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City fills with music during Music Festival

Adjudicator Esther Madsen, left, offers Yinna Pugong some positive feedback on the two pieces Yinna played during the non-competitive event of Classical Elementary Piano Solo (ages seven to 12).

By Lori Larsen

The 40th Camrose & District Music Festival, held April 15 to 18 featured competitive and non-competitive performances in contemporary music, (groups and solo), piano (solo/duet), strings, community choral, school choral/school music, speech, jazz band, community band and community music, school band, instrumental, musical theatre and pop songs and voice, held at the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre Cargill Theatre and Mayer Hall and the University of Alberta Augustana Campus Chapel.

Performers of all ages were provided with encouraging feedback from expert adjudicators Dennis Rusinak, Esther Madsen, Maria Medlow, Ken Rogers, Danica Hoffart and Mireille Rijavec.

The Music Festival will wind up on April 23, with the Grand Concert to be held at the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre Cargill Theatre, beginning at 7 p.m., featuring a variety of performances and announcements of awards and scholarships.

Camerata concert tribute

By Lori Larsen
Join the Camrose Camerata Chamber Choir on Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m. at the Camrose United Church (4829-50 Street) for Down By the Riverside, a concert that flows with beautiful music about water in its many forms.

“We’ll sing about the riverside, but also about famous rivers, the sea, the rush of waters in springtime and some of the creatures and scenery associated with water,” explained Choir leader Joy-Anne Murphy. “We include a few Canadian classics in the mix as well, from a Nova Scotia folk song to an arrangement of a song by Gordon Lightfoot.”

The music for this concert includes spirituals, jazz influences, the tried and true, and some rhythmic and fun.

Special guests Maya Rathnavalu (flute) and Adam Kristenson (percussion) will enhance the musical exploration of the water theme as they collaborate with the choir and accompanist Jane Kristenson.

“In a time when all of us across the prairies need to consider how vital water is in our everyday lives, it is refreshing and heartening to see how much music has been written to celebrate the power and mystique of water.”

Admission is by donation, and doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact 780-672-3372 or sing@camrosesings.ca.
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County, City, Cargill official signing of agreements

By Lori Larsen

On April 17, representatives from Camrose County, the City of Camrose and Cargill gathered at the City of Camrose council chambers for the official signing of separate agreements that symbolize a positive step forward in working collaboratively for building futures in the Camrose region.

The agreements are as follows:
The Revenue Sharing Agreement, between the City of Camrose and Camrose County ensures that the City and the County will share property tax revenues associated with specific industrial lands East of the City, which currently contain the Cargill Canola Crush Plant.

The existing Recreation Agreement, between the City of Camrose and Camrose County states that Camrose County provides a contribution towards recreation services. This Extension Agreement extends the term of the Recreation Agreement by five years.
The Water Services Agreement between the City of Camrose and Cargill, replaces the existing agreement to provide water and wastewater services to Cargill.

The Temporary Non-Compliance Agreement, between the City of Camrose and Cargill provides Cargill with a three-year term to achieve progressive levels of compliance with the City’s Wastewater Bylaw on specific water quality parameters.

The Cooperation Agreement, between the City of Camrose, Camrose County and Cargill, captures the intent for the three parties to cooperate in terms of licensing and development.

City of Camrose manager Malcolm Boyd welcomed dignitaries and guests to the event and on behalf of the city and council, expressed excitement and pride on the prospect of working with the County to support economic development opportunities in the region. “This package of agreements that we are presenting today represents strong collaboration and I think is an indication of great things to come.”

Camrose County Reeve Cindy Trautman spoke on behalf of County administration and council. “The agreements that we are signing mark a commitment on both the City of Camrose council and Camrose County council to foster more collaborative relationships for the benefit of all of our residents and the business community.

“Our region has become an even more attractive location for investment because of the positive relationship the City and the County are achieving. As municipalities we are fortunate to have many industries in this region poised for growth, including our partner in the Cooperation Agreement, Cargill. Let us celebrate this achievement today and look forward to the future of business development.”

Mayor PJ Stasko spoke on behalf of the City of Camrose administration and council. “I would like to say how excited and proud we are to lay the groundwork for future development with the city and county of Camrose.

“This will show the development community that our two municipalities will work together to facilitate development and growth that will not only benefit both municipalities, but also the developers.
“Thank you to Cargill for being the impetus for the Cooperations Agreement, but also for choosing the Camrose region to do business with and we look forward to years of continued partnership.”

“I would be remiss if I did not mention our appreciations to Reeve Trautman and Camrose County Council for the hard work and diligence in order to come to such a land breaking agreement,” said City of Camrose Mayor PJ Stasko. “As well to County and City administration for the hours and hours of work that made this come to fruition.

“The City of Camrose is excited and we look forward to a long partnership with the County of Camrose in order to better both of our municipalities. And as Reeve Trautman stated, ‘We are stronger together.’”

Cargill Plant manager Tom Hill spoke on behalf of Cargill.

“Cargill has been associated with the Camrose community for over 40 years and we are very proud of that. We are pleased to have this opportunity to stand alongside representatives of both the City of Camrose and Camrose County as we finalize these agreements today.

“Our team is a part of this community. They and their families live, work, shop and go to school here.  Our team members themselves are active in the community as well, out there flipping pancakes during Jaywalkers’ and helping direct traffic during Big Valley Jamboree Kick’n Country Parade.”

Hill noted that along with Cargill’s volunteer contributions the organization also has a fiscal fund that they are able to contribute to this community. “Over the years, we have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Camrose community and we are very proud to be able to do that,” said Hill, noting that some of the recipients of donations include the Camrose Women’s Shelter, The Open Doors and the University of Alberta Augustana Campus Indigenous Speaker series. “And what I will be able to share with you today is that Cargill has made a commitment  to sponsor the Mirror Lake Express train over the summer, making it free for our community as well.

“True to our history, we are pleased to work to support an agriculture region serving a local farming community. We recognize how important this collaboration is between the City of Camrose and Camrose County, to support future growth and development in the region.”

Country Divas at Lougheed

By Murray Green
The Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre has a great lineup still to come this season.

The Camrose Veselka Ukrainian Dancers will be holding its annual Spring Concert on April 28 at 2 p.m.

Heartstrings and Honky Tonks celebrates 70 years of country music. The show will be held on May 1 and will include Clayton Bellamy, Dan Davidson, Duane Steel, Nice Horse and Tracy Millar.

The Country Divas will be having a show at the Lougheed Centre on May 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Huntington Disease Awareness

By Murray Green

May is Huntington Disease Awareness Month. The Camrose chapter of the Huntington Society of Canada has several events to raise funds and create awareness in May.

The Camrose chapter is participating in the Light It Up for Huntington Disease in May. Signs will be on display on lawns and in windows. Buildings and structures around the world light up in blue for HD and purple for Juvenile Huntington disease (JHD).
You can view some buildings and structures lighting up across Canada at www.lightitup4hd.com. You can share one of your own photos and let people know about your HD story.

A barbecue will be set up at the downtown Co-op store on May 17. An on-line auction will take place on May 24 and 25.

They also have a Shop for the Cause event that supports local businesses on May 31. There will be 30 spots available, with each participant donating $20 (a tax receipt will be given). One in every 7,000 Canadians has HD and approximately one in every 5,500 is at-risk for developing the disease. HD touches many more as a caregiver, family member, or friend.

For more information visit www.hdcamrose.ca or Facebook Huntington Society of Canada Camrose Chapter  to donate.
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Lund enjoys driving his Li’l Red Express

Known for its loud rumble, the 1977 Dodge Li’l Red Express had plenty of power and a larger engine than most cars were allowed in that year. In fact, it wasn’t allowed to be purchased in certain States.

By Murray Green

Dudley Lund of Viking owns a 1977 Li’l Red Express Dodge truck.

“I found this truck in Viking 27 years ago. When I was growing up and first saw one, then I always wanted one. I had an opportunity to buy it, but it was all rusted and the boards in the back were rotten. It was rusted with the fenders gone. I bought it from him and it took me 18 years to restore it,” explained Dudley.

The Li’l Red Express was not available for sale in California, Florida, Maryland, Oregon, or Washington state because it did not meet special noise standards in certain locations. Because of this, the Midnite Express was born for those states.
“I’m not completely done yet. I still have the dash to finish. My goal is to restore it back to the original way it was. I had to rebuild the entire frame with undercoating, an all new steering box, brakes, lines, everything had to be done,” he shared.

The Midnite Express was not a factory option like the Li’l Red Express, it was a dealer-installed package. Dealers that could not sell the Li’l Red Express used high-optioned Warlocks, repainted them metallic black and ordered all of the Li’l Red Express parts through their parts department.

“I actually re-did the motor twice. I put in a three-quarter cam in it last winter at Streb’s in Camrose. I also have a Warlock truck that I’m working on. I bought it for my wife. I’m getting a cab from Manitoba. These trucks are a long process to restore,” Dudley laughed.

The Midnite Express was available for the 1978 model year only. This truck was equipped much like the Li’l Red Express with exhaust stacks, wheels and gold pinstriping.

“Besides the dash, I have some tweaking to do on the transmission. I also can’t find an original steering wheel, so eventually I want to replace that. I just have minor stuff to finish,” Dudley shared.

“I have a three-speed transmission, a GM transmission in it now. The motor is a 360 with the three-quarter cam and it is the original block,” he added.

The Midnite Express was painted black instead of red and featured a Midnite Express Truck decal on the door.

“I replaced the shocks,  radiator, all the running parts. It was worth it because I love driving this truck. It is a little loud because I don’t have mufflers on it. I put three-inch pipes from the headers to the back. The big pipes are for show at the moment. I’ll put mufflers on it before I hook them up. I want them coming out the back so it doesn’t bother me inside the cab. It can get real loud,” he chuckled.
“I could have bought a house for the money that I have into this truck,” he laughed.

The Li’l Red Express truck was introduced by Dodge in 1977 as a limited-production, high-performance version of their D-Series pickup trucks. It was released during a time when muscle cars were facing stricter emissions regulations, but the Li’l Red Express managed to circumvent some of these regulations due to its classification as a light truck.

One of the most notable features of the Li’l Red Express truck was its unique appearance. It came with bright red paint, gold pinstriping, chrome side stacks (exhaust pipes mounted behind the cab) and chrome accents throughout. The overall look was inspired by the aesthetics of American hot rods and drag racers.
Under the hood, the Li’l Red Express was powered by a potent drivetrain. It was equipped with a high-performance 360 cubic inch (5.9-litre) V8 engine, which was one of the largest V8 engines available in a light-duty truck at the time. This engine was paired with a heavy-duty automatic transmission.

The combination of the powerful engine and the relatively light weight of the truck gave the Li’l Red Express impressive performance for its era. Thanks to its powerful engine, the Li’l Red Express was capable of impressive acceleration. It could go from zero to 60 mph in around seven seconds, which was very quick for a pickup truck of its time.

Poetry workshop

By Lori Larsen
In celebration of Poetry Month (April) in Canada, the Battle River Writing Centre (BRWC) will be hosting the annual Poetry Workshop, Writing Poetry, on Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Camrose Heritage Railway Museum and Park, 4407-47 Avenue.

Facilitators include: Alexina Dalgetty, who has and will teach courses on submitting at the Alexandra Writers Centre (The Art of Rejection, Submit, Submit, Submit and An Introduction to Submittable); Ronna Jevne, PhD, Founder, Hope Foundation, University of Alberta and author of extensive publications and Jane Ross PhD, author of Green Parrots in my Garden, published by Bayeux Arts and numerous other titles.

Workshop participants will have an opportunity to explore the impact “place” has on poetry using various poetic forms, including but not limited to:  haiku, prose poems, ekphrastic (poetry inspired by works of art) and poetry of “place” itself.

“We’ll explore the poetic forms as a group and there will be detailed guidelines and prompts to write from,” noted Battle River Writing Centre member Alexina Dalgetty. “The purpose of the workshop is to have fun with and generate poetry, those without a background will learn new skills and accomplished poets will have an opportunity to explore and expand their repertoire.”

The Workshop will also include discussion on  the joys and pitfalls of poetry publication and submission: Canadian literary journals, spoken word, chapbooks, poetry collections as well as what editors look for, competitions, and self-publishing.

“If interested, participants will leave with suggestions for publication as well as information on newsletters of interest to poets.”
Battle River Writing Centre

The Battle River Writing Centre began in 2012, when a group of aspiring writers, including Greg Zinter and Jane Ross, realized that, taken together as a region, the well-published authors of the Battle River region were as numerous, prolific and noted as any other part of Canada.

Bolstered by this realization, as well as by the encouragement of noted Western Canada Author, Rudy Wiebe, they felt it was time to address “place-based” writing seriously.

The group began with one workshop which led to many others, and a monthly Writing Room which has met every third Friday of every month since January 2012.

Collectively, the members of Battle River Writers have published poetry, short stories, and novels in Canada and worldwide.

“You can imagine that a lot of words have gathered on our pages,” noted Dalgetty. “Many of them have found their way into published format, others into articles and news features.

“Although we all enjoy reading the work of others, we are committed to being producers of writing, in addition to being consumers for the ideas and writing of others.”

Previous workshops offered by BRWC included: Diane Buchanan, Rosemary Griebel, and Lorna Crozier.

For information, email writingpoetryforsubmission@gmail.com or telephone 780-672-9315.
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Being prepared

By Lori Larsen

Policing in today’s world strikes a balance between building and maintaining strong community partnerships all the while upholding the law and ensuring public safety through prevention, detection, investigation and emergency response.
In order to ensure that police officers are properly trained and prepared for any emergent and sometimes dangerous situations, they receive the highest standards of training, including firearms certification.

“All sworn members of the service are required to qualify on their service pistol each year, in standards set by the Province,” noted CPS Officer Safety, Sergeant Todd Steil.

“Most sworn members of the police service are also trained and certified on the Carbine rifle (Colt C8) as well, as many situations require the presence of a firearm that is both more accurate and has a longer range than a pistol.”

Over and above the qualification and certification on firearms, members receive yearly training to hone their skills. “The training often consists of a mix of classroom instruction, training exercises and scenario-based training allowing officers to apply their skills in as close to real life situations as possible.”

Members also receive yearly training and certification on other important intermediate weapons such as: baton, handcuffing, OC Spray (pepper spray) and Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW or Taser).

“It is very important that our members receive top level use of force training. Our members use force on a very small proportion of calls and interactions with people (only 8.6 per cent of people arrested in 2023 required any type of force). However, when force is required, proper training ensures that the force used by members is reasonable and proportionate to what is required,” explained Steil, adding that in 2023, CPS experienced a trend in calls requiring the use of force. “In 2023, police saw a 38 per cent increase from the previous year in officer use of force, which also represents a 10 per cent increase from the five-year average.”

While the use of force is a necessary part of all police officers’ training, Steil said that a very important aspect of that training is the use of de-escalation techniques and methods of how to avoid the use of force, if at all possible, without jeopardizing public or officer safety. “Often the relationships built by members within the community can be leveraged in critical situations, avoiding the need for force. That being said, the reality of policing still requires force use, and our members are very well trained and ready when the need arises.”

In any event, having officers with the highest levels of training is reassurance that public and officer safety is of the utmost importance to Camrose Police Service.

Grain grading can assist producers

By Murray Green
Grading grains when selling serves several important purposes for both buyers and sellers.

Grading ensures that buyers receive grains of consistent quality. Grains can vary widely in factors such as moisture content, size, colour, purity and presence of foreign materials. Grading allows sellers to classify grains according to these factors, giving buyers confidence in the product they are purchasing.

Grading helps establish fair market prices for grains. Higher-quality grains typically command higher prices, while lower-quality grains may be sold at a discount. Grading allows sellers to accurately price their products based on their quality, helping to ensure fair transactions for both parties.

Grading helps grains compete in the market. Buyers often have specific requirements for the grains they purchase, such as certain moisture levels or purity standards. Grading allows sellers to match their products to the needs of buyers, making their grains more marketable.

Grading helps mitigate risks for both buyers and sellers. By providing standardized quality classifications, grading reduces the likelihood of disputes over the quality of grains delivered. This helps protect both parties from financial losses and maintains trust in the marketplace.

In many countries, grading is required by law or government regulations. These regulations may set standards for grain quality and establish grading procedures to ensure compliance. Grading helps ensure that grains sold meet these legal requirements.
Grading grains typically involves inspecting samples of the grain for various quality attributes, such as size, moisture content, foreign material content, and visual appearance. Grading may be performed by sellers themselves or by independent third-party inspectors. The grading process may involve visual inspection, measurement of physical attributes and laboratory analysis.
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BRCF grants Fish and Game Association

Battle River Community Foundation treasurer Neil Lunty presented a cheque to the Camrose and District Fish and Game Association’s Wayne Harde, Ways and Means chairman; Barry Ness, treasurer; Kevin Stang, director; and Sly Baier, trophy chairman.

The Battle River Community Foundation awarded a $1,200 grant to the Camrose and District Fish and Game Association.
The grant was used to support the construction of an accessible outdoor toilet facility with a 1,000-gallon septic tank. Volunteer club members completed the project.

“I am very grateful for an organization like the Battle River Community Foundation and, on behalf of the Camrose Fish and Game Association, would like to thank the Foundation for this grant to help fund this project. We especially want to thank the benefactors who contribute to the BRCF and make Camrose and area a special place to live. I would encourage everyone to check out the Foundation and possibly become a benefactor as well. The Fish and Game habitat property and fish pond located east of Camrose is a four-season facility, and our recent addition of toilet facilities that are wheelchair accessible is a much-welcomed addition. We encourage the public to come enjoy the natural setting, picnic area, walking trails, and the great trout fishing pond,” said Camrose and District Fish and Game Association’s Wayne Harde.

The grant is funded from income earned in the Beverly (Pearson) Penner and Don Penner Fund and the Students for a Sustainable Environment Fund. These funds allow the Foundation board to match annual grant applicants with the interests their donors wish to support.
The Battle River Community Foundation exists to support organizations in east central Alberta that benefit the local communities and positively impact 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 is 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 $9,308,006 to support charitable activities in the Battle River Region.

Carter, the Capitals at Bailey Theatre

By Murray Green
The Bailey Theatre has a great line-up of shows planned for this season. Here are some of the highlights. Carter and the Capitals will be playing high energy music at the Bailey on April 27 at 8 p.m. as part of the Rose City Roots Society series.

In 2019, the Capitals released their debut, self-titled album after working closely in Vancouver with Juno award-winning producer Ben Kaplan.

The Bailey Buckaroos are back for a classic country music evening with special guests. The next show is on April 28 at 2 p.m.

The Big Valley Regional Adult One Act Festival, put on by the Alberta Drama Festival Association will be at the Bailey on May 4 beginning at 5 p.m.

Motherhood The Musical will be performed by the Churchmice Players on May 10, 11 and 12. The Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday show begins at 2 p.m.
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Kamden has a little lamb…

By Lori Larsen

Local entrepreneur, 16-year-old Kamden Bartman has quite literally taken a famous nursery rhyme and turned it into a thriving business.

Known as the Prairie Shepherdess, Kamden started raising her own flock of sheep in the fall of 2020, following her parents’ decision to try their hand at raising lambs.

“After my family had been raising meat lambs for about two years, they decided to purchase a flock of bred Navajo Churro ewes in the spring of 2020,” said Kamden. “By purchasing the flock of ewes, they would have the opportunity to raise their meat lambs from start to finish, and dabble into breeding sheep.”

Throughout the first summer with the sheep, the family was able to dive into rotational grazing, vaccinating, hoof trimming and everything in between.
“Being able to work with the sheep on a level I never had the opportunity to before was amazing, and I fell in love with it all.”

However, in the fall of 2020, Kamden’s parents decided to sell the flock, choosing instead to grow the beef and pork side of their operation.

“The sheep were an extra thing that would be a bit harder to maintain as they reached their long-term goals,” explained Kamden. “Me being me, I fell in love with the flock in the short few months we had with them, and I couldn’t have imagined saying goodbye to them. So, I begged my parents to let me keep a few of my favourites, and it began there. I started out in the fall of 2020 with two of the mature ewes from that spring, and the five ewe lambs that were born that spring.”

From that point forward, Kamden has grown an interest into a flourishing business that for anyone, let along a 16-year-old, would be described as incredibly ambitious.

“I raise Icelandic and Navajo Churro sheep,” noted Kamden. “I have chosen these breeds for their triple purpose usage (can be used for meat, dairy and wool); their hardiness in heat and cold; smaller size; good mothering instincts; easy lambing abilities; and their sweet personalities.

“I am focused on breeding and raising triple purpose breeding stock for other farmers throughout Canada, and producing wool, sheepskin and dairy products. Using as much of the animal as I possibly can and producing products without the use of chemicals and toxins is my passion.”

Kamden explained that the flock is sheared twice a year in the spring and fall, with fleeces sold to fibre artists throughout Canada and the United Stated to turn into yarn or other wool products. “I also keep a few of the fleeces for myself each shearing. I hand wash and process them right here on the farm and turn them into wool dryer balls, felted fleece rugs, batts to sell to spinners, and dryer ball kits.”

Since beginning back in 2020, the Prairie Shepherdess has grown her flock to 29 ewes, one fibre wether and two rams, and is expecting over 35 lambs this year.

While the majority of the lambs Kamden raises are sold as breeding stock, she said she also keeps a few of them each year for butchering. “Those lambs are processed in the fall or winter and sold as half and whole lambs. Using the whole animal and honouring their life has always been something that has interested me from the beginning and, with the lambs I have butchered, I get back their sheepskins and traditionally tan them with the use of eggs from my flock of chickens and smoke to set the tan. As well, I offer custom hide tanning for other farmers around who are looking to use more of their animals.”

Kamden said that after the ewes wean their lambs, she will milk a few of them, using the milk to make sheep milk soap. “I will freeze it all, and my lovely mom turns it all into soap for me.” Yet another part of this amazing entrepreneur’s business strategy.

Each year, Kamden has the ewes bred in November, anticipating the arrival of lambs at the end of March/early April. “By the time they lamb, it is warm enough outdoors that the lambs can be outside full time and I don’t have to worry about needing an indoor space for them. My lambs are weaned and separated from mom in June, and will either head to their new homes at this time or stay with me.”
By the time autumn rolls around, the lambs born in the spring will be big enough to be processed for meat.

“I also get busy processing their sheepskins. Just as those lambs are ready to be processed, my next batch of lambs are being born. It truly is the whole circle of life. Being able to live this life is the biggest blessing and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Not one to rest on her laurels and determined to honour the lives of her flock by using the entire sheep, in the summer of 2022, Kamden began tanning hides from her own flock and custom hides from local flocks.

“I was getting many questions related to tanning, so I decided to start writing my own book Egg Tanned Sheepskins At Home.”

After months of working on the book, it was published in November of 2023 for worldwide access.

“Being able to help so many people around the world learn to tan their own sheepskins has been such a great honour,” remarked Kamden. “Whole animal use and tanning are such a big part of my life, and I love that others love it just as much as I do, and I can help them with their dreams and goals.”

Continuing on a climb of success and notoriety, Kamden spoke at the Gathering Threads Festival in Edmonton last year, and in February was the guest speaker for the Canadian Wool coffee house to 46 online viewers. “I had the opportunity to share a deeper look into my business, my animals, the products I produce, and a bit about myself.”

However, like any successful business, the journey means sacrifice and hard work, and Kamden is no stranger to either.

“The biggest challenges of being a young entrepreneur is still being in high school and managing a business.

“I have made the switch to online school for my classes this semester, which has definitely been a huge bonus. Being able to be at home full time has helped to have the extra time to work on wool and sheepskins and has been beautiful for lambing time.”

She often spends her days outdoors with the flock or working on wool or hides, then at the end of that long day of working the flock, tends to her schoolwork before retiring for the night.

“Doing online for my classes has been a huge advantage, and I’m so glad I made that choice to switch.”

It only takes a few minutes of walking around the pasture with Kamden to realize she takes her business and her flock very seriously.

She calls out to the sheep and as they rally around her, she kneels down on muddy ground to greet them on their level. She handles the baby lambs under the permitting, albeit watchful eye of the ewes that she knows by name.

“The biggest joy is being able to show other young individuals that you can do anything no matter your age, and anything is possible,” commented Kamden.

“The biggest piece of advice I would give to anyone is that any dream or goal can be achieved if you put your heart and mind to it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and I feel like we constantly need to remind ourselves of that. Keep pushing no matter how hard it is, and keep working hard for your goal. Start small, and keep pushing. Your future self will be so proud of you for sticking to it.”

An inspiring message from a remarkable 16-year-old.

BRSD transportation registration opens

By Murray Green
Battle River School Division announced that bus registration for the 2024-25 school year is now open until 4 p.m. on June 27.

The shift to this earlier registration window will allow for more timely notification of student bus assignments. This change also allows for better communication between families, schools, bus drivers and transportation department staff. Parents with bus students from the City of Camrose and the Town of Tofield must register annually. For all other locations, parents with bus students need to register only if this is the first time that their child(ren) will be riding a BRSD school bus, such as new students beginning kindergarten.

Additionally, parents with students that have had changes to their contact information, such as physical address or school of attendance, are required to register. If there are no changes to student contact information, rural students will automatically be included in the route plans for the upcoming school year, with no need to register.

Applications for school of choice/cross boundary transportation will be available at 9 a.m. on May 1.

For more details and eligibility information, visit www.brsd.ab.ca/ families/transportation.
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Alpaca Show and Fibre Fest

By Lori Larson

The Magic Alpacas Show and Fibre Fest held on April 6 and 7 at the Camrose Regional Exhibition Grounds attracted people from Camrose and surrounding areas as well as visitors from the rest of the province and other provinces. The Fibre Fest reported 460 visitors to the event. The Yarn Winding Station raised $83 to be donated to the Days For Girls Camrose Team. As well, cash and food donations were made to the Camrose Neighbor Aid Center.

Area to receive funding for road projects

By Murray Green
Alberta Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors Devin Dreeshen announced that  $14,259,386 will be allocated to making roads and construction projects a reality in the area, April 10.
The total cost of the 20 projects will be about $18,680,100. The remaining costs will be shared by the municipal governments.
The 2024 Provincial Construction Program for highway and water management projects, as well as the active and previously approved capital project grants for Camrose constituency was made available by Dreeshen.

The maps for regular construction programs and interactive projects are online at: www.alberta.ca/provincial-construction-program.aspx. The maps are updated regularly should you wish to watch the status of a project.

“Note that these reports do not include municipal grant projects, such as Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program (STIP) and Water for Life (W4L) and Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership (AMWWP) programs. Water grant programs (W4L and AMWWP) and STIP are currently under review, and notifications for successful project funding will be sent in May 2024,” he added.

The highway and water management projects include the following: Highway 13 will receive funding for a replacement of a culvert near Ervik, widening of the highway and a roundabout at the junction of Highways 13 and 56.
  • Repaving between Hwy 861 and 608 (selective) for 20 kilometres near Forestburg.
  • Bridge work on Hwy 53 near Donalda will include replacing the rail, making concrete repairs and other safety upgrades.
  • Near Meeting Creek, between Hwy 53 and two km south of Hwy 609, 22 km of repaving.
  • Repaving between Hwy 21 and the Village of Edberg will be 12 km of construction.

On Hwy 834, the highway will be widened for about 19 km near Tofield, relocate access and construct service road near Twomey and make slide repairs near Ankerton. Some of the work will be outside of the central region.

Capital grant projects include the following: wastewater system upgrades, Town of Daysland; two water transmission line completions, Highway 12/21 Regional Water Services Commission; airport runway overlay, City of Camrose; five culvert replacements, Camrose County; and industrial business district access, Town of Hardisty.

This is only a list of the active and previously approved grants. It does not include any new 2024 grant applications that are currently under review.

RCMP remind motorists dangers of crossing lines

By Lori Larsen

Bashaw RCMP would like to warn motorists of the dangers of crossing double solid lines in any traffic situation but particularly when parking or backing out of a parking spot on Main Street.

“Last summer RCMP warned drivers about their habits along Main Street in Bashaw, which involved crossing the double solid line to park on the opposite side of the street,” said Bashaw RCMP Corporal Kyle Neilson.  “This also included drivers backing out across the double solid line when leaving their parking spot. Last summer this resulted in several collisions due to the fact vehicles from both sides of the road were trying to park or leave a designated parking spot at the same time.”

Neilson said that last summer lines were repainted along Main Street  and are now clearly visible to all drivers.

“RCMP and Camrose County Peace Officers will begin ticketing drivers for crossing the double solid line with a zero-tolerance approach,” noted Neilson adding that the penalty for crossing the double solid line is $243, under The Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulations.

“Drivers are free to make a safe U-turn at any intersection not controlled by lights or where prohibited by a sign.”

RCMP warn on dangers of speed

By Lori Larsen
Posted speed limits in Alberta represent the maximum speed for that road in ideal driving conditions and are established to ensure safety of all those travelling on those roadways.

Bashaw RCMP provide the following information on the speed limits applicable in Alberta:
  • 100 km/h on a provincial highway located outside an urban area (unless otherwise posted.)
  • 80 km/h on a provincial highway located inside a corporate limit of a city (unless otherwise posted.)
  • 80 km/h on a roadway that is located outside an urban area(unless otherwise posted.)
  • 50 km/h on a roadway that is located within an urban area, (unless otherwise posted.)

Speeding fines and demerits range in severity and fine amounts double when construction workers or emergency responders are present. “Rural roads present unique risks including livestock and wildlife, unmarked intersections and blind curves, as well as varying and sometimes poor surfaces,” noted Bashaw RCMP detachment Sergeant Trent Cleveland.  “These roads require safe speeds and the full attention of motorists.”

The following represents recent statistics regarding speeding infractions and subsequent fines for the Bashaw detachment.
  • Exceed speed limit up to 15 km/h over–two demerits and up to $126 fine.
  • Exceed speed limit by 16 to 30 km/h–three demerits and up to $249 fine.
  • Exceed speed limit by 31 to 50 km/h–four demerits and up to $495 fine.
Bashaw RCMP recommends giving yourself enough travel time, limiting distractions and being aware of posted limits.


Ask an empowering question
A few days ago, I had dinner with someone who said he was filled with gratitude and was happy every day. It was uplifting to hear that! About the same time, I learned that I’m going to receive a sum of money that’s more than I expected and sooner than expected. I was happy! Those incidents got me thinking about things that make me happy.

Here are 10 (plus two) things making me happy today.

1. Receiving unexpected money. Always a treat! It will have a happy home.

2. At some times in my life, that money would have been a lifeline. There have been years when I was so close to the edge that I didn’t know how I was going to pay the rent or buy groceries to feed my children. I’m happy to be reminded that I no longer live that close to the edge.

3. A third thing making me happy is noticing how much better off I am at this point in my life, compared to some earlier years. Being happy makes me grateful and being grateful makes me happy.

4. Spring is actually here. Even if we have another blizzard–and we could–the days are warmer.

5. I’m making progress on a project that’s more complex, more challenging and more time-consuming than I or any of the people involved expected. Not the first time and possibly not the last time I’ve had this experience. But visible progress makes me happy.

6. I’m glad to have lived long enough to know the project will be completed, and it will accomplish its purpose, maybe even better than any of us originally imagined.

7. The days are getting longer. I’m looking forward to our long northern evenings when gorgeous sunsets linger until after 10:30 p.m.

8. My brain is getting re-wired! I’ve been reading Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by Dr. Joe Dispenza. I’ve been fascinated for a while by books and talks about how the brain works, and this is adding to my understanding.

I’m working my way through some exercises he suggests. Sometimes I think I can actually feel portions of my brain changing! It could be my imagination, but who cares? It’s making me happy.

9. I’m going to a concert in a few days. Music always uplifts me. The anticipation is making me happy.

10. For more than 60 years, I’ve noticed that whatever I want to learn about, or whatever would be helpful, shows up at the perfect time. It might be an experience, a song, a person, a movie, a book, a conversation or a surprising idea. The older I get, the more I am in awe that life unfolds exactly as it should–though sometimes with me kicking and whining, and other times me not realizing in the moment that it is exactly as it should be.
Plus two, that I thought of while I was writing the first 10.

11. Writing about things that make me happy makes me happy!

12. That makes me realize that actually none of those things is making me happy. I am already content and grateful, and those 10 are helping me to notice!
I’m grateful to have lived long enough to learn that happiness is an inside job. We cannot control the outside world–Shakespeare’s “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” Sometimes we cannot control events in our lives–deaths, disappointments, regrets, illness, pain, misfortune.

But we can take charge of our responses and choices. Whether we’re in a joy-filled time or a time of great challenges–or both simultaneously–happiness is within us all the time, ready to be noticed.

So, what are 10 things–or even just one or two things–you’re happy about today?

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

In sports, in life
Sports groups are busy this time of year, organizing hundreds of youth onto sports teams. It’s a huge undertaking and always a struggle to find enough coaches for the season.

The first season I coached was my daughter’s U8 Blue Sharks soccer team. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but my logic had flowed like this: I used to love playing soccer. I was already at the field anyway. I might as well be coaching. Seven years later, I am still volunteering for this job, often two teams in one season. There is no better way to get to know the players than to be their coach. When I would watch from the sidelines, it would take more than half the season just to learn everyone’s names. Now I have their names memorized by the second practice.

Coaches get to see the players’ personalities up close: at a U9 practice, one player came running up, announced that he had learned something and proceeded to do the floss dance move. We had never seen anything like that, and told him it looked great! Later, my husband and I watched videos on YouTube so that we could floss too and then we would often include flossing during our warm-ups just to get some laughs from the kids.
Parents and community members may also find that they don’t need as many skills as they thought to coach. There are often training courses provided, and assistants can learn a lot from the head coach. Coaching is a great way to spend time with your own child, and make fun memories with them. (Remember the time the only game we won all season was the last one during league playoffs? We scored on a penalty kick, kept the ball out of our net and we got a bronze medal! Yup, I was on the bench.) Coaching can push parents out of their comfort zone. It’s powerful to role model to our kids that it’s okay to be a little uncomfortable while we are learning something new.

Coaching is a way to share our love of the sport, and also to learn more about it ourselves while staying active in the process. The rewards far outweigh the time and effort required. Sometimes a team will surprise you by banding together to get a gift card, or a player will come running up with a handmade card or a thoughtful gift. The best thanks, though, is the expression on a kid’s face when they do something that they didn’t think they could accomplish– it’s like they surprised themselves. You can practically see them stand taller and gain confidence.
I didn’t understand before how coaching a sports team also means giving out life lessons without even realizing it. If there is a player prone to complaining, I might remind them that if they focus on positive things, they’ll be happier. Not just in sports, but in life!

If a goalie has had a particularly rough game but played their hardest, we might instruct the rest of the players to race over and give the goalie congratulations on a job well done, which shows them how to build others up. We talk about how to handle both wins and losses and that helps prepare them for handling success and disappointment in other areas.
I’ve learned strategies like sandwiching a critique between two compliments. Such as: “I like how you’re really keeping your head up to watch for where to pass. I’d like to see you try crossing the ball to the other side of the field to the open space. Keep up the awesome speed!” This is a strategy that can also be used with family members or in the workplace.

I get such a kick out of a kid approaching me after the season has ended and saying “Hi, coach Laurel!” And they absolutely expect me to know their name in return, no matter how long it has been. Once a coach, always a coach.

These are just some of the reasons why I love coaching. If parents are still hesitant or unable to coach due to other commitments, above all, be there whenever possible. Watch while you are there. Players look to the sidelines to see their parents and obviously it’s a huge disappointment if the parent is looking at their phone and misses their child’s first goal ever (which we have seen happen).
There are tons of other ways to be active on your child’s team. Be the team manager and get the team signed up for TeamSnap, bring snacks to a game, wash pinnies/uniforms, register for tournaments or help with practice while a coach is away. There are many roles that need filling.

Let’s make this season a great one.