Kelsey James

Kelsey James

Community Journalist

Kelsey James is the reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. She graduated from Red River College’s creative communications program in 2018 as a journalism major and holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric, writing and communications from the University of Winnipeg. A lifelong Winnipegger who grew up in southwest Winnipeg, Kelsey is thrilled to be covering the neighbourhoods she still calls “home.”

Kelsey worked in corporate communications before returning to journalism and joining the Canstar Community News team. She won the Eric and Jack Wells Excellence in Journalism award in her final year of college and is happy to be finally sharing her passion for storytelling. In her free time, Kelsey can be found binge watching Grey’s Anatomy for the hundredth time, searching for the perfect cup of coffee, counting down the days until Halloween or adventuring with her one-year-old corgi mix, Finnegan.

Story idea or pictures of your pet? Email Kelsey at kelsey.james@canstarnews.com or call her at 204-697-7150.

Recent articles of Kelsey James

Making a difference

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Preview

Making a difference

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Friday, Aug. 12, 2022

SOUTH POINTE

FORT RICHMOND

A Fort Richmond Collegiate graduate has won a 2022 Global Citizenship Award.

South Pointe resident Divya Sharma was honoured for her work on media portrayal of foreign countries. In December, Sharma travelled to Punjab, India where she created a “day in the life” video outlining her home country’s society and the disproportionately negative view the Western world has on many countries around the globe.

Friday, Aug. 12, 2022

SOUTH POINTE

FORT RICHMOND

A Fort Richmond Collegiate graduate has won a 2022 Global Citizenship Award.

South Pointe resident Divya Sharma was honoured for her work on media portrayal of foreign countries. In December, Sharma travelled to Punjab, India where she created a “day in the life” video outlining her home country’s society and the disproportionately negative view the Western world has on many countries around the globe.

St. Norbert Farmers’ Market announces new director

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Preview

St. Norbert Farmers’ Market announces new director

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2022

ST. NORBERT-SEINE RIVER

The St. Norbert Farmers’ Market has selected its new executive director.

Danielle Mondor, 40, will lead the market into its 34th summer season, the organization announced on July 9. Mondor will be following in the footsteps of Marilyn Firth, who spent 14 years overseeing the market’s weekly operations until she announced she would be leaving the position in a July 6 Facebook post.

“I’ve very familiar with the deep and diverse history of the market, and that’s what attracted me to wanting to become executive director,” said Mondor, who was offered the job at the end of June and started a few weeks ago. “I’m working with a great team to continue the same services, supports and promotion for the market under direction of the board.”

Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2022

Danielle Mondor, 40, will lead the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market into its 34th summer season, the organization announced on July 9.

Mobile overdose prevention RV to hit streets

By Kelsey James 2 minute read Preview

Mobile overdose prevention RV to hit streets

By Kelsey James 2 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

BY KELSEY JAMES

STAFF REPORTER

CENTENNIAL

A Winnipeg resource centre will be hitting the streets this summer in a new mobile overdose prevention site.

Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

Photo by Kelsey James
Sunshine House staff have been looking to create a mobile overdose prevention site for approximately six years, according to executive director Levi Foy.

‘Master plan’ outlined for Osborne Village

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Preview

‘Master plan’ outlined for Osborne Village

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Tuesday, Jul. 19, 2022

BY KELSEY JAMES

STAFF REPORTER

OSBORNE VILLAGE

Osborne Village is in the process of getting a facelift thanks to a three-tiered “master plan.”

Tuesday, Jul. 19, 2022

The Osborne Village “master plan” initiative received nearly $30,000 in funding through the City of Winnipeg’s community incentive grant program, said Osborne Village BIZ executive director Lindsay Somers.

Dream playhouse donated to Fort Richmond children’s centre

By Kelsey James 1 minute read Preview

Dream playhouse donated to Fort Richmond children’s centre

By Kelsey James 1 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

A dream playhouse valued at $13,000 has been donated to Epiphany Children’s Centre (200 Dalhousie Dr.).

Realty Executives First Choice partnered with Verne Reiner Architects, Cornerstone Kitchens and Lowe’s and Rona to design and build the playhouse, which was raffled off on June 11 in support of local children’s charity The Dream Factory.

The playhouse, which was featured at the Manitoba Home and Garden Show and The Dream Factory’s annual auction, was purchased by a doctor in the community and donated to Epiphany Children’s Centre. The structure was transported from Lowe’s and reconstructed at its new home on July 6. |

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

The $13,000 playhouse, which was featured at the Manitoba Home and Garden Show and The Dream Factory’s annual auction, was donated to Epiphany Children’s Centre (200 Dalhousie Dr.).

Canada’s largest inflatable theme park opens

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Preview

Canada’s largest inflatable theme park opens

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

BY KELSEY JAMES

STAFF REPORTER

BROOKLANDS

Canada’s largest outdoor inflatable bounce park will tower over King Edward Street until the end of September.

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

Photo by Kelsey James
The Big Bounce Park, located at 1770 King Edward St., behind Winnipeg’s Punjab Cultural Centre, spreads across over 13,000 square feet of space and stands at a maximum height of 32 feet.

Sanford hockey player named athlete of the year

By Kelsey James STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Sanford hockey player named athlete of the year

By Kelsey James STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

SANFORD

A Sanford Collegiate multi-sport athlete has been named the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association’s Female Athlete of the Year.

Seventeen-year-old Gwen Bestland was kept in the dark about winning the award by friends, family and coaches. Two days after graduating, Bestland thought she was headed into Winnipeg for lunch with her parents when they surprised her with a detour to the 2022 MHSAA athlete of the year ceremony at Sport Manitoba.

Surrounded by other high school athletes from across the province, Bestland was joined by her hockey coach and two teammates before learning she was a nominee for the AAA girls category.

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

Westgate Collegiate’s Sam Ludwig (left) and Gwen Bestland of Sanford Collegiate were the MHSAA athletes of the year.

Community group receives funding to plant new trees

By Kelsey James STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Community group receives funding to plant new trees

By Kelsey James STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

RIVERVIEW

LORD ROBERTS

After a map outlining Riverview’s diseased trees was released two years ago, neighbours Wendy Botkin and May Wady knew they had to take action.

Last summer, Botkin, Wady and the newly founded Trees Riverview committee co-ordinated the planting of 55 disease-resistant trees on the boulevards of Arnold Avenue and Baltimore Road to revitalize the neighbourhood’s beloved urban canopy.

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

Last summer, the newly founded Trees Riverview committee co-ordinated the planting of 55 disease-resistant trees on the boulevards of Arnold Avenue and Baltimore Road to revitalize the neighbourhood’s beloved urban canopy.

On a bicycle made for fun

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Preview

On a bicycle made for fun

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2022

OSBORNE VILLAGE

EXCHANGE DISTRICT

A people-powered pub on wheels will be making its way through Osborne Village and the Exchange District this summer.

Pedal Pub started welcoming guests to its 15-person party bike on June 4. The travelling pub crawl experience takes pedallers to microbreweries and restaurants, and has been drawing a crowd of Winnipeggers eager to celebrate birthdays, bachelorette parties or corporate events, said general manager Randi Davreux.

Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2022

Supplied photo
Pedal Pub’s 15-person party bike, which takes pedallers to microbreweries and restaurants, has been drawing a crowd of Winnipeggers eager to celebrate birthdays, bachelorette parties or corporate events, said general manager Randi Davreux.

Annual bike parade returns to Wolseley streets

By Kelsey James 1 minute read Preview

Annual bike parade returns to Wolseley streets

By Kelsey James 1 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

The Wolseley + West Broadway Bike Parade returned to the streets on the morning of June 12. The parade, now in its third year, chose the theme Every Day is Earth Day for this year’s festivities.

The parade started on Raglan Road before making its way down Wolseley Avenue to Mulvey School, where riders gathered in the playground. There was a raffle for children, a DJ and dancing.

The annual event is hosted by the Wolseley Residents’ Assocation, which works to improve the community and informs residents of changes, issues and events. |

Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

The Wolseley + West Broadway Bike Parade returned to the streets on the morning of June 12. The parade, now in its third year, chose the theme “Every Day is Earth Day” for this year’s festivities.

Finding a buddy

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Preview

Finding a buddy

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

WAVERLEY HEIGHTS

When the bench is empty everyone has a friend. If it’s full, there’s still work to be done.

On June 20, Chancellor School (1520 Chancellor Dr.) unveiled its new buddy bench, or friendship bench, as part of the Winnipeg Police Association’s Cool 2Be Kind Campaign. The bench, brightly coloured in shades of blue, purple and green, was chosen to reflect the school’s colours.

The idea is simple: when a child feels lonely, they can sit on the buddy bench. This signals to other kids they are feeling isolated, and the hope is another child will invite them to play.

Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

On June 20, Chancellor School (1520 Chancellor Dr.) unveiled its new buddy bench as part of the Winnipeg Police Association’s Cool 2Be Kind Campaign.

Norwest Co-op Community Health Centre marks anniversary

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Preview

Norwest Co-op Community Health Centre marks anniversary

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

INKSTER INDUSTRIAL PARK

A northwest Winnipeg health centre is celebrating its 50-year anniversary.

“Fifty years ago, our community came together. There were no supports in the neighbourhood so the community started our co-op,” said Norwest Co-op Community Health Centre executive director Nancy Heinrichs, adding the organization began with primary care services and a daycare. “It’s really community-driven and we’re the only health co-op in Manitoba.”

Norwest has about 160 staff and offers a range of services, including primary health care and a counselling unit with family and youth supports. They also have community development services in Manitoba Housing and were the first organization in Winnipeg to create a “huddle hub” where youth could connect with services and resources in one easy-access location.

Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

Norwest Co-op Community Health Centre celebrated 50 years with a community celebration in the Shaughnessy Park Field on June 20. The event, which drew an estimated 620 people, featured live music, performances, a petting zoo, bouncy house, face painting and food trucks.

Square dancing the night away

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Preview

Square dancing the night away

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

ST. JAMES-ASSINIBOIA

The definition of square dancing is friendship set to music. Or at least that’s what St. James square dancing club the Whirlaway Westerners believe it is.

Linden Woods resident Carole Grier started square dancing in 1986 after attending a provincial convention in Winnipeg. Shortly after, her and her husband joined a beginners’ club.

“The costumes caught my eye. I just loved it,” Grier said. “As soon as the music started and the people started dancing they smiled, and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s for me.’”

Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

The Whirlaway Westerners’ next open house is on Sept. 16, 7 p.m., at the Kirkfield Westwood Community Centre (165 Sansome Ave.). Everyone is welcome and no experience or partner is needed.

An inspiration to all

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Preview

An inspiration to all

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 22, 2022

KELSEY JAMES

STAFF REPORTER

ST. JAMES-ASSINIBOIA

When five-year-old Spencer Gamey grows up he wants to be himself. So far, he’s doing a good job at demonstrating the importance of that goal.

Wednesday, Jun. 22, 2022

The Gamey family’s June 4 lemonade stand fundraiser raised $800 in cash and, at press time, was still receiving donations through drop-offs and e-transfers.

North End block party returns

By Kelsey James 1 minute read Preview

North End block party returns

By Kelsey James 1 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 22, 2022

The North End’s largest block party returned for the first time in three years on June 16.

Residents gathered on Aberdeen Avenue, between Salter and Powers Street, to celebrate the hope and resiliency of their community with games, face painting, a dunk tank, a petting zoo, bouncy castles, snack carts, a barbecue and entertainment from local musicians.

The annual block party is organized by Inner City Youth Alive, a local non-profit serving children in the North End who experience poverty, abuse and neglect. The organization expected more than 900 people would attend the celebration at press time. |

Wednesday, Jun. 22, 2022

Board game lovers strike big for local charity

By Kelsey James 4 minute read Preview

Board game lovers strike big for local charity

By Kelsey James 4 minute read Friday, Jun. 17, 2022

WEST END

ST. VITAL

Two Winnipeg YouTube stars have raised over $16,000 for local mental health services in their first 24-hour livestream.

Cousins Dylann Bobei and Carlo Sobral started their YouTube channel, All You Can Board, in late 2020 when they were faced with more free time owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday, Jun. 17, 2022

All You Can Board features reviews, tutorials, lists, buying guides, tips to get into the hobby, crowdfunding previews and more.

Indigenous creators selected for prestigious filmmaking program

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Preview

Indigenous creators selected for prestigious filmmaking program

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Friday, Jun. 17, 2022

ST. JAMES

CHARLESWOOD

Nine Indigenous creators have been selected for the annual CBC New Indigenous Voices program, and this year’s roster includes two west Winnipeg students.

St. James resident Clay Mykietowich, 21, has always been creative and artistic, so pursuing a degree in theatre and film design from the University of Winnipeg in the design stream was a natural fit.

Friday, Jun. 17, 2022

Top row left to right: Kesha Tipewan, Jesse Nobess and Katherine Haynes. Middle row left to right: Dwayne Noon, Alyssa Isaac and Broden Halcrow-Ducharme. Bottom row left to right: Julianna Maggrah, Clay Mykietowich and Farrah Murdock.

ReLeaf for Winnipeg’s urban canopy

By Kelsey James STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

ReLeaf for Winnipeg’s urban canopy

By Kelsey James STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2022

CHARLESWOOD

WAVERLEY WEST

Winnipeg neighbourhoods will be getting a little greener this summer thanks to the ReLeaf tree planting program.

Every spring and fall, Trees Winnipeg offers subsidized tree packages to private property owners in the hopes of diversifying the city’s urban canopy.

Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2022

Every spring and fall, Trees Winnipeg’s ReLeaf Tree Planting Program offers subsidized tree packages to private property owners in the hopes of diversifying the city’s urban canopy.

Jr. Bisons boys club volleyball team wins national title

By Kelsey James STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Jr. Bisons boys club volleyball team wins national title

By Kelsey James STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2022

FORT GARRY

A combination of brains and brawn helped the Jr. Bisons boys U18 club volleyball team win the title at the 2022 Volleyball Canada national youth championships.

The Jr. Bisons went undefeated 9-0 and only dropped two sets at the national competition, which was held May 18 to 24 at Edmonton EXPO Centre in Edmonton, Alta.

“We played our best game every single game, and we set our goals high and achieved them together as a team. It was a pretty cool feeling,” said Jr. Bisons libero player Thomas Kiesman, 17, who was also named the MVP of the tournament. “It felt even better because there’s been so much delay. We finally got what we’ve been working toward for three years.”

Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2022

Coach Maiya Westwood said the Jr. Bisons were one of the best passing teams in the country, and the their hard work at strengthening their defence showed at nationals.

A community’s cornerstone

By Kelsey James 5 minute read Preview

A community’s cornerstone

By Kelsey James 5 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2022

ST. NORBERT

Judy Williams can still recall waiting in front of the St. Norbert monastery while her father went inside to purchase cheese from the monks. She wasn’t allowed to go in with him — there were rules prohibiting women from entering the site, except on Sunday for mass — but it was a walk she enjoyed joining.

For 85 years, the St. Norbert monastery was home to more than 50 Trappist monks. The land, located near the junction of the Red and La Salle rivers, was formerly a busy centre for hunting, fishing and Indigenous trades. The site evolved by the 1820s into a French-speaking Métis settlement.

“We know we were and are a Métis village, and a lot of that heritage was not passed onto us as residents of St. Norbert,” Williams said, noting its history wasn’t part of her education when she was a child. “Saving the monastery grounds and making it a provincial park was a very important thing for our neighbourhood.”

Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2022

In 1881, Father Ritchot, the parish’s priest, persuaded the Abbot of Bellefontaine, France, to establish a home for Trappist monks in St. Norbert. Monks arrived at the site in 1892.

Women’s Resource Centre presents Comedy for a Cause on June 16

By Kelsey James 2 minute read Preview

Women’s Resource Centre presents Comedy for a Cause on June 16

By Kelsey James 2 minute read Friday, Jun. 10, 2022

FORT GARRY

FORT ROUGE

The Fort Garry Women’s Resource Centre is hosting its first in-person event in two years on June 16.

Comedy for a Cause, in partnership with the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, will take place at the Gas Station Arts Theatre (445 River Ave.) on Thurs., June 16 from 7 to 10 p.m. and will feature performances from five local comedians: Lara Rae, Angie St. Mars, Ainsley McPhail, Dana Smith and Danielle Kayaharas.

Friday, Jun. 10, 2022

FORT GARRY

FORT ROUGE

The Fort Garry Women’s Resource Centre is hosting its first in-person event in two years on June 16.

Comedy for a Cause, in partnership with the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, will take place at the Gas Station Arts Theatre (445 River Ave.) on Thurs., June 16 from 7 to 10 p.m. and will feature performances from five local comedians: Lara Rae, Angie St. Mars, Ainsley McPhail, Dana Smith and Danielle Kayaharas.

Local teachers win prestigious teaching excellence awards

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Preview

Local teachers win prestigious teaching excellence awards

By Kelsey James 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

WESTWOOD

WOLSELEY

Two Winnipeg teachers have been awarded the 2021 Governor General’s history award for excellence in teaching.

“I focus a lot on issues concerning oppression, the rise of authoritarian states, deconstructing ideologies and disseminating messages in digital media,” said Westwood Collegiate social studies and history teacher Kelly Hiebert. “We also look a lot at issues regarding human rights abuses in Canada, like residential schools.”

Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

Laura Secord School elementary teacher Jacqueline Cleave received the award for her two-year project that saw students translate the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of Canada’s 94 calls to action into easier to understand language for youth.

New pet store is for the dogs – and local animal rescues

By Kelsey James STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

New pet store is for the dogs – and local animal rescues

By Kelsey James STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

ST. JAMES-ASSINIBOIA

The possibilities are endless for a new St. James business owner.

Chelsea Fitch, 25, opened the doors of pet store Endless Pawsibilities (1695 Sargent Ave.) on April 1. Her approach is a little different than other pet stores you may be familiar with, though. While Fitch carries the same products as larger chain operations such as Pet Valu, PetSmart and Petland, her goal is to also support animal rescues in Winnipeg and the surrounding areas.

Each month, Fitch partners with an animal rescue and plans two fundraising events. She sometimes has adoptable animals in-store and often hosts bake sales and sells other locally made goods, such as jewelry, candles or honey, with proceeds going to the rescues. She also sells Scentsy, Mary Kay and Pampered Chef products, so her commission from those sales also goes to the rescue.

Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

Non-profit and pet supply stores Endless Pawsibilities (1695 Sargent Ave.) opened on April 1. The store’s owner, Chelsea Fitch, partners with a different animal rescue each month to host two fundraising events, among other initiatives to bring in money for the organization.
Over the last two years, while moving from being a non-profit to a pet store and non-profit, Chelsea Fitch has raised several thousand dollars for local animal rescues.

Prison book drive and bake sale returns to West End

By Kelsey James 4 minute read Preview

Prison book drive and bake sale returns to West End

By Kelsey James 4 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

WEST END

A popular annual West End book drive is returning this month after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Manitoba Library Association’s Prison Libraries Committee and Bar None Winnipeg will hold their fifth annual book and bake sale on Sat., June 11 at the Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex (999 Sargent Ave.) from noon to 4:30 p.m.

West End resident Jacquie Nicholson, 38, has been organizing the event for the past five years, which raised over $3,000 in 2019.

Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

The Manitoba Library Association’s Prison Libraries Committee and Bar None Winnipeg are hosting its fifth annual book and bake sale on Sat., June 11 at the Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex (999 Sargent Ave.) from noon to 4:30 p.m.