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PonokaLive .ca


4900 Hwy 2A, Ponoka Phone: 403-783-3888 Fax: 403-783-3886

2014/2015 EVENT DATES July 19 ...................... Town Wide Garage Sale October 24 .............. Annual Business Awards November 21 .......... Christmas Tree Lighting Almost Midnight Madness

Nov. 3 to Dec. 19... Passport to Christmas December 6............. Children’s Shopping Party April 2015 ................. Trade Fair


(Not Central Alberta’s Best Kept Secret Anymore)

PRO SHOP: 403-783-4626 CLUBHOUSE LOUNGE: 403-783-2255 FAX: 403-783-5144


NON-MEMBERS BOOK Weekdays - 2 days in advance Weekends - call Wednesday

TOURNAMENTS WELCOME Call early to avoid disappointment (Corporate or Family Get-togethers)

PONOKA GOLF CLUB PROSHOP • Fully Stocked Proshop • Custom Club Fitting • Golf Lessons by Appointment • Club Repair • All Lines of Top Grade Golf Equipment and Apparel Available • 19th Hole Restaurant & Lounge - Public Welcome Call for Green Fee or Membership Information

Location of Ponoka, Alberta, CANADA

Member of Parliament Blaine Calkins

MP welcomes you Welcome to Ponoka, a great place to visit, work, live and raise a family. This small town has a big heart and a rich history. This is a caring region of energetic, dedicated people who are committed to maintaining the down home feeling that we all know and love. Located in the agricultural heartland of Alberta, where our worldrenowned cattle graze and our high quality crops grow, it is home to enthusiastic, community-minded residents who proudly host the renowned Ponoka Stampede. Come for a visit and enjoy western hospitality at its best. You just might want to stay awhile. Hope to see you soon! Blaine Calkins, MP Wetaskiwin

Where Is Ponoka, AB? Ideally located in the heart of central Alberta and along the thriving Calgary – Edmonton economic corridor. 2 Hour Drive to Calgary 1 Hour Drive to Edmonton ½ Hour Drive to Red Deer

Ponoka A place you will want to be.

Front cover photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

This guide is solely funded by our advertisers. It is possible through the participation of those fine organizations to provide this comprehensive guide to you Free of Charge! To ensure our continued success, please support our advertisers. Thank you!

Produced and Distributed by: Ponoka News 5019A Chipman Ave. Box 4217, Ponoka, AB T4J 1R6 Phone: 403.783.3311 Fax: 403.783.6300 Email: Website:



Welcome to PONOkA “Welcome to Ponoka!” On behalf of The Ponoka & District Chamber of Commerce, we are pleased to have you visit or re-visit our community, a community we are all very proud of. We are a very active Chamber of Commerce that promotes its members and spurs on economic growth though a variety of events and activities. The Trade Fair each April is our cornerstone event. The Business Awards Gala is held to acknowledge the “Best of the Best” businesses in Ponoka. Passport to Christmas and many other events throughout the year continue to show that Ponoka is a vibrant and eventful town. Our Town is full of recreational facilities ranging from three hockey ice surfaces, six sheets of curling ice, a skate park, soccer pitches and ball diamonds. We also have two of the best golf courses in Alberta in Ponoka Community Golf Club and Wolf Creek. We have everything to meet your recreational needs. While you are in Town celebrating the 78th Ponoka Stampede, take some time to get to know the people, businesses and organizations that

make Ponoka what it is. il We have many wonderful retail m and service businesses. From providing the basic needs to thee interesting boutique shops all overr d. town, every need can be fulfilled. s, From nuts and bolts to shirts, shoes, e, lingerie, electronics and gift ware, m our local retailers have it all. I am d sure you will find them friendly and helpful for everything you require. …and the food can’t be beat – a, choose from western, Chinese, pizza, d upscale dining, or pub food. If you’d h rather cook your own there’s fresh produce and everything you need at the local grocers and you will alsoo find some of the best meat processorss in Alberta. ul Be sure to visit our beautiful parks and recreation facilities. A stroll down Diamond Willow Trial along the Battle River is a must for nature lovers. A dip in the pool after a long day of activities is available at the Aquaplex. Feel free to take in a movie, bowling, massage, yoga, an afternoon workout at the gym, or a round of golf; just to name a few! Contact us at 403-783-3888, visit or better

yet, come and see us at the Ponoka Tourist and Information Centre, a new and modern facility at 4900 Highway 2A. We will be happy to help you discover the attractions you can add to your stay! Jim Hamilton, President Ponoka & District Chamber of Commerce

“Let your Legacy start here.”

Driving to be the #1 Dealer in Central Alberta

Two locations to serve you better 6305-42 Ave. Hwy 2A, South Ponoka 403-783-5501 PAGE 2

4702 - 51 St, Rimbey 403-843-2622



Lyon’s Jewellery 403-783-3921 Fax: 403-783-3923 5017 - Chipman (50 Ave.) Ponoka – Fine Quality Jewellery –

Featuring White Canadian Diamonds also Black, Blue, Champagne, Yellow Diamonds, I-Power Bracelets, Watches, Bradford Collectables, Persona and Giftware for Everyone, Watch and Fine Jewellery Repairs

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Bowling Centre Great Fun for All! 4812 50th Street 403.783.4515 2014 VISITORS GUIDE & BUSINESS DIRECTORY


OPPORTUNITIES OF FUN IN PONOKA COUNTY Visitors to Ponoka County y will be impressed with thee number of attractions and d recreational opportunitiess that are available. During the summer months, golfers can play y the challenging Wolf Creek k Golf Resort or the family y orientated Gull Lake Golff Course. Fishermen can enjoy y year-round angling on thee Chain Lakes, Gull Lake,, Battle River, Blindman Riverr and Medicine River. Cottage country living g can be experienced at a number of resorts and rurall subdivisions in and around Gull Lake and Red Deer Lake. Ponoka County is also a great destination for camping, boating, snowmobiling, horseback riding and hunting activities. Combine the natural beauty and atmosphere of the County with the many events hosted by the Towns of Ponoka and Rimbey and visitors can enjoy all four seasons in our area. Ponoka County is a growing, progressive county and we encourage you to access our website at www.ponokacounty. com for current information. I hope you will come again to enjoy our hospitality and friendly rural life-style. Paul McLauchlin, Reeve

ENJOY YOUR VISIT TO PONOKA It is my great privilegee t welcome you to one off to A Alberta ‘s most beautiful,, f friendly, and prosperouss a areas. As the MLA for the Lacombe-Ponoka constituency, and on behalf of the Alberta L Legislature, I invite you too v visit the numerous touristt a attractions and treasuress i the area. Whether it iss in r relaxing by a campfiree b beside one of the many lakess a and rivers, fishing, hiking,, sight-seeing, checking outt the Canadian Pro Rodeoo it t off th d Hall of Fame or taking in th the excitement the rodeo action at the Ponoka Stampede, this area offers a wide range of activities for everyone. Take time to wander the historic streets of our communities and meet the people. Make time to explore and discover the many events that contribute to an outstanding way of life here in Ponoka and Ponoka County. I am pleased you chose to spend some of your summer here with us. Enjoy your stay. MLA Rod Fox, Lacombe Ponoka MLA

J.J. Collett Natural Area 2013 PRODUCTIONS May 23, 24, 25, 30, 31 & June 1 “Dry Streak” by Leeann Minogue June 27 Parade Day Barbecue July 1 Tim Horton’s Canada Day Children’s Festival Nov 28, 29, 30, Dec. 5, 6, 7, 12 & 13 “Anne of Green Gables”

email: | 403-783-4087 or 403-783-2202 5020 - 52 Ave., Ponoka AB T4J 1H5


An Alberta Gem

Located south of Morningside (follow signs from Morningside) 11 kms south of Ponoka. This nature area is valued for its diversity of habitat, flora and wildlife and an excellent site for outdoor research studies and educational activities.

Annual Fall Walk - Sept. 28, 2014 Annual Spring Walk - May 31, 2015 For inquiriescall call For inquiries

Open Year Round

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Keep it Real’ IN PONOKA

On behalf of Town Council, I extend a warm welcome to all visitors, including new and prospective residents to our community. Directly off the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, Ponoka, the Stampede Town, offers something for everyone. In Ponoka, you’ll find a friendly, safe and prosperous community that welcomes visitors year round. During your stay, you will discover that here in Ponoka, we value being authentic and true to our roots, “keeping it real” with a relaxed and enjoyable community that balances the best of rural and urban lifestyles. Please stop in at our Visitor Information Centre located directly across from the Lions Centennial Park to find out how to make the most of your visit. You will discover an eclectic array of shopping, dining, recreation and other services that provide authentic, local experiences to visitors and residents: • Browse a variety of specialty and niche shops • Savour authentic dining experiences • Try your swing at one of the two world-class golf courses • Learn our history at historic Fort Ostell Museum and the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame • Play at our parks, including Lions Centennial Park which offers a fishing pond, Skate Park and a Splash Park • Take pictures, hike and enjoy nature on 8 km of trail systems along the lush Battle River Valley or hike the trails at the 635 acre J.J. Collett Natural

Bay #6A, 4612 - 50 St. Ponoka, AB T4J 1S7 403-783-5530 1-800-665-0865

Blaine Calkins, MP

area just south off town

Visit the town’s recreation facilities including the Aquaplex,, tennis courts and sportss fields y And of course, enjoy ongoing events at thee g Calnash Trucking Ag Event Centre as welll d as the world-renowned annual Ponoka Stampede every July Ponoka is an attractive and progressive community where people of all ages enjoy a high quality of life. We invite you to consider Ponoka as a great place to relocate. Ponoka offers affordable residential, farm, industrial and commercial properties including senior/retiree and low cost  housing. The Town of Ponoka is also a great place to start or grow a business. Boasting one of Alberta’s lowest utility and tax structures, we offer competitive infrastructure, excellent transportation route access, a skilled workforce, and of course – an authentic quality of life. Whatever your business needs, we are eager to help you begin your search and answer your questions. The Town of Ponoka has excellent schools and resources; in fact, Ponoka’s Composite High School is a model for modern classrooms and technologically progressive learning. Ponoka is also home to the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury. This world class facility is one of the province’s largest providers of comprehensive  mental health and brain injury services. Grant McEwan University offers a threeyear Psychiatric Nursing Program from the Centennial Centre Site. The town is working on creating a walkable community, with other senior-friendly initiatives planned for the future. As a council, we are extremely proud of our community and continuously challenge ourselves to improve the quality of life for residents, business and visitors.  As mayor, I invite you to “keep it real” as you enjoy your stay in Ponoka. I am confident you will enjoy the authentic flavour of our town. Please take your time to explore our thriving businesses and the town’s impressive natural surroundings. And come back soon!


Welcome to Ponoka, a family friendly community in the heart of our dynamic and diversified province. Whether you’re here for the renowned Stampede or for a taste of true western hospitality Enjoy your visit and come back soon! PAGE 6

Rick Bonnett Mayor

JOHNSON’S BEACH CAMPGROUND Located on Red Deer Lake • Group Rates • Non-serviced and serviced sites • Concession • Mini-golf • Playground From Ponoka: 33 km east on Hwy 53 and 6 km north


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Saluting our proud and colorful native heritage By Mike Rainone o years. It is very likely that some of those of t The Fort Ostell Museum has just tough and adventurous people from Asia who m completed a delightful display depicting migrated across the Bering Straits eventually fo the proud and longstanding culture found their way into Alberta, following an old t and history of the colorful and rugged trail which over the centuries would become t great migration route through north and Indian tribes who have made all areas the c of Alberta and western Canada their central America. The first definite record of t native tribes inhabiting the Battle River home since the early 1700s. Among the the c outstanding artifacts are original native country came in the 1730s, when the Shoshone o Snake Indians were said to control the area, dancing costumes, colorful head dressesor w ornaments and war bonnets, ceremonial while the Blackfoot lived to the north-east in S drums, and so much more. These unique Saskatchewan, and the Crees just beyond that. artifacts of our native history were In the latter part of the century, the Peigan b fashioned by hand, utilizing natural branch of the Blackfoot nation became very p feathers, horns, hides, porcupine quills , powerful, driving the Snakes southward by 1 beads, and whatever else nature would 1781, and taking possession of all the land b provide over the years. between the North Saskatchewan and Red D The early taming of the prairies Deer Rivers. Seven years later, the Snakes were Mike Rainone As far back as the pages of history are struck down by a devastating smallpox epidemic, written on the settlement of the Canadian west, there with what was left of the tribe fleeing south beyond the is absolutely no doubt that the Indians were the first Bow River, and by 1800, their remaining descendents inhabitants and sole owners of a lush and rolling region were found living on reserves in Idaho and Nevada. that was blessed with ample lakes and rivers, teaming The powerful Blackfoot tribe enjoyed a rather carefree with wildlife, and framed amongst magnificent mountains, life, content to kill the buffalo for food, clothing, and rolling hills and prairies, and pristine valleys. It was the implements, as well as taking advantage of the bountiful roving explorer Anthony Henday who ventured into this wildlife to secure an ample supply of furs to trade at wilderness in 1794, the first white man to travel through the Hudson Bay posts. It wasn’t long before, however, what is now the Province of Alberta, who would be greeted that they began their slow exodus from the parklands by roaming tribes of Indians, and was in total awe by the of Alberta, preferring the open prairies to the south and presence of millions of buffalo. controlling a vast area in Missouri and Montana, while by Who were the first natives to dwell near the wooded 1839, the Cree were pleased to move in and take over the banks of the wandering Battle River? There is really no rich and forested Battle River area. way of knowing; for to find such an answer the historians The tribes continued their seasonal treks throughout would have to go back many hundreds, even thousands continued on page 9

Explore beautiful Ponoka Call us the next time you want a mini getaway from the hectic city pace and explore other great attractions. Hikers, joggers and bikers can enjoy the paved trail system along the beautiful Battle River Valley. ‘Cowboy Up’ in Ponoka at the Annual Ponoka Stampede. Experience Ponoka’s unique shops and restaurants. Discover Ponoka’s historic downtown. Many buildings have been restored to their former glory. The quaint, turn-of-the-century streetscape is a delight to explorers and niche market shoppers. Various Agri-Tourism events are also characteristics of the Ponoka community. This includes a County Fair in August and other community events include the Ultimate Car Show in July, a Vintage Bike Rally in July, and Downhill Soapbox Derby in September. From our selection of rooms at great prices, to the fun you’ll have going down the water slides or enjoying the free continental breakfast, our team will be there to make sure you are smiling.


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ANTHONY HENDAY, THE FIRST WHITE MAN TO TRAVEL THROUGH WHAT IS NOW THE PROVINCE OF ALBERTA, WOULD BE GREETED BY ROAMING TRIBES OF INDIANS, AND WAS IN TOTAL AWE BY THE PRESENCE OF MILLIONS OF BUFFALO the prairies in search of food, lodging, and the vitall g wildlife that would provide them with furs for trading in the spring. Large camps near the buffalo herds weree n established in the valley of the North Saskatchewan h River, on the Kootenay Plains, into Montana, north to St. Paul, and at a massive settlement around thee Buffalo Lake area. In the summer of 1870, hundredss k of men, women, and children were hopelessly struck down by a devastating smallpox epidemic, and thee w survivors fled into the Bear Hills west of Hobbema (now Maskwacis) to seek refuge and survive on the plentifull game. Meanwhile, the Stony remained in their campss near Pigeon Lake and Wolf Creek, and were under thee chieftainship of Che-poos-ste quah or Sharphead, a peaceful man who had made friends with the Methodistt missionaries. Of the original four chiefs who settled at the Hobbema agency after the Riel Rebellion and thee Treaty of 1877, two of them, Bobtail and Erminskin were brothers, Muddy Bull was a close relative, but Samson stood alone with his own band. Treaty ceremonies were held at Fort Edmonton in 1876, but it was not until the fall of 1877 that the Bear Hills bands joined the Blackfoot, Sarcee and Stony to sign a treaty with Honourable David Laird, the Governor of the North-West Territories, including all the regions of

western Canada. The same year on September 25, Kiskay-im or Bobtail would sign as the head chief of a tribe of 432 Indians, and received a reserve that extended from the ridge of Bear Hills southwest to the Battle River. Following the treaty payments, the bands wintered in the foothills, but with most of the buffalo and other game having been slaughtered by ravaging trophy hunters, Continued on page 11

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continued from page 9 and the government not making adequate arrangements for rations, the years of 1881 to 1883 were plagued with horrific starvation and disease. With the assistance of the missionaries lobbying the federal government and the arrival of Sam B. Lucas, a farm instructor, the area lands would later be tilled and planted, homes were built, and reserves were established throughout the central regions where the various tribes could live in peace, raise their families, and maintain theirr proud traditions. There were alwayss g many hardships along n the way, but by the turn n of the century the Indian a tribes of the Hobbema agency became good neighbours to the peoplee y of Ponoka, enjoying many visits and powwows in thee community to buy, barter,, and entertain, while also becoming successfull farmers, trappers, craftsman, and participantss in countless friendly activities. These long-n standing traditions carry on to this day, including theirr colorful performances at thee annual Ponoka Stampedess d of native dancing and attire, which has becomee an international culturall

attraction. We will always salute and admire our native bands for their ongoing contributions and colorful heritage, as well as for always being such great neighbours of our town and districts. Check out the magnificent display of our proud and colorful native heritage at the Fort Ostell Museum in the Ponoka Lion’s Centennial Park, where visitors are always welcome to enjoy the story, the artifacts, and the great history of our community and districts from pioneers to present.

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Saddle up FOR ONE OF THE LARGEST PRO RODEOS IN CANADA By Amelia Naismith Welcome to the new Wild West. d Each year, the Town of Ponoka saddles up for a wild ride known as the Ponoka Stampede, a seven-day pro-rodeo of astronomical proportions. a The largest professional rodeo of its kind, the Ponoka 4 Stampede kicks off the excitement this year on June 24 ll with the 12th Annual Jace Harty Memorial PBR Bull Riding Event. In the past, the memorial stood as an event in its own right, but was added to the stampede lineup in 2013 to grow its exposure and expand the event. The largest PBR bull-riding event in Canada boasts $40,000 in added prize money. Rain or shine, rodeo fans from around the world flock to Ponoka to see the cowboys and cowgirls tighten their spurs, don their hats and ride hard to make it to the Stampede Showdown, where only the top riders of the rodeo compete on the evening of July 1 for an extra $15,000 and the title of Ponoka Stampede Champion. And what rodeo would be complete without the chuckwagon races? The half-mile of pure excitement and adrenaline runs for six of the seven rodeo days; the first horn sounds June 26 following the afternoon rodeo


performance performance. As always, some of the biggest names in country music will be rocking the grandstand stage, and the Stampede 2014 features explosive Big and Rich and Alberta’s own Corb Lund. The Ponoka Stampede talent show will also provide an evening of outrageous talent with the top two singers receiving coveted musical prizes. Off-site events ranging from mounted shooter competitions and cattle penning, to farmers markets and art auctions ensure there’s something enticing for everyone to enjoy between rodeo performances. For the younger generations, the West Coast Amusements midway is a great attraction and the Year of the Horse themed parade makes a great way to start off continued on page 13


AG EVENT CENTRE A POPULAR STOP IN PONOKA By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye In the three years of being in operation, the e Calnash Ag Event Centre has quickly become a prime location for equine events. Located on the south side of Ponoka, organizerss are seeing a steady increase in events throughoutt r. the year with very few days left open in the calendar. g Whether it’s the coveted Alberta Barrel Racing c Association Finals or the Alberta Annual Classic Team Penning that comes to town, folks almostt always see a full parking lot at the ag centre. Event organizers say Ponoka is an ideal centrall location for shows and the ag event centre helps complement an already strong agricultural world full of ranchers and horse enthusiasts. “One of the biggest, positive things about it is that it’s every aspect of the horse industry,” explained Terry Jones, president of the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society. The society’s goal is to showcase the many different equine events available to people. During Ponoka Stampede week, the building is full of loud bangs and hollers in two different events: mounted shooters during the first part of the week and cattle

penners during the second. Jones says those two events add to the western culture during the busy rodeo week. The centre was built through a strong collaboration of four partners; the Town of Ponoka, Ponoka County, the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association and the Ponoka Agricultural Society. Much of the building was constructed through government grants, mainly because of the partnership between the founding groups. It has become one of the premiere agricultural continued on page 14

continued from page 12

the morning of June 27. Pancake breakfasts in various locations around town are another tasty beginning to the morning and spectacular fireworks shows light up the evening sky. Camping around town and in the Frank Mickey Stampede Park is the perfect place to set up camp for those wishing to remain close to the action. Alongside providing hours of rough and tumble entertainment, the Ponoka Stampede is also focused on giving back to the community. Many of the service clubs around town take the opportunity to help work the stampede. The Rodeo Challenge and Chicks for Charity fundraiser also ensures the wealth of stampede week benefits as many people as possible. For the 2014 event, the Ponoka Stampede website received a makeover, leading to an elegantly presented and user-friendly pool of rodeo information: http://

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continued from page 13 event facilities in Alberta, indeed, some say the whole western Canada. Jones says the centre has become a great tourist attraction for the town. The main building boasts a large 140 feet by 400 feet space with a dirt floor surface that any barrel racer would be proud of. The Calnash Ag Event Centre has also hosted equine shows that feature the finest Arabian horses and groups such as the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Alberta have found hosting shows in Ponoka to be an ideal spot. The Ponoka Lions Club has also booked the RCMP Musical Ride, a popular horse show featuring the finest RCMP riders in Canada, to present shows in the third week of July at the centre. One of the largest events organizers have seen is the Alberta Barrel Racing Association (ABRA) finals. In 2013, over 900 competitors came from around the province to try their skills for the top barrel racing spot in Alberta. Horse trailers had to be parked on Ponoka Stampede property to accommodate the influx of people. “The ABRA is huge…They made Ponoka their home,” stated Jones. A welcome addition to the building will be the construction of a large electronic sign in 2014. Jones said planners are looking at the many options available before making the purchase. The Calnash Ag Event Centre is also home to the world-renowned Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame (see story on page 12).

Parkland United Reformed Church Pastor: Rev. Mitch Ramkissoon 403-783-1888

Worship services: Sunday at 10:00 am & 2:30 pm  Coffee and fellowship following the second service Directions:  From Ponoka: 4 miles south on Hwy 2A and ¼ mile west on Spruce Road (Rge Rd 422). Church on right hand side of the road From Lacombe: North on Hwy 2A and ¼ mile west on Spruce Road (Rge Rd 422). Church on right hand side of the road PAGE 14

When it does not host equine events in winter, the ag event centre provides a suitable ground for strolling for those who don’t want to be deterred from their daily walk by massive piles of snow on the ground.

Fort Ostell Museum North End of Centennial Park • 5320 - 54 Street

HOURS Tuesday-Friday • 10am-5pm Sunday • 1pm-5pm Closed Saturday and Monday Pre-booked tours can be given on Saturday or Monday.

Call 403-783-5224 for further information!

Ponoka Drop In Centre 5015 - 46 Avenue | Ponoka 403-783-5012

Physical and Mental Activities for the Young at Heart Jam Sessions and Dancing, Gospel Music and Song, Bridge, Duplicate Bridge, Partner Bridge, Whist, Cribbage,“500,” Billiards, Exercise Classes, Shuffle Board, Floor Curling, Weaving, Quilting, Computer Classes. Friends and Neighbours


Church DIRECTORY Associated Gospel Churches of Canada

CHURCH OF THE OPEN BIBLE Pastor Jerry Preheim Pastor Matt Sealy 3704 - 42 St. Ponoka 403-783-6500 Worship Service 11:00 a.m.

TRINITY EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH Pastor: Tim Graff 5501 - 54 Ave. Ponoka 403-783-4141 Worship Service 10:30 a.m.

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH PONOKA Sr. Pastor Paul Spate Erin Dirsten, Facilitator & Youth Family Ministries

5109 - 57 Ave. Ponoka 403-783-5533 Bible Discovery Hour 9:30 a.m. Worship Service 10:30 a.m.

PONOKA UNITED CHURCH Minister: Rev. Beatrix Schirner Sunday Service 10:00 am. 5020-52 Ave. Ponoka 403-783-4087

ST. MARY’S ANGLICAN CHURCH Pastor Rob McArthur Corner of Hwy 2A & Hwy 53 Sunday @ 10:30 a.m. 403-783-5659

Rev. Donna Willer Rev. Jessie Pei

5120 - 49 Ave. Ponoka


Sunday Service: Holy Eucharist 10 a.m.

Sonrise Christian Reformed Church Pastor William Delleman Worship Service 10:30 a.m. 403-783-6012 ½ mile south of Centennial Centre for Mental Health & Brain Injury

ST. AUGUSTINE CATHOLIC CHURCH Father Chris Gnanaprakasam Mass Times: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, 9:00 a.m.

5113 - 52 Ave., Ponoka, T4J 1H6 403-783-4048

” s u h t i w p i h s r o w e m o C “ 2014 VISITORS GUIDE & BUSINESS DIRECTORY






Health and Wellness DIRECTORY INSURANCE COMPANY APPROVED • Advanced Massage Therapy • Therapeutic Massage • 15 Years Experience

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Mon - Fri: 9am - 9 pm Sat: 9 am - 6 pm Sun 10 am - 5 pm

Dr. Leslie Gill & Dr. Michelle Hrdlicka Complete Dental & Hygiene Services


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Phone: 403-783-2999 Botox & Fillers Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Hair Removal Photo Rejuvenation Skin Analysis & Make-up Consultations Facials & Body Wraps Pedicures & Manicures Massage Eyelash Extensions Eyelash & Eyebrow Tinting Eyebrow & Upper Lip Waxing Spray Tanning Life Coaching Yearly & Monthly Memberships Group Events

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LOCAL PRODUCE, CRAFTS AT FARMER’S MARKET By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye Folks with a taste for local arts and produce are e always excited about the Ponoka Farmer’s Market. y The market runs every Wednesday from May a to September and ramps up during the Ponoka e Stampede week. While organizers usually close the marketplace for the rest of the year, they do gett e busy during special shopping activity during the Christmas season. h Vendors come from as far away as British d Columbia, selling the finest fresh fruits and vegetables and local farmers also sell the bestt carrots and other vegetables grown in the area. e Stop by for a coffee, farm-fresh eggs or for those d eager to see the local crafts, shoppers will find y artwork, home-based businesses and wide variety 5 of vendors to choose from. Approximately 45 vendors come each week to sell their products. Donna Merrill, manager of the Farmer’s Market,, n tries to focus on a small fundraising campaign for different not-for-profit groups each month.. e “We just like to be able to do something (for the community),” explained Merrill. h Each week organizers sell 50/50 tickets with g one lucky winner and non-profit group being g announced. Groups such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Wheelchair Van Society and the Ladiess e Hospital Auxiliary have received funds through the campaign. To entice new customers Merrill says she willl bring in a bouncy castle each week. She feels thiss will be a great way to bring people to the market.

BFM Thrift Store 5006 - 50th St.,Downtown Ponoka 403-790-0012

A Big Thank You to all our Volunteers, our generous donors, and all our customers for their support. The Bible league of Canada would also like to express there sincere thanks and gratitude for all the monetary donations that have been sent from the BFM Ponoka Store for the furtherance of the Gospel globally in addition to supporting the Bible League, we are also pleased to be able to donate to various individuals and groups in our local community that have particular needs.

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RECREATION A TOP ENJOYMENT IN PONOKA By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye Recreation is fast becoming one of the best features of Ponoka. The many amenities available to residents and visitors give families an opportunity to try a variety of sports. Perhaps the most exciting addition to Ponoka’s summer recreation is the splash park. This is the second summer that the park will be in full use and kids are always excited to use its colourful water fixtures. Built with the hard work of the Ponoka Kinettes and the Lions Club, the splash park rests in Centennial Park along Highway 2A. Anyone driving through town can’t miss it and kids usually have their faces pressed up against the windows of their cars when they see it. Alongside the splash park is a miniature golf course that provides fun activities for families and ice cream as a reward for a game well played.

arena, two racquetball courts get used by a faithful group of racquetball buffs. One of the courts is marked to allow for a solid game of squash and both are outfitted with hooks for nets to allow teams to play wallyball, a sport that is similar to volleyball and uses the walls as part of the play.

INDOOR SWIMMING The Aquaplex is a staple in town, especially during cold winter months. Families make good use of the 25-metre salt-water swimming pool, complete with kiddy pool, sauna and hot tub. For kids looking for some excitement there is also a 12-foot deep tank with diving board, climbing wall and a rope swing. Companies have been known to sponsor swim days when school is out.


ICE SPORTS The Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex boasts two ice surfaces and updated locker rooms for visiting teams. It is home to the Junior B Stampeders hockey team and residents enjoy seeing how their home team is doing on Saturday nights. For those looking for a slower-paced winter sport, stop by the Curling Rink, which has six curling sheets. It is not uncommon to hear the words “Hurry!” or “Yes!” during the winter months.

RACQUETBALL AND SQUASH Most people don’t realize it, but under the stands of the

There is not one, but two wonderful golf courses in the Ponoka area. The Ponoka Golf Club is found on the eastern side of town nestled along the Battle River and boasts 18 holes for golf lovers. Golf course reviewer Gord Montgomery calls it a “small town beauty” in a review www.playgolfalberta. com/ponoka-golf-club/. The Wolf Creek Golf Resort is 10 minutes south of Ponoka on Highway 2A and houses two 18-hole courses. It mirrors old Scottish golf courses and sits on an ancient lakebed that provides challenging hills for golfers.

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INNOVATIVE EDUCATION RESTRUCTURING A TOP PRIORITY IN PONOKA By Amelia Naismith Despite its small town atmosphere, Ponoka offerss d several pre-college educational options, both public and of faith-based denominations. Set in two different divisions, Ponoka offers a Catholic focused education via the St. Thomas Aquinass n Roman (STAR) St. Augustine School and a Christian education through the private Ponoka Christian School. Wolf Creek School Board handles the running off y Ponoka’s three public schools; the Ponoka Secondary y Campus houses grades 7 to 12, Ponoka Elementary School and the Outreach School. Wolf Creek alsoo y encompasses Ponoka County’s two rural community schools, Mecca Glen to the east and Crestomere to thee west. Educational reforms are sweeping the provincee n through the initiatives of Inspiring Education, Action on y Inclusion and 21st Century Learning. Ponoka Secondary y Campus and the elementary school are wholeheartedly n embracing these new approaches to the education al system, not only in teaching methods but the physical layouts of the schools. The three initiatives are moving students and schools away from traditional ideas of schools and morphing them into educational institutions focused on creating innovative thinkers, team workers and young adults with the abilities to adapt quickly and effectively in a rapidly changing world. All the while the initiatives

permit for more flexibility in students’ schedules, allowing them to learn more at their own pace with personalized care and individual successes. Ponoka Secondary Campus is well into implementing these ideas and as soon as the extensive renovations are complete on the elementary school’s new building (formerly the Diamond Willow Middle School), it will begin employing the same methodology.

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SPORTS GROUPS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PONOKA’S RECREATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye With each recreation facility in Ponoka, there is a group behind it bringing programs to youths. Minor hockey, soccer and swimming are just a few of the sports groups in town. Each one provides an opportunity for kids to develop their athletic abilities and the town has seen many Olympic hopefuls who got their start in Ponoka.

Hockey Ponoka Minor Hockey has teams as young as mighty mites all the way to Midget A. In an effort to increase their membership, planners have taken away with hockey fees for first time minor hockey players. The group has recently developed a girls’ team that brings together players from Lacombe and Ponoka. The program is growing every year.

Minor soccer The Ponoka Storm has seen steady expansion over the years and features recreational and competitive teams alongside an adult team competing in a regional league. The competitive teams encompass U12 to U18 categories. Some Ponoka teams have earned themselves gold medals in provincial competitions. Ponoka Storm also hosted provincial championship tournament for U16 girls in 2013.

Ponoka. Ponoka In the summer months, the Gators Swim Club competes at home and away against other Alberta swim clubs. The Pool Sharks are the winter swim team and training starts in the fall.

Swim teams

For kids looking to hone their figure skating skills, the Ponoka Skate Club offers programs for skaters of any skill

Two teams complement a strong set of swimmers in

Figure skating

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level. Synchro skating and CanSkate make up much of the club’s programs and when the group is not travelling to competitions around the province, they practice for their own carnival, which is a delight for all figure skating fans.

Dance and gymnastics Popular groups such as Got 2 Dance Productions and the Ponoka Gymnastics and Trampoline Club enjoy strong membership. The former develops dancers at an early age and helps sharpen their skills until they become strong dancers in their own right. Got 2 Dance has their own dance studio that makes for an ideal practice location. The gym club started in 1963 and has been going strong ever since. Classes start for young kids called kindergym to more advanced levels.

Leadership groups Youths in Ponoka have many options available to them. The Ponoka Royal Canadian Air Cadets is one group that provides opportunities for kids to get involved and learn some leadership skills in the process. The group works closely with the Ponoka Legion and strives to develop strong citizens. For those with a taste for adventure, the Ponoka Girl Guides brings a sense of community well being to their programs and gives girls an opportunity to become leaders. The Ponoka Scouts and Beavers also bring similar programs to its members with a focus on the environment.

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After school fun available to youths By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

One of the biggest challenges for parents is finding care for their children after school. This is where the Ponoka Youth Centre (PYC) offers a reliable option for kids who need a place to be. Not only does the agency provide a haven for kids during the week, but it also offers programs and fun activities during the weekend. Youths can drop in Friday and Saturday nights to have a great place to hang out and play pool or enjoy some video games, explains program co-ordinator Morgen Chernick. “I just hope we are providing opportunities for youths and parents to use our services.” Their involvement is working. The centre has seen growth in recent years. In 2013 the PYC received 13,686 youth visits from 550 different kids, that’s 3,408 more visits than in 2012. The PYC has been operating with another program under the same roof: Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). Mentoring programs have grown

at the centre with organizers bringing traditional mentoring, in-school mentoring and now youth leaders at PYC, mentoring younger students.

PYC benefits youths There are long-term benefits to the community in the form of reducing juvenile crime between 3 to 6 p.m., and the risk of teen pregnancy also drops. This time-period is found to have more youth-related crime and the youth centre provides kids with activities that keep them busy. After school activities also give parents a safe place for their children. Kids from kindergarten to Grade 12 years have a place to be after school from Monday to Friday, explained Chernick. “It’s a safe, supporting environment for teens.” They also offer care when school is out and during the summer months. “We provide lots of volunteer opportunities as well,” Chernick concluded.

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RIVER VALLEY PROVIDES A BEAUTIFUL TRAIL SYSTEM By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye Ponoka has much to offer for nature lovers and d fitness buffs alike. m Planners have forged a wonderful trail system that follows the mighty Battle River through town.. h The spring-fed waterway flows at a stately pace with a five-kilometre path called Diamond Willow Traill right in Ponoka. It’s one of the well-known secrets of Ponoka thatt residents and visitors have come to enjoy. Indeed,, every day people can be seen biking, walking,, e taking their dogs or even longboarding on the y rolling pathways. Nature and wildlife lovers enjoy d the sights and have seen wildlife such as deer and beaver in the area. For those who want to give their dogs a chance to run free, a fenced off-leash area can be found on the north side of the trail. In town there are also several new and updated playgrounds and parks, including Centennial Park that boasts a trout pond. In the summer months young families enjoy the fishing practice their children can enjoy. All along the pathways in the park are benches for folks to relax and enjoy the view. Near the pond is a large stage that has been used for summer concerts and summer birthday parties. It’s definitely a wellused Ponoka amenity right along Highway 2A.

JJ Collett Natural Area For those who prefer long hikes the JJ Collett Natural Area is the place to visit. It is located south

P k near M i id and d provides id 635 acres off Ponoka Morningside of land that seems like it came out of a national park. The board of directors managing the area take quiet pride in developing its trail system, which includes 18 kilometres of paths worth walking. Don’t be surprised to see an abundance of wildlife at the park, either. Planners try to keep the space animal friendly. It is in such demand that Grade 6 students at nearby Ponoka schools take part in education programs at the JJ Collett Natural Area. Doug Gill is the education programs coordinator and he says it’s always fun to see the kids come out. “The beaver dam is quite an attraction,” said Gill. They bring several classes a year to the area. Whether it’s winter or summer, the large natural space is a home away from home for nature lovers.

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EXTENSIVE RODEO COLLECTION A CROWNING JEWEL IN PONOKA’S WESTERN CULTURE By Amelia Naismith It’s where the toughest and roughest rodeo o competitors live on in honour. e Settled in its home on the upper floor of the o Calnash Ag Event Centre, the Canadian Pro Rodeo e Hall of Fame (CPRHF) remains an extensive collection of rodeo legends’ history. d With more than 100 inductees — riders and n animals alike — the CPRHF is a huge draw on an m international level, bringing western fans from around the world to the rodeo friendly community off Ponoka 52 weeks of the year. d Ranked with pictures, biographies and e memorabilia, the hall of fame is a way to experience the evolution of the sport and carry on the memoriess of rodeo heroes of the past so they are not forgotten. e CPRHF officially opened in Ponoka during June of 2012. The arrangements to make the town itss e permanent home began in 2010 and by 2011 the lease was signed. CPRHF members felt that, with easy accesss s, and a location close to two intersecting highways, Ponoka, with its welcoming ways and infusion off e rodeo culture, would be the perfect home for the collection. e In the past the CPRHF could be found at the n Calgary Stampede Grounds and the Western Heritage Center in Cochrane.

Paying tribute to contestants, builders and animals of professional rodeo in Canada.

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Home Builders

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KEY HEALTH SERVICES READILY AVAILABLE Healthy minds and healthy bodies lead to a happy community, and health service entities within Ponoka continue to ensure residents remain well taken care of in all regards.

Seniors housing As the large baby boomer population continues to reach its senior years, and more and more people settle in friendly, small towns such as Ponoka, seniors’ homes remain a vital part of the community. With many options to choose from, Ponoka offers the comforts of a home to all seniors in their various stages of life and varying degrees of capabilities. Located across the street from the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre, Legacy Place is managed by the Rimoka Housing Foundation. The elegant centre is spacious, covered with windows to fill the rooms with sunlight and boasts multiple parking lots. Legacy Place is a social, interactive homecare unit with its finger kept on the pulse of the community with concerts, teas, bake sales and school visits. Nestled near the heart of the beautiful Battle River Valley, Sunrise Village was constructed in a quieter, residential corner of town, accommodating more than 50 living suits, including many designed for assisted living for seniors. Other housing options available in the community include Reid Manor, Golden Leisure Lodge and Northcott Care Centre. For those who wish to remain in their own homes as long as possible, Ponoka Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) runs a number of volunteer based programs, including Meals on Wheels, home care and a volunteer driver program, to make that

route safe and easy.

Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre Ponoka’s hospital is a 24-hour emergency unit that also houses a STARS helipad and provides long term care. The acute and continuing care unit is equipped for general medicine, emergencies, obstetrics, surgery and pediatrics. The hospital also boasts its own laboratory and radiology services.

Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury Internationally known, the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury is one of the top treatment centres in the world in the field of mental health and it resides in Ponoka. The centre offers a plethora of professional programs, including telemental health, concurrent disorders, brain injury rehabilitation, adult psychiatry and seniors’ mental health. Employing more than 800 men and women focused on giving those residing at Centennial Centre a high quality of life, the centre also features church services, continual involvement with the community and a small market square.

Rising Sun Clubhouse Continuing in the field of mental health, mention should be made of the Rising Sun Clubhouse. The clubhouse is a go-to centre and resource hub for its members; the staff work tirelessly to provide a smooth transition for those affected by mental illness into community life. Rising Sun Clubhouse also continues to build its connections with the community and strengthen a working relationship with the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury.

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Big Strapper Auctions Shane & Linda Dunbrack 403-304-4791 & 403-782-5693 Specializing in antiques and Collectables Estate - Farm - Household & Location Sales 6 days of the Week - No Saturday Sales Pickup Available - We buy, sell, consign Sales Wednesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. Antique Sale - First Sunday of each month

We Buy For Cash PAGE 30


Hot rod action IN THE SUMMER MONTHS By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Ponoka is becoming an ideal destination during the summer months for hot rod lovers of all ages. One event that promises to be an eye opener is the Ride for Sight – Motorcyclists Fighting Blindness fundraiser that brings bikers from around Alberta. This is the second year being hosted in Ponoka and folks are gearing up for the big day June 21 just before the Ponoka Stampede. “Not many people know that Ride for Sight motorcyclists and their family and friends have been the largest community funding Canadian vision research for more than 35 years,” says Sharon Colle, president and CEO of the Foundation Fighting Blindness on the Ride for Sight website.

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Drag racing fun Those in love with high performance vehicles are setting their sites on the August long weekend for the second annual Ponoka 1/8th Mile Drag Racing Association’s event. Hot rods and even a few Funny Cars were highlighted at the race last year, which is going to be hosted at the Ponoka Industrial Airport. Expect a full weekend of squealing tires and grinding gears. Speaking of big engines, the Ponoka Piston Poppers will once again be bringing some of the finest classic cars to town. Car enthusiasts of all ages will bring the classics of all makes and sizes to Ponoka in the first weeks of July. The Show and Shine is open to the public. Keeping in line with vintage vehicles is the Vintage Motorcycle Rally. Some of the finest classic motorbikes in Central Alberta will make their way to Ponoka during a threeday rally. Last year’s rally brought an all original parts 1913 Arial Roadster, c o m p l e t e with kerosene headlight.

•RV storage - secure compound

The Ponoka Agricultural Society is a founding partner of the Calnash Trucking Ag Event Center and with the help of many volunteers and sponsors supports:

• The Women’s Conference • Youth ATV Safety Course • 4-H Shows, Sales, Activities

A parade, stunts and bike games are just a small part of what to expect on the big day.





MUSEUM 2014 • Youth & Adult Leadership • Grade 12 Scholarships • Battle River High School Rodeo

JOIN US FOR THESE EVENTS IN 2014 • Black Elk Cutting Classic May 21 – 25 • Alberta Reined Cow Horse Show July 4 – 6 • Ponoka Ag Fair: August 22 & 23 Home, Hobby, & Horticultural Show • Community Church August 24 • Ponoka Ag Fair: Ranch Rodeo Sept 6 & 7 • Classic Team Penning & Sorting Sept 24 – 28

For more information on any of the above visit: or Facebook!

May 16 - Museum Opens for 2014 Season June 8 - Alberta Central’s 22nd birthday Pancake Breakfast from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. June 15 - FATHERS DAY July 1 - CANADA DAY Celebrations July 13 - CHILDREN’S DAY Teddy Bear Picnic at 2 p.m. Children with Teddy Bears ride the train FREE August 3 - ICE CREAM Festival Free homemade ice cream at 2 p.m. August 17 – Alberta Central RAILWAY DAY Pancake Breakfast 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Beaver Tails Served from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. All-Inclusive fare of $8 per person aged 2 and over August 22 - An Evening On The Rails Five-Course dinner in Cafe Car Val David $65/pp. For reservations or more information contact: Brady “Montgomery Glen” 780-352-5342 or Alberta Central Railway Museum 780-352-2257 September 1 - Museum closes for the 2014 season. The perfect place for a real railway experience Visit our gift shop. We host birthday parties, dinner buffets and school tours

Alberta Central Railway Museum, located just outside Wetaskiwin, Alberta RR#2 Wetaskiwin AB 780-352-2257



KLAGLAHACHIE THEATRE GROUP SEES CONTINUED GROWTH By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye After seven years of putting on plays in the Ponoka, the Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society (KFAS) has seen continued support and growth. Each year the community group hosts a musical during Christmas time and last year’s production of The Sound of Music was so popular that organizers added a third week to the playbill. KFAS treasurer Marion Raugust says the group has invested quite a bit of money into a professional sound and lighting system. Plays are staged at the Ponoka United Church, where KFAS holds a longterm lease, and the group’s current project is to raise funds for elevated seating. In 2010 KFAS registered as a non-profit society and each year approximately 2,000 fans come to Ponoka to see their live plays, said Raugust. “We have brought in busloads of people.” They have seen such growth that during auditions of their most recent production, The Sound of Music, many more young actor hopefuls than expected turned up to show their creative side. To meet this growing need for the young thespians, the society has started a popular drama club. Raugust says they hosted a fall and a winter class and both were full. Kids from six to 12 years of age explored their creative side twice a week. “It turned out to be very popular.”


Anne of Green Gables This winter, KFAS is producing Anne of Green Gables, which is based on the novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Thespians are abuzz with excitement over the popular play. Rehearsals start in the fall.



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4502 - 50 STREET, BAY 5 PAGE 32

“It’s amazing the talent we’ve got in this town,” she adds. KFAS also hosts an exciting Canada Day celebration at the United Church parking lot. The event provides entertainment for the entire family and brings games and activities that town councillors and entertainers enjoy taking part in.


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Real community spirit.

2014 Community Events Farmers Market 9 am - 1 pm, Wednesdays May 7 - September 24

The Annual Ponoka Stampede June 25 - July 1

Vintage Motorcycle Rally July 25-2 7

Fort Ostell Museum Open May 20

Ponoka Piston Poppers Rod Run July 11-13

Ag Fair September 6-7

Downhill Soapbox Derby September 6 Jace Harty Memorial Bull Riding June 24

Ride for Sight June 21 Heritage Tea August 4

Open for the season Wolf Creek Golf Resort Ponoka Community Golf Club RCMP Musical Ride July 19-2 0

For more information, call our tourism oice at 403-783-6363 or visit us online at

Real life adventures. Real community spirit. Real people.

Sunrise Village Ponoka We invite you to see why Sunrise Village is one of the most popular retirement communities.

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Take life easier.

Special Features - Ponoka Visitors Guide  
Special Features - Ponoka Visitors Guide