was a certified hit with audiences, who were all too happy to see local theatre return.
- The final weekend of the month brought with it another outdoor festival in Outlook as scores of people turned out for the Prairie Festival, which included food trucks, kids games and attractions, a car show, and an outdoor dance featuring local rock group Bad Influence, comprised of vocalist Syhra Ellis, guitarist Josh Rude, bassist Bailey Parr-Kennedy, and drummer Scot Wallace.


- A special fly-by of a CT-155 Hawk fighter jet that careened over Outlook helped set the tone and mark the official grand opening of the community's Veterans Memorial Park. With a large audience in attendance, President John McPhail of the Outlook Legion Branch #262 spoke on the significance of the new park locale, which would serve to honour veterans of Outlook and area, past and present.

Outlook's new Veterans Memorial Park opened in June with a grand ceremony. Derek Ruttle

- Another Town of Outlook spotlight article spoke with Kelton MacDonald, the town foreman. When asked if every day was the same, MacDonald very much went the opposite direction, describing how his daily tasks can see him doing any number of things on any given day.
- Outlook football player Lauren Vye was getting ready to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey, as she was preparing to head off to Vantaa in Finland to represent Canada at the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Women's World Championship. The event would see Canada's roster go up against the United States, Finland, Mexico, Sweden, Australia, Germany, and Great Britain.
- The Outlook's Shelley Luedtke spoke with two women who'd grown up in Outlook who had seen first-hand the pain and destruction in Ukraine that came with the invasion of Russian forces. Karen Birkett and Cheryl Lyons spoke of their experiences, painting an incredible picture of what life was like over there while everything on a daily basis was clouded in such uncertainty.
- The naval history of Lieutenant Commander Margaret Brooke, a nursing sister with the Royal Canadian Navy, was spotlighted in a special article that looked at the life and times of the Ardath woman, who was hailed a pioneer and a hero for her efforts in wartime. Brooke had a ship named after her, and she passed in 2016 after reaching the monumental age of 100 years.
- The village of Strongfield marked 110 years with a weekend celebration, including games, a slowpitch tournament, a community supper, a dance, and a fireworks display. The parade that was held on local streets was just one of the things that brought people out for the event on a hot Saturday afternoon.
- Fans of pro wrestling enjoyed a show put on by Best Entertainment Wrestling that took place at the Jim Kook Rec Plex in Outlook. Seven matches gave spectators something different from their usual entertainment, and kids and families got a kick out of the "athletic theatre" that is professional wrestling.
- The River and Rail ArtVenture art exhibit that took place in Outlook and stretched to the communities of Elbow, Loreburn, Hawarden, Central Butte, Riverhurst and Tugaske seemed to offer something for everyone of every artistic taste, whether it was the woodworks of Willie Schachtel in Outlook or the eye-grabbing photograph of Tom Wilson in Elbow.