Cody Sellar

Cody Sellar

Community Journalist

Cody Sellar is the reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. He is a lifelong Winnipegger. He is a journalist, writer, sleuth, and lover of terse biographies.

Email him at cody.sellar@canstarnews.com or call him at 204-697-7206.

Recent articles of Cody Sellar

Ice cream of the crop

Cody Sellar 3 minute read Preview

Ice cream of the crop

Cody Sellar 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

FORT ROUGE

I scream, you scream, all of Canada screams for Chaeban Ice Cream. The Manitoban creamery located at 390 Osborne St. was crowned grand champion at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Ont., for its salted caramel ice cream, called Salty Carl. The fair is usually held in November, but some of its prestigious food competitions were moved to June this year.

As grand champion, Chaeban gets to claim the honour of producing Canada’s best ice cream.

“It’s a dream to put all your hard work into something and get acknowledged for it. We always buy the best ingredients. We don’t take any shortcuts,” said Joseph Chaeban, a dairy scientist and co-owner of the business.

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

Co-owners and spouses Joseph Chaeban and Zainab Ali show off their grand champion ice cream, Salty Carl.

Ukraine–Kyiv Folklorama pavilion stands strong

Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Ukraine–Kyiv Folklorama pavilion stands strong

Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

NORTHWEST WINNIPEG

Winnipeg has been steeped in Ukrainian culture for many decades, and its music and dances have long highlighted the city’s cultural festival, Folklorama. But this year, the Ukraine-Kyiv pavilion was perhaps more emotionally charged than ever.

“After two years of restrictions and weathering COVID and then the last number of months have been extremely tough for our community,” said pavilion spokesperson Mariana Sklepowich, who moved to Canada from Ukraine when she was 11 years old.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine ongoing overseas, the event has garnered a new tint.

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

Ambassador Samantha Luczenczyn-Lane looks at some traditional weaving at the Folklorama Ukraine-Kyiv Pavilion in Winnipeg.

The novel case of Whodunit Mystery Bookstore

Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 4 minute read Preview

The novel case of Whodunit Mystery Bookstore

Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 4 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

EARL GREY

Life is full of mysteries, but it’s clear how Whodunit Mystery Bookstore has survived 15 years under the ownership of the Bumsteds, while Amazon and chain bookstores shoved out competition and, recently, a pandemic cut off small businesses from their clienteles.

The bookstore has worked hard to build a community of its customers and takes the extra step to connect its network of readers with their next tantalizing read.

“Of all the books that we have, we will make a list, and then a list of the people who bought the previous title if it’s a series or that author’s previous book. And then we will send them an email or make a phone call and say so-and-so has a new book, would you like us to put it aside for you?” co-owner Wendy Bumsted said.

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

Co-owner Michael Bumsted took over much of the store’s operations after his father’s health declined.

Removing barriers from a rope in the sky

By Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Removing barriers from a rope in the sky

By Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

EAST KILDONAN

ST. BONIFACE

If she can reach her goal once again, it will be the second time Karlene Wiebe has stood 115 metres above the ground atop Manitoba Hydro Place at 360 Portage, readying herself to rappel down the side of the building like Adam West in the 1960s Batman series.

“It’s so scenic,” said Wiebe, who lived most of her life in St. James before moving to East Kildonan. “You can see all downtown. You can see into The Forks. It’s quite beautiful.”

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

EAST KILDONAN

ST. BONIFACE

If she can reach her goal once again, it will be the second time Karlene Wiebe has stood 115 metres above the ground atop Manitoba Hydro Place at 360 Portage, readying herself to rappel down the side of the building like Adam West in the 1960s Batman series.

“It’s so scenic,” said Wiebe, who lived most of her life in St. James before moving to East Kildonan. “You can see all downtown. You can see into The Forks. It’s quite beautiful.”

City breaks ground on active transit corridor

Cody Sellar 3 minute read Preview

City breaks ground on active transit corridor

Cody Sellar 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

NORTHWEST WINNIPEG

The city has broken ground on the first phase of a new, multi-use active transportation path west of McPhillips Street.

The path will run 2.4 kilometres between Leila Avenue and Church Avenue, and will be 4.5 metres wide with benches, lighting and controlled crossings for pedestrians and cyclists at Leila Avenue, Inkster Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue.

“It’s been a long time coming, so it’s really good to see it moving forward,” said Mark Cohoe, executive director of Bike Winnipeg, whose input contributed to the project. “This is potentially a really important link for the northwest.”

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

A group of people involved in the process through city hall pose at the ground-breaking ceremony for phase one of the Northwest Hydro Corridor.

Cosmos cricketers are western champs

Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 6 minute read Preview

Cosmos cricketers are western champs

Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 6 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

WEST WINNIPEG

The Cosmos are out of this world.

The Winnipeg cricket club defended its title as western Canadian champions when it won the John Ross Robertson tournament at Assiniboine Park in June. The club, which draws players from across the city, won in 2019 — the last year the tournament was held — and this season held off teams from British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan to claim victory, the 21st such championship the club has won in its 45-year existence.

“This year was actually something new for us because we hadn’t played or defended a championship at home,” said Vasu Shah, a wicket-keeper for one of two elite-league teams under the Cosmos Cricket Club banner (altogether, the club operates five teams at different competitive levels).

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

A Cosmos bowler winds up and hops into a throw.

Restaurant brings Mexico to town

Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Restaurant brings Mexico to town

Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

ST. JAMES-ASSINIBOIA

You might be worried you forgot your passport when you bite into Cristhel Pipper’s tacos. Pipper, who is from Córdaba, Mexico, and her husband Lyle Jackman, from St. James, have brought a little slice of Mexico to Winnipeg with their restaurant La Taqueria.

“I have always loved cooking,” Pipper, 59, said. “For me, providing great food for my children was very important … For example, for feeding our family at three o’clock in the afternoon (in Mexico), we start cooking at 11 because we put all our effort and love and try to make it very tasty. That’s what Mexican food is. Mexican food is dedication, but also love.”

Pipper moved to Canada in 2019 — a year after she and Jackman married. The pair started with a food truck in July of last summer, before moving into their Ness Avenue location shortly after. She said the restaurant has provided a connection to her home country she hadn’t thought existed in Winnipeg.

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

Photo by Cody Sellar

The restaurant offers a platter of various tacos called cuatros amigos, which means four friends.

Cereals Canada celebrates 50th anniversary

Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Cereals Canada celebrates 50th anniversary

Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2022

DOWNTOWN

Wheat is a keystone of civilization and a cornerstone of Manitoba, and few organizations know this so well as Cereals Canada, a not-for-profit organization located at 303 Main St. that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The organization has its fingers in every level of wheat production, processing and sales — collectively referred to as the “value chain.” It works with farmers, exporters, developers, processors and customers from many parts of the world, as well as lobbying and collaborating with government.

Organization CEO Dean Dias said it all begins with farmers.

Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2022

Cereals Canada CEO Dean Dias addresses a crowd at the organization’s 50th anniversary media event.

Pets in hot cars a potentially fatal, persistent problem

Cody Sellar 4 minute read Preview

Pets in hot cars a potentially fatal, persistent problem

Cody Sellar 4 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2022

On July 15, Ash Scott heard a dog howling in the parking lot of Polo Park.

“That was what caught my attention,” she said.

The dog was locked inside a Nissan SUV as the temperature outside the vehicle blistered around 30 C.

With the dog panting inside, Scott worried it might be in danger. She said she waited about five minutes, hoping to see the owner return to the vehicle. When nobody came along, she took action.

Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2022

Kelsey, a 13 year old Golden Retriever mix, poses inside a car as part of the launch of a 2017 campaign by the Winnipeg Humane Society promoting awareness of the dangers of keeping animals in a car during the summer.

The woolly famished get their fill

Cody Sellar 3 minute read Preview

The woolly famished get their fill

Cody Sellar 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2022

ST. JAMES-ASSINIBOIA

Nature’s lawn mowers have flat, gnashing teeth. In the prairies, those teeth once belonged to hulking bison, which have been driven, for the most part, off their ancestral pastures by encroaching humans. Other endemic grazers such as deer and elk have also been relegated to corners of the province.

To replicate the age-old clash of fauna and flora, and the ecological balance it brings, the Living Prairie Museum off Ness Avenue has borrowed a flock of 31 sheep to munch and mulch away on the nature preserve’s plantlife.

“What we’re doing with the sheep is we’re putting them on an area of the prairie that’s kind of degraded,” said Cameron Ruml, new curator of the Living Prairie Museum.

Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2022

The Living Prairie Museum has introduced a flock of sheep to graze an enclosed area in the urban nature preserve.

Eyes on crime

Cody Sellar 2 minute read Preview

Eyes on crime

Cody Sellar 2 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

BY CODY SELLAR

STAFF REPORTER

POINT DOUGLAS

A longtime community leader wants the city and its citizens to shift its approach to crime prevention.

Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

Community activist Sel Burrows is calling for a more complete approach to crime prevention.

Girls summer camp teaches trades

BY Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Girls summer camp teaches trades

BY Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

WINNIPEG

ELMWOOD

When dreaming of summer camp, one can’t help but think of bandsaws, pipe-cutters, welding torches and robots. All right, maybe those aren’t the most classic summer camp things, but they’ll be fresh in the memories of a group of girls at Red River College Polytech’s Girls Exploring Trades and Technology camp, which wrapped up last week.

Two four-day summer camps ran in successive weeks, beginning July 4 and ending July 14. Girls aged 12 to 14 participated in the free camps after having made it through a tough selection process that saw 140 applicants whittled down to 32.

Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

A camper practices welding at the RRC Polytech summer camp.

Neechi Commons vying for return

Cody Sellar 3 minute read Preview

Neechi Commons vying for return

Cody Sellar 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

BY CODY SELLAR

STAFF REPORTER

LORD SELKIRK

Neechi Foods Co-Op is launching a new initiative that it hopes will re-establish Neechi Commons in its original building at 865 Main St.

Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

Neechi Commons occupied the building on Main Street from 2013-2018.

Winnipeg gears up to host ball hockey nationals

By Cody Sellar 4 minute read Preview

Winnipeg gears up to host ball hockey nationals

By Cody Sellar 4 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

Canada’s top junior ball hockey players are gearing up for the Canadian Junior National Championships, which will take place in Winnipeg from July 28 to 31.Over 40 teams from across the nation will be competing at three different rinks — Keith Bodley Arena, Bell MTS Iceplex and Canada Life Centre, home of the Winnipeg Jets.“We’re very excited. Typically junior events and stuff like that, they’re not playing in facilities of that calibre,” said Jeff Dzikowicz, technical director of the Manitoba Ball Hockey Association.

Canada’s top junior ball hockey players are gearing up for the Canadian Junior National Championships, which will take place in Winnipeg from July 28 to 31.

Over 40 teams from across the nation will be competing at three different rinks — Keith Bodley Arena, Bell MTS Iceplex and Canada Life Centre, home of the Winnipeg Jets.

“We’re very excited. Typically junior events and stuff like that, they’re not playing in facilities of that calibre,” said Jeff Dzikowicz, technical director of the Manitoba Ball Hockey Association.

Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

Splash pad coming to Adsum Park

Cody Sellar 3 minute read Preview

Splash pad coming to Adsum Park

Cody Sellar 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

BY CODY SELLAR

STAFF REPORTER

THE MAPLES

The countdown to splash down at Maples Community Centre is on. On July 4, the City of Winnipeg, alongside the provincial and federal governments, announced plans to build a new splash pad in Adsum Park (434 Adsum Dr.).

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

Photo by Cody Sellar
Coun. Devi Sharma announces plans to build a new splash pad with other recreation upgrades at Adsum Park in The Maples.

Non-profits partner after government program ends

BY Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Non-profits partner after government program ends

BY Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

NORTHWEST WINNIPEG

Harvest Manitoba and Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre have partnered to compensate for the loss of the province’s Home Nutrition and Learning Program, a pandemic response program that ended June 30.

Through that program, Ma Mawi Chi Itata Centre supported 2,200 Indigenous families over two years and had 1,000 families registered for the program at the time provincial support ended.

The Ma Mawi Chi Itata Centre was just one organization helping Manitobans through the program, and Harvest Manitoba CEO Vince Barletta said despite inching out of the pandemic, Manitobans overall are in just as or more difficult a time when it comes to stocking their pantries.

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

Volunteers prepare outgoing food for the delivery trucks at Harvest Manitoba.

Finding fun is child’s play

By Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Finding fun is child’s play

By Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

Macdonald

Headlingley

Kids may have just counted down the seconds to summer vacation, leaving a cloud of dust between themselves and their schools in Road Runner fashion, but the MacDonald-Headingley Recreation District might have them excited for a new kind of school.

The organization is putting on day camps from Aug. 8 to 12 called Forest School for children ages 5 to 12.

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

The MacDonald-Headingley Recreation District has a slew of programs available this summer.

Twenty-three days on the Assiniboine River

Cody Sellar 4 minute read Preview

Twenty-three days on the Assiniboine River

Cody Sellar 4 minute read Friday, Jul. 8, 2022

WEST END

One night, he couldn’t get out of the canoe to camp. The mud below the Assiniboine River, somewhere on his route from Sturgis, Sask., to Winnipeg, was so thick it might swallow his leg to the knee of his hip waders. Getting stuck, alone, a hundred kilometres from nowhere, was not an option.

“I stayed on the boat all night,” said Lorne Chastko, our lone canoeist, the 59-year-old West End man whose 1,180-kilometre and 23-day trip ended at The Forks on July 1. “I went from seven in the morning to the next day at 11.”

The sun extinguished behind the bank, darkness stole over the prairies, and the sky tore open. Lightning cracked, far too close, and thunder chased its tail. Rain pelted down, hour after hour.

Friday, Jul. 8, 2022

Photo by Cody Sellar
Lorne Chastko travelled solo 1,180 kilometres, from Sturgis, Sask. to The Forks, in a 17-foot canoe.

Globetrotting pastry chef brings home world-class knowledge

By Cody Sellar 4 minute read Preview

Globetrotting pastry chef brings home world-class knowledge

By Cody Sellar 4 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2022

THE MAPLES

ST. JAMES-ASSINIBOIA

The exterior of the kouign-amann, literally meaning butter cake in the Breton language, glistens under the track lights above. The caramelized sugar that gives it its sheen cracks like thin, spring ice as it tears open, revealing a web of croissant-like pastry with a particular gooeyness due to sugar folded between the layers.

The kouign-amann is a house specialty of pastry and cake shop Cake-ology on Arthur Street. It was also a noted pastry for renowned chef Dominique Ansel, creator of the trendy cronut, under whom Cake-ology co-owner Austin Granados trained during a stint in New York City.

Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2022

The Speculoos kouign-amann is a top-seller at Cake-ology.

Eskin earns lifetime achievement recognition

By Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Eskin earns lifetime achievement recognition

By Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2022

FORT GARRY

RIVER HEIGHTS

Driving in summer along southern Manitoba’s highways, one sees fields of canary yellow stretch out and ripple under every sigh of prairie wind. It’s canola — a hallmark of the province, and one in which 81-year-old food scientist Michael Eskin takes personal pride.

“When I do go out there and I look and I see it, I really get a sense of great satisfaction, not just for myself, but for the team of people who worked together so well and so consistently,” the River Heights resident said.

Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2022

Supplied photo
Michael Eskin’s contributions to food science have garnered him 12 awards in the past decade.

World’s largest magic club celebrates 100th anniversary, Winnipeg roots

By Cody Sellar 4 minute read Preview

World’s largest magic club celebrates 100th anniversary, Winnipeg roots

By Cody Sellar 4 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

TRANSCONA

No amount of smoke and mirrors was enough to make the brotherhood disappear.

In the past 100 years, the International Brotherhood of Magicians has grown from humble roots in the Union Bank Building at 500 Main St., now the home of Red River College Polytechnic’s culinary and hospitality programs, into the world’s largest organization of professional and amateur magicians. Its ranks include giants of the industry such as David Copperfield and Siegfried and Roy, and the brotherhood boasts over 10,000 members across chapters, or “rings,” in 88 countries.

To celebrate the anniversary, local members held a ceremony at the original headquarters on June 6, recreating the unveiling of the 1986 historical building plaque by setting the veil ablaze.

Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

Dean Gunnarson (right) performs the ceremonial unveiling of a plaque marking the building 500 Main Street, at the time the Union Bank Building, the city’s first skyscraper, as the birthplace of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Some local Legions set to celebrate Canada Day

By Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Some local Legions set to celebrate Canada Day

By Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

EAST WINNIPEG

Come July 1, some eastside Royal Canadian Legions will be dusting off their reds and whites to celebrate Canada Day for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was tough when you had to try to start something, and you have to hold back a little bit. All our members and executives think it’s great to have this wide open again. We’re very happy for it,” said Brent Vall, president of the Prince Edward Legion No. 81 (300 Trent Ave.).

With pandemic restrictions shutting down the annual Remembrance Day ceremonies as well, July 1 will mark the first event out of the Prince Edward Legion in two years.

Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

Tracy Wynnyk (pictured) is spearheading entertainment for the Prince Edward Legion’s Canada Day celebrations.

Miles Mac students “Depave Paradise”

By Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Miles Mac students “Depave Paradise”

By Cody Sellar STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

EAST KILDONAN

Joni Mitchell would be proud. The morning of June 23, a group of students from Miles Macdonell Collegiate tore through more pitch than Mitchell herself as they “depaved” a portion of the school’s parking lot to put up paradise — or some greenery, at least.

About 40 students and some supervising adults brandished shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows as the sun beat down and the temperature neared 30 C. Some worked with freeze pops hanging from their mouths or pressed to their chests to cut the heat while they spread topsoil and wood chips.

The parking lot transformation had inspired the students to expand their work to upgrade the greenery adjacent the torn-up parking spaces, and it was already looking like a place people might want to catch some shade on a blistering day such as this.

Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

Students work to add greenery to Miles Macdonell Collegiate, where a portion of the parking lot once was.

Non-profit collects e-waste, educates public

By Cody Sellar 3 minute read Preview

Non-profit collects e-waste, educates public

By Cody Sellar 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

SOUTH TRANSCONA

TUXEDO

Non-profit Computers For Schools Manitoba set up shop outside their offices on Terracon Place off Dugald Road on June 21 to collect electronic waste, or e-waste, to be refurbished or recycled.

The next day the organization moved its drive across town to 210 Commerce Dr. in Tuxedo.

Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

Computers For School Manitoba executive director shows off the organization’s warehouse.