Latest articles from Jayda Noyes

Christmas concert tradition in Albertville to raise money for new Prince Albert hospice

The Trudel Family is reviving a holiday tradition in support of Prince Albert’s newly-opened hospice.

The family band will be putting on their 15th annual Christmas concert in Albertville for the first time since COVID-19 struck in 2019.

In lieu of tickets, they ask for donations each year to a cause close to their hearts. Past shows have supported purchasing a defibrillator for their home community, a tractor in a third-world country, and baby items for mothers in need.

This year, donations will go towards the Rose Garden Hospice.

“It’s been burning in my heart for quite a while, so I reached out. A friend of mine is on the board, so we kind of talked a little bit and we went for a visit to the hospice and I just feel very at peace, like this is where we should be raising awareness,” said Janice Trudel.

Janice sings and plays bass guitar, accompanied by her husband Colin and their four children, Janaya, Jolissa, Graeme, and Declan. Graeme’s fiancée will also be playing at the concert.

“I started listening to the music just to practice and I started to feel very joyful, and that’s what I hope that people who come will experience,” she said.

“We just hope that people can come out and have fun and have a sense of community again.”

In the past, Janice said supporters of the band will travel for the concert from outside communities, such as Melfort and Spiritwood. The Christmas concert has become a time for the group to reunite, she said.

“It’s just like family. It truly is like coming home and seeing your auntie that you haven’t seen for a year.”

The Rose Garden Hospice held its grand opening in August, and was prepared to host its first guests in mid-September. The facility is intended to provide a comfortable space for terminally-ill patients.

While the association reached its fundraising goal of about $4 million for the build, Chair Darcy Sander said there’s still a need.

“A concert like this really raises the awareness and I think the appreciation of the hospice,” he said.

“These things take money to operate.”

The hospice is hoping to purchase five air mattresses, which come with a price tag of about $2,000 each, along with nine lift chairs at about $1,200 each. Other wants include furniture for the quiet room and staff lounge, as well as to fund a volunteer coordinator position.

“I’m a bit of a musician myself, and so we’ve participated in different shows together throughout the years,” said Sander about his relationship with The Trudel Family.

Sander said Janice was invited on a tour of the hospice, where she was touched by the dedication of the community to fund such an important facility.

“It’s very homey in there. As you walk in, it just feels different,” she said.

“I think it’s another aspect of health care that we really haven’t seen in our area of the province.” The Christmas concert is set to take place on Dec. 16, starting at 7 p.m., at St. James Parish in Albertville. The concert will also feature other performers, including the Albertville Angels Choir.

‘There’s hope:’ Big Brothers Big Sisters launches holiday campaign to support PA youth


Playing at the park, doing a craft, or going to a sports game with a Prince Albert youth could have a lingering impact on their lives.

That was the message of a Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) presentation at a Community Networking Coalition meeting on Tuesday.

“From our perspective, mentoring is not a nice to have, it’s a need to have. Sometimes, people think it’s just they go to the park or the Raider game and they have fun. That’s just on the surface,” said Natasha Thomson, development coordinator at BBBS Prince Albert.

“What’s really happening is that the young person is developing a relationship – a relationship that helps them build confidence, build skills, build courage, and really find their own voice.”

The non-profit organization pairs volunteers with youth between the ages of six and 18 to bond over activities for one to three hours per week.

They also have in-school mentoring, monthly activities, and a new circle group program, where both matched and unmatched youth can come together.

The Prince Albert location launched its holiday campaign, Ignite a Little Sparkle, on Tuesday. It runs until New Year’s Eve.

Thomson said they’re hoping to raise $10,000 to recruit and train mentors and to fund programming. The first one thousand dollars raised will be matched by Redhead Equipment.

“We’re finding that relationships are actually the really important thing in people’s lives, the thing that makes a difference for them in their health and in their mental health,” said Thomson.

“(They also) learn the skills to have and maintain a healthy relationship.”

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, youth is a critical period for mental health. Most people with mental illnesses show symptoms before 18 years old.

However, the 2023 BBBS report shows positive results in Saskatchewan.

It suggests that 80 per cent of youth participants are more likely to try new tasks, 81 per cent are more comfortable talking to others, 83 per cent gained self-confidence, and 87 per cent have a more positive self-identity.

“There’s hope. We know that young people’s critical development occurs in the first few years of life,” said Thomson.

It’s estimated that for every dollar invested in BBBS, between $18 and $23 is returned to society through taxes, higher incomes, volunteerism and donations.

Thomson said about a dozen youth in Prince Albert are matched with a mentor and about another dozen remain on the waitlist.

You can donate to the Ignite a Little Sparkle campaign at any Lake Country Co-op location or on the BBBS Prince Albert website.

Upcoming radiothon raising funds for equipment at Prince Albert hospital


The Boreal Healthcare Foundation is preparing for a major fundraiser on Friday for equipment upgrades at Prince Albert’s Victoria Hospital.

The 18th annual Give A Little Life Day radiothon gets underway at Mann Northway at 6 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. During that time, anyone wanting to make a pledge can stop in at the showroom or go through the service drive-thru.

“This year, we’re raising money for a variety of equipment needs throughout the hospital, from a mobile C-arm for diagnostic imaging, to food service delivery units for the nutrition department,” said the foundation’s CEO, Cody Barnett.

The mobile C-arm provides real-time visuals to enhance precision in surgeries. Other equipment needs include a pediatric vein viewer to reduce discomfort for young patients, as well as a metro code crash cart for immediate accessibility in cardiac emergencies.

“(Some) is equipment that’s nearly 20 years old, in some cases. It needs to be replaced. Some other equipment, like that mobile C-arm piece, is actually an enhancement on past equipment so that we can have better diagnostics,” explained Barnett.

“That comes out of donation dollars because the health care budget just isn’t big enough in the province to support all of the needs in all of the facilities.”

The expansion of the Victoria Hospital will amp up fundraising efforts in the future.

While the provincial government is funding the building costs, the foundation needs to bring in additional dollars to make the increased space operational.

“The community share of the new hospital and the expansion goes to funding equipment, furniture, and fixtures, so very similar to what we’re raising money for now, just on a much, much larger scale. I think it’s north of $55 million is what the equipment needs will be,” said Barnett.

This year’s Give A Little Life Day has a target of $300,000, a jump from last year’s total of around $240,000.

“We’re really hoping that we’ll be able to get there,” he said.

Barnett encouraged the public to direct some extra money to health care because, ultimately, it’s something we all need.

“Often times we’re born here, and we spend our last days in the hospital, too. There’s all sorts of time and need in between those two major life events where the hospital is important,” he said.

“That’s, I think, why I do the work I do – because I think it’s important.”

You can also donate at, or call 1-855-816-LIFE (5433) to make your pledge during the broadcast on Friday on 900 CKBI, 101.5 Beach Radio, and Power 99.

The Victoria Hospital Foundation rebranded to the Boreal Healthcare Foundation in October to reflect the outside communities it serves.

Métis Nation and Sask. government sign agreements to advance firearms safety, public service education


The provincial government has signed two memoranda of understanding (MOU) with the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan (MN–S) on “shared issues” of firearms safety and public service education.

Premier Scott Moe and MN–S President Glen McCallum signed the agreements at the Métis Nation Legislative Assembly held over the weekend in Saskatoon.

McCallum said the relationship with the province has progressed over the six years he’s been president.

He said it’s beneficial to work as a collaborative voice through MOUs.

“Too many times we’ve been left on the sidelines, but more importantly, not communicated with in a proper way. We’re doing that. The premier and I get along very well,” he said.

“Just because we’re in power, doesn’t mean we’re not human beings. We get to understand each other in regards to where we’re coming from.”

Firearms agreement stems from federal bans

The firearms safety MOU comes after regulation changes by the federal government to address gun violence, including placing a ban on over 1,500 models of assault-style guns – The MN–S and the province say this could lead to unnecessary seizures and prosecution of Indigenous peoples. 

In response, the province introduced the Saskatchewan Firearms Act last December to protect the rights of lawful gun owners. It includes licensing requirements, compensation for seizures, and testing to ensure seized firearms meet protection and safety standards.

The MOU outlines the province’s agreement to coordinate with MN–S to educate Métis citizens on new firearm laws and to become licensed and law-abiding gun owners.

“We always take into account the harvesting piece, that’s what’s important to me – our trappers, our harvesters, how does the law affect harvesters?” said McCallum.

“Those are the conversations that we need to have.”

Saskatchewan’s firearms office is looking at investing $50,000 into a community educator position to work with Métis people. 

“I look forward to…learning more about what we can do for them as part of our ongoing work to represent responsible firearms owners,” said Chief Firearms Officer Robert Freberg.

Another possibility, according to the MOU, is hosting one-day courses to obtain a Possession and Acquisition License (PAL).

The MOU is in effect until Jan. 1, 2025.

Métis education in public service industry

The second agreement involves coordinating on education in the public service sector on Métis history.

Goals include developing or improving access to education, working with organizations to deliver these educational resources, and recruiting more Métis people.

This MOU aligns with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendation for governments to provide Indigenous education to public service employees.

‘Long anticipated:’ Sister duo Jay and Jo set to perform holiday album live for 1st time


A familiar duo in Prince Albert’s music scene is hitting the stage next week to perform their holiday album live for the first time.

Jay and Jo – consisting of sisters Janaya McCallum and Jolissa Trudel – will be performing on Thursday, Nov. 30 with pianist Brenner Holash at the Rock Trout Cafe.

“It’s been long anticipated,” said McCallum.

“We released this album in 2021, that Christmas. I was living up in the Arctic while I was producing it and while it was released, so we definitely didn’t have a chance to perform it or have an album release concert.”

McCallum and her husband lived up north for a year in a tiny, isolated hamlet. Although the songs were chosen beforehand, she said knowing that they would be venturing to the Arctic region influenced parts of the album.

“The instrumentation on the album, we kept it pretty raw and honest and that’s very different than how our other albums sounded. I think that was maybe the effect of that,” she said.

“I kept it nice and simple and how we sound in real life.”

The album, titled Ahantonhia, consists of eight songs. McCallum said one song re-envisions what’s believed to be the oldest Canadian Christmas hymn written in the mid-1600s, called ‘The Huron Carol’ or ‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime.’

A Jesuit missionary wrote the song in his traditional Huron, or Wendat, language, which was translated to English in 1926.

“I noticed that the English translation of their language, like the indigenous language, was really poor, like the version that we’ve been singing for centuries since then,” said McCallum.

“I re-wrote the lyrics more closely based on that original Wendap translation – very literal.”

While the sister will be performing other music, McCallum said the show will centre around their Ahantonhia album.

McCallum hopes the comforting feel of their performance will allow the audience to escape from the busy holiday season and focus on community connections.

“We’ll be telling lots of stories, giving insight into the songs. Jo and I really value connecting with the audience, being personable up there,” she said.

“It will be intimate and really focused on harmonies and lyrics and just getting into the Christmas season.”

Jay and Jo won Roots Artist of the Year at the Saskatchewan Country Music Awards in 2019. The sisters are also part of their wider family band, The Trudel Family. The show at the Rock Trout Cafe takes place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is $18.

‘All her life, it was with her:’ Prince Albert woman tells great grandmother’s story of surviving Holodomor


Ukrainian community gathers at provincial legislature to mark Holodomor

Krystina Tulchynska wonders what her family, and her home country of Ukraine, would be like today if it weren’t for Holodomor.

The Prince Albert woman’s great grandmother was the only child out of seven siblings to survive the man-made famine in 1932 and 1933.

“Every time she talked about this, her eyes were full of tears. I can’t even imagine how hard it was and, unfortunately, such events did not pass without leaving a mark on your life,” said Tulchynska.

“All her life, it was with her.”

Holodomor, meaning ‘death by hunger,’ killed millions of Ukrainians under Soviet policies in an effort to prevent Ukrainian autonomy. Saskatchewan is remembering those impacted by the famine throughout the week, with International Holodomor Day taking place on Saturday.

Tulchynska estimated her great grandmother, being the youngest sibling, would have been about five years old during Holodomor – but she remembered the details vividly.

Long after the famine concluded, her great grandmother lived in constant fear of starvation.

“She would always hide a supply of flour, sugar, bread crumbs, as well as candles and matches. She never bought food for one dinner like we are used to now. All food, everything would be used a second time. She never threw the food in the trash,” said Tulchynska.

She recalled her “best and care-free” days as a child being spent in her great grandmother’s garden. However, she didn’t plant and care for it for pleasure, but as a backup source of food.

“That’s what my great grandmother did for all of us to protect and teach us in case this situation would be repeated.”

Tulchynska never thought that it would.

In early 2022, though, Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine while Tulchynska was living and working in Kyiv. For the few days before the situation started to stabilize, she had to remember what her great grandmother taught her.

“In the first days of the war, I saw empty shelves in stores. I was overcome with that fear and I began to remember what I had in my fridge,” she said.

“My mother, according to the words of our great grandmother, still kept candles and matches, which she had long forgotten about, but when the lights were periodically turned off, we used them.”

Saskatchewan’s Ukrainian community gathered at the legislature on Tuesday for a Holodomor memorial service. According to a news release, the service included the lighting of a memorial candle, which will remain lit throughout the week.

“Holodomor, The Great Famine, is still felt by the Ukrainian community 90 years later,” said Terry Dennis, legislative secretary responsible for Saskatchewan-Ukrainian relations.

“We join our Saskatchewan citizens of Ukrainian heritage to remember this dark time and honour those lost.”

The province was the first jurisdiction in North America to pass the The Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day Act in 2008.

According to the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium, there is no official death toll because much of the documentation was destroyed by Soviet authorities.

The number of excess deaths – the difference between observed and expected number of deaths – during that time period sits at 4.5 million.

At the height of the famine in mid-1933, at least 28,000 people died per day in Ukraine due to direct starvation. It’s estimated that 30 per cent were children.

“In only my family, six kids died and there were hundreds, thousands of other families, so maybe Ukraine could be different,” said Tulchynska.

“I just believe that if people remember you, you’re still living there in another world. Now my great grandmother will know more people, which is good I think for her, for this family memory. I’m proud to share her history. I think she would be proud as well.” @JournalistJayda

‘Such a kind person:’ Sister of missing Prince Albert man seeking closure over a year later


Amanda McAdam has spent nearly a year and a half wondering where her brother could be.

“For him being gone and nobody seeing or talking to him, for me and a couple of my other siblings, we kind of agreed that he’s no longer with us,” she said.

“It’s something we just kind of accept, but we just want to be able to find him and find peace with it.”

Henry McAdam was last seen at a business in Prince Albert’s Cornerstone area in mid-July 2022. According to police, his family reported him missing about a month later, on Aug. 24.

He was 48 years old at the time.

Despite searches by family, police, search and rescue volunteers and the Prince Albert Grand Council, McAdam’s whereabouts remains unknown. About a month ago, police alerted the public of their presence in a wooded area near Princess Auto as they conducted a search for Henry.

In an emailed statement last week, the Prince Albert Police Service said “numerous searches” have taken place within the city.

“The missing person investigation remains open while police continue to attempt to locate Henry and communicate with Henry McAdam’s family,” reads the statement.

Amanda said Henry would rarely travel outside of the city. The furthest he would go was to Witchekan Lake First Nation – about an hour and a half west of Prince Albert – to see his oldest sister. He wouldn’t even travel further north to visit his partner, she said.

“PA is his home,” said Amanda. “He would not go anywhere far.”

‘He was happy; he always loved joking around’

Amanda is Henry’s youngest sister out of 12 siblings from Big River First Nation. The two weren’t in touch much growing up, she said, but grew closer as they became adults and both lived in Prince Albert.

“We were all in foster care. I was in foster care since I was a year and a half old,” she explained.

“We were all separated. Growing up, the only time I remember us all really being together as siblings was when we went to go visit our mom.”

Henry battled an alcohol addiction, but that didn’t define him, said Amanda. Even under the influence, his caring and humorous personality shined through.

“He was happy; he always loved joking around. I’d never seen him be mean to anybody. He was such a kind person,” she said.

“He would always want to come visit me, come see the kids. He’d try to get us to go visit him…He really cared about his siblings.”

Amanda recalled being out on a walk with her brother, when he grew impatient waiting for a stream of traffic to slow so they could cross the street.

“He was kind of under the influence. He was like ‘Let’s go’ and I was like ‘No, just wait until the traffic slows down,’ so he went in the middle of the road and he stopped all of the vehicles. I was like ‘Henry, no get out of there,’ and he was like ‘No, I’m not leaving until my little sister goes across the road,’” she said.

She laughed as she recalled apologetically waving at the vehicles as she crossed.

Looking back, Amanda said she struggles with her response to Henry’s addiction – since that’s how they lost their mother.

“I hated the fact that it seemed like he was getting worse into his drinking. I’d always get mad at him,” she said.

“Now that he’s gone, it makes it 10 times harder. I wish I’d never got mad at him so much, but that was just me telling him that I loved him and stop doing that. I don’t want you ending up like our mom.”

In a news release, police described Henry as about 5’8” tall and 157 lbs, with short black hair and a moustache. He was last seen wearing a black bunnyhug and blue jeans.

Anyone with information on his activities around the time he went missing, or his current location, is asked to call Prince Albert police or Crime Stoppers.

Retired Prince Albert firefighter made chief for a day as part of 90th birthday surprise


Prince Albert’s Arthur Peterson never misses an opportunity for coffee and good conversation.

He’s been retired from the city’s fire department for 33 years. Every year on the anniversary of his start date – Aug. 23, 1956 – he joins current members for coffee. It’s also a regular meetup during the holidays, or whenever he just wants to relive the memories of the job.

They may be generations apart, but they share a unique connection.

“They make me part of the team. They sure include me in everything and that’s priceless,” said Peterson.

The Prince Albert Fire Department surprised Peterson for his 90th birthday on Tuesday.

Members picked up Peterson from his home in the morning and drove him back to the hall in the captain’s seat, wearing his old uniform.

They told him that the day was his – he was being made chief.

Of course, that meant a drive in the ladder truck to Smitty’s for his coffee group. When he returned to the hall, Peterson got geared up for some training, complete with a makeshift chief’s hat with his name on it.

Arthur Peterson puts on his gear before heading out for firefighter training as part of his 90th birthday surprise. – Jayda Taylor/Daily Herald

“We trained constantly and I know the young men are training now too, of course, but you can’t be trained for everything because there are no two calls alike,” he said.

“Firefighters are really a family. We live together, way back we used to put in a 56-hour week. Every third week I think it was we worked a 23-hour Sunday.”

Firefighters also attended a birthday party put on by Peterson’s family on Sunday.

“They made me speechless,” he said. “I feel pretty good and it’s amazing to achieve this number of years. I’ve been very fortunate.”

Prince Albert firefighters help retired member Arthur Peterson spray a hose on his 90th birthday. – Prince Albert Fire Department/Submitted

Chief Kris Olsen said Peterson retired shortly before he started at the fire department in the 1990s. Ever since, Peterson has been coming by for visits.

“Art has a special place in the department,” said Olsen.

“He had a long career, and it doesn’t matter what events we go to with Mr. Peterson, there will be retired members that served alongside him, there’s retired members that served under him and the common theme is there is a lot of respect for Mr. Peterson and the work he did here,” he added.

“He is a genuine individual that took interest in his staff as a leader and as a peer.”

Olsen said Peterson was a divisional chief, a position that no longer exists in Prince Albert.

Peterson will often speak with current members about how the job has changed, such as the new technology and equipment used to fight fires.

He’s an avid listener, said Olsen, who’s always willing to talk about the highs and lows of firefighting.

“He will always interject with some wisdom, go back to maybe a past circumstance.”

Olsen said it was an honour and well deserved to be replaced by Peterson for the day.

Arthur Peterson (front, centre) is pictured in this newspaper clipping from February 1980 as part of an article on a provincial firefighters curling championship. – Prince Albert Daily Herald/Archives

Looking back on his career, Peterson said he wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, while sipping on his coffee, he’ll see a fire truck go by and wish he were on it.

“I jokingly say that if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I’m coming back, and I’ve already got my chair picked out,” he said with a laugh.

“If I had a chance to do it over, I would in a heartbeat.”

PA Ukrainian celebration bringing together Sask. dancers to fundraise for local club


A traditional Ukrainian celebration is raising money for a local dance club.

On Saturday, Prince Albert Barveenok Ukrainian Dance will be hosting Obzhynky. The annual event will include a traditional meal, dance, music, silent auction and raffle.

Kayleigh Skomorowski is the president of the Barveenok dance group and co-chair of the Obzhynky committee. She said the event is significant in the non-profit’s year-round operations.

“The profits from Obzyhnky, they’re used for a variety of different things. They allow us to do things like purchase new costume sets or the cost of instructors,” she said.

She added that costumes are made in Ukraine, which, in turn, allows the club to support Ukrainian seamstresses and other craftsmanship. 

“Obzhynky itself will pay the wage of an instructor for an entire dance year, so it’s super helpful when you look at the impact of what it allows you to do.”

Skomorowski said sponsorships from local businesses and the support of club members drive the event’s continued success – this year’s Obzyhnky is sold out, Skomorowski said, which hasn’t happened in a number of years.

“It’s also a community building piece,” she added.

Obzyhnky is a celebration of food, song, and dance held at the end of harvest.

This year, Barveenok Ukrainian Dance is bringing in professional dance groups Pavlychenko Folklorique Ensemble and Yevshan Ukrainian Folk Ballet Ensemble. 

Skmorowski said both groups have ties to Barveenok, whether their dancers are alumni or are instructors who currently teach the Prince Albert group or have in the past.

“It’s kind of nice to have a bit of a homecoming in that sense for dancers that are now dancing professionally that started with Barveenok,” she said.

The event will also include live music from Half Na Piv, also from Saskatoon, who primarily perform for Ukrainian weddings and dances.

Skomorowski said the club is testing out a new venue this year at the Ches Leach Lounge in the Art Hauser Centre. In the past, Obzynky has been held at the exhibition grounds.

Obzhynky is one of the dance group’s major fundraisers throughout the year.

Northern Sask. youth to receive Indigenous books as part of long-time holiday program


This holiday season, northern Saskatchewan children will be getting a special surprise from Santa.

Athabasca Basin Development is preparing for this year’s Santa in the North. While the initiative has been taking place for decades, spearheaded by Rise Air, this is the fifth year youth will receive a book from an Indigenous author.

“It was much harder to find these books five years ago, and this year, we’ve been able to find over 250 titles,” said Kristy Jackson, director of marketing and communications for Athabasca Basin Development.

“It’s a trend we’re happy to see.”

All children in the Athabasca communities from daycare to Grade 12 will receive a book. This includes about 1,400 kids in Fond du Lac, Hatchet Lake, Black Lake, Stony Rapids, Wollaston Lake, Camsell Portage and Uranium City.

Athabasca Basin Developement gets the books from Turning the Tide in Saskatoon. Rise Air donates the freight to transport them by plane.

“The Athabasca communities are primarily isolated communities, so it’s not as easy to get ahold of physical books there as it would be in a city,” said Jackson, although some communities have resources such as school libraries.

Jackson said the hope is not only to foster a love for reading and writing, but for kids to connect with their Indigenous culture.

The long list of titles includes Canadian bestsellers, like The Marrow Thieves and its sequel by Cherie Dimaline. Dimaline is from a Metis community in Ontario.

Other popular titles are Robert Munsch stories, co-authored or illustrated by Indigenous people.

Athabasca Basin Development has also sourced books from Saskatchewan authors, including Prince Albert’s Leah Dorion, Ile-a-la-Crosse’s Bernice Johnson-Laxdal, and Big River First Nation’s Randy Morin.

“I see reading as being a lot like exercise for your brain. There are so many benefits,” emphasized Jackson.

“It improves your focus, communications skills, develops your imagination, can help reduce stress, and is just plain fun. It’s not very expensive and can be done anywhere. It helps you experience life through another person’s point of view.”

At first, Athabasca Basin Development provided books for children up to Grade 5. With more demand and sponsors, it was able to expand the project to include youth all the way up to Grade 12.

Jackson said teachers assist in deciding which books would be best for their students.

Santa in the North also distributes toys and treats. This will be its 23rd year.