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24 40





13 A friendly welcome Okotoks Newcomers Club rolls out the welcome mat

24 Rowed to stardom Okotoks singer-songwriter a powerful performer



17 Sweet buzz Chinook Arch Meadery indulges senses with golden honey wine

30 Get fuzzy Adorable adoptables look for forever homes

feature 20 Sky’s the limit Cu Nim Gliding Club makes flight possible

sports & recreation


Between the pipes Okotoks Oilers sharing the crease

Cover photography by Don Molyneaux

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sustainability 36 Up a tree Planting small trees yields better growth

contents spring 2013

20 36 13 45 homes


40 Sun worshipper Light up your life, with the Caraway

8 Editor’s Message 9 Letters 10 Town of Okotoks Message 49 Events 52 Map

45 Banker or Broker? Mortgages 101 for new homeowners

business 47 Show and tell Annual Trade and Lifestyle Show

You Said It … 54 What do you want to be when you grow up?


Follow us on twitter: Become a fan of Okotoks Living on facebook

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editor’s note

Fresh starts As we worked on this fabulous issue, we had no idea it was going to be our biggest issue yet. We’re at 56 pages, and we’re celebrating that with a couple of extra features for you.


Source Media Group

Jim Zang

A ss o c ia t e P U B L I S H E R   |

We’re well into 2013. Here at Okotoks Living, we’re happy and thankful that the world did not end as forecasted by the Mayan calendar, we ate and drank ourselves through the holiday season, guiltily gave ourselves exercise classes as New Years resolutions, took a cruise to the Bahamas, and now it’s time for that fresh start. So, for spring, a.k.a a fresh start, we gave our old photos a facelift and tackled stories that were totally new and exciting to us. We added a couple of fresh faces to our roster. New writers Kerri Ann Day and Kelsey Gilchrist’s names are on this issue’s masthead, immediately to your right.

E D I TOr  |

Jessica Patterson A r t dire c t o r  |

Jean Faye Rodriguez g raphi c desi g n ers

Lama Azhari

Dave Macaulay

Megan Sereda

Starting with our cover, we profiled two of Okotoks’s hardest working hockey players, Jared D’Amico and Keith Hamilton. They routinely play one of the most difficult positions in the sport and love every minute. Their story is on page 33. Writers don’t often get too involved in the stories they work on, but Kerri Ann Day was so moved by the animals she got to meet while researching a story on Pound Rescue, she adopted a couple of furry babies. The animals you see on page 30 are waiting for forever homes, so if you have room, they’d love to be yours. Maybe you’re looking to get outdoors this spring. Why not go soaring? See Okotoks from an eagle’s eye view with the Cu Nim Gliding Club. Read more on page 20. Or, maybe you’re looking for a new home in town? Check out Aaliya Essa’s story on Sterling’s brand new Caraway home, because they’re selling out quick. We also pitted banker against broker when it comes to new home mortgages. Which is better? Decide for yourself on page 45. We hope the quality of our stories will continue to inspire you to share our print edition with your friends, cut out your favourite photos and post them on your fridges, and connect with us online through our Twitter and facebook accounts. Become a fan and join our online community through our facebook page, or ask me a question on Twitter. edi t o rial assis t a n t   |

Aaliya Essa pr o du c t i o n c o - o rdi n a t o r  |

Colleen Leier A d v er t isi n g S A L E S |  

Janice Skelton-White A CCO U NT I NG  |   Donna

Roberts E D I TO R I A L

Alyssa Burnham, Kerri Ann Day, Kelsey Gilchrist, Stephen Smith, Gordon White P H OTOG R A P H Y

Don Molyneaux, Jessica Patterson, Pablo Wainstein T o w n o f O k o t o k s L iais o n


Media Classified, Town of Okotoks, Okotoks Welcome Wagon, Source Media Group, Trader Corporation PRIN T E D IN C A N A DA

Copyright 2013 by Source Media Group Corp. Material cannot be reprinted in whole or in part without the expresssed written permission of the publishers.

Jessica Patterson, Editor

Okotoks Living™ is published four times per annum and is available free through select distribution points in Calgary and Okotoks. Source Media Group 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 reserves the right to refuse any advertising at its sole discretion. Okotoks Living™ accepts editorial submissions and letters to the editor by electronic mail only. Please forward any submissions, including your full name, phone number and return email address, to okotoks.editor@ C o n ta c t :

Source Media Group. 207, 5809 Macleod Trail S.W., Calgary, AB T2H 0J9 tel 403.532.3101 fax 403.532.3109 toll free 1.888.932.3101

403.532.3101 ext. 242 8  O koto ks Livi n g S P R I NG 20 13


We love to hear from you! Email us at or send mail to Letters to the Editor, Jessica Patterson, # 207, 5809 Macleod Trail S.W., Calgary, Alberta T2H 0J9. Please include your name and phone number.

Going Nordic

Loving Okotoks living

Thank you so much for your recent article regarding Crystal Ridge Nordic Ski Club.

Okotoks is a VERY nice place to do your

We not only appreciated reading it, but thoroughly enjoyed the layout, the photos and

living, indeed. We enjoy it three times a week when friends get together for a walk

the front cover. We thought you might appreciate knowing the impact that the recent story has had on our enrolment and

— and we have learned to dress for the cold and enjoy the beauty that it brings.

registrations. Following the publication, Crystal Ridge Emmie Jenkins

Nordic’s membership grew to include 35 new members in three days. Our Jack Rabbit program was launched with great success, doubling its original numbers — from 22 registered children to 44. We now operate this

Editor’s note:

program at capacity. We have greatly benefited from the exposure and are proud to facilitate this project in collaboration with Crystal Ridge Golf course to enhance outdoor living in our community. Jim Hiscock


President, Crystal Ridge Nordic Ski Club

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mayor’s message

Message from Mayor and Town Council


n behalf of Town Council and Administration, I extend warm greetings as we all look forward to spring. This year there are a number of exciting projects underway that will positively affect our

community. We are anticipating the completion of the South Ridge Emergency Building that will house the RCMP, Municipal Enforcement and Fire Services. Also under construction is the FoothillsOkotoks Regional Field House. This multi-purpose facility is a joint development of recreation facilities between the MD of Foothills and the Town of Okotoks. We continue to experience notable success with our sustainability initiatives: the Curb It and Cut n’ Call programs. To date, Curb It has 2,186 customers and Cut n’ Call has picked up 792 bags for an estimated 11,880 tonnes of yard waste. The Town would like to thank our residents for continuing to reduce the amount of valuable materials in our refuse stream, prolonging the life of our regional landfill, and reducing our environmental footprint! To accommodate residents with larger than average household waste, an option for 180L garbage carts will be available in March. The cost is $13.50/month on your bimonthly utility bill. For more information on all of your garbage options please visit This year, we welcome several new retail businesses in all areas of our community; some utilizing

Councillors Stephen Clark, Laurie Hodson, Ray Watrin, Mayor Bill Robertson (seated), Councillors Matt Rockley, Florence Christophers and Edward Sands.

existing buildings. Watch for: Menchies Frozen Yogurt, Swiss Chalet, Sleep Country, Good Life Fitness, Cimarron Veterinary Clinic, Sport Chek, Oshkosh/Carters, Ardene, Advantage Flooring, Big Rock Animal Clinic relocation, Tommy Guns Barbershop and Supercuts. Okotoks remains a popular place to host special events such as the Okotoks Minor Hockey Association Timbit Tournament, Mountain Shadows Gymnastics Competition, and the Female Hockey Classic, all coming this year. We encourage you to participate in the many Town activities that occur in our community such as Kite Day, the Annual Sheep River Valley Cleanup, and the Spirit of Okotoks Weekend, Parade Day and Children’s Festival. See the events listing on page 49, and check out our online community events calendar at for more information. We thank you for continuing to enjoy and explore all that our community has to offer!

Become a fan of Town of Okotoks Follow us on twitter: town_of_okotoks

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Mayor WM. (Bill) Robertson On behalf of Town Council

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culture Story by Kelsey Gilchrist Photos by Jessica Patterson

A friendly welcome Okotoks Newcomers Club rolls out the welcome mat

Out for a walk. Newcomers stroll the pathways every week in Okotoks.

The laughter you hear echoing out of the back room at Cora’s Okotoks must mean it’s Monday. That’s the day The Okotoks Newcomers Club’s weekly coffee meeting is in session. “They have to keep the doors closed,” says member Maureen Baumgartner with a smile. Baumgartner joined the Newcomers Club in May 2011, shortly after moving to Okotoks from Estevan, Saskatchewan. Like many members of the club, she and her husband moved to Okotoks to be closer their children and grandchildren in Calgary. Baumgartner says that getting together and talking with other women in the community is one of her favourite parts about the club. “We chat about anything and everything,” she explains. “My husband says, ‘How can you spend an hour talking?’ And I say that an hour isn’t enough most days.”


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“The type of person who joins Newcomers is usually a little more outgoing. They want to meet people, they want to get out and do things.”

A The Okotoks Newcomers Club at their weekly Cora’s get together. B Newcomers Club outing to Black Diamond.

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B The Okotoks Newcomers Club is a group for women who have recently moved to the area and are looking to get involved in the community and make new friends. Heather Peters believes that that’s what the Newcomers club is all about. “The type of person who joins Newcomers is usually a little more outgoing,” the club’s Executive Team Lead explains. “They want to meet people, they want to get out and do things. And within the thirty-five people you usually can find a good close friend who has something in common with you.” Membership is comprised of ladies aged 40 – 70 and the group is constantly growing. In fact, it is so popular that an additional group called the Newcomers Alumni had to be formed to accommodate members who were no longer new to town, but still wished to be part of the club. After belonging to the Newcomers Club for four years, members have the opportunity to move on to the Newcomers Alumni if they so choose. At present, the Newcomers Club has about 35 members, and the Newcomers Alumni has an additional 40. The Newcomers Club also organizes a variety of other activities for their members, including picnics, potlucks, and card groups with games like bridge, Canasta and Mah Jongg. A weekly walking group is popular with members who want to stay active. They meet three times a

week, and members can choose if they’d rather walk inside at the Centennial Centre track, or brave the elements walking the pathways by the Sheep River. For Diana Coles, who moved to Okotoks just this past year, the group not only helped her meet women in the community, but also helped her settle into her new home. Coles moved to Okotoks from Regina in order to spend more time with her son in town as well as her grandchildren in Red Deer. She fondly recalls the warm welcome and numerous hugs that she received at the first Newcomers meeting she attended. She says the other members were eager to share information and knowledge about Okotoks — everything — from where to find a good dentist to the best place to go out for dinner. “They’re just fantastic ladies,” Cole says. “If you ask anybody anything, they’ll tell you.” Baumgartner agrees that the club is a great way to find out more about the community when you’re new to Okotoks. If the banter and laughter spilling out of the back room at Cora’s is any indication, friendship seems to be what the Newcomers do best.   OL


The other members were eager to share information and knowledge about Okotoks — everything — from where to find a good dentist to the best place to go out for dinner. S P R I NG 20 13 o koto ks Livi n g  15

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Story & photos by Jessica Patterson

Sweet buzz Chinook Arch Meadery indulges senses with golden honey wine

Art Andrews goes through two dozen wine glasses every Saturday. They’re not for him. Instead, he fills them for Calgarians and foothills residents alike, eager to try their first mouthful of mead. The drink may have been around for thousands of years, but it’s still a relative unknown to most. Art Andrews and his wife Cherie are doing their best to introduce mead, or honey wine as it’s also known, to Albertans. Melissa’s Gold is by far the most popular mead at Chinook Arch Meadery, Andrews says. “It’s a medium sweet mead. For people who’ve never had it, they taste it and say it’s close to white.” These days, Andrews is pouring a lot of the new John Cameron Classic, a mead named after his wife’s father. And, in the back room, he’s experimenting with saskatoon mead, with the berries locally sourced from The Saskatoon Farm up the road. This year, Chinook Arch Meadery’s line up includes Buckaroo Buckwheat, Bodacious Black Currant, Ginger Snapped, Cherry Mi Amor, Black & Blue, Fire ‘n Spice... and King Arthur’s Dry. That was Andrews’ golden vintage. His lucky No. 50, his perfect formula for great mead. Chinook Honey Company was launched in 2004, when Art’s wife Cherie, a former meterologist and flight dispatcher, retired. Their original honey farm store was small, a third of the size of the current Chinook Honey Company building. Chinook Arch Meadery was born at about the same time, though only in Andrews’ heart and mind. “We figured we’d be doing this down the road,” Art explains. “We started experimenting, with fifty batches, small ones to try to get this right.” The honey company needed to get a Cottage Winery Manufacturers Licence from the Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission before anything else happened, with a stipulation that “we needed 50 beehives and 75 per cent of the honey that goes in the mead has to come from our operation,” Art says. And in 2008, the Andrews got their license and opened Chinook Arch Meadery.


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Chinook Arch Meadery has many award winning meads.

“In wine, the grapes will be different every year. Here, the honey will change a little bit every year.” There is a key to making good mead, Andrews says. Honey is important. Andrews’ mead uses mostly Alberta honey, an alfalfa-canola mix. With a basic recipe of honey, yeast and water, it’s the chemistry that sets each mead apart. “In wine, the grapes will be different every year. Here, the honey will change a little bit every year,” he says. “Every time a bee is into a different flower, the nectar is going to taste different. When that goes in your mead, that’s going to be a variable.” Chinook Arch Meadery sources the black currents in their Bodacious Black Currant, from Kayben Farms north of Okotoks. “And some years, the currents are smaller but they have more flavour,” Andrews says. “That can change the mead a little bit.” Like wine, mead improves with age. Chinook Arch Meadery doesn’t add sulfites to its mead, “honey is one on its own,” Andrews explains. “We had an Excalibur, we oaked some of it, it will probably go 15 years before it really peaks.” Chinook Arch Meadery was the first meadery in Alberta. They carry melomels, which are meads made with fruit, and metheglins, which are made with herbs Art labelling one of his mead bottles. and spices.

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Art and Cherie Andrews Their popular Fire n’ Spice, with a hint of honey and flavour of winter spice was released just before the holiday season. Buckaroo Buckwheat is smooth like the light alfalfa and buckwheat honey it’s made with. Bodacious Black Currant is tart like it’s namesake, but balanced with the sweetness of honey. And the new John Cameron Classic is one of the smoothest meads they’ve created yet. It’s not dry like the King Arthur’s, instead it’s medium sweet and has a light apricot finish. Andrews says they’re always trying to make successive batches of mead better than the last, but when they’re trying to keep up with the numbers — 14,000 litres, or 20,000 bottles go through the door each year — he doesn’t have much time to experiment. Making mead is the best part of Andrews’ job. He doesn’t drink much of it, but he’s critical of it, he says. “What I enjoy the most is the reaction of people drinking it. I know there’s always room for improvement.”  OL

»»For more information, check out Chinook Honey Company, 

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feature Story by Stephen W. Smith Photos by Pablo Wainstein

Sky’s the limit A

A Glider with parachute. B Pilar Cifuentes, student at Cu Nim, organizing the winch line parachute before a launch. C View from the sky.

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Cu Nim Gliding club makes flight possible

Forget what Hollywood has taught you. Airborne adventures are not just the domain of handsome, chisel-jawed flyboys with mirrored sunglasses or leather jackets covered with pilot patches and slick aerial call signs like “Ace” or “Maverick.” Just ask Jody Soroka. In her mid-fifties, Soroka soars regularly with the Cu Nim Gliding Club, which runs its flight operations close to Okotoks, out of an aerodrome five kilometres northeast of the town of Black Diamond. Soroka took an introductory flight two years ago and she’s been soaring ever since. “It’s the peacefulness when you are up there,” she says of the appeal of gliding, “and the challenge of flying without an engine. You have to keep your wits about you.” While Soroka has yet to acquire her Gilders Pilot’s License, which would allow her to fly solo, she’s proud of her level of accomplishment which has come through a lot of practice and effort. “Young guys who have played all these video games have this great hand-eye co-ordination,” she explains. “For someone like me, I have never had that experience. Flying is totally different than things I have done in the past. So, it is a little more challenging for me.” The Cu Nim Gliding Club currently has a pair of single-seat gliders and two double-seat aircraft. When Soroka flies it’s in a two-seater. She pilots the craft while an instructor sits behind her providing occasional guidance and assisting her in improving specific skill sets. Serving as the organization’s secretary, Soroka has found great comfort in being part of the local gliding club.


“It’s a real community,” she says. “Last year I was the only woman out there with a bunch of guys. We were there because we all love flying.” A Calgary nurse slated to retire this year, Soroka has been heavily involved in organizing an annual women-oriented soaring day called Chics Take Flight (www. This year the event takes place Saturday August 10, 2013, and offers introductory glider flights to women at the Innisfail airport. Soroka hopes it will draw more ladies to the aerial pursuit that has become her passion. Pablo Wainstein is another fixture at the Cu Nim aerodrome. Originally from Chile, the club president first went up in an engineless aircraft about four years ago. He and his wife took introductory flights and, “we were hooked right away and started flying with the club,” Wainstein says. Gliding has been around for decades and is an extremely popular recreational activity for thousands of Canadians, according to the Soaring Association of Canada, which was incorporated in 1945. Gliding flights can last anywhere from 10 minutes to more than five hours depending on conditions and the skill of the pilot. This unpredictably is one of the attractions to an activity Wainstein sees as the purest form of flying. Instinct and observation are essential in locating columns of rising air, known as thermals, which are needed to keep the aircraft aloft.



“It’s the peacefulness when you are up there, and the challenge of flying without an engine. You have to keep your wits about you.”

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A First stages of winch launch in Cu Nim’s ASK21. B Phil Stade, senior instructor at Cu Nim, checking connections of the winching line before the first launch of the day. C Stade, in the backseat, and club president Pablo Wainstein enjoy a beautiful fight near Cowley, Alberta.

“You don’t watch instruments that much,” Wainstein explains. “You feel the plane much more than when you’re in a (powered) plane partly because you’re flying slower.” Another draw to gliding for the club president is the opportunity to encounter some airborne company on any given flight. “I’ve never flown in a power plane with an eagle alongside my wing,” he says. “That’s not uncommon in flying gliders.” “It’s a good thing to have eagles or hawks flying beside you because they know where the thermals are.” Anyone — aged 14-years and up — can join Cu Nim, which believes in making the wonder of flight possible to almost anyone. “We bought an aircraft with hand controls to replace the glider pedals, so an individual who can’t use their legs can fly the aircraft,” says Phil Stade, who oversees Cu Nim’s Freedoms Wings program for disabled people. Stade, who is in his early 60s, enjoys taking wheelchair-bound people aloft and sharing in their exhilaration. “When I give them the controls, I let them do most of the flying,” he says, adding, “Once they are in the air, they are free. They can fly exactly the same as someone who is able bodied. It’s pretty neat.”   OL

»»For more information, check out

“We bought an aircraft with hand controls to replace the glider pedals, so an individual who can’t use their legs can fly the aircraft.”

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people Story by Jessica Patterson Photos by Don Molyneaux

Rowed to stardom Okotoks singer-songwriter a powerful performer

A Emily jams with Dwight Forseth at The Furnace Room studio in Okotoks. B Emily singing at the Village Brewery in Calgary. C Emily writes a set list on a napkin.

Pushed into a corner, a foosball table does double duty as an art stand. Twenty-four year-old Emily Rowed hunches over the makeshift table, scribbling a set list on a napkin. She turns to the other corner of the room, where amps are splayed across the floor. The corner is flushed with red lights in an upstairs room at the Village Brewery in Calgary — that corner will become Rowed’s stage for the next 30 minutes. Perched on a stool, she plays a couple of chords on her guitar, quietly, testing the volume and pitch. “I’m Emily Rowed. And I’m going to play some original tunes for you,” she starts. A deep breath and she breaks the hum drum rustling of bodies and murmur of voices. She launches into “I’m going to Find You,” a song


she knows by heart and has rehearsed in front of her bedroom mirror, with it’s college photos and artwork, a thousand times. Her warm, sultry voice croons over the lyrics and the volume in the microbrewery noticeably decreases. The twenty-something, art student, hipster crowd in their 1980s-revival flannel shirts and Madonna tights turn to listen. This night has a different vibe than last Tuesday’s performance, where an exhilarated Emily saw her name in lights on the pub’s marquee and got an encore. But, the core performance never changes. A transplanted Vancouverite, Rowed


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went to the Alberta High School of Fine Arts in Okotoks, taking jazz and drama along with a healthy portion of basketball, rugby, cross country and track and field. The Okotoks-based emerging singer-songwriter admits singing wasn’t her first love — acting was. “I found myself getting cast in musicals and I wanted to be a film actress and felt like music kept finding me. Teachers were saying ‘I wish you could act like you can sing,’ and I wanted so badly to act.” After high school, she found some direction back in Vancouver, at Studio 58, a conservatory-style professional theatre program at Langara College. After graduation from there, that’s when she kick started her musical career. “I decided it was time to record, and I just kept trying to add songs,” Rowed says. “I knew they were a set, knew they were a family, so I recorded those here in Okotoks.” Rowed’s music was put together and recorded at Okotoks’ own Furnace Room Studio, home of Dwight and Lisa Forseth. It took a year of work and collaboration through the recording process, with Rowed coming in for four hours at a time, where they’d sculpt and create, Forseth says. “It worked well, because she definitely knew what she wanted. She had her own style.”



EDITOR’S NOTE: On June 28, spot Emily at Inspire Café in Medicine Hat, as part of the Medicine Hat Jazz Fest.

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“Singing, it’s like reading your journal into the microphone for everyone to hear and then having them either like it or hate it. I think I’m becoming more at peace with that.”

Rowed’s style, Forseth explains, is a mixture of blues and jazz. “She has a very sultry voice and yet she can really rock it out, too,” he says. “She’s got some power there.” “She’s got a really good ear and yet she knows what she wants. She was very open to hearing different things for different songs.” Rowed chose The Furnace Room because she wanted to record her album in a cozy environment, she says. The process took a year to complete, but the results were worth it. Rowed’s debut album “Love on the Line,” was released August 28, last year. “I feel like I’m getting where I wanted to get with acting, but with singing,” Rowed says. “Singing, it’s like reading your journal into the microphone for everyone to hear and then having them either like it or hate it. I think I’m becoming more at peace with that.” Rowed also has an eclectic, impressive resume. She has been a model, she has been an actress, she has worked in musicals. She also teaches voice and acting to adults with disabilities. And, she works with children with behaviours and additional needs as a responsive respite specialist. “They tend to be the kids who can be a little bit violent, whether it’s self abuse or whatever kind of abuse. Pulling my hair is big. A lot of them are so lovely, they’re wonderful kids and most days I’m bowling and swimming and walking around. “You fall in love with every kid, no matter what they do, they will charm you some way or another. You end up loving them. And, they’re dealing with so many things that we can’t help with.” Rowed’s family supports her music career wholeheartedly. Big brother David, 27, is studying business through Thompson Rivers, is “probably my biggest fan,” she says. Mom Lucy, 53, who works for Revenue Canada and Dad Mark, 50, who works in telecommunications, come to all of her shows. “Emily has always been a loving, warm-hearted, ball of charm, since she was little,” her mother Lucy says. “Emily’s creative; she draws people to her, not just through her music, but through her good-hearted, open personality.” Emily grew up with music. In the Rowed household, music was as ubiquitous as the wallpaper. Her father Mark in particular, is a marvelous musician. “He won’t play unless I beg or he sees me playing guitar and then he’ll play til 2 a.m.,” she says, laughing. “I saw him play on stage for the first time, solo, playing, singing, just this year.” Artists that inspire this Okotoks songbird include Neil Young,

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for his interesting lyrics with meaning behind them; Feist, for her writing style; Joni Mitchell for the imagery and creativity in her work and her style of guitar playing. “I don’t think they threw out songs,” she explains. “They weren’t pumping out the next chart topper. There was some sort of depth behind what they were doing. A certain amount of intention behind it.” And Rowed’s select listing of songs in “Love on the Line,” mimics that intention. Over the last couple of years, Rowed has played at the East Coast Music Festival, the W.O. Mitchell Theatre in High River. She has played in Medicine Hat and at the Market Collective in Calgary. And she’s now playing anywhere from five to 10 shows a month. Last year, a funny thing happened on the way to the Edmonton Fringe Festival, where Rowed was scheduled to play. “I went up to play as a street performer at the Edmonton Fringe Festival, but I missed my gig,” she explains. “I stood on the corner of Whyte Ave and started busking. A lady dropped her card off and said she wanted to work with me.”


A Emily at age 4. B Emily and her biggest fans, from left: Mom Lucy, Dad Mark and brother David. C A much-younger Emily takes the mic from brother David.


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people “I didn’t know it then, but she was a talent developer of young artists. I started talking with her about my goals and she’s going to be my songwriting mentor for the next year.” This lady was Edmonton-based songwriter, musician and producer Rhea March, who happens to be the founder of March Music Inc., a company that books young artists for festivals and community events each year. March has also Love on the Line, Rowed’s debut CD came produced thousands of concerts and workshops out in August 2012 and and helped launch countless young careers over is available at www. the last six years. That day, March was drawn in by Rowed’s voice and her “authentic presentation,” March says. “Emily is a diamond in the rough and I’ve got a really good feeling about her future. March is going to be Rowed’s mentor over the next year, to work with her on presentation. “The young songwriters I hand pick to work with all share an intangible combination of authenticity, heart and an ability to overcome their fears and connect with an audience,” she says.

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As Rowed’s career progresses, her music and style is changing. She’s playing with a drummer and a lead guitar player and says her sound is getting a little more rock and roll because of it. Rowed says the new stuff she’s writing is a little more conceptual, more about feelings than a narrative. “I get my inspiration from people, mostly friends and family,” Rowed says. “Other than people, it’s a moment. I write about a specific moment in time.” Rowed is determined to continue doing what she loves, including perfecting her art and playing bigger stages. “I have no idea what’s next, but I know what the next single is. It’s definitely a change.”  OL


Get At any given time, Okotoks Pound Rescue has approximately 300 dogs and cats in the care of its passionate volunteers. The local animal rescue and welfare organization can count rabbits, birds, horses, chickens, and even a goldfish among the thousands of animals they have helped since the organization’s beginnings in the 1980’s. Okotoks Pound Rescue began after Gabriele Barrie and her family moved to the region from Germany 32 years ago. “The situation was much worse here than it is today,” Barrie says. “Stray dogs and cats were everywhere and in many cases, people didn’t even try to find their lost animals.” There was this farming mentality where a dog is a dog, not a member of the family. If it came home, great. If not, it wasn’t anyone’s responsibility.” As a dedicated animal advocate, Barrie took on the responsibility Volunteer herself. She offered Maureen Hurly to take the animals and Milo. 3 0  O koto ks Livi n g S P R I NG 20 13

community Story by Kerri Ann Day Photos by Jessica Patterson

fuzzy that ended up in the local pound, pay to have them fixed, and find them loving homes. Over time the financial burden became too great to bear by herself. In 1996, she and a few friends created Pound Rescue, the non-profit organization that we know today. Pound Rescue offers no-kill shelter for homeless and in-danger animals through a fostering system. Operating without a physical location, Pound Rescue exists in the hearts and homes of more than 100 approved foster families, most of which are located in Okotoks. The biggest benefit of the foster network is R.J Baillot that the organization will never euthanize an animal after a certain number of days, R. J Baillot, the organization’s executive director explains. “If we take on an animal we are taking responsibility for it for the rest of its life or until it’s adopted,” Baillot says. He, personally, has several dogs and half a dozen cats that he and his family pamper and adore, and they also foster.

Adorable adoptables look for forever homes

The financial reality of that policy means only severe cases of neglect or abandonment can be helped. Some unadoptable animals will live in foster care their entire lives. “We don’t accept convenience cases,” Baillot says. “If an owner has to move and can’t take their cat, or if someone received a puppy for Christmas and no longer wants it, we offer resources to help them re-home the animal but will not admit it into our care unless it’s at risk.” Pound Rescue’s ultimate goal is to address animal overpopulation. Not only does every rescued animal get fixed, but Pound Rescue sponsors spay and neuter clinics in rural areas, as well. “If we don’t address the problem at that level, we will never stop the endless supply of cats and dogs,” Barrie says. “Simply put, there are just too many animals and not enough good homes.” For Okotokians looking to add a furry member to their families, Pound Rescue has lots of animals of all sizes and ages to consider. “If you are considering adding a cat or dog to your family, please look at the adoptable animals first,” Baillot says. “There is no reason anyone can’t find the perfect pet from a rescue situation. Even if you’re looking for a pure bred dog, there are no breeds that can’t be found in a shelter.” OL

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sports Story by Stephen W. Smith Photos by Don Mollyneaux and Allen Gimblett

Between the pipes Okotoks Oilers sharing the crease


hey are the last line of defence. For Okotoks Oilers goalies Jared D’Amico, 19, and Keith Hamilton, 21, that means they’re at home between the pipes, facing a barrage of frozen hockey pucks on a daily basis. Both knew they were destined to be goalies from the onset of their hockey careers. As a child, Hamilton’s favourite pro players were goalies, so when his novice hockey team needed a goaltender, the then eight-yearold volunteered for the job. D’Amico’s father was a netminder, so the interest in donning a mask and getting in the crease was always there for him. “I like how you pretty much control the game,” D’Amico says of being a puck-stopper. “If you have a good game, you give your team a chance to win every night.” D’Amico, at five-foot-nine and 155 pounds, is not the largest of goalies but makes up for it with speed, agility and athleticism.


Jared D’Amico (left) and Keith Hamilton

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“If you have a good game, you give your team a chance to win every night.” Goalie Coach Derek Purfield has been gearing his practice sessions with D’Amico to harnessing those physical attributes. “There’s been a lot work of on controlling his movement,” the coach explains. “Puck handling has been a big one too, down low play around the net and how to use his net a bit better.” James Poole, the Oilers’ general manager and head coach, sees the younger of his two goalies as a fiery competitor who has done a great job dealing with adversity. “When we’ve challenged D’Amico, in terms of holding him back from a couple of starts earlier in the year, or when we brought in Keith Hamilton — whenever

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those things have happened he’s stepped up his game,” Poole says. “We’re impressed with how he’s responded this year.” D’Amico has remained near the top of the AJHL goalie standings in both goals against average and save percentage this season. Ultimately, the young netminder aspires to play college hockey south of the border. If that happens later rather than sooner D’Amico hopes to finish his junior hockey career with the Oilers, hopefully as their number one goalie. The young goalie from Chestermere is not one to let an unfortunate start to a game get him down. “I usually take a drink of water and try to blow it off,” D’Amico says of giving up an early goal. Though, that doesn’t happen often.


“I try not to get too high or too low ... I just play my game.” His teammate Hamilton also takes a forget-it-and-move-on approach to being bested by an opposing player’s shot. “You’ve got to have a short memory,” Hamilton says. “That’s the only thing you can do, because you really can’t do anything else about it.” The six-foot 180-pound contender from Kelowna spent the previous two seasons playing in the Western Hockey League with the Portland Winterhawks and Victoria Royals. He’s quickly adapted to the Junior A level, which he sees as a wide open game compared to the more systems-based WHL. In his last year of junior hockey eligibility, Hamilton hopes to play goal for a major Canadian university next year. For now, he’s competing this season with D’Amico for game

starts, knowing coach Poole is looking to throw the balance of the playoff work to the guy who’s got the hottest hand. Hamilton routinely faces more shots per game as an Oiler in the AJHL. “I think it’s better, it keeps you in the game,” he says. “In the WHL, you can go five to 10 minutes without a shot and all of a sudden there’s a flurry.” It’s all helped him cultivate a cool demeanor to him deal with the challenge of playing on the road and receiving jeers from opposition fans. “It really doesn’t bother me now,” he says. “When I was younger, it kind of did, but I got use to it. That’s how it’s going to be no matter where you’re going to play ... I just play my game.” OL

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sustainability Story by Gordon White

Up a tree

Planting small trees yields better growth

Go big, or go home. While the saying might be true for many things, it’s not true for trees, especially for quick establishment of new plantings. Small trees get established faster than large trees and as a result are healthier and grow quicker. It is mainly because smaller trees, like container stock, go through much less transplant shock than large calliper balled and burlap trees. Younger trees are also generally more resilient and vigorous than older trees. However, be sure to inspect the root ball for excessive circling roots because this can lead

Gordon White, Urban Forester at the Town of Okotoks

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to girdling, where the roots begin to grow around the main stem of the tree and cut off or restrict the movement of water, plant nutrients and stored food reserves. One of the main benefits of planting container stock includes a decrease in the purchase price of plants and planting costs per tree. You also have more control over young tree training, which is an important part of creating a strong structured tree. It means the tree potentially requires less pruning maintenance in the future and is less likely to fail. Another advantage in planting smaller trees, is that only a shovel


is used instead of large equipment like skidsteers, backhoes and tree spades. Start by digging the hole two times the diameter of the container and to the same depth of the root ball. Then, rough up the roots along the side of the root ball and place in the hole so that the trunk will not be buried after backfilling. Next, you need to backfill by gently packing soil around the root ball one-third at a time to get rid of air pockets. Finally, placing mulch around the tree will retain moisture and provide nutrient recycling to further encourage establishment. Put the mulch seven to 10 centimetres deep, out to the drip line of the tree, being careful not to bury the trunk.

Trees that establish quickly and are vigorous may also be considered healthier and able to resist diseases, pests and harsh environmental conditions.

Trees that establish quickly and are vigorous may also be considered healthier and able to resist diseases, pests and harsh environmental conditions — better than a large tree that is just struggling to survive. Using these methods with container stock and mulch will result in less water being used as well. Wherever possible, try to incorporate smaller trees. Remember that a newly planted tree needs to establish a certain amount of new roots before any significant shoot growth will occur. One of the joys of trees is watching them grow. You may want to give up the initial visual impact of a large calliper tree to watch a younger tree grow, which often surpasses the large transplant in a relatively short time. If a vigorously growing tree is any indication of health then we may also be creating a healthier forest and healthy forest must be common goal of the community. OL

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homes Story by Aaliya Essa

Sun worshipper Light up your life, with the Caraway Sunlight floods the great room in the Caraway show home on The Hill in Westmount. The Sterling home is one of 19 remaining in Westridge, and that number is going down, daily. This gorgeous, 1,949-square-foot home has large windows throughout, giving sun worship a new meaning. Walking through the main level, there is an airy, open feel to the home. “This is one of the benefits of having a reardetached garage, as well as the enhanced curb appeal,” says Yolande Bessette, the area manager in Westridge for Sterling Homes. “You get a lot more

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natural light streaming in through the front of the house.” And this philosophy to embrace natural light is carried into the walkout basement where large windows let the sun shine in. This three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house also has large windows in the bedrooms, and in the master bedroom ensuite, too. The ensuite is equipped with his and hers sinks, a five-foot stand up shower, a sinful soaker tub, and a large walk-in closet. A unique feature to this home is that buyers can include a door from the master bedroom walk-in closet directly to the laundry room on the second floor.

“This is a standard option in this show home, you can basically take your hamper into your laundry room,” Bessette says. With two more bedrooms and a full bath, the upper level of this home is both well spaced out and brightly lit as well. There is even a large window just above the stairway, leading upstairs from the main floor, letting in natural light to even this part of the home. The front entrance to the Caraway includes a walk-in closet, which provides an ideal space as a mudroom, a place to keep jackets, and certainly an ideal location to keep all your shoes. However, if shoes are your passion, don’t worry, you’ll find plenty more storage upstairs. As you move along into the open concept kitchen space, “buyers can see the kitchen upgrades included in the Estate Package,” says Bessette. Which includes pot and pan drawers, granite countertops and raised


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upper cabinets, the stainless steel appliances are a standard with Sterling Homes, though the backsplash is an upgrade in this show home. There is even a walk-in pantry in this show home’s kitchen, which is a great bonus to have in any kitchen, to help keep this part of the home a little more easily accessible and organized. The living and dining area are lined up along the adjacent wall from the kitchen, which allows for entertaining and preparing a meal for friends and family at the same time. And this part of the Caraway show home has cascading light, coming in through the large windows, which are located along the side and rear wall elevations. The large windows in the Caraway show home provide a tranquil and serene community view, seen especially from the flex room at the front of this home. Westridge has been developed by Qualico Communities, who have designed the neighbourhood to have a tremendous amount of green space and parks for children. Westridge is also close to schools, which is a great incentive for families with kids of any age. Westmount School, for kids in grades K-9, just opened last year on Westland Street. “The Westmount School is within walking distance, which really does make it appealing to buyers with children,” says Bessette. “The Foothills Composite High School is also just down the road within walking distance,” she adds. Homes in Westridge are popular with young and new families,

“Lots in Westridge are up to 52-feet in width and in many cases can accommodate an optional triple car garage.” 4 2  O koto ks Livi n g S P R I NG 20 13

though empty nesters and people from out of the country have found homes here that fit their lifestyles perfectly, too. Another great feature about this area is the number of amenities nearby. Residents here are close to “Canadian Tire, the Walmart Supercentre, Sobeys, a variety of little shops like Hallmark and Marks Work Warehouse,” says Bessette. There are great shopping options down Southbank Boulevard, including Costco, Winners, Michaels and a variety of others in a new commercial shopping district. In Okotoks, there are two of golf courses to choose from, D’Arcy Ranch Golf Course, Crystal Green Golf Course, and River’s Edge Golf Course just minutes to the east. Westridge has many benefits for buyers, from its close location to schools and shopping, to the quiet green space in the community’s backyard. The natural landscape is never far away, in Westridge. That is something you won’t find in the big city. The Caraway model starts at $402,000. Buyers can also choose from a variety of other layouts such as front-attached garage homes and walkout lots. “Lots in Westridge are up to 52-feet in width and in many cases can accommodate an optional triple car garage,” says Bessette. With only 19 homes left to buy in this part of town, these homes won’t last long. “This is the final phase for Westridge community,” says Bessette, and this could be the last chance for homebuyers to live on The Hill.  OL

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homes Story by Kerri Ann Day Photo by Don Molyneaux

Banker or Broker? Mortgages 101 for new homeowners

It was only a generation ago that anyone needing financing to purchase a home had no option but to walk into their bank, fill out some paperwork, and be offered a mortgage rate and terms of borrowing. Take it or leave it. Now, just like everything else in the information age, mortgage financing has developed in a way that gives consumers other options. Between the big banks, credit

unions and an ever-growing network of mortgage brokers, consumers have hundreds of lenders and tens of thousands of products to choose from. Today’s home buyers simply don’t know where to turn. To help Okotokians find the best solution for them, we asked two local professionals to put some perspective on their particular mortgage options.  OL

Meet the… Mortgage Broker

Andrea Glowatsky has been a registered mortgage broker for five years and is currently an agent for High River-based brokerage, Centum Mortgages Your Way.


Randy Tate has served decades in the financial industry first with a chartered bank and now as branch manager at First Calgary Financial in Okotoks.

Why are your services the best choice for today’s mortgage consumers? “We can save consumers time and money. We take one application and one credit report and then use our resources to find the best fit. Unlike banks that only have their products to offer, we have over 40 lenders offering over 400 products. We use our expertise to negotiate the best rates and terms with the lender and communicate the details in plain language. And we do so at no cost to the consumer.”

Why are your services the best choice for today’s mortgage consumers? “I think what sets us apart is the after-sales service. If you’ve got questions or problems or need to make changes you can come into the branch and talk to the personal banker who likely set-up your mortgage. If I hear anything negative about brokers it’s that consumers don’t know who to call because they’ve had very little direct contact with the lender. They could call their broker but sometimes it’s just easier to walk into a branch or call a bank’s customer contact centre.”

Is there ever a circumstance when you would recommend that a potential client be better served by another type of mortgage professional? “When it comes to mortgages, no. This is our specialty. We are not selling a product. As brokers, we are working for the client and are not affiliated with one institution. We can impartially find the product out there that best suits them. We may find that their bank is, in fact, the best lender for them, but it’s best to go with a broker to investigate all the options and be sure.”

Is there ever a circumstance when you would recommend that a potential client be better served by another type of mortgage professional? “Certainly. There are times when we can’t fulfill the needs of the individual. If they are self-employed, or don’t have the required years of employment history, or their credit isn’t good enough, we can’t approve them. There are lenders who are willing to take on more risk and they can find those lenders through the brokerage firms.”

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business Story and photos by Jessica Patterson

Show and tell Annual Trade and Lifestyle Show Whether it snows, or your tulips are coming up, Cheryl Actemichuk hopes you come out and see what’s new at the 2013 Okotoks Chamber of Commerce Annual Trade and Lifestyle Show. The annual event, happening April 19 – 20, packs the Murray and Piper arenas at the Okotoks Recreation Centre with vendors and visitors alike, the chamber president says. This year, there will be 196 vendors from Okotoks and area in the two arenas, though they won’t be in the same space they’ve always been in. “We did something totally new this year,” Actemichuk says. “We’re moving everyone and it looks like an entirely different show. “We thought it would be a great idea to mix it up a little bit,” Actemichuk says. “It might help business get more exposure, it might help people see some change.” Vendors themselves are putting on a show this year, as they’ve become more creative with their booths. “Compared to the first year we hosted the trade show, people have moved their tables back and to the side and they occupy the space a little differently,” the chamber president says. “They make their space more inviting.” For businesses in Okotoks, the trade show is a great opportunity to network with other businesses, and get exposure to new audiences and clients.

Actemichuk says business owners have applauded the diversity of vendors and booths in the past. “We’ve heard business owners saying, ‘I didn’t realize we had that in town,’ and, we’ve heard people from outside the area saying ‘I didn’t realize you had that.’” The trade and lifestyle show is a great opportunity for businesses, organizations and groups alike, to get more exposure. Actemichuk hopes this year’s trade show is bigger and better than last year’s, with more visibility for vendors and an increased traffic flow Cheryl Actemichuk President, Okotoks & of visitors. “It's so exciting that so District Chamber of many people want to do it,” she says. Commerce On Saturday, April 19, people can also experience the Festival of Flavours, Actemichuk says. “For a buck a bite, people can try out new tastes from participating local restaurants.” The trade show sees between 3,000 to 4,000 people You’ll find attend each year, and that largely depends on the weather. Okotoks Living “Some times the good weather brings in the Murray Areana. Drop them out, sometimes it's the bad weather,” by and say Actemichuk says. “You never know.”  OL hello.

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what’s happening

events For information on Town of Okotoks events contact: Mark Doherty, Community Events Co-ordinator 403-938-8950 or or visit

march 1

Serendipity, a Student Show opens at the Okotoks Art Gallery, and runs until April 20, by student artists from Okotoks high schools.



Looking for a job? Meet employers and hear from keynote speakers at the McBride Career Group Career and Employment Expo, 1 – 7 p.m. at the Foothills Centennial Centre.



Evening Readers book club meets at the Okotoks Library from 7 – 8 p.m.


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Celebrate Okotoks’ agricultural heritage with fun for the whole family at Winterfest from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Okotoks Agricultural Society. Drum circle at the Bluerock Cafe, from 7 p.m. Okotoks Curling Club men’s bonspiel Easter Extravaganza at the Okotoks Library, from 3:45 – 4:45 p.m. There’ll be story time, games and lots of fun for the kids as they fill Easter basket with goodies!


Welcome Wagon Baby Shower, at the Foothills Centennial Centre. Doors open at 5 p.m. Listen to guest speakers, visit with businesses and organizations geared with you and baby in mind.


Dewdney Players present “Present Laughter,” May 3, 4, 9 – 11, 16 – 18 at the Rotary Performing Arts Centre.


The Okotoks Mom to Mom sale at the Okotoks Curling Club, starting at 10 a.m.


Wildflower Duo bring their country crooning to Rylie’s Cattle Barn, at 9 p.m.



Easter Egg Hunt.

River Valley Cleanup. Grab your rubber boots and garbage bags, and head down to the Sheep River valley.




Chamber of Commerce Trade & Lifestyle Show at the Okotoks Recreation Centre, in the Murray and Piper arenas.


18th Annual Leaders of Tomorrow Award dinner, honours young volunteers in Okotoks for outstanding energy, leadership and character.


Kite Day. Go fly a kite at Riverside Park from 1 – 5 p.m. Rain, snow or shine, family fun awaits you at the 2013 Kite Festival.



The Big Rock Singers present “The O-Town Hoedown,” at the Foothills Centennial Centre, at 5 p.m. The 39th Annual Okotoks Collector Car Auction happens this weekend at the Okotoks Recreation Centre.

The Market Square March 2, April 6. The Market Square celebrates artists, artisans, boutique businesses and more, with live music and great food from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Foothills Centennial Centre.


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| Advertising Feature |

Live your life


The Heartland Retirement Community by Revera is the ideal residence for active Okotoks seniors

e have the best location, with spectacular views, beautiful landscaping, and we are just a short walk from the historic Olde Town Okotoks,” says Melissa Au, Lifestyle Consultant at The Heartland. Heartland residents are close to a variety of boutiques and shops, parks and pathways, and golf courses to boot — all great amenities just a stone’s throw away. With a number of daily activities to participate in within the community, residents here will never have a dull moment. The Rev it Up program, offered at The Heartland, is comprised of physical fitness, cognitive fitness and nutritional health elements. “Residents at The Heartland Retirement Community experience a healthy body mind and soul by remaining active through recreational programs,” says Amanda Cross, Director of Recreation at The Heartland. Heartland is a pet-friendly residence. There are weekly housekeeping visits, which also include a linen laundry service, and three

fresh and delicious meals are prepared everyday in house. Heartland residents have access to their own personal movie theatre. There are guest suites that are perfect for when families come by for a visit, and Heartland also has a hair salon on site, the Suite Retreat. “Supportive living at Heartland provides individuals with on-site professional nursing care coordinated by Registered Nurses,” says Au. “This is beneficial to allow individuals to remain in the community while being able to access the health care services they require while maintaining an engaged active lifestyle,” she adds. Though it is the staff at Heartland that really complete the community, “it is our job to provide compassionate care and excellent service to our residents in a safe and caring environment, families will have the peace of mind that their loved ones are being taken care of,” says Au. There are studio suites and one and two-bedroom suites available. For more information contact The Heartland Retirement Community directly.  n

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you said it… By Jessica Patterson

A singer, a painter and an artist. I can hardly wait until I’m a grownup.

I want to be a positive influence for my children, someone they can be proud of, and stay active in my community, volunteering where I can.

Ava F., Sparks

Laurie Alton, Okotoks Curling Club

What do you want to be when you grow up?

An interior designer. I like decorating large spaces. Charlize C., Girl Guide

When I grow up I want to be a volunteer. I have volunteered in some amazing initiatives lately and it has been very rewarding. I would love to be in a position where I could do volunteer work full time.

I would like to be me, one who has reached his full potential, all of his dreams and ambitions. Norm Sulz, Okotoks Curling Club

Matt Rockley, town councillor

I want to be a firefighter when I grow up. Jennifer Carriere, Okotoks Girl Guides

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I want to be an architect.

Lucas C., Okotoks Scouts

I want to be a medical lab tech. Rayna Crossan, Okotoks Scouts

Okotoks Living Spring 2013  
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