Rural Roundup — April 27, 2023


Advertise with us


Read this article for free:


Already have an account? Log in here »

We need your support!
Local journalism needs your support!

As we navigate through unprecedented times, our journalists are working harder than ever to bring you the latest local updates to keep you safe and informed.

Now, more than ever, we need your support.

Starting at $14.99 plus taxes every four weeks you can access your Brandon Sun online and full access to all content as it appears on our website.

Subscribe Now

or call circulation directly at (204) 727-0527.

Your pledge helps to ensure we provide the news that matters most to your community!


Pastor Simeon Norton and the congregation of Virden Alliance Church welcomed the annual One Hope Canada Support Raising Tour on March 30, the fifth stop on its eight community itinerary.

The evening included a concert by the Fehr Family Band, a nine-member ensemble from near Stony Plain, Alta. Nine siblings, including Bethany, Samuel, Adam, Isaac, Julianna, Rebecca and Felicity, along with parents James and Heather, make up the band. On occasion, the group expands to 13 when the four youngest children join in on stage.

The City of Dauphin needs to purchase land to construct its drainage structures before starting its Main Street South reconstruction project. (Dauphin Herald)

Harold Giesbrecht, One Hope Canada’s Manitoba public relations co-ordinator, met the Fehrs at the Willow Creek Gospel Jamboree last summer in Granum, Alta., and invited them to take on this year’s fundraising tour.

“This is our first tour where we’re doing a different city or town every day,” James Fehr said. “We’ve done lots of stuff throughout the summer on weekends. This is the first time we’re on a bus travelling like this and it’s been a pretty fun experience for us.”

According to their website, the Fehrs are a family band whose style blends harmonies and acoustic instruments with a range of genres including old-fashioned hymns to bluegrass to Southern gospel.

In Virden, more than $4,600 was raised in support of One Hope Canada’s summer program of Bible camps for youth.

» Virden Empire-Advance


Unforeseen issues are threatening to delay the start of Dauphin’s Main Street South reconstruction project.

The city currently needs to purchase land to construct its drainage structures before the project gets started, Mayor David Bosiak said. There are still details the community must finalize, including a landowner agreement, he added. Recently, Bosiak discussed the matter with Doyle Piwniuk, Manitoba’s infrastructure and transportation minister, and Andrew Smith, the province’s municipal relations minister.

“We’re behind the 8-ball on a couple of issues related to that, but it sounded like the province was willing to discuss possibly helping,” Bosiak said.

The original plan called for a project extending over two construction seasons, with the bulk of the work taking place in the first year and the finishing touches being added early in the second.

Initially, the project was to be tendered this month so construction could begin this coming June, with contractors returning in June 2024 to finish paving, Bosiak said. That plan is currently still in place.

» Dauphin Herald

The Fehr Family Band is a nine-member ensemble from near Stony Plain, Alta. Nine siblings, including Bethany, Samuel, Adam, Isaac, Julianna, Rebecca and Felicity, along with parents James and Heather, played at the Virden Alliance Church on March 30. (Virden Empire-Advance)


Earlier this month, the volunteer Valley Life Recreation board held its community update and annual general meeting, where special guest Mark Timmons discussed his book, “Man on the Run.”

Timmons wrote the book about his trail running adventures. Growing up in Minnedosa and spending much of his life hiking and exploring the area, the retired teacher has dedicated a portion of the sales of each book to Valley Life Recreation.

Later on in the meeting, Dominique Hampton, board secretary for Valley Life, said around 60 per cent of the trails at Squirrel Hills Trail Park were completed last November. The work crew from D.I.G. Trail Design out of Rossland, B.C., will return this summer for completion of the rest of the trails.

Valley Life board chair Dave Ternier said that going forward, the group has $170,000 in funding applications currently pending. If successful, this would bring Valley Life’s fundraising total to $726,000.

“While we have been very focused on fundraising to meet our goals based on project estimates supplied to us by our landscape architect firm, VLR will now be moving forward [with] engaging local builders to determine what the actual building cost will be for the trailhead,” Ternier said.

The majority of the trail park, which includes the new trail system and the new trailhead, should cost between $700,000 and $750,000 to build, Ternier said, adding he hopes the trails will be finished by the end of this fall.

» Minnedosa Tribune


The Yellowhead Regional Employment Skills and Services centre is helping clients dress their best for job interviews, thanks to a new initiative started by Kelsey Chambers, who joined the centre as co-ordinator last December.

“Driving to work one day in January, I was thinking of ways to get more of our clients employed,” she said. “Several of our clients were getting the opportunity for an interview, however never seemed to move further than that.”

After realizing their resumes and cover letters were not the problem, Chambers focused on interview preparation. That’s when she realized that some clients were facing barriers finding business-appropriate clothing to wear for their job interviews. The “Dress to Impress” service was born to meet those needs.

Dave Ternier, board chair of Valley Life Recreation, says he hopes the new trails at Squirrel Hills Trail Park in Minnedosa will be complete by the end of this fall. (Miranda Leybourne/The Brandon Sun)

“Despite it not being what we would like to see, the fact remains that first impressions are key,” Chambers said.

Working alongside Alyssa McClean, office co-ordinator at the centre, the Dress to Impress service was recently rolled out. Now, McClean and Chambers are reaching out to several local businesses to inquire about the possibility of free haircuts and sewing or hemming volunteers.

“We are wanting this project to be more of a community effort,” Chambers said. “Getting as many people and service providers on board is a huge step.”

» Minnedosa Tribune


The Sandy Lake Lions Club and the Order of the Easter Star of Brandon have banded together to keep the Sandy Lake Congregate meal program’s shelves full of food.

Although Prairie Mountain Health suspended the program in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the service reopened in February. To be able to serve the community, volunteers needed to stock the shelves with staples like flour, sugar, oatmeal, spices, condiments, vinegar, baking powder, oil, coffee, tea and more.

The Sandy Lake Lions Club donated $1,000 and the Order of the Eastern Star donated $250. That, along with other donations, mean the program was able to get back on its feet after three years away, said the program’s board president, Doug Hayhurst.

“Prior to the pandemic, we averaged 34 clients per meal. Since restarting, we are averaging 25 clients per meal,” he said.

» Minnedosa Tribune


The Municipality of Harrison Park has received the SMS Equipment Ltd. Shield for having the most improved municipal road in their district. The Riverdale Municipality, in the same district, earned the Capital I Shield for having the best maintained system of rural municipal roads.

Doreen Stapleton (left) presents a donation cheque for $250 to Doug Hayhurst for the Sandy Lake Congregate meal program. (Minnedosa Tribune)

The awards are part of the Manitoba Good Roads Association’s recognition of hard work and dedication on the part of municipalities and property owners. Every year, the association sponsors competitions, asking municipalities to submit a nomination from their area that they feel meets the qualifications of roads, home grounds or beautification.

The Manitoba Good Roads Association was formed in 1909, and since then has advocated for improved commercial opportunities, road safety and for a share of gas tax revenue for road improvements.

» Minnedosa Tribune


After a beloved family quilt was stolen from her in November, Neepawa quilter Lane Englund has replaced it and presented it to her grandson.

It took two months for Englund to recreate the alphabet dinosaur design she had made for her grandson years before. When he lent it back to her to display at a local Tangled Threats Quilt Guild show, neither grandson nor grandmother expected it to be stolen.

Almost instantly, members of the community stepped up to help search for the quilt, which was very moving for Englund.

“I was absolutely amazed by the immediate support. Within just a few minutes after it went missing, the message was out there,” she said.

Englund also received responses from people across the country asking for updates and offering messages of support.

In the end, despite a thorough search effort by Englund, her family and Neepawa residents, the quilt still has not been recovered. Englund decided to focus on a new project, and over the course of two months and about 25 hours of stitching work, the replacement quilt was made.

Englund still hopes the original quilt will eventually be returned. However, the support she received from the community, she said, has added special meaning to the new quilt.

» Neepawa Banner and Press

Neepawa quilter Lane Englund, a member of the Tangled Threats Quilt Guild, stands next to a re-creation of the alphabet dinosaur block quilt she made for her grandson that was stolen last year. (Neepawa Banner and Press)


Neepawa’s town council has approved a rezoning request for 1.7 acres of land near Gill Drive from an industrial zone to a modular home zone.

The request came last fall, after council approved a modular housing development in November. During a public hearing, one local resident objected to the rezoning, questioning how modular homes — partially constructed at a factory and then shipped to a lot and pieced together — would fit into the nearby commercial area.

Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation did not have any immediate objection to the plan at the time, although it did ask for clarification on the potential impact to traffic and drainage in the area.

The developer looking to bring the modular homes in stated the impact to local traffic would be minimal, since the homes would consist of just 24 single-occupancy suites. The developer is also moving forward with a drainage study.

After reviewing the information, council decided to approve the rezoning, which is specific to the property where the modular homes will be shipped to and built.

Modular homes have been gaining in popularity in Canada as a more affordable option for homebuyers, such as first-time purchasers and retirees looking to downsize.

» Neepawa Banner and Press

Report Error Submit a Tip


Advertise With Us

Westman this Week