Dan Sylvestre

Dan Sylvestre

Fort Rouge community correspondent

Dan Sylvestre is a community correspondent for Fort Rouge.

Recent articles of Dan Sylvestre

Coaching football with integrity

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Coaching football with integrity

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

As the 60th season of Churchill Bulldogs football has come and gone, I can say that it was one of my favorites as a coach. That may be because we were finally out of the COVID-19 woods enough to enjoy regular practices and competitions, it may be because of the excellent group of young men that made up the 2022 Bulldog family — and the supportive parents and alumni — but it is also because of the effort and dedication of our coaching staff.

It always impresses me that 99 per cent of the Bulldog coaches over the years have been alumni players returning to give back to the program they love. This just goes to show there is something special happening here — and at every school in the city where teachers and coaches volunteer their time to give students an opportunity to belong to a team and play a sport. The lessons the players learn, such as commitment, dedication, social skills, and the value of hard work will take them far in life.

So, I’d like to say thanks very much to all the coaches and teachers giving their time, as they are truly making the world a better place. The individual I’d like to highlight today was a Bulldog football player back in 2006-07. When I was head coach of the football program in 2009 and 2010, Tyler Parks came back to coach the quarterbacks. Over the past decade, he helped with the Bulldog offence. When Kirkland Harper, who was head coach from 2014 to 2019, decided to take a well-deserved break from high school football, Tyler stepped up this season to become head coach. I was immediately impressed with his dedication to getting everything organized, from equipment to finances and getting players to buy into sports again. His maturity and devotion as a first-year head coach brought a positive atmosphere that was appreciated by the entire team. This mutual respect was evident as Churchill’s excellent group of student athletes gave everything they had on the football field, battling with low numbers and injuries every game. The lessons and friendships they created will last a lifetime.

A sports season is about the journey and not the destination. Only one team can call themselves the champs while the others will naturally be disappointed.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

File photo

Tyler Parks (far right), pictured here from his playing days with the Churchill Bulldogs, became the team’s head coach this past season.

Bombers lend the Bulldogs a hand

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Bombers lend the Bulldogs a hand

Dan Sylvestre 2 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2022

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are having another successful season and it’s once again awesome to watch our beloved Blue and Gold dominate the CFL.

For years if was challenge being a Blue Bomber fan although, when you’re born in Winnipeg and grow up loving football, you bleed blue and there’s only one team to cheer for. As the playoffs approach, we have strong beliefs that we can three-peat as CFL champs. The only team to win three Grey Cups in a row was the Edmonton Eskimos, who impressively won a total of five consecutive championships from 1978-1982. Since then, the only teams to win back-to-back Grey Cups are the Toronto Argonauts in 1996-97 and the Montreal Alouettes in 2009-10 and, of course, our Bombers, the past two CFL seasons.

The Bombers have everything a championship team needs to dominate a league — a solid offence led by a consistent offensive line, a powerful running game, talented receivers and possibly the most important offensive weapon, a mobile and accurate quarterback. Defensively, our defensive line is feared, the linebackers are fast and punishing tacklers and our secondary bends but rarely breaks. Special teams are another area where the Bombers have improved. They are led by experienced coaches and management, and we wish them all the best in the playoff run towards the 109th Grey Cup in Regina.

Some of the Bombers players recently took time out of their busy schedules to give back to the community and help the Churchill Bulldogs at one of the high school team’s practices.

Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2022

Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver Drew Wolitarsky was one of three Bombers’ players who came out to a recent Churchill Bulldogs practice and put the high school players through their paces.

The joy (and stress) of pet ownership

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The joy (and stress) of pet ownership

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

Dogs are our best friends. I will always cherish morning walks with ours.

A client friend came by the house the other day to pick up a few nice pieces of ash from my wood inventory and as we were talking dogs he mentioned that adult dogs have the approximate intelligence of a three-year-old child.

I’m not sure where he came up with this info, but in any case, dogs are dependent on us for love, nurturing, shelter, food, and hygiene.

Owning a dog has its pros and cons, for sure. If you’re a dog owner you know all about this and have most likely had many questions along the way, ranging from what kind of food you should feed your pet to how much exercise and mental stimulation they should receive. The internet offers a plethora of information, but as we all know, it can be suspect, especially when it comes to the health of your beloved furry friend. We’ve learned that finding a trusted veterinary clinic is an invaluable necessity.

Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

Dan Sylvestre’s dog, Maui, rests at home on the outdoor couch.

Skeeter season in full effect

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Skeeter season in full effect

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Monday, Jul. 4, 2022

As summer time finally gets going full swing, and many of us start doing yard work, construction and trying to enjoy our patios, we all know that these few months are precious — and mosquitoes are an annoyance that can can ruin our outdoor good times, not to mention problems related to West Nile Fever and Zika virus.

This is the first year in many where the mosquitoes have been so bad at our place in the country that we just learn to live with them. We had a couple guys come over to fix our pool plumbing the other night and one of the young fellows seemed to think that Deep Woods Off! was the finest of colognes.

That’s fine for some, but if you’re more of an organic type, here are a few ideas to keep those pesky critters to themselves:

Lemon eucalyptus oil has been a natural mosquito deterrent for almost a century and studies have shown that a mixture of 1 part oil and 2 parts water can be 95 per cent effective in warding off the mosquitoes for up to three hours.

Monday, Jul. 4, 2022

Bamboo citronella torches are one of many ways to keep mosquitoes from ruining all your summer fun.

Free to travel once again

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Free to travel once again

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2022

As the world slowly resumes its post-COVID normality some of you may be considering knocking a few items off your bucket lists. We recently did this by going on a cruise and then visiting the Florida Keys.

If you’ve never vacationed on a cruise ship, here are a few things we discovered on our first cruise which left from Miami and visited a couple of different in the Bahamas. Do not assume that you will find what you need on the boat. The airline lost our luggage and luckily it arrived on the ship prior to departure because there was no toothpaste on the ship, nor Advil or Tylenol for my wife’s headaches. Be sure when travelling to keep toiletry necessities and a spare change of clothes in your carry-on luggage.

There will be many great activities on the boat, but there are people everywhere all the time. The only place you’ll find a quiet space is in your room. We did not choose to upgrade to a larger space or balcony room, which worked for us, but the room was very small — just 150 square feet, which left just enough room for a small bathroom and a bed. We weren’t there much, so it wasn’t a big deal, but I did sneak peeks into the larger rooms as we walked the halls and they looked pretty sweet.

The shipboard staff was very friendly and the food was consistently tasty, whether we ate in the buffet or the main dining room. Having dinner near the window overlooking the ocean was a really cool experience. The food was included and again, upgrades were not necessary. Alcoholic drinks were approximately $10 each or you could buy an all-inclusive package but they are expensive and you really have to commit to drinking if you go that route. We decided to spend our money on the island waterpark and the beach daybeds instead, and these were worth every dollar. As for sea sickness, we could feel the boat moving slightly but did not feel any discomfort. There are pills you can take or motion sickness patches that people put behind their ears.

Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2022

Correspondent Dan Sylvestre and his wife recently enjoyed a Caribbean cruise that stopped at a couple of Bahamian islands.

Churchill athletes are doing the school proud

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Churchill athletes are doing the school proud

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Friday, Jan. 21, 2022

As I enter my second decade as a teacher and coach I believe this is a first - the Collège Churchill High School Bulldogs won four Winnipeg School Division volleyball championships this past season.

The four teams that won their respective league championships were the varsity boys, varsity girls, junior varsity girls and junior high girls.

The junior high girls’ team was coached by teachers Aaron Boila and Sydney Pankratz.  The team had a regular season record of 6-1, and beat Stanley Knowles two sets to none in the championship. The first set was 25-13 and the second set was 26-24 in an exciting match.

The junior varsity girls were coached by teacher, Hailey Unger who led the girls through a great season.

Friday, Jan. 21, 2022

Supplied photo
The Collège Churchill High School girls hockey team was placed in CTV Division 1 of the WWHSHL in its first season in the league.

Fill up your holidays with a new hobby

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Fill up your holidays with a new hobby

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021

’Tis the season to be ______ ? 

Obviously, the blank should read “jolly” but if you’re have lost someone special in your life, the holiday season can be a time of sadness. My heart goes out to all those who wish they could be a little jollier at this time of year. 

That said, if you need some cheering up during the holiday season, what better reason than to spoil yourself a little. Maybe it’s time to buy yourself a giant TV or make financial plans for that family vacation you’ve been putting off?

If you are looking for some holiday happiness, I recommend that you spend your time with whatever activity that warms your heart and just dive right in.

Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021

’Tis the season to be ______ ? 

Obviously, the blank should read “jolly” but if you’re have lost someone special in your life, the holiday season can be a time of sadness. My heart goes out to all those who wish they could be a little jollier at this time of year. 

That said, if you need some cheering up during the holiday season, what better reason than to spoil yourself a little. Maybe it’s time to buy yourself a giant TV or make financial plans for that family vacation you’ve been putting off?

If you are looking for some holiday happiness, I recommend that you spend your time with whatever activity that warms your heart and just dive right in.

Local suppliers have the wood you need

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Local suppliers have the wood you need

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Friday, Nov. 26, 2021

South of Winnipeg there are two wood businesses working with people and the planet to deliver firewood, craft supplies and sawmill supplies such as wood slabs, lumber, beams, epoxy work and more.

Mitch Girardin’s firewood service, Girardin Custom Timber Sales, just south of St. Adolphe, has been supplying customers with tamarack, oak, ash, poplar, birch, maple, spruce and more since 2018 and delivers in quantities as small as bundles of 12 to 15 pieces for a small bonfire up to larger quantities of over two cords of wood in a single load. I can assure you that  this wood is not like the eight pieces of fast-burning poplar you can get at 7-Eleven for 10 bucks — quality and satisfaction is of utmost importance.

(A ‘‘cord’’ of wood, by the way, is four feet high, four feet wide and eight feet long, or 128 cubic feet.)

Prices vary depending on the species of tree as the denser, harder woods burn longer and hotter. Oak, ash and tamarack are at the top of the price list and when your house or camp stove is toasty hot you’ll know where the extra money went… it’s not as great as being so wealthy that burning money is cool, but it’s the next best thing.

Friday, Nov. 26, 2021

Facebook.com
Girardin Custom Timber Sales sells many different kinds of wood and firewood in a variety of quantities.

You never know what may come next

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You never know what may come next

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Friday, Nov. 5, 2021

When the pen hits the paper and is ready to move, the writer hope to string together perfect words; a pleasure for anyone to read — witty, informative, inspiring … leaving the reader comfortable and happy, like watching fluorescent, glowing jellyfish and pondering deeper thoughts or even a life-changing chess move.

Although it won’t flow as smoothly as Stairway to Heaven, here we are at my 100th column for The Sou’wester.

I’d like to say thank you to Julie Carl for giving me this chance in 2011 and to John Kendle for working with me since as editor.

This achievement may not be as great as Gretzky’s 100th point or Dali’s 100th painting (which is for sale on shirts and leggings). Really, there’s no comparison and, to be honest, I had pictured the moment differently — always on a Caribbean island in my dreams — and as I stare out the back window to the rainy green grass and ponder life for a brief moment, a six-month-old husky runs across my eyes, chased by a two-year-old German shepherd mix, both lost in play and the moment.

Friday, Nov. 5, 2021

Photo by Dan Sylvestre
Make the most of what comes your way, even if that is an opportunity for rest and relaxation

Considering a pool? Here’s what I learned

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Considering a pool? Here’s what I learned

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Tuesday, Sep. 28, 2021

My wife bought me a small swimming pool a couple of years ago as a Father’s Day gift, but it lasted just one year.

I went to put it back together the second summer and the pump wouldn’t work and all the hoses were cracked. So this summer we took the plunge on an upgrade to a ‘’real’’ pool and I’d like to share the pros and cons with you.

Finances are always part of any large decision for us therefore we chose an above-ground pool. In-ground pools require serious construction and a lot of concrete.

That said, our 18 x 33-foot above-ground pool was still quite the project. Luckily I have a great neighbour with a tractor to till up the grass, move the dirt and bring in crushed rock to build a solid, level foundation.

Tuesday, Sep. 28, 2021

Dreamstime.com
If you’re considering adding a swimming pool to your yard, be sure to make the decision with your eyes wide open.

Looking for a place to happen

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Looking for a place to happen

Dan Sylvestre 4 minute read Friday, Aug. 27, 2021

You know what’s on my mind right now? Well, it’s not the coffee in my kitchen, it’s the dead mice in my garage!

I’ve got a small wood shop, approximately 200 square-feet, attached to the back of my garage and in the corner is an old pull-out couch where my older dog likes to chill. It’s the perfect scene as she sleeps there, and I putter in the shop on these beautiful summer days. Although the summer has been great, mother nature is already letting us know that winter is around the corner and instinctively, creatures are looking for a cosy place to set up for the long winter months ahead.

The other day “man’s best friend’’ was frantically chasing something near a box of bark I had been too lazy to throw out. After some quick investigation I heard squeaking coming from the box and as I lifted the pieces of wood from atop the pile, my mind spasmed slightly; I discovered a newborn litter of mice. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a tree-hugging animal lover as much as I can be, but when it comes to mice in my house (or wood shop) that’s where I draw the line; these creatures are nothing more than a nuisance in the home. The next few moments are a bit foggy as my mind raced in a state of panic on how to best rid myself of these unwanted guests.

My first instinct was to burn the box, in classic pyromaniac form. I even had the can of gas out in the middle of the yard ready to go; until the dog got into the box again and one of these little mice was lying helplessly on the grass. With his little eyes closed to the world a new notion came over me: “I don’t need to burn these guys to death, I just need to get them as far away from my house as possible.” I proceeded to march the box of mice some 500 feet or so down to the forest near the river where I left them to have nature take its course.

Friday, Aug. 27, 2021

You know what’s on my mind right now? Well, it’s not the coffee in my kitchen, it’s the dead mice in my garage!

I’ve got a small wood shop, approximately 200 square-feet, attached to the back of my garage and in the corner is an old pull-out couch where my older dog likes to chill. It’s the perfect scene as she sleeps there, and I putter in the shop on these beautiful summer days. Although the summer has been great, mother nature is already letting us know that winter is around the corner and instinctively, creatures are looking for a cosy place to set up for the long winter months ahead.

The other day “man’s best friend’’ was frantically chasing something near a box of bark I had been too lazy to throw out. After some quick investigation I heard squeaking coming from the box and as I lifted the pieces of wood from atop the pile, my mind spasmed slightly; I discovered a newborn litter of mice. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a tree-hugging animal lover as much as I can be, but when it comes to mice in my house (or wood shop) that’s where I draw the line; these creatures are nothing more than a nuisance in the home. The next few moments are a bit foggy as my mind raced in a state of panic on how to best rid myself of these unwanted guests.

My first instinct was to burn the box, in classic pyromaniac form. I even had the can of gas out in the middle of the yard ready to go; until the dog got into the box again and one of these little mice was lying helplessly on the grass. With his little eyes closed to the world a new notion came over me: “I don’t need to burn these guys to death, I just need to get them as far away from my house as possible.” I proceeded to march the box of mice some 500 feet or so down to the forest near the river where I left them to have nature take its course.

Explore southern Manitoba

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Explore southern Manitoba

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 13, 2021

Although southern Manitoba doesn’t cover a whole lot of real estate compared to the north, there are still many great spots to crack a cold one by the lake.

When I was a young lad and my parents took me camping, one of our favourite hot spots was Debonair Campground near St. Malo Provincial Park. The campground, just east of the town of St. Malo, is less than an hour away from Winnipeg, south down Highway 59.

St. Malo campground has everything you would need for your weekend getaway from reality. There’s one beach for campers and another beach for day visitors in St. Malo Provincial Park, the lake is beautiful and, if you’re a good swimmer, you can cross from one beach to the other in an hour or less (bring a life jacket or floatie if you question your swimming skills).

If you’ve had enough of swimming and you want to hike back there is a trail that leads around the north end of the lake back to the other side.

Tuesday, Jul. 13, 2021

WInnipeg Free Press photo archive
Beachgoers enjoy the water at St. Malo Provincial Park.

Explore eastern Manitoba

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Explore eastern Manitoba

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Monday, Jun. 7, 2021

Last month I shared some travel ideas for the region of northern Manitoba and the continuation of this series takes us east.

This area is the most populated of the cabin areas with Falcon Lake, West Hawk Lake and Whiteshell Provincial Park and if you have never camped or hiked in these areas, they are highly recommended, beautiful landscapes of raw nature.

I will attempt to focus on some areas that are a little less visited, beginning with Caddy Lake. Caddy is very close to the Ontario border and has easy access to the Mantario trail, a quite long (63 kilometre) and challenging trail for all ranges of hiking abilities.

Caddy is a long, shallow lake featuring a series of unique tunnels that connect a few different sections of the lake. Canoes and small boats are available for rent; the first tunnel is approximately a 30 to 45-minute paddle but obviously much quicker with a motor behind you.

Monday, Jun. 7, 2021

Photo by Joe Bryksa / Winnipeg F
Whiteshell Provincial Park is home to some of the most beautiful landscape and vistas in the province.

Take time to explore northern Manitoba

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Take time to explore northern Manitoba

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Tuesday, May. 11, 2021

Part of life is about creating memorable moments, which we can then reflect upon and cherish as good times and experiences we shared with loved ones.

Considering our current circumstances and travel restrictions, setting out to explore Manitoba’s great outdoors will get you out of the house and into making some memories in our own back yard, so to speak. Some of my favourite memories have come from camping trips around Manitoba and over the next few months I will attempt to inspire your desire to do the same. This month I will focus on travelling north.

Hecla campground and resort has something for all outdoor enthusiasts from fishing to golfing. The area is beautiful for hiking and relaxing on the beach. Hecla is home to an amazing night sky and still remains the spot where I have seen the most amazing aurora borealis; the purple and green swirls will forever dance in my mind.

One of my favourite northern Manitoba adventures was a canoe trip up to Paint Lake/Pisew Falls Provincial Park near Thompson. We canoed and portaged to a remote lake where we did not see another soul the entire time. We set up camp on an island facing a series of waterfalls to the south and as the sun set in the distant western sky I can still see my buddy pulling in a massive jack fish. The loons welcomed us with their endless songs and the stars shone as bright as I’ve ever seen.

Tuesday, May. 11, 2021

Dreamstime.com
Correspondent Dan Sylvestre writes that the most amazing view of aurora borealis he’s experienced was at Hecla Island.

The little town that could

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The little town that could

Dan Sylvestre 2 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 14, 2021

The term “Kraft Hockeyville” means much more to many people in Manitoba than it ever has, as a small town in Manitoba is in the final four for this arena renovation competition that nets the winning community a whopping $250,000 to improve their local hockey rink.

St. Adolphe, a town of approximately 1,500 people in the Rural Municipality of Ritchot, has been growing consistently over the last decade and the community relies on its hockey rink as a central hub of social and physical activity for all ages.

This being said, the home of the St. Adolphe Hawks is in need of some major renovations. The arena was built over an outdoor rink in the early 1990s and things are starting to get old. During this past winter, the ice plant unfortunately stopped working, halting any chance of getting on the ice at all this season. Additionally, the north wall is full of mould and needs to be replaced. Its lighting needs upgrades, as do the dressing rooms. Overall, the money from the competition certainly needed and will be well-spent.

The other three communities joining St. Adolphe in the annual competition in which communities vie with each other to demonstrate their commitment to the sport of ice hockey are Lumsden, Sask., Bobcaygeon Ont. and Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick.

Wednesday, Apr. 14, 2021

Photo by Dan Sylvestre
Darcy Mauthe, president of the St. Adolphe Community Club, was one of many community members who decorated his lawn in celebration of St. Adolphe being one of the four finalists in the annual Kraft Hockeyville competition.

Teachers take advantage of fine weather

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Teachers take advantage of fine weather

Dan Sylvestre 2 minute read Friday, Mar. 19, 2021

On March 8, we broke a record that was 119 years old as the temperature reached a whopping 14.4 degrees Celsius, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The previous record high was from the beginning of the 20th century when a record of 6.7 C was recorded in 1902. Are these unusual temperatures a sign of early summer?

We sure hope so. In an area of the world where temperature can vary so greatly, we have been blessed with a mild winter which has helped us all deal with the challenges of COVID-19 restrictions.

Collège Churchill High School (now amalgamated into one school with two streams of French and English) took advantage of the nice weather for an afternoon of mental wellness.

Friday, Mar. 19, 2021

Photo by Dan Sylvestre
Teachers at Collège Churchill High School enjoyed a mental wellness afternoon (and badminton tournament) on March 8.

Angels of us all…

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Angels of us all…

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Friday, Feb. 19, 2021

They are waiting to take us into the severed garden.

Do you know how pale and wanton thrillful comes death on a strange hour ?

Unannounced, unplanned for . . .

Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as raven’s claws.

Friday, Feb. 19, 2021

Supplied photo
Correspondent Dan Sylvestre pays tribute to his mother-in-law, Brigitte Biloki (above, with daughter Tamika), who recently passed away.

Make the most of the outdoors this winter

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Make the most of the outdoors this winter

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

Driving to work down Dunkirk Drive recently, I abruptly turned my head when I saw two polar bears fighting in someone’s front yard.

These snow sculptures, along with another couple of polar bears, are a great example of someone taking advantage of the beautiful weather and keeping busy during this COVID-19 pandemic.

There are several videos online on snow sculpting; even on how to build an igloo, which could also be a lot of fun.

It’s easy to just turn on Netflix and melt into the couch, but with this incredible winter weather, what better thing to do than enjoy the outdoors.

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021

Driving to work down Dunkirk Drive recently, I abruptly turned my head when I saw two polar bears fighting in someone’s front yard.

These snow sculptures, along with another couple of polar bears, are a great example of someone taking advantage of the beautiful weather and keeping busy during this COVID-19 pandemic.

There are several videos online on snow sculpting; even on how to build an igloo, which could also be a lot of fun.

It’s easy to just turn on Netflix and melt into the couch, but with this incredible winter weather, what better thing to do than enjoy the outdoors.

Robbie Williams captures spirit of this season

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Preview

Robbie Williams captures spirit of this season

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020

This has been a strange and frustrating year. And I think English singer Robbie Williams says it best in his song Can’t Stop Christmas.

I first heard this song just the other day and had to share it, as I’m sure many of you are feeling the same as me. I hope you enjoy the lyrics and can still have an enjoyable holiday season despite the shape our world is in these days.

You can find Can’t Stop Christmas on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/BW4nXP9N7Fg

Take care everyone. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020

This has been a strange and frustrating year. And I think English singer Robbie Williams says it best in his song Can’t Stop Christmas.

I first heard this song just the other day and had to share it, as I’m sure many of you are feeling the same as me. I hope you enjoy the lyrics and can still have an enjoyable holiday season despite the shape our world is in these days.

You can find Can’t Stop Christmas on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/BW4nXP9N7Fg

Take care everyone. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Replace lonely days with strays

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Replace lonely days with strays

Dan Sylvestre 4 minute read Monday, Nov. 23, 2020

As the weather gets colder and COVID restrictions tighten, what better way to fill your day than to adopt or foster a stray pet that needs a loving home?

 Danielle, our secretary at Collège Churchill High School, is one of the friendliest people you will meet. Not only is she very kind to everyone, she has a big space in her heart for animals. She fosters dogs  as a volunteer, so I asked her about her experiences.

This is her story:

“One day last year I saw a Facebook post from Spirit of Hope Rescue looking for fosters. I had no idea there was such a thing as fostering dogs.

Monday, Nov. 23, 2020

Supplied photo
Dexter after three months living with a foster family, prior to finding his forever home.

Keep calm, wear a mask and carry on

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Keep calm, wear a mask and carry on

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Friday, Oct. 9, 2020

“The times they are a-changin’.”

Never have Bob Dylan’s lyrics from 1964 meant so much to me. The variation of change brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is significantly different depending on where you are but it is now impossible to avoid it.

Small country stores have lenient guidelines when it comes to masks and sanitization and many people outside Winnipeg are not wearing masks but in the city it is a different story; basically everyone sports a facial covering and some may even give you a death stare if you aren’t wearing yours.

On a recent Friday night, there was a  grand total of eight people in the movie theatre, including my wife and me.

Friday, Oct. 9, 2020

“The times they are a-changin’.”

Never have Bob Dylan’s lyrics from 1964 meant so much to me. The variation of change brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is significantly different depending on where you are but it is now impossible to avoid it.

Small country stores have lenient guidelines when it comes to masks and sanitization and many people outside Winnipeg are not wearing masks but in the city it is a different story; basically everyone sports a facial covering and some may even give you a death stare if you aren’t wearing yours.

On a recent Friday night, there was a  grand total of eight people in the movie theatre, including my wife and me.

Pandemic boredom results in beauty

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Pandemic boredom results in beauty

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Thursday, Sep. 10, 2020

Are you looking for a hobby to keep your idle hands occupied during this time of pandemic?

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” you know… So lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil, and spend your time learning how to make an epoxy river table!

If you’ve never seen these types of tables and don’t know what I’m talking about, just get the old Google machine going to see images of a project that may tickle your fancy. From there, YouTube can teach you basically everything you need to know as long as you’re willing to give it your best shot.

First things first, find a couple pieces of wood to work with. These can really be any kind of wood. I’ve found that oak, elm and maple have a little more colour and character to the wood compared to poplar. If you don’t know someone who can supply you with a couple slabs of your desired size, home renovation places will have something you can work with. If the wood is raw, you’ll have to sand it by hand or with a belt sander and orbital sander if you have these tools.

Thursday, Sep. 10, 2020

Get out and about in Manitoba this summer

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Get out and about in Manitoba this summer

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Thursday, Jun. 25, 2020

Did you have travel plans for summer but have had to reconsider leaving the province since the world turned upside down?

If so, here are a few fun options of things to do in our home province:

• Stardust Drive-In Theatre in Morden — Movies began showing last week and will be shown every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

Tickets are available online for $10 per person or at the theatre and they ask that you buy snacks from the concession stand instead of bringing your own, as those proceeds are a major part of their income. Showtime is at dusk (listed at 8:30 p.m. on the website. For more information, visit stardustmorden.com

Thursday, Jun. 25, 2020

Melissa Tait
A family watches the show at Stardust Drive-In in Morden. 120526 - Saturday, May 26, 2012 - Melissa Tait / Winnipeg Free Press

Get your motor runnin’…

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Preview

Get your motor runnin’…

Dan Sylvestre 3 minute read Tuesday, May. 12, 2020

As the days get longer and the weather warms, there’s no better way to ride off into a sunset than on two wheels powered by a roaring engine, or any engine for that matter; ah hell, even your pedal bike is a pretty fun way to get around...

Really it’s just awesome being outside but back to the bikes. Once you get a taste of what I mean you’ll want to ride a bike all year ’round.

I grew up watching dirt bikes rip by in the ditches during the summer. I absolutely loved seeing those bikes whiz past. You could hear the two-stroke engines scream as riders cranked the throttle into the power band past the old house. If my brother and I were lucky, we would see them catwalk past the yard. Yup, those were some days...

Fast forward 10 years, I’m 23 years old, in Taipei City, Taiwan, at a motorcycle shop with a friend who speaks just enough Mandarin to negotiate the price of my first motorcycle. Foreigners weren’t allowed bikes with more than 150cc, so that was my first bike, a Yamaha FZ 150. I took it around the block, stalled a couple times but I was confident I’d figure it out, even on the unpredictable streets of Taipei.

Tuesday, May. 12, 2020

Sou'wester
Spring and warmer weather means motorcycle riders can’t wait to hit the open road.