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SPRING 2018 | ISSUE 23

contents 14

8

13 Lifestyles

Homes

8 Feature

11 Market Overview

Red Deer Home Show. Time to roll up your sleeves and get ready for spring

Items

13 In The Kitchen

Ups and downs. Riding the 2017 housing market roller coaster

Colours of spring. These winning recipes come together quite easily and are always rewarded with a smile

6 Message from the Chief Executive Officer

14 People

All in the family. For the Bruin family, business is always personal

28 Culture

There’s an app for that! Finding the perfect wine is right at your fingertips

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message from the chief executive officer

Signs of Spring With this season’s roller coaster weather it’s hard to remember why we love winter. But we DO love it … right? The season that we love even more … Spring! Besides warmer weather, there are usually three sure signs of Spring in Central Alberta: this edition of Central Alberta Homes & Lifestyles magazine, the annual Red Deer Home Show at the Westerner Park, and the Rebels playoffs. This year, we’re guaranteed at least two out of the three and, the way they’ve been coming on lately, don’t count the Rebels out just yet! For Red Deer, the Home Show is one of the biggest events of the year. It’s a chance for businesses to showcase their new products and services and for consumers it’s an opportunity to see literally thousands of homerelated products all under one roof in the space of a few hours. If you’ve got a particular product or project in mind, scan the list of exhibitors on the show’s website listed on the front cover and highlight those you want to

CANADIAN HOME BUILDERS’ ASSOCIATION – CENTRAL ALBERTA represents professionals in the housing industry. CHBA – Central Alberta has been in existence for over 60 years and is a network of professionals that manages industry issues to provide value to our members. #200, 6700-76 Street Red Deer, Alberta T4P 4G6 Tel: 403.346.5321 Toll-free: 1.888.346.5329 Fax: 403.342.1301 Toll-free: 1.877.342.1301 E-mail: eo@chbacentralalberta.ca www.chbaca.ca Denie Olmstead | Chief Executive Officer eo@chbacentralalberta.ca Joan Butler | Administration & Event Co-ordinator admin@chbacentralalberta.ca Sharon Stange | Event and Communication Manager info@chbacentralalberta.ca

hit first. Meanwhile, on the housing start front, things are a bit of a mixed bag depending on the market. That’s the thing about Central Alberta, for better or worse, every town has its own lifecycle and while they may have some similarities, none are quite the same. On the lifestyle side of things, who loves cupcakes? Again, not just me! The great thing about cupcakes is, unlike a larger cake where you have to try to keep it fresh and cut one ungainly piece at a time, cupcakes are the perfect self-contained sweet snack for friends and family of all ages. What may go good with cupcakes? Maybe wine? Well for those that love wine — wine goes with everything. Included in this edition you will find tips on how to find the perfect wine. And speaking of family, be sure to read the feature on the Bruin family, Central

PUBLISHED BY Source Media Group Corp. 6109 – 6th Street S.E. Calgary, AB T2H 1L9 Tel: 403.532.3101, Fax: 403.532.3109 Toll free: 1.888.932.3101 Email: info@sourcemediagroup.ca www.sourcemediagroup.ca ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER  | Jim Zang ART DIRECTOR  | Jean Faye Rodriguez

Alberta’s first family of plumbing and heating. It’s fun to get to know people away

GRAPHIC DESIGNER  | Dave Macaulay, Vivian Zhang

from work. For example, did you know Herman Bruin, now 72, still rides his motor-

PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR  | Colleen Leier

cycle every chance he can? As a fellow motorcyclist, it’s something I found very interesting, and that makes me wish Spring would come just a little sooner.

CONTRIBUTORS  |  Amber Casey, Jock Mackenzie, Tammie Sorensen, BJ Tumanut DIRECTOR OF SALES  | Jim Zang jim.zang@sourcemediagroup.ca ADVERTISING SALES  | Brandi Holmes, Jennifer Mills, Ian Serpanchy advertising@sourcemediagroup.ca

Sincerely,

© 2018 Source Media Group Corp. Material cannot be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publishers. Source Media Group Corp. agrees to advertise on behalf of the advertiser without responsibility for claims or misinformation made by the advertiser and acts only as an advertising medium. Source Media Group Corp. reserves the right to refuse any advertising at its sole discretion.

Denie Olmstead Chief Executive Officer CHBA – Central Alberta

Central Alberta Homes & Lifestyles is published quarterly and is distributed to every member of the Canadian Home Builers’ Association – Central Alberta, as well as on free stands throughout the region.

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feature

Red Deer Home Show Time to roll up your sleeves and get ready for spring BY J O CK M ACK ENZI E

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ou can feel it in the air — spring is on the way! Well, maybe not right now, but possibly by the time the annual Red Deer Home Show takes over the Westerner Park March 9–11. Are you itching to break ground on a new renovation project? Are you excited about that new deck? Ready to roll up your sleeves and get back out in the yard — preparing your flower beds or garden? Even if it is a bit early yet for planting, it’s not for preparation and planning. And that means making a visit to the Home Show. The theme of the 39th Red Deer Home Show is Renew, Refresh and this year’s show promises to help you do just that. Yes, you can expect the exhibits to be as helpful and varied as in years past. Yes, you can see the latest and greatest in home-building and homerelated innovations. Yes, you will be tempted by the many draws offered by vendors throughout the show. And, yes, the Home Show is definitely still your best one-stop shopping opportunity in town. From painters to plumbers; realtors to roofers; sod to septic —

SHOW INFORMATION Westerner Park, Red Deer Date and time: Friday, March 9 12 noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 10 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 11 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: Adults $12, Students $10 (with valid ID), Seniors $10 (55+), Children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult. For a $3 admission coupon visit www.reddeerhomeshow.ca

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there really is something for everyone! More than 250 businesses will share 125,000 square-feet of display space! This is the opportunity for some of Central Alberta’s finest businesses to showcase their products and services — what’s tried and true as well as what’s new — and it’s also the easiest way for you, the consumer, to shop and compare conveniently. Are there extras? You betcha! Enmax Centrium tickets? Yes! Home Show draws, sponsored by Central Alberta Homes and Lifestyles magazine, will be made for tickets to the The Illusionists (April) and Cirque du Soleil’s Crystal: A Breakthrough Ice Experience (May) (can we find any images to use as art). New this year we will also be supporting the Red Deer Rebels by offering draws for tickets to attend the Saturday March 10, 2018 game. Headlining the expert speaker series will be two Saturday appearances by the stars of HGTV’s Worst to First home renovation show, Mickey and Sebastian. Also appearing on the Main Stage will be a variety of educational sessions, including: roofing, landscaping, builder education, and RenoMark, an association of home renovators who bring customer confidence to the industry. “In an effort to support the entire community,” says Trade Show Committee Chairman, Derek Fredeen, “the show will once again support local charitable and not-for-profit organizations like the Medicine River Wildlife Centre, Habitat for Humanity, the Women’s Outreach Centre, and Red Deer’s Air Cadets.”


feature

Worst to First HGTV’s renovation experts appearing at Red Deer Home Show

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he two stars of Worst to First are coming to the Red Deer Home Show. If you’re not familiar with the title, Worst to First is an entertaining and informative member of HGTV’s extended family of home improvement programs. The premise: A couple of guys show a couple of homes to a Vancouver couple. Once a home is chosen, a couple of renovation options are offered . . . and then the real fun begins. Mickey Fabbiano and Sebastian Sevallo, the two starts of the show, have sawdust in their veins. The two early 30s bachelors grew up with carpenter fathers, so their knowledge of the building industry is extensive. Their skills complement one another, with Sebastian having considerable experience in commercial construction and Mickey owning his Red Seal from BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology). The lucky couple must choose between two homes Mickey and Sebastian have found and named for their outstanding features. For example, in one recent episode, couple Debbie and Carson were shown ‘The Beach-side Box’ and ‘The Hillside House’. Homes are always chosen below the maximum budget so that there’s enough money to put some toward the couple’s wish list. Once a choice is made, two plans are offered — one from Sebastian, one from Mickey. State-of-the-art design graphics are used to illustrate possible changes on existing floor plans. Finally, the ultimate choice is made, and construction begins. Much of the fun in Worst to First comes from the friendly rivalry and ribbing that takes place. When Mickey ‘test drives’ a freestanding bath tub, Sebastian suggests he get a job in the store. When Sebastian suggests adding an outdoor putting green, Mickey actually installs one but promises not to play on it and tee Sebastian off. Through a family connection — Sebastian’s brother married Mickey’s sister — they became not only relatives, but friends, so all of the joking is good-natured in spirit. Having grown up in Vancouver, both Mickey and Sebastian have an intimate understanding of the local housing market. Their clients all want the same thing — their dream home — but with skyrocketing prices, the most realistic solution is the one Worst to First offers. That’s finding an affordable home in the desired neighbourhood, and renovating it in a cost-effective

Sebastian Sevallo (left) and Mickey Fabbiano.

manner so it can truly become a ‘forever’ home. Sebastian and Mickey will appear twice at the Red Deer Home Show and you’ll be able to benefit from both their enthusiasm and their years of experience. “We’ll share renovation tips, ideas and methods,” says Mickey. “We’ll explain how we do things and how to save money.” “Understanding how to increase your property value is key,” Adds Sebastian. “We’ll talk about real estate . . . and we hope you get to know us.” If you’re a fan of Worst to First, you’ll know what to expect. If not, check out www.hgtv.ca/shows/worst-to-first/ videos/ to see past episodes. If you weren’t a ‘watcher’ before, you will be after.

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market overview

Ups and downs

Riding the 2017 housing market roller coaster BY J I M Z A N G

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017 was a real year of ups and downs for the local housing industry, according to the latest Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) statistics, with numbers varying significantly from market to market and from quarter to quarter. In Red Deer, for example, back in Q3, total housing starts were trailing 2016 numbers by 128 starts (41 per cent). By the end of this year, things had picked up to the point where the final difference has shrunk to just 44 starts, or 12 per cent. It remains to be seen if that positive momentum carries over into Q1 of 2018, but the general consensus is yes, probably, though maybe not quite as pronounced. Just down the road in Red Deer County, the numbers are crystal clear — starts were up for the final quarter and for the year, by about 36 per cent. Meanwhile, something strange seems to be going on out in Lacombe, where, up to the end of Q3, new home starts were outpacing last year by more than 40 per cent (62-44). Then things just seemed to stop, with just five total housing starts — of any type — in the entire fourth quarter of 2017. Compare that to the 82 total starts in Q4 of last year and 2017 falls a full 59 homes (47 per cent) short of the mark. Suffice it to say folks are hoping for a better start to 2018 than how they left off last year. In the surrounding area of Lacombe County, starts tracked just about dead even between 2016 and 2017 throughout the year, with 2017 pulling ahead ever so slightly — although not statistically significantly. Sylvan Lake is where the economic slowdown hit the hardest, no surprise as the more expensive properties always seem to slow down first in tough conditions. Sylvan lagged behind 2016 numbers pretty much all year long in 2017, finishing the year off a full 59 starts (38 per cent) short of the mark. And it wasn’t just a couple of multi-family projects skewing the results — starts were down across every single housing category. Best bet is that Sylvan will also be the slowest market to recover. Meanwhile, out in Olds, things are looking pretty good. Housing starts were up in Q3, they’re up again for Q4, and they’re up nearly double (82 per cent) year-to-year thanks mainly to the 22 multi-family units that came onboard in Q3. So, all that being said, what does 2018 hold in store for the Central Alberta housing market? Well, it depends quite a bit on what city or town you’re looking at and, of course, what happens in the local economy. Does the price of oil increase substantially? Does the provincial NDP government win another term? Does Trump dissolve the NAFTA agreement? Only time will tell.

RED DEER Dec. 2017 Dec. 2016 YTD 2017 YTD 2016 Single-family 21 26 203 163 Semi-detached 12 4 38 22 Row 0 0 16 36 Apartment 0 0 74 154 Total 33 30 331 375

LACOMBE Q4 2017 Q4 2016 YTD 2017 YTD 2016 Single-family 0 18 26 40 Semi-detached 0 8 6 10 Row 5 8 35 12 Apartment 0 48 0 64 Total 5 82 67 126

LACOMBE COUNT Y Q4 2017 Q4 2016 YTD 2017 YTD 2016 Single-family 16 13 55 47 Semi-detached 0 0 0 0 Row 0 0 0 0 Apartment 0 0 0 0 Total 16 13 55 47

RED DEER COUNT Y Q4 2017 Q4 2016 YTD 2017 YTD 2016 Single-family 22 19 79 61 Semi-detached 0 0 0 0 Row 4 0 4 0 Apartment 0 0 0 0 Total 26 19 83 61

SYLVAN LAKE Q4 2017 Q4 2016 YTD 2017 YTD 2016 Single-family 12 22 55 73 Semi-detached 0 0 14 22 Row 4 0 25 54 Apartment 0 0 0 4 Total 16 22 94 153

OLDS Q4 2017 Q4 2016 YTD 2017 YTD 2016 Single-family 5 5 16 13 Semi-detached 4 2 6 10 Multi-family 0 0 22 0 Total 9 7 44 23

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in the kitchen

Colours of spring BY TA M M I E SO R EN S EN

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reen grass, blue skies, fluffy clouds and rainbows! Talk about SPRING! These winning recipes come together quite easily and are always rewarded with a smile – whether at the bake sale or at home with the family.

Chocolate Stout with Cream Cheese Icing Cupcakes

Spring Rainbow Cupcakes

Makes 12-14 Cupcake Ingredients: 2 large eggs* 1/2 cup plain yogurt* 6 oz. dark stout* 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup cocoa powder 1 cup white sugar 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda Pinch ground cinnamon 5 Tbsp butter

Makes 1 dozen Cupcake Ingredients Icing and Rainbow Ingredients 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour 1 cup salted butter 1 cup white sugar 4 cups powdered sugar 1/4 tsp baking soda 2-3 tbsp cream 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp vanilla extract 3/4 cup salted butter Rainbow Belt Candy (Bulk Barn) 3 egg whites 3 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup sour cream 1/2 cup milk Green Food Colouring (optional) - Icing paste is best

Icing Ingredients: 8 ounces cream cheese* 4 Tbsp butter* 4 cups powdered sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade

*room temperature

Directions: CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350 and melt the butter (set aside). Whisk dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. In a big separate bowl, whisk eggs and yogurt, adding beer and vanilla slow. Slowly add dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Slowly add melted butter and mix well.Fill cupcake liners twothirds full and bake 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack to cool completely. ICING: In a medium bowl, cream softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing well. Ice your cupcakes when the icing is nice and soft. If you have to refrigerate the icing before you use it, make sure to let it warm up or it will be too stiff to use. I got creative and piped a little melted chocolate to look like a pint of Guinness. Melt chocolate (chips or candy melts), pipe on to parchment, let harden and place in icing.

Directions: CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350 and bring butter to room temperature. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Add softened butter and remaining cupcake ingredients and mix on medium speed just until smooth. Put a dab of your green colouring in, mix to see what the colour is like. Add a bit more until you get a green you like. If you overmix, your cupcakes will bake with a big point on top! Any little butter lumps will melt in the oven. Fill cupcake liners twothirds full and bake 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before placing them on a cooling rack to cool completely. ICING: Combine softened butter and 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add 1-2 tbsp of water or cream and mix until smooth, then add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Remove about half-cup of icing and set aside (this will be your clouds). Add in the vanilla and a dab of blue colouring and mix. Add more blue if needed and cream until desired consistency is reached. Top cupcakes with blue icing. Cut your rainbows in to pieces about 3 inches long (try one first to see what the arch looks like, before you cut a whole bunch). Poke one end of the rainbow in to the cupcake far enough so that it stays in. Bend it over to the other side, forming an arch and poke in until it stays. Using a star tip, ice the little clouds on each side of the rainbow. Note! If you leave these in a higher humidity container overnight, the rainbow may fall a bit. The rainbows are best put on as close to the event as possible, but it will stay arched for several hours.

A published food writer and recovering food blogger, Tammie is a home chef with a love of rustic recipes. When she’s not at her day-job, you can find her in the kitchen (or at the local market) cooking up culinary creations while snapping photos with her trusty smartphone. You can follow Tammie on Instagram @foodiewithoutablog.

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people

All in the family

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For the Bruin family, business is always personal BY J I M Z A N G

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here are family businesses, and then there are family businesses. Bruin’s Plumbing & Heating Ltd. is one of the latter. And, if you ask any of their family, friends, or customers, it makes a world of difference. Lots of local businesses began as family owned-and-operated affairs. In fact, many still proudly carry the family name as a point of pride, tradition, or just to stay recognizable in the market. At Bruin’s, the company was started by family, is still run by family, and will be run by the family for the foreseeable future – four generations and counting. It all started back in 1957, Cor and Ariea Bruin had heard of the great opportunities Canada could provide so they made the decision and moved to Edmonton, Alberta with their two kids Herman and Anne. Before moving to Canada Cor and Ariea lived in Rotterdam, Holland and although Herman lived there for the first 12 years of his life, he wasn’t born there. Herman was born, in 1945 in Hildesheim, Germany, which was literally a labour camp during the war. Cor had been a steamfitter back home and, as good fortune would have it, tells eldest son Herman, “the fellow who picked us up at the train station in Edmonton had a son-in-law who had a little plumbing company. He asked my Dad what he did, said ‘Oh, so you’re a plumber’, and hired him on the spot.” Herman, now 72, was 12 at the time and younger sister Anne was 9. Eventually the Bruin’s decided to move to Red Deer in 1963 and Cor and Ariea started their own company, the one everyone knows today as Bruin’s Plumbing & Heating, in 1965, with Herman and Carol starting with the company in 1966. “I started at the bottom,” says Herman, “literally. My first job was digging ditches. I can still remember my first day, I was so eager to impress everyone with my hard work that I actually dug the ditch too deep and too wide.” Since then the company has grown like, well, like the family itself. From those humble beginnings the company now employs close to 100 people. Similarly, the Bruin family has expanded too, with Herman and wife Carol, who passed away in 2013, boasting six children, 18 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Herman has since remarried and lives with wife Christine (who has a daughter Camille) just southwest of Red Deer. In fact, says Herman’s daughter Corinna,

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they pretty much all do. “We all still live in Central Alberta,” she says, “if you include Drayton Valley and Grand Prairie. It’s such a tight-knit community,” she says of Red Deer. “Plus there’s fantastic recreational and other facilities, great access to lakes and the mountains, and you’re smack in the middle between Edmonton and Calgary.” Cor retired in 1988 — both he and Ariea have since passed away — leaving Herman justifiably proud of the family legacy, as well as the fact that every family member has always had the opportunity to work at Bruin’s — if they want to and are willing to learn the business from the ground (literally) up. A place for everyone, if they want it, and everyone in their place fulfilling a unique role. Herman is a ticketed plumber, gas fitter and steam fitter. Corinna works in the administrative side of the business, but over her many years with the company has learned and worked in any role or position she was needed in. Marty is the numbers guy, says Herman, with a real good head for business. Becky, says Corinna, is the jokester in the family, keeping the mood light and everyone on their toes. Becky also drives delivery for the company and helps


B

C out in the administration department as well. Grandson Nolan and grandson-inlaw Nick also work for the family firm. “Marty’s looking after most of the day to day business now,” says Herman. “He’s the perfect guy to succeed me as I transition into semi-retirement.” “I’ve worked here since I was 13,” says Corinna, “stocking parts shelves, learning the difference between different pipes and fittings, cleaning trucks, and basically anything else a 13-year-old could do.” So what’s a fellow to do with his new found free time? “My late wife, Carol, and I used to raise llamas,” says Herman. “At one point we had 60 of them, but it was just too much.” These days, Herman spends his spare time with the grandkids, great grandkids, travelling, or even a combination of all three, with a couple of big extended family vacations under his belt. “I love riding motorcycles,” he says. So much so, in fact, that he’s even shipped his hog to Australia for a motorcycle tour ‘down under’. One of his favourite rides was to Key West, Florida. “Riding across those bridges,” he reminisces, “crystal blue sky, clear turquoise water, Willie Nelson playing on the radio. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

D

E

At the time of writing this article, Herman had just undertaken another adventure — travelling to Kenya on a church mission with some of his First Christian Reformed friends. And no, he laughs, he’s not shipping his motorcycle over. Apart from family and travel, Herman is a big advocate of safety in the workplace and on the job site. In fact, he was one of the driving forces behind the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA), is a past member of the WCB board, and played a large role in really making government aware of the importance of apprenticeship programs in the province. There’s even a miniature Bruin’s Plumbing & Heating building at the Red Deer Safety City location, a nod to their ongoing support of the educational programs Safety City offers local youths. They’ve tied their family name to a unique logo of a bear and stay true to their mission of being ‘The Bear That Cares’ by supporting various events and causes in the community. “It’s even usually one of the family in the mascot costume,” adds Corinna. “We care about our customers, and we care about our people,” says Herman. That’s why they look after both commercial and residential clients in plumbing, heating, air conditioning and duct cleaning. Bruin’s provides services in new construction, renovations, service and maintenance. They also have a beautiful showroom to help their clients make selections and a retail store for those taking on their own DIY projects and repairs. We offer 24-hour service and no job is too big or too small says Herman. “It’s nice to have people you can count on.” “We pay our staff fairly and offer good benefits,” he says. “We have an employee awards program, and we try to make our business decisions with the entire team in mind. “After all,” he says, “it’s our family name on the company.”

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A: Old Bruin’s building at 78th Street. B: Current Bruin’s location. C: A young Herman Bruin. D: Cor and Ariea Bruin. E: Marty, Herman and Corinna.

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| A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E |

Expand Your Horizons at RDC Summer school you actually want to attend

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ummer at Red Deer College doesn’t mean locked doors and quiet halls. Instead, July and August are filled with laughter, creativity and learning as those young and youngat heart make new friends and explore new ideas at Summer Camps and Series Summer Arts School. Last year, over 1,200 youth ages 6 to 18 took part in Red Deer College’s Summer Camps. With a wide array of topics, including science, sports, visual arts, music, theatre, animation, game design, filmmaking and cooking, this year’s camps are sure to offer something for everyone. “We want campers to experiment, learn and develop new skills and have fun doing it,” says Barb Marsh, Program Coordinator. “It’s always so rewarding for us when we hear back from the youth, and they share that they’ve learned so much at the camps – and that they’ve made friends and had a great time.” Camps for 2018 include familiar favourites, as well as some new additions. Some of the new camps include “Junior Chefs – Next Steps” for those who want to take their cooking skills to another level. There’s also “Makerspace and Codemaking” for the tinkerers and fixers, “Galaxy Warriors” for those obsessed with space, “Mini Kings and Queens Combo” for the child who just can’t keep still, and a “Drones” camp where campers will design and build their own drone. “MusiCamp, Film camp, Game Design camp and Animation camp are all returning for another year,” says Marsh. “Plus,

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there will be a few camps back by popular demand, including Soapbox Racers, All Sports Camp and a female science camp called ‘UROCKG!RL!’” Across all of the camps, Marsh says that Red Deer College works hard to bring in experienced instructors and coaches, which helps to enhance the campers’ experiences. While your children are enjoying new experiences at summer camps, you can explore your talents at Series Summer Art School, which will take place from July 9 to August 3. Series Summer Arts School has been offered at RDC

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for over 30 years, and it is the place for adults to come and get inspired in their art. Workshops in glass blowing, antler carving, drawing, painting, jewelry making, pottery and much more are being offered. “Series Summer Arts School is an incredible experience for anyone interested in art,” says Joyce Howdle, Program Coordinator. “Series workshops are five-days long, Monday to Friday, for adults of all skill levels, from practicing, professional artists to those looking for personal or professional growth.”


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Participants will be able to enjoy instructor presentations by professional artists and educators, independent studio time in the evenings, open model sessions and a variety of social activities, all designed to enhance their artistic experience at Series. The quality of instructors is second-tonone. “Our instructors are accomplished leaders in their disciplines, and they come from all over North America to teach at RDC,” says Howdle. “Series instructors represent a prestigious group of award-winning, highly educated

and internationally-renowned artists.” Howdle notes that the talent and skill of the instructors is also mirrored in their approach to teaching, as student feedback consistently praises knowledge, skills and enthusiasm of these leaders. When it comes to accommodations for Series and Summer Camps, many adults participating in Series choose to stay oncampus in RDC’s residences. For youth participating in the overnight summer camps, this is also an exciting part of the experience. “Summer programs really are hidden

gems at Red Deer College,” says Brenda Munro, Dean, School of Continuing Education. “We offer a tremendous variety of programs for participants of all ages, which gives people in our communities — and those from farther away — the opportunity to broaden their horizons as they pursue their craft.” With the exciting opportunities and interesting courses offered at Series Summer Arts School and Summer Camps, classes often fill fast. For more information and to register, visit rdc.ab.ca/ summeratrdc.  n

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SI X T Y

Blackstone Developments’ new

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he waterfront community of Sylvan Lake is on the brink of a new concept in urban living. Blackstone Developers, Doug and Lorraine McGill, began with a vision, that after many years of work with partners and stakeholders, is now a reality. The concept was to create a unique and beautiful community, complete with timeless architecture and a connection to nature that promises to nurture the spirit and the soul. Combining their architectural savvy and extraordinary creative talents gained from several years in the homebuilding business, with a mindset of preserving and respecting nature, the couple began Phase 1 of the development of Sixty West. Located on the west side of Sylvan Lake, Sixty West is to be a community within a community, a place where families can have the freedom to live in harmony with nature while enjoying the benefits of urban living. Based on a theme of mixing timeless architecture with the natural beauty of nature, Sixty West will offer a mix of

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over 700 affordable single-family, semi-detached and townhouse residences located in a setting that includes over 25 acres of forest, natural tree stands and open areas. The whole Blackstone team is so very excited as the vision of a community planned for healthy living and an outdoor lifestyle becomes a reality. “We’re building a new vision for modern living where the surroundings of your home are as beautiful and inspiring as your home, itself, the couple say. Sixty West will be one of the most walkable, park-like and explorable communities in all of Alberta.” The philosophy of Sixty West centres around four pillars that guided the design of the community. One of these guiding visions was to build a community that seamlessly integrated with nature while preserving as many of the natural elements of the land as possible.

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“Our core principles in conceiving Sixty West were to create something that is architecturally timeless and to preserve as many of the existing natural elements of the land that we possibly could,” said the McGills. A five-acre forest and an old railway trail situated on the property fit in perfectly with this nature-centred concept. The undulating lay of the land offers


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W ES T

community vision now a reality

a natural landscape for greenway trails to network their way from all corners of the community to the forest, and then meander back to the old railway trail. A meandering creek cascades to a pond complete with a lighted fountain that will create a delightful focal point for residents and visitors alike. Lifestyle is also an important concept and one of the four pillars around which

Sixty West was created. The community is designed to offer a comfortable balance of shopping, gathering, green spaces and activities. Many design elements have been incorporated to instil a feeling of well-being, and encourage outdoor activities for the whole family. Homeowners, who decide to make Sixty West their home, will have the option of selecting one of four architectural designs; farmhouse, craftsman, contemporary and prairie. Brightwater Living by Tehama Homes, a vibrant adult community, is to be part of the unique community. This pocket community of 34 homes will be created to inspire an active lifestyle, while the landscaping invites privacy and gracious, comfortable living. Each home will have a full basement, hardy plank siding, ample windows and beautiful landscaping in the front and back yards. Waterford Station, a destination

shopping centre, now in the planning stages, will bring grocery, pharmacy services and retail amenities to the residents of Sixty West. “Our vision for Waterford Station is to provide the ideal environment where people can shop, dine, celebrate, laugh and connect with each other,” the McGills said. “More than just a retail location, Waterfront Station will serve as a destination and social hub for the people of Sylvan Lake and beyond.” Vleeming Construction, Sorento Custom Homes and Erickson Homes, all well known and respected as some of the finest builders in Central Alberta, have partnered with Blackstone Development to turn Sixty West at Sylvan Lake into a community that inspires active living and natural beauty as well as all the conveniences of urban living. For more information about the community of Sixty West at Sylvan Lake check out their website at www.sixtywest.ca A new conceptual animation video of Phase 1 of Sixty West is now available on their website.  n

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LAEBON HOMES Building affordable family-friendly homes in Timber Ridge

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pen concept’ is the first thought that springs to mind as you enter the Laebon show home at 5 Trebble Close in Timber Ridge. Indeed, as you step into the welcoming front foyer of this 2,135-square-foot, two-storey home on the end lot of a quiet close, you’re immediately impressed with the clean lines of the stairway leading to the upper floor. A few more steps takes you into the beautiful kitchen, dining room and living room — all one bright, spacious area. The colour scheme is a pleasing muted grey and white. Flooring throughout the main level is vinyl planking — it’s durable, affordable, and it blends beautifully with the white cupboards, baseboards, window trim and wide wooden-slatted venetian blinds. The kitchen cupboards

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offer plenty of storage, extending the full nine feet to the ceiling. The island features a charcoal grey quartz top with a waterfall edge and seats four comfortably. Also located in the island is a double sink with a dishwasher below. Opposite is a large dining room while the living room forms the north end of the open area. Double garden doors on the east side lead to deck and the large back yard — a great place for a coffee while enjoying the morning sun. A walk-through pantry with loads of shelving completes the kitchen area. If entering from the kitchen side, the exit takes you to the back hall with its handy half bath, closet, mud room and entry to the two-car front garage. The model name for this show home, one of Laebon’s most popular, is “The

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Lyndon.” While show homes are often upgraded so extensively that it’s hard to recognize them, Laebon doesn’t believe in doing that. “We do want customers to appreciate what our company can do and there are certain upgrades,” says Community Sales Manager Aaron Martin, “but we’ve kept them to a minimum. In this home, we’ve added a nine-foot ceiling — which is something I always suggest because it’s so popular. We’ve also continued the plank flooring from the dining area into the living room. What would normally be a capped stub wall going upstairs has been replaced with an open railing. Finally, because this home is at the end of a close and faces a park area, we were able to add extra windows.” A carpeted stairway leads to the


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upper floor. The same carpet is used throughout the master bedroom, two smaller bedrooms and the bonus room over the garage. The master bedroom has the final upgrade — an ensuite with an added sink and tub. Beyond is a shower, large closet with full and half hanging shelves and separate toilet. Completing the upstairs is a full bathroom and double doors leading to a washer and dryer. The basement, fully insulated with vapour barrier, is unfinished but painter’s tape has been applied to the floor to indicate a suggested plan for possible development. Also included are rough-in vents for future bathrooms. Laebon actually seems to have thought of everything. That’s one of the benefits that comes from buying

a home from a builder with more than 40 years experience building in Red Deer and Central Alberta. In fact, the entire subdivision is being developed by Laebon — which offers even more advantages. Grading between lots is carefully controlled and so is exterior design. When you buy a Laebon home, the front sidewalk or driveway and landscaping are all part of the package. “We are known for quality and value,” says Martin. Take his word for it as, with over 20 years of hands-on experience — from labourer/apprentice, to site supervisor, to project manager, to sales — he knows what he’s talking about. Of course, the Lyndon may not be exactly what every home buyer’s looking for, which is why Laebon has about 20 different home plansto choose

from which are fully customizable. Or you can even design your very own custom home perfectly tailored to all your wants and needs. In addition to experts like Martin, they also have a large in-house staff that includes professional estimators and interior designers who can even show you 3D images of various options. On top of all that, Laebon offers customers their Guaranteed Sales Program, meaning new clients don’t have to worry about selling their old home. For more information on Laebon Homes, their ‘no maintenance community’ in The Timbers, other developments in the surrounding area, or answers to any other questions you might have, visit www.laebon.com.  n

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culture

There’s an app for that! Finding the perfect wine is right at your fingertips BY B J T U M A N U T

L

earning what you do and don’t like is the first step in becoming a savvy wine drinker; but with over 22,000 wines available in Alberta, where do you start? My advice is to set the stage by opening your mind to trying something new. Once you’ve accepted the challenge, organize your first tasting by choosing two or three wines of the same theme; such as varietal, country or vintage. After all, not all Merlots taste the same, not all French wines smell like leather and not every vintage is a blockbuster. Now, commit to documenting your experiences by taking pictures and notes of what you have tasted.

To help you get started, here are my top five favourite wine apps. All of the apps are free and available for both Android and iOS devotees. Liquor Connect If you often find yourself hunting for that special bottle of wine, this app is for you. Enter the name of a wine in the app and it will generate a list the stores in Alberta that sell the wine. Magic! Delectable This app is a must-have for socially inclined wine lovers. Delectable allows you to share your notes, see your friends’ posts and access ratings and descriptions from wine professionals. Cellar Tracker Whether your wine cellar is an underground cave or the back of a closet, this easy-to-use app is a convenient way to organize, monitor and enjoy your collection. Vivino Can your wine say cheese? Snap a picture of a wine label and this app magically reveals a description of the wine along with suggested food pairings, ratings, reviews and prices. WSET Tasting Notes This app is an excellent tool to help you get to know your pallet better by using the Wines & Spirits Education Trust’s Sytematic Approach to Tasting®. An excellent app for novices, enthusiasts and industry professionals.

BJ Tumanut is a Wines and Spirits Education Trust Level Three and Canadian Wine Scholar graduates. She is part of the management team at JoieFarm Winery in Naramata Bench, owns Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut Red Deer, and teaches wine and chocolate classes. 28 

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Central Alberta Homes & Lifestyle - Spring 2018  
Central Alberta Homes & Lifestyle - Spring 2018  
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