NORTH BATTLEFORD — A ceremony on Sept.29 welcomed the LED light system on the North Battleford water tower as they were turned on for the first time to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The ceremony opened with a blessing and comments from Elder Jeanette Bugler, along with an honour song.
"I'd like to thank the community members, representatives from Cenovus Energy, and especially the Indigenous elders and drummers for attending this important ceremony on the eve of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation," Deputy Mayor Ross McAngus said in comments from the city during the ceremony.
The city told the News-Optimist that the new lights were approved by council in Oct. 2022 for the 2023 budget. The purchase of the new lighting system from Isted Technical Sales came in at $197,266, excluding GST.
Cenovus Energy contributed a 'very significant amount,' but the city has not made the amount public.
"Our commitment as a community is to make sure that every single person feels welcome and at home here in the Battlefords. Events like this are important to council because it's a way to illuminate and raise up our community and really appreciate everything that makes North Battleford special," McAngus added.
He noted that the water tower was built in 1949 and the lights were originally added as part of the 75th anniversary project in 1988. The first replacement with the LED lights was unveiled in November of 2009.
"We know the water tower is a beacon for the community of North Battleford and one that represents the community pride and sense of home for the residents that are here," Fred Sobota, a representative for Cenovus Energy said.
"So many of our staff work and live in the surrounding area of North Battleford. So we're honoured to support the effort in replacing the tower's old lights with brand new LED system ... the lights will allow the system to be lit up and 16 million different colour combinations," he added.
The new lights were turned orange at the end of the ceremony to celebrate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation