August Year In Review

Herald file photo. A Prince Albert resident films the demolition of the old National Hotel on Aug. 28, 2023. The event drew a crowd of onlookers, including the children of a former National Hotel owner.

New Saskatchewan Rivers Education Director Neil Finch begins his role on Aug. 1. Finch spent the last 10 years working for the division, and is excited to contribute in a different role. “When I think about the opportunities, I’ve got lots of different feelings around it, but (I’m) definitely humbled, honoured, (and) excited.”

The Salvation Army brings in a refrigerated truck to deliver meals near the riverbank and on the South Heal. Major Ed Dean says they’re hoping to temporarily fill the gap left by the closure of Moose Lodge. The PAGC also announces plans for a permanent solution to help Prince Albert’s homeless after Moose Lodge closes its doors.

Phantom Light Distillery is named one of five nominees for Saskatchewan’s Top New Venture Award at the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce ABEX Awards. Partner Brendan Miller says they’re thrilled with the recognition. “It just means a lot to us,” he says. “We know we’re on the right track.”

The Prince Albert woman who set fire to the Allen Bird Memorial Centre is sentenced to 18 months at a rehabilitation centre, with three years of probation. Gina Beatty apologizes through tears during her sentencing on Aug. 9. The Memorial Centre burned to the ground in April 2022. “I’m truly sorry,” Beatty says. “I will work on myself. I will try my best to do better.”

CUPE 882 members take the first step towards a strike by beginning work to rule actions on Aug. 10. Members are not picketing, but begin reducing workplace duties, eventually progressing to a full removal of services.

Former MLA and Prince Albert mayor Don Cody is on hand for the unveiling of Don Cody Park on River Street East. The park is one of two renaming ceremonies held on Aug. 19. The other is for Eldon Lautermilch Park, named after the former Prince Albert MLA. “I’m pleased to have been recognized as a community leader,” Lautermilch says. “It vindicates all of the time that I spent away from home all those years.” “It’s an honour. It’s a big honour,” Cody adds. “To have people recognize that you have done this work, it’s quite appreciated and it’s humbling.” The city renames a third park after another former MLA, Myron Kowalsky, on Aug. 26. Kowalsky passed away in June 2022, but his daughters, grandchildren, and wife Olesia are on hand for the unveiling.

Prince Albert’s Ukrainian community takes over Memorial Square outside City Hall to celebrate Ukraine’s Independence Day on Aug. 24. The festivities include performances from the Prince Albert Barveenok Ukrainian Dance Club, and the Veselka Ukrainian Cultural Club Choir. “We are independent. No one can take our independence from us,” says speaker Kristina Tulchynskaja. “This war (with Russia) shows us how thin our independence is (and) how easy someone can try to keep it from you.”

After years of planning and fundraising, the Rose Garden Hospice official opens on Aug. 29. Supporters, dignitaries, and members of Rose Daschuk’s family attend the ribbon cutting at the building on 38th Street East. “I just felt all the love that was here, the love in the building, (and) the people,” says Rose’s daughter, Marina Mitchell. “I know she’s proud, proud of everyone who has had a hand in helping build this.”

Demolition crews begin knocking down the former National Hotel on Aug. 28. The event draws plenty of onlookers, including the children of former owner Frank J. Masich, who make the trip up from Saskatoon. “We thought it would be here forever,” says Masich’s daughter, Margaret Krpan. “I don’t know why. You never think of these things.”

Herald file photo.
Mason Thunderchild (left), the grandson of former Prince Albert softball player and umpire Victor Thunderchild, receives the ball from Prince Albert U15 Astros assistant coach Matthew Kutnikoff (right) following the opening pitch at the U15 Boys’ Canadian Championship opening ceremonies on Aug. 9, 2023.


The Stanley Cup makes an appearance at Emma Lake courtesy of Vegas Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson. Stephenson and the Golden Knights defeated the Florida Panthers in five games to win professional hockey’s most coveted prize. Stephenson said he wanted to enjoy his second Stanley Cup win in a more relaxed atmosphere. “(We’ve) always been up here to my wife’s family’s cabin, and it’s kind of a second home for us,” he says. “It’s just such a cool spot and a little bit more low key.”

It took a little longer than expected, but Corey Selander successfully defends his 2023 Northern Men’s Amateur Championship title at Cooke Municipal Golf Course. Selander defeats Travis Fehr in a playoff to earn the victory. The win gives Selander three Northern Men’s Championships in five years.

Prince Albert Raiders forward Ryder Ritchie finishes second in team scoring as Canada wins Gold at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Breclav, Czechia. Canada loses their opening game of the tournament to Finlad before rattling off wins against Slovakia, Switzerland, the United States, and Czechia. “We had an unreal group of guys, so it was a lot of fun playing for Team Canada,” Ritchie says. “It was a dream come true and winning gold just wrapped the whole experience off.”

Prince Albert welcomes the top U15 Boy’s Fastpitch teams when the Prince Albert Astros host the Canadian championships. The tournament opens with a ceremony dedicated to longtime Prince Albert fastpitch player and umpire Victor Thunderchild. The Astros split their first two games on opening day before a summer storm cancels a slate of games and forces organizers to redo their schedule. When the skies clear, the Astros make it to the second round of the playoffs before being knocked out by the Elmira Heat.

Prince Albert city council votes to rename the football field at Thomas Settee Park in honour of Prince Albert Minor Football volunteer Wendell Whitter. The field will be named after Whitter for a 10-year period ending on Aug. 31, 2032. Whitter was a major reason Prince Albert Minor Football was named Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame Organization of the Year in 2018. Whitter was inducted into the hall as an individual in 2022.

Prince Albert’s Stryker Zablocki has an assist and goaltender Hannah Clark records a shutout as Canada’s National U18 Girls Hockey Team defeats the United States 4-0 in exhibition play. The game is the first of three exhibition matches between the two teams. Canada wins the next two games by scores of 6-1 and 5-2.

After three third places finishes, David Bird takes finally reaches the top at the Senior Men’s Northern Golf Championship. Bird shoots a 74 on day one and a 73 on day two to win his first Men’s Northern Open. Bird receives the Bob Hemsworth Trophy for his efforts, which makes the day even more special. “I was an RCMP officer as well as he was, and he was very good to me for advice and that,” Bird says. “I was very pleased to get my name on his trophy.”

The Birch Hills Brewers sweep the Nipawin Giants in the best-of-three final to win the Highway 3 Baseball League championship.


The Prince Albert Country Music Association aims to promote the Exhibition with a new downtown kickoff performance. Association members put on a free show outside City Hall to help generate interest. Producer Larry Krause says they looked to the Calgary Stampede for inspiration.

Prince Albert city council approves a recommendation to rename the Prince Albert Arts Centre after popular music teacher and performer Margo Fournier. The renaming process began after the City sold the former Margo Fournier Centre to the Prince Albert Grand Council in 2022. Fourneir performed as part of the “All Clear Canadian Forces Show” during the Second World War. She is best remembered for her work leading the Prince Albert Boys’ Choir. Fournier was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1983 for her work with youth and music.

Prince Albert artists Orlanda Flett and Tia Furstenberg are the co-winners of the City of Prince Albert’s design contest. PA residents select the two logos out of four in an online vote. Both designs will be used on Prince Albert Tourism apparel.