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Prince Albert Voice

Janice DePeel

Finding Success Despite Chronic Illness

Every once in a while, we see someone on our television, and we envision the type of glamourous life they must live.  That was my first impression when seeing Julianna Maggrah.  I see a fresh-faced young woman with her whole life ahead of her and I supposed, it must be so easy for her… and then I took the time to ask her some questions and listen to what she had to say.  There is more to Julianna than the bright, personable woman we see on our television.

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Inspiring Others to Take a Lead

Sometimes we see someone who we admire, and their success is so inspirational to us, as an individual, we forget to consider the barriers or obstacles they have had to overcome to find themselves where they are now in life.  When I first met Bonnie Novotny, she was in the same education program I was, just a year ahead of me.  I only saw an energetic, caring Métis woman who was very confident in her own skin.  Later, I came to find out she had overcome personal challenges to be the woman I saw before me.  And twenty years later, she is even stronger than when I first met her. 

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Volunteers Celebrated at Luncheon

Last Sunday proved to be a beautiful day for more than just the sunny afternoon and milder temperatures those who ventured outdoors were able to enjoy.  The Prince Albert Council of Women held their annual Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2019 at the Prince Albert Wildlife Federation Hall.  

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Building Relationships Through Community Events

After such a cold beginning to February it was wonderful to have a break from the extreme weather with the arrival of the Prince Albert Winter Festival.  This year celebrated the 55th anniversary of the festival and included some old favourite events, such as the Country North Show and the Bonfire/fish fry, as well as the ever changing Kid Zone events and the Craft and Trade show.  Some of my personal favourite festival features included the jigging competitions, the fireworks and the snow sculptures standing throughout the city.  The sculptures can still be seen by visiting various sites including the tourism centre, the Alfred Jenkin’s Centre, and other locations such as the North Gate Mall’s south parking lot.  It was nice to see new ideas introduced at this year’s festival that included more of the community, such as WinterScapes. I’m hoping to see this contest continue next year and more people can plan and participate in this event.  I was also inspired by a weekend event I missed in Waskesiu a few weekends ago.  There were workshops offered to the public that included beading, Moose hair tufting, finger weaving and more.  It makes me wonder if these kinds of workshops could be held during our winter festival and how much interest there could be if they were available?  Please let me know and I will pass on interest to the festival planners for next year.  If you missed this year’s PA festival, the  La Ronge Winter Festival begins March 1-10, 2019 and is sure to be just as entertaining and enjoyable as Prince Albert’s just was.

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Artist Creates Scenes of Change

I met Shannon Kelly at a workshop for Métis entrepreneurs who were interested in growing their business.  And that is where I learned about her magazine for women entitled Vintage Gipsy.  In case you’ve never heard of Shannon, I’m sure you will be hearing it often soon so, let me introduce you.  Born in North Battleford, Shannon has lived in Prince Albert for over ten years. She’s a busy mom with strong cultural roots to her Mètis roots.  In addition to the magazine, she also volunteers quite a bit of her time to our community, using workshops and other teaching opportunities to help bridge the gap between the non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal community.  A writer from childhood, Shannon writes daily because she is a “lover of the written word. Writing for me is a healing journey.  The paper always listens.”  With no one to inspire her magazine idea, Shannon decided to pursue her passion for writing.

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