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By Bonnie Hutchinson

Learning - or not -
from experience

I once heard a workshop leader say, “It is said that people learn from experience. My observation is that some people learn from experience, and some people just have experiences.”
As I’ve thought about it, I realize I fit into both categories! Maybe we all do. Sometimes we actually do learn and acquire some wisdom from our experiences. Sometimes, to put it kindly, we miss the opportunity.
I remembered that comment as I read this list. The person who sent it asked one of his friends, who was heading towards 80 years old, what sort of changes he was feeling in himself.
Here’s what the older man sent back.
     #1 – After loving my parents, my siblings, my spouse, my children, my friends, now I have started loving myself.
     #2 – I just realized that I am not “Atlas”. The world does not rest on my shoulders.
     #3 – I now stopped bargaining with vegetable and fruit vendors. A few pennies more is not going to burn a hole in my pocket, but it might help the poor fellow save for his daughter’s school fees.
     #4 – I pay my waitress a big tip. The extra money might bring a smile to her face. She is toiling much harder for a living than me.
     #5 – I stopped telling the elderly that they’ve already narrated that story many times. The story makes them walk down Memory Lane and relive the past. (This one made me laugh, because the almost-80 man refers to the “elderly” as if he isn’t one of them! Then I stopped laughing when I remembered that I too am heading towards 80.)
     #6 – I have learned not to correct people even when I know they are wrong. The onus of making everyone perfect is not on me. Peace is more precious than perfection.
     #7 – I give compliments freely and generously. Compliments are a mood enhancer not only for the recipient, but also for me. And a small tip for the recipient of a compliment: never, never turn it down. Just say “Thank You.”
     #8 – I have learned not to bother about a crease or a spot on my shirt. Personality speaks louder than appearances.
     #9 – I walk away from people who don’t value me. They might not know my worth, but I do.
     #10 – I remain cool when someone plays dirty to outrun me in the rat race. I am not a rat, and neither am I in any race.
     #11 – I am learning not to be embarrassed by my emotions. It’s my emotions that make me human.
     #12 – I have learned that it’s better to drop the ego than to break a relationship. My ego will keep me aloof, whereas with relationships, I will never be alone.
     #13 – I have learned to live each day as if it’s the last. After all, it might be the last.
     #14 – I am doing what makes me happy. I am responsible for my happiness, and I owe it to myself. Happiness is a choice. You can be happy at any time, just choose to be!
I appreciated reading the list, and found myself nodding–or sometimes noticing that I agree with what the man said, but don’t always act accordingly.
And, in this rather somber beginning to a new year with already more than its share of turbulence, I remembered a quote:
“Another world is not only possible, she’s on her way. Maybe many of us won’t be here to greet her, but on a quiet day, if I listen very carefully, I can hear her breathing.” – Arundhati Roy
Hope that uplifts your day!
I’d love to hear from you. Send a note to and I’ll happily reply within one business day.

Assistance for small businesses

By Lori Larsen

Camrose and District Chamber of Commerce encourages eligible business owners/operators to look into the Alberta Government Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant Program, Phase II, which is offering financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and nonprofit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations, and that experienced a revenue reduction of at least 30 per cent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two payments of up to $20,000 will be available to eligible applicants who can use the funds as they see fit, to help offset a portion of the impact of new public health measures or their relaunch costs, such as implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission.
Some of these costs may include physical barriers, purchasing personal protective equipment and disinfecting supplies, paying rent and employee wages, and replacing inventory.
Those that may be eligible for the Relaunch Grant Program consist of businesses, cooperatives and nonprofit organizations that were ordered to close or curtail operations as a result of public health orders issued by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Applicants will be required to demonstrate a revenue reduction of at least 30 per cent in April and/or May 2020 as a result of COVID-19 public health orders.
Those who have not yet done so can apply for both their first and second payments using a single application. Those who have already submitted an application for their first payment will be given the option to fill out and submit an application for the second payment. The application for the second payment will be accessible through the online application portal as an add-on to the first submitted application. Starting a completely new application will result in the application being flagged by the system as a duplicate and will cause payment delays.
Applications for the first and second payment are currently open and intake will remain open until March 31.
For more information and to view the How To Apply for SMERG second payment video, visit

County proposes recreation flat fee to work together

By Murray Green

Camrose County will be presenting a flat fee proposal to the City of Camrose for shared recreation costs in the future.
During a regular council meeting on Jan. 12, the County reviewed correspondence from the Mayor of the City of Camrose regarding a proposal on recreation, fire and recycling.
“I move that Camrose County council, subject to the correspondence from the Mayor of the City of Camrose to the Reeve of Camrose County, move to present a flat fee annual contribution Recreation Agreement based on the terms and conditions as outlined in the Mayor’s proposal, with the exception of the methodology used to calculate the funding, and further, that both parties agree to concede their funding formula methodologies in order to reach an acceptable recreation agreement,” said councillor Brian Willoughby.
Camrose County council also reviewed correspondence coming from the regular City of Camrose council meeting held on Dec. 21, 2020, where City councillors discussed the status of the Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework negotiations and passed the following motion: Moved by Throndson, seconded by Ofrim, that on a “without prejudice basis”, the City of Camrose will suspend the implementation of differential pricing for the use of recreational facilities in the City of Camrose by Camrose County residents, on the condition that the Camrose County agree to make a monthly payment of $30,298 to the City of Camrose until such time as a Recreational Agreement is reached by agreement or arbitration and further, that any such Recreational Agreement will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2021.
Corporate services manager Teresa Gratrix advised council that the recreation facilities in the City that are shared with County residents are currently not operating due to COVID-19 restrictions, and that the County does not usually make the payment for recreation services to the City until July and August.
Councillor Jack Lyle then made the following motion, “I move that Camrose County council respectfully deny a monthly payment of $30,298 to the City of Camrose until such time as a Recreational Agreement is reached by mutual agreement or by arbitration,” said councillor Jack Lyle, under the assumption that the City and County can come to an acceptable agreement prior to that date.
“We have bent over backwards to help the City with this agreement. This is so frustrating,” added councilor Brian Willoughby.
County administrator Paul King noted they were in receipt of a letter from the City of Camrose indicating that the City, by motion at the Dec. 21, 2020 City council meeting, has agreed to proceed with mediation of outstanding Intermunicipal Servicing Agreements (fire, recreation and recycling) and the finalization of an Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework with the condition that Camrose County agree to name an arbitrator. “I move that subject to the Camrose County motion #6/21 made at today’s County council meeting: Camrose County council begin the mediation process on the outstanding Intermunicipal Servicing Agreements (fire and recreation) and the finalization of an Intermunicipal Collaborative Framework (ICF) with the City of Camrose, and further, should the mediation process fail to achieve an agreement prior to the deadline, that Camrose County council submit the name of Robert McBean, Queen’s Council, to the City of Camrose as the County’s nomination for an arbitrator,” said councillor Trevor Miller.

Special Olympics move forward

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Athletes are ready for 2021.

By Lori Larsen

The New Year has brought about new goals, new opportunities and planning for Special Olympics Alberta-Camrose and Special Olympic athletes, who look forward to moving forward and beyond the challenges faced in 2020.
The year will begin with the continuation of the virtual eight-week PEAK Program which will resume on Jan. 25 at 7 p.m., with the Maximize Mondays program, followed by Workout Wednesdays on Jan. 27.
Healthy Tips Tuesdays and Variety Thursdays will be offered as well.
“This is a fun and interactive program aimed at athletes staying connected and active,” explained   Special Olympics Camrose chairperson Carol Wideman.
Registration details are available on the Special Olympics Camrose website at
The Polar Plunge “chilling” event has gone a little more local this year, with a virtual event due to COVID concerns and the safety of all plungers, which include athletes, Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) members and local community supporters.
“This is allowing for great creativity,” said Wideman. “The plungers are using cold buckets of water, plunging in p.j.s, kiddie pools and bathtubs filled with ice water.”
These courageous  plungers are doing it all for the great cause of raising funds and awareness for Special Olympics. The Virtual Opening Ceremony will take place on Facebook and YouTube on Jan. 31 at 11 a.m. Visit www.special
Special Olympics, like so many other organizations, have had to think outside the box to keep the community aware of the amazing work being done to keep athletes not only engaged, but active within their communities.
During this long pause in Special Olympics programming due to COVID restrictions and recommendations in programming, community support is helping Special Olympics Alberta develop and offer virtual programming.
On a local level, Camrose athletes and volunteers are taking advantage of online meets and telephone chats, and are look forward to PEAK starting up again.
“They do miss being together face to face though,” said Wideman.
“We will be hosting the virtual Larry Gibson Fun Walk-Run again this spring. This a great time for athletes and community members to walk outdoors/indoors, all while remembering and honouring a dearly departed volunteer.”
Special Olympics currently serves approximately 130 athletes aged one to 75 years old, with over 40 community-minded volunteers. “Typically, we offer year-round sport and nutrition programs to athletes of all ages.”
Aside from the programming offered to the athletes, Special Olympics Camrose athletes and volunteers are invaluable contributors within the community. Residents look forward to being able to see them participating in events soon, fingers crossed.

Local picketers respond to Camrose MLA

By Murray Green

Those who take part in peaceful demonstrations are exercising their right to show their concerns. Most people don’t think they should be labelled as socialists.
“In MLA Jackie Lovely’s statement in The Camrose Booster on Jan. 12, she responded to both the presence of a group of people who had been demonstrating outside of her office in previous weeks, and to a letter to the editor published in The Booster by some of those same people. I feel it’s important to counter some misconceptions and assumptions Ms. Lovely made,” said Joy-Anne Murphy.
These nonpartisan demonstrations were attended by upwards of 35 individuals over six weeks, who simply wanted to express their frustration with the current government.
“It appears Ms. Lovely recognized a couple of the letter writers as NDP members, resulting in her lazily generalizing that the demonstrators were a group of socialists–a way of dismissing their concerns. I joined the demonstrations because I felt unheard by the UCP. During the six weeks of the demonstrations, I reached out to MLA Lovely at least three times, indicating my interest in meeting or otherwise communicating about my concerns, with no response. (Note that since our letter was printed, I have written once and called once in the past week, with timely responses both times.) As well, we made every effort to accommodate local business concerns, while exercising our right to protest. Ms. Lovely and the UCP government might want to consider that dialogue or consultation could have avoided many of our grievances,” continued Joy-Anne.
“These lacks have been shown in UCP decisions regarding health care and support for children and adults with learning, mental health, or disability support needs that were punitive, unilateral and heavy handed; radical cuts that left school boards and post-secondary institutions ravaged; parks de-listed with little explanation and no consultation (somewhat reversed only after public outcry); and the government’s focus on energy derived from the oil and gas sector that has been so single-minded that jobs in multiple other sectors have been thrown under the proverbial bus. While Ms. Lovely chided the ‘many’ people who had written her with letters that were ‘too brief for me to bring your concerns to my colleagues’, I have written her lengthy, detailed letters about these concerns.
“Finally, Ms. Lovely mentioned ‘those of you who have come into my office and used foul language’. Stated as it is in this interview about the demonstrators, it may lead to an assumption that those people are one and the same. Please be assured that this is not the case.”
Anne McIntosh added, “I participated in letter writing and the physically-distanced respectful protests outside of MLA Lovely’s UCP office because I am a constituent who has grave concerns about what is happening in Alberta. I am not a member of the NDP; I am a concerned citizen who wants to ensure that the Alberta that I grew up in and love remains for future generations. Instead, I am seeing people fall through the cracks in a UCP Alberta. Amidst COVID-19, I am grateful to our frontline workers who are helping to ensure that our health care system continues to function despite the attempts by the UCP government to damage it. Given that Ms. Lovely would like more specifics on concerns her constituents have, here are a few of the actions I would like the UCP to reconsider:
1) Cuts to program unit funding for early intervention supports for children with disabilities and delays–have you considered how much of a difference these programs can make for our children? Our children are worth the costs.
2) Cuts to post-secondary education and performance-based funding models. University of Alberta, where I work, is an important economic contributor to Camrose. Budget cuts are reducing our ability to deliver the high-quality education that our students deserve.
3) The dangers of allowing industry to thrive at the expense of other impacts. Why isn’t the UCP focusing on diversifying our economy away from nonrenewable resources rather than, for instance, cheaply leasing ecologically important Rockies eastern slopes land to non-Canadian coal mining companies for short-term job gains at the expense of long-term ecological impacts, including clean drinking water for many Albertans? I will continue to use my voice to advocate for change, and encourage you to do so, too.”
Little communication
“To be blunt, Jackie Lovely doesn’t have any interest speaking to or representing the people of the Camrose constituency unless they already agree with her. Months of Jackie refusing to answer emails, social media messages, letters, phone calls, and more was one of the many reasons many protestors turned out, and even throughout the protests, she refused to speak to us at any point, instead choosing to misrepresent us. She says that she is open to a civil, constructive discussion, which was news to me. She snubbed a rally in support of Augustana, ignored the protests directly outside her office, and continually refused to answer anything from constituents for her entire term unless it’s praise for her policies,” said Wyatt Tanton.
“The three times I gathered with the nonpartisan folks on public property, we respected foot and vehicle traffic, were careful not to block ingress or egress to buildings, respected public health recommendations, never shouted nor chanted, and even got reciprocated smiles and waves from people inside adjacent businesses,” said Carol Barber.
“To dismiss others simply because they do not align with party doctrine, nor blindly follow regressive policy, doesn’t bring me to tears or anger, it brings me to activism.”
They feel the government is failing to help people. “Ms. Lovely, know that the people who choose to spend their time and energy to share our messages outside your office (when we are not limited by AHS restrictions) do so because of our grave concerns with regards to what the UCP government is doing (since the election and certainly now that we are in the midst of a pandemic).
“For example, there have been massive cuts of funding in education, particularly at the post-secondary level. In Camrose, about 40 people have lost their jobs at the Augustana Campus over the past year due to budget cuts. As well, two very valuable health care programs have been cut in nursing and physiotherapy, both which provided well-prepared professionals for the Central Alberta region.  Is this the ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ promise made in the UCP campaign? More questions we have related to: the millions of acres of the Rocky Mountains that are now available for coal-mining and who will protect the rivers that will be filled with selenium; how is it justifiable to spend millions of Albertans’ tax dollars on an oil and gas war room and inquiries that lead to nothing; and why are more Alberta taxpayer-funded contracts issued to consultants to study possible provincial pension plans? There are many more questions that warrant responses. I believe in work that is done to improve the well-being of people, and I believe intolerance is not helpful and that empathy is essential.  Empathy starts with listening,” said Nancy Goebel.
Debbie Schielke also expressed her concerns, even though she wasn’t involved in the protests. “I was deeply offended by Lovely’s very one-sided comments regarding members of her constituency. Also, I believe her comments further illustrate her lack of engagement, respect or understanding of the needs of this constituency and/or the very real concerns of her constituents.
“I believe it is important for a MLA to address, listen and, at the very least, acknowledge all constituents’ concerns whether the MLA shares a similar viewpoint or not. That’s their job,” shared Schielke.
This is the first time she has ever written a MLA. “I was writing to MLA Lovely because I was extremely concerned with her statement to the ‘Members of the Select Special Public Health Act Review Committee’, which in turn was quoted in the Sept. 30 edition of the Edmonton Journal. I didn’t believe that her quote accurately reflected a majority of her constituents and was, in fact, somewhat misleading, so I was writing to ask for clarification.”
Lovely was quoted as stating that she had received a petition with over 500 signatures from her constituents stating they don’t support abortion in any way. “I would like to discuss with you as to what the phrase ‘abortion in any way’ means and, most importantly, I would like to know the following regarding the said petition: the actual number of names on the petition, when was the petition circulated, who circulated the petition, and how was it circulated. As a 57-year-old female resident of this community and a member of your constituency, I had never been made aware of this petition,” stated Schielke.
“MLA Lovely did call me and left a voice mail stating that she had been misquoted in the Edmonton Journal.
“I would like to make an appointment with you to discuss the specifics of the anti-abortion petition you received from some of your constituents,” said Schielke. “It was unfortunate that I missed her phone call Wednesday, Oct. 7. I received no follow-up regarding emails.”
She sent a fourth and final email regarding this concern dated Oct. 28. “Again, I did not receive a response or an acknowledgement that this email was received. Her lack of response or acknowledgement felt disrespectful and dismissive.”
Schielke sent the MLA another note on Jan. 6. “Once again, I have not received a response or acknowledgement that it was received.
“I feel it is important that you answer the following questions. When I speak of the Christmas break, I am specifically asking about the timeframe  from Dec. 19 to Jan. 4 inclusive.
1) Were your Christmas holidays spent in your home with only members of your household present?
2) Did you travel to see other family members, friends or colleagues?
3) Did you travel outside the country, the province, or your own constituency?”
The items were sent to the MLA for her feedback.

Bailey Theatre reports successes at AGM

By Murray Green

The Bailey Theatre is realigning the Society reporting to correspond with its fiscal year and theatre season calendar year.
“This report covers the first seven months of 2020, and we will prepare an annual report for the period of August 2020 to July 2021 to present at our next AGM in the fall of 2021,” said president David Francoeur.
“This meeting only covers seven months, but oh, what a seven months it was. We had a strong start and a solid lineup planned. Then COVID-19 hit. We had to cancel shows, lay off staff and our revenue disappeared. It was a time to reflect on the future. We concentrated on fundraising, and now we are in the black due to grants and fundraising,” said the president.
“We had 2,550 volunteer hours in those seven months, which is incredible. When you think about the fact we were not able to run so many events, it really speaks to the number of volunteers who were able to do a multitude of different things,” said volunteer coordinator Colleen Nelson.
She thanked all of the volunteers and staff. Volunteers play a key role on a grand scale, which was never more evident than this year.
“We have a great theatre, but it is the volunteers and staff who make it so special in our community,” added Colleen.
Once Alberta Health Services required the theatre to shut down, volunteers assumed cleaning, repairs and maintenance, along with box office and bookkeeping roles, and the Flea Market in the spring.
The board stayed active by fundraising and strategic planning to prepare for a better future. What a versatile and devoted crew!
“From Jan. 1 to July 31, 2020, the Bailey Theatre was able to host 15 events. That’s not very many for seven months, but the theatre was only open for three months,” explained vice president Barb Stroh.
“This included our first livestream concert featuring 39 acts. We also offered a 10-day Flea Market and hosted one private wedding. More than 2,777 patrons attended/viewed the performances, while hundreds visited the Flea Market. The pandemic closed the theatre for four months.”
“Matilda the Musical was held by the Bashaw Community Theatre. It warmed hearts with the story of an extraordinary girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. The huge cast and supporters put on two outstanding performances.
“Matt Andersen wowed the near sellout crowd with his powerhouse voice. Thank you to Rose City Roots Music Society for bringing Matt back to the Bailey.
“Congratulations to the Nordlys Film Fest team for an exceptional long weekend of films and fun,” added Barb. “We look forward to having them back.”
Godfrey Blaque Band rocked the leap year night away with their favorite classic rock tunes.
Snowed-In Comedy offered four comedians who  did not disappoint. They brought in a huge dump of snow, a large crowd and a load of laughs.
Peanut Butter Falcon from the Toronto Film Festival was hosted at the Bailey by Camrose County.
The massive market held in March was planned pre-COVID-19. “It turned out to be a big success for the theatre, thanks to our overwhelming community support and the hard work of volunteers. Donations continued to multiply. It was heartwarming during difficult times. We had beautiful treasures coming in that were looked at by many people. We were just thrilled with the response,” said past president Judy McLean.
Leslie Lindballe hosted the Bailey’s first ever virtual concert for the 110th celebration. “We had amazing response from talented performers locally and from right across Canada,” said Leslie.
A sneak preview documenting the history of the Bailey Theatre came to the Bailey silver screen this July.
Telus StoryHive funded the film and Story Brokers Media House produced the half-hour film Marquee Rising. “Between the virtual show and Marquee Rising, we managed to raise $10,000 so that was able to get us through the fall,” added David Roth.
“The Battle River Community Foundation gave us our first relaunch grant. We managed to keep our heads above water and pay the bills throughout the first part of the year because our volunteers, donors, sponsors and artists all came through with such amazing generosity. Our bottle drive was amazing,” said treasurer Celia Leathwood. “Our grants and donations were higher than our ticket sales. Having 50/50 ticket sales at our events made a huge difference.”
President David Francoeur has stepped down, so past president Judy McLean will take over this year.
Returning directors are Mike Hicks, Leslie Lindballe, Carman Mason and David Roth, as well as McLean, Nelson and Stroh.
New directors are Tammy Johnson and David Samm. The board is allowed 15 directors, so others could be added throughout the year.

Family Ski-Doo returns to showroom

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Ken Mingo enjoys reflecting about the classic 1961 Ski-Doo snowmobile that now sits in the Camrose Motorsports showroom. Inset: Ken, seated, is joined by son Bob and Bob’s son-in-law Dale Martin in the showroom.   

By Murray Green

A new snowmobile is located in the Camrose Motorsports showroom, but it isn’t a 2021 model. The 1961 Ski-Doo snowmobile, owned by the Byers/Mingo family, is back at a Ski-Doo dealership.
It was housed at The Auto Shoppe since the western store was closed. It has now come home to Camrose Motorsports.
The Ski-Doo, one of the first, if not the first model sold in Alberta, found its original home at Byers Flour Mills and Country & Western Store. About six months later, the store became the Ski-Doo dealership in Camrose. Camrose Motorsports is the current Ski-Doo dealership.
The story starts out with a friend of Bob Mingo’s grandfather. “He came here one Sunday with a Ski-Doo. He took us out by the ski hill, drove around and played in the snow,” recalled Ken Mingo, Bob’s father. “He (Ken’s father-in-law Laurie Byers) said, ‘We are going to have one of those.’”
Ken’s father-in-law soon asked questions of where the machine came from and how much it cost. “It came from a distributor from Edmonton. He bought one a week later (the same machine that now sits in the showroom), and asked for a dealership. They told him no, we don’t have any dealerships available. It took six months, but we finally got a dealership,” explained Ken.
Most of the first machines came with wooden skis, but Byers ordered his with the metal skis. They could be ordered with either skis. “At first, they wouldn’t sell us a dealership, but they sold us a 1961 machine. We had Ski-Doos in stock by the next year–1962. When he (Laurie) saw us and Walter Byers playing around on this machine, he just had to have one. That was all there was to it.”
The flour mill didn’t look like an ideal place for a dealership at first. “We showed that we had floor space and that we had a garage. We had mechanics and proved we could be a dealership. Then we built the western store, and had a garage behind the store that we used as a repair shop,” continued Ken.
He didn’t recall how many machines they sold in the first year, but by the late 1970s, the machines seemed like they were flying out the door. “Bombardier had a program going where if you sold 25 machines, you would get a ticket for a Caribbean  cruise that included sales meetings on the cruise. If you doubled that amount, you received two tickets. So we doubled the goal and received two tickets so I could take my wife Renie. All of the next year’s models were lined up on the top of the cruise ship.”
That wasn’t the only trip Ken went on. “They used to go to Valcourt, Quebec (where the machine was invented) to see how the new machines were being built,” added Bob.
Ken was often invited to the annual meetings. “It was quite neat to see the machine being manufactured. They had the original Ski-Doo on display. They (Bombardier) used an old Model T or A Ford car with the front wheels taken off and skis put on. The back wheels were taken off and a half track was put on. It was used by doctors to go to the northern part of Quebec when they had medical calls.”
Not a lot of machines were built at first. “Only 729 machines were sold in 1961. Six units were made in 1959, four were identified as 1960 prototypes, and about 225 were made in 1960,” said Bob’s son-in-law Dale Martin.
“At that time (1961), it was a real novelty to drive. The new ones are much nicer to drive–smoother ride and suspension. The first sleds only had a Kohler engine,” said Ken.
“The engine only had seven horsepower and maybe went 20 miles an hour,” suggested Bob.
When the Camrose dealership allowed people to take them for a test drive before purchasing them, it created a buzz in the area.
After Byers Flour Mill received the dealership, other snowmobiles soon followed. “It didn’t take long for other dealerships and machines to arrive. We had competition almost immediately. John Deere soon had one,” shared Ken. “We sold Snowcruisers at one time, but not for long. People criticized others for wanting one, but soon they had one and then two.”
Camrose soon had all of the dealerships. “Sid’s Sports Shop sold Rupp and Wilson Electric sold Motoskis,” added Bob. Dale Martin, Bob’s son-in-law, works at Camrose Motorsports to form the fourth generation of selling Ski-Doos.
Ken recalled when someone from Ferintosh came in to look at one because his children wanted one for Christmas. This was Christmas Eve, and he said, ‘No way am I getting one of those.’ He went home without one, but called back later on Christmas Eve, about 5 p.m., to see if he could still buy one. His family really wanted one for Christmas,” shared Ken.
“When Sea-Doos came out, we started to slow down, because we sold Ski-Doos to give us more to do in the winter. Selling Sea-Doos during the summer when the flour mill was busier didn’t work that well,” said Ken. “We didn’t have year-round mechanics or the proper facility for the summer products.”
Bob said, “It started off as a sideline in the winter and to go with the store. Then it became full time with a parts person and full-time mechanics.”
The original machine wasn’t always in the family. “Laurie sold it after about a year later to buy a newer one. Feedlot employee Albert Hoyme bought it. Then after a couple of years, he traded it in for a newer model and we have kept it ever since,” said Ken.
“It was at the western store until 2000, and then when we sold the store, my friend Gord Graham said he would display it at his shop and he looked after it well. It was since brought over here on Jan. 11. Gord had it washed up and Dale cleaned it some more to make it shinier,” said Bob.
“I think it is neat to have it back in a Ski-Doo showroom. People can see it here on display, it is history,” said Ken.
As far as the family knows, only the seat was recovered. Nothing else but minor repairs was ever done to the machine that looks showroom worthy 60 years later. “This is a great conversation piece for the dealership,” said Dale. “Since the machine has been in our family, it means a lot to our family that it is in the place it should be. People will come here just to look at it.”
Ken remembered his first trip with the snowmobile. “I went downtown with it to see Max McLean at his men’s wear store. He called me and said he needed help tying a tie for a wedding party,” said Ken. “You wouldn’t be allowed to do that today. Actually, I don’t think you were allowed to do it then either,” Ken laughed.
To start the machine, you have to connect the spark plug before pulling on the cord. It doesn’t have a key. It has no brakes, so you have to slow it down by rubbing your leg against the clutch. To run the front head lamp, you have to turn a mechanism to use a pulley to run it. The faster you drove, the brighter the light was.
Ski-Doo is a brand name of snowmobile manufactured by Bombardier Recreational Products (originally Bombardier Inc. before the spin-off).
The first ever Ski-Doo was made in 1959. It was a new invention of Joseph Armand Bombardier. The original name was Ski-Dog, but a typographical error in a Bombardier brochure changed the name Ski-Dog to Ski-Doo.
The first Ski-Doos found customers with missionaries, trappers, prospectors, land surveyors and others who need to travel in snowy, remote areas. The largest success for the snowmobile came from sport enthusiasts, a market that opened the door to massive production of snowmobiles.

Bailey Theatre names Judy McLean volunteer of the year

By Murray Green

The Bailey Theatre may have been closed for four months, but there were still several outstanding volunteers in 2020.
“Our volunteer of the year has been a devoted Bailey Theatre supporter since the beginning. Through it all, they always had a smile on their faces. They have had so many roles at the Bailey, especially in 2020. They have done cleaning, served on the board, volunteered at the box office, organized a flea market which raised $7,000,” said volunteer coordinator Colleen Nelson. “It is my honour to recognize the volunteer of the year for 2020, Judy McLean.”
People have told Colleen that they love working with Judy because she is so organized. “No question, she has been our rock, right from the beginning,” echoed president David Francoeur. “She has always been focused on the Bailey.”
Judy responded by saying it has been an honour. “You know that all of you are my family. I like being around all of you. Even with COVID-19 restrictions (virtual meetings), it is extraordinary to be around all of you people. You are my family.”
Colleen thanked all of the volunteers and staff who have helped the Bailey Theatre over the past year.
“Judy was responsible for putting up the artwork in the bistro, and even today (Jan. 11), was at the Bailey cleaning. I salute you and you set an example we can all follow,” added Colleen.
“Judy, we couldn’t do it without you,” said Francoeur.
Judy was the past president of the Bailey Theatre, but due to the fact that David Francoeur is stepping down as president, she will be the president again in 2021.

CPP has increase this year

By Murray Green

Beginning Jan. 1, CPP hikes were scheduled to hit employers’ payroll budgets and cut take-home wages for workers.
CPP premiums are expected to rise by up to 9.3 per cent in 2021, despite one in three small businesses losing money every day they are open due to COVID-19.
Things are about to get even worse with an upcoming hike in Canada Pension Plan, warns the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). In fact, more than 70 per cent of small businesses say government should not increase payroll taxes, like CPP, as part of their economic recovery plan.
“Payroll tax increases are bad news for small businesses in any year, but hiking them in 2021 will make the tough months ahead even harder,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “Let’s not forget that the premium hike hits employees too, ensuring that every working Canadian will see a drop in their take-home income unless their employer is able to give them a larger raise on Jan. 1.”
They also have to be paid regardless of whether the business is profitable or not, which will be an additional blow to firms that ended 2020 in debt.

Keeping the body in motion

8 connie exercise
Physical therapist Connie Harrison demonstrates a variety of strength, balance and endurance exercises to seniors in Forestburg.  

By Lori Larsen

The number one motivator in any fitness regime should be improving your overall physical and mental well-being.
Research has shown over and over again that regular exercise controls weight, combats health conditions and diseases, boosts energy, improves moods, promotes better sleep and improves social well-being.
Physical therapist Connie Harrison, working as an exercise specialist at Camrose PCN, addresses an important question to which every person should know the answer: Is there any benefit to not exercising?
She indicated, quite simply, there is not.
“There may be the very rare condition that a person has where exercise may be contraindicative. For 99.9 per cent of people, there is always a benefit to exercise, whether that is mental or physical.”
Sometimes the most challenging part of exercise is getting started, and  Harrison works with clients to determine the best options for their life.
“It’s important to come up with options that make sense for a person’s life, and make it easy to get started and follow through.
“The best exercise for you is the exercise that you will do. It has to work for your body, but most of all, you have to like it.”
Harrison said that people need to adopt the mindset that exercise is for a lifetime, not just a 10-week class or six-month commitment.
“Considering we are living longer, if you want to have a higher quality of life, you do have to put in some effort when it comes to exercise. There are enough changes in just aging, so in order to address those changes, we do need to stay on top of making sure we are using our muscle and bone mass, and taking care of our hearts and overall health.”
She added that the things we cannot change are age and genetics. “You can change exercise, food and sometimes help change sleep – those are the three pillars. Those are the things we have control over and need to take an active part in addressing.
“We should aim for at least four hours on our feet per day. We need weight-bearing and standing for bone health and whole body health for sure.”
Harrison offered some tips on getting started and staying motivated on your fitness journey.
Tips to get there
1. If you are just beginning a new fitness regime, do so slowly. While moderate physical activity is safe for most people, if you suffer from heart disease, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, are being treated for cancer or have recently completed cancer treatment or have high blood pressure, check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.
“Ideally five days a week, we should all be working on strength, endurance, balance and posture,” explained Harrison. “Those are the four categories of exercise.
“Sometimes people forget about bone health, but if you are working on balance and strength, then that is good for bone health. If you are working on all four categories, it is good for your bones, muscles, heart – everything.”
Harrison said that we should all be paying more attention to balance. When we stop challenging our balance, we lose it earlier.
2. Set goals. An example Harrison described is the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Sensitive) acronym. “If your overall goal is to exercise 35 minutes a day, five days a week, by the end of March, then start with 10 minutes and progress slowly up to the goal. Be specific and have a timeline so you can measure your results. Make it as concrete as you can so you are able to chew off that goal. If you leave it wide open, you aren’t going to accomplish those goals completely.”
3. Ditch excuses, because after all, that is all they are; exercise even when you don’t feel like it. It is easy to say why you shouldn’t exercise–weather, tired, hungry, busy– but it is always rewarding when you complete the workout. Rarely will anyone say, “I wished I hadn’t worked out.”
“We all have barriers that come up (excuses). Part of good planning or good coaching is to say, what would be the possible barriers as to why you may not exercise, and then have a Plan B. People need to know how they can change things up, recognize those barriers and work around them.”
She said that even with the challenges faced by many in these times, including isolation or the closing of fitness centres, people can still find ways to add exercise into their lives.
4. Schedule fitness into your daily regimen. If you slowly move fitness into your everyday routine, eventually it will become habitual. Your health should be every bit as important as your job. It may require getting up a bit earlier or sacrificing other time-consuming habits such as television, but it is worth it in the end, and chances are you won’t even remember what it was like without fitness in your daily routine.
“Realistically, we know that it takes six months to change a habit; people need to give themselves some grace.”
5. Put your workout gear on as soon as you are home or as soon as you get up. Half the battle of anything is being prepared.
6. Let the beat get you going. Make a good playlist that keeps you hopping (so to speak) and switch it up. Include music that has a faster beat and makes your heart rate higher instead of music that causes you to slow down and cool off.
“Music, reading  or even watching television will help you endure some of the more repetitive and maybe even boring type of workouts. Even when you’re walking, listen to music to change pace or listen to an audio book or podcast. Find ways to make long programs that are more repetitive more interesting.”
7. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is becoming the trend in fitness routines. It consists of short, sharp bursts of exercise with very short periods of recovery in between. This is one way to get your daily dose of heart rate-raising exercise without having to dedicate a long workout session that may not always be feasible.  HIIT can even be done at your desk or while preparing a meal. While there is no steadfast rule on how long a HIIT session should be dependant on your own schedule, convenience and fitness level, generally a HIIT session lasts at least one minute, but no longer than 10.
8. Don’t weigh your success by other people’s. This is your journey and shouldn’t be sideswiped by others who may not be as motivated.
9. On the flip side, look for support groups or enlist family members or friends who have the same goals. Consider joining a social networking site or online community with fitness trainers and nutrition experts. Get your pet involved. Fido would love the extra exercise, and pets are great motivators.
10. Switch it up. Too often, people become bored with their fitness routine and slowly give up. By switching to a variety of workouts, you not only keep things interesting, but you will use a variety of muscle groups.
11. Keep it fun. It is no secret that many people view exercise as an inconvenience, hard work and boring. Like anything else in life, making it fun and exciting keeps it fresh. Do exercise that you truly enjoy, such as dance, hula hooping, or sports with family and friends. It’s all about what works for you.
12. Buy some new gear. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive piece of workout equipment. It could be new runners, leggings, a t-shirt, hand weights or even a skipping rope.
13. There is a great deal of fitness technology available that tracks your progress, motivates you to keep going, and offers a slew of fitness tips, routines and health monitoring devices.
14. Be kind and recognize that you are going to have difficult days. That is the best time to switch it up. Go for a walk in the great outdoors and listen, look and feel your surroundings.
“When you do fall off the wagon, and you will, don’t punish yourself. Accept that you are human and get back on the path right away.”
15. Most importantly, never give up. After all, you are worth it.
Harrison concluded with some final facts.
“If a person is trying to drop some weight, some encouraging statistics are that for every pound you lose, you take six pounds of pressure off your knees, four pounds off your hips, and four to 10 pounds off your back. So, for every pound you lose, there are a lot of gains to be made.”
She also said that exercise and fresh air are vital for mental health.
“Some psychologists, when they are treating somebody, will ask the client if they are exercising or getting outside. Those things are huge.”
She remarked that medication and counselling  can be a part of mental health and well-being, but sleep, exercise, diet and fresh air still count tremendously toward better mental health.
“Once we are aware, we all need help to remind ourselves, such as alarms or sticky notes, to get into healthy habits.
“Your whole health gets hit if you just start moving.”

Births and Deaths

- To Jennifer Donovan and Scott Kelly, of Camrose, a daughter on January 7.
- To Kolten and Bryce Tkaczyk, of Camrose, a daughter on January 8.
- To Brooke and Braeden Lewis, of Camrose, a son on January 8.
- To Taylor and Connor Giebelhaus, of Ryley, a son on January 12.

- Carl Conrad Schmidt of Spruce Grove, on January 9.
- William “Bill” James Kennedy of Tofield, on January 9, at 78 years of age.
- Martha Margaret Winczura of Camrose, formerly of Round Hill, on January 9, at 83 years of age.
- Diane Carol Komarnisky of Daysland, on January 10, at 79 years of age.
- Evelyn Grace Evenson of Lamont, on January 11, at 73 years of age.
- Dale Hayduk of Tofield, formerly of Camrose, on January 11, at 82 years of age.
- Effie Paulson of Calgary, formerly of Tofield, on January 12, at 99 years of age.
- Peter James Badry of Wetaskiwin, on January 12, at 82 years of age.
- Daniel “Dan” Mitchell Paluck of Camrose, on January 12, at 55 years of age.
- Arnold Alfred Benkendorf of Camrose, formerly of Andrew, on January 12, at 83 years of age.
- Dorothy Blouin of Camrose, on January 15, at 84 years of age.