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The Best of

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Readers’ ders’’ Choice Awards A ards 2016

CITY’S FINEST - Mayor Tara Veer enjoys the sunshine in City Hall Park. Veer won gold for Best Local Politician and gold for Most Beloved Red Deerian in this year’s Best of Red Deer Awards. Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express


2 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

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BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

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BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 5

Local radio DJ finds his passion behind the mic Jason Foui is awarded silver in this year’s Best of Red Deer BY ERIN FAWCETT RED DEER EXPRESS One local radio DJ who has been on the Red Deer scene for more than a decade continues to enjoy all that his role has to offer. Jason Foui, a radio DJ with 106.7 The Drive, has won silver in this year’s Best of Red Deer for Best Radio DJ. Foui, 39, has been in the business since 1999. He initially went to university to become a teacher before pursuing his current path. “I was just going to be a teacher because I thought that’s what you do. I didn’t love studying that much,” he said. “I wanted to do something that was fun and I always loved the entertainment business but I didn’t know you could just be in the entertainment business. I thought you needed to know someone, or you just fall into it. “I ended up going to radio school and I knew the most important thing was to get a job because if you don’t get a job then you’re in this middle land of a degree without having a job. So, I knew I needed a job and I was willing to move and that is how I started in radio.” The Winnipeg-native had an interest in radio early on. “There has always been interest since I was a child. In high school there was a radio station and I talked over lunch hour on the radio for two years in the cafeteria and it still never occurred to me that I could still have a radio career,” he said. “I even recorded myself on a microphone in my old ghetto-blaster and heard myself calling into radio stations requesting songs and things like that. Listening to the radio was also a big part of who I became.” Foui has been with 106.7 The Drive for the past 12 years - since the station’s inception. “This was a brand new station and a job opened up. “I enjoy the hours and I like being in the entertainment business - I like talking about entertainment, I like talking about a variety of things. Radio offers a portal to a variety of things - it’s not just music, it’s not just sports, it’s not just local stuff - it’s everything. I was sort of the guy that wanted to be involved with many different things and radio facilitated that,” he said. “I get a ton of enjoyment from talking with the people whether it’s on

ON AIR - Radio DJ Jason Foui with 106.7 The Drive takes time out of his afternoon show to chat in the studio. Foui has been awarded silver in the Best Radio DJ category. Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express the phone or in person. There’s nothing better than someone saying, ‘You’re doing a great job’, or ‘I really enjoyed your show today’, or ‘What you said was bang on.’ “Even when they say bad things - I don’t mind the negative feedback. I try to take it with a grain of salt.” Foui added he loves being a part of the Red Deer community as well. “This is a great market and a great place to be. It’s a great place to live in the sense you are in the city, you have all the city amenities, but it still has a small town attitude,” he said. “I like being able to drive seven minutes to work - and that’s rush hour! I like that. I enjoy that. “The appeal of Red Deer to me is that it’s not broken, so don’t fix it. There is a lot of chasing, especially in the entertainment business - you are constantly trying to chase something. But if things are going okay for you why try to do better than what you are doing? There was one point in my life that I thought there was no stopping until I got to Toronto. If I got to Toronto would that be enough? When’s enough? “Red Deer to me felt like home instantly.” Foui added there are some challenges to the job. “You never quite know what everyone wants. You want to make people happy, you want to make people listen to you,

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but sometimes you don’t know what people want and it changes,” he said. “When Paris Hilton sort of became famous I remember talking about her on the radio and the phones lit up. Everyone wanted to know who is this Paris Hilton? What’s going on with Paris Hilton? What does she do? All my bosses and all my program directors say talk local, do local, everything is local. “The challenge is being able to balance

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being entertaining without being offensive but also not being boring and sometimes that requires being edgy.” Foui encourages others to follow their passions and dreams as well. “Look at the things you don’t even realize that you enjoy. If you cook breakfast for your parents, maybe you are meant to be a chef. Whatever the sign may be. Find out what it is that you want to do and take those signs and utilize it for later in your life,” he said. “We should do what we love.” And there are other things that Foui loves and has turned into passions as well. You can see Foui every Saturday at the Market at Red Deer with his business Humble Hummus. He also does a podcast, Death by Foui, throughout the year as well. As for his win this year’s Best of Red Deer, Foui said it is an honour. “Anytime you get an award or an accolade for the business that you’re in, it’s great. There are so many talented people in this market - it’s a really competitive market which is another draw for me to be here. There is part of me that feels like it’s a team effort - I may have gotten the silver but I feel like it’s the whole station who got it,” he said. “It’s always an honour and it’s an honour to be in the business. To get that cherry on top it’s a great feeling but it’s even better when you’re doing something that you truly do enjoy and love.”

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6 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

Parkland Nurseries has become a fixture in the community BY ZACHARY CORMIER RED DEER EXPRESS At Parkland Nurseries and Garden Centre, hanging flower baskets of every colour and description hang from every square inch of available ceiling space and every table is lined with annuals and perennials to create a breathtaking wall of colour, all of which stands out even more in the soft sunlight filtered through the greenhouse ceiling. “First time customers are usually overwhelmed with the variety we have here. We pretty well have plants and products for everyone. For the gardener that’s just starting as well as the gardener that’s been gardening for many years,” said Gloria Beck, the owner of Parkland Nurseries and Garden Centre. Beck and Parkland Nurseries have been a part of the gardening landscape in Red Deer longer than anybody else. “My dad started this as a retirement hobby back in the ’70s when he retired at 55. Since then it has grown and developed into what you see today,” said Beck, who took over for her father Earl when he retired in 1982. At the time it was founded, the garden centre was the first of its kind in Red Deer, and has since grown into one of the most popular in the City. And Red Deerians have recognized it, as for the second straight year, Parkland Nurseries has been voted gold as the Best Garden Centre in town. “We’ve won it numerous times and we’re very grateful to the people who vote for us and to all our customers,” Beck said of the award, adding she wanted to recognize the staff at Parkland for their hard work in making the centre the best that it can be. “We really work hard at our customer service. We have a number of horticulturalists that work here. The knowledge that we have here is second to none,” Beck said, adding the staff at Parkland Nurseries are able to answer pretty much any question related to gardening.

PEACEFUL PLACE - Gloria Beck, the owner of Parkland Nurseries and Garden Centre, took some time out of her busy day to relax in the store’s huge central greenhouse east of Red Deer. The business was voted gold for Best Garden Centre for the second year in a row. Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express According to Beck, Parkland Nurseries is set apart from the rest by the huge scope of products that they stock. “We try to find unique and different products, whether it be plants or some types of products or fashion. Whatever is new and trendy,” she said. That includes anything from trees and shrubs to garden tools to water features and everything in between. Another thing that makes Parkland Nurseries unique are their famous display gardens,

“Congratulations to the 2016 ‘Best of Red Deer’ recipients. Thank you for the privilege of representing you as your Mayor. I look forward to continuing to make the possibilities become reality and building our great community with you.”

Mayor Tara Veer

which they maintain year round to showcase what they have to offer and to create a very serene space for their customers to wander through. “A lot of people come out and they want to buy perennials or shrubs or something and they see a plant in a small container. It’s hard for them to really imagine how big that plant gets, so by growing them in our display gardens you can see the size of the plant,” said Beck of the gardens, which have become somewhat of a tourist attraction

Best of Red Deer GOLD WINNER

in Red Deer. “Gardening is one of the top leisure pastime activities. So you’ll find people that visit their friends in Red Deer, often they’ll come out and wander through the gardens and go through our garden centre. We have some unique ways of displaying our products.” Parkland is also well known in Red Deer for their community involvement and for hosting a variety of special events, including their annual ice sculptures, which have become a favourite Christmas pastime in the City.

“Our ice sculptures at Christmas are truly amazing. It’s crystal clear ice carved with a different theme every year and it’s basically our Christmas card to the community, along with many sponsors that help make it possible,” Beck said. “They’re lit up at night, so the light shines through that crystal clear ice and it’s breathtaking.” They also host craft and market sales every November and a Garden Days Festival over the Father’s Day weekend in June. zcormier@reddeerexpress.com

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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 7

JUST RIGHT - Trina Luft, a stylist at the Barbershop on Gaetz enjoys the sunshine outside the business with owner Selene Fraser. They landed silver for Best Barber Shop in this year’s Best of Red Deer.

Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express

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8 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

The Breathing Room takes silver for Best Yoga Studio Owners are excited to unveil their new space later this summer BY MARK WEBER RED DEER EXPRESS Gearing up to open in a brand new, expanded location in Red Deer later this summer, the Breathing Room Yoga Studio + Cafe has landed silver in the Best Yoga Studio category for this year’s Best of Red Deer. “When we first opened the Breathing Room (in the fall of 2011) it was very well received by the community, and we actually outgrew our space within three months of being there, said Bonnee Gregg, who co-owns the business along with Krista VandenBrink. “We knew right away that we needed to think about expansion.” To that end, the Breathing Room will be opening in a much bigger location on Bremner Avenue in early August, below the BIG 105.5 radio station (2840 Bremner Ave.) More events and celebrations will follow in September. “When the opportunity to move into this building came up, it was a no-brainer for us.” Opening a new studio also gave the women the chance to really ask clients what they would like to see in the new spot. “It gives us more the opportunity to cater to the needs and wants of the yoga community,” added VandenBrink. “So more space is certainly a big deal, and as Bonnee coined the phrase, it’s also giving our yogis the ‘breathing room’ that we always wanted them to have,” she said. “We just want them to have more room to move around.” Alongside the spacious yoga studios, the new spot will feature all kinds of fabulous features, said Gregg. “There’s an amazing loft

NEW DIGS - From left, Krista VandenBrink and Bonnee Gregg, co-owners of the Breathing Room Yoga Studio + Cafe pose in their new space which is still being developed. The new studio, located on Bremner Ave., opens in August. Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express space; we’ve got swings, hammocks and a full-blown cafe and really beautiful massage suites,” she explained. “But of course, we showcase the yoga. So you walk in and you will see a beautiful yoga lounge with plush couches and two rather large yoga studios,” she said, adding the change rooms will also be elaborate. For the ladies, there will even be an extensive beauty bar with blow dryers, straight irons, showers and makeup tables. “We also found some imported Indian sari material - so it’s going to be Indian inspired. We both did our

training in India and it’s important for us to bring that back. It’s the motherland of yoga.” Gregg added she and VandenBrink are ‘mom-preneurs’ - both have young children to care for as they continue to develop their flourishing business. “It’s a wild ride,” laughed Gregg. “But it’s all about striking a balance, and I think that feeds so well into what we do, because we teach balance; the idea of finding balance within,” said VandenBrink. “The only way to teach it is that we have to live it, too. “Our families are really important and are part-

Thank You Red Deer for your Support! Best of Red Deer SILVER WINNER

nership is so important. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do to the scale we are doing this and with the passion we do it with as well. “We live the life that a lot of our clientele live. As Bonnee said, we really try to strike the balance with our own lives but also provide that balance for other people like us.” Several classes are offered, from Breath Bath + Meditation, Hips + Backs, Morning Glory to Power Hour, Sunrise Salutation and Warming Hatha. Another favourite is Yoga in the Park, which runs every Monday, Wednesday

and Friday over the summer in Kin Kanyon. Classes run from 5:30 6:30 p.m. and are weather permitting. “Prior to opening the studio, we were running Yoga in the Park,” said VandenBrink, adding that is where the women originally met. “So that provided a really great launching pad for both of us.” Gregg said they connected right away. “When she said that she wanted to do her teaching training, and do it in India, I knew that was a partnership that I had always been dreaming of.” There is also Yoga with Weights - to tone, sculpt

and lengthen every major muscle group in the body in these hour long practices. Yoga Therapy is also available, and is described on the web site as a specialized form of yoga. “It uses all aspects of the yogic tradition, including meditation, deep relaxation, pranayama or breathing techniques, philosophy, ayurvedic science and asana, to bring the body/mind/spirit back into alignment and improving overall health and well-being.” Breathing Room prenatal and baby yoga sessions also run in eight-week sessions throughout the year. There is also Teen Yoga, Tween Yoga and Kids’ Yoga. Staff at the Breathing Room are also excited to be offering three-day camps this year. In a studio setting they will enjoy free-spirited yoga arts that integrate the wonderful body/mind/ heart benefits of yoga with traditional summer camp activities, like art, dancing and singing. Yoga and centering techniques infuse all camp activities. Camps include Girls Yoga + Dance Camp, Mini Yoga + Dance Camp (co-ed) and Teen Girls Overnight Camp. “What also sets us apart is that we are super-duper family friendly at our studio,” said VandenBrink, referring to the sheer scope and variety of programs and classes that are offered at the Breathing Room. “And within the adult classes there is everything from classes for the folks who really want a workout to the restorative and therapeutic side of things. So there really is a diverse offering in what we do, in terms of age and style.”

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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 9

Tanya Handley talks about her role as City councillor BY ERIN FAWCETT RED DEER EXPRESS One City councillor continues to relish her role since being elected in the last municipal election. Tanya Handley won gold for Best City Councillor in this year’s Best of Red Deer Awards. “It feels fabulous and I am very appreciative for those who voted for me. It makes a person feels good.” Handley was elected to council in 2013. “I really enjoy it. I enjoy visiting with people and talking to people and finding out what’s happening in their lives and how I can help.” She added there have been some surprises of the role. “The things that have surprised me the most are the amount of time and the number of community events we attend. Mayor (Tara) Veer is very focused on being community oriented and trying to get out to as many community events as possible. We have all tried to chip in and help out and have someone be there - and we do try to have someone at every community event,” she said. “When you are running for council you know how many standard meetings there are and so forth but there is a lot of extra. “Another surprise probably would have been the volume of reading and educating yourself on topics - that takes a lot of time.” Red Deer City council is made up of different individuals with different backgrounds and Handley said that has been a positive thing. “It has made for a very colourful council. We do have a vast array of different opinions and ideas on council and I think that is a good thing,” said Handley. “It can be challenging but I think in the end it turns out well because we see things from many different perspectives. The view that I try and bring is being a fiscal conservative but at the same time still seeing growth in the City. It’s an interesting balance to try and find. “I also come at things from a family perspective, a parent’s perspective and also that fiscally conservative mindset Best of Red Deer GOLD WINNER Best of Red Deer GOLD WINNER

OFFERING A VOICE - Councillor Tanya Handley posed for a portrait in Council Chambers at City Hall recently. Handley was voted gold for Best City Councillor. Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express that I have. That is the lens I like to bring to things - how does it affect families? How does it affect real people in the community? It has been an interesting thing because you’re balancing expert opinion, you’re balancing citizen opinions and other feedback in the community. It’s an interesting process and I do take it very seriously.” Handley said the City will continue to face challenges in the foreseeable future, but one of the more prominent challenges is the province’s economy and the

impact that it has on the Red Deer region. “I think the biggest challenge hands down right now is the economy and trying to find balance between continuing to grow but to do it in a sensible and careful way because we are in a very serious recession and we generally don’t see the results of that until we go past it. For the next couple of years I think we need to continue to do our core services very well, cost effectively and to keep taxes low. A time like this is not the time to see huge tax spikes to see change in our communi-

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ty when people are losing jobs. We need to respect the economy.” In terms of up and coming things for the City, Handley said there is a focus on the 2019 Canada Winter Games. “We are starting to get very excited about that and we are waiting to hear a little bit more from the committee and the host society as to what our next steps will be. The City is working on what the City’s contribution will be to that effort,” she said. “We are all getting very excited. It is going to be a huge economic boost to our area and we’ve got two and a half years until that happens and we are going to start seeing some big changes getting ready for that.” Before being elected onto council, Handley was a hairstylist, earning her Red Seal journeyman in that industry. She also worked at a local bank for 10 years. “What sparked my interest in running (for council) was that as a citizen I felt like I wasn’t being heard and I felt compelled to run and do so as an average citizen. I didn’t have a political background and I wasn’t necessarily a prominent member of the community, I just wanted a regular person’s voice to be heard in City government,” said Handley. “I have always followed politics at all different levels of government and I was always an active voter and active in issues, but always at a distance I would say. Last election I thought I would just go for it, and it happened. “I see this in politics now - we have a tendency to hear from loud voices or people that are very passionate about issues, which is very important. But I also think it is important to hear from those who aren’t necessarily the loudest and to get opinions from different circles and not just from those who have contacts or training and who have a specific issue in mind.” Handley said she plans to run for council again in the next election. “I think that two terms is a good length of time. I understand what other councillors have said about feeling like you’re just getting going. I think another term would be very positive.”

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10 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 11

Dynamic duo behind budding photography business Twitchy Finger Photography snaps up gold this year BY CYRIL BRABANT RED DEER EXPRESS Tw i t chy Fi n g e r Photography snaps up gold in this year’s Best of Red Deer for the Best Photography Studio. Couple Bryan and Becka Heck started Twitchy Finger in 2010 as a small on-location wedding photography company. Both were born and raised in Red Deer and have been married for more than six and a half years. Becka said that both, she and Bryan take pictures at the weddings and special events. “Every wedding is different, it’s never the same experience,� Becka said. “They have the same elements, but no wedding is ever the same.� Before winning gold in the Best Photography Studio category, Twitchy Finger Photography closed its studio down but kept the business going. The couple said that though it is closed as of right now, they wouldn’t be opposed to opening a new studio sometime in the future. “We wanted the option to go on more adventures and travel more and do more things abroad,� Becka said. “So when our lease was up, we decided not to renew. “I mean, we love the space and being downtown but it’s worked for us (closing the studio), and now we have the option of taking off more.� Before starting Twitchy Finger, Becka worked in computer sciences while Bryan worked as a free-

lance graphic designer and even began a separate company called Two Stones Designs. The Hecks said they credit their company’s success on the relationships they build with all of their clients and the overall happiness they can bring by immortalizing their weddings. “We try to keep in touch with almost all of our clients,� Becka said. “We have amazing brides and grooms.� Bryan agreed. “Part of the reason we’re successful is the relationships we’ve made with clients,� Bryan said. “A lot of the time we still hang out with the clients, including the ones whose weddings we shot four or more years ago.� In addition to shooting weddings, Twitchy Finger also provides a portable photo booth for gatherings and events, a separate company aptly named Twitchy Booth. “When we got married, we kind of made our own hodge-podge photo booth,� Bryan said. “We set up a fake wall and put a camera on a tripod. “We decided to give it a go and tinker around in the garage and eventually built something (Twitchy Booth).� Bryan said since starting Twitchy Booth they’ve constantly been upgrading and improving the models into what they use today. “Nobody goes into a photo booth grumpy,� Becka said. “We get to see people laughing and you just get to see a bit more of them

SAY CHEESE - Becka and Brian Heck, co-owners of Twitchy Finger Photography, pose with their cameras in front of Dose Coffee in downtown Red Deer. Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express and it’s fun. “Especially when you get to see a little old grandpa get out from his chair, put on some ridiculous props and let loose.� Meanwhile, Becka said their win in this year’s Best of Red Deer is meaningful. “There are hundreds of people in Red Deer that can take a good photo,� said Becka. “But none of them will be us, Becka and Bryan so we just do us. “We are who we are and we hopes it makes people happy.� student@reddeerexpress.com

   

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12 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery takes gold BY MARK WEBER RED DEER EXPRESS There is so much to take in at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery, from firsthand looks at the City’s history to modern exhibits focused on current issues to striking collections of art that are regularly exhibited. The Museum landed gold in the Best Museum and Best Art Gallery categories in this year’s Best of Red Deer Awards. “I’m really pleased,” said Lorna Johnson, the Museum’s executive director. “We’ve been really working to be more engaged with our community and to become the lively place that they would like for it to be. So that news makes me shine.” According to their web site, the Museum began in 1973, marking the City of Red Deer’s 60th anniversary. “The Museum expanded into its present quarters in 1978, and transferred ownership of the building to the City of Red Deer. In 1983, an addition provided the atrium, Stewart Room, two galleries, a second reserve storage room and enlargement of the Archives. Subsequently, in 1993–1994, an additional storage area was constructed for the ever-expanding Museum and archives collections. “The Museum collection consists of more than 90,000 objects, and includes one of the finest collections of clothing and textiles in western Canada as well as an extensive collection of First Nations and Inuit art.” Over the years, a commitment to con-

stantly expanding both programming and the diversity of exhibits has continued to tremendously enrich what the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery has to offer. There have been major renovations over the years as well, adding a modernized, sophisticated flair to the building. Today, a permanent exhibit called ‘Remarkable Red Deer’ is fittingly at the heart of the Museum, with several other exhibits continually being featured as well. “You want to have those things that are constant, and then you also want new things that inspire you and make you think of something in a different way. That’s the constant balance.” Johnson, who has been in the executive director position for 12 years this fall, has always approached the development of the Museum with a true visionary spirit. The focus is always on growth and also on sharing as much of the extensive permanent collection the Museum has as well. “This fall, we will be putting some more display cases into Remarkable Red Deer so that we can show more of our collection. Now we can start to tell other chapters of the story as well, and I’m really excited about that,” she explained, adding there will also be a bigger emphasis on the collections of clothing and textiles. “Also, starting in the fall, Gallery 2 will become an art gallery and it will always have art exhibitions,” she said. Staff have just wrapped up a call for proposals for contemporary Central Alberta artists

July 20 - 24, 2016

Thank you central alberta Westerner Days is honoured to be awarded the bronze award for Best Indoor/Outdoor Festival in the Best of Red Deer competition. A big thanks to all of our staff, volunteers and especially our visitors who return year after year to take part in Central Alberta’s largest summer celebration.

“I’VE ALWAYS BEEN SO INSPIRED BY THE COLLECTION BECAUSE IT’S SO DIVERSE. AS WE THINK ABOUT WHERE WE ARE GOING AND WHAT WE DO, WE KNOW THAT WE ARE KEEPERS OF THE STORIES OF THE COMMUNITY. BEING ABLE TO TELL THOSE SPECIFIC STORIES IS REALLY GREAT.” LORNA JOHNSON

Erin Boake and Marnie Blair is in the works. As the call for submissions noted, “By providing a venue to reveal local contemporary artwork, we are celebrating the vast diversity of creativity by our community’s up-and-coming artists.” Johnson said it’s wonderful to have two young artists show their impressions about what has been inspiring them about art practice in Central Alberta. “It launches a stronger commitment to art,” said Johnson. “I’ve also been given a mandate to build a collection of art work by Central Alberta artists. So that’s the other

piece that is moving along as well as we map out what the territory is. “We realize that if the National Gallery was looking to represent Central Alberta, they would ask us,” she added with a smile. “So it’s also about building the collection of local artists. It’s really important.” On the program side, there is all kinds of ways for folks to get involved. For kids, there are day camps and summer camps for starters. For families, there is MAGnificent Saturdays that connects exhibits with an art making activity. Participants of any age are welcome. MAGsparks participants experience numerous art forms including drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. The program offers scheduled activities throughout the year. This community visual art program is tailored to persons with developmental disabilities but is accessible to everyone, according to the web site. And with miniMAG, projects are geared towards kids under five and are easily adapted to the different skills and abilities of all kids. There is also ‘Home School at the Museum’ which offers a unique atmosphere where home school students and parents can come together every month from September to May to create and learn. “We are just completing our 2017 plan now, so again the big highlight is Tim Van Horn will be doing a major exhibition here in May. He’ll be exhibiting some of his large murals here. For Canada’s 150th birthday, he’s doing a cross-Canada tour and we’re launching him from here. “We’ll have his exhibit here, have a big party for him and send him on his way.” Johnson noted she would like the exhibit plans to have a five year horizon. “We’re working at about three years right now, but it’s a balance because you want to have some gaps for those interesting things that come up along the way. It’s nice to have those larger pieces lined up well in advance, though.” Meanwhile, the Museum provides visContinued on pg. 13

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to have one and two-person exhibitions there,” she said, adding those particular exhibits will run for about six-week stretches. “We’ll be launching our line-up in early July,” she said. “The idea is to keep a momentum going.” Again, looking to the fall, an exhibition entitled Prairie Contemporary curated by

Deer Advocate collec tion


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 13

Continued from pg. 12 itors with an engaging balance - learn plenty about local history while perhaps also taking some time out to stretch your creative muscles. “This is the place where you can come and explore any kind of artistic practice. I’d also like to have more in the way of music, theatre and spoken word events, too.” For Johnson, there couldn’t be a more fitting line of work. “I’ve always been so inspired by the collection because it’s so diverse,” she said, adding she also loves the component of working and collaborating with the gifted artists whose work is featured at the Museum. “As we think about where we are going and what we do, we know that we are keepers of the stories of the community. Being able to tell those specific stories is really great.” editor@reddeerexpress.com

MUCH TO EXPLORE - Lorna Johnson, executive director of the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery, stands by one of the many exhibits on display. The Museum landed gold in the Best Museum and Best Art Gallery categories in this year’s Best of Red Deer Awards. Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express

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14 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

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BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 15

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BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

Lyn Radford lands gold for Best Volunteer BY MARK WEBER RED DEER EXPRESS Having spearheaded so many successful community events over the years, it’s no wonder that Red Deer’s Lyn Radford landed gold in the category of Best Volunteer in this year’s Best of Red Deer Awards. “It makes me feel pretty humbled,” she said of the recognition. “It just totally amazes me. “There are so many great volunteers out there in our community,” she added, referring also to the recent 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup held in Red Deer last month. Upwards of 500 volunteers lent a helping hand to that landmark event. “It tells you how much volunteers are at the heart of our community, too.” Radford, who is originally from Edmonton, has called Red Deer home since 1986 – she and her husband Reg moved their family here that year and almost from the start, her sense of community spirit began to blossom. Even with the busyness of raising a family, she made sure to find ways to contribute. “This community has been really good to us, and if I have an opportunity to give back to this community, I need to do that,”

she explained. “It’s just in me.” These days, she is busy helping to guide the planning of the 2019 Canada Winter Games, which Red Deer was awarded in September of 2014. Lyn had the idea to pursue the dream of bringing it to the City, and it wasn’t long before her sheer enthusiasm for the project caught on with others and committees were struck to build a case for Red Deer to host. As mentioned, that bid was successful and it was recently noted that the 2019 Canada Winter Games are just under 1,000 days from being held. Excitement is already building for the massive venture, which will ultimately require some 6,000 volunteers, said Lyn, who is the chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society. “This is huge - and we have to treat it like our Olympics,” she said. “We need to engage everybody - we need everyone to be out every night celebrating.” As for getting folks onboard, there are key things to remember. “People like to be part of the excitement,” she said, adding that there is a need to increasingly engage the 40- to 50-year-old age group to get more onboard in terms of volunteering. “You know how you engage people?

SELFLESS - Lyn Radford takes some time out of her busy schedule at the 2019 Canada Winter Games headquarters at Central Middle School. Radford was voted gold for Best Volunteer. By making it fun and rewarding and to really make them feel a part of the team. “I’m also hoping that when we finish the Games, the legacy is that we made a promotion of letting people learn skill sets on how to do these events, and that they

will be ready to do it for the next generation,” she said, adding that that is one of her personal goals for this tremendous event. “Because we are having the Games, we’ve been able to leverage - we’ve got some new projects happening in the communi-

Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express

ty,” she added, referring to major builds at Red Deer College, a new arena plus various infrastructure enhancements to the City. These types of things also provide employment, and that’s something Lyn said she’s also thankful for. Continued on pg. 17

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BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 17

Continued from pg. 16 The Games themselves will certainly her kids were involved with. bring a remarkable economic benefit to Lyn remembers the establishment of the region as well, and the event will ul- the gymnastics centre at the Collicutt timately require about 60 paid staff for a Centre as pivotal in her growing passion significant space of time. for volunteering. She had approached And this fall will mark a significant step City representatives and sought to build a ahead in the planning process - Lyn said partnership between the gymnastics club many more volunteers will need to be in and the City of Red Deer. place as plans continue to be finalized. The efforts proved successful, and work “It’s been really building.” towards the Collicutt Centre project was Looking back, Lyn’s sparked. The gympassion for lending nastics portion a volunteering hand was the first phase “WHAT KEEPS ME GOING to a range of comthat was eventually IS WHEN I GO TO AN EVENT munity causes was opened, she said. sparked in childhood She proved a natAND PEOPLE STOP ME in part due to the exural with fundraisAND SAY, ‘DO YOU HAVE ample of her parents ing, leading, and ANOTHER PROJECT ON who consistently inspiring others to THE GO?’ IT GIVES ME A reached out to help get behind a numothers in a number ber of causes over GOOD FEELING THAT THEY of ways. the years. FEEL COMFORTABLE THAT “Also, my best She was the chair I’M APPROACHABLE. AND friend - her parents of the bid commitALSO THAT THEY FELT THEIR were very involved tee for the 2006 VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCE in volunteer work Alberta Summer in our community,” Games, plus she WAS IMPORTANT ENOUGH she recalled. “We chaired that overall THAT THEY WANTED TO TELL hung out together event as well. ME THAT.” so when her parents Lyn also served would go do someas the capital camLYN RADFORD thing, we were expaign chair of the pected to help,” she Ronald McDonald added with a smile. House Central “That was reinforced by my parents too. Alberta - the team raised $12 million in If someone needs some help, you go and just 15 months - and she was also chair help.” of the 2010 Olympic Torch Community She later became a teacher, but again Celebration. the demands of a career and later famiShe also received the Lifetime ly did nothing to quash her desire to be Achievement Award at the Red Deer & involved in her community. She started District Community Foundation Women getting involved in the non-profits that of Excellence Awards in 2011.

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These days, it’s also about balancing the demands of community involvement with family life - especially with nine grandchildren and one on the way. But at the end of the day, she wants them to one day understand the importance of volunteering; of reaching out. “I want them to understand it - that they have to help people. They need to see that,” she said. Certainly, volunteering can require lots of work, dedication and hours. But the rewards are indeed plentiful. “What keeps me going is when I go to an event and people stop me and say, ‘Do you have another project on the go?’ It gives me a good feeling that they feel comfortable that I’m approachable. And

also that they felt their volunteering experience was important enough that they wanted to tell me that.” Lyn is certainly gracious, accessible and warm – fitting traits for someone who truly has not only supported events in the past but successfully persuaded a multitude of others to get onboard as well.“When that happens, it tells me I’m on the right path,” she said. “I can’t even imagine my life without it.” Ultimately, Lyn is quick to point to teamwork as being the force that brings so much to fruition. “You’re always thankful for individual awards, but you recognize that it’s really a team that has won.” editor@reddeerexpress.com

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BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST IN TOWN - Paolo Mancuso, the owner and manager of Mancuso Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning, recently worked on a carpet at the company’s cleaning plant. Mancuso was voted gold for Best Carpet Cleaning for the 11th year in a row in the Best of Red Deer Awards. Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express

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BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 19

Law firm prides itself on excellent customer service BY ERIN FAWCETT RED DEER EXPRESS One local law firm that is located in the heart of downtown Red Deer has garnered accolades in this year’s Best of Red Deer. JD Law won silver for Best Law Firm in Red Deer. Christopher Stephan and Jennifer Cragg opened the firm in 2013. They are co-owners of JD Law which is an Association of Independent Law Practices. “We are two different law firms here. Chris has his practice and I have mine, but we operate under the same trade name and we’re very streamlined. We work together quite a bit. We find it has been an advantage to our clients because we can offer independent legal advice to each other’s sides,” said Cragg. “We get to do a lot of stuff in house that way and our clients get to come to one place and deal with one location.” The firm specializes in real estate law, corporate law, wills and public notary services as well. “We have a real strong focus on customer service. We really try to focus to make sure we do everything we can to make our clients’ lives easier. It’s our job to make sure everything goes smoothly and the client is not having to do things that the lawyer should be doing for them. We are assisting them and guiding them through that process,” said Cragg. “The other thing we focus on too is affordability. We do try to make sure we offer our services for a good rate and that we are competitive with that as well.” Cragg was called to the Bar in 2010. “For me actually, I never intended to be a lawyer when I came out of school. I always planned to be a teacher and I always planned to teach math because I like that logical process. But what I discovered going through university is that being a teacher was not going to get me everything I wanted to deal with on that higher level of logic. During my undergrad I discovered doing economics - which is what I majored in - we were dealing with social problems and you’re trying to find a solution through a logical process but you

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SILVER WIN - Jennifer Cragg and Christopher Stephan of JD Law are pictured in their office in downtown Red Deer. The practice won silver for Best Law Firm. Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express are actually helping solve a problem,” she said. “This is what led me into law, particularly in real estate. I get to deal with clients all of the time starting at point ‘a’ and the goal is to get to point ‘b’ where they bought or sold a house and there are different ways you can get down that road. It’s your job to find the path and to solve the problem to make sure the client is looked after. “This way I am doing everything I wanted. I am solving a problem, I’m dealing with the logical aspect but I get to work with people and meet them and get my goal out of that.” As for Stephan, he was called to the Bar in 2009. “When I started in college, I didn’t in-

N’S E K

tend to go to law school and even after law school I didn’t intend to be a lawyer. I was really fascinated with entrepreneurship and wanting to be an entrepreneur,” he said. “An opportunity came up in 2010 for me to start a law practice and it was something that for me fulfilled that entrepreneurship. I really liked it because working with people and being able to assist them with their real estate transactions or starting a business or doing a will - I find it very fulfilling. Even though I didn’t intend on being a lawyer, I really love being a lawyer.” As for their nod in the Best of Red Deer Awards, Cragg and Stephan said they are very appreciative.

“It is hard to describe,” said Cragg. “I don’t think you realize at the time the impact you are having. When you find that out it is really exciting and gratifying. It means the world to get that feedback and to know you are on the right track and you’re doing a job that’s helping someone.” Stephan added the award is humbling. “There are a lot of very experienced and very good lawyers in Red Deer and Central Alberta. For us to get this type of recognition is great. We have been really working hard these last five years and we have been focusing on helping our clients. It is certainly something we can be proud of.” efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

Cheeky Couture recognized for fashion finesse BY CYRIL BRABANT RED DEER EXPRESS Cheeky Couture brings home bronze for the Best of Red Deer’s Best Women’s Clothing category. Red Deer born and raised, Michele Bilsborrow makes a splash into the Red Deer fashion scene with Cheeky Couture. ‘Empowering women through fashion’ is the tag line of the boutique located between Rosedale Meadows and Deer Park. Bilsborrow has made it a point to her customers that the main aim of the Cheeky Couture brand is to try and bring fashion back to middle-aged women and those looking for a little guidance with their wardrobes. “The majority of clothing available is for the 16- to 25-year-old range,” said Bilsborrow. “But the body begins to change as we age and it can become a confusing time. “We kind of forget about ourselves and when we try to reenter the fashion world, we have this want and need to be the fashion forward, contemporary women that we are, but

FASHION FORWARD - Owner Michele Bilsborrow poses for a portrait in her store Cheeky Couture. we don’t know how to get there because all that’s available to us is clothing for that 16- to 25-year-old

demographic. “In my career, I’ve seen this need for a place where mature women can come

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feel safe, pampered, learn about fashion, try on amazing clothes and walk out with their sense of pride brought out.” Cheeky Couture originally opened up as a private style consulting agency but recently opened its doors to the public as a retail store. But they go above and beyond customer service by offering private style consultation bookings. Clients can set up meetings with Bilsborrow via the web site for a full twohour session to go over body type, self image, and choosing outfits that match what the customer wants. Bilsborrow has 25 years under her belt as a professional fashion consultant

and decided to open shop in May of 2010. “I started with humble beginnings, you know, single mother of two struggling financially,” Bilsborrow said when asked about her start into the fashion industry. “I was that girl that dressed everybody else. “I dressed friends and family. I had a knack, not just for fashion, but as well as how fashion equates to the empowerment of women and positive body images.” Cheeky Couture boasts a large selection of brands with a mix of international, Canadian-owned and even some local labels. Bilsborrow said that she was humbled and ‘gobsmacked’ when she

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heard the news of winning bronze. “When I heard the news I was honoured to be recognized by the people we serve of being worthy of an award like that.” When asked how Cheeky Couture sets itself apart from other boutiques in Red Deer, Bilsborrow said the service, the knowledge, and taking the time to educate and teach customers ways of being on-trend and how to compliment their lives with their fashion are ways the boutique stands out. “Oftentimes we have women that want to be trendy, but then that means they’d rather fit into fashion, than have fashion fit them,” Bilsborrow said. “That’s where we want to help.” student@reddeerexpress.com

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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 21

CLASSIC - The staff of artists at Classic Tattoo in Red Deer took some time out of their busy schedules to pose for a photo. Classic Tattoo was voted gold for Best Tattoo Shop.

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“Wow! Thank you Red Deer for the votes again this year! We are humbled and honoured. Honestly, we love this City. And we love helping to make its interior spaces beautiful. Being recognized for our work is simply the icing on the cake. Thanks to all our customers for the business and the relationships we have built over the last 38 years and thank you for another Gold.”

2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

- Andrew Wiebe, President

CARPET COLOUR CENTRE Beautiful, made affordable.®

SOUTHPOINTE COMMON II (across from Best Buy)

403-343-7711 www.carpetcolourcentre.com

STORE HOURS: MONDAY - FRIDAY 9AM - 5:30PM | THURSDAY 9AM - 8PM | SATURDAY 9AM - 5PM | CLOSED SUNDAY


22 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

Local vet honoured to receive award

RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL

RED DEER ELECTRIC

Serving Red Deer since 2005 New Home Construction Commercial Wiring Renovations Hot Tubs Panel / Service Upgrades Air Conditioners Floor Heat Hook Ups Basements Design Consultation

Cable / Satellite Telephone / Data Garages Security Lighting Fire & Flood Backup Generators

Best of Re d Deer BRONZE W INNER

BEST ELECTRICAL COM

PANY

2016 Read Choice Aw ers’ ards

Thank You for your Support www.reddeerelectric.ca

rdelectric@shaw.ca

403-373-7765

THANK YOU Red Deer Best of Re d Deer BRONZE W INNER

CITY COUNCILLO 2016 Reade rs’ Choice Aw ards

R

It’s an honour to serve you, let’s continue to move forward! Ken Johnston

Thanks Red Deer for your support!

15-01308.indd 1

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BY ERIN FAWCETT RED DEER EXPRESS

individualized. My goal is to provide a personal level of veterinary care and develop a relationship with each client and One longstanding clinic in Red Deer has their pet and doing that in a compassionreceived top honours in this year’s Best ate way.” of Red Deer. He added over the past number of Red Deer Veterinary Clinic was awarded decades the profession has evolved trebronze for Best Vet Clinic. mendously. Dr. Rick Graber recently took over the “It’s a requirement in our professionclinic from John Dugan who first opened al association to get a certain number the practice in 1954. of continuing education “He is in his 80s and hours yearly. That is a he was wanting to sell mandatory requirement. to another veterinarian. It is also up to the indiI came to work for him vidual to pursue certain “MY GOAL IS while he was trying to courses or areas of interTO PROVIDE A find someone to sell it est,” he said. to and then I ended up Graber added a current PERSONAL LEVEL purchasing the practice challenge in the industry OF VETERINARY in November of 2015,” he is the economy. CARE AND DEVELOP said. “One of the challenges A RELATIONSHIP Graber graduated and is to help people who are became a veterinarian in financially limited beWITH EACH CLIENT 1979. He had a veterinary cause of economic hardAND THEIR PET AND clinic in Lacombe for ship. In helping them DOING THAT IN A more than 20 years. provide good animal care In 2001 Graber got COMPASSIONATE but within reasonable a Masters Degree in budgets that they can WAY.” Christian Studies and afford but still feeling worked in a number of like their pets are being RICK GRABER churches for a period of looked after,” he said. time. As for his win in this About 10 years ago he year’s Best of Red Deer began practicing as a vetAwards, Graber said he is erinarian once again as a honoured. locum working at other practices helping “I really try to put our clients first and other veterinarians out. He has also con- to have anyone nominate myself or this tinued doing work at churches as well. practice for an award is really humbling. It’s “With every animal there is an owner one of my goals to help people with their and I really enjoy working with people animal care in a way they can feel they are and helping them through the challenges being well looked after in a personal and of health care for their pets. It’s an area compassionate way. It is something I really that is close to my heart,” said Graber. appreciate and don’t take for granted.” “We are a very small practice that is very efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Best of Red Deer GOLD WINNE R 15-06-11 9:10 AM

PLUMBING SHOP 2016 Reader Choice Awar s’ ds

Best of Red Deer SILVER WINNE R

FURNACE CLEANING 2016 Reader Choice Awar s’ ds

And thanks to our amazing team! We couldn’t do it without you! Proud to be part of our community for 51 years!

403.343.6060

7026 Johnstone Drive Red Deer, AB

www.bruinsplumbing.com

TOP NOTCH - Dr. Rick Graber takes a moment in his practice, Red Deer Veterinary Clinic. The vet won bronze for Best Vet Clinic in this year’s Best of Red Deer. Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 23

Best of Red Deer BRONZE WINNER

2016 Readers’ Choice Awards RETAILERS Carpet/Tile Store ............................................................. End of the Roll Furniture Store ......................................................................... The Brick Home Building Centre ................................................. Home Hardware Paint Store .......................................................................... Home Depot Hot Tub/Spa Retailer ........................................................ Dynasty Spas Computer/Home Electronics Store........................ Ko-Hen Electronics Bridal Wear Store ........................................................ Novia Mia Bridal Formal Wear - Men’s ............................................ Black Knight Tuxedos Formal Wear - Women’s ........................................ Euro-Mode Clothing Men’s Clothing Store ................................................ Rob Rae Clothiers Women’s Clothing Store ............................................ Cheeky Coutures Western Wear Store ................. Jones Boys Saddlery & Western Wear Tuxedo Rental Store .................. Black & Lee Tuxedo and Suit Rentals Lingerie Store.................................................... Delicates Bra Boutique Consignment Store............................................................ Twice N Nice Children’s Wear Store .............................................................. Old Navy Shoe Store................................................................. Comforts the Sole Floral Shop ................................ La Petite Jaune Fleur Floral Boutique Jewellery Store ......................................................... Peoples Jewellers Optical..................................................................... Consumer’s Optical Pet Store ...................................................................... Global Pet Foods Department Store .......................................................................... Sears Home Décor .................................................................... Pier 1 Imports Event Rentals .......................................................... All About Bouncing Place To Shop ................................................................... Parkland Mall Liquor Store ......................................................................... Solo Liquor Grocery Store ...................................................... Central Alberta Co-op Fitness Supplements ............................................ Reflex Supplements Garden Centre .................................................................. Canadian Tire Sporting Goods Store ............................................... North Star Sports Tire Shop ............................................................................ Fountain Tire New Car Dealer .................................... Kipp Scott GMC Cadillac Buick Used Car Dealer .......................................................... Red Deer Motors RV Dealer .............................................................................. Western RV Motorcycle/Powersports Dealer ................................... Precision Cycle Lawn & Garden Equipment Dealer ............... Hertz Equipment Rental Farm Implement Dealer ......................................................... Future Ag SERVICES Accounting Service.................................................................. MNP LLP Chiropractic Clinic........................................ Village Chiropractic Clinic Daycare ................................................................... Tiny Tots Playschool Pharmacy............................................................. The Medicine Shoppe Pet Grooming Salon ............................................. 4 Paws Dog Daycare Tanning Salon ............................................................. Tropical Paradise Hair Salon .................................................................................. Chatters Barber Shop .................. (only gold & silver winners in this category) Esthetic Salon .................................................................... Fig Esthetics Tattoo Studio ............................................................. Electric City Tattoo Fitness Centre/Gym ................................... Body Basics Fitness Centre Dance Studio ..................................................... Strive Dance Academy Yoga Studio .......................................................................... YogaNation Weight Loss Clinic ...................................................... Weight Watchers Hearing Solutions ..................................... Strategic Hearing Solutions Photography Studio ......................................... Triple Ten Photography

Picture Framing............................................................... Frame-It Store Dry Cleaner...................................................................... Ultra Cleaners Tailor/Alterations.......................................................... Euro Tailor Shop Carpet Cleaning .................................................. Steam Clean Express Furnace Cleaning ................................... Bradley Air Furnace Cleaning Home Security Provider .................................... ADT Security Services Home Builder .................................................................. Falcon Homes Landscaping/Yard Care ............................ Craig’s Tree & Yard Services Retirement Home..................................................... Piper Creek Lodge Hotel/Motel ................................................................... Black Knight Inn Financial Institution .......................................................... ATB Financial Mortgage Company ........................................... The Get ‘Er Done Girls Moving Company ............................... Two Small Men With Big Hearts Storage Rental ..................................................................... AB Storage Travel Agency ................................................ CanWest Travel Company Vet Clinic ....................................................... Red Deer Veterinary Clinic Pet Boarding/Daycare ........................................... 4 Paws Dog Daycare Auto Body Shop................................................... Caliber Paint & Body RV Service/Repair .................................... Red Deer RV Parts & Service Muffler Shop ................................................................................. Midas Transmission Shop ................................................ Excell Transmission Oil/Lube Service .................................................................... Minit Lube Gas Station ........................................................................ Fas Gas Plus Car Wash ..................................................... Big Dogs Truck & Car Wash Plumbing Company ......................................... Ken’s Plumbing Service Electrical Company ...................................................... RedDeer Electric Law Firm ......................................................... Johnston Ming Manning Funeral Services ................ Red Deer Funeral Homes & Crematorium ENTERTAINMENT Nightclub ..................................................... Cowboys Bar & Nightclub Live Music ...................................................................................... Lotus Place For Karaoke ........................................................................ Cheers Place To Shoot Pool...................................................................... The Vat Golf Course ........................................... Red Deer Golf & Country Club Indoor/Outdoor Festival ............................................... Westerner Days Art Gallery .................................................................... Editions Gallery Museum..................................................... Sunnybrook Farm Museum Radio Station.................................................................................. Kraze PEOPLE Realtor ........................................................................... Dale Devereaux Radio DJ ............................................................................. Matt Geddes Coach .......................................................................... Clayton Pottinger Personal Trainer................................................................... Char Gilbert Volunteer ............................................................................ Amber Mack Beloved Red Deerian ........................................................... Gail Surkan Corporate Citizen .............................................................. Marty Vellner Local Politician ...................................................................... Paul Harris City Councillor.................................................................. Ken Johnston OTHER Customer Service/Friendliest Staff ................................. Sobeys South Charitable Organization ............................................................. C.A.R.E New Business............................. Our House Dog Boarding & Daycare


24 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

Best of Red Deer SILVER WINNER

2016 Readers’ Choice Awards RETAILERS Carpet/Tile Store .............................................. Central Alberta Tile One Furniture Store ........................................ Ashley Furniture HomeStore Home Building Centre ....................................................... Home Depot Paint Store .................................................................... Cloverdale Paint Hot Tub/Spa Retailer ......................................... Sun ‘N Fun Pool & Spa Computer/Home Electronics Store......................... Visions Electronics Bridal Wear Store ............................................. Bridal Couture Dezigns Formal Wear - Men’s ..................................................... Milano for Men Formal Wear - Women’s ......................................... Side Street Fashion Men’s Clothing Store .................................................... Milano for Men Women’s Clothing Store .............................................................. Ricki’s Western Wear Store ........................................ Lammle’s Western Wear Tuxedo Rental Store ............................................ Black Knight Tuxedos Lingerie Store................................................................ The Bra Lounge Consignment Store...................... Once Again Consignment Boutique Children’s Wear Store ............................................. Once Upon a Child Shoe Store................................................................... Shoe Warehouse Floral Shop ......................................................... Stems Flowers & Café Jewellery Store .......................................................... Clowes Jewellers Optical.......................................................................... Doctors EyeCare Pet Store ................................................................................... PetSmart Department Store ...................................................................... Walmart Home Décor ........................................................................ Urban Barn Event Rentals ...................................................... Special Event Rentals Place To Shop ....................................................... Winners/HomeSense Liquor Store ........................................................ Central Alberta Co-op Grocery Store ................................................................. Save On Foods Fitness Supplements ..................................................... Bond Nutrition Garden Centre ................................................ Dentoom’s Greenhouses Sporting Goods Store ........................................... Play It Again Sports Tire Shop ........................................................ Don’s Tire & Auto Repair New Car Dealer ........................ Southside Dodge Chrysler Jeep & RV Used Car Dealer ....................... Southside Dodge Chrysler Jeep & RV RV Dealer .................................. Southside Dodge Chrysler Jeep & RV Motorcycle/Powersports Dealer .......................................... Turple Bros Lawn & Garden Equipment Dealer .................................. Home Depot Farm Implement Dealer ................................... Pentagon Farm Centre SERVICES Accounting Service......................................................... Collins Barrow Chiropractic Clinic.............................................. Baker Wellness Centre Daycare .................................................................... Red Deer Childcare Pharmacy........................................................................ Save On Foods Pet Grooming Salon .................................... Doggie Doos & Kitties Too Tanning Salon ............................................................................ Fabutan Hair Salon .................................................... Cherry Bomb Hair Lounge Barber Shop ........................................................ Barbershop On Gaetz Esthetic Salon ................................................................. Posh Esthetics Tattoo Studio ............................................................... Art & Soul Tattoo Fitness Centre/Gym ...................................................... Collicutt Centre Dance Studio ........................................................... Dance Traxx Studio Yoga Studio ................................ Breathing Room Yoga Studio & Café Weight Loss Clinic ............................................................ Herbal Magic Hearing Solutions ....................................................... Connect Hearing

Photography Studio .......................................... Soulbox Photography Picture Framing......................................................... The Framing Nook Dry Cleaner................................................... Classic Cleaners & Tailors Tailor/Alterations.......................................... Classic Cleaners & Tailors Carpet Cleaning ..................................... Advanced Cleaning Solutions Furnace Cleaning .................................. Bruin’s Plumbing and Heating Home Security Provider ........................................ Reliance Protectron Home Builder ...................................................... Abbey Master Builder Landscaping/Yard Care ...................... Green Drop Lawn Care Service Retirement Home............................ Redwoods Retirement Residence Hotel/Motel .................................................. Holiday Inn Gasoline Alley Financial Institution ..................................................... RBC Royal Bank Mortgage Company .............................................. Mortgage Architects Moving Company ...................................................... Red Deer Movers Storage Rental ........................................................................ U-Store It Travel Agency ..................................................................... Flight Centre Vet Clinic ...................................................... Deer Park Veterinary Clinic Pet Boarding/Daycare .................................. Doggie Doos & Kitties Too Auto Body Shop................................................... First Choice Collision RV Service/Repair ..................................................... Woody’s RV World Muffler Shop ..................................... South Hill Muffler & Brake Shop Transmission Shop ............................................ Parkland Transmission Oil/Lube Service ............................................................... Canadian Tire Gas Station ..................................................................................... Esso Car Wash .................................................................................... Mr. Suds Plumbing Company ................................... G & G Plumbing & Heating Electrical Company ........................................................ Triple A Electric Law Firm ...................................................................................... JD Law Funeral Services ............................................ Eventide Funeral Chapel ENTERTAINMENT Nightclub ....................................................................... Lotus Nightclub Live Music .................................................... Fratters Speakeasy Venue Place For Karaoke ........................................................... East 40th Pub Place To Shoot Pool........................................................ Bo’s Bar & Grill Golf Course .......................................................... River Bend Golf Club Indoor/Outdoor Festival .............................................. Festival of Trees Art Gallery ...................................................... The Harris-Warke Gallery Museum.............................. Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum Radio Station.................................................................. 106.7 The Drive PEOPLE Realtor ......................................................................... Richard Pochylko Radio DJ ................................................................................ Jason Foui Coach ............................................................................... Natalie Brooks Personal Trainer.......................................................................... Pat Kerr Volunteer .......................................................................... Ena Screpnek Beloved Red Deerian ....................................................... Michael Dawe Corporate Citizen ............................................................... Joan Donald Local Politician ................................................................. Earl Dreeshen City Councillor....................................................................... Paul Harris OTHER Customer Service/Friendliest Staff ....... Advanced Cleaning Solutions Charitable Organization ................... CA Women’s Emergency Shelter New Business........................................................................ To The Lost


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 25

Best of Red Deer GOLD WINNER

2016 Readers’ Choice Awards RETAILERS Carpet/Tile Store .................................................. Carpet Colour Centre Furniture Store ............................................................... Sims Furniture Home Building Centre .................................................................... Rona Paint Store .............................................. Fargys Paint & Wallcoverings Hot Tub/Spa Retailer .............................................................. Artic Spas Computer/Home Electronics .................................................. Best Buy Bridal Wear ............................................................ Your Wedding Place Formal Wear - Men’s ..................................... Moores Clothing for Men Formal Wear - Women’s ....................................................... Le Château Men’s Clothing Store .................................... Moores Clothing for Men Women’s Clothing Store ....................................... Side Street Fashion Western Wear Store ................................................ Wei’s Western Wear Tuxedo Rental .............................................. Moores Clothing for Men Lingerie Store .......................................................................... La Senza Consignment Store........................................................... Plato’s Closet Children’s Wear Store ............................................ The Children’s Place Shoe Store......................................................................... Great Strides Flower Shop ............................................................. Floral Expressions Jewellery Store .......................................................... Mitchell & Jewell Optical......................................................................... Red Deer Eyecare Pet Store ...................................................................................... Petland Department Store ...................................................................... The Bay Home Décor ....................................................................... HomeSense Event Rentals ............................. Parkland Party & Equipment Rentals Place To Shop ..................................................................... Bower Place Liquor Store ................................................................. Liquor Crossing Grocery Store ................................................................... Sobeys South Fitness Supplements ........................................ Popeye’s Supplements Garden Centre ............................ Parkland Nurseries & Garden Centre Sporting Goods Store .......................................................... Sport Chek Tire Shop ..................................................................................... Kal Tire New Car Dealer .................................................. Go MGM Ford Lincoln Used Car Dealer ................................................. Go MGM Ford Lincoln RV Dealer ................................................................... Woody’s RV World Motorcycle/Powersports Dealer ....... Gasoline Alley Harley Davidson Lawn & Garden Equipment Dealer ................................ Canadian Tire Farm Implement Dealer ............................ Deermart Equipment Sales SERVICES Accounting Service................ CGL Strategic Business & Tax Advisors Chiropractic Clinic...................... Family First Chiropractic & Wellness Daycare ........................................................... Tiny Toes Castle Daycare Pharmacy............................................................... Shoppers Drug Mart Pet Grooming Salon ............................................................. Fetch Haus Tanning Salon ..................................... Bronze Zone Tanning Company Hair Salon ................................................................ Crop Hair Boutique Barber Shop ...................................................................... Tommy Guns Esthetic Salon ...................................................................... MC College Tattoo Studio ..................................................................... Classic Tattoo Fitness Centre/Gym ............................................................. 360 Fitness Dance Studio ..................................................................... Dance Magic Yoga Studio ......................................................................... Bikram Yoga Weight Loss Clinic .............................................................. Jenny Craig Hearing Solutions ..................................... Beltone The Hearing Centre Photography Studio ................................. Twitchy Finger Photography

Picture Framing........................................................................ Michael’s Dry Cleaner................................................................. Sterling Cleaners Tailor/Alterations..................................................... Gloria’s Alterations Carpet Cleaning ........................................ Mancuso Cleaning Services Furnace Cleaning ................................... Advanced Cleaning Solutions Home Security Provider ........................................ Ambusch Securities Home Builder ................................................................. Laebon Homes Landscaping/Yard Care ........................................ Canar Rock Products Retirement Home.......................................... Revera Retirement Living Hotel/Motel .............................................................. Sheraton Red Deer Financial Institution ...................................................... TD Canada Trust Mortgage Company ................................... Dominion Lending Centres Regional Mortgage Group Moving Company ............................................ Home to Home Moving Storage Rental ............................................................ Sentinel Storage Travel Agency ....................................................................... AMA Travel Vet Clinic ................................................... Piper Creek Veterinary Clinic Pet Boarding/Daycare ................................................... Freedom House Auto Body Shop........................................... Boyd’s Autobody & Glass RV Service/Repair .................................... Go Uncle Ben’s RV & Marine Muffler Shop ........................................................ Carline Muffler Shop Transmission Shop ................................................ Mister Transmission Oil/Lube Service ....................................................................... Mr. Lube Gas Station ........................................... Central Alberta Co-op Gas Bar Car Wash ...................................................................... Jumbo Car Wash Plumbing Company .............................. Bruin’s Plumbing and Heating Electrical Company ........................................................ Studon Electric Law Firm .................................................................. Warren Sinclair LLP Funeral Services ................ Parkland Funeral Home and Crematorium ENTERTAINMENT Nightclub ..................................................................................... Bellinis Live Music .................................................................................... The Vat Place For Karaoke .......................................................... Lion’s Den Pub Place To Shoot Pool.......................................................... Corner Pocket Golf Course ............................................... Alberta Springs Golf Resort Indoor/Outdoor Festival ....................................... Red Deer CentreFest Art Gallery .......................................... Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery Museum.............................................. Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery Radio Station.............................................................................. BIG 105 PEOPLE Realtor .......................................................................... Susan Rochefort Radio DJ ................................................................... Jamie Worthingon Coach ................................................................................... Brent Sutter Personal Trainer................................................................. Jack Wheeler Volunteer ............................................................................. Lyn Radford Beloved Red Deerian ................................................................ Tara Veer Corporate Citizen ................................................................. Trevor Aslin Local Politician .......................................................................... Tara Veer City Councillor................................................................. Tanya Handley OTHER Customer Service/Friendliest Staff ............... Tiny Toes Castle Daycare Charitable Organization ............................... Ronald McDonald House New Business....................................................... Joshua Tree Ventures


26 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

CITY’S BEST - From left, Andrew Wiebe, Robin Chykerda and Rick Wiebe stand outside Carpet Colour Centre. Chykerda and the Wiebes co-own the Carpet Colour Centre and won gold for Best Carpet/Tile Store in this year’s Best of Red Deer. Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express

R u o e d Y D k n e a er h T

Thanks to your support we have once again earned the designation, Best Charity in Central Alberta Best of Red Deer SILVER WINNER

CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION

CAWES thanks everyone for their support and sponsorship all throughout the year.

Need Help? 24/7 Toll-Free Helpline: 1-888-346-5643 Local Helpline: 1-403-346-5643 FAX: 1-403-341-3510

2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

www.cawes.com


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 27


28 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

Come Interact with us! Open 7 days a week Best of Red Deer SILVER WINNER

MUSEUM 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

North of the 32 St overpass Hwy 2 - Red Deer

www.ashfm.ca

403-341-8614

COLOURFUL - Shauna McKean, manager of Cloverdale Paint poses for a portrait with a fan of paint swatches in the south location in Red Deer. Cloverdale Paint won silver for Best Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express Paint Store in this year’s Best of Red Deer.

Thank You Red Deer! Best of Red Deer GOLD WINNER

RETIREMENT HOME 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

Thanks to you, we were able to win GOLD in this year’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards! Aspen Ridge

Inglewood

3100 22 Street

10 Inglewood Drive

Red Deer, AB

Red Deer, AB

403.341.5522

403.346.1134

Red Deer’s Premiere Retirement Residence

www.reveraliving.com


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 29

Woody’s RV voted tops in Red Deer BY CYRIL BRABANT RED DEER EXPRESS Even after three decades of business, Woody’s RV World still manages to put smiles on the faces of families all across Alberta and is celebrating its 30th anniversary as well as winning gold for Best RV Dealer and silver in the Best RV Service/Repair category. Woody’s is regarded all throughout Alberta as one of the most notable RV dealerships and RV maintenance services. Mike Szabo, the sales manager at Woody’s said that he was glad and humbled that the people of Red Deer thought so highly of the dealership. “We always strive to serve our customers and help them find the RV they’re looking for to get them out on the road as soon as possible,” said Szabo. In addition to five locations, Woody’s RV will soon be opening a dealership in Leduc. Szabo said that he believes that the dealership should be open some time before the May long weekend in 2017. “With Woody’s legacy and strength as a dealership in Alberta we have five locations now,” Szabo said. “We’re one of the first to call when the manufacturers are looking to put something in Alberta. “So we usually get the pick of the litter, so to speak.” Although Woody’s is best known for selling the best used RVs, another aspect customers rely on is the service and maintenance that the dealership provides.

COMMITMENT - Mike Szabo, sales manager at Woody’s RV World shows off a new unit in the showroom. Szabo has been with the company for 20 of the 30 years it’s been in business. Woody’s RV World won gold for Best RV Dealer and silver for Best RV Service/Repair. Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express

Szabo said that the service department has 17 bays with state-of-the-art facilities. “It’s something we try to show the customers. We like that we get to brag about it.” Szabo said Woody’s carries several RV labels such as Winnebago, Fleetwood, Grand Design and several other well-rec-

ognized brands. “We’re proud of our brands and the relationships we share with our manufacturers,” said Szabo. “We have a strong business partnership with them and our number one goal is to look after the customers.”

Szabo, like many other loyal employees, has been with the company for longer than a decade. He is celebrating his 20th year with Woody’s. Some of the technicians have also been working with Woody’s since close to the time that it first opened its doors. “We have a lot of employees here at the Red Deer location that make my 20 years here look silly,” Szabo said. “So that just goes to show what a great place it is to work at.” According to Szabo, Woody’s RV started out small and grew what it is today after several years of selling the best used selection of RVs available. Throughout the years Woody’s RV World has had several different types of people pass through its doors. Ranging from new families that want to join their friends camping to retired couples looking to stretch their legs a bit and go travel across the country. “The oldest customer I’ve ever had was 94-years-old,” Szabo said. “It was the fourth motorhome he’d bought from me.” Szabo said that Woody’s puts an emphasis on customer and RV service to ensure customers are always satisfied, even when their RV breaks down. “It’s always nice to be recognized by the general public,” said Szabo. “It lets us know we’re on the right track, but there’s always room for improvement. “People only come back to do business with if you took care of them right the first time.” student@reddeerexpress.com

T hanks Red Deer! eer f Red D Best o R E WINN GOLD

Thank You Red Deer & Central Alberta! eer f Red D R Best o N WIN E SILVER

NER E CLEA ’ FURNA6CR s r eade s 201 Award Choice

Best of Red Deer SILVER WINNER

CUSTOMER SERVICE 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

Best o f Red D eer SILVER WINNE R

CARPET C

LE

ANER 2016 R Choice eaders’ Award s

Because we care about the air you breathe! Serving Red Deer & Central Alberta since 1998

CTOR

CHIROPeRaAders’

2016 R Awards Choice

We are honoured Monday - Friday 9am-6pm; Sat 8:30am - Noon Visit our website for Dr. Baker’s hours 4702 - 50 Ave., Red Deer, AB • 403.347.0477

www.bakerchiropractic.ca

403-304-2222 www.advanced-cleaning.ca d d l i Red Deer, AB


30 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

Transforming yards into beautiful landscapes GOLD AWARD FOR

Craig’s Tree & Yard Services wins bronze

Best of Red Deer GOLD WINNER

BEST FLOWER SHOP

BY ZACHARY CORMIER RED DEER EXPRESS FLOWER SHOP 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

Thank You Red Deer! We Deliver-We Design-We g Create WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR LOYAL CLIENTELE AND FLORAL DESIGN TEAM FOR HELPING US TO ACHIEVE THIS AWARD. AT EASTVIEW MALL • Deer Best of Red R GOLD WINNE

WWW.FLORALEXPRESSIONSFLOWERS.CA

• 403-347-2280

Thank You Red Deer!

We are humbled & honoured by your support “Our family will be here for your family.” FUNERAL

Remembering a Life Lived is Worth Celebrating

SERVICES

s’ 2016 Readerds Choice Awar

Let Us Help You Plan a Service of Remembrance For Your Loved One

“ONLY locally owned and operated Funeral Home in the City of Red Deer.”

If you’re looking to upgrade the look of your yard this summer, then Craig Tailer may be your guy. “I grew up on a farm west of Wetaskiwin. I just always kind of liked being outside and doing different projects, creating different looks. I just find landscaping extremely rewarding,” said Tailer, whose company, Craig’s Tree & Yard Services, was voted bronze for Best Landscaping/ Yard Care in this year’s Best of Red Deer Awards. Tailer’s company provides a variety of services, from tree removal to property maintenance to snow removal and full yard redesigns and construction. “More or less anything outdoors, I can pretty much do,” he said. Tailer has been involved in landscaping since he was 15-years-old, and has spent the past 20 years learning everything he can about landscape and yard design. “I’ve gone to school and done a bunch of different classes for landscaping and landscape design,” he said, adding that to him, doing yard work is pretty much a dream job. “It’s just as much a hobby as it is a job. It’s instant reward. Instant gratification as far as the visual aspect goes because you transform a place from derelict to beautiful in a matter of days or a week or so, so it’s rewarding that way and it’s rewarding to get to go and see your projects after the fact. “It’s really cool to wake up every day and go do this for a living.” The arrival of the summer months means the arrival of peak season for Craig’s Tree & Yard Services, who special-

ize in dangerous tree removal. “It’s crazy busy right now,” Tailer laughed, noting that they are just nearing the end of tree pruning season and are moving more into tree removal. “It’s always a constant flow of different projects and different timing of the seasons. So we’re getting more into the care of the products, the landscape right now more than we are installing.” Despite the workload, Tailer said his first priority is always to maintain a good relationship with his customers. “Definitely take the time to do a quality job and make sure the clean up and projects are done according to the customer’s request. I also take the time to listen to what my customers want rather than telling them what they need and what they may want. Good communication with my customers I think is key to running a good business.” For him that communication also means returning customers’ phone calls quickly and maintaining good punctuality. “Even if I’m busy I just keep in contact with people and that seems to be a big kicker.” This is the first time that Craig’s Tree & Yard Service has won a Best of Red Deer Award since Tailer started the company back in 2007. “We’re coming up on 10 years next year, so a big anniversary. I would definitely like to thank whoever voted for me and definitely like to thank all of the customers that I’ve had in the past for letting me kind of experiment with different ideas on their properties and I look forward to doing business in Red Deer for many years to come.” zcormier@reddeerexpress.com

Central Alberta Family Funeral Services Ltd.

403.340.4040

Taylor Drive, Red Deer

www.parklandfuneralhome.com

PROOF Central Alberta’s Dealer!

Thank you Red Deer! Best of Red Deer BRONZE WINNER

RV DEALER 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

NOW NO OW O W TW TWO L LOC OCA O OC CA AT TIO IO ON NSS 65 6 5 Bu Buurrn Bur ntt Par Paar ark Driv riive ri

Parts, Sales 403.356.9399 & Service 188 1 88 80 40 40 Avven veen enue ue 403.348.8014 www.westernRVcountry.com

YARD SERVICES - Craig Tailer, the owner-operator of Craig’s Tree & Yard Services, inspects one of the gardens he recently worked on in Red Deer. Tailer’s company was awarded bronze for Best Landscaping/Yard Care. Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

What we do Best

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

403.346.3356

www.reddeerexpress.com

RED DEER EXPRESS 31

MODERN TOUCH - Owner Tracy Catt, right, stands for a portrait alongside Ashley Deck, the manager, at the Cherry Bomb Hair Lounge in Red Deer. The company won silver for Best Hair Salon. Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express

Come in, Relax & Experience the Sims’ Difference.

Best of Red Deer GOLD WINNER

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32 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

Excellent care offered at Village Chiropractic BY CYRIL BRABANT RED DEER EXPRESS After helping dozens of athletes, performers, senior citizens and patients throughout the years, Village Chiropractic has garnered the affection of Red Deer citizens enough to claim bronze for the City’s Best Chiropractic Clinic. Dr. Greg Gellert is one of the partners and founding members that own Village Chiropractic. “We’re still very passionate about helping people,” said Gellert. “For that, I feel very blessed.” Winnipeg born and raised, Gellert studied sciences at the University of Manitoba after which he made his way to Toronto to study for a fouryear degree at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and graduated in 1984. He then decided to come out to the west, eventually settling down and planting roots in Red Deer. “Thirty-two years later and I’m still loving it,” said Gellert. “I came here thinking well, I’ll try out this small town life even after living in big cities like Toronto and Winnipeg, but my brother-in-law told me to give it a year and, well, I eventually

found my wife. “She was a member with the RCMP - met her the first year I was here. “She was from Montreal, we thought we were going to move back out east eventually but then we started having kids and we realized wow, this is a great place to raise a family.” Gellert said the clinic has a cradle to grave initiative which means that the clinic gives check ups on infants to make sure their spines are developing properly and they check patients that are ‘closer to their twilight,’ as Gellert put it, to ensure that their final years are spent comfortably and healthfully. “We’ve always prided ourselves in hiring people to support us who were very empathetic, caring and friendly,” said Gellert. “Typing on computers and writing, those are skills that you can teach, but you can’t really teach genuine sincerity and caring.” But it’s not all just joint pain and popping at Village Chiropractic. Gellert said that the clinic puts an emphasis on preventative care to try circumventing any physical pain by checking on patients regularly to ensure they don’t get to a point in which they need

post-accidental care. Village Chiropractic has been in operation since 1984 and currently has three locations, after having opened a second practice 11 years ago. Two are located in Red Deer, both north and south of the river, and one can be found in Sylvan Lake. Gellert said Village Chiropractic hopes to open up another location in the east of Red Deer. When asked why he thought that the people of Red Deer voted for Village Chiropractic, Gellert said that he believed that it was because of the lifelong relationships the practice and the clients share. “My old partner, Todd, said, ‘Lets really focus on treating people well so that we have one or two patients for life’,” Gellert said. “And now we have fourth-generation patients, after treating their grandfathers, fathers and kids to eventually the kids’ kids. “It’s kind of like an extended family and having close friends. “We all have a genuine concern for people’s needs. It’s not a business as much as a service we provide and thankfully the business side takes care of itself so we can focus on the people that walk through the doors.” student@reddeerexpress.com

PATIENT CARE - Dr. Greg Gellert stands in one of the patient therapy rooms in Village Chiropractic Heritage. Gellert is one of the owners and founders of Village Chiropractic which has three locations and is currently looking to open up a fourth practice. They won bronze for Best Chiropractic Clinic. Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express

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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 33

Alberta Springs Golf Resort rolls to gold BY ZACHARY CORMIER RED DEER EXPRESS Located on a patch of lush green land surrounded by trees, the serene Alberta Springs Golf Resort is a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life in the City. “Every hole is different. It’s a very fair golf course. We’ve got four different tee boxes, so players of any ability can enjoy themselves out here for sure,” said Al Norlin, the head professional at Alberta Springs, which was voted gold for Best Golf Course in this year’s Best of Red Deer Awards. The public course, which opened 20 years ago in 1996, is in great shape every year, Norlin said, which is one of the reasons it has become so popular among Central Albertans. “Greg (Sugden) and Nick, our superintendent and his assistant superintendent, they do a great job. Every year, year in, year out. This is year 20 for us now and they’ve been doing a great job every year,” he said. And just driving into the parking lot, visitors can see that the hard work and time has paid off. Looking out over the front nine in front of the rustic clubhouse, visitors can see how green and soft the fairways are and how neatly trimmed the greens are. “The front nine has a lot of treed holes, the back nine has a lot of water. If you hit it straight you’re not going to see much trouble. If you hit it sideways, well there’s trouble everywhere,” said Norlin, who has been

the pro at the club since it opened. Despite the toughness on slicers, Norlin said that the course is fun to golf for any skill level. “If they play from the appropriate tee box. If someone doesn’t hit it very far, if they’re playing from a forward tee, you’re still going to have fun playing out here. The greens are awesome, the greens are fast. Everyone’s going to have fun playing. It’s a great golf course.” The par 72 course measures 5,141 yards from the forward tees, making it a perfect length for anyone, no matter if they prefer to walk or take a cart. “It’s a very walkable course. For people who enjoy walking golf courses, it’s fairly flat. It’s a good walk,” Norlin said. Beyond the golf, Alberta Springs is a destination for corporate events because of its location close to the QEII Hwy. and its many amenities, which include a full restaurant inside the clubhouse and a unique aquatic driving range. “It’s a fun place. When we opened back in 1996, we wanted to make it a fun atmosphere.” The course is full of different challenges for even the most seasoned golfer, including dog legs left and right, a short par three that plays over water from a peninsula tee box and a number of holes that hug the shores of the many lakes that dot around the course. For Norlin, though, none of those are quite as good as the fourth hole, his favourite

GOLFER’S PARADISE - Al Norlin, the head professional at Alberta Springs Golf Resort looks out over the 16th hole from the tee box. Alberta Springs was awarded gold for Best Golf Course in this year’s Best of Red Deer Awards. Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express

on the course. “It’s not a long par five by any means, but you stand back on that tee box, it’s basically a chute you’ve got to hit it through. And you stand on the fairway, if you’re lucky enough to get it on the fairway, you look back and it is the widest fairway on the golf course, it just doesn’t look that way,” he laughed, adding that there is water hugging the right side of the dog leg all the way down the fairway and to the bunkered green. “I’ve played a lot of rounds of golf here and number four is different every time I play it.” Another thing that sets Alberta Springs apart from the other courses in the

area is its aquatic driving range, which is unique in Central Alberta. The range allows players to hit their warm up balls into a large body of water, which for many golfers can be quite a cathartic experience. “No penalty strokes. It’s

great,” Norlin laughed. “It’s a draw right there, people come out just to hit golf balls.” Although Alberta Springs Golf Resort has won Best of Red Deer Awards in the past, this is their first time winning gold for Best Golf

Course. “Thank you very much. It’s a great acknowledgement. When you get an award like this it means that people are enjoying themselves when they come out here and that’s the whole idea.” zcormier@reddeerexpress.com

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34 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

Liquor Crossing awarded gold in the Best Liquor Store category BY MARK WEBER RED DEER EXPRESS Red Deer’s Liquor Crossing/Wine Centre has taken gold in the Best Liquor Store category for this year’s Best of Red Deer awards. The business boasts more than 1,500 wines, an exciting collection of single malt scotches and a huge variety of domestic and imported beers. Current owners, Blair and Shauna Gaume, work hard to maintain the family history of excellence and outstanding customer service since their founding in 1986. This year marks their 30th anniversary of running a successful business in Red Deer that has known significant growth and expansion over the years as well. “It was actually in May of 1986 that we opened,” said Blair who took it on in 1986 as a franchise. Later, when the Alberta liquor industry became private in 1993, they became a full-fledged liquor store, stocking a variety of specialty wines, micro-

STRONG TEAM - Pictured here are the staff at Red Deer’s Liquor Crossing/Wine Centre, which landed gold in the Best Liquor Store category. From left are Derek Odowichuk, Marco Wit, Jayden Toth, Ross Smith, owners Blair Gaume and Shauna Gaume, and Tiana Warner. Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express brews and more that customers will find on their

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Lines of craft beer have fully informed on the lat- Deer College over the also exploded in popular- est product lines as well. years,” he said, adding his ity, he said, adding that “We try to go the extra company has also supportthe business also provides distance in our service and ed the Love of Children product to several local along with our selection. Golf Classic, and the annupopular eateries as well. We are open to bringing al Festival of Trees - a huge “We also do weddings in new products, too,” fundraiser for the local and large gatherings like he said, pointing out the Red Deer Regional Health anniversaries as well. sometimes customers will Foundation. “We used to just be come in after a trip abroad “We help out as much wine, with the wine store and chat about a particu- as we can and in as many over by Boston Pizza,” ex- lar beverage they’d like to different areas as we can,” plained Blair of the busi- see locally. he said. ness’s early days. Meanwhile, staff Prior to that location, also encourage custhey had set up shop tomers to enroll in at Parkland Mall for a their 6 Pack of the “WE TRY TO GO THE couple of years. Month Club. They moved to Each month, staff EXTRA DISTANCE IN OUR their current location selects a different SERVICE AND ALONG - at 5250 - 22nd St. collection of wines, WITH OUR SELECTION. WE in 1999. providing customers For a time they kept with detailed inforARE OPEN TO BRINGING two locations, and mation about each IN NEW PRODUCTS, TOO. eventually decided to selection. THEY’LL SAY, ‘CAN YOU combine operations According to the GET THIS?’ AND WE TRY TO to the attractive and web site, membership expansive spot they gives shoppers access ACCOMMODATE THEM AS are located in today to this special collecMUCH AS WE CAN.” on the City’s south tion, and staff will set side. aside these wines for BLAIR GAUME “We kind of bill ourpick-up at the cusselves as a specialty tomer’s convenience store,” he said. each month. “We still carry all of For Blair, it’s been the regular product a tremendous career along with the specialty “They’ll say, ‘Can you get path - rewarding and enstuff, too,” he added. this?’ And we try to ac- joyable every step of the As to the keys to their commodate them as much way. There are always new success, Blair points to as we can.” things to learn and it’s a a couple of foundational The Liquor Crossing/ fascinating industry to principles that staff have Wine Centre is also a keep pace with, he said. held fast to since day one strong supporter of the “I think it comes down of the business. community and chari- to dealing with people and “What we really try and ty events across Central enjoying people,” he said. emphasize are selection Alberta. “We’ve had people that and service,” he said, add“We’re involve with the have been shopping with ing that there is also an United Way, and we’ve us for 30 years.” emphasis on keeping staff been involved with Red editor@reddeerexpress.com


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 35

Western wear fashion needs met at Lammle’s BY ZACHARY CORMIER RED DEER EXPRESS Rodeo season is here and Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack has all the gear you need to cowboy up for the summer. “Calgary Stampede is definitely our biggest one. It gets a lot busier during Calgary Stampede and then we have Westerner Days right after, so the month of July is definitely very busy for us,” said Margriet Appel, who is the manager at the Parkland Mall Lammle’s location. This year, Lammle’s was voted silver for Best Western Wear in the Best of Red Deer Awards, which Appel said is an honour for the western wear chain. “We’re all pretty honoured and excited. It’s nice to see that people actually do appreciate us being here and having good customer service. So it’s definitely exciting and when the staff found out they were all super excited as well.”

“WE’RE ALL PRETTY HONOURED AND EXCITED. IT’S NICE TO SEE THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO APPRECIATE US BEING HERE AND HAVING GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE.” MARGRIET APPEL This is the first time that Lammle’s has won a Best of Red Deer award since winning silver in 2005. “The oldest staff that’s worked here has been here for two years now, so it’s the first time for everyone that’s here right now,” said Appel, adding the company’s focus on providing good customer service is what sets them apart from the rest. “Our company really focuses on customer service and meeting the needs of the customer. Not going to say anything bad about the other stores but I think that might set us above some of the other stores because we’re so focused on what the customer’s looking for.” And whether you’re looking for a hat

COUNTRY LIVING - The staff at Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack at Parkland Mall posed for a photo by the many boots that are available at the store. Lammle’s won silver for Best Western Wear this year. Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express for the day or a pair of boots that you can wear all year round, Lammle’s has got you covered. When it comes to buying western wear, Appel said that you really get what you pay for. “If you want quality you’re going to be spending a little more but if you want to just dress up for the day you’re going to spend a little less. You can go to the sale rack and get cheap clothes but if you want to wear what we wear you’re going to spend a little bit more,” she said, adding that Lammles has options for nearly every budget. “We do have a $20 hat, so if you’re just wanting to wear a hat for the day then we definitely have that. We have a $500 hat as well that’s a lot fancier but lasts longer.” She also noted the store, which opened in 1995, sees customers from nearly all walks of life, from city slickers who are

Best of R ed Deer BRONZE WINNER

just looking to cowboy up for a rodeo all the way through to people who were born and raised in the country. “Lammle’s, as a company, is very happy to be in Red Deer because Red Deer is a city but it still has the country feel to it. So it hits both for us. We have lots of stores in

Calgary and Edmonton that are your city stores and are more for dressing up for the day, but we still have a lot of country people and people from the area that come in. “Red Deer’s a great community and we’re happy to be here.” zcormier@reddeerexpress.com

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36 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

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BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 37

Freedom reigns at local pet daycare BY CYRIL BRABANT RED DEER EXPRESS What do you get when you mix about 60 dogs, a warehouse full of space and a loving team dedicated to caring for our excitable furry friends? The Freedom House. Chasing around dobermans and chihuahuas seems like a dream, but is actually the every day life for the staff at Freedom House and the care and love they put into the dogs has come back 10-fold as they claim the gold for Red Deer’s Best Pet Boarding/ Daycare category. Founder and owner, Kerrie Meadows, says that she’s humbled and greatly appreciates all the support and recognition from all the family, friends and owners of the dogs she takes care of. “It’s very humbling,” said Meadows. “We’re excited, especially when you know about how this started out.” What makes this pet daycare facility, that opened in 2011, different than others is that it allows dogs to roam free and in their own ‘packs’ so they can run around, play and exercise together. There is no kenneling involved save for during dinner time and when the dogs go

to sleep. Each dog that is boarding has a fenced off portion of the daycare for when they go to sleep but is open during all other hours of the day. Freedom House offers all the amenities your furry friend could ever want, Queen sized beds to lay on, an indoor waterfall, a calming atmosphere of burning incense. It sounds all like it’s too good to be true, but it truly is a doggy heaven. In addition to the freedom of being able to run around in a warehouse together, dogs can also expect grooming available to them. “We have customers that come in just for grooming,” said Darrell White, accounts manager of Freedom House. “Whether it’s getting their nails done or a full groom, we take care of it.” Before White began running with the pack, he worked as the chief operating officer at Servus Credit Union. He was close friends with Meadows long before he joined the team about one year ago. “I’ve known her (Meadows) for her entire life,” said White. “She asked me to come on board and I thought ‘you know what, it’s time for

a change’. So after 25 years of working at a bank, I decided to join her and manage more of the front and accounting side of operations here.” Meadows is known by her staff, customers and friends as the Canadian ‘dog whisperer’ as she is professionally trained and certified in dog handling and training. Not to mention, she has trained under one of Cesar Millan’s best friends, Martin Deeley. Often you’ll see posts on the Freedom House’s facebook with happy customers saying that their dogs are tuckered out after having fun or have come back much better behaved after spending time with Meadows. Freedom house has two types of care that it offers clients, the daycare in which clients drop their pets off in the morning, and boarding, which is usually used by clients that are going to be out of town for extended periods of time. White said that the type of clients that drop off their pets are the usual 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workers that want their dogs to have good exercise and fun while they’re at work, vacationers that are going away for a weekend or two, and oil-rig workers who

spend weeks away at a time and want their pups pampered and well maintained. Although it might sound a bit daunting to allow your pet to join a pack that can have as many as 70 dogs in it at a time, Freedom House does ensure that each dog is matched according to size and personality. “Some dogs would much rather sit up near the front and watch people driving by,” said White. “But most of the dogs that we get enjoy being in a large pack. “We try to match the dog to situation, but ultimately they pick where they want to be.” Every dog that comes to Freedom House must first undergo a vetting process that ensures that it will be able to integrate into the pack to try to work out any issues the dog might have. “Each dog that comes here, I have to take the time to work with it,” said Meadows. “To make sure that it understands that there’s no fighting and that they understand that there is a hierarchy and structure to the facility. “For the amount of dogs that we have, it’s unbelievable how well the dogs behave once they’ve become

a part of the pack. Meadows started her work with dogs in 1983 with the Canadian Kennel Club and trained in the United States. Although it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine, Meadows had a tough track when she first opened up the facility as there was so much work to be put in in order to make her dream a reality. “There was nothing in here (the facility),” Meadows said. “I was driving, hauling trucks

and trailers just to pay the bills. So it was humble beginnings to say the least, but now I can say that once I’ve had up to 130 dogs running around, all free and loose in the daycare.” Unlike other daycares or kennels, Freedom House has a retail portion of the facility that gives owners the option of buying food for their dogs, so they don’t have to bring a bag from home. student@reddeerexpress.com

GOOD FRIENDS - Kerrie Meadows, founder and owner of Freedom House poses for a portrait in the facility, which won gold in the Best Pet Boarding/Daycare category. Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express

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38 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

SPORTS GUY - Chris Flaman-Haley, the owner of Play it Again Sports in Red Deer showed off some of the store’s unique stock of disc golf gear. Flaman-Haley’s store was voted silver for Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express Best Sporting Goods Store this year.

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BEST OF RED DEER 2016

Silver lining for Dance Traxx Studio BY CYRIL BRABANT RED DEER EXPRESS

to routinely come in for practice and training three times a week whereas the recreational program has one session per week. From ballet to hip hop, Dance Traxx At the end of the year both programs get Studio ‘jazz hands’ its way to silver in the together and host a year-end dance recital Best Dance Studio category in this year’s to showcase their talents. Best of Red Deer. “It includes the whole studio,” said Meagan McGratten has been the owner McGratten. “So it’s a time for both proof the studio for five years after taking over grams to dance with one another in the from its previous owner who maintained grand finale. the studio for 11 years. “We try to put together a performance A Saskatoon native, in which they can dance toMcGratten started from humgether so that they can feel ble beginnings by starting closer and more like a team.” work in studios as a dancer The most recent recital “IT’S A HUGE and worked her way up to is named ‘In Your Wildest being the owner and director HONOUR THAT Dreams’ and features a dance of her own studio in Red Deer. with the theme of Malala OUR FAMILIES “A lot of people tend to think Yousafzai’s life, choreoAND FRIENDS Dance is a ‘just for fun’ activigraphed by Sherrie Scherger WOULD THINK SO in honour and support of ty,” said McGratten. “But we’re dealing with bodies, so we Yousafzai’s work in education HIGHLY OF US TO have to know what muscles for girls. VOTE FOR US.” do what, and what levels and “The girls really took on ages they (students) should be the theme,” McGratten said. MEAGAN doing things so that there’s a “They studied it in school, safe progression to learning.” they read the book, we had a MCGRATTEN McGratten has a certificamovie night in the studio and tion from the Royal Academy watched her documentary. of Dance from England, an “They took it seriously and Associated Dance Arts for it helped the girls realize how Professional Teachers jazz certification fortunate they are.” and is currently completing her junior acro Although the studio has a majority of training from Acrobatique. girls in its midst, there are a few boys that “Parents can count on the fact that we love the art as well. have their children’s safety in mind,” said “We try and encourage dance to boys as McGratten. “Even if it’s just to have some well,” McGratten said. “Dance is good for fun, it’s nice to know you’ve left your kids everyone. Dance is good for coordination, in the right hands. flexibility, rhythm and it even helps out “I mean, you wouldn’t want to go to a physically in other sports as well.” dentist without a degree.” McGratten credits the success of the The studio offers two programs, a more studio to the relationships the students competitive level called the intensive make and the things they learn. program, which requires more of a com“It’s a huge honour that our families and mitment of time and dedication, and a friends would think so highly of us to vote recreational level which is more relaxed for us,” McGratten said. “It’s nice to be a and aimed for children that love to move part of the Red Deer community and we around and burn off energy. hope to keep growing. “We do more than just dance. The stu“Dance can teach a lot of things like dents do exams, perform locally and com- discipline, commitment, athleticism and pete in as many competitions as possible,” goes beyond the scope of what you think McGratten said. it can offer.” The intensive program calls for students student@reddeerexpress.com

RED DEER EXPRESS 39

ROYAL LEGACY CONTINUES

Best of Red Deer BRONZE WINNER

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ON STAGE - Meagan McGratten, owner of Dance Traxx Studio, stands beside a ballet stretching bar. McGratten has been running the studio for five years and recently hosted the studio’s year-end dance recital. Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express

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40 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

FAMILY BUSINESS - Glenn Turple, centre, one of the founders of Turple Bros. Ltd., stands with his children and business partners Gordon Turple and Brenda Neufeld at their dealership on Gasoline Alley. Turple Bros. was voted silver for Best Motorcycle/Powersports Dealer. Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express

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BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 41

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42 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

Best of Red Deer GOLD WINNER

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GETTING FIT - From right, Kerri Skladan, a staff member at Body Basics strikes a pose with her boyfriend, Ray Jewan, a member at the gym. Body Basics was voted bronze for Best Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express Fitness Centre/Gym.

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BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 43

TIRE PRO - Michael Bekar, a tire technician at Don’s Tire & Automotive Repair, examined some of the tires on the showroom floor at the store. Don’s Tire was voted silver for Best Tire Shop this year. Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express

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44 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

Lifestyle training offered at 360 Fitness Jack Wheeler sees top honours for Best Personal Trainer BY ZACHARY CORMIER RED DEER EXPRESS When he started 360 Fitness seven years ago, Jack Wheeler had a very clear idea of the kind of atmosphere he wanted to provide to the clients that come to the all-inclusive personal training studio. “It was really developed from a passion of helping people better than a typical gym setting could ever do. Most gym settings are intimidating, they’re uncomfortable, they’re huge, you have no idea what’s going on, people don’t talk to each other. It’s not really a supportive atmosphere or a supportive environment,” said Wheeler, who is the owner of 360 Fitness. Wheeler’s goal was to set up a small, private fitness centre where clients could feel supported in all of their fitness goals. “I knew that if we were going to help people with their fitness goals, it wasn’t the equipment or the walls or the space that had to change; it was the atmosphere.” Contributing to that positive atmosphere is the fact that 360 Fitness is a private gym with a relatively small membership, meaning that the personal trainers are better able to cater to each client’s needs. And that supportive atmosphere seems to be working for the fitness chain, as 360 Fitness earned the gold for Best Fitness Centre/Gym while Wheeler himself was voted gold in the Best Personal Trainer category. “It’s fantastic. What a huge honour. I love it that we’re getting a lot of votes from our members, which is great, but we have a small membership base. So I know that it’s a lot of people in the commu-

nity who are not members here that are still voting for us. So that’s awesome and very humbling,” Wheeler said. While this is the third time 360 Fitness has won the gold award as Best Fitness Centre/Gym, it is the first time that Wheeler has been named tops in the Best Personal Trainer category. “Our personal training philosophy is a heck of a lot different here. With our personal training team here, we’re unique in that we’re all learning under one umbrella,” said Wheeler, adding most personal trainers at public gyms are independent sub-contractors. “That’s not a really good, conducive environment to success because there’s a lot of competition in a negative way.” At 360 Fitness, Wheeler said, all of the personal trainers are employees, which makes a big difference because it means that every trainer is invested in making sure every client is achieving their goals. “When a member signs on at 360, they’re hiring 360 Fitness and our entire team,” explained Wheeler, noting each member is assigned a head coach who directs the program, but they have 17 personal trainers looking out for them when they’re at the gym. “If they have a question or they have an issue that their head coach may not be the best person to ask, they have 17 heads working together and they have 17 support systems there.” Another thing that sets Wheeler’s team apart from the rest is the fact they focus just as much on the stuff that happens outside of the workouts as the workouts themselves. “Outside of the workouts is more important than the work-

GETTING FIT - Jack Wheeler, owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer posed for a photo at the studio recently. Wheeler landed gold for Best Personal Trainer this year while 360 Fitness won gold for Best Fitness Centre/Gym. Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express

outs because in total honesty, showing up for your workout is pretty simple for a lot of people. But it’s what they do the other 23 and a half hours of the day that really dictates whether they’re successful or not.” Because of this, they put a lot of emphasis on nutrition, lifestyle coaching, accountability and goal planning. “Rather than just saying ‘hey how many push ups can we do in a 30 minute span’ that’s fine and

d e Deer! R u o Y k n a Th Thank you Red Deer & Central Alberta

well, but we have to find out why you’re here in the first place. Why you want to do those 30 minutes of push ups,” Wheeler said. “We’re not really just a personal training company, we’re a lifestyle company in a nutshell. That’s what makes us different and that’s what gives our clients awesome success.” In order to accomplish this, Wheeler and the trainers at 360 Fitness are in constant communication with their clients.

“We see our clients anywhere from two to four times per week. Right off the bat. During the workout the trainer is constantly asking them ‘hey what are we doing? What can we get better at?’ So there’s at least two to four times a week that we’re just talking them through it.” All of this taken together means that no matter how experienced you are, 360 Fitness can help you achieve your goals. zcormier@reddeerexpress.com

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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 45

The Joshua Tree wins gold Thanks Red Deer! For voting us one of the best for Best New Business places to shoot pool and the GOLD BY ERIN FAWCETT RED DEER EXPRESS

cided I didn’t want to do that anymore. I up and quit and the next day my mom invited me here and at that time it was A quaint, relaxing and inviting home The Dented Can. I had such an emotional decor store in the heart of Red Deer’s reaction when I walked in and I asked if downtown has won top honours. they were hiring. And they told me they The Joshua Tree won gold for Best New were looking to sell. All of the odds were Business in this year’s Best of Red Deer against me and I just prayed about it and Awards. it just happened and a week Located on Little Gaetz, later, I was the new owner.” The Joshua Tree opened Cassidi’s love of crafting their doors in the February came at a young age. “Ever 2015. since I could hold a hot glue “I’M BLOWN The store was opened by gun I was crafting. I think AWAY. I’M Cassidi Wagner and her when I first realized that I husband Garrett Wagner. loved doing furniture, my EMOTIONAL Recently, Vicki Finlay joined mom gave me a buffet that BECAUSE MY the team as well. was my Nana’s and my mom SOUL IS HERE The Joshua Tree offers rehad painted it black. I took AND A PIECE OF it and painted it white and furbished furniture, up-cycled items and home decor. that turned into me doing MY BROTHER They will also work with clia dresser for my mom. My IS STILL HERE. ents on customized pieces. Nana’s 65th birthday, we did I JUST THINK Most of the work done in a vanity for her. I fell in love the store is done by Cassidi THAT IS SO with it.” and Finlay. As for their win in this COOL.” “I named the Joshua Tree year’s Best of Red Deer after my brother who passed Awards, Cassidi said it feels CASSIDI away two years ago,” said surreal. Cassidi. “He was a carpenter “I’m blown away. I’m WAGNER at heart and he was finally emotional because my soul doing a job that he loved. He is here and a piece of my was in a car accident on his brother is still here. I just way home and he was buildthink that is so cool,” she ing the retirement home that just went said. “To find out that all these people up in Olds. voted for me is just so amazing. I want to “I was working in an office and about thank everyone who voted.” a year after he passed away, I just deefawcett@reddeerexpress.com

WINNER for BEST LIVE MUSIC

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A big THANK YOU to all of our families that voted for us and help us Make Our Mark year after year!

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Photography by 88 images.

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this year and for the honour of receiving Silver for City Councillor and Bronze for Local Politician.

stand outside their store on Little Gaetz Ave. The Joshua Tree won gold for Best New Business Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express in Red Deer.

MOVING COMPANY 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

(403) 347-8841 Doug and Wanda Rue

Thank you for your vote of confidence again

GOLD STATUS - From left, Cassidi Wagner and Vicki Finlay, co-owners of The Joshua Tree,

Best of Red Deer GOLD WINNER


46 RED DEER EXPRESS

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

Trevor Aslin works hard to make a community difference BY MARK WEBER RED DEER EXPRESS Owner/manager of Sobeys South Trevor Aslin knows the value of connecting to the community. And it’s those strong connections - and a focus on collaboration - that have helped Aslin land gold for Best Corporate Citizen in this year’s Best of Red Deer Awards, he said. The store also won gold for Best Grocery Store (for the seventh consecutive year) and bronze for Best Customer Service/ Friendliest Staff. “It’s overwhelming, and especially for the second year in a row,” said a grateful Aslin of the Best Corporate Citizen win in particular. “I said last year and I’ll say it again this year that I know this is a great community for philanthropy,” he said. “There’s a ton of people that give back in this community.” For Aslin, receiving these accolades stems from a commitment to working with others in bringing goals for both the store and the community to fruition. Partnerships with other businesses, organizations and individuals are key to that.

“I try and support the businesses in our community that support the community,” he added with a smile. “And I think that has a part to play in maybe why people would take the time to reach out and vote,” he said. Aslin, who originally hails from Edmonton, moved to Red Deer with his wife Petra and two young children to purchase the Eastview IGA in the late 1990s. In 2002, he moved over to the new Sobeys South location. And it wasn’t long before he began to put his own personal stamp onto all aspects of the operation, from a commitment to customer service to hiring a team that has tapped into that vision as well. Over the years, it’s those aforementioned partnerships that have also helped to make the store a favourite for local shoppers. “We’ve joined with a lot of businesses, and even on a social media platform, we’ve promoted businesses, backed businesses or talked about businesses and have these great little partnerships.” Community involvement and support has extended to organizations ranging from the local Girl Guides

TEAM EFFORT - Zach Aslin and his father Trevor Aslin take some time out from their duties at Sobeys South recently. Trevor landed Best Corporate Citizen in this year’s Best of Red Deer Awards. and the annual Festival of Trees to the Diamonds and Denim fundraiser for Spinal Cord Injury Alberta and Women’s Outreach. Trevor, his son Zach and other staff members recently took part in the ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ fundraiser that supports the programs offered by Women’s Outreach as well. Trevor also views the

“People You Can Count On”

Thank you to all of our customers for your continued support!

Best of Red Deer BRONZE WINNER

FARM IMPLEMENT DEALER 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

store as a place for local organizations to regularly set up tables and chat with potential supporters as well. Not to mention special events out in the parking lot, such as barbecues and car wash fundraisers for various charities, too. “I think that for me to be named corporate citizen really doesn’t have as much to do with me as it does the people that I’m associated with,” he said, adding that his son Zach, who also works at Sobeys South, is a key part of the store’s overall success. “He’s just finished business college at RDC, and he’s been in the company full time,” said Trevor, adding that his son used to ride on the back of carry-out carts at Eastview IGA and help his dad put groceries in customers’ trunks. “He’s been working since he was three and a onehalf,” said Trevor, chuckling. “But truly since he was about 13, he’s been in virtually every single department in this store.” After business studies, Zach, 21, decided that the

business was where he wanted to hang his hat, said Trevor. Today, Zach works in the store’s human resources section, plus he’s involved with employee development and customer service. Really, he pretty much can do anything that needs to be done, as he has shown a passion for acquiring a number of skills relevant to Sobeys’ day to day operations. “He also puts us on this new, higher profile,” said a clearly proud Trevor, adding that Zach is on the executive for 100 Men Who Care - a local networking and fundraising group. Zach is involved with other Red Deer based causes as well, and it’s again that type of engagement with the community at large that lifts the entire profile of Sobeys South. “I just have to say again it’s not about me,” said Trevor. “I’ve said to him a million times, you know what? You’re the guy I wanted to be when I was 21.” Meanwhile, Trevor also pointed out that Sobeys in

Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express

general is geared toward community involvement and support as well. “My opinion as a franchisee, part of our scope of how we do business gets filtered down from our head office,” he explained. “Every single year they step up - we have a program called Time for Sharing at Christmas and part of the Christmas hamper program we run through our store here is funded by the Time for Sharing program that our corporation sends down the pipe to us from head office. “They are very community-minded and family-orientated,” he said. “They’ve kept that family and community focus.” For Trevor, at the end of the day, there really couldn’t be a more fitting line of work. “I feel like I’m more engaged now with customers and those connections in the business community than I ever have been. “It’s the connections in general that keep me going - they are what fuel me.”

Thank You

Red Deer and Central Alberta for selecting me for the 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards. “I am humbled and thrilled.”

Joan

Donald

5102 - 58 Street, Red Deer Phone 403.358.3300 Real Estate - Investments

PROOF

editor@reddeerexpress.com

Best of Red Deer SILVER WINNER

CORPORATE CITIZEN 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2016

BEST OF RED DEER 2016

RED DEER EXPRESS 47

BEST - From left, Courtney Hollenga and Sheena Johnson pose for a portrait in front of the private fitting area at The Bra Lounge. Hollenga and Johnson are the founders and co-owners of The Bra Lounge which has won silver for the Best Lingerie Store in Red Deer.

Cyril Brabant/Red Deer Express

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