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32 CULTURE & HISTORY
12 Uniquely Okotoks Museum guru picks five favourites
28 Hall of Fame Proud Okotokians have history of giving back to community
dining 15 Going gluten-free You don’t have to give up gourmet goodness
Sports & Recreation 23 A Dawg’s life Team, fans, looking forward to the new season
A star is born Ten-year-old local actress living the dream Cover photography courtesy Quick family
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homes 32 Wolverine spotted in Ranchers’ Rise Custom home builder offers affordable elegance
SUSTAINABILITY 37 Do you know your refrigerator’s running? It’s an old joke, but your energy costs might not be so funny
contents spring 2014
12 23 43
Business 40 Surprises in store at service awards Chamber of Commerce event honours Okotoks’ finest
You Said It … 46 If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be and why?
ITEMS 8 Editor’s Message 10 Town of Okotoks Message 43 Events
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Signs of Spring In the midst of one of the coldest, snowiest winters in recent memory, there’s one sure sign of spring — and that’s the annual Okotoks Trade & Lifestyle Show. Presented by the Okotoks & District Chamber of Commerce, with more than 140 exhibitors promoting various goods and services, the show is one of the single biggest events of the year in town, drawing literally thousands of attendees. It’s the place to be April 11 and 12, and we’ll be there too. Be sure to drop by the booth and say hello.
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Chamber is also responsible for one of this town’s other big events: the Service Excellence Awards. Magazine deadlines prevented us from bringing you the winners last fall, so we checked in with the winners to see how they’re doing and found many still excited with their win. You can see all of their smiling faces on pages 40-41. In fact, we profile quite a range of local characters this time around: from a Grey Cup champ, to a Broadstreet Bully; from a recently passed supporter of local arts and culture, to a 10-year-old rising star, our cover profile this issue, Anna Quick. Kathy Coutts shares her five favourite museum treasures with us while de Winton’s Jenni O’Nyons goes on a hunt of a different kind, in search of gluten free dining options in Okotoks. Spring also means a couple of other things in these parts, as folks come out of their winter hibernation; it means Dawgs baseball can’t be far off and it means construction will start picking up. We’ve touched a little on both this edition with a preview of the upcoming Dawgs season as well as a visit to a gorgeous show home in one of Okotoks’ new communities. With a healthy economy, affordable housing and desirable lifestyle, population growth is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. And that makes our sustainability column by Sheelagh Matthews all the more pertinent. Join Sheelagh as she puts her personal home power usage to the test. Meanwhile, in our You Said It feature we asked that timeless question: “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” and got some great answers. Read them, just inside the back cover, and then ask yourself the question. Me, I’ll go with the young gal who said palm tree. Because I’ve had enough of winter too. Finally a big Thank-You to former Okotoks Living editor Jessica Patterson for her contributions over the last few years.
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OKOTOKS NISSAN 5
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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. The Annexation process will continue with consultations with current land owners and the MD of Foothills. The community will undertake visioning sessions to gain input into the future of Okotoks. We are anticipating the completion of the FoothillsOkotoks Regional Field House in July. This multi-purpose facility is a joint development of recreation facilities between the MD and the Town. Work will begin on modernization of our water and wastewater treatment plants and the Operations Centre buildings. We continue to experience notable success with our sustainability initiatives: the Curb It and Cut n’ Call programs. To date, Curb It has 3,800 customers and Cut n’ Call has picked up 1,083 bags for an estimated 40 per cent increase in Curb It subscriptions and a 21 per cent increase in Cut n’ Call bag collection. The Town would like to thank our residents for continuing to reduce the amount of valuable materials in our refuse stream, prolonging the life
Councillors Ray Watrin, Tanya Thorn, Matt Rockley, Mayor Bill Robertson, Councillors Carrie Fischer, Ken Heemeryck, Ed Sands.
of our regional landfill, and reducing our environmental footprint! This year the Town will see a pilot project begin for the collection of polystyrene (Styrofoam) at the Recycling Centre. This is a major initiative for our community that will further increase our recycling efforts. 2014 will welcome several new retail businesses in all areas of our community; some utilizing existing buildings. Watch for: Best Western Hotel, Good Life Fitness, Oshkosh/Carters, Sport Chek, The Dollar Tree, PetSmart and more. Okotoks remains a popular place to host special events such as the Okotoks Minor Hockey Association Timbit Tournament, Mountain Shadows Gymnastics Competition, the Female Hockey Classic and Collector Car Auction, all coming this year. We encourage you to participate in the
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many Town activities that occur in our community such as Kite Day, the Annual Sheep River Valley Cleanup, the Spirit of Okotoks Weekend Parade Day/Children’s Festival and the Taste of Okotoks. See the events listing on page 43, check out our online community events calendar at www.okotoks.ca for more information. We thank you for continuing to enjoy and explore all that our community has to offer!
Mayor WM. (Bill) Robertson On behalf of Town Council
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Uniquely Okotoks Museum guru picks five favourites Kathy Coutts was born and raised in Okotoks, with family ties going back to 1911. She started out as a volunteer nine years ago with the Okotoks Museum and Archives (OMA), established in 2000, turning that into to a part-time job, leading to her present position as Museum Specialist. “I have a passion for history and sharing that history!” Asked to select her five favourite items from the museum’s collections, Coutts says, “It’s really hard to pick. It’s almost like asking a parent, ‘Who is your favourite child?” She thought long and hard, changing her mind a few times along the way and decided they all had to be: “Uniquely Okotoks”. OMA is filled with many more artifacts and archives, waiting to be explored. “Objects are just objects, but their stories make them interesting,” says Coutts. Come on in and discover your own five favourite finds! OL
Okotoks Museum and Archives Heritage House 49 North Railway Street Okotoks, AB Fall & Winter Hours: September long weekend to May long weekend Tuesday to Saturday - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed on statutory holidays) Free admission. Donations welcome.
From the artIfacts
“This is the Okotoks Creamery Butter wrapper. Okotoks had a creamery from the 1920s into the 1960s, located in a building that was originally a horse barn. Farmers would bring their cream to the creamery. There were various owners throughout the years. This label was probably from the ‘20s or ‘30s. I chose it because it represents our community.”
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“My favourite collection is of Dr. Ardiel’s medical instruments; he practiced medicine in Okotoks from 1907 to 1950. He even made house calls! The instruments speak to a time when doctors did not have the modern conveniences they have today. We are very privileged to these here at the museum, including horsehair in vials for stitches, plus the needles, scalpels, forceps and his daily medical diaries, listing patients.”
“The Mountain Rose Flour bag was from the Chinook Flour Mill that produced flour right here in Okotoks. The Mahon House, a beautiful brick home on Elma Street, housed the flour mill. The owners probably fell on hard times in the ‘30s and ‘40s and needed to supplement their income. During World War II, they had a contract to provide flour to Britain. Again, this product is uniquely Okotoks.”
history Story by Anne Gafiuk Photos by Don Molyneaux
Courtesy Okotoks Museum and Archives.
4 From the archives
“These are another favourite of mine: The Okotoks Review. We have them from 1905 to 1970, on microfiche as well as the original papers themselves. They really capture Okotoks’s history: from who lived here, the weather, how the crops were, businesses, prices of groceries, who was married, births and deaths. The paper documented every aspect of the community, so again, very uniquely Okotoks.”
“I’ve changed my mind about eight times picking my favourite photograph! One can learn a great deal from a photo. I thought about one that showed an overview of the village from 1902, but instead chose this one taken about 1910. It shows the vibrancy of the town along McRae Street. There are a number of businesses and there is so much happening. There are power lines, wooden sidewalks and dirt roads. There is Herb Carr and his grain wagon, likely going to the grain elevator. There are two horses and wagons. There is a group of men having a conversation outside of Kadey’s blacksmith shop and I wonder what they were talking about! Sadly, all the businesses burned down, but this photo captures a moment in time. It shows an aspect of the town that doesn’t exist anymore.”
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dining By Jenni O-Nyons
Going gluten-free You don’t have to give up gourmet goodness According to the Canadian Digestive Health foundation more than 330,000 Canadians are believed to be affected by celiac disease, with rates having nearly doubled in the last 25 years in western countries. Celiac disease is a form of food allergy; it is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine when the body has sensitivities or reactions to gluten. Gluten is protein found in wheat, barley and rye, it is also found in most processed food. Fortunately restaurants and grocery stores are adapting to the ever-growing demand for gluten-free alternatives. Michelle Albert, chef and owner of Gourmet on the Go, knows all too well about the need for gluten-free options. Albert realized she is intolerant to wheat roughly six years ago, meaning she experienced headaches, bloating, cramping and lethargy before cutting gluten from her diet. “If I was to have a bowl of pasta I’d be sleeping on the couch, it just knocks me out,” says Albert.
The chef, whose husband and daughter also have gluten intolerance, had to teach herself how to cook and bake using gluten-free ingredients. After trying and giving up on recipes out of gluten-free cookbooks as she wasn’t happy with the taste, Albert took some of her grandmas old recipes and adjusted, played with and practiced with them finding delicious gluten-free alternatives. Albert maintains the key to creating good food, however, is using quality ingredients like the fresh cherries and Bernard Callebaut chocolate used in her rich black forest cake. While most restaurants require gluten-dodgers to scour the menu for options or alternatives, they can choose anything off the menu at Gourmet on the Go knowing it is safe. Popular dishes include the Thai coconut cashew chicken, sandwiches made on in-house gluten-free focaccia bread and a quesadilla, which can be made with a regular flour tortilla or an inhouse gluten-free tortilla. The Heartland Café also makes a concentrated effort to cater to those following a Souvlaki from Gourmet on the Go. Photo courtesy Michelle Albert
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gluten-free diet. Restaurant manager Crystal Krentz says an average of five people a day require a gluten-free alternative and customers often comment the reason they come is because of the amount of gluten-free options. Krentz says they take all allergies Crystal Krentz and dietary requirements seriously as soon as they are alerted and food is prepared in a different part of the kitchen on a new cutting board. Staff will also try and adjust most dishes on the menu to be gluten-free. Sandwiches can be made gluten-free using bread from Care Bakery and the rib sauce, raspberry, Caesar and feta dressings are all made in-house and gluten free. There is always the gluten-free rice pudding as well as one more dessert option and, of course, a bottled gluten-free beer. The Heartland Café is well known for it’s meatloaf, which is gluten-free due to the two-day cooking process that binds the ingredients together without bread crumbs.
“People panic and think ‘oh my God, I’m not going to be able to eat anything’, and thats so untrue. There’s just so many alternatives, you just need to do your research.” For those looking for gluten-free options in the supermarket, Costco offers a gluten-free bread, flour and crackers. Safeway has a small gluten-free section in the cookies and crackers aisle offering various cookies, crackers, granola bars and cake-mixtures. Okotoks Natural Food Market and Café has a large selection of gluten-free options including fresh and dry pasta, sweet treats like chocolate covered pretzels and cookies, frozen bread, burgers and perogies. The store also marks all gluten-free products with a blue price label, making it easy for customers to make gluten-free choices. Sobeys carries a large selection of gluten-free product in their natural source section, which store owner/operator David Gilbert says is constantly growing along with demand.
He says his eyes were opened to the lack of gluten-free choices because three of his nieces have sensitivities to gluten and his sister had trouble finding suitable choices in town. Gilbert says more organic, locally sourced and gluten-free options have also been making their way into Sobeys since it partnered with Jamie Oliver and developed the vision “eat better, do better, feel better.” Although gluten-free product has typically been more difficult to source, says Gilbert, larger manufacturers like General Mills and Kellogg’s have picked up on the demand and are coming out with more offerings like gluten-free Rice Crispies. “The consumers certainly vote with their dollars. If they’re willing to David Gilbert spend money we are going to stock it.” Sobeys also has a section in the bakery stocked with its own brand gluten-free bread and baked goods like cookies and cakes. Albert’s advice to those newly adopting a gluten-free lifestyle is, “not to limit yourself.” She says “People panic and think ‘oh my God, I’m not going to be able to eat anything’, and that’s so untrue. There’s just so many alternatives, you just need to do your research.” Carrie Mullaly, registered holistic nutritionist at Wildheart Nutrition says one of the main problems with wheat in general is that it is in everything, and that the average person has consumed it multiple times daily throughout their life. “With any type of food that is consumed constantly your body can develop sensitivities to it and you can actually lose the enzymes to digest it properly,” Mullaly says. “I do recommend for everybody to rotate their diet. Have good variety, and don’t consume the same types of foods day in and day out. We usually recommend a four-day rotation, so don’t consume the same thing for more than four days.” OL
Creme brulee from Gourmet on the Go. Photo courtesy Michelle Albert
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people By Alyssa Burnham
“I used to watch a show called Supernatural. The episode that made me want to act is called ‘Yellow Fever.’ It’s really funny.” 18 O koto ks Livi n g s p r i ng 20 1 4
Photo by Lana Armitage.
A star is born Ten-year-old local actress living the dream
he takes the family calendar off the fridge and begins to run through the long list of scheduled activities. It’s a long one. Ten-year-old Anna Quick is a bundle of enthusiasm with talent and energy to spare, but not a lot of time on her hands. When she’s not in school, the Grade 5 Westmount School student can be found taking musical theatre classes, voice lessons, swimming, golfing and making her own jewelry. However, all of these are just hobbies. Quick’s real love is acting, and that too is taking up more and more of her time as she climbs the ranks of the local showbiz scene. From the moment I enter her family’s Okotoks home where Anna lives with mom Shan and dad Steve — she has three older brothers; Steven, Joshua and Jordan — it’s abundantly clear that Quick was born to entertain. She holds conversation with a maturity that far exceeds her 10 years, but her silly side is never far away, periodically launching into character voices and animated storytelling. Surely, Quick’s larger-than-life personality is one of the reasons she’s finding such on-screen success. Last year was an especially big year for the young actress. In addition to ongoing voice work for Treehouse TV’s animated series Lolaloopsy, she landed parts in television commercials for Toyota, Travel Alberta and ATB (she played the referee who drops the puck for a faceoff between the NHL’s Mark Giordano and Jordan Eberle.) Topping it all off, Quick also worked on her first feature film, The Right Kind of Wrong, starring Sara Canning, Ryan Kwanten and Catherine O’Hara. “It had a lot of people in it and big people,” Quick says, grabbing her phone to show me photos of her very own trailer on set. In the movie she plays a girl named Chrissy. For Quick, projects like these are the realization of a dream she’s had for almost as long as she can remember. Quick was only five years old when she told her mom she wanted to be an actress.
“I used to watch a show called Supernatural. The episode that made me want to act is called ‘Yellow Fever.’ It’s really funny” Quick explains, again reaching for her phone, this time to show me a clip from the episode. “I told my mom, ‘I want to be on that show’ and she said ‘OK.’” While most parents would have shrugged the comment off as little more than a childhood fantasy, Quick’s mom, Shan, was 100 per cent supportive from the start. “Anna was always dramatic, and she loves to pretend...I told her, ‘You need to understand that acting is work. It’s something to take seriously.’ But I told her that I would do the research and help her do it if we could.” Not long after that initial conversation, Quick booked her first television spot — a commercial for tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador, where she and her family lived before moving to Alberta in 2011.
Anna drawing for a school project.
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people “She’s awesome, really excited about acting...she’s really fun and that’s why she books a lot. She brings a lot of energy.” A
Every job Quick gets not only furthers her blossoming acting career, but also gets her closer to yet another dream — becoming a veterinarian. Wisely, Quick puts a portion of every dollar she earns into an education savings plan. Her plan, when she “grows up,” is to balance a busy animal clinic with a successful film career. In the meantime, Quick explains how it’s important to her to give back to the community. At Christmas, she collected stuffed animals for the children at the Rowan House Emergency Shelter and delivered them herself. A few months earlier, she organized a community-wide effort to provide 150 backpacks stuffed with brand new school supplies to students who were affected by the floods in High River. “As an actor, I’m lucky to make money, so I want to help people,” Quick states very matter-of-factly. Listening to her speak, you can’t help but be amazed at the maturity of this bubbly, blonde-haired girl. Quick’s acting coach Milo Shandel says this juxtaposition — serious but silly — is key to her success. Shandel, who is best known for his role as Principal Tater on YTV’s Mr. Young, works with Anna via Skype from his home in Vancouver. “She’s very professional but never loses her sense of fun,” he says. “She brings fun into everything. Ultimately, that’s what will help her. It’s that spark that separates good from great, and I think Anna has the potential to be great.” It’s a sentiment that everyone around the young starlet seems to share. With her signature brand of talent, ambition and personality, her recent success is likely only the beginning. OL
Kelsea Forzani, owner and agent at Details Talent, has been Quick’s agent since she arrived in Alberta and sees firsthand the passion the young actress has for her craft. “She’s awesome, really excited about acting...she’s really fun and that’s why she books a lot. She brings a lot of energy.” Of course, passion will only get you so far. To be successful in acting, individuals must also possess a strong work ethic, which Quick does. Rather than rely on her natural talent and charming personality, she spends much of her down time researching roles, attending acting clinics and going over scripts. “As an actor, you always have to pull your own train and she is. She’s finding her own work. She’s making this happen,” Forzani says.
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A At the Okotoks Children’s Festival. B Anna bowling. C L to R: Raymond (grandfather), Anna, Rita (grandmother), Pierrette (great-grandmother) D Anna with producer Robert Lantos on the red carpet at the Calgary International Film Festival. Photo by Ben Tsai.
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sports Story by David Shepherd Photos courtesy Okotoks Dawgs
A Dawg’s life
Team, fans, looking forward to the new season The crack of a bat, the cheering crowd, the fireworks — there’s no sport quite like baseball, and the Okotoks Dawgs are inspiring a generation of kids to take up the game. To trace the origin of the Dawgs, Managing Director John Ircandia says you have to step back to the mid-’90s. “Baseball was my way of communicating with my two boys at the earliest possible age. Once my boys were in Little League, I realized that Calgary was focused on hockey and didn’t provide many opportunities for baseball players.” After the Cannons left Calgary in 2002, Ircandia struck fast. “We thought we’d run a developmental team at the college level. We wanted to promote college players because they were on the way up rather than down, and getting a college education at the same time as pursuing their passion for the sport.” Unfortunately for the Dawgs, there was a snake in the grass. The now defunct Calgary Vipers repeatedly fought over infrastructure. The Dawgs were shut down at five different locations throughout the city, until finally long-time Dawgs supporter Don Seaman, said the words that would change history: “Let’s just build the Dawgs a stadium.”
Seaman Stadium entrance
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Coach AJ Fystro Ircandia still remembers his first tour through Okotoks. “We were very impressed. Okotoks had an unbelievable American small town feel — they were really supportive of hockey and football. We felt that the community shared our fundamental values about the importance of youth athletics and if we got in the community it would catch on.” Okotoks town council approved a location for the Dawgs, and Seaman Stadium officially opened on June 6, 2007. Okotoks was all-in from the beginning. The Dawgs averaged 1,700 fans per game over their first season, which put them as the top-drawing baseball team, professional or otherwise, in Alberta. Ircandia had found a home for his Dawgs. “It takes a special town to appreciate that level of sport. And Okotoks is that. It’s contagious and it’s caught on beyond Okotoks and into the Foothills.” The Dawgs are a collegiate team, which means their roster is made up of active baseball players from colleges and universities around Canada and the United States. The players billet with Okotoks families and play for the Dawgs in the college off-season. None of the players collect pay cheques for playing — they do it for the love of the sport. As part of their contract with the Dawgs, players are required to perform a certain amount of community service. While most don’t have time for outside work, some manage to find a part-time job flexible enough to help with college expenses.
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The Dawgs open the 2014 season in Medicine Hat on June 1. Coach A.J. Fystro has set his sights high. “We were pretty successful last year, we just didn’t get by in the playoffs. Offensively we had a lot of top guys in the league, so one thing Dawgs Managing Director, we want to improve John Ircandia on is our pitching. We didn’t get that big time out to steal a game. In the off-season, we’ve tried to get some arms and lock them down early.” One returning player to watch is Thomas Rodrigues, who led the Dawgs offensively in the 2013 season. Newcomers expected to play a major role include outfielder Scott Hoyt, left-handed pitcher Austin Clay, and right-hander Andrew Moralez. While most of the focus surrounding the Dawgs has been on the collegiate team, Ircandia is quick to point out there’s a lot more behind the curtain. “Everyone thinks the college team is the focus — they get the press clippings and the fans — but really the founders are all about offering opportunities for the kids. Young people learn to play the right way so they can translate it into college scholarships or into a professional career.”
The Dawgs are a collegiate team, which means their roster is made up of active baseball players from colleges and universities around Canada and the United States.
Wins - 34 Losses - 12 1st West Division
Wins - 26 Losses - 19 3rd West Division
Wins - 31 Losses - 13 2nd West Division
2007 2008 2009
Just as Okotoks supports the Dawgs, the Dawgs seek to give back. From the top down, Dawgs employees are taught to never say no to community. Just as Okotoks supports the Dawgs, the Dawgs seek to give back. From the top down, Dawgs employees are taught to never say no to community. They host or donate to innumerable silent actions to assist organizations and charities with their fundraising efforts, they give away tickets to worthy or needy causes and youth groups, and they’ve raised over $150,000 for breast cancer. After the tragic 2013 floods, the Dawgs were on the front lines of the relief effort, contributing over $65,000 for local flood relief. Ircandia knows the Dawgs couldn’t be what they are without Okotoks. “All a person has to do is go to Okotoks and be overwhelmed by the positive energy. We’re happy to give them the facility and the programming, but they’ve made it what it is.” At the end of each Dawgs game, kids line up and take turns running around the bases. One wonders how many of them will be wearing a Dawgs uniform in the future. OL
Game Night Title
June 5 There's No Place Like Home - Sponsored by Eamonn O'Gorman 7
Halloween in June
Hometown Hereos Night
- Sponsored by Western Financial Group 15
Father's Day with the OMBA Parade
Pablo Forno Taco Tuesday and Rotary Night
Mascot Mania Night
- Sponsored by First Calgary Financial 25 Eagle 100.9 70's Decade Night 30
July 1 Canada Day Glow in the Park 2
Our Town Day
Bellies and Baseball Salute to Pregnancy Night
Salute to the USA Day
5 I love beer and Saskatchewan Night 9
Sun Country 99.7 Western Night
William Gardner Sweater Vest Night
12 Christmas in July 20 Canadian Breast Cancer Pink Day
Coach Val Helldobbler (left) and AJ Fystro (right) present Thomas Rodrigues with the WMBL batting title bat.
Dawgs Date Night
Dynasty Night a Salute to Duck Dynasty
Kids Run the Ballpark Day for Diggity's Bday
Fan Appreciation Night
- Sponsored by Western Financial Group
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feature By Janet Gurtler
Hall of Fame Proud Okotokians have history of giving back to the community
Did you know that you can nominate local people or organizations for an Okotoks Hall of Fame Award? Did you even know that Okotoks has a Hall of Fame? You bet it does! Nominations are being accepted until the end of March, 2014. “It’s really impressive, the level of accomplishments and the number of people who have reached those accomplishments in Okotoks. It’s really amazing,” says Susan Laurin, Community Services Manager for the Town of Okotoks. The Hall of Fame is designed to recognize high levels of extended achievement in three main categories: Sport, Arts and Cultures and Community Service. 2013 Inductees are certainly worth acknowledging. People like Bill ‘Cowboy’ Flett. Flett grew up playing minor hockey in Okotoks and was later drafted and played 13 years in the NHL. His career highlight was a 1974 Stanley Cup win with the Philadelphia Flyers. Also known for his love of rodeo, Flett passed away in 1999.
“Council wants to recognize those people who have contributed, but the awards should also inspire people to contribute back into the community and say, ‘I can make a difference in my community’,” says Laurin. This year’s nominations will be reviewed by the Council’s Hall of Fame subcommittee in April. The award ceremony will take place at The Spirit of Okotoks Day in June, 2014. “It’s the third weekend in June every year,” explains Laurin. “People know it as Parade Day but really it’s The Spirit of Okotoks Day. It used to be called Sports Day.” 2014 inductees will have permanent plaques added to those already on display on the Hall of Fame wall in the Okotoks Recreation Centre outside the Shane Home Gymnasium.
“The Okotoks Hall of Fame is about preserving our heritage... But it also gives us that sense of place.”
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The Hall of Fame is designed to recognize high levels of extended achievement in three main categories: Sport, Arts and Cultures and Community Service. Plaques like the one for 2013 inductee, Traci Ward, who before passing away in 2012, helped build a vibrant arts sector in town, including the town’s first art walk. As well as serving as the Cultural and Historical Services Team Traci Ward Leader for the Town of Okotoks, Ward advocated for arts and worked tirelessly to raise funds, renovate and help open the Rotary Performing Arts Centre. Ray Watrin is another 2013 Inductee. An award winning CFL football player, Watrin was first drafted to the Calgary Stampeders. He went on to play for different CFL teams and is a two-time Grey Cup champion. After retiring, Watrin dedicated himself to building football in Okotoks by coaching and founding bantam football programs. The council was impressed with the nominations that came in for 2013, the inaugural year for the Hall of Fame Awards. “The Okotoks Hall of Fame Ray Watrin is about preserving our
heritage,” Laurin says. “But it also gives us that sense of place. If you’re young you might not know that Ray Watrin played in the CFL and has Grey Cup rings and that he grew up here! In Oktoks! And people play Lacrosse all the time in town, but do they know who was instrumental in getting Lacrosse to Okotoks?” 2013 inductee Brad Banister was that person. Banister built lacrosse in Okotoks at all levels, from minor leagues to Junior A. Also a founding owner Brad Banisterof the Calgary Roughnecks, Banister was honoured by the NLL as Executive of the Year. Banister has shared his experience and love of the game with hundreds of local athletes as a coach, manager and mentor. If you know someone who deserves to be inducted in the Okotoks Hall of Fame, nomination requirements and selection criteria can be found online at email@example.com. Questions can also be answered by calling the Community Services Manager at 403-938-8058. Nominations should be dropped off at the Recreation Centre or the Municipal Centre by March 31, 2014. OL
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homes By Aaliya Essa
Wolverine spotted in Ranchers’ Rise Custom home builder offers affordable elegance
Building your dream home just got a whole lot easier, thanks to Wolverine Custom Homes. In fact, the aeronautically-inspired Cessna 2 show home at 63 Ranchers’ Crescent in Ranchers’ Rise features a layout designed with both form and function in mind — maximizing convenience and space for the entire family — and making the model one of the builder’s most popular. “The Cessna 2 has been a favourite with our buyers especially because of its layout,” says Jim Elder, President of Wolverine Custom Homes. “Buyers appreciate the thoughtful use of space, and the attention to detail seen throughout the home”. Emphasizing the builder’s philosophy of ‘what you see is what you get’, the show home is adorned with many upgrades that come as standard features in a Wolverine home. For example, nine-foot ceilings on the main floor, combined with a spiral staircase with iron spindle railings and open risers, really add to the feeling of openness without having to actually physically add any square- footage to the floor plan. Buyers will love the kitchen in this home, too, as it is fully equipped with 42-inch upper cabinetry, a gorgeous six-
piece stainless steel appliance package, granite countertops and soft close drawers. Large windows allow an abundance of natural light into the room, as well as offer an exquisite view to gaze upon while preparing delicious meals for family or friends. And, as if the fantastic sightlines weren’t already good enough, the deck located just off the kitchen is equally as inviting, especially during summer, providing the perfect setting for barbecues or simply some personal rest and relaxation. The high ceiling continues into the family room, adding to the upscale look and feel of the space, with built-in shelving that classes things up as well as helping to shape and organize this area. Add a generous dose of large picture windows, and the natural sunlight literally pours into this space, brightening and warming it at the same time. A separate dining room, plus an office space and powder room near the main entrance complete the main floor. Entering from the garage, the handydandy mudroom, upgraded with lockers and a bench, is a super practical option for any busy household.
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“The lockers are just perfect for families,” says Ruth Schneider, a sales assistant for Wolverine Custom Homes. “Space can be allocated for each family member, and it’s easy to keep tidy and organized.” Upstairs, a lookout balcony in the loft-like bonus room peeks over the family room beneath. Across the hall is a laundry room, which has a countertop for folding and even a sink for clothes that need to be pre-rinsed or hand-washed. Also upstairs are three good-sized bedrooms and two-anda-half bathrooms. Like the rest of the home, the bedrooms appear even more spacious than they really are, thanks to large windows and ample closet space, making these rooms absolutely perfect for any age of child to grow into. Between the two bedrooms is a full bathroom with a luxurious soaker tub, large vanity with lots of countertop space, and a linen closet with built-in wooden shelving — all standard. “This show home has been popular both with young families and buyers looking for a move-up home,” says Elder. And it’s not just because of the layout. At a roomy 2,800 square-feet in size, and starting at around $506,800, plus lot and GST, the home fits people’s lifestyle needs and their budget. The master suite is the crown jewel of the second floor, occupying the entire right side of the upper level. Dressed-tothe-nine’s, with a double French door at the entrance, this space
is home to a huge walk-in closet, easily able to house both his and her apparel, and then some. The master ensuite resembles a picturesque mini spa more than it does a standard bathroom, beckoning weary homeowners to its secluded ambience. With his and hers sinks, abundant counter space, a bath tub that takes up about a quarter of the room, and a huge glass-walled shower, comfort comes standard. The only upgrades here are the bronze hardware and facets. Another set of French doors separates the ensuite from the sleeping area where, again, there are large windows offering more of the spectacular views that Ranchers’ Rise community is so well known for. Located in the far northeast corner of town, Ranchers’ Rise is one of the most unique new communities in Okotoks, and not just because it’s next door to the airport (although that is a pretty neat feature). Here you can really have the best of both worlds, with easy access to main roads leading both in and out of
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“One of the community focal points in this phase is the park at the entrance to the community, which will include a variety of features for all children’s age groups.”
town, with plenty of room to roam and amenities right here in your own community. New schools are planned, numerous playgrounds, pathways and sporting fields are located within the community, and retail and grocery stores, dining, entertainment and recreational options are still literally only minutes away. “The school site is for a K-9 French School,” says Ryan Hall, Vice President of marketing and communication at Bordeaux Developments. “The adjacent baseball diamond and green space system, which will form part of the larger existing Beatrice Wyndham Park wetland and environmental reserve, is scheduled for completion in 2015. Other amenities in Ranchers’ Rise include extensive linear parks with pathways that tie to larger open spaces throughout the community which are equipped with play equipment and water features. Extensive linear parks also tie to the Town of Okotoks numerous parks and amenities. “One of the community focal points in this phase is the park at the entrance to the community, which will include a variety of features for all children’s age groups,” adds Hall. Bordeaux Developments has designed Ranchers’ Rise to include approximately 400 homes, including a choice of builders and a variety of home plan options. It’s a community filled with scenic views, quality homes on large lots, and happy homeowners. OL
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sustainability Story by Sheelagh Matthews Photos by Tristen Heatherington
Do you know your refrigerator’s running? It’s an old joke, but your energy costs might not be so funny Do you know how much it costs to run that second freezer in the basement? Or, how much it costs to run your TV or computer? These numbers don’t have to be impossible to figure out anymore, all thanks to our local power distributor. As a part of its “Energy Your Way™” energy efficiency program, FortisAlberta donated 2,750 power monitors to libraries across its service territory. The Okotoks Public Library received two of these electricity measuring gadgets in 2011 and, according to Tessa Nettleton, director of the Okotoks Public Library, there’s been a steady call for them since they arrived. They are loaned out for a week at a time, and can be renewed online, just like a library book. “We’re excited about adding these power monitors to our collection,” said Nettleton. “It shows how dynamic and open to new initiatives we are at the
library. In addition to books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs, now we’ve got equipment for the public to use, too,” she added. I borrowed one of these plug ‘n play monitors to share my experience of using one with you. And I found it rather fun to use once I got the hang of it. About the size of a TV remote control, the power monitor came packed in a small, lightweight, but sturdy, black carrying case. For the purpose of this story, I decided to find out how much it cost to boil a kettle of water for my morning pot of coffee. My first step was to open the carrying case. Inside was a Quick Start Guide, a short operating manual with safety instructions, and the power monitor. After reviewing the printed materials, which didn’t take much time at Tessa Nettleton all, I went looking for an old power bill to figure out how much I paid for my power per kilowatt hour (kWh). As I couldn’t find this easily, I made a quick call to my electricity retailer, Direct Energy. I found out my rate (December 2013) was 5.11 cents/kWh. Following the calculation example on the Quick Start Guide, this meant I had to input 0.511 on the power monitor. Armed with all the information I needed, I headed for my kitchen counter. First, I unplugged the kettle from its wall electrical outlet, and plugged the power monitor in its place. Then, following the Quick Start Guide, I started pressing buttons to set up the power monitor for my test. This went relatively well, but I found that using a flashlight helped me read the screen a bit better as the monitor was in a shadowy spot under a cupboard. Next, I filled my kettle with enough water for a pot of coffee, then plugged the kettle into the power monitor. Once the » s p r i ng 20 1 4 o koto ks Livi n g 37
water boiled and my kettle automatically shut off, I pressed the Menu key on the power monitor — just as the Quick Start Guide directed — to take a reading. The reading said it cost me $0.08 to boil enough water for my morning coffee. Well, that’s not a bad deal at all, I thought, virtually patting myself on the back for using an energy-efficient kettle. The power monitor also displays readings of costs per hour, day, week, and month. As a part of this process, I also talked with FortisAlberta’s Program Specialist — Energy Efficiency, Jennifer Yip. She explained how using a power monitor helps people determine areas of improvement when it comes to their power usage. Like, do you really need that second freezer? The power monitor can help you figure out if it would be cheaper, and possibly healthier, for you to buy fresh instead. According to Yip, “small lifestyle changes can make a big impact on the environment and your money.” That’s one powerful piece of advice I plan on following. Now I’m off to measure how much it costs to play my stereo, use my favourite reading lamp, run my computer… OL
“Small lifestyle changes can make a big impact on the environment and your money.”
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Surprises in store Chamber of Commerce event honours Okotoks’ finest Shocked would be the best way to describe the reaction of many of the recipients Okotoks Service Excellence Awards. Hansel and Gretel catered this year’s exceptional prime rib dinner for the 284 nominees and guests while veteran emcee John Barlow kept the evening entertaining with his clever commentary. In this, its eleventh year, the element of surprise was front and centre for recipients. Nominated in the same category as the event caterer, Hospitality & Food Service, Marissa Pacual from Tim Horton’s Drive-Thru was very sure Hansel and Gretel would win. Instead, a surprised Marissa made her way to the stage to accept the award. Marissa says this is just the beginning, as she’s inspired to improve more than ever, by serving “from the heart”. Kelly Hodgins of Cobs Bread was surprised as well. Winning the award for New Business of the Year certainly surprised her because they’d opened only a few months prior. Business of the Year winner was Natural High Fitness. Andrew and Shari Gustafson were honoured by receiving the prestigious award. “We accept this honour on behalf of our staff…”, says Andrew. “We are very fortunate to be able to maintain such an amazing partnership with the Town. And, most notably,” he adds, “we thank so much our amazing members and participants who continue to inspire our thoughts and goals for the business.” The silent auction at the event gives Chamber members a chance to showcase their products and services, plus it raises the money required to host the event. Okotoks Living Magazine supports the Chamber through the donation of a half-page ad. Chamber President Cheryl Actimichuk, who has organized the event for six years, explains, “ticket sales only cover the direct costs of the meal. Hall rental, décor, and the awards themselves are provided through funds raised from the Silent Auction.” As Okotoks consumers, please keep track of your own service excellence experiences. You can all nominate your service of choice at any time throughout the year. OL
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Alternative Health & Wellness Sara Noyes Cactus Club Salon & Spa “Being nominated for this award was a surprise and winning was amazing. I’m so grateful to work with incredible clients amongst such a strong team at the Cactus Club.”
Animal Care Services Dr. Catherine Pampiglione Canine Aquafitness & Veterinary Rehab Centre “I feel very honoured to have received the Service Excellence Award in Animal Care. Knowing that I have been chosen by my clients and friends in our community makes it especially rewarding.”
Hospitality & Food Service Marissa Pascual Tim Horton’s “It’s a big accomplishment for me. It’s an honour and I’m so proud of myself. This is just the beginning. I put my heart in my job.”
New Business of the Year Kelly Hodgins Cobs Bread “We were pretty excited and surprised since we were just open a few months before we were nominated. We appreciate all the customers who keep coming in.”
Business of the Year Andrew Gustafson Natural High Fitness “We accept this honour on behalf of our staff who we are so lucky to have the pleasure of working with each day.”
business By Peggy Ainsley
at service awards Retail Sale & Service
Canadian Tire Gas Bar “I’m completely honoured to receive this award for service. I didn’t even think I’d be nominated. My customers are phenomenal, my coworkers are awesome, and I love Okotoks.”
John C. MacLean Professional Corp. “It is a great honour to receive this award. Thank you to all of our clients — we look forward to serving you for many years to come.”
Home-Based Business of the Year
Student Volunteer Thank you to the Okotoks Chamber, I felt honoured. I would also like to say thank you to Jacques Plamondon who got me involved in cooking and allowed me to experience what is like to volunteer.
Amorea Designs “Our team is focused on complete client satisfaction while providing uncompromising quality. Whether it is our Renovation division or our Electrical division, we are committed to excellence.”
Automotive Service Nellie Sandfly Okotoks Ford Lincoln “I really appreciate all my customers who took the time to vote for me. This is a great honour to receive and means that all my hard work and effort has not gone unnoticed.”
The Okotoks Chamber of Commerce created an excellent event once again to celebrate the town’s best customer service providers. Employer of the Year
Dr. Mark Pitcher
Investors Group Financial Services Inc. “I am thrilled with the award and thank the Chamber and those who voted. I appreciate their confidence in me as I work hard to ensure that Canadian families have a strong finance plan.”
Okotoks Eyecare “It is an honour to have been chosen as Employer of the Year. I feel it is due to our great staff and doctors, and to the patients who entrust us with their eye care.”
Personal Care Service
Building & Construction
Cactus Club Salon & Spa “It felt extremely amazing to know clients of ours were so pleased with the service I was providing as a hairstylist. I love what I have chosen as my career!”
KC Landscaping & Maintenance “I was happy to receive this award, and happy that I’m able to work, live and raise my family in the community of Okotoks with the support of all our great customers.”
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For information on Town of Okotoks events contact: Mark Doherty, Community Events Co-ordinator 403-938-8950 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.okotoks.ca
Compiled by Estelle Park
Folk singer-songwriter Cori Brewster performing at the Rotary Performance Art Centre from 8-10 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
The Okotoks Agricultural Society hosts Winterfest, a great chance to learn about the Agricultural society and its rich history. Activities include wagon rides, pony rides, dog agility and much more. Admission: $5/car, each child in the car will get a free pony ride.
Honour and commemorate the Canadian Troops who fought at the battle of Vimy Ridge on Birth of a Nation Day. Marching procession starting at the Elk’s lodge, following Elizabeth St., onto Centre St., arriving at the Cenotaph where a brief ceremony will take place, from 6-7 p.m.
Chamber of Commerce Trade and Lifestyle Show at the Okotoks Recreation Centre. Over 140 businesses showcased. Come on out and sample local food for a buck a bite. April 11, 4 to 9 p.m., April 12, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Uncensored club comedy group ‘Yuk Yuk’s’ at the Rotary Performing Art Centre. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door. From 8-10 p.m.
Uncensored club comedy group ‘Yuk Yuk’s’ at the Rotary Performing Art Centre. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door. From 8-10 p.m.
Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra is performing at the Rotary Performing Arts Centre at 3 p.m. Enjoy a magical concert and learn about composers, musicians, and instruments during a Q&A period. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra is performing at the Rotary Performing Arts Centre at 3 p.m. Enjoy a magical concert. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
Come out to the 2014 Kite Festival, a free day of family fun. Compete in the Kite Flying Competition, or fly your kite just for fun, from 1-5 p.m.
Plan for your wedding at the Spring Bridal Showcase, from 5:30-9 p.m. at the Foothills Centennial Centre. Fetauring vendors, a fashion show, and door prizes. Admission is free, register online at www.welcomewagon.ca See Irish band Caladh Nua in concert at RPAC, 8-10 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Earth Hour from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Residents are encouraged to turn off their lights and show their support.
Visit the Rotary Performing Art Centre and watch the play “Suddenly Mommy!” a one-woman comedy about an illprepared and self-confessed bad mom. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20 in advance. Sheep River Valley Clean-up and Tree-planting at Ethel Tucker Park. Come at 10 a.m. if already registered online at www. okotoks.ca, come at 9 a.m. for onsite registration. Free BBQ from noon-1 p.m. Okotoks Fitness and Wellness Fair at the Okotoks Recreation Centre from 8:30 a.m to 4 p.m. Hear from speakers, have lunch, and attend sessions to learn all about fitness and health. The cost is $60. There will also be a trade fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to learn all about local health and fitness businesses which is free.
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BANIS TER D
Good E Shepherd School
D’Arcy Ranch Golf Club
Tower Hill Park
8 Hemus Parkway
Sandstone Ridge Park
Elma St. Park
Tosh Park CR ESCENT RO
Cedar Grove Park
D OKOTOKS DRIVE
E Percy Pegler School
Wylie Athletic Park
Lineham Park Okotoks School
Crystalridge Point Park
IVE R Sheep River Crescent Park
Okotoks Lions Sheep River Campground SH EEP R IVER
Sheep River Close Park Sheep River Court Park
Sheep River Park
Big Rock School E Hughes Park
W ES TR
Otterbein Park ID
Stewart Park Westridge Close Park
BIG ROCK TRAIL
Foothills Composite School H
R I VE
Grisdale Park CI MAR R
ON DR IVE
John Paul II Collegiate Wathen Park Tillotson Park
E St. Mary’s School
7 Westmount School
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Kinsmen Dewdney Park Park
SOUTH RAILW Rotary AY STR EET Park
Ethel Tucker Centennial Park
MCRAE. STREET Frederick Price Memorial Park
Sheep River Heights Park
E DHA VEN DRIV
Banister Dr Park
RA ILW AY
Crystal Ridge Golf Course
Crystal Green Way Park
Crystal Shores Park
Crystal Green Manor Park
Crystal Green Drive Park
MILLIGAN DRIVE Beatrice Wyndham Park
Drake Landing Energy Park
Dr. M. Gibson School
Drake Landing Common Park
Drake Landing Drive Soccer Park
RIV ED CRY STA LR
FISHER PLACE FISHER GATE
Riverside Community Park
Jim Graham Park
R 32 ST
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you said it…
By Tristen Heatherington
A Bonsai tree, because they are unique and live for a long time. Kaylie H., 13, resident
A Mahogany tree, because they are beautiful, elegant and represent who I want to be.
An Evergreen, because they remind me of camping, canoeing and the mountains.
Cam Davies, resident
Greg Poile, Professional Chef at FCHS
If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be and why?
A Christmas tree, because they are a symbol of joy and happiness and are monarchs of the forest.
I would be a Mango tree because they produce delicious fruit, they grow in warm climates and if I got cut down, I would want to be made into a ukulele. Jaryn Nguyen, resident
Elaine Robertson, resident
I would be a Maple tree because they are big.
A Narra tree, because it is strong, like me. Arlene Dayrit, resident
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Austin K., 6, resident
A Palm tree so I wouldn’t have to see the snow. Emma Robson, resident
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