3 holiday train

Holiday Train visits Camrose

By Murray Green

The CP Holiday Train will be rolling into Camrose on December 7.

It will be bringing a Christmas festive spirit with lights, music and holiday cheer to this community.

Each year, the Holiday Train travels through communities raising food and cash donations for the food banks.

The tour will feature live shows from The Anyway Gang. The Holiday Train is on a tight schedule and makes a brief stop at each location with the primary goal of supporting food banks.

This festively adorned train features live performances by skilled musicians, and it’s all about spreading awareness and collecting funds and food donations for local food banks.

On December 6, the train arrives in Provost at 5:55 p.m. and in Hardisty at 9 p.m.

On December 7, it arrives in Camrose at 1:05 p.m. and then stops in Wetaskiwin at 3:25 p.m.

The Holiday Train arrives at 52 Avenue and 50 Street (Moose Family Centre) in Camrose. The Anyway Gang will hit the stage and perform from 1:15 to 1:45 p.m.

Hospice End of Year Matching Donor fundraiser

By Lori Larsen

The Hospice Society of Camrose and District (Hospice), continues to be able to support the needs of Camrose and area residents through a variety of programs and services all on funds generously donated by individuals, businesses and organizations throughout the communities it serves.

“The Hospice Society receives no provincial or federal funding,” noted Society chair Nancy Howard.

Once again this year, the Hospice will be holding the “End of Year Matching Donor Campaign” the major fundraiser for the Hospice, whereby the Hospice seeks out a “matching donor” to match any donations received from the community. In essence this means that every $25 donation becomes a $50 donation, or $200 donation becomes a $400 donation and so forth.

“Our hopes are to raise $40,000,” noted Hospice Society vice chair Pam Cummer. “And we would like to put the money towards hiring a full time grief and bereavement navigator.”

The Grief and Bereavement Navigator’s primary purpose is to assist individuals in navigating their way through grief by providing a supportive and safe space for anyone who has experienced loss in their lives.

The Grief and Bereavement navigator also offers guidance on the many programs and services offered by the Hospice and other organizations and community partners.

“We have missed not having a Grief and Bereavement Navigator due to lack of funding,” mentioned Howard adding that the statistics speak for themselves in how much impact that position has on the community.

For the year ending 2022 the Hospice Society of Camrose and District supported 534 one-on-one grief consultations, 168 group grief consults, 600 grief walks and 52 grief bereavement workshops.

The Hospice also relies heavily on the dedication of volunteers to carry out the work of the programs offered to anyone, free of charge, in the communities the Hospice serves.

In 2022, 251 volunteers donated 3,176 hours to the work of the Hospice, offering 177 presentations and 51 programs.

Some of the programs and services offered by the Hospice include: Daytime Grief Support Group (including adult and children), Men’s Cooking Circle, Weekly Grief Walks, End of Life Care, iPad Loan Program, Legacy Video Program, Lights to Remember event and spring and fall one day Grief Workshops.

“Almost everybody needs somebody at some point in their lives,” concluded Cummer.

And the Hospice, along with all the volunteers, are there to be that somebody.

If you are interested in being the 2023 “Matching Donor”, contact the Hospice office by telephone at 780-608-0636 or by email at admin@camrosehospice.com.

For more information on the services and programs offered by the Hospice visit the website at www.camrosehospice.org.
4 fire to muscular dystrophy1

Fire and Muscular Dystrophy celebrate long standing partnership

Members of the Camrose Fire Department (CFD), on behalf of the CFD Association presented a donation of $4,102.95 to Muscular Dystrophy Canada during the November 21 regular fire practice. Accepting the cheque on behalf of Muscular Dystrophy Canada was Community Fundraising officer Fraser Hall, fourth from left. Pictured left to right are CFD firefighters Aaron Taves, Allison McPherson, Lieutenant Gary Smith, Aldon Campbell, Lieutenant Sean Johnston and Scott Smith. The donation was part of the funds raised during the “Fill the Boot” campaign.  

By Lori Larsen

Next year will mark the 70th anniversary of an incredible partnership between fire departments throughout Canada and Muscular Dystrophy Canada, Fill the Boot campaign.

The partnership began in 1954 with MDC, Dr. David Green wanting to raise money to help fund research for his son and other families affected by neuromuscular disorders.

Green contacted Toronto Firefighters, asking if they would be interested in assisting with some fundraising initiatives and the “boots” hit the ground running.
To date, more than 600 fire departments across Canada have raised over $3 million dollars annually, with nearly $100 million total in support of the Canadian neuromuscular community.

According to Muscular Dystrophy Community Fundraiser officer (representing Edmonton and area) Fraser Hall, Camrose Fire Department began its partnership with Muscular Dystrophy Canada in 1971, and to his latest account has donated over $50,000 thanks to the generosity of Camrose and area community members during “Fill the Boot” events.

Hall said the funds are used to purchase equipment such as hospital beds, leg braces, walkers, respirators and other life-changing equipment for people of all ages. As well, the funds support vital research and awareness programs.

For more information on Muscular Dystrophy Canada visit the website at muscle.ca/.

Hospice hosts Lights to Remember

By Lori Larsen

The Hospice Society of Camrose and District will once again be hosting the “Lights To Remember” event as a way for anyone to come out and honour those who have passed away.

The evening of gathering to remember will take place on December 11, from 6:30 until 8 p.m. at the Hospice Society of Camrose and District office, located on the second floor of the Mirror Lake Centre (5415-49 Avenue).

Join others in celebrating the lives of loved ones by writing their name on  a special tree ornament (provided by the Hospice Society) then placing it on the tree of memories that will be placed in the Gazebo just outside the Hospice office, facing Mirror Lake.

For anyone unable to attend the December 11 “Lights to Remember” (open to public) ceremony, the tree ornaments will be available at the Hospice office any time after December 11 to hang on the tree.

The Hospice Society of Camrose and District will also be hosting some smaller “Lights to Remember” events at Brookside (December 5 from 5 until 7 p.m.), Rosealta Lodge (December 8 at 2 p.m.) and Bashaw Meadows (December 6 at 2 p.m.) residential facilities, specifically for the residents and family members wishing to attend. The events at these sites are all run by volunteers in partnership with staff at the individual sites.

As you gather on December 11 for this wonderful opportunity to light a path of memory to loved ones who have passed on, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and snack along with the beautiful choral entertainment of the Edberg (surrounding area) Mennonite Choir.

For more information on the Hospice Society of Camrose and District visit the website at www.camrosehospice.org.

Bruins to hold auction

By Murray Green

It was a back and forth game between the Camrose Bruins and Wetaskiwin Longhorns on November 18, not in end-to-end action, but rather in terms of dominating a period. The opening period belonged to Wetaskiwin as they built up a 4-0 lead.

In the middle frame, it was all Camrose as they scored twice on power play markers from Jarod Hovde and Holden Daley to cut the lead in half.

However, it was Wetaskiwin’s turn in the third as they netted three goals to just one for Camrose. Brett Njaa scored the lone goal for the Bruins as the score ended 7-3. Goalie Connor Dobberthien stopped 31 out of 38 shots fired at him. Camrose recorded 39 shots on goal.

Hovde was named the second star of the game with a goal and two assists. Forward Lane Lightning is tied for third in the scoring race in points with 12 in six games. Next home game is on Friday, December 8 versus Bonnyville.
Bear tracks

The Bruins are holding their first online Facebook auction. “You can bid on items until December 8, but items can be pulled at anytime up to the date. Go to the Bruins Facebook page and click on the auction pictures and bid on the www.facebook.com/camrosebruins site,” explained Boris Rybalka of the Bruins.

When the Bruins play Bonnyville on December 8, it is Christmas jersey night. “We ask fans to bring a pair of mitts. These mitts will be donated to Camrose schools where children desperately need them.”

It is also noise maker and Food Bank drive night. Bring a box (or two or three) of macaroni and cheese to make noise during the game when the Bruins score. After the game, all the dinners will be donated to the food bank. Other items may also be brought for donation to the Food Bank.

“We know of all the issues overseas with the wars going on. The Bruins will be going out and finding 30 businesses, or anyone who wants to, and asking for a $100 donation. With this money, we have made 30 clothes hampers and they will be donated to refugees who have arrived in Camrose from Ukraine and other areas of the world. If you are interested in donating to one of the clothes hampers email camrosebruins@gmail.com or call 780-608-6858.”

Kodiaks douse Drumheller in shootout

By Murray Green

Camrose Kodiaks snapped a five straight losing steak in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) with a 3-2 victory over the Drumheller Dragons in a shootout on November 16.

Camrose came out fired up with Ethan Short (7) and Rhett Miller (3) scoring in the first period. Drumheller scored once in the first and again in the third to force overtime. After no scoring in the overtime Myles Gauld netted the winner in the shootout.
Goalie Charlie Zolin stopped 28 of 30 shots he faced. Camrose recorded 22 shots on goal.

The Kodiaks lost 5-2 in Bonnyville on November 18. The Pontiacs scored the first three goals of the game to set the pace.

In the third, the Kodiaks got on the scoreboard when Blake Green found the net for his first of the season. The Pontiacs drove one home before Levi Carter (6) replied for the Kodiaks.

Goalie Zolin turned away 27 of 31 shots directed his way. Camrose recorded 35 shots on goal.

Camrose dropped a tough 2-1 contest to Grande Prairie on November 19.

After a Storm tally, defenceman Lucas Lemieux (5) tied the game until the second period when Grande Prairie went up for good with a goal.

Goalie Elliot Pratt stopped  15 of 17 shots directed his way, while Camrose recorded 31 shots on goal.

The Kodiaks are at home against Olds on December 1, Sherwood Park on December 5, Brooks on December 9 (6 p.m.), Spruce Grove on December 17 (2 p.m.) and Drayton Valley on December 19 to round out home games this year. Game times are usually 7 p.m.
Bear facts

Camrose, get ready to toss your bears! The annual Teddy Bear Toss (and toques, mittens, soft toys) will be held on December 1 at 7 p.m. against Olds.

The bears are tossed to the ice after the Kodiaks score their first goal of the game. If you have item that shouldn’t be tossed onto the ice, bins will be in place around the arena to leave your donations.
8 cchs clue play

Clue, the ultimate whodunnit mystery

Mrs. Peacock (Sophia D’Eschambeault), Professor Plum (Emmanuel Pastolero) and Mr. Green (Kaydince Drever-Swann) search the library for clues on who murdered who in the École Camrose Composite High School’s version of Clue.

By Murray Green

The École Camrose Composite High School drama department will be presenting the play Clue: High School Edition at the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre on Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2 at 7 p.m. both days and a special matinee on December 2 at 2 p.m.

The play is based on the 1985 Paramount movie, which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, Clue is a hilarious farce-meets-murder mystery.

“I grew up playing Clue with my father, so this is a special thing for me, then watching the movie, now I get to act in it. It ties me to my childhood,” said Kaydince Drever-Swann, Grade 10 student.

“Ironically, when I played Clue when I was little, I always played Mrs. Peacock which is funny because I’m playing the character and that makes me happy to bring the nostalgia out,” said Sophia D’Eschambeault, Grade 12 student.

“I liked playing the game a lot when I was younger, with my cousins. I never knew there was a movie or a play about it. The play has fun and mystery,” said Emmanuel Pastolero, Grade 11 student.

All three students agreed they were already typecast into their characters and it was no surprise as to who they were playing.

Mr. Green is a timid, yet officious, rule follower. He’s a bit of a klutz and awfully anxious.

“Mr. Green is nervous and anxious, wrings his hands a lot and jumpy. I’m a very jumpy person and I get nervous a lot, the character is fitting,” said Kaydince, about the Mr. Green character.

Mrs. Peacock is a church-going wife of a senator. A bit batty, neurotic and quick to hysteria.

“I’ve been known to be hysterical, a little over the top and all over the place, so my role is fitting,” said Sophia, about her Mrs. Peacock character.

Professor Plum is an academic Casanova who woos women with his big…brain.

“I talk to a lot of girls, let’s just leave it at that,” laughed Emmanuel, about his Mr. Plum character.

“This is my last production because I will be leaving the school this year. Last year, we had Newsies and I was hoping I could get one more production in before I graduated. I am thrilled that I was able to do this. As much as theatre is hard work, it is worth it when you are on stage and you become someone new,” said Sophia.

“I enjoy being on stage and was in competitive dance for a while as well as musical theatre. This is just a way to continue it,” said Kaydince.

“My sister really influenced me with theatre and encouraged me to try something new. Theatre is really fun to do,” added Emmanuel.

The tale begins at a remote mansion where six mysterious guests assemble for an unusual dinner party where murder and blackmail are on the menu. When their host turns up dead, they all become suspects.

Led by Wadsworth–the butler, Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard race to find the killer as the body count stacks up.

Clue is the comedy whodunnit that will leave both cult-fans and newcomers in stitches as they try to figure out who did it, where and with what.

“Presenting a play like this gets the entire school coming together. The people in the band play amazingly. In the end, it is super incredible to see it happen. The costume makers do it in an art form,” said Sophia.

“A live band really adds to the element. We have music at rehearsal, but there is nothing like a live band,” shared Kaydince.
“It brings up the energy on stage,” added Emmanuel.

Some of the cast will have doubles and they will be playing on alternating shows. The cast will also have a school show for fellow students to watch.

“The very first show I did at the high school was in the Commons Area, so it was a very different atmosphere. It is so much more playing in the big theatre,” said Emmanuel.

Weapons include rope, candlestick, dagger, wrench, lead pipe and revolver.
Rooms include study, hall, lounge, library, billiard room, conservatory, ballroom, kitchen and dining room.

“If you are interested in theatre, you should try it. Getting on stage helps you gain confidence and it is fun,” advised Sophia, on encouraging other students to take drama classes.


Off-site levies discussed at council

By Lori Larsen

During the October 30 City of Camrose Committee of the Whole meeting, City Planning and Development manager Aaron Leckie presented a report to council on the Off-Site Levy (OSL) project, focused on amending and updating the transportation levy.

In the report administration recommended the removal of seven transportation projects. The justification for removing the projects is based on revised population growth projections. The projects included twinning of roadways, intersection upgrades and new traffic signals.

Administration also recommended that four transportation projects be added to the model. The justification for adding these projects are a combination of population growth and expected development of new communities. The projects included upgrades to 48th Avenue west of 73rd Street, 53rd Street north of 55th Avenue, and 50th Street south of Camrose Drive.

“An off-site levy is a method to pay for new infrastructure required as a result of new development,” explained Leckie further explaining that new development has an impact on infrastructure outside the actual development area and that the calculation of off-site levies is determined by taking the overall cost and dividing it by the area impacted.

“This reduces the risk to taxpayers and developers and makes it fair and equitable.”

After lengthy discussion, Council moved that administration bring it back to a regular council meeting for approval.

Leckie also noted in his report that the OSL contains two bylaws, one exclusive to development areas within the City of Camrose and one that is jointly managed by the City of Camrose and Camrose County in the Coordinated Service Areas (CSAs) of the Intermunicipal Development Plan. “The CSAs contain lands in the City of Camrose and Camrose County.”

Leckie presented the report to Camrose County Council during the regular meeting on November 14.

During the November 20 City of Camrose regular council meeting, council approved first reading of Off-Site Levy Bylaw 3289-23 and Joint Off-Site Levy Bylaw 3290-23.
13 ecchs volleyball

Royals, Trojans advance to volleyball provincials

The OLMP Royals knocked off CACHS at zones to advance to provincial play, where they were ranked number two going into the tournament.

By Murray Green

Several local high school volleyball teams earned the right to go to provincials, November 23 to 25.

The Our Lady of Mount Pleasant senior volleyball girls went to Whitecourt for 2A provincials after beating Lacombe at zones. They were ranked second heading into provincials.

The Royals faced Calgary Christian, Notre Dame and Vauxhall in the first round.
 The OLMP boys travelled to Bonnyville for 2A provincials hosted by Notre Dame. They were ranked sixth going into the tournament.

OLMP met Millwoods Christian, Immanuel Christian and Bearspaw Christian in the first round.

The École Camrose Composite High School Trojans girls’ volleyball team advanced to the 3A provincials after winning the central zone. They headed in ranked ninth in the province.

The Trojans faced Brooks, Strathmore and West Island in the first round.

Both Bashaw and New Norway boys advanced to the 1A provincials in Vermilion. Bashaw was ranked third and New Norway 10th going into provincials.

Bashaw took on Vermilion, St. Michael and St. Thomas More in the opening round.
New Norway met Redwater, Airdrie Christian and Clear Water Academy in the first round.

City Council discusses changes to school zone hours

By Lori Larsen

During the November 20 City of Camrose Committee of the Whole meeting, City Administration presented a draft amendment to the Traffic Bylaw to include alternate school zone hours.

In a report to council, City of Camrose engineering manager Jeremy Enarson stated that under Section 5 of the provincial Use of Highway and Rules of the Road regulation, enabled under the Traffic Safety Act, a municipality may enact a bylaw that establishes alternate school zone hours, separate from those normally outlined by the Province.

The matter came to the attention of City Administration that at various schools, within Camrose, bell schedules changed recently resulting in school start and end times falling outside of the Provincial standard of school zone hours consisting of the periods between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., which Camrose currently follows.

“These hours do not appear to be working for Camrose any more,” said Enarson. “Especially the start at 8 a.m. and the start at 3 p.m. time periods.”

As a result of a recent review of the bell schedules for various schools within Camrose, City Administration recommended that council consider enacting Camrose specific school zone hours that vary from Provincial standards.

“We believe that 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. across all school hours would be the appropriate way to go.”

Mayor PJ Stasko spoke in favour of the change. “This makes a lot of sense having it uniform across Camrose.”

Councillor DJ Ilg indicated that he had quite a few citizens reach out to him concerning this matter.

“It does make sense. As a father of young children in school it is important that those children and also the families dropping off and picking up feel safe for the times that we are operational.”

Ilg clarified that the amendment to the school zone hours would be 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. inclusive.

Councillor Don Rosalind inquired about administration’s communication plan with the school divisions regarding the proposed changes.

Enarson said that administration will be in discussion with both the Battle River School Division (BRSD) and Elk Island School Division, and through the division offices to the schools within Camrose as the City moves forward with the changes. “Especially the timing of when it is going to be implemented, so the schools can share the information with the parents (of school children) and with the students as well. We want to make sure we are doing this at a time that makes sense.”

Enarson added that the timing will also take into consideration the installation of new signage.

The report was accepted for information and  upon recommendation of Council, the matter will return to Council for approval during the December 4 Regular Council meeting.
14 brent george 77 chev

Chevrolet 1977 truck still working hard

Brent George loved driving his first truck around the city when he was younger. Now he runs errands and his children to activities with this 1977 Chevrolet C10.

By Murray Green

Brent George of Camrose owns a 1977 Chevrolet C10 short step side truck.

“This is my first truck that I ever owned, so I’ve held on to it for years. The truck has been blue, grey, black and now it is red. I have pretty much worn out the bolts of this truck. Every time I got a rust spot, I tore it apart and painted it,” said Brent.

The Chevrolet C/K is a series of trucks that was manufactured by General Motors from the 1960 to 2002 model years. Marketed by both the Chevrolet and GMC divisions, the C/K series encompassed a wide range of vehicles. While most commonly associated with pickup trucks, the model line also included chassis-cab trucks and medium-duty trucks and served as the basis for GM full-size SUVs. Through its entire production, the model line competed directly against the Ford F-Series and the Dodge D series (later the Dodge Ram pickup).

“When I was eight years old, my dad Ian bought me this truck and we fixed it up for the first time. Then I ended up with it for my first vehicle,” shared Brent.

Used for both the model branding and the internal model code, C denoted two-wheel drive, while K denoted four-wheel drive. Four generations of the C/K series were produced, including the GM monikered second-generation action line and third-generation square-body trucks.

“After fixing it the first time, I drove it for a lot of years. I’ve been driving it ever since and it has a lot of memories for me,” added Brent.

For the fourth-generation, Chevrolet kept using the C/K designation while GMC revised its branding, changing to a singular GMC Sierra nameplate (C/K remained as an internal model code).

“This truck is not my daily driver anymore. Running around with kids’ stuff, I get to drive it here and there,” said Brent.

For South America, the model line was manufactured by General Motors de Argentina from 1960 to 1978, Sevel Argentina from 1986 to 1991, and General Motors Brazil, who produced versions of the model line for Brazil, Argentina, and Chile from 1964 to 2001.

“This truck has a regular 350 engine and a 4LC transmission. Nothing too special, but a dependable engine and it drives well. I’ve pretty much changed everything from front to back to top to bottom. I think I wore out the bolts just taking it apart and putting it back together,” Brent laughed.
“I like the square body style of trucks and it is fun to drive. It holds a lot of memories for me.”

The third-generation C/K was introduced for the 1973 model year. Designated the rounded line generation by General Motors, the C/K grew in size inside and out. As pickup trucks increased in use as personal vehicles, cab features and options moved closer in line with GM sedans (with power windows and power door locks becoming options). To further expand its practicality, a four-door crew cab body was introduced (offering six-passenger seating).

While relatively straight-lined and boxy in appearance (leading to their square-body nickname from the public) the Rounded Line trucks were the first generation of the C/K to be designed with the use of computers and wind tunnels, optimizing the exterior shape for lower drag and improved fuel economy. The chassis was an all-new design (with all trucks receiving a leaf-spring rear suspension); K-Series trucks moved to all-wheel drive (shift-on-the-fly 4×4 was introduced for 1981).

Alongside the introduction of the four-door crew cab, the third generation C/K marked the introduction of a dual rear-wheel pickup truck (big dooley). For 1978, the C/K became the first American full-size pickup truck sold with a diesel engine (a 5.7L Oldsmobile diesel V8); a 6.2L diesel V8 was introduced for 1982. This generation also marks the first use of the Chevrolet Silverado nameplate (in use for Chevrolet full-size trucks today).

Aging well in community

By Lori Larsen

Among the many stresses that are facing Albertans these days, a slower population growth rate along with increasing life expectancy equates to seniors constituting a larger share of Alberta’s population in the future and the concern that aging Albertans may be facing challenges.

Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) has identified aging well in community as one of the key social issues facing Albertans.

The Alberta government defines aging in community as having the health and social supports and services needed to live safely and independently in your home or community for as long as you wish and are able.

“Alignment of health, housing, and community-based services can create safe and supportive environments for Albertans to age well in the community,” said Camrose & District FCSS executive director Lyndel Kasa.

According to a 2022 Government of Alberta report, it is estimated that 22 per cent of people in long term care could be avoided with the right community-based supports in place.

Approaches to integrate healthcare and community-based supports are essential to enable Albertans to age in their homes and communities and lower their risk of seeking hospitalization and/or long-term care.

Camrose & District FCSS in partnership with Flagstaff Family and Community Services recently received a grant of $800,000 from the Government of Canada’s Age Well at Home Initiative to deliver volunteer-based practical support services to help low-income and otherwise vulnerable seniors age at home.

“We named our project Senior’s CHOICES as a way to describe our purpose–our volunteers provide COMPASSIONATE care in seniors’ HOMES that provide them with OPPORTUNITIES to maintain their INDEPENDENCE while CONNECTING and ENGAGING them with resources and SERVICES,” explained Kasa.

“Senior’s CHOICES, funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Age Well at Home Initiative, will allow us to expand delivery of services, primarily in the senior’s homes, in the local area of City of Camrose, Camrose County and Flagstaff County as well as increase the quality of life and decrease social isolation of low-income and otherwise vulnerable seniors by providing navigation services to help seniors gain access to eligible services provided by other organizations active in the local area.”

Kasa noted that the Senior’s CHOICES volunteers will provide services such as meal delivery, home support services, visitation, mail delivery, pharmaceutical delivery, supply and equipment delivery, medical transportation, lawn care, household maintenance, snow shoveling, navigation, and information/referral/support. “This project will also expand volunteer mentorship and training in our communities.  Many of our volunteers are seniors themselves and Senior’s CHOICES will provide meaningful work that contributes to an increased sense of purpose, value and belonging.”

This project aligns well with the prevention strategies for the provincial FCSS Grant Program which focuses on enhancing protective factors for individuals, families and communities. “Local FCSS programs can apply these strategies in a way that meets the unique needs of their local community.”

Through primary and secondary prevention approaches, local FCSS programs will use the following strategies to help address the provincial prevention priorities:
  • promote and encourage active engagement in the community;
  • foster a sense of belonging;
  • promote social inclusion;
  • develop and maintain healthy relationships;
  • enhance access to social supports; and
  • develop and strengthen skills that build resilience.
“As the number of seniors increase in our community, community-based seniors-serving organizations will need to increase their supports to promote healthy aging and supporting seniors to remain independent and age at home.”

For more information on the programs and services offered through Camrose & District FCSS  visit camrosefcss.ca or contact the office by telephone at 780-672-0141.

For more information on resources to help seniors age in their community visit the Alberta website at www.alberta.ca/seniors-resources#jumplinks-0.

Ministry of Seniors, Community and Social Services https://www.alberta.ca/seniors-community-and-social-services
Employment Social Development Canada: Age Well At Home Iniativehttps://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/news/2023/09/backgrounder-age-well-at-home-initiative.html.
16 trees in summer

City Council recognizes benefits of urban vegetation

Trees not only provide a beautiful landscape in any season, but have numerous other benefits to humans, wildlife and the planet overall.

By Lori Larsen

During the October 16 City of Camrose Committee of the Whole meeting, Camrose Green Action Committee chairperson Rob Hill presented a recommendation, on behalf of CGAC, for council to consider adopting the CGAC’s proposal to increase the City’s urban tree inventory.

In explaining the importance of trees to any community, Hill provided examples of other municipalities that are actively pursuing plans to increasing tree inventory.

“Of all the things we (as a City) can do (facing the impact of climate change), the least expensive, least controversial, most effective, with most residents’ support, is to increase our local tree inventory,” noted Hill, in his report to council. “Camrose would not be alone in such a goal. Many communities, including Calgary and Edmonton, are already well into ambitious tree planting campaigns. Edmonton’s goal is to plant 2 million trees by 2025. Using a per capita based comparison, that is like Camrose planting 40,000 trees in the same period. We are not hearing significant complaints from residents in Calgary or Edmonton.”

The following includes the steps of the plan for increasing tree inventory in Camrose provided in the report from the CGAC to council:

1. CGAC will work in cooperation with the Parks Department to identify specific tree planting projects. Some projects might be small scale, such as five street trees where none now exist, or the replacement of a number of trees in an older neighbourhood. Other projects could be of a larger scale, such as thousands of trees along Camrose Drive, as well as the possibility of one or more community orchards.

The size and type of tree will vary, depending on what is appropriate for the project. The project will consider the concerns raised during the recent Climate Vulnerability and Risk Assessment in terms of appropriate tree species selection.

2. The next step would be to determine a cost of the projects. This would include the cost of purchasing the trees, planting the trees, as well as the required maintenance. Cost of projects will vary depending on the type and size of trees considered appropriate as well as the location of the planting.

3. Next would be to seek out corporate partners who would be willing to donate the funds to support one or more of the projects.

4. Based on the number of projects identified to have corporate funding, the number of hours of labour required for the planting and maintenance can be calculated. The number of summer students needed to be hired to complete that work can then be determined.

5. The report included other points to consider. Arrangements with corporate partners have happened in the past. CN Rail provided $50,000 for the City to plant trees near the 50 Street parking lot at the start of the cross country trails. Re/Max provided the money for two trees and a bench in the same area. Home Hardware and Tree Canada provided the money to plant trees around soccer fields.

Hill provided information on the benefits of increasing urban tree inventory, based on a St. Albert example, as well as other points he provided:
  • climate control and energy savings;
  • improvement of the air, soil and water quality;
  • provision of wildlife habitat;
  • increase real estate value with community vitality;
  • vegetation increases the health of pollinators;
  • trees increase biodiversity;
  • and mental and physical health benefits.
Hill’s report provided examples of two potential projects the City could consider for increasing tree inventory for Camrose.
The first involved replacing two elm trees on Main Street at an approximate cost of  $2,872.

The second involved planting 540 balsam poplar seedlings along Camrose Drive at a cost of $2,800.

“This price assumes resident volunteers to plant and no maintenance other than watering,” said Hill, in his report. “It is not a bad thing to give residents a chance to contribute to City tree planting. If summer students are used for planting instead of resident volunteers, the cost would increase.”

Hill also suggested allowing the suckers that sprout out from the balsam poplars along the south berm path of Camrose Drive, to thrive.

“These are trees we could get without having to pay anything to get the  trees, anything to plant them and without having to maintain them at all, because the mother plant is supporting them until they can take care of themselves.”

Hill suggested, as part of this idea, not mowing around the area where the trees and subsequent suckers are growing.

In summary, Hill said, “Of all the things that Camrose can and will be doing over the coming years to adapt to our changing climate, increasing our local tree inventory is the least expensive and least destructive policy we can adopt.

“The sooner we get at it the better.”

The Committee of the Whole Council accepted this report for information and directed Administration to work with the Camrose Green Action Committee to bring recommendations for next steps to a future Council meeting for further consideration.

During the October 30 City of Camrose regular council meeting, administration presented two options for Council to consider regarding the October 16 proposal by the CGAC.

Council agreed by way of a motion to proceed with Option 2 which included the following:

Direct Administration to work with CGAC to create detailed project plans for specific tree planting projects. These plans would include estimates of all costs including those costs associated with the initial care of the trees.

Authorize CGAC to seek conditional commitments for corporate funding on behalf of the City for these conceptual tree planting projects. Draft funding agreements would be provided / managed by Administration.

And once conditional commitments for funding have been obtained, these individual projects would then be presented to Council for approval.

During the November 20 City of Camrose Regular Council meeting, Council approved Administration, on behalf of the Camrose Green Action Committee, to apply for a Tree Canada Grant of up to $10,000 in order to fund the Camrose Green Action Committee’s proposal to plant 1,080 small trees along the west berm of Camrose Drive.


Hockey Vikings split with NAIT

By Murray Green

A season of sports is under way at the University of Alberta, Augustana for the 2023-24 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference season.

Augustana split its two games with the league-leading NAIT Ooks on November 17 and 18.

NAIT won the first game 3-2 in Camrose by scoring three goals in the first period. Brett Wieschorster scored for the Vikings.

After a scoreless middle frame, Tanner Manz scored in the third to pull the Vikings within one.

Goalie Daniel Moody stopped 15 of 18 shots he faced. Augustana peppered NAIT goalie Ryley Osland with 28 shots.

The Vikings needed overtime to win 4-3 in the return match in Edmonton.

Augustana scored with a second left on the clock in the opening period to lead 2-1. Jayven Leslie and Lane Kirk notched goals for the Vikings.

NAIT tied the game in the middle frame and went up in the third, but Conrad Phillips counted the tally to force overtime. Ben Stollery was the hero in overtime by scoring on the power play.
Goalie Moody turned away 33 of 36 shots on a busy night. NAIT counted 41 shots on goal.

The Vikings are tied for third place with a 6-4 record. Augustana host Red Deer Kings on January 12 at 7 p.m. in their next home game after the break.

The lady Vikings beat the Briercrest Clippers 3-1 and blanked the Medicine Hat Rattlers 3-0 in games to have a good weekend on November 17 and 18.

Against Briercrest, Shae Boyes with 15 kills, Kari White with 20 assists and Racquel Lussier with 13 digs were the leaders on the court for the Vikings.

In the second match, Boyes with 13 kills, White with 34 assists and Cassandra Klinger with five digs were the leaders.

The women’s Vikings are tied for second place at 7-1.

Augustana men lost both series, 3-1 to Briercrest and 3-0 to Medicine Hat.

Against Briercrest, Vikings were led by Devon Nazarchuk with 11 kills, Caelum Hartman with 29 assists, Hartman with five digs.
In the Medicine Hat match, Vikings were led by Jonah Vander Leek with five kills, Hartman with 13 assists, Bryce Boan and Joel Smith with three digs each.

The men’s Vikings are in seventh place at 0-8.

The next home game is on December 1 against Lakeland Rustlers at 6 and 8 p.m.

The women’s Vikings team lost 69-57 to Briercrest on November 17, but won over Medicine Hat 74-47 the next day to get back on the winning side.

In the loss, Elli Cailliau led the offence with 13 points, while both Mackenzie Mrazik and Sabine Gross chipped in with 10 points in support.

In the victory, Mrazik turned it up a notch to sink 22 points and Tayah Fiveland added 14 points.

Augustana is in sixth place with a 2-5 record.

The men’s team lost 98-70 to Briercrest and beat Medicine Hat 95-88.

Against Briercrest, both Jon Mueller and Max Sauter led with 15 points each. In the Rattlers game,  Ryan Degner rallied for 24 points, while Mueller supported him with 20 points.

The Vikings are in sixth place with a 2-5 record.

The Vikings host St. Mary’s Lightning on December 2 at 6 and 8 p.m.

The curling teams were in action on November 24 to 26 in Lloydminster, with Lakeland hosting the fall regional event.

17 cfd movember

Firefighters put their best face forward

Camrose Fire Department firefighters back row, left to right Captain Rob Olson and Lieutenant Kevin Malica and front row left to right, Aaron Taves, George Parnell, Max Cicchello, Jason Albert, Randy Degenstein and Patrick St. Dennis, show off their mustached smiles in support of Movember.

By Lori Larsen

Some of Camrose Fire Department firefighters decided to put their best face forward in support of men’s health matters during the month-long Movember event.

While a few of the CFD firefighters were already sporting facial hair and decided to let their “staches” be part of the cause, other members took it upon themselves to, quite literally, “grow” their support.

Movember has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world since 2003, from humble beginnings of 30 moustaches.

The initiative has grown to now include research and funding support in the areas of mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
For more information on Movember visit the website at https://ca.movember.com/.

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By Bonnie Hutchinson

A balance of light and dark
Though I’m appreciating our amazingly mild November weather, I’m having my annual bout of disliking shorter and shorter days. Dark before 5 p.m. Sigh.

When I was little, I was afraid of the dark.
I still remember that terrible walk from the light switch to the bed. I’d turn out the light by the door, cross the bedroom floor and jump into bed from as far away as possible so the monster hand didn’t reach out from under the bed and grab me by the ankle.

I’d dive under the covers and peer out. The half-open closet door hid nameless shapeless terrors; unknown bad things, scary things that could ooze out and do harm.

From an early age, I have preferred the light: daytime rather than nighttime, sunny rather than cloudy.

I have wanted to hide from, be protected from, turn away from, the darkness. At first, “darkness” simply meant the absence of physical light. As I grew older, darkness also acquired symbolic meaning–dark depressing emotions, dark ominous thoughts, dark evil actions. Anything I didn’t like was dark.

And then one day, I was jarred.

A friend from the west coast was visiting me on the prairies. We had, in my mind, perfect summer weather–sunshine every day, blue skies, bright and sunny. One morning it was grey, raining and overcast. I was disappointed.

My friend came into the kitchen and said, “Oh at last, a rainy day. I was so tired of that relentless sunshine!”

It had never occurred to me that light could be “relentless.”

When I remember painful experiences, many were prolonged unnecessarily because I kept myself “in the dark” about things I didn’t want to see.

Some of those things were external–events and people around me.

When I was willing to look deeply, most of those things were also internal. At the root, what I did not want to see within myself kept being reflected in the outside world. Eventually I was courageous enough to let myself see it, or I was forced into seeing it because I had turned away for so long that a niggle became a crisis.
Paradox: I had to go into the darkness to see the light.

Barbara Brown Taylor made the point eloquently:

“…When, despite all my best efforts, the lights have gone off in my life…I have not died. The monsters have not dragged me out of bed…

“Instead, I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over…

“There is only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light.”

On this planet we have light and dark in equal measure. No matter where we live, at whatever latitude, over the period of a year we experience the same number of hours of light and dark. Perhaps there’s a message here. Darkness has gifts.

In the darkness, we can rest.

In the darkness, seeds begin to sprout and grow.

In the darkness, dreams are born.

In the darkness, ideas can percolate and take shape.

If we are willing to explore the darkness, we discover gifts we cannot imagine when we are blinded by the light.

So how do we walk in the dark? Carefully, gingerly, gently at first, feeling our way. How do we learn to walk in the dark? Two favourite quotes provide a hint.

First the hard part, the courageous part (from David Whyte): “Start with the first thing close in, the step you don’t want to take.”

And then the hope (from Patrick Overton):
“When we come to the edge of all the light we have known,
And step into the darkness of the unknown,
We must believe one of two things will happen:
Something will come up to meet us
Or we will be taught to fly.”

I’d love to hear from you! If you have comments about this column or suggestions for future topics, e-mail Bonnie@BonnieHutchinson.com. I’ll happily reply within one day.
Laurel nadon 2019
Homespun By Laurel Nadon


By Laurel Nadon
Printed books never left
An article in this month’s Reader’s Digest by Richard Glover titled “The Triumph of the Book” states that “the printed book is back.” He shares that recent studies have shown that “students retain more information when they read a hard copy book compared to reading on a digital device.”

While this could lead me on a whole path about technology being used too much, or about the pros and cons of using an e-reader versus a printed book, instead all I could think was: were printed books ever gone? In my mind, nothing compares to having an actual printed book in your hand. It has a weight to it, and a history. Printed books feel steady and reliable to me. I can’t imagine a whole generation of people giving this up to the point that printed books aren’t used anymore. I found myself staring at my large bookcase in our office (which I refer to as our library), contemplating which titles we have chosen to keep and why.

We have slowly been collecting books and now have quite a selection in our little library. My husband likes true adventure stories, so we have all of the Colin Angus books, many Bill Bryson and Adam Shoalts titles, as well as other titles like Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff and Red Sky in Mourning, a true story of love, loss and survival at sea by Tami Oldham Ashcraft. A whole section is devoted to guide books on certain areas such as Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway, Hot Springs of Western Canada, Fire Lookout Hikes in the Canadian Rockies and Blisters and Bliss: A Trekker’s Guide to the West Coast Trail.

Our home library is such a personal reflection of the journeys we have taken. When we started keeping books, we imagined holidays with family members staying over for an extended period, popping out a book to read in our snug future home. When we travelled for over a year before deciding to build a home on the family farm outside Camrose, we would get books about the country we were about to visit. Lots of them found a permanent home with us, like Stalking the Elephant Kings, In Search of Laos by Christopher Kremmer; First They Killed My Father – A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung and The Girl in the Picture – The remarkable story of Vietnam’s most famous casualty by Denise Chong. These books gave us a glimpse into the history and culture of the country we would travel through.

We also have given a home to books from other areas we travelled to, like Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Michael Ghiglieri and Thomas Myers; Klondike by Pierre Berton; and Daring Niagara – 50 Death Defying Stunts at the Falls by Paul Gromosiak, a read that was hugely popular with our kids.

Other books in our library are there purely because they remind us of the past. My husband has a copy of The Shooting of Dan McGrew by Robert Service, to commemorate our hike of the Chilkoot Trail. I have a worn copy of Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt, a coming of age story about a young girl left in charge of her younger siblings, which was the first book that I remember made me feel really inspired to write. We also have a copy of Deadmonton – Crime Stories from Canada’s Murder City by Pamela Roth, a co-worker from my exciting days working in a newsroom of five young reporters at the Okotoks Western Wheel.

There are a surprising amount of bear, cougar and crocodile attack books on our shelves, which makes me shudder a little. Other books I enjoyed so much that I couldn’t bear to part with them, like Merle’s Door – Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote, and Highest Duty – My Search for What Really Matters by Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, pilot of the emergency landing on the Hudson River in 2009. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I even found a book that I don’t remember reading on the shelves called Desperate – Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. Maybe it’s trying to tell me something?

The books we keep push us to discover more, and have shaped how we see the world. Our little home library is at capacity, and I will have to start making choices about which ones to keep. Just because I read a book, doesn’t mean I have to keep it forever…I suppose.

My daughter shared with me that the only thing she is sure about the future house she will have, is that it will have a library. She imagines the library being at the centre of the home, with tall shelves and a ladder that moves along to reach the high spots. There will be a comfy chair to settle into with a chosen book, maybe even a little nook to make a hot drink. I love this vision of enjoying printed books, far into the future.

What’s in your library?


  • Howard Nordin of Camrose, on November 18, at 90 years of age.
  • Vivian Louise Carlson of Camrose, formerly of Meeting Creek, on November 19, at 94 years of age.
  • Noreen Sylvia Neufeld of Tofield, on November 20, at 83 years of age.
  • Vera Isabelle Brausen of Daysland, on November 20, at 92 years of age.
  • Serena Joan Skinner of Camrose, on November 21, at 67 years of age.
  • Arnold Reinke of Hay Lakes, on November 21, at 97 years of age.
  • Theodore “Ted” John Strilchuk of Camrose, formerly of Ryley, on November 21, at 89 years of age.
  • Patricia “Patsy” Opal (nee Ryhason) Rostaing of Bawlf, on November 24, at 88 years of age.