LLRIB Winters Festival – a week of fun and community

Valerie G. Barnes Connell Jordan/Northern Advocate. Shane Bird, a rookie competitor in the King Trapper Competitions, takes part in the weights section.

Dubbed Northern Saskatchewan’s Premier Winter Event, the 2023 Lac La Ronge Winter Festival drew crowds of people to their many events over 10 days between Feb. 24 and March 5. There was something for everyone from beginning to end.

Beginning Friday, Feb. 24, Family Fun Night drew crowds to the Jonas Roberts Memorial Community Centre (JRMCC).

The Festival Queen was also Crowned that night.

During the Trapper Tom Charles Memorial King and Queen Trappers outdoor events competition, Bannock in the pan almost ready to eat. Photo By Valerie G. Barnes Connell Jordan.

There were pancake breakfasts on the weekends, annual events including: the Jimmy Roberts Memorial Hockey Tournament, Peter Ross Memorial Cribbage Tournament, Tracker Tom Charles Memorial Junior and Senior King and Queen Trapper Competitions, “Moochacheech” Memorial Fish Derby, the Chrissy Charles Memoial Volleyball Tournament, Elder’s Lunch and Bingo, Battle of the Bellies Charity Hockey game between LLRIB and Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) Chiefs, the Council Cup LLRIB Staff Broomball Challenge, and more.

Valerie G. Barnes Connell Jordan/Northern Advocate. Scene from the Jimmy Roberts Memorial Hockey Tournament semi-final.

Richard Charles has competed in King Trappers for “probably 30 years. He received the King of King trophy for the fifth time.

“I won four years straight,” he said.

The King of King event entails competing in different communities. The winner is the person who tallies the most points.

Valerie G. Barnes Connell/Northern Advocate. Richard Charles received the King of Kings trophy for a year’s “Bragging Rights.”

“You don’t have to be first as long as you’re still on top,” Charles said. “At the end of the day it’s the points … we go around competing in three communities and total the points and that’s bragging rights for a year, that’s what they call that King of Kings.”

He also competed in The Pas, Man.

“That’s the big one. That’s the first one we always go in the middle of February. After that we go to Prince Albert. A Lot of people show up there, and then here, so, you compete against the best of the best,” Charles said. “I love competing.”

Other events throughout the week included: a Movie Night, Family Skate, Jigging and Square dance Competitions, Youth Talent Show and various fundraising event.

In his tally at the end of the Festival, Kevin Roberts, LLRIB  posted revenues came in at $52,000, with $16,000 in staff salaries and close to $50,000 in even prize payouts “keeping in mind some of these events pay for themselves or close to, plus took in membership fees and facility rentals as part of our usual operations.”

“We help pack the hotels in Town … we surpassed all previous festival revenues. [This] is what happens  when leadership recognizes the value of recreation programs and gives their support and you have a good team backing you up,” Roberts wrote in a Facebook post.