August 1, 2020
“We were honored that the Newton family invited us out to film Jeff's Memorial at Hoodoo Creek in Alberta. This was where Jeff lost his life doing what he loved. This is a small portion of our day on the mountain. Murray Kerr drove from Brandon to help me film and probably saved my life in doing so. Thanks to Ashton and Monica for carrying gear up the mountain as they really did save my life. It was a special day and one we will not forget.”
July 7, 2020
“Hi everyone. We shot an interview with Ken Turner yesterday and also shot some video and drone footage at the Halbrite Badlands. It was very sad to see what has happened out there. It has been irrevocably gutted and damaged. It has a prominent place in the Mainprize documentary. We have shot video there several times. Some of the documentary deals with people's affinity for specific environments and how symbiotic relationships develop between us and the land.”
January 24, 2020
“A big THANK YOU, to all the people out there who have supported The Mainprize Documentary Facebook page! We have reached 1,000 likes! Keep on following this page as there will be some new stuff coming over the next while.”
December 11, 2019
“Hi everyone! So here is a minor update. The official website for this documentary, www.mainprizeproject.ca, now has the ability to accept donations. Just click on the top where it says "Fundraising". I have had a few people, lately, ask how they could donate and now there's a way.”
November 23, 2019
“We sent out a bunch of sponsorship requests out to businesses. Hopefully this will result in some funds to bring this project to a conclusion. The original goals that I had for this project will most likely not be met. That is completely understandable in this economic climate. I will adjust the scope to fit what I get. If you know of anyone that may be able to help out, just shoot me a message. I would like to say a great big thanks to all those who have contributed to this project in any way as you guys are the heart and soul of this film. I look forward to finishing the film and having you see it.”
The results were not that great. We only received one response out of over 100 sent out and that response was a no. Back to the drawing board.”
September 10, 2019
“A friend and early supporter of this project, Jeff Newton, who was reported missing last week has been presumed deceased. He was a few years younger than me but that didn't stop us from connecting on some level. It started with music. I had worked with a musician that he liked and that was what started the far-ranging conversation. His taste in music was different than mine but he was so eloquent and knowledgeable about his favorites that it made me become a fan of some of the groups. We did not spend a lot of time together but when we did run into each other I was always amazed at how such an old soul lived in such a young body.
When I took on this documentary project, he reached out to me early on with the offer of sending me pictures. I think he was 12 when he rode his bike out to Mainprize Park for the sole purpose of documenting it before it was demolished to make way for the Rafferty Dam project. He took a lot of pictures of every inch of that park just so there would be a record of the things that made that park such a special place for so many people. He knew how important that park was even at age 12.
He agreed to be interviewed for this film. Based upon our conversations about it I knew that his interview would be a great one. He had insight as to what made the park so special, what kind of people lived here in the prairies and what made them tick. How the prairie environment affects those of us who live here. I couldn't wait to do the interview and to hear what he would have to say. When doing interviews for this project I always ask the subject to pick a place where we can conduct the interview, a special geographical place—somewhere that has a personal connection to them. Jeff's response was immediate: the mountains.
I guess there is some comfort knowing that he was in the place that meant the most to him when he passed. This does not make this time any easier for those he left behind but it does give us some solace as we know he was doing something he loved when he left us. The picture I chose from all those he sent me shows his bike next to the big rock. "This was to show the scale", he told me. While this was done purely for informational purposes it holds a much more poignant meaning now. This is the only picture that has something personal relating to the one taking the picture. His bike. All the others were void of anything that would identify the photographer. Maybe this just strikes a chord with me because I rode my bike out to Mainprize a few times and it was a tough ride. For such a young person to make that journey not to have fun and play once he arrived but just to take pictures. To capture images of a place that meant so much for so many, so that we could relive that place for many years to come long after it no longer existed—wise beyond his years.
So, I pass my condolences on to the family and friends of Jeff Newton. He was such a positive influence on a lot of people, and he will be greatly missed.”
August 5–9, 2018
“Hello everyone. Well just got back from a very successful shoot down in Midale. I would like to thank all that helped us out by agreeing to be interviewed. Thank you for sharing. This was Dylan Scott Hryciuk’s, our DOP for the week, first time shooting on the documentary. As always, we were treated great by The Midway and North Eden restaurants and the always awesome Come on Inn and Suites! I highly recommend to everyone to take the time and patronize those places. Times are tough right now and it would be a shame to lose them.”
March 15, 2018
“We just got back from a shoot down near Mainprize Park. We needed to get some snow footage before it was all gone. Part of the documentary deals with Doc trying to get to a sick patient and having to travel down impassible roads so we needed to capture some video that reflected this. So how does one get video of impassible roads? You get help from people like Dallas Pederson, his son Glenn and grandson, Huxley. They took us around areas you could only get to by making your own roads. So that's what we did!! Using a tracked tractor with a blade and 2 snowmobiles we got to places only rabbits and deer usually see at this time of year. We would not have been able to do what we did without their help, so thank you very much!! We travelled a lot of miles to get these shots. To top it all off they made an awesome lunch too! Thanks to our brave DOP Darryl Kesslar for hanging over the edge of the blade and stomping through deep snow drifts to get this amazing footage.”
March 10, 2018
“Hello Everyone! This project has been in the works for many years (5) and has been warmly supported by a lot of people. In fact, we would not be where we are if it weren’t for the generosity of some private donors, the RM of CYMRI, and the town of Midale. After 5 years the money has run out, so I and Murray Kerr have been doing what we can to keep up the momentum. We are volunteering our hours to seeing this to the end. A couple of fine people have seen our struggle and have come forward to help out.... in a big way. Murray and I are excited to add 2 new members to the Mainprize Project team. Graham Barker and Dallas Pederson. They have come on board as Executive Producers and will be raising funds to see this project to completion. With their combined experience and local ties, they are a LARGE step forward for this project.”
January 25, 2018
“Murray Kerr has graciously agreed to take on the role of Co-Producer and Phase Two Coordinator on the Mainprize Project. Keep reading for a small bio and keep in mind he is volunteering his services because he believes in the project. Thank you Murray and I look forward to completing this with you ... just like old times!
Murray was born and raised in Midale where he attended school from Kindergarten to grade twelve graduating in 1982. Murray moved to Brandon, Manitoba to pursue his post-secondary education. He earned a Business Administration Diploma in Marketing from Assiniboine Community College and an undergraduate degree from Brandon University.Murray spent seventeen years as the Recruitment Officer at Brandon University. During this time, he traveled throughout Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwestern Ontario to career events promoting the University. He is currently the Director of Admissions at BU.
Murray has extensive volunteer experience. He was the Director of Moving and Storage for two years preparing the Athletes Village prior to the 1997 Canada Summer Games in Brandon. He was the Residence Accommodation Assistance for two World Youth Baseball Championships, six years with the Big Brothers & Big Sisters Organization and served on numerous community committees over the last thirty years.
"I’m pleased to have the opportunity to work with Jack on the Mainprize Documentary. Jack and I made a number of amateur super 8 films together in our early teens. I look forward to the challenge as a volunteer on the project telling the story of a local icon."”
August 5, 2017
“Another year another Threshing Bee! This time there was also a mini reunion of the class of 1982!”
April 22–27, 2017
“Just got back from a week of shooting in Midale and area. It was amazing! Thanks to all who helped us out. We managed to find some great locations, did a lot of great interviews. A couple of things I would like to mention: We had some AMAZING meals at Mark Vilcu's restaurant, Mama Lucas's, on main street in Midale. Please get out and support him. Everyone should take at least one night off from cooking and let Mark do it. You won't be sorry.
The Come On Inn and Suites. I love this place. A great place to stay in Midale. Please recommend it to all your friends from out of town. The downturn in oil has hurt all businesses. This one is suffering too. It would be a sad thing to lose it.
We tried to utilize all the local businesses when we could. We love spending local. I know that you guys do too, but I just wanted to put our thoughts out there as a reminder. It is true that you don't miss anything until it's gone. Making this documentary has brought this to our mind everyday.”
March 9, 2017
“DOP, Darryl Kesslar shoots some winter scenes in Midale for the documentary. He spends 2 days travelling around the area to gather footage.”
October 15–20, 2016
“Spent a week out in Midale shooting for the documentary. We had a fantastic week out in Midale. A big thank you to all the people we talked to!! You were awesome. Thanks to Bev So bush-Melby for the awesome supper and to Jan Hoffart and Darrel Druck for the offer of lunch... we were too far behind schedule to partake. Next time ;).”
“We traveled to Toronto in May to attend the "Hot Docs" festival. We were contacted by international distributors and had meetings set up with them to discuss possible deals. We were a bit too early in terms of what the distributors and broadcasters wanted to see before committing to a project. They are interested in the documentary, but they want to see an example of what it will be like. Once we have developed a “Sizzle Reel” we will head back to Toronto and pitch it again.”
April 6, 2016
“The very first 3D versions of Doc Mainprize are done.The design work is done by Dan Beaulieu, who will also be the main animator on this documentary. I think they will be beautiful and will really bring the past to life. There will be a lot of re-enactments throughout the film and all done in 3D.”
Sept 24, 2015
“We have recently received some more funding from a few different sources and we have now doubled our budget plus a little more. We currently sit at just over 110 thousand dollars!! Thanks to all that have generously supported this project. We are a lot closer to our funding goal.”
August 15, 2015
“We just got back from a great weekend in Midale. We spent 2 days shooting video and interviewing people for the documentary at the Threshing Bee. Our Unit Manager Geoff Park shot some wonderful pics and video on his phone. It was great to see so many familiar faces and to meet a lot of new people. A great big thank you the organizers of this event and to all the volunteers that made it so special.”
July 3, 2015
“Wow! We have already collected $58,550.00 in our fundraising efforts. That is a great start! A BIG thank you to those who have donated!”
June 26, 2015
“The Mainprize documentary website is launched.It was, admittedly, underwhelming.”
June 16, 2015
“Melcher Studios agrees to be the production company for the Mainprize documentary.”
June 3, 2015
“I have been going over a lot of the pictures that have been sent to me over the last few years. I need to thank you all for doing so, it will truly make this a better film. I have to give one particular person a special thank you, Jeff Newton. When he heard that the park was going to be flooded, he rode his bike out to the park and took pictures of every landmark out there. He wasn't old enough to drive yet. These pictures are invaluable on many levels. They will serve as great reference pics for the animators to re-create the old park in great detail. They will also appear in the film. I rode my bike down to that park a few times. It can be a slog. I applaud his determination and commitment I know I didn't have that kind of drive at his age. Thank you, Jeff!”
October 10, 2011
“Welcome to the official page of the Mainprize documentary. I will be posting updates on the progress of this project as often as I can. I would invite anyone who has something to share about Doctor Mainprize and Mainprize Park to send me a message.
I am looking for any kind of memorabilia, super 8 movies, pictures, memories you may have. If you have some great stories to tell about your time with the Dr. or of your times out at Mainprize Park and would like to be interviewed, drop me a line as well.
Alsoon October 10, 2011, Diane and Bob Swenson and Helene Gordon were the first and only donors to the Mainprize Indiegogo fund raising campaign. I will admit that it was poorly set up and I really did not know what I was doing.
July 1, 2011
“50th Anniversary of Mainprize Parkand the first day of shooting for the Mainprize documentary.”