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A breathtaking image of Alberta from a passionate Alberta artist – Bow Lake by Larry Reese

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With gratitude, Todayville shares this work from well known Central Alberta artist Larry Reese. Larry has been a fixture in the artistic community for decades.  

In this brief article, Larry shares the inspiration behind this recent work “Bow Lake”

In these busy and interesting times, we invite you to take a moment to stop and smell the flowers, or in this case to drink in the overwhelming beauty of Alberta.

From Larry Reese:

The Painting of Bow Lake

Last October my wife and I left our home in Half Moon Bay, Alberta very early in the morning heading out to Summerland B.C. to attend a dedication in her father’s name, of the new George Ryga Arts & Culture Centre.
It was a clear, crisp day and around 9:30am we passed by Bow Lake. I have stopped at Bow Lake many times over the years but was so awestruck by the scene on this particular morning that we decided to turn around and go back to have a closer look. The sunlight and reflections on the water were extraordinary. There was just a slight breeze and honestly it made the lake and mountains look incredibly spectacular. In fact more spectacular than usual.
For me it was a profound experience. I quickly got a few photos and mentally did a rough sketch. When we returned home I was somewhat disappointed with the pictures as they didn’t capture the emotions I felt at the time. But my mental image was so vivid that I decided to see if I could replicate the feeling in a painting.
I knew I had to go big so the canvas I used was 40”X60”. It took me a couple of months to paint but I was in no hurry. Which was a good thing because I used oils and needed to wait for them to dry after each layer of glazing (which there were many) in order to get the water to look believable. I worked hard to get the light just right, the way I remembered the sun’s beams nestled amongst the mountain rocks and crags.
As a result I’ve got to say I am proud of the way it turned out because it comes close to expressing those wonderful sensations I had on the day. I don’t paint to make a living so I’m not sure I want to sell it. However if anyone is interested in Bow Lake, they can contact me through my website: larryreese.ca
P.S. Bow Lake is situated along the Banff/Jasper Highway 93 just south of the Saskatchewan Crossing turnoff to Highway 11. This area is one of my favourite places to go plein air painting. I have painted in this region for decades and will continue to do so for as long as I can.
Larry Reese

Photo from Artist Profile on RedDeerMuseum.com

About Larry Reese (from IMBd.com)

Born in Wisconsin in 1951 and immigrating to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada ten years later, Larry made his first impact on the art scene by winning a city wide contest to attend art classes at the Edmonton Art Gallery. There he was taught by the renowned Alberta artist, Sylvain Voyer. In 1966 his family moved to Dacca, East Pakistan where Larry learned to play the sitar, meeting Ravi Shankar in 1967 in Calcutta. Two years later Larry returned to Edmonton to pursue his music studies earning a degree in music composition at the University of Alberta. In 1971 Larry opened for British rock group, Procol Harum the night they recorded their platinum selling LP, Procol Harum – Live with the Edmonton Symphony. He toured North America with the Canadian Rock Opera’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar, and took UofA extension art classes with another famous Alberta artist, Harry Savage and family friend artist Harry Wolfarth.

Larry was off to Brandeis University near Boston Massachusetts to get a Master’s Degree in Acting in 1976 culminating in a stint at the famous off-off Broadway theatre, Café LaMama, NYC, in 1978. Larry’s first major role was in the Canadian classic film, The Hounds of Notre Dame, which over the years was followed by roles in Academy Award winning films including Clint Eastwood’s, Unforgiven and Ang Lee’s, Brokeback Mountain. Most recently Larry had a role in the Ridley Scott produced TV mini series, Klondike.

In 1983 Larry and wife Tanya Ryga went to Mexico and various places throughout South America, where Larry met and worked with German Expressionist artist Georg Rauch.

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Alberta

Provinces should be cautious about cost-sharing agreements with Ottawa

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From the Fraser Institute

By Tegan Hill and Jake Fuss

According to Premier Danielle Smith, Alberta will withdraw from the federal government’s dental care plan by 2026 mainly because the plan would duplicate coverage already provided to many Albertans (although she plans to negotiate unconditional funding in lieu of being in the program). Indeed, all provinces should be wary of entering into such agreements as history has shown that Ottawa can reduce or eliminate funding at any time, leaving the provinces holding the bag.

In the 1990s, for instance, the federal government reduced health and social transfers to the provinces amid a fiscal crisis fuelled by decades of unrestrained spending and persistent deficits (and worsened by high interest rates). Gross federal debt increased from $38.9 billion in 1970/71 to $615.9 billion in 1993/94, at which point debt interest costs consumed roughly $1 in every $3 of federal government revenue.

In response to this debt crisis, the Chrétien Liberal government reduced spending across nearly all federal departments and programs. Over a three-year period to 1996/97, health and social transfers to the provinces were 51 per cent ($41.0 billion) less than what the provinces expected based on previous transfers. In other words, the provinces suddenly got a lot less money from Ottawa than they anticipated.

This should serve as a warning for the provinces who may find themselves on the hook for Ottawa’s big spending today. In the case of dental care, an area of provincial jurisdiction, the Trudeau government has earmarked $4.4 billion  annually for the provinces on an ongoing basis. However, any change in federal priorities or federal finances could swing the financial burden from Ottawa to the provinces to maintain the program.

The current state of federal finances only heightens this risk to the provinces. The federal government has run uninterrupted budget deficits since 2007/08, with total federal debt climbing from $707.3 billion in 2007/08 to a projected $2.1 trillion in 2024/25. The current government—or perhaps a future reform-minded government focused on balancing the budget—could reduce transfers to the provinces.

The Trudeau government has committed to significant new funding in areas of provincial jurisdiction, but provincial policymakers would do well to understand the risks of entering into such agreements. Ottawa can unilaterally reduce or eliminate funding at any point, leaving provinces to either assume the unexpected financial burden through higher taxes or additional borrowing, or curtail the programs.

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Alberta

Just in time for Canada Day weekend! Crescent Falls ready to be enjoyed again

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The new staircase structure and viewing platform are among many upgrades that visitors can look forward to at the reopening Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area. (Credit: Alberta Parks).

The popular Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area reopens following a significant capital investment to improve visitor safety and experiences.

Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area is ready to welcome visitors back to enjoy one of the most remarkable, accessible waterfall viewing opportunities in Alberta. The upgrades at Crescent Falls will help improve the park’s visitor experience. Guests can expect expanded parking, improved access roads, trails and day use areas, new and improved viewing areas to take in the falls and upgraded safety measures, including signage and wayfinding.

The Provincial Recreation Area (PRA) is reopening over the July long weekend after being closed since 2023. Visitors will notice increased public safety upgrades through additions such as new parking lots, a new stair structure to access the lower falls, new pedestrian trails, a new vehicle bridge to access the camping area and a viewing platform to enjoy the Crescent Falls.

“We are thrilled to welcome visitors back to Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area in time for the Canada Day long weekend. These additions will help visitors to safely access and enjoy the area’s natural beauty. Parks are for people and Alberta’s government will continue to invest in high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities.”

Todd Loewen, Minister of Forestry and Parks

“Today marks a significant milestone for our community as we reopen the Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area following extensive upgrades. Our province is well known for its incredible natural beauty, and these improvements will make our backcountry more accessible and ensure that Albertans and those visiting our great province can continue to explore our stunning landscapes for years to come.”

Jason Nixon, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
This project is part of an investment of more than $12 million to upgrade 13 sites along the David Thompson Corridor. The improvements at Crescent Falls will provide improved safety measures and better visitor access to and from popular tourist destinations in the area. Partners from Clearwater County, Rocky Mountain House and other organizations were critical in helping to move the upgrades forward. Clearwater County and its officials worked with Alberta Parks staff to advise on the upgrades needed around the area.

Alberta’s government is committed to reconciliation and acknowledges the significance of the land around Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area to the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. The completed upgrades reflect an ongoing commitment to creating more outdoor recreation opportunities while protecting the land’s natural and cultural values so it can be enjoyed by current and future generations.

“The Alberta Government’s reopening of Crescent Falls is a remarkable achievement for our region. This project not only enhances recreational opportunities, natural beauty and accessibility in our area but also means safer, more enjoyable visits for our citizens and visitors alike.”

Michelle Swanson, councillor, Clearwater County

“The Town of Rocky Mountain House is where adventure begins, and we are thrilled that Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area has reopened to the public in time for the summer adventure season. This is a wonderful day trip destination for visitors and residents alike setting out from Rocky Mountain House. The provincial investment has only improved its accessibility and safety, making it a must-see destination if you are in the area.”

Dale Shippelt, incoming deputy mayor, Rocky Mountain House

“Westward Bound Campgrounds is the proud facility operator of the Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area and we are very excited to see our campers and visitors return to its beauty. These upgrades will have a significant impact on enhancing guest satisfaction levels, providing unique and memorable camper and visitor experiences while providing a safe environment to enjoy spectacular scenery.”

Lonnie and Edena Earl, Westward Bound Campgrounds

This work is part of an ongoing commitment to creating more outdoor recreation and camping opportunities, building trails and facilities and ensuring Alberta’s provincial parks can be enjoyed by all Albertans.

Quick facts

  • The upgrades at Crescent Falls PRA include the following improvements:
    • Enlarging the existing parking area
    • Developing a new parking area for large RV vehicles
    • Upgrading the access roads down to the lower area
    • Installing a new pedestrian trail to the lower day use area
    • Installing a new vehicle crossing from the day use to the camping site
    • Upgrading and expanding the day use areas
    • Increasing signage
    • Installing additional toilets and bear-proof garbage bins
    • Developing a new stair structure to access the lower falls areas with a viewing platform
  • Enhancing safety features throughout the PRA. The upgrades were part of a significant capital investment of $12.3 million by Alberta’s government to address safety and experience opportunities in 13 key provincial recreation sites along the David Thompson Corridor. Along with Crescent Falls PRA, other sites that were upgraded include:
    • Bighorn Dam Recreation Area
    • The following 11 Public lands and parks sites:
    • Coliseum
    • Allstone
    • Abraham Slabs
    • Hoo Doo Creek
    • Coral Creek
    • Pinto Creek
    • Preachers Point
    • Cavalcade
    • Kinglet/Tuff Puff
    • Wildhorse
    • Owen Creek
  • Crescent Falls PRA is located 22 km west of Nordegg on Highway 11 and 6 km north on a gravel access road. Crescent Falls PRA has a first-come, first-served campground with 12 tent-only sites and 22 RV sites. The day use area includes multiple viewing platforms of the upper and lower falls and picnic tables with views of the river. Access to the lower day use area is available on a 0.8 km trail from the main parking area or, alternatively, from the Bighorn Canyon lookout via a 3 km trail. The lower day use area also has accessible-only parking stalls adjacent to the viewing platforms with an accessible vault toilet and picnic areas.

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