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By Bonnie Hutchinson

My childhood library
Growing up in Camrose, I had no concept of how new we are. I was well into adulthood before I travelled to Eastern Canada and saw buildings more than 100 years old. Unbelievable! We’re coming along, though. One marker is, Camrose Public Library is celebrating its 100th anniversary on November 19. Wow!
That brings back childhood memories–my own, and those of an award-winning Canadian author.
I began visiting Camrose Public Library at about eight years old – old enough to read some on my own and, in those small town days, to visit the library by myself.
Mrs. Brandt was the kindly white-haired librarian at Town Hall. I have fond memories of working my way through Bobbsey Twins stories, and moving on to Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries. I also have fond teen-age memories of grey-haired librarian Mrs. Marken when the library was in the white former courthouse building now located on Main Street.
Some years ago, I heard Aritha van Herk at an event co-sponsored by Camrose Public Library. Aritha van Herk was born in Wetaskiwin and grew up in Edberg. She is now an award-winning Canadian author, critic, editor and university professor. She’s written novels that meld fiction and non-fiction, and has published short stories, essays and articles for Canadian and international publications.
One of her non-fiction books is Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta, which she wrote in 2001 to help friends in Ontario understand people in Alberta. (Apparently that task still needs work!) The book won the Grant MacEwan Author’s Award and led to a permanent award-winning exhibition at Calgary’s Glenbow Museum.
Aritha van Herk was also awarded University of Calgary Students’ Union Teaching Excellence Award and Writers’ Guild of Alberta Gold Pen Lifetime Achievement Award. She’s been inducted into Alberta Order of Excellence and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Some of her students have also gone on to literary success.
So what does Aritha van Herk have to do with Camrose Public Library?
In her talk she spoke about how, growing up in Edberg, “going to Camrose” was a big event. The highlight was a visit to Camrose Public Library. At about age ten or eleven, she confided to “the steel-grey-haired librarian” Mrs. Marken that she intended to be an author when she grew up. Mrs. Marken said, “Well then, you’ll want to read most of the books in this library, won’t you?” And Aritha did.
One hundred years ago, when a few people decided Camrose should have a public library, my guess is they simply wanted books to be available to more citizens.
When I was a child, library books opened doors in my imagination and solidified my love of reading. When Aritha van Herk was a child, Camrose Public Library did all that and supported her dream to become an author.
And now? The Camrose Public Library vision is to make a difference through connections, community engagement and inclusion. Its mission is to provide opportunities for all to share and grow through curiosity and creativity.
When visiting Camrose Public Library with grandchildren, I’ve appreciated the happy colours and images, the friendly inviting settings and the range of activities. Besides books, it has audio books, films, a library of e-books, and internet access for patrons. Through an Interlibrary Loan it can provide you with items from any library in Alberta. Most days of most weeks, it hosts multiple events for different age groups. It’s a hub.
The library’s resources are not limited to its building. In the summer, library staff stuff an outreach book bike with a collection of various materials to share with the public when they visit parks and community events. The library’s WiFi service means you can check out materials without having to come to the library building. You can also check out library items like snow shoes, yoga passes, walking poles and even an energy audit kit.
Camrose Public Library may be a century old, but it’s staying current.
I’d love to hear from you! Send a note about this column or suggestions for future columns to I’ll happily reply within one
business day.
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Camrose Public Library shows impressive growth over 100 years

By Lori Larsen

During a budgetary presentation to City of Camrose council on Oct. 21, Camrose Public Library (CPL) director Robyn Gray invited councillors and those present in Chambers to help celebrate the Library’s 100th birthday on Nov. 19.
Gray said how proud they (library staff and volunteers) are of how much the library has grown and continues to be one of the main hubs of the community.
Staffing and programs
Open seven days a week (there may be some statutory holiday exceptions) at a total of 58 hours per week, CPL falls under the category of enhanced service according to Public Library Services branch of  Government of Alberta Best Practices for Public Libraries.
“We always have two circulation assistants upstairs and one downstairs for all of our operating hours so they are readily available to help patrons,” said Gray noting that their tasks include assisting patrons check out books, searching for items, assisting with questions around technology concerns, checking in books, answering telephone calls and inquiries and on Tuesdays and Fridays processing all the material that arrives from other libraries across Parkland.
Gray further explained that within the budget the library employs adult, technology and children’s programmers who offer a variety of learning and engagement opportunities  each week for patrons, as well as take on other tasks such as searching for community grants that can be utilized to offer more programs and new initiatives.
“We also have our manager who carries out day to day financial and administrative functions, supervises circulation staff and reports directly to the director.”
Gray explained that the director is required by the Libraries Act to have a Masters of Library and Information Studies and their function is to overview all components of the library.
“Typically we hire six summer students but this year it is going to be five. Two of the students conduct programming, two    operate the Book Bike program, two conduct the Summer Reading program and one is the intergenerational programmer who operates the Lifecycle Bike program.
Gray said the library offers opportunities for staff to engage in professional development to stay on top of exciting new ideas and concepts in other libraries, in an effort to provide patrons with the best service and strives to provide a 2.5 per cent cost of living adjustment to all staff, as well as step increases so that each employee has the opportunity to be able to meet living expenses by today’s standards and receive an increase in pay based on the quality of their work.
Numbers speak volumes
In speaking of the user statistics Gray began by saying that of the library being open 2,774 hours 137,315 patrons come through the doors, 82,871 reference questions were answered, 140,972 items checked out and the 20 service computers were utilized 21,644 times. “In addition to that our free WIFI service was accessed  101,673 times.”
The Adult program provides educational speakers and craft sessions and facilitates seniors’ outreach services. Of the 225 adult  programs 1,872 people attended, in addition  95 outside groups offered meetings or sessions to 851 attendees in relation to adult programming.
“Libraries are one of the first places newcomers come when they are settling in and learning about their new community.”
The technology  programmer conducted 127 Something Cool After School programs for 1,449 participants, provided 20 Something Book Clubs for 67 participants and 92 individual technology sessions for 204 participants. A total of 242 programs with approximately 2,141 people were offered.
“Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 our Children’s   program hosted 36 Infant programs for 456 participants, 69 Story Times for 1,114 toddlers, 32 Concept Corner sessions for 239  (3-5 year olds) and 127 Snacks in the Stacks programs for 5,529 children after school.”
Gray explained that the summer staff were also kept very busy from May to September. “Two summer program coordinators  offered 82 programs for 925  children and an additional 41 programs for 268 teens. The two Book Bike coordinators offered 30 programs for 3,048 attendees and, along with the Life Cycle, were present at  many community events.”
The Intergenerational program conducted 21 events at the library with a total of 242 attendees and 542 seniors or disabled patrons with rides on the Life Cycle.
“Between the Children’s programs and the summer programs the library provided 673 in-house children and family  programs for 15,335 participants and 39 external children and family external programs were hosted at the library for 500 participants.
According to Gray by the end of September approximately 32,000 participated in all the library programming.
“A huge component of our value is we offer all patrons a place where they can interact with others of various ages and socioeconomic status and share a common experience.”
Gray concluded that the library works closely with the Parkland Regional Library and other libraries throughout the province to provide even more services for residents.
“Our patrons borrowed 20,093 items from other libraries.”
Proposed budget
In an effort to continue the services and programs offered at CPL, Gray on behalf of the CPL board, requested an operating budget of $656,038.
“The library wishes for our budget to remain as low as possible in order to ensure continued service without being an unnecessary burden on the city.
“The budget presented is a representation of what it takes for us to maintain our current level of service for all patrons.
“Libraries are the only publicly funded institutions available to all citizens.”

Probus speaker

By Lori Larsen

Join the Probus Club of Camrose on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at the Norsemen Inn from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. for the monthly meeting featuring guest speaker Sharleen Chevraux.
Chevraux will be speaking on the Manitou Stone Story Updated – “big rocks from the sky.”
The Probus Club of Camrose is a social club of retired professionals and business people that meets monthly to listen and learn from a broad variety of speakers.
The club happily welcomes new members to join for presentations, conversation and socializing. There are no club projects or fundraising.
For more information visit the Camrose and District Support Service Clubs & Organizations website at or telephone at 780-672-7788.

CN warns motorists to be especially cautious at crossings

By Lori Larsen

On Nov. 7 at approximately 8:45 p.m., a motor vehicle collision involving a train occurred on Range Road 205 (10 km northwest of Camrose).
“The gravel road leading to the railway tracks has an advanced warning yellow and black cautionary sign then reflective cross bucks and stop sign at the crossing,” explained CN Police Constable Dean Solowan.
According to Solowan, the road conditions were acceptable and the train speed was under 30 mph. “The driver sustained injuries but none that were life threatening, unfortunately  the vehicle was destroyed.”
While this particular  incident is still under investigation CN Police would like to remind motorists of the importance of being totally aware while driving, and to pay special attention when approaching any railway crossing.
The following information is provided by CN in an effort to create awareness on railway crossing and train safety.
Be aware how the railway crosses the road. On approach it may be directly horizontal or slightly perpendicular, so it is always advised to slow down upon approach and look completely to the left and right, remember your blind spot and peripheral vision.
“Depending on where your travels take you, train speeds vary from five mph to mainline speed of 55 mph.
This must be taken into consideration when crossing the tracks,” said Soloman. “A freight train with 80 railcars travelling 100 kilometres per hour can take up to two kilometres to stop. An average freight train weighs 5.5 million kg. Compare that to a car, which weighs around
1,375 kg. A train hitting a car is like a car driving over a pop can.”
Soloman added that the number below the cross buck at a railway crossing tells you how many sets of tracks a motorist or pedestrian has to cross in order to get to the other side. “Remember, there could be more than one train in any direction at any time.”
Statistics show that more than half of the collisions involving highway/railway crossings happen at crossings equipped with lights and bell with or without gates. A motorist who ignores the warning devices takes an unnecessary risk with their life and that of others.
From January to August of 2019, there were 160 incidents involving railway crossing and trespassing on railway property, 29 serious injuries and 45 fatalities.

That’s a wrap on wrap

By Lori Larsen

With Centra Cam Recycling Depot no longer accepting gift wrapping paper, gift wrapping bags, tissue wrap, bows and ribbons, disposing of the material will be more difficult.
“When a tree first becomes paper, it has long fibre,” explained Centra Cam Recycle Depot employee Lynn Horsman. “Every time paper is recycled, the fibres shorten. Gift wrap, gift bags and tissue paper are called ‘waste’ paper in the industry. They have been recycled too many times. The mills seldom want waste paper and it must be sorted of all contaminates. So, ribbons and bows, gift wrap, gift bags and tissue paper are garbage. They go to the landfill.”
Horsman added that magazines, catalogues and brown paper may be the next kinds of paper that cannot be recycled.
“Then we will only take sorted cardboard, sorted newspaper and sorted white office paper. These have long fibres and can be recycled many times over.  The mills are happy to pay for all these clean sorted papers.”
Horsman said that sorting your paper is very important. “It means we get the best price for our paper and keeps labour costs at the Recycle Depot reasonable.”
This year for the holiday season, why not consider alternatives to using wrapping paper, ribbon and bows to adorn your holiday gifts. Below are some suggestions on other more environmentally friendly and even cost efficient ways to wrap up the season.
Inexpensive reusable bags are available at most retail outlets, many of which are very decorative some even seasonal.
Use newspaper to wrap up gifts. You can opt for the colour pages or be totally unique with black and white print. Pick a newspaper date that is close to the recipient’s birthday so they can enjoy what was happening on or around their special day.
Purchase inexpensive tea towels, facecloths or  bath towels, scarves, pillowcases or other usable items to wrap gifts. This way, the recipient gets a double surprise.
Use fabric scraps. Once unwrapped, they can be donated to a local quilting or craft club.
Use gift boxes. Most come beautifully and seasonally decorated. The box can either be crushed then recycled or repurposed to store decorations, scarves and mitts or other household items.
Consider giving gifts in their own packaging such as the ingredients for making cookies, preserves, homemade treats in pretty tin cans that can be re-used by the recipient.
Use gift baskets. They can be reused by the recipient for their own personal use or re-used to present a gift to others.
Use maps. They are colourful and playful and can be a source of conversation if you circle particular spots of interest.
When in doubt, purchase gift cards available from a multitude of retailers, restaurants and other products and services.
Every little bit helps when thinking green. Come up with some of your own fun ways to ensure used gift wrap, bows and ribbons don’t end up in our landfill.
Centra Cam Recycle Depot is open Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. For inquiries, residents are asked to enter through the Public Entrance.

Augustana students awarded

By Murray Green

University of Alberta Augustana Campus staff members Jonathan Hawkins and Judy Liao led the charge to celebrate athletic scholars.“We are here to recognize our Viking athletes, who also had exceptional scholar success in the 2018-19 year,” said assistant register Hawkins.
Student athletes received Alberta College Athletic Conference honours and many students also received a CCAA national scholar award.
“The awards are designed to recognize outstanding academic accomplishments, especially those in Camrose,” added Liao.
They are designed to recognize the outstanding academic accomplishments of CCAA student athletes. To be recognized, a student athlete must achieve honours standing at their institution in the current academic year.
Receiving awards were Connor Gusdal, basketball; Darian Smigorowsky, basketball; Riley Wallace, basketball; Bradi Lorenz, basketball; Anna Montgomery, basketball; Colleen Prenoslo, basketball; Hayley Story, basketball; Katelynn Cook, cross-country running; Ethan Laverty, cross-country running; Matthieu Marting, cross-country running; Annika Olesen, cross-country running; Benjamin Bates, curling; Rhiannon Beatty, curling; Andrew Klassen, curling; Jensen Manners, curling; Kaitlin Romaniuk, curling; Bradley Schroeder, curling; Hailey Smith, curling; Darcie Benoit, golf; Cole Feth, golf; Michael Harrison, golf; Dillon Lehman, soccer; Adam McKenzie, soccer; Braeden McKenzie, soccer; Joseph Meinema, soccer; Mark Wrubleski, soccer; Molly Baldwin, soccer; Alana Ell, soccer; Lauren Feth, soccer; Laura Graham, soccer; Jenya Rust, soccer; Jason Abma, volleyball; Andrew Kaliel, volleyball; Shane Kimber, volleyball; Duncan McDonald, volleyball; Thomas Regier, volleyball; Nicole Brockman, volleyball; Alana Fahlman, volleyball; Jill Metrunec, volleyball; Rae Metrunec, volleyball and Rebecca Petrie, volleyball.
The awards honoured those student athletes who excel not only on the field of competition, but also in the classroom. The ACAC honours those student athletes who compete in a sponsored sport within the ACAC and do the work necessary in the classroom to earn academic honour status at their respective institutions.

Garlands and Gatherings season of events

By Lori Larsen

This holiday season residents of the City of Camrose and Camrose County will be able to take advantage of a variety of fun and entertaining events throughout Camrose area.
The Garlands and Gatherings Community committee has taken it upon themselves to organize the plethora of events and happenings occurring throughout the region during the season.
Tourism Camrose executive director Jennifer Filip, co-founder and committee member, said the idea of creating an all encompassing committee to create the best experience they can for residents in the region, was met with a great deal of enthusiasm.  “The momentum is growing. The more we talk about this initiative and not just limiting it to the City but expanding it out into the County to be inclusive of Ag societies, villages, towns it has sparked enthusiasm and excitement.”
Mark your calendars with some or all of the following dates and be sure to stay tuned to the Garlands and Gatherings facebook page for continual updates and additions.
Saturday, Nov. 16 Bailey Italian Christmas Fundraiser at the Bailey Theatre beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 17 Rosalind Ag Society Christmas Market.
Wednesday, Nov. 20, Teddy Bear Disco at Camrose Regional Exhibition.
Thursday, Nov. 21, SingAble Sing Along at the Bailey Theatre beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 21 Lighting of the Downtown Christmas Tree located at the north end of Main Street (50 Avenue).
Thursday, Nov. 21 Old Time Country Christmas at Camrose United Church at 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 23, Grateful Grannies Christmas Market at the Bailey Theatre beginning at noon until 3 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 23 The About Time Productions The Grinch shows at 3, 4:30 and 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 24 Bashaw Agriculture Society Christmas in the Country Craft Fair at the Bashaw Community Church from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Nov. 22,23 and 24, Garlands and Gatherings at the CRE. (Used to be Festival of Trees.)
Friday, Nov. 29 Midnight Madness in Camrose Downtown core.
Saturday, Nov. 30 Kinette’s Silent Santa Countdown to Christmas at Camrose Registry (5613 48 Ave.).
Saturday, Nov. 30, Ed Sullivan Tribute Show and Dinner at the Bailey Theatre doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 1 Ed Sullivan Tribute Show at the Bailey Theatre at 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 1 John McDermott Christmas at Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 1 Concert in a Country Church at the Fridhem Heritage Church beginning at 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 6 Kinsmen Club of Camrose 65th Annual Radio Auction
Saturday, Dec. 7  Annual Cookie Walk, Tea and Christmas White Elephant Sale at the Camrose Heritage Railway Station from 1 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 7 Camrose Public Library Annual Family Christmas Party from 10 a.m. to noon.
Saturday, Dec. 7 Hay Lakes Lighting of the Tree.
Sunday, Dec. 8, Ennis Sisters Christmas Show beginning at 2 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 9 Round Hill Christmas Market in Round Hill.
Sunday, Dec. 8 Sugar and Spice Christmas Gift and Craft Show at the Norsemen Inn from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 13, Infinite Imagination Variety Show and Dinner at the Spotlight Bistro (Bailey Theatre) at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 13, Strictly Business Christmas Cabaret at the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre beginning at 8 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 13 Christmas theme Name That Tune at Retro (5017 51 Street) 7 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14 Michelle Wright Christmas at the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14 Camrose and District Chamber of Commerce Motown Theme Christmas party at the Camrose Regional Exhibition from 6 p.m. until midnight.
Sunday, Dec. 15, Buckaroos Country and Western Christmas Show at the Bailey Theatre at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 18 Christmas Social at Camrose Public Library.
Thursday, Dec. 19 Buzz Brass Christmas at the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27 and 28 Camrose Academy of Curling Christmas Curling Camp for Youth.
To wind up 2019 and ring in 2020, The City is planning another New Years event on Tuesday, Dec. 31, in conjunction with the Kodiaks Hockey Team. Stay tuned for further details.

Holiday train stops in Camrose

By Murray Green

The Holiday Train will once again stop in Camrose to help collect items for the Food Bank, share great music and enhance the Christmas spirit, on Dec. 6 at 1:05 p.m.
“In 2018, Neighbor Aid assisted 1,886 families, averaging 157 hampers per month. We were able to meet these needs because of the generosity of Camrose and Camrose County. In 2019, our numbers have not gone down; food insecurities are real in our community. The CP Holiday Train is coming to Camrose again this year and we are excited to be a part of it. It is with events like this that support and rally for the local food bank and the support of our community that we can assist those in need,” said Jo-Anne Tweed, program director at Camrose Neighbor Aid Center.
Come out and look for players from the Camrose Kodiaks Hockey Club who will be accepting both non-perishable and monetary donations.
Take the chill off and head over to the Moose Hall where they will be serving hotdogs and hot chocolate. And be sure to keep an eye out for jolly Santa who will be working the crowd handing out candy canes.
The Canadian train departs Montreal on Nov. 26 and follow CP’s tracks west to Vancouver. Performing free concerts from Montreal to Calgary are Scott Helman and Madeline Merlo. CP Holiday Train will end the tour in the Vancouver area on Dec. 17.
The Holiday Train will stop in Provost on Dec. 5 at 5:55 p.m. and then hits Hardisty (east end of CP railway yard, west of Highway 881 overpass) at 9 p.m.
On Dec. 6, the first stop is in Camrose at 52 Avenue and 50 Street, next to Moose Family Centre at 1:05 p.m. People are encouraged to bring an item for Neighbor Aid Center’s Food Bank. After leaving, the train then goes to Wetaskiwin for a 3:25 p.m. show.
Madeline Merlo  is a Canadian country music singer-songwriter. She released her debut album, Free Soul, in 2016. A year before, she received the Rising Star award from the Canadian Country Music Association. She last appeared in Camrose at the Big Valley Jamboree on Aug. 4, 2017.
Since the May 2017 release of Scott Helman’s full-length album Hôtel De Ville, the four-time JUNO Award nominee has maintained a relentless touring schedule in support of the album and it’s hit singles “Kinda Complicated”, “Ripple Effect” and the gold-certified “PDA”.

Australia’s Backbone show pushes human limits

By Murray Green

Backbone examines the various perceptions of what strength is, where it comes from and how it is measured. This frenetic celebration of human interconnectedness will test the limits of strength: physical, emotional, individual and collective.
The Australian company will be on stage at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, Nov. 16 beginning at 7:30 p.m.
This show is hitting the world by storm. “Western Canada is one of the last places in the world to which our company has not toured. This is a very exciting opportunity for us to experience the hospitality and the sights of a new and exciting location. We have played twice in Vancouver, and loved it, and are really excited to experience even more than that beautiful city. Canada has always been one of our favourite countries to tour,” said Lachlan Binns, company director, production and marketing.
Backbone is a combination of a circus and a show of human strength and athleticism.
“When you distil acrobatics down to its essence it is a combination of strength, balance and coordination. We perform complicated acrobatic skills and sequences, but strive to also explore the basic ways that you can lift, balance and coordinate your body. We do things that any person could appreciate. We lift heavy stones, we balance long wooden poles, we perform acts of extreme endurance. We use this mix of complex and simple ideas to create a unique style that audiences can truly engage and appreciate,” he added.
Music and visuals brings the action to the forefront. “The show has no narrative, instead, it is a collection of strong images and ideas. The meaning can be interpreted by each member of the audience in their own way. It is driven by a soaring sound track that goes from driving percussion to delicate piano,” said Lachlan.
The actions will leave the audiences spellbound at what they can do. “The show revolves around strength and the multitude of ways we can be strong. The strength of an individual or the power of a group, emotional strength and physical endurance, all these themes are used as seeds for our acrobatic choreography,” explained Lachlan.
It takes years of training to put on a show like this. “Most of us have been training acrobatics for 10-plus years. This show has been touring for nearly three years and the artists in it train for hours each day, every day of the week. We are constantly practicing and improving our skills and creating new ideas to put into the show.”
The ensemble is made up of 12 artists, 10 acrobats accompanied by two musicians.
You might want to hold onto your seat during this show to avoid twisting your backbone out of place.

Dyer speaks on national, international affairs

By Murray Green

Gwynne Dyer has become one of the most well known speakers and authors on national and international affairs in this country.
He has worked as a freelance journalist, columnist, broadcaster and lecturer on international affairs for more than 20 years. Listen to this acclaimed Canadian, speaking on his latest book Growing Pains: the future of democracy (and work).
He will be at the Bailey Theatre on Wednesday, Nov. 27 starting at
7:30 p.m.
His first television series, the seven-part documentary War, was aired in 45 countries in the mid-1980s. One episode, The Profession of Arms, was nominated for an Academy Award.
Born in Newfoundland, he received degrees from Canadian, American and British universities, finishing with a Ph.D. in Military and Middle Eastern History from the University of London.
He served in three navies and held academic appointments at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Oxford University before launching his twice-weekly column on international affairs, which is published by over 175 papers in some 45 countries.
His book Climate Wars is based on his recent CBC Ideas series of the same name, deals with the frightening geopolitical implications of large-scale climate change and has just been published in Canada.
Crawling from the Wreckage traces the world’s halting emergence from the dark tunnel of the past decade, a time marked by exaggerated fears of terrorism, futile and unnecessary wars in the Middle East, neglect of climate change and financial near-collapse.

High school students perform Sound of Music

Children Brigitta Von Trapp (Hannah Flint), left, and Marta Von Trapp (Emma Bleau), right, listen to Maria Rainer (Jayna Doll) sing and play guitar in a scene from the ÉCCHS play The Sound of Music that will be at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre on Nov. 28 to 30.

By Murray Green

École Camrose Composite High School drama students will be performing a preshow sing-along of The Sound of Music at the University of Alberta Augustana Campus on Nov. 16, beginning at
7 p.m.
This singalong is in preparation of the Nov. 28 to 30 shows at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre. It will be held in the Faith and Life Centre of Augustana and is open to both university and high school students, as well as family and friends.
“Because people love to sing along to the music and Augustana has a strong background in choir, we are going to have a special singalong session,” said drama teacher Stephen Cole. “We want to fill the centre with song.”
Admission is by
donation. read more
11 sound of music pix

Music from the Prairies

By Murray Green

Vocalist Kathleen Corcoran, trumpet player Dean McNeill and pianist Sylvia Shadick-Taylor will play Music from the Prairies at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre on Sunday, Nov. 17 starting at 2 p.m.
Join the western Canadian musicians for a brilliant and touching musical excursion, celebrating some of their favourite western Canadian composers.
McNeill has been fortunate to collaborate on various musical projects with Edmonton’s Shadick-Taylor and this concert rekindles that collaboration.
Shadick-Taylor is a superb soloist and chamber musician who has toured in Europe, Asia and North America. Canadian composer Dean McNeill is a professor at the University of Saskatchewan, where he has taught applied trumpet, trumpet choir, jazz history, jazz ensemble, jazz materials, jazz improvisation, jazz pedagogy, and jazz arranging for many years.
Kathleen’s warm, clear voice and interpretive skill combine to bring beautiful vocal music to life.

Woods embarks on Christmas tour

By Murray Green

Canadian fiddle champion Scott Woods announced that his 2019 Old Time Country Christmas Tour will stop here on
Nov. 21 at the Camrose United Church.
His two-hour show sparkles with heartfelt renditions of seasonal song favourites, family humour, trick fiddling and even some sensational step-dancing.
Woods, along with an incredibly talented group of musicians, are set to put Camrose and area music fans in the holiday spirit.
“Our Christmas show is a lot of fun and is a real Christmas show from start to finish,” said Scott. “My personal pet peeve is when artists say it is going to be a Christmas show and they play two Christmas songs.”
The Old Time Country Christmas Tour celebrates the holiday season with the sweet harmonies of twin fiddles with lots of traditional Christmas music, traditional country, western swing, country gospel and old-time fiddle tunes. Enjoy sensational step dancing, wholesome family humour and Scott’s famous trick fiddling – somersaults and walking on a barrel – all while playing his fiddle.
The Branson-style live show will feature Woods performing along with several other nationally acclaimed Canadian musicians including Canada’s Yodelin’ Cowgirl Naomi Bristow, “The Telecaster Master” Steve Piticco who is a Canadian Country Music Award winner and Guitar Player of the Year; “Spaghetti Legs” Leo Stock; and Scott’s own sister “The Harmony Ace” Kendra (nee Woods) Norris, who is a 2016 Canadian Open Fiddle Champion and a three-time Canadian Duet Fiddle Champion with Scott.
Scott’s love of fiddling has been passed down through six generations. He studied classical violin from age four and plays several instruments: drums, bass, piano, guitar, saxophone and clarinet. Scott is a multiple winner of the Canadian Open Fiddle Contest, the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championships and a Canadian Fiddle Entertainer of the Year.
His famous trick fiddling routine, where he turns somersaults and walks on a barrel while playing his fiddle has earned him the nickname “The Flippin’ Fiddler” and three consecutive Canadian Novelty Fiddle Championship titles. For seven years, Scott was the musical director of Memories of Don Messer’s Jubilee, which toured extensively in Canada. Scott lives in Fergus, Ontario, enjoys riding his motorcycle and traveling with his trailer.

Forever in Plaid blends music with acting

By Murray Green

Popular 1950-60s musical Forever in Plaid will be brought back to the theatre stage from Nov. 23 to Dec. 8.
Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society’s annual main stage production features the hit show of a story of a men’s harmony group from years gone by that magically comes back to life in 2019 to perform their show for the very first time. Only this time, it is at the Ponoka United Church.
The harmony group stars Jinx, Frankie (his real name is Francis), Sparky and Smudge, a quartet with big dreams that almost got its big break in 1964 at an airport cocktail bar. Almost. 55 years pass and “because of all the astro-technical stuff, like the stars being in conjunction with the positions of the planets and the sounds of our voices, it’s finally possible for them to do the show, which they couldn’t, and now can.
The Plaids open their show with “Three Coins in the Fountain,” a song which Frank Sinatra topped the charts with for three weeks in 1954. The show continues with songs made famous by artists such as Harry Belafonte, Hoagy Carmichael and  Perry Como. Audience members of all ages are sure to enjoy the show’s classic barbershop-style melodies and hilarious on-stage antics.
The show stars Douglas Graham (Edmonton), Cristian Jonsson (Olds), Levi Derowin (Lacombe), and Keenan Nooskey (Red Deer). The cast is directed by Tanya Heyden-Kaye (Ponoka) with music direction by Graham Boyes (Ponoka) and vocal coaching by Perry Wilson (Ponoka).
Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society is a non-profit community theatre company formed in Ponoka in 2007 with a mission of teaching music and acting to the community and showcasing Alberta talent.
This deliciously fun revue is chock-full of classic barbershop quartet harmonies and pitch-perfect melodies, and hilarious on-stage antics.
This musical is suitable for all ages including children.
Forever Plaid is an off-Broadway musical revue written by Stuart Ross, and first performed in New York in 1989.
Personifying the clean-cut genre are the Plaids. This quartet of high-school chums’ dreams of recording an album ended in death in a collision with a bus filled with Catholic schoolgirls on their way to see the Beatles’ American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. The revue begins with the Plaids returning from the afterlife for one final chance at musical glory.
The songs they sing during the course of the musical include “Sixteen Tons”, “Chain Gang”, “Shangri-La” and “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing”.
Tickets are available at the Ponoka United Church weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., by phone at 403-783-4081 or online at The show runs approximately an hour and 45 minutes and features a traditional Bob Ronnie dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.

Nolan returns to the Bailey for theatre performance

By Murray Green

Rose City Roots Music Society is bringing back Joe Nolan to the Bailey Theatre stage on Friday, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m.
It’s not every day that a songwriter makes it from open mic nights to a sought after concert performer.
Joe’s old soul lyrics and striking vocals attracts fans where ever he goes.​
His distinctive vocals and range of expression reaches extreme levels at times. Joe’s songs are attuned to the world of youthful melodramas in which he, an artist in his early 20s lives and an older, deeper level of human experience.
The strength of his debut record, Goodbye Cinderella (2011), earned a nomination for Canadian Folk Music Award Emerging Artist of the Year.
His latest work is Cry Baby, an album that finally opens up what he has kept locked tightly for the past three years. The 10-song collection is a trip through melancholic madness, touching on darkness and depression, broken relationships and endless booze-fuelled evenings.
Cry Baby is an unapologetic sharing of his story, and through that, finding a second chance and a new beginning.
“I enjoy playing in Camrose. I’ve played at the Bailey before and it is a gorgeous room, so I’m really looking forward to coming back,” recalled Joe. “I used to hang out in Camrose a lot because my sister worked at Augustana.”
His ground-breaking new record Cry Baby hits close to home and is a departure from his previous work.
“My music needs to be seen live. It is dynamic and I feel like a chameleon because it is changing every day. I cross into different genres and this show is going to be with a band. It is going to be mix of rock and roll, blues and roots,” described Joe.
“I feel I’ve been restricted in the past, but now, this is totally my music. I already want to record another album in a different direction. I want to break out of that box I’ve been in. It starts by listening to other albums and taking pieces and putting them together. It still starts with a paper and pen.”
Joe calls Edmonton his home, but feels connected to Camrose. “My songs begin with a vision. Bryan Adams has always been an inspiration to me,” explained Joe.
“Most of my time has been as a solo artist. It changes my music by being in a band. I hope I’ve made some fans in Camrose. I want to reach everybody with my music.”
Tommy Banks wrote a string arrangement for the final song. The song is called “Ode To Sturgeon County”. The song is a confessional on Joe’s past few years, as well as his childhood. He sent it to Tommy and asked if he would be interested in being a part of it and writing a string arrangement for it. He immediately got back, saying he would love to.

BRCF grants scholarships to École Camrose Composite High School


The Battle River Community Foundation awarded a grant to fund a scholarship at Ecole Camrose Composite High School.
The grant is from income generated by the Stan and Gladys Hambly Fund, which was created in 2005 by the couple’s daughter, Muriel.  The grant provides a scholarship to a student pursuing an education degree.
The Battle River Community Foundation exists to support projects programs and awards such as this, in East Central Alberta which benefit the local communities and have a positive impact on the future.
Grants from the Battle River Community Foundation are primarily made possible through the generosity of individual donors and organizations that have created endowment funds. The principal of these endowment funds are kept intact and the income is made available annually to support local projects and organizations.
Since it was founded in 1995, the Battle River Community Foundation has granted over $6,370,000 to support programs and facilities operated by organizations like the Battle River School Division.
To learn more about scholarships at ECCHS, contact the school office at 780-672-4416.
To learn more about the Battle River Community Foundation please contact Dana Andreassen, Executive Director, at

CARE Coalition working with stakeholders

17 care coalition pix
CARE Coalition co- chairs Tammy Richard, left and Lucy Ernst, right presented an update to City Council on the work being done by the Coalition and working groups.

By Lori Larsen

During a Committee of Whole meeting held on Oct. 21 council heard a presentation on the work done by the CARE (Camrose and Area Risk Education) Coalition to ensure Camrose and area residents are provided with education, information and resources to reduce harms related to risk taking behaviors.
Presenters and co-chairs Lucy Ernst and Tammy Richard provided a concise summary of the initiative.
Ernst began by explaining the previously known Battle River Drug Task Force which was formed in early 2000’s to respond to concerns regarding increased crystal meth use and the P.A.R.T.Y. (Preventing Alcohol Related Trauma in Youth), a local program that hosted a one day “mock disaster” event.
“When both of these local groups concluded we merged their efforts into the CARE Coalition,” said Ernst. “We have been in existence now for about seven years in the community.”
Some of the stakeholders and community partners consist of Alberta Health Services, Alberta Office of Traffic Safety, Battle River School Division, Camrose County Protective Services, Camrose Fire Department, Camrose Open Door, Camrose Police Service, Camrose Women’s Shelter, Canadian Mental Health Association, Elk Island Catholic School Division, Hospice Society of Camrose & District, RCMP and University of Alberta Augustana Faculty.
Ernst said the diversity in the group helps to develop a broad understanding of what some of the issues are in the community. “Our purpose is to share and build knowledge and expertise to develop, implement and evaluate initiatives that are designed to reduce harms related to risk taking behaviours (targeting youth ages 12 to 24 and their parents.)”
CARE Coalition has three priority areas which include: traffic safety; alcohol, tobacco and drug related harms and mental health and well being. “These are the top three that have been identified by our partners.”
With traffic safety the working groups focus on such concerns as distracted driving, alcohol/drug impaired driving, speeding, seat belt use, bus safety, railway safety, driving on country roads and bike and pedestrian safety.
Ernst explained the success of the annual liquor bag campaign, one of the initiatives developed by the Coalition. “This was an opportunity to partner with local students in the community who design the bags with messages that talk about the importance of not drinking and driving.” Ernst said they also partner with all the local liquor stores who use the bags over the holiday season. “Last year I believe we had over 600 bags decorated by the students and distributed throughout the community. It is a very positive campaign led by the Alberta Chapter of Students Against Drinking and Driving.”
Richard spoke about the areas of alcohol, tobacco and drugs and mental health and well being.
“The Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs working groups try to focus their efforts on reducing the harms related to alcohol use, the prevention of using vaping products and delay the onset of cannabis use in our young people and reduce the harms of those who are using.”
Richard noted that since the legalization of cannabis there tends to be a mindset in some young people that cannabis use is harmless for them. “So we spend a lot of time with trying to educate young people on how to delay until they are older or adults before they begin to use cannabis products.”
She said the Coalition just received some funding from Health Canada to do some vaping  education in the community and the role of the CARE Coalition in regards to vaping, is to educate, where the role of council would lean more towards the development of policy.
“We need to continue to educate our community in regards to vaping, so we can prevent young people from using the products.”
The working groups for the Mental Health and Well Being focus on eduction specific to promoting positive mental health and suicide prevention and support for families who have experienced a loss by suicide.
In moving forward, Richard said the Coalition will continue to work collaboratively to identify concerns in the community raised by partners and address those concerns using Best Practice approaches.
Council inquires
Councillor Agnes Hoveland inquired as to whether there was any measured success from the P.A.R.T.Y. program and why it was discontinued.
Ernst indicated that the feedback from evaluation of the program did not show that all of the efforts led to any type of behaviour change which she indicated was disappointing because of the effort and collaboration as a result it lead to continual education using the model of Best Practices.
Hoveland asked who the Coalition was targeting with the initiative of educating those younger than 25 years of age to not engage in the use of  cannabis.
Richard said they are providing the influencers  (parents, teachers, coaches) in the lives of these young people with information on how to have those conversations.
Councillor David Ofrim asked if the Coalition  has seen a change in drug usage since the Drug Task Force, which was mostly mandated at targeting methamphetamine (meth) use in the community at that time.
“Another product will take its place,” said Richard. “Over the last 10 years cocaine and crack replaced it and now meth is back into the community.”
Ernst added that the Coalition works closely with Camrose Police Service Constable John Fernhout who is an active member of CARE and contributes in many of the working groups. “He brings his  knowledge of what is  happening in schools to the table and that really helps us direct our efforts.”
Ernst said that Fernhout indicated to the Coalition that while drug usage is monitored, the two major concerns are alcohol and tobacco usage.
Councillor Greg Wood inquired as to what the Coalition has heard in regards to specific age groups and the affects of the legalization of  cannabis.
Richard responded. “When the legalization of cannabis was first proposed we were all worried about increased usage in our young people, but we haven’t heard of any  changes or anything to be concerned about.
“The people using before continue to use but it doesn’t necessarily mean there has been an increase in new users. However, with the legalization of edible we may see some changes.”
For more information on CARE Coalition contact Richard at or by phone at 780-672-1181 or Ernst at or by telephone at 780-679-2968. read more

Lions Club supports STARS

18  stars pix
Dennis Stevenson, left, of the Camrose Swans and Roses Club presented a Dr. Greg Powell Fellowship Laurie Lindstrand, right, (a survivor because of STARS) and to Lindstrand Auctions, accepted by his son Jody, with Patricia Snow of STARS assisting.

By Murray Green

The Camrose Lions Club has been a big supporter of STARS since the air ambulance was launched.
In fact, Lions clubs across the province funded most of the program in the first year and it when was called the Lions Air Ambulance.
“It is always so heart warming and fofilling coming to Camrose because the community is  a strong supporter of STARS,” said Patricia Snow, STARS development officer, major gifts foundation.
The Camrose Lions Club invited her to speak and help present an award to Laurie Lindstrand and Lindstrand Auctions for their support over the years on Oct. 16 at the Norsemen Inn.
“My current project is our capital campaign. I’m working on a future generation of STARS to enable us to have a fleet to meet the demands,” explained Patricia. “We exist to save lives. Almost everyone here has been touched by someone who has used STARS, or know someone who has.”
STARS is a medical service used for emergencies. “We put a lot of funding into training. We not only want to get their fast, but we want the experts that are trained to attend patients before they arrive at the hospital,” Patricia said.
“If someone in a rural community is in a critical condition, they need care. Sometimes it is a volunteer firefighter that is the first one their and looking after that person and they need to be trained as well. We work with the people who are seeing the patient first. STARS was started in 1985 by Dr. Greg Powell. He is a doctor in Calgary that saw patients coming in that were dying when he got to them. He thought enough is enough. He wanted to get the patients to him faster,” said Patricia.
Dr. Powell worked with other communities to get the program started. “Now we train people to be the best. In competitions across North America, STARS people consistently place in the top three. Dr. Powell is still finding better ways to do things. Having a leader like that fires everyone up to be the best.”
 STARS has a mobile bus unit that simulate everything that is in a helicopter. “I remember a nurse from Daysland telling me she received training and the very next day a situation happened and was able to save that person’s life,” shared Patricia. 
“We are so fortunate to have great medical staff and first responders on the ground before the patient gets to the air ambulance. When people practice what to do, everything just comes to them faster. We go out to hospitals to train medical staff. They are the ones treating their neighbours and friends,” said Patricia. “Our VIP heroes are the ones who receive training and those who donate.”
She showed a clip of Emily Donahue, a rural person helped more than once by STARS.
In western Canada, STARS has 11 helicopters.It is available 24/7, 365 days of the year. Statistics reveals that STARS has flown around 230 missions into Camrose County over the last eight years.
“In Alberta, 80 per cent of our funding comes from the community and 20 per cent from the provincial government. Now we are at the point we have to start replacing our old fleet of helicopters. It costs $10 million a year, per base (Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Calgary) to run our operation,” said Patricia. “We fund one base with the lottery sales, the rest is by donations.”
Lions Clubs have donated several millions over the years. read more

Heidt bought this Z28 Camaro from storage

By Murray Green

David Heidt of Camrose was tired of seeing this classic 1980 Chevrolet Z28 Camaro in storage. He wanted to drive it to enjoy the smooth handling car.
“I picked up the car from my brother-in-law. He had it in storage for 39 years, so I thought it was time to drive it. I liked the car, so I bought it to drive around on nice days and to go to the Camrose car show,” said David.
With less than a year on the road, the Camaro had low mileage and was in show room condition.
“The car has a factory 350 engine and everything is all original, right down to the tires it drove off the lot with,” shared David.
The second-generation Camaro was produced by Chevrolet from 1970 through the 1981 model years. It was introduced in the spring of 1970. Build information was released to the assembly plants in February of that same year. It was longer, lower and wider than the first generation Camaro.
“I may end up selling it if I don’t drive it enough. This car should be enjoyed and not sit in storage for another 39 years,” added David.
A convertible body-type was no longer available. GM engineers indicated that the second generation is much more of a driver’s car than its predecessor.
The second-generation Camaro was developed without the rush of the first generation and benefited from a greater budget justified by the success of the first generation.
Although it was an all-new car, the basic mechanical layout of the new Camaro was familiar, engineered much like its predecessor with a unibody structure utilizing a front subframe, A-arm and coil spring front suspension, and rear leaf springs.
The chassis and suspension of the second generation were greatly refined in both performance and comfort; base models offered significant advances in sound-proofing, ride isolation and road-holding.
Extensive experience Chevrolet engineers had gained racing the first-generation led directly to advances in second-generation Camaro steering, braking and balance.
Although it began its run with a number of high-performance configurations, as the 1970s progressed, the Camaro grew less powerful, succumbing, like many production cars of the era, to the pressures of tightening emissions regulations and a fuel crisis. Major styling changes were made in 1974 and 1978; 1981 was the final model year for the second-generation Camaro.

For 1980 the aged 250 cubic inch (4.1 L) inline-six was replaced with a 229 cubic inch (3.8 L) V6 engine, 231 cubic inch (3.8 L) in California, a first for Camaro. The 120 hp (89 kW; 122 PS) (4.4 L) 267 cubibic inch V8 engine became an option on the base, RS and Berlinetta models this year.
The Z28 hood included a rear-pointing raised scoop (air induction) with a solenoid operated flap which opened at full throttle, allowing the engine to breathe cooler air. A federally mandated 85 mph (137 km/h) speedometer also debuted this year, down from 130.
The Z28s had new optional grey five-spoke rims (later used on the 1986–88 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS), a unique upper and lower front grille and smaller revised graphics on its doors. The side scoops were also changed from a louvered design to a flatter one with a single opening. The 350 cubic inch (5.7 L) V8 was now only available on the Z28 this year.
The 1981 model was nearly unchanged from 1980 and would be the last model year for the second-generation Camaro.

Grateful Grannies Christmas Market returns to the Bailey

20 grateful grannies pix
The Grateful Grannies Christmas Market will feature some fun “Grinch” type tree decorations in a variety of sizes, shapes, colours and containers.

By Lori Larsen

Looking for some unique Christmas ideas? Look no further than the Grateful Grannies of Camrose annual Christmas Craft and Bake Sale to be held on Saturday, Nov. 23 from noon until 3 p.m. at the Bailey Theatre.
The sale features a wonderful variety of homemade gifts and items as well as some scrumptious homebaked goods that can be taken home and enjoyed that day or frozen for serving when company pops over.
The Christmas market is the Grateful Grannies biggest fundraiser of the year with all funds raised going towards the Grandmother to Grandmother Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
“Our many group members have been very busy creating beautiful items to sell,” said chairperson of the Grateful Grannies Christmas Market Janet Galenza.
Items include handcrafted, knitted and crocheted items, various sewing and quilted items, pottery, cards, jewelery, AIDS angels, Scandinavian gnomes, stained glass items and delicious baking.
“This year for something new, we are trying our hand at creating Grinch trees,” added Galenza. 
While you walk around taking in all the items and soaking in the ambience of the Bailey Theatre, enjoy a cup of hot apple cider and delicious savory treats and listen to the talented Wetaskiwin Strings group.
The afternoon is a delightful way to kick off your holiday season, shop for something special for that special someone, while supporting grandmothers in Africa who work tirelessly to raise their orphaned grandchildren.
“The Grateful Grannies are a dedicated group of grandmothers and grand ‘others’ who, along with hundreds of other groups across Canada, raise money to support these African grandmothers,” explained Galenza. “The parents of the grandchildren these grandmothers care for have died in the AIDS/HIV pandemic that continues to exact a toll on sub-Saharan Africa.”
Galenza said that the grandmothers supported by the fundraising done by Grateful Grannies groups across the world, sacrifice through great hardships to provide shelter, food and support for their grandchildren, without the benefit of government social programs. So every dollar raised is very appreciated.
The Stephen Lewis Foundation works with community-based organizations to identify the needs of the community then provides funding for food, health care services, counselling services and educational needs. Consistent, sustained funding through grassroots organizations such as ours are starting to make transformative changes in the challenge of dealing with AIDS/HIV on such a wide scale.
In May of this year, a local physician spoke to the Camrose Grateful Grannies about her experiences of living in South Africa and the challenges that are continuing to be faced there.
“She stated that there are still one in five people with HIV/AIDS in South Africa,” noted Galenza. “And that it is often difficult for people to go to the HIV clinic for an initial assessment of their condition, walking sometimes for days to reach the facility. It was a wonderfully poignant firsthand account and it certainly reinforced our need to continue our work.
“We hope that many people will support this worthwhile charity, either by attending the market or donating baking or handmade items.”
With giving always in the forefront of many people in our own gracious community, come check out the market and know that the gift you purchase to give to someone special in your life will give back across the globe.
For more information or to make a donation to the cause or the market, contact Janet Galenza. read more

Music stands need replacing

By Murray Green

The École Camrose Composite High School Music Parents Association is raising funds to replace 65 music stands.
Susan and Chris Nichol are leading the challenge to replace the stands. “The music stands are quite old and difficult, if not impossible, to repair. Some of them are bent, some loose and some don’t stand up anymore, so we are looking to replace the music stands,” said president Chris Nichol.
The Nichols have a Grade 12 student and Grade 10 student in the music program.
“We drafted some letters to the community and have received a nice response so far. We want to remind people of the letter and if they haven’t had an opportunity to respond, we invite them to do so,” said Chris. “We are looking for donations of $100, which will purchase two stands. Each stand is worth about $50, so people could donate in multiples of $50 so they know how many stands they are purchasing.”
The current stands were purchased many years ago (about 30 years) and parts are hard to find. “The new ones would have separate components, so they can be repaired,” said Chris.
“The Battle River School Division is trying, but they don’t have the extra funds to replace them. We have some instruments that need replacing as well,” said Susan, fundraising director. “We both play in the Community Band and use the same stands. It is hard to read music when the stand keeps sliding down.”
If someone would like a letter, a donation picked up, or more information, contact Susan at and leave a note.
The donors will be recognized at the winter concert on Dec. 2 at ÉCCHS.
“We may not have the stands available for the concert, but we would like the funds to be in place by the concert,” added Chris.

National Shoebox Collection Week Locations in Camrose

By Lori Larsen

Once again this year, residents are being encouraged to fill a shoe box with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items, plus personal notes and photos for distribution to children in need around the world. National Shoebox Collection Week is Nov. 18 to 24.
Last year, Canadians filled more than 517,000 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with gifts to be shared with struggling children in West Africa and Central America. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and distributed more than 167 million shoebox gifts in over 100 countries.
Residents interested in filling and dropping off a shoebox in the Camrose area can do so at one of the following drop-off locations.
The Lefse House, 5210 51 Avenue from Nov. 18 to 21,  9:30 a.m. until  5 p.m.
The Dollar Tree, 105-6805 48 Avenue from November 18 to 21, 9 a.m.  until 9 p.m.
Mclellan Wheaton Chevrolet Buick GMC, 3850 48 Avenue from
Nov. 18 to 21,  8 a.m. until   6 p.m.
Vinesation Olive Oil And Vinegar, 4937
50 Street Nov. 18 to 21,
10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Browns Socialhouse, 6805-445 48 Avenue
Nov. 18 to 20, 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., Nov. 21,  11 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Battle River Landscaping, 4112 44 Avenue
Nov. 18 to 21, 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Twists and More, 4702C 65 Street Nov. 18 to 21, 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
FT Aggregates Landscape, 3805 48 Avenue Nov. 18 to 21,  8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Richardson’s Jewellery, 34-6601 48 Avenue Nov. 18 to 21,  10 a.m. until
5:45 p.m.
The Brick, 5000 51 Avenue Nov. 18 to 21, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
ATB Financial, 700-7300 48 Avenue Nov. 18 to 21  9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The Soap Stop, 5011 46 Street Nov. 18 to 21,  9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Pedersens Florists, 4936 50 Street Nov. 18 to 21, 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Century Meadows Baptist Church, 3720 66 Street Nov. 18 to 23, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Nov. 24  noon until 4 p.m.
Some of theses locations may have empty shoeboxes that people can pick up, but there is no guarantee. Residents can use their own shoeboxes, or buy clear plastic boxes and fill them.
Operation Christmas Child is an annual initiative of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization that works in more than 100 countries.
“Every shoebox packed by Canadians enables us to offer hope and joy to children in some of the most impoverished parts of the world,” said director of Operation Christmas Child Randy Crosson. “Please consider packing just one more box to increase the impact you and Operation Christmas Child will have this
Shoeboxes can also be packed online at

St. Pat’s little nature ambassadors

23 kindergarten nature pix
St. Patrick’s Catholic School Kindergarten class take classroom learning into the great outdoors with the Nature Class.

By Lori Larsen

On Nov. 1 a group of high energy, enthusiastic, ready to take on Mother Nature in all her glory, St. Patrick’s Catholic School kindergarten students speckled the hillside at Stoney Creek park.
As part of the a Nature Kindergarten class, the eager students were led through a variety of activities and learning opportunities by teacher Nola Bellamy.
“This early years enrichment opportunity allowed children to spend the vast majority of their day outside, engaged in meaningful ways with their body, mind and spirit while located in a natural setting.,” explained St. Pat’s assistant principal Michelle Nanias.
“Working as a group of explorers, nature-based kindergarten children were self-directed through their own curiosity and play.”
The children spent time exploring the beautiful surroundings of Stoney Creek using all their senses and multiple natural learning environments to experience the world around them and develop confidence in their own abilities to investigate and to collaborate outdoors.
The children were also physically active and engaged in movement skills that facilitated their balance, stamina, and strength.
“Through Nature Kindergarten, our intention is to connect children to nature, thereby fostering rich learning experiences, ecological literacy, and healthy living,” said Nanias.
As students carefully navigated around the natural setting they were encouraged to express, in their own ways, their experiences in a journal and were later asked what they experienced.
Out of the mouths of babes came youthful revelations that included, Look at that view. I can see everything from here. It’s fun when we have nature kindergarten days because there’s no bells to tell us when to stop eating.
Nanias said the impact and power of the program can not be understated. “With the role-modeling and nurture of wise and skilled educators who understand the power of play and child-directed learning, children can grow in resilience and compassion to contribute positively to a more sustainable world.”
The Kindergarten Nature class is just another example of how the staff and teachers at St. Pat’s are using innovative ways of connecting the students to their community, and creating ambassadors of our natural world. read more

Women’s Shelter reaches out

By Lori Larsen

The Camrose Women’s Shelter is a not-for-profit organization that plays a significant role in the lives of those experiencing the effects of family violence, but also plays a vital role in Camrose and surrounding communities by providing services and programs that extend far beyond that of a  physical building.
“The Women’s Shelter is an vital part of this community,” said Board chair Lynn Horsman. “Firstly, we are an employer of 25 staff  members. Those staff members in turn contribute to the community.
“We service a recognized need,” continued Horsman. “We look after over 400 women and children a year and have been doing that for 34 years.”
The Shelter opened in January 1985 and has assisted over 13,000 people who have actually accessed the Shelter, but there are the many others who have accessed the services offered through other means.
“Our Outreach Program is invaluable. We have staff in the Shelter who actually go out and help women and children, who maybe don’t need to come into the Shelter, with such things as child rearing, seeking legal advice, and working through government red tape, among other things.”
The Shelter’s 24-hour crisis line and outreach program supports women and their families during crisis, assists with personal safety planning, and makes referrals to other agencies.
“The Shelter moves people on from where they may be struggling. A simple telephone call and there is help,” said Horsman.
The Outreach Program assists in transitioning women staying at the Shelter into the community of their choosing. Services offered by the Outreach Program include providing transportation for clients to and from medical or other appointments, guidance and assistance when searching for housing, education and information on raising children, assistance with referrals, education, budgeting on a small income and other relevant topics to assist clients to leading healthy independent lives.
The Shelter’s Family Support Program, facilitated by a social worker and certified child care staff member, provides group or individual support for women including information and education around parenting, the effects of family violence on children and how to be a positive role model in the mother-child relationship. During a client’s stay at the Shelter, in-house childcare is provided for appointments, in-house groups and self-care needs. Various groups and activities are provided for children during their stay, including preschool learning, crafts and literacy activities, yoga, field trips and visits from a local therapeutic service dog.
The Shelter also provides a school program for Grades 1 through 12 with classroom teachings conducted by a Battle River School Division certified teacher following the Alberta Education–Program of Studies Curriculum.
The Shelter is always welcoming new members to the Board. Commitment to the Board involves nine dinner meetings a year and   sitting on various committees that assist with the governance of the Shelter.  Such committees include policy, personnel or fundraising committees.
“Board members have the crucial role of ensuring essential services and organizations like ours exist and our cause of providing a place free from violence and abuse is a service that resonates with many community members,” said Camrose Women’s Shelter executive director Nora-Lee Rear.
Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Camrose Women’s Shelter board can contact Lynn Horsman by email at or by telephone at 780-672-2910
For more information about the Outreach Program or to book a family violence awareness presentation, contact the Outreach coordinator at 780-679-4975 ext. 2.
For more information, contact on the Family Support Program contact the coordinator at 780-679-4975 ext. 5.
For more information about the Shelter school and shelter learning environment, telephone 780-679-4975 ext. 5.
 Ensuring the well-being of those who may be a victim of family violence or abuse is something every person has the opportunity to do. If you know of someone who is being abused, encourage them to contact the Camrose Women’s Shelter for support and assistance by telephoning 780-672-1035  or  toll free 1-877-672-1010 or by email:
Lisa kaastra
By Lisa Kaastra

Little House on the Slough

“T’was the month before Christmas”

By Lisa Kaastra

T’was the month before Christmas, and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, except for… a mouse.
So the traps were all set ‘neath the sink with such care
In hopes that they’d catch the small rodents soon there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of pups and snow danc’d in their heads.
And Hubby with cell phone, and I with my book,
Were just settling in to our small sleeping nook.
When out in the kitchen there arose such a clatter,
Hubby sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away from the bedroom, he flew like a flash,
Tore open the door, and kept up his dash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave lustre of mid-day to creatures below;
When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But fat, whiskered vermin - just what he did fear.
With skinny, long tails, so lively and quick,
He knew in a moment that this was no trick.
More rapid than eagles, they scurried ’cross the floor,
And they squeaked and they sniffed, as they headed to th’ door.
“A Mickey, a Minnie, a Chuck E. Cheese too,
“But a family of mice in my house just won’t do!
“Out to the front porch and down you must crawl -
“Get away, get away, get away, all!”
As water slides down the drain ’round in a hurry,
When it empties and leads to a slithering fury,
So down the heat vent, the courses they scampered,
With a belly-full of peanut butter, their paws still unhampered.
And then in a twinkling, he heard a loud snap;
The great sound of success from o’er near the trap.
As he drew in his head, and was turning around,
The rest all escaped with a leap and a bound.
But none of us knew that then later that week,
We’d meet NINE more mice who for more treats they’d seek,
And yet each one met end after end in the night;
They’d put up a good one, then give up their fight.
For when every morning, with daughter nearby,
She’d look at their furry paws and then squeal, “Oh my!”
“How sweet, how cute!” her little voice claimed,
Thank goodness, they exited the door, still unnamed.
Perhaps there are times when the mice need their space,
But for now in our house, let’s not have such take place.
So tonight we shall say, as we turn out the light -
“Be free of all mice, and to all a good night.” read more

Hybrid fall rye used to fatten up hogs

By Murray Green

Some producers have been using hybrid fall rye to fatten up hogs prior to market.
“High yields of new hybrid fall rye was the main reason we conducted a recent trial using it as feed for pigs,” said Miranda Smit, livestock research extension coordinator with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.
Hybrid fall rye was launched about five years ago in Canada. Herman Wehrle, director of marketing and business development with FP Genetics, said that its higher yield is a game changer. “Its yields are 25 to 30 per cent more than any other cereal that is grown in western Canada at this time. For livestock producers growing their own feed, having a high yield allows them to produce the lowest cost of feed per acre and for farmers that is going to be a game changer,” said Wehrle.
Smit added that another reason this hybrid rye was used in the trial was due to its increased resistance to ergot contamination.
“These new hybrids have a new trait called a pollen plus trait and this has been critical in helping improve ergot management, which has been key in rye production in general,” said Wehrle.
There are some other benefits with this rye. “It is a winter cereal, so it helps producers spread out their workload, allowing them to do some seeding in the fall which takes some pressure off seeding in the spring. More importantly, it allows them to harvest much earlier than they would be harvesting other crops.”
Being grown as feed for forages and grazing, it gives an opportunity for double cropping. “As an example, if a farmer was growing a hybrid rye and took a forage off in late June, they could turn around and reseed it to a forage barley or oat and get a second crop off in one year.”
Wehrle noted that he sees it as a very high value product in hogs, something that Smit took away from her research trial.

New County graders

By Murray Green

The biggest debate among grader operators around the area is whether the John Deere model 872 or the Caterpillar 160 is a better machine.
To help solve that issue, Camrose County decided to purchase one of each so drivers will  see for themselves.
Public works manager Zach Mazure gave the County council options to consider at the Oct. 8 meeting.
“I move that Camrose County council award the supply of one new John Deere 872GP AWD motor grader from Brandt Tractor, for the tender price of $434,600 (plus GST) with funding to come from the 2020 public works capital budget and further, that Camrose County council award the supply of one new Caterpillar 160M3 AWD motor grader at $440,134 (plus GST),” said councillor Brian Willoughby. “I want the Cat 160 so that we can compare apples to apples with these machines.”
The graders will be completed with new mastless snow wing and front lift group.
The County council allocated $96,000 to new grader repairs, in a reserve savings account, in 2020 to mitigate any potential of major repairs on the two new 2020 motor graders, that might require unplanned expenses during their lifespan with the County.
Administration contacted grader operators prior to making the options available to council.

Lock up your hunting gear

By Lori Larsen

Hunting is a sport enjoyed because of its opportunity to take advantage of the great outdoors, fresh air, participating in physical activity and perhaps harvesting some wild game. However, it can be an expensive hobby as well, especially if your gear is stolen.
Camrose RCMP want to remind hunters to ensure their hunting gear is locked and secured and provide the following tips on taking extra steps to protect your property.
“The best advice is to remove your gear from your vehicle and secure it in a safe place, whenever you can,” began Camrose RCMP Corporal Mark Cusack. “If you absolutely have to leave it in your vehicle, always make sure your vehicle is locked and all of the items are out of sight.”
Cusack appreciates that after a long hunt arriving home late at night it may be easy to just leave your gear in your vehicle, but the temptation may be too great for would-be thieves.
“Take that extra minute or two to take all your gear inside.”
Cusack also advised recording the serial numbers of all gear including spotting scopes, rifle scopes, binoculars, range finders, cameras, trail cameras, GPS instruments, satellite phones, two way radios, tree stands, blinds, bows and of course firearms.
“That way if they do happen to be stolen we can be supplied with the serial numbers which will greatly assist in an investigation. We can’t put firearms on our system, if they are stolen, unless it has a serial number attached to it. So it is important to record the serial numbers.”
He also suggested engraving gear to make it more identifiable.
“Hunters should make a complete inventory of all their gear–record the serial numbers and describe them, that way if we do need to investigate all they have to do is provide us with a copy of the inventory.”
While keeping an inventory along with photos of your gear on your cellular phone or other device is easy and quick, a copy should also be kept somewhere at your residence.
It only takes a minute to use a little extra caution and can save not only money but time in the event you become a victim of theft. Lock up your gear so you have it for the next great adventure into the wilderness.

Rifle safety tips

By Lori Larsen

With general hunting season (which includes use of a firearm) in the Parkland WMU (Wildlife Management Unit), which includes Camrose County, officially open, the potential for incidents involving firearms causing injury or death could increase.
With the use of rifles comes an onset of concerns from both rural residents, located near popular hunting spots and Conservation and Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch officers assigned with the duty of ensuring hunters abide by the laws and proper gun safety.
A few simple precautions by anyone handling firearms can mean the difference between a safe and satisfying hunt and one that could potentially turn extremely dangerous.
When transporting your firearm, completely unload it including rounds in the breech or chamber and remove cartridge magazines, then separate your ammunition from your firearm.
Remember, it is unlawful to have a loaded firearm (live ammunition in breech, chamber or magazine) in or on, or discharge a weapon from a boat unless the boat is propelled by muscular power or is at anchor and the person is hunting, or any kind of aircraft or vehicle whether it is moving or stationary. Note: Ammunition may be carried in a magazine that is not attached to the firearm.
Place your firearm in a protective case and secure the case so it does not get knocked around during travel.
Every time you remove your firearm from the case be sure to check the bore for obstructions.
Begin by being totally familiar with your firearm and ensure it is properly cleaned and maintained at all times. Always use the proper ammunition for your firearm.
Whenever you are handling a firearm always treat it like it is loaded.  Never point the muzzle of your firearm towards yourself or in the direction of another person. In fact doing so, without lawful excuse, whether loaded or not is a criminal offence.
Keep the muzzle of your firearm pointed at the ground with the safety on until you are ready to shoot and are totally aware of what your target is and what lays beyond your intended target.
Be in complete control of where your firearm is pointed at all times. This includes traversing rough terrain such as steep hills, rocks, rivers and crossing fences. If these pose dangerous obstacles it is best to ensure your firearm is unloaded.
Keep the action of the firearm open, except when shooting or when storing an unloaded gun.
Keep your finger off the trigger until you are steadied, aimed and ready to shoot.
When you are ready to shoot remember an important tip, slow and steady not only wins the race but can help ensure you not only hit the target but do so safely.
These suggestions may seem simple but hunting is often accompanied by moments of excitement which can lead to sudden decisions. Being prepared and cautious converts to a safer, happier hunt.

Family fun at CRE

By Lori Larsen

The Camrose Regional Exhibition is changing up the season with a new family fun event replacing the Festival of Trees.
The Garlands and Gatherings event at the CRE will run Nov. 22 to 24 and is aimed at a whole lot of family pleasure with a seasonal celebration of Funky Fun.
For the price of admission, guests will have a slew of exciting activities in which to take part that include listening to and watching local performers on the Camrose Community Performance Stage with the bulk of performances on Saturday, Nov. 23;
and photos with Santa on Friday, Nov. 22 from 2 until 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23 from 11 a.m. until
1:00 p.m. and 2 until 4 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 24 from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
This year, the CRE will be adding a 5,000-square-foot Children Fun Zone consisting of a variety of inflatable rides, a Toddlers’ Room for children under five years of age with a pint-sized-participant inflatable ride and crafty activity centres. A Video Game Theatre will feature a variety of video games for video game enthusiasts to come and test out new video games, do hands-on play, challenge another player and have mini-tournaments.
The floor layout will also be taking on a new look. Trade show vendors and not-for-profit booths will be spattered throughout the main floor area with Santa taking centre stage in the middle.
CRE is welcoming any not-for-profit organizations to set up a booth (free of charge for not-for-profits).
“The theme this year is Funky Christmas. It is going to be very bright and neon. We will still have some trees, but we what we are really aiming for this year is to have activities for all ages instead of mostly just trees to view – lots of hands-on fun.”
There will still be a spattering of funky decorated trees throughout including an oversized real tree that will adorn the mezzanine area.
Garlands and Gatherings at the CRE will run Friday, Nov. 22 from 2 until 7 p.m., Saturday Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Tickets are available online for the event and part of the cost of admission will be donated to Camrose Neighbor Aid (Food Bank).
The ever popular Teddy Bear Disco, will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Garlands and Gatherings at the CRE promises tons of fun for everyone.

Garlands and Gatherings – ’tis the season

32 garlands and gatherings pix
Garlands and Gatherings Community programs gear up for all the wonders of the holiday season.

By Lori Larsen

This year let Garlands and Gatherings Community program help you to enjoy all the excitement of the holiday season that is happening in and around Camrose.
Garlands and Gatherings is a new community wide initiative directed by a committee comprised of representatives from county and city organizations and businesses.
Spearheaded by Tourism Camrose executive director Jennifer Filip and Camrose Regional Exhibition executive director Dianne Kohler, the committee has put together a list of events happening in and around Camrose over the holiday season.
“The momentum is growing,” said Filip. “The more we talk about this initiative and not just limiting it to the City but expanding it out into the County to be inclusive of Ag societies, villages and towns, it has sparked enthusiasm and excitement.”
This is also an opportunity to cross promote other events. Many of the organizations/businesses will have handouts containing a list of the events.
The main goal of the Garlands and Gatherings Community initiative was to ensure city and county residents were given every opportunity to get out and enjoy as many events as they could this holiday season.
“If you are there already why not take in other events.”
The following list includes some of the upcoming events.
Saturday, Nov. 16 – Bailey Italian Christmas Fundraiser at the Bailey Theatre beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 17 – Rosalind Ag Society Christmas Market.
Wednesday, Nov. 20 – Teddy Bear Disco at Camrose Regional Exhibition.
Thursday, Nov. 21 – SingAble Sing Along at the Bailey Theatre beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 21 – Lighting of the Downtown Christmas Tree located at the north end of Main Street (50 Avenue).
Thursday, Nov. 21 – Old Time Country Christmas at Camrose United Church at 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 23 – Grateful Grannies Christmas Market at the Bailey Theatre beginning at noon until 3 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 23 – The About Time Productions The Grinch shows at 3, 4:30 and 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 24 – Bashaw Agriculture Society Christmas in the Country Craft Fair at the Bashaw Community Church from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Nov. 22, 23 and 24 – Garlands and Gatherings at the CRE. (formerly Festival of Trees.)
Friday, Nov. 29 – Midnight Madness in Camrose Downtown core.
Saturday, Nov. 30 – Kinette’s Silent Santa Countdown to Christmas at Camrose Registry (5613-48 Avenue).
Saturday, Nov. 30 – Ed Sullivan Tribute Show and Dinner at the Bailey Theatre, doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 1 – Ed Sullivan Tribute Show at the Bailey Theatre at 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 1 – Concert in a Country Church at the Fridhem Heritage Church beginning at 7 p.m. Also – John McDermott Christmas at Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 6 – Kinsmen Club of Camrose 65th Annual Radio Auction
Saturday, Dec. 7 – Annual Cookie Walk, Tea and Christmas White Elephant Sale at the Camrose Heritage Railway Station from 1 p.m. until
4:30 p.m. or until supplies last.
Saturday, Dec. 7 – Camrose Public Library Annual Family Christmas Party from 10 a.m. to noon.
Saturday, Dec. 7 – Hay Lakes Lighting of the Tree.
Sunday, Dec. 8 – Ennis Sisters Christmas Show beginning at 2 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 8 – Sugar and Spice Christmas Gift and Craft Show at the Norsemen Inn from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 9 – Round Hill Christmas Market in Round Hill.
Friday, Dec. 13 – Infinite Imagination Variety Show and Dinner at the Spotlight Bistro (Bailey Theatre) at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 13 – Strictly Business Christmas Cabaret at the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre beginning at 8 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 13 – Christmas theme Name That Tune at Retro (5017-51 Street) 7 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14 – Michelle Wright Christmas at the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14 – Camrose and District Chamber of Commerce Motown Theme Christmas party at the Camrose Regional Exhibition from 6 p.m. until midnight.
Sunday, Dec. 15 – Buckaroos Country and Western Christmas Show at the Bailey Theatre at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 18 – Christmas Social at Camrose Public Library.
Thursday, Dec. 19 – Buzz Brass Christmas at the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27 and 28 – Camrose Academy of Curling Christmas Curling Camp for Youth.
To wind up 2019 and ring in 2020 The City is planning another New Years event on Tuesday, Dec. 31, in conjunction with the Kodiaks Hockey Team. Stay tuned for further details.
Be sure to look for the Garlands and Gatherings logo to stay tuned to upcoming regional events during the Christmas season.
As other events come available they will be posted on the Garlands and Gatherings
Facebook page. read more

Canola experts speak

By Murray Green

Join Alberta Canola director Roger Chevraux for a seminar on Wednesday, Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to
3:30 p.m. at the Norsemen Inn.
In addition to the speakers, there will be an update on clubroot in Alberta as well as an overview of Alberta Canola’s activities, priorities and budget for the coming year.
Speakers include Murray Hartman, an independent canola specialist that has a good news climate story for agriculture in Alberta.
Mike Jubinville is from MarketsFarm, Glacier Farmmedia and will be talking about navigating grain markets in turbulent political times.
Clinton Jurke is on the Canola Council of Canada and will be sharing views on clubroot and blackleg.
Rob Strilchuk of MNP will be talking about managing cash flow to manage the bank.

Sniffing out clubroot in fields

By Murray Green

Dogs don’t just make good pets, they can be very helpful around the farm.
Sniffer dogs were used this fall in canola fields near Brooks and in Leduc County to hunt for clubroot galls. The dogs and their trainers were used in the field trial, of the canine detection of clubroot project.
The project started when Michael Harding, a research scientist of plant pathology with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF), was contacted by dog trainer Mario Bourque in New Brunswick about training sniffer dogs to detect plant disease. Harding suggested clubroot.
“I knew that the concept had been done before (with avocados) and we needed to find the situation that needed the solution,” explained Harding. “Clubroot was the one (choice)because all the symptoms are underground. We have to destructively sample to see them. We needed something that could see the roots without pulling them out of the ground. That is where the dogs’ olfactory senses came into play.”
Harding contacted Farming Smarter’s general manager Ken Coles to support the project. “In the research world, it is always a struggle to figure out how to get the projects that are interesting to farmers and practical in your area,” said Coles. “We felt that it was a relevant and kind of an out there idea and that’s kind of the premise of Farming Smarter.”
Before the two dogs  (Josie, a two-year-old German Shepherd and Adi, a 13-month-old Golden Doodle) flew to Alberta, trainer Bill Grimmer used clinical scent training for three months in New Brunswick. Once they had proven the dogs could detect clubroot in the clinical trials, they were ready for field testing.
In two days in the field, collected evidence showed that the dogs would alert their handlers to areas where clubroot was present without digging up the roots.
“We set out to answer the question can dogs be trained to sniff out clubroot. We have shown that is truly the case both in the clinical setting and in the field setting,” Harding added. “We learned a lot in those field trials. The dogs had never been in a canola field before. They had never been on an airplane. It did not go seamlessly because this was a really new environment and a new experience for the dogs. They are used to detect gall material that is not underground on a canola stubble, so it was the first time for that.”
Although the dogs still need some additional training to be full working dogs, they had a high rate of success at detecting clubroot. “We have seen lots of evidence that they can do it.”
It could save canola producers some money in the long run. “Clubroot costs the industry a lot of money,” said Coles. “For us down south, where we are in that sort of clubroot-free zone, to be able to detect it earlier, we can employ the strategies that have already been successful and maybe keep it out a bit longer.”
Training dogs could be the answer. “If you have a scent dog that can help scout for clubroot, you eliminate the need to pull out 500 roots to find one with a gall,” said Harding. “There is an upfront cost for a sniffer dog, but you do not have to pay them a salary. They are really happy to go. Dogs could be trained to detect resting spores in the soil, so they could detect clubroot infestations in soil on equipment. The dog could verify there is no presence of clubroot spores on equipment up for sale. You could combine with GPS, on the dog’s collar to see where the dog has scouted, what it missed, where it has alerted and where it has not.”
Harding also added the possibility of training the dogs to detect more than clubroot. “You could train a single animal to alert you to fusarium, aphanomyces, blackleg, verticililium wilt, late blight and these dogs have the capability of learning that skill.”

Births and Deaths

-To Tara and Derek Schneider, of Bashaw, a girl on Oct. 22.
-To Donna and Dexter Niebers, of Camrose, a boy on Oct. 23.
-To Wilmira and Jayson Nuera, of Camrose, a girl on Oct. 28.

-Michael Joseph Hertel of Ferintosh, on October 31, at 57 years of age.
-Josephine Mary Scherrens (Markovich) of Camrose, formerly of Daysland, on Nov. 2, at 81 years of age.
-George Schmidt, Sr. of Tofield formerly of Cereal, on Nov. 2, at 98 years of age.
-Elizabeth "Doris" Patricia Moulder of Camrose, formerly of Hardisty, on Nov. 3, at 92 years of age.
-Alma Irene Anne Smith of Camrose, on Nov. 3, at 78 years of age.