In Brief: Whapmagoostui energy project, Waskaganish Princess Pageant, Amos AAA tryouts

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New power system for Whapmagoostui sports complex

On August 10, Quebec announced it is giving $1.2 million to Nimschu Iskudow Inc. for a residual forest biomass project that will power the sports complex in Whapmagoostui.

The project will swap out the current diesel-powered generator and boiler that now produce electricity for the ice plant, arena lighting and other related systems in the complex. In its place will be a heating and cooling system with a boiler that runs forestry chips and wood pellets into an absorption machine and uses the heat from the boiler to make ice. Developed by Hydro-Québec, the system will also provide electrical power for pumps and fans.

In order to replace the 335,000 plus litres of diesel annually consumed by the sports complex, some 560 tonnes of wood chips will be transported by truck to Wemindji and then shipped to Whapmagoostui’s unloading dock by the barge that carries community supplies.

“It is with great pride that our community welcomes the very first biomass plant situated north of the 55th parallel. In addition to the environmental gains, the project will allow us to provide an arena that is open year round so that our youth and communities can take advantage of the same access to facilities as everywhere else in the province,” said Whapmagoostui Chief Louisa Wynne.

“Nimschu Iskudow was created to promote renewable energy in our community. The replacement of the current polluting technologies for clean and sustainable energy will not only have environmental benefits but this first biomass plan in northern Quebec will serve as a model for the other northern communities,” said Matthew Mukash, president of Nimschu Iskudow Inc.

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Waskaganish Princesses

“Beauty at its finest at the 2016 Waskaganish Princess Pageant” – photo and caption by Virginia Wabano

QMJHL champs visit AAA hopefuls in Amos

On August 9, 50 young hockey players attending tryouts for the Midget AAA Amos Forestiers were paid a special visit by four members of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Among those attending the Forestiers camp were 15 young Cree hoping to follow in the footsteps of their peers, one of whom recently attended the Boston Bruins training camp.

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Jacob Neveu, Jérémy Lauzon, Mathieu Boucher and Zachary Lauzon were part of the Huskies team that captured top honours in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) last spring. After winning the President’s Cup over the Shawinigan Cataractes, the team went on to compete in the Memorial Cup where they lost in the final to the London Knights. They shared their experience both on and off the ice and encouraged the Forestiers prospects to go “all in, all the time” as they pursue their hockey dreams and insisted that hard work really does pay off.  

“The Cree talent that we have nowadays is amazing,” said Gaston Cooper who was on hand for visit from the Huskies and the Forestiers tryouts in Amos. “There are a lot of players trying their best to make the team. Players and goalies, they’re all giving it 110%. No one has given up yet.”

At press time the final Forestiers cuts had yet to be made. But regardless of whether or not all the Cree were able to crack a tough Amos AAA squad, the future certainly looks bright for hockey players coming from Eeyou Istchee.

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