On Saturday, Feb. 16, contestants from all across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta participated in the 2013 Snowfest: Trapper's Dam Jam. This was the first time that the Northern Manitoba Trapper's Festival has allowed an action sports-type event to occur under its banner, so it was an eye-opening and challenging endeavour for organizers.
Approximately five years ago, Keith Jaeger, then working at the Aseneskak Casino, was brainstorming ideas with Jerome Conaty of Funky Threadz. They came up with a concept of a youth-oriented snow-sports event to be run in conjunction with the Trapper's Festival. With the help of Eazy Livin snowboard crew, 624 Films, and Red Riding Media, Nor-Man's first similar event was done in 2012. With the 2012 event going off so smoothly, everyone involved decided that it was time to take the snowskating and snowboarding from out of our youth's backyards and into a public forum. In the late 80s and early 90s, two of Jerome's good friends Greg Wiens and Mark Boiteau were some of the first people snowboarding in the area, so it was especially exciting to highlight the new generation of snowboarding styles at a local venue.
The response by community members was phenomenal. The Trapper's board give its seal of approval, and the ball started rolling with meetings in early 2013 for the Trapper's Dam Jam, with a reference to the event occurring at Knapp Dam. (This name was suggested by Logan Moreton). A quick Facebook message to Mayor Al McLauchlan sealed the involvement of the town, and many e-mails and conversations with Vince Anderson, Conrad Watts and Chris McTaggart resulted in a host of town employees assisting with delivering snow and equipment operation. Help from RMC Limited and Matechuk Enterprises was also offered.
The majority of the obstacles used for the event were transported by Sound Innovations, with Logan and Dayton Moreton, and the Eazy Livin snowboard crew taking the lead in the building of the course. Assistance by Nick Young, Lorne Rushton, and Mark Bristow was also a big part of the project, with an operator and Bobcat work donated by Lajambe Enterprises being a huge help as well.
In order to get access to the hill, a permit through the province was issued, with local Dwight Dodds playing a very instrumental role. Opasquia Ag Society allowed the use of its area for parking, and Satellite Septic provided outhouses. Arctic Beverages secured Rockstar to give out beverage samples, and Recycle Everywhere supplied prizes, promotional goods and recycling receptacles. Crystal Morrish of The Pas Community Renewal Corporation helped to organize a volunteer to assist with the event, Meagan Constant.
Judging of the events was done by members of 624 Films (The Pas), Eazy Livin (The Pas), JGSkateNSnow (Thompson) and Red Riding Media (Winnipeg). Waka Whitecloud, Shane McNevin and Logan Moreton judged the snowskating and beginner-level snowboarding event, with Justin Goulding, Waka Whitecloud and Lorne Rushton judging the advanced-level snowboarders.
There were six competitors in the snowskate division, including five from Thompson – Justin Goulding, Gary Caribou, Anthony Cruz, Brandon Perry and Cahlin Jesso – and former local Graham Constant from Winnipeg.
The beginner-level snowboard competition boasted 10 competitors: Jory Coulter of Saskatoon, Daylan Hyslop of Lac Brochet, and Zac Chastellaine, Garrett Stephen, Lorne Rushton, Joey Anderson, Greg Atchison, Brett Zetterstrom, Dima Tkachenko and Nick Ducharme, all from The Pas
For the advanced snowboarding, there was Dayton Moreton, Bryan Kellington, and Logan Moreton from The Pas, and Anthony Cruz, Shane McNevin and Justin Saunders from Thompson. Jimmy Dean from Flin Flon came in, as well as Bret Gray from Lloydminister, and Danny Luce from Brandon.
Earlier in the week, the mild temperatures caused problems as much of the snow melted, and water was seen at the bottom of the course. The town hauled in snow, and equipment operators and the Eazy Livin crew managed to build the course. On the day of our event, it was a temperate -2 Celsius with a slight windchill keeping the temperature at a decent level to compete.
Well over 250 were in attendance over the three hours, and were treated to an amazing skill level of these athletes. Rail, box, culvert and technical tricks invoked much cheering in the crowd, with the backflips causing the entire audience to scream in excitement. Overall, it was an amazing experience, and everyone involved is hoping to make it an annual event.
A special thank you goes out to our national sponsors: Rockstar, Burton Snowboards, Ambition Snowskates, Technine, Stepchild Snowboards, Nomis Outerwear, Go Pro, Volcom Stone, DC Shoes and Red Dragon Skate Apparel.
1. Justin Goulding - Thompson
2. Graham Constant - Winnipeg
3. Brandon Perry - Thompson
1. Jory Coulter - Saskatoon
2. Greg Atchison - The Pas
3. Lorne Rushton - The Pas
1. Danny Luce - Brandon
2. Dayton Moreton - The Pas
3. Shane McNevin - Thompson