Smoky River Express – 2019 Year in Review: April – June

April

April 2, 2019: Three of four candidates running in the Alberta election in Central Peace – Notley attend an all-candidate’s forum at Donnelly G.P Vanier School. Travis McKim of the Alberta party does not attend.
April 2, 2019: The carbon tax and lack of access for healthcare for pregnant women were the hot topics at an all-candidate’s forum for the Peace River constituency in La Crete.
April 3, 2019: The Express reports that five candidates are running in the Alberta election in the Peace River constituency in the April 16 election. Challenging incumbent NDP MLA Debbie Jabour are Dakota House of the Alberta Party, Connie Russell of the Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta, Remi Tardif of the Liberal Party, and Dan Williams of the UCP.
April 3, 2019: The Express reports that four candidates are running in the Central Peace – Notley constituency in the April 16 election. Challenging incumbent NDP MLA Marg McCuaig-Boyd are Todd Loewen of the UCP, Travis McKim of the Alberta Party, and Wayne Meyer of the Liberal Party.
April 3, 2019: The Express features the opening of the New Valley Bee Café at Watino under the ownership of Danny and Ginette Paradis.
April 5, 2019: McLennan RCMP execute a search warrant on a rural property and charge Like Anthony Onufer, 37, with various drug-related crimes.
April 5-6, 2019: The Peace River and District Chamber of Commerce holds a trade show at the Baytex Energy Centre. “Bright Future” is the chosen theme.
April 6, 2019: Ecole Heritage badminton players win medals at the Valleyview Hillside Invitational Tournament. Amber Guerette wins gold in intermediate girl’s singles, Tyler Maure wins gold in senior girl’s singles, and Nathan Fischer win bronze in junior boy’s singles.
April 6-7, 2019: The Grimshaw Alleycatz hosts the 2019 Alberta Provincial Rope Skipping Championships. They are selected to host the event due to their 30th anniversary. Ten clubs attend the championships.
April 7, 2019: North Peace Gymnastics holds its finale.
April 8, 2019: Peace River residents attend a council meeting in a last-minute effort to save old trees along 99 Street.
April 10, 2019: The Express reports on the Donnelly G.P. Vanier School Grade 8 drama class performance of the play “Superheroes Unite” – an eight-scene comedy held at the school.
April 11, 2019: Just under 100 people attend an all-candidate’s forum at Club Alouette in Falher, hosted by the Smoky River Chamber of Commerce.
April 13, 2019: The Whyte Ave. Wompats underground music society hosts its annual steampunk event in Peace River.
April 13, 2019: Donnelly G.P. Vanier’s “Strike up the Band” dinner, performance and silent auction takes place. Grade 7, Grade 8 and senior high bands perform.
April 13, 2019: The McLennan Recreation Board invites two roller derby teams to the H.W. Fish Arena to give a refereeing clinic and play a scrimmage game to see if there is any interest in forming a team locally.
April 13, 2019: Ecole Heritage and Donnelly G.P Vanier schools host an invitational badminton tournament. Winners include: Quinn Cote and Zoe Tardif win gold in senior girl’s doubles; Amber Guerette wins gold in intermediate girl’s singles; Tyler Maure wins gold in senior girl’s singles; Anique Tardif wins silver in junior girl’s singles; Nathan Fischer wins silver in junior boys; singles; and Mathew Fischer wins bronze in intermediate boy’s singles.
April 16, 2019: UCP candidates topple incumbent NDP MLAs in the Alberta election, which sees the UCPs sweep to power. Dan Williams wins in Central Peace Notley with 10,293 votes to Marg McCuaig-Boyd’s 2,672. In Peace River, Dan Williams gets 9,542 votes to Debbie Jabbour’s 3,065 votes.
April 16, 2019: Holy Family Catholic Regional Division agrees to add Grades 7-8 at Ecole Providence School in McLennan in the fall of 2019.
April 17, 2019: The Express reports in its McLennan town council notebook that council agrees to spring cleanup days May 3-6. A fee of $5 per load is required to offset costs.
April 22-23, 2019: A 50-piece sculpture collection called “The One Called Jesus” is displayed at McLennan.
April 26-May 11, 2019: The McLennan Legion Branch 153 “Guided Canadian Battlefields Tour” takes place in Northern Europe. The 16-day trip takes participants to London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and Munich.
April 27, 2019: The McLennan Parks and Recreation Society holds its second annual East Coast Night at the McLennan Elks Hall. The event is a celebration of east coast Maritime culture featuring music and food.
April 27, 2019: Local badminton players win medals at the Peace Zones in Grimshaw. Winners are: Tyler Maure wins gold in senior girl’s singles; Amber Guerette wins gold in intermediate girl’s singles; Eric Lavoie wins silver in junior boy’s singles; and Mathew Fischer wins bronze in intermediate boy’s singles. Maure, Guerette and Lavoie advance to Provincials in Calgary May 3-4.
April 27, 2019: Over 250 attend the third annual Gala du Nord celebration at Centre Chevaliers in Falher. The CAFÉ Nord-Ouest organizes the event in conjunction with Ecole Heritage whose students present the performances and create the exhibited artworks.
April 30, 2019: Nicolet Insurance donates $818 to the FABuLAS’ ball diamond project. The company raised the money through cotton candy sales at SARDA Trade Show.

May

May 1, 2019: The Express reports that renovations at the Falher Regional Pool are completed and the pool should be open the first week in May. The pool opens late but not due to construction: cold weather occurs.
May 1, 2019: The Express reports in its Village of Donnelly notebook that council continues to support the Good Drivers Reward Program; however, no money can be donated due to financial constraints.
May 1, 2019: A professional arbourist gives a presentation at Peace River’s Athabasca Hall and says there is no reason that old trees on 99 Street cannot be saved.
May 2, 2019: The Peace River Museum hosts Sixties Scoop exhibition.
May 3, 2019: Over 200 students at Peace River’s Glenmary and Peace High schools join a province-wide 20-minute walkout to protest changes in education legislation that will potentially impact the privacy of students in the Gay Straight Alliances.
May 3-4, 2019: Falher Ecole Heritage badminton player Amber Guerette wins a bronze medal, Category A, girl’s singles, at the Alberta High School Badminton Provincials in Calgary.
May 4, 2019: The Royal Purple Elks “Walk for Life” occurs in McLennan. The fundraiser buys specialized equipment for special needs children. It’s the first time since 2003 that McLennan hosts the event.
May 5, 2019: The seventh annual “Spring Scurry” run takes place at Watino and draws 127 participants. The run is hosted by the Eaglesham Ag Society and the community of Watino.
May 5, 2019: The Springtime Strawberry Tea is held at Manoir du Lac and hosted by the Nursing Home Ladies Auxiliary. Money raised is used to purchase equipment to improve the lives of Manoir residents.
May 8, 2019: Students from Donnelly G.P. Vanier School attend the PARTY program in High Prairie to learn about the risks of making bad choices, particularly due to consuming drugs and alcohol.
May 8, 2019: A High Prairie School Division news release announces the nomination of Krystin Morin for the Edwin Parr Award, given to exemplary first-year teachers. Morin teaches at Ecole Routhier in Falher.
May 9, 2019: Northern Sunrise Protective Services is dispatched to a wildfire at 1:15 p.m. in the hills just west of the Twelve Foot Davis gravesite. Due to strong winds, the fire spreads to surrounding grasses and bushes. A helicopter is called in to assist, the blaze is put out at 7:25 p.m., just over three hectares is burned.
May 12, 2019: A local tradition continues as many people attend Fern’s Greenhouse in Girouxville on Mother’s Day.
May 13, 2019: Peace River Mayor Tom Tarpey donates $5,000 to the Peace Regional Recreation Centre.
May 14, 2019: Savage CANAC Corporation makes a presentation to Northern Sunrise County outlining a proposed diversification facility in Reno.
May 14, 2019: NAIT’s Centre for Boreal Research in Peace River holds a public tour of their labs and greenhouse.
May 14, 2019: Smoky River region students win two aggregate titles at the HPSD Track and Field Meet in High Prairie. Ecole Heritage’s Tenille Guerette wins the senior girl’s title while Patrick Pabalon of G.P. Vanier wins the intermediate boy’s title.
May 16, 2019: Catholic Archbishop Gerard Pettipas visits McLennan Ecole Providence. He also visits schools in McLennan and Girouxville.
May 16, 2019: The Societe historique et genealogique de Smoky River holds its annual general meeting in Donnelly. Carmen Ewing is re-elected president.
May 19, 2019: Donnelly G.P Vanier’s Grade 12 class celebrates its graduation under the theme “Our Time to Shine”. Shayne Yaremko delivers the valedictorian’s speech.
May 23, 2019: Work on the outdoor skating rink in Girouxville begins. It is ready for fall.
May 25, 2019: Falher Ecole Heritage’s Grade 12 class celebrates its graduation at Ste. Anne’s Catholic Church with Archbishop Gerard Pettipas attending. The students speak together instead of choosing a valedictorian.
May 25, 2019: Over 340 register for the Color Me Run at the Peace River Agricultural Grounds. The run is held in support of women’s mental health.
May 25, 2019: A 4-ball, Vegas style golf tournament fundraiser is held at the Smoky River Regional Golf Course to raise money for the McLennan Ecole Providence Breakfast Program. About $3,000 is raised.
May 25, 2019: Carmen Pelletier of Falher places second at the fourth annual Zone 5 [Northwest] School Bus Roadeo in High Prairie.
May 28, 2019: Catholic students from Ecole Providence in McLennan receive Baptism, make their First Confession, and receive First Communion, at a special Mass at St. John the Baptist Cathedral.
May 29, 2019: The Express reports the Knights of Columbus Local 3025 donates proceeds from its ham bingo at the Chevaliers Centre in Falher on April 12 to the Falher Friendship Centre Association.

June

June 2, 2019: Young Catholics from Girouxville, Falher and McLennan receive Confirmation from Archbishop Gerard Pettipas at St. John the Baptist Cathedral.
June 5, 2019: The Express reports three people are running for the vacant seat on Village of Donnelly council. They are Kyle Heyn, Abdul Hameed Khan, and Katie [Emma] King. A meet and greet the candidates is held at the village office the next day.
June 8, 2019: The Peace River Regional Pride Parade is held on Main Street in Peace River. Speeches are made at the gazebo at Riverfront Park after the parade.
June 9, 2019: The Peace River Scottish Society holds its first home competition in 14 years at Peace River High School with 72 dancers taking part in all levels of Highland Dance. Local dancers winning included Elisabeth Milligan-Coyle, Seanna Novak, and Tacy Wilkes.
June 10, 2019: Theresa and Gilbert Demeule are presented with the Town of McLennan’s Volunteer Award for 2018. The couple were away at the ceremony planned for January and officially received their award a little late.
June 12, 2019: The Express reports that work is delayed on a south end Peace River project after residents petitioned to stop the project in order to save old trees along the street.
June 12, 2019: The Express reports in the Village of Donnelly notebook council approves its 2019 budget with $788,504 in operating expenses and a requisition of $304,889. Mill rates increase by six per cent.
June 12, 2019: The Express publishes a photo of a new mural in Peace River’s Riverfront Park celebrating the town’s 100th anniversary.
June 12, 2019: The Express reports on Mercer International Inc.’s efforts on forest management. Mercer holds a tour north of Dixonville May 29 to examine the largest forest management experiment in the world.
June 2, 2019: Young Catholics from Girouxville, Falher and McLennan receive Confirmation from Archbishop Gerard Pettipas at St. John the Baptist Cathedral.
June 5, 2019: The Express reports three people are running for the vacant seat on Village of Donnelly council. They are Kyle Heyn, Abdul Hameed Khan, and Katie [Emma] King. A meet and greet the candidates is held at the village office the next day.
June 8, 2019: The Peace River Regional Pride Parade is held on Main Street in Peace River. Speeches are made at the gazebo at Riverfront Park after the parade.
June 9, 2019: The Peace River Scottish Society holds its first home competition in 14 years at Peace River High School with 72 dancers taking part in all levels of Highland Dance. Local dancers winning included Elisabeth Milligan-Coyle, Seanna Novak, and Tacy Wilkes.
June 10, 2019: Theresa and Gilbert Demeule are presented with the Town of McLennan’s Volunteer Award for 2018. The couple were away at the ceremony planned for January and officially received their award a little late.
June 12, 2019: The Express reports that work is delayed on a south end Peace River project after residents petitioned to stop the project in order to save old trees along the street.
June 12, 2019: The Express reports in the Village of Donnelly notebook that council approves its 2019 budget with $788,504 in operating expenses and a requisition of $304,889. Mill rates increase by six per cent.
June 12, 2019: The Express publishes a photo of a new mural in Peace River’s Riverfront Park celebrating the town’s 100th anniversary.
June 12, 2019: The Express reports on Mercer International Inc.’s efforts on forest management. Mercer holds a tour north of Dixonville May 29 to examine the largest forest management experiment in the world.
June 12, 2019: The Express published a photo of the 2019 Marvyn Dupuis Foundation Scholarship recipients. They are Angel Blais, Shayna Yaremko, Bradyn Heckbert, and Trevor Jolie.
June 12, 2019: Donnelly G.P. Vanier band students present their year-end concert at the school.
June 13-16, 2019: Falher’s 100th anniversary celebrations, combined with the annual Honey Fest, draw huge crowds throughout the four-day celebration.
June 14, 2019: A plaque commemorating the late Ben Gardecki is unveiled at the Falher baseball diamond. He passed away in a snowmobile accident Feb. 9.
June 14-15, 2019: The North Peace MS Chapter Trail Ride raises over $50,000 despite a small dip in participants. The ride is held to raise money to help find a cure for multiple sclerosis.
June 15, 2019: A free concert is held at Riverfront Park in Peace River as part of the town’s 100th anniversary celebrations.
June 16, 2019: A special Mass occurs at St. Anne’s Church to honour 32 visiting Sisters of the Holy Cross as part of Falher’s 100th anniversary celebrations.
June 19, 2019: The Express reports that Kyle Heyn wins the Village of Donnelly byelection.
June 19, 2019: The Express features Kelly Bunn and his cross-Canada cycling trip to raise money for muscular dystrophy.
June 19, 2019: Girouxville Co-op holds its Customer Appreciation Day. Highlighting the day is a $25,000 donation to the Giroxville Enhancement Committee through Co-op [Federated Community Co-operatives Ltd.] Community Spaces initiative.
June 19-July 17, 2019: The Peace River Municipal Library and the Peace River Aboriginal Interagency Committee, holds its annual Indigenous Art Show.
June 20, 2019: The new Shell Rotary House in Peace River holds an open house and barbecue, co-hosted by the Peace River Chamber of Commerce.
June 20, 2019: McLennan Ecole Providence holds its year-end awards and kindergarten graduation in St. John the Baptist Church. Kayson Bartram-Soto receives the Ecole Providence 2018-19 Student Leader Award and Mary Katherine Jordan receives the Sister of Providence Award.
June 22-23, 2019: The Peace River Powwow and Aboriginal Gathering takes place at the Peace River Agricultural Grounds under near perfect weather conditions.
June 26, 2019: The Express reports in its McLennan town council notebook that council approves a motion to charge all local non-profit groups a $25 user fee for use of the Elks Hall as of Sept. 1.
June 26, 2019: The Express reports that a deer gives birth to two fawns in the courtyard at T. A. Norris School in Peace River but no date is given. Students get the watch the miracle of birth.
June 26, 2019: The Express reports in its Village of Donnelly notebook that they are sending a letter to Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks, asking him to reconsider the closure of the wading pool at Winagami Lake Provincial Park.
June 26, 2019: Northern Sunrise County celebrates it 25th anniversary with live entertainment, a petting zoo, bouncy castle and barbecue at Cecil Thompson Park.
June 27, 2019: Laurette A. Gagnon passes away at the age of 88 years. She farmed north of Donnelly Corner and worked at Donnelly Corner Restaurant, Robinson stores, the Falher Co-op and the Falher Hotel.
June 29, 2019: Duane Steele plays to a sold out crowd at Farmer’s Restaurant in Nampa. Steele calls the local restaurant a “cool little venue” on his Facebook page.

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