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By Bonnie Hutchinson

Effortless effort
It’s been an odd week.
Returning from the float days of the holiday, regular life seemed long ago and far away, almost foreign.
Would have been nice to curl up in a quilt and get lost in a book or puzzle. On the other hand, I felt antsy and agitated; couldn’t settle into anything.
Events in the news seemed even more insane than usual. And oh yes–there was actual stuff to get done, things I’d promised. “Pushme Pullyou”–simultaneous inertia and wanting to move…
In that context, listening to an interview with Jamie Wheal, two words leapt out at me: “effortless effort.”
Flow Genome Project
Jamie Wheal is co-author (with Steven Kotler) of last year’s best-selling Stealing Fire and executive director of the Flow Genome Project. The website says, “Our goal is to help individuals and organizations experience more flow and the significant boost in performance it provides. We think decoding the neuropsychology of optimal performance and open sourcing our findings to the world is the best way to achieve that aim.”
In the interview, Jamie  talked about the “flow state" – those moments of rapt attention and total absorption, when you get so focused on the task at hand that everything else disappears and all aspects of performance, both mental and physical, go through the roof. You’re in the zone.”
That’s when he used the phrase “effortless effort.”
Riding the wave
To describe the phrase “effortless effort,” he used the example of a surfer riding a wave. In the moments of riding the wave, surfing may appear effortless–just letting the wave carry the surfer. But, to acquire the ability to do that takes effort–training and practice. As well, to paddle to the wave takes effort. To the expert surfer, it may seem like effortless effort. There’s exertion but it’s just flowing, the surfer and the wave in harmony.
That phrase–effortless effort–was so appealing!
I remembered my own times of effortless effort–when I was totally engrossed in whatever I was doing, in a timeless time, fully engaged and fully present, knowing I was good at what I was doing, capable of setting the direction, and also wide open to whatever new possibility might emerge.
Some of those times were when I was doing something I loved. Some of those times were when I cared about something so much that for a time, nothing else mattered. I bet you’ve experienced those times too. They seem magical. The book Stealing Fire tells lots more about that state, and how groups from Navy Seals to transcendental meditators use it.
Ancient tradition
The Flow Genome Project has extensive research that shows exactly what happens in our brains and bodies when we’re in that flow state–what parts of the brain release what chemicals and what happens then. They can map it all. And they teach people how to get into that state.
It’s a twenty-first century approach to what mystics have been talking about for centuries. When I wanted to find out more of the science and googled effortless effort, the first thing that popped up was “5 Secrets to Wu Wei, the Taoist Principle of Effortless Effort.”
I laughed. Of course! Eastern cultures have been practicing this for millennia. In western culture, we encourage “strive drive” and place a high value on “productivity.” That’s not the only way to live and sometimes it’s even counter-productive. I liked a quote from Zhuangzi’s Basic Writings. “You can use the analogy of an artist or craftsman. The skilled woodcarver, the skilled swimmer...does not ponder the course of action he should take; his skill has become so much a part of him that he merely acts instinctively and spontaneously, without knowing why, and achieves success.”
Sounds good. Effortless effort is becoming my theme of the year.
I’d love to hear from you! If you have comments about this column or suggestions for future topics, send a note to I’ll happily reply within one business day. read more

No kind gesture will go unnoticed

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Lindsey Sweeney had so much fun positively impacting random peoples’ lives 
as a very secret Santa.
By Lori Larsen

If you have ever had someone play forward a random act of kindness you are likely aware of the wonderful, albeit surprised, feeling it leaves with you–that feeling that there is someone out there in this big world who cares.
Local resident Lindsey Sweeney is one of those people. She is an unassuming mother of five children (combined) ranging from two to 21 years old, who wants to make a difference, but more importantly, wants to make another person’s day.
“I’ve always enjoyed making other people smile,” said Lindsey, and so she took it upon herself not only to bring about some smiles, but to give back during a season that can be wrought with stress and worry.
Beginning in December 2018, Lindsey, who works as a newspaper carrier between 2 and 7 a.m., decided as part of an initiative encouraged by another company she works for, she would do something to make the world a little better.
“I wanted to be sneaky,” she said, explaining that she decided to purchase Tim Horton gift cards in increments of $10 from the tips she was given by her newspaper customers.
Every other year, the family had relied on Lindsey’s tips to help get them through the Christmas season, but because this year Lindsey’s partner had a better paying job, she decided to use her tips to make other peoples’ lives a little richer, so to speak.
“I had two goals with my tip money. I wanted to donate to The Open Door and the other goal was to play Santa.”
Lindsey purchased her gift cards and also put in any she had received as gifts or tips, then tossed them in the glove box of her vehicle, preparing to give them out as she saw fit.
“Anytime I went anywhere, I would grab a few and if I noticed someone who maybe was a bit ho-hum or grumpy or I was holding up the line with my own children and the person behind was less than impressed, I would quickly hand them one of the cards (which had To You From Santa written on the card sleeve) and it usually would change their entire tone. That was the best part of it.”
Lindsey recalled one gentleman in particular who, in her rush to herd her children around in a store, she cut off in an aisle with her shopping cart. “He looked like it was the worst day of his life, so I handed him a card and his entire demeanor changed” In another instance, she recalled doing papers with 13-year-old Layne helping. “It was around 3:30 a.m. and this gentleman was outside. It was obvious he had just cleared the snow off his own sidewalk and he was then working on the neighbour’s. I looked at Layne and said ‘He needs a card doesn’t he?’ ” and Layne agreed so I turned my vehicle around hopped out and handed a card to the man.”
Lindsey said, while the man appeared a bit shocked, he took the card then thanked her. “It was cool because I could change the way people were feeling.”
On other occasions, Lindsey slipped cards into the door handles of people’s vehicles. When five-year-old Camille asked her why she was doing that she simply replied, “It’s a treat,” showing her child that the best thing we can do for others is to be kind and thoughtful.
“The best part about randomly handing them out was there was absolutely no bias,” she added. “I didn’t know if the person was having a good day or a bad day, but hopefully I just made it better.”
Lindsey was also able to fulfill her other goal of donating gift cards and cash to The Open Door. “I was so happy because I was able to do what I set out to do for the season.”
Giving from her heart is something that comes naturally to Lindsey. In 2017, through friends, she discovered a family that was struggling, so she took it upon herself to purchase and secretly drop off gift cards in the family’s mailbox. While living in Banff (a few years back), Lindsey, along with a friend, organized a barbecue and silent auction, and ending up raising over $6,300 for victims of the Slave Lake fires.
Her kindness stretches beyond that of people in need to four-legged creatures that need love as well. Since February 2018, she has been volunteering for the Camrose Animal Shelter. “I am a sucker (for furry friends especially those in need).” After the birth of Elanor, Lindsey suffered  from postpartum  depression and needed to find something in which she could throw herself, a way to help ease the symptoms. “Once I started, I was hooked,” she confessed. After averaging about six days a week, she was asked to be a leader at the Shelter and to this day still puts in at least five days a week often accompanied by one or more or all her children. “Greyson, my five-year-old, will happily go there and clean litter boxes, but he won’t clean them at home,” laughed Lindsey.
Not only is this busy mom teaching her children the valuable lesson of giving, whether that be of your time, resources or finances, but she is teaching them that even the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference.
If you have ever been the recipient of a random act of kindness, remember Lindsey’s final thoughts. “I do it because I feel really good doing it and I like the outcome.”
The next time you throw a coin in a wishing well, make a wish for someone else, then watch the ripples. read more

Rink of dreams celebrates grand opening

3 rink skaters
The Kingman Rink of Dream’s official ribbon floated to the ice after a group of eager skaters skated through. Figure skaters wowed the crowd with their moves during the Kingman Rink of Dreams grand opening ceremonies.
By Lori Larsen

It has been a long three years of raising funds, collecting donations and promoting a dream, but the Kingman Recreation Association (KRA) and many volunteers’ hard work paid off in a big “icy” way. On Saturday, Dec. 15, the Kingman Rink of Dreams held the grand opening and dedication of the brand new regulation sized outdoor ice rink and indoor facility.
The rink has been open for use since December 2017 and has already seen its share of activity.
KRA member Trent Kenyon spoke about how the rink is already being used. “We have had people inquire as to whether or not the rink is open for all areas around Kingman,  and they have been bringing their children to take advantage of being able to get onto some ice and skate.”
Kenyon commented that on his way home on Dec. 10, driving past the rink, he noted around nine vehicles in the rink parking lot and people out skating.
“The rink is most definitely being used.”
Also, speaking on behalf of the Kingman Recreation Association, Dave Francis commented, “The Kingman Rink of Dreams has provided a reason for community involvement, not only for our community, but extended communities as well.
 “The ice has been used almost every night by both young and older adults for games of shinny or skating.”
Francis said seeing the rink being used is fulfilling a big part of what the dream for the rink was in the first place.
“Also, the historical Friday night skating party has once again been something people look forward to enjoying.”
Francis has been on board since the beginning, assisting in organizing and completing the facility to now being involved in flooding and helping maintain the rink. “I was able to source a quality ice machine which makes for great ice.”
Francis remarked that what he first envisioned when the project began is now coming true. “I am seeing young families and people becoming more involved. Also, the facility is being used in the summer for horse activity by groups such as the Kingman 4-H Bits and Spurs. We are pleased to have a year-round facility for everyone to be able to use.”
Kenyon said that one of the happy results of building the Kingman Rink of Dreams is seeing community spirit blossoming, both within Kingman and from surrounding areas.
A community spirit that spoke volumes on Dec. 15, despite bitter winds, as a large crowd of people from Kingman, Camrose and surrounding areas came out to celebrate the new facility and a true sense of community.
Pastor Garfield opened the ceremonies with prayer followed by the singing of the National Anthem by a children’s choir.
Members of the KRA filled the crowd in on the details of the project and thanked all sponsors, big and small, organizations and individuals. A plaque board located in the rink building recognizes the generosity of all sponsors and some sponsors are also displayed on rink board advertisements.
Member of the Alberta Rink Of Dreams (ROD) Society and a steward of childrens’ wellbeing, Wilf Brooks has been a strong advocate and supporter of the Kingman Rink of Dreams since the beginning. “Alberta Rink of Dreams Society was built with the sole purpose of ‘getting involved’ with a goal of helping communities to help themselves in bringing back or salvaging ODRs (Outdoor rinks) as multi-use community gathering places.”
Brooks added that projects like the Kingman Rink and Equestrian Centre fit the ROD credo perfectly. “If we were able to help Kingman in some way achieve the 50 funders they needed and/or save a few dollars here or there, then that is what we are about.”
The Kingman Rink of Dreams is more than just a rink. It has become the hub of the community, a place for children and adults to come and enjoy physical activity and fun and, with the addition of the post office, is a place for community members to meet, catch up and stay in touch.
“For as long ago as 100 years, communities have been building their hub around a rink and/or a ball diamond,” remarked Brooks. “Then came the rink shack, as they are so fondly called, which gave way to community halls, which along with other recreational activities, became the hub of the community.”
Brooks noted that not only sporting events but political events, bingo and other social activities drew community members in and created a true sense of togetherness. “I can guarantee you that the rink and/or ball diamond were what many communities were built around, whether in the country or the city.
“In Kingman, we (ROD society) learned more than we taught. The ROD is a fledging organization and Kingman was well along the way before we got involved.”
On a final note, Brooks said that it is time again for people to get up, get out and get active and there is no better way to do that than a free skate on an amazing facility like the Kingman Rink of Dreams, that is so close to home. “Canada is about ice hockey and hot chocolate,” remarked Brooks.
Special guests MLA and UCP candidate Jackie Lovely and Camrose County councillor Greg Gillespie congratulated all involved in making this project come to fruition and commented on the sense of pride and fellowship projects like these bring to communities.
After the facility was officially dedicated, young skaters took to the ice in a ribbon cutting skate-off.
Once the ribbon hit the ice, the rink was ready to host the Tofield Figure Skating Club demonstration, after which a good old fashioned outdoor hockey game, refereed by Richard Schultz, took over the ice.
Concluding remarks and  the Augustana Choir closed the official ceremonies.
As of the grand opening on Dec. 15, Kenyon reported that the project is nearly completed. “Basically the only thing left to do is to build bleachers under the overhang onto the rink on both sides of the exit doors from the building, which KRA hopes can be done through further donations.”
Free use of the facility does depend on generous donations from users going forward to help with upkeep, maintenance of equipment and other expenses such as flooding the ice.
For more information on the Kingman Rink of Dreams or to donate, visit the webpage at read more

BRCF donates $34,400 to schools

The Battle River Community Foundation awarded a grant to the Battle River School Division. The grant is from income from the W. F. MacDonald Family Fund, created in 2007 by descendants of W. F. MacDonald.
The grant provides two very generous scholarships to rural students graduating from high schools in the southern half of Camrose County. One scholarship goes to a student entering an academic institution and the second goes to a student entering a technical institution. The scholarships honour the MacDonald commitment to post-secondary education for rural students.
The Battle River Community Foundation exists to support worthwhile charitable initiatives, such as this, in East Central Alberta which will have a positive impact on the future.
Grants from the Battle River Community Foundation are primarily made possible through the generosity of individual donors and organizations that have created endowment funds. The principal of these endowment funds are kept intact and the income is made available annually to support local projects and organizations.
Since it was founded in 1995, the Battle River Community Foundation has granted over $5,000,000 to support programs and facilities operated by organizations like the Battle River School Division.
To learn more about the W.F. MacDonald Family scholarships, contact Diane Hutchinson, communications coordinator at the Battle River School Division office, 780-672-6137.
To learn more about the Battle River Community Foundation contact Dana Andreassen, executive director, at 780-679-0449.

Week of prayer celebrated

By Lori Larsen

Join the congregation on Sunday, Jan. 20 at St. Francis Xavier Church, 5010-48 Avenue  at 7 p.m., for the Ecumenical Prayer Service celebrating the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Congregations representing numerous Christian denominations will be joining together for an Ecumenical Celebration of the Word of God service, which is held as part of the area’s observance of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Reverend Calvin Skriver, Pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church, will deliver the message. Special music will be provided by the choir SETH. Fellowship and refreshments will follow and everyone from the public are welcome to come out in Christian unity.
The theme for the 2019 observance is Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue (Deuteronomy 16:18-20). The theme and text for each year’s observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity are chosen and prepared by representatives of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and representatives of the World Council of Churches. The Camrose service is sponsored by the Camrose and District Ministerial Association.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity began in 1908, and is celebrated each year in cities and towns across the country and around the world.

Spidey senses appear

By Murray Green

Spidey is a mentalist/mind-reader that deals with impossible predictions, tapping into people’s psychology and extracting images and experiences.
The show entitled Spidey: Make Believe–Magic of your Mind will be held at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre on Friday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
“He introduces unbelievable ways of revealing these predictions. His performance isn’t visual magic like illusionists and magicians. In Spidey’s show, he explains to the audience from the get-go about the difference between magic and mentalism,” said Kevin Cruz of his crew.
Soon after, the audience is immersed in his emotion-filled psychological demonstrations. They will feel joy, hilarity, intensity, awe, shock and disbelief.
This Canadian has captivated the minds of people around the world with his tours across North America, eight international TV shows and more than 10 million online viewers.
Spidey was named US Mentalist of the Year 2017 (despite being Canadian) and has performed for major celebrities.
Spidey presents a mind-blowing and hilarious make believe performance.

ÉCCHS students to perform one-acts

By Murray Green

École Camrose Composite High School students will be directing and performing in a series of four one-act plays on Jan. 17 at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre.
The show called A Night of One Act Plays begins at 7 p.m.
Drama classes from Grades 10 to 12 will be sharing one-act plays under the guidance of ÉCCHS drama teacher Stephen Cole.
The students showcase what they have learned this semester. “Two Drama 30 students and an advanced acting student direct a one-act play that they have chosen. They audition and assign students from the class to roles in these plays. They then spend class time rehearsing and preparing for the performance,” explained the teacher.
“This year, there are three plays directed by students and one by me. Carley Nickerson is directing Drugs are Bad by Jonathan Rand.”
In the play, a boy comes home from school one day to find his parents waiting for him, deeply concerned. What unfolds is a parody of all those insufferable after-school specials that made us who we are today.
Akayla Greene is directing a play she wrote called Valentine. It focuses on a man looking back on his life and the choices he made.
Anika Briscoe is directing Women and War by Jack Hilton Cunningham. Through correspondence and monologues, in the style of reader’s theatre, Women and War is a collection of fictional stories based on historical fact, told by generations of women and men impacted by conflict from The Great War to the War in Afghanistan.
“The last play is one I am directing called Art Control by Carter W. Lewis, which discusses the topic of violence in plays.”

Lougheed Centre presents Pinocchio

By Murray Green

The classic story of Pinocchio will be told at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre in a free show on Saturday, Jan. 19 beginning at 2 p.m.
The Alberta Opera showcases the famous story on stage in the family series.
Under the starry Tuscan sky, a lonely puppet-maker longs to be reunited with his long-lost son.
Much to his surprise, his wish is granted when his newest marionette, Pinocchio, is magically brought to life and promises to bring his son home.
Join Pinocchio on a magnificent adventure across enchanting Italy, deep beneath the Mediterranean sea and into the belly of an enormous shark, in this award-winning fairy tale musical.
Follow the book by Farren Timoteo, music by Jeff Under and directed by Timoteo.
The family show is free, but you must have a ticket to get in.

Admiral to tickle the ivories

By Murray Green

University of Alberta Augustana Campus instructor Roger Admiral will be staging a piano concert at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 2 p.m.
Admiral will be featuring music by Mozart, Chopin, Debussy and Ravel.
The concert will feature classics from the standard concert repertoire. Mozart’s Sonata in F is a work of symphonic scale composed with the brilliance of an 18th-century fortepiano in mind. Chopin’s Polonaise-Fantasie combines the heroic dance rhythms of a polonaise with the searching improvisatory style of fantasy. The second half of the concert includes late 19th-century pieces by Debussy, and the famous Gaspard de la Nuit of Ravel. The latter work is virtuosic and descriptive in nature, as it colorfully describes three different scenes using great pianistic imagination.
There is no charge for admission and the public is welcome.
Winner of the Canadian Music Competition and the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Award, Roger studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), University of Western Ontario and the University of Alberta (where he graduated with a doctor of music degree).
He is a busy freelance artist, who also has instructed courses at Augustana for 11 years and the Edmonton campus of the University of Alberta for more than 16 years.
He also coaches contemporary chamber music at the University of Alberta.
Don’t miss the opportunity to hear a performer of Admiral’s stature playing music by some of the greatest composers in history. Tickets are not required and all are welcome.

Veselka celebrates Malanka season

By Murray Green

Traditionally, Malanka is celebrated on Jan. 13, which is New Year’s Eve on the Julian calendar.
Camrose Veselka Ukrainian Dance Society  is going to celebrate the New Year on Jan. 19, at the Camrose Regional Exhibition beginning at 4:30 p.m.
The actual origins of Malanka are unknown, but there are a few theories. Religious peoples believe it is a celebration of St. Melania who was born to wealthy Christians.
After the sad loss of their two young children, Melania obtained her husband’s permission for religious dedication. She chose to use her wealth to build monasteries, convents and aid the church. The Eve of the New Year was a feast in honour of Melania’s contribution of wealth for a virtuous purpose.
Some people believe the celebration stems from a folktale. Lada (Mother Earth) had two children, a son who was the Moon (Knias Misyats) and a daughter Spring-May who was later called Mylanka because she was loving (myla) to the whole world. It was she who covered the world with flowers and greenery every May.
The ‘Evil One’ stole Malanka (Mylanka) to his underground kingdom. He kidnapped her at a time when her brother, the Moon, was hunting. Eventually the Evil One freed her, but while she was absent from the world, there was no spring. Upon Malanka’s release from captivity the flowers and greenery were brought to life once again. Therefore, the celebration of Malanka symbolizes the beginning of spring and a new season.
In different parts of Ukraine, Malanka celebrations differ slightly, but it still remains a day of public enjoyment and entertainment. The merrymaking usually begins with Malanka (a bachelor dressed up in women’s clothing humorously parodying a lady in the village whom everyone can identify). He (Malanka) progresses through the village followed by “Mummers” or spirited actors dressed up in costumes and masks. They herald in the New Year by playing pranks and acting out small plays. The slow-moving procession stops once in a while and a folk theatre performance begins, full of humour, carolling and improvisations. People wish each other good health and good fortune. One wish is particularly important: good crops and plentiful yields.
The Malanka festivity is rich in ancient ritual and folklore. People may not believe in the old myths, or carry on the ancient theatrical procession; but it is a good way to bring in a new year, then to celebrate with traditional Ukrainian food and exceptional entertainment in the company of close friends.
Camrose Veselka Ukrainian Dance Society was founded in 1983 by a group of parents interested in preserving Ukrainian culture for their children through dance.

Brausen enjoys uncommon classics

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UNCOMMON GEM Bill Brausen of Camrose stands by his choice of older vehicle during the Bittern Lake car show last fall. Brausen enjoys driving a car that his whole family can appreciate on a daily basis.
By Murray Green

Bill Brausen of Camrose is an uncommon classic vehicle kind of guy. He is proud to drive his plain old 1953 Ford Customline car around the city.
The 1953 Customlines continued with the 1952 bodies with only minor changes. It carried a base price of $1,734 and was one of 374,487 four-door Customline four-door sedans built for the model year.
“I found this car down by Clive and bought it from a gentleman there last spring,” he said.
But, that’s what makes this plain car a classic. It is a four door family car. Working class Customlines from 1953 survived long enough to be turned into collector cars. In fact, they have become scarce because people never thought of restoring them.
“I thought it would be something cool to drive around in. I generally don’t have main stream vehicles, so this is something that I really liked,” said Bill.
“All I’ve done to this car is basic maintenance. That’s about it. I bought it in this shape.”
Bill wasn’t around when this car rolled off the assembly line in 1953.
The Ford Motor Company celebrated its 50th year in business with the new 1953 models. All 1953 Fords featured emblems on the steering wheels marking the company’s 50th anniversary. Outside, the 1953 Fords retained their grille bullets, which were flanked by vertical ribs in the thick centre bar and rectangular corner lights above the bumpers.
“My dad restored cars as a hobby and I grew up around old cars all of my life. I just love all of the old vehicles. At some point, I will have owned all of the old cars I have liked over the years,” admitted Bill.
He has a habit of buying and selling old cars and fixing up a few as well.
“This car has a Flathead V8 engine with three on the tree with overdrive. It’s a 50th anniversary car, so that means something as well,” added Bill.
“I wanted something that I could haul the children around, so having the four doors is nice. I also try to drive it to work every other day (when nice weather),” said the plumber.
Although he loves his car, he isn’t the fondest about the maroon colour.
“It’s not my favourite. It absolutely looks great, but it just shows every piece of dirt all of the time.”
The 1953 models featured new power-assisted brakes and power steering. Prior to this year, they were only available on Lincolns and Mercurys.
“I like my cars stock original and this one fits that category,” added Bill. “My next vehicle will be a truck, so I may have to sell this one in order to buy a truck.”

The Ford line was divided into Mainline, Customline and Crestline series. The Mainline series was the base trim level for 1953 and included rubber window moldings, horn button instead of horn ring, one sun visor and an armrest only on the driver’s door. The Customline series was the intermediate trim level for 1953 and included chrome window moldings, chrome horn half-ring, two sun visors, armrests on all doors and passenger assist straps on interior “B” pillars for easier rear seat egress.
A horizontal chrome strip on the front fenders and a chrome opening on the rear quarter panel scoop. There was another horizontal chrome strip from the scoop opening to the back of the body. The Crestline series was the top trim level and was offered only with V-8 engines. This series included all trim in the Customline series plus wheel covers and additional chrome trim along the bottom of the side widows.
The base six-cylinder 215 produced 101 horsepower. The 239 V-8 was rated at 110 horsepower. A three-speed manual transmission on the tree was standard. It featured a semi-centrifugal-type clutch and three-speed helical gears with synchronizers for second and third gears. A three-speed with automatic overdrive was optional for an extra $108. read more

Concerns over sidewalk conditions brought to council

By Lori Larsen

In a letter to City Council dated Nov. 19, 2018, the Augustana Neighbourhood Association (ANA) expressed their concerns over the condition of the sidewalks in the Augustana area and subsequent safety issues.
During the Dec. 17, 2018 Committee of Whole meeting, Augustana Neighbourhood Association president Yvonne Becker asked council to consider a possible funding option to replace the sidewalks in that neighbourhood.
“The ANA wants to draw attention to a serious infrastructure issue in the Augustana neighborhood,” said Becker. “On several streets the sidewalks are not safe and almost not walkable.”
Conditions of loose gravel, deteriorating asphalt, patches and changing vertical levels were described through a variety of photographs taken by ANA board members in late October 2018.
“Add to this a layer of snow and the freeze/thaw cycle that walkers of all abilities have to deal with in order to get downtown, to their classes or to the Lougheed Centre. The conditions, in fact, prevent some folks from leaving their residences.”
Becker told council that the ANA works on a sidewalk clearing program in the neighbourhood and also participates with the Walkable Camrose group, supporting campaigns that focus on sidewalk clearing and pedestrian safety.
Becker referred to discussions that took place in 2016, with councillors and City administrators regarding possible sidewalk renewal methods and how administration suggested the ANA canvass the neighbourhood to determine the overall feelings on the issues of the sidewalks.
“Of about 250 residences in the neighbourhood, approximately 100 are rental properties and engaging with the renters in the residence is not helpful and rental property owners are difficult to locate.
“We are here to encourage the  mayor and council to address the safety and health of those who live and work in our neighbourhood.”
City plans
City of Camrose director of engineering Jeremy Enarson spoke to the process and future plans the City has for sidewalk rehabilitation, specifically in the Augustana neighbourhood.
“Administration does continue to review sidewalk locations around the city. Our public works department has an inspection program where, every five years, every sidewalk within the city will be reviewed and accessed. In higher traffic areas it is done more frequently, then  administration will take action accordingly.”
Enarson further explained the projects, within the Augustana area that are currently in the capital plan.
“The first is 46 Street south of 48th Avenue. We took another look and confirmed what we have in the capital budget, that those sidewalks are in poor condition.”
Enarson said that aside from a few areas that have received some spot repairs, generally speaking 46 Street (south of 48th Avenue) on both sides of the roadway are in poor condition. “In the 2019 to 2028 capital plan, administration is proposing to completely rebuild the infrastructure on those streets, beginning with the underground infrastructure in 2020 followed by surface infrastructure, which includes all sidewalks, curbs and gutters, in 2021.”
Enarson added that this work will have a local improvement component applicable to the surface work not the underground work.
“The next area is 48 Street between 47 and 46 Avenues. The City conducted a recent inspection and definitely there are some areas that are in poor to very poor condition.” However, Enarson noted that the 48 Street sidewalks are  generally in fair condition and currently there is nothing in the capital plan that includes any full scale replacement of sidewalks along that walkway on either side of the roadway.
“The third section is 49 Street between 46 and 47 Avenues. Generally, they are in fair condition. There are a few poor locations including one very problematic location on the very north east corner of that block that we would consider to be poor to very poor condition. The City currently does have in its capital plan for 2023 a project that relates to replacement of sidewalks along that roadway, definitely on the north portion of the east side of the roadway.”
Enarson explained the fourth location of 46 Avenue between 48 and 49 Streets has a section where there is no sidewalk at all and because it is not part of the current 2019 to 2028 capital plan as the City would need to address this by creating a new capital project.
Enarson indicated that there are other locations throughout the city that are missing sidewalks and there are at least 100 locations in the city where there are existing sidewalks with no wheelchair ramps at one end of the block or the other which creates barriers around the city for people with mobility concerns. “We are trying to balance the needs of the Augustana area with all the other capital needs within the city.”
Enarson also explained that the neighbour residents can formally petition to have a new project introduced, or an existing project advanced within the capital plan.
City of Camrose manager Malcolm Boyd explained that the City tries to coordinate work done on the underground infrastructure with that done on surface infrastructure in an effort to make the best use of taxpayers dollars.
Councillor Max Lindstrand inquired about the road conditions in the Augustana area and suggested that some of the franchise moneys for road rehabilitation be used to conduct sidewalk work in areas that are in dire need, such as Augustana.
Enarson indicated that for the most part, the Augustana roads are in much better condition than the sidewalks due to work that was completed in the 1980s to replace underground infrastructure. When the underground water pipes were replaced, the sidewalk conditions were still in good condition, and so there was no need to replace the sidewalks at that time.
Councillor David Ofrim asked Becker what, if any  attempt, had been made by the ANA ( Augustana Neighbourhood Association) to contact and speak to the property owners of rental properties.
Becker replied that no one with the ANA had made any contact with landlords. “The prospect of talking to all of the residents on 46 Street, the worst street in terms of the sidewalks, would mean someone (ANA board member) taking time and energy to contact everyone,” said Becker, adding that while the area residents are responsible, the City should take some responsibility as well.
Mayor Norm Mayer summed up what he viewed to be the request by the ANA, as having council initiate a local improvement process that may or may not be supported by the people who live in the area.
Becker responded by saying that the ANA are seeking assistance on initiating the process. “We are in a dire situation with respect to the neighourhood.”
Boyd responded, “The gap that we are trying to fill here is about timing. The process in our capital plan for 46 Street, for example, won’t initiate until 2020 because we will be doing the underground infrastructure, then we will be initiating that process.”
Mayor Mayer suggested council would need time to further discuss the concerns.

AHS heart health sessions planned

By Lori Larsen

If a healthier you is on the agenda for 2019, Alberta Health Services (AHS) wants to assist you along the way with some free helpful workshops.
In conjunction with the Alberta Healthy Living Program (AHLP), AHS has initiated a program to promote healthy living and provide easy access to helpful information. Workshops cover topics including; heart health, weight management, nutrition, diabetes care and chronic illness management.
On Jan. 22, from 5 until 7:30 p.m., come out to the Camrose Recreation Centre–4512-53 Street for the free Weight Management Workshop.
On Jan. 22 and 29 from 9 a.m. until noon, join the free Heart Wise workshop to learn about high blood pressure, cholesterol and heart healthy nutrition.
For more information and to register to attend, telephone the Alberta Healthy Living Program Central Zone at 1-877-314-6997.

Crime rates decrease in county

By Murray Green

In what could be his last visit to Camrose County council, Camrose RCMP Corporal Isaac Verbaas spread positive news to the Jan. 8 council meeting.
Cpl. Verbaas indicated that crime across the County has steadily decreased over the last few years, as well as informing council that his position to help with instruction of officers within the Ukraine police department has been approved. He is expected to leave in late January.
“Council’s main concern was the high number of property crimes. We have experienced a steady decrease in the right direction,” said Verbaas. “The stat I want to point out is the number of possession of stolen goods. That number is higher, but that is good. We are catching people with the stolen items and that makes our job easier. That number is steadily rising. It’s hard to charge people with theft if we haven’t caught them in the act. But, if we catch them with the stolen goods, it is something we can charge them with.”
The number of property crimes and RCMP calls has  decreased for the last three years. In 2016, the RCMP had 443 cases and that number dropped to 361 in 2017 and to 335 in 2018.
“Another area of concern for council was the number of collisions on our highways and that Highway 21 was one heck of a raceway,” shared Verbaas.
“The number of violations has increased dramatically over the last couple of years. This isn’t just us, we have the benefits of the sheriffs on that highway as well. The number of collisions is starting to fall as well as a result of increased traffic. Although we still have concerns, we are catching more people.”
The RCMP are receiving tips from residents and from the Battle River Rural Crime Watch.
“We depend on help from the public and they have been helping us with more tips, so that helps us out a lot,” said Verbaas.
“When I first came here, there were a lot of false alarm calls reported. That seems to have dropped off and it is excellent news.”
Reeve Don Gregorwich asked if the false alarm bylaw helped to reduce those numbers.
“I think so, it made people aware they could be fined for not setting their alarms properly. That reduction has allowed us to respond to more important calls,” said Verbaas.
Councillor Jack Lyle asked why no robberies were reported, but several thefts were and what is the difference.
“Theft is something that happens when no one is around and a robbery is a forced taking from someone directly. We are fortunate that violent crimes are quite low in this county,” said Verbaas.
He attributed the strategy on crimes across Canada to the lower rates nationally.
In Alberta, the number of rural crimes has gone down about 11 per cent from the previous year.

Camrose RCMP new recruit getting to know area

15 rcmp mccloy
Camrose RCMP new recruit Constable Ian McCloy 
is eager to work with youth in Camrose area.
By Lori Larsen

Camrose RCMP welcomed new recruit, Constable Ian McCloy, to the roster on Nov. 19, 2018 and his hopes are to get to know the communities within the district so he can best serve their needs.
Const. McCloy comes to Camrose (and area) as his first posting fresh out of depot in Regina. He grew up in Smith Falls, Ontario, a town with a population of approximately 10,000 people, just outside of Ottawa.
“I grew up playing hockey,” described McCloy. “And looking back, I think it attributed to one of the reasons why I went back to school and continued with secondary education.
“The more I got involved with hockey and sports the more the importance of school was stressed. If you didn’t do well in school you didn’t play hockey.” And it would appear that being able to play hockey and be part of a team played a positive role in his life and helped him gain an appreciation for smaller communities.
“The hockey teams I played for were all from small towns like Camrose, so you get a feel for what a small town is like and what is important in a small town.”
McCloy likened it to the RCMP and how the organization has detachments all over, that police many small communities. “They have some similarities and some differences, but each has to be able to relate to their specific area in certain ways.”
McCloy noted his experiences with smaller villages and hamlets growing up, will definitely be an asset in his job policing in Camrose County.
While he has only been in the area for approximately two months, McCloy looks forward to getting to know each village, town and hamlet within his jurisdiction and eventually be able to put names to faces and working with members of the community to best serve their policing needs.
Const. McCloy said he also enjoys working with children, noting that his previous employment was with CAS (Children’s Aid Society) in Ontario working within group homes with dual diagnosed children. “There were challenges but it was fun and rewarding.”
Being involved in sports as a child and youth also impressed upon him the importance of team playing and being of service to others.
During his two years of probation McCloy is assigned to work with a field training officer (Constable Trent Kenyon) for the first six months, during which time he is responsible to complete CAPRA (community policing problem solving) projects. “It has us reaching out to our clients,” explained McCloy. “I want to work with youth and get them involved.”
Some of the ideas he is mulling over, include working with a particular hamlet or village within his district, to reach out and develop an understanding of what the members of the community (specifically youth) feel they may be lacking in the form of police involvement. “I would like to see if it is something that we can collaborate with fire or paramedic or it could be just a fun initiative.”
When asked why he chose a career in policing, McCloy replied, “When I was growing up it was all hockey but once I hit a level in hockey where I was aging out, I wanted to get into a career that involved fitness and one that prepares you for the unexpected and has a degree of job security. But, overall I enjoy working with people.
“I feel like I am the type of person who makes every effort to come up with the best resolution to issues.”
On speaking on the progress of policing and how it is changing, McCloy said he felt the use of alternative measures help a person take accountability and grow without impacting one’s life so severely, especially youth.
In conclusion, Const. McCloy reiterated the importance of community involvement in assisting the police in preventing and detecting crime. “With only three or four RCMP members at the detachment, it is crucial that communities get involved in preventing crime or helping to relay information. Initiating a crime watch can be a great deterrent.
“Thus far, there have been a number of individuals who helped me get to know the area. I look forward to getting to know as many people as I can and getting to know Camrose and Camrose County.” read more

Camrose Public Library welcomes new director

By Lori Larsen

The Camrose Public Library will be welcoming Robyn Gray to her official position, as the new director, on Jan. 14.
Robyn comes to the library from Battle River School Division, where she was the instructional media commons coordinator.
Members of the Camrose Public Library board encourage residents to go in and meet Robyn and welcome her on board–the staff at the library wish her luck as she takes on the role of director, as the library celebrates its centennial year.

Kodiaks hammer Canucks

By Murray Green

The Camrose Kodiaks out shot the Calgary Canucks 48-18 on their way to beat them 6-1 on Jan. 5.
Six different goal scorers provided the offence for Camrose. The Kodiaks received tallies from Tyler Schendel and McKenzie Welke before Calgary got on the scoreboard late in the first frame.
In the second, it was all Camrose as they fired 23 shots at the Canucks’ cage. Carson Kurylo, Zach Vinnell, Kyler Kupka and Eric Miller collected markers for Camrose. Both Kupka and Miller scored while the Kodiaks were shorthanded.
Goalie Griffin Bowerman made 15 of 16 saves before Cooper Kennedy came in to make two saves on two shots in the scoreless third period.
Camrose lost 5-2 to the Calgary Mustangs on Jan. 6. The horses scored first, but the teams were even for the rest of the first and second periods.
In the third, Calgary exploded for four goals to pull out the victory. Cale Chalifoux and Carson Welke replied for the Kodiaks.
Bowerman stopped 32 of 36 shots, while his teammates fired 37 shots on the Calgary net.
The Kodiaks hit the road to take on Brooks and Okotoks. They are home for two games on Jan. 18 and 19 against Drumheller and Brooks with 7 p.m. start times. After a three-game road swing in Lloydminster, Grande Prairie and Whitecourt, the Kodiaks close out the month at home against Spruce Grove on Jan. 30.
Bear facts
When Roddy Ross left Camrose to play for the Seattle Thunderbirds it left a void in net for the Kodiaks.
But, 20-year-old Kyle Dumba, formerly of the Victoria Grizzlies has joined the Kodiaks. He played for his hometown Calgary Mustangs back in 2015-16.
This season he posted a 6-3-1 record with a .927 save percentage and a 3.08 goals against average in Victoria, after playing 12 games with Surrey of the BCHL.
In other moves at the trade deadline, the Kodiaks acquired former local (New Norway) player Cody Laskosky from the Sherwood Park Crusaders.
Laskosky scored nine goals and added two assists for Sherwood Park after scoring four goals and adding seven assists for the Olds Grizzlys. He started in the AJHL with the Whitecourt Wolverines.
Camrose then sent Ethan Heidepriem to Pembroke in exchange for future considerations.

Make noise for Vikings

By Murray Green

Make Some Noise for Mental Health will be heard at the University of Alberta Augustana campus to help reduce stigma related to mental illness and promote mental health and wellness.
The Augustana Vikings will be encouraging fans to get louder on Jan. 25 and 26. The volleyball teams play on Jan. 25 at 6 and 8 p.m. against Concordia.
The hockey club hosts NAIT on Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. in the Encana Arena and the basketball teams host Concordia on Jan. 26 at 6 and 8 p.m. in the gym.
The women’s volleyball team won 3-1 in a second match of a series played against the first place Lakeland Rustlers on Jan. 5.
Rae Metrunec led the Vikings with 11 kills and 20 digs and Karen Wagner collected 28 assists. The Vikings have an 8-6 record and are in third place.
Augustana won its match against Lakeland 3-0, Jan. 5. They were led by Jesse Weber with 15 kills, Logan Pasishnik with 41 assists and Owen Murray with 10 digs. Augustana men’s team are 9-5 and are in third place, just two points back of NAIT.
The next home games are on Jan. 18 at 6 and 8 p.m. against the NAIT Ooks.
The Augustana Vikings hockey team host NAIT Ooks in the next home game on Jan. 26 in the Encana Arena at 6 p.m.
The women’s and men’s Vikings host NAIT Ooks on Jan. 19 at 6 and 8 p.m. in the next home games.

Folk artist Byrne to perform in Strome

By Murray Green

Newfoundland musician Matthew Byrne won Traditional Album of the Year for his latest CD, Horizon Lines, at the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards, which took place in Calgary last December.
He is returning this month to perform at the Strome Community Hall on Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Matthew is excited to be bringing his award-winning album to Strome.
Born into a family of Newfoundland music makers, Matthew’s repertoire is heavily influenced by that unique musical lineage – the weaving of a great story with a beautiful melody and he supports this tradition with powerful vocals, polished guitar work and a presence that fills the room.
His repertoire transcends time and place and his live performance reminds us how satisfying traditional songs can be when stripped down to their basic elements.
Matthew’s music has traveled well beyond the rugged shores of his Newfoundland home since his 2010 debut, Ballads.
Touring as both a solo artist as well as singer with The Dardanelles, he has graced major festival stages worldwide. With his second album, Hearts & Heroes, receiving the Traditional Recording of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Byrne has established himself as one of Canada’s most authentic and vital traditional voices.
His newest collection of traditional material explores a unique variety of songs from both sides of the Atlantic and continues Matthew’s journey through his own unique musical lineage.

Apply for this summer’s job grant funding in January

By Murray Green

Kevin Sorenson, Member of Parliament for Battle River-Crowfoot, encourages constituents to get their applications in early for Canada Summer Jobs Grants. Employers have until Jan. 25 to apply for funding to employ students through this program.
The Canada Summer Jobs (CJS) program helps create quality summer jobs and valuable work experiences for youth ages 15 to 30. Summer jobs are a great way for youth to get workplace experience, build their resumes, and save for their education.  They also help organizations fill labour gaps, especially during the busy summer months.
While Sorenson said he is happy to promote the 2019 CSJ program, he remains frustrated by the fact that so many organizations in his riding were unable to secure funding last summer.
“The Liberal government’s value test denied funding to many organizations in Battle River-Crowfoot in 2018,” said Sorenson. For more information and to apply, visit or a Service Canada Centre.

Daysland fire claims hotel

By Lori Larsen

The Daysland Hotel and Liquor Store established in Daysland in 1924, was destroyed during a fire on Jan. 7 at around 9 p.m.
There were no reported injuries and due to the quick response of the fire department, the theatre to the north of the fire site and the bank to the south of the fire site were unharmed by the fire.
At the writing of this  story, the cause of the fire was still undetermined.

Canadian Bull Congress show ring will be busy

By Lori Larsen

Bring on the bulls for the 33rd annual Canadian Bull Congress to be held on Jan. 25 and 26 at the Camrose Regional Exhibition.
The event begins early for Camrose and area elementary students who are lucky enough to be able to participate in the School Education Program on  Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 22 and 23 from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Students will learn firsthand, with some hands on, about the cattle industry through topics that include auctioneering, the field of veterinary, farm safety, tagging, oilseeds and dairy.
Doors open on Friday, Jan. 25 at 9 a.m. with the show ring beginning at 11 a.m. featuring the junior heifer show, single purebred heifer show, 4-H heifer project show, showmanship class, junior bull show and marketing award presentation (show ring).
The show closes at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25 with the Taste of Beef Banquet. This year, attendees will be amused by the comedy of entertainer Angelo Tsarouchas.
Doors for the show open again on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 9 a.m. with the show ring beginning at 11 a.m. and featuring the mature bull show, senior bull show, pen of three bull show, ranchers’ choice single bull show, followed by the ever popular Bull-nanza, with the show concluding at 5 p.m.
For more information, visit the website at

Going the distance on investigations

By Lori Larsen

Hunting, a recreational activity regulated by the government, to assist in maintaining the health and well being of our natural resources, is enjoyed by many but, unfortunately, abused by a few.
One of the most frustrating occurrences that Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch (FWEB) find themselves dealing with, are referred to as shot and left (wasted animals), legally defined as abandoning any flesh of a game bird or big game animal that the person is in possession of or killed, that is fit for human consumption.
“Trespassing on private land and wasted animals are the top two offences that frustrate people the most, specifically landowners,” said Camrose FWEB district officer, Lorne Rinkel.
He added that this past fall (2018) has been the worst since he arrived to the Camrose district, which he attributes, in part, to making good connections in the communities and having landowners calling in tips and information.
“People shoot an animal and then leave it for various reasons,” explained Rinkel. “It may be the wrong species (white tail versus mule deer) and then the person panics and just leaves it, or they are looking for a trophy animal and the one they shot is not as big as they wanted, or it is big enough so they just cut the head off and leave the carcass, or they may be night hunting (which is unlawful) and they shoot an animal but then cannot find it, so it gets left.”
Rinkel noted that in November alone, Camrose District had between 15 and 20 files of shot and left and that it is a very difficult offence to solve.
The investigation
When called to investigate files involving shot and left, Rinkel described the process that is followed, in hopes of finding evidence which may lead to a charge.
He begins by looking at the big picture and trying to determine where the shooter may have been.
“Once I have done that, I will go to the likely places where I think the animal was shot from and there is a 50/50 chance I will find casings (spent cartridge). Sometimes we are able to lift fingerprints from the casing(s) which can be very helpful.”
Other evidence that can be determined from the casings include DNA, the calibre and any unique characteristics of the firearm and tool marks left on the casing, which are unique to that firearm.
“Then I will go to the animal kill scene and do a thorough analysis of the area.” From there, he will go to the animal itself and look for evidence of how the animal was killed, including using a metal detector to find a bullet which can be sent for laboratory analysis.
Rinkel also takes carcass temperature readings to help with time of death and blood and DNA samples of the dead animal to be stored for future reference. “It might get linked back to taxidermy or meat cutting businesses down the road. If they (shooter) did take some meat and it gets taken to a butcher shop or if the head gets taken to a taxidermist and there is a receipt and tag, we can compare that DNA to the blood at the scene and get a match.” While Rinkel said it doesn’t happen often, it does happen.
Even though it may be a low solve rate for shot and left investigations, calling the incidents into FWEB allows the officers to establish patterns that start to build. “The patterns this fall existed around the Meeting Creek and Sedgewick/Lougheed areas.
“A specific case I had this fall, involved four males out of Edmonton who were hunting on private land in the Alliance area. It so happens, a local landowner (witness) was watching them and saw them shoot three times, killing a large trophy mule deer. The witness watched the deer drop then one of the men went over to the deer walked around it looking at it, then all four got in their vehicle and left, leaving the dead animal behind.”
The astute landowner managed to get a vehicle description (safely) and called officer Rinkel, who immediately attended the site and began investigating. “In this case, I saw where the deer was and was able to determine the shooting lane where I discovered a single set of footprints and three firearm casings.”
Imprints of the footprints were taken and the animal was thoroughly analyzed, including sending the head for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), testing required by all hunters of deer and elk. The meat (unusable) was destroyed.
In an effort to gather even more evidence, Rinkel  took the casings to Camrose Police Service identification expert who tested them for fingerprints and DNA.
Prior to any evidence coming back from analysis, the suspect was identified through the vehicle description given by the witness.
Rinkel eluded to the fact that this particular witness (landowner) knew, as a result of media coverage and becoming familiar with Rinkel himself, that calling the incident in had the potential to lead to the suspects getting caught, which was indeed the case in this particular investigation.
One male suspect, out of Edmonton, has been charged with hunting with no license for mule deer, wastage and trespassing and is pending court appearance.
Through collaboration with local residents and other local agencies and the quick response of the Fish and Wildlife officer, a solved case may mean a little justice for ethical hunters.


Edberg fire department not operating now

By Murray Green

The Village of Edberg is currently without a fire department.
The volunteers at the department tendered their resignation leaving no qualified fire fighters in the village.
Residents are asked to call surrounding departments such as New Norway, for fire or permit concerns.
“I met with the Village of Edberg Fire Department and they had some personnel issues, where their village council had dismissed the chief and all the firefighters. However, on that note they sent a note to ask them back, but they have to apply correctly and file necessary documents,” said County Protective Services manager Mike Kuzio.
“They need to provide driver’s abstracts and paperwork that they haven’t had for years. The documents are required not only for the village, but for our agreements as well in order to operate our fire truck,” continued Kuzio.
“It’s the Village of Edberg’s department and not ours. Right now, there are no members of the Edberg Fire Department, however, we have notified the four surrounding fire departments (Bashaw, Rosalind, New Norway and Ferintosh) and in the meantime, will be taking all calls within Edberg’s district,” explained Kuzio.
A County fire truck is currently housed in the Edberg Fire Department building. “We are not moving the fire truck at this moment, but we will discuss it at a future date. Edberg wants to keep a fire department, so we will see if it proceeds and moves forward.”
In the meantime, the area has coverage from surrounding areas.

Births and Deaths

- To Gina and Rod Purchase, of Strome, a daughter on December 31.
- To Morgan Miner and Brandon Morris, of Camrose, a son on January 4.
- To Jenifer and Marlon Sidoy, of Camrose, a daughter on January 6.

- Rodney Dale Mack of Tofield, formerly of Yorkton, SK, on January 2, at 56 years of age.
- Peter John Wynnyk of Edmonton, formerly Camrose and Daysland, on January 7, at 83 years of age.
- Cheryl Ann Swanek of Camrose, on January 8, at 72 years of age.
- Carol Ellen Hein of Red Deer, formerly of Camrose, on January 9 at 56 years of age.