Farewell 2021: a year in review

Members of Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue were out about the town on June 8, 2021, doing Self Contained Breathing Apparatus training and contributing to the month-long ParticipACTION fitness challenge for the Paintearth Choosewell team, which came in in top five places in the province. (Photo submitted)Members of Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue were out about the town on June 8, 2021, doing Self Contained Breathing Apparatus training and contributing to the month-long ParticipACTION fitness challenge for the Paintearth Choosewell team, which came in in top five places in the province. (Photo submitted)
The sky above the Castor Golf Course was lit up on New Year’s Eve 2020, with a fireworks show put on by Anthony Holland, made possible by donations from many local businesses. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)The sky above the Castor Golf Course was lit up on New Year’s Eve 2020, with a fireworks show put on by Anthony Holland, made possible by donations from many local businesses. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
A member of the Coronation RCMP (left) and Deputy Fire Chief Lee Bagshaw (right) wait for the arrival of the Castor Fire Department on Sept. 8, 2021. The vehicle was found fully engulfed in flames. The RCMP are investigating, as no one was found on the scene. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)A member of the Coronation RCMP (left) and Deputy Fire Chief Lee Bagshaw (right) wait for the arrival of the Castor Fire Department on Sept. 8, 2021. The vehicle was found fully engulfed in flames. The RCMP are investigating, as no one was found on the scene. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
A variety of trinkets collected from the journeys of Art and Myrtle Cole. As a way to boost morale in the Paintearth Lodge amid lock down, the Coles, with the help of other residents, performed a fashion showshowcasing clothing and items collected in their journeys around the world. (File photo)A variety of trinkets collected from the journeys of Art and Myrtle Cole. As a way to boost morale in the Paintearth Lodge amid lock down, the Coles, with the help of other residents, performed a fashion showshowcasing clothing and items collected in their journeys around the world. (File photo)
East Central Ambulance Association has three ambulance stations, one each in Castor, Coronation, and Consort. Shown in the photo is the Castor station, during EMS week 2021. (File photo)East Central Ambulance Association has three ambulance stations, one each in Castor, Coronation, and Consort. Shown in the photo is the Castor station, during EMS week 2021. (File photo)
Paintearth Adult Learning Literacy Coordinator Radka Buriskova shows the children’s area in the new Paintearth Adult Learning office in Coronation. The organization moved into the new space over summer 2021. (Photo submitted)Paintearth Adult Learning Literacy Coordinator Radka Buriskova shows the children’s area in the new Paintearth Adult Learning office in Coronation. The organization moved into the new space over summer 2021. (Photo submitted)
Canadian pianist Roger Admiral, faculty at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus, stopped by Castor Nov. 21, 2021 to perform the “Songs of Vienna,” piano classics from Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms. The recital was done to raise funds for the Castor Library. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)Canadian pianist Roger Admiral, faculty at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus, stopped by Castor Nov. 21, 2021 to perform the “Songs of Vienna,” piano classics from Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms. The recital was done to raise funds for the Castor Library. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Castor’s Library Board hired Tess Griebel to be the new Castor Library manager. She began the role in early April 2021. Kevin J. Sabo photoCastor’s Library Board hired Tess Griebel to be the new Castor Library manager. She began the role in early April 2021. Kevin J. Sabo photo
The County of Paintearth was hit by thieves in June of 2021. (File photo)The County of Paintearth was hit by thieves in June of 2021. (File photo)
Castor Opportunity Shop members Wendy Bain (second-left) Connie Gutenberg (middle), and Barry Heidecker (right) present a cheque for $9,000 to Castor & District Museum President Mike Bain (left) and Vice-President Walter Pickles (second-right) on Oct. 19, 2021. The funds are to go towards the museum’s elevator restoration project. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)Castor Opportunity Shop members Wendy Bain (second-left) Connie Gutenberg (middle), and Barry Heidecker (right) present a cheque for $9,000 to Castor & District Museum President Mike Bain (left) and Vice-President Walter Pickles (second-right) on Oct. 19, 2021. The funds are to go towards the museum’s elevator restoration project. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
A Cochrane Crush player takes their turn at bat in the teams 11-5 loss at the hands of the Castor Raiders on July 25, 2021. Catching for the Raiders is Drew Bagshaw. The Raiders had a successful season, taking silver in provincial play. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)A Cochrane Crush player takes their turn at bat in the teams 11-5 loss at the hands of the Castor Raiders on July 25, 2021. Catching for the Raiders is Drew Bagshaw. The Raiders had a successful season, taking silver in provincial play. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Kagen Schmidt of Barrhead scores 66 points on this ride, tying him for first place in the event with Wyatt Simpson. All part of Castor Rodeo action on June 25th, 2021. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)Kagen Schmidt of Barrhead scores 66 points on this ride, tying him for first place in the event with Wyatt Simpson. All part of Castor Rodeo action on June 25th, 2021. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Holden Atkinson, of Black Diamond Alberta, hangs on for a 66 point ride, good for second place in the Junior Steer-Riding event of the Castor Rodeo, held June 25, 2021. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)Holden Atkinson, of Black Diamond Alberta, hangs on for a 66 point ride, good for second place in the Junior Steer-Riding event of the Castor Rodeo, held June 25, 2021. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Santa made an early visit to Halkirk on Dec. 4,, stopping in at the Halkirk Elks ‘Christmas in the Village’ event at the Bullarama grounds. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)Santa made an early visit to Halkirk on Dec. 4,, stopping in at the Halkirk Elks ‘Christmas in the Village’ event at the Bullarama grounds. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)
Anthony Holland both organized the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ event and he also provided entertainment during the event as well. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)Anthony Holland both organized the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ event and he also provided entertainment during the event as well. (Kevin Sabo/Castor Advance)

Unlike what many had hoped, 2021 saw the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Restrictions were on again, and off again, and on again, which made for a challenging year for everyone.

Still, 2021 was not without its highlights as well.

The following are a few of the top stories covered by the Castor Advance throughout the year:

January

-Castor ended 2020 with a bang, with fireworks on New Year’s Eve at the Golf Course.

-Castor town council hit the new year running working on a bylaw for the tax installment payment plan, the cemetery bylaw, and the borrowing bylaw.

-Castor Fire Rescue provided an update on 2020.

February

-Castor town council approved the creation of a ball hockey league using savings realized from the early removal of arena ice due to provincial health restrictions.

-Castor town council motioned to send a letter to Premier Jason Kenney and Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw criticizing the back and forth of the health restrictions.

-Coronation RCMP provided a 2020 year-in-review update.

March

-Local couple, Art and Myrtle Cole, showcased their clothing and trinket collection collected from around the world to the residents of Paintearth Lodge.

-The Castor Advance looked at what the members of East Central Ambulance Association faced on the frontline of the COVID-19 battlefield.

April

-Paintearth Community Adult Learning celebrates 40 years in the region.

-A regional committee is struck with Coronation, Castor, and the County of Paintearth to discuss future recreation funding.

-The Village of Halkirk welcomed the new Coronation RCMP detachment commander, Sgt. John Pike, as a delegation.

May

-The Castor Public Library welcomed a new manager.

-It was officially announced that Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital was losing its heliport.

-Castor Extendicare remembered the sinking of the Titanic.

June

-Castor Evangelical Missionary Church pastor celebrates five years serving the community.

-County of Paintearth shop hit by thieves.

July

-Construction projects announced at the Paintearth Lodge, including two rennovated suites and a new covered gazebo.

-Castor Trap Club holds its 34th annual trap shoot.

-A successful Castor Rodeo kicked off the summer season.

-The Town of Castor council was unimpressed with provincial roadwork on Main Street (Highway 599).

August

-County of Paintearth declares agricultural disaster due to drought conditions.

-Castor Cruise-in raced into town for another year.

September

-Castor and District FCSS reported a full slate of community programming for the fall.

-Paintearth Adult Learning had plenty to offer for the fall 2021 learning season

-Damien Kurek stopped in Castor on the campaign trail.

-The Castor Raiders U18 ball team took silver in the provincials.

October

-The Town of Castor finally managed to host its long awaited Flames/Oilers NHL Alumni fundraiser game.

-The Town of Castor and the County of Paintearth announced that a new recreation funding agreement had been reached.

-The Municipal election was held, with four incumbent councillors retaining their seats and three new councillors joining.

-The Castor Opportunity Shop made a $9,000 donation to the Castor and District Museum.

November

-The Poppy Campaign kicked off across the Paintearth region.

-Mayor Elhard sat down to discuss new council priorities.

-Two members of the faculty from Augustana University travelled to Castor and performed at the Knox United Church to benefit the Castor Library.

December

-The Theresetta Knights finished the volleyball season in winning form.

-The Castor Public Library provided a programming update.

-It was the end of an era for a Castor eatery with the closure of the Shangri-La Inn.

-Town council was informed the town was on the hook for groundwater testing at the old Home Hardware site, per Alberta Environment and Parks.

-The Halkirk Elks hosted “Christmas in the Village”

-Castor Main Street was closed for the “Spirit of Christmas” event.