June Year in Review

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald. The colour party marches in during the unveiling of new monuments dedicated to soldiers who served in the Canadian Forces any time from Korean War to the present.

School principal Darren Solomon led from the start to the finish and will now represent Ward 8 after winning the by-election to replace outgoing Coun. Ted Zurakowski.

Solomon collected the most advanced poll votes, the most mobile and mail-in votes, and the most Election Day votes, finishing with a total 214.

“I’m ecstatic,” Solomon said after the results were released Wednesday evening at City Hall. “I’m a little surprised. It was a close race. I wasn’t quite sure how things were going to shake out with the five of us running and I’m pleasantly surprised.

A 30-year member of the Saskatoon Police Service and Superintendent of the Criminal Investigations Division has been appointed as the interim Chief of Police for the Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS).

The Prince Albert Board of Police Commissioners announced  that Patrick Nogier would fill the position, two weeks after Chief Jon Bergen announced his retirement.

Organizers of Prince Albert’s annual Pride Week called on residents to be strong allies of the LGBTQ community, and thanked those who showed up for the week of events.

Pride week ended with the Pride Parade and Pride in the Park on Saturday. Prince Albert Pride chair Chelsea Bleau said they were excited to see all the supporters and allies of the LGBTQ community that numbered in the hundreds.

Prince Albert residents struggling with their mental health will have improved access to affordable housing thanks to a new two-level fourplex that officially opened on Wednesday.

The fourplex is located at 475 27th Street East in Prince Albert, and will provide housing and support for four residents experiencing mental illness. Doug Kinar, the executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Prince Albert branch said it’s a relief to have the doors finally open.

The City of Prince Albert began the first of what will be several ceremonies as they being the final stage of a plan to name city parks after local veterans.

The park on Agnew Street in Crescent Heights was the first to receive its new name. It will now be officially called George Sutherland Park after George Sutherland, a Prince Albert veteran who joined the Canadian Army in 1941.

Prince Albert officially unveiled the new monuments and benches in Memorial Square on Sunday.

There were multiple cenotaphs unveiled, honouring Korea, Peacekeepers, Indigenous Veterans, Women and Afghanistan Veterans. The recognition event was the second part of Decoration Day in Prince Albert.

The Prince Albert Catholic School Division still plans on dipping into its reserves to balance their 2023-24 budget, despite a recent education funding boost from the provincial government.

The division received $288,268 in additional Classroom Complexity funding, but those extra funds weren’t enough to cause major changes to the original budget proposal.

“It still shows that the funding dollars are not sufficient, but we’re happy to have anything that can be provided,” education director Lorel Trumier said. “ We’re going to go into the reserves next year to reach a balanced budget, but it’s not the way we would want this to go.”

Prince Albert residents gathered to call for an end to gang violence, and remember the death of a friend during the second annual Adam’s Walk.

Attendees gathered to remember Adam Pelletier, who was shot and killed while at a party in October 2020, and to call for more support in preventing Prince Albert youth from joining gangs.

Police have charged a former Prince Albert principal following historical reports of abuse at Saskatoon’s Legacy Christian Academy.

Duff Friesen, 65, is facing 11 counts of assault with a weapon. Friesen turned himself in to police on Thursday, according to a news release.

That afternoon, he appeared in person at Saskatoon Provincial Court. His lawyer appeared over the phone.

Saskatchewan Rivers School Division director of education Robert Bratvold is retiring at the end of the school year and the board of education held a special event at the EA Rawlinson Centre  night to recognize his years of service.

Bratvold said it was an honour to be recognized, especially since he didn’t know it was going to happen.

“It was a really, really nice afternoon evening here,” he said. “(It’s) friendly and informal. (We) had a program that gave a little bit of structure, (and) lots of friendliness.”

The Saskatchewan Rivers School Division’s Distance Learning Centre (DLC) celebrated their success at a farewell celebration in the Education Centre on Tuesday, June 13.

The DLC is closing because of the new Saskatchewan DLC coming next school year. Principal Jenna Cross, who was in her first year with the DLC, said they wanted to celebrate the school’s success before shutting down.

Heavy rain and marble-sized hail led to flash flooding in Prince Albert in late June.

Environment Canada issued an alert around 3:15 p.m., warning those in the city that the downpour could cause water to pool on the roads – and it did. Soon enough, videos and photos began circulating on social media.

One video shows water and hail running through the Superstore parking lot. The post describes having to “wade through knee-high ice water” in order to get to their vehicle.

The new tradition for graduation at Carlton Comprehensive High School continued for the Class of 2023.

The ceremony began on the steps of the school where graduates crossed over to receive their diplomas in front of family and friends as they have the past two years.

“In Grade 9 we were straight into COVID and then this senior year has really been our first year back to normal,” z Valedictorian Ella Kirkland said. “Obviously, after COVID anything seems like more (normal).  No, it’s just nice to get back to in-person classes and being able to ask questions and not have to do everything all through Zoom and things like that.”

The Class of 2023 for Ecole St. Mary High School crossed the stage at the Art Hauser Centre on Monday and the class was a unique one.

This year’s class were in Grade 9 during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 198 graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas in front of a large crowd of friends and family.

Valedictorian Rylee McKay said the pandemic helped to build class’ character.


Community bands from Prince Albert and Tisdale teamed up for their spring concerts.

Members from both bands will be playing together at two separate concerts – one on Sunday in Tisdale and the other the following Saturday, June 10, in Prince Albert.

“It’s kind of nice that we are filling out one another’s bands a little bit because post-COVID everyone’s having a little bit of trouble gaining some traction,” said Shannon Fehr, director of the Prince Albert Concert Band.

Art students from Ecole St. Mary High School had the opportunity to connect with and beautify downtown Prince Albert. Students from Grade 10 to Grade 12 painted designs on the exterior of the Gateway Mall ahead of the Downtown Street Fair on June 17. Prince Albert Downtown Business Improvement District (PADBID) executive director Rhonda Trusty said that much like the flower planting on Monday, this was an interesting and fun way to draw people downtown.

“It’s just another opportunity to engage young people,” Trusty said. “Art is a very powerful visual tool. Kids love to paint and the opportunity to paint on a business’s window is pretty cool.”

Ian Dickson never pictured living without the vibrant presence Sheldon Bergstrom brought to the room. He never anticipated that their last talk over beers, their last phone call, or their last performance together would come so soon, and without warning.

“People are grieving right now. People are shocked,” said Dickson. “It was devastating. No one is replaceable, but that’s a huge loss.”

Bergstrom was a well-known actor and singer from Prince Albert, but was based in Regina.


Former Raider captain Brayden Pachal found himself once again lifting a championship trophy in the month of June.

Pachal was a member of the 2023 Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights who defeated the Florida Panthers in five games to hoist the most coveted trophy in hockey.

“Anybody that grabbed that cup and lifted it for the first time, that was the childhood dream realized. It was super cool to watch. Just the excitement and relief because those guys have battled really hard all season long and extremely hard just over two months to get to that point. It’s the best feeling in the world to lift that cup.”

The Shaye Amundson Memorial Tournament was a rousing success in 2023. Despite thunderstorms in Prince Albert on Thursday and Saturday evening, only two games had to be rescheduled.

The U11 Prince Albert Aces, U13 Regina Fighting Saints, U15 Twin Cities Angels and U17 Moose Jaw ICE all took home tournament titles in their respective age divisions.

“It was a very successful weekend.” Tournament coordinator Curtis Bradbury said during the aftermath of the tournament. “We have a lot of teams that want to come back next year and they’re already letting us know that financially our numbers, I think, tripled from last year, so once it gets sorted out, we’ll be able to do the scholarships again this year, which is exciting. That’s why we do it is in memory of Shaye and Prince Albert Minor Softball is able to give back on her behalf.”

Lauren Fox was consistent in the 2023 Ladies Northern Championship as the Creighton product shot 78 on both days to capture the title.

“My long game wasn’t super great, but my short game was super good.” Fox said about her play in the tournament. “I had a lot of ups and downs out there, so that really helps keep the score low.”

Pauline McDougall took home the Senior Ladies Northern Title shooting 78 in her Saturday round and 85 on Sunday.

“It’s a great feeling.” McDougall said at the conclusion of her Sunday round. “Lauren and I were tied going into today and I knew would be tough. It would be really tough because my handicap is higher. I don’t hit the ball as far as she does. I knew it was going to be a grind, but I hung in and it was exciting.”

June also saw a feature run in the Daily Herald about Ecole St. Mary High School alum Amy Pilon.

Pilon currently works for the Toronto Blue Jays as a Coordinator of Partnership Marketing, a position she has held since May 2022.

“I knew that I wanted to work in sports from a young age, but I never really knew what that was going to look like. When I first came out of high school at St Mary, I kind of thought that I was going to do sports journalism and kind of go that route and then I decided that wasn’t where my passion was and wasn’t really sure what that journey forward was going to look like.”