Art and fashion show at the Civic Centre
Though the main focus of the Strathmore Stampede may be the rodeo and the chuckwagons, that’s not all that is being offered. In the Civic Centre is the Horticulture and Creative Arts show.
Adults and kids alike are able to enter into the arts and crafts and foods categories. There are a variety of painting and drawing mediums being judged as well as a photography section, and other handicrafts such as beading, knitting and crocheting.
Adults only will be able to enter in the canning and preserving events, flowers, plants, grains and grasses and the fruits and vegetables categories. Entries will be taken in on Thursday night, judged Friday morning and then displayed throughout the weekend.
The fashion show, which was at the Civic Centre during the last Strathmore Stampede, is making a comeback. Beginning Saturday at 2 p.m. the show will be a historical review of our province through fashion, said Donna Treacy, horticulture and creative arts board member.
“We really did it for the 100th of Strathmore and it’s sort of going to be the same idea but with some variations because we can’t get the same models,” said Treacy.
“This year we’re going to do a tribute to the Calgary Stampede at the end of Saturday’s (event) and it will be about an hour.”
The show will begin with fashions from the First Nations, then the trappers, the missionaries, and a 1913 wedding dress that belonged to Treacy’s mother-in-law. The show will continue on showing fashions from each decade until it reaches present day.
On Sunday will be another show, also beginning at 2 p.m., which will focus on celebrating our ethnic roots, said Treacy.
“To be very honest I think it’s important to retain our heritage, and to appreciate our heritage and the values put forth by those who preceded us,” said Treacy.
Also on display in the horticulture and creative arts display is a tablecloth that was first created in 1948 by Irene, a teacher hired as the circuit home economics teacher for the Wheatland School Division. She traveled to five schools within the division, Carseland Standard, Rockyford, Strathmore and Katherine. Irene designed the cloth and each student from that year was to have his or her family name embroidered onto the cloth. The tablecloth was given to Treacy who had kept in touch with her former teacher Irene.
“It is now completed and it will be on display. There are 101 names on the cloth and if former students from that year wish to see it, it will be there,” said Treacy.
Everything in the Civic Centre is free and open to everyone.
Cammaert picks up Ag Society reins
Ag Society Board member Jim Cammaert stepped down from his board position, pulled on his boots, and jumped into the arena as the Interim General Manager for the Strathmore Ag Society. Cammaert said his biggest job will be to keep the train on its tracks.
“As they say in theatre circles ‘The show must go on’,” said Cammaert.
Former General Manager Darcy Ledene, stepped down on July 19.
“Darcy put in a lot of the checks and balances. Darcy really did many good things for us. He helped us out a lot,” said Cammaert.
Earlier this year, there was some speculation that the show would move to another weekend, but Cammaert verified that the show would continue to be held on the August long weekend. He said the formula is working and there did not seem to be a need to change it.
He said that he has met with area businesses and sales for sponsorship packages are going well.
“They have been unbelievably supportive,” said Cammaert.
He feels the best way individuals can support the Society is to buy tickets to the rodeo weekend and bring their friends and family. There are seats still available for the show, but they will go quickly. To pre-buy is the best way to beat lineups and get a good viewpoint in the shade.
“Our mandate is to make those tickets valuable and worth buying, to get the show to a level where people want to buy tickets,” said Cammaert.
Good ticket sales and community support for shows and events like this only makes it easier to stage more crowd pleasers in the future.
Cammaert said they are also still looking for volunteers. Anyone who would like to help at the grounds as a volunteer can call the office and ask for Kaitlin. Call 403-934-5811.
A little effort goes a long way
Volunteers are important to any major event, including the Strathmore Stampede. The entire event is dependent on the contributions of the folks in town who donate their time every year to help the Strathmore Stampede run smoothly.
“We can always use more volunteers and we’ll never turn away help. It takes a lot of people and a lot of commitment to make the stampede happen. We’re always happy to accept anyone and everyone who’s willing to help out,” said Jessica Hall, in charge of Office Administration and Finance for the Strathmore Stampede.
Now, with the online application form, it’s easier than ever to help out at the Strathmore Stampede. Just go to strathmorerodeo.com and fill out the application form.
There are so many different jobs that need to be done, especially with a large event like the Strathmore Stampede that has several different aspects that go into making it successful, there’s something for everyone.
“We have a variety of opportunities for people to help us in a variety of different ways. We have options to help out in our 50/50 booth or admissions or partaking in special events that happen throughout the grounds working with a lot of our corporate partners as well as the rodeo side of things and anything and everything in between,” said Hall.
Volunteers are the true core of the success of the Strathmore Stampede.
“Without volunteers this event would not take place,” said Hall.
And it’s not just the volunteers who work during the four days of the Strathmore Stampede
“We could not do what we do without the commitment we have from our committee heads, our committee heads help us all year round to organize and put together the show,” said Hall.
The work of all the volunteers at the Strathmore Stampede contributes to the overall success of the weekend.
“Without our volunteers we would not have a Stampede, there isn’t a value or a price I could put on our volunteers because they are irreplaceable,” said Hall. “This event would not happen without the support of the community and our volunteers.”
Kids say and do the darndest things - teachers, too!
Fule for Thought
I have had the opportunity to interact with kids and teens of various ages. Because of this, I have come to realize that many surprises can come from these young people. Even so, there are often incidents that really stand out. There was a time when I may have been shocked, and even though I’m older (wiser?), I still get surprised.
We just completed our 15th JETS Basketball Camp, and I was lucky to have had one of the nicest collection of kids/teens EVER! It really makes you feel that things aren’t as bad with Youth as we may think; there are many great young people out there. Still, they do say things that shock. Each time we wrap up a session, we do a “JETS Cheer.”
Lately, I’ve been leading them in a count to three in different languages … then we yell “JETS!”
One of the mornings, I had decided to use German as the language. As soon as I said we’d be counting in German, one little boy excitedly yelled, “oh, just like Hitler!”
He even put his finger under his nose for a mustache!! I had to quietly say that we‘re just using German, but the language really didn’t mean we were cheering for Hitler! Whew … got out of THAT one!
Years ago, when my daughter Breanne was 5-years-old, we were meeting a couple who were friends of ours. The man’s wife bent down to Breanne and said, “You have the most beautiful brown eyes, where did you get them?”
With no hesitation, Breanne said, “At Mawket Mall!” (Market Mall)
The lady laughed, and we had to tell her that we REALLY didn’t shop THAT much! Maybe we actually did, as Breanne seemed to know all about the mall!! She became a highly trained shopper, after all!
When I coached the Sr. Boys Basketball teams at SHS, I took my son Brennen on a lot of road trips. He loved hanging around the guys and they were always good to him. He became a real “Gym Rat” and loved to hang out, and shoot as much as possible. One trip saw the Spartans head out to Okotoks to play Foothills Composite. Brennen was about 6 or 7, and after the game, we were sitting and eating at a DQ. One of the guys was joking around with Brennen.
“So, Bren…..you got any girlfriends?”
I’m still stunned when I remember this, because Brennen never hesitated, he just said “if I did, do you think I’d be HERE?”
We all laughed, and I’ve always wondered how that answer came to a little kid!
Another one of my JETS kids had done really well at our Fall JETS Basketball program. Near the end of the session I was complimenting little “Billy” (Fake Name).
“Wow, Bill … you did great this year, you’re listening, and you TRY really hard! Maybe when you get to high school, you can be one of my coaches!”
Again, with no hesitation, “Billy” said, “you’ll be DEAD by THEN!”
OUCH….that hurt! I told him I’d try to stay alive as long as I could! I reminded him of this comment when he graduated from SHS, but he didn’t remember it!
One of my Grade 11 English students was sitting near the back of the class as the bell to start, rang. I was handing back essays, and gave one to “Frank.” He had made similar errors on his paper as the last one he did. I jokingly “shook” him by the shoulders, and laughed, “WHEN are you going to stop doing that mistake?”
Then I went to the front of the room to start the class. In the time it took me to hand out ONE more paper and get to the front, “Frank” had used a white sheet of paper to make a fake neck brace! He sat there with a painful expression, dropped his pen, and said, “I can’t pick it up … my neck’s really bad … not sure WHAT I’m gonna tell my folks!”
The whole class (and I) got a solid laugh out of that one … it actually LOOKED like a neck brace!
Lastly, I made a huge error on the day of a June high school Final in the SHS Gym. The supervising teacher had gone over the Exam Rules on the microphone behind the podium. When he was done, the rest of us teachers were to begin supervising.
“Look at these kids,” I whispered to a colleague. “A lot of them are barely awake … they’re not ready for this Final!”
One of the guys in the front row motioned to me and whispered out loud, “Mr. Fule, the mic’s still on!”
I was mortified, I didn’t know how many kids heard, and I was VERY embarrassed! Luckily, almost all never heard my comment, and the ones who did quietly laughed, as they started their tests! That taught me to limit my “editorial” comments, AND make sure the mic is always off!
(“Fule for Thought” is a slice of life humourous column that will appear in the Strathmore Times, written by long-time resident, town councillor, high school teacher, coach, husband and father of two – Pat Fule. If you would like to get in touch with Pat, you can send him an e-mail at
Youth Club goes techno savvy
Plenty of hard work and community support have gone into helping the Youth Club open its doors and be able to provide the sort of programs and camps they hope to.
A recent donation from a Calgary company, donateIT, has brought the club up to date on the technology side of things.
“The computers are a great asset to the centre and the Youth Club as we will be offering a pre-registered after school program which will support the completion of homework along with scheduled recreational activities, an After the Bell program, in the fall,” said Colina Clark, program coordinator for the Youth Club of Strathmore.
“The program will provide homework assistance from volunteers and other students, the program does not offer tutoring. This a great volunteer opportunity for high school students.”
There are eight computers in total, and a new printer, which were brought to the club on July 13. All programs on the computers will be supervised to ensure the kids aren’t accessing sites they shouldn’t be. One program possibility is a drop-in supervised Internet café style.
“It will be limited access, we will have parent codes, we haven’t put them on yet but they will be that’s another reason why they don’t have full access to them yet,” said Clark.
It has been just over a year since the Youth Club of Strathmore took over its current location. Though there have been issues with vandalism and other things, members and organizers have pushed forward to make it what it is today. Clark said the computers also make a nice addition in the sense that there are now four designated quadrants of space within the building. There is the kitchen, and entertainment space with the stage, a sitting space and now a computer area.
Asphalt top lift tender awarded
A special council meeting was called on July 25 to discuss awarding a tender for the top lift of Lakeside Blvd and East Ridge Road. Repairs and improvements were made to the roadway back in 2009 and typically a second top lift is added after two years.
A 2012 capital budget had been planned for $60,000 based on the original tender from Metro Paving. After issues arose with the previous company back in 2009 it was determined they wouldn’t be used to add the second layer of top lift. Tenders were sent out and six were submitted ranging in price from $77,935 to $120,780.
“We’re requesting a change to the budget to allow for the updated pricing. In addition to the asphalt we’ll need to paint the lines once the asphalt is in place and we should likely have a bit of a contingency in the event that we run into some unforeseen issues over there,” said Jesse Parker, director of engineering and operations for the town.
He said there is a concern about the gutter which is a little high in a couple of areas and there may be a little bit of fluctuation relative to the amount of material needed for the scope of work.
“So we’ve requested a project budget of $85,000 with $3,000 for line painting and $4,000 as a contingency,” said Parker.
Councillor Bob Sobol made a motion to amend the 2012 capital project to $90,000 with funds to be drawn from the financial stabilization reserve. The tender was awarded to Rubydale Asphalt Work.
Pulse beats stronger then ever
Being in a band is a passion of many teens, but often by adulthood life has gotten in the way and the idealistic rock star mentality has fallen away.
While none of them think they will be rock stars, the members of Pulse are still going strong and the original members have just played their 20th Canada Day performance earlier this month.
“We’re not making our fortune with it and we never will make a fortune with it, with life as busy as it is sometimes it’s nice to have an excuse to slow down, to get together with the boys and just make some loud music and have a good time,” said drummer Mike Field.
“From a music standpoint I think the idea of being really big and travelling all the time, there’s a certain appeal to that, but then there’s the problem that you’re always on the road and not necessarily always with your family and all the negative that goes with it too,” said lead guitarist Todd Tibeau.
The band originally made its first public appearance in 1991, and played their first official Canada Day in 1992. Lead vocalist Mike Smith and Field have been together since the beginning. Tibeau joined the band a few years later and in bass guitarist Paul Sonsteby joined in 2004. With each new member the name of the band has changed.
“Basically I went to school with Mike Field and Mike Smith and we’re all good friends. They started playing and then I kind of got interested in playing just after and it just kind of started out as a friendship thing,” said Tibeau.
“Before I was in the band they started doing the Canada Day thing where they just came up with the idea ‘why don’t we just set up in the park on Canada Day and just start doing it kind of free.”
Sonsteby joined the band in 2004, and it was like finding a long lost family member. The sentiment is shared amongst the four band mates.
“When we found Paul it was like a long lost brother, it was great. He just fit right in as soon as we met him. I’m playing with three of my very best friends and if we play five things a year, if we play two, so be it. It doesn’t matter how busy or not (we are),” said Smith.
“It’s almost like an extended family, like another branch of the kinfolk. It’s so easy to hang out with those guys.”
“It’s as much getting together with those three guys as it is anything else. It’s an excuse for the four of us to get together and hang out, that is by far my favourite part of it,” said Sonsteby.
“We just enjoy getting together and playing some music. We do have the ambitions of trying to do some originals and stuff like that it’s just more the time commitment right now, just because it actually takes more time to sit and write and actually produce a song,” said Tibeau.
When hearing about the eclectic mix of musical idols amongst the men it doesn’t seem like it would mesh well, but it does.
“We’re kind of diverse, you’ve got the country guy, we’ve got the classic guy, we’ve got the rocker guy, we’ve got kind of the new rock guy. So when we pick songs it’s all over the map,” said Field.
“A few years ago Mike did an intro for when we go up on stage and he mixed a song from each of our favourite bands and it was stretched from Alabama to U2 to Van Halen to Pearl Jam,” said Sonsteby.
“Todd for sure is all about U2, Mike is all about Van Halen and Paul is Pearl Jam. So you put it all in a blender and you come out with Pulse,” said Smith laughing.
Smith said he could see himself and the guys keeping the band going and continuing to play Canada Day for another 20 years.
Library eyes new board members
The Strathmore Municipal Library has an exciting opportunity available for anyone who has a passion and a love for libraries. In the past six months three library board members have left - one retired and two moved away. Provincial standards require the board to have five members, and currently they are at four. The hope is to find four new board members.
“Commitment is one of the things people would ask (about). What we say normally is count on an average of maybe seven to 10 hours a month for a commitment,” said Carmen Erison, assistant director of library services.
“If someone is interested in joining the board right now they would be coming in at a really exciting time because right now as a lot of people know the library currently is very small. We have a hard time keeping up with circulation, providing the materials that people want to read because we don’t have the space to house (them).
“The library is going to performing a feasibility study in the next year, we received a grant for this. The facility needs assessment will show the town’s library requirements for the next 20 to 30 years and make recommendations about our options to moving towards a new facility.”
Erison thinks now is the time for someone to really have a say about the future of the library and what it needs. New board members will be able to help plan, fundraise and get people excited about the results of the feasibility study. The board is also the ultimate responsible entity who makes sure the library is meeting their provincial requirements. They also help set policies and approve the financial documents.
“I think people will be very excited about this because this is something we really need for our community and this gives a person a chance to be an active part of that,” said Erison.
“What we generally want is somebody who is going to be willing to give their time, who is going to be dedicated to going to these meetings once a month and doing their required reading that’s needed before the meetings.
“Essentially we’re just looking for somebody who has a passion for libraries who really believes in libraries, supports them and understands what their value is in a community.”
Erison said they would love to see a board that represents all aspects of the community. She would like to see someone who represents the senior’s community, or someone who represents families, maybe a member of the Foothills AIM Society, or even a young adult.
“I think these would be great people to have on our board,” said Erison.
All applicants must be at least 18-years-old. An application can be found and downloaded from www.strathmorelibrary.ca/libraryboard or picked up at the library. Municipal council will appoint applicants to the board.
Remembering our past - Erwin & Mary Jo Hoelscher
Erwin’s parents emigrated to Rockyford from Germany in 1928, and purchased the farm where Erwin and Mary Jo now live in 1940. Mary Jo’s father was born in Muenster, Saskatchewan in the early 1920’s, while her mother was born in Tramping Lake, Saskatchewan.
Her father was a teacher and her mother was a practical nurse. Following her father’s footsteps, Mary Jo also became a teacher, and graduated with a Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatoon before moving to Calgary as a teacher in 1969. Her first position was as a Grade 1 teacher at Holy Redeemer. She remembers she had 42 Grade 1 students in her class, with no teacher’s assistant, a situation which would not be permitted these days. Erwin spent 12 years at Rockyford School where he was taught by the Ursuline Sisters. Mary Jo and Erwin met at a Sadie Hawkins singles dance in Calgary, where ladies were encouraged to ask men to dance. She says that it was meant to be, that she and Erwin would meet. He had attended this dance with a date, but Mary Jo kept asking him to dance! They were married on November 29, 1980, after what Mary Jo describes as a short and very romantic period of engagement. Their marriage produced a son and a daughter, and they have one grand-daughter.
Mary Jo has been a teacher all her life, teaching in Calgary, Strathmore and Hutterite Colonies around Rockyford. Erwin took over the family farm, following the death of both his parents in 1976. It was a mixed farm with grain and cattle, and in 1985, they were presented with the “Outstanding Farmyard” Award by Wheatland County. This award was given on an annual basis.
Mary Jo’s parents brought with them the custom of decorating their house for the different seasons of the year. A natural progression was for Mary Jo to continue this trend, and with Erwin they now decorate both inside and outside their farmhouse and buildings, especially at Christmastime. Neighbours and friends who have driven to or past their house, know there are thousands of lights used for this display. People who stop, are invited to participate in an evening of singing, sometimes accompanied by Mary Jo on the player piano which is her pride and joy. There is always good food and fellowship to be enjoyed. Mary Jo has a beautiful singing voice, and has sung ‘Oh Canada’ at different functions, on many occasions, along with many other renditions of choral music.
Erwin retired from farming in 2006, and became a much sought-after landscaper for their church, the local cemetery, and people’s homes. He is a member of Knights of Columbus. They both take great interest in the Rockyford Community and are very involved with St Rita’s Catholic Church, where Mary Jo is a member of the Catholic Women’s League.
They enjoy travelling to new locations, and spend as much time as they can with their grand-daughter Autumn. They have also served on executive positions of Wheatland Whirlers Square Dance Club in Strathmore.
Changes noted in the area over the past 30 years, include the disappearance of smaller family farms, and the paving of many country roads.
Hussar playground hazard
On Sunday, July 22, school janitor Brenda Hager and her granddaughter set out to the Hussar school playground where she found construction sized staples lying about the grass. She picked them up thinking they would be nasty to step on with bare feet. As her granddaughter went to play on the tire swing and slide, she became alarmed, as there were sharp ends of staples protruding out of the equipment, which may have caused a nasty injury to a child at play.
“I know most kids in the community, and I would like to think that it was not one of them,” said Hagar.
She said the staples were quite high up, so she did not think a young child could have reached that high and the type of staple seemed consistent with a construction grade tool. Hager promptly removed the staples from the playground equipment and she keeps an eye on the playground, as she does her summer caretaking duties.
Local RCMP officers investigated the report and inspected the equipment on Friday. The investigating officer was unavailable for comment.
Anyone willfully placing the staples on the equipment, could face charges of public mischief or vandalism. Section 430(1) Criminal Code of Canada states mischief is the willful destruction or damage to property, rendering it dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective or if it interrupts or interferes with the lawful use and or enjoyment of the property or persons using the property
The sentence can be up to two years in jail. If someone under the age 18 did the act, it would fall under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, put in place in 2002 to deal with youth crimes. The act endeavors to work with the community and families to address underlying causes for the crime and assign meaningful consequences to rehabilitate youth and prevent further offences. Sentencing considers past offences and the severity of the crime.
Jennifer Pratt, Village Administrator said that there was no one hurt. A notification was put in the post office to take extra care in the playground. The local news column mentioned the incident as well. If similar incidents occur, Pratt said the appropriate authority would take action.
“The more that (we) hear about it, the more vigilant we can be,” said Hager.
Blackfoot Crossing to host World Championship Chicken Dance Contest
Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park will be hosting its fifth annual World Championship Chicken Dance Contest, August 9. The competition will be bring in competitors from all over North America who will try to achieve the greatly sought after ‘World Champion’ title. The Prairie Chicken Dance is considered sacred and is deeply rooted within the Blackfoot community’s heritage.
The origins of the traditional dance are said to have stemmed from a young Blackfoot man who set out hunting to provide food for his family. The man came across two prairie chickens in a dance amongst the grass. He consequently killed one with a bow and arrow.
The following night, the prairie chicken came to the man in a dream, demanding to know why he had killed him. The man explained his need to feed his family. The prairie chicken threatened to take the man’s life unless he agreed to learn the Prairie Chicken Dance and teach it amongst his people.
Today, the Prairie Chicken Dance is considered a social dance which mimics the male prairie chicken’s desire to mate, through movements like the ruffling of feathers. Dancers showcase their best feathers, elaborate beadwork, and vivid colours and it is required that dancers have bells on their dress to assist the judges ability to pick up on rhythm.
Other factors the dancers will be judged on are precision, showmanship, creativeness, and the time limit given for each round, relating drum style and coordination.
Competitors will go through a series of three rounds where dancers are to try and score as many points as possible, with the maximum of 250 points. Depending on the age category and how many points are acquired, only a certain number of dancers will be transmitted into the next round.
There are four age divisions of competition: Junior, Teen, Adult, and Senior.
The day is to begin at 9 a.m. and many food vendors and demonstrations will be available. The public is encouraged to come out to be a part of an event which heavily exemplifies the Blackfoot culture and the pride of Siksika nation.
With files from http://www.blackfootcrossing.ca/dance.html
Grain bag recycling no longer available
The grain bag recycling program for Wheatland County farmers has been cancelled after only one year.
A partnership was formed with the Green Acre Hutterite Colony, east of Strathmore, last year to recycle the bags and turn them into garbage bags. The colony stopped accepting the grain bag plastic for recycling because it was too much work, according to Wheatland County Councillor Don Vander Velde.
“It was just too much labour for them,” he said.
County council haven’t formally discussed administering a grain bag recycling, but it is certain such a program would be too expensive for the municipality to operate, according to Vander Velde.
However, the County is seeking another outfit to recycle the grain bag plastic. An organization from B.C. is slated to make a presentation to the council on the matter, but no date has been set yet.
Meanwhile, the County has to determine an accumulation point for the grain bags until a long-term solution is found, Vander Velde said.
Though much is “up in the air” the County will continue to work on the issue, Vander Velde said.