The students of RD Parker’s music program recently saw success at a music festival in the US.
The Music in the Parks Festival held in Minneapolis saw schools from across North America send music groups to be adjudicated, and all three RD Parker ensembles took first place in their respective categories, with the Senior Concert Choir also winning the Top Overall High School Choir award and the Senior Concert Band receiving a “Superior” rating, which is the highest mark that the Festival hands out.
Now that they’re back in Thompson, music director Kevin Lewis says they have upcoming performances to look forward to, beginning with the cabaret.
“Our theme this year is ‘Journey to the Land of Make-Believe’, so we have some very whimsical music, some stuff that I’m sure people will recognize from movies, TV shows, musicals, and then some really interesting character pieces as well. It’s $5 admission for adults and $3 for students.”
The cabaret will be held in the RD Parker gym at 7 pm on June 7th.
Wednesday is Tim Horton’s Camp Day, with locations all across the country fundraising to send kids to camp.
For 25 years, the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation has raised funds through Camp Day coffee sales, this year adding sales from $2 Camp Day bracelets.
Manager of the Thompson Tim Horton’s Jibran Khan has details on what his location has planned for Camp Day activities.
“We have a lot of activities planned on Camp Day. We have car washing, we have a dunk tank, and we have the fire department coming and the police department coming.”
Last year’s Camp Day raised $12.4 million, allowing close to 18,000 kids to attend camp sessions.
The City held its annual Community Clean Up day this past weekend at Robin’s Donuts.
Thompsonites from across the city took part in the day as part of the annual Spring Clean Up program, where the City offers residents $3 a bag for garbage and $4 a bag for recycling picked up from the streets and public areas around town.
Director of Public Works Wayne Koversky has the details on how much was collected, and how much the City reimbursed for those collections.
“We’re looking at roughly $1,593 that we paid out, and over and above that, the Recycling Centre paid out $119 for the recycle bags. So looking at it, total bags were 531, 119 of those were recyclable.”
Koversky also noted that he was pleased with this year’s turnout, saying that there was positive community support despite it being later in the year.
“We were a little bit later doing the event, but all in all, the weather cooperated with us, the public cooperated with us, we had good support from families and individuals and organizations, and everything worked out well.”
The Boreal Discovery Centre will soon be launching its summer programs for 2016.
The programs run through the week Monday to Friday for youth aged 6-10, with programs running on the weekends for adults.
The board member in charge of summer programming, Barb Carlson, has details on what the programs will be about.
“We’re gonna have week long day camps Monday through Friday, and they’ll be held during July and August at the Boreal Discovery Centre. And each day will have a different topic that will take you on a daily excursion through the Boreal forest, to learn about trees, animals, plants, insects, birds, fish, and our waters.”
Carlson also noted that the programs will run at $145 per week per child, which includes all meals and supplies associated with running the program.
A Port in the Storm continues to provide affordable lodging for northern Manitobans seeking medical care in Winnipeg.
The organization has recently moved into a new building at 311 Alexander Avenue, which moves patients closer to the Health Sciences Centre than their previous location at Villa Aulneau.
The facility’s Executive Director Stacey Grocholski has some of the additional benefits that come with their new location.
“Here, we have full suites, which is really nice. Beautiful kitchens and significant amenities, it’s a quiet peaceful place. Very close to shopping and all amenities in the downtown area, we’re easy to find, we’re just off of Main Street, which is really nice for navigation for people that are out of town.”
Grocholski also said that that their commitment to offering their services at the lowest possible cost has brought them to initiating their Adopt-A-Suite program.
“It’s $5,000 a year, so anybody or any organization, or even people in the community can get together and raise $5,000 a year. And as you can imagine, it’s about $12,000 [a year] just to run a suite for rent. Not utilities, nothing else on top of that for operational costs. So we’re looking at probably $15,000 a year just to run one particular suite.”
There are 14 loft-style suites in the new building.
Last Monday’s City Council meeting saw a motion brought forward to rescind a motion that Council previously approved.
The motion in question was a variance order for the property located at 128 Hemlock Crescent, which is proposed to be a low income housing unit.
The variance itself was in regards to the number of required parking stalls for the three-story, 12-unit building, which applicable by-laws dictate it should have 16 parking units minimum. However, because of the size of the applicable land, and the number of building tenants that would require a parking space, the variance order allowed for six on-site spaces with overflow parking shared with a nearby location.
The motion to rescind was defeated by a vote of 5-4.
Thompson’s MS Walk will be taking place this weekend.
The goal of the annual walk is to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis research and to raise awareness about the disease.
The organizer for this year’s walk, Lindsay Anderson, has the details about the event.
“We start off at the TRCC on May 29th, and then we walk down to Cree Road and come around, and back up to the Rec Centre. We have a lot of prizes and we’re gonna have a barbeque, and it’s gonna be a really good event, so I just want people to come out and walk.”
Anderson also noted that she is looking for more volunteers to help with the event. Anyone interested in volunteering can message the “MS Walk in Thompson Manitoba” Facebook page.
A blockade set up on Provincial Road 280 by protestors in the hopes of getting the road fixed has been taken down.
Potholes, cracks, and general disrepair have caused the road to be hazardous to drive on, which has left local residents protesting the government to do something about it.
Band councillor for Tataskweyak Cree Nation Nathan Neckoway went to the Legislature in Winnipeg to speak on their behalf in a meeting on Tuesday with the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and representatives from Manitoba Hydro and other northern communities.
“Coming down here to the city to talk on behalf of our region and PR 280, and we told them that it needs to be upgraded now, we can’t afford to ignore it anymore. It’s the only highway that’s accessible to three dams, plus a fourth dam that’s being built and all the other projects that Hydro development is putting in there.”
In an email from an official with the Manitoba government, maintenance work on 280 will include $1 million contributed from Manitoba Hydro and $2 million from Manitoba Infrastructure, with a long-term funding agreement with Hydro contributing $5 million over five years.
Photo Credit: PR 280 Road Conditions Facebook page
A motion was passed at Monday’s City Council meeting that approved a cost share to bring a study tour to Thompson.
The cost share is split between the City, Vale, and Community Futures North Central Development to allow a group of approximately 19 participants from Peru, Colombia, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to study aspects of the City’s relationships with the provincial government and local Aboriginal and Indigenous communities, as well as the City’s TEDWG project.
The group will be in Thompson May 31st and June 1st before heading down to Winnipeg for an FCM conference June 3rd to 5th.
A display was set up outside the Canadian Mental Health Association’s office on Tuesday to recognize Schizophrenia and Psychosis Awareness Day.
All across the country, the CMHA and Schizophrenia Societies promoted the day by spreading information about the mental condition, which affects one in every hundred people worldwide.
Rhonda Heskin, the Outreach Worker for the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society, had a display board set up on the sidewalk with information regarding schizophrenia.
“It’s to help create awareness about schizophrenia and psychosis, and that it was Schizophrenia and Psychosis Awareness Day. [The board has information] about symptoms and treatment, what it is; it’s a neuro-biochemical brain illness.”
Heskin also included a message to inspire hope that help is out there for people struggling with any mental illness.
“Recovery is possible and there is hope, and people shouldn’t give up. Don’t think that just because if somebody has schizophrenia or psychosis, or any other mental illness, that they won’t get better or they can’t get better, because they can.”
Anyone looking for more information can contact Rhonda at 677-6056.
The City of Thompson turned up for the Business Challenge, and that was about it.
Not a single business showed up for the annual event, which is a part of the City’s Spring Clean Up campaign that runs throughout the month of May.
Director of Public Works Wayne Koversky says that while there were some businesses that had initially signed up to attend, they had to withdraw for unknown reasons.
“We had a couple express interest; actually, a few of the organizations had approached us. But maybe due to unforeseen circumstances, staffing or whatever it may be, there was just nobody there on Friday afternoon.”
The last scheduled event, the Clean Community Day, will take place on Saturday at Robin’s Donuts beginning at 8 am.
Thompsonites continued to show their support for the people of Fort McMurray last week by attending a fundraising barbeque.
The barbeque was put on by Juniper School on Friday, also including baked goods and a 50/50 draw, and managed to raise $1,422.
Juniper Principal Lucy Mayor explains why they chose to get involved in fundraising efforts.
“There was lots of stuff in the news, kids were aware, and we also have some families and some staff members here that have family that live in the area. And so that’s our small part to help the area.”
Juniper joined Ecole Riverside School in fundraising efforts, with Riverside’s two bake sales raising $3,013.
Thompson’s MLA has voiced his support for the Progressive Conservative’s northern strategy.
Yes! North was formally announced in last week’s throne speech, with the goal of promoting strategic economic development and tourism in Manitoba’s northern communities as a result of a two-year consultation from the previous PC caucus.
MLA Kelly Bindle is in favour of the program, outlining some of the particular points that has him confident in its success.
“Our province is a beautiful place to explore, and thanks to our government, we’re looking forward to welcoming more people from around the world to visit us here. So our Yes! North initiative is to focus on encouraging existing businesses and creating opportunities for new businesses to explore tourism in northern Manitoba. It’s among the most pristine pieces of land in the world; our government is committed to the Yes! North strategy as part of our plan to bring more people from around the world to see what our province has to offer.”
During Wednesday’s Legislative Assembly, Bindle also spoke about how their PC team is committed to making Manitoba the most improved province in Canada through better services and a stronger economy with a bright future for the north.
A lack of knowledge surrounding Manitoba’s tourism industry is something Travel Manitoba is hoping to correct.
Travel Manitoba President and CEO Colin Ferguson was in Thompson last week, talking to city representatives, local businesses, and various organizations about the economic impact of the tourism industry.
Ferguson makes it known exactly how big the tourism industry is in Manitoba.
“The size of the tourism industry in the province of Manitoba, on an annual basis, is $1.6 billion. So that 1.6 billion, which is shared by hotel owners, restaurants, ticketing and attractions, fishing camps, fishing guides, gas stations, and all the rest, that’s a pretty significant number.”
Ferguson also said that the province has adopted their sustainable funding model, which sees 4 percent of that $1.6 billion going to Travel Manitoba, a drastic increase from the previous model.
After one successful bake sale, Ecole Riverside School held a second one with proceeds being donated to the Canadian Red Cross.
The first bake sale featured baking from the parents of kindergarten to grade three students took place on the 11th and brought in $1,525.
Their second bake sale on the 18th that had baking from grades four through eight students saw donations totaling $1,488.
Riverside Principal Jonathan Wamboldt explains how the idea to do these bake sales originated.
“[My son and I] saw it on the news and we said ‘We should try and do something’. So I brought it up to our awards assemblies and we talked about it with our students. So then our students decided that’s what we would do, and we had a great turnout. And we also had lots of supplies brought to us, so it was nice to see everyone’s generosity in helping with this cause.”
Between the two bake sales, they managed to raise $3,013.
As Victoria Day long weekend approaches, Thompson RCMP wants to remind the public to stay safe and sober behind the wheel.
They will have check stops set up throughout the weekend in and around the city, making sure people are driving responsibly.
RCMP Staff Sergeant Kevin Lewis wants to remind the public of some of the penalties that can occur if they are caught drinking and driving.
“Impaired driving could lead to the loss of a driver’s license, criminal charges in court, which could lead to jail time, especially for subsequent offenses of impaired driving
Manitoba Public Insurance has calculated that one-third of driving fatalities are caused by impaired drivers, also estimating on average one fatality and 90 injuries over the May long weekend.
Eight cadets from Thompson’s air cadet squadron will be heading down to Winnipeg this coming weekend for a survival competition.
The annual Survivair competition sees air squadrons from across the province take part in various survival-based skill competitions to show off their knowledge and see how they match up against other squadrons.
Thompson’s team coach Civilian Instructor Brett Hanson has been to Survivair on numerous occasions, so he already knows what the competition will look like.
“Basically it’s a mass start, so when it starts, everyone disperses and goes towards whatever event they feel they should run to first. Our cadets typically go to biathlon first because they excel in that sport, our group here in Thompson emphasizes biathlons. We have a strong biathlon skill set.”
Other aspects of the competition include building a shelter, starting a fire, the proper technique for snaring small animals, and first aid.
The ribbon has been cut and the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba’s new family room is officially open.
The room will be used as a space where people with addictions affecting their loved ones can work through it together as a family.
The AFM Northern Director Gisele deMeulles talks about why the room is a perfect setting for families to work in.
“It looks like a living room; it has couches, it has a place for children to do art activities and play activities, and it’s got resources on the wall and paintings on the wall with a lot of colour. It’s really about providing a natural home-type setting so that families feel comfortable.”
deMeulles also noted that the previous space used by families was the smaller office of one of the staff members. Anyone that is looking for help conquering their addiction can call AFM at 677-7312.
A collision that ended with a vehicle falling off a causeway into the water below caused one RCMP member to literally jump into action.
Constable Kevin Drane was responding to a call about a collision on Highway 391 just past the Thompson airport last week and saw the vehicle in the water.
After previous attempts to get a response from any occupants while on the bridge, he knew there was only one way to ensure that they were unharmed.
“I had shown up there, not knowing if anyone was in there, and I couldn’t just sit on the side of the causeway and wait and wonder. So I decided I’d go in and confirm, because I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I would’ve just sat there and they would’ve pulled the vehicle out and there would’ve been someone in it.”
The driver and passengers of the vehicle were later found to be safe, having been picked up earlier by a passing vehicle.
Photo Credit: Kacper Antoszewski
The students of Wapanohk School will have the chance to display their talents as part of a talent show.
The 4th annual Wapanohk’s Got Talent will be taking place tonight in the school’s forum beginning at 7 pm with entry free to the public.
Grade six teacher Alex White has the rundown of some of the talents that will be on display.
“We have the contests performing, in no particular order; there’s singing, dancing, jigging, gymnastics, we even have a beatboxer. And the reason we mix it up is to create a sort of variety, rather than
White also confirmed there are prizes up for grabs, but wanted to keep the details a surprise for the event.
The team has been selected that will represent Vale and Thompson at the annual mine rescue competition.
Many local teams competed for the chance to enter the provincial competition, which will take place in Thompson May 27th and 28th.
On Team Vale is Captain and Technician Todd Yuskow, Co-Captain Tom Flett, Gas Man Steve Oniske, #3 Man Ian McKenzie, #4 Man Derek Brightnose, Director of Operations Dave Caswell, and Coach Warren Brass.
Vice President of Vale Manitoba Operations Mark Scott has the rundown of what the competition will look like.
“There’s a firefighting team competition that takes place, a first aid competition, there’s a technician’s competition separate from the rest of the team activities, and then the main part of the whole competition is an underground scenario where each of the teams that are competing actually run through a scenario that we set up in one of our mines. Each of the sections is scored, and then it’s the total score that determines the provincial winners.”
Scott also said the team that wins the provincial competition will have the chance to compete on a larger scale.
“The winner of the Manitoba competition each year is eligible to go out to the biennial western competition for mine rescue that’s held in Fernie [British Columbia] every two years. The teams love having the opportunity to go out there.”
Come and learn one of the things Harry Potter and his friends didn’t learn at Hogwarts: math.
A Harry Potter-themed family math night is taking place Wednesday night, open to students across the Mystery Lake School District and their families, which gives them the chance to learn math in a unique and interesting way.
Mystery Lake staff members and community volunteers will be on hand, some even dressed for the part, to help facilitate a learning environment that’s fun and interactive.
As Shelley Cook, a Numeracy Support teacher with the District, explains, a previous Harry Potter math night was held for just one school with great enough success to take the idea and apply it to the whole district.
“We did have a Harry Potter family math night in Wapanohk School a number of years back, and it was awesome. We had lots of people out, lots of parents, and lots of fun.”
The event will take place in the multipurpose room of the TRCC from 4:30 to 7:30.
Students from across the city had the chance to display their artwork as part of last week’s Festival of the Arts.
The Visual Arts discipline of the Festival was held in the CA Nesbitt Arena over May 11th and 12th, showcasing art ranging from paintings and masks to clay-molded and 3D printed sculptures.
President of the Arts Festival Committee Debbie Belyea (bell-yay) explains how the Visual Arts discipline falls into the overall Festival.
“We have five disciplines; the only one that was last week was our Visual Arts discipline, but we’ve already held Speech Arts, Piano and Strings, Vocal, and Dance. What’s coming up now are two highlights concerts on June 1st and June 8th, where many of the winners will come and display what their art is.”
The concerts and displays for each of the discipline winners will take place in the RD Parker foyer and the Letkemann Theatre starting at 6:30.
An Urban Reserve plan in the works for over a decade has finally come to fruition.
The Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation’s Urban Reserve plan passing means that the land from Deerwood Drive to Selkirk Avenue along Cree Road, at the corner of which is the NCN owned and operated Mystery Lake Hotel, is now recognized as reserve land.
NCN Chief Marcel Moody explains what the plan is for the land going forward and how the City of Thompson factors into that plan.
“We wanted to convert this property so we can develop it a little bit better, in terms of what we need for our community. Obviously we have to still work with the City to make sure we live up to our agreements with the City; those agreements will still be honored by NCN. But we have to work together to see that comes to the best way that we see fit that will benefit NCN and the City of Thompson.”
The City of Thompson approved NCN’s plan for the Urban Reserve in February 2005.
A bake sale held last week managed to raise money for Fort McMurray aid relief.
The first of two bake sales at Ecole Riverside School was held on Wednesday, with $1,525 being raised to donate to the Canadian Red Cross.
Riverside principal John Wamboldt says that having two bake sales gives the whole school a chance to be involved.
“Our kindergarten to grade three students, their families baked for this sale that just went by, and next Wednesday we’ll have the grades four to eight students baking.”
The second bake sale will be open to the public from 11 to 12 on Wednesday.
Thompson’s air cadet squadron will conduct their final parade night of the year Monday.
Taking place at the Legion Hall, the cadets of 737 Northern Pride Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron will showcase to the public what they’ve learned throughout the year.
Captain Martin Murphy, the squadron’s Commanding Officer, talks about some of the training aspects that the cadets learn throughout the year.
“The air cadet training program encapsulates so many different topics, including biathlon, marksmanship, aviation, citizenship, physical fitness, instruction, and drill, just to name a few.”
The parade will start at 7 pm, with the Reviewing Officer being Mark Scott, the Vice President of Manitoba Operations for Vale.
Look out your window and it’s not hard to see why the City’s annual Spring Clean Up would be put on hold.
Snowfall warnings in effect since Wednesday and over 20 centimetres of snow have prompted the postponing of several events related to the Spring Clean Up.
Director of Public Works Wayne Koversky says that the Business Challenge, the Trash for Cash, and the group clean up are on hold while the city clears the freshly fallen snow.
“We didn’t plan to have another snowfall, so it looks like it’ll take a few days to clear this away, and then that’s our plan moving forward. And just as a side point, we’ll be extending the group clean up for the month of May into June.”
The Business Challenge will now take place on May 20th, the Trash for Cash at Robin’s Donuts will take place May 28th, and the group clean up will be extended through the first half of June.
Some of Thompson’s local businesses have banded together to donate $12,000 to the Canadian Red Cross for Fort McMurray relief efforts.
The northern Alberta town that has been ravaged by wildfire since the beginning of May has seen the evacuation of over 80,000 citizens to neighbouring communities and the fire has grown to a size of 229,000 hectares -- twice the size of Calgary.
The donation was part of the Ducks Unlimited banquet, which featured a live auction. Banquet Chair Liz Kozakowski has the details on how part of the auction would benefit the people of Fort Mac.
“Our rep got a communication Friday evening during our event that the last live auction item, whatever that item brought in, is money Ducks Unlimited would donate to Red Cross for Fort McMurray.”
The winning bidder was Jimmy Pelk from Twin Motors, who turned the auction into a call-to-action for businesses in attendance to match his $1,500 donation. His reason for doing so was simple.
“It’s just the right thing to do; it’s a broken community that’s half gone, and we’re capable of giving, so we give.”
The following businesses have pledged to donate $1,500 to the Canadian Red Cross:
Assante Wealth Management
Home Building Centre
Settarc Welding, including Mutschel Bros. Ltd. and Red’s Septic Service
A third arrest has been made in a local homicide investigation.
20 year old Mark Thomas from South Indian Lake was arrested on Monday and charged with First Degree Murder in the case of Thompsonite Nicholas Brophy.
Thomas stands accused alongside 19 year old Justin Baker and 22 year old Zach Linklater, who were arrested in Thompson on April 30th.
Thomas will appear in Winnipeg Provincial Court today.
Four students from RD Parker Collegiate are heading to Winnipeg today for a gathering of the Model United Nations Assembly.
Two groups of two students will be participating in the annual event, which serves as a learning simulation for how debates at the UN are settled.
One of the students, Hannah Murdy, has attended these assemblies in the past, so she already knows what to expect out of the event.
“What you can expect from something like this is meeting a whole lot of new people, learning a lot about different country’s politics and views on certain subjects, and we also get a guest speaker, so we get to hear them and see how they tie in to the United Nations.”
Murdy and her partner, Martha Magaji, will discuss Ireland and their resolution on unilateral coercive measures and human rights, while the other group, comprised of Tanner Nowlin and Ahmed Rinawi, researched Yemen and how the country would take their stand on the situation in Libya.
The City of Thompson has submitted a letter formally requesting a decrease in the number of regular staff members of the local RCMP detachment.
The decrease was requested in order for the City to preemptively cut costs ahead of the closure of the Vale smelter and refinery.
RCMP Staff Sergeant Kevin Lewis says that if the reduction was to occur, the members in question would not be laid off.
“The RCMP would place those members in other detachments. So there would be no loss of employment to any RCMP members, it would just be a reassignment to another detachment.”
Mayor Dennis Fenske says that, while the City would save $280,000 in operational costs annually, the approval of the request doesn’t mean that the reduction will happen.
“It just means that, if and when we see the need to reduce the number of officers due to economic impacts of 2018, then we have the ability to do so. And so we’ll have to wait until then to see what the actual impact is, but this mechanical process allows us to be in position to do that if required.”
City Council passed a motion on Monday to make an update to the City’s Emergency Plan.
The plan details the proper procedure for the City to ensure the safety of Thompsonites in case of a variety of emergencies.
The changes to the plan voted on by City Council were to increase the maximum length of a declared State of Emergency from 14 days to 30 days, and increasing the length of extensions to those declarations if necessary from 14 days to 30 days.
The updated plan can be found by clicking here.
With the warmer weather, Thompson RCMP is asking the public to take the time to lock their vehicles.
Numerous reports have already been sent to RCMP this year of thefts from vehicles that turned out not to have been locked overnight.
RCMP reminds residents that items such as vehicle and house keys, wallets with IDs, cash, cell phones and other electronic devices should be kept in safe and secured places.
They also ask residents to report these incidents where someone has stolen something, or they believe someone has gained access to their vehicle.
For the 70th year, the War Amps have distributed key tags as part of their free service.
The tags have a specially coded number on them so that, in the event a person finds lost keys, they can be dropped in any Canada Post mailbox and the keys will make their way back to who they belong to.
The War Amps’ Safety Events Coordinator James Jordan says that if you didn’t receive your tags, requesting them is easy.
“All you have to do is visit our website at WarAmps.ca, or you can call our toll-free number 1-800-250-3030 and order a set for free.”
Jordan also said that over 1.5 million keys have been returned to their owners thanks to this service.
A presentation was made at last week’s Thompson Chamber of Commerce meeting that is working toward the benefit of all of northern Manitoba.
Community Futures North Central Development made the presentation about their Northern Values initiative, which outlines common values for sustainable development of the Boreal forest in Manitoba while still sustaining economical development in the north.
Those values include prosperity, balance between development and conservation, cooperation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and government, community benefits, respecting the rights of northern people, maintaining financial attractiveness, spreading knowledge about the region, and clear common goals.
The manager of Community Futures Tim Johnston noted that Northern Values will be working alongside the new provincial government and their proposed “Yes North” program to better represent northern Manitoba in decisions that will affect the region.
“The hope would be that the coalition would move forward to a discussion with the new government and talk about their plans for northern Manitoba and be able to have some input, or at least advise them on the position of the coalition.”
Johnston noted that more support is needed from organizations in the north before they bring their coalition to the province.
The first week of May was commemorated by the Canadian Red Cross as Emergency Preparedness Week.
As part of the week, the Red Cross encouraged Manitobans to have a plan in place in case they need to leave their home at a moment’s notice.
A volunteer for Thompson’s Emergency Response Team Tammy Leslie details some of the things that people should have ready.
“A great thing to do is to start by making a plan, such as where you might meet your family after you’ve been evacuated from a disaster area. Also to create an Emergency Preparedness Kit; the Kits should include clothing, food, money, any necessary medications, blankets, and anything you might need if you have to evacuate your home and survive for a few days.”
Leslie also explains what the Response Team will do when necessary in a small-scale emergency.
“We can assist in small emergencies; responding to family emergencies or responding to the community in general. Family emergencies could be a house fire or sewer flooding in the house itself, so we’ll support the family, arrange accommodations, arrange meals, get people lined up with some clothing, and just meet their basic needs.”
In a large-scale emergency, Leslie says the Team would support registration to help reunite families, as well as provide accommodations and necessities.
The team is always looking for more volunteers, which Leslie says you can apply at RedCross.ca and follow the application process. She adds that all required training is provided by the Red Cross.
Thompson’s McHappy Day fundraising efforts have exceeded their ambitious goal.
The annual fundraising event saw Thompsonites come out and show their support with donations via food and coffee sales, as well as bidding on silent auction items, and managed to raise $10,630.
Owner of the Thompson McDonald’s Brett O’Meara was very happy with the amount raised, but he wasn’t very surprised.
“I was not surprised, simply because I know that there’s such a huge giving spirit in Thompson, and the community really got behind this initiative. We, in essence, doubled what we did last year in terms of fundraising. It was something that all the local businesses really contributed to and got behind. It was just a phenomenal day, and this is what I’m always proud about, about living in the north. You look at Thompson and the surrounding communities, there’s a huge spirit of giving. And we struggle with a lot of issues, but when it’s time to look and really focus in areas of need, this is where we really shine as a community.”
The amount raised locally from McHappy Day will be donated to the Hope North Suicide Prevention Committee to help run their Youth Football camp from June 3rd to the 5th.
A first-of-its-kind fundraiser will be taking place on Saturday that pits students against teachers in dramatic fashion.
The Letkemann Theatre will play host to an Improv Battle being put on by the RD Parker Drama department, beginning at 7:30.
The games played will test the teams’ ability to think on their feet, which Drama teacher Janine Plummer gives an example of.
“There’s a game called ‘Sentences’, where we’ll take random sentences from our audience members. And the student and adult teams will have to act out a scenario; it could be a soap opera or a western, but they must randomly read out whatever line they’re given and work it into the scenario.”
Tickets are $7 at the door, which will go toward being able to send an improv team to next year’s Canada Improv Games in Ottawa.
Friday is the kickoff for the annual CHTM Trade Show at the TRCC.
The 27th iteration of the trade show offers businesses big and small the chance to bring awareness to their products or services to the thousands of attendees.
CHTM General Manager Sue O’Brien explains some of the history behind the long-time event.
“It was an off-shoot of our sister station in Flin Flon, they began their trade show there probably about four or five years previous to us starting one here. And it was such a great success, because Flin Flon at the time didn’t really have any kind of a mall situation going on, it was all just the main street. And this gave residents of Flin Flon an opportunity to get different products in, as well as different services that they didn’t necessarily have right in Flin Flon.”
The trade show floor will open Friday at 4 and run until 9, it’ll be open Saturday 10 am to 8 pm, and Sunday 11 am to 4 pm.
Thompsonites will be walking for a good cause this weekend at the Defeat Depression Walk.
The 4th annual event will start at the Burntwood Clinic at the Plaza Mall beginning at one, and will follow with a chance to socialize and win prizes.
Outreach Manager for the Burntwood Region Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba Ron Buchanan has the details on how to register as a participant.
“The easiest way is to go on our website, DefeatDepression.ca, follow the location link to the Thompson event, and it’s quite easy to register yourself. You can register as an individual or as a team, or if you want to donate to a participant, you can go to the same website and click the donate button. Or just show up at the event at noon and register right at the site. We get a lot of walkups as well; we try to encourage people to sign up online so we know more about what the numbers are, but by all means just show up and register, everybody’s welcome.”
Money raised from pledges will be supporting the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba.
An Alberta city in the midst of its most horrific tragedy has a northern Manitoban connection.
Fires raging through Fort McMurray have forced the city to evacuate its 82,000+ citizens to safety, with the Edmonton Journal reporting this morning that officials have accounted for 53,000 finding shelter in nearby communities, with zero fatalities reported as of yet.
Brad Karp, former news and sports reporter for CHTM and our sister station in The Pas, 102.9 CJAR, now works for CJOK in Fort McMurray and has been safely evacuated.
He spoke to CJAR’s Mark Andrews this morning to give his firsthand account of the devastation in the area, assuring first and foremost that he was safe.
“I’m just outside of Edmonton getting ready to pull into the hotel for the night, or I guess morning at this point. I’ve been on the road since the evacuation order came in at about 5:30 pm yesterday, so it’s been a long grind.”
Karp recalled the harrowing journey trying to leave the city, likening the situation to something out of a movie.
“I had to drive through fire on both sides of the highway. Fort McMurray’s downtown is in a valley right next to a river in a low-lying area; one side with the hill on the right is engulfed in flames, the other side, basically a couple streets down from the radio station, has fire on the grass. So we were right in the thick of it. And I’m not gonna lie, there was a two hour period where we were sitting in traffic just outside of the RCMP detachment, really not moving, and you’re sitting there and you see the fire moving closer and closer and you’re not getting any further away, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to call you this morning.”
And even once out of the city, Karp says the danger wasn’t over.
“People were leaving their cars and abandoning them on the side of the road, there were some people getting in accidents, and situations like that. And you don’t really think of either; Fort McMurray is similar to The Pas and Thompson in the fact that you’re an isolated northern community. Fort McMurray is about 45 minutes away from the nearest gas station, but in a situation like this, the gas dries up pretty quickly. So people would be running out of gas and just left their cars and hop in with other people who were driving by.”
Karp will be set up in a hotel for the night, but after that is a mystery.
“I’m with a few of my coworkers and we’re holed up in Edmonton for now, we all want to get back to work and keep people updated on our social media channels the best we can, since we can’t access the radio station. Power lines and internet lines have been burnt down, but we still have a strong following on social media, so we want to see if we can set something up with our sister stations in Edmonton and go live there to try broadcasting to Fort McMurray that way. We’re looking at a few different options, but we don’t want to sit on the sidelines.”
The only things Karp managed to pack with him before he evacuated were clothes, his laptop, cell phone, IDs and bank cards, and a few articles of clothing.
Karp wrapped up by thanking those offering their support in this truly difficult time.
“The outpouring of support is greatly appreciated. I’m not gonna paint a rosy picture; it doesn’t look good. In terms of surface area, half the city is gone. Conditions are gonna be bad today, 30 degrees, sunny, high winds up to 50 km/h, and humidity isn’t gonna be playing a positive role either. There may not be a whole lot much of Fort McMurray left by the end of the day.”
Anyone wishing to donate to relief efforts through the Canadian Red Cross can visit RedCross.ca or text REDCROSS to 30333.
Photo Credit to CBC.ca
The time has come for the 2016 Census.
Thompsonites were delivered the Census forms in their mailbox earlier this week, to be filled in and submitted by May 10th.
Participation in the Census helps plan community services such as child care, schooling, public transportation, and can play a part in making decisions provincially and even federally.
Anyone looking for more information can visit census.gc.ca.
Laughter filled the air inside the Juniper Centre on Saturday night as the Thompson Playhouse put on their annual dinner theatre.
The show, titled “Polter-Heist”, followed the story of a group of people at an inn that is haunted by a ghost that knows the location of hidden treasure.
Donna Wilson, the Director of the Thompson Playhouse, explains some of the history behind the annual fundraiser.
“The fundraising is for the Juniper Centre. They used to have a fundraiser every year and they found that it was a lot of hard work and didn’t raise as much money by the time they were done all of their expenses. So what they did was they invited Thompson Playhouse to put on a play, and we had a dinner theatre for them. It worked out really great the first year, we’ve been doing it for the last few years, and it’s always a sell-out. This year, we sold all of our tickets within a week.”
There were also prize draws throughout the evening, as well as a presentation honoring some of the Juniper Centre’s frequent volunteers.
Fundraising for suicide prevention awareness can be as easy as buying a Big Mac.
McDonald’s locations around the world today are celebrating McHappy Day, an initiative started by the Ronald McDonald House Charities that is celebrating its 23rd year.
One dollar from every Happy Meal, Big Mac, and McCafe beverage sold in Thompson, as well as proceeds from their table full of items up for auction, will be donated to the Hope North Suicide Prevention Committee.
McDonald’s store owner Brett O’Meara talks about some of the items that Thompsonites will be bidding on as part of their fundraising auction.
“We’ve got a trip to Churchill, all expenses paid, with a Tundra Buggy tour to see the belugas and polar bears. We’ve got various CFL, NFL, and NHL autographed collectables, which includes an Andrew Harris jersey, who’s new to the Bombers this year, as well as a Blake Wheeler autographed picture, lots of signed memorabilia. We’ve got a Stihl chainsaw, we’ve got a barbeque, and the list goes on and on.
O’Meara also expressed confidence that when the day is done, his ambitious fundraising goal will be met.
“Last year was in excess of $5,000; my goal is $10,000. I know Kurtis [Stolth, board member of the Hope North Committee] is a bit more conservative and thinking in the $7,500 range, but with this auction table that we have, with the tremendous growth of our coffee business and our McHappy Day business, I think we can really reach that $10,000 goal.”
The Hope North Suicide Prevention Committee will be using the money donated from McHappy Day to run a youth football camp next month.
The City of Thompson has commenced their city-wide Spring Clean Up.
Taking place throughout the month of May, the initiative was started in order to get Thompsonites to help keep their city clean and beautiful, and has been an annual program for nearly a decade.
Director of Public Works Wayne Koversky talks about some of the incentives Thompsonites have for getting involved in the Clean Community Day on May 14th.
“We’re going to be set up at Robin’s Donuts from 9 am to 4 pm. What we’re doing that day is trash for cash, $3 a bag, and that day recycling will be paying $4 per bag. So if it’s recyclable material, they’re going to pay $4 that day.”
Koversky also talked about the Business Challenge taking place on May 13th, as well as e-waste disposal at the City’s landfill.
"It's going to be starting May 7th at the landfill. There's no charge for any electronics, just bring it down to the landfill, 8 am to 4 pm, we'll have a staff member there. Plus we're opening the landfill for residents cleaning up their yards that day, it'll be open every Saturday until October 29th."
Two Thompsonites were arrested by Thompson RCMP on Saturday for the murder of Nicholas Brophy.
22 year old Zachary Linklater and 19 year old Justin Baker have been charged with First Degree Murder and remanded in custody.
Brophy was reported missing September 9th 2015, and his remains were found by RCMP outside Thompson last Tuesday and were identified on Friday.
Baker appeared in Thompson Provincial Court May 2nd, and Linklater is scheduled to appear on the 3rd.
For the 65th year, the Canadian Mental Health Association is bringing awareness to mental health issues.
Mental Health Awareness Week is being commemorated in communities all across Canada May 2nd through the 8th.
Events scheduled include cupcake drop-offs to local businesses today, dodgeball at the TRCC on Tuesday, powwow dancing and drumming at the Manitoba Metis Federation on Wednesday, lawn games and a dunk tank at the CMHA office on Thursday, and a BBQ at their office on Friday.
Katherine Pohjolainen, Thompson CMHA’s Education and Training Program Coordinator, shares some of the history behind the week.
“CMHA created Mental Health Awareness Week in 1951 to celebrate mental health and celebrate the resilience of people who have a mental illness, and also to spread awareness and education on the stigma of mental illness.”
For more information, you can contact the CMHA at 204-677-6051.
The search for a missing Thompsonite has come to an tragic end.
The remains of Nicholas Brophy were identified by Thompson RCMP late Friday afternoon after being found in an area outside the city.
The 19 year old was last seen September 8th, with extensive search efforts from both RCMP and the public conducted since then.
RCMP Major Crime Services will now be investigating this case as a homicide.
The Brophy family has asked that the public respect their privacy at this time.