This week showed Winnipeggers -- and believers around the world -- working to thrive, not just survive, in the midst of the pandemic.

New Canadian singer teams up with Neon Feather in latest single

A 19-year-old artist from Edmonton might be new to the music game, but he's collaborating with Neon Feather on his latest single 'Right Here.'

Quincy Telus is a student-athlete at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. He also writes and releases music. 

"I had just moved away from home and I'm a very shy person. I was living in residence and feeling really alone, wondering if I should have just stayed in Regina. The lyrics came all at one time and those were the words I needed to hear God speak to me," says Telus on where the inspiration came for his latest single.

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Lauren Daigle makes history yet again

Lauren Daigle has set another record thanks to her chart-topping single, 'Hold On To Me.'

The latest single recently hit No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart. Daigle now has five No.1 songs on the chart, the most for a female artist since the chart came to be in 2003.

The song jumped from No. 5 on the chart to No. 1 last week after she appeared on NBC's The Voice, where she performed the hit song. Billboard reports that the song then "surged by 228 per cent to 5,500 downloads sold in the week ending May 27, according to MRC Data, and rebounds for a seventh week atop Christian Digital Song Sales."

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Christian couple sentenced to death in Pakistan acquitted

A Pakistani couple that has been on death row for seven years after being convicted of blasphemy charges was surprisingly acquitted last week according to their lawyer.

Shafqat Emmanuel, 52, and his wife Shagufta Kausar, 49, were convicted in 2014, "of sending blasphemous text messages insulting the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, to a local imam and the then-president of the local bar council from a phone number registered in Kausar’s name," according to Morning Star News.

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Alexandra Boylan: From homeless to successful faith based filmmaker

For Alexandra Boylan, acting was her happy place. Whether it was in a high school musical or a play in her father's church, she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

At the age of 14, Boylan began auditioning for roles in various productions.

"My parents really nurtured that love of arts in me and told me to go for it," Boylan explains. 

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ICYA building duplex as first youth construction training project

A local ministry is hoping to show youth that they have purpose and value by teaching them how to work with their hands.

Inner City Youth Alive (ICYA) has been sitting on a project, and land, for the past two years. They are now preparing to take up the hammer.

"Our heart is about development," ICYA Executive Director and Founder Kent Dueck says. "This plan to start up Level Up Construction has is kind of been percolating for two years so we felt this was the time and so we are expected to get this thing launched."

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Recycled bricks helping less fortunate and keep oceans cleaner

Upon seeing two big problems in the world, a local man has found one solution that can help with both. 

Josh Griffin of Winnipeg is hoping to create small homeless shelters for the less fortunate in the city as soon as he can, to help with weather extremes, using recycled bricks. 

Even though there are many campaigns to reduce, reuse, and recycle are out there, millions of pieces of plastic still find their way into the ocean each year. 

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French evangelicals launch a guide to fight sexual abuse

A working group of the National Council of Evangelicals in France (CNEF) created by the former president Étienne Lhermenault in 2019 to fight against sexual abuse, presented its conclusions on Tuesday, June 1 to the plenary committee.

A guide, a charter of commitment and the creation of a helpline were approved by a near majority of the members of the plenary assembly, by 78 positive votes out of 79.

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Cool Streets Winnipeg bridge artists preparing pedestrian hotspots

Winnipeg's most grammable bridges are back for another year.  

In the summer of 2020, more locals took to the outdoors, snapping pictures of the colourful bridges. This year, they are at it again. 

"It is a nice change from sitting in my office all day to being in the sun, socializing, telling everybody about the project and receiving so much thanks and praise," the creator of Cool Streets Winnipeg, Stéphane Dorge says.  

While he is leaving the designs as a surprise, Dorge says people can expect the same bridges along the Seine to get a pop of colour, with a new addition.  

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UGM offers adult education and hope for those looking to get their GED

One of the seven ministries branching off of Union Gospel Mission is a learning centre that allows people to earn their grade 12 diploma for free. 

Nelson Gonzalez is the Principal at Faith Learning Centre, which is a ministry of Union Gospel Mission (UGM). 

"We work with adults who need education. We also share the gospel with them," says Gonzalez. 

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Grandpa riding 24 hours as bike courier to bless thousands of kids

A local grandfather is going to spend 24 hours on a bike all in the name of blessing kids with a meal as a warm-up for his next big cycling event. 

Arvid Loewen is an ultra-marathon cyclist and Guinness World Record Holder for farthest distance cycled in 30 days. He took the title when he cycled 11,617.99 km during the month of July 2020.

Now he is attempting another Guinness World Record starting June 28, but before he does, he's going on one more big fundraising cycle. 

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Rachael Lampa: The transition from teen pop star to powerful faith filled woman

Rachael Lampa became an overnight success when she was just 15 years old. 

She spent years touring and recording before deciding to step away from her record label to find her true identity.

During those years she worked as a backup singer, joined an acapella group, nannied, got married, started up a non-profit with her family in Nashville and eventually became a mother.

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Airline lifted up with praise, coffee for dedication to Northern communities

Perimeter Aviation received a well-deserved coffee break as they are essential to all the supplies that make it to remote Northern communities in Manitoba. 

The SOCC department of Perimeter Aviation was nominated for CHVN's Brewed with Gratitude promotion and won the coffee break.

The group enjoyed coffee and muffins brought by the radio crew on June 8, 2021. 

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'A Century of Solidarity' named Mural of the Year

A large piece of art on the side of the Union Centre Building connecting 1919 to 2020 is being recognized by a Winnipeg-based art organization. 

Overlooking the corner of Broadway and Garry Street, Charlie Johnson's "A Century of Solidarity" is overlooking the street, depicting images of the General Strike and modern-day workers.

"It's really a 'then-and-now' piece: how things were before the strike happened; and what impact the strike had on the contemporary working-class citizens," Johnson says in a press release Tuesday. "Part of what I was feeling was that time isn't real- the past and the present are inextricably intertwined; and how to reflect that sentiment in the artwork itself."

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Man goes from hiding from police to being brothers in Christ

Once running from police, a former addict finds hope and faith through a Union Gospel Mission (UGM) program.

"I was addicted to crystal meth for nearly a decade. Three years ago I entered UGM's men's addiction recovery program," says Richard, one of the former residents. 

In the program, Richard found faith in Jesus. 

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Savannah Locke: Finding faith in art

Growing up, Savannah Locke always felt a strong pull toward creativity. 

She says she wasn't the typical child. Not only did she participate in her church and school plays, as well as write when she could, she would also do plays for the mailman and create songs about weather patterns. 

"As I got older and I really started working through my own story and developing that, I started realizing that God had sort of given me writing to help process the world and to hopefully help other people see bits of their own story as well," Savannah explains.

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St. Amant going the distance in pandemic

A Manitoba centre focussed on improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities is hoping to walk, swim, and bike their way to more independence.

St. Amant is hosting their first-ever virtual triathlon to purchase more specialized bicycles for their residents, something that has the head of the company jumping on board with.

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The many benefits of play, no matter what age

Mind, Body, and Soul is sponsored content.

According to a local mental health expert, playing isn't just fun, it's a remedy for a well-lived life. 

"Imagine a patch of beautiful soft spring green grass, and there is a sign on it. What do you think the sign says? Let’s imagine that it says, 'Please keep ON the grass. Lie down. Roll around in it. Forget all your responsibilities. Have ice cream.' What a beautiful invitation to play," says Terry Warburton, Clinical Director of Recovery of Hope Counselling in Winnipeg. 

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Singer battling cancer gets 'rock solid' surprise on America's Got Talent

"You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy," says the latest America's Got Talent singer, who's also battling cancer. 

Jane Marczewski from Ohio goes by the stage name Nightbirde when she sings. On June 8, 2021, she took the stage on the popular network show. 

"I'm 30 and tonight I'll be singing an original song called 'It's Okay,'" says the singer before her performance.

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The Jesuit Priest linking Indians and Pakistanis as unlikely pen pals

When 80-year-old Jesuit priest Joseph Kalathil took 32 letters in a cloth bag from India to Pakistan in 2012, little did he know he’d become a pivotal messenger of cross-border peace.

With the peace letters written by schoolchildren to friends unknown to them across the border, he set out to build bridges between India and Pakistan—neighbors scarred by decades of conflict and hostility. The challenge seemed not only risky but insurmountable. Yet, Kalathil remained determined.

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10-year-old boy walks, scoots, and rides laps to support his dad

The virtual Gutsy Walk this past weekend had one young Winnipegger and his family doing laps in his neighbourhood.

Nathaniel Brown was happy to get active to support his dad Kyle after fundraising for the event. 

"It's a fundraiser to find a cure for Crohn's and Colitis Disease," says Nathaniel.

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UPDATE: Manitoba announcing reopening path with vaccine targets

Premier Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin are announcing what summer in Manitoba could look like.

After weeks of hinting, the province is unveiling a plan called The 4-3-2-One Great Summer Reopening Path. This plan highlights vaccination targets and when the province could be seeing loosened Public Health Orders.

"It sets out a clear path for more openings and fewer restrictions as more and more Manitobans roll up their sleeve and get fully vaccinated," Pallister says in a Thursday press conference. 

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Free fishing, park entry this weekend in Manitoba

Manitobans looking to soak up the sun this weekend can visit provincial parks for free.

Starting Friday, provincial park access will be free. This does not include overnight camping.

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Ellie Holcomb: New studio album, 'Canyon' shines a light in a dark season

Singer/songwriter Ellie Holcomb knows all too well the struggles and burdens that many have been feeling around the world as we deal with a difficult season. 

She shares the highs and lows of her life and how God has helped her through those times in her soon-to-be-released third studio LP, Canyon.

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Riley Clemmons rise on charts a 'Godsend' alongside new album

Young Christian artist Riley Clemmons is releasing a new album and was recently named one of the “Emerging Artists Of The Summer” by People Magazine. 

Her brand new sophomore album, Godsend, was released on June 4, 2021. It has 12 songs, including her well-received single 'Fighting for Me' released back in 2019. 

"As I was writing and dreaming up this record, there was never a plan to create anything but honest music, born from hurting, growing, and healing," Clemmons says.

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Boards down, art up at Hudson's Bay Building

While the building itself is closed, an eyesore is being replaced with a window into Indigenous art.

Replications of two art pieces that are on display at Qaumajuq in Winnipeg are being displayed in the windows of the previously-boarded up Hudson's Bay Building.

"We have all worked hard to find ways to better use the windows on such a significant landmark in Winnipeg. As we reimagine how this iconic building will evolve and look ahead to welcoming back visitors to our city, we wanted to ensure this important downtown space reflected the culture of the city," Dayna Spiring, President and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg, says in a statement.

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Bible translators bring Print On Demand to remote areas around the world

An organization that is well-known for translating the Scriptures into languages around the world is making sure those words can come to life. 

“Translation is the crucial first step,” says Interim President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates Tim Neu in a release. “But when this work is finished, there’s one more absolutely crucial step to take: the Scriptures must be printed. This is one of the best and easiest ways for God’s Word to be shared freely and fully within language groups, especially in remote areas of the world.”

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Archbishop speaks about reconciliation, fall meeting with Pope

As Indigenous and Catholic leaders prepare for a possible fall meeting with the Pope, an Archbishop says reconciliation conversations continue to be a priority.

Archbishop Richard Gagnon of the Winnipeg Diocese and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops says that a long-anticipated trip to the Vatican could come to fruition this fall.

"This is a delegation of Elders, Residential School Survivors, youths, and some leaders who will go there accompanying them. It is not a political reality, it is a pastoral reality, in which these individuals from the various Indigenous components in Canada would have the opportunity to sit down with the Pope separately," Gagnon says.

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Crowder giving 'Milk & Honey' advice on Good Morning America

Billboard-topping Christian artist Crowder is releasing a new album and talking about mental health on the popular U.S.A morning show. 

Crowder's brand new album, Milk & Honey, is being released on June 11, 2021. It includes his latest single that has been at No. 1 for five weeks straight, 'Good God Almighty.'

Instead of talking about his new album when he was a guest on Good Morning America, he gave some tips for people who need a mental health boost. 

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Woman overcomes decades of meth addiction with faith found at UGM

After over twenty years as a drug addict, spending time in jail, one local woman says 'God changed my life' at a Christian recovery centre.

One of the ministries under Union Gospel Mission (UGM) in Winnipeg is the Charis Centre, an addictions recovery home for women. 

"I came here about nine months ago. I was a drug addict for at least 22 years," says Lyla, one of the residents. 

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JJ Heller set to release new children's book

JJ Heller has spent the past 17 years reminding women that they are loved, they are not alone and that they can live life with a whole heart. 

"At some point in our lives, we all want someone to believe in us, to remind us there is beauty in the world, and to tell us that everything’s going to be ok," says Heller. "There is a child in all of us, and that's who I make music for."

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Assiniboine Park Zoo reopening Tuesday

A popular attraction is roaring with excitement as they prepare to welcome back guests.

On May 9, the Assiniboine Park Zoo closed its doors to the public due to COVID-19 concerns. Now, on Tuesday, they will reopen.

"We look forward to welcoming you back!" they say in a statement. "The plan to re-open was made after careful consideration and in consultation with Manitoba Public Health."

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COVID-19: Manitoba reaches 1 million-dose milestone

The province has hit a massive milestone in COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

As of Friday morning, 1,003,678 doses of vaccine have been administered. Most of these are first doses, as this week the province hit another milestone of 70 per cent of all adults receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine. 

A total of 1,154,390 doses of the three vaccine types have arrived in Manitoba, to date.

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Rain, rain, come and stay: Recent rainfall brings relief

Recent rainfall across Manitoba has offered some farmers and firefighters temporary relief as the province heads into another warm, dry week.

Rancher Arnthor Jonasson in the Interlake region calls the douse "million-dollar rain.''

Some parts of the province got up to 70 millimetres over 24 hours as of yesterday afternoon, including the City of Brandon area, one of the driest in the country.

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Hillsong opens new Atlanta location with hip hop, gospel worship

The first church service at a new Hillsong Church location in Atlanta introduced a new sound to congregants, true to the city's roots.

Worship at the Atlanta Event Centre, formerly Club Opera in the heart of downtown Atlanta, kicked off with some hip-hop praise.

Rapper Da' T.R.U.T.H., who was featured in Hillsong Atlanta's "Welcome Home" launch video, rapped his song "The Faith" as part of the three opening-day gatherings.

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An outpouring of love being sent to Shamattawa

After a few caring individuals stepped up, hundreds of baby items are being shipped to help a community in Northern Manitoba.

After hearing about the 215 children's remains found at an old residential school in Kamloops, retired chaplain Greg Armstrong from Winnipeg wanted to do something tangible to help. Over the years he forged a relationship with the people living in Shamattawa, a fly-in community in Northern Manitoba.

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