Monthly Archives: October 2013

From Red Deer to Serbia to Unity

Music teachers from throughout Saskatchewan will be in Unity Oct. 18 and 19, when the Battleford branch of the Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers’ Association (SMRTA) hosts this year’s annual general meeting, convention and workshops.

playing the piano

Along with the Friday evening Keys and Chorales concert open to the public, the Satruday workshops specifically designed for music teachers are open to non-SRMTA members. Registration forms for the workshops are available online at the SRMTA website or call Diane Neil at 306-228-3782 or 306-228-8517.

The concert

The concert starts at 7 p.m., Oct. 18, at the Unity Baptist Church.

The Kamala Youth Choir, the most senior of the Battlefords’ children’s choirs, will be performing. Kamala has been awarded first place in the choral competition of the Saskatchewan Provincial Music Festival numerous times. In 2005 they won the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association Centennial Scholarship for choral singing. They have sung at the Saskatchewan Legislature, the Olympic torch relay ceremony and various festivals in Canada and Europe.

Also performing will be the piano duo of Dianne Gryba and Bonnie Nicholson.

Gryba is co-director of the Kamala Youth Choir along with Joanne Kasper, as well as being a recognized musician in her own right. For more on Gryba, please scroll down to “The afternoon workshops”.

Nicholson holds a number of music degrees and is a pianist, teacher and chamber musician from Prince Albert. She has been an adjudicator for the national tour of the Canadian music competitions. In June last year, she fulfilled a lifelong dream, touring and teaching in China, visiting universities in five major Chinese cities.

The morning workshops

Dale Wheeler, of Red Deer, Alta., an internationally recognized recitalist, accompanist, adjudicator and workshop clinician, will teach the morning workshops, Do You Hear What I Hear (teaching students to listen), and Proactive or Reactive (what kind of teacher are you?).

As well as having worked throughout Canada and the United States, he recently made a presentation at the European Piano Teachers Association Conference in Serbia. He is a senior examiner and clinician for the Royal Conservatory of Music.

The afternoon workshops

Gryba will present the afternoon sessions on working with vocal students: Engaging the Technical Singer and Engaging the Expressive Singer – realizing vocal potential for soloists and choristers.

As well as conducting the Kamala Youth Choir, Dianne Gryba works with other groups in the Battlefords, including other children’s choirs and the Gallery Singers. She teaches a large studio of private voice and piano students, and adjudicates festivals and facilitates workshops.





Midget AA Lazers

With nine returning players after icing a “very young team last year,” manager Dwayne Scott expects to see the Unity Midget AA Lazers “definitely improve” from last year.Midget AA Lazers

The final cuts were made after an exhibition game played against Meadow Lake, in Unity, Sept. 29. The nine veterans on the team will be joined by five first-year midgets. Players come from the communities of Unity, Wilkie, Luseland, Kindersley, Macklin, Neilburg and Kerrobert.

Scott said traditionally the teams in the eastern part of the province are very strong although, until he sees this year’s teams, he can’t say for sure what will happen this year. Nevertheless he expects the Midget AA Lazers to be “in the middle of the pack or higher” this year.

The midgets will play in the Centre Four Hockey League again. They open the regular season with back-to-back home games against Prince Albert, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 13 at 2:15 p.m.

In the exhibition game, the Lazers beat Meadow Lake 8-3.

Local players

Assistant captains Devan Bertoia and Blake Robertson are both Unity boys and are joined on the team by Brandt Bertoia. Players from Wilkie and Luseland are Kirklan Glassford and Tyson Logan Munt. Ryan Donald of Rockhaven and Zach Herle of Neilburg are both attending school in Unity as well as playing with the Lazars. Cut Knife’s Dax and Declan Desmarais are also on the team.

No. 35, Unity Lazers

hockey skates, sticks and puck

Unity Midget AA Lazers

Next week’s paper

Next week’s paper is a big one! Lots of interesting reading and plenty of photos too. Here’s a sampling of what to expect:

  • with next week – October 6 to 12 – being Fire Prevention Week, tributes to the volunteer firefighters in Unity and Wilkie;
  • photos and a report of a gruelling bike trek through the Rockies, all to aid the women of Rwanda – Dr. Linda Bloem was one of the bikers and Jim and Noella Chase were roadies;
  • a wrap on this year’s farmers markets in Unity, along with looking ahead to next year;
  • and on page 7, some perspective on benefits of shopping locally.

And as always, don’t forget to check out the ads — we have some wonderful entertainment coming up in several communities!

On the shopping local note, here’s a photo from the latest Shop Mob hit on a Unity store. These ladies were checking out gifts for grandchildren. See the October 7 Press-Herald for the details on Unity shop mobs.


Crop progress before the rain

With our area escaping the rain experienced during the September 24 to 30 period covered by the latest Crop Report from Saskatchewan Agriculture, we continued to be ahead of the rest of the province in harvest progress.

West-Central Saskatchewan (Crop Districts 6B – Hanley, Outlook, Loreburn, Saskatoon and Arelee areas; Crop District 7 – Rosetown, Kindersley, Eston, Major, Kerrobert, Macklin, Wilkie and Biggar areas)

The west-central region is the most advanced area of the province,  with 95 per cent of the crop combined and four per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut. Crop districts 7A and 7B recorded very little rain and so combines continued to roll in those areas. Rain ranged from nil to 62 mm (Hanley area). Spring wheat combined ranges from 90 to 100 per cent; oats 50 to 100 per cent; barley 40 100 per cent; canola 80 to 100 per cent and flax 10 to 100 per cent combined. Flax and canaryseed crops are being combined. Many farmers have completed harvest and others hope to finish within the week.

With some areas receiving very little rain, topsoil moisture conditions continue to deteriorate and are rated as 16 per cent adequate, 37 per cent short and 47 per cent very short on cropland. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture conditions are rated as 22 per cent adequate, 30 per cent short and 48 per cent very short. Many areas in the region have not received a significant rainfall in over a month. Crop districts 7A and 7B are reporting over 40 per cent of the cropland, hay land and pasture is very short of topsoil moisture. Crop and combine fires have been reported in many areas.

Pasture conditions are rated as three per cent excellent, 13 per cent good, 43 per cent fair, 28 per cent poor and 13 per cent very poor.

The majority of the crop damage was caused by strong winds (of up to 80 km per /hour) that damaged some swathed crops. Producers are busy finishing harvest, working fields and starting fall weed control.


Seventy-nine per cent of the 2013 crop is now combined, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. Significant rainfall recorded last week slowed harvest progress in most areas of the province. Fifteen per cent is swathed or is ready to straight-cut. The five-year average (2008-2012) for this time of year is 74 per cent combined and 18 per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Harvest progress is most advanced in the west-central region, where 95 per cent of the crop is combined. Seventy-two per cent is combined in the southeast; 85 per cent in the southwest; 68 per cent in the east-central region; 74 per cent in the northeast and 88 per cent in the northwest.

Rainfall throughout the province ranged from nil to 81 mm. Many areas received over 35 mm of rain, and heavy precipitation was reported in the southwestern, east-central and northeastern regions. Many areas in the southwestern, southeastern and east-central regions have been experiencing rain delays for a couple of weeks.

Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as five per cent surplus, 65 per cent adequate, 19 per cent short and 11 per cent very short. Topsoil moisture on hay and pasture land is rated as two per cent surplus, 63 per cent adequate, 24 per cent short and 11 per cent very short.

Pasture conditions are rated as nine per cent excellent, 43 per cent good, 29 per cent fair, 16 per cent poor and three per cent very poor.

Rain and strong winds caused the majority of the crop damage. The rain has resulted in bleaching and sprouting of some cereal crops. Wind has caused some shattering losses in swathed canola and ripe crops.

Farmers are busy combining, hauling bales and completing fall weed control operations.


Sgt. Rusk explains Landis school closure

In a press conference held late in the morning of September 25, the day there was a “substantial” trail derailment just west of Landis, Saskatchewan, detachment commander of the Unity/Wilkie/Macklin RCMP, Sgt. Grant Rusk explained why Landis School was closed for the day.

For more information and photos of the derailment, see the Sept. 30 issue of the Unity-Wilkie Press-Herald.