Assault and unlawful confinement case postponed

File Photo
Members of the Hinton RCMP shut down Hampshire Road for hours during an October 2017 incident that resulted in two men appearing in Hinton Provincial earlier this month on aggravated assault and unlawful confinement charges. The case has since been postponed with no new date set.

Masha Scheele

The court case of Collin Glaser and Jesse Lablanc came to an abrupt halt on Nov. 6, three days into the trial, when the defence lawyers discovered a piece of evidence in their possession and new representation was requested. 

The case came back to court on Nov. 18 when the two accused stated that they were still in the process of finding new representation and no continuation of the trial was set.

Glaser and Lablanc were allegedly involved in the unlawful confinement of a man along Hampshire Road in Hinton two years ago. Each of the accused are facing charges including unlawful confinement, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, pointing a firearm at a person, and threatening to cause death or bodily harm.

Along with those charges, Glaser is also facing charges for breaching bail and being found in possession of weapons.

Both Glaser and Lablanc plead not guilty to every charge against them. Although both accused have been out on bail for a period of time since the incident happened, they are currently both in custody.

The victim, Gregory Powell, took the stand on Nov. 5 before the case was postponed and spoke about the events that unfolded on Oct. 5, 2017.

He stated that he knew the two accused because they were all involved in dealing drugs in the Hinton and Edson area. Powell explained that he drove out to Hinton in the evening of Oct. 4 to exchange money and drugs, shortly before the situation escalated.

According to his testimony, things got heated after they consumed drugs and a phone call from an ex-girlfriend lead to Lablanc hitting and severely injuring Powell with a self-made weapon.

Powell added that both Glaser and Lablanc were wielding guns and tortured him in various ways throughout the night, while accusing him of stealing contacts and product from them.

Powell stated that he plead for his life as he sat bound by the wrists and ankles with zip straps, chains, and insulator foam in the shop which Glaser rented. Powell went on to say the two accused became paranoid about being discovered as the sun began to rise on Oct. 5, 2017, and they decided to transport Powell to another area using a Ford Explorer.

Powell says he managed to break out of the rear window hatch as Lablanc drove out towards Switzer Drive. Powell then stumbled over to Helmig Safety, severely beaten and bloodied and with his hands and arms still restrained.

Once inside the building, Helmig’s staff called 911 and help soon arrived, as did RCMP officers, who shut down and blockaded the Hampshire Road area. 

Defence lawyers didn’t get a chance to cross-examine Powell due to the abrupt stop of the trial.

Glaser was arrested within 24 hours of the incident, and Lablanc wasn’t arrested until Oct. 16 when, according to testimony Nov. 4 by Cpl. Brent Lawson, Lablanc and the Ford Explorer were found east of Hinton. Blood spots were found in the Ford Explorer, according to the Crown, as well as shoe marks on the back window of the vehicle.

There has been no new date set for this case to appear before the court.

Draft budget includes $2M increase

Masha Scheele

As presented at the first of four public meetings on Nov. 16, the draft 2020 budget is $2 million dollars more than the 2019 budget, representing a 16.64 per cent overall increase.

According to administration, the $14.7 million budget is what is required to cover current service levels, pay into reserves after years of depletion and to cover unplanned expenses that occurred in 2019 that will carry over into 2020.

The budget process has taken on a new format this year with department heads presenting their multi year proposed budgets to council while simultaneously discussing the current levels of services available in Hinton before council has a chance to offer input.

“You really want council to have the opportunity to see the challenges and see the numbers from all the departments. We know the end result is a number that’s too high,” stated Carla Fox, director of corporate services, on Nov. 16. 

Fox added that the number presented is the amount needed to deliver current services, and that council has some tough choices ahead of them. 

“It’s easy to tell us to go to five or six per cent but you are giving us the vehicle then to suggest cuts to services and I believe that direction needs to come from council first and give the opportunity to give us your take and to get your understanding,” said Fox.

Currently, the budget represents an actual 8.24 per cent taxation increase to citizens after taking last year’s half million dollar surplus and the increased property assessments into consideration, according to Fox.

During the first budget presentation on Nov. 16, each department presented their 2020 budget numbers in comparison to the current year. The presentations showed an overall jump from $12,514,567 in 2019 to $14,710,460 in 2020, and while almost all department operating budgets seem to increase, most of them claim to remain at similar service levels.

Coun. Dewly Nelson commented that he would have preferred to have a service level discussion ahead of the budget discussions to get the taxation increase to a number council would be able to agree with.

“We keep talking about creating a sustainable organization and one that’s healthy into the future, and huge increases in taxation I think takes away some of the credibility that we have because it comes off as being unrealistic, even though it might be what we need,” said Nelson. He added that he would like to stop seeing the community swing wildly between spending and cuts. 

On Monday, Nov. 18, departments presented their detailed budgets to council at the second public meeting.

Three new positions approved in 2019, legal costs of more than half a million dollars, reserve fund increases, and total reserve reduction altogether accounted for approximately ten percent of the increase in the 2020 operating budget. Inflation is being calculated as two per cent, and is also included in the proposed tax increase.

Some departments struggled to know how much to request for their department as changes to the funding received by the Province have not been finalized. 

Community support services, which includes Parent Link, have increased their ask by $25,000 in 2020 but have no idea how much of the $215,000 required to run the program annually will be funded by provincial grants until well after the budget is approved.

“We know that there are other organizations that will be part of the [provincial funding] allotment as well,” added Hans van Klaveren, manager of parks, recreation, and culture. He added that in a worst case scenario where no funding is given to Hinton’s Parent Link centre and council wants to keep the same services available, the $215,000 dollars  would have to come from taxation.

Fox stated that after the fourth scheduled meeting on Monday, Nov. 25, administration will make some suggestions and council can start to give direction in the process.

“I don’t want council to think that we’re going to say, ‘hey council, tell us what services to cut.’ We’re aware that you don’t know the impacts of those, so we’re going to have some suggestions in areas that we’re looking at,” said Fox on Nov. 18.

As of The Hinton Voice’s press deadline, discussion on the capital budget was scheduled to occur on Wednesday evening, Nov. 20, and a final public meeting with an overview and council input is set for Monday, Nov. 25 from 4pm-8pm.

CGP funds three local non profits

Masha Scheele

Council approved funding through the Community Grant Program (CGP) to three out of five applicants in its second intake of 2019. While the five CGP applications added up to a total request of $39,000, the total funding available for this second intake was $29,727.

Only $26,000 was awarded to the three local non-profit organizations during the regular council meeting on Nov. 19, with $3,727 remaining.

Each year, the CGP provides local groups with funding to maintain, improve, or initiate community projects, operations, and events. 

Recommendations on who was to receive grant funding were made by the Hinton Grant Funding Advisory Committee (HGFAC). 

The only one-time project applicant, the Hinton Mountain Bike Association, received its request of $10,000 for developing the ridge of the Big Horn Ridge Trail Project.

Tumbling Mountain Gymnastics received the $10,000 requested for rent and insurance costs, and the Hinton Adult Learning Society’s Grief Recovery Program Program received its requested $6,000 for operating costs.

The Hinton Filipino Sports Association Basketball League did not receive its $3,000 request for their 2020 Basketball Tournament, due to the application package lacking information.

“FCSS does provide feedback for these groups to complete their applications, not all the groups take advantage of that. Some of the groups don’t have a lot of experience writing grants,” said Jessica Hearsey committee member. 

Committee member Kathy Rees, explained that they made multiple suggestions to the group to get help from FCSS on their application.

“However having said that, there really wasn’t an awful lot of time on this one, it was only advertised for about a week, or ten days. And then it was the deadline for submission,” added Rees suggesting a longer advertising time before deadline would be beneficial.

A late application by the Hinton Friendship Centre (HFC) was not considered.

“In previous intakes if something came in late we decided not to include it in our consideration,” said Hearsey.

Coun. Ryan Maguhn suggested giving the remaining $3,727 allocated to the grant fund to the Friendship Centre. 

It would fall short of the $10,000 requested by the HFC but Maguhn added that he would like to take into consideration past requests that also went unsupported.

The decision of giving the remaining amount to HFC was tabled pending a delegation to council by the group to give clarification. 

HFC requested the grant for operating costs of the Sharing Project Program, and Coun. Dewly Nelson commented that he would like to know the impact of the minimal remaining funds to this program. 

Coun. Albert Ostashek raised concerns about council making the funding decision, as it’s traditionally gone through the committee.

The discussion around the funding for the HFC for the Sharing Project will come back to council by Feb. 4, 2020.

Stingrays earn top-three finishes

A dozen members of the Hinton Stingrays Junior Lifeguard team hit the pool for the annual Claire Jones Memorial meet held Nov. 16 at the Dr. Duncan Murray Recreation Centre.
Sarah Burns Photo

Tyler Waugh

Hinton hosted competitors from four junior lifeguard clubs at the Claire Jones Memorial meet Nov. 16, and came away with some top finishes.

Max Testo earned a first-place honour in the boys 50m swim with fins. Competing in the boys nine and under division, he also earned a silver in the 50m manikin carry and a third in the 50m obstacle.

Lily Harasymiw-Martel earned a trio of second-place finishes in her girls nine and under category, including the 50m manikin tow with fins, the 50m obstacle and 50m swim with fins.

Maya Maurik earned two third-place finishes in the girls 14-15 division for the 50m manikin carry and the 50m swim with fins.

Grayson Schindelka had five individual swims in the boys 10-11 division and earned a best finish of fourth in the 50m manikin carry with fins.

Lacie Corless competed in the girls nine and under division and had a best finish of sixth in the 50m obstacle.

Faith Richards competed in the girls 14-15 division and had a best finish of 10th in the 100m manikin carry with fins.

Abigail Jones also competed in the girls 14-15 division and had a best finish of 11th in both the 50m manikin carry and 100m manikin tow with fins.

Alberda Hannah competed in the girls nine and under category  and came 12th in four of her different races. 

Ella Kiemele competed in the girls 10-11 division with a best finish of 12th in the 50m manikin carry with fins.

Lilith Callihoo competed in the girls 10 – 11 division and had a best finish of 13th in the 50m manikin tow with fins.

Chaeli Zimmerman competed in the girls 10 – 11 division and had a best finish of 14th in both the 50m swim with fins and 50m  manikin tow with fins.

Cali Kos also competed in the girls 10 – 11 division and had a best finish of 15th in the 50m manikin carry and 50m obstacle.

The annual lifeguard competition has been named the Claire Jones Memorial since 2013 after she died in a car accident.

Faith and kindness key to 100 years

Jean Carroll, a resident at Hinton Continuing Care, celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by friends and family on Nov. 18.
Masha Scheele Photo

Masha Scheele

Jean Carroll’s great-granddaughter sat beside her during her birthday party and reminded her that she just turned 100.

Though Carroll can’t remember the number of her age due to dementia, her family was happy to be celebrating with her. 

“I have to tell her that I’m her daughter when I visit, she doesn’t remember who I am. But that’s OK, we just enjoy her for as long as we got her,” said her daughter Chris Munro, who lives in Hinton.

Carroll is the first to celebrate a 100th birthday in the family, as far as her two daughters could remember. They believe the secret to her long life was her overall happiness, generosity, faith, and kindness to others. 

“She had her faith, but she also has a very big heart, anything she did she always did something for other people,” said daughter Billie Carroll.

“Wherever she lived she always volunteered to help with people with developmental issues and she’s a very special person,” she added.

Jean Carroll had a way of caring about others that was unique, said Billie. Billie stayed with her mom when her dementia issues first began and she remembered taking the bus with her and watching her mom talk to each person on the bus. 

“She just asked them what they’re doing and how they’re doing, she would know someone and ask how’s your daughter or how’s your son. She was a very special person that way, very caring about other people,” said Billie.

Munro added that their mother continues to do this even throughout her dementia. Her daughters agreed that their mother would often claim she wasn’t very outgoing, but they both felt that wasn’t the case. 

Great-granddaughter Jillian Friesen added that the biggest lesson learned from her great-grandma is to always be happy.

“She’s always happy,” she said. “I never leave here without getting kisses on my hand.”

Carroll was born in Tillsonburg, Ontario, just like her own parents, her husband and her two daughters.

She married her husband in 1941 and worked throughout the war years in the poultry industry and an old folks home.

After living in different areas, as her husband worked in the navy, they eventually settled in Saskatoon in the 1960s, where she stayed until moving to Hinton in 2006. While in Saskatoon she worked as a dietary specialist in the kitchen of a hospital.

“She was getting some dementia issues and then she came here. She first went to Pine Valley Lodge until 2014 and then she came to [the Hinton continuing care centre],” said Munro.

Canada had 10,795 centenarians as of July 1 of this year, topping 10,000 for the first time. That number that has tripled since 2001. With a higher life expectancy for women, the vast majority – 82 per cent – of centenarians are women.

Water tests show safe lead levels: Town

Masha Scheele

Following the recently released report on high volumes of lead being found in Canada’s water, Hinton’s staff reassured its citizens that water from Hinton’s water treatment facility is well below the national safety guideline.

Hinton’s water is tested twice each year, and levels were last tested below .001 mg/L said Emdad Haque, director of infrastructure services for the Town. Haque stated in the standing committee meeting on Nov. 12 that the national average safety guideline for lead found in water is .005 mg/L.

Mayor Marcel Michaels inquired about citizens’ concerns of contamination between the treatment plant and the distribution system and how people in Hinton can be sure about what is in their water. Haque said the Town doesn’t have a record of any lead pipes being used in their infrastructure, thus no contamination is possible within the system.

“We confirmed that in our system there is no lead anywhere,” stated Haque though he couldn’t be sure about infrastructure within local trailer parks.

“We donʼt know details of what kind of infrastructure they have on private land. In the past if any contractor used any lead or anything within their distribution network then there might be a chance of having lead in their water. Other than that, in our distribution centre, no lead.”

Lead contamination can be found in a person’s home due to the use of lead pipes or infrastructure, but Haque was clear that Hinton never used lead in their water system. 

He added that individuals can bring their water samples to the Town to be tested for any substance.

“Every year we are mandated for two lead tests [in the town’s system]. Anything below .0001 mg/L, the lab cannot trace them, in our case we have always been less than .001,” said Haque.

Water in Hinton is extracted from the Athabasca River into its water treatment facility. From there it goes through a distribution system to residential and non-residential customers. Haque said that lead could only come from the raw water collected from the river, but the two tests per year assure him that any detection of lead is at a safe level.

The issue of lead in water came to light recently after a yearlong investigation by more than 120 journalists from nine universities and 10 media organizations, including The Associated Press and the Institute for Investigative Journalism at Concordia University in Montreal.

This group collected test results measuring the exposure to lead in 11 cities across Canada and found that one third out of 12,000 tests since 2014 exceeded the national safety guideline of 5 parts per billion, while 18 per cent exceeded the U.S. limit of 15 ppb. The Canadian government website states that lead is a naturally occurring metal found in rock and soil, but that levels of lead in most environmental media have declined significantly over the past few decades.

A graph from the Canadian government show that the average dietary intake of lead by Canadians of all ages has decreased approximately eight-fold between 1981 and 2000, and have since remained stable at about 0.1 microgram per kilogram of body weight per day.

Health Canada’s consultation report from Jan. 11, 2017 stated that a maximum acceptable concentration of 0.005 mg/L is proposed for total lead in drinking water, based on a sample of water taken at the tap and using the appropriate protocol for the type of building being sampled. 

The report urged that every effort should be made to maintain lead levels in drinking water as low as reasonably achievable.

Around The Rink: Nov. 21

Ryker Hollingsworth of the Hinton McDonalds Warriors atom squad breaks in on Fox Creek net during a Nov. 16 home game. Hollingsworth scored in the 8-4 loss for Hinton.
Sarah Burns Photo

Tyler Waugh

Midgets Come Up Short 

The Hinton midget hockey squad couldn’t complete the comeback Nov. 16, dropping a 3-2 decision to Onoway in Bill Thomson Arena. Onoway scored a pair of shorthanded goals to help build a 3-1 lead by the second intermission. Cole Whitford scored with 11:47 remaining in the third period but Hinton couldn’t find the equalizer. Lucas Descheneau had the other Hinton goal, while Gage Rahall, Ethan Jahnke, Jaydan Hohlbein and Clink Clark had one assist each and Hunter French made 30 stops in net.

Bantams Beat Leduc

Ethan Ramsey had a pair of goals, including the winner in the third period, as the Hinton Minich Oilfield bantam 1 hockey squad outlasted Leduc in a 4-3 home win Nov. 16. Keegan Fellows and Ethan McPherson also scored for Hinton, while Kevari Green, Rylan Koch, Kale Hunt and Bryce Donkin all had assists. Gavin Gomuwka made 14 stops in net. Hinton hosts Vegreville on Nov. 23 at 7:45 pm in Bill Thomson Arena.

Hellcats Split Games

The Hinton OK Tire Hellcats bantam squad split a pair of weekend road games – dropping a 6-4 decision to open the weekend in Athabasca before bouncing back with a win in Westlock the following day. Gavin Kilthau and Keegan Plante both had a goal and an assist for Hinton in Athabasca, with Coral Thompson and Morley Ross also scoring for Hinton. Brooke Hartery had a pair of assists and Blake Robertson added one of his own, while Michael Csaba made 23 stops in net. No game summary was available for the win in Westlock.

Gladiators Drop Home Game

The Hinton Gus’s Pizza Gladiators peewee team had a tough time of it Nov. 17, dropping a 14-1 home game to Whitecourt. The Gladiators fell behind 14-0 but finished on a high note as Tristan Tymchyshyn scored a power play goal with only 25 seconds remaining to bust up Whitecourt’s shutout bid. Marek Lehoux and Justin Bartziokas assisted on the goal while Aizik Gomuwka made 34 stops in net. Hinton sits with a 2-2 record and hosts Slave Lake on Nov. 23 at 3:15 pm and Camrose on Nov. 24 at 3:45 pm.

Heat Blank Whitecourt

Carter Lehoux and James McKay combined on a 41-save shutout and Joshua Sorenson had a hat trick and five-point game as the Hinton Alstar Heat peewee squad beat Whitecourt 9-0 in a Nov. 16 home game. Austin Kile had a goal and two assists and Ethan Viney, Carter Lypkie, Jacob Thompson and Wyatt Malo had one goal and one assist each. Jack Blinkhorn had the other Hinton goal and Lucas McDonald and Aiden Durocher had one assist each.

Warriors Split Weekend Games

The Hinton McDonald’s Warriors atom squad scored four unanswered goals in a 9-5 home win Nov. 17 against Onoway to earn a split of their weekend games. Ryker Hollingsworth had a hat trick and Reed Fellows and Blake Batog had two goals and two assists each to lead the offence, while Colby Hill added four assists. Deacon Barnes scored the other two goals for Hinton while Cohen Moulun and Brett Cournoyer had one assist each. Treyton Matheson and Brayden Benson combined to make 19 saves in net for Hinton. The Warriors dropped an 8-4 home game against Fox Creek the day before, but the online game summary was not available at the time of writing. Hinton has a pair of home games this coming weekend, hosting Drayton Valley on Nov. 23 at 1:15 pm and Nov. 24 at 1:45 pm.

Xtreme Win Two

Mikayla Ruszkowski scored the winning goal Nov. 16 as the Hinton Xtreme U16 ringette squad took the first of two wins in a homestand against Sherwood Park. Ava Muyres added a hat trick in the 8-7 win, Ella Kempin added two goals and one assist and Morgan Rushfeldt had three assists. Brielle Goupil and Bryn Dammann had the other Hinton goals, Kaydence Hollingsworth had a pair of assists and Emily French, Gracey Kempin and Kyara Bishop had one assist apiece. Muyres had a two-goal performance in a 7-3 win in Game 2 of the doubleheader, while Maya Callihoo and Morgan Rushfeldt had a goal and an assist each. Eve Ferreira, Makenna Rushfeldt and Hollingsworth had one goal each, while Dammann and Bishop had two assists each and Kempin had one of her own.

Impact Dominate

The Hinton Impact U14 ringette squad won all three of its weekend games in dominant fashion, earning a 10-1 win Nov. 16 in St. Albert and then wins of 18-5 and 15-1 the next day at home. 

Maggie Kempin had four goals in the win over St. Albert while Paityn Best (three goals, one assist) and Dakota Bishop (one goal, three assists) also had four point games. Meghan Gallagher had one goal and two assists, Ayla Goupil had one goal and one assist, while Ashlyn McDougall and Makena Hills had two assists apiece. 

The offensive onslaught continued the following day at home, where both Best (five goals, two assists) and Kempin (three goals, four assists) had seven-point games in an 18-5 win in Game 1 over Beaumont. Bishop (two goals, three assists) and Danica Hills  (five assists) had five point games and Gallagher added two goals and two assists. Makena Hills had three goals, Logan Sweet had a pair and McDougall had the other goal. Goupil had three assists. 

Hinton closed out the weekend with a 15-1 win in Game 2 of the doubleheader against Beaumont. Addison Klaver and Paige Pero had three goals each, Makena Hills had a pair of goals and Best, Goupil, Danica Hills, McDougall, Gallagher, Bishop and Kempin had one goal each.

Timberwolves sweep south of the border

Tyler Waugh

The Hinton Timberwolves extended their win streak to lucky number 13 with a trio of road victories against American opponents Nov. 15 – 17.

The three wins improves the Timberwolves record to 16-2 to maintain their slim lead over the Edson Aeros (13-1) atop the Provincial Division standings.

Hinton set the tone early Nov. 15 against the Blazers, scoring twice in the first period and twice more in the second to build a 4-0 lead at second intermission and then cruised through to a 7-1 final.

Bryant Joseph had a pair of goals for the Timberwolves, while Alim Darmenov and Jamahl Eakett had one goal and one assist each. Logan Arsenault, Connor Kowalchuk and Brayden Harper also scored for Hinton. Goalie Kolter Pawlick had a relatively quiet game, making 14 stops as the Timberwolves outshot the Blazers 50-17.

Hinton followed the same script early the next night against Seattle, building a 4-0 early lead on two goals from Eakett and one each from Darmenov and Arsenault. Seattle would battle back with a pair of goals in the second period to make it 4-2, but wouldn’t get any closer than that in a 7-4 win for Hinton.

Dimitri Buttazzoni had a pair of goals in the third period and Eakett completed his hat-trick to close out scoring.  Harper had a pair of helpers and Mario De Capite and Joseph had one assist each. Goalie Adam Robertson made 36 saves for the win.

Eakett scored with 2:46 remaining in the second game against Bellingham to secure a 4-3 win in a much more closely contested battle to close out the southern road swing.

Eakett notched a hat trick in the game while Brendan Auger had the other Hinton goal. De Capite had two assists and Kowalchuk and Belourt had one assist each. Goalie Carter Wickson got his turn in net and made 35 stops for the win.

Hinton continues their schedule on the road this coming weekend with a pair of games in Cold Lake on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23.

YRAF bringing Christmas spirit to the stage

Masha Scheele Photo

Masha Scheele

Journey Into Christmas is here to get the community in the holiday spirit and inspire us all with Hinton’s local talent.

Performers will step onto the stage for the festive night hosted Nov. 22 and 23 by Yellowhead Regional Arts Festival (YRAF) at the Performing Arts Theatre of Hinton.

“It’s a good introduction into Christmas for everybody. It’s a really nice variety of all different ages of performers,” said Jacqueline Delisle, executive director of YRAF.

It’s an all ages event to showcase local performers and serves as YRAF’s biggest fundraiser.

“We really try to keep it traditional. [The] first one was in 1986, so this event has been around for a long time,” said Delisle. 

A Christmas-themed photo booth will be part of the evening with photos by donation, as well as a concession featuring baked goods made by the YRAF board members and hot chocolate to top it off.

“We also have a really great silent auction too, which many local Hinton businesses come together to support our event and it’s a really nice way to get some Christmas shopping done and also support the community at the same time,” said Delisle.

The event raises money for the YRAF festival held each spring, where locals perform in front of adjudicators and receive feedback to help hone their skills. Auditions for Journey into Christmas were held during Culture Days in September, and 26 performers have prepared to show Hinton what they can do on stage this November.

Returning artist, Joan Melvin, is spending her birthday at the event doing a reading of T’was The Night Before Christmas.

“I told her she’d be spending her birthday with the community, which knowing Joan it’s just such a nice way for her to celebrate,” commented Delisle.

A few new faces will grace the stage including Diana Hendricks with three songs, and local band 4 Way Street is finishing off the evening with three songs. 

Four-year-old Erin Frais performs Angels We Have Heard on High on the piano and she’s not the only young talent showcased throughout the evening. Young brothers Isaiah and Jens Madsen join their dad, Jayden Madsen, for their first performance together on stage.

Masha Scheele Photo

Jayden Madsen is a local band director at Harry Collinge and also teaches guitar lessons. He’s been an active participant with YRAF with his band and bringing high school bands to the YRAF festival.

“I think just getting up there and performing in front of your community members is just such a cool thing,” commented Delisle.

Delisle has enjoyed watching artists grow throughout their involvement with YRAF, including the festival and the various concerts they host each year.

“Isaiah Parton is performing and always does original compositions. With YRAF I’ve been able to see him grow from a young age to where he is now, and it’s always such a pleasure to hear him perform,” said Delisle, who believes Journey into Christmas is an important showcase of local talent, not only for community members but also in support of the artists.

“It takes a lot of courage to get up and be an artist and a musician on stage. Having your community come and support you and show you that they really believe in you is an amazing thing,” said Delisle.

For more information contact

Quilt auction benefitting health care

Masha Scheele

Thirty four quilts made by the Rocky Mountain Quilters Guild are being auctioned off online in support of local health care services.

All the money raised by the quilts are split between the Cancer Clinic, Palliative Care, the Dialysis Clinic, and the General Hospital.

Members of the Rocky Mountain Quilters Guild alongside other quilters in the community have put in a lot of work to create each quilt.

Many of the quilts are made in memory of someone affected by cancer.

“There’s eight or ten of us that have been touched by cancer personally, and there’s the classic number of two or three people who have been affected. We’ve all had siblings or kids that have been affected, it’s kind of near and dear to our hearts,” said Denise Boutin, member of the Rocky Mountain Quilters Guild.

Many of the quilts represent a specific cancer ribbon colour that’s personal to the quilter.

“The colours resemble cancers, some are predominantly red, or blue or pink. You won’t find a lot of multicoloured quilts because they were made for a specific cancer colour ribbon,” said Boutin.

Boutin explained that one specifically was created in memory of a local residents’ father with prostate cancer, Walter Baker, whose relatives worked together to create a blue and grey quilt. 

The group decided to start the fundraiser around three years ago after taking part in the pink ribbon project, where pink quilts were created to raise money.

“We thought, oh let’s just do all different colour of quilts for all different colours of cancer,” she said.

Each quilter chose their colour at the beginning of the year and it normally takes nearly a year to finish, added Boutin.

“Quilters are usually trying to find places to send their quilts to make a difference, that’s just what quilters do. Usually you can never get the money that you’ve spent on them. When you’ve created them, the value is higher than that so usually you find a way to let your hard work go make a difference somewhere,” said Boutin.

The group also creates quilts for Santa’s Anonymous every year, as well as shelters and other local charities.

“We’re kind of a giving group all the time, that’s kind of what quilting people are like. We just decided that the hospital needs money,” said Boutin.

Reach out to Boutin at (780) 865-0296 or the Rocky Mountain Quilters Guild Facebook page to learn how to quilt or help out with the charity.

Bids on quilts can be placed on their Facebook page by commenting with the donation amount below the quilt’s photo. Bidding ends Nov. 30 at 6pm, and the highest bidders at that time will be notified on Dec. 1.