Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Reporter

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press.

Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.

A typical shift for Rollason could see him interviewing the prime minister or premier, and then reporting on a homicide.

In recent years, Rollason has also helmed the paper’s annual Pennies from Heaven campaign to help feed the hungry during the Christmas season.

Kevin won a National Newspaper Award in 2015, for his coverage of the inquest into the death of Brian Sinclair, and shared a citation of merit from the NNA in 2005 for coverage of the fatal crash of a Fedex plane in Winnipeg.

During his career he has been named medical reporter of the year in 2014, by the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, and received the 2015 Hollobon Award for excellence in medical reporting from the Health Care Public Relations Association Canada.

He also received an honourable mention in the 2015 Canadian Hillman Prize in Journalism, the Golden Hand Award from Volunteer Manitoba, as well as honours from the Canadian Medical Association, Thompson Newspapers, the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities, and the Huntington Disease Association.

Kevin was lauded by the Canadian Newspaper Association’s annual Great Ideas category in 2009, for his annual end-of-year obituary feature.

Recent articles of Kevin Rollason

Murray maintains wide lead with decided voters: poll

Kevin Rollason 5 minute read Preview

Murray maintains wide lead with decided voters: poll

Kevin Rollason 5 minute read Friday, Sep. 23, 2022

Whether it is nostalgia, name recognition or running a good campaign, with little more than five weeks remaining before Winnipeggers choose their next mayor, Glen Murray continues to hold a commanding lead over the 11-candidate field.

A recent Free Press-CTV Winnipeg poll conducted by Probe Research shows Murray with a more than 2-1 advantage over his closest rivals — with 40 per cent of decided voters saying they would cast their ballot for the former mayor (who held the seat from 1998-2004) in the Oct. 26 election.

That number is down from the 44 per cent support a similar poll in July reported.

Coun. Scott Gillingham (St. James) was second at 15 per cent (down one percentage point from July), followed by social entrepreneur Shaun Loney, who jumped to 14 per cent support (from six per cent).

Friday, Sep. 23, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local - Murray Mayoral candidate, Glen Murray, holds media announcement on increasing arts spending in the Exchange District Friday. Sept 23rd, 2022

Green bin pilot project ends with some high hopes

Kevin Rollason 3 minute read Preview

Green bin pilot project ends with some high hopes

Kevin Rollason 3 minute read Thursday, Sep. 22, 2022

After two years of throwing everything from spoiled food to coffee grounds to used paper towels and tissues into a green bin for curbside pickup, thousands of Winnipeggers will start throwing them into the garbage again.

The city’s two-year, $1.8-million curbside compost collection pilot project ends next week.

A letter this week to residents in the 4,000 homes involved — spread across five collection routes in six council wards — includes information on how to fill out a short survey so the city can find out more about how the experience went for them, and if they have any advice.

A final civic report on the project will go to council next year.

Thursday, Sep. 22, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

After two years, The City of Winnipeg’s $1.8-million curbside compost collection pilot project ends next week.

New law, scrap yard bust take bite out of catalytic converter thefts

Kevin Rollason 4 minute read Preview

New law, scrap yard bust take bite out of catalytic converter thefts

Kevin Rollason 4 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2022

The flood of catalytic converter thefts in Winnipeg has slowed to a trickle following the implementation of a new anti-theft program and arrests at a rural scrap yard.

Winnipeg police said Tuesday only 31 catalytic converters were stolen in August, down from 78 in July. That compares to 353 in April and 283 in May. Thieves cut out the part, which is valuable because it contains precious metals, from the underside of vehicles and sell it to scrap yards.

“A combination of Project Precious, ongoing police enforcement, the new scrap metal act, and the Crime Stopper’s engraving program (has meant) the number of catalytic converter thefts reported to WPS has plummeted,” police said in a statement.

Project Precious was the name of the four-month investigation into the wave of thefts that culminated in arrests at a scrap yard in the RM of Springfield in June.

Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2022

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

An engraved catalytic converter.

Gillingham wants to bring ‘yes’ culture, better customer service to city hall

Kevin Rollason 1 minute read Preview

Gillingham wants to bring ‘yes’ culture, better customer service to city hall

Kevin Rollason 1 minute read Monday, Sep. 19, 2022

Mayoral candidate Scott Gillingham wants to bring better customer service to city hall.

Gillingham, a city councillor for the past eight years who is running for mayor, said he wants to implement a “yes” culture in which civic staff will do everything they can legally and practically to help residents and investors.

“We task some of our departments with policy, regulation, enforcement and service all at the same time and, sometimes, those goals are colliding,” Gillingham said in a statement released Monday.

If he is elected he will work with councillors and senior civic managers to reorganize departments to move public-facing customer service areas, such as 311 and permit approvals, into a single department, as well as merging together scattered bylaw enforcement units to improve standards and increase cross-training, he said.

Monday, Sep. 19, 2022

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Mayoral Candidate Scott Gillingham said he wants to implement a “yes” culture in which civic staff will do everything they can to help residents and investors.

Family matters in mayoral campaigns

Kevin Rollason 3 minute read Preview

Family matters in mayoral campaigns

Kevin Rollason 3 minute read Monday, Sep. 19, 2022

Gordon Alder may be 90 years old and ineligible to vote for mayoral hopeful Scott Gillingham, but he has voluntarily assembled dozens of the candidate’s election signs.

The Headingley resident can’t vote in Winnipeg, but that hasn’t dulled his enthusiasm for Gillingham’s run at the city’s top job.

He figures he’d enjoy being the mayor’s grandfather.

“I can’t vote for him, but I can help him with his signs,” Alder said Monday. “I don’t have to go to his (campaign) office. I can just put them together on the back of my half-ton (truck).”

Monday, Sep. 19, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

“He is very active, so he is champing at the bit to do more,” Mayoral candidate Scott Gillingham said of his 90-year-old grandfather Gordon Alder, who is volunteering for his campaign.

Joseph Ewanchuk’s generosity didn’t end with his death

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Joseph Ewanchuk’s generosity didn’t end with his death

Kevin Rollason 6 minute read Saturday, Sep. 17, 2022

In life, Joseph Ewanchuk helped many people and, in death, he may help many more.

That’s because Ewanchuk, who was 93 when he died on Dec. 6, decided before his passing to delay having a funeral service and instead donate his body to science.

Joanne Marchand said the donation was just like her dad.

“He thought about this 10 years ago or even further back — it was before his stroke,” Marchand said. “It was extremely important to him. ‘What good is my body after I am gone?’

Saturday, Sep. 17, 2022

SUPPLIED

Joe Ewanchuk, who died on Dec. 6, 2021, donated his body to science.

Thieves ruin brass doors on Exchange heritage building

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Thieves ruin brass doors on Exchange heritage building

Kevin Rollason 3 minute read Friday, Sep. 16, 2022

Thieves have stolen a piece of Winnipeg’s history.

A section of the ornate brass front doors at 460 Main St. was cut out and taken away this week.

Bob Brown, president of Leon A. Brown, a real estate and property management firm, said he couldn’t believe it when he saw the damage to the former Royal Bank of Canada main branch.

His grandfather founded the company, and his late father bought and renovated heritage buildings in the 1970s.

Friday, Sep. 16, 2022

Bob Brown / Winnipeg Free Press

The ornate brass front doors at 460 Main St. after the robbery.

Queen Elizabeth reigns over Polo Park

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Queen Elizabeth reigns over Polo Park

Kevin Rollason 3 minute read Friday, Sep. 16, 2022

Winnipeggers who want to remember Queen Elizabeth in a big way can do it while shopping.

The giant painting of Queen Elizabeth, which used to hang from the rafters of the old Winnipeg arena, will be displayed in the Polo Park shopping centre for the next two weeks.

The owner of the painting, Ron D’Errico, CEO of Impact Security, said he is glad the five-by-seven-metre portrait he received as a gift will be in public view. He said it is fitting people can see it now when so many people are remembering the monarch, whose funeral will be held Monday.

“For a long time it was in storage and couildn’t be seen,” D’Errico said on Friday.

Friday, Sep. 16, 2022

The giant painting of Queen Elizabeth, which used to hang from the rafters of the old Winnipeg arena, will be displayed in the Polo Park shopping centre for the next two weeks. (Jessica Lee / Winnipeg Free Press)

Home care turmoil persists despite media attention

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Home care turmoil persists despite media attention

Kevin Rollason 3 minute read Friday, Sep. 16, 2022

A Winnipeg man with quadriplegia thought it was bad when home care aides missed a few of his appointments at home in recent weeks.

But 61-year-old Patrick Dram said since he related his plight to the Free Press last week, it has become even worse; the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority cancelled his two morning home care appointments last Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, as well as his afternoon and evening appointments on Saturday.

Dram said he didn’t even know the two Saturday appointments had been cancelled until no one showed up and he called to find out why.

“On Monday, I was in bed until three in the afternoon,” Dram said Wednesday.

Friday, Sep. 16, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Patrick Dram recently had multiple home care appointments cancelled by the WRHA, some without notice.

No bones about it, Murray’s dialed in

Kevin Rollason 4 minute read Preview

No bones about it, Murray’s dialed in

Kevin Rollason 4 minute read Thursday, Sep. 15, 2022

You might not get a pizza, but you could reach a mayoral candidate if you call 444-4444 these days.

Glen Murray’s campaign office general number is 204-444-4444, but, for Winnipeggers of a certain age, that number is seared into their brains like a pizza crust on a pan. It was the hotline to order a pizza from Mr. Bones, until it closed in the early 2000s.

Harold Brazil is now an emergency room nurse, and a recently minted real estate agent with Keller Williams Real Estate Services. Back in 1989, he was a 19-year-old manager at the local outlet of an international pizza franchise that had moved into Canada.

“I was a manager at Domino’s,” Brazil said on Thursday. “I ran their first outlet in Canada.

Thursday, Sep. 15, 2022

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Harold Brazil, founder of the late Mr Bones pizza franchise, and mayoral candidate Glen Murray pose for a photo together in Winnipeg on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. Murray has the former Bones phone number as his campaign line. For Kevin story.

Winnipeg Free Press 2022.

Manitoba aids Pakistan

Kevin Rollason 1 minute read Preview

Manitoba aids Pakistan

Kevin Rollason 1 minute read Thursday, Sep. 15, 2022

MANITOBA is giving $200,000 to help emergency flood relief efforts in Pakistan.

Premier Heather Stefanson announced the money would be sent to the Manitoba Council for International Co-operation, which administers emergency aid from Manitobans.

“Manitobans know first-hand the devastating impacts of extreme weather on lives, communities and businesses, and we stand in solidarity with the people of Pakistan as they endure this unprecedented crisis,” Stefanson said Wednesday in a statement.

Janice Hamilton, the council’s executive director, said they appreciate the province’s support.

Thursday, Sep. 15, 2022

DANIEL CRUMP / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Premier Heather Stefanson announced the money would be sent to the Manitoba Council for International Co-operation, which administers emergency aid from Manitobans.

‘My mom died by herself’: COVID outbreaks keep grip on local care homes

Kevin Rollason 5 minute read Preview

‘My mom died by herself’: COVID outbreaks keep grip on local care homes

Kevin Rollason 5 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2022

Pat Pears was suffering from COVID-19 and all alone when she took her last breath Monday in her bed at Fred Douglas Lodge.

The 84-year-old mother of four was one of almost four dozen seniors at the Burrows Avenue facility who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus in recent days. The virus has swept through every unit in the Winnipeg facility, hitting both residents and staff members.

Two-and-a-half years into the pandemic, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said there are currently 30 outbreaks in facilities it oversees: 21 in personal care homes, eight in Winnipeg hospitals and the Riverview Health Centre, and one in St. Amant.

The WRHA said the earliest outbreak still active is at Tuxedo Village’s Unit 2 (Aug. 12); the most recent is Concordia Hospital’s N2E unit (Sept. 9).

Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2022

SUPPLIED

Pat Pears was one of almost four dozen seniors at Fred Douglas Lodge who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus in recent days.

Lack of ‘essential service’ decried as landline woes continue

Kevin Rollason 3 minute read Preview

Lack of ‘essential service’ decried as landline woes continue

Kevin Rollason 3 minute read Sunday, Sep. 11, 2022

The weeks-long loss of their landline has not only hurt their business, a Winnipeg couple says, it has put them in danger.

Jim, who didn’t want his last name used, said his wife is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and the malfunctioning phone means he can’t call to check on her when he’s out.

“It just goes click, click, click when you pick up the phone. We don’t have the essential service Bell MTS is supposed to provide… It has put us in a medical crisis,” he said Friday.

“I can’t call her. I can’t call support groups. I can’t (internet search) how to cook things — she did all the cooking for years and I’m trying to learn to cook. And, with our home-based business, I can’t call clients or know when clients are trying to call us.”

Sunday, Sep. 11, 2022

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Bell MTS has been on the hot seat with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission because of the number of customers in Winnipeg who have complained they have been without landline services for days, weeks, and even months.

King Charles has made five visits to Manitoba

Kevin Rollason 7 minute read Preview

King Charles has made five visits to Manitoba

Kevin Rollason 7 minute read Friday, Sep. 9, 2022

It was a frigid day on the snow-covered shore of Hudson Bay as the future king chatted with a dogsled driver.

The setting was the fort built so the British could maintain their grip on the fur trade.

To Prince Charles, the visit to Fort Prince of Wales near Churchill in late April 1996 was a treat.

“He was very interested in Fort Prince of Wales because that was his title,” said Gary Filmon, premier at the time who hosted the royal at Manitoba’s northern seaport.

Friday, Sep. 9, 2022

PAUL CHIASSSON / CANADIAN PRESS FILES

Prince Charles tries on a pair of Google glasses in Winnipeg in May 2014.

From farm visit to infamous water-taxi incident, Manitobans fondly remember interactions with Queen

Kevin Rollason 10 minute read Preview

From farm visit to infamous water-taxi incident, Manitobans fondly remember interactions with Queen

Kevin Rollason 10 minute read Thursday, Sep. 8, 2022

For Brian Bailey, the death of Queen Elizabeth is almost like losing a loved one.

For two days, Bailey, his parents and siblings, hosted the Queen, Prince Philip and their children — including Charles, who is now King — at their farm near Carberry in the summer of 1970.

“It almost feels like we’ve lost a family member,” Bailey said Thursday, shortly after a bulletin went around the globe notifying the public that the Queen had died.

“We had her to ourselves for almost a day.”

Thursday, Sep. 8, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Advertising honours Queen Elizabeth II with a digital billboard on Route 90 near Silver Avenue on Thursday.

Long-term landline static puts Winnipeg couple on hold

Kevin Rollason 4 minute read Preview

Long-term landline static puts Winnipeg couple on hold

Kevin Rollason 4 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2022

A west Winnipeg couple have been without a functioning Bell MTS landline for 1,776 hours and counting.

Debbie Roy and her husband Dewey say they have gotten only static since the problem began in the spring, despite claims by the telecom giant such issues are in the past.

“They come and it is fixed, but as soon as they leave, the static comes back,” Roy said Wednesday of the phone at her Downs Avenue residence.

“It is so frustrating. We’ve missed some very important phone calls. We’ve missed doctor calls and my husband, who is a drywaller doing odd jobs, has missed a couple of jobs.”

Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2022

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Debbie Roy (right) and Dewey Roy said Bell MTS told them the problem is old copper wires coupled with excessive precipitation Winnipeg received this summer.

Winnipeg man with quadriplegia angry with unreliable home care

Kevin Rollason 5 minute read Preview

Winnipeg man with quadriplegia angry with unreliable home care

Kevin Rollason 5 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 6, 2022

A Winnipeg man with quadriplegia has been left in bed unable to move for more than a day on several occasions because the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority can’t always get a home care aide to him.

Patrick Dram, 61, said he is either forced to stay in bed the entire day or sleep overnight in his wheelchair depending on when the aide doesn’t show up.

It also means his urinary catheter, which needs to be checked by an aide during two separate appointments during the day, can go unmonitored for more than a day.

“I feel frustrated more than anything, I guess,” Dram said on Tuesday, sitting in his wheelchair.

Tuesday, Sep. 6, 2022

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Patrick Dram said he is either forced to stay in bed the entire day or sleep overnight in his wheelchair depending on when the aide doesn’t show up.

Bell MTS repair options ring up customer ire

Kevin Rollason 4 minute read Preview

Bell MTS repair options ring up customer ire

Kevin Rollason 4 minute read Friday, Sep. 2, 2022

A Winnipeg matchmaker isn’t feeling the love for Bell MTS after the company told her she could pay extra to have her phone fixed faster.

Lianne Tregobov, president and chief executive officer of Camelot Introductions, said Friday while her business phone was repaired that afternoon — more than 24 hours after only static could be heard on the receiver — she couldn’t believe the telecom giant wanted to profit from her plight.

“The fact it is fixed is irrelevant,” Tregobov said. “The fact I could have paid to get it done earlier is disappointing. And they also said I could pay a retainer to ensure faster service. I’m a small business, not a hospital or the police.”

Tregobov said she was told Thursday morning the earliest a technician could come to repair her business landline was Friday.

Friday, Sep. 2, 2022

Lianne Tregobov's entire business is phone-based. (Ehtan Cairns / Winnipeg Free Press)

St. Amant victim of cyber attack

Kevin Rollason 3 minute read Preview

St. Amant victim of cyber attack

Kevin Rollason 3 minute read Friday, Sep. 2, 2022

St. Amant staff who help support children and adults living with disabilities were locked out of the organization’s email system after its computer network was hacked Tuesday.

Ben Adaman, president and CEO of St. Amant, said in a statement the organization was alerted to a network security breach Tuesday.

“Our IT team immediately reached out to a cyber security company to help us secure the network and support us through the next steps,” Adaman said in a statement to the Free Press.

“To date, we have contained the breach to our network. We are keeping our stakeholders aware of the situation. We are still in the process of assessing the situation and do not have any further information to share.”

Friday, Sep. 2, 2022

The St. Amant Centre in Winnipeg. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Waving goodbye to waterlogged, yet warm summer 2022

Kevin Rollason 5 minute read Preview

Waving goodbye to waterlogged, yet warm summer 2022

Kevin Rollason 5 minute read Thursday, Sep. 1, 2022

Ah, summer, that magical time when Winnipeg is deluged with rain, your flowers drown in saturated soil and you experience fewer of the hottest days than normal.

That’s not the summer many wished for after enduring a long cold winter, but it is the summer they got in 2022.

It was also a season that, in the end, was slightly hotter than normal overall and one where locals — after more than two years of tight COVID-19 restrictions — were able to come out and enjoy large festivals under a summer sun again.

Lynne Skromeda, executive director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, said where sometimes in the past the event has been cursed with rain, this year the precipitation fell before and after, with just a smattering on the Sunday morning.

Thursday, Sep. 1, 2022

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS A person soaks their shoe while trying to step across a large collection of rain water on Main St. in Winnipeg Monday, August 29, 2022

Councillor pushes for review in wake of city website crash

Kevin Rollason 4 minute read Preview

Councillor pushes for review in wake of city website crash

Kevin Rollason 4 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022

A city councillor is calling for a full review after a third-party online booking system crashed, leaving thousands of Winnipeggers treading water while trying to book children’s swim lessons.

Coun. Sherri Rollins, chairwoman of the civic protection and parks committee, which oversees the Leisure Guide’s online booking system, said Wednesday she will put forward a motion for the review at next week’s committee meeting.

“People took time off work to get their kids in swimming lessons,” Rollins said. “It was a tough day (Tuesday). Winnipeggers need to know what happened.”

On Tuesday, the first day of booking fall session swimming and skating lessons, as well as other activities run by the City of Winnipeg, the website crashed just as it opened at 8 a.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

“People took time off work to get their kids in swimming lessons,” City Councillor Sherri Rollins said. “It was a tough day (Tuesday). Winnipeggers need to know what happened.”

‘It’s ridiculous’: Leisure Guide website belly flops on swim lesson day

Kevin Rollason 5 minute read Preview

‘It’s ridiculous’: Leisure Guide website belly flops on swim lesson day

Kevin Rollason 5 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022

Karly Mooney got up early Tuesday to dive in front of her computer, hoping to snag a swimming lesson spot for her son.

It didn’t go swimmingly: her efforts (and those of countless others) were submerged when the City of Winnipeg’s Leisure Guide website belly flopped just minutes after it came online at 8 a.m.

The company which has been running the website since 2015 (Texas-based Active Network) was able to get the crashed site up and running by noon, leaving many Winnipeggers angry at what they believe is a perennial problem trying to book swim and skating lessons, and other activities the city runs.

“It’s just so discouraging,” Mooney said shortly after finally getting her son, Kane, booked into a French-language swim lesson.

Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Karly Mooney and her son Kane, 6, have had a hard time being able to book swimming lessons..

Cash-poor visionaries, Jubilee Fund turn parking lot into 55+ housing plan

Kevin Rollason 4 minute read Preview

Cash-poor visionaries, Jubilee Fund turn parking lot into 55+ housing plan

Kevin Rollason 4 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022

The fear of becoming homeless may soon no longer loom over a few dozen senior citizens in a section of inner city Winnipeg.

That’s because a group of West Alexander-Centennial neighbourhood residents are working to convert a decades-old former retail parking lot into a three-storey building, with 48 units affordable to seniors who are at risk of becoming homeless.

“It will be good for seniors 55 years and up, but the rent is less than market rent and there is a rent assistance program in this province here to help,” Catherine Collins of Harriet Street Seniors Housing said Monday.

“It’s great because this (parking) lot has always been a problem. It gets slept on, peed on, and used for parking. To see something contributing to the community is great.”

Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022

Catherine Collins, chair of the Harriet Street Seniors Housing development, and John Prystanski, lawyer and supporter on the property at 55 Harriet St. that will become the seniors housing development. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Cheers to dressing room beers

Kevin Rollason 3 minute read Preview

Cheers to dressing room beers

Kevin Rollason 3 minute read Friday, Aug. 26, 2022

Hockey and soccer players at a Winnipeg sports complex can now toast their victories or drown their sorrows after a game with a beer in their dressing room.

The Canlan Sports Complex on Ellice Avenue (formerly the Highlander) is the first sports facility in Manitoba to have its dressing rooms licensed for liquor service. Canlan will offer beer only.

“It is a smart marketing move,” said Cheryl Grossi, whose women’s soccer league uses the facility. “It’s a novel approach. You can go upstairs to the restaurant if you want, but if you are in a rush, you can get it in the dressing room and then leave.

“They may as well tap into this market.”

Friday, Aug. 26, 2022

Players can now stretch it out while enjoying a beer at Canlan. (John Woods / Winnnipeg Free Press files)