Archive for Elbow

Jackpot event draws rodeo riders, fans to Elbow

Beth Manz is seen riding "Jet" in the barrel racing jackpot competition at Elbow on Oct. 1.

Beth Manz is seen riding “Jet” in the barrel racing jackpot competition at Elbow on Oct. 1.

By Joel van der Veen

ELBOW — With short notice and a late date, organizers of last weekend’s jackpot event in Elbow weren’t sure what to expect.

As it turned out, they had so many entries they had to move the start time back, plus a large crowd of spectators and a sunny day to boot (eventually).

“I was overwhelmed,” said Kelly Holbrook last week. “It was just fantastic.”

More than 100 contestants came to Elbow for the barrel racing and team roping jackpot event on Oct. 1, organized by the Lakeshore Stampede Rodeo Committee.

In addition to the rodeo events, a beer gardens and concession stand were operated at the site.

Organizers said they expected to clear roughly $4,000 from the event, with proceeds being used to organize a KCRA rodeo in Elbow in July 2017.

For the first time in more than 20 years, the village did not host a full-fledged rodeo this year, due largely to a lack of volunteers.

Holbrook said the turnout proved that the rodeo was missed. Plans are already moving ahead for next year’s event, which will be affiliated with the Kakeyow Cowboys Rodeo Association (KCRA).

In doing so, Holbrook said, they hope to have a more “family-focused” event that can include competitors at all ages and skill levels.

The KCRA schedule is organized so each local rodeo takes place over two days without overlapping, thereby allowing a high level of participation in each one.

“It’s a way different environment,” she said, adding that the KCRA has been steadily growing in recent years. “We cover the whole province for membership now.”

For the full story, see the Oct. 10 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Electronics firm celebrates 20 years in Elbow

Long-time employee Debbie Aadland cuts the cake at an anniversary party for Commutron Industries, Ltd., at the company’s office in Elbow on Sept. 2.

Long-time employee Debbie Aadland cuts the cake at an anniversary party for Commutron Industries, Ltd., at the company’s office in Elbow on Sept. 2.

By Joel van der Veen

ELBOW — Seeing the red maple leaf stamped on a product still means something important to a lot of people.

Few know this better than the staff of Commutron Industries, Ltd., an Elbow-based company that celebrated its 20th anniversary earlier this month.

“There’s still a hunger for investors and manufacturers to build a product that’s Canadian made,” said general manager Robert Leonardo on Wednesday.

The firm has a current staff of 18 full-time employees, assembling printed circuit boards (PCBs) and other electronic components at its facility in the village.

Commutron’s products are used in a wide range of industrial settings, including diagnostics and safety equipment, and in the agriculture, mining and transportation fields.

Customers and the general public were invited to an open house and barbecue on Sept. 2, which drew upwards of 120 people.

Leonardo said it was a great opportunity to celebrate the company’s success and reflect on the progress made over the last two decades.

The company was previously located in Saskatoon, where it operated under the name Bantron.

The move to Elbow came through a program then operated by the provincial government, offering grants to viable businesses willing to relocate outside of cities as a way of stimulating the rural economy.

For the full story, please see the Sept. 12 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Straker plays to packed house at Elbow’s Civic Centre

Singer-songwriter Jeffery Straker performs during a concert at the Elbow Civic Centre on Sept. 3.

Singer-songwriter Jeffery Straker performs during a concert at the Elbow Civic Centre on Sept. 3.

By Joel van der Veen

ELBOW — Jeffery Straker warned patrons at his concert last weekend not to mess with the lady running the merch table.

Dawn McTavish, his former piano teacher, was lending a hand by selling CDs, T-shirts and other items at the back of the Civic Centre auditorium.

“When I didn’t practise, she cuffed me upside the head,” he joked, “so just keep that in mind.”

Straker, a singer-songwriter and pianist originally from Punnichy, entertained a crowd of more than 100 in Elbow on Sept. 3.

The auditorium was filled nearly to capacity for the evening show, a fundraiser for the village’s community park.

Straker had played in Elbow previously as an opening act at another show, and was welcomed back warmly, with at least one audience member wearing red canvas shoes in imitation of his trademark footwear.

McTavish was Straker’s piano teacher for six years, offering lessons from her farmhouse near Raymore.

She has since retired to Elbow, where she plays piano for the Line 19 Choir. (Their repertoire includes an arrangement of one of Straker’s songs, “Prairie Tune.”)

McTavish described him as a “dream student,” adding, “I shipped him off to Regina when he got too good for me.”

For the full story, please see the Sept. 12 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Pastures seek plan to curb spurge growth

Pasture manager Ross Sigfusson speaks to guests during a tour of the Willner-Elbow community pastures on June 6.

Pasture manager Ross Sigfusson speaks to guests during a tour of the Willner-Elbow community pastures on June 6.

By Joel van der Veen

ELBOW — There’s no magic bullet, and if they’re going to stop this problem from spreading further, they’ve got to step up their attack.

If the language used by directors of the Willner-Elbow community pastures last week seems aggressive, there’s a good reason for it.

Leafy spurge was the focus of a public tour of the pastures, held the afternoon of June 6.

Despite efforts to control the invasive spurge, the noxious weed has continually spread, now covering an estimated 12,000 acres of pasture land on the east side of Lake Diefenbaker.

“It’s an ongoing battle,” said pasture manager Ross Sigfusson, who led the tour on Monday.

The event was hosted by the Willner Elbow Grazing Corporation (WEG) and the South Saskatchewan River Agri Environmental Group Plan.

Around 40 people were in attendance for all or part of the event, riding quads across the pasture and stopping periodically at points of interest.

The group included pasture patrons, area ranchers, representatives from other pastures and farm organizations, government employees and officials, and members of the media.

The tour was intended to increase awareness of the spurge and its ongoing spread, and to get various parties committed to a co-ordinated approach to bringing the weed under control.

Guests also got an up-close look at a current measure being used to combat the spurge: intensive grazing by a herd of 1,600 sheep and goats.

For the full story, please see the June 13 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

New vehicle on display at fire BBQ

Around 100 people attended a barbecue hosted by the Loreburn Volunteer Fire Department on April 20.

Around 100 people attended a barbecue hosted by the Loreburn Volunteer Fire Department on April 20.

By Joel van der Veen

LOREBURN — The latest addition to the Loreburn Volunteer Fire Department was front and centre at a recent fundraising event.

The department recently purchased and outfitted a quick response vehicle, at a cost of $37,000, with support from Enbridge and the Rural Municipality of Loreburn.

The vehicle was on display at a toonie barbecue held April 20 at the fire hall, where over 100 people from Loreburn and district stopped by to check it out and enjoy a quick bite.

Procuring the vehicle was an ongoing project, led by fire chief Steve South, village councillors Grant Abbott, Victor Dutkiewicz and Randy Urlacher, RM employees Dwayne Stamnes and Matt Hauberg, and local resident Ryan Tastad.

The area around Lake Diefenbaker was identified as an “extreme risk” zone by the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System (CWFIS) in its April 20 report.

The report also indicated extreme risk across much of southwestern Saskatchewan, while other areas across the province ranged from moderate to high risk.

The CWFIS report is updated on a daily basis with the risk level for each area fluctuating from day to day.

Both local fire chiefs indicated that their departments both have steady, dependable crews of volunteer firefighters who are accustomed to responding to wildfires.

Loreburn fire chief Steve South said his department already responded to one grass fire in late March, sparked by a burning barrel, and put it out in around an hour and a half.

“It didn’t get too bad or anything like that,” he said, adding that prior to that, it had been six months since the department was last called out. “It’s pretty quiet here, compared to some places, I suppose.”

South, who began serving as a volunteer around 2000, said the department tends to be busier in the summer and fall, noting that the recent dry weather will likely play a factor.

On average, he said, they handle a couple of wildfires each year. The department has around 25 volunteers, said South, adding, “We usually have a pretty good turnout.”

For the full story, please see the May 2 edition of The Davidson Leader.

Loreburn students take charge in hosting Leadership Day

Classmates Brennan Kakakaway and Hayoung Ryu check out Morgan Tastad's miniature hockey rink at Loreburn Central School. Students in Shauna George's Grade 3/4 class displayed their individual Genius Hour projects to visitors during the school's Leadership Day on Wednesday morning.

Classmates Brennan Kakakaway and Hayoung Ryu check out Morgan Tastad’s miniature hockey rink at Loreburn Central School. Students in Shauna George’s Grade 3/4 class displayed their individual Genius Hour projects to visitors during the school’s Leadership Day on Wednesday morning.

By Joel van der Veen

LOREBURN — In four years, the Seven Habits have firmly taken hold at Loreburn Central School — and now, according to one mother, they’re showing up at home.

Darla Wonnick told the story Wednesday of a recent conversation she had with her daughter Annika while trying to solve a problem.

“Well, Mom, are you thinking win-win?” Annika asked her mother.

“Well, Annika, not now,” she replied.

Wonnick, a mother of two and a member of the Loreburn School Community Council, went on to describe the positive impact the Seven Habits have had on the school.

“We walk down the hallways of our school, and we see a huge difference,” she said. “There is excellence happening everywhere, and we are able to recognize it and talk about it.”

She spoke on Wednesday to Loreburn staff and students, as well as roughly 70 guests, gathered in the gymnasium for Leadership Day.

The event, now in its third year, serves as a demonstration of how the “Leader in Me” program has shaped the way Loreburn students work, play and interact together.

The program, developed by FranklinCovey Education, has been implemented at 2,000 schools across the globe. Loreburn began incorporating the program, including the Seven Habits, into its curriculum four years ago.

According to the publisher, The Leader in Me is “a whole-school transformation model, developed in partnership with educators, that empowers students with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.”

The program aims to transform schools in three primary areas: teaching leadership directly to students and integrating it into their lessons; empowering staff and students to have a voice in their schools; and making students active agents in their learning.

Each year, Loreburn invites guests — including community members, teachers, parents and students from other schools — to witness the effects of the program.

“We are always working on improving ourselves to become the people want to be,” said principal Jill Long, adding that the Seven Habits have “provided us with a community language that has become part of our school culture.”

While students can easily repeat the habits from memory, Long said she has also seen tangible changes in their behaviour and attitudes.

“Kids are holding themselves accountable more,” she said. “They feel that they have a voice in what happens at the school.”

The students were front and centre on Wednesday, from greeting guests with handshakes at the door to answering their questions as they ate lunch.

Long said the students did the majority of the planning for the event, which was designed with an Olympics theme, including medallion-shaped nametags.

For the full story, please see the April 25 edition of The Davidson Leader.