My Take on Snow Lake – April 18, 2019

Twin Flames put on a great show for a small audience

Despite an active arts community, affordable recreation and endless outdoor opportunities, many within our community have, at one time or another, voiced the same refrain, “There is nothing to do in Snow Lake.” Well, for over a decade, the Aurora Borealis Arts Council (ABC) has been doing their collective best to address that concern, only to be met with (what seems to me) a lukewarm response. More about that later…

Notwithstanding, on April 14, a small but enthusiastic crowd of 36 patrons attended the Lawrie Marsh Hall to take in the ABC sponsored performance by Twin Flames. The group is a contemporary folk duo from Eastern/Northern Canada, consisting of a husband and wife team known only as Jaaji and Chelsey June. As the couple explained at the outset of their show, Jaaji is Inuk Mohawk, and from Nunavik (Northern Quebec). Chelsey June is Algonquin Cree Métis and she is from Ottawa.

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They are only two people, who played three instruments between them, but wow … they sure sounded a lot bigger than that! With a guitar, mouth organ, several flutes and their amazing voices, they filled Snow Lake’s cavernous community hall with beautiful songs and stunning harmonies.

The couple’s interaction with the audience is also a very big part of their show. Prior to introducing each tune, one or the other related what inspired it. These stories were spoken beautifully and painted vivid pictures of the past, the present, and the future. Some were societal in nature and based on homelessness, racism, assimilation and the process and promise of reconciliation. Each was delivered with a stunning honesty and openness that warmed the heart. Several times the audience showed their appreciation for the introduction, as well as the song it heralded.

And those songs … they were sung in English, Inuktitut and French – sometimes a combination of all three. Some were haunting, others were inspiring, but all were memorable. You almost felt sorry for the folks that missed the performance.

On that thought, it seems that in the spring of the year, on a beautiful Sunday night, the community of Snow Lake could muster a better showing than 36 people … particularly for a world-class show in their hometown hall. I guess it bothers me because I see how hard the people in the Aurora Borealis Arts Council work to secure acts (and plays), arrange their attendance, and then set things up for them when they arrive. But it also bothers me because I see and hear obvious concern over whether they’ll break even or go in the hole on a show. Volunteering just shouldn’t be that way. They shouldn’t have to worry, nor should they have to feel embarrassment over attendance at a show they worked hard to bring in. I guess if there are some people out there who feel they have nothing to do … attending one, or better yet all, of the arts council’s shows would certainly help. Better yet, they could join the ABC and assist a group that works tirelessly to bring art, culture, and education to Snow Lake.

In an update on a story several issues back, Hudbay Minerals recently announced that step-out drilling on their recent discovery between Lalor Mine and the depleted Chisel North Mine continues to intersect significant mineralization.

On April 15, the company reported that a 100-metre step-out drill hole intersected six metres of 12.68 per cent Zn (Zinc), 0.18 per cent Cu (Copper), 0.79g/t Au (Gold) and 89.9g/t Ag (Silver). They say, other holes confirm an extension of the mineralization along strike to the northwest, with 31.2 metres of 6.17 per cent Zn, 0.11per cent Cu, 0.38g/t Au and 19.1g/t Ag, and 7.2 metres of 8.84 per cent Zn, 0.45 per cent Cu, 1.16g/t Au and 50.4g/t Ag.

The company is currently assessing plans to develop an exploration platform from an underground ramp between Chisel North and Lalor. It will be used to further drill the mineralized zone. “If this zone is confirmed to be economic, the exploration infrastructure could allow for a quick ramp up to production,” the news release read.

Hudbay also reported that first quarter production results at Lalor are on track to achieve the company’s full-year objectives. They added, “Initial mineral reserve estimates on WIM, Pen II and New Britannia deposits (is) expected with the 2019 annual year-end reserve and resource update.”

Also on Hudbay, they announced on April 16 that Waterton Global Resource Management, Inc. has commenced a legal proceeding in the Ontario Superior Court against them. Waterton alleges that the company’s management information circular in respect of its annual and special meeting of shareholders ( detailed in last week’s column) contains misrepresentations and seeks to constrain the company’s ability to solicit proxies. “Hudbay believes that the litigation is frivolous and will vigorously defend itself,” Hudbay said. “The company will seek to recover its legal costs from Waterton and will provide further updates on this matter as developments warrant.”

As well, over two days during the second week in April, the J.H. Kerr School hosted close to 90 students from across their division. The students gathered to meet with teacher Cindy Shapka’s leadership class and to work on their public speaking skills.

In other J.H. Kerr news, Ducks Unlimited Canada’s EcoVan Educational Program visited J.H. Kerr on April 17. The EcoVan allows students, unable to visit Oak Hammock Marsh, an overview of what it offers.

Two staff members who run the interpretive centre travelled from DUC headquarters in Stonewall to spend two days in Thompson and one day in Snow Lake, bringing wetland conservation education to all grades in the local school.

Finally, Lalor Mine held their annual mine rescue tournament during the second weekend of April. The event normally sees three local teams vie for the honour of representing Lalor Mine at the Provincial Mine Rescue Tournament. There were no reports of the final standings at press time.

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