Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller

Community Journalist

Simon Fuller is a community journalist for the Free Press Community Review.

Canstar’s senior reporter, he joined the team in June 2009 to write for The Sou’wester, which was then the new paper in the Canstar Community News family.

In June 2012, Fuller crossed the Red River to write for The Lance, and has spent the best part of the last decade getting to know the people and places that make southeast Winnipeg such a diverse, eclectic and culturally enriching place to live.

A patriotic Brit and supporter of Southampton Football Club, he hopes to see England win a soccer world cup in his lifetime. Twenty years after immigrating to Winnipeg, Fuller — a graduate of the University of North London and Red River College’s creative communications program — now prefers coffee and doughnuts to tea and crumpets.

His journalism journey started with an internship at the Winnipeg Free Press in January 2008, which was soon followed by a nine-month stint as a general assignment reporter at the Winnipeg Sun.  

Despite his allergies, he’s the proud father of his girlfriend’s four cats.

Email him at simon.fuller@canstarnews.com

Call him at 204-697-7111.

Recent articles of Simon Fuller

Tabs for Wheelchairs keeps on rolling

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 4 minute read Preview

Tabs for Wheelchairs keeps on rolling

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 4 minute read Yesterday at 2:00 AM CST

Few people have kept tabs on the community in the last quarter of a century like Gwen Buccini.

Buccini is the co-ordinator of the annual Tabs for Wheelchairs fundraising campaign, which involves individuals and organizations collecting tabs from drink cans to help raise money for specialized wheelchairs for youngsters.

Next year marks the 25th anniversary for the local initiative, which started in 1998 when the St. Vital resident Buccini was a teacher at Holy Cross School. She’s continued to dedicate her time and energy to the cause since her retirement, and she’s grateful for the collective contribution of the community through the years that has helped make the campaign a consistently fruitful and successful one.

“I’m extremely pleased and grateful that the program has been so successful,” Buccini said. “The years have gone by so fast, and I have met so many wonderful and caring people. It has been a privilege to be a part of it.”

Yesterday at 2:00 AM CST

Supplied photo

Catie, pictured here, was this year’s Tabs for Wheelchairs recipient.

Projects approved at Riel community committee

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Projects approved at Riel community committee

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Yesterday at 2:00 AM CST

SIMON FULLER

STAFF REPORTER

ST. BONIFACE

ST. NORBERT-SEINE RIVER

Yesterday at 2:00 AM CST

File photo by Simon Fuller

Chris Melnick (left) is pictured at the second annual Family Literacy Fun Day, which was held at Lord Roberts Community Centre in March 2020. It was the last time the Share the Magic book program was able to hold the event in person. The charity received a per capita grant for $500 at the recent Riel community committee meeting.

Three choirs and a quintet

Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Three choirs and a quintet

Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Yesterday at 2:00 AM CST

Anyone visiting l’église Précieux-Sang for the first time, may feel a bit overawed as they set foot in the St. Boniface-based church.

Designed by legendary local architect Étienne Gaboury, the church — which is located at 200 Kenny St., — will be the venue of an upcoming Christmas concert held by l’Alliance chorale Manitoba.

The choral event will be held on Sun., Dec. 11 at 4 p.m. and will showcase the talents of three choirs — la chorale des Intrépides, les Blés au vent, and la chorale de l’école Taché — and a quintet — le quintet de cuivres des Forces armées.

Recognizable for its spiralling roof design, and notable for the high ratio of wood used in its construction — as well as any other number of other reasons — key organizer Aline Campagne is hoping the combination of the four different concert groups will provide a musical treat for the concert audience.

Yesterday at 2:00 AM CST

Photo by Simon Fuller

Aline Campagne is one of the choir directors of l’Alliance chorale Manitoba, which will hold a Christmas concert at l’église Précieux-Sang on Dec. 11.

Tin for the Critter Bin campaign overflows with kindness

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 5 minute read Preview

Tin for the Critter Bin campaign overflows with kindness

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 5 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022

A pet themed-fundraising initiative that has just completed its second year has gone from strength to strength.

Throughout October, the Tin for the Critter Bin campaign was once again spearheaded by Sue Zuk-Boyer, her husband Dana and their son Reid.

In the last two years, Tin for the Critter Bin has been supported by a number of pet stores in the province, and also has the support of a number of individuals with RCMP connections.

The initiative was held in honour of Ethan Boyer, who was passionate about animals. Ethan was killed in a collision on the south Perimeter Highway near Brady Road in October 2019. He was 19.

Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022

Supplied photo

From left: Sue Zuk-Boyer and Dana Boyer pictured recently during the Tin for the Critter Bin campaign at the Winnipeg Humane Society with donations from the Pet Valu store in Southdale.

Bonivital SC’s all abilities program gaining momentum

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Bonivital SC’s all abilities program gaining momentum

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Friday, Nov. 25, 2022

A key organizer of new soccer program designed to encourage participation of people of all abilities is encouraged by the success of its recent launch.

The two pilot program days for Bonivital Soccer Club’s all abilities soccer program were recently held on Oct. 29 and 30 at University of Winnipeg RecPlex, and both days attracted more than 20 participants.

One of the goals of the all abilities soccer program is to help provide children and youth aged between nine and 16 with intellectual and or/physical disabilities with an opportunity to learn about and play soccer.

Jason Moist, the project’s technical lead, said the pilot project proved to be a great success, and he’s grateful to all the athletes that took part on the pilot sessions and the volunteers that helped facilitate them.

Friday, Nov. 25, 2022

Supplied photo

The two pilot program days for Bonivital Soccer Club’s all abilities soccer program were recently held on Oct. 29 and 30 at University of Winnipeg RecPlex, and both days attracted more than 20 participants.

Nurses’ choir tunes up for holiday concert

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Nurses’ choir tunes up for holiday concert

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

The Winnipeg Nurses Choir could be described as a community within a community — and that’s certainly a harmonious thing.

The choir — an ensemble group comprised of either current, semi-retired or retired nurses that was formed in 2018 — is tuning up to hold its first public choral concert of the holiday season on Sun., Nov. 27 at 2:30 p.m. at the United Church in Meadowood in St. Vital (1111 Dakota St.).

In keeping with this time of year, guests can expect to hear some seasonal favourites at the choir’s annual concert for family and friends, as well as some Broadway hits and music by such luminaries as The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, and Simon and Garfunkel on the setlist, according to the group’s Facebook page.

“There will really be something for everyone that likes singing,” said the choir’s director, Bill Quinn, noting the choir performs at healthcare facilities, seniors’ residences and special events. “People want to support our front-line workers, and about half of the members of the choir are still working.”

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

Supplied photo

The original members of the Winnipeg Nurses Choir are pictured in this file photo.

Les Rouges soccer teams take home hardware

By Simon Fuller 1 minute read Preview

Les Rouges soccer teams take home hardware

By Simon Fuller 1 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

To say it’s been a stellar season for the Université de Saint-Boniface Les Rouges women’s and men’s soccer teams would be an understatement.

On Oct. 30, the top-seeded women’s team won its third consecutive Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference championship by beating the second-seeded Providence University College Pilots 4-1 in the championship final hosted by Assiniboia Community College at Sportsplex Field in Brandon, Man.

According to a news release, the all-conquering team had — at press time — qualified for a spot at the CCAC women’s soccer championships that were hosted by Champlain College Saint-Lambert in Saint-Lambert, Que. from Nov. 9 to 12.

Also on Oct. 30, the third-seeded men’s team beat the top-seeded Brandon University Bobcats 4-3 in the championship final hosted by Assiniboia Community College at Sportsplex Field in Brandon.

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

Supplied photo by Aidan Froese

The Université de Saint-Boniface Les Rouges women’s soccer team recently won the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference championship. Pictured: back row, from left: Jean-Luc Speliers, Paris Gauthier, Sam Bishop, Katie Leppky, Alex Lussier, Dina Adamopoulos, Marijka Yaschyshyn, Kalyna DeMaré, Émilie Lécuyer, Mylène Chabot, Alexis Martin, Jade Lopez, Cassie Nazeravich, Brielle Marion, and Justin Légaré. Front row, from left: Sydney Rudnicki, Mélanie Chaput, Angel Pionela, Stephanie Jones, Sara Boissonneault, Tara Boulanger, Katie Moniot, Sophie Morham, Chantal Boulet, Marlene Zarychta, Paige Grey, Alexi Gagnon, and Camille Forbes.

Winakwa CC craft sale returns

Simon Fuller 2 minute read Preview

Winakwa CC craft sale returns

Simon Fuller 2 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

SIMON FULLER

STAFF REPORTER

WINDSOR PARK

It’s been a while coming, but Winakwa Community Centre’s annual craft sale is set to return.

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

New Winakwa CC committee developing trail idea

Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 4 minute read Preview

New Winakwa CC committee developing trail idea

Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 4 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

When it comes to the betterment of the local community, the folks at Winakwa Community Centre like thinking on their feet. Now they’re hoping some community members will do the same.

Winakwa facility manager Darren Bishop said organizers and stakeholders at the Windsor Park-based centre (980 Winakwa Rd.) are looking at developing the greenspace south of the building with a half-kilometre walking path that will double as a skating trail during the winter months. The idea was put forward by the centre’s groundskeeper, and had also been talked about by the centre’s former facility manager, Dino Moran, who died in 2019.

A committee has been put together to develop ideas and blueprints for the trail. Bishop said the initiative has support from different levels of government and Louis Riel School Division — Collège Béliveau and Windsor Park Collegiate are both located across from the greenspace — and organizers are now asking people in the neighbourhood for their thoughts and ideas for the trail at this early stage in the process.

To gauge feedback, a town hall event will be held on Sat., Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to noon in the centre’s main hall.

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

Photo by Simon Fuller

Crystal Poirier (left) and Darren Bishop are pictured at Winakwa Community Centre recently. Organizers and stakeholders at the centre are looking at developing the greenspace behind the building to the south with a half-kilometre walking path that will double as a skating trail during the winter months.

Changemakers recognized for philanthropic efforts

Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Changemakers recognized for philanthropic efforts

Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

Southdale

St. Boniface

St. Vital

A number of Manitobans have been rewarded for their philanthropic efforts.

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

Calling time

Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 4 minute read Preview

Calling time

Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 4 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

After numerous numbers, countless calls, and lots of little ducks et al, the last bingo card has been marked at the Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Church.

For more than three-quarters of a century, the Elmwood-based church has been holding volunteer-run bingo sessions, which grew to become a popular gathering place for congregation members and community members alike.

Now, owing to a number of factors, including the impact of the pandemic and the loss of many hardworking volunteers, the weekly Tuesday night bingo sessions have come to an end. The last-ever session took place on Oct. 31 (an anomaly, being a Monday) and attracted a packed house.

“We gave it a very good send-off,” said Carlene Deptuch, Holy Eucharist’s office administrator and key organizer, the day after about 170 visitors lined up to daub their cards at the church’s parish centre at 460 Munroe Ave. for the final time. To add to the flavour, attendees with an appetite for the occasion were also eligible for a free hot dog, an invitation which many duly accepted.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

Photo by Simon Fuller

From left: Georgina Leschyshyn (on the other side of the counter), Lillian Deptuch and Janice Sutton pictured in the kitchen at the Holy Eucharist Parish Centre on Oct. 31.

Shoebox Project helps women in need

Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 4 minute read Preview

Shoebox Project helps women in need

Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 4 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

One of the special things about an established, shoebox-themed project is that a lot of love can be delivered in a relatively small package.

The Shoebox Project for Women, supported by Klick HEALTH, Manitoba chapter will return to a more tangible, hands-on approach this year in light of relaxed pandemic restrictions, having adopted a more virtual approach during the past two years.

The project is an unaffiliated, non-religious, registered Canadian charity with over 45 volunteer-driven local chapters. The mission of the organization is to share empathy, kindness and compassion with local women impacted by homelessness through the collection and distribution of gift-filled Shoeboxes and messages of support.

The campaign centres around community members collecting $50 worth of items to fill shoeboxes, which are then decorated and distributed to women staying in shelters throughout the province during the holiday season.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

Photo by Simon Fuller

The Shoebox Project for Women, supported by Klick HEALTH, Manitoba chapter co-ordinator Alex Todd is pictured at St. Eugene Parish recently. This year’s official campaign will start on Nov. 21 and run until Dec. 12.

Glenlawn grad happy to be back with Wesmen

Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 4 minute read Preview

Glenlawn grad happy to be back with Wesmen

Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 4 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

Tristan Arnold continues to go from strength to strength on the volleyball court.

And like so many student-athletes that lost irreplaceable time during a formative period in their careers due to the pandemic, the 18-year-old cherishes every moment on the volleyball court.

The River Park South resident and Glenlawn Collegiate alumnus has now found a home as part of a deep 2022 Winnipeg Wesmen men’s volleyball recruiting class, and he’s relishing the challenge. Officials say he committed to the Wesmen prior to going with Team Manitoba to the Canada Games and not long after capturing an U18 national championship with his club team, Junior Bisons.

As COVID-19 lingered on beyond 2020, Arnold felt the uncertainty that it brought about, and even questioned if he had a future in the sport — not least because of a lack of tangible competitive volleyball when the restrictions and protocols were at their highest levels. Now in his freshman year at the U of W, the six-foot-two setter is in love with sport again.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

Familiar faces return to council seats

Sheldon Birnie and Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTERS 3 minute read Preview

Familiar faces return to council seats

Sheldon Birnie and Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTERS 3 minute read Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

East Winnipeg residents will need no introduction to their city councillors following the Oct. 26 municipal election.

While former Transcona councillor Russ Wyatt, who served from 2002 to 2018, defeated incumbent Shawn Nason, all five other incumbents representing wards in east of the Red River were re-elected.

Jason Schreyer was re-elected for a third term in Elmwood-East Kildonan, after campaigning to continue representing the people and grassroots organizations of the ward, while also keeping the costs of construction inflation at the forefront of budget decisions. Schreyer earned 5,554 votes, or 62.21 per cent of the vote. Challenger Ryan Kochie finished with 3,374 votes.

“We ran our smallest campaign to date, but it was my biggest victory and the largest in the ward history,” Schreyer said. “Ryan, I felt, was a good candidate. He was a natural and legitimate expression of what I can be doing better. I can do a better job and so can City Hall, and that’s what it comes down to.”

Friday, Oct. 28, 2022

Photo by Simon Fuller

Jason Schreyer, who was re-elected councillor for Elmwood-East Kildonan, congratulates Ross Eadie on his re-election in Minarski on Oct. 26.

Incumbent Eadie retains Mynarski ward

Simon Fuller 2 minute read Preview

Incumbent Eadie retains Mynarski ward

Simon Fuller 2 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Ross Eadie was re-elected as city councillor for Mynarski for a third time on Oct. 26.

Eadie has represented the northwest Winnipeg ward since 2010.

In this year’s municipal election, he beat off the challenge of four other candidates to return to city hall and will start a fourth term on Nov. 1.

At deadline, according to unofficial results, the vote count was as follows: Eadie 3,779; Natalie Smith 2,016; Aaron McDowell 1,798; Steve Snyder 950; and Ed Radchenka 330.

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Photo by Simon Fuller

Incumbent Mynarski councillor Ross Eadie pictured on Oct. 26 after being re-elected to the ward for a third time.

Bonivital launches all abilities soccer program

By Simon Fuller 3 minute read Preview

Bonivital launches all abilities soccer program

By Simon Fuller 3 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

BY SIMON FULLER

STAFF REPORTER

ST. VITAL

Jason Moist believes there’s enough of the Beautiful Game to be shared among everyone.

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Photo by Simon Fuller

Bonivital Soccer Club’s clubhouse is pictured at Memorial park recently. The club has launched a new abilities soccer program to help provide children and youth aged between nine and 16 with intellectual and or/physical disabilities with an opportunity to learn about and play soccer.

St. Vital man to meet Pope Francis

By Simon Fuller 3 minute read Preview

St. Vital man to meet Pope Francis

By Simon Fuller 3 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

BY SIMON FULLER

STAFF REPORTER

ST. VITAL

If Vivek Bhagria can find the time to write his memoirs in later life, he’ll have lots to talk about.

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Supplied photo

Vivek Bhagria pictured earlier this year in Lima, Peru. The St. Vital resident is among a contingent scheduled to meet Pope Francis in the Vatican City on Oct. 26.

Wearing it well

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 2 minute read Preview

Wearing it well

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 2 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022

When Jorge Garcia and his family members arrived in Winnipeg after immigrating from Mexico last December, they arrived during a blizzard.

Now, almost 10 months to the day, the Bridgwater Trails resident is surrounded by countless fragments of striking colours as he talks about the handmade cat and dog collars he sells.

Garcia is the proprietor of Wicha Handmade, which specializes in selling artisan-made collars for dogs and cats. The cat collars also double up as bracelets for humans, too.

The creations are currently available at the Forks Trading Company and the Winnipeg Humane Society, and Garcia will also be appearing at a number of craft sales and markets in the run-up to the holidays. This includes appearances at St. Norbert Community Centre on Oct. 29, Centre culturel franco-manitobain on Nov. 5, Linden Woods Community Centre on Nov. 6, and Transcona Country Club on Dec. 10.

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022

Photo by Simon Fuller

Jorge Garcia is the proprietor of Wicha Handmade, which specializes in selling artisan-made collars for dogs and cats. The cat collars also double up as bracelets for humans, too.

A stitch in time

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

A stitch in time

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022

ST. VITAL

Barbara Best is hoping a new initiative she’s started at her St. Vital business is on point with the community.

Best is the owner of Lizzy B’s Needle Art Supplies & Custom Picture Framing, at 39 St. Anne’s Rd.

Lizzy B’s sells supplies for cross stitch, needlepoint, embroidery, and other needle arts. It also holds classes focusing on numerous needle arts, and hosts stitch-in events, as well as doing custom picture framing of any types of art, photos, certificates, heirlooms, and memorabilia.

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022

Barbara Best is pictured here at Lizzy B’s Needle Art Supplies & Custom Picture Framing, which is located at 39 St. Anne’s Rd.

Game on!

By Sheldon Birnie and Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTERS 5 minute read Preview

Game on!

By Sheldon Birnie and Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTERS 5 minute read Monday, Oct. 17, 2022

The high school hockey season is in full swing once again across Winnipeg and beyond.

On Oct. 11, the Winnipeg High School Hockey League regular season kicked off with a Winnipeg Free Press Division matchup between Glenlawn Lions and the Kildonan-East Reivers, which Glenlawn won 2-1 in overtime.

“The kids are excited,” said Dana Gordon, president of the WHSHL and a student counsellor at Kildonan-East Collegiate. “We’re hoping to put a good product on the ice and hoping we’ll get the full season played and crown three divisional champions again in March.”

This season, 38 teams will compete across three divisions, playing 25 games between October and February. Perennial provincial heavyweights like St. Paul’s, River East, Sturgeon Heights, and Westwood are once again competing in the top Platinum Promotions Division. Meanwhile, defending Free Press Division champs Springfield have a chance to defend the title, while runner-up Collège Béliveau finds itself up in the top tier. Defending Price Division champs Léo-Rémillard and runners-up John Taylor are up in the Winnipeg Free Press Division this season.

Monday, Oct. 17, 2022

Dakota Collegiate to host homecoming games on Oct. 14

By Simon Fuller 2 minute read Preview

Dakota Collegiate to host homecoming games on Oct. 14

By Simon Fuller 2 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022

ST. VITAL

Football’s coming home, so to speak, to Dakota Collegiate later this month.

The St. Vital-based school will be holding two homecoming football games at Murray Field (661 Dakota St.) on Fri., Oct. 14.

In the junior varsity game, the Dakota Lancers will take on the Grant Park Pirates at 5 p.m. and the two same schools will go head-to-head in the varsity game at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022

Dakota Collegiate will host two homecoming football games at Murray Field on Oct. 14.

Let the good times roll

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Preview

Let the good times roll

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 3 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022

ST. BONIFACE

The party isn’t over — it’s just moving inside.

On Oct. 5, the Centre culturel franco-manitobain announced that its popular outdoor venue — Le Patio 340 — will be set up inside the centre (340 Provencher Blvd.) on the second floor in the Antoine Gaborieau Room for the winter months.

Organizers hope the move will build on the success of the outdoor patio, which was launched in 2020 and has been open the past two summers. The indoor space has been renovated and refurbished for Le Patio 340, which is dubbed Winnipeg’s “cultural and bilingual bar.”

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022

Liliane Lavack, CCFM’s director of artistic and cultural programming, said visitors to the new indoor Patio 340 venue can expect to see a continuation of established events, as well as some new ones.

Preserving provincial provenance

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 2 minute read Preview

Preserving provincial provenance

By Simon Fuller STAFF REPORTER 2 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022

ST. BONIFACE

History has countless layers.

And local historians and archivists working with material from the pre-digital age know how important it is for it to be housed in an environment that’s well-suited to preserving some of the province’s most precious provenance.

During the summer, the provincial government announced a round of funding for several organizations through the Building Sustainable Communities and the Urban and Hometown Green Team projects that support bilingual communities throughout Manitoba.

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022

Janet La France, the directrice générale of the Centre du patrimoine, is seen here in this 2021 file photo. Upgrades to the centre’s vaults — where temperature and climate control and air flow are crucial to help the many historical documents housed at the centre — are set to place next year.

Collective kindness helping family, supporting animals

By Simon Fuller 3 minute read Preview

Collective kindness helping family, supporting animals

By Simon Fuller 3 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022

ST. BONIFACE

SOUTHDALE

It captured the hearts and minds of many community members last year.

Now, Sue Zuk-Boyer is hoping the recently re-launched fundraising drive in honour of her son will once again help numerous animals across the province.

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022