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We were sorry to hear of the passing of George Kupilik of Smith earlier this month. George liked to stop by The Leader every so often and share experiences from his eventful life. He had some unusual ones, including an escape from behind the Iron Curtain when he was a teenager. Then there was that weird UFO experience at Lake Minnewanka. A story about it ran in The Leader a few years ago.

Gail Ungstad of Slave Lake tells us she finished fifth in her age group in the St. Albert Triathlon on Aug. 7. Congratulations! Was anybody else from the area competing? It’s hard to say, since the results don’t list people by place of residence. It was what Ungstad calls a ‘sprint’ triathlon, with a 750m swim, 17km bike ride and five km run.

People arriving to work on 3rd Ave. NE in Slave Lake on the morning of Aug. 23 might have noticed a circle of tree litter under one of the stately elms. If they thought anything about the cause it was probably that ‘kids’ had been up to some sort of mischief in the night.

Little did they suspect it was caused by a bear that had climbed the tree in the early hours of that morning. We know this because Sam Anderson of SL Hi-Tech had video footage of the wandering bruin from his place across the street.

Black bears always wander into town via the creek corridor in late summer and through the fall, looking for ripe berries. They’ll go further than that if they think there’s any food for the taking.

Rupertsland Institute had some training for Métis people looking to get into hospitality. It runs from September 12 to December 2, with online training and four-weeks of job placement within people’s home communities. For information, contact Samar Baalbaki at

September 15 is the early-bird deadline to register a team with Slave Lake Curling Club. There are three leagues: mixed, ladies’, and men’s league. Leagues will only go ahead if at least 24 teams have registered by September 15.

For details check out the event on (Sept. 15) on The season starts mid-October.

Social media has its pluses and minuses. The other day someone tagged the Lakeside Leader in a photo. We only learned about it when we called them. Even after we knew we’d been tagged, we had to search the person’s name to find it.

If you’ve tagged The Leader for some reason, please give us a call, send us an email, or Facebook message to let us know, or we’ll likely miss it.

As of October 2019, Melanie Vogel was two-and-a-half years into ‘through-hiking’ from the Atlantic to the Arctic to the Pacific Oceans across Canada. She was taking the Great Trail, which includes sections by Smith and Slave Lake. At that time, she was in the Slave Lake area. The Leader interviewed her about her journey. The article, ‘Two-and-a-half years and counting: woman ‘through-hiking’ to three oceans’, is on

As of August 22, 2022, she was hoping to reach Victoria, BC by mid-October, says a social media post. On August 15, she had 1,555 km to go to her goal, which would likely take her two months.

People interested in following her progress can check out Between Sunsets: A Trail Story on Facebook.

Long-distance hiker Melanie Vogel

The Terry Fox Foundation is still looking for a volunteer to organize a run in Slave Lake in September. If people are interested, they can contact

Slave Lake Family and Community Support Services is putting on a program called Youth Events Slave Lake, starting in September. These will be called ‘Y.E.S.’ for short.

No dates or details have been announced yet, but people interested in these can contact Darcy at or 780-849-8003.

If you’ve wondered what a bin full of old water pipe looks like, it’s something like what appears below. It’s being replaced under 3rd Ave. SW in Slave Lake – one of a flurry of summer infrastructure upgrade projects the Town of Slave Lake has undertaken this year. The sewer main replacement on 6th Ave. NW is another. There’s some drainage work going on at the west end of 6th Ave SW as well. None of these are of the ‘sexy’ variety (town council’s term, not ours), but it’s important stuff. People tend to take sewer and water for granted until it stops working.

Old water pipes under 3rd Ave. SW in Slave Lake served their purpose and now will be shipped off to wherever retired water pipes go.

Here’s a thing that’s happening: Brian Carleton of Slave Lake is hoping to organize an oldtimers hockey program for people over 50 to take place during the day a couple of times a week. Interested? Give Brian a call at 7809-849-5175.

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