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Images from around the world chosen by the photo desk at the Brandon Sun.

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  • March 13, 2014

    ZZ Top rocks the Keystone

    Brandon’s classic rock review continued Wednesday, March 12, this time with MTV-generation mainstays, ZZ Top. For a band that held the spotlight throughout the ’70s and ’80s, this trio still knows how to rock and really roll out a show.

  • Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons flank the stage with Frank Beard on drums during Wednesday night's concert at Westman Place on March 12, 2014.

    Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons flank the stage with Frank Beard on drums during Wednesday night's concert at Westman Place on March 12, 2014.

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  • February 26, 2014

    EXPOSURE: Festival of the Dance

    When you've covered the same event every year for the past six years now, it can be a soul sucking challenge to approach it with a fresh set of eyes. This year for the dance portion of the Festival of the Arts I tried to create a few images that were different from my usual take. I played with multiple exposures, slow shutter speeds and different lenses to create a few more artistic images alongside my regular photos. All of the effects were created in camera using a Canon 5D Mark III.

  • In this double exposure photograph dancer Delaney Nykorak is framed within her own pupil as she performs in the Variety Solo, Own Choice, 16 Years and Under category during the dance portion of the Festival of the Arts.

    In this double exposure photograph dancer Delaney Nykorak is framed within her own pupil as she performs in the Variety Solo, Own Choice, 16 Years and Under category during the dance portion of the Festival of the Arts.

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  • February 1, 2014

    EXPOSURE: The Play's The Thing

    The recent stage production of "Les Misérables" wowed Brandon crowds with an ambitious show of music and dance. The play marked the first time Brandon's two main theatre troupes -- Mecca and Seven Ages -- joined together for a project. The Brandon Sun explored the work it took behind the scenes, before the curtain rose, to make the show work.

  • Colleen Granger paints one of the three backdrops used in the production of

    Colleen Granger paints one of the three backdrops used in the production of "Les Miserables". Granger was one of dozens of volunteers from two local theatre troupes to come together for the ambitious musical. (Colin Corneau/Brandon Sun)

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  • January 7, 2014

    EXPOSURE: Tim Smith's Photos of the Year

    This time of year always comes way too quickly. In the photojournalism world, part of December or January is typically spent looking over one’s work, picking favourites and editing images for the annual photojournalism competitions. It’s a time to reflect on a year’s worth of work and think to myself “I thought I had better pictures.” On Jan. 1, I’ll start again, full of hope that the new year will yield better results than the prior. Some quick stats. As it stands (with a few weeks to go before 2014) I have filed approximately 3,160 images for the Brandon Sun. Most of them have run in the paper or online. Some readers may be surprised at my favourite images each year. I am drawn to life’s simple moments as well as stories and narratives that I have the privilege of documenting as they play out. My favourite images typically don’t come from big sporting or news events. They don’t come from events attended by Brandon’s elite, of which I cover many. You also won’t find an image from a car crash or a fire in this edit although I did include a few images from this past summer’s big storms. My photographic passion lies in less-seen glimpses of daily life and intimate stories that can only be told by simply spending time with subjects. Along with each photo I have written a bit about how my work process or what I feel makes the image special. Hopefully it provides a bit of insight into how I document life in Westman.

  • JANUARY 4, 2013 - Silhouetted sledders are framed by the colourful Christmas lights on display at Hanbury Hill as the sun sets on the western horizon Friday evening. I like finding different ways of looking at everyday events. In this case my photo matched exactly with the idea in my head. It is a rare and great feeling when that occurs.

    JANUARY 4, 2013 - Silhouetted sledders are framed by the colourful Christmas lights on display at Hanbury Hill as the sun sets on the western horizon Friday evening. I like finding different ways of looking at everyday events. In this case my photo matched exactly with the idea in my head. It is a rare and great feeling when that occurs.

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  • December 10, 2013

    Pacific Avenue Fire

    On the morning of December 9, 2013, a building housing three businesses was destroyed in a fire. Firefighters worked through temperatures hovering around -30 C to battle the blaze and were able to keep it from spreading to other nearby buildings. They also protected at Manitoba Hydro pole, which if damaged would have knocked out power in the inner city. The building, which housed Prairie Electric, Rylam Developments and Westman Golf Service, was a total loss. Water from the hoses immediately froze to whatever it touched including the firefighters themselves. Brandon Sun photographer Tim Smith spent the morning documenting the firefighters efforts to douse the fire.

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  • October 4, 2013

    EXPOSURE: Religious celebration on the riverbank

    Last Saturday members of Brandon’s Ethiopian Orthodox religious community gathered at Dinsdale Park to celebrate Meskel, an important religious holiday within their church. Meskel means “cross” in the language Ge’ez, which originated in parts of Ethiopia and Eritrea and is the language used in the Ethiopian Orthodox church services. The holiday marks the church’s belief that the cross upon which Jesus was crucified was discovered in the fourth century. An important part of the celebration includes the burning of a large bonfire. Prior to the service, church members built up the bonfire and decorated it with colourful fall foliage from bushes lining the Assiniboine River. As the sun slowly made its way towards the western horizon, a large congregation took part in the service. Towards the end of the service, the bonfire was lit. Spectacular orange flames leapt several metres into the sky as the choir led members in song and dance. For Brandon, the celebration represents one of many events taking place that are redefining the Wheat City as we become more culturally diverse. It was a beautiful display that added some colour and variety to our prairie landscape.

  • Betty Yigzaw sports earrings in the shape of the country of Ethiopia. The colours on the earrings are those from the Ethiopian flag.

    Betty Yigzaw sports earrings in the shape of the country of Ethiopia. The colours on the earrings are those from the Ethiopian flag.

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  • February 14, 2014

    EXPOSURE: Tatyanna's Hope - Part Three

    The past few months have been marked by new milestones for the Zazalak family. Some good. Some bad. On the good side, Tatyanna celebrated her 10th birthday on Feb. 28 surrounded by friends and family. On the bad side she had to be intubated for the first time and spent almost all of January hospitalized in Winnipeg. After a brief hospital stay for pneumonia in October 2012, Tatyanna went on a good run where her health improved to the best it’s been in a year and she stayed healthy right through Christmas. On Dec. 28 the Zazalaks decided to go shopping in the evening since Tatyanna was doing so well. While at the mall things started to go south. Tatyanna’s parents could tell something was off so they packed up the van to leave. Within minutes of getting into the van Tatyanna was in the middle of a status epilepticus seizure — a consistent seizure lasting more than five minutes — and wasn’t breathing. Her parents rushed her to the Brandon Regional Hospital and when doctors there couldn’t get the seizure under control she was intubated and transported to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg via Lifeflight air ambulance. After a couple days at the Children’s Hospital she was transported back to Brandon on Jan. 31 to spend New Years Eve at the Brandon hospital and was released on Jan. 1. She was home for six days. On Jan. 6 Tatyanna again suffered a status seizure and was again intubated and transported back to Winnipeg via Lifeflight. This time both she and Janelle stayed in hospital in Winnipeg for more than three weeks until Jan. 31. During her stay, doctors worked initially to control her seizures and then her myoclonis, which refers to the random twitching of muscles that occurs in some brain disorders. Tatyanna’s medications were aggressively increased during her stay as doctors worked via trial and error to find the right combination of drugs to best treat her. During the 26 days Tatyanna spent in hospital, Janelle didn’t leave the hospital once. She barely left Tatyanna’s side except to occasionally rush down to the cafeteria for a coffee. Trent made several trips to Winnipeg to visit his daughter and to bring Janelle fresh clothes, food and other items. Tatyanna’s siblings weren’t allowed to visit her in hospital due to visitor restrictions. Janelle’s sister, who lives in Winnipeg would drop off supper for Janelle in the evenings. On Jan. 31, Tatyanna was transported back to Brandon hospital and she was again released a day later. Since her latest release from hospital Tatyanna has had good days and bad but nothing requiring hospitalization save for one night for observation in Brandon. “We have the resources to manage her better at home now,” says Janelle, referring to oxygen and a higher medication regiment. But what they don’t have at home now is outside help. In the fall Trent and Janelle began the paperwork to change Tatyanna’s designation from URIS B to URIS A at the request of the Brandon School Division. The change means that Tatyanna would be supported at school by a trained medical professional rather than an educational assistant. What should have been a simple and relatively quick change has been stuck in months of bureaucratic limbo, which has meant Tatyanna has been without the support to be able to attend school during her good spells and her family is without support at home as well, while everything is worked out. Because of this Trent and Janelle can’t take a break to go to a movie or out to dinner or even to do things like shop for groceries together. Aside from the trips to the hospital Janelle has left her home only once since Dec. 28 for a meeting with the Brandon School Division and a hair cut. But somehow Trent and Janelle still manage smiles and jokes as they deal with the new realities of the disease that is slowly taking their daughter from them. And on Feb. 28 family and friends got together at the Zazalaks’ home to celebrate a very important occasion — Tatyanna’s 10th birthday, something her parents were unsure she would see during her hospitalization in January. But Tatyanna continues to rally and continues to surprise so her family continues to fight for her and enjoy all the small things.

  • Tatyanna Zazalak celebrated her tenth birthday on February 28, an important milestone and a great reason to celebrate.

    Tatyanna Zazalak celebrated her tenth birthday on February 28, an important milestone and a great reason to celebrate.

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  • February 14, 2014

    EXPOSURE: Tatyanna's Hope - Part 1

    Tatyanna Zazalak is nine-years-old and is living with Batten disease, a fatal autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder. But if there is one thing that her parents Trent and Janelle have sought to give her above all else, it is a sense of normalcy. This is part one of their story. ***Part one also ran in the Oct. 13, 2012 print edition of the Brandon Sun***

  • A nursing resident checks Tatyanna's breathing during a stay at the Brandon Regional Health Centre in May due to respiratory issues.

    A nursing resident checks Tatyanna's breathing during a stay at the Brandon Regional Health Centre in May due to respiratory issues.

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  • July 5, 2013

    EXPOSURE: Finding Answers

    Sioux Valley sweat lodge elder Harold Blacksmith has been leading sweats since 1986, helping to keep sacred Dakota songs and traditions alive. The sweats “help guide us to find answers… to find that cultural identity,” he says. In May, Blacksmith partnered with the the Native Alcohol and Drug Addiction Program (NADAP), Mental Health Services and Community and Youth Correctional Services to put on bi-weekly Thursday evening sweats at Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. Young men from the community who are struggling with identity, drug addiction and other issues are encouraged to attend to learn more about their cultural and spiritual history. The sweat lodge also offers them a purpose as they are expected to help in the preparation for the sweat. Travis Mazawasicuna, an addictions councillor and support services worker with NADAP, sees value in using traditional approaches to help his clients on the reserve. “Usually if someone has an addiction, it’s related to mental health,” Mazawasicuna says emotional issues such as grieving, loss and childhood issues play a big part in the clients he sees. The Thursday evening sweats give them another option towards their healing. It is open to men of all ages that are seeking identity, spiritual belief and a different way to learn and to cope. Any of the men at Sioux Valley are welcome to come out to the sweats. Mark Blacksmith, 24, first attended a sweat lodge at age 16. He’s been participating in the Thursday evening sweats since they began in May. “I come for peace of mind,” he says. “It makes you feel good. It makes you feel better anyway. I find it peaceful.” The program has funding for six months and Mazawasicuna is hopeful that it is successful enough that they can apply for more funding in the fall. Recently, I was invited out to Sioux Valley to document and take part in a Thursday evening sweat lodge ceremony. As is the case with many spiritually, culturally or religiously sacred events, I knew that I would not be able to photograph the actual ceremony in the sweat lodge. But I was still eager to go, apparently the first of a variety of invited media to accept the invitation. I photographed the lead-up to and the events after the sweat and put my cameras down and stripped down to shorts and a towel to join the other participants in the lodge for the sweat. In truth, my cameras would have been useless during the ceremony anyway. Once the door to the lodge was closed, it was pitch black under the canvas aside from the faint red glow of the heated stones. After the door was closed, lodge elder Harold Blacksmith used a hollowed out bison horn to pour water onto the heated grandfather stones to create steam. Thus began the sweat. Each “door” — the term for the time when the door was closed for the sweat — lasted between five and 10 minutes and there were four doors for a total of about half-an-hour spent inside. During each door, Blacksmith would alternate between prayer and song in Dakota and others would join in as well. A drum and an eagle whistle accompanied the songs. The experience was incredible and a bit disorienting at first as the sounds enveloped the senses and the darkness took away my sense of bearing or place within the lodge. When the door was opened, the steam would dissipate and a breeze would provide a touch of relief from the extreme heat. During the breaks, Blacksmith would give direction on the meditation for the next door and other participants would speak of their experiences in the sweat. I sweated more than I have probably ever sweated in my life, but it felt good. I’ve been fortunate in my career to have taken part in a variety of cultural and religious events, and even if the beliefs I am documenting are completely different from my own, I am always eager to learn from them. After the sweat, I was invited into a nearby teepee for a feast as is tradition. We talked about the sweat and a few other things and then we smoked a pipe and the event was over. I look forward to further documenting the sweat and taking part again the future. Many at Sioux Valley get frustrated by the many negative stories from the community that appear in the media. They want outsiders to know that there are positive stories, too. And I know that this is true because I have visited Sioux Valley on several occasions and I have photographed the little celebrations of daily life that take place in the community. Sioux Valley does have some serious problems but there are also great stories coming out of the community. This is one of them.

  • The sweat lodge is seen inside a wind break at Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. The frame is made from choke cherry branches and it is covered in canvas. Participants sit in a circle around a dug-out depression where the heated stones sit.

    The sweat lodge is seen inside a wind break at Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. The frame is made from choke cherry branches and it is covered in canvas. Participants sit in a circle around a dug-out depression where the heated stones sit.

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  • January 3, 2013

    Bruce Bumstead's Photos of the Year

    The year is coming to an end which brings us to a point to reflect on the past twelve months and the images that were made. Having been with the Sun for more than a decade and a half, I can count myself lucky to to be in the company of great colleagues who have been supportive, both personally and professionally. An idea was passed around this year to offer a few words about the images that ranked top in our picks for the “Best of 2012”, and to share that with you, our readers. Because photography is so subjective, what one person likes will differ greatly from the next. So I thought I would share some methods behind what I look for in an image. Advice that I received, as a much younger photographer, boils down good images to three main areas — good angle, good light and good content. If you can incorporate any of these into your images, you have the making of a good picture. Combine all three and now it becomes a great image. This was the advice given to me by Peter Bregg, then chief photographer for Maclean’s Magazine and student advisor at Loyalist College’s photojournalism program. I often repeat this advice went asked “what makes a picture good?” Anyway, I digress. My selections this year have been chosen from different categories. People, patterns, colour, and, because I enjoy nature and the outdoors, for the birds. Within these themes, I have chosen images that try to incorporate the three key ingredients that help create images with impact. From up close and personal to something a little slower, different techniques and timing can create new effects that enhance the content of an image, like the case of the Musical Ride. In most cases, it means being in the right place at the right time to capture an eclipsed sun silhouetting a bird sitting on an old threshing machine. I hope that you enjoy taking a second look at my images that have appeared on the Brandon Sun and I leave you with a personal image, taken at Kakabeka Falls outside of Thunder Bay. I first visited this natural wonder when I was just a young boy, stopping for a night on my visit trip to Manitoba from southern Ontario. Summer holidays seem so hectic and too many times I would take the Highway 102 by-pass missing Kakabeka Falls. While traveling back west with my sister, who was planning a reunion with a dear friend in Kenora, she convinced me to stop at the old childhood memory. Need I say more? Maybe not my best, but certainly my favourite image created in 2012.

  • Students from a local Kung Fu club give a quick demonstration for students from King George School during the school's cultural fair.

    Students from a local Kung Fu club give a quick demonstration for students from King George School during the school's cultural fair.

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  • January 3, 2013

    Colin Corneau's Photos of the Year

    The end of the year is always a good opportunity to not only look forward, but back too. Few things help me realize what a year actually is than remembering photos I took three, or six, or 12 months ago. It can seem both a long, long time and over in a flash all at the same time. All of my colleagues here at the Sun are using this opportunity to showcase images that caught our eye or heart, and give a chance to pictures that might not have had one to be printed yet. That’s exactly what I hope to use my chance for. These images stayed with me throughout 2012, and said something about what I thought was important or worth taking a few moments for. I hope they can say the same things to you and what’s important in the community we share.

  • A young Buddhist monk bows in front of a temple in a Tibetan refugee camp near Pokhara, Nepal. The boy had asked to visit his parents and the abbot of the monastery granted him permission, provided he bow 800 times first. When I asked how far he’d gotten as I took this picture, a fellow monk replied, “About halfway, now.”

    A young Buddhist monk bows in front of a temple in a Tibetan refugee camp near Pokhara, Nepal. The boy had asked to visit his parents and the abbot of the monastery granted him permission, provided he bow 800 times first. When I asked how far he’d gotten as I took this picture, a fellow monk replied, “About halfway, now.”

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  • December 1, 2012

    EXPOSURE: Seasons in Solitude

    Clare Haralson has lived alone on a farm south of Erickson for 26 years. Brandon Sun Photographer Tim Smith has spent the past six month's documenting his daily life.

  • Clare cinches his jacket to keep out the cold as he begins his walk north to Erickson on Highway 10 on a cool day in May. The bible scripture was painted on his barn more than twenty years ago and is a common sight for travellers on Highway 10.

    Clare cinches his jacket to keep out the cold as he begins his walk north to Erickson on Highway 10 on a cool day in May. The bible scripture was painted on his barn more than twenty years ago and is a common sight for travellers on Highway 10.

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  • October 5, 2012

    All's Fair

    Each summer, home-grown festivals sprout up all across rural Manitoba. From seeds planted decades — even more than a century — ago, these events are nourished by the people who volunteer their time and effort. By looking carefully, you can learn a little about each town and what matters to the people who call it home.

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  • May 7, 2012

    Brandon Wheat Kings Final Playoff Home Games of 2012

    The Brandon Wheat Kings returned home to Brandon for games three and four in their playoff series against the Edmonton Oil Kings. They were no match for the season-leading Oil Kings who won both games to sweep the series 4-0.

  • Brandon Wheat Kings players look up at the clock in the dying seconds of the Wheaties 6-0 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings in game four of their WHL playoff series at Westman Place.

    Brandon Wheat Kings players look up at the clock in the dying seconds of the Wheaties 6-0 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings in game four of their WHL playoff series at Westman Place.

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  • May 7, 2012

    2011 Flood Fight in Brandon

    Images from the front lines of the 2011 flood fight in Brandon, Manitoba.

  • 07052011
Young women from Deerboine Hutterite Colony laugh as they help build a sandbag dike around a home on the south side of Grand Valley Road in the RM of Whitehead on Saturday. Dozens of volunteers came and went throughout the day to help protect the homes from the rising Assiniboine River. (Tim Smith/Brandon Sun)

    07052011 Young women from Deerboine Hutterite Colony laugh as they help build a sandbag dike around a home on the south side of Grand Valley Road in the RM of Whitehead on Saturday. Dozens of volunteers came and went throughout the day to help protect the homes from the rising Assiniboine River. (Tim Smith/Brandon Sun)

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  • May 7, 2012

    A weekend of flooding

    Brandon Sun publisher Ewan Pow took in some of the flood fight over the weekend.

  • No need to book a tee-time at Brandon's Wheat City Golf Course in the near future. The rising Assiniboine River, which has yet to crest,  has breached the dike protecting the course along the first hole.

    No need to book a tee-time at Brandon's Wheat City Golf Course in the near future. The rising Assiniboine River, which has yet to crest, has breached the dike protecting the course along the first hole.

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  • May 7, 2012

    Flooding from the air

    Brandon Sun photographer Bruce Bumstead took to the air on Thursday, April 21, to document the extent of the flooding, as Westman braces for their rivers' crests.

  • The Assiniboine River spreads out across the valley floor near Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, on Apr. 21, 2011.

    The Assiniboine River spreads out across the valley floor near Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, on Apr. 21, 2011.

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  • May 7, 2012

    IN PICTURES: The Flood of 1995

    The flood of 1995 was worse than 1979, but didn't come up to the levels of 1976. As well, reinforced dikes in Brandon helped mitigate the damages. However, sandbags were needed to keep the river at bay, and people in some other communities were forced to evacuate.

  • Brandon City golf course, as seen from the first tee during flooding in April 1995. High water in the Assiniboine hadn't yet flooded over the course, and greenskeeper Lloyd Erickson said that if the water remained at its current level and run-off water is pumped out, the course may be open by April 15, that year.

    Brandon City golf course, as seen from the first tee during flooding in April 1995. High water in the Assiniboine hadn't yet flooded over the course, and greenskeeper Lloyd Erickson said that if the water remained at its current level and run-off water is pumped out, the course may be open by April 15, that year.

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  • May 7, 2012

    IN PICTURES: The Flood of 2011

    Dikes were built up by two full feet in preparation for this flood, which was feared could be three feet higher than the record-setting 1976 flood.

  • In early March, Melita Mayor Bob Walker stands on a dike raised by the province in 2009 at a cost of $500,000, with the Souris River in the background. He expects his town to be safe but said he's never seen the river this high at this time of year.

    In early March, Melita Mayor Bob Walker stands on a dike raised by the province in 2009 at a cost of $500,000, with the Souris River in the background. He expects his town to be safe but said he's never seen the river this high at this time of year.

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  • May 7, 2012

    IN PICTURES: The Flood of 1922

    Few photos exist of the Assiniboine River flood of 1922, but those that do show a familiar sight: water, lots of water. The flood spills up over the river's banks, spreading down streets and surrounding homes. If you've got more historical photos from this flood, we'd love to see them. Email website@brandonsun.com. Flickr user RodKenny has posted three pictures of Brandon flooding from his father's collection, dated 1921: click here, here and here.

  • This May 1922 photo shows the original west approach ramp to the Eighth Street Bridge (out of frame, to the right) as well as the Assiniboine River in flood.

    This May 1922 photo shows the original west approach ramp to the Eighth Street Bridge (out of frame, to the right) as well as the Assiniboine River in flood.

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  • May 7, 2012

    IN PICTURES: The Flood of 1954

    Historical data for the flood of 1954 are difficult to come by, but these pictures tell a story of high water levels extending along ditches and roadways. Have more? We'd love to see them. Email website@brandonsun.com.

  • Floodwaters were precisely waist-high in this Brandon yard during the flood of 1954.

    Floodwaters were precisely waist-high in this Brandon yard during the flood of 1954.

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  • May 7, 2012

    IN PICTURES: The Flood of 1976

    In 1976, the Assiniboine River in Brandon rose to its highest-ever recorded level -- reaching a measurement of 1,179.5 feet. In mid-April of that year, the river reached a peak flow rate of more than 600 cubic metres of water every second. Here are some photos from that year, with original captions, where possible..

  • This aerial photograph, taken just west of the Trans-Canada Highway and looking east toward Brandon, shows the extent of flooding along Grand Valley.

    This aerial photograph, taken just west of the Trans-Canada Highway and looking east toward Brandon, shows the extent of flooding along Grand Valley.