Sioux Lookout Public Library wraps up Winter Bucket List Challenge
Tim Brody - Editor
The Sioux Lookout Public Library (SLPL) has wrapped up its Sioux Lookout Winter Bucket List Challenge!
Running from mid-January to mid-March, Komal Shah was the challenge’s grand prize winner, receiving a $150 gift card.
An honourable mention was given to Donovan McCord and the McCord family for their efforts.
Bucket list challenges include climbing Sioux Mountain, going curling at Edgewater outdoor curling, visiting the horses at Cedar Bay and getting a hot chocolate at the Cozy Cabin, going to a Sioux Lookout Bombers game, or attending a Culture Night at the Nishnawbe-Gamik Friendship Centre.
Shah said of her decision to take part in the challenge, “Well, my first bucket list started with arriving to Canada. India is a hot country and in mid-summer it goes up to 45 degree Celsius… For me accepting the challenge was very fun part, and when (Assistant Librarian) Nancy McCord mentioned about it, 2023 winter bucket challenge, I plunged into it. Also, the bucket list had various interesting activities like curling, skiing, snowshoeing, Bombers’ hockey, attend drumming night at the Friendship Centre and learning beading, and mostly all activities was my first experience. Recently, I completed my other bucket list to see “Northern Lights”. My bucket list is earn experience rather (than) money. My perception is that you can be happy anywhere, like a small town and complete your wish list.”
Shah said taking part in the various local challenges was an amazing experience, especially being a relative newcomer to the community, “Trying local things helped me to make wide horizon towards different part of the world. Being a vegetarian, I avoided some of the challenges, but my favourite one was going for snowshoeing, and explore new trails and be more physically active. I would say “India is my mother country but Sioux Lookout adopted me as a child” Such a wonderful people here in town.”
Donovan McCord was the driving force behind his family’s participation in the challenge.
He shared, ““I found it very enjoyable and encouraging to get out and explore Sioux Lookout even though I knew we couldn’t win. We had never been on the snowshoeing trails before and found them very pretty. The beading circle at Culture Night was very interesting to me and I was happy to try a new skill. We did see a Lynx, but did not manage to get a photo on time.”
SLPL CEO Shawn Bethke shared, “The Facebook response to the Bucket List Challenge was very large with nearly 7,000 interactions with the post. Anecdotally around town we heard a buzz around it. However, it didn’t translate into entries and unfortunately we didn’t get many pictures submitted and only one completed entry, Komal the grand prize winner. In the future if we do another Bucket List we might try to run it for a more limited time and with less events to participate in. There are many fun things to do around the area when the weather gets better and tourists and residents who live seasonally return. I know a few residents who come up from the US who don’t know a lot of the interesting things to do in the area who are always amazed when I list them off. Although we didn’t receive a lot of entries we did receive lots of suggestions about things that could be added to future bucket lists so we have no shortage of things to list if we do it in the Spring/Summer. Overall the marketing and promotion side of this challenge was great for the library. We received two major media articles about it, and I spoke with many new residents including the new manager and chef at the Sunset Inn at the library about the challenge and they thought it was a great idea to do and they really wanted to try the outdoor curling so I think we helped raise awareness of some local hidden gems.”
He added, “The intent of the challenge was to help newcomers learn about things to do in the area and feel more connected to Sioux Lookout. The winner, Komal, definitely feels that way! I think that there were lots of people who did things on the bucket list but didn’t necessarily submit photos. The long time frame may have resulted in people forgetting to submit. A more limited window to complete I think would be beneficial.”
In other SLPL news Bethke shared, “The library is looking forward to bringing more exciting innovative programming to the community. We are bringing in artists from the new Sioux Lookout Artists Collective for a special Show and Tell on April 20th which should be exciting. We are bringing in a third Local Artist Showcase on May 1st and a fourth version of our Show and Tell Night on May 10th with lots of other things coming in between. We are looking to develop an Internet of Things for the community and are in the early stages of planning to deliver that.”