Move Up ~ Issue 27

Page 1

MOVE work, live and prosper in northwestern alberta

Local Features

Peace River Bridge Nears Completion Waste to Energ y Pilot Project Northern Lakes College Distance Learning




LOCAL + AUTHENTIC Quality Goods in your Neighbourhood

Issue 27 ¬ Aug | Sept | oct 2020

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Contents >>





Jenelle Van Slyke Tormaigh Van Slyke EDITORS

Jenelle Van Slyke Tormaigh Van Slyke


Talena Winters LAYOUT DESIGN

Jenelle Van Slyke Tormaigh Van Slyke AD DESIGN

Aimie Williams Jenelle Van Slyke Tormaigh Van Slyke PHOTOGRAPHY

Ç Peace River Bridge Nears Completion

p. 10

Melissa E. Earle, Samantha Rose Photography, Sharon Krushel, That Girl Pearl Photography, Tyrell Parenteau and Virginia Moskalyk CONTRIBUTORS

Amber Armstrong, Peace River Rotaract, Northern Lakes College Staff, Jenelle Van Slyke & Tormaigh Van Slyke


Move Up is published by VAULTmedia. No content herein, including designed advertising, can be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. 16,000+ copies are printed and distributed throughout northwestern Alberta and beyond. Move Up is 100 percent funded by advertising dollars. Have a great story idea? Please send us your press release for consideration. Follow us on social media

Ç Feature | Local + Authentic

p. 25

Also >> 16

REDI Launches a Shop Local Campaign


Endless Possibilities with NLC LIVE Online™


Peace River Rotaract: Active in the Community


GO: Mighty Peace




Benefits abound when dollars stay in the community



Erin Mitchell enjoys the flexibility of online learning

A group of young, motivated individuals better their community

Endless potential and adventure await

CORRECTION: In the previous issue of Move Up (MU26), Samantha Kamieniecki's (from Samantha Rose Photography) name is misspelled. Move Up regrets the error. Also, while Cabin In The Woods Bed and Breakfast (p. 19) was the only B&B in the area when they opened, this is no longer the case. We would like to acknowledge this discrepancy.

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WIN UP TO $200

County of Northern Lights Annual Photo Contest We’re looking for some amazing photos taken in the County to be featured in our 2021 promotional calendar. Your selected photos can win you up to $200.

The deadline for photo submissions is Friday, October 2nd, 2020. For contest rules and all necessary entry, contest, waiver and release forms, go to or scan this code. Just use your phone’s camera, no scanning app needed!


M OVE U P A U G U S T - N O V E M BER 2020 |

News 

Northern Sunrise County funds Waste to Energy Pilot Project orthern Sunrise County has chosen to proceed with a $1.255 million advancement—less any funds secured through the existing intercompany facility—to the Peace Regional Waste Management Company (PRWMC) to finance the Waste to Energy (W2E) pilot project, which is slated to start this fall.


nothing is left of the waste material. The decision to fund the pilot project was made at a June 23 council meeting following a PRWMC presentation given two weeks prior. The pilot project will be used to ensure the process works as expected in the context of the local region and will be expanded to a full facility with renewable power generation if the pilot is deemed successful.

According to the PRWMC, 92% of the waste in our region is suitable for W2E processing. The expectation is the pilot project will convert eight tonnes of waste per day, which would normally go to the landfill, and heat three large PRWMC shops with the energy produced. During Phase 2 larger equipment will be purchased and installed that will convert the waste to heat and electricity. The larger system will have Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) generators installed to produce electricity for PRWMC operations and sell the excess to the local electrical grid.

The W2E project will utilize the process of microgasification to harness the latent energy in waste and make it usable in the form of heat and electricity. To accomplish this, the waste is heated to over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is past the point of combustion, allowing it to gasify. The energy from this process is then used to generate power. Moisture in the form of leachate is

then added to the waste for maximum efficiency. This will eliminate the costly practice of hauling away large quantities of leachate for deep well disposal.

PRWMC provides waste management for the Village of Nampa, Northern Sunrise County and the Town of Peace River. PRWMC will work with BioMass Energy Techniques Inc. on this pilot project. For more information on this innovative project, visit

The gasification process involves no burning, no visible emissions and no odour. It also eliminates the methane that would be produced by waste decomposition in a landfill. After processing,

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 News

STEVE BOLKOWY SPORTS AWARD NOMINATIONS OPEN The Town of Grimshaw Community Services Department would like to ask all interested residents and/or sports organizations to recognize a worthy recipient for the 2020 Steve Bolkowy Annual Sports Award. Pick up a nomination form from the Town Office and recognize an individual for their outstanding volunteer efforts and positive contributions given to sports and recreation in the community of Grimshaw and the surrounding area. Deadline for nominations is September 07, 2020. For questions, call Tracy Halerewich, Director of Community Services at (780) 332-4005 extension 03.


NEW PLAYGROUND AT THE MAPLES IN THE MD OF FAIRVIEW The Maples, a day use park area located on the west side of the Dunvegan Bridge, now boasts a new historically significant playground thanks to a generous donation. “The playground equipment at the Maples was donated by the Fort Dunvegan Historical Society (FDHS). The playground equipment honors our First Nations heritage and continues with the historic theme at The Maples,” said Peggy Johnson, Reeve of the MD of Fairview and MD representative for FDHS. “The MD of Fairview is excited to have this amazing playground for future generations to enjoy which represents the history of our region.”

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Other donators and volunteers include the MD of Fairview #136, LaPrairie Works, LaPrairie Crane Division, Clint Rombs (CNRL), Northern Mat and Bridge, K&R Services, UFA (Fairview), Don & Irene Chilcote, Kelly White and Bruce McAllister. Historic Dunvegan was established in the late 1700s and was one of the first areas to be settled in the region. The First Nations people used this area as a meeting point for thousands of years. The Maples also features a large day use area with fire pits and picnic tables, a cookhouse shelter, horseshoe pits, stocked firewood, walking trails, and more.

T0WN OF FAIRVIEW LAUNCHES NEW EVENTS WEBSITE The Town of Fairview has launched its new local events website, which will include events in and around the Fairview area— including those events hosted by local businesses. The site currently features listings for the new virtual Summer's End Festival, which includes the Kidz Connection summer fun ideas, videos and contests, as well as the Summer Days Entertainment page, which will host video entertainment. The page will offer up-todate listings with fun new activities, videos and event information for all ages. If you would like to submit your upcoming events, contact: or call 780-835-5461.

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 News




On July 10, the Alberta Government announced it is investing $16.2 million into a 92 kilometer, six-inch, high-pressure natural gas pipline from the NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. Wolverine River Lateral pipeline, northeast of Peace River, to La Crête .

The Rural Health Professions Action Plan (RhPAP) Board of Directors has recognized the Peace Regional Healthcare Attraction and Retention Committee (PRHARC) with the Rhapsody Community Award, which recognizes a rural Alberta community that has developed innovative and collaborative approaches to successfully attract and retain healthcare providers in its area.

High Level Mayor Crystal McAteer received recognition for 15 years of service during High Level Council's Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, April 20, 2020.

The project will benefit the entire region, ensuring an uninterrupted supply of natural gas. Northern Lights Gas Co-op will also benefit from an increased customer base, as the new supply line will allow them to serve large industrial customers. The economic benefits of the project include the creation of about 50 construction jobs. The project will also make the region more attractive to industrial employers who need access to a reliable source of natural gas. The supply line is expected to be operational by 2022. L to R: John Fehr, board chair, Northern Lights Gas Co-Op; Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry; and Dan Williams, MLA of Peace River

PRHARC was selected based on the variety of initiatives the committee is involved in, the positive change in attitudes they have encouraged and the successes they have achieved. Additionally, Tyne Lunn—an Advanced and Community Care Paramedic from Peace River—and the Manning Community Health Centre Nursing Team were each recognized with a 2020 Rhapsody Health-care Heroes Award. This award recognizes rural Alberta healthcare providers or teams that demonstrate superior commitment to their patients, healthcare team and community.

“I’ve known Mayor Crystal for quite some time. What makes her exceptional is her ability to care. Whether it was for her students or now for the residents of High Level, she consistently demonstrates how deeply she cares for those she serves. She may do things her own way, and it has sometimes landed her in hot water, but she will always go the extra mile if she believes it will make things better for those around her,” wrote CAO Clark McAskile in a statement read at the meeting. “It has been a pleasure to serve the community of High Level,” said McAteer after receiving a plaque in recognition of her service.

L to R: High Level Mayor, Crystal McAteer and High Level Deputy Mayor, Boyd Langford

CLEAR HILLS COUNTY 2020 BIGGEST VEGETABLE CONTEST Weigh stations will be set up at each of the following locations over a one week period in September: Bear Canyon, Cleardale, David Thompson, Hines Creek and Worsley.

Clear Hills County will be holding a Biggest Vegetable Contest this September. 8

Winners will be announced at the end of the contest, and pictures of the winners and their entries will be published in the October County Newsletter and the following April at the Agricultural Trade Show.

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Contest categories include beets, carrots, corn, onions, potatoes, pumpkins, tomatoes, turnips, zucchini, other squash, most unique and cabbage. Two entry groups (13 and older and 12 and under) are eligible per category with the winners earning $50 each. For more information visit

News 

REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT GROWTH PLAN Fairview's Road to Growth and Prosperity he Town of Fairview, in partnership with the MD of Fairview #136, is pleased to announce the launch of a new Regional Economic Growth project.


will develop a grassroots Regional Economic Growth Plan that will advance business development and prosperity in the Fairview region.

The project is called “thrive835”, blending together the spirit of Fairview and its community with the local telephone exchange. The goal of this project is to identify local business opportunities that will increase economic growth and prosperity in the Fairview region.

Thrive835 will run from July 10, 2020 to November 30, 2020. A final draft of the Regional Economic Growth Plan is expected to be delivered to the Town of Fairview and the MD of Fairview #136 in early December 2020.

Led by independent consultant, Deb Kalyn,

thrive835 will include a series of consumer surveys, business visitations and public information sessions. A committed group of stakeholders—including members of the community and representatives from the Town of Fairview, the MD of Fairview #136, the

Heart of the Peace Economic Development Committee, and the Fairview and District Chamber of Commerce— will review the information collected from the surveys, business visitations and other relevant reports. Together with the consultant, the stakeholder group

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ravellers through Peace River will soon be able to make use of the secondary bridge across the river—a project that has influenced traffic flow through town for nearly three years now. As soon as construction on the new bridge is complete, rehabilitation will begin on the existing bridge and will continue for several more years.

Peace River Bridge Twinning Project

“We’re on pace to finish this fall,” said Tyler Wilson, Director of Construction for Bridges with Alberta Transportation, who has been on the project since 2018. “As soon as the work is finished, we’re going to start work on the old bridge, so we will have to quickly move the utilities from one structure to the other.”

By Talena Winters Photography submitted

The project, which is designed to ease traffic congestion and improve traffic flow and access

M OVE U P A U G U S T - N O V E MBER 2020 |

to emergency services, got underway in the fall of 2017. Alberta Transportation hired engineering firm AECOM and contractor Flatiron-Aecon Joint Venture and has worked closely with the Town of Peace River and other local municipalities throughout. Coming in at nearly $150 million, the project is actually four separate bridges, each one with a unique geometry. “There is the 98th Street overpass, which is made of prestressed, precast concrete box girders. The main span is a steel plate girder. The bridge over the CN tracks is a precast arch structure, and finally, there’s a steel plate girder over Shaftesbury tying in to the West Hill over Highway 684,” said Wilson. According to Flatiron’s website, “the project team set a record

Left: Pier 3 being constructed—before erosion occurred and the coffer cell was purposefully flooded (looking southwest, Nov. 2018) Right: Pier 3 showing the flooded cofferdam and eroded berm (looking northeast, Jan. 2019) Below: The main span of the new bridge (looking west, May 2020)

by being the first ever to launch a 125 linear meter bridge span,”—the distance between Piers 2 and 3 and Piers 3 and 4 of the project.

the steel. They had to flood the cell to balance the pressure and call in divers to cut the steel so they could remove it.

“The girders of the main span are 14 feet high, and launching something that size can be challenging. Whether it was the various roadway geometries, differing structures, challenging ground conditions, or the Peace River itself, each part of the project presented its own unique challenges that we had to deal with,” said Wilson.

By then, everything was frozen, which created a new set of obstacles.

The project presented unforeseen challenges, too, such as when the crew constructed the piers in 2018 and the river did not want to cooperate. Pier 3 was especially difficult. “We had our berm in the water to construct the piers, and everything from flooding to slope stability issues to scour on the berm to hitting a gas pocket tried to set us back,” said Wilson. The bottleneck created by the berm increased river velocity, which eroded the berm on one side of the Pier 3 coffer cell [a steel structure]. Increased pressure on that side bent

“The berm had to be removed before spring breakup or there was the potential of flooding the town. We were constantly managing issues to ensure we didn’t expose either the project or the town to undue risk,” said Wilson. In addition, the CN Rail strikes in late 2019 and early 2020 delayed delivery of the girders—the massive steel beams that support the bridge deck—which came by rail, and the pandemic lockdown affected some of the manpower options available and disrupted the supply chain. Fortunately, the bridge construction team have handled each challenge safely and quickly and stayed on schedule. Wilson attributes this, in part, to many of them calling the Peace River area their home.

as much as possible. Many of the people working on the bridge are residents of Peace River. Their kids go to these schools. They have to be accountable to the community, and they understand the issues. People have appreciated that,” said Wilson.

“Our team has made an effort to spend within the Peace Region and Alberta

Despite the many challenges, Wilson and his team have come up with

creative solutions to make sure the project has stayed on time and within budget, such as changing the planned source of their soil from a borrow pit on the east hill to a gravel pit right beside the construction location on the west hill. “When we decided to dig out the west hill, we worked with the Town of Peace River and created a dog

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Left: Bridge construction site showing the 98 St. overpass (looking west, taken July 2020) [Photography by Sharon Krushel] // Top right: The precast arch structure over the CN rail tracks on the west side of the river [Photography submitted] // Bottom right: The steel plate girder structure over Shaftesbury tying in to the West Hill over Highway 684 [Photography submitted]

We’ve been very fortunate with all the teams. We’ve had a good contractor and a good engineer. It’s been an excellent project. Tyler Wilson Director of Construction for Bridges Alberta Transportation


M OVE U P A U G U S T - N O V E MBER 2020 |

park where the pedestrian trail comes through from the ball diamonds. We created a nice green space where there had been nothing before, and that one change saved a considerable amount,” said Wilson. Wilson says throughout the project the local municipalities and community have been great to work with, and he is quick to give credit to his team members for making this a positive experience for everyone. “We’ve been very fortunate with all the teams. It comes down to whether we have people on board in the community willing to help us out. We’ve had a good contractor and a good engineer. It’s been an excellent project,” said Wilson.

The crew is working hard to complete construction this summer so tenders can be put out on the old bridge rehabilitation project this winter. “It’s nice that we’ve been able to take this challenging job with a lot of moving parts and we’re on budget and on time and haven’t had any major quality or environmental issues. Everything else is kind of a side story after those big ones,” said Wilson. The new bridge will have three lanes of traffic and an underslung pedestrian footbridge, which will be illuminated by LED lights. Wilson predicts the rehabilitation of the old bridge will be complete sometime in 2023.

SCHOOL PROGRAMS PRAMP offers interactive curriculum-based programs to regional schools. Our vermiculture program includes: • The super composting Red Wiggler Worm • The importance of keeping material out of landfills • A demonstration of building and maintaining a vermicomposting bin • A plastic bin, worms and supply of bedding left with the class so they can experience the magic of vermicomposting

Our air quality program includes:

Nampa Public School Grade 5/6

• Why air monitoring is important and the human activities that impact the air we breathe • Airsheds and air monitors and what they do • The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) and how it helps us make safe decisions when air quality is poor • Honey-bee health and the impact of air quality on bees

To book a presentation, please contact

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STANDING OUT BY REMAINING AUTHENTIC Being honest about who you are and working to be better

substance, and we know it when we see it; yet, too often we allow ourselves to “fill up” with the other stuff—the things that don’t offer us true satisfaction. This can even apply to our workplace.


t Mercer Peace River, our team was discussing how employers distinguish themselves to attract new candidates. Often, the wording in recruitment advertisements is similar: supportive employer, great benefits, strong team environment, etc. Employers want to sell their company as a good place to work, but the repetition can be counterproductive.


in alignment with pack mentality, and some people would rather attack than try to understand by listening or asking questions. Voices that are positive—providing solutions rather than merely identifying the issues— and more importantly, voices that are genuine and authentic are becoming harder to find.

What do potential candidates and job seekers want, and what do employers need to offer? We believe most people want something they can depend on and trust; they’re looking for authenticity.

Authenticity, it’s what we crave without even knowing it. We seek it in our food, music, literature, in art, in our surroundings and in communication—we’re starting to seek out what is real and positive and we’re moving away from what is mass-produced and disingenuous.

The world we live in is connected, which is great, but some days our online media platforms relentlessly hammer us with a mix of divisive opinions coming from both educated and uneducated people. Sometimes these opinions (or viewpoints) are hateful,

Consider your favourite meals, the songs that stay with you for decades and the words of others that have moved you. What they all have in common is they’re genuine, which is why they move you and make a difference in your life. We carry this need for

MOVE U P A U G U S T - N O V E MBER 2020 |

At Mercer Peace River, we work hard to be authentic, to be true to our values of caring for people and the environment, and we show it with our actions. That’s the basis of being authentic, actions not words. It takes a consistent focus and the ability to change, to be flexible, and to be understanding. At times some of our team members have experienced life-changing events beyond their control— deaths, accidents, illnesses, relationship upheavals and more. Life changes, but how we respond as employers and leaders defines who we are as authentic individuals and as an organization. Sometimes, our response could be to change a shift schedule to allow our team member to take and pick up their children from childcare because they have no one else to do it. It can be creating a new position to give a team member an opportunity to continue to contribute when they can no longer do the role they were originally hired to do. It might be as simple as

giving a bit of time off to sort out issues. As an employer, we know personalities and behaviours change and stress can affect actions. We do not discount the importance of personal responsibilities, but our leaders work to understand the “why” of actions rather than just focusing on “what” the action was. We use our performance improvement plans not to penalize but rather to help a person who has made a mistake. It’s about second chances, and sometimes third and fourth chances. It’s not about timelines; it’s about recognizing the potential to improve and being honest together about what needs to be done. We cannot be authentic without honesty, trust and consistency. In a world where inauthentic information, promises, food, ideas and lifestyles abound, we believe the ideals of authenticity can be realized, not just in our workplace as an authentic employer, but in all aspects of our lives. It just starts with being honest with who you are and working to be better. That’s Mercer.

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Thinker Trove in La Crête, your one-stop-shop for all things toys, crafts, yarns and school supplies



n recent years, local businesses have been struggling as shoppers increasingly spend their dollars online or out of their communities. And when businesses struggle, the community struggles. “Between the forest fires last year, COVID-19 and flooding this year, the Mackenzie Region has had a really rough time. Local businesses still need support—they need people shopping in their stores and buying their products. They can’t stay open and continue to provide services for our communities if people aren’t spending money here,” said 16


Jessica Juneau, councillor for the Town of Rainbow Lake and REDI board member. It is this need that has prompted REDI to begin a Shop Local campaign to highlight the benefits of spending money in the community. “There are many benefits to buying local. Small, locally-based businesses make a vital contribution to communities—they account for the largest share of new jobs generated each year and provide some of the most stable employment opportunities,” said Greg

McIvor of the Zama Chamber of Commerce. Spending money locally has ripple effects people don’t often think about. Small business owners and their employees usually spend money locally, too, keeping cash flowing through the local economy. In addition, it is small businesses, not the international conglomerates online or in the city, who support the local non-profit organizations from which everyone benefits. “It’s not uncommon for people to take a weekend trip down to Costco in Grande Prairie and fill up a

trailer, but Costco doesn’t support your kids’ hockey team,” said Juneau. Local businesses have a vested interest in making their customers happy and will often go the extra mile to provide excellent customer service or find that unique product a customer is looking for. “Mom and pop shops are the backbone of every community as they have closer relationships with their customers, so they are best able to meet their customers’ personal needs,” said REDI board member Larry Neufeld of

artisans to feature in her stores, and she and her husband do everything they can to help their clientele, who primarily live in local Indigenous communities. “Lockdown was lifted on the Indigenous communities, but now they’re in lockdown again. So, we’re being mindful and respectful of what they’re experiencing,” said Welke. The Welkes already had an established pharmacy run out to local communities before lockdown. Now they’ll take groceries when they can, too. “It always goes back to a reciprocal relationship. If we can survive and thrive, we’re going to turn around and support local activities. When people come in and ask for donations, it’s hard to give those if they’re not shopping local,” said Welke.

the La Crête Chamber of Commerce. Cheryll Welke co-owns I.D.A. in High Level and Pioneer Pharmasave in Fort Vermilion with her husband, Jan Welke, and is also a member of the High Level Chamber of Commerce and the REDI board. She is still finding new products and services available in the region. “I didn’t realize we had so many home-based businesses here. I was recently looking for seed potatoes because all the stores were sold out. I was told there was a ‘potato guy’ in Fort Vermilion. That

It always goes back to a reciprocal relationship. If we can survive and thrive, we’re going to turn around and support local activities. CHERYLL WELKE Co-owner of High Level's I.D.A. and Fort Vermilion's Pioneer Pharmasave

‘potato guy’ is actually Peace Growers, a huge potatogrowing facility that supplies grocery stores around the region. There are plenty of other examples, even people who have hobby businesses. I don’t need to go to Grande Prairie—I can stay right

here to get what I need,” said Welke. Welke knows first-hand how important the relationship is between local vendors and consumers. She actively seeks out local Indigenous

“A lot of community events in Rainbow Lake depend on the donations of our local businesses, such as our golf tournaments, kids programs like youth centres and nursery schools and the hockey teams. Those things have been hit really hard because we’re not seeing as much donated,” said Juneau. The last two years have presented many challenges to everyone, but this is especially true in the Mackenzie Region. Supporting local businesses is arguably the best way consumers can help the region move forward for the benefit of all. When residents help local businesses, they are helping themselves. ADVERTI SE ME N T



M OVE U P A U G U S T - N O V E MBER 2020 |

L to R: Shane McLean, Leah Lizotte, Tamie McLean, Darren Nanooch, Wendy McLean, Karen Smith & Cameron Cardinal. Missing: Mike Smith, Cheryl Lizotte // That Girl Pearl Photography



Fort Vermilion Recreation Board


n the small community of Fort Vermilion, coming together and having fun is a vital part of community life. Since 1976, the Fort Vermilion Recreation Board (FVRB) has been working to provide fun social opportunities through their recreational complex and programs. As a non-profit organization, the FVRB depends on its volunteers and working with other community organizations— such as Mackenzie County and Mackenzie Frontier Tourism Association (MFTA). “We offer a wide range of activities for all ages, from youth to senior citizens. We have a splash park, fitness centre, arena, curling rink, a hall, ball diamonds,

volleyball courts and the rodeo grounds. There’s lots to do,” said Tamie McLean, President of the FVRB. Mackenzie County owns the facilities, and FVRB takes care of them as per an operating agreement. Together, they determine which capital projects will be funded each year. Then, MFTA helps promote all that FVRB offers. These partnerships, and others like them across the county, provide a vast array of recreational opportunities. “Say we wanted to get some playground equipment. We put in our wish list, and they let us know what they can help with,” said McLean. July saw dozens of people come out for the annual


River Daze canoe and kayak races on the Peace River. Ordinarily, they put on summer programs such as baseball, soccer and ball hockey. The annual Sports Days at the rodeo grounds include events such as horse races, barrel racing and pole bending. “Some events and summer programs have been cancelled this year due to the pandemic and flooding, but the splash park is open, and the 1788 Market is in full swing. People sell vegetables, essential oils, Avon, crochet and more. It seems to be doing well,” said McLean. The hall is a gathering place. It hosts numerous events, from weddings to funerals to the monthly bingo night and more.

“In the summer, we employ two to three students through the Canada Grant and the Rupertsland Institute,” said McLean. The complex has seen a fair amount of use during the recent emergencies—last year as a refuge for forest fire evacuees, and this year as a donation centre for victims of the spring flooding. “We’re proud of the positive involvement we have in the community,” said McLean. “It’s a great feeling knowing that the time we spend volunteering is helping others and making a difference.” Volunteers, non-profits and partnerships are critical to providing these services in the Frontier.

780-926-4233 ADVERTI SE ME N T


Steve and Debbie Overguard // Photography Submitted



Tapawingo Lodge, Mackenzie County


ucked into a corner of Mackenzie County straight north of Zama City on Bistcho Lake is a fly-in hunting and fishing haven known as Tapawingo Lodge. The name means “place of joy,” which is certainly what it brings to its many patrons—as well as to its owners Steve and Debbie Overguard, 60 and 58, respectively. “We do summer and winter fishing, bear hunting, moose hunting and wolf hunting. People come in for the miles of skidooing in the winter. We get mostly locals and other Albertans,” said Steve. The Overguards spend about eight months of the year at the lodge spread

over different hunting seasons, going home to Sundre in between. They took over the business from founder Jack Halvorson of Manning 17 years ago, but they have been in the guide and outfitting industry in Alberta for 40 years now. Their kids are carrying on the tradition. “It’s a big family-run business. Everyone has their own shares. Our granddaughters come and help us haul fuel and set up boats sometimes,” said Steve. The facility is only 12 miles from the Northwest Territories border. It has an air strip and eight fullystocked cabins that include




heaters, barbecues, fridges, propane stoves and cold running water. There’s even electricity. “The cabins are selfcontained with enough distance between them for privacy. We supply the propane and wood. Lots of years, if you haven’t booked your March trip by the middle of February, you’re probably not going to get in,” said Debbie. In the time they’ve been there, the lake fishing has improved significantly, something the couple are very proud of. “We fish on the thirdbiggest lake in Alberta and work hard to manage it. We

try not to open our lodge until after the fish have spawned so we can maintain the lake. The fishing is awesome now,” said Debbie. On the way in and out of the lodge, many of their clients support local hotels and businesses in Zama City, Manning, High Level, Peace River and La Crête, and the Overguards try to spend as much of their earnings as they can locally. They are proud to be a big part of the local tourist industry. “We’re the only people here. Truly, we're on the last frontier,” said Steve.





NLC LIVE Online™ Makes All The Difference An education with endless possibilities

W "I did not have to move or change my lifestyle. I am not facing some of the challenges my friends who moved away from home are now facing." Erin Mitchell

NLC LIVE Online™ University Studies Student

hen Erin Mitchell had to spend a month in Newfoundland due to a family illness in the fall of 2018, the Northern Lakes College University Studies student did not miss a beat when it came to her studies. Thanks to the College’s unique NLC LIVE Online™ delivery model, Erin was able to attend her classes, submit her assignments and keep on track. “I would have likely had to withdraw for the term had I been studying at a school with traditional face-to-face classes,” said Erin. The online delivery model allowed Erin to continue her studies while in Newfoundland spending quality time with her gravely ill grandmother. Her instructors were aware of the situation she and her family were dealing and offered to extend the due dates of assignments to allow her more time with family. Erin was able to maintain the schedule of assignments, but knowing this flexibility was available reduced the stress in an already emotional and difficult situation. Erin feels the amount of flexibility extended to her during this time would not have been available at a larger institution. The benefits of small class sizes and the personal touch at a community institution such as Northern Lakes College made it possible for her to balance

her schooling and personal life— and to spend time with family when it mattered. Born and raised in Slave Lake, Erin graduated from Roland Michener Secondary School in June 2018. She elected to enroll in the University Studies program at Northern Lakes College because she wanted to stay in her home community, close to the support of her family and friends. Erin says she would have found it too difficult to move away from her home and family. Erin, whose long-term goal is to be an elementary teacher, has worked part-time at the local daycare since Grade 11. She has maintained her part-time job and is managing to save money while attending school. Erin’s goal is to finish her degree with little to no student debt. Of her choice to study at Northern Lakes College, Erin says, “I did not have to move or change my lifestyle. I am happy I am not facing some of the challenges my friends who moved away from home are now facing.” Erin would absolutely make the same decision again today. If anything, as she goes along, she is more convinced she made the absolute right decision by staying home and studying locally at Northern Lakes College.

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PEACE RIVER ROTARACT: ACTIVE IN THE COMMUNITY A group of young, motivated individuals bettering their community

are assembling materials to build an agility course for our local dog park, so there are some additional activities available to the dog lovers in town. August will be another busy month. We will be putting the finishing touches on another of our projects, Packed Packs with Rotaract.

L to R: Rotaract Vice President Jackson Shannon and Rotaract President Rylee Armstrong


eace River Rotaract is a communityfocused organization that began operating under the leadership of Rylee Armstrong in March of 2020. We were sponsored by the Peace River Rotary Club and chartered on June 2, 2020. The main goal throughout our first few working months was to establish ourselves as the movers and shakers of the Peace Country, motivated to improve our hometown. We do this through event organization, communityminded initiatives and volunteering. As we were getting Rotaract up and running, COVID-19 began to have major impacts on all facets of our lives, but


we recognized there was an opportunity to help those affected most. We knew there had to be an innovative solution that respected public health orders, and our very first project was borne: Meals for Months. Meals for Months was a month-long initiative that gave community members the opportunity to select from a variety of meals from our online “store.” Afterward, all proceeds were used to purchase food items from Freson Bros., and the food was organized into hampers that could be easily distributed from the Salvation Army Food Bank. Thanks to the support from the very generous residents and businesses in the Peace Country, we were able to raise $16,545 (3,222 meals)!

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The success of the first project gave us plenty of inspiration, and we began to look at our next project. As the snow melted, a lot of garbage that accumulated through the winter became very noticeable. We took some inspiration from the Pick Up the Peace cleanup from past years and started an online challenge for the month of May. The online challenge encouraged people to take pictures of a littered area before and after they cleaned it, and then individuals nominated three friends on Facebook to keep the good work going. Once again, we were able get positive engagement from the community, and this time we were able to help make our beautiful town a little bit cleaner. We are now working on summer projects. July was dedicated to our Furry Friends. On July 18​, we put a fresh coat of paint on the SPCA. The paint was graciously donated by the folks at Modern Paint & Décor Ltd. In addition, we

As the school year rolls around, approximately 100 local students will not have essential school supplies. To help with this, Rotaract is seeking new or gently used backpacks, which we will fill with school supplies and deliver to the local schools. Style Ryte Cleaners has volunteered to collect and dry clean the backpacks prior to distribution. With the help of corporate donors, we will be filling the backpacks with supplies to get the kids ready for the coming school year. If you would like to support Rotaract or learn more about how to join, visit our website at​, or visit our Facebook page:


LOCAL + AUTHENTIC Quality Goods in your Neighbourhood

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High Level and Area By Talena Winters That Girl Pearl Photography


nyone who has travelled to Mexico, South America or even the Southwestern United States is probably familiar with the churro—a delightful cinnamon sugar-coated pastry commonly sold in Latin America. Antonio Lopez, 32, is bringing that same tasty, accessible experience north with HALO Churros, the food truck he owns and operates in the High Level, La Crête and Fort Vermilion areas. “HALO began as a vision to bring something new and unique to the community. I wanted to lead by example and show fellow entrepreneurs that new and trendy business concepts can and will be supported up here,” said Lopez. The food and espresso truck opened for business in summer 2019. While last year’s wildfires and this year’s pandemic lockdown have provided some initial hiccups, they have already


covered a lot of ground around the north. “Right now, we only offer the classic cinnamon churro, alone or with ice cream and toppings, and coffee served the Italian way. We get our beans from Ace Coffee Roasters in Edmonton, one of the best coffee roasters in Alberta, or maybe even Canada. It’s amazing, just delicious,” said Lopez. Lopez, a native of Mexico City, moved to High Level in 2013. Two years later, he and his wife moved to Hinton to run a Mexican restaurant there. “I started my restaurant and the churro truck for the same reason—I missed the food,” said Lopez. When his wife, who is from High Level, wanted to move closer to home, they sold the restaurant and moved back north in 2018.

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“I first thought of HALO around three years ago, but it took about a year after moving back to High Level to put the necessary pieces together to get the truck rolling,” said Lopez. Lopez has a varied resume. He worked in hospitality in five different countries while employed by Club Med and then returned to Mexico City to earn a business degree with a major in project management. In addition to his experience as a restaurant owner, Lopez now runs a consulting firm under the name Divergent Solutions, where he helps develop other businesses. HALO combines his passion for the tasty food of home and his desire to inspire other would-be entrepreneurs to take the leap. “I’ve heard so many people say, ‘I want to do this, but I don’t know if people would support it.’ You don’t see little

Antonio Lopez, Owner, Halo Churros [Photography submitted]

The beauty of a small, remote area is that, so long as what you are offering is good, there will always be people there to support it.

shops like this opening in small communities anymore. So, I decided to pursue this. I wanted to encourage more businesses to open,” said Lopez. When launching HALO, Lopez brought his own marketing and business experience to bear. With his connections in the community, word spread quickly, and he already has a very loyal clientele. “There are a lot of things involved when you start a business. You need a goodquality product, but you also need a story to connect you to your audience, you need marketing know-how, and you need support from the community,” said Lopez. Lopez’s passion for value and attention to detail are apparent—from his food products, to his truck’s classy blue-and-gold branded paint job, to the new promotional merchandise he will be offering this year, which will allow others to be part of the HALO brand story. He has already incorporated other unique touches into his business, such as personalized stickers for

serving cups and custom colours for ice cream toppings on the Chilled Churro dessert. “I served a local group with one younger kid who had never tried or even heard of a churro before. I gave him a sample, and his immediate response was, ‘Wow, these are good! I’ll get the same thing that guy is getting.’ It’s times like those that make all the hard work of bringing a new concept into the region worth it,” said Lopez. During the summer, Lopez hires students to help operate the business. He has recently added some other key players to the team—Christian Guzman and Alejandra (Ale) Rodriguez, two Red Seal chefs who worked for him in Hinton. He anticipates they will help bring the menu and business concept to the next level. “We’re experimenting with new things, and we’re hoping to start introducing new flavours. We’re exploring savoury options too. The churro itself is a bread that can be combined with many different flavours and still taste delicious,” said Lopez.

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Lopez believes small businesses are vital to the health of a community. During these trying times, he believes small businesses need the most support, and that’s what he aims to give. Starting his churro truck is as much a case study for his consulting clients as it is meant to inspire more people to jump into entrepreneurship. “High Level is an industry town. The industries support a lot of families, but they get corporate support. What about the smaller businesses, the people that have been doing business for the last 20 years and maybe don’t even know what social media marketing is?” said Lopez. This summer, Lopez plans to broaden the truck’s local visibility and fan base so he can eventually be open year-round. Once events 28

and festivals are back on the public agenda, he looks forward to exploring more of Alberta from behind the wheel of his churro truck. And above all, he wants to highlight how much opportunity exists for start-ups in Alberta’s northwest region. “The beauty of a small, remote area is that, so long as what you are offering is good, there will always be people there to support it, even if they’ve never heard of it before. Local communities are hungry for new and unique services,” said Lopez. That, and amazing cinnamon churros with a steaming latte on the side.

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Top: A before and after of Lopez's food truck. [Photography submitted] Bottom: Another satisfied customer [That Girl Pearl Photography]

Antonio Lopez, Owner, Halo Churros [That Girl Pearl Photography]

WHERE ALL THAT GLITTERS IS GOLD Renaissance Goldsmiths Peace River

By Talena Winters Photography by Tyrell Parenteau


ahe (Harry) Shimoon, 68, likes to do things the traditional way. His shop, Renaissance Goldsmiths, has been a community go-to for custom-made jewellery and repairs in Peace River for nearly 43 years. While his small downtown shop may not have the trappings of a modern jewellery store, it has a number of very important assets— Shimoon’s knowledge, skill and personable customer service, as well as longevity. “People want to deal with people they have known for many years. People come in and say they used to come in with their mother or grandmother when they were a little girl, and I’m still here,” said Shimoon.

While modern jewellers are trending towards new technologies to provide their services, Shimoon believes in using tried-and-true methods. He is one of the few jewellers who still makes custom items in the shop. “My shop is not like your regular jewellery store where you have wallets and purses and costume jewellery. We are strictly gold,” said Shimoon. He says his kids tease him about being a Luddite because he runs such a lowtech operation. “I have a very old-fashioned shop—no technology, no computers, no machines. I make things like they did in the old days by melting it

and forming it from a bar of gold,” said Shimoon. Renaissance Goldsmiths primarily makes simple engagement rings with one or two diamonds and a matching plain wedding band. While Shimoon has premade moulds in stock for a lower-cost result, custom work has always been a mainstay of the business. Local businesses have ordered custom logo gifts for their retiring employees, he’s done trophy engraving, and he gets a steady stream of eyeglass repairs and welding from local optometrists. “Rings break, people gain or lose weight, rings have to be sized, claws wear out. In the last few years, 75 percent

of the business has been in maintenance. People will bring in engagement rings and melt them down to make new jewellery. Many stores don’t do that, but we do. It’s a very personal service,” said Shimoon. Originally from Baghdad, Iraq, Shimoon’s family was part of a Christian minority in the Middle East. At 14, he already spoke four languages and started an apprenticeship at an exclusive European-style jewellery store. Shimoon has been working with jewellery ever since. “My job was to turn customers away if they didn’t look wealthy enough. If people questioned how much something cost, the

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owner wouldn’t do business with them,” said Shimoon. His family fled Iraq in the late ‘60s when he was 17 years old, immediately before Saddam Hussein stopped all traffic out of the country during his rise to power. While his family were able to go on to Ottawa right away, he worked underground in Lebanon for a year while he waited for his visa to arrive. “On my third day in Canada, I went in to Canada Manpower and told them what experience I had, and the man wanted me to start at a wholesale jewellery repair shop right away. I told him to give me three more days to see Ottawa first,” said Shimoon. Shimoon worked at that shop for two and a half years before starting a partnership doing the same thing with two of his colleagues. A couple years later, his two brothers left Ottawa to work in the oil industry in Fort McMurray. At their encouragement, he moved west and started a retail jewellery business in partnership with them, but his ultimate goal was to be in business for himself. His opportunity came in 1977. “I got a call from a bank manager in Peace River who had transferred from Fort McMurray. He said if I came and opened a business, he would finance me with whatever I needed to get started. I opened the shop on November 15, only five months later,” said Shimoon. His goldsmithing skills have gained him loyal customers, and people from all over the province bring him work. This has led to some interesting experiences, such as the bride and groom who walked in at 11am on a Saturday needing custom-made wedding bands, stat. 30

“They said, ‘We’re getting married in an hour and a half and our wedding bands are still in the mail.’ So, I locked the door, and they sat and sipped champagne in their wedding outfits while I made their rings. I finished 10 minutes before the wedding. The rings were still warm,” said Shimoon. Since the lockdown began, Shimoon has been as busy as ever, but he is taking the necessary precautions to protect the health of his customers and himself. “When COVID-19 hit, we were only closed one week. People still need eyeglass repairs done or need their stuck rings cut off. Because of the phone calls, we had to put a sign on the door that we would only answer the phone on particular days from one to five. We are an essential service,” said Shimoon. Shimoon likes to support his community, often donating to local organizations like museums or libraries, or silent auctions for individual causes like helping someone whose house has burned down. “I like to know the money will go directly to the person in need right here in town rather than give to outside organizations,” said Shimoon. Shimoon is getting closer to retirement all the time, and while he is uncertain what will happen with the shop, he is confident he has left a lasting legacy. “I’m the type of person who stays the course. I have not even changed technology. Throughout history, gold is always there. New metals are being used for jewellery, but gold will always stay. As long as there are women, goldsmiths are going to be busy,” said Shimoon.

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Vahe Shimoon melts down gold and uses it to cast a new ring

People come in and say they used to come in with their mother or grandmother when they were a little girl, and I’m still here.

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MORE THAN A LOCAL GROCERY STORE Hines Creek General Store By Talena Winters Photography by Melissa E. Earle


hen Dale and Angela Stark, both 54, took over Hines Creek General Store, they were looking for a place with small town country attitude. Sixteen years later, the Starks are making Hines Creek General Store a household name in the province through their self-branded line of smoked meats—and they still offer the same small-town service that made them successful in the first place. “I was born and raised in the small community of


Bezanson near Grande Prairie, and everybody worked together. That’s one of the reasons we moved to Hines Creek—I wanted to go back to a small community where everybody knew each other and helped everybody out,” said Dale. Dale started working as a meat-cutter while in high school in 1984; then, he took meat-cutting at NAIT in 1986 and eventually ended up in the meat cutting department at a Save-On Foods in Edmonton. He worked his

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way up through the meat department to become Assistant Manager of the store. By then, Angela had worked as a customer service manager at an Alberta Treasury Branch for years, and they were ready for a change. In 2004, the Starks purchased Hines Creek General Store from Charlie Dei, whose father had started it 50 years before. “I wanted my own business. We had three young girls, and we knew buying the business would mean I’d get

to spend more time with the kids in the long run,” said Dale. The store has a grocery department, including a bakery where they make their own buns and donuts, and a meat department that does custom cutting of both domestic and wild meats. “During hunting season, we have people on call, 24-7. We do everything in small batches, and everyone’s meat is kept separate. We get a lot of hunters for that reason,” said Dale.

Dale Stark, Owner, Hines Creek General Store

The staff know everyone in the community by name, and they help out the customers the best they can.

They also do camp orders and supply meat to local caterers. And, of course, there is the smoked meat business, which, according to their website, produces delicious, naturally smoked sausages with explode-inyour-mouth flavour. “We expanded the store for the meat department 10 years ago and added another 1,200 square feet. My oldest daughter had just graduated, and she and I pretty much built it ourselves,” said Dale.

Top: JR Acebo and Dale Stark Middle (L to R): Glendelou Lyman, Lourlin Jimenez, Steven Stewart, Cristy Adoviso and JR Acebo Bottom: Dale Stark

Up until now, Hines Creek General Store meats have been supplied to 100 retail locations from Red Deer north. However, the Starks have just signed a deal with food distributor CoreMark, which will expand their territory to 300 stores across Alberta in the next few months. “Every week, people call and ask where they can buy our sausage. They bought

it somewhere and now they’ve gone home and are looking for it,” said Dale.

In addition to two days a week on the road to their retail locations, Dale does most of the cutting. The meat department employs two other butchers, JR Acebo and Steven Stewart, who now make all the sausage. The Starks also employ five other staff. The small-town atmosphere that drew the Starks to Hines Creek permeates their work culture. “Everyone in the store works everywhere to do what needs to be done. One minute you could be in the meat department, and the next you could be running till or stocking groceries. The staff know everyone in the community by name, and they help out the customers the best they can,” said Dale.

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Dale’s past experience as a large grocery store manager served him well in his new venture. However, when it came to the shortages induced by panic-buying during lockdown, he had the independent businessman’s advantage of being able to source products from non-traditional sources like restaurant supply companies. “As far as I know, we’re the only grocery store in Alberta that never ran out of toilet tissue. I went through 600 20-kg bags of flour. I would drive to Bonnyville to get disinfectant from a guy I knew who was making it. We had a huge meat sale. I would phone whoever I could who would bring the product in. People were coming from as far away as Peace River and Grande Prairie because 99 percent of the time, we had everything in stock,” said Dale. To better serve their customers during COVID-19, they have initiated the typical enhanced cleaning protocols and installed a plexiglass shield at the till. In addition, they now offer a curbside delivery service for phone-in or text orders.


That one-for-all attitude has translated into supporting many local causes over the years, such as local 4-H Clubs, the Hines Creek Agricultural Society, schools in Hines Creek, Worsley and Fairview, the Fairview Curling Rink and the Ukrainian Dance Club. Last year, Clear Hills County awarded them Business of the Year for Innovation. “It’s because of the innovation of our new products and services and our work system. It’s mainly because of how we’re promoting Hines Creek with our sausage. We get questions like, ‘Where do we pick our order up? We’re in Edmonton right now.’ ‘Well, we’re a few miles away from Edmonton,’” said Dale. The Starks are grateful for the support their community has given them for the past 16 years, and they are happy to return the favour. They love being the reason people know about Hines Creek. As far as Dale and Angela are concerned, they’re happy to introduce their customers to their adopted hometown any time. It’s just what small-town neighbours do.

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“We deliver some orders to the back door of the store, and some we deliver right to the customer’s house—it depends who it is. We do

whatever we can to help the people,” said Dale.

Top: Cristy Adoviso Middle: Beef Jerky Bottom: Glendelou Lyman

FOLLOWING THE SIGNS Big North Graphics Manning

By Talena Winters Samantha Rose Photography


f you walk into the Big North Graphics shop in downtown Manning, you will find a thriving, growing graphics and cresting shop with a huge selection that serves customers all over the world. But Trevor and Diana (Deana) Fredrickson, 50 and 52, and their daughter Alex, 25, who co-own the shop, did not set out to create a full-scale brick-and-mortar business. “In 2012 when Alex was 14, Trevor built a CNC Router—a computerized router—for fun, and then he and Alex were like, ‘We should do something with

L to R: Trevor, Deana and Alex Fredrickson and Alanna Blais

this.’ Alex came up with the idea to make signs, and Trevor made a few for people around town. That’s how it all got started,” said Deana. Today, the business specializes in customizing and personalizing everything from clothing to work wear to signs and decals using multiple techniques from machine embroidery to laser engraving to heat pressing and more. They even carry camp gear such as chairs, sleeping bags and coolers on their website. Employees Alanna Blais and Katie Marshall are an essential part of the team.

“There’s so many ways to decorate garments. We can laser on suede to make patches for someone’s hat or blanket. People can buy clothing in our store off the rack and we can personalize it, or we can order 50 more of the same thing,” said Alex. When Trevor built the router, he worked for Finning as a heavy-duty mechanic, and Deana was a part-time LPN at the local hospital. After their initial experiments making signs for friends, Alex created her own business entity, ATF Custom Creations. She took and fulfilled orders all

through high school. “It got a little hairy because she got quite busy,” said Deana. Even after Alex graduated high school and moved to Calgary to take Business Administration at SAIT, she continued taking orders for her business. Back home, her dad would cut the orders, and both parents would paint and ship them. “When a local cresting shop came up for sale in 2014, we bought it. Trevor quit his job, I went down to casual at the hospital, we changed the name to Big North

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Alex Fredrickson

Graphics, and we went into business,” said Deana. “Then the recession hit, and we thought, ‘Oh no, what have we done?” “If we’d have focused on that bad news, we would have went out of business quickly, but if you focus on working hard and growing and don’t pay too much attention to the news, you do okay,” said Trevor. When they purchased the shop, it already had machines to do embroidery, 36

heat pressing, and vinyl decals and signs. By then, Trevor had also built a laser, and the Fredricksons continued to add more machines. They knew they’d need more room right away. “We bought a building a few doors down that had been empty for five years and did most of the renovations ourselves. Our other daughter, Kelly, worked with us for about a year after we opened,” said Deana.

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“We purchased the business January 1, 2015, and moved to the new building in April. The learning curve was like drinking from a fire hose,” said Trevor.

is especially clever. Alex, who majored in marketing, also runs the social media profiles, and has even set up some shopping carts for customers.

The business has now added two websites to its sales platform, one catering to companies that want to purchase bulk promotional products and one for pre-customized or single-run gift items—all designed by Alex. The Class of 2020 collection

“Once Alex joined us, her creativity was endless. She is the main creator of everything in the store, and Trevor and Alanna design some things too,” said Deana. During the first few weeks of lockdown, business slowed enough to allow

We’re always growing and learning, and we look forward to serving our current and future customers with new and innovative ideas.

them to explore new ideas. They used the time to find ways to lift their customers’ spirits, such as creating DIY birdhouse craft kits with pre-cut pieces to give people something to do. “The back is open with suction cups. You put them on a window so you can see when birds nest inside,” said Alex. “I cut the pieces on the router, and customers could glue them together and paint them. We sold a few hundred and donated lots to the hospital and seniors’ lodges,” said Trevor.

Top: (L to R) Alex, Deana and Trevor Fredrickson Middle: Alanna Blais Bottom: Big North Graphics prepares for its town-wide Easter egg hunt

At Easter, the business pulled out all the stops to bring some joy to their socially distanced neighbours, including Easter-themed DIY wood cut-out kits and even a town-wide scavenger hunt. “Alex and Alanna created about a dozen big Easter eggs out of Coroplast

[corrugated plastic] and placed them around town so they could be seen from a vehicle. It was like a treasure hunt. People in town just loved it,” said Deana. The business has customers all over Alberta, and they have even shipped products to the United States and Mexico. Their Facebook page is full of glowing 5-star reviews. They also donate to local silent auctions and fundraisers and are huge community supporters. It is no wonder they have won Business of the Year from the Manning & District Board of Trade four times. “We’re grateful for our customers, and humble and grateful for everything we have,” said Deana. “We’re always growing and learning, and we look forward to serving our current and future customers with new and innovative ideas.”

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A FAMILY LEGACY OF STEWARDSHIP AND GROWTH IN FORESTRY Boucher Bros. Lumber Ltd. Northern Sunrise County By Talena Winters Photography by Melissa E. Earle


or almost 70 years, the Boucher family has been a part of the northern Alberta forestry landscape. Now owned by the third generation of Bouchers, Boucher Bros. Lumber Ltd. has grown to employ over 90 people and ship over 70 million board feet annually. They are one of the few family-run operations of their kind left in Alberta. At the heart of all this success, what keeps their


L to R: Bertin, Brian and Jason Boucher, Owners, Boucher Bros. Lumber Ltd.

business running are family values, honesty and respect for the land, their clients and their employees. “My grandparents, Camile and Laurette Boucher, started sawmilling in northern Alberta when they moved west from Quebec in 1951. Their sons, Normand and Jean Louis Boucher, built the current mill location in 1978 and formed the company. And in 2005, my brother Brian and my cousins Ricky and

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Bertin and I took over,” said Jason Boucher, co-owner of the company. The mill primarily produces dimensional lumber for the world market, but the majority of their product is sold within Alberta. Local hardware stores Fehr Building Materials Ltd. and Peace River Home Hardware carry their product. According to Boucher, a key aspect of their success

is the leadership and skill of Kris Kennedy, Woodlands Manager for the company since 2003. “At our sawmill facility, we understand the importance of taking care of the forest at all stages, from the planning, timber cruising and consultation to the logging and reforestation. It takes a great deal of effort at each step of the process. Kris has become an industry leader in each of those standards,” said Boucher.

We are very proud of our staff, the sawmill facility and the family history it holds.

Kris Kennedy has been a Peace River resident his entire life. He got into forestry because he loves working outside, but taking care of the land has become his passion. “It’s a continual cycle of planning, logging and reforestation. If you don’t plant and do the reforestation well, it’s not good for anybody. Everything we do has a specific plan,” said Kennedy. Forestry is closely monitored by the Alberta government. According to Kennedy, they plan everything on a 200-year horizon.

Top: Kris Kennedy Middle: Norm and Jean Louis Boucher Bottom: Ricky Boucher [Photos submitted]

“We have to keep so much old growth forest, so much young forest and so much habitat for specific animals. There’s planning for everything,” said Kennedy. Boucher Bros. Lumber plants two million seedlings annually, with an establishment survey done

two years later to ensure forest density and quality have been met. More surveys are done over the next 14 years to monitor growth and development. Only then, after passing the government criteria, is responsibility for the stand handed back to the Alberta government.

Since Kennedy started with the company, he has been responsible for planting approximately 20 million trees. “It is our responsibility to put back what we have harvested. Kris established a standard for our company that we plant three trees to every one tree harvested. There is no better satisfaction for our leadership team than knowing the forest will someday provide timber for future generations,” said Boucher. Kennedy is now bringing his own family into the industry with Boucher. His

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nephew Damon Kennedy, who will soon be taking forestry at NAIT, is a recent hire. The mill continues to grow and expand, thanks to its visionary stewardship— something passed down from founders Normand and Jean Louis. Due to some recent significant capital investments and a partnership with local First Nations communities, they have doubled production in the past three years. By 2022, they plan to ship as many as 85 million board feet annually. The company’s growth would make late partner Ricky Boucher, who died in 2017, very proud.


“Without our communities, we have nothing. It’s important we do what we can to support them,” said Boucher. “We wouldn’t be where we are without our customers, the industry stakeholders we work with and our staff. We want to thank all of the communities in the north who have supported us over the years.”

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“Our logo was hand drawn by our grandfather, who said, ‘That little man will go a long way.’ I often get calls from folks who have been around North America and abroad who have seen our logo on a lumber wrap in some lumberyard or on a truck or ship. We are very proud of our staff, the sawmill facility and the family history it holds,” said Boucher.

As long-standing members of the community, Boucher Bros. Lumber Ltd. gives back however they can with a particular focus on meeting basic needs and supporting kids’ organizations. They have given to causes and organizations such as the food bank, sporting events, schools, churches, rodeos, golf courses and other communities.

Top: Lumber Yard from above [Photo submitted] Middle: Kris and Damon Kennedy [Photo submitted] Bottom: Brian, Bertin and Jason Boucher

FAIRVIEW'S GROWING, THRIVING LOCAL MARKET Fairview Farmers' Market By Talena Winters Photography By Virginia Moskalyk

“Everything you see on a table was made by the person behind it or someone close to them. Some only


n July 1, Fairview Farmers’ Market kicked off its third season since inception in the Fairview Legion Hall. The weekly Wednesday night market showcases local producers such as Shady Orchard & Winery, Heilan Beer House and many more local artists, artisans and growers. The fact that each item is 100 percent locally baked, made or grown, with no catalogue businesses represented, is a special draw for people coming to the market.

Alia Kolodychuk, Manager, Fairview Farmers' Market

vend at our market, like Fezzy Wigs Preserves and Baking and Justine’s Baking. Justine makes such delicious donuts. They are to die for,” said Alia Kolodychuk, 22, market manager. After initial concerns that the market may not be able to run this season, they cancelled their special markets for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Then farmers’ markets were declared an essential service, but the delay enabled them to come up with a plan and procedures to keep their vendors and the public safe when they opened for the regular season.

“We had meetings with other market managers and staff throughout the province to see what they were doing, and we met with Alberta Health Services (AHS) to see what their expectations were for us,” said Kolodychuk. Kolodychuk has been the market manager since the market opened in August 2018, but she had been interested in getting a market going even before then. “Fairview had a farmers’ market years ago, but I believe they didn’t have enough vendors to keep it running. I’ve always

been into farmers’ markets and small independent businesses, and it bothered me we didn’t have a farmers’ market in Fairview,” said Kolodychuk. She started checking into the requirements to start an Alberta-approved market, but the Fairview Agricultural Society were already a step ahead. When she saw the society’s Facebook post looking for a market manager, she applied and has been running the market ever since. “I got to do a lot of the start-up stuff—I designed the vendor application and the rules and policies we

#Li fesBetterUpHere | AUGUST - NOVEMBER 20 2 0 M OV E U P


have in place. It’s been very fun. I get to connect with the local food and art scenes in a way I don’t think a lot of peple do. It’s really expanded my horizons,” said Kolodychuk. Kolodychuk works with a board that includes the president of the Fairview Ag Society, Kamie Currie, and the treasurer, Elaine Stenbraaten, as well as regular vendor Annette Duguay-Bruce of Art by Annette. They are currently looking for more volunteers to join. “We work together on marketing plans, deciding dates for special markets such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, and last year, they helped me apply for a Local Food Week grant, which we got. This year, they will be a bit more hands-on to ensure compliance with all the new rules regarding COVID-19,” said Kolodychuk. Kolodychuk loves being a connection point between the community and her vendors. She grew up on a farm in the area and also works as a library clerk at Fairview Public Library. In addition, she is starting up a farm with her partner raising sheep, chickens, and more, and vends her own crafts at the market under her business name Clover + Lace. All of this means she is well connected to the community and understands the love and labour that her vendors put into their wares.


Kolodychuk tries to make sure the market has a wide, balanced variety of offerings. There are honey products from Tamarack Jack’s Honey and Meadery and Peace Gourmet Honey, gluten-free baking and preserves from Central Peace Sweets and preserves from companies like God’s Bounty Preserves, Burnt Offerings and Peace River’s Wanda Fithen. There is also a wide variety of art, crafts and jewellery from names like Kaylee Lorrence Studio, Art by Annette, Autumn Jade Studio, Fairview Fine Arts Centre and more. New vendors this year include Necy’s Homemade Spring Rolls, Artisan Breads and Bootstrap Bakery. “Eventually, I would like to see the market get its own building with permanent vendor stalls set up. It feels more concrete and vendors can put a more personal touch on their booths that way,” said Kolodychuk. Kolodychuk and the board want to help their vendors in any way they can. Elaine Stenbraaten used to be a new venture specialist and would be able to connect vendors with resources to grow their businesses. The Town of Fairview, which is one of the market’s sponsors, will work with vendors to help them get a storefront, if they wish. The Town are also huge promoters of the market on social media. “We want to support our vendors on their business journeys, whether that’s staying small and selling their stuff at markets and trying a million different things or growing their production to a brick-and-mortar storefront. We have a lot of resources if they want to go bigger,” said Kolodychuk. “Either way, we’re there for them.”

M OVE U P A U G U S T - N O V E MBER 2020 |

“I work with my vendors to think of new products and bring them in, so I get to see behind the scenes, like how Justine makes her donuts. I also get to talk to members of the public and direct them to specific vendors. Like if someone were looking for something easy to take home and make later, I could tell them that Justine makes really good pizza crusts that are wonderful to throw together when you’re in a hurry. I’m constantly looking for new

vendors and keeping tabs on my vendors’ social media accounts to see what they’re doing,” said Kolodychuk.

Top (L to R): Annette DuguayBruce, Alia Kolodychuk, Kamie Currie and Elaine Stenbraaten Bottom: Alia Kolodychuk



Choose Your

Golf Adventure

Fox Haven Golf & Country Club

Mighty Peace Golf Club

P Located 3km north of High Level

P Located between Grimshaw and Peace River

Licensed restaurant, clubhouse and pro shop. Serviced and unserviced camping available. Most northern 18 hole golf course in Alberta.

Pro shop, licensed restaurant in club house, putting and chipping practice area and driving range. Camping available with water and power hook up. Seasonal sites available.

780-926-3005 |


780-332-4653 |

Condy Meadows Golf Course

Heart River Golf Course

P Located 18km north of Manning (Hwy 35)

P Located 2km north of Nampa and 5km east

On-site clubhouse and pro shop. Fully serviced camping available.

Grass greens, pro shop, clubhouse and driving range. 15 serviced lots and day use area.

780-836-2176 |



Fairview Golf Course & Campground P Located at the northend of Fairview Pro shop, licensed lounge and restaurant, and driving range. Camping available.

780-835-2844 | Faceboook: Fairview Golf Club

Hines Creek Golf & Country Club

Cleardale Golf Course

P Located 8 minutes south of Hines Creek

P Located 6km west of Cleardale on Hwy 64

On-site food and beverage, grass greens, club rentals and pro shop. Daily and seasonal campsites available.

Sand greens and picnic area. Camping available.

780-494-2217 FB: Hines Creek Golf and Country Club ADVERTI SE ME N T




The Outstanding Resident Award aims to celebrate the contribution to life in Fairview made by the work of everyday people in our community that makes Fairview a great place to live. If you go past a property or business and take note of how beautiful it looks, how well maintained it is or notice a person’s contribution to improving our community, nominate them for an Outstanding Resident Award today by emailing their address and/or name to They will be recognized for their actions and entered in a quarterly draw for a chance to win $50 in Chamber Change!

STEVE BOLKOWY ANNUAL SPORTS AWARD Deadline: September 7, 2020 Town of Grimshaw

The Town of Grimshaw Community Services Department would like to ask all interested residents and/or sports organizations to recognize a worthy recipient for the (2020) Steve Bolkowy Annual Sports Award. Recognize an individual(s) for their outstanding volunteer efforts and positive contributions given to sports and recreation in the community of Grimshaw and the surrounding area. Nomination forms are available for pick up at the Town Office. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Tracy Halerewich, Director of Community Services at 780-3324005 ext. 03.

MACKENZIE CROSSROADS MUSEUM AND VISITOR CENTRE Open Daily from 9am to 6pm Town of High Level

Outdoor picnic area, public restrooms, visitor information, museum exhibits and the Chuckegg Creek Wildfire exhibit.


HIGH LEVEL MUNICIPAL LIBRARY 10601 103 St., High Level 780-926-2097

HUTCH LAKE CAMPGROUND Hwy 35, approximately 35km north of FOX HAVEN GOLF, COUNTRY the Town of High Level CLUB AND CAMPGROUND Day use area, boat launch, group 19344 TWP RD 1102A, Mackenzie Hwy camping, beach volleyball & #35, High Level playground. For current rates call 780-926-3005 780-927-3718.

HIGH LEVEL CENTENNIAL PARK 10006 100 St., High Level

Spray park, bathrooms, playground, tennis courts, basketball court & beach volleyball.


In September, approximately 100 local students from elementary to high school will start school without essential school supplies leaving the school or the teachers to personally provide the basics for learning. Peace River Rotaract is seeking new or gently used backpacks. These backpacks will be packed with school supplies and delivered to local schools for students in need. Backpacks can be dropped off at Style Ryte Cleaners in Peace River.

AWESOME ADVENTURE SUMMER PARK PROGRAM 2020 July 6 to August 21 from 8am to 5pm Town of High Level Arena Hall

HIGH LEVEL SKATEPARK 10101 105 Ave., High Level

$120 weekly for ages 6-10 yrs. Registration required. Your child ASPEN RIDGE CAMPGROUND is not registered until the form is completed and payment is 13000 AB-35, High Level made. We are observing the 41 campground sites required measures outlined by 780-926-4540 AHS regarding COVID-19. The first 20 kids will be selected for registration. Please call 780-821SACRED WARRIOR YOGA 4011 to register your child or for STUDIO more information.

9813A 100 Ave., High Level

Visit our Facebook page, website, or download our app for all of the up-to-date information.



FAIRVIEW PUBLIC LIBRARY Open Wed. to Fri. from 12pm to 5:30pm and Sat. from 12pm to 4pm 780-835-2613

The Peace Regional Pool is now WALKING PATHS open. All drop-in swimming is High Level has over 10km of paved now available by appointment walking trails. only. Please note that the hot tub, steam room, waterslide, diving board and Tarzan rope MACKENZIE COUNT Y will be closed until further notice. To schedule a swim or for LIBRARIES Fort Vermilion, La Crête , Blue Hills and more information, please visit Zama City Online services, inter-library loaning, large in-house collections.


JAGGED EDGE FITNESS CENTRE 9812B 100 St. High Level 780-926-2672

INDOOR WALKING TRACK Monday to Friday from 11am to 8pm Weekends from 11am to 4pm Baytex Energy Centre, Peace River

Limit of eight users at a time. Please call 780-624-3204 or email to book a time.

INDOOR WALKING TRACK ~ EXCLUSIVE SENIOR HOURS Monday to Sunday from 10am to 11am Baytex Energy Centre, Peace River

Limit of eight users at a time. Please call 780-624-3204 or email to book a time.

MEALS TO WHEELS PROGRAM Mondays (excl. stat holidays) from 11:30am to 1:30pm Harmon Valley Hall

Join us weekly for a hot meal, information gathering and fellowship. Hot meal: $6, Take home meal: $6, Delivered meal: $8 and Community van: $5. To arrange a ride on the van, for a meal or for more information, please call 780-625-3287.

STORY TIME TRAIN Mondays at 1:30pm Grimshaw Municipal Library North Branch Weather permitting

DROP IN PICKLEBALL Saturdays from 10am to 12pm Baytex Energy Centre, Peace River

FAIRVIEW FARMERS MARKET August 5 from 4pm to 7pm Fairview Legion Hall

MEN’S OPEN August 8 & 9 Fairview Golf Club 780-835-2844

MIXED SPORT DROP IN Saturdays from 2pm to 4pm Baytex Energy Centre, Peace River


FAIRVIEW FARMERS MARKET August 12 from 4pm to 7pm Fairview Legion Hall


MARKET 1788 Fridays from 2pm to 8pm Fort Vermilion Community Cultural Complex

Your local farmers market providing you with fresh veggies, baking and a whole lot more!

PRAMP VERMICOMPOSTING WORKSHOPS August 6 & 8 Grimshaw Municipal Library North Branch

For individuals or small groups (families, gardening clubs, etc.) interested in learning about vermicomposting and taking home your own red wiggler worms, SUBWAY SATURDAYS ~ tub and bedding material free of READ FOR 15 charge? Call the library to book Saturdays a workshop at 780-332-4553. If you book a workshop in person, Grimshaw Municipal Library North you could also pick up a pencil Branch Kids aged 12 and under can come that grows into thyme, basil or a to the Grimshaw Municipal Library sunflower (also free from PRAMP!) North Branch on Saturdays and read for 15 minutes to receive a voucher for a Subway Kids’ Pack. Plus, they get to take home the book, magazine or comic book they ANNUAL FIELD DAY AT THE were reading too! One voucher per RESEARCH FARM child per month. August 6 & 7

WING WEDNESDAYS Wednesdays Sternwheeler Games Room, Sawridge Inn HIGH LEVEL FARMERS Peace River MARKET Wing night is every Wednesday Every second Saturday for only $6 per pound. 18+ July to September from 10am to 2pm High Level Curling Rink CARDS AT THE WORSLEY PIONEER CLUB Wednesdays from 1pm to 4pm BADMINTON Worsley Pioneer Club Hall Sundays from 10am to 12pm New Members Welcome Baytex Energy Centre, Peace River SUNSCAPE FARM MARKET Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am VOLLEYBALL Sundays from 2pm to 4pm to 5pm Baytex Energy Centre, Peace River 110548 Hwy 35, High Level Fresh in-season vegetables, micro greens and baby greens, honey, jams and jellies and more!

100% Make it, Bake it and Grow it vendors.


Fairview Research Farm

With special 2020 feature: WheatStalk: two days of agronomy solutions! Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. A partnership between the Peace Country Beef and Forage Assn. and the Alberta Wheat Commission.

100% Make it, Bake it and Grow it vendors.


GOLF DAYS August 12 Mighty Peace Golf Club

KIXFM and River Country have teamed up with the Mighty Peace Golf Club to give you discounted 18-hole green fees for only $10! If you have any questions, please call 780-332-4653.

FATBOYS MOTORCYCLE POKER RALLY August 14-15 Town of High Level

Bike rodeo, camping on-site, food trucks, helicopter bike rally, poker rally and live entertainment

PEACE RIVER FARMERS' MARKET August 15 from 10am to 2pm West Hill Industrial Plaza

MUSIC IN THE PARK August 8 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm Hemstock Park, Fairview 18 HOLE CASH SCRAMBLE August 8 Condy Meadows Golf Course

Accepting Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Teams. Shotgun start at 11am. First 36 paid entries accepted. Deadline to enter: BROWNVALE SUMMER FUN August 3. Carts not included. PROGRAM Flighted after 9 holes. $10K holeAugust 3-7 from 1pm to 3pm daily in-one prize. Payouts and prizes For kids ages 6 to 12. Only 12 determined by number of entries. spots available, so register early! Team of two players: $150 entry Registration is required due to fee. 100 yard shootout to follow COVID-19. Call Dianne at 780-597- (Horse race style). For more 3939 or 780-618-0295 to register. information or to register please call Jono Lambert at 780-836-0575 or John Rutherford at 780-8369539.

PADDLE THE PEACE August 15 from 8:30am to 5pm

Enjoy a leisurely paddle from Shaftesbury Ferry to Peace River’s Lower West Boat Launch with a complimentary meal, entertainment, door prizes and lots of fun on the water.

FAIRVIEW FARMERS MARKET August 19 from 4pm to 7pm Fairview Legion Hall 100% Make it, Bake it and Grow it vendors.





MEN’S RYDER CUP August 22 & 23 Fairview Golf Club 780-835-2844 OPEN TOURNAMENT August 22 & 23 Condy Meadows Golf Course

Shotgun start at 11am. Flighted after the first 18 holes (will be determined upon the number of entries). Supper Saturday night. Optional hole prizes all weekend. 36 holes of golf. Carts not included. First 72 paid entries accepted. $100 for members. $125 for non-members. For more information and registration info, please call Jono Lambert at 780836-0575 or John Rutherford at 780-836-9539.

PEACE RIVER FARMERS' MARKET August 29 from 10am to 2pm West Hill Industrial Plaza TRIRIVER TRIATHLON August 30 Peace Regional Pool

SEPTEMBER FAIRVIEW FARMERS MARKET September 2 from 5pm to 7pm Fairview Legion Hall 100% Make it, Bake it and Grow it vendors.


PEACE RIVER FARMERS' MARKET September 5 from 10am to 2pm West Hill Industrial Plaza

FAIRVIEW FARMERS MARKET August 26 from 4pm to 7pm Fairview Legion Hall 100% Make it, Bake it and Grow it vendors.


GOLF DAYS August 26 Mighty Peace Golf Club

KIXFM and River Country have teamed up with the Mighty Peace Golf Club to give you discounted 18-hole green fees for only $10! If you have any questions, please call 780-332-4653.



FAIRVIEW FARMERS MARKET September 9 from 5pm to 7pm Fairview Legion Hall

100% Make it, Bake it and Grow it vendors.


GOLF DAYS September 9 Mighty Peace Golf Club

KIXFM and River Country have teamed up with the Mighty Peace Golf Club to give you discounted 18-hole green fees for only $10! If you have any questions, please call 780-332-4653.

ANDY LITTLE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT September 12 Fairview Golf Club 780-835-2844

Camping is $10 per night. Open Air Market free for vendors and attendees on Saturday. More announcements to follow. Save the date!

PEACE RIVER FARMERS' MARKET September 19 from 10am to 2pm West Hill Industrial Plaza ANNUAL HIGHWAY CLEANUP September 19 from 9am to 4pm West of Fairview Organized by the Fairview Fine Arts Centre. Alternative rainout date: September 26th.

4 BALL BIG CASH SCRAMBLE September 12 Condy Meadows Golf Course

First 22 paid entries accepted. One cart included per team. 18 holes. 39TH ANNUAL GOLF 10am shotgun start. One local TOURNAMENT and one out-of-town free entry September 5 & 6 draw for 2021. Payouts based Condy Meadows Golf Course on full 22 teams. $800 per team 4 Ball Scramble format. Accepting entry fee. 1st place: $4,000, 2nd teams of 4 or single entries. All place: $3,000, 3rd place: $2,000, skill levels are welcome. Teams 4th place: $1,500 and 5th place: must have a minimum handicap of $1,000. Breakfast and supper are 40. Flighted following the first day, included. For more information and payouts in each division. $200 per registration/sponsorship inquiries, person includes: 18 holes of golf please call Jono Lambert at 780each day (10am shotgun start on 836-0575 or John Rutherford at Sat. & 11am on Sun.), Saturday's 780-836-9539. round will be followed by a 100 yard shootout and live Calcutta FAIRVIEW FARMERS MARKET auction, Hole prizes and betting September 16 from 5pm to 7pm holes all weekend, breakfast and Fairview Legion Hall carts and supper and prizes to 100% Make it, Bake it and Grow follow steak supper on Sunday. it vendors. Entry deadline: Aug. 30. First 30 780-330-9211 pre-paid teams accepted. Email entries to manningoilmens@gmail. com

MINISTERIAL TOURNAMENT September 7 Fairview Golf Club 780-835-2844

HEART OF THE PEACE HARVEST FESTIVAL September 18 & 19 Cummings Lake Campground

2020 TERRY FOX RUN: ONE DAY. YOUR WAY. Sunday, September 20

A virtual Terry Fox run. Run wherever you are: around your neighbourhood, backyard, down the street or around the block. Register as an individual, family or virtual team—start your fundraising today. For more information, email

FAIRVIEW FARMERS MARKET September 23 from 5pm to 7pm Fairview Legion Hall 100% Make it, Bake it and Grow it vendors.


OCTOBER FAIRVIEW FARMERS MARKET October 7 from 4pm to 8pm Fairview Legion Hall 100% Make it, Bake it and Grow it vendors.

780-330-9211 FAIRVIEW FARMERS MARKET September 30 from 5pm to 7pm Fairview Legion Hall 100% Make it, Bake it and Grow it vendors.


PEACE RIVER FARMERS' MARKET October 10 from 10am to 2pm West Hill Industrial Plaza

PEACE RIVER FARMERS' MARKET October 24 from 10am to 2pm West Hill Industrial Plaza

Please confirm event details with organizers and coordinators, as COVID-19 may have affected event details.

Please note: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of these events and listings. Any errors or omissions are strictly unintentional.

To have your event or listing included in future issues, please forward all pertinent information to (some restrictions apply).

SkateParks Three Battles Skatepark 6th Ave., NW, Manning, AB Cadottle Lake Skatepark Cadotte Lake, AB High Level Skatepark 10511 103 St., High Level, AB Curtis Marshall Memorial Skatepark 101 st., Peace River Grimshaw Sk8 'n' bike park 47th ave., Grimshaw, AB Heart of the Peace Splash and skatepark Fairview, AB




OUR MISSION The Mile Zero Regional Multiplex is a multi-purpose facility offering a wide variety of physical activity and wellness opportunities designed to promote active living including walking, running, cardiovascular & weight training, hockey, figure skating, basketball, badminton, volleyball, tennis, dance and much more.


780-332-4005 EXT. 0 | The Mile Zero Regional Multiplex is located at 4609 50 St. in Grimshaw, AB.