Newcomer services planning variety of activities that will appeal to their clients and the community

Southeast Newcomer Services (SNS) is planning a variety of events for people in the community during the summer months.

The first will be a night at the races with the Estevan Motor Speedway on June 15. Track president Byron Fichter reached out to SNS to invite some newcomers to attend the event.

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So not only will it be kids night, with free admission for local youths, but SNS program co-ordinator Stephanie Kane Davis said there will be a healthy contingent of newcomers at the program.

“We’re really excited that they reached out to us and are inviting newcomers to come experience a little bit more of Estevan and all of the community events we have here,” said Kane Davis.

SNS has also partnered with Local 5430 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees for a National Aboriginal Day celebration on June 21 at Centennial Park. There will be dancers, fiddlers and guitarists to go with other activities, such as a possible reading corner.

Dawn Marie Sloan-Beahm will be bringing her Metis display so that she can share it with people from the community.

A free lunch will also be served.

The third annual Women’s Cultural Dance and Art Night will be July 13 at the Western Star Hotel at 6 p.m. The event will be a showcase of dance, food and art from around the world.

A new attraction this year is that Anna St. Onge, an Estevan resident who is originally from Vietnam, is going to demonstrate Vietnamese dancing.
“I’m excited to see what she has, because she has demonstrated some of her dancing, and it’s going to be spectacular.”

Kane Davis expects there will be a tree of life sculpture with metal work, beads and stones.

Women will be encouraged to dress in their cultural attire, and to come and experience a great night.

One of the most popular programs at SNS, the International Kitchen, is slated to resume in the summer months. The sessions will be held on a biweekly basis at the Nicholson Centre.

Kane Davis hopes that food from such areas as Pakistan, India and Greece could be offered this year.

“I wanted a Greek night last year, but was unable to fulfill it, but maybe this year I can get some Greek cultural food for International Kitchen,” said Kane Davis.

She believes it’s a good program to have during the summer months because people can cool off indoors for a while. And it is held at the Nicholson Centre because she believes it’s a great site for the initiative, and Lions club member Ron Senchuk has been very good to SNS.

Each time they have offered the International Kitchen, it has sold out. They can accommodate up to 20 people, although they usually prepare enough food for a few additional visitors.

A couple information sessions are also in the works that information services advisor Ben Idoko is spearheading. The first is on volunteering for the Canadian Red Cross on June 19 at 6 p.m. Megan Russell, an outreach co-ordinator and disaster management worker for the southeast and east central regions, will speak at the event.

“We feel that it’s important if there’s a crisis or something disastrous that happens, that we are prepared and ready, and we have volunteers willing to just know what they’re supposed to do,” said Kane Davis.

The other will be on employment standards on Aug. 3 at 10:30 a.m. at the SNS office.

A representative from Employment Standards Saskatchewan will come with information for newcomers who possibly don’t know their rights as employees.

A few other events and activities are also included in the works for the next few months.

A berry picking day is held each year, and she expects the SNS members will head to Taylor Farms near Glen Ewen in August.

“I get a van ordered and ready, and we always sell out within a day for spots in the van to go get strawberries,” said Kane Davis.

They will also enjoy a tour of the farm, helping the newcomers learn more about how a berry farm operates.

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