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E X P E R I E N C E Paddling in the North Experience the beauty

Celebrate! The Pas turns 100 Grab the binoculars: bird watchers wanted 1-800-665-4774

Join Us

in Celebrating Our 100th Anniversary August 3, 4 & 5, 2012 Centennial Celebrations

1912 – 2012

Boasting one of the three true blue lakes in existence, outdoor adventure abounds set to the raw natural beauty that attracts visitors from around the world.

The Pas community is one of the oldest and most striking settlements in northern Manitoba.


Issue 1 | 2012

“Getting out in a canoe or kayak allows us to escape the city life and allows us to take time to relax, take off our watches and enjoy our surroundings.” – Kim Palmquist, page 9

9 14 15 17 21 Cover photo: Comstock/ Photo above: Kim Palmquist


Paddling in the North Splendor of nature unfolds for canoeists & kayakers in the NorMan region

Illustrated Maps Bring Canoe Routes to Life Strictly For the Birds Citizen scientists wanted to help identify birds

Jobs Available in the North Training, recruitment keys to meeting demand

Northern Paradise With pristine lakes and untouched forests, there is no shortage of fun things to do and see this summer

The Pas Celebrates 100 Years Homecoming, celebrations expected to attract thousands


2 3 4 5 6 32 48 58 64

A Message from the Premier A Message from the Editor A Message from the Minister Experience NorMan NorMan News

29 34 37 40 42 44

Youth Revitalize The Pas Town sees trend with young entrepreneurs returning

For the Chicken-Hearted Poultry project brings locally grown chicken to the North

Birch Bark Biting: Ancient Aboriginal Art

Prince of Wales Fort Restored Parks Canada preserves northern treasure – one stone at a time!

Dolly Parton Imagination Library Manitoba woman on $1.5 million mission for books for youngsters

Travellers’ Alternative Give northern B&Bs a try

On the Cover Paddling is a Canadian tradition. Some say it’s in our collective DNA, harkening back to the time before we were even a nation Please see page 9

Tourism North Northern Community Profiles Lodges, Accommodations and Services Listing Index to Advertisers Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Published on behalf of NorMan Regional Development Corp.

Box 700, Snow Lake, MB  R0B 1M0 Phone: 204-358-3520  Toll free phone: 1-800-665-4774 Fax: 204-358-3524

Published by

Two canoes rest in one of the calmer areas of Manitoba’s Grass River. 701 Henry Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3E 1T9 Toll free phone: 1-866-953-2189 Phone: 204-953-2189  Fax: 204-953-2184 Toll free fax: 1-877-565-8557

Photo by Ryan Smith/

A Message from the Premier Every opportunity I have had to visit northern Manitoba has been a memorable experience. The people who make up these communities are as friendly as they are resilient and proud to inhabit this vast and diverse region. Whether it be for tourism or partnership opportunities, the possibilities in northern Manitoba are nearly endless. For many years, the government of Manitoba has seen the North as an integral asset for growth and prosperity. Our northern Development strategy is based on the premise that this region is the key to a successful future for Manitoba. As a government, we are committed to work alongside northern communities to ensure that new opportunities create positive outcomes for the entire region. The Wuskwatim Partnership and the East Side Road initiative are examples of a new approach for development in northern Manitoba where local workforces will be trained, eco-tourism opportunities will increase, and quality of life will improve for local communities, The North is a key part of our provincial identity and the future growth of this region is bright. Over the years, Northern Experience magazine has been a fantastic medium for showcasing the natural beauty of northern Manitoba and everything it has to offer. On behalf of the Province of Manitoba, I would like to thank the publishers and staff for highlighting the great opportunities that exist in the northern part of this great province.

Greg Selinger


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

President Jeff Lester Vice-President & Publisher Sean Davis

Editor Gloria Taylor

Design & Layout John Lyttle Myles O’Reilly Account Executives Quinn Bogusky Jill Harris Kathy Kelley Louise Peterson

Accounting Melissa Unrau Distribution Nikki Manalo © Copyright 2012, NorMan Regional Development Corporation. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of NorMan Regional Development Corporation. Publication Mail Agreement #40606022 Printed in Canada. Please recycle where facilities exist.

A Message from the Editor One of the most beautiful mornings of my life was spent sitting on the waters of a northern Manitoba lake. The fish were splashing nearby, and the iconic sounds of the loons cut through the cool morning air. Northern Manitoba has beauty to rival that of anywhere in the world, and southern Manitoba residents don’t have to travel too far to enjoy unparalleled experiences in both summer and winter. In this issue of Northern Experience, we are pleased to offer a package of stories on paddling on northern Manitoba lakes and rivers. If you have never tried canoeing or contemplated kayaking, now may be just the right time. “Who knows what you’ll see and who you’ll become in the process?” asks writer Heather Hudson, who has tips and information that will be particularly valuable to newcomers or those who would like to try the recreational activity for themselves. Want to do some bird spotting while on the water? The Manitoba government may have just the offer for you if you want, and qualify, to become a “citizen-scientist” – another of our stories in this spring issue. We also have stories on events and attractions in the North, including this year’s centennial celebrations in The Pas. The August long weekend in that community promises to be very memorable as hundreds of people return to celebrate the special anniversary.

As a change of pace, did you know that there are job opportunities in the North, and that companies and schools are training northerners for northern jobs? Being unemployed can bring about serious problems for any family, and it can happen even while companies have job openings for people who have particular skills. Find out what the various stakeholders are doing to attract and train the right people for those jobs in Kelly Gray’s story on jobs in northern Manitoba. These are just some of the features this time around in Northern Experience that we anticipate you will find informative and entertaining. Finally, we are excited about the future direction of Northern Experience, and we are putting out the welcome mat to readers who would like to either submit story ideas or pitch a story idea that they would like to write themselves. We are looking for one or two contributors who are knowledgeable about the sights and sounds of northern Manitoba and who can do a credible job of writing about those unique experiences. Please contact me at if you are interested. Happy summer, everyone! No matter what you plan to do in northern Manitoba this spring and summer, you have a great place in which to do it.

Gloria Taylor Editor

Wapusk Parc national National Park Wapusk

Your adventure starts here! L’aventure commence ici! Parks Canada Visitor Centre, Churchill

Centre d’accueil de Parcs Canada, Churchill

Local experts Life-sized polar bear den Films, displays

Spécialistes de la région Tanière d’ours polaire grandeur nature Films, expositions


PARKS 11986 - MB North Adventer Ad - FIN.indd 1

8/26/10 1:35:30 PM Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Photo by Kent Steffens /

A Message from the Minister Welcome. Congratulations to the

publisher of Northern Experience for choosing to shine an editorial spotlight on northern Manitoba. This region’s unique beauty continues to attract visitors from around the world, each seeking to explore the area’s plentiful, natural wonders. Northern Manitoba provides an ideal setting for extraordinary adventures as unique and varied as watching polar bears in their natural surroundings or enjoying an outstanding view of the aurora borealis. The warmth and friendliness of northern residents ensures visitors come away with a renewed appreciation for first-rate hospitality. Manitoba’s north is just beginning to realize its full potential as a tourist destination and a place to live, work and invest. Our government is proud to support the tourism industry, recognizing it as a key element not only in regional development, but also in our diversified provincial economy. Tourism gives us an opportunity to celebrate our province and our people, while also providing significant employment and business development opportunities. Increasing reader awareness of northern tourism will help build on this already successful sector and salute the people who make it happen. We look forward to working with members of our province’s tourism and eco-tourism industries to further develop and strengthen our travel and investment opportunities in Manitoba’s region.

“Tourism gives us an opportunity to celebrate our province and our people, while also providing significant employment and business development opportunities.”

Flor Marcelino, Minister Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism

Eric Robinson MLA for Kewatinook


CLARENCE PETTERSEN MLA FOR THE FLIN FLON CONSTITUENCY Constituency Office: 24 Main Street, Box 331 Flin Flon, MB R8A 1N1 Phone: 1-204-687-3367 Fax: 1-204-687-3398

FRANK WHITEHEAD MLA FOR THE PAS CONSTITUENCY Constituency Office: 234 - A Fischer Avenue The Pas, MB R9A 1L8 Phone: 1-204-623-3358 Fax: 1-204-623-6955

Leg. Rm 234, 450 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8 Toll Free: 1-800-282-8069 Fax: 1-204-948-2005


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Experience NorMan Welcome to Manitoba’s Northern Experience magazine, a presentation of the NorMan Regional Development Corporation, and your gateway to the real Northern Experience. The magazine has a dual focus on tourism and economic development. It is designed to offer a snapshot of not only things to see and do in the north, but also of developments in Manitoba’s largest region. The NorMan Region encompasses close to two-thirds of Manitoba’s land mass, making it easily the largest and most diverse in the province. The region’s range of activities and opportunities reflect that size and diversity. Common throughout NorMan are people who look forward to showcasing their communities, and who will greet you with a warm smile regardless of the temperature outside.

The Region Defined • The NorMan Region is home to cultures that have called this area home for thousands of years. Come north and discover their traditions old and new. • The NorMan Region has a rich history of explorers and fur traders, from David Thompson, Samuel Hearne and John Franklin to countless voyageurs. Come north and do some exploring of your own. • The NorMan Region has some of the best sport fishing on the planet – walleye, pike and trout abound. Come north winter or summer and drop a line. • The NorMan Region was the site of Canada’s last gold rush. Come north and explore our mining history. • The NorMan Region is home to Pisew Falls, Wekusko Falls, Karst Springs and many other natural wonders. Come north and discover the wonder for yourself.

Photo by Ryan Tacay /

• The NorMan Region is home to owls, gulls, geese, eagles and birds too numerous to list. Come north and discover world-class birding. • The NorMan Region is constantly growing with new hotels, malls, shops and services opening all the time. Come north and experience our traditional northern hospitality with all the services you expect. • The NorMan Region is buzzing with new hydro developments, mineral exploration, people making use of non-timber forest products and an exploding tourism industry. Come north and experience this growing region.

The NorMan Region is also home to the NorMan Regional Development Corporation (NorMan RDC). Like this magazine, we are focused on tourism and economic development. Manitoba’s Northern Experience is just one of our corporation’s projects. NorMan RDC consists of 10 cities and towns, 52 communities and numerous First Nations located north of the 53rd parallel, working with each other, businesses and government to strengthen and promote the region. Tourism is important to our northern communities and the people that make them great. The NorMan Regional Development Corporation has formed a strong partnership with Tourism North Manitoba, housing the office with our corporation. We invite you to contact Tourism North Manitoba or the NorMan Regional Development Corporation any time for further information on how you can discover the Northern Experience.  u Contact us at 1-800-665-4774 or

Northern Experience  Issue 1  |  2012 


NorMan News The Lac Brochet Canadian Ranger Patrol is marking its 10th anniversary of helping to keep northern communities safe. A Primary Reserve unit of the Canadian Forces, the Canadian Rangers as they operate today was actually legislated as a Corps of the Reserve Militia by an order-in-council in 1947. In 1998, another change came when the Canadian Rangers was reorganized into five Canadian Ranger Patrol Groups (CRPGs). In 2001, Victoria’s 4 CRPG expanded into Manitoba and formed its headquarters in Winnipeg. The Lac Brochet Patrol began in 2002 when Ranger Norman Denechezhe enrolled in February of that year. Today, the communities of Churchill, Lac Brochet, Lynn Lake, Snow Lake, Gillam, Grand Rapids, Shamatawa and St. Theresa Point all have Ranger Patrols. “That enthusiasm and strong community support has continued throughout the years and is as strong today as it was 10 years ago,” stated Cpt. Wade Jones in a story that appeared in the Thompson Citizen.

Photo courtesy Capt. Wade Jones.

Lac Brochet Rangers are 10

The Lac Brochet Canadian Ranger Patrol marks its 10th anniversary this year. The Lac Brochet patrol has helped the RCMP conduct nine search-and-rescue operations in Lac Brochet and surrounding communities over the last decade, and it supports numerous community events. “Without the assistance of the Canadian Rangers in Manitoba, it would be difficult and perhaps even impossible for our military personnel

to operate in those isolated regions of Manitoba,” states Cpt. Jones. “Their expertise in survival, travel and knowledge of their local geographical areas is second to none. More than just the ‘eyes and ears’ of the community, the Canadian Rangers of Manitoba are vital members of the Canadian Rangers.”

The Fairmont Winnipeg is sponsoring its own polar bear and is calling its adopted bear Atka, meaning guardian spirit in the Inuit language. With the adoption of its polar bear, The Fairmont Winnipeg, over the next year, will use Atka in promotional materials to create awareness of the polar bear species and their ongoing struggle for survival in the Arctic, according to a statement by The Fairmont Winnipeg. As global warming worsens across the globe, the ice in the north is thinning and therefore creating many problems in the polar bears’ habitat.


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Stock photo:

The Fairmont Winnipeg names its polar bear

Less ice means that the polar bears cannot travel across the Arctic to find food for themselves and their cubs.

The Fairmont Winnipeg has donated $12,000 over two years to Polar Bears International. This money has gone towards creating the Bear Tracker Website and providing tracking collars for the female bears. On this exciting new website, viewers can click on the bears that have collars to see their statistics such as, number of cubs, weight, and their movements across the Arctic. Monitor Atka’s movements through the website at: polar-bears/maps-and-trackers/bear-tracker.

The YWCA in Thompson is encouraging men to walk around the block in women’s high heels Sept. 15. And not just any high heels, but red high heels. It’s all in the name of building empathy for women’s issues and raising funds to maintain awareness of compelling women’s issues such as domestic violence. This will be the third year for the Walk-a-Mile-in-Her-Shoes fundraiser. The launch takes place May 4 to 6 at the Thompson CHTM Trade Show. Men are encouraged to sign up, collect pledges and walk around the block wearing the red shoes. The funds raised go to support the YWCA and the women they help. There will be speeches, balloons for the kids, prizes, and draws, as well as a barbeque. Contact the Y for more information.

Photo courtesy YWCA


Men “Walk a Mile” in women’s shoes to raise money for women dealing with issues.

The power of water Today, Manitoba Hydro is once again turning to our province’s rivers to meet demand for electricity. We are investing in the next era of hydroelectric development to ensure our customers continue to benefit from an affordable, reliable and renewable source of power. Find out more at

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Photo courtesy the Bass family

Carter Bass of Swan River holds up the fish he caught and registered with Manitoba’s Li’l Angler Program for Youngsters.

Manitoba’s Li’l Angler Program Turns 10 This is the 10th anniversary of a popular provincial fishing program for

youngsters. Manitoba’s Li’l Angler program has attracted hundreds of junior fishers over the years, encouraging youngsters to get hooked on fishing and get a little recognition in the bargain.

The program is geared to children 12 years and younger. Children or their parents complete an application form that they can get from Travel Manitoba once they have made their big catch and photographed the fish. The application and photo is then sent to the Li’l Angler program. Travel Manitoba will then send the junior fisher an embroidered crest and a certificate of achievement. There is no length requirement for the catch, according to Travel Manitoba, and the fish can be any one of the species found in Manitoba.

Borealism 13 NorVA Artists from Flin Flon show their vision of the North in a collection of painting, pottery, sculpture and poetry at the cre8ery gallery in Winnipeg July 5 – 14, 2nd Floor, 125 Adelaide St. in the Exchange. Admission is free. Call 944-0809 for details.  

Silent Films Showcase Northern Canada A rare collection of Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) films has been returned to Canada from England and has been added to the permanent holdings of the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives (HBCA) in Winnipeg, Culture, Heritage and Tourism Minister Flor Marcelino announced in February. “These extraordinary films bring to life records already held at the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives and help create a more complete picture of HBC’s long history in the Canadian North,” stated Marcelino in a news release. “The motion pictures provide a unique glimpse into Inuit and First Nations communities and HBC operations across northern Canada from 1919 to 1939.” The bulk of the donation consists of what was once part of a two-hour silent film called Romance of the Far Fur Country. The film was commissioned in 1920 by the Hudson’s Bay Company to celebrate its 250th anniversary. The original full-length feature film premiered in May 1920 in Winnipeg’s Allen Theatre, known today as the Metropolitan, and was also shown in movie theatres across Western Canada. 

Footage includes segments shot from the HBC supply ship the Nascopie on its voyage from Montreal to the eastern Arctic and Hudson’s Bay. Along the way, HBC personnel and buildings, indigenous peoples and activities associated with the operations of the HBC were filmed.  Also included in early footage are sequences of pageants and parades in Winnipeg, Calgary, Victoria and Vancouver. The return of the films from England was possible through funding support from the Hudson’s Bay Company History Foundation and the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives Trust Fund.  “The survival of these films is remarkable.  Only a small amount of Canada’s silent film heritage has survived due to the fragile nature of the nitrate film base,” said Marcelino. The entire collection, about 40 reels of original footage, was digitized prior to the films leaving London.  Copies will soon be available for researchers, film makers and anyone interested in Canadian history.   The fragile originals are carefully protected in the Archives of Manitoba storage specifically designed for film records.

Bakers Narrows Lodge Open for Business Bakers Narrows Lodge is open for business. A fire that destroyed the store and restaurant of the famed fishing lodge on Lake Athapapuskow, just south of Flin Flon, in early February has not closed the lodge to business. Fifteen cabins were untouched by the fire and are available to rent as usual along with the boats and other equipment and services the lodge generally provides. Visitors to the area’s lakes will find the fish are just as plentiful as well. The northern lakes yield record catches of lake trout, pike and walleye, along with many other species.  u


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Paddling ist y Kim Palmqu Photo courtes

in the North

Splendor of nature unfolds for canoeists & kayakers in the NorMan region B y H eather H u d son

Photos courtesy Paddle Manitoba

An ancient practice. A mode of transportation. A form of exercise. A meditative escape from the hustle-bustle of modern life. No matter how you view it, paddling is a Canadian tradition. Some say it’s in our collective DNA, harkening back to the time before we were even a nation. Our waters, particularly in the north, carry memories of the steady strokes of our ancestors who knew, nor desired, no other way of traversing the myriad lakes and rivers that snake through the Canadian Shield. Paddling remains a tradition that has risen and fallen in popularity over the years and, according to Paddle Manitoba President Kim Palmquist, it’s riding a wave right now. “Our lives are very busy these days and time seems to pass by so quickly… the attraction to paddling is that you get up close and personal

Northern Experience  Issue 1  |  2012 


Playing Safe There’s no question that with the many rewards paddling offers, there are risks. When it comes to staying safe on the water, it’s critical to be educated about your boat and equipment, skilled in paddling, aware of your surroundings and prepared for any eventuality.

Here are some top tips to consider:

Wear a lifejacket Capsizing and swimming are part of paddling. But if you’re not prepared for an unexpected bump into the water, it could prove fatal. According to the American Canoe Association, 85 per cent of canoe and 48 per cent of kayak fatalities were not wearing a lifejacket. A personal flotation device (PFD) provides additional flotation in case of capsize or an unexpected swim and a layer of warmth in cold water.

Know your route Do your research before you go. Know your route and plan an alternate one in case of bad weather or poor conditions. Set up locations for put-ins and take-outs and places to take a break. Know where every road access is along the way and be prepared to call for a ride if you need one.

Have an emergency kit Transport Canada requires PFDs, throw ropes, whistles, paddles and lights for every canoe and kayak. You should also consider a waterproof container for a first aid kit, water, a roll of duct tape for repairs, a knife and a laminated map of the river system, including your route. Even smartphones don’t typically work in northern Manitoba; if you’re going to be gone for more than a few days, consider a two-way radio or other communication device.

Prepare for all kinds of weather Anytime you’re travelling in the north, you’ve got to take care for colder and rapidly shifting temperatures. Consider wearing either a wetsuit or drysuit and prepare a dry bag with extra layers.

with nature and the quietness that it offers. Getting out in a canoe or kayak allows us to escape the city life and allows us to take time to relax, take off our watches and enjoy our surroundings.” Indeed, as the manic nature of “civilized” life stresses us out, more of us are turning to the natural world to reconnect to the land, build stronger


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Know your limits Be aware of your skills as a paddler. There are four river classifications in Canada. Don’t advance to anything beyond River Class I if you haven’t been trained to self-rescue or contend with anything beyond calm waters.

What to wear Your feet and your seat will get wet when paddling, so wear swim shoes and bring another set of dry clothes if you’re going on a trip. Quick-dry, breathable fibres that are lightweight are great; cotton, heavy sweaters and denim are not. Dress in layers that allow you to pile on or peel off depending on the temperature and wind conditions.

bodies, minds and spirits and awaken the kind of wonder that can’t be found in cities or suburbs. As luck would have it, there’s no better place to do it than Manitoba, particularly in the northern tip of the province. This is where pristine lakes and rivers flow fast, ripple gently and float as smoothly as glass. Surrounding these breathtaking

waters is equally stunning land that remains virtually untouched. Whether you want to get away for a day trip or embark on an unforgettable guided or solo adventure, there’s no shortage of destinations. Cam White runs Northern Soul Wilderness Adventures, which takes paddlers “to the very edge of the Arctic into the deepest reaches of the Boreal

“It’s best if you go out and try different styles of canoes and kayaks and get out on the water for shorter periods of time with a guide or somebody who knows what they’re doing the first few times.” – Kim Palmquist, president, Paddle Manitoba

Forest.” He maintains that paddling doesn’t get any better than right here in our northland. “Manitoba has some of the best paddling in world. I’m always amazed at how people are shocked to find stunningly varied geography. Whether we’re on the river, portaging or doing rapids, people really cast off their city life and the things they normally think about and become engaged in the world around them. Things happen at slow pace when you’re paddling; it’s an opportunity to become involved in and part of ecosystem you’re travelling through.” Before we embark on an adventure that showcases the perks of paddling and places to do it, let’s take a step back and find out just what our options are when it comes to dipping a paddle into the water.

Canoeing vs. kayaking The true difference between canoeing and kayaking is distinguished by the design of the vessel you’re in. A canoe is an open boat in which you sit on a seat and paddle with an oar. Canoes are rounded or flat-bottomed crafts and the oars can be either single or double bladed. Though there are canoes that seat up to nine people, it is more common for one or two people to use one. “The person in front provides the power and the person in the back steers. For longer trips with more than one person, canoes are a better option because you can bring a lot more gear than you can in a kayak,” said Palmquist. Canoes are ideal for lakes and rivers that aren’t terribly choppy. White says they’re better for river travel, while kayaks are ideal for white water and ocean travel.

“There’s a friendly rivalry between kayakers and canoers – when you go on the ocean you don’t see canoes and when you go on the river you don’t generally see kayaks.” That’s because kayaks are generally built for faster, rougher waters. They are closed boats that feature a “cockpit” that is open only to allow a paddler to sit in and small hatches to stow gear. Usually, this cockpit is sealed with a snap-on “skirt” or cover. Though tandem kayaks are available, they are more rare. Kayak paddles are double bladed and look like two paddles put together, though the size and design varies depending on the type of kayak you’re helming and the waters you’ll be travelling in. Kayaks tend to be adept at managing the punishing waters of rushing rapids, but Palmquist agrees that kayakers tend to gravitate to the sea. “People who kayak tend to do it in the ocean where you don’t have to get out of your kayak all the time. You can

Explore the rich heritage of the Town of The Pas on the banks of the historic Saskatchewan River. Experience the eclectic collection of Mr. Sam Waller. 306 Fischer Avenue The Pas Manitoba Open daily 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Summer hours 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Historic Walking Tours available Web: Phone: 623-3802

Manitoba Star Attraction

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Paddling guides A good paddling guide can be almost as valuable as quality equipment, particularly to a novice paddler. The Manitoba government is a good source for maps and guide books with valuable information such as where to find boat launches. The following publications are available for purchase: A Daytripper’s Guide to Manitoba: Exploring Canada’s Undiscovered Province by Bartley Kives. Wilderness Rivers of Manitoba: Journey by Canoe Through the Land Where the Spirit Lives by Hap Wilson and Stephanie Aykroyd.

get 17-foot long sea kayaks, which are quite low in the water and are mainly for long distance.”

Health benefits More of us seek rugged vacations that allow us to strengthen our muscles

The Backroad Mapbook of Manitoba. This recreation guide features canoe routes and boat launches among other information for travellers. For more information, please visit: c378134747/p17252671.html and Please be sure to inquire whether the publication you are interested in covers northern Manitoba if that is where you’re headed. The store also offers some documents in PDF form and others that are suitable for electronic devices.

and invigorate our souls. A paddling adventure fits the bill and is appropriate for all fitness levels. “Any time you get involved in an activity that engages the mind as well as the body, you’re going to get tremendous health benefits,” said White.

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

“Paddling is a great core-building activity that provides aerobic and anaerobic exercise. It’s a good workout without the boredom because you’re constantly moving past scenery, seeing wildlife and interacting with other people travelling with you. Before you know it, you’ve put a lot of kilometres behind you and experienced life in a whole new way.” Its low-impact nature means that paddling is good for all ages. White says he has everyone from seniors to young children on his guided adventures. But both he and Palmquist caution beginners not to bite off more than they can chew on an expedition. “You need to feel comfortable being in a boat before you go out for any length of time. A lot of people find their balance is off, the boat feels tippy and they’re afraid of falling out at first,” said Palmquist. “It’s best if you go out and try different styles of canoes and kayaks and get out on the water for shorter periods of time with a guide or somebody who knows what they’re doing the first few times.” You might even consider taking one of any number of paddling clinics and safety certification courses offered throughout the province. Check Paddle Manitoba’s and Northern Soul Outfitters’ websites for more information.

Good places to go Though the lakes and rivers around Winnipeg are just fine for a few hours of paddling, you’ve got to venture further north if you really want to experience spectacularly varied water systems and true wilderness. Here are just some of the many highly recommended waterways: The Manigotagan River is a little more than 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg with an established canoe route that begins in Nopoming Provincial Park and follows the river to its end in Lake Winnipeg. Northern Soul also offers a paddling trip that takes advantage of the river’s many spirited sections. Both are appropriate for all skill levels. Hayes River can’t be beat for wideranging water conditions – from lively river with pool-and-drop rapids to a great northern river characterized by steep gravel banks and long, continuous Class I-II rapids. At a length of 600 kilometres, it features 27 portages and a number of white water conditions before flowing into Hudson Bay, where many adventurers catch a flight home. Paddlers need to have some experience under their belts before tackling portions of this route, but White says you’ll be well rewarded. “One of the awesome things about the Hayes River is York Factory. It’s the second oldest European establishment in western Canada and was an incredible part in the development of this country. This was the gateway to fur trade country. The huge wooden fur trade building still exists today, just appearing out of nowhere. For my money, a paddling trip that ends up there is second to none.” Along with Hayes River, Seal River is one of the last large, undammed rivers in Manitoba and features a number of routes for novice to experienced paddlers. Other water systems that are paddler-friendly include Grass River, Deer Lake and wee Mistik Creek up near Naosap Lake. Truly, there are thousands of rivers and lakes from which to choose an adventure. For information on routes, water and camping conditions, you need to do your homework. Start

with websites like Paddle Manitoba (, various provincial parks, Northern Soul (www. and talk to experts at outdoor stores to get advice and be pointed in the right direction. Some water systems, like the Manigotagan River (, have their own websites. “There’s a good amount of information online right at your fingertips.

Go to reputable places and visit all of the resources and links they offer,” said Palmquist. With paddling season almost upon us – our experts concur that June, July and August offer prime conditions – we have just enough time to learn what we need to know and get out on the water. Who knows what you’ll see and who you’ll become in the process?  u

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Models and colours may not be exactly as shown. Specifications subject to change without notice. For optimum performance and safety, please read your owner’s manual before operating your Honda product.

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Illustrated Maps Bring Canoe Routes to Life B y G loria T a y lor

You could say Réal Berard’s maps help paddling trips come alive. While traditional maps highlight the physical attributes of the lakes and rivers that canoeists and kayakers enjoy, Berard’s historical canoe route maps of Manitoba lakes and rivers tell the story of the waterways through illustrations, photos and text. They are unique documents, developed by the artist during his own canoe trips, put together from Berard’s explorations, observations and notes. Map illustrations of wildlife, trees and flowers found along the banks tell the story of the landscape, while renderings of authentic cabins and pictures and short stories of the historical characters of the region harken back to the rich history of the routes. Side by side with the illustrations, there is valuable practical information that paddlers can use such as the length of the portages that paddlers must navigate to get to the next body of water. Berard describes the painstaking process this way: “I take notes of everything including the rapids and obstructions, and then later I convert the ‘junk pile’ to the detailed maps. Some of the maps took two or three years to finish.” To date, Berard, 76, has completed 13 hand-drawn maps, which he did for the Manitoba government before he retired in September of 1990. That hasn’t ended his map making however. “Now, on my own, I am working on another four or five.” Only one is in Northern Manitoba: the Churchill River. While he no longer has to ply his map making skills, Berard speaks volumes when he calls his mapmaking “my vice or hobby.” Ironically, the artist, who doesn’t lack for a sense of humour, admits he 14 

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Réal Berard with some of his 13 hand-drawn maps of canoe routes, many of them in Northern Manitoba.

likes creating his maps a tad more than taking canoe trips where the waters are rough. “Like an old Indian told me, ‘I never heard of anyone drowning during portages,’ ” he says with a smile. He generally finds someone to go along with him on his trips. The map making started in 1961 when Berard was working as a fire ranger in the Whiteshell as a summer

student. He kept a diary while patrolling from Wallace Lake to the Berens River. “It is a long way, 300 miles, and I spent a month on the rivers and lakes,” he says. “Then, in the winter it was pretty quiet in the office (Natural Resources). The girls in the office would often get inquiries from tourists about canoeing. So, I decided to make a map just from the diaries. Instead of sending a letter back, it was just easier to send a canoe map.” Berard, whose main residence is in St. Boniface in Winnipeg, is well known for his ice sculptures at local and national festivals, for his bust of Louis Riel in front of the St. Boniface Museum, for his National Film Board documentaries and other art pursuits. Anyone interested in obtaining Berard’s maps can do so online at www. or by calling 204945-6666 / toll free: 1-877-627-7226. As for Berard, he may be reached through  u

An illustrated detail from one of Réal Berard’s maps.

Strictly For the Birds Citizen scientists wanted to help identify birds B y Dr . C hristian A rt u so M anitoba B ree d ing B ir d A tlas C oor d inator

like to help document the birds of Manitoba? Citizen scientists are needed. For those with a fondness for canoe camping and wilderness expedition, northern Manitoba is true adventure playground. But, northern Manitoba also offers an excellent learning opportunity for those willing to combine their adventure with a little observation! The Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas ( is an

ambitious five-year project (2010 to 2014) that will document the distribution and relative abundance of every species of bird that breeds in our province. To do this, the atlas relies on hundreds of volunteer “citizen-scientists”. The concept of citizen-science is simple. It is a project designed by professionals in such a way as to be scientifically rigorous but which engages citizens to put their skills to good use collecting data alongside

the professionals. In the case of the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas, anybody who can identify a few birds can participate! The atlas simply asks that people only report those species they can identify with confidence, or at least send us a photograph and we can help you with the identification. Volunteers look for birds in a grid of atlas squares (each square is 10 kilometres by 10 kilometres) and then enter their data using the online system,

Photo by Youn-Young Park

How would you

Canoeists can also become citizen scientists who help the Manitoba government identify bird species in the North. Inset: Dr. Christian Artuso. Northern Experience  Issue 1  |  2012 


reporting the species, date, location, and one of 20 simple breeding evidence codes. The results go toward building a map of each species ( http://birdatlas. and can be queried through a variety of live data summaries ( mbdata/datasummaries.jsp?lang=en), where volunteers have a chance to see their name in lights if they so chose. After

five years, we will have a superb comprehensive data set and be able to analyze and publish the results and put the data to good use in protecting our ecological resources. In two years, more than 700 volunteers have contributed over 100,000 records of birds in their breeding habitat during breeding season. Wilderness adventurers can help cover the vast

roadless sections of the province that have few data to date. If you are planning to go canoe camping or hiking into the backcountry anywhere in Manitoba, there are various ways you could make a significant contribution. We may be able to partner you with experienced observers, or if you prefer to go it alone, we could lend you a special recording device to make digital recordings of bird song along your route. Any nest or nesting bird you see in a remote part of Manitoba is a potential gold mine! Who knows, maybe you’ll make that big discovery, like finding a nest of Golden Eagle, which has not been confirmed breeding in the province in half a century. The idea behind these types of projects is simple. Many people enjoy the great outdoors and this can be combined with both the motivation to learn about the natural world and the great feeling that comes from making a contribution to science and conservation (not to mention a tax receipt for expenses where appropriate). Registration information can be found at:  u

200 PTH#10 Flin Flon, MB Monday – Saturday 8 a.m.–10p.m. Sunday Noon – 6 p.m.

announcing the upcoming opening of a new core tray depot in flin flon by nordevco/core boxes north in conjunction with gardewine north C A L L U S AT 1-204-261-1801 F O R P R I C I N G 16 

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Jobs Available in the North Training, recruitment keys to meeting demand B y K elly G ra y

Manitoba’s north is booming. Finding trained workers is proving to be the key to maximizing this opportunity. World demand for resources is propelling northern Manitoba forward with exploration, new projects and support infrastructure that have the region enjoying a welcome economic boom. Resource companies such as Vale Ltd. and HudBay Minerals as well as provincial Crown utility Manitoba Hydro are hard on the search for workers, both skilled and unskilled, to fill positions as they ramp up developments that will collectively require thousands of new personnel. Meanwhile, services such as catering, restaurant and hospitality, housing, grocery, retail and healthcare are also seeking workers in a region that is expanding with the new project inputs. As a result, the north is now challenged with finding enough staff to fill positions to keep up with the demand and keep the boom booming.

HudBay’s Lalor project in Snow Lake in February.

The Mining Human Resources Council reports that in the Prairies, a region that includes northern Manitoba, there is a need for nearly 22,000 new skilled workers this year to meet the needs of the resources sector alone. By 2015 the demand will have doubled, and by 2020, firms will be looking for more than 70,000 trained staff to undertake new developments. The same is true in hospitals and clinics, schools, and construction companies as well as tourism operations where

All photos courtesy Northern Manitoba Sector Council

How acute is the shortage?

Careers Tour participants see the main lab as part of their tour through the Tolko Manitoba pulp mill site at The Pas. Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Tobacco ceremony practised at the Crowflight minesite, (now CaNickel), near Wabowden, Manitoba prior to training mine employees. facilities from Thompson to The Pas to Churchill have a chronic shortage of workers to guide, check-in or feed guests to the region.

Quite simply, the time has never been better for workers to develop skill sets for the northern labour market.


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For more information about apprenticeship in Manitoba, including rural and northern initiatives, visit our website at: or call 1-877-97-TRADE


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

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Just look at the recent project announcements. In Grand Rapids, Victory Nickel is getting a $500-million open pit mine underway that will see 600 workers during the development stage of its Minago Project and 400 crew in place once the project is operational. The community is also building a new $8-million health centre that will not only help keep people in top shape, but will serve as a tool to retain workers to the region and attract healthcare professionals to the town of 350. In Snow Lake, HudBay Minerals has launched its Lalor Project, a massive gold-zinc development that is valued at close to $800 million, with labour needs on the order of 1,000 persons for development and 400 miners once the site is operational in 2013. Also in Snow Lake is a new bioleaching facility designed to pull gold out of old mine tailings. This facility will offer work to 15 employees for the next six to seven years. In Thompson, they have begun work on the new University College of the North (UCN). This is an $82 million project that will see 120 workers construct the new campus that will offer employment to more than 100 and will train thousands of new workers. Adding to this list is construction of water treatment facilities, temporary labour camps and mine restarts like New Britannia in Flin Flon where Alexis Minerals plans to hire as many as 250 workers to fill positions at its $60 million project. Not surprisingly, community leaders are positive. In Snow Lake, Mayor Clarence Fisher suggests that the town could grow to more than 3,500 residents. “We are being told that for every ‘solid’ long term job there are three supplementary jobs created in sectors such as hospitality or retail. I believe that the projects we are seeing underway right now will result in a entire generation finding employment that will serve to raise not just the town but the entire area,” he says, adding that a new provincial cottage subdivision and the development of

seniors’ condos offer evidence of new thinking about the north. “Both Thompson and Flin Flon are seeing some job shifting and we are benefitting with skilled personnel being able to make the relatively easy move to Snow Lake. Once they are here, we want to keep them with an expanding slate of services and northern lifestyle options like easy access to outdoor pursuits.” According to Doug Lauvstad, director of the Northern Manitoba Sector Council, a provincial body that works with government and industry stakeholders to provide a bird’s eye perspective of things like training, community supports and economic drivers: “The resource sector is the region’s number one employer ahead of Manitoba Hydro. Over the years resources have been a rollercoaster with lots of ups and downs. At this point, we are seeing a lot of activity with a number of key elements all happening at once. We are seeing an aging workforce that will be looking to retire. There are also a lot of people moving west to take advantage of the jobs in the resource sector, and as a result, we are in a competitive struggle for workers. As well, there has been a shift in the work with more technology on the job and new skills needed. In fact, today’s worker needs a skill set solid in the basic foundations to take advantage of the opportunities,” he says. To help northerners develop the skills needed to work in modern mining, a number of new facilities and programs have been set up. In Flin Flon, a consortium of private and public partners have gathered to create the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy, a $1.8-million centre that offers state-of-the-art training with equipment such as $800,000 mining simulators as well as geology lab, wet lab, and library. In The Pas, they have developed the University College of the North (UCN), an institution that was founded in 2004 to address the skills gap in the region. Today UCN offers 40 degree, certificate and diploma programs to 2,700 students at 12 satellite locations (nine of which are in First Nation

communities) in addition to its main campuses in The Pas and Thompson. In Thompson, Vale has launched a series of training initiatives designed to increase its staffing cohort. “We are constantly 150 workers short. This includes both skilled and unskilled positions,” says Ryan Land, Vale’s manager corporate affairs. He remarks that yes, they will be closing the smelter and are in the process of transitioning some workers to other positions in the company, but this said, they are still in need of people to fill posts such as mine engineers and heavy duty mechanics.

attitude and capabilities and then up-skill them.” Assisting here is the Nisichawayasihk Cree First Nation in Nelson House. Located just an hour away from the Thompson mine over all an season road, Nelson House is working with Vale via a satellite of UCN where members of the community can get the necessary skill enhancement to get them working. “We have recognized that to maintain our levels of production we need a stable workforce. The north has one of the highest populations of young people and it is here that we

Mike Doucette guides Careers Tour participants through the pulp production process at the Tolko Industries Ltd. pulp mill in The Pas. Vale is involved with the Northern Employment Strategy, an initiative that seeks to help those in the area get a foothold in the high paying quality jobs on offer in the region. “When we hire out of the north we lose 80 per cent, and when we hire in the north we retain 80 per cent of the new workers,” he says. “Our challenge has been to attract qualified new staff from the 30,000 to 40,000 people in the region who are looking for a job. In the north, fewer people finish high school or come with industrial experience. Our plan is to get applicants with the right

want to attract new staff,” says Land, noting that they look for those who are job ready now, those that might need some up-skilling and can work as a student employee with conditional placement, and the unqualified who need to get foundation skills in hand before attending the P.O.I.N.T. (process operator in training) program and conditional employment. “Our idea is to never close the door.” The same is true at Manitoba Hydro where they have just finished a major section of their Wuskwatim project, a job that had more than 600 workers and trades on site at the 200

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Steve Lytwin, guidance counsellor with the Flin Flon School Division, and other Careers Tour participants get a first hand look at the HudBay mill operation in Flin Flon.

MW hydroelectric development on the Burntwood River near Thompson. Now they are ramping up for further developments with Keeysak, Conawapa and Notigi as well as the BiPole III transmission line to be built to bring power south to markets. Hydro is working with First Nations communities with initiatives such as the Northern Aboriginal Pre-Placement Program. The ten-month program was the first of its kind and was designed to provide opportunities for aboriginal candidates to gain on-the-job training to learn the technical skills and competencies required in technical trades

such as operating technician, electrical and operating technician, mechanical. Upon successful completion, the trainees can choose one of the two full-time in-house trades apprenticeship programs with the aboriginal coordinator’s assistance. Trainees completing the six-year apprenticeship program will be skilled and trained in the two trades: mechanical technician/station operator or electrical technician/station operator journeyperson. Another important partner in training northerners is Apprenticeship Training and Trade Manitoba. This

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

group also sees the need to get skill sets up to speed for northerners to take full advantage of the opportunities. “We have an apprenticeship board and we work with industry to determine needs and then work with the colleges. We are facilitators,” says Apprenticeship Training and Trades Manitoba Acting Executive Director Jacqueline Rattae-Kohut. She reports that for qualified candidates they offer funding as well as counselling that is all dedicated to getting the skills gap shortened. “We have a huge need in Manitoba for skilled workers in forestry, mining and construction to just name a few sectors,” she says, remarking that the most popular trade is carpenter and construction technician. She also comments that the province is working hard to provide alternatives to the traditional training methods. For example, there is more use today of Internet and virtual classrooms and colleges like Red River Community College are using new tools like mobile training labs to bring the learning to more remote settings. Norman Regional Development Director Angela Enright concludes that indeed the north is booming and ripe for those willing to seize a considerable employment opportunity. “With the new projects slated to begin and large established projects underway, companies can not seem to hire fast enough. However, over the years the employment process has been a slow one for many in the north, but with training now a component to access these jobs, the opportunity has never been greater.”  u

Main photo: Wekusko Falls. Insets: Cycling in Thompson and canoeing in Thompson.

Northern Paradise With pristine lakes and untouched forests, there is no shortage of fun things to do and see this summer While Churchill may

get top billing in northern Manitoba since it is both the polar bear and beluga whale capital of the world, there are four other destinations in the province that deserve strong supporting roles for their majestic beauty and ability to attract visitors. All year around and especially in the summer, Thompson, The Pas, Flin Flon and Snow Lake are an outdoors paradise. With pristine lakes and virtually untouched forests, these scenic locales are a mecca for fisherman,

hunters, photographers, and for those who simply want to get away from it all – literally!

Thompson: Wolf Capital of the World While Churchill may be the destination for the majority of travellers in these parts, Thompson is a welcoming recipient of many of these visitors. Referred to as the Hub of the North, this city of 15,000 to 17,000 has many

services and amenities that many would expect in a larger urban centre. Thompson’s most prominent industry is mining in an area first inhabited by nomadic Paleo-Indian hunters around 6000 BC. In 1956, the city really came into its own when a major ore body was discovered by the use of an airborne electromagnetometer following a decade of mining exploration. In 1990, the Heritage North Museum was opened and carries Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Courtesy of Travel Manitoba. Inset photos by Larry Hall.

B y L isa K opochinski

Photo courtesy Travel Manitoba

Bridge on Saskatchewan River at The Pas.

on its mission to promote and preserve Thompson’s mining history. The 4-metre King Miner statue on Mystery Lake Road/Hwy. 6 at the south entrance of the city was built to celebrate Thompson’s 25th anniversary and to honour the men and women who work in the mining industry. The statue is on the site of the annual Nickel Days Festival, which takes place this year on June 21 to 24. National Aboriginal Days also takes place this year on June 21. Thompson also has the great distinction of being the so-called Wolf Capital of the World, complete with a 26-metre-tall mural of what else? A wolf. It was painted by Winnipeg artist Charles Johnson from wildlife artist Robert Bateman’s painting “Wolf Sketch.” “There’s a worldwide infatuation with wolves,” says Volker Beckmann, a volunteer for Spirit Way Inc., a nonprofit group that helped form Spirit Way, a two-kilometre pathway with 18 points of interest showcasing Thompson’s culture, heritage, art, industry, geology and scenery. “We brought in experts and realized we can build a wolf economy around this very controversial animal. We would like wolves to be seen as an ecological and economic asset.” Manitoba boasts approximately 5,000 wolves. The Thompson Zoo has housed several wolves, but plans are in the works for a new wolf enclosure and park. The new enclosure will be


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

six times the size of the current zoo that is nearly 30 years old and situated on .6 hectare of land. If everything goes as planned, the enclosure could open in the summer of 2013. “There is a process you have to go through to keep wolves stressfree and happy,” explains Beckmann. “The enclosure would hold three to four wolves that would be wolf pups bred from a private reserve in Ontario. Between nine and 14 days old, you can get them conditioned to humans. They can then live twice as long.” A trip to the Thompson area would also not be complete without seeing Pisew Falls Provincial Park, home of Manitoba’s second largest waterfall. A .5-kilometre trail leads to a viewing platform, great for capturing that perfect shot. There is also a second trail that leads to the Rotary Suspension Bridge, which spans the Grass River beneath the falls. For seasoned hikers, the bridge leads to a 22-kilometre hiking trail to Kwasitchewan Falls, the province’s highest waterfall.

The Pas: celebrating 100th anniversary Known as the Gateway to the North, The Pas, a town of about 15,000 (including the Opaskwayak Cree Nation) is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a variety of activities. “This will be a great year with events going on throughout the year

to celebrate the spirit of our community,” says Mayor Alan McLaughlan. Located 628 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, some of the special events this year include the Centennial Spring Tea in May, the RCMP Musical Ride in late July and the Centennial Weekend Parade beginning Aug. 3. “Although our community is entering a new century, people have been living in this area for almost 10,000 years,” says McLaughlan. “Our community has always been a gathering place for celebrating northern living. Festivals such as the Trappers’ Festival showcases the life our ancestors enjoyed in years past.” Original inhabitants to The Pas were the Cree. The first European recorded to encounter the tribe was Henry Kelsey, who had travelled through here around 1690. In the mid1700s, French-Canadian explorer La Verendrye directed the construction of Fort Pascoyack near The Pas. Though the town was initially known as W’passkwayaw, it was then switched to Opasquia before The Pas finally stuck. For history buffs, much can be learned at the Sam Waller Museum, located in the downtown courthouse. Sam Waller, who passed way more than 30 years ago, was a colourful character and a lifelong collector. Visitors can feast their eyes on exhibits related to fur trading, mining and transportation – from the steamboat to the railway and aviation era. The Pas also boasts some of the best lake trout fishing at Clearwater Lake, the second clearest lake in the world. For Randi Salamanowicz, chief executive officer for the Town of The Pas, she never planned to stay here once she completed her education. That was 23 years ago. “The Pas is a warm friendly community with a huge cultural area,” she says. “What I really appreciate about the summer are the daylight hours. There is a huge difference in daylight hours from southern Manitoba and The Pas. The six-hour driving difference gives us almost two extra hours of daylight (per day). It is nice to enjoy an afternoon of walleye fishing off the banks of the Saskatchewan River.”

Flin Flon: heart of the arts A thriving mining community and vacation destination for those who love the outdoors, Flin Flon can also now call itself an art centre. With the opening of the new Northern Visual Arts

Center (NorVA) in winter 2010, the city of a little more than 5,800 is situated on the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border 800 kilometres north of Winnipeg and continues to be a community of character, quality of life, great outdoor activities and now art. “Before NorVA, there was really nothing,” says Sarah Trevor, a local artist and chairperson of the Flin Flon Art Council’s steering committee. NorVA spans 450 square metres and provides painters, fibre artists and photographers with enough space to create and display their work. “Paintings on display range from representational landscapes to close ups of trees, rocks and ice that border on the abstract, as well as themes of First Nation’s legend and spirituality,” she says. “The Canadian Shield and boreal forest provide infinite inspiration, as does mining on which Flin Flon depends.” Located north of the 55th parallel on the same latitude as Belfast and Moscow, Flin Flon sits on the edge of the Precambrian Shield, an area

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Flin Flon aerial view. notable for its distinctive greenish, fine grained stone – greenstone. The city started mining in the 1920s and

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Photo courtesy Travel Manitoba

Salamanowicz adds that the caves at Clear Water Lake are one of more unique places to see. “They are deep crevices that formed when rock masses split away from shoreline and cliffs. There is also a designated .8-kilometre hiking trail, which has viewing platforms and unique vegetation growth.” Non-outdoor lovers need not feel left out. A trip to the Aseneskak Casino may be just the thing. Owned by a consortium of six First Nations, the 20,000-square-foot casino is situated on the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, a mere five-minute drive from The Pas. With 160 slot machines and table games, including Texas hold’em poker, free shuttle services are also offered form local hotels to the casino and back.

its abundance has allowed it to growth to its present successful status today. Flin Flon was named after Josiah Flintabattey Flonatin, the hero of the science fiction novel, The Sunless City, which gold prospectors happened to find in the wilderness in the early 1900s. Decades later, “Lil Abner” cartoonist Al Capp created the image of “Flinty.” The Chamber of Commerce had a statue of Flinty constructed in 1962, which everyone can see at the Flin Flon Tourist Park on the perimeter of No. 10 Hwy. Visitors can find out more at the Flin Flon Station Museum, housed in the former Canadian National Railway Station. It exhibits items from the pioneering period, as well as tools and minerals belonging to Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. The museum opens for the summer season around the beginning of June and closes after the September long weekend. Flin Flon’s beautiful and tranquil clear waters and forests attract tourists who come to fish, canoe, hike, hunt and relax. Additionally,

the Hapnot Lake Wildlife Sanctuary – home to hundreds of indigenous waterfowl – has proven to be a big hit with bird lovers. Summer here is also a time for many festivals and events, touring art shows, and Canada Day celebrations. Visitors might wish to plan their vacation to coincide with the Flin Flon Trout Festival, a month-long fishing derby that starts in early June or the “Bigger than Boxing Day Bash” later that month. “Our city boasts beautiful views, friendly people and a great summer festival known as the Trout Festival,” says Mayor George Fontaine. “ We are well known for outdoor activities, such as camping and fishing as well as being ‘The Heart of the Arts’ in the north. Our musical, theatrical and graphic artists are world class.”

Snow Lake: northern playground Situated centrally among Thompson, Flin Flon and The Pas, Snow Lake, a

mining town of about 900, lies 685 kilometres north of Winnipeg. Nestled on the shore of a lake with the same name, and with its long summer daylight hours, visitors can enjoy myriad activities such as hiking, rock climbing, golf, fishing, hunting, camping, canoeing, boating, bird watching, wildlife observation, berry and mushroom picking, and photography. For your inner angler, Snow Lake and numerous surrounding lakes offer great opportunities to catch walleye, northern pike, lake trout, rainbow trout and more. Visitors will love the breathtaking scenery at Sunset Bay at Wekusko Falls – 10 minutes south of the town. Canoeists can paddle the historic Grass River between Tramping Lakes and Wekusko Lake while hikers have the choice of a wide array of trail choices in town or more challenging ones in Wekusko Falls Provincial Park, which boasts several kilometres of hiking and jogging paths, two suspension bridges for the falls, and nearly 90 camper sites.

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012


Courtesy Gary Zamzow

Sunset in Snow Lake. Golfers can challenge their skills at Snow Lake’s ninehole course set in the rugged Canadian Shield that is open to the public from May through October. Other attractions include the Mining Museum, “a world-class museum complete with equipment of all types that was used in mines in the area,” says Bev Atkinson of the Town of Snow Lake. “An excellent tour describes the daily life of an underground miner, including the dangers, ingenuity needed, and the sheer hard work. Displays of photos and various types of drilling cores and ore samples are also very interesting. You can see zinc, gold and other minerals as they appear naturally in the area surrounding Snow Lake.” Snow Lake’s mining dates back to around 1896 when a federal geological survey was conducted in this area. In 1913, gold was discovered on the east shores of Wekusko Lake, and from 1917 to 1945, Rex Mines (later Lagoona Gold Mines) produced nearly 200,000 grams of gold. Several murals by local artists are also on display. One of special interest is the Heritage Mural painted by artist Cindy Santa for the town’s 60th anniversary. It hangs in the Lawrie Marsh Community Hall. Nearby, is the Miner’s Memorial that honours the miners who lost their lives in mining accidents. It is next to the time capsule that was erected to celebrate Snow Lake’s official 50th anniversary in 1997. The time capsule is expected to be reopened for the town’s 100th birthday in 2047.  u

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


The Pas Celebrates

1   00 Years B y Dan P ro u d le y

The Town of The Pas is putting on a birthday party this summer and it’s estimated that several thousand people will attend. That’s a huge guest list, but this is no ordinary birthday bash. In fact, it’s very special – The Pas is turning 100 years old. Although there are various centennial celebrations happening throughout the year, the big event is the homecoming during the long weekend of Aug. 3 to 5. The homecoming will reunite family members and former classmates and rekindle old friendships. “It looks like everyone we have talked to who has lived in The Pas or was born here is coming back for 26 

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

homecoming,” says Allan McLauchlan, the mayor of The Pas. “We are excited about this year being our centennial. It’s a renewal of our community.” McLauchlan advises that anyone planning to attend should book accommodations immediately, because hotel and motel rooms are filling up quickly and he doesn’t expect there will be any vacancies come the August long weekend. Many former residents will be staying at the homes of family members or friends. Visitors will also be able to camp at various sites in the area. The town will open a 20-site campground facility at the riverfront, and an additional 100 sites for campers and RVs

“We are excited about this year being our centennial. It’s a renewal of our community.” – Mayor Allan McLauchlan

Homecoming, celebrations expected to attract thousands will be located around the community. Getting a spot will be on a “first come, first serve basis,” says McLaughlan. As well, there are about 60 camping sites at the nearby Clearwater Lake Provincial Park, plus cabin and lodge accommodations are available at the park and at Rocky Lake, 30 miles north of The Pas. Hosting special events is nothing new for The Pas. The town has been home to the Manitoba Winter Games and also the Summer Games. “We have a good track record of putting on large events,” he says. “But certainly, we anticipate this will be one of our bigger events.”

Of course, these activities would not be possible without volunteers. Planning for the centennial celebrations started over a year ago. “I think probably 50 per cent of the population will be volunteering in some way, shape or form during the year. The volunteer base is huge,” says McLauchlan, adding with a chuckle, “And we really know how to put on a party.” Although there have been many activities organized for the homecoming, more events will be announced once details are finalized. McLauchlan, says the focus is on making the weekend a “real family affair.” The homecoming weekend kicks off on Friday, Aug. 3 with registrations

Above: The historical court house building. Top left: Downtown circa 1930. Top right: An archival photo of the train station in The Pas.

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


MTS office circa 1945.

and a dance that evening at the arena. On Saturday, the Sacred Heart School Reunion will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Guy Hall, and the Christ Church Parish Hall will be open for tours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday will also

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feature a parade. Kids’ activities will be held throughout the weekend. There’s also a dance Saturday night but it’s already sold out. However, there will be 100 tickets made available on the day of the event for people coming in from out of town, says McLauchlan. The dances are proving to be popular events. There will be five local or former The Pas bands playing each night. People will have another chance to see them when they and some additional groups perform at the open stage on Sunday afternoon at the Roy H. Johnston Arena. For more information on the homecoming weekend check out The Pas Centennial website:  u Box 2519; R9A 1M3 The Pas, MB Email:

Tel.: 204-623-5446 1-800-665-9468 Fax: 204-623-3383


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

A monument dedicated to pioneers of The Pas.

Newly renovated rooms Dining Room/Lounge/Night Club Sledding Packages On designated routes and close to fuel

Top photo: Francesco Ridolfi / Mayor and town office photos courtesy of The Town of The Pas.

Youth Revitalize The Pas Town sees trend with young entrepreneurs returning B y Dan P ro u d le y

The mayor of The Pas can’t help but be excited these days. It’s not just the fact that the town is celebrating its centennial this year that has him feeling upbeat. There is something else – it’s the spirit of the community’s young entrepreneurs. Recently, there’s a new trend that’s hit this northern forestry town of 5,000 people. A reverse youth migration is taking place that’s revitalizing the town’s small business sector. “At one time, small communities such as The Pas were known for exporting its youth,” says Mayor Alan

“Everything is here for business. We have a willing population that wants to work and who wants to buy things. This is a good place for business and a good place to live.” – Mayor Allan McLauchlan

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


The downtown business district.

The Otineka Mall.

McLauchlan. “There was nothing for them here, the jobs were elsewhere.” So they sought employment in places like Alberta. But that has changed. “Our youth started to come back – either starting small businesses or taking over small businesses,” says McLauchlan. “That is exciting for us – to have young people coming back to the community. No small community wants to export their youth because that is the future of our community.”

The small businesses that are run by young entrepreneurs include: Snowdons Welding And Metal Fabricating; CM Richardson Construction; Everlasting Eavestroughing and Pete’s Pro-Tackle, hunting and fishing store. Spurring the local economy are also other developments that are expected to boost the retail and service sectors in the future. There are plans for the construction of additional housing that will include a condominium complex, an apartment building

and some duplexes, says the mayor. Currently the demand for housing exceeds supply, so this is good news for the community. One of the factors driving demand is students and staff at The Pas’ University College of the North. Although the town currently serves the forestry industry, the community that is billed as the Gateway to the North is also well positioned to take advantage of the mining boom that is expected to occur in northern Manitoba, said McLauchlan. “Our shift will slowly be to a mining town, servicing and housing the industry.” “We have great potential for growth in the next five to 20 years. We are seeing that growth happening now with the drill rigs coming in doing ore sampling.” McLauchlan points out also that the town services a large trading area of 15,000 to 20,000 people and he expects that it too will expand. Throughout the year The Pas hosts various events that serve as economic drivers. This includes the popular annual Northern Manitoba

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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Top photo by Stephen Smulan. Others courtesy of the Town of The Pas.

Trapper greets visitors to The Pas.

“Our youth started to come back – either starting small businesses or taking over small businesses.” – Mayor Allan McLauchlan

Trappers’ Festival featuring worldclass dog racing. “Event tourism is important for small business in our area,” notes McLauchlan. The town also offers a good quality of life with a myriad of health care, educational and recreational amenities. University College of the North provides a wide variety of post secondary education. For the active minded there’s two indoor hockey rinks; a curling club; an indoor swimming pool, and a wellness centre that features physiotherapy and the largest

fitness facility in Northern Manitoba. In addition, there is an abundance of outdoor adventure activities such as hunting, fishing and snowmobiling. Camping facilities are also nearby at the Clearwater Lake Provincial Park. The outlook certainly appears bright for this community that is the Gateway to the North. “Everything is here for business,” says McLauchlan. “We have a willing population that wants to work and who wants to buy things. This is a good place for business and a good place to live.”  u


Photo by David Cobb

The historic Lido Theatre opened in The Pas in 1930.


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Northern Experience nAtI O nA L & P r Ov I n C I A L PArKS Clearwater Lake Provincial Park

Located just 20 km north of The Pas on Highway 10, this park has something for everyone. The park offers fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, overnight lodging, and camping with basic and electrically serviced sites at Campers Cove or walk-in tent sites at Pioneer Bay.

Grass River Provincial Park

Just 80 km north of The Pas on Highway 10, take the first right and follow Highway 39 into Grass River Park. This wilderness of lakes and evergreen forest is home to woodland caribou, moose, wolves, bear and a variety of waterfowl. Also ideal for canoeing and fishing for northern pike, walleye, lake trout and perch.

Zed Lake Provincial Park

Just 20 km northwest of Lynn Lake on Highway 394, this park has 35 unserviced sites, beach, boat launch and barbecue pits. This is an ideal location for both hunting and fishing, and for scouting the surrounding clear lakes and vast wilderness.

Paint Lake Provincial Recreation Park

This park, which extends over 56,000 acres of Precambrian Boreal Forest, is located 32 km south of Thompson on Highway 6. Great fishing, boating, water sports, excellent camping and cabin rentals await you. Many winter activities are also available throughout the park. Some of these include snowmobile trails, crosscountry ski trails and a sliding area for children.

Berge Lake Provincial Park

Located 5 km northwest of Lynn Lake on Highway 394, this park has 25 unserviced sites, a beach, boat launch, a fish cleaning building and barbecue pits. Hiking in winter or summer on eskers left by glaciers is just minutes away.

Wekusko Falls

Located 15 km south of Snow Lake, this park offers modern bathrooms, water standpipes and a sewage dump for campers with 112 sites available. Also hiking trails featuring suspension bridges and a boat launch, a beach and a fish-cleaning house.

Pisew Falls & Kwasitchewan Falls

Visit Manitoba’s highest road-accessible waterfalls. A boardwalk and a suspension bridge will keep you busy as you look and listen for the hissing sound of the falls. A 22 km overnight hiking trail will take you to Kwasitchewan.

Wapusk National Park

Located 45 km southeast of the town of Churchill, Wapusk (the Cree word for “white bear”) is one of Canada’s newest national parks. It is a fitting name as the park protects one of the world’s largest known polar bear maternity denning areas.

Bakers Narrows Provincial Park

Located 19 km south of Flin Flon on Highway 10, this small park is ideal for camping, boating, fishing and other recreational activities. This campground has 40 electrical and 28 non-electrical sites with barbecue pits and modern washrooms also a convenience store, playgrounds and boat launches.

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Poultry project brings locally grown chicken to the North Byron Beardy jokes

that he is a chick magnet. He’s not being politically incorrect; he’s being literal, as he’s one of the minds behind the Island Lakes Poultry Project. In amongst the various recent attempts to feed the north with homegrown and more nutritious (and more affordable) food, one of the more intricate projects has to be the poultry project, now about to start its third year. It’s similar in spirit to many growyour-own projects currently underway in northern Manitoba, whether it’s the tending of school gardens or construction of personal family greenhouses.


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

With the poultry project, local families sign up for the job of actually raising the chickens, totally organically, from the coop to the kitchen, often several dozen chicks at a time. The main idea is to provide the approximately 10,000 people in Island Lakes with a new source of protein locally raised. “That is the idea, for more selfsufficiency,” said Beardy, the Four Arrows Regional Health Authority’s Food Security Co-ordinator, and one of the people behind the poultry project. The idea began when Beardy met southern farmer Robert Guilford at a Growing Local conference a few

years ago, and the two started talking. Guilford gets the families started, and acts as the program’s mentor. It turns out there is lots to learn when raising chickens. Initial training begins with the soon-to-be chicken farmers in the spring when they are taught to build the chicken coops (the coop-building materials had already been shipped over the ice roads in the winter) before the chicks are flown up in early summer. In a mere 12 weeks, the families can have chickens that are ready for the table. Guilford, who is referred to as the Chicken Man on community radio, and Beardy revisit the families in September to train

Photo by Eric Tadsen /

B y J im C hlibo y ko

Photo by Jim Chliboyko

them how to slaughter the chickens (as well as giving plucking lessons). Raising the birds is not necessarily an easy job. With respect to those who grow their own vegetables, aside from voracious deer, there is much more to worry about when dealing with chickens; cucumbers can’t escape from a garden if the door is left open, and tomatoes aren’t generally stalked by foxes. For many of the families involved with the poultry project, the learning curve was steep and the job was laborious. The first year initially saw 125 chicks split between five families, but only one family was ultimately able to protect all 25 of their chicks. Last year, there were nine families in four First Nation communities that were raising chickens: St. Theresa Point, Red Sucker Lake, Wasagamack and Garden Hill. Though Beardy is based in Winnipeg, he spends a lot of time traveling in the north, and part of his job is to get the word out about projects like this.

Byron Beardy (left) and Robert Guilford, the two men who inspired the Island Lakes Poultry Project. “Basically, when I come in, I tell my community contacts, which are actual staff members of local health authorities, I give the onus to the community

members to decide who the interested ones are. We provide training, too, when we start. It’s one-on-one chicken raising, if you will,” says Beardy.

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Photo by Jim Chliboyko

Byron Beardy introduces Chickens of the North at the Growing Local conference. But there’s another way in which the project is (metaphorically) organic. “The families from previous years are expected to train the new families. And they go from zero to 100 in two months. It’s time consuming, but very rewarding,” he adds. There’s an economic benefit as well for an area like Island Lakes, which generally has only fly-in access and where the most nutritious food is generally the most expensive.


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

“In local stores (in the north), they are $7-plus for chicken, per kilogram,” notes Beardy. But it’s not just about meat; after the project’s first year, fresh eggs became a handy and affordable byproduct of the project. Ultimately, declares Beardy, the project has been a success. There was even a 23-minute documentary made, called Chickens of the North (directed by Beardy, who also provided the film’s score), documenting the effort. Its second-ever showing took place at the Growing Local conference at Winnipeg’s Marlborough Hotel this February. It’s an insightful film with a number of interesting moments, like the First Nations teenage punk girl wearing a dog collar while plucking chickens, and the children of the Harper family being taught to both make, and enjoy, hard-boiled eggs. Guilford, the southern mentor and part of the Harvest Moon Society, a food-growing educational initiative, addressed the crowd gathered for the film, saying, “It’s great to see so many

people interested in a bunch of wacky chickens. I love working with people who want to learn; I’m really pleased to be a part of this.” This year will mark the project’s third season, and like with each year, there will be a slightly different focus on raising the birds. “The first year, we just had meat birds; in the second year, there were meat birds and layers (eggs),” said Beardy. “The people passed around fresh eggs every weekend to family members and others.” Some of the families are new, while some of the former participants are becoming repeat chicken farmers in the third year. One family is asking to branch out into raising turkeys. “They are gung ho,” said Beardy of the family. “We’re going to try to accommodate them, try not to deter them.” The ultimate goal, however, remains the same. “The goal is to provide healthy food,” said Guilford, “and to provide a sense of well being.” “One of the things we’re hoping to do is instead of us sending chicks every year (from southern Manitoba) is having the participants incubate their own eggs,” said Beardy. After the second year, the project successfully raised about 75 per cent of the 203 chickens in the northern program, most of the losses coming from predators. The word about the project’s success is getting out too. Beardy and Guilford are in the midst of importing the project to northern Ontario communities, like Fort Albany on the shore of James Bay. And the keynote speaker at this past Growing Local conference, the Native American writer Winona LaDuke, caught on to the project while visiting Winnipeg and is looking to perhaps import it into areas in the United States that could benefit from it. Two years in, Beardy sounds proud of the results. It’s not that he’s merely impressed that there is chicken to be had in northern Manitoba, but that the quality of the chicken is so high. Says Beardy, “They’re not just little chickens, we’re seeing chickens the size of a young turkey.”  u

Pat Bruderer creates “spiritually-driven” creations out of biting birch bark.

Birch Bark Biting: Ancient Aboriginal Art B y G loria T a y lor

Pat Bruderer holds

Photos by John Lyttle

a delicate piece of birch bark to a window. Light illuminates the art work, flooding through the holes she has bitten into the thin layer. The art is called birch bark biting and is an old art form practised by indigenous peoples of North America. Today, there many fewer practitioners, but the art form continues to exist because of people like Bruderer, who sells her pieces inside and outside the province to people who can appreciate the traditional work in its many manifestations. “Birch bark biting is one of the oldest traditional native art forms. It was done to support our stories, our beadwork patterns, our maps, our ceremonies. The art went underground for a long time. There wasn’t that many people doing Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


“Birch bark biting is one of the oldest traditional native art forms. It was done to support our stories, our beadwork patterns, our maps, our ceremonies.” – Pat Bruderer


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

who was working at the Friendship Centre in Thompson when a woman came in to sell some of Merasty’s work. Later, she tried it herself. “I was working in a school one day, and the kids were curious about what birch bark biting was. They wanted to know if I could do it. I thought, ‘I’ll try,’ so I went out to the neighbour’s wood pile, and I picked out some birch bark and then I proceeded to try to figure it out.” These days, she wants to get out of selling her originals and more into making and selling prints of her work. Anyone interested in seeing Bruderer’s pieces can do so at the Arctic Trading Post in Churchill, the Flin Flon Indian-Metis Friendship Centre, Indianheart Creations in Creighton, Sask., Teekca’s Aboriginal Boutique in Winnipeg and the Birchwood Art Gallery in Winnipeg. Bruderer is available through:  u


it,” says Bruderer, who knows of only a few today. Care, skill, creativity and ceremony go into the making of each piece. “The first process would be to go into the bush and offer some tobacco to give thanks for the birch that I am taking,” explains Bruderer. “And then, I take a knife and cut into the tree, but I don’t cut deep into the tree. Then the birch bark has to be peeled. I generally can get 20 to 30 pieces out of one cutting.” She then proceeds to fold the piece of birch bark and bite a design into it, often using nature as inspiration. In her “bites” can be found bees, floral patterns and people. Jingle dancers are present in one, and on another, called Once We Were Warriors, aboriginal peoples hold spears. The pieces are named and often have a story to tell. Bruderer enjoys the spirituality behind the work, and says she goes through 10 to 13 “stages” altogether. “They incorporate the elements of earth, wind, fire and water.” Fire comes in when she burns the edges of the birch bark for an antique look. Birch bark biters often passed their skills to younger generations, as has Bruderer, who has taught her children and her grandchildren. She however is self taught after seeing the work of birch bark biter Angelique Merasty. “The first time I seen it was probably 25 to 30 years ago,” says Bruderer,


Birch bark designs were once used as templates for bead work and other uses.




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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Prince of Wales Fort Restored S u bmitte d b y P arks C ana d a

Photos courtesy Parks Canada

Water freezing and thawing for 250 years has wreaked havoc on the exterior walls of Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site, near Churchill, Man. Parks Canada has stabilized the weakened and collapsed sections of the fort’s impressive stone


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

walls under a multi-year program to preserve the structure for generations of visitors to come. The large, star-shaped fort was built by the Hudson’s Bay Company between 1731 and 1771, as another European war loomed between

England and France. The fort was designed as a fur trade post, to deter enemy navies from entering Hudson Bay, and to provide protection for the company’s cargo ships. The pure size of the fort and thickness of its massive walls made for an impressive military

Parks Canada preserves northern treasure – one stone at a time! installation, but the small garrison of fewer than 40 Hudson’s Bay Company men were not able to defend it from an attack by the French in 1782. The fort was surrendered, its buildings burned, storerooms and embrasures blown up, cannons disabled,

and then it was abandoned until the 20th century. A fair portion of the fort withstood destruction by the French, but the harsh northern environment led to further deterioration of the remaining walls. There were efforts in the 1930s and 50s to repair portions of the fort but the most significant restoration work has taken place over the last decade. Parks Canada’s engineers, archaeologists and stonemasons have carefully investigated and stabilized the fort. Stonemasons expertly removed the outer face stones, stabilized the inner core stones, and finally reset the face stones back in their original locations, just like putting a puzzle back together again. This was no small task, as the stone, quarried locally, is extremely hard and a single stone can weigh as much as 2,500 kilograms. Even more surprising, the stonemasons also used versions of 18th century tools and techniques to do the job! Meanwhile, archaeologists worked ahead of the crew, carefully investigating the ramparts before any other work occurred.

Because water continues to weaken the walls through freezing and thawing, an important task has been the installation of a drainage system. Over 100 boreholes were drilled in the ramparts and bastions. These holes drain water from the top of the walls to the footings and ground water. Moisture-monitoring sensors have now been placed in several boreholes to provide constant, accurate information about the moisture levels in the walls. Throughout the conservation program, many fascinating features and artifacts were uncovered and are now being studied by archaeologists. Stabilization work on the walls will ensure that this important national historic site will continue to be a source of pride to Canadians and a popular travel destination for many generations to come. The fort is open July and August. Visitors can travel to the fort across the river from Churchill through licensed commercial tour operators. For information about Prince of Wales Fort, call 1-888-773-8888 toll-free or 204-675-8863, visit: parkscanada. or e-mail:  u

Parks Canada has painstakingly restored damaged walls on the Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site to preserve the national treasure.

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Dolly Parton Imagination Library Manitoba woman on $1.5 million mission for books for youngsters Karen Davis is on a milliondollar mission, $1.5 million to be exact, to promote literacy and learning for First Nation preschoolers and their families. For several years, Davis has worked to bring the Nashville-based Dolly Parton Imagination Library literacy program, which provides an age-appropriate book a month to children from birth to five free of charge to families, to all 64 Manitoba First Nation communities. Under the original plan, Davis approached community “sponsors” such as bands or businesses to pay a fee to get the program extended to their community. It was a nominal fee, just $3.60 per child per month, to cover just a portion of the mail-out costs of the philanthropic program. Unfortunately, many of the communities that could benefit hugely from the program simply could not afford it, she says. To date, 14 First Nations have enrolled after finding local sponsors, but sadly this falls far short of Davis’s goal. First Nation families on the other hand loved and wanted the program. This spring, Davis has partnered with the Dollywood Foundation in an effort to raise $1.5 million to replicate the program – not just to the First Nation communities that don’t have it at present – but to all Manitoba families. As for Davis, she has a personal interest in meeting her long-time goal for Aboriginal families. “I said I would replicate the program to all the First Nations in Manitoba, and it’s still a goal of mine.” With that came the need to develop new sources of funding, and the 42 

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Karen Davis is on a multimillion-dollar mission to promote literacy. Davis received a Women of Distinction Award 2011 by the Brandon YWCA, and she also received the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Literacy this year for her efforts to bring books to toddlers, among many other awards. She is shown here with the Honourable Philip S. Lee, the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba. partners began this spring to approach some of the largest public and private bodies in the province. These include government departments at all levels, banks, credit unions, foundations and large corporations such as Manitoba Telecom Services and Manitoba Hydro that are known to support worthwhile community causes. “And what could be more valuable than education for youngsters; it’s all about literacy, language and learning,” says Davis, who grew up on Manitoba’s Ebb and Flow First Nation

“If we are ever going to climb our way out of poverty, we have to start with educating our preschoolers, remembering that parents are their first teachers.” – Karen Davis

Canada must make widespread changes to the country’s education systems in order to stem the “soaring” high school dropout rates among Aboriginal students. – From the report, Dropouts: The Achilles’ Heel of Canada’s High-School System by the C.D. Howe Institute

and is a passionate crusader for early childhood education. “If Aboriginal people are ever going to climb our way out of poverty, we have to start with educating our preschoolers, remembering that parents are their first teachers,” she says. There is plenty of evidence that points to the need for educating the youngsters, particularly in First Nation communities. The C.D. Howe Institute stated in its report: Dropouts: The Achilles’ Heel of Canada’s High-School System that Canada must make widespread changes to the country’s education systems in order to stem the “soaring” high school dropout rates among Aboriginal students. The Canadian public policy thinktank, in the report by John Richards, a professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., stated that the average national high school dropout rate for adults from 20 to 24 was 13.8 per cent. Manitoba had the highest provincial average at 21.5 per cent, which was followed by Saskatchewan at 18.3 per cent. Speaking to the report, Richards stated in a news story that Aboriginal education is in a “state of crisis.” He said that the dropout rate for Aboriginal students is about four times that of non-Aboriginal students. It’s a situation that Davis and the Dollywood Foundation are working hard to change.  u

Davis can be reached at or 204-648-4966. Northern Experience  Issue 1  |  2012 


Travellers’ Alternative Give northern B&Bs a try B y J im C hlibo y ko

Churchill: Blue Sky Bed & Sled Usually a team of sled dogs isn’t synonymous with staying in a cozy B&B. But at Blue Sky Bed & Sled, they come with the territory. Actually, the dogs are kept off-site, but the tours, both winter and summer, are part of the Blue Sky experience.

Illustration by Ivan Cvetkovic /

Photo by Pawel Gaul /

Hotels, motels, hostels and inns; there are many ways to refer to places where a traveller can put their head for the night. But we would be remiss if we overlooked what’s known as a bed and breakfast or a B&B. Below are a selection of bed and breakfast establishments in northern Manitoba. In terms of busy-ness, fall tends to be a pretty hectic time of year, so it doesn’t ever hurt to call ahead.


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Thompson: Northern Lights If you want to judge a place by their clientele, Thompson’s Northern Lights B&B is where Blue Sky’s Gerald and Jenafor stay when they are in town. Rick and Kirstie Svenkeson operate the Northern Lights Bed & Breakfast in Thompson. Northern Lights also handles the overflow of hunters from Shinook’s in Thompson when they get busy. The Svenkesons also get their share of tourists. The name of the place, it turns out, as well as the presence of the actual northern lights up north, can come in handy. “We’ve had Japanese couples come up here,” said Kirstie. “There’s some sort of old wives’ tale (in Japan), that they will produce a boy if they conceive it under the northern lights.” It’s a seven-room inn with two common rooms as well as a twostorey deck outside equipped with a barbecue, a feature which Kirstie says is busy all summer. Northern Lights is actually a former apartment building, so there’s lots of space. And Rick and

“I serve a big breakfast and then I serve a snack or dessert and tea in the evening.” – Anne Snihor

Photo by Marina Bartel /

“We are unique, and what we do is unique; not too many B&B’s have polar bears in the backyard,” says Jenafor Azure, who, with husband Gerald, started Blue Sky in 2006. Jenafor says their B&B is a theme inn, based on Gerald’s Métis upbringing in just-as-remote Cormorant, Man. The Blue Sky team get a lot of attention – the Azures and their sled dogs have been featured on APTN locally, as well as on NBC during the Vancouver Olympics. The B&B itself is on the edge of town and has four rooms for guests, which feature sled-shaped beds and local art. And, there’s a local element to their breakfasts too. “We grind our own wheat for pancakes, and pick close to 100 pounds of tundra berries,” she said. “We also sell lots of Manitoba pork, both sausages and bacon.” Their efforts and hospitality are well noted on sites like Tripadvisor. com, where their ratings can’t get much higher. Jenafor says that fully one-quarter are repeat customers and they draw clients from as far away as Asia.

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Kirstie are its second owners, as well, having bought the active B&B from another couple. Every B&B is slightly different than the next, but Northern Lights is different in another way. “We do actually have a menu, whereas most B&Bs just make you what they’re going to make you,” says Kirstie. “The previous owners had a menu. There’s homemade pancakes, homemade Belgian waffles, and toast made from homemade bread.”

Thompson: Shinook’s



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Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

There’s something to be said about staying on Wolf Street while in Thompson, a city where wolves are so prominent. That’s where Anne Snihor and her son, Blaine, have run their B&B for the last few years. It is a business Anne started with her late husband as a way to accommodate the clients that were using their outfitting service, Trapper Mike’s. The proprietor jokes that she stores the hunters in the basement; that’s where their big guest room is, as well as two private baths and a den with a television, microwave and fridge. “It’s one room with four single beds,” she says. “We always have hockey people or figure skating people. We have a lot of regulars. There are people coming for trade shows, there’s a couple that have been coming for 10 years. They’ve all become a part of the family.” Of course, food is a big part of the scene at a B&B, and Shinook’s isn’t any different. “I serve a big breakfast and then I serve a snack or dessert and tea in the evening,” says Anne. “Usually my guests’ favourite is German pancakes, baked in the oven with apples.”

The Pas: Watchi Bay B&B If it’s peace and quiet you want, perhaps the Watchi Bay B&B might be what you are looking for. “We’re approximately 10 miles north of The Pas. We’re pretty low profile, but we’re still here,” says Carol Heape, who runs the place with her husband Tom. “We have waterfront. And we’re close to other recreation things going on at Clearwater Lake Provincial Park.” Carol and Tom have been operating their B&B for 10 years or so, but Carol considers theirs to be a small-scale operation. It’s a quiet place just off Hwy. 10, with forest views, remote enough to be away from town, yet close to the town airport. “It’s just one bedroom suite, self-contained with a separate entrance,” she said. “What we’ve learned is, if we had much more room, we could’ve well filled it. It’s been a very nice experience. We seem to have certain things going that they (the guests) have enjoyed. We’ve been asked to have more (guests), but we just took what we could handle.”

Carol says the couple gets quite a varied clientele, from construction crews to business people. The couple also provides a full breakfast, often sweetened with locally sourced berries. But their breakfast also has another interesting twist. ”We have a turn-of-the-century stove, a wood stove that we cook on,” says Carol. “I wouldn’t have thought it would be a big part of the package but it seems to be. It seems to be a conversation piece, the stove.”

Snow Lake: Bluenose Most people who travel to Snow Lake probably don’t expect to bump into something with such a nautical Newfoundland theme. That’s where the Bluenose comes in. It’s a B&B operated by Sylvia and Garry Zamzow, centrally located on Cherry Street. You’ll be well-connected if you stay there; Mr. Zamzow is the former town mayor.

According to their next-door neighbour, Cindy, who is keeping an eye on the place while the owners are away, “It caters to skidooers, hunters and fishermen. In the summertime, you have people bringing their boats in.” Apparently, with little snow down south, many snowmobilers were drawn up north this past winter.

“During hunting season, they get several moose hunters up, too. Because the community is so busy now (with the redevelopment of the mines), there’s not a lot of space.” The house is a separate three-bedroom residence, which can be rented out by the room or the whole house. It’s also got kitchen facilities, satellite television, a fireplace and a hot tub.  u

We’re exciting. Fun. And friendly! Thompson’s 10 story wolf, Mahikan, watches over our city with pride. His message is one of “eye to eye with respect” for all visitors, residents, friends. We’re a booming, dynamic city surrounded by natural, rugged beauty. You’ll love our spirit and unlimited opportunities!

Find tame or wild: Tour Spirit Way. Howl at the wolves. Photo the sites. Awe at spectacular Pisew Falls. Find peace at Paint Lake Park. Fish your limit. Golf until very late. Shop, shop, shop! And look way up on those special nights... can you


hear the Northern Lights? Toll Free: 1 866 WOLF FUN

One of 32 Spirit Way Wolves.

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Photo by Jason Kasumovic /

B&Bs often cater to hunters and fishermen.



Slogans: “Polar Bear Capital of the World” and “Beluga Whale Capital of the World.”

A variety of services and products can be found from groceries to general goods; from liquor store to banking facilities.

Tundra buggy, helicopter tours are available.

Town centre is connected to a local health centre.

Population: 813  Getting there: 970 km north of Winnipeg by air and 1,700 km by rail

Major sites: Polar bears, beluga whales, bird watching, northern lights, Wapusk National Park, York Factory fur trade centre, Fort Prince of Wales, Cape Merry stone battery, Eskimo Museum, Rocket & Research Range, Miss Piggy airplane wreck, MV Ithaca shipwreck.

Tourism Mecca


nown as the Polar Bear and Beluga Whale Capital of the World, Churchill boasts a thriving tourism industry that is associated with growth. New markets such as northern lights (January to September) and North America’s foremost bird watching location (May to July) have served to inspire the development of yearround eco-tourism opportunities. Historically, Churchill has also been on the cutting edge of research and development, commencing with the construction of the Prince of Wales Fort in 1732 and followed by the development of the rail line and the grain port at the start of the 20th century – both still in full operation today. As a result, Churchill has become an international transportation hub that could easily be complemented by a variety of manufacturing opportunities. During the Cold War, Churchill was the ideal location for upper and lower atmospheric research, which produced an infrastructure unlike any other in northern Canada. Today, a fully functioning rocket and research facility waits for its next opportunity, and scientists and researchers from around the world gather to use the facilities at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre. Equipped with dormitories, fullservice kitchen facilities, research science labs, observatory domes, a reference library, computer lab and equipment and vehicle rentals, the centre is well positioned to handle any scientific requirement. For those looking to visit or relocate to Churchill, the community has a superior standard of living and is bursting with recreational opportunities for families. The jewel in Churchill’s crown is a 240,000-square-foot Town Centre Complex, equipped with an indoor playground, daycare facilities, a curling rink and lounge, arena, gymnasium, swimming pool, library, restaurant, video rental, 300-seat theatre, a K-12 school, the Regional Health Authority and the offices for the Town of Churchill.  u


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Major events: • Aurora Winterfest, 1st week in April • Hudson Bay Quest, late March/early April • Bay Dip, July 1st.



Cranberry Portage

Founded in the mid-’50s. Slogan: The New Wilderness Adventure.

Home to Frontier School Division and the Frontier Collegiate Institute Residence for northern students.

Population: 572  Getting there: Near Hwy. 10 south of Flin Flon

Major sites: • Cottage lot developments • Community playground • Schist Lake Developers: titled lakefront lots.

Major events: • Curling Bonspiels: ladies’, mixed, men’s • Bombardier Rally


Outdoor Playground


ake Athapapuskow and the Cranberry Lake/Simon House Lake area are on a divide, with water from the Cranberrys running east to the Grassy River chain, into the Burnt Nelson chain, and Lake Athapapuskow’s pristine waters flowing south into the Saskatchewan River. Cranberry Portage is on a route that was used by Henry Kelsey years ago, and it is one of the most beautiful areas in the North. The Cranberry Portage area began to expand its tourism potential two years ago, when the premier of Manitoba announced the development of 1,000 lakeside cabin lots. Since then, two more developments have been put together, offering tourists looking for a peaceful spot in nature many exciting choices. Aside from tranquil settings and peaceful spots, Cranberry Portage offers a number of local attractions guaranteed to keep tourists coming back. One such place is Northern Buffalo Sculptures Gallery. The gallery, which opened in June 2004, is 100 per cent owned and operated by internationally renowned Métis sculptor, Irvin Head. Head started the gallery after working with many other talented artists who originated in northern Manitoba, and who had since moved to work and market their creations in the southern half of the province.

Cranberry Portage has 140 surveyed lots developed with roads and hydro to most of them. The area’s canoe routes, camp spots, lodges, cycling and walking trails, along with beaches offer boundless recreational opportunities. The scenery and wildlife add to one’s enjoyment. The community is also home to the World’s Largest Tipi, (which is approximately 2,800 square feet); it was erected during the National Aboriginal Artist Administrators Gathering that was held in Cranberry Portage in August 2007.  u

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 



Mascot: Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin (Flinty) Flin Flon Tourist Park and Campground offers nonelectric and electric sites, picnic and tenting areas.

Population: 5,363  Getting there: Saskatchewan/Manitoba border


Flin Flon

Located north of the 55th parallel of latitude, the City of Flin Flon is part of the Precambrian Amisk Volcanic Belt.

Major sites: Flin Flon Station Museum, Joe Brain Petting Zoo, Flinty Boardwalk, Phantom Lake Golf Club

Major events: • Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, May 25 to 27 • Trout Festival, June 28 to July 1 • Flin Flon Junior Hockey Action, September to March


Visit the Shield


lin Flon’s unique placement, built upon rock at the edge of the Precambrian Shield, makes the city as scenic from all angles as it is rich in mineral deposits. Thanks to solid infrastructure and abundant recreation opportunities, the area is a wonderland for businesses and vacationers alike. Flin Flon’s population of about 5,363 makes it one of the province’s most thriving communities. Mining has traditionally been, and remains, the City of Flin Flon’s main industry. But Flin Flon’s economic success is built on more than mining. Tourism is a strong secondary industry in the area.

Canadians, and American travellers from the northern states to as far down as Texas, visit Flin Flon for abundant fishing and hunting opportunities. Recreational opportunities also abound, with an indoor swimming pool, campgrounds, curling rinks, a junior hockey team, ski club, Ski-Doo club, sailing club, and many other activities available in the city. Flin Flon’s residents have access to many quality services. A 68bed hospital employs doctors, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. In addition, the city has two dentists, a denturist, an optometrist and two chiropractors. Education options are plentiful for all age groups, with elementary schools (including French Immersion Curriculum), a high school, an alternative learning centre and a University College of the North campus. The city’s public transportation system and daily air service ensure easy access to Flin Flon and all its amenities. Flin Flon has already begun to see its economy diversify as new businesses and industries begin to take notice of the area. Unique business opportunities such as non-timber forest products that are harvested in the region provide some supplementary income to residents.


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Travellers visit Flin Flon for abundant fishing and hunting opportunities. In addition, anticipated upgrades to highways throughout the city should continue to make the city’s infrastructure desirable for those looking to invest in northern opportunities.  u

northerncommunityprofile Population: 1,281  Getting there: 730 kilometres north of Winnipeg

Jasonbook99 / Wikimedia


Named after Captain Zachary Gillam and his son, Benjamin, 17th century fur traders on Hudson’s Bay. First settlement started in 1912-13.

Once a migration route for Barrenland Caribou.

Major events: • Winter Carnival • Nelson River Firefighters Rodeo • ATV Rodeo and Raft Races • Canada Day Celebrations

Major sites: • Manitoba Hydro dam site tours • Hunting • Fishing


Relax in the Power Capital


illam, the Power Capital of Manitoba, is a small but growing community located north of the 56th parallel, approximately 300 kilometres north of Thompson. The town’s main industry is power generated by Manitoba Hydro, and Gillam has grown along with the need for hydro. Gillam began as a small Aboriginal and Métis community, but has grown to a town of more than 1,200 people. Gillam boasts an indoor swimming pool – the Nelson River Aquatic Centre – located next to the Gillam Recreation Centre. Open for public swimming for all ages, the pool also offers swimming lessons and private bookings. The pool can comfortably accommodate 50 swimmers and also houses a waterslide and a kiddie pool. As part of Gillam’s beautification plan, several lighted walkway paths are planned for the town. A new “Welcome to Gillam” sign will be installed at the entrance to the town. Also adding to the appeal of Gillam is the town’s driving range, which opened in August 2007. The town includes a credit union, hardware store, an insurance office and post office in a centrally located mall. The main town area is home to a beauty shop, grocery store, convenience store, garage, motor sports shop, liquor vendor/gift and flower shop, a hotel, motel and three restaurants. Gillam has its own hospital and offers regular dental, chiropractic, massage therapy and optometrist visits. The town also has a large school accommodating students from nursery through senior four. There are several ways to get to Gillam. An all-weather road, PR 280, is a wonderful way to see the beautiful terrain surrounding the area. Gillam also enjoys regular air service with Calm Air, daily bus arrivals and departures with Greyhound, and service with Via Rail. You can also travel on to Churchill, the Polar Bear Capital, from Gillam with Via Rail.  u

Gillam is known as “the Power Capital of Manitoba.”

THE TOWN OF GILLAM Welcomes you to fishing, hunting and camping country. Explore the road to Gillam then relax on the train to Churchill. Town Office: 204-652-3150 Website: Location: 730 kilometres north of Winnipeg by air, 1,065 kilometres north of Winnipeg by road, 1,401 kilometres north of Winnipeg by rail.

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Leaf Rapids

Slogan: The North’s Hidden Treasure Founded: 1971

First municipality in North America to ban single-use plastic shopping bags

Population: 453  Getting there: Northwestern Manitoba on Hwy. 391

Major sites: • Churchill River, Churchill River Lodge • Ancient Rock Pictographs • The most northern National Exhibition Centre in Manitoba

Major events: • Winter Carnival • Bill Anderson Memorial Fishing Derby


North’s Hidden Treasure


he townsite of Leaf Rapids is situated on a glacial esker five kilometres from the beautiful Churchill River. The location is an idyllic playground for outdoor activities. In summer, the mighty Churchill River provides hundreds of kilometres of navigable waterways. The area is a fisherman’s dream come true, because of its abundant northern pike and walleye. Several lakes in the area boast incredible lake trout fishing, and two stocked lakes offer the thrill of fishing for rainbow trout. A variety of hunting opportunities exists, including spring and fall black bear hunts, moose hunts and game bird hunting. For families, tenting facilities are available along with safe sandy beaches that offer quiet relaxation. The walking trails are a delight to the nature lover and berry picker alike. The crystal clear tranquil lakes are ideal for canoe enthusiasts. In winter, cross-country ski trails and snow machine trails criss-cross the area, providing recreation for everybody. A major attraction is the Leaf Rapids Winter Carnival in March, and scenic photo opportunities abound year round.

Recreational Paradise Nine holes of golf are played on a course surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Turnbull Lake meanwhile lies four kilometres south of town and offers sandy beaches and crystal clear water for great family fun and entertainment. Unparalleled sunsets, hiking trails and

Natural Resources, Vegetation and Wildlife

canoe routes. Trophy fishing and hunting with bountiful natural resources.

Leaf Rapids lies in the northern boreal forest region, which is predominantly comprised of jackpine, spruce and tamarack, as well as a variety of low berry bushes, such as blackberry, wild strawberry, gooseberry and high bush cranberries. It extends over northern Manitoba and transitions to the treeless tundra characteristic of the Churchill area. Prominent features in this northern landscape are sandy ridges or ‘eskers,’ which often extend for miles. Welcome to beautiful Leaf Rapids.  u

Come Home To The North’s Hidden Treasure For a complete listing of homes/cottages available for $35,000 & less visit our website – Town of Leaf Rapids 204-473-2436

Northern pike and walleye are abundant. 52 

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Located 1,000 km north of Winnipeg


Lynn Lake

Slogan: Sport Fishing Capital of Manitoba Founded: 1951

Cartoonist Lynn Johnston (For Better or Worse) lived in Lynn Lake for many years. Rock star Tom Cochrane was born in Lynn Lake. Steve Andreychuk, former WHL and NHL hockey player, was raised in Lynn Lake.

Population: 482  Getting there: 1,100 km north of Winnipeg, 311 km from Thompson

Major sites: • The murals depicting the region’s natural beauty • Mining Town Museum • Linn Tractor Display.

Major events: • Great Northern Pike Fish Derby • Lynn Lake Winter Carnival • Annual Hat Party • Lynn Lake Annual Powwow • Canada Day Celebrations


True Northern Adventure


et your senses help you unwind from your hectic life. Take a moment to touch eskers made of sand and gravel crafted by the powers of retreating glaciers that were made decades ago. Gaze at the sky and be mesmerized by the incredible spectacle of the northern lights (aurora borealis). Breathe the purity of the northern boreal forest after a summer rain. Taste the delicacy of fresh pan-fried walleye (pickerel). Listen to the enchanting calls of loons during a sunset. Once you arrive in Lynn Lake, there is no mistaking that you are in Canada’s true north: free, rugged, and breathtaking.

Pristine lakes and rivers surrounded by the rugged northern boreal forest offer memories that young and old will treasure for a lifetime. Raw wilderness in an untouched setting offers solitude and an opportunity to become one as a family, and with nature. This is the Land of Little Sticks, where spruce trees have been crafted by the forces of nature. Lynn Lake is a regional service centre providing a number of essential services and goods for northwestern Manitoba. Education, health care, Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Conservation District Office, Manitoba Transportation road crews, and the RCMP provide services regionally and locally. The special surroundings supported by our businesses and community services attract tourists year-round. Local businesses also extend their services into the region’s lodges and mining camps. The same business services along with necessary local infrastructure are able to support local and regional mineral exploration programs. Tom Brakefield /

Lynn Lake is your portal to true northern adventure. Whether you are looking for a relaxing day being the only fisherman on a tranquil lake, or challenging white water canoeing, you will find it here. Annual caribou migrations to the North, abundant moose, bear and wolf populations, extreme snowmobiling, hiking along eskers and, of course, unparalleled affordable and road-accessible sport fishing; it’s all here.  u

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 




Population: 2,319  Getting there: West-central Manitoba across Saskatchewan River from The Pas

Opaskwayak Cree Nation

Slogan: “Progress and Independence” Founded: 1906

Mission: To have true Aboriginal Self-Government as determined by the people, which incorporates our cultural values and traditions and is based on our own unique history.

Major events: • Trappers’ Festival, third week in February • Opaskwayak Indian Days, mid-August • Home of the OCN Blizzard Jr. “A” Hockey Club

Major sites: • Kikiwak Inn • Otineka Mall • Aseneskak Casino


Building on Success


The Paskwayak Business Development Corporation (PBDC) was founded in 1987 to promote economic development for the membership of its First Nation. The organization is run as a commercial holding company and is fully owned by members of OCN.

PBDC activities include planning and implementing business initiatives and overseeing growth of businesses, including several retail and service outlets. The organization’s leadership and vision has allowed many businesses to thrive in the area, creating a social and economic environment that is well equipped to serve new business interests. The area’s retail centre is the Otineka Mall. While originally envisioned by the Otineka Development Corporation as a community grocery store, today the complex covers 13 acres and houses stores and offices throughout its three levels. The PBDC’s newest ventures include Sports Traders, Your Dollar Store with More and the Big “E” Mart. The IGA grocery store offers the only scratch bakery in town (specializing in wedding and all other occasion cakes), a fresh meat counter and wide deli and produce selections. In addition, personalized calendars and photo greeting cards can be made here. In a corner of the mall parking lot lies another PBDC success story. The OCN Shell Gas Bar opened in November 1998. When the organization took control of the struggling business, they were told it would sell no more than four million litres of gas annually. The PBDC added pumps, space and staff, and it paid off. Today, the location sells more than eight million litres each year, and the confectionery sells more than $100,000 worth of goods annually. Sports Traders is one of the newest ventures located inside the mall and specializes in team orders and new or used sporting equipment.


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

lessed with a rich heritage and strong culture, and led by a strong business development organization, the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) has become an economic leader among Manitoba First Nations.

The Kikiwak Inn has 60 guestrooms, a pool, hot tub and exercise facilities. The store also takes trades and has a full-service repair depot and offers skate sharpening in the winter. Th e Big “E” Mart is located in Big Eddy and services the people in that area with groceries and snacks. Your Dollar Store with More has many items for all age groups at a very affordable price. The Pas Food Town, which has the new name Paskwayak Convenience Store, is another convenient location. The store, located on Hogan Avenue, opened in December 1997 and is another successful PBDC business. The facility offers groceries, tobacco, produce and fresh meat and has a lottery ticket outlet. It is open seven days a week and during all holidays for the convenience of its customers. For those who have business clients travelling to OCN, there is a comfortable place to stay. The 3½ star Kikiwak Inn opened in 1996 and features 60 guestrooms, a pool, hot tub, exercise facilities and a full-service restaurant and lounge. The hotel also has meeting facilities, so important business decisions can be made without even leaving the building. In addition to OCN’s economic base of retail, office space and accommodations, PBDC business Northland Redi-Mix Concrete & Gravel Operations can supply material to be used for new business construction. If you’re interested in exploring the economic opportunities that lie in OCN, call Paskwayak Business Development Corporation at 204-627-7200.  u


Snow Lake

Gold was discovered in the area in the 1940s. As a result, the town was founded in 1947. It was incorporated in 1976. The town’s slogan is “Gold Country’s Recreational Paradise.”

Fur traders of the Hudson’s Bay Co. came through Snow Lake as early as 1692.

Population: 723  Getting there: E  nd of Provincial Road 392

Major sites: • Manitoba Star Attraction • Mining Museum • Tramping Lake Petrographs • Wekusko Falls with suspension bridges • Snow Lake Heritage Mural.

Major events: • Manitoba Theatre Centre, January • Ladies’ and Men’s Bonspiels, February • Winter Whoot Carnival • MMF Annual Hidden Length Fish Derby, June • Canada Day Festival, July.


Recreational Paradise


now Lake is the perfect spot for a winter holiday. The town is easily accessible by paved highway and is central to the three northern cities. It is just a few minutes off Hwy. 39, and you will see the rumbling falls at Wekusko Falls on your way.

There are many lakes and rivers for ice fishing, and you might experience the thrill of hooking a Master Angler fish. Plan to stay a few days at a local motel, hotel or bed and breakfast. Wake up to a delicious home-cooked breakfast before heading out in the fresh air of our pristine wilderness. Snowmobilers will have a good time on the groomed trails through the boreal forest of the Canadian Shield. Meanwhile, the local club hosts the competitive Sno Drifters’ Snow Drags.

Cross-country ski trails meander through the forest, and Snow Lake is known internationally for its scenic beauty, so make sure to bring your camera. If you like to stroll through the forest, there are three walking trails with interpretive signage. Brochures are available at various locations, including the town office. While in town, take a stroll to see the indoor and outdoor murals, including the Heritage Mural painted by artist Cindy Santa, and visit the local art gallery and various shops. One of the fun events for the whole family is the Winter Whoot Festival. It’s so much fun, you forget it is winter. When the season changes and warm weather permits, consider playing Snow Lake’s beautiful nine-hole golf course. You will play on a course carved out of the boreal forest, with huge Canadian Shield boulders just off the fairways that will give you an edge if you are veering off centre – the ball might hit the rocks and bounce right back on the course! u

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The Pas

Population: 5,513  Getting there: 630 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg

Slogan: “The Gateway to the North” Town was incorporated in 1912

The first name of the town was Paskoyac

Major sites: • Sam Waller Museum • Devon Park • Via Station • One of two main campuses for University College of the North

Major events: • Northern Manitoba Trappers Festival • Opasquia Indian Days


Gateway to the North


nown as the Gateway to the North, The Pas is a multi-industry northern town. The community is one of the oldest and most striking settlements in northern Manitoba. Boasting one of three true blue lakes in existence, outdoor adventure abounds sets to the raw natural beauty that attracts visitors from around the world.

The Pas and the surrounding area are not only internationally renowned for trophy lake trout, northern pike and walleye but also rich in and well known for game animals and waterfowl such as moose, black bear, deer, woodland caribou, elk, Canada goose, snow goose, duck, etc. The vast farmlands in the region provide excellent waterfowl habitat. The Pas is also one of the largest breeding and staying areas of migratory waterfowl in the world. The abundance of lakes, rivers, creeks and swamps in the surrounding area and the four distinct seasons provides The Pas with a year-round recreational paradise. There are plenty of recreational water activities including boating, canoeing, sailing and swimming. In the winter season wilderness watersheds, hiking trails and scenic vistas become an ideal setting for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing. The Pas boasts more than 60 sports and recreational clubs as well as excellent recreational facilities. Softball fields, soccer pitches, tennis courts, track and field facilities, skating parks and even a quarter-mile stock car oval are all available in The Pas. The Pas serves as the retail and service centre in northwestern Manitoba. It features more than 200 retail outlets and two shopping malls as well as a number of well-known chain restaurants, stores and hotels.  u


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Lake photo by David Cobb. Museum photo by Bobak Ha’Eri / Wikimedia. Stock images:

Throughout the year, The Pas offers unique recreational activities and a variety of cultural attractions such as the Northern Manitoba Trappers Festival, Agricultural Fair and Opasquia Indian Days.



Slogan: “Hub of the North” Mascot: King Miner

Incorporated in 1970

Population: 12,839  Getting there: Hwy. 6 north, 740 kilometres north of Winnipeg

Major sites: • Millennium Trail • Thompson Zoo • Heritage North Museum • Paint Lake Provincial Park • Spirit Way Walkway.

Major events: • Nickel Days, June 22 to 24 • Celebrating TRCC Grand Opening at the Health and Leisure Mart Sept. 7 and 8.


City Meets Pristine Wilderness

Statue and City Hall photos by Jasonbook99 / Wikimedia. Scenic photos: rights managed by Thompson Unlimited, © Larry Hall


hompson, Man. is a beautiful northern city with all the city amenities to make life comfortable, but the unique northern city is also surrounded by wide open spaces that offer unparalleled recreation opportunities. Thompson is a vital northern regional service centre for key economic sectors such as transportation, education and medical services. It is also a centre for First Nations leadership and numerous government and business services and can rightly lay claim to being called Manitoba’s “Hub of the North.” When it comes to recreation, Thompson and area offers some of the best fishing, hunting, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing opportunities found in the North. The city is located 830 kilometres north of the American border and 750 kilometres north of Winnipeg. Several towns and First Nation communities located in northern Manitoba have established transportation

links with Thompson, either by road, train or air. The city is located in the Precambrian Shield on the shores of the Burntwood River. It is nestled among numerous lakes and rivers and is surrounded by the boreal forest. The community rests alongside one of the largest nickel ore deposits in Canada. The city courts investors. Big box retailers, real estate developers, and franchise owners are invited to check out the opportunities. Meanwhile, development of the new UCN Thompson Campus and hydro dam construction are some of the larger public and private sector developments that promise to keep people working. Vale, a nickel mining company in the northern city, the tourism industry and expansion of the cold-weather testing centre contribute to the economy on an ongoing basis. Meanwhile, Thompson is committed to maintaining positive relationships with First Nations peoples. In 2009, the city entered

into an agreement that states that positive relationships must grow between the city and Aboriginal communities.  u


Inviting you to enjoy: • FREE Breakfast • FREE DVD Movies • FREE High-speed Wireless Internet • FREE Weekday Newspaper • Hot Tub, Sauna & Fitness Centre • Earn Lakeview Perks® Points

For a complete listing of our hotels, visit or call 1.877.355.3500


70 Thompson Drive N

ph: 204.778.8879

Owned and or managed by Lakeview Hospitality.

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Lodges, Accommodations and Services Listing Churchill Adventure Walking Tours Ph: 204-675-2147 Fax: 204-675-2103 Nature hikes, birdwatching Arctic Trading Company Ph: 204-675-8804 Fax: 204-675-2164 Canadian indigenous art Aurora Inn Ph: 204-675-2071 Toll free: 1-888-840-1344 Spacious suites Bear Country Inn Ph: 204-675-8299 26 cosy rooms, courtesy van Bear’s Den B&B Ph: 204-675-2556 Blue Sky Bed & Sled Ph: 204-675-2001 Dog sledding/B&B Boreal Projects Ltd. Ph: 204-675-8866 July and August by appointment Calm Air International LP Ph: 204-778-6471 or 1-800-839-2256 Fax: 204-778-6954 Charters, air service in Manitoba/Nunavut Caskey B&B Ph: 204-675-2962 Churchill Arctic Travel Ph: 204-675-2811 Toll free: 1-800-267-5128 Churchill Chamber of Commerce Ph: 204-675-2022 Toll free: 1-888-389-2327 Churchill Motel Ltd. Ph: 204-675-8853 Fax: 204-675-8228 26 rooms, shuttle service Churchill Wild Ph: 204-377-5090 Toll free: 1-888-UGO-WILD (8469453) Remote fly-in eco-lodge Churchill Wilderness Encounter Ph: 204-675-2248


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Dymond Lake Outfitters Toll free: 1-888-WEBBERS (932-2377) Remote fly-in fishing and hunting packages Eskimo Museum Ph: 204-675-2030 Great White Bear Tours Ph: 204-675-2781 Toll free: 1-866-765-8344 Gypsy’s Bakery Ph: 204-675-2322 Fax: 204-675-2413 Hudson Bay Helicopters Ph: 204-675-2576 Toll free: 1-867-873-5146 Helicopter charters and tours Hudson Bay Port Company Ph: 204-675-8823 Iceberg Inn Ph: 204-675-2228 8 rooms, Sears outlet Kivalliq Air Ph: 204-675-2086 Toll free: 1-877-855-1500 Lazy Bear Lodge & Café Ph: 204-675-2969 Toll free: 1-866-OUR-BEAR Lodging, dining and tours Nanuk Entertainment Ph: 204-675-2303

Sea North Tours Ph: 204-675-2195 Fax: 204-675-2198 www.seanorthtours.coms Tour boat/snorkeling Seaport Hotel Ph: 204-675-8807 Fax: 204-675-2795 21 rooms/licensed dining

Tonepah Lodge Ph: 204-472-3372 Viking Lodge Ph: 204-472-3337 index.htm

Flin Flon

Tamarack Rentals Ph: 204-675-2192 Vehicle rentals

Aberdeen Lodge Ph: 204-687-0495 (summer) or 204-623-6710 (winter)

The Tundra Buggy® Adventure Toll free: 1-800-663-9832 Fax: 204-667-1051

Amigo’s Pizza and Tacos Ph: 204-687-6241

Tundra Inn Ph: 204-675-8831 Toll free: 1-800-265-8563 Fax: 204-675-2764 Vera’s B&B Ph: 204-675-2544 Wapusk Adventures & General Store Ph: 204-675-2887 Fax: 204-675-8042 Dog sledding/souvenirs and gifts Via Rail Toll free: 1-888-842-7245 Wat’chee Lodge Ltd. Ph: 204-675-2114 Winter wildlife viewing

Bakers Narrows Lodge Ph: 1-866-603-6390 Bearskin Airlines Ph: 204-687-8941 Calm Air International LP Ph: 204-778-6471 or 1-800-839-2256 Fax: 204-778-6954 Charters, air service in Manitoba/Nunavut Chicken Chef Ph: 204-687-3779 Donut King Ph: 204-687-8522 Flin Flon Station Museum Ph: 204-687-2946 Friendship Center Restaurant Ph: 204-687-4525

North Star Tours Ltd. Ph: 204-675-2356


Northern Ph: 204-675-8891 Northern Images Ph: 204-675-2681

Cormorant Lakeshore Guesthouse Ph: 204-357-2218 (evenings)

Northern Nights Lodge Ph: 204-675-2403

Cranberry Portage

Hong Kong Restaurant Ph: 204-687-4941

Parks Canada Ph: 204-675-8863

Caribou Lodge Ph: 204-472-3351

Kelsey Dining Room Ph: 204-687-7555

Pizza by the Bay Ph: 204-675-8262

Constables Lakeside Lodge Ph: 204-472-3241 (summer or winter)

KFC Ph: 204-687-6078

Polar Bear B&B Ph: 204-675-2819 Polar Cinema Ph: 204-675-8452 Polar Inn & Suites Ph: 204-675-8878 Toll free: 1-877-765-2742

Cranberry Portage Park Ph: 204-472-3219 Northern Spirit Lodge Ph: 204-472-3285

Gateway Drive-In Ph: 204-687-4338 Greenstone CFDC Ph: 204-687-6967 Fax: 204-687-4456

Mike’s Ice N Burger Hut Ph: 204-687-8600 Missinipi Airways Ph: 204-687-8000 Mugsys Café & Deli Ph: 204-687-7676 Oreland Motel Ph: 204-687-3467

Paradise Lodge Ph: 204-687-8175 (summer) or 204-687-3070 (winter) Phantom Lake Golf Club Ph: 306-688-5555 Fax: 306-688-3104 Pizza Hut Express Ph: 204-687-8522 Royal Ribs & Steakhouse and the Royal Hotel Ph: 204-687-3437

G.R. Consumer’s Co-op Ph: 204-639-2434

Lakeland Air Service Ph: 204-473-2963

Grand Rapids Esso Ph: 204-639-2459 Open 24 hours, gas, diesel, garage, towing, restaurant, etc.

Leaf Rapids Community Development Corporation (LRCDC) Ph: 204-473-2978 Social and economic development, apartment rentals, housing sales, small business loans

Grand Rapids Taxi Ph: 204-639-2338 Grey Goose Bus Lines Ph: 204-639-2459

Subway Ph: 204-687-5558

Hilltop Cabins Ph: 204-639-2380

Victoria Inn Ph: 204-687-7555 Fax: 204-687-5233

Hobbs Resort Ph: 204-639-2266

Wings over Kississing Ph: 204-687-8247

Gillam ACE Gillam Bed & Breakfast Ph: 1-888-286-0433 204-652-2623 (Seasonal) ACE Wilderness Guiding Service Ph: 1-888-286-0433 204-383-5628 (seasonal) Aurora Gardens Motel Ph: 204-652-6554 Motel and restaurant Chow’s Chester Fried Ph: 204-652-5050 Doug’s Lodge Ph: 204-652-2259

King’s Boat Repair Ph: 204-639-2279 Manitoba Hydro Ph: 204-639-4138 Moak Lodge Campground Ph: 204-739-2669 Misipawistik Cree Nation Ph: 204-639-2219 Fax: 204-639-2503 Northbrook Inn Ph: 204-639-2380 Pelican Landing Restaurant Ph: 204-639-2184 Pelican Landing Gasbar Ph: 204-639-2402 Town of Grand Rapids Ph: 204-639-2260 Fax: 204-639-2475

Fox River Outfitters Ph: 204-652-6441

Leaf Rapids

Gillam Air Services Ltd. Ph: 204-652-2109

Centre Auto Ph: 204-473-8116

Gillam Co-op Ltd. Ph: 204-652-2661

Churchill River Lodge & Outfitters Ph: 204-473-2362 403-932-1237 Accommodations, boat rentals, gas

Gillam Motor Inn Ph: 204-652-2670 Lucky’s tavern, licensed Grey Goose Ph: 204-652-6395 Monkman Outfitters Ph: 204-444-4025 Town of Gillam Ph: 204-652-2121 Trapper’s Shack Ph: 204-652-2160 Via Rail Canada Inc. Ph: 1-888-842-7245 Westwood Lodge Ph: 204-687-6307

Grand Rapids ET Trucking Service Inc. Ph: 204-639-2386

Consumer Co-op Ph: 204-473-2411 Groceries, hardware, clothing, appliances, furniture Fields Ph: 204-473-2783 Department store G’s Place Ph: 204-473-2754 Gold Cook Ol’ Man’s Restaurant Ph: 204-473-8276 Grey Goose Ph: 204-473-2754 King’s Health & Variety Ph: 204-473-8111

Leaf Rapids Education Centre Ph: 204-473-2403 Leaf Rapids Health Centre Ph: 204-473-2441 Leaf Rapids National Exhibition Centre Ph: 204-473-8682 Leaf Rapids Public Library Ph: 204-473-2742 Leaf Rapids Town Properties (LRTP) Ph: 204-473-8118 Leaf Rapids Youth Centre Ph: 204-473-8861 Natural Resources Ph: 204-473-8113 Town of Leaf Rapids Ph: 204-473-2436 Wistoba Connection, LLC Ph: 608-356-0243 Ph: 202-473-8837 Vacation rental, fully furnished, fishing, family fun, wildlife, boating, golf, hunting/outfitters Yves Plumbing and Heating Ph: 204-473-8837

Lynn Lake Atiik Askii Adventure Tours Ph: 204-356-2500 Summer and winter tours Betty’s Bed & Breakfast Ph: 204-356-8328 Fax: 204-356-8328 Home-cooked meals, cable Betty’s Country Cooking and Jennifer’s Lounge Ph: 204-356-8050 Fine dining, lounge with VLTs



a family a business a great life!! Flin Flon is the ultimate vacationer’s destination nestled in the majestic Canadian Shield. Evolving from a prospectors’ camp into a thriving northern centre, this friendly community is a great place to live and raise a family, offering a wealth of year-round recreation, family, and cultural activities. With historically strong local business support, it’s also an exceptional place to invest. See old friends and unwind at Flin Flon’s Trout Festival June 28 to July 1, 2012. Detailed information at … Flin Flon celebrates Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, with a weekend of events, including a performance by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, May 25-27. For further information … Flin Flon Junior Bomber hockey action, September to March, see

The City of Flin Flon 20 First Avenue (204) 681-7511

The Bronx Ph: 204-356-2471 Housekeeping suites, cable Cat Train Tours Ph: 204-356-8845 Fax: 204-356-8845 Clarke’s Health and Variety Ph: 204-356-2572

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Gloewen Enterprises Ph: 204-356-8511 Propane Distributor Grand Slam Lodge Ph: 204-356-8648 (winter) or 306-758-3188 (summer)

Lynn Inn Inc. Ph: 204-356-2433 Fax: 204-356-8780 25 rooms/suites, licensed

Transwest Air Ph: 204-356-2457 Fax: 204-356-8018 Charter air service

Lynn Lake Mining Museum Ph: 204-356-8302

Wolverine Lodge Ph: 760-770-0810 320-732-6843

Grey Goose Ph: 204-356-2918 Fax: 204-356-8408 Bus depot

Lynn Lake Video Ph: 204-356-8051 DVD, VHS video and game rentals, gift shop

Grey Owl Outfitters Ph: 204-356-8261

Northern Store Ph: 204-356-2272 Groceries, retail

Halstead Motors Ph: 204-356-2703 Laurie River Lodge Ph: 1-800-426-2533 Lynn Lake Air Service Ph: 204-356-8805 Lynn Lake Airport Ph: 204-356-2900 or 204-356-8552 Flight services and air service information Lynn Lake Esso Ph: 204-356-8692 Fax: 204-356-8259 Lynn Lake Fly-In Outpost Camps Ph: 1-800-700-3807

Nueltin Fly-in Lodge Ph: 204-356-8805 Patty’s Place Ph: 204-356-2918 Fax: 204-356-8408 Groceries, video Perimeter Aviation Ltd. Ph: 1-800-917-2555 Royal Canadian Legion Ph: 204-356-2238 Sanche Hardware Ph: 204-356-2428 Fax: 204-356-8066 Town of Lynn Lake/ Lynn Lake Campground Ph: 204-356-2418

Norway House Anderson Car Wash & Store Ph: 204-359-4270

Perimeter Aviation Ph: 204-359-6311

Anderson Towing Ph: 204-359-4296

Playgreen Inn Ph: 204-359-6321 16 rooms, beverage room

Apetagon’s Ph: 204-359-6696 Gas/propane

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Riverside Restaurant Ph: 204-359-4866

Chicken Chef Ph: 204-359-6646

Skyward Aviation Ph: 204-359-4900

Fort Island Auto Group Ph: 204-359-6503

Super Video World Ph: 204-359-6089

Low’s Family Foods Ph: 204-359-6689

York Boat Inn Ph: 204-359-6550 Fax: 204-359-6444 32 rooms, cable TV

Northern Ph: 204-359-6258 Norway House Community Council Ph: 204-359-6719

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Aseneskak Casino Ph: 204-627-2250 or 1-877-627-2267

making up rest of the landscape, the majestic beauty of Nature in every glance will exceed your imagination. Local lodges offer a wide range of services and free camping is available at two roadaccessible campgrounds complete with boat launches. But if you can’t wait until summer to visit, there are winter tourism operators and outfitters awaiting your patronage, along with welcoming snowmobile trails providing access to lakes and vistas throughout the area. Whatever your outdoors pleasure, Lynn Lake awaits ‘At the end of the road.’

Brochures: Call 204 356-2418 or visit www. 60 

Norway House Cree Nation Ph: 204-359-6786 Norway House Riverside Outdoor Adventures Ph: 204-359-4444 or 1-877-778-4447

See for yourself why Lynn Lake is the Sportfishing Capital of Manitoba

With clean lakes speckling the landscape and pristine rivers meandering throughout the area, the Lynn Lake area is home to some of Canada’s biggest trout, pike and pickerel. And, with rolling eskers and the untamed northern boreal forest

Norway House Co-op Ph: 204-359-4633 Gas bar

Kikiwak Inn Ph: 204-623-1800 or 1-888-545-4925 Opaskwayak Cree Nation Ph: 204-627-7100 Otineka Mall Ph: 204-627-7230

Snow Lake Angilina’s Pizza Ph: 204-358-2611 Bartlett’s Fishing Camp Ph: 204-358-2383 Bluenose Bed & Breakfast 107 Cherry Street 204-358-7305 Email Website gzamzow/Bluenosebb/Home.html Burntwood Lake Lodge Ph: 204-358-7114 Chell’s Sled Shed 204-358-7911 Clovelly Lakeshore Apartments Ph: 204-358-2846 Connie’s Taxi Ph: 204-358-2933 Fax: 204-358-2004

Cornerview Family Foods Ph: 204-358-2928 Fax: 204-358-2055 Diamond Willow Inn and Willow House Ph: 204-358-2842 Franal’s Snow Lake Service Ph: 204-358-2325 Gogal Air Service Ph: 204-358-2259 Lakeshore Bed & Breakfast Ph: 204-358-6501 Main Street Laundromat Ph: 204-358-9797 Manitoba Star Attraction Mining Museum Ph: 204-358-7867 Northern Mist Wild Rice Ph: 204-358-2131 Snow Lake Art Gallery Ph: 204-358-2533 Snow Lake Golf Club Ph: 204-358-2744 Snow Lake Home Building Centre Ph: 204-358-2343 Fax: 204-358-2770 Snow Lake Motor Inn Ph: 204-358-2331 Fax: 204-358-7449 11 rooms, dining, licensed Sunset Bay Bed & Breakfast 204-358-2145 or 358-0065 or 358-0071 Email: Sweet Nothings Florist & Giftware Ph: 204-358-7659 Tawow Lodge Ph: 204-358-2485 Town of Snow Lake Ph: 204-358-2551 Wekusko Falls Lodge 204-358-2341 toll free 877-358-2341 Wekusko Falls Provincial Campground Ph: 204-358-2521 1-888-482-2267 For further information, contact Beverley Atkinson, Community Development Officer, at 204-358-7630 or

The Pas

Gourmet Pizza Ph: 204-623-5469

A&W Restaurant & Drive-Thru Ph: 204-623-2246

Grey Goose Ph: 204-623-3999 Fax: 204-623-4533

Alouette Hotel Ph: 204-623-2272 Fax: 204-623-6873 Atikameg Forest Centre Ph: 204-623-3983 Forest tours, in-town tours Aseneskak Casino Ph: 1-877-627-2267 Bearskin Airlines Ph: 204-624-5106 Fax: 204-624-4108 Airport Missinippi Airways Ph: 204-623-7160 Fax: 204-623-3635 Burger Ranch 2000 Ph: 204-623-1451 Canadian Territorial Helicopters Inc. Ph: 204-624-5776 Fax: 204-624-5761 Carpenters Clearwater Lodge Ph: 204-624-5467 Fax: 204-624-5606 TV, convention/banquet facilities, games room, beach, boats, motors Clearwater Canoe Outfitters Ph: 204-624-5606 or 204-624-5647 Custom Helicopters Limited Ph: 204-623-4595 Fax: 204-623-4595 Dutch Drive In Ltd. Ph: 204-623-3721 Drive-in restaurant, chicken, fish, shrimp, ice cream, burgers, home style chips Evergreen Resort Ph: 204-624-5750 Fax: 204-623-4686 Cabin rental, hunting and fishing Fat Boy Restaurant Ph: 204-623-6322 Golden Arrow Motel Ph: 204-623-5451 Fax: 204-623-5457 Rooms 39.95 single or double. “A clean, quiet place to stay” Golden Star Chinese Food Ph: 204-623-7879 Fax: 204-623 5111 Good Thymes Restaurant & Bar Ph: 204-623-2412 Fax: 204-623 4008

Halcrow Lake Golf & Country Club Ph: 204-627-2300 Huskie Travel Services Ltd. Ph: 204-623-3414 Fax: 204-623-3416

Super 8 Motels Ph: 204-623-1888 or 1-800-800-8000 Fax: 204-623-4488 Indoor pool/waterslide, free breakfast, computer ports, conference room, WC access The Pas Curling Club Ph: 204-623-3813 The Pas & District Chamber of Commerce Ph: 204-623-7256

Kelsey Bus Lines Ltd. Ph: 204-623-2161 Fax: 204-623-4810

Tolko Pulp & Paper Mill Ph: 204-623-8659 Tours during the summer

Kentucky Fried Chicken Ph: 204-623-2120 Fax: 204-623 3712

Town of The Pas Ph: 204-627-1100 or 1-866-627-1134

Kikiwak Inn Ph: 204-623-1800 or 1-888-545-4925 Fax: 204-623-1812 Lounge, fitness facility, outdoor pool, WC access

Venus Ristorante & Pizzeria Ph: 204-623-6673 Fax: 204-623-3615

La Verendrye Motel Ph: 204-623-3431 Fax: 204-623-6873 Mr. Ribs Ph: 204-623-4888 Fax: 204-623-6475 New Avenue Hotel Ph: 204-623-6255 New Colony Restaurant Ph: 204-623-1674 New Vickery Lodge Ph: 1-888-624-5429 Fax: 204-624-5429 Full service, drive-in, guides, store, hunting, fishing, open May-October North Country Air Service Ph: 204-623-7594 Fax: 204-623-3857 Adventure Territory – The Pas & Area Tourism Group Ph: 1-866-627-1134 Pizza Hut Express Ph: 204-623-7888 Fax: 204-623-3055 R.M. of Kelsey Ph: 204-623-7474 Rupert House Hotel (1984) Ltd. Ph: 204-623-3201 Fax: 204-623-1651 Daily, weekly, monthly rates, kitchenettes Sam Waller Museum Ph: 204-623-3802 Fax: 204-623-5506 Small admission fee; admission by donation on Wednesdays

Trappers’ Festival Headquarters Ph: 204-623-2912

Via Rail Canada Inc. Ph: 1-888-842-7245 Weathered Welcomes Ph: 204-623-1764 Wescana Inn Ph: 204-623-5446 Fax: 204-623-3383 Full service, dining room, lounge, VLTs, cable TV, sauna, laundry room. CAA approved. WC access Wildlife Adventure Tours Ph: 204-623-6513 Wildlife and birdwatching tours

Thompson A&W Ph: 204-778-6500 Fax: 204-677-9182 Fast food, burgers, chicken Adventurers North Dining Room Ph: 204-677-3662 Arctic Trading Post Ph: 204-677-2026 Fax: 204-675-2164 Baaco Pizza Ph: 204-778-4444 Fax: 204-677-8630 Lounge, pizza/pasta Bankside Bar & Billiards Ph: 204-677-0101 Fax: 204-677-0103 Boston Pizza Ph: 204-677-0111 Fax: 204-677-4411 Burntwood Curling Club Ph: 204-677-2580

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Calm Air International LP Ph: 204-778-6471 or 1-800-839-2256 Fax: 204-778-6954 Charters, air service in Manitoba/Nunavut Chicken Chef Ph: 204-677-2331 Fax: 204-778-6499 index.html Family restaurant Chicken Delight Ph: 204-677-2692 Fast food, chicken City of Thompson Ph: 204-677-7910 City of Thompson Recreation Centre Ph: 204-677-7952 Cliff’s Taxi Ph: 204-677-2543 Club Fire & Ice Burntwood Inn Ph: 204-677-4551 Fax: 204-778-6219 Corner Deli Ph: 204-677-3997 Fax: 204-778-5145

Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Ph: 204-778-8879 Fax: 204-677-3225 Suites, indoor pool, pets allowed Culture, Heritage & Tourism Ph: 204-677-6780 Fax: 204-677-6862 Custom Helicopters Ltd. Ph: 204-677-3720 Days Inn & Suites Ph: 204-778-6000 or 1-800-DAYS-INN Fax: 204-778-6999 Driftwood Nickel City Taxi Ph: 204-677-6000 Enterprise Rent-A-Car 93 Commercial Place Ph: 204-778-3111 Flight Aviation Services Ph: 204-677-4920 Fax: 204-778-5917 Airport Grapes Grill & Bar Ph: 204-677-3333

Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre Ph: 204-677-0950 Fax: 204-677-0970 Hostel, aboriginal services, kitchen-restaurant

Grey Goose Ph: 204-677-0360 Fax: 204-677-0370 Bus charters, regular bus service

McCreedy Park Ph: 204-778-8810 Camping & RV storage

Hanson’s Bear Creek Outfitters Ph: 204-778-5037 Heritage North Museum Inc. Ph: 204-677-2216 Fax: 204-677-8953 Hub of the North Ph: 204-778-5630 Fax: 204-778-7897 Full-service restaurant/lounge, Greek, lunch/dinner Hudson Bay Railway Ph: 204-778-6253 J-Del Aviation Ph: 204-677-2337 Fax: 204-677-5794

Huskie Travel Ph: 204-677-0777 Ilios Restaurant & Lounge Ph: 204-778-4332

original painting, pottery and sculpture

Interior Inn Ph: 204-778-5535 Fax: 204-778-6658 54 rooms, queen-size beds, doubles, suites, coffee, cable, Internet access, fridge/ microwave available

KFC Ph: 204-677-4664 Fax: 204-778-4069 Fast food, chicken

THOMPSON YWCA THOMPSON YWCA THOMPSON YWCA Making difference in Making aadifference in the the community community Making a difference in the community

THOMPSON YWCA Affordable & & Making Affordable aAffordable difference in the community & Clean Rooms Clean Rooms Daily & Rooms Monthly Clean Affordable & Daily &Available Monthly Rates Daily & Monthly Rates Available Men, Women & Clean Rooms Rates Available Men, Women & Children Welcome Daily &Women Monthly Men, & Children Welcome Rates Available Children Welcome Men, Cafeteria Women & Cafeteria Laundry Facility Children Welcome Cafeteria Boardroom Laundry Facility Laundry Facility Boardroom Cafeteria Boardroom Check out ourFacility free programs! Laundry Check out our free programs! Boardroom

Check204-778-6341 out our free programs!

Check out our free programs! 204-778-6341

204-778-6341 Thompson YWCA 204-778-6341 39 Nickel Road

Thompson Thompson, MB,YWCA R8N 0Y5

Northern Visual Arts Centre 177 Green St., Flin Flon, MB R8A OG5 Phone: 204-687-4237


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012

Thompson 39 NickelYWCA Road 39 Nickel Road Thompson YWCA Thompson, MB, R8N 0Y5 Thompson, 39 NickelMB, RoadR8N 0Y5

Thompson, MB, R8N 0Y5

McDonald’s Restaurants Ph: 204-778-7779 Fax: 204-778-6101 Fast food, burger chain Meat Eater Deli Ph: 204-778-7726 Fax: 204-778-8683 Meridian Hotel Ph: 204-778-8387 Fax: 204-677-4087 hotels/meridian.htm Free parking, rooms with or without meal plan, 41 modern rooms Millennium Trail Ph: 204-677-7952 millenniumtrail Also recreation, parks and culture Multiculture Centre Ph: 204-677-3981 Fax: 204-677-3980 Mystery Country Lodge & Outposts Ph: 1-888-246-9749 www.mysterycountryoutposts. com Mystery Lake Motor Hotel Ph: 204-778-8331 Fax: 204-778-4193 Bar, microwaves, VCRs, laundry room, and exercise room Mystery Mountain Winter Park Ph: 204-778-8624 Ski hill, rentals, lessons, x-country, snowtubing, chalet National Car Rental 40 Station Road Ph: 204-677-2312 NC Crossroad Lanes Ph: 204-677-4415 Norplex Swimming Pool Ph: 204-677-7963 North Knife Lake Lodge 1-888-WEBBERS remote fly-in fishing packages North Star Taxi Ph: 204-778-3333

Northern Flavours Coffee House Ph: 204-677-8281 Northern Inn & Steak House Ph: 204-778-6481 Fax: 204-778-7601 Northern Lights Bed & Breakfast Ph: 204-677-4111 Fax: 204-677-8027 7 rooms, 2 common rooms, 2 kitchens Oxie’s Ph: 204-677-3711 Paint Lake Provincial Park Ph: 1-888-482-2267 Campground, beach Paint Lake Resort & Marina Ph: 204-677-9303 Fax: 204-677-5573 Cabins, restaurant, bar, patio, boat launch Perimeter Aviation Ph: 204-778-5924 Airport Pizza Hut Ph: 204-677-7888 Pizza, lunch buffet Popeyes Ph: 204-677-5575 Homemade burgers/fries. Seasonal business Poseidon Restaurant Ph: 204-677-2558 Greek Precambrian Art Centre Ph: 204-677-1940 Ramada Burntwood Inn Ph: 204-677-4551 Fax: 204-778-6219 control/home Indoor pool/waterslide, whirlpool suites, hot tub, newly renovated, lounge Riverview Restaurant Ph: 204-677-2525 Roadside Restaurant Ph: 204-778-7172 Robin’s Donuts Ph: 204-677-4444 Santa Maria Pizza & Spaghetti House Ph: 204-778-7331 Take out, delivery Sasagiu Rapids Lodge Ph: 204-677-9351 Conference facilities, wheelchair accessible, out-post camps, guides, hunting, fishing Shinook’s Bed & Breakfast Ph: 204-677-3563

Strand Theatre Ph: 204-677-8301

Thompson Lanes Ltd. Ph: 204-677-3005 Fax: 204-778-6866

Subway Ph: 204-677-2222 Fax: 204-677-2222 Fast food, subs, sandwiches, soup

Thompson Ski Club Inc. Ph: 204-778-8624 Thompson Zoo Ph: 204-677-7982 Free admission

Thompson Cabs (1987) Ltd. Ph: 204-677-6262 Thompson Chamber of Commerce Ph: 204-677-4155 or 1-888-307-0103 Fax: 204-677-3434 Tourism information Thompson Golf Club Ph: 204-677-3250

Tim Hortons Ph: 204-677-8467 Tom’s Restaurant & Pizza Place Ph: 204-677-1999 Trappers Tavern Ph: 204-778-8331 Twilight Water Ski Club Ph: 204-778-6301 Vale Inco Ph: 204-778-2326

Thompson Golf Course Ph: 204-778-5537 Thompson Inn Ph: 204-677-2371 Fax: 204-778-8442 Cable TV, queen-size beds, a/c, 35 newly renovated rooms

Venture Air Ph: 204-778-8225 Fax: 204-778-8243

Via Rail Canada Ph: 204-677-2241 or 1-888-842-7245 Train service in Manitoba Wawatay Inn Ph: 204-677-1000 Webber’s Lodges/Dymond Lake Outfitters Ph: 204-377-5090 1-888-WEBBERS remote fly-in fishing and hunting packages Wong’s Asian Bistro Ph: 204-778-8880 Wonton Place Ph: 204-778-5578 Fax: 204-778-6648 Chinese food YWCA of Thompson Ph: 204-778-6341 Fax: 204-778-5308 Women’s shelter

Please let us know of any new additions or corrections. Contact the NorMan Regional Development Corp. at 1-800-665-4774 or

GFL is an industry leader in western and central Canada in the collection, management, transportation, recycling and disposal of liquid industrial/commercial wastes and used oil materials. GFL OFFERS THE FOLLOWING SERVICES: • Bulk Used Oil Collection & Processing • Oil Filter Collection • Parts Washer Rental & Service • Plastic Oil Container Collection • Fluid Recovery Services • Glycol Recovery • Waste Recovery Services • Industrial Fuel Supply 1090 Kenaston Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P OR7 Phone: 204-987-9600 • Fax: 204-987-9601 Toll Free: 1-888-ENV-WEST Office Locations: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba & Ontario

Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012 


Your Propane Specialists In Northern Manitoba STITTCO ENERGY LIMITED Thompson Snow Lake Churchill Flin Flon The Pas

(204) 677-2304 (204) 358-2530 (204) 675-2645 (204) 687-3493 (204) 623-3493

Pharmacist – Warren Hicks: 623-5150 PRESCRIPTION ORDERS: 623-2381 AFTER-HOURS EMERGENCY: 623-6588 Compliance Pill Paks upon request

Full Lotto Service – Cosmetics – Home Health Care Carlton Greeting Cards – Toys – Boxed Chocolates Baby Care – Health and Beauty Aids Otineka Mall, Opaskwayak, The Pas, MB Fax: 623-2812 Monday – Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Thursday / Friday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Hayles GeoScience Surveys Ltd. Surface and Borehole Geophysical Surveys Characterizations Mining & & Mineral Mineral Exploration Exploration Characterizations for for landfills, landfills, Mining DGPS & & RTK RTK topography topography tailing lagoons, lagoons,&&waste wastesites sites -- DGPS tailing Seismic depth depth to to bedrock bedrock Overburden depth depth & & type type -- Seismic Overburden Vs30 for foundation foundation design design Contaminant plume plume search search 30 for -- Vs Contaminant UST & & abandoned abandoned well well searches searches Professional service service UST -- Professional

511 Robinson Avenue Selkirk, MB R1A 1E5 phone/fax: (204) 482 5249 email:


Northern Experience  Issue 1  | 2012


to A dvertisers Apprenticeship Manitoba. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 BDC Aboriginal Banking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Calm Air International LP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Outside Back Cover City of Flin Flon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Cook & Cooke Insurance Brokers. . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover Crane Steel Structures Ltd.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Eric Robinson, MLA for Kewatinook. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 First Peoples Economic Growth Fund. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 GFL Environmental West Corporation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Hayles GeoScience Surveys Ltd.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Heat-Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 HudBay Minerals Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Hugh Munro Construction Ltd.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Keewatin Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Lakeview Inn & Suites. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Loan Express. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Manitoba Hydro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Marymound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Missinippi Airways. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 MLA for The Flin Flon Constituency – Clarence Pettersen. . . . 4 MLA for The Pas Constituency – Frank Whitehead. . . . . . . . . . . 4 Nickel City Motors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Nordevco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Northern Air Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Norva Centre. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Mystery Country’s Paint Lake Resort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Parks Canada. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 R.A.G. (1987) Ltd.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Sam Waller Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Sasa-Ginni-Gak Lodge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 The Standard Resort Insurance Program. . . . Inside Back Cover Stittco Energy Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Super 8 Motel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Super Thrifty Drugs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Thompson Unlimited. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Thompson YWCA Residence Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Tourism North. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Town of Gillam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Town of Grand Rapids. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Town of Leaf Rapids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Town of Lynn Lake. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Town of Snow Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Town of The Pas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover University College of the North. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 USW Local 6166 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Wal-Mart. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Wescana Inn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Workers Compensation Board. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Celebrating 23 Years Insuring Canada’s Resorts, Guides & Outfitters

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