Family Day is right around the corner and Central Alberta will be packed with activities for all to enjoy.
Red Deer will host Heritage Ranch’s Snowman Festival on Sunday, February 16. Activities will run all day and include sleigh rides, pony rides and hot chocolate.
If you want to keep things calm and relaxed for the long weekend, bring your family to yoga class at YogaNation.
Join city councillor/local historian Michael Dawe as he takes you on a journey of family stories throughout Red Deer’s history at the Museum and Art Gallery. While you’re there, take a picture of your family using the photo booth provided, and try your luck with multiple games.
In Sylvan Lake, their annual Winterfest goes on all weekend down by the pier. Events include a children’s ice slide, ice carving lessons to create your own ice carving to take home, lake curling, a fire and ice show, and fireworks. On Saturday, start the day off right with a pancake breakfast brought on by the Lions Club. For the singers, stop by the municipal library to watch the now classic winter movie ‘Frozen’. On Sunday, the 2020 Alberta Oval Ice Racing Championships Series makes a stop on the lake for a series of events.
During the entire weekend, anyone can fish without a license with Sylvan Lake’s Family Fishing Weekend, but regulations still apply.
The Town of Penhold won’t hold their annual Winterfest until the leap year. Instead, the town is promoting their “Disconnect to Connect Challenge”, where families log the hours they spent off of technology. Penhold schools have also joined in so classes can be entered, and the class with the most amount of hours wins a pizza party.
Innisfail hosts their annual Winterfest on February 17 with activities posted around the town. Events include indoor skating, curling at the local curling club, free BBQ at the Kinsmen Club, fire pit, and a public swim. There will be a family pond hockey tournament where teams can pre-register by contacting the Helping-Hand Fund or the Town of Innisfail.
The Town of Blackfalds hosts their annual Winterfest on February 17 at the Abbey Centre where admission is free all day. The day is on a packed schedule beginning with a pancake breakfast supporting the Dual Ice Development Society. There’s fun for the kids with bouncy castles and games, ice carving workshops, and horse wagon rides. Hot Dogs are served for lunch to support the volunteer fire department. At night, skate with your family at the Multi-Plex Arena, play a game of bingo at the community centre, or play some family games with ‘Dad’s Day Off Family Game Night’.
The legacy from the 2019 Canada Winter Games lives on in Red Deer.
Dozens of volunteers, sponsors, Funding Party representatives, staff and Board members gathered Thursday at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre to share their memories of the 2019 Games one year later and to learn more about their legacy, including plans for a Central Alberta Sport Authority.
“As a result of hosting the 2019 Games, Red Deer and central Alberta benefited from multiple sport, cultural, facility and social legacies across Red Deer and central Alberta,” said Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games Board Chair.
“While 2019 was our moment, these legacies help to cement Red Deer as an event hosting destination. Now, it is up to Red Deer and central Alberta to decide what their moment will be.”
The Games generated $110.3 million in economic activity in Alberta, while $14.5 million was invested in five capital projects, facility and equipment upgrades for sport and cultural facilities.
More than $500,000 in sport equipment and assets was donated to over 40 local and provincial sport organizations and not-for-profits, and 2,019 trees were planted across central Alberta.
The Games also saw the training of a volunteer workforce of over 4,600 individuals.
“One year ago, the Canada Winter Games brought our community together in ways we have never experienced before,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “We were proud and excited to welcome the world to Red Deer, and our community is transformed as a result of this one-in-a-generation opportunity. Not only do we have new sport and cultural facilities, but our community also found a renewed sense of pride and came together to rally around a shared love of sport and belief in the promise of Canada’s youth.”
Legacies of the 2019 Games continue to grow and develop. As part of the 2019 Games Legacy Plan, the 2019 Games initiated the formation of a Central Alberta Sport Authority with a mandate to develop, host and celebrate sport opportunities, local sport organizations and future sport events.
“The Central Alberta Sport Authority is excited to build on the momentum and legacy of the 2019 Games,” said Nicole Lorrain, Board Chair, Central Alberta Sport Authority. “While in the very early planning stages of the Sport Authority, we have identified through strategic planning sessions the importance of being an inclusive sport organization to the greater central Alberta region.”
(With file from media release)
The second annual Red Deer Women’s March will make its way through downtown Red Deer to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 7.
The Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) and Central Alberta Refugee Effort (CARE) have partnered up for this event.
Organizer Sadia Khan says the rise of the #MeToo movement makes it more important for events like the women’s march to happen.
“We are in this era, especially in 2020, where we can have these conversations out in the open,” she explains. “There have always been inequities and injustices that existed where half of the population are women. It’s about time we do this march, especially in a smaller community in Central Alberta to show light to these issues that involve women, simple as pay inequity.”
Khan says these issues need to be discussed more than just one day a year.
“It’s not like we do a one-day march, talk about these issues and that’s it. We want to create those action items and present it to the community in Red Deer. How’s it that we can do better to balance the inequities and injustices that really affect the women and girls in Red Deer.”
Marchers will gather at the Red Deer Public Library walk throughout the downtown core for about twenty minutes, then come back for speakers from multiple groups including CASASC and CARE, also Urban Aboriginal Voices, and Turning Point, along with a sexual assault survivor. These groups will talk about a number of issues including sexual assaults and Indigenous discrimination.
Everyone is invited to take part, including men. The event is free to join with more information available Facebook.
Early bird tickets for the second annual Red Deer Kinettes Club spring fling gala are only available for two more days.
The annual gala has a theme featuring a different country each year. This time around it’s a Japanese these dubbed ‘Touring Tokyo.’
Co-Chairs for the event, Shannon Lucas and Mary Benlota, say the Red Deer Kinettes Club has been organizing galas in the spring for years.
“It was only last year that we branded it as a spring fling gala, and we were just looking for a theme; we fell on the Rio Carnival theme last year, which was quite successful. This year, we thought of doing something similar, now it’s turning to a different country every year.” Benlota explains.
Entertainment this year includes the ‘Midnight Taiko Drummers,’ Japanese-style drummers, along with Japanese-style dancers.
Admission also includes Japanese-themed cocktails, a long list of silent auction items to bid on, 50/50 draw, and a raffle for a piece of artwork worth $1,600.
If you come dressed in your best Japanese-style costumes, you could win a prize for best-dressed.
All proceeds go towards Ronald McDonald House.
“That’s kind of where my heart went, to give back to them; for other parents that are going through something similar,” says Lucas.
If you buy early bird tickets, you are entered to win a limo ride for six to and from the event, and VIP seats. You can buy tickets at reddeerkinettes.ca.
The Mustard Seed’s biggest annual fundraiser is entering its fourth year.
The Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) is a family-friendly walk and fundraiser where all money raised goes directly to The Mustard Seed and its programs.
Every Mustard Seed location in the country is taking part. The Red Deer location hopes to raise $22,000 and is currently about one-third of the way there.
Across Canada, The Seed hopes to raise $6,000,000.
Laura Unruh, organizer of the Red Deer event, says CNOY is about more than just raising funds.
“It gives those who are participating more of an accurate reflection of what the most vulnerable in our city face on a day to day basis,” She explains.
“We all have the opportunity to come and do this walk in the night, when it is colder and it is dark; and then we get to go home to our warm houses and to our families. That is not a reality for our guests. It just allows us to experience first-hand, for a small amount of time, what it’s like to be someone experiencing homelessness or poverty.”
Families can enter in a two, five, or ten kilometer walk with a rest station in between where snacks will be served. A full meal that The Mustard Seed typically offers to its guests will be served at the finish line.
“We’ve had babies come, being pushed in strollers all the way up to people in their 80s. It’s just an opportunity for our community to come and see what we’ve got going down at The Mustard Seed and show support for the most vulnerable in Red Deer,” Unruh says.
“It’s been a lean year. We’re really hoping that Red Deer will come out and show their support like they always have in the past.”
The Mustard Seed continues to accept donations year-round, including clothing. The Coldest Night of the Year runs on saturday, February 22 starting at 53 Street and Gaetz Ave and ending at The Mustard Seed at 60 Street and Riverview Ave.
Over 500 students hit the trails on Tuesday for the annual ski loppet put on by Red Deer Public Schools at River Bend.
The event has been running for over thirty years and features students from grades three to twelve from over 15 schools in Red Deer Public, Red Deer Catholic Regional and from outlying communities such as Innisfail.
Colin Christensen is a teacher at Don Campbell Elementary in Red Deer and has been a part of the organizing committee for five years. He said that an event like this can be special for the students.
“It’s giving the kids an opportunity to ski, it’s something you can do for the rest of their life. Just watching kids have fun, the smiles on the faces, them having fun and enjoying themselves. That makes it worth it,” said Christensen. “I would say that the number we have today is close to the largest we’ve ever had, I think I saw that there are 527 students registered here today. Usually we hover around the five hundred mark.”
Students at the event are separated by grade, with medals at the end of the race for the competitors. The students have the choice between two races. A three kilometer trail or a five kilometer version. The event is open to any and all students, as long as your school or yourself can provide the equipment.
“It can be logistically a little bit tricky, especially the start. We do a mass start at the beginning so it can be a bit of trouble. But there are five of us that are involved in the committee and we all have our parts and share the load,” said Christensen. “Keeping track of five hundred anything can be tricky, but we have experience with it so it usually doesn’t amount to too much trouble.”
The annual event gives students a chance to get out of the classroom for the day and try something they normally might not have the chance to do.
Jayda’s love for animals inspired her to do something to help them.
Little did she know that her cupcake fundraiser in support of the Central Alberta Humane Society would end up raising over $17,000!
She’s back for year seven this Friday, find out more on the latest edition of CommunityNOW for ABC Country Restaurant…
Registration is now open for the 2020 Red Deer Primary Care Network Women’s Fun Run benefiting The Mustard Seed’s School Lunch Program.
This year’s event takes place on May 9.
“We’re out in the community now looking for people that want to nominate their boss, sister, brother, friend, co-worker,” says Race Director Val Jensen, who is in her ninth year of running the annual event.
Registration to sign up and participate in the 1,3,5, or 10 KM runs started on January 1st. Registration numbers have been lower than last year at this time with around 30 people signed up compared to around 100, according to Jensen.
“I want to think the weather just kept people inside,” she said “Now’s the time to be thinking about it, get out to the gym and get out on the track. I always hate to say it’s about the economy and people are watching their money.”
Jensen says The Mustard Seed will make around 66,000 school lunches this year, compared to 55,000 last year.
“The need is greater, so we hope for more people, more fundraising, more fun!”
Jensen notes that men and boys also take part by signing up for the “Family 3K” run that was introduced last year.
New for 2020 is “Xplore Sport Day” where 25-30 local sport groups will set up displays and demonstrations at the event held at the Lindsay Thurber track and McKenzie Trails.
About 1,200 people registered for the fun run last year.
“Our numbers held even for the last three years and we are proud of that, because unfortunately race numbers throughout are declining a little bit,” Jensen said. “We’re holding our own and we’re hopeful we’ll do the same thing”.
Over the last three years, the fun run has raised almost $100,000 for the school lunch program. You can register for this year’s event at womensfunrun.com.
With the goal of raising more than $100,000, the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation, in conjunction with BIG 105, 106.7 The Drive, and rdnewsNOW, is hosting a ‘Call for a Cause Radiothon.’
The fundraiser is set for Friday, Feb. 21 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will feature personalities from the partnering stations taking your calls.
“The goal of the radiothon is to raise awareness about the foundation and what it does for the hospital, but also to fund three cardiac monitors for us in unit 26, which is the pediatrics department,” says Travis Kuschminder, RDRHF Marketing and Communications Manager. “We have some existing monitors that are older and are no longer supported by the supplier, so we have to replace these machines, and as it turns out, they’re not that cheap.”
Each QUBE compact monitor, worth approximately $34,800 apiece, offers continuous monitoring of pediatric patients’ vital signs, and of those who are critically ill.
There were 2,380 babies born at Red Deer Regional Hospital in 2018, according to Kuschminder.
The radiothon will feature former patients and current donors telling their stories, as well as healthcare professionals speaking about the impact of donor dollars.
“There’s always a wish list, and always things that need replacing,” Kuschminder adds. “Technology changes every second, and our hospital is always trying to get these pieces of equipment into the building so we can have the best healthcare here in central Alberta.
“We couldn’t do it without the donors and our community behind us. We hope everyone gives us a call that day.”
The number to dial for the Call for a Cause Radiothon on Feb. 21 is 403-343-4773.
One in five kids in our community go hungry, and in some areas that number is higher. Students just don’t learn the same on an empty stomach.
Toonies for Tummies is a nationwide program put on by The Grocery Foundation, where local grocers team up with local programs to make sure no child goes hungry.
Save on Foods in Red Deer has partnered with North Cottage High School and their breakfast program.
“A good breakfast for kids gives them the energy they need to keep focused and have a good day at school,” said Bryan Burley, one of the program organizers. “Quite a few of them don’t have that access at home, so when they get to the school and have an egg mcmuffin or some toast and milk or orange juice, if need be, it helps them out with the day.”
Jeanette Countryman-Smith is the “go to” for the program. She is credited with buying the food for the kids, as well as organizing the breakfasts every morning.
“It provides the kids with any breakfast item that keeps them going every morning; a majority of our shopping comes out of Save on Foods so they are a great partner for us. We average 17 students a day, we’re small. We’ve been involved with it for three years. There was no program before,” said Countryman-Smith.
The school and Save on Foods have been partners for three years. Store Manager Ernie Cordonier says that it’s a vital program for the community.
“It helps out at the right time. Folks that don’t normally have the opportunity to have a meal before they go to work or school, they are getting healthy products so their brain functions better, they’re much more stable throughout the day.”
Cordonier added that any money made in the community of Red Deer will stay here and go directly to the breakfast programs. Last year, Toonies for Tummies raised over $4,000 in Red Deer for North Cottage High School.
“We live in our communities and we believe in our communities, and this is a way we can give back to our communities.”
Any donations made on February 19th will be matched in full by Save on Foods, up to $20,000.
For more information about Toonies for Tummies visit groceryfoundation.com/pages/toonies-for-tummies.