Category Archives: featured

Schneiders proud of Sundance Film Festival award-winning granddaughter

CRAIK—Until her granddaughter won an award at it, Steff Schneider says she’d never heard of the Sundance Film Festival.

Nor has Steff seen Indie Game: The Movie a feature film created by Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky. The pair won the best editing award in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Pajot is the daughter of Remi and Debra (Schneider) Pajot of Winnipeg and granddaughter of Ken and Steff Schneider of Craik.

Members of the Schneider clan and most Canadians will have a chance to watch the film, which for one night only, on May 3, is headed to theatres across Canada, including Cineplex movie theatres in Regina and Saskatoon.

Steff says she won’t be able to attend, but will soon catch a glimpse of the movie because Pajot has promised to send a DVD to Craik.

Indie Game: The Movie tells the story of four independent video game designers, who rather than work for major game developers, work independently to conceive, design and program video games with hopes they will become a success.

Pajot and Swirksy spent over a year gathering stories from indie game developers all over North America and did all the producing, directing, cinematography, editing and writing for the feature film.

Theirs was one of nearly 12,000 submissions to the Sundance Film Festival and one of 200 films selected for exhibition. More than 50,000 people attend screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. This year’s festival took place from Jan. 19 to 29.

To win an award at the Festival, which recognizes and celebrates the efforts of independent filmmakers around the world, is a pretty big deal.

“You better believe I’m proud of her,” Steff says.

She hasn’t been able to speak with Pajot, who’s busy making the rounds of film festivals and games conferences.

“She’s on tour now at 15 cities in the States,” Steff says.


Air Cadets hope to soar over Davidson

DAVIDSON—Wanted to buy: one strip of flat land in the Davidson area to serve as the headquarters of the Saskatchewan Air Cadets’ flying and gliding program.

An ad similar to this is in the Leader Classifieds this week, placed by Gord McRae on behalf of the Saskatchewan Air Cadet League.

The Air Cadet League is looking at relocating their gliding and flying centres, currently located at Moose Jaw and North Battleford, to south central Saskatchewan at Davidson.

“Davidson is the choice of the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Air Cadets because it is central,” said McRae, who is a director of the Saskatchewan Air Cadet League. The Air Cadets have satellite locations at Prince Albert and Yorkton that will remain in their current location.

McRae said he and Wayne Morrison have been trying for about 15 years to get the air cadets motivated to centralize the gliding and flying program so they can “put the air back into air cadets”.

McRae said under the current situation, members of Saskatchewan’s 36 air cadet squadrons, hoping to soar, instead spend four to six hours riding buses to either Moose Jaw or to North Battleford. On some occasions, once they arrive they find the weather isn’t suitable for gliding. The dejected air cadets then have a long bus ride back home.

“What’s happening in Moose Jaw is NATO is doing more (flight) training on weekends (at 15 Wing Moose Jaw), so we get less flying time,” McRae said.

If the gliding program moves to Davidson cadets will spend less time on the road.

“Out of 36 squadrons at least 25 of them would be under three hours driving time to Davidson,” McRae said.

The relocation proposal needs support from the pilots who are based in Moose Jaw, Regina and Saskatoon. It also needs some land.

They hope a landowner will agree to sell a strip of land 200 feet wide and 5,000 feet long. They also need room at the end of the runway for a hangar.

The land needs to be flat, have road access, and ideally, would be within 5 miles of Highway 11. The airstrip would be seeded to grass.

McRae said the Air Cadet League would purchase the land and build a hangar to house four gliders, two airplanes and a winch truck.

“We’ve got to start some place,” McRae said. “It has to happen with the intention we can relocate it and it will be our strip, our land.”

He said having the gliding centre at Davidson would be good for the community and its businesses.

Local breeders worry about future of horse racing industry

Local thoroughbred horse breeders Rose Backlund and Brett Doell hope to one day run their Saskatchewan-bred yearling colt Burnished Ruby at Marquis Downs in Saskatoon. The provincial government’s decision to cut $1.5 million in funding to the horse racing industry has them doubtful that Burnished Ruby will run in Saskatchewan.

DAVIDSON—The province’s decision to scratch $1.5 million in funding to the horse racing industry has local horse breeders looking for greener pastures.

As a result of budget cuts in the 2012 provincial budget, Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming recently announced funding to horse racing will end at the end of this racing season.

At $1.1 million Prairieland Park, which operates Marquis Downs in Saskatoon, received most of the $1.5 million gaming grant that was used by tracks in Saskatchewan to supplement purses, which keeps horses, their owners and trainers coming to the province.

In return, the government made back about $850,000 in taxes on wagers made by fans.

Although the grant is gone, the taxes will remain.

The announcement comes on the heels of a tough 2011 season for the Saskatchewan bred thoroughbred industry, says Rose Backlund, president of the Saskatchewan division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society.

In her annual report to members, she said breeders were already frustrated over low purses and lack of incentive programs for their restricted Sask. breds.

Purses in races restricted to Sask.-bred horses are much higher than open stakes races.

“In 2011, all the funding that we did receive from the government in the past was given directly to Prairieland to disperse at their will and ironically, our share was drastically reduced,” she said.

As a result, it reduced their program and they lost three of their races.

“Many breeders have either sold their mares, never got them covered or foaled them out of the province,” she said.

At Cherry Grove stables near Loreburn where Backlund and Brett Doell raise thoroughbred racehorses they are considering racing at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg for the 2013 season.

For full story, please see this week’s edition of The Davidson Leader.

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Taxing situation for Davidson golf club

DAVIDSON—Members of Davidson Country Club Golf Co-operative are at a loss over what to do about their property taxes.

Since about 2006 the golf club, which operates as a non-profit co-operative, has received an abatement of its property taxes from the R.M. of Willner.

But all this has changed.

The golf club’s volunteer board advised its members of the situation at their annual general meeting March 27.

“Whatever we can do we’re trying,” club president Cliff Cross said. “We thought we’d bring it to everyone’s attention.”

The golf club received a letter in September informing them that at a special meeting on Sept. 22, R.M. council decided to abate the golf course’s municipal property taxes of $8,006 for the 2011 year.

At the same meeting, the letter states, council decided to repeal Bylaw No. 01/2010 that abated the golf course’s municipal taxes until 2014. The bylaw was repealed under “Section 3 of Exhibit A ‘any other conditions that council may in future specify.’ Council remains open to considering future arrangements for inclusion in the 2012 budget preparation,” administrator Bonny Goodsman states in the letter.

In January, the golf club was advised by a letter that the R.M. of Willner, although it was not abating the 2012 taxes, would give them a $4,000 recreation grant instead. The R.M. is also giving Davidson Recreation Board a grant of $6,000.

This $4,000 grant in lieu of the tax abatement, if the 2012 property tax bill is similar to last year’s, means the golf club will be required to pay about $4,000 in municipal property taxes and $4,900 in school taxes in 2012.

“If we have to pay these taxes every year, we’re going to be broke in no time,” Cross said.

For the full story, please read see this week’s edition of The Davidson Leader.

Feds pinch penny out of existance

Sharon Riecken’s days of counting pennies behind the till at Stedmans V&S in Davidson will soon be numbered.

DAVIDSON—It may be a near worthless form of currency, for after all, what does a penny buy these days?

For Sharon Riecken, there’s always the chance a penny might buy her some good fortune.

“Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck,” Riecken says. “I always pick one up and keep it.”

Riecken’s days of turning pennies into luck are numbered.

In the budget tabled March 29, the federal government announced it is doing away with the penny. The move is expected to save the government $11 million per year. According to the government it costs 1.6 cents to make every 1-cent coin.

This fall, the Royal Canadian Mint will stop distributing pennies to financial institutions. Pennies may still be used in cash transactions to make exact payment or change after the fall of 2012.

Where pennies are not available, then cash transactions should be rounded up or down to the nearest five-cent increment.

Non-cash payments such as cheques and debit and credit cards will still be settled to the nearest cent.

Redwings win Sask Valley League title

KENASTON—The Kenaston Blizzards failed to cage the Rosetown Redwings in the fifth and final game of the Sask. Valley Hockey League championships March 31.

The Blizzards travelled to Rosetown where they were beaten by their hosts 7-1.

Lyndon Leard scored the Blizzards’ only goal of the contest with Scott McQueen and Aaron Phillips earning the assists.

The Redwings controlled the offence as evidenced by the fact that Blizzards goalie Kevin Hassett faced 51 shots. On the other side of the ice, Kenaston managed 31 shots on Redwings’ netminder Jeff Harvey.

This marks the end of an exceptional season for the Blizzards, who may take some solace in winning the Senior D Provincial championship.