Committee Learns About Grants

by Jessie Bell, RTSRP Reporter

Michael Blatherwick, regional counsultant for Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, western region, attended a Rivers Train Station Restoration Committee meeting on Tuesday evening, January 27th. He explained the availability of two provincial grants: Community Places and one for heritage buildings, favouring the latter. Both grants can be applied for every year; however, Community Places is for projects that must be completed with the year the grant is made. He added that more than one organization within the same town could apply for grants. The heritage grant would be most suitable for the train station restoration as this project will be carried out over a period of several years.

Blatherwick reported a facilities consultant had recently inspected Rivers train station. Having worked in construction for many years before employment with Manitoba government, this consultant was impressed with the beams, sound foundation and solid wood flooring. He was very positive about the state of the building and excited to see restoration commence. Advice was given concerning the roof, which should be shingled to protect the interior. Once the indoor update is completed, the cheaper asphalt shingles could be replaced by the enviro-friendly 'cedar' shakes. 

Aeleen Sclater showed the group a sample of lumber saved by her father, the late Abe Sclater, from Floors Elevator where he was employed for many years. He had salvaged the boards from the interior of the elevator leg when the structure was being demolished. Deep grooves had been created in the lumber by the movement of grain which eventually removed the soft wood, leaving a sculpted hard wood. The rescued lumber, along with the history of Floors Elevator, have been offered by the Sclater family as a museum collection once the station is restored. Another donation to a station museum are paintings of steam locomotives by Stephen Lowe of Brandon and formerly of Rivers. A monetary donation was gratefully received from a local grain group who recently disbanded.


The Great Train Trip Giveaway winner Dennis Basso (l) of Deloraine, Manitoba receives a voucher from Rivers Train Station Restoration Project co-chair Ralph Sprenger (r) for a train trip for two!

 The presentation took place at the Rivers Train Stationette, where Mr. Basso and his wife Marlene will board the VIA Rail Canadian train, traveling first class to Vancouver. The Basso's will take their trip sometime before the end of August.


Rivers Train Station Restoration Project co-chairs Ralph Sprenger and Donna Morken load the 984 tickets sold (just 16 shy of the 1000!) into the draw drum.

VIA Rail passenger train arrives right on time for the draw!

A crowd gathers as passengers get on and off train ~ all awaiting the official draw ...

Happy VIA passenger Julie Matthies is delighted to make the draw ...

A most pleased and satisfied committee enjoys a cup of hot coffee in the stationette following the draw. Everyone is thrilled with the response and support given to The Great Train Trip Giveaway and the restoration project. Looking forward to presenting Mr. Basso with his ticket!


Can you imagine telling your sweetheart on Valentine's Day that you've just won a trip for two, first class, on VIA Rail from Rivers to either Toronto or Vancouver?

The Rivers Train Station Restoration Project committee is THRILLED to announce there's only a very limited number of tickets still available for the Great Train Trip Giveaway draw! 

Tickets $20. each ... only 1000 sold ... available at Carol's Time Again Treasures in Rivers, Tues to Sat, 10 am to 5 pm, 328-4434 ... or call 328-7841 evenings and weekends. 

Do YOU have the winning ticket? The draw will be made on Saturday, February 14th at 3:00 pm at the Rivers Train Stationette. Committee members are hoping to coincide with the westbound VIA train ... ALL ABOARD!

Full Great Train Trip Giveaway details in previous posts.