Santa Claus hops airplane to visit several remote Manitoba communities

RED SUCKER LAKE, Man. — Before gearing up for his busiest night of the year, Santa Claus paid a visit to thousands of First Nations children from remote northern Manitoba communities Wednesday.

Grand Chief David Harper (left) and Parimeter Airways' Trevor Ryder lend a hand to Santa Claus while loading a plane in Winnipeg

RED SUCKER LAKE, Man. — Before gearing up for his busiest night of the year, Santa Claus paid a visit to thousands of First Nations children from remote northern Manitoba communities Wednesday.

Stocked with 3,000 bags of goodies, Santa boarded Santa’s Express — a six-seater Merlin aircraft — with his helpers, Grand Chief David Harper and event co-ordinator Dave Spence from the northern Manitoba chiefs organization.

“We did this so that we could bring Santa to the kids,” said Harper, who has three children of his own.

“Unlike kids who live in the city, or in drive-in communities, these kids are isolated,” he explained. “They don’t have access to just go to a mall and see Santa, and we really wanted to show them that Santa goes everywhere.”

Santa was to make stops in 15 communities, including St. Theresa Point, Red Sucker Lake, Gods Lake Narrows and Norway House.

Red Sucker Lake, about 700 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, was the first stop.

Five-year-old Paul Monias and his three-year-old brother Burnell arrived first. With rosy cheeks and runny noses, the boys eagerly climbed onto Santa’s knee and told the big man of their Christmas wishes for dinosaur toys and a guitar.

“They were just so excited this morning ’cause they heard Santa was coming,” said their father, Bruce Monias.

For a little more than 30 minutes, a steady stream of kids came into the airport and waited patiently in line for their turn to meet Santa.

Quinley Harper, 6, said that he got out of bed “real fast” when his grandma came into his room and told him Santa was at the airport.

At Gods Lake Narrows, a swarm of about 300 children and their parents gathered outside of the airport waiting for Santa’s Express to arrive.

“They announced that he was coming about ten minutes before the plane arrived, and it was like the whole town was just out here within minutes,” said Perimeter Air captain Cory Bertam.

As Santa peered out from the open door of the plane, and the kids were given the go-ahead, a sea of happy faces flooded the airstrip.

Spence said Harper’s idea to bring Santa to the kids up north was an important one.

“The kids are our future, and here is a perfect example of a leader who is taking the initiative to acknowledge that,” Spence said, noting that this is the first time anybody has ever tried to reach 15 fly-in communities in one day.

Just Posted

Sport of axe throwing growing in Red Deer

True North Axe Throwing wants sport to be ‘Canadian version of darts’

Optimism remains for Red Deer hospital expansion

Red Deer’s incoming UCP MLAs both have been strong supporters of expansion

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

PARIS — A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire… Continue reading

Former journalist pleads guilty to robbing two banks in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former journalist arrested almost two years ago… Continue reading

Austria fears for three top climbers missing in Banff National Park

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday his thoughts are with… Continue reading

As Vancouver fights over 4-20, Seattle’s Hempfest enjoys tolerance, some support

VANCOUVER — They both came from humble beginnings: small protests against marijuana… Continue reading

All eyes on the surging Greens as Prince Edward Island goes to the polls

After a brief provincial election campaign devoid of drama, voters on Prince… Continue reading

North Dakota company where 4 were slain seeks normalcy

MANDAN, N.D. — Camaraderie was so important for the “coffee club” at… Continue reading

Trump blasts ex-advisers who say he tried to stop Mueller

WASHINGTON — A day after celebrating the release of the Mueller report… Continue reading

Sanders claims she didn’t lie, despite Mueller finding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders pushed back Friday against… Continue reading

Most Read