The 2024 Canadian Powerlifting Union Western Canadian Champions were held in Moose Jaw from March 7-10, and co-organizer Ryan Stinn said this was by far the biggest version of the event that the city has ever hosted. 

“We had about 440 athletes total, I think, which, you know, last time around it would have around 100 athletes, so quite a big growth,” Stinn told  

Stinn is himself a multi-time national champion and in 2022 took silver (over-40 Master 1, Classic) at the International Powerlifting Federation World Championships in Newfoundland — and gold in the Equipped division. His winning lifts in 2022 were an 860-lb squat, a 606-lb bench press, and 661-lb deadlift. 

He and his wife Rhaea, another world champion who holds many national and world records, formed the host committee for Westerns along with Rhaea’s brother Ryan Fowler and his wife Heidi. 

The Convention Centre at the Moose Jaw Exhibition Grounds was transformed for the occasion, filled with thousands and thousands of kilos of weights, as well as the specially built and certified platforms and racks needed for record-setting lifts. 

​​​​The 2024 CPU Western Powerlifting and Bench Press Championships set up for four days at the Moose Jaw Exhibition Grounds Convention CentreThe 2024 CPU Western Powerlifting and Bench Press Championships set up for four days at the Moose Jaw Exhibition Grounds Convention Centre (CPU Western Powerlifting and Bench Press Championships/Facebook)

“We had athletes from almost every province, at least seven to eight provinces,” Stinn said. “So, yeah, definitely more than just Western Canadians, but this was kind of different, with (being able to qualify) for world events. 

“So, we had people come in from all over the country, trying to get into National team spots.” 

Stinn said about five local athletes were in the competition, including Mava Brydges, Dustin Fraser, Noah Villard, Shantelle Szuch (technically lifted from Alberta), and Kate Douglas. All five won their respective categories, with some national records set, too. 

A highlight of the competition for Stinn was watching Bryce Krawczyk, originally from Saskatchewan and now lifting out of Alberta, who faced a serious battle in the Open Unequipped Superheavyweight class. Krawczyk hit a competition-best deadlift of 377.5 kgs/832 lbs to take gold. 

“There were lots of really good battles,” he said. “The final highlight was the final lift of the whole meet. A lifter from Moose Jaw, originally, Bryce Krawczyk, (he) now lives in Calgary, but (he) had to pull the heaviest deadlift of the event to win ... and get his spot. 

“That was pretty exciting.” 

The next major event for CPU lifters is Easterns in Newfoundland. Stinn said it’s likely that Moose Jaw will also host Nationals again in 2025. 

Full results for Westerns are on the Canadian Powerlifting Union website at

“It was good to bring a big event back to Moose Jaw,” he added. “We haven’t held a big event in Moose Jaw now for quite a few years, so it was nice to bring it back home. 

“We heard a lot of good feedback about the event, and it was nice to see some locals come out and watch, as well.” 

[photo gallery images by Nyshe Media, courtesy of Ryan Stinn]