i there. Have you ever heard of a little village called Crystal City? It is situated smack dab in the centre of Canada, a
few miles north of the USA border, in, as I say, the best province in Canada, in the best country in the world.
Other folks are going to give you the statistics, facts, living costs and particulars on later pages but this is my own overview of life in Crystal City. So that you may understand my passion and knowledge regarding this, let me give you just a very short Bio.
You may call me Jo. I was delivered ¾ of a century ago by a mid-wife, two houses away from my present home so I have come full circle. I was raised on a farm, became a registered nurse, lived three years in Winnipeg and 5 years in Saskatoon, married, returned to farming for 34 years, then retired to Crystal City 12 years ago. I travel extensively in Canada every year as our children scattered from British Columbia to Nova Scotia and from Northern Manitoba to land touching the North Dakota border. So as you see, I have a fairly broad perspective on life across Canada and I want to share this particular corner with you.
History books tell us that in the late 19th Century, Premier Thomas Greenway was responsible for bringing more settlers to Manitoba than Lord Selkirk. This man was from Crystal City and we now hope to emulate history by encouraging folk as he did to come to this countryside.
In this village of Crystal City when we speak of wild life we aren't referring to street gangs, the latest mugging or theft, we mean enjoying nature at its fullest. In the spring the sky and fields are filled with geese as we are on a main migration path. A deer may wander into your garden and nip off a tasty tulip bloom. If you are an insomniac you can enjoy the eerie howl of coyotes from a nearby hill. Beaver, moose and wild turkeys are frequently spotted.
Summer visitors are impressed by the care and pride shown by individuals as they keep their yards and streets neat and beautiful. Children love playing in our two parks while the school property is also accessible for games and recreation. Several generations have played happily on the big parks' horse swings, fondly remembered by a local author in her writings. In 2007 the Village of Crystal City was awarded the Urban Beautification Award for villages with population less than 1000.
In the spring a winding creek runs merrily past the scenic hillside cemetery. A walking trail along this stream and under a railway bridge has been developed. If you like off leash areas when you walk your dog, you need only walk 5 or 10 minutes in any direction. There, in the countryside, the roadsides in summer are alive with wild roses, clover, asters and golden rod. Speed walking in the village is difficult because friendly neighbors will hail you to have a chat or a driver will stop to see if you need a ride.
We have preserved several very interesting museums and have a very impressive cenotaph war memorial. However, we believe very strongly in recognizing achievement in the present. We do this in many ways, some are:
• Annual salute to volunteer of the year
• Yearly Lions Club Christmas Dinner for all
• Numerous prizes and awards at Grade 12
• Graduation Ceremonies even for
• Remembrance Day Celebrations in
schools, with poetry, prose and art contents
• 4-H Achievement Days
• Huge July 4-H Beef Show and Sale
• Annual Santa Parade, tree lighting and
Santa train rides for all the children
• Gala Concert each year for music and
speech festival participants
• Annual Smorgasbord
We appreciate and honour the many nations that contribute to a rich cultural life here in Louise Municipality. Crystal City has been part of the well-known "Gathering of Nations" weekend long fete for 8 years. At least twice a year all the local churches join together for ecumenical worship & services. Many from this area help with the production of Manitoba's Passion Play at nearby La Riviere.
Crystal City is one of Manitoba Theatre Centers touring companies' regular stops. We have been told several times over the years by both directors and actors that our theatre is one of their favorites because of the great acoustics. Local productions of "3-day-packed-house-musicals" include The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, and My Fair Lady. These are our major fund raisers to keep the theatre open. This spring to illustrate the interest when a call went out for children to perform in The Sound of Music around 20 tried out for the parts. Isn't that exciting? The many music teachers in our area deserve much credit.
Sports lovers enjoy billiards, curling and hockey in winter and golf, camping, fishing, soccer and baseball in summer. We are only twenty minutes from beautiful Rock Lake. There are several collectors of vintage cars here, and for the car buff looking for something a little livelier a demolition derby is held yearly.
Many opportunities arise for all ages to feel the great satisfaction arising from helping others by volunteering. Visiting seniors, shut-ins or hospitals, delivering meals on wheels, helping with hospital, school, church or sporting organizations, chauffeuring to medical appointments, are only a new of the ways to help. When you move here you may even be forced to learn how to say "no" or you may end up too busy.
The village is surrounded by excellent farm land plus grassland and bush for cattle. The trend in Manitoba is not being followed here as far as the age of farmers getting older and few young men becoming farmers. We are delighted to report more than a dozen young men have decided in this past year to make farming their career. One used to think of farming as an occupation not a career but many of these men have advanced education needed for modern farming with computers, G.P.S. systems and bookkeeping complicated enough to stump a chartered accountant. They will use their brains and their brawn to build successful satisfying life.
Young business women have also decided to establish themselves here. We are excited and proud with the enthusiasm and sense of renewal they have brought to our area. Some have opened shops while others work from their homes. Our local clinic, hospital and nearby Senior Citizens Home employ many.
In conclusion may I say thank you for reading this rambling overview of life in Crystal City and area.
Please take a drive some nice sunny day to visit us here.
'Stay-tuned' to this website for facts and figures and remember - "Don't overlook life's small joys while searching for large ones."