A deep-freeze couldn't stop Manitobans from getting outside to spread joy (especially with the hope of an early spring), plus new faith-based entertainment is coming to screens and stereos near you and the province will be well-represented at the 2021 Scotties.

Pope establishes worldwide day of celebration for grandparents

Get ready to spend a day this summer celebrating the grandparents in your life.

An international day of celebration for grandparents and the elderly has now been instituted by the Pope, Vatican News reports.

Beginning 2021, the day of celebration will be held on the fourth Sunday of July each year.

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Casting Crowns release trap worship remix

A new worship remix in a less-than-traditional musical style has dropped from some big names in Christian music.

The Christian rock band Casting Crowns has teamed up with American Christina hip-hop artist KB to drop a trap worship remix, Rapzilla reports.

Casting Crows announced the remix on their social media Friday.

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Former Manitoban families enjoying life without COVID restrictions

A former Steinbach family endured two weeks of self-isolation in a hotel, but is now living a life free of strict COVID-19 restrictions in New Zealand.

Dan Hungerford, who grew up in New Zealand, moved to Steinbach in December of 2009. After living in the Automobile City for nearly 11 years, Hungerford took his young family and moved back to his motherland this last September. Hungerford says planning a move during a pandemic was not the easiest.

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St. Pierre YFC celebrating 25 years reaching youth in their community

The month of February is a time to celebrate 25 years that Youth for Christ has been impacting lives for the kingdom of God in St. Pierre. 

Dan Drouin is the Director of Youth for Christ in St. Pierre and he's also a father of five. 

Drouin took over the leadership role in the centre working full time at the beginning of 2020, right around when the pandemic hit. 

"Obviously it's had its challenges. It's been a good year regardless. I had an incredible mentor, the previous Director Wilma Arnold-Hebert. She's worked tirelessly to grow the reputation of Youth for Christ in St. Pierre," says Drouin. 

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Ice bowling striking local schools

The man behind Winnipeg's newest winter sport is preparing to school kids in his favourite game.

Over the past week, Jim Llewellyn's ice bowling has been a common dinner table conversation topic and now it is hitting the schoolyards.

"We actually have snow bowling into a couple of schools," Llewellyn says. "They are using real pins and real balls just on a snow base at their school ground."

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Zoo reopens amid code red restrictions

After being closed for months, the Assiniboine Park Zoo opened up its doors once again, but with plenty of restrictions in place.

The zoo closed when the rest of Manitoba went into code red. On January 22, the zoo says on Facebook that they received confirmation from the province that they could once again open and opened up on Saturday.

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Winnipeg groups giving away family activity kits

Several groups in Winnipeg are sharing free activity kits with parents for their young children.

As parents struggle to keep their children entertained, several parent groups are finding ways to help youngsters engage with play. Community groups, parent coalitions, and study groups are giving the kits away for specific purposes or neighbourhoods.

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Local video series a fun way for kids to stay active

Fukumoto Fit Kids in Winnipeg has created a kids show on YouTube to encourage young kids to move during the winter months.

"We heard about a grant from Safe at Home Manitoba in early mid-December. We had written three proposals, and one was for our regular program and one was for women's health," says Johnny Fukumoto, the CEO of Fukumoto Fitness.

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While polar bear sculpture gets vandalized, love reigns supreme

The creator of Bears on Barrington is thrilled her polar bears have raised funds for UGM despite an unexpected setback.

Vinora Bennett has been raising money for Union Gospel Mission since she started sculpting polar bears in her front yard this year. During that time she raised roughly $2,000 from people simply walking by her house.

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This young man has autism and is blind, and God uses him to reach millions

He was born at 26 weeks and weighing just 1 pound 12 ounces, with cocaine in his system as a result of his biological mother's drug addiction. His birth complications left him blind and he was later diagnosed with autism, but God also gave him a perfect gift that he's more than willing to use.

Christopher Duffley was adopted by his aunt when he was just a child, and she already had four children. While they faced a number of obstacles, they soon discovered music was a soothing comfort for the young boy. 

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Four Manitoba teams get wild card berths in Scotties and Brier

Manitoba teams were awarded four of the six Wild Card berths for the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the 2021 Brier.

2020 World Junior champion Mackenzie Zacharias of the Altona Curling Club, 2019 Manitoba champion Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul and Beth Peterson of Winnipeg will compete at the Scotties in Calgary later this month.

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Beavers and swans showing signs of potential early spring

Never mind the groundhog, a local wildlife rehabilitation centre says that some of its animals are showing signs that spring weather may be just around the corner.

"We've been keeping an eye out on the behaviour of the animals and even though we don't have a groundhog we have been seeing some positive signs," says Zoe Nakata, the Executive Director of Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre in Ile des Chenes, Man.

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Formerly homeless woman giving others a helping hand at every chance

It's Kim Kabel's motto to lend a helping hand at every single opportunity that presents itself.

"When I see someone in need ... I find items and get it to where it needs to be," Kabel says.

It comes from a place of wanting to make a difference in the world and knowing what it feels like to be at your lowest.

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First public Christian library opens in Vietnam

The first Christian public library opened in Vietnam last July, after the approval of several agencies of Vietnam’s Communist government. The process took six months.

The library, located in Vietnam’s biggest city, Ho Chi Minh City, has been established by the Bible Society Vietnam, with local Protestant business people.

Since its opening, it has already stocked around 5000 titles, including Vietnamese texts and resources in biblical studies, theology, ministry, translations and history. Commentaries, philosophy and sociology books in English can also be found.

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And the puppet says ... EARLY SPRING!

Very cold temperatures are just around the corner for southern Manitoba, but if you happen to believe the forecast of Manitoba's most famous puppet, the cold weather won't last much longer.

Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre brought out Manitoba Merv early this morning, and the furry puppet reportedly did not see its shadow. According to tradition, when a groundhog does not see its shadow after leaving its den on February 2, it means early spring-like weather.

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Mom getting kids off the couch and outside for igloo fun

A St. Vital mother is asking the public for their empty milk cartons so she can help make an igloo for the neighbourhood children. 

"It started off as a fort. I'm trying to get some of the kids engaged on the weekend with things other than video games," says Lindsay Stilwell. 

She has two boys at home, ages two and five years old.

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RCMP giving tips for safety while having fun on ice

With more people getting outside and onto the frozen rivers and lakes, the RCMP have tips to do so in a safe manner.

"With the health restrictions for COVID-19 still in place, Manitobans are definitely reaching out to the great outdoors to gain some semblance of normalcy," says Tara Seel, Media Relations with the RCMP.

While most of the open bodies of water in Manitoba are frozen enough to be safe, not all are. 

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Homeless population receiving more COVID supports from province

The province is bumping up its investments in isolation units for people experiencing both homelessness and exposure to COVID-19, as well as its low-income meal program.

"We know the pandemic has had a significant impact on individuals experiencing homelessness," Families Minister Rochelle Squires says, noting this population needs a safe place to stay when they may come into contact with COVID-19.

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Josh Wilson teasing new tune

An artist from Arkansas is hinting at new work being released in his cryptic tweets.

Fans of Josh Wilson are waiting in anticipation for his new music. For the past week, the American artist has been sharing several tweets writing "2/5/21." His latest tweet appears to be a fill-in-the-blank, giving followers the clues "plainly true" and "unquestionably excellent or genuine."

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Dennis Quaid starring in two new faith-based movies

Dennis Quaid, who starred in the Christian film I Can Only Imagine is adding a few more faith-based roles to his repertoire.  

Quaid played the role of Bart Millard's abusive father in the film I Can Only Imagine. Based on the lead singer of MercyMe's real life, the movie is a story of redemption. 

To get into the role, Quaid says he used things in his own life, including, "my faith as a Christian," during a video interview with The Dallas Morning News in 2018. 

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2021 Global Prayer Guide helps Christians pray for persecuted church

Around the world there are 340 million Christians facing high persecution for their faith.

Voice of the Martyr's has just released its 2021 Global Prayer Guide, helping people pray for Christians that need it most due to persecution. 

For people who are interested, the 100-page guide offers backgrounds, insights, and specific requests from people and places that may not be highlighted in the media.

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MCC Thrift Shop founders recognized as trailblazers

The founders of the very first MCC Thrift Shop in North America have been recognized by the Nellie McClung Foundation.

The organization has named Selma Loewen, Sara Stoesz, Linie Friesen, Susan Giesbrecht and the dozens of women who helped found the first MCC Thrift shop in Altona as recipients of the 150 Manitoba Women Trailblazer Awards.

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Update: Pallister announcing new possible reopenings, including churches

The province is considering reopening places of worship, dining rooms, and other facilities previously closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If places of worship receive the green light, they could be permitted to reopen at a maximum of 10 per cent capacity or 50 people, whichever is lower.

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Last Brewed with Gratitude goes to K-9 Winnipeg Police Unit

On February 4, the CHVN crew dropped off the last Brewed with Gratitude coffee break to a deserving bunch. 

Cst. Scott Morier was nominated, along with the rest of the Winnipeg Police Service K-9 Unit for Brewed with Gratitude for their incredible service to the city. 

An officer let one of their newest recruit puppies out of its kennel so it could welcome the ladies. The female pup is not yet trained but she is in the process.

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US Museum of the Bible returns thousands of ancient artifacts to Egypt and Iraq

The Museum of the Bible in Washington DC has returned around 5,000 ancient artifacts to Egypt after evidence showed that they were brought to the United States illegally during the Arab Spring.

According to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the items include “nearly 5,000 manuscripts and pieces of papyrus, with texts in Coptic, hieratic and demotic script, and Greek; manuscripts of Christian religious prayers; in addition to a number of funerary masks, parts of coffins, heads of stone statues, and a group of portraits of the deceased.”

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Unspoken lead singer sharing journey and victory over addiction

"Today I'm celebrating 18 years of sobriety and how Jesus radically changed my life," posts Chad Mattson, lead singer of Unspoken. 

On February 4, 2021, Mattson shared his victory over alcoholism and drugs with fans on Facebook. 

"Not only did He help me get sober, but He saved my soul. He changed my life, and he can change yours, too."

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Helping integrate immigrants and refugees to life in Canada

One Winnipeg organization acts as a second family for people coming into Manitoba, walking alongside them in the transition. 

Dorota Blumczynska is the Executive Director of Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM). 

"It's a one of a kind organization in all of Canada that provides long-term transitional housing, so families stay with us for up to three years."

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High School worship band releases creative video during pandemic

Westpark School in Portage La Prairie, Man. is releasing a worship video that the students put together. 

"We're a Christian independent school and one of our courses for the high school students is worship band. They get that for one semester for an hour every day. We just get to worship God and it's tons of fun," says Josh Bater, the music teacher at Westpark for grades 6-12. 

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Blizzard of excitement surrounding Winnipeg snow sculpture map

Manitoba's most popular winter festival wants to help people show off their cool creations.

Festival du Voyageur's move to an online celebration did not stop the group from continuing their snow sculpture tradition. Inspired by the Christmas light map, Christel Lanthier decided to create a community map with all of the sculptures being shown off, not just their own.

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Winter activities in and around Winnipeg

There's 'snow' place like home to do frosty fun outdoor activities. 

More people than ever are getting outside this winter with many different activities available inside the city limits. 

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Good Samaritan caught in action performing random act of kindness

A Manitoba good Samaritan was caught in the act Thursday afternoon.

"I had seen an older person slip and fall on the ice. I saw a couple of cars just drive around and I was getting ready to help but just before I got there, I saw someone jump out of their truck, throw their four-ways on, and not only did they help her up, but they made sure she made it all the way across," says Jordan Ronald.

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