Rural Roundup — May 18, 2023


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The Reklaws, made up of brother and sister duo Jenna and Stuart Walker, are looking forward to headlining Canada Day celebrations in Killarney this summer.

“We definitely bring a bit of a party wherever we go,” Jenna Walker said, adding the group is honoured to play at the event. “I think Canada Day in general has always been a good memory for us growing up. It’s always a party, it’s always a celebration.”

The Reklaws, made up of brother and sister duo Jenna and Stuart Walker, are looking forward to headlining Canada Day celebrations in Killarney this summer. (File)

Recently, the Reklaws played at Country Thunder, a music festival in Arizona — their first U.S. festival gig. Later in April, they recorded new music in Los Angeles, Calif. before heading back to Nashville, Tenn.

“We’re trying to get some new music together. We have a lot of songs that we want to finish and get out there, because we just love new music and releasing it,” Walker said.

Fans can look forward to more new music in the upcoming months.

The Reklaws hold five Juno nominations, six Canadian Country Music Awards, three No. 1 hits at Canadian radio, 11 gold singles and seven platinum singles, as well as a gold-certified debut album. Their music has more than 250 million global streams, six of the top 20 streamed singles by a Canadian country artist since 2019 — more than any other artist — and the most domestically streamed debut album in Canadian country music history.

Up-and-coming country star Justin Labrash will open for the Reklaws on Canada Day. Popular Treherne band Hicktown and local Killarney groups Tangle Box and the Sentinels will also play at the Canada Day concert, which is being organized by the Killarney community events committee and sponsored by the Killarney Kinsmen and the Killarney Ag Society.

Last year’s event attracted close to 3,000 concertgoers, and the committee is hoping for even more this time around.

Tickets for the Killarney Canada Day Concert are $50 for adults and $20 for children aged six to 12 years old, and are available for purchase at, the Shamrock Centre and Lewis and Jones in Killarney.

» The Guide


The Cypress River Meat Shop is reopening after being closed for a year.

Brad Anderson, who owned the business that was previously known as Spring Creek farm, has sold 80 per cent of his shares to a pair of investors from Neepawa.

“They are going to be the meat cutters. I will help them on the business end of things,” Anderson said.

The transition process to the business’s new name and management has taken about five months to complete, Anderson said.

The meat shop is located along the main street in Cypress River’s business district, at 159 Railway Ave., beside Cypress Cycle and Ag Supply. Anderson said the shop will open in the near future.

» The Gazette


Roberta Galbraith, president of the Rotary Club in Minnedosa, said the group is closing down due to a lack of new members and current members aging out. (File)

Plans are underway for Baldur Summer Solstice Days, which will take place June 23 and 24.

Members of the Baldur Recreation Centre met for their annual general meeting last month.

The rec centre continues to operate in a positive financial state. The men and women’s bonspiels returned this season, recording a combined profit of around $12,000.

Earlier this season, the centre received a $10,000 donation from Doris Parsonage in memory of Walt Parsonage. The rec centre board has decided to upgrade the existing ceiling product of the curling club as the current one has deteriorated over time. The project will take place over the summer months.

» The Gazette


A community meal program in Neepawa has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic with hopes of expanding to serve even more people.

For about three decades, the Home Assistance Neepawa and District (HAND) community meal program has offered local seniors homecooked meals prepared by Vicki and George Woloski.

Originally, the program was made up of sit-down meals at the community’s drop in centre. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, it transitioned into a pickup and delivery service.

Attempts were also made late last year to return to a sit-down meal, but the response was mixed, said Michelle Ferguson, HAND’s resource co-ordinator.

“Dynamics have changed [about] people’s feelings to being close to other people. Everybody is a little wary, especially our seniors, and we just found it wasn’t well attended,” Ferguson said.

Now, the program is exclusively pick up and delivery. The Woloskis have been bringing meals to various seniors’ facilities, Ferguson said.

“Now, we’re offering deliveries to Kinsmen Courts, Elks Manor, Aspen Lea and Howden Place, any kind of seniors’ complex,” she said.

Due to the high cost of groceries, many seniors are unable to buy all the groceries they need to make nourishing meals, Ferguson said.

“This is a way they can have a very well-balanced nutritious meal.”

Wallace District Fire Department Chief Tyson Van Eaton (centre) congratulates John Davidson (left) and Brad Yochim (right) on receiving the second service bar to accompany their Governor General’s Fire Service Exemplary Service Medals. (Virden Empire-Advance)

The HAND community meal program runs every Tuesday to Friday for $11 a plate. With 16 available meals per month, the total is $176. Details on the menu are posted at the Neepawa post office every week as well as on the HAND Facebook page.

To take part in the program, call 204-476-5218. Meals can be ordered for a single day or up to weeks at a time.

» Neepawa Banner and Press

A new software company will be taking over the establishment of Neepawa’s interactive cemetery database.

Town council has approved a bid from WebCemetery to integrate the technology at the Riverside Cemetery to assist visitors in locating gravesites on the grounds.

WebCemetery was one of four companies that put in a tender proposal for the project. Their winning bid was for US$14,768 for the initial setup, and then an annual service maintenance charge of $3,588.

Last year, the Town of Neepawa decided to partner with a different company, Central Square Technologies, on the database. Town administration were recently informed, however, that the U.S.-based company would be unable to fulfil the software and service requirements.

Partnering with WebCemetery will save the town around $1,300 in its initial investment. An exact timeline for the interactive cemetery database remains to be seen.

» Neepawa Banner and Press

On May 2, Neepawa’s town council gave second and third readings to its 2023 financial plan, which allocates $19,292,396 toward the general operating fund and $8,065,660 to the utility operating fund.

Compared to last year’s budget, that’s an increase in spending of just over $2.3 million more toward the general fund, but $731,700 less for utility.

The largest new investment in the budget is going toward transportation services, with an increase from $6.1 million to $11.2 million for road upgrades and installation, especially on the land surrounding the town’s new hospital.

The mill rate for the year has been set at 22.39, an increase of .33 mill compared to 2022. The mill rate represents the amount per $1,000 of the assessed value of the property, which is used to calculate the amount of property tax.

This year’s increase in taxes for residential and commercial property owners is slightly less than what was seen in 2022, as last year’s municipal levy increased by 1.57 per cent.

» Neepawa Banner and Press

(From left) Home Assistance Neepawa and District resource co-ordinator Michelle Ferguson and George and Vicki Woloski have ensured the HAND Community Meal program has remained an important support program in the community, offering healthy and affordable meals to seniors. (Neepawa Banner and Press)


After 80 years of serving the local area, the Rotary Club of Minnedosa is dissolving June 30.

The group is closing due to a lack of members and current membership aging out, president Roberta Galbraith said.

“While we have been successful in attracting a few new members, the reality is that we need more bodies to have a well-functioning club, and that is a challenge,” she said. “So, we will be celebrating 80 years of service and going out with a bang.”

Since the club’s inception in 1943, current and past members can look back with a sense of pride and accomplishment for what they’ve achieved over the years, Galbraith said.

» The Minnedosa Tribune


Several people were honoured at the firefighter’s awards banquet held at Virden Legion Hall on April 29.

Brad Yochim, John Davidson and Curtis Smith received second service bars to accompany their Governor General’s Fire Service Exemplary Service Medals. The medal, created in 1985, recognizes firefighters who have completed 20 years of service to their department, a decade of which involved performing duties with potential risks. A bar is awarded for each additional 10 years of service.

Yochim, who retired as fire chief last year, has been with the department since 1980 and was recognized for his 40 years of service. Davidson began as a firefighter in Minnedosa in 1977. Both men continue as active members of the Station 1 crew.

The late Gary Mahoney, who had more than 40 years in the fire service at the time of his death, will receive his second bar and Certificate of Recognition posthumously.

» Virden Empire-Advance

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