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By Bonnie Hutchinson

The 500 milion year perspective
I know I’m in trouble when I’m furious and even in the midst of righteous fury, I know the intensity of my fury is way out of scope for the incident that touched it off. Sigh. I thought I’d be more mature by now.
As an operating principle, I make a point of finding things to be grateful for, people and circumstances to appreciate; tiny moments and entire hours to be delighted by. Mood lifters. But lately I’ve noticed myself slip into fretting about the state of our world and the state of our country and the state of our province.
I’ve read that there’s a lot of it going around–more people more concerned than usual about things happening in the world. The federal election campaign isn’t helping. I’m currently disenchanted with all the options. I found myself asking, “In our entire astonishingly beautiful fortunate country, among all our 37.4 million people, is this the best we can do?” The ballot will have no option called, “None of the above.” Grump, grump, grump. And I cannot not vote because the ghosts of my ancestors would rise up and strike me with lightning. Sigh again. I could use a little perspective.
So. Perspective. Two things helped.
One was watching the spectacular harvest moon several evenings last week. Think of it. This cold lifeless rock, suspended in space 384,400 kilometres away, orbiting around our earth. The moon gives us a larger perspective. Fifty years ago when the first astronauts stood on the moon, we saw images of what the earth looks like –a beautiful blue orb with swirling white clouds.
Plus, every year we get at least one or two nights of the glorious golden harvest moon reflecting the sun back to us in the night sky. We don’t have to do anything. It just shows up to enchant us, should we choose to be enchanted. A bit of perspective. It’s impossible to feel grumpy and enchanted at the same time.
The second thing that gave me more perspective?
A smallish news item about finding the fossil of an ancient spider–five hundred million years ancient.  Five hundred million years is beyond what I can imagine.
Paleontologist Jean-Bernard Caron found the spider fossil in the Burgess Shale in southeastern British Columbia and reported the discovery in the journal Nature. He said, “I was sitting there along the quarry and I turned my head to the right and I see this glowing light coming from the rock. Two eyes, almost staring at me.” The eyes belonged to the fossil of a thumb-sized creature that hundreds of millions of years ago scurried along sea bottoms on long limbs that could sense, grasp, crush and chew.
The tiny pincers at the front of the creature’s mouth really excited the paleontology team. Those same pincers are on all members of a family that includes 115,000 different species. “These fossils tell us about the origin of key innovations in animal evolution,” Caron said. Right. Plant and animal species evolve and adapt. Useful characteristics might continue for hundreds of millions of years. Not-useful characteristics die out.
So. I wanted a little perspective. I got space perspective and time perspective. And almost certainly, it will not be important or even exist 500 million years from now–unless it turns out to be useful.
That perspective might help take the sting out of whatever is our personal or public news of the day. And how useful–space and time perspective are always available.
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.
P.S. Shameless hustling! If you remember my mom, Berdie Fowler, you might want to order my soon-to-be-released book No Regrets: Things I Learned at My Mother’s Knee and Other Joints. Check out the ad on page 16.
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Federal election is officially launched in Crowfoot

By Murray Green

Every voter in Canada has the right to cast a ballet and make a choice who they want to represent them in Ottawa.
The 43rd Canadian federal election has officially been called and Canadians will be able to vote on Oct. 21.
“As the Conservative Party candidate for Battle River-Crowfoot, I have been working hard connecting with folks and sharing our positive conservative vision to help Canadians get ahead,” said Damien C. Kurek of Camrose.
The region has been represented over the last two decades by Kevin Sorenson and Kurek is the new Conservative Party candidate.
“I am thrilled to be part of Andrew Scheer’s team of Conservatives from coast to coast who are ready to make life more affordable by cutting taxes like the Carbon Tax and GST on home heating. We are ready to bring accountability back to Ottawa, and to ensure that government respects your tax dollars and spends within its means. We have a plan to ensure that Canada stands up for what’s right around the world. We are going to respect provinces and make sure that projects in the national interest, like pipelines, are built,” Kurek added.
“We are ready for a change, ready for a leader and a government that empowers Canadians, not one that holds them back. I hear it everyday, Canadians are ready to show the scandal plagued (Justin) Trudeau Liberals the door. We are faced with an important choice on Oct. 21. During the course of this election, it is important to ask the tough questions, and elect a government that will help Canadians get ahead,” said Kurek.
As of Sept. 12, Geordie Nelson will be the Green Party candidate and David Michaud let his name stand for the People’s Party of Canada, as well as Kurek.
Nelson spent his earliest days in Ottawa before his family moved to Wainwright when he was 14, when his father was posted in the military. He is a recent graduate of the University of Alberta Augustana Campus in Camrose, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental science. He currently works at Augustana as the conference services coordinator.
Geordie believes we can have a strong economy and a healthy environment. This will require creativity, thinking differently and a strong grassroots democracy where citizens can enact meaningful change.
Michaud has lived in Beaver County since 2014 and formerly was in the communications branch in the Canadian Armed Forces.
He never thought of entering politics before, but in the latter part of 2016 and into 2017, his cousin and himself were working on starting a party, and were going to call it The People’s Party of Canada. When he heard Maxime Bernier had actually started the PPC, and had the same feeling on things, he had to join with him.
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Intact Insurance backs local Reading University program

Central  Agencies co-owner James Mayer, left, watches Intact Insurance business development director Julie Lewis and Intact Insurance business development manager Kris Spence present $7,000 for the Reading University program to Battle River Community Foundation ambassador, Blain Fowler.

By Murray Green

Representatives from the Intact Insurance Company were recently in Camrose to deliver a cheque in the amount of $7,000, in favour of the Battle River Community Foundation, to support its flagship initiative, Reading University.  The project, just completing its tenth year, is a month-long remedial reading initiative targeting students in Grades 2 and 3, who are reading below grade level.  It is an example of a true community partnership which consists of the Battle River School Division, the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta with financial support from the Battle River Community Foundation.
Although Intact Financial Corporation has a Foundation of its own that supports various charities on a national scale, it has decided to extend their philanthropy to the grass roots level through their newly created “Better Communities Program.” Brokerages representing Intact in the four western provinces were invited to submit applications for grants for projects benefitting their own communities.  James Mayer, of Central Agencies, one of several local brokerages who represent Intact in this market, thought that Reading University would be a worthwhile recipient and submitted an application for funding on behalf of the Battle River Community Foundation.
Two of Intact’s executives for their Western Division, Kris Spence, Manager of Business Development, and Julie Lewis, Director of Business Development, were on hand for the cheque presentation. 
“Through our Better Communities Program, we have the opportunity to work with our partners, such as James, to better understand each community and the charitable organizations within that community,” explained Mr. Spence. “We wanted to address needs such as child leadership skills, poverty and education. We thought that by supporting projects at this level, we would be able to influence matters for the good, far into the future.”
Mr. Spence had the privilege of serving on Intact’s Grant Review Committee and stated that James’ words really resonated with both him and the other members of the western Canadian committee. “James spoke passionately about the Reading University program and I realized how important it was to the community. That line about improving literacy skills really hit me.  ‘For their first three years of  education, children learn to read. After that, and for the rest of their lives, they read to learn.’ If you don’t know how to read, it can be a struggle for life. I certainly understand how important it is to have our children prepared to continue learning.  At that point, we knew that Intact needed to be a part of the Reading University Program!”
Mr. Spence concluded by saying, “We are thankful to have a small impact on this community!”
For more information on Reading University, visit For more information on how you can support Reading University, contact the Battle River Community Foundation at or telephone 780-679-0449.

Impact of Reading University
Research shows that in their first three years of education, children learn to read. After that, and for the rest of their lives, they read to learn.
It is well-documented that children who are not reading at grade level by the end of Grade 3, fall farther behind their cohorts and by Grade 5, they are so far behind that they never will catch up. Young people who struggle at school are also at higher risk of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as delinquency. The farther they go down that path, the more it costs them personally, their families and society in general.
Assessments indicate that students who participate  in the Reading University program, improve their reading skills by an average of two levels over the course of the four-week program. Teachers report that students continue to demonstrate increased enthusiasm and engagement after attending Reading University, benefitting from their improved literacy skills. read more

Bill 9 protest

By Murray Green

Camrose and area members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) protested the proposed changes within Bill 9 in front of Covenant Health St. Mary’s Hospital Camrose on Sept. 13.
Bill 9 includes the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act, which will delay wage arbitration with thousands of unionized employees. The bill became law in the spring session.
AUPE indicates the legislation violates their bargaining agreements, which included third-year wage arbitrations.
The union has held information pickets across the province asking members to participate on their own time to stand against the legislation.
AUPE also claims the bill is a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Chamber recognizes Camrose businesses with awards

By Lori Larsen

For 35 years, the Camrose and District Chamber of Commerce has been recognizing the successes of businesses in Camrose and area during Small Business Week, promoted by Small Business Bank, at the annual Business Excellence Awards Gala.
This year, Small Business Week runs from Oct. 20 to 26 and is dedicated to showcasing the diverse and vibrant business sector that makes Camrose and area the place to do business.
The 35th annual Business Excellence Awards Gala will be held on Thursday, Oct. 17 at the Hotel Camrose Resort and Casino, beginning at 6 p.m. The night is dedicated to recognizing the contribution of businesses in Camrose and area.
People of the community are encouraged to nominate their choices for Business Excellence Awards in eight different categories.
Home Based Business Award is presented to a business that is independently owned and operated by an Alberta resident(s) for a minimum of three years.
Small Business Award is presented to a business that is independently owned and operated by an Alberta resident(s) for a minimum of three years.
Business Excellence/Franchise 25-Plus Employees is presented to a business or franchise with the majority of business activity in Alberta, with the office located within the City of Camrose or Camrose County and must have been in operation for a minimum of three years. Not-for-profits are not eligible for this award.
Community Spirit Award is presented to a business, organization, club or not-for-profit.
Customer Service Award is presented to an employee of any industry within the City of Camrose or Camrose County.
Ambassador Award is presented to someone affiliated with a Chamber member business or organization, and is a resident of the City of Camrose or Camrose County. They have a combination of current and past activity that spans over several years. The most recent activity must have taken place in the last three to five years. They are involved in a diverse range of projects and activities, but not financially gaining from involvement with community initiatives.
The Woman in Business Award is presented to a resident of the City of Camrose or Camrose County who has conducted business for a minimum of three years.
The Young Entrepreneur Award is presented to a resident of the City of Camrose or Camrose County who has conducted business for a minimum of three years and is under the age of 35 years old.
For full details on the rules of eligibility for each category, visit the Camrose and District Chamber of Commerce website at
Deadline for nominations is Sept. 28. Nominees are required to provide their names to the Chamber, but will otherwise remain anonymous.
“We are looking for nominations of deserving, exemplary businesses which are Camrose owned, with the exception of the Franchise category,” explained Chamber executive director Sharon Anderson.
Voting is done by a committee of nine people in a silent vote. “We try to have a combination of past winners, past presidents or people who have been involved with the process so they have an understanding of how it works,” said Anderson. “That way we are also getting different people every year.”
The Chamber is proud to play a role in promoting the continual growth of businesses in and around Camrose and invites anyone to join them at the gala to honour not only the award winners, but all businesses that contribute to the success of Camrose and area.
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MacQuarrie building City connections

City of Camrose community and economic development officer Patricia MacQuarrie is working at building connections.

By Lori Larsen

Settling into her position as the City of Camrose community and economic development officer, Patricia MacQuarrie excitedly speaks about the goals she has for fostering growth in Camrose.
MacQuarrie brings to the City a background of eight and a half years sitting on the board of the Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP), with two of those years in the position of board chair and eight and a half years as a council member with the City of Wetaskiwin.
“Sitting on the CAEP board gave me a very good perspective of rural economic development,” she said, adding that she is passionate about ensuring the success of rural communities.
She is currently working on her masters in community economic development, which she is excited to be able to utilize in her new position with the City.
“I enjoy working within smaller communities, not the big cities, and the things that dramatically affect the economy in smaller communities.”
MacQuarrie grew up on a farm outside of Fairview, north of Grande Prairie. She related the similarities of Fairview to Camrose and how growing up there built upon her appreciation for the importance of rural Alberta. That is why she has a vested interest in the success of rural Alberta communities.
“It was an interesting town. Similar to Camrose (albeit smaller), it was central in that region, agriculture based and had a lot of smaller towns that drew from it, but also has the relationship between the town and the college that this community has with the universities.”
New role
MacQuarrie views her role as a facilitator between the community and City Hall. Her goals are to build strong connections with existing businesses, as well as develop plans on attracting industry to Camrose that will fit into the well established personality and needs of the community.
“Fostering a strong economy in the community is important; but it also takes into consideration the businesses that are not typically viewed as economic drivers, such as the creative and performing arts which really give a community that flavour.
“It’s about taking a look at all of the quality of life conditions in a community and incorporating them into developing a strong economy.”
She said this is especially important for rural communities. “Companies won’t develop in a community where there is not a strong quality of life, and workers won’t settle in a community, even if the job is there, if there is not the strong quality of life factor.”
Within her position, she is able to look at all of those different things that foster that environment, drawing upon her previous work as a council member to look at the wholistic environment of the community. “It’s something I have been conditioned to do.”
With a strong belief that development in the community should be specific to that community, MacQuarrie recognizes that Camrose has a very distinct identity. “It is a beautiful, close-knit community with a strong history and connection to nature. So when I am working at bringing investment into this community, it has to fit in all those pieces or it would be working against the community that is already here.
“I will work to bring investment that suits the community and isn’t in contravention of the community identity.”
Part of her role also involves being familiar with and involved in physician recruitment, arts council and the social development committee.
In an effort to maintain, but also build on the rich identity of Camrose, MacQuarrie will focus heavily on building strong connections with businesses.
“It is important for me to have honest conversations with the business owners in this community. They look through a different lens at the community. I want to tap into the knowledge that they have around the great things and not-so-great things about this community. Hopefully, we can build on the great things and help solve some of the not-so-great things and have a really strong network of business in the community.”
She has been meeting with Camrose and District Chamber of Commerce executive director Sharon Anderson to get to know the businesses with which the Chamber is connected, and has been reaching out to community committees and organizations, such as Downtown Camrose and Tourism Camrose. “This community is particularly well serviced with organizations that work with businesses.”
Looking forward to next year, MacQuarrie intends on delving into the biggest strengths Camrose has in the way of industry. “I plan on becoming intentional about investment attraction around those strengths, including exploring the strong agriculture base. We also have opportunities in emerging sectors as well that I will be exploring.”
In an effort to enhance Small Business Week, Oct. 20 to 26, the City will prepare a set of videos featuring different sectors within the community. “It creates online content about what a great place Camrose is to do business,” explained MacQuarrie.
Over the summer, the City employed the services of a University of Alberta Augustana Campus student to work with 100 local businesses in preparing data on how ready businesses are for emerging technology, an area, MacQuarrie said, where the City could provide assistance to businesses in becoming better prepared.
Other projects include the creation of investment attractions sheets for industry, videography featuring the business of health care highlighting various industry sectors in Camrose, and collecting statistics over the next year relative to what is happening in the community. “Such as who is coming here for work versus who is leaving for work, and the numbers regarding the economic impact around major events in our community,” said MacQuarrie. “We (the City) are looking at developing our events, both recreational and artistic. We are already doing it, but I think we can be better at promoting the City as an event destination.”
She has already had conversations with staff at Camrose Regional Exhibition and one of the hotel groups in the community about becoming a destination for conferences.
During her busy first year, MacQuarrie will be spending time coming up with a formula for how this will play out and encourages businesses in Camrose to invite her to the business to get to know what and who the business is all about.
“I want to be the liaison between governance and the community, to break down barriers that may exist by building relationships.”
She concluded by sincerely saying that the intent of the City and a large part of her job description is to be a part of Camrose businesses’ teams. She wants to particularly offer smaller businesses her expertise to help them succeed. “I am part of their team. We (the City) can’t solve every problem, but we should be able to identify problems so we can work on them in the future.” read more

Alzheimer's Awareness Month

By Murray Green

If you can remember that September is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month then you are doing better than some people.
September marks Alzheimer’s Awareness month, a time designated to raise awareness of the effects and signs of Alzheimer’s disease in our loved ones and what we can do to support them.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, a syndrome that affects memory, thinking, orientation, judgement and ability to carry out everyday tasks. It is estimated that by 2038, about one in 10 Albertans over the age of 65 and nearly half over the age of 90 will be living with some form of dementia.
Dementia has certain warning signs. Contact your doctor if you notice a loved one having increased difficulty with any of the following.
Learning and retaining new information; handling complex tasks, like balancing a cheque book; knowing what to do when problems come up; finding his or her way around familiar places, driving to and from places he or she knows well; finding the right words to say what he or she wants to say; understanding and responding to what he or she sees and hears; acting more irritable or suspicious than usual, or withdrawing from conversation and activity.
Here are some tips in communicating with anyone who may have dementia.
First, make sure the person does not have a hearing or vision problem. Sometimes a person may not respond to you because he or she cannot hear you. Not being able to see well may make the person more confused, agitated, or withdrawn. If you suspect a problem, have a health professional evaluate the person’s hearing and vision.
Don’t argue. Offer reassurance and try to distract the person or focus his or her attention on something else.
Use short, simple, familiar words and sentences. Present only one idea at a time. And avoid talking about abstract concepts.
Explain your actions. Break tasks and instructions into clear, simple steps, offered one step at a time.
Pay attention to your tone of voice. Be calm and supportive. A person with dementia is still aware of emotions and may become upset upon sensing anger or irritation in your voice.
Maintain eye contact and use touch to reassure and show that you are listening. Touch may be better understood than words. Holding the person’s hand or putting an arm around his or her shoulder may get through when nothing else can.
Pay attention to the person’s tone of voice and gestures for clues as to what the person is feeling. Sometimes the emotion is more important than what is said.
Do not confront the person about his or her denial of the disease. Arguments will not help either of you.
Continue to treat the person with dignity and respect.
Allow choices in daily activities. Let the person select his or her clothing, activities and foods. But too many choices can be overwhelming. Offer a choice of two to three options, not the whole range of possibilities.
In Alberta, services are readily available for both those suffering from any form of dementia and their caregivers. The Alzheimer Society of Alberta and the Northwest Territories provide education and ongoing support.
Albertans can also call Health Link at 811 for advice. Health Link will assess the needs of the person and provide immediate advice for their concerns, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When needed, callers can be referred to Dementia Advice, which is staffed by specialized dementia nurses.

St. Mary's Hospital celebrates facility's 30 years

By Murray Green

What the community calls the new hospital is now 30 years old. Covenant Health St. Mary’s Hospital Camrose will be celebrating both 95 years of community service and 30 years at the current facility on Friday, Sept. 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
It opened on June 23, 1989 beside the old hospital that featured wings built in 1924, 1949 and 1969.
“It has been really exciting to see the changes to the services and programs that we are able to provide. Our early support discharge, cancer care and out-patient programs have grown by leaps and bounds. Our new CT scanner, all of these things come with the support of health services, Covenant Health and the community. Community members are extremely supportive of us at St. Mary’s Hospital,” said Cherylyn Antymniuk, St. Mary’s site administrator for the past 14 years. “People often make suggestions and I have seen a lot of growth and collaboration with both staff and community leaders. We are proud of the service we can provide.”
St. Mary’s has about 30 employees that experienced the move from the old facility to the current one. “How many people stay in one job and place for that long? The commitment and dedication the staff shows is amazing. That is why it is so easy to go to work each day,” said Cherylyn.
The community is invited for a barbecue in front of the building. “We have invited STARS and the stroke ambulance to allow tours that day. Hopefully, they are able to set up that day,” she said.
A table with archives of information on the history of the hospital from its start until present day will be on display.
“I’m proud to have helped the hospital include a chapel, which was funded by the board. That was huge, especially for our patients and family members,” Cherylyn said.
“Another one (great addition) was our early support stroke discharge rehab team, which covers a 100-mile radius from Camrose, that provides care for stroke patients in their home. It is tailored to the patient, it’s what they what to do. I can see patients following along on computers and that will be the wave of the future,” said Cherylyn.
She listed the chemotherapy in Camrose and the replacement of hips and knees as important programs for a rural hospital such as St. Mary’s.
“All of our programs have expanded. The hospitalists’ program has ensured patients receive timely care in the hospital, while doctors can continue with their clinics. Before about one-third of our patients didn’t have a family physician, now pretty much everyone has a family physician and that is key to staying healthy.”
 The changes are endless to make health care better for people in Camrose and Alberta.
“When  we originally opened we had 117 beds. Now we have 76. Out-patients has expanded. Before when you had a baby, you were here three or four days. Now it is about 24 hours. With hip and knee surgeries you used to be here four or five days, now it’s one or two days. We have less beds, but see way more patients. Staff have to work three times as hard because patients are not here that long. Then they are referred to home care or other services. The beds are filled in the 91 to 93 per cent range every day.”

SingAble needs your voice for community local choir

By Murray Green

Do you want to meet others and discover your voice, while building community where everyone is valued?
If so, consider an inclusive community choir open to singers of all abilities and levels of experience.
Individuals from all ages and stages of life with a desire to experience the wondrous benefits of singing are welcome.
Dr. Ardelle Ries is the director and sessions are on Tuesdays from Oct. 1 to Dec. 10 and then Feb. 4 to April 14, 2020.
Practice runs from 6:45 to 8 p.m. at the University of Alberta Augustana Faith and Life Chapel.
To register use the online form, at or call the CAFCL office 780-672-0257.

Major drug bust

By Lori Larsen

Camrose Police Service recently concluded a major drug trafficking investigation resulting in an arrest and charges laid on a 62-year-old male from Vegreville.
On Sept. 12, members of the Major Crime Unit in partnership with patrol members conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that had entered the City of Camrose. A search of the vehicle located a quantity of methamphetamine.  Found in a backpack in the vehicle were two plastic bags containing methamphetamine. One quantity weighed 28.7 grams and the second bag contained 81.9 grams for a total of 111 grams. Also found in the truck was a quantity of antiques and collectibles that are believed to be stolen. The male driver of the vehicle was arrested for Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking. The street value of the methamphetamine is approximately $11,000.
The male subject was released awaiting his next court appearance.

Football season

By Murray Green

The Camrose Composite High School Trojans football team takes on rival Wetaskiwin Sabres on Sept. 20 in an away game.
CCHS Trojans will also  be hosting Drayton Valley in Kin Park at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 and at home to the Rocky Mountain House Rebels on Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.
Away dates are on Oct. 3 in Sylvan Lake and Oct. 10 in Stettler.
Playoffs begin about Oct. 25.
OLMP Royals
In the Alberta Six Man Football League, Our Lady of Mount Pleasant Royals play in Hinton on Sept. 19 against the Wolfpack and host the Provost Panthers on Sept. 25.

Dean Z has one night with you as Elvis Presley

By Murray Green

Elvis artist Dean Z  will be in Camrose to perform his One Night With You concert filled with hits from the past.
His concert will be at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 3.
“I’m excited to play in Camrose and Edmonton because I’ve never played their before and I’m a hockey fan as well. I followed Jari Kurri and Wayne Gretzky when they played in Edmonton and then became a huge Kings fan when they played in Los Angeles,” he said, who grew up  in southern California.
“Elvis did a short one week tour across Canada in 1957. It was his only international concerts outside of the United States. Elvis wanted to tour more outside of the US. Now I get to do that representing him. His music reached around the world, so coming to Canada means a lot to me,” said Dean.
When Dean was three, the documentary This Is Elvis was being broadcast on television. He immediately cleared the coffee table, jumped on top of it and started trying to imitate Presley’s every move. Not long after, Dean’s mother made his first Elvis jump suit and he was on his way.
“This is something I saw on television and what I wanted to do. I have never lost my passion for his music,” Dean said.
After performing in several shows of his own, Dean took off for the bright light city that would set his soul on fire, Las Vegas, at age 17. Throughout the next 12 years, Dean performed in Vegas and has sang tribute to The Memphis Flash in Japan, Australia, Norway, Denmark, England, across Canada and the United States.
Dean soon earned a spot with the World’s Greatest Live Tribute Show, Legends in Concert, then in 2007, moved to headlining the show in Branson, Missouri.
In 2008, Dean, his 22-year-old guitarist brother Daniel, stand up bass player Rob Edwards and crew produced an amazing musical documentary and CD album collaboration filmed and recorded at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Sun Studio is universally considered the birthplace of rock and roll, launching the careers of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins.
This album-documentary chronicles Elvis’ entire musical catalog from early Sun Studio sessions. The sessions were painstakingly recreated using some of the same equipment that Elvis himself used in that very same studio. Producers also added “snaps,” “pops” and “hisses” during post-production to match the original recordings.
In 2013, Dean decided it was time to go after the title of Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist. It involved hundreds of Elvis tribute artists competing in 29 preliminary events all over the world for an invitation to the semifinals in Memphis during Elvis Week. Dean nailed down a trip by winning the preliminary. He and the 28 other semi-finalists competed for the top 10 spots in the finals coming three days later.
“With so many people tributing Elvis, I had to be my best. I honed my skills over several years and this set the bar for me. I want to get better all of the time,” explained Dean.
“With so many hits and songs to chose from it is hard to pick songs. I try to span across his entire career and pick some B side songs as well. The first half is early Elvis from the ‘50s to 1966. The second half continues from 1968 and his live stage comeback after making movies,” Dean shared, who is now 36 years old.
His show features boundless energy and youthful exuberance as he accompanies the audience on an eclectic musical journey into the bygone eras of soul, rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll, pop, and rhythm and blues.

Gong Show returns to Bailey

By Murray Green

That classic Gong Show from the ‘70s is returning to the Bailey Theatre on Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
The show will be presented by the comedy group Infinite Imagination.
 Enjoy magicians, musicians and performers of all kinds that perform crazy routines. Judges include stand up comedian and teacher Ken Valgardson, Camrose drag queen, Robyn Banks and Camrose arts ambassador Jane Cherry-Lemire.
If the performers don’t live up to the expectations, they get gonged. If they make it through without getting gonged, then they get scored and somebody will be declared a winner at the end of the night.
Contact Infinite Imagination online on Facebook or email infiniteimaginationtt@gmail or Mike Hicks at 780-608-6371 for more details.

River Jacks band entertain

By Murray Green

Your favourite dance party band the River Jacks are back at the Bailey Theatre on Sept. 20, starting at 8 p.m.
The River Jacks are a five-piece band with members from the Camrose and Flagstaff Counties that excel at playing popular songs from the last four decades of music.
They play country, pop and rock covers from a large repertoire of the most popular 200 or so songs guaranteed to get your guests dancing.
The River Jacks offer a live band to provide the music to which you will want to listen and dance.
Myra Marshall, Tom Lichak, Chad Szott, drummer Jeff Oron and bass guitarist Garrett Richaud blend rich harmonies and strong instruments.

The power of arts and culture

15 culture days footsteps
Camrose Heritage Railway Station Museum will be extending the In Their Footsteps exhibition as part of Alberta Culture Days (Camrose).

By Lori Larsen

For the first time in the history of the event, Camrose has been chosen as the Feature Celebration Site for Alberta Culture Days taking place on Sept. 27 to 29 at a variety of locations and events around the City in celebration of the amazing contributions arts and culture play in our community and communities around the world.
The three day event is part of National Culture Days, which is held in over 800 different communities throughout Canada and is aimed at expanding minds, creating awareness and developing connectivity among members of the communities.
“Alberta Culture Days (ACD) was introduced to ensure the arts are accessible to anybody, without barriers, such as cost,” said City of Camrose Arts director and spearhead of the Alberta Culture Days Feature Celebration Site committee Jane Cherry-Lemire “We hope that whatever people are introduced to (specifically during the Culture Days events) they will continue to stay engaged.”
Cherry-Lemire commended the hard work and dedication of all the people involved in not only getting Camrose selected as the Feature Celebration Site, but planning and ironing out all the details of the events taking place in Camrose prior to and during ACD weekend.
Funding for the events are made possible through an $8,000 grant given by Alberta Culture, which will be used to help pay Alberta based artists, the Camrose Arts Council contribution of $3,000, the Camrose Arts Society and Downtown Camrose.
Camrose events will be hosted by a variety of organizations within the community with the common goal of demonstrating the vital role arts and culture play in bringing a community together.
About Time Productions are planning on attending five Camrose elementary schools on Sept. 27, spending an hour at each school leading a group of students through movement and body awareness exercises. “ATB’s main focus is inclusion and safe places,” said ATB member Samantha O’Connor. “So we hope to teach the students a little bit about what that means and how they can incorporate that into their daily practice at the schools.”
O’Connor, along with fellow ATB member Nadja Sawula, hope the exercises will teach students the value theatre places in inclusiveness and that theatre offers a safe place for people to be who they are and do what they enjoy. “It is also a good exercise for teachers to have in their classrooms,” added O’Connor. “To understand what that means to the students and how that can aid in their learning.”
Infinite Imagination, another partner in the ACD (Camrose) celebrations, will be participating in a similar fashion with plans on attending the higher grade schools such as École Camrose Composite High School, Our Lady of Mount Pleasant Catholic School and the Camrose Outreach School.
Camrose Heritage Railway Station Museum chairperson and board director Glenys Smith explained the two day event occurring at the Station will be an extension of In Their Footsteps exhibition.
“On Sept. 28 and 29, we will be holding a Following in My Family’s Footsteps Family Exploration event,” explained Smith.
Targeting family and children the event will feature discovery tasks that involve the participants walking around the museum viewing the In Their Footsteps displays, selecting a story from one of the displays then reading the story together. Participants will then be encouraged to answer a few questions on their own family history and explore their own cultural heritage.
“The exhibition really focuses on arts and culture and craft,” said Smith.
Participants are asked to bring a pair of shoes to be decorated in commemoration of their own family culture and past. “Bring a photograph to decorate the shoes with as well,” added Smith. “This is intended to be a fun and educational way to discover your culture and past.”
Nikki Featherstone, Haven Art Therapy Studio art therapist along with co-facilitator Candy Morningway, are holding a workshop where members of the Pride community and members of law enforcement come together to do a community art project called CommUNITY Healing. The session will take place on Sept. 28 from 12:30 until 4:30 at the Chuck MacLean Arts Centre Studio A.
“We are bringing as many lenses into the room as possible,” said Featherstone. “We are using art to heal community.”
Camrose Police Service Staff Sergeant John Corbett spoke about the importance of these types of initiatives in building connections in the community. “It is important for all citizens and groups within our community to feel supported and be able to interact with members of the Camrose Police Service. This event is another opportunity where our organization can engage in a meaningful way with the community and continue to build on an already positive relationship that we have with the PRIDE community.”
Interested participants are required to pre-register by contacting Featherstone  through email at or by telephone at 780-678-6223.
The Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre will be presenting the free family fun show TerZettto on Sept. 29 at 2 p.m. “It is a fun clowning and circus piece about three very different people with different strengths, that discover, through their strengths that they are special and can work together,” explained Lougheed Centre general manager Nick Beach.
This particular show, funded by a local business, is free and open to anyone in the community. Tickets are required and can be obtained at the Lougheed Centre. “It is really sweet and wonderful and lot of fun.”
The Camrose Public Library will be holding a manuscript editing session entitled You Can Edit Your Own Work, with author Kimmy Beach, on Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Kimmy has been a professional editor for nearly a decade and has edited many books for six presses across Canada.
The session is free, however registration is required and limited to 15 participants. A pizza lunch will be provided.
“Arts and culture are integral components of what we do in public libraries,” remarked CPL program coordinator and Nicole Bannick. “They are amazing tools for building bridges and building community. Literary art, whether one is the artist or the audience, is a powerful way to express and share common lived experience; it also creates opportunities for people to develop understanding of differing cultures and views.”
The Camrose Arts Society are taking on two projects for the ACD (Camrose).  The Tree Hugger initiative involves an initiative of spreading art and culture throughout Camrose, by wrapping (environmentally friendly) hand painted canvases around 50 trees in various locations in Downtown Camrose.
“We put a call out to local artists and local community members to create art work on 50 canvases (made of weather resistent material donated by a local business),” said Cherry-Lemire. “Each canvas will also have a positive, inspirational quote or message.”
Some of the canvases will be hung, using laced grommets that will expand with the trees natural growth, prior to Culture Days. Then the Arts Society is going to be conducting two workshops one on Sept. 28th and one on the 29th. They will have room for approximately nine participants in each. They will create more canvases which will be hung after the event.
“We want to create a map with information on who created the canvases and where they are located so people  can go check them out and encounter beautiful art as well as some inspirational thoughts that may effect positive changes in their lives,” said Cherry-Lemire.
Cherry-Lemire added that the City of Camrose has agreed to do maintenance on them so they can be displayed year round.
The other project the Arts Society is initiating, is the painting of a large permanent community mandala on the parking lot ground outside of Chuck MacLean Arts Centre (weather permitting).
“We have people who have helped with the design but we are also putting a call out to the community asking what downtown means to them, so we can incorporate symbols that are meaningful to them into the mandala.”
Once the outline of design is down it will be divided into four quadrants. “We (Art Society volunteers) will paint one quadrant and the community will come to paint the rest of it on Sept. 27, 28 and 29, once again weather permitting.”
As the Feature Celebration Site for Alberta Culture Days, Camrose will be presented with a plaque by Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely on Sept. 23 at 10 a.m. Lovely, along with Mayor Norm Mayer and City councillors able to attend, will be helping to create one of the tree huggers.
For more information on Alberta Culture Days (Camrose), visit the Camrose Culture Days Facebook page. read more

Bailey to host Thursday movies this fall

By Murray Green

The Bailey Theatre is continuing with movies on Thursday nights in downtown Camrose this fall and winter.
After Thursday evening  shopping, theatre fans can stay for a show with evening films beginning at 7 p.m. The Bailey Theatre Society has a partnership with Film Circuit, presented by TIFF to bring the shows to Camrose.
Film Thursdays start off on Sept. 26. POMS is an uplifting comedy about Martha (played by Diane Keaton), a woman who moves into a retirement community and starts a cheerleading squad with her fellow residents, Sheryl (Jacki Weaver), Olive (Pam Grier) and Alice (Rhea Perlman), proving that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
On fire
Tel Aviv On Fire airs on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. It is about Salam, an inexperienced young Palestinian man who becomes a writer on a popular soap opera after a chance meeting with an Israeli soldier. His creative career is on the rise until the soldier and the show’s financial backers disagree about how the show should end and Salam is caught in the middle.
Battle of Britain
The Camrose Booster and Bailey Theatre present  Battle of Britain in memory of those who fought for our peace on Nov. 13 at 7 p.m.
This movie (1968, color) portrays British (and Commonwealth) fighter units during the summer of 1940, before the US became involved in the Second World War. Canadian crews played a role in fighting against the significant German attackers.
This action-packed movie features Canada’s own Christopher Plummer along with a host of big-name British stars including Susannah York, Lawrence Olivier, Robert Shaw, Michael Caine, Ian McShane and Trevor Howard.  The real stars of the picture, as they were in 1940, are the vintage British Hurricane and Spitfire fighters that are flown in the movie. The aircraft you will see are the originals, not computer-generated graphics. The movie was produced by Canadian Harry Saltzman, along with Polish producer Benjamin Fisz.
Wild Rose
Wild Rose will be shown on Nov. 28 at 7 p.m.
Fresh out of prison, a Scottish woman juggles her job and two children while pursuing her dream of becoming a country music star. She soon gets her chance when she travels to Nashville on a life-changing journey to discover her true voice.

Councillor Johnson steps down

By Lori Larsen

On Monday, Sept. 9 City of Camrose councillor Cathie Johnson announced her intention to resign.
Cathie expressed her deepest regrets in having to step away from her position as councillor and wanted residents to know that it was not an easy decision, as she sincerely enjoyed representing a voice of the community on council.
“It has been a pleasure and an honour to serve since I was elected to council,” she remarked. “I embarked on this journey full of ideas and ambition.  Thank you for putting your trust in me as your voice.”
The decision to resign from council did not come lightly, but was one she had to make as a result of issues concerning her personal health.
“Unfortunately, on this journey I have run into some obstacles that have caused me to pause and reassess. My health has, in recent months, taken a downturn. I have done as much as I can to improve the situation, but now must admit that I need to focus solely on wellness and family for the time being.”
Cathie stated that the time she did serve on council was a valuable learning experience and she commended everyone on council and those working for the City of Camrose, for the tremendous effort they put in to ensure the City runs as efficiently as it does.
“There is so much that goes on behind the scenes to make this city a truly great place to live. I admire and appreciate the efforts of all involved.”
She will continue contributing to building the community of Camrose in as much as her limitations will allow and hopes that in the future, when her health is fully restored, she may once again be able to represent residents in the capacity of councillor.
“It is with regret that I am stepping away from council, as there are still many things that I had hoped to accomplish during my tenure. However, stepping back is the right decision at this time and I thank city residents, Mayor Norm Mayer and council for their understanding.”
City of Camrose council members and City of Camrose administration extended their well wishes for Cathie’s road to recovery.

“Paws”ing for a little dog therapy

By Lori Larsen

Camrose and surrounding area can now take full advantage of the incredible and vital work of the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program with the recent addition of the Therapy Dog Camrose Unit, led by unit leader and qualified Therapy Dog team, handler Karen Gibson.
For those who are familiar with the wonderful work Karen and her two qualified therapy dogs, 10-year-old Booker and five-year-old Dylan do, it will come as no surprise that she was chosen to lead the way for St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program in Camrose and area.
Karen has been serving Camrose and area in providing Therapy Dog services since 2014, when she went out on her own to several organizations and facilities offering, not only the service of her loving companion Booker, but her own kind company to people in need.
“I was hoping to get a unit here in Camrose,” said Karen. “We have such a vast need in schools, courtrooms, hospitals and seniors homes. I had enough venues but not enough bodies. One person and one dog does not a unit make,” she smiled.
The St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program has been in existence since 1992.  It was first introduced in Ontario and it has since grown to include every province in Canada.
In December 2018 a unit for Camrose was confirmed and two more teams joined Karen in her quest to continue the much needed and highly successful service which now provides services to 26 locations in Camrose and area.
Unit team Donna Wood (handler) and dog Cari currently provide services in Camrose and Tofield. Unit team Gale Downie (handler) and dog Panache currently provide services in Tofield and Edmonton. Karen with dogs Booker and Dylan currently provide services in Camrose and Wetaskiwin.
Camrose locations include: Battle River Canine Association Spring and Fall Dog Show; Battle River School Division Chester Ronning School (Reading Tails), Ecole Sifton School (Reading Tails), Jack Stuart School (Early Learning Class and Reading Tails); The Bethany Group, Meadows Continuing Care (three cottages), Meadows Designated Supportive Living, Faith House Designated Supportive Living (2 venues), Louise Jensen Continuing care (four venues), Rosealta Lodge, Rosehaven Designated Supportive Living, and Provincial Program and Viewpoint Designated Supportive Living; Camrose Public Library (Reading Tails) and the University of Alberta Augustana Campus.
Tofield locations include: Alberta Health Services Tofield Health Centre and Sunshine Villa Assisted Living.
Wetaskiwin locations include: Wetaskiwin Hospital, Wetaskiwin Hospital Care Centre and Good Shepherd Home.
Along with regular location visits the teams also attend special events and do presentations.
The handler
In order to qualify for the program handlers must be 18 years of age or older and are required to complete an application form, provide a criminal record check and go through a screening process prior to being placed in a community.
Volunteers with the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program are covered by the organization’s national insurance program, as long as they are acting within the scope of the St. John’s programming. From an insurance perspective the dog members of the team are considered to be “chattel” of the human handler.
“We need people who are interested and enjoy working with people,” noted Karen. “People who see the need out there and want to contribute to that need.”
Karen explained that while there is a time commitment, which varies according to the handler’s personal schedule, what is most important is that the time committed be quality time.  “It isn’t the amount of time – what we need is a commitment of quality time.”
Karen added that working with the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program is not a trainer working with a dog, it is a handler and dog working as a team.
Having seen Karen in action with her dogs Booker and Dylan, one quickly understands the importance each plays on that team. The dogs are finely tuned to Karen’s soft yet persuasive manner all the while totally aware of their part. While they approach each individual with an air of caution, once the connection is made the magic truly begins. Whether that is at a long term care facility with an elder person who, more often than not, wants the undivided attention of a furry companion to hear their life stories; or at one of the Reading Tails programs where a child feels secure in knowing the dog is not there to judge but there to listen to them read.
“Booker or Dylan will let the young reader know if they like the story or not,” smiled Karen in speaking of the dogs role at Reading Tails. “I always tell the children you are not pleasing me you are pleasing the dog.”
She said she will ask the dog, after the reader is done, if they liked the story and if the dog responds by putting a paw on the book then that means he did; but if he doesn’t put a paw on the book, Karen will work with the reader to determine why. “I might say that maybe the dog didn’t think they were reading loud enough, or the book was too easy or too difficult.”
The purpose is to help the reader recognize their strengths and areas that need improvement, but not in a conventional “adult telling child” manner. This informal program uses the dog as a tool to break down those barriers.
The dog
The St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program accepts any breed or age of dog, but does require the dog be a minimum of one-year-old, recognizing that the social maturity age for most dogs is two.
“They (dogs) have to have the right attitude,” said Karen.  “They need to be trained before they come into the program. I don’t want to see any signs of aggression. They have to be calm, cool and collected and respond to commands.”
While the program encourages dogs with personality, they do want the dog to obey and be totally under the handler’s control.
“They have to be people loving dogs too,” said Karen.” They can perform  some basic tricks (shake a paw, twirl) nothing elaborate that would require extra equipment.” However some fun parlour tricks help to break the ice, bring on the smiles and create a relaxing atmosphere.
With a growing interest comes the need for more teams. Aside from the four teams working in the area two other teams are in the process of evaluation.
“The more teams we have, the more locations we can serve and expand around Camrose.  We continue to receive new requests and now the Unit needs more teams to service those locations.”
Booker, who is becoming quite well known throughout the area, has gained a great deal of experience and is actually quite intuitive. He is able to sense when a person may be having concerns on any particular day and responds appropriately. His soft fur, perky ears, warm eyes and quiet nature brings an overwhelming sense of calm to any room he enters.
And it is that which measures the success of the program; the relief that someone (handler and dog) has come to visit. The wagging tails and the smiling faces, says it all.
For more information on St. John Ambulance and their programs and volunteering, visit the website at
Anyone interested in volunteering with St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program Camrose Unit can contact Karen through email at or by telephone at 780-672-0299.

Stang restored his uncle's 1947 truck

By Murray Green

Brent Stang of Camrose drives a 1947 Chevrolet 3100 truck that he restored last spring.
“It was the first year of the advanced design after the war. It was built to attract the soldiers coming home with up to date features, a little more modern,” explained Brent.
The 1941 to 46 trucks were almost unchanged because of the low sales to consumers during the war.
“The original colour was blue and back then trucks only came in a half a dozen colours. I wanted my own colour. It has taken me nine years to re-build this truck. It came from my uncle and it was in a shed. The last time it was driven was in 1972. It still had the plate on it and the registration with it,” shared Brent.
The vehicle sat inside the shed from that time waiting to be brought back to life. “If they did use it past 1972 is was to pick rocks, but didn’t leave the property. Originally, it had a nine foot box on it. I put it on an S10 frame and turned it into a short box,” added Brent.
“When I finished my first truck, my uncle asked me if I wanted to rebuild another one. He said my father-in-law has one in the shed, do you want that? So I ended up getting it for nothing. I had to think if I wanted to do another one. I thought well, it’s a hobby so I took it on. The first truck took me five years and this one took nine years because there were a lot of modifications going to an S10 from a 1947 frame.”
Brent added some modern features to make the truck more drivable. “I have a 1984 S10 drive train and all of the wiring was upgraded from six volt to 12 volt. All of the lights had to be changed to 12 volt. I did everything on this truck, except I had another guy help me paint it. I wasn’t the lead, but I did help paint,” Brent said.
“It always upsets me when you spend so much time restoring a truck for many years and a guy paints over a week and gets all of the credit for it. I wanted to say I helped paint it as well. I wanted to make sure I had a hand in it,” laughed Brent.
“I always liked the fiver windows and the style of it. You get the looks when you drive down the road. It looks so cool. I have a 2.8 litre engine, that was in the S10, and the frame is from 1984. The body is original from 1947. I wanted the modern running gear and better suspension. It actually rides very nice. I was surprised when I first took it out, that it rode so nice. It took extra time to build using the S10, than it would have just restoring it as original. The modifications take longer. Originally, you had to have a load of rocks on it for it to drive smoothly,” he laughed.
“I made a few tweaks here and there. I want to drive this truck. My other one was special because it was my first truck; this one I want to drive more, even though it does have some special memories as well. I put in bucket seats with a console, updated the gauges, but still the same interior design.”
The thing Brent is most proud of is the fact he did everything. “I can say I restored it by myself. I had help with the engine, but it was fun to do and it makes a guy proud when you drive down the road in a vehicle that you restored.”

Advance-Design was a pickup truck series by Chevrolet, their first major redesign after the Second World War. Its GMC counterpart was the GMC New Design. It was billed as a larger, stronger and sleeker design in comparison to the earlier AK Series. First available on Saturday June 28, 1947, these trucks were sold with various minor changes over the years until March 25, 1955.
The same basic design family was used for all of its trucks including the Suburban, panel trucks, canopy express and cab overs. The unique cab over fenders and hood required a custom cowl area, which makes the cab over engine cabs and normal truck cabs incompatible with one another, while all truck cabs of all weights interchange. While General Motors used this front end sheet metal, and to a slightly lesser extent the cab, on all of its trucks except for the cab overs. In 1947, changes were gasoline tank filler neck on passenger side of bed. No vent windows in doors. Hood side emblems read Chevrolet with Thriftmaster or Loadmaster underneath. Serial numbers started with EP for half tons, ER for three quarter tons, and ES for one tons. Radios were first available in Chevrolet trucks as an in-dash option on the Advance-Design body style.

Council approves Curling club washroom renos

By Lori Larsen

During the City of Camrose committee of whole meeting held on Aug. 20, council heard on a proposal by the Rose City Curling Club to proceed with renovations of both the men’s and women’s washrooms on the main level of the facility.
A quote received from Align Builders for the renovations of the washrooms came in at $65,496 (not including the floors at an additional cost of approximately $2,500.)
The recommendation of the Curling Club was to allocate the equivalent dollar amount of the curling club’s rent for the 2019-20 curling season, to the cost of this renovation with the City covering any outstanding amount.
During the regular council meeting held on Aug. 20, council approved a motion to fund the Rose City Curling Club renovations of the club washrooms with funds provided from the General Capital Reserve, with the Club’s  rental payments being transferred to capital until the full amount is returned to the General Capital Reserve.
Councillor Kevin Hycha commented, “This curling rink has been in dire need of some facelifts for many years, to allow them to try to expand the membership by making it a more viable place to come. They have a brand new board, full of energy, that is ready to move into next season, so I think this is a great step to not only give them a helping hand, but a lift-up to expand the club.”
Hycha also made reference to the fact that the curling club has brought millions of dollars into the community by hosting different events. “Going forward in 2022, they have reached out and are holding the Pinty’s tournament. So this enhancement will not only help the club  through memberships, but through tournaments and  different events.”
Mayor Norm Mayer added, “It is a City facility, so we are basically enhancing a building the City owns.”

Labour changes on straight-time banked and overtime

By Lori Larsen

Changes to general holiday pay and banked overtime of the Employment Labour Standard took effect on Sept. 1.
In the spring of this year the Government of Alberta passed the Open for Business Act, which included changes to employment standards rules that are intended to reduce burdens on employers.
Effective as of Sept. 1, employers and employees will be able to settle on straight-time banked overtime hours agreements.
Flexible Averaging Agreements are being repealed, as straight-time overtime agreements mean they are no longer needed.
As well the legislation includes changes to general holiday pay, including a return to a qualifying period of 30 days in the last 12 months before a general holiday, and a return to regular and irregular workday distinctions when calculating general holiday pay.
For those interested in learning more about the changes, including the job creation student wage which took effect on June 26, Alberta’s Employment Standards teams will be offering webinars in September.
The webinars will cover what happens to existing banked overtime agreements and Flexible Averaging Agreements. A Webinar focused on the job creation student wage and the new rules for banked overtime and general holiday pay, will occur on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
The Alberta’s Employment Standards teams will also offer webinar training on a broad overview of Alberta’s employment standards rules, including overtime and general holiday pay, on the following Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Each webinar includes a live question and answer session to give participants a chance to discuss their own situations with the group.
For more information on the Alberta Employment Standards or to register for any of the webinar sessions, visit the website a
22 dianne kohler 2

CRE Kohler's first year flying by

Camrose Regional Exhibition executive director Dianne Kohler looks ahead at some of new initiatives for the organization.

By Lori Larsen

With her first Big Valley Jamboree under her belt, relatively new Camrose Regional Exhibition (CRE) executive director Dianne Kohler is breathing a little easier.
As the mark of her first year with the CRE quickly approaches, Kohler admits that she can hardly believe it has been that long and that she is thoroughly enjoying her new position as well as being a member of the Camrose community.
While in Nova Scotia assisting her husband with his parents, Kohler saw the job posting for the position with the CRE and decided to put her name into the pool of applicants.
“We had intended on moving back west eventually, so I sent in my resume and Mark (Schneider CRE board president) called me the next day,” smiled Kohler.
After a couple months of completing interviews and other processes, Kohler was offered the position. “I think I probably cried, I was that happy,” she said, excited to be accepting a position for a not-for-profit with an agriculture base.
Having lived and worked in larger metropolitan areas such as Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax and Las Vegas, Kohler and her husband were ready to settle into a smaller city with rural roots.
Working events
With an extensive background in the event industry, Kohler is excited to be able to bring new and innovative ideas to the CRE.
“I have always been, in one way, shape or form, in the event industry, whether that is working with venues or actually producing and designing events,” she explained her background.
As a self-employed contractor for event producing, Kohler worked in Canada, United States, Europe and South America helping people with large scale events, working all angles of the industry.
She had a four-year stint with Agri-Trade in Red Deer. “I really loved it. It was a one-person profit business working for two non-profits. All the revenues from the Agri-Trade support the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce and Westerner Park.”
Ten years prior, Kohler made a personal career choice to only use her skills and knowledge on event industry for not-for-profit organizations.
She left Agri-Trade and completed some contract work with Ontario Agriculture Society.
CRE bound
“When I arrived at the CRE, I knew some of the background. The board was very good during the interview in providing me with information and were very honest about some of the challenges they faced,” said Kohler. “The board members are a dream to work with and are passionate about what they are doing and are there for the right reasons.”
She said for the first three months as CRE’s new executive director, she observed and researched. Then from January to present, she has been guiding a little bit of correction. “We needed to stop doing some things where we were losing money and look at our overall staffing and make sure we are making the right choices for businesses coming in.”
She indicated that a large part of her job description is to work with CRE staff, board and all business sections of the CRE at determining strategies on how the CRE will sustain itself financially. “Doing the right things and making sure we are still relevant–taking a deep look at each business unit and the events we put on here such as BVJ, Growing Rural Tourism, the rodeo, Festival of Trees and determining if they are still relevant, then determining what we are planning for the future.”
In doing so, Kohler said that working collaboratively with community partners, such as the Camrose County, the City of Camrose, Downtown Camrose and Camrose and District Chamber of Commerce to produce the events the community wants to attend, is vital.
“Now we start a planning process for programming out here and what we are going to do in 2021 so that we can get funding in place.”
After multiple meetings in July with new minister of Agriculture and Forestry Devin Dreeshen, the CRE was able to secure a grant to assist with a large amount of operating costs and are working on securing a three-year funding model going forward.  “Minister Dreeshen is well aware of the value ag societies play in the community, so we are all excited to work with him,” said Kohler
To further assist with acquiring funding, the CRE brought a contract grant writer on board. “The grant writer had discussions with the board, staff and myself to determine where weak points are and help plan into the future.
“We always have a strategic eye on every decision we make here and if it will be sustainable 20 years from now. Is it financially the right decision to make, does it impede the organization for future years and is it what the community needs?”
Kohler said part of the process is looking at how the demographics of the community have shifted and adjusting the mindset of the CRE to suit those changes, as well as partnering, wherever feasible, to help service the events to excellent standards.
 This may include stopping or rethinking some of the events presently operated out of the CRE, such as the rodeo which was put on  hiatus this year.
“There are a lot of moms (with toddlers) in the community and we need to look at what we are doing to program for them. What do they need?”
She said with contagious excitement that beginning the fall of this year, the community will be seeing some very different events coming through the CRE, while continuing to support the agriculture society with events such as 4-H.
“When we develop events, we try to look at a 50-kilometre radius and can we get good traction in that 50 kilometres, get them buying in, then we can start to move that radius outside the 50 kilometres.”
That, along with recognizing what the city and the agriculture society wants, assists in planning for 2020, 2021 and beyond.
“With all that is going on with agriculture right now and a lot of distrust with our food and some of the misinformation that may exist regarding agriculture food production, I think that the CRE has a responsibility to help bring urban and rural together so they can have the respectful open conversation.”
With regards to staffing, Kohler explained that organizational restructuring ensures that staff members are not only doing the jobs they possess the skills for, but are doing what makes them happy.
In an effort to better serve customers, all members of the team and business will be located under one roof, including Panhandle.
In the second phase of her beginnings with the CRE, she intends to focus on making changes in infrastructure.
Currently the staff, with Kohler’s guidance, are working on some exciting  events and initiatives.
“On Aug. 11, we hosted the Alberta on Plate following farm foraging and we are continually in conversation and working with the local food artisans.”
At the end of  September, the CRE will be hosting a large scale garage sale to assist in cleaning house on a load of Christmas decor and other items the CRE no longer needs.
The CRE is also a taking an active role in the Garlands and Gatherings committee initiated by  Tourism Camrose to make Christmas in the City of Camrose and Camrose County a plethora of events and excitement.
Looking ahead, Kohler said she is making it her mandate to secure a deeper understanding of the heart of BVJ. “What makes it so special? We are looking at keeping the event current. What are we doing or what are we missing? It’s important to talk to the people attending and find out what we are doing right and what can we do better.”
There are also plans to put out a survey to the community in the fall to help determine what might be missing and what the CRE can provide. What are the events that community members love and attend in Edmonton that the CRE can offer here?
“We can get our marching orders from the community to start that future development. We are here and we want to work with the community. We are not isolated and we are not internally focused. It is about  what the people want and need as opposed to what we want,” said Kohler, adding in her delightfully spirited way, “It will be fun. read more

Kucy wins second junior golf title

By Murray Green

Winning a golf tournament is becoming a habit for Jayla Kucy of Camrose.
She won the McLennan Ross Alberta Junior Golf Tour Championship at Wolf Creek Golf Resort in Ponoka on Aug. 23.
Jayla Kucy, 13, had a great season and captured the junior girls title with an 80 score for her second consecutive tour championship victory.
She became the first back-to-back girls’ tour champion since Kaitlin Allan about a decade ago. And, she won by eight strokes on a windy day in less than ideal weather conditions. Nicole Rohr of Camrose placed 13th.
Jayla finished tied for third in the Teen USkids World Championships in Pinehurst, North Carolina on Aug. 2 with a 232 score over three rounds. She also  was the net score champion at the Alberta Ladies Amateur tournament, where she fired a 228 in three rounds.
On the boy’s side, Jace Shannon of Forestburg was tied for fourth with a 75, four back of the leader. He was the top golfer in players born in 2005 or later.
Eric Bouck of Camrose  was tied for seventh spot with a 77 score.
Rory Wutzke of Camrose came in tied for 13th with an 81.
Jesse Borgfjord of Camrose was tied for 39th, Devin Kucy was tied for 53rd and Landon Scharf of Camrose finished at 83rd place.

Kodiaks split two games at home

By Murray Green

Camrose Kodiaks opened the 2019-20 Alberta Junior Hockey League season at home with a 5-1 win over Olds Grizzlys on Sept. 13 and a 6-4 loss against Brooks Bandits on Sept. 14.
The Kodiaks placed fourth in the AJHL south last season with a 32-21-7 record and will be looking to improve on that record this season.
The third to seventh players with the most points are all back this year, as well as top goalie Griffin Bowerman who posted 17 wins and a 2.30 goals against average.
Jacob Kendall with 50 points, McKenzie Welke with 42 points, Erik Miller with 41 points, Cody Laskosky with 39 points and Carson Welke with 39 points are all back to lead the offence.
The Kodiaks feature local players Brennan Davis from Camrose, Lane Brockhoff from Edberg, Laskosky from New Norway, Callum Gau from Camrose, Kendall form Camrose and Damon Zimmer from Daysland.
After a three game road tour, Camrose hosts the AJHL Showcase weekend on Sept. 27 and 28. Camrose is the away team on Friday against Bonnyville and then hosts the Fort McMurray Oil Barons on Sept. 28. Both games in the Encana Arena begin at 7 p.m.
All teams in the league will play two games in Camrose from Sept. 26 to 28. Some games will be played in the Max McLean Arena.

Buffaloes hold busy football day

By Murray Green

Camrose Buffaloes Football teams are heading into the heart of the season.
Camrose lost 42-18 to the Edmonton Seahawks in Camrose on Sept. 14.
The Buffaloes host the Wetaskiwin Warriors on Sept. 21 at 2:30 p.m.; they play in Fort Saskatchewan against the Falcons on Sept. 28 and then play a rematch on Oct. 6 in Fort Saskatchewan.
Camrose lost 32-6 to Beaumont at home on Sept. 14.
The Buffaloes host the Millwoods Grizzles on Sept. 21 at 10 a.m.; they play in Leduc against the Cats on Sept. 29 and then play the Bombers in Stony Plain on Oct. 5.
Camrose Navy won 5-0 over Wetaskiwin Blue and Camrose Red tied 4-4 against Wetaskiwin Gold on Sept. 14. The teams are preparing for games in Leduc on Sept. 22.
Camrose Navy and Camrose Red both won over two different Wetaskiwin teams on Sept. 14 at Kin Park.
The teams are in action on Sept. 22 with games in Leduc as well.

Augustana Vikings begin new season

By Murray Green

September brings a new season of sports for the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings.
The athletes and coaches are building on last year’s success.
The women’s and men’s soccer teams host Ambrose  at noon and 2 p.m. A on Sept. 22. The women’s team lost 2-1 to Lethbridge with Jessica LaLonde scoring and 1-0 to Medicine Hat in two close contests. Augustana goalie Cassidy Newcombe faced 18 shots in the two games.
Cross-country running
The running teams start with several grand prix races at Grande Prairie on Sept. 21 and SAIT on Sept. 28 prior to hosting a meet on Oct. 12 at Stoney Creek Centre. Provincials will be on Oct. 26 hosted by SAIT in Calgary.
At Concordia, Michio Green of the Vikings came in second with a 26:17 time. Noah Day was next in 12th, Ben Wolfert was 14th and Jonas Stoll-Pott was 17th to place third in the men’s team event.
Reese Bendiksen led the women’s squad with a fourth place finish in 24:40. Ann Danard came in seventh, Ann Mirejovsky made the top 10 and Sarah Hicks placed 18th to earn third in the team event.
The season began at Redtail Landing on Sept. 14 and 15 with the Open North Regional Tournament. SAIT hosts on Sept. 21 and 22. Provincials will be on Sept. 27 to 29 at Coal Creek Golf Course near Camrose.
Augustana hosts NAIT on Sept. 14 in an exhibition game starting at 2 p.m. in the Encana Arena. The Vikings also take on SAIT in Camrose on Oct. 4. The regular season begins with Augustana at Briercrest on Oct. 11 and 12.
The women’s and men’s Vikings open the pre-season on Sept. 20  and 21 with a tournament. Augustana plays their first home games on Oct. 26 at 6 and 8 p.m. against the King’s Eagles.
The women’s and men’s Vikings open the regular season in Fort McMurray against Keyano. The home openers are on Oct. 25 at 6 and 8 p.m. against the King’s Eagles.
The Vikings will be at the fall regionals on Nov. 29 to 30 in Lloydminster.

Births and Deaths

- To Rosher Ann and Clifford Arogante, of Camrose, a son on August 26.
- To Sara Thirsk and Chad Morrison, of Rosalind, a son on August 27.
- To Kara and Nathan Pederson of Camrose, a daughter on August 30.

- Katherine Wittenberg, of Tofield, on September 3, at 98 years of age.
- Edith Elenore (Nerland) Crosland, of Tofield, on September 7, at 100 years of age.
- Fryda McPhee, of Camrose, formerly of  Drumheller, on September 9, at 93 years of age.
- Joyce Eleanor Chant, of Camrose, on September 11, at 92 years of age.
- Lloyd Kenton Brown, of Camrose, on September 11, at  62 years of age.
- Sharon Campbell, of Daysland, on September 12, at 78 years of age.
- Eva Ledene, of Bawlf, on September 12, at 100 years of age.
- Wilma Jean Lee, of Edmonton, on September 14, at 86 years of age.