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Preeceville Progress' highlights of 2023

The Preeceville Progress takes a look back at the highlights of 2023.
2023 was a busy year for Preeceville and area.

Editor’s Note: The following article includes highlights of events which were reported on the pages of the Preeceville Progress during the course of 2023 and serves as a nostalgic reminder of the year passed. Dates listed refer to the publication dates, not to the dates of the events.


Jan. 12

The Trinity United Church in Preeceville hosted a Reading Evening that featured stories and music on Dec. 19.

The Preeceville Pats U18 hockey team remained undefeated as they headed into some of the tougher games, facing off against the top two teams in the league.

There were 39 members from the Canora-Pelly constituency that received the Queen Elizabeth 11 Platinum Jubilee medal in a special ceremony held in Canora on Jan. 3.

Jan. 19

Preeceville Nordic member Isaiah Maier represented Saskatchewan in Prince Edward Island at the Canada Winter Games held from Feb. 28 to March 5.

The Preeceville Wildlife Federation held its annual meeting and antler measuring at the Preeceville Community Hall on Jan. 8. The meeting portion was well attended, and 12 White-tailed Deer, 3 Moose, 2 Elk, 2 Mule Deer, 2 Antelope, and 1 Bear were brought in for measuring,” stated Heather Gawrelitza.

The Sturgis branch of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation hosted its annual antler measuring event at the Sturgis Kin Hut on Jan. 11.

Jan. 26

The Preeceville Minor Hockey Association hosted a U18 All Star Game that featured the best of the best players from across the league in the All Star Game and Skills Competition on Jan. 14.

The Parkland Community Choir was back after taking a nine-year-hiatus. The choir encourages and welcomes anyone who has a passion and talent for singing to come out and blend their voices in harmony with others who share the same passion, stated Bob Drayer, conductor and coordinator.

Brad Romanchuk, the mayor for the village of Endeavour highlighted his reflections for the previous and the new coming year.


Feb. 2

The Preeceville Skating Arena was a busy centre as hockey teams took their turns in action on minor hockey day.

Town of Sturgis Mayor Don Olson gave his projected view for the new year for the Town of Sturgis.

The Sturgis Kin Club's Mini-miracle 45th annual telethon was business as usually with broadcasting live with a gymnasium-packed audience.

Feb. 9

The Lintlaw Timberline Wildlife Federation hosted its annual supper and awards evening with local hunters acknowledged for their trophy entries.

 Preeceville Mayor Ralph Ager gave his projected view for the new year and was very optimist for the future for the Town of Preeceville.

The North East Regional 4-H Curling Competition was held at the Kelvington Curling Club with five junior teams; the Kelvington 4-H Beef/Grain Club, Good Spirit 4-H Club, Hudson Bay 4-H Multiple Club, Foam Lake 4-H Beef Club, and Bar West 4-H Beef Club.

Feb. 16

The Norquay curling team skipped by Ken Newell and members, Evan Rostotski, third; Jason Lukey, second and Jared Lukey, lead earned the exciting opportunity to travel to Charlottetown, P.E.I. for their shot at the National Fire Fighter Curling championships on March 22 to April 2.

The Sturgis Wildlife club presented its awards from the 2022 season at its awards evening held in Sturgis on February 4.

The Sturgis Composite School junior boys curling team took on neighbouring schools at the East Central District championships held in Yorkton. The team skipped by Bracyn Konkel, Trae Peterson, third, Parker Ryczak, second and Avyn Seerey, lead and coached by Cory Babiuk and Kristen Peterson won silver medals for their second place finish.

Feb. 23

A finishing hog barn, known as Kopj Finisher Unit, located in the Sturgis area was a total loss after a fire broke out.

The Roughrider Snowmobile Club were keeping busy with making sure all trails are groomed and signed for the many avid snowmobilers who share the same passion for the outdoors.

The community of Sturgis curling rink was a busy hub-bub with its second bonspiel of the season. The two-on-two bonspiel attracted 15 teams.


March 2

Joel Jeffrey, comedian performed at a benefit comedy night in aid of helping Tracy Strijak with medical and accommodation expenses at the Endeavour School Complex.

The Preeceville Hospital’s annual bed push for Telemiracle raised $5,225.

The parishioners of the  Preeceville Trinity United Church welcomed the public to share a pancake supper during Shrove Tuesday celebrations.

March 9

The Sturgis Lacrosse 911 Senior Lacrosse team hosted a fun weekend three-on-three hockey tournament that featured eight teams entered at the Sturgis Arena.

The Preeceville U18 Pats proved to their competitors that they are a force not to be messed with.

The Maier family of Preeceville have a passion for cross-country skiing and with dedication and hard work are achieving personal bests. Evelyn, Charis, Levi and Hudson Maier all participated in the provincial cross-country competition in Saskatoon

March 16

Isaiah Maier of Preeceville proudly represented Saskatchewan in Prince Edward Island at the Canada Winter Games.

The 70th annual Sturgis ice carnival featured the Sturgis Figure skating club and its achievements throughout the year. The carnival theme was Past to Present 70 years on Ice.

The Preeceville United Church hosted the 2023 World Day of Prayer service with the theme “I have heard about your faith.”

March 23

The Sturgis Archery Club uses the Endeavour range with an abundance of interest and activities aside from the Saturday morning junior archers.

The Norquay Legion #351 presented students at the Sturgis Composite School with prizes for their winning entries in the Remembrance Day poster contest.

The Preeceville Nordic Ski Club encouraged all avid recreational skiers to join them as they had a fun day ski day called a loppet.

March 30

The Preeceville School senior boys basketball team earned the privilege to represent their school at Hoopla provincial basketball championships after they defeated top teams in conference and regional championships held in Preeceville.

Junior athletes from across the region showcased their talents at the Pregis senior badminton tournament, co-hosted between Preeceville School and the Sturgis Composite School with eight schools being represented.

The snowmobile derby hosted by the Sturgis Curling Rink attracted 130 avid snowmobile riders.


April 6

The Preeceville Pats U18 hockey team overcame many struggles and challenges to defeat Indian Head to win the A-Banner championship.

The Preeceville Panthers senior boys basketball team won bronze medals for the second consecutive year at the 2023 Hoopla Provincial Basketball championships held in Prince Albert.

The Preeceville Skating Arena was alive with excitement as the members of the Preeceville Figure Skating Club took to the ice in their ice carnival.

April 13

The Preeceville Minor Hockey Association acknowledged players, parents, coaches, fans and all volunteers for a successful season of hockey with s supper and awards banquet.

The Preeceville Pats had an outstanding season, finishing in second place in the league and kept the train moving on through playoffs and their provincial run.

The Preeceville Wildlife Federation hosted its 73rd annual banquet and awards acknowledging hunters and fishermen for their prize winning entries at the Preeceville Community Legion Hall.

April 20

Ketchen Lake Bible Camp welcomed campers back for another season of camping and fellowship.

The next season of curling was looking positive for the Preeceville Curling Rink after a three-year absence from the curling world.

The Preeceville Minor Ball Association members were very encouraged by the high number of players that were signed up to play ball this year with 105 players registered.

April 27

The Preeceville Wildlife Club sponsored its gun safety course that instructed students in safe gun handling with Brad Steppan as instructor.

The centennial of St. Antony’s Church in Rama was celebrated and as part of the celebration, Mary Kowalyshyn complied a detailed book about 200 pages long including extensive church history and pictures.

The Buchanan Black Box Players presented its annual play, Houses For Sale.


May 4

The Sturgis Archery Club took an adventure out to Prince Albert for the Junior Olympic Program (JOP) Championships and Saskatchewan Archery Association (SAA) Indoor Target Provincials.

Gateway Co-op held its Annual Information Meetings to review the 2022 fiscal year. The Preeceville and Sturgis District Meetings were held at the Preeceville Community Legion Hall with Board Chair Lyle Olson chairing the meeting.

The Preeceville School spring trade show was deemed a huge success by organizers with 37 vendors.

May 11

The Crossroads Credit Union reported on its year of change in the 2022 season at its annual general meeting and supper held at the Sturgis Community Hall.

A ‘Dig Safe Breakfast Program’ was hosted in Preeceville and attracted approximately 58 registered participants.

Shae Peterson of Sturgis, who is enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts program at the University of Saskatchewan, job shadowed Cary Franklin at the Preeceville School for a two-week work experience program.

May 18

The Sturgis Horticulture Society hosted its annual Green Thumb sale at the Sturgis Community Hall.

The Sturgis Lacrosse organization was happy to announce that another season of lacrosse has kicked off with its first practice.

Kayaking, canoeing and the great outdoors has always been a passion for David Modeland of Preeceville, so much so that he has started his own business known as Modes of Adventure.

May 25

Students from Sturgis and Preeceville earned their certification as a qualified babysitter through the Saskatchewan Safety Council Babysitter Training Course to students 11 years of age and above.

 Newly formed Preecevile U15 and U17 all-girls softball teams have gained popularity with girls across the region.

The Sturgis Station House Museum took advantage of the warmer temperatures to do some outdoor clean-up to prepare for the new season.


June 1

The Preeceville Elementary School Grade 2 and kindergarten students had an exciting experience the last five weeks.

The Preeceville and District Heritage Museum held an opening day tea to welcome visitors for another season of sharing and remising.

The annual Sturgis Sports and Rodeo weekend had many area residents and volunteers gearing up for fun weekend that features something for everyone.

June 8

Preeceville students represented their school and brought home medals during the East Central District Athletic Association track meet held in Yorkton.

Many bargain hunters and collectors took to the streets in the Town of Preeceville hoping to find that unique treasured item during the community-wide garage sale.

The 55 Alive Driver Refresher Course is designed to help Canadians 55 years and over to maintain their independence and their driving privileges. A refresher course was held at the Sturgis READ Club.

June 15

The Sturgis Kin club annual duck derby was another success with 682 ducks sold.

The Preeceville Community Legion Hall committee is using the fundraising cropland west of town to raise money towards getting air conditioning installed in the Hall.

Dancers from the Extravadance Studio at the Preeceville branch achieved many top-three results in competitions held in Saskatoon, Yorkton and Regina earlier this year.

June 22

The Good Spirit School Division band hosted its annual awards concert at the Sturgis Composite High School, featuring music steeped in tradition.

Roya Havai was a welcomed addition to the physician staff at the Preeceville Primary Health Centre. She joined the practice on Feb. 13 and did not take long to settle into the community.

Preeceville Formo Motors recently underwent some major changes that included changing the dealership to an OK Tire business with a mechanic shop that remains viable in the business.

June 29

Elsie Kobe was surrounded by her daughters when she celebrated her 100th birthday on June 20 at the Preeceville Personal Care Home.

Preeceville School students in Grades 4 to 8 rose to the challenge of public speaking in front of a panel of judges, teachers, peers and parents in an oratory competition.

The Preeceville School honoured 13 graduates in a ceremony at the Preeceville Community Legion Hall that featured presentation of scrolls and scholarship awards.


July 6

A car show and shine that attracted vintage car enthusiast was a huge success with 25 entries during the Sturgis Sports Day.

The Preeceville School kindergarten class welcomed their families into their classroom to recognize student accomplishments and celebrate the completion of a successful first year of school.

 Students at the Preeceville High School were acknowledged for their achievements at the Grade 7 to 12 awards day.

The Sturgis sports grounds were alive with action when eager fans took to the grounds for the annual Sports and Rodeo weekend.

July 13

The Sturgis Composite School acknowledged graduates with awards during its graduation ceremony held in the Sturgis Regional Park.

The Sturgis Station House Museum welcomed guests to its opening day tea on the museum grounds.

The Preeceville and District Lions Club welcome back it's annual Western Weekend.

July 20

Chaz Jaeb of Sturgis has set his goal and dreams and is focused on attaining hockey greatness. The 2023 Sturgis Composite School graduate is well on his way to his dream by signing with the Golden Rockets in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League based out of Golden, B.C.)

Members of the Kelvington 4-H Beef Club held their achievement day.

The community of Preececeville welcomed residents and guests to come celebrate a week-long set of activities that featured numerous fundraiser events during Old Home Week.


Aug. 10

Children from the Preeceville and Sturgis area enjoyed  a week of festivals at the Vocational Bible School held at the Preeceville Trinity United Church.

 Along with the featured chariot and chuckwagon races, there were numerous other activities to keep everyone busy at the Preeceville and District Lions club western weekend.

 The Town of Preeceville would be hosting a byelection to replace three councillor vacancies after three councillors resigned in June. The call for nominations went out on July 13 and were accepted until Aug. 2.

Aug. 17

Gerald Kuzma of Sturgis has been a registered instructor for firearm safety since 1975 and received training in the 1980’s from the RCMP depot to be a master instructor that instructs the course and others who want to received their instructor certificate.

The Preeceville Nursery School was busy preparing for its new school season and welcomed its new teacher, Destiny Trembley.

Stenen held a one-day biggest small town farmers market.

Aug. 24

Naden Parkin. originally of Preeceville, but now residing in B.C., was a special guest during the Sturgis Library reading program. Parkin is a children’s book author who has written two books, The Girl Who Was Brave Enough and You are Loved. He read both books to a large number of children and adults at the library.

Staff of the Preeceville Gateway Co-op were on hand to answer all questions during the Gateway Co-op Home and Expo event.

Reverend David Mugadzi of Zimbabwe has joined the United Church congregation as the new minister who will serve the Preeceville Trinity and Sturgis Grace United Churches.

Aug. 31

The 123 Care For Me Child Care Centre located in Sturgis celebrated its 10th anniversary with a barbecue and open house that showcased all the new renovations to the centre.

The Filling the Gap program has been operating in the local area for well over 20 years, and local community groups, churches, businesses, and individuals contribute all of the funds necessary to make Filling the Gap work.

Fr. Ivan Simko of Saskatoon joined the Ukrainian Catholic Church, taking over from Fr. Joakim Rac, who recently retired.


Sept. 7

The Preeceville Panther football program held its annual fall conditioning camp that focused on player performance.

Archer Franklin of Kelvington is 17 years old and is heading into Grade 12. He calls Kelvington home and had played hockey with the Humboldt U18 AA Broncos in the 2022-23 season. He was diagnosed with Aplastic anemia in June and it has since destroyed his bone marrow and now requires a stem cell transplant.

Shaune Beatty is the new Good Spirit School Division school superintendent for schools: Canora Comp, Canora Junior Elementary School, Davison, Grayson, Invermay, M.C. Knoll, Macdonald, Miller, Norquay, P.J. Gillen, Preeceville and Sturgis.

Sept. 14

The Whitehawk Arts Council hosted its first concert in a set of three performances for the Stars for Saskatchewan series with Diyet and the Love Soldiers.

The Town of Preeceville held a byelection to elect three new councillors on Sept. 6 with Taylor Sliva, Meaghan Nelson and Kenton Hull all elected to council.

The Preeceville and District Ministerial Association once again held its annual veggie exchange with garden producers sharing extra vegetables with their fellow gardeners.

Sept. 21

The Preeceville Harvard 606 Air Cadets Squadron began a year of rebuilding with shifting focus for both cadets and officers.

The aim of the Cognitive Kitchen study is to examine participants' experiences and outcomes of a culinary nutrition education program.

The Sturgis Sturgis senior lacrosse team hosted a tournament and  is continuing to keep the love of the sport alive for 18 years-old and over players.

Sept. 28

The Sturgis Kin Club welcomed back vendors and shoppers to its annual fall market.

The Parkland Music Festival is returning to Preeceville and Sturgis in April of 2024 after several years of interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Preeceville School cross-country team excelled at its first meet for the season at the Deer Park meet.


Oct. 5

The largest pumpkin to win the annual Preeceville Great Pumpkin contest tipped the scale at 205 pounds. The event featured entries in the pumpkin, potato, cabbage, zucchini, onion, carrot, turnip, beet and kids’ categories.

Children of all ages enjoyed the Themed Thursday days held every Thursday in the months of July and August in Preeceville.

Amber Bartch recently celebrated her 10th year in the hair industry with her Salon 101 in Sturgis.

Oct. 12

The coaches from Sturgis Archery Club hosted an Introduction to Archery Workshop.

The Rusty Spurs 4-H Light Horse Club is coming back to Sturgis this year, stated Lisa Neilson, one of the organizers.

The Sturgis READ seniors club celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Oct. 19

Rose Konjolka, resident of the Preeceville Long Term Care, celebrated her 99th birthday.

The Town of Preeceville held a one-day fun culture day that acknowledged many different ethnic groups that makes Preeceville a very diverse culture.

The wheat field that was seeded in the spring had many community volunteers banning together to help get the harvest off the field and into the bin.

Oct. 26

The Crossroads Credit Union announced the funding recipients during Credit Union Day.

The Preeceville and Sturgis Composite Schools acknowledged Education Week.

The Town of Preeceville hosted a Let’s Talk, Mental Health Walk and presentation with Heather Cody, a clinical counsellor with The Counselling Corner and Registered Social Worker.


Nov. 2

Agnes Murrin, Chairperson-Preeceville and District Heritage Museum, gave a brief overview report of the activities from the season at the museum at the Seneca Root meeting.

The Town of Preeceville kicked off its September meeting with acknowledging and welcoming the three new councillors: Kenton Hull, Taylor Sliva and Meaghan Nelson.

The Preeceville and District Heritage Museum hosted the fall Seneca Root meeting held at Preeceville’s Club 60.

Nov. 9

The Family Resource Centre implemented a new program with the focus on health, cooking, active play and literacy all geared at children and their caregivers.

The Kelsey Ecological Society, promoters of the interest in local flora, fauna and birds and enjoying nature and getting together with like-minded people are encouraging individuals to join the club by contacting Kathleen Pitt.

The Preeceville Walking Program has once again kicked off for another winter season of indoor walking.

Nov. 16

The Preeceville Curling Club opened its doors to a new season of curling with excited curlers taking to the ice.

Filling the Gap volunteers and committee members were busy organizing the upcoming Christmas Hamper program.

Representatives from Weyerhaeuser, representing the Pasquia Porcupine region, proposed the forestry operating plan for the 2024-2025 year.

Preeceville local Michael Bierman and his two young children trained throughout the year to prepare for this world-wide 11th annual International King Kong Grip Strength competition.

Nov. 23

The Trinity United Church in Preeceville has been able to continue the tradition of hosting a Dickens’ Night as a kick-off to the Advent season.

Trae Peterson of Sturgis received an all star award in the Graham Tuer tournament held in Regina.

The annual Remembrance Day service held at the Preeceville Community Hall paid respects and honoured those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Nov. 30

The Preeceville Hospital Auxiliary continued their tradition of providing much

needed items for the Preeceville Hospital and long term care through community generated fundraisers.

Avid horse enthusiast enjoyed their last fall ride of the season hosted by the Etomamie Valley Riders which was followed by the club’s awards.

For many of us, Christmas brings back many fond memories of times past that speak about how we celebrate this season and with whom we celebrate, and this was acknowledged through a memorial tree lighting ceremony.


Dec. 7

Scott Carroll, Referee-In-Chief,  hosted a one-day ref clinic in Preeceville with both in

class and on-ice sessions.

The Preeceville Economical Development Committee took on a huge winter project with making the Memorial Park into a winter wonderland outdoor rink with lights for the Christmas season.

The idea of spreading the gift of giving to seniors came about five years ago in Yorkton with the focus and goal on bringing a smile and sense of Christmas spirit to seniors, but through the years it has evolved through the Extravadance Dance Studio efforts, who took it over two years ago to bring gift-stuffed stockings to seniors in area nursing homes.

Dec. 14

Christmas shoppers and vendors enjoyed visiting at the Christmas craft sale held at the Preeceville Community Legion Hall. The sale featured 25 vendors.

The Sturgis Horticultural Society met at the Sturgis Multiplex for a Christmas supper hosted by Liz and Dale Prestie.

Children and adults alike enjoyed skating alongside Santa Claus in the Skate with Santa event at the Preeceville Skating Arena in Preeceville.

Dec. 21

The Town of Preeceville council approved elected council board and committee members to various committees in its Nov.15 meeting.

The Preeceville Nursery School hosted a Christmas concert evening with performances and fun.

The Sturgis community and various organizations banded together to bring Christmas to Sturgis. The winter Christmas light festival was held at the Sturgis Regional Park on Dec. 11.