Smoky River Express – 2019 Year in Review: January – March

January

January 3, 2019: The Falher Pirates ring in the new year with a 4-3 win over the visiting Manning Comets.
January 4, 2019: Dallas Brochu scores three goals as the visiting Falher Pirates whip the Grimshaw Huskies 11-4.
January 4-5, 2019: The Warriors youth hockey team hosts a pond hockey tournament at the Guy/Donnelly Sportex. Fourteen teams take part. Cooper Henley, 5, is the youngest player, Jules Aubin the oldest.
January 7, 2019: A Town of Falher Public Works vehicle is stolen from outside the Falher lift station while staff check on the station.
January 8, 2019: High Prairie School Division chairman Tammy Henkel resigns but agrees to serve three more months.
January 9, 2019: The Express reports the McLennan Recreation Board invites residents to a community meeting Jan. 23 to discuss the future of the H.W. Fish Arena.
January 9, 2019: The Falher Curling Club hosts a junior curling clinic hosted by Canadian champion Heather Nedohin.
January 10, 2019: The Express reports on the first of many events held in 2019 to celebrate Peace River’s centennial. Peace Players performs a skit at Athabasca Hall.
January 10, 2019: Pat Morin [Dolan] passes away at the age of 88 years.
January 10, 2019: The Kimiwan Lake Naturalists Society holds its annual general meeting at the town office. Philippa O’Mahoney is elected president.
January 11, 2019: The Falher Pirates suffer their first loss in the 2019 calendar year as they lose 5-3 to the visiting Manning Comets.
January 11, 2019: Lucienne Germaine [Lambert] Pitre passes away at the age of 74 years. She lived her entire life in the Girouxville area and was co-owner of Pitre Insurance Agencies Ltd.
January 12, 2019: Long-time Guy resident Walter Tanasichuk passes away at the age of 89 years. He enjoyed dancing, farming, auction sales, gardening and ice fishing.
January 12-13, 2019: The Smoky River midget hockey team wins the consolation game at their tournament after defeating Sexsmith 5-3. High Prairie wins the tournament.
January 14, 2019: Village of Donnelly council accepts the resignation of Councillor Vance Yaremko. A byelection is set for March 4.
January 14, 2019: Wilfred Joseph St. Laurent passes away at the age of 70 years. He was an elk farmer and worked as an operator in the oilfield.
January 16, 2019: M.D. of Smoky River ag fieldman Normand Boulet reports that blackleg has been confirmed in 56 fields within the M.D.; however, no clubroot is found.
January 16, 2019: Former Girouxville resident and Brulotte Construction owner Sylva Brulotte passes away at the age of 76 years.
January 18-19, 2019: Three schools in Peace River host the Bob Plowman Invitational Basketball Tournament for junior high teams. The La Crete Lancers win the girl’s title and the Glenmary Saints the boy’s title.
January 19, 2019: The hometown Falher Pirates lose the second of two weekend games to the Dawson Creek Canucks 7-4. The night before, they lose at Manning 5-1.
January 23, 2019: The Express reports in its McLennan town council notebook that recycling fees will increase to $7.67 per housing unit.
January 23, 2019: The Express reports it its M.D. of Smoky River notebook that council approves the establishment of fire services in the region. The agreement must still be approved by the Town of McLennan, Village of Donnelly and Village of Girouxville.
January 23, 2019: The Express reports it its Town of Falher notebook that council is supporting the Falher and Area Beautification and Leisure Activities Society in its efforts to apply for a grant to make improvements to the ball diamonds located near Villa Beausejour.
January 23, 2019: About 30 people attend a public meeting to discuss the future of McLennan’s H.W. Fish Arena. They agree the facility is an asset to the community and that more usage would decrease the annual operating deficit.
January 24, 2019: No, you weren’t seeing double at Ecole Heritage. Students dressed up as twins during “Twins Day” celebrations.
January 25, 2019: UCP Leader Jason Kenney presents his vision for a new Alberta at a fundraising dinner in Peace River. Accompanying him is Peace River UCP candidate Dan Williams.
January 26, 2019: The Town of McLennan hosts its Volunteer Appreciation Night, co-ordinated by the Smoky River Regional Golf Course Society. Therese and Gilbert Dubrule, and Dan Drouin, are honoured.
January 29, 2019: The Mighty Peace Watershed Alliance holds its annual board meeting at Falher’s Centre Chevaliers. The Peace watershed covers 30 per cent of Alberta.
January 29, 2019: Andre Guy Portelance passes away at the age of 76 years. An avid hunter and fisherman, he was a long-time farmer in the Tangent area.
January 30, 2019: The Express reports that Linda Doucet was the grand prize winner of $1,000 and Roland Tucottte runner-up winner of $500 in the Falher Library Society board draw.
January 30, 2019: The Express reports in the Village of Girouxville notebook that council approves to establish the first Village of Girouxville Community Volunteer Award to be presented during Seniors Week.
January 30, 2019: The Express reports the Town of Falher buys a columbarium for the Ste. Anne Cemetery.
January 30, 2019: Ecole Providence music students give an afternoon piano recital. It is the second year the school has offered a music program. This year’s students are taught by teaching assistant Amanda Roy.
January 31, 2019: The hometown Falher Pirates blast the High Prairie Regals 14-0. It is the largest home ice shutout victory over the Regals in franchise history. Dyson Loewen records the shutout.

February

February 1-2, 2019: The planned KidSport tournament is cancelled, but four teams still play for fun and raise $670 for Smoky River KidSport.
February 2-3, 2019: Peace River High School and Peace River Glenmary School co-host a senior high basketball tournament. The Menno Simons Panthers win the women’s title and the Manning Paul Rowe Raiders the men’s title.
February 5, 2019: The hometown Falher Pirates defeat the High Prairie Regals 16-4 to take a 1-0 lead in their NPHL East Division Semi-Final. Pat Rowan scores four goals and Jeff Chalifoux adds three more.
February 6, 2019: The Express reports on the ongoing Peace River Bridge twinning construction project.
February 6, 2019: The Express reports that Sunset Repair Service, located near Girouxville, now offers wheel alignment.
February 6, 2019: The Express reports Tim Hortons donates $3,431 to the Peace Regional Outreach School and Daycare Support Society. Money is raised from the Smile Cookies fundraiser.
February 7, 2019: Dallas Brochu scores twice as the visiting Falher Pirates defeat the High Prairie Regals 7-2 to take a 2-0 lead in their NPHL East Division Semi-Final.
February 9, 2019: The hometown Falher Pirates defeat the High Prairie Regals 7-4 to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their NPHL East Division Semi-Final series.
February 9, 2019: Benjamin Gardecki passes away at the age of 34 years. He died while doing something he enjoyed – snowmobiling in the mountains.
February 11, 2019: A delegation from the Northern Alberta Railway and Historical Museum, attends McLennan town council’s meeting and brings council up to date on the moving of the Falher Northern Alberta Railway Station building to McLennan.
February 12, 2019: Darren Kramer and Dallas Brochu each score twice as the visiting Falher Pirates defeat the High Prairie Regals 7-2 to sweep their four-game NPHL East Division Semi-Final series. The Pirates outscore the Regals 37-12 in the series.
February 15, 2019: The Kimiwan Lake Naturalists Society receives a $34,000 Community Facility Enhancement Program grant. The money will be used to upgrade the Birdwalk, including replacing pylons on which the Birdwalk gazebo stands. The Birdwalk had tilted and was closed to the public.
February 17, 2019: Fireworks, sleigh rides, bingo, bonfires and hot chocolate are all part of Family Day activities at McLennan. The Frosty Family Run highlights the event and draws 17 runners despite -27C temperatures.
February 19, 2019: Lyle Audet takes his oath of office to serve the Village of Donnelly. He is previously elected by acclamation.
February 19, 2019: The Express reports in its Village of Donnelly notebook that council is applying for a Community Generation Capacity Building Program grant to do a feasibility study for small scale green initiatives for the village’s facilities.
February 20, 2019: The Express reports that the Town of Falher is awarded a $106,062 grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Climate Change Staff Grants Program to take action on climate change.
February 20, 2019: The Express reports in the Town of McLennan notebook that council approves the purchase of a $5,000 community membership at the Smoky River Regional Golf Course. Council sees the membership as a means of promoting health and fitness in the community.
February 20, 2019: The Express reports that four scholarships are being offered for the new Eveline Charles Academy that opened last year in Peace River. Charles grew up in the Falher area and operates Eveline Charles Salons and Day Spas and Evelyn Charles Academy.
February 20-21, 2019: The G.P. Vanier men’s curling team skipped by Luc Blanchette wins the Peace Zone curling title in Falher. The team advances to Provincials in St. Paul March 6-9. Other members of the team are third Adyn Ouelette, second Dylan Desharnais and lead Derrick Brochu.
February 21, 2019: Alex Curran scores twice as the visiting Grande Prairie Athletics take a 1-0 series lead in the NPHL Semi-Final over the Falher Pirates with a 6-5 win. The Pirates score twice in he last 3:04 to make it close.
February 22, 2019: Teams from five area schools take part in a Grades 4-6 basketball tournament at Peace River Glenmary School. The tournament is held mostly for “learning” purposes, says Good Shepherd coach Terry Hogan.
February 23, 2019: Dakota Mason scores twice to lead the visiting Falher Pirates to a 5-2 win over the Grande Prairie Athletics to tie their NPHL Semi-Final series 1-1.
February 26, 2019: Donnelly G.P. Vanier School students travel to High Prairie to learn about opportunities in the forest industry at the Forestry Career Fair, held by the Lesser Slave Forest Education Society.
February 26, 2019: Mackenzie Caron scores twice to lead the visiting Grande Prairie Athletics to a 6-2 win and a 2-1 NPHL Semi-Final series lead over the Falher Pirates. It’s the third straight game the road team wins.
February 27, 2019: The Express reports that Anique Tardif of Peace River and Mason Lavoie of St. Isidore are appointed queen and king at the 37th annual Carnaval de St. Isidore, held the previous Family Day weekend.
February 27, 2019: The Express reports on the NPHL awards. Three Falher Pirates make the East Division All-Star Team including Darren Brochu on defence, Pat Rowan on right wing and Darren Kramer on left wing.
February 28, 2019: Donnelly G.P. Vanier School holds its annual Science Fair for Grade 7-8 students. Grade 7 winners are Anyka Desnaulniers, Cole Fournier, Hunter Dumont and Dominic Sliger. Grade 8 winners are Christian Mencke, Riley Garant, Brett Heckbert and Layne Cuthbertson.
February 28, 2019: The hometown Grande Prairie Athletics build a 5-1 second period and go on to defeat the Falher Pirates 7-5 to take a 3-1 series lead in their NPHL Semi-Final series.

March

March 1, 2019: The Smoky River Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee celebrates the 20-year medical practice of Dr. Pieter DeWet.
March 1, 2019: The 11th Franco-Albertan flag-raising ceremony marking the beginning of Rendez-Vous de la Francophone takes place at Falher Ecole Heritage.
March 2, 2019: Darren Kramer scores a hat trick as the hometown Falher Pirates defeat the Grande Prairie Athletics 4-2. The A’s still lead the NPHL Semi-Final series 3-2.
March 5, 2019: The McLennan Library donates to Smoky River FCSS from its “Food for Fines” program.
March 5, 2019: The visting Falher Pirates suffer a crushing end to their season as they are blanked 9-0 at Grande Prairie thus losing their NPHL Semi-Final series 4-2. Kiefer Smiley makes 16 saves to record the shutout and the A’s outshoot the Pirates 54-16.
March 6, 2019: Widespread concerns are voiced on social media after a bad smell emerges from Mercer Peace River Pulp Mill. Mercer replies but cites no reason, but they do apologize for “yesterday’s colour”. It is later discovered that extreme cold caused the problem, says Mercer mill manager Shawn Elliott.
March 6-9, 2019: The Donnelly G.P. Vanier men’s curling team skipped by Luc Blanchette goes 1-3 at Provincials in St. Paul.
March 8, 2019: The Knights of Columbus holds their annual Basketball Free Throw Championships at the Donnelly G.P. Vanier gym. Girls and boys 10-14 years from Ecole Heritage, Vanier and Ecole Routhier are invited to participate. Girl’s winners are Myla Brochu [10], Dani Cloutier [11], Kayle Bisset [12], Chloe Cloutier [13], and Madison Anderson [14. Boy’s winners are Kale Heckbert [10], Dylan Garant [11], Arron Archibald [12], and Kiley Garant [13].
March 9, 2019: The Twilight Figure Skating Club holds its annual Ice Carnival at the H.W. Fish Arena in McLennan.
March 11, 2019: Former North of 60 TV star Dakota House campaigns in Peace River in his bid to become Peace River MLA. He is running for the Alberta party.
March 12-13, 2019: Attendance was small at an Ag Drone course on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, at the Guy/Donnelly Community Centre.
March 12-13, 2019: Attendance was small at an Ag Drone course on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, at the Guy/Donnelly Community Centre.
March 13, 2019: The Express reports that due to an increase in enrolment at McLennan’s Ecole Providence, and in response to requests from parents and students to add junior high grades, Holy Family Catholic Regional Division agrees to examine the feasibility of adding Grades 7-9 for the 2019-20 school year.
March 13, 2019: The Express reports that Grade 11 Ecole Heritage student Joel Beaudoin will visit Belgium and northern France as part of Juno 75 Student Pilgrimage July 3-14.
March 13, 2019: The Express features the Little Smoky Ski Hill and its importance to recreation in the region.
March 13, 2019: The Express features the Jean Cote Canadiens before their alumni hockey game March 23.
March 14-16, 2019: The Smoky River Ag Society Trade Show takes place in Falher. Thousands attend the show.
March 14, 2019: Smoky River Seniors Fun Days takes place in Girouxville. Winners are skip Diane Dentinger’s rink in carpet bowling, Charles Mackell in pool, and Doris Ouellette and Denise Lanctot in cribbage.
March 16, 2019: The H.W. Fish Arena in McLennan hosts a figure skating skills clinic hosted by the Twilight Figure Skating Club.
March 20, 2019: The Express reports on staffing plan changes at the new Peace Regional Recreation Centre. Peace River town council approved a new staffing plan March 11 that added four new positions at the soon-to-be opened new Baytex Energy Centre.
March 20, 2019: The Express reports that $4.8 million is made available by the Alberta government through the Disaster Recovery Program, caused by losses during 2018 spring flooding. The M.D of Smoky River is one of the recipients.
March 20, 2019: The Express reports in its Village of Donnelly notebook that it hears from a delegation and discusses the future of broadband service in the region.
March 21, 2019: McLennan Ecole Providence holds its annual Easter passion play. The play is held to celebrate Lent and the approach of Easter Sunday.
March 21, 2019: Frank Joseph Zuchotzki passes away at the age of 82 years.
March 23, 2019: The Jean Cote Canadiens hold an alumni hockey game at the Nampa Complex. The younger generation defeats the older generations 5-4.
March 25, 2019: Vision Credit Union’s Falher branch donates $1,200 to the Donnelly Recreation Society. Money is raised from a toonie donation at the credit union’s booth at the SARDA Trade Show.
March 27, 2019: The Express reports on the North Peace Performing Arts Festival, which ran March 2-16. For the first time, events are held at Donnelly G.P. Vanier School. Vanier hosts the band category of the festival.
March 27, 2019: The Express reports on the construction of the new Primary Care Centre in Peace River. It is still on track for a fall opening.
March 27, 2019: The Express reports that four Peace River Glenmary School students are off to the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Fredericton. Vijeth Castelino, Joshua Hewko, Mitch Davis and Jonathan Goudreault all earn the trip.
March 27, 2019: The Express reports that the Local Actors Having Fun troupe holds performances in Jean Cote March 9 and March 16 with over 200 attending each performance. The circus dinner-themed theatre production “The Amazing Circus-Stancial Evidence” is highly entertaining.
March 27, 2019: The Express reports in its Town of McLennan notebook that it hears from a property owner who wants permission to have chickens on his one acre of property within the village. Council asks for public input before making a decision.

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