Insinger Church is Ramping It Up!

Posted by on Tue, Feb 28 2012

Ramping It Up!

They didn’t ask for much. But they sure knew what they wanted.

The aging congregation at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Insinger, Saskatchewan was finding entry to the church an increasing challenge. Most viewed those six concrete steps as daunting, especially when tightly grasping handbags and hymnbooks. Those in wheelchairs, unable to master the stairs without help, would often not attend.

A long-standing parishioner and aged grandmother declared, “I want only to be carried into my church twice:  once when christened and once in a box!” Offers of assistance from the more able members were often viewed as compromising.

“Our church members wanted their independence, and we wanted to abide by their wishes, so we decided a wheelchair ramp was in order.” says Mike Dwernichuk, Church president. “We get lots of visitors to our landmark church, as well, and this will help ensure visitors’ access, too.”

Last fall the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter and Paul received $484 from the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) through its Community Vitality Program, precisely one-half of the cost to purchase and install a wheelchair ramp. The parishioners, ranging from 65 to 92 years of age, are matching* CIF’s grant by volunteering their time to help prepare for the ramp.

“We wanted to do some of the work ourselves, too. So we’ve volunteered to shovel sand and gravel, and paint the trim to finish it off. ” says Dwernichuk.

Plans are underway for the new wheelchair ramp with a host of volunteers ready to put it together. Visitors and members alike will then enjoy an extended welcome mat at Insinger’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter and Paul’s Sunday services!

Photo credit:  Mike Dwernichuk

Insinger is 57 km (35 mi) northwest of Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

*Matching funds through service-in-kind or cash must accompany CIF’s Community Vitality Program grant.

Posted in Archived

Heating Up Mayfair's Hall

Posted by on Wed, Feb 01 2012

Heating it Up!

February in Mayfair is Theatre Time.

Community theatre isn’t just about the planning and theatrical practice. It’s about the guests and residents, a great location and the overall experience. At Mayfair in northwest Saskatchewan, residents are gearing up for their February theatrics in their community hall.

“Our hall is the life blood of our community,” says Kolin Bulmer, president of Mayfair’s Recreation Board. “It’s the venue for our annual community theatre in February, and for many weddings, graduations, reunions, even large funerals. It’s also used for wildlife fundraising dinners, horn measuring and local fish-fry’s, so it (the hall) serves our community well.”

“But we were always working on those hall furnaces so people stayed warm during the February theatre performances. … Until now.” says Bulmer.

Bulmer explains it is vital as well as expensive to maintain the Mayfair hall, built in 1981. With funds from the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) Mayfair has recently replaced three hall furnaces and new duct work so this February’s theatre will be comfortable.

“We’re always fundraising with bingos or theatre drama nights, and with $18,000 from the CIF, we’re helping sustain community life, and our great community spirit.” says Bulmer. 


ATTENTION READERS:  Mayfair’s Community Theatre will be held Saturdays and Sundays the last two weekends of February:  the 18th and 19th, 25th and 26th. Kolin Bulmer, tel: 306.445.9721 or has details.


Photo credit:  K. Bulmer, Mayfair Recreation Board

Posted in Archived

Pooling Efforts in Grenfell

Posted by on Thu, Dec 29 2011

An outdoor pool isn’t generally a hot topic in January, and especially not in Saskatchewan. But in Grenfell, it’s the talk of the town! Community leaders are gearing up to rebuild their pool later this spring.

With abundant moisture and ground-swell, the concrete surrounding this pool has cracked and heaved. Attempts to patch it are futile, and safety concerns with pool use clouded last summer’s activities. A new liner, plumbing and a rebuilt concrete deck are planned.

Last year's wet spring led to cracks in the concrete surrounding Grenfell's outdoor pool. Photo credit:  Grenfell Regional Park Authority.

“We count on our pool,” says Danean Karlunchuck, Grenfell Regional Park Authority manager.  “It’s a key attraction with campers and golfers, visitors and residents alike. Great for recreation, it (the pool) doubles as an exercise facility and training centre for water safety.”

In tandem with these plans are fundraising activities, as rebuilding is costly. Last summer dedicated Grenfell youth ran a lemonade stand and bake sale for this effort. A local Lions Club raffle and Snow Drifters January snowmobile rally will also contribute earnings, and car show officials on the May long weekend are dedicating all profits to pool renovations. Over $10,000 from fundraisers and donations has been received. More fundraising is planned.

The Community Initiatives Fund, through its Community Vitality Program, is also contributing with a Capital Grant of $50,000 to revitalize the pool.

For more detail on Grenfell’s pool rebuild, contact Ms. Daneen Karlunchuck at or at 306.697.2873.

Community Initiatives Fund grants are available for all Saskatchewan communities. Contact Ms. Rhonda Newton, Grants Administrator, at or 306.780.9308 for details.


Grenfell residents like Keegan Speidelsbach (shown here) diligently fundraise to support this town's rebuilt pool.

Photo credit:  Carol Speidelsbach

Posted in Archived

Coleville's Hall Gets A New Cover!

Posted by on Mon, Nov 28 2011

Coleville’s Hall Gets A New Cover!


The community of Coleville will soon replace its Community Hall roof, thanks to dedicated Coleville businesses, residents and the Community Initiatives Fund. Details of the roof replacement are being noted and a tender will soon be issued to companies able to undertake this project.


Damage from wind and rain has caused “damming” on the existing roof, a build-up of snow that melts and freezes into the roof. Subsequently, the ceiling of the Hall harbours water that drips through the structure, onto the hardwood floor.


The new roof will be expensive, so last spring community leaders applied to CIF’s Community Vitality Program for a Capital Grant, receiving $46,000 toward their new roof.


“When full, our hall accommodates over 400 people,” says Gillain Lund, administrator for the Village of Coleville and R.M. of Oakdale. “It’s (the hall) a great facility and probably the largest for miles. Weddings and funerals, oil patch safety meetings, even family reunions happen here! Our community wants—and needs—this hall in top condition.”


Fundraising continues. A Street Dance garnered support last August and some businesses and residents have also made donations. More efforts are planned.


For more detail on the roof replacement, contact Ms. Gillain Lund at or 306.965.2281.


Grant information about the Community Initiatives Fund is available from Ms. Rhonda Newton, Grants Administrator, at or  306.780.9308.

Posted in Archived
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