No matter the season, Kelly Hildebrand enjoys being outside as much as possible, at work and in his spare time.
A Fresh Start
This spring marked Kelly’s fourth anniversary at St. Joseph Wind, having started at Pattern Canada on May 1, 2018. Since then, he has worked as the Assistant Facility Manager. He says he was drawn to the position because he had previously done some contracting work at St. Joseph Wind and enjoyed his time there.
“This local opportunity came up. I’ve been in electrical contracting for 25 years, and I figured it would be a new experience—I wanted to try something different,” he explains.
He says the technical aspects of wind turbines, substations, and power generation piqued his interest, knowing it would be an excellent opportunity to learn and expand.
Small Town Life
Married for 28 years and now with two adult children, Kelly has strong ties to southern Manitoba.
“I was born and raised on a country property in the area and graduated from the local high school. Then, I went on to gain a Red Seal journeyman electrical license, and I’ve been working in the area ever since,” Kelly says.
St. Joseph Wind is located in the Rural Municipalities of Montcalm and Rhineland.
“We’re in the heart of the Red River Valley in southern Manitoba. It has big, wide-open prairie agriculture fields. So, you get lots of variety with the seasons and very distinct seasons. We don’t usually get tornadoes or hurricanes,” Kelly says.
A Busy Summer
“Work is definitely more exciting in summer. We try to get a lot of stuff done outside. In addition, our maintenance for the turbines is scheduled for the summer, so that’s always enjoyable,” he says.
The St. Joseph Wind team is also planning to bring back a popular event for landowners.
“We’re looking forward to our annual luncheon this summer, where we invite all landowners, contractors, and dignitaries. It’s a big favourite of ours so that we can see everyone. We have a good relationship with the landowners, and it’s always good to see them,” he says.
In his spare time—especially in the warmer months—Kelly tries to get out as much as possible.
“I enjoy anything outdoors: hunting, fishing, camping, snowmobiling, hiking trips. A lot of our hiking trips are to the Rocky Mountains. I usually go with family and friends,” he says.
While many people welcome warmer weather, Kelly says there’s something special about the transition from one season to another in southern Manitoba, where it can go from 30 degrees below freezing to 30 above.
“Autumn is a beautiful time of year here. When winter starts to hit, there’s a bit of excitement that we’ll get snow and a new season, but you quickly realize that come January and February, it’s bitterly cold. You have to dress warm, layer up, and push on. Living here, I guess you get used to it,” he explains.
Kelly says southern Manitoba is a great place to live at all times of the year.
“There are nice people in the area, and everyone is very friendly. Plus, it’s community-oriented, with close family and friends nearby. When you grow up here, it’s what you’re used to,” he says.