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Alberta RCMP welcomes provincial funding to help address rural crime

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Edmonton, Alta. – Today, the Government of Alberta announced an investment of $8 million that will enable Alberta RCMP to place more employees where they can make the most impact: on the streets and in communities across the province.

This investment demonstrates the province’s confidence in the Alberta RCMP’s systematic and evidence-led Crime Reduction Strategy – a collaborative policing approach designed to address the root causes of crime and breaking the cycle of criminal activity in a community.

In partnership with the province, Alberta RCMP has developed an action plan that will enable the Force to address rural crime by adding 39 new officer positions and 40 civilian employees in areas that will ultimately lead to more RCMP officers on the road.

The investment represents additional support for Crime Reduction Units in communities that need it the most, six new intelligence-focused officers, four additional crime analysts and more civilian staff to cut down on paperwork so that officers can focus on investigations, patrols, and engaging with their communities.

“Rural Crime Reduction Units are designed to act fast to target repeat offenders who commit the vast majority of crimes in an area,” said Deputy Commissioner Todd Shean. “I can assure you, if you are committing crime in Alberta, we will identify you and we will stop you.”

“Rural police officers are part of their communities,” said Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. “They do difficult and extremely important work every day. I want to thank the RCMP for the work they do to protect Albertans. I’m confident this plan will give our rural police officers more tools in their toolbox to fight crime.”

The RCMP is proud to be the rural police force of Alberta. With the cooperation and support of the Government of Alberta and other community partners, Albertans can be certain that the RCMP’s crime reduction strategies in rural communities will be innovative, sophisticated and successful.

Quick Facts:

·         Each RCMP District is equipped with a Crime Reduction Team dedicated to targeting prolific offenders, particularly in the areas of break and enters, vehicle thefts and thefts of other property.

·         District Crime Reduction Teams have arrested 219 people, have laid 469 Criminal and Drug charges and have arrested 170 wanted persons.

·         The Alberta RCMP Traffic Units (RTU), in addition to promoting highway safety through enforcement activities, are also targeting traveling criminals. In January 2018 alone, the RTU Traffic Units made 9 major seizures of drugs and contraband, totalling in excess of $1.3 million. This resulted in 14 arrests and 19 new Criminal charges being laid.

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Director Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) musician, photographer, former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

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Alberta

Graffiti artist completes world’s tallest mural in downtown Calgary

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CALGARY — It looms on the edge of downtown a stone’s throw from the Calgary Tower,  a splash of colour amid aging buildings, railway tracks, parkades and a steady stream of traffic.

It’s billed as the world’s tallest mural, painted by one of the globe’s top graffiti artists, and is part of a project to turn an austere area of downtown into an expansive open-air urban art gallery.

“The brutalism and dystopian look of this area with the giant parkades and the spiral ramps and stuff — it feels like Gotham. So turning this wall from concrete nothing to this is really fun,” said Peter Oliver, president of the Beltline Urban Murals Project, or BUMP.

The mural is an abstract painting in various shades of orange, black, grey, blue, white and yellow and is the creation of DAIM, an internationally renowned German artist. DAIM, whose real name is Mirko Reisser, has been creating public artworks for more than 30 years.

“DAIM’s work is rooted in graffiti art. It’s abstract and he was actually the very first graffiti artist to start exploring three-dimensional works. So his work kind of obeys the laws of light and shadow but defies the laws of gravity,” Oliver said.

“I think his work really marries well with the brutalism of this building and it’s just a massive flat wall of concrete. It’s the very first prefabricated concrete building in Calgary, built in 1980.”

The mural is 95 metres high, making it the tallest mural in the world “by a long shot,” said Oliver.

He said most cities don’t have giant concrete walls available, with the majority being glass, steel or aluminum. So this was a perfect marriage.

DAIM, who was assisted by three local artists, spent over three weeks painting and went through more than 500 cans of spray paint after a base coat was added to the bare concrete. It is to be a permanent addition to the area and, as of last week, was awaiting a coat of UV sealant to make it complete.

Facing toward the east, it can be seen from a long way away.

“If you’ve got the window seat on the airplane, you can see it on the approach into the airport,” Oliver said.

“I think what we’re really doing with BUMP is re-architecting the identity of this city.”

The project will be unveiling about 60 new murals during its annual festival, which runs from Aug. 1 to 28. Before that, the new art work can be viewed by visitors at the annual Calgary Stampede, which begins this week.

“If you’re coming down, I’d check this out over the parade any day,” Oliver said with a chuckle.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 4, 2022.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Calgary Stampede receives $10M from federal government to aid recovery from pandemic

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Calgary – The Calgary Stampede has received more than $10 million from the federal government to help it bounce back after last year’s event was scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A report to the city this week showed the Stampede had an operating loss of $8.3 million in 2021.

Last year’s Stampede ran at half capacity because of COVID-19 public health measures and was cancelled all-together the year before.

Daniel Vandal, the federal minister for Prairies Economic Development Canada, says the money aims to support a full-scale Stampede to deliver the “authentic western experience” this year.

He says it would also help to reignite Alberta’s visitor economy.

The 2022 Stampede is set to run from July 8 to 17.

“Festivals large and small were hard hit during the pandemic,” Vandal said in a news release. “They are events where families and friends come together and take in the exciting atmosphere.

“The tourism industry is facing a strong comeback providing quality jobs across the country, showcasing stunning landscapes and offering exciting experiences right here in Alberta.”

The federal government also provided about $1.8 million for four other tourism projects in southern Alberta: Charmed Resorts, Cochrane Tourism Association, Heritage Park and Tourism Calgary.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2022.

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