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Around Red Deer June 16th – 18th…..

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3:01 pm – A Didsbury woman is facing drug charges after Innisfail RCMP conducted a traffic stop on June 15th. A search of the vehicle revealed several small zip-lock bags of a substance believed to be cocaine, methamphetamine and a scale. Mounties in total seized 32 g of cocaine and 16 g of methamphetamine.

12:59 pm – This year the Red Deer Catholic Regional Education Foundation has raised $50,000 to fund 16 schools and two Division projects. In addition to funding these projects, the Catholic Education Foundation will award $2,500 in scholarships to five students in the fall of 2017.

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12:52 pm – It’s a very busy weekend in the Town of Innisfail. The Rotary Parade, Innisfail Pro Rodeo, 9th Annual Softball Tournament, Legion Pancake Breakfast and Co-op Beef on a Bun. Read More.

12:48 pm – Due to the annual Innisfail Dolphins Swim Meet, a schedule change will be in effect at the Innisfail Aquatic Centre from 3 p.m. June 16 to 6 p.m. June 17. Read More.

12:40 pm – It’s Sylvan Lake Block Party Day tomorrow. A BBQ will be held outside the NexSource Centre starting at 11:30 am. Details Here.

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12:29 pm – The Town of Blackfalds is excited to announce that the Wadey Visitor Information Centre is officially open for business Saturday, June 17 at 10:00 a.m. Check out all the work that has gone into transforming this historical building! Mark your calendars for the Grand Opening on July 1 as part of Blackfalds’ #Canada150 celebration !

12:22 pm – Today marks the start of Blackfalds Days! Enjoy the many activities planned for the Town’s annual family & community party! Details Here.

12:16 pm – Penhold Town Council has approved a request from the Penhold & District Optimist Club to hold a Charity Check-Stop August 12th to raise funds to continue supporting youth programs within the Town and schools. Find out what else happened at Council this week.

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11:57 am – “Olivia” is Alberta’s top baby name from 2016. It’s been the top name for girls three years in a row now. “Liam” came in as the top boys name from 2016. Also for the third year in a row. Read More.

11:43 am –  Charges have now been sworn against the two men who robbed and attempted to rob two Red Deer gas stations in the early morning of June 14th. Read More.

11:35 am – The City of Lacombe’s Recreation and Culture Manager Sandi Stewart joined Chris Ross, Vice Chair of the Lacombe & District Recreation, Parks & Culture Board at the Gord Bamford House on June 14th to present a $2,000 Recreation and Culture Grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Lacombe & District Director Crystal Zens and her staff for their new Match Recreation Room and Activity Centre. Read More.

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9:36 am – The 70th Annual Highland Games are all set to go at Red Deer’s Westerner Park on Saturday! Read More.

9:33 am – The Investor’s Group Walk for Alzheimers and Red Deer Walk for ALS are among the many activities taking place throughout Red Deer this weekend. Find out what else is going on!

9:20 am – Enjoy Swing Dancing? Stop by Cool Beans downtown tonight at 7 pm! Read More.

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9:15 am – There’s Live Music at the Alexanderway Parklet today! Set the tone for your weekend! Details Here.

9:08 am – Red Deer RCMP have arrested 35 year old Quentin Lee Strawberry after locating him at an apartment in south Red Deer the afternoon of June 15th. Read More.

9:02 am – RCMP are investigating after a small ultralite airplane went down near Ponoka on Thursday. No injuries were sustained by the pilot and lone occupant on board. The matter is still under investigation and information will be released as it becomes available.

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8:53 am – RCMP have charged a male driver after a two-vehicle crash near Rimbey on Wednesday that sent one person to hospital via Stars Air Ambulance. Read More.

8:41 am – There was a heavy and armed Red Deer RCMP presence at an apartment building on the 5100 block of 37 Street Thursday afternoon as police worked with an unfolding incident. Read More.

8:32 am – Road construction and the Public Market on Saturday will mean some road closures and other traffic disruptions in Red Deer over the next few days. Read More.

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8:06 am – St. Elizabeth Seton School in Red Deer invites you to their Father’s Day Fun Run this upcoming Sunday, June 18th at Kin Kanyon to raise money for a new school playground. This 3 or 5 kilometre run/walk will start and end at Kin Kanyon (33 Street & 47 Avenue) at 10:00 a.m. rain or shine. For more details, click here. To register, click here.

7:57 am – There are Canada 150 Celebrations taking place at Hunting Hills High School in Red Deer today. Officials say students have filled out why they love Canada, decorated trees with maple leaves and laid out flags. There will be a BBQ and an all Canadian play-list to listen to.

7:46 am – It’s an Elementary Sports Day at École Mother Teresa School in Sylvan Lake today. The annual event is for students to participate in a variety of Track events and team-building activities on the field behind the school. Meanwhile, all are welcome to come out and cheer on Aquathon participants at St. Patrick’s Community School in Red Deer (which includes teachers as well as students). Participants will run 1 mile, swim 300m, and run another mile in this 7th Annual Aquathon competition.

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Alberta

Alberta RCMP investigating after far-right groups confront anti-racism rally-goers

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RED DEER, Alta. — RCMP in Alberta say they are investigating after an anti-racism rally in Red Deer turned violent on the weekend.

News footage from CityTV Edmonton shows counter-protesters shoving demonstrators who had gathered to denounce racism, but no RCMP officers are seen intervening.

Alberta Justice Minister Kaycee Madu says violence and threats of violence are unacceptable and he has urged the RCMP’s commanding officer in Alberta to get to the bottom of what happened.

Madu says the Mounties have told him they weren’t there for the initial confrontation because protest organizers changed the location of the rally at the last minute.

Kisha Daniels, a co-founder of Black and Indigenous Alliance AB says the RCMP was well-aware of the location change, which was made in response to threats from white supremacist groups.

Daniels says she had been planning to speak at the rally about education and anti-blackness, but the event was interrupted by Yellow Vesters, Soldiers of Odin and other groups honking their horns, blaring sirens and yelling.

She calls what happened traumatizing and says so far the RCMP has not reached out, even though she has footage and other information to contribute to any investigation.

RCMP said in a news release Monday that there was a disturbance as the anti-racism groups were setting up the rally on Sunday.

“Red Deer RCMP were aware of the planned demonstration and had prepared to have adequate resources and specially equipped officers at the event to handle any potential risks to public safety,” the news release said.

“After arriving on scene, members became aware of the alleged assault, were able to de-escalate the situation between the two groups, and spoke with the victim.”

The RCMP said a “second incident,” which they did not explain in the news release, was brought to their attention a day later and they are asking any witnesses to come forward.

“The Red Deer RCMP take this matter very seriously,” Supt. Gerald Grobmeier said in a statement.

“The role of the RCMP at demonstrations is to keep the peace and allow individuals their democratic right to gather. The matter remains under investigation.”

By Lauren Krugel in Calgary

This report by The Canadian Press was first published September 22, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Your event has been CANCELLED

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Your Event Has Been Cancelled

By Ilan Cooley

The live event industry is in serious trouble. It was the first sector to go dark due to the pandemic, and it is expected to be the last to be allowed back to work.

The people behind the scenes of your favourite events are the mavericks and risk takers you likely don’t know about. They create the events that make you smile until your face hurts, cheer until you lose your voice, and dance until you can’t stand up. They make the magic that fills your social feeds, and the moments that live in your memories.

You may have gotten an email saying “your event has been cancelled” – they lost their livelihood.

“People don’t understand how bullseye targeted this virus was at our industry,” says Jon Beckett, owner of Production World. “It was a 100% bullseye. You couldn’t hit it more dead centre. It’s not like it hurt us – it took it away. People don’t understand that until you talk to them about your industry.”

Production World Staff

Beckett’s company used to employ 50 people. Having lost more than 200 events so far, they have laid off 35 people. Their 25,000 square foot warehouse contains almost seven million dollars worth of staging, lighting and other production equipment.

“We have to house that inventory,” he says. “It is not like we can sell it.”

Similarly, Fort Saskatchewan based Superior Show Service has two separate warehouses full of rental items nobody currently needs, plus tax bills and insurance due. As a 35-year-old family-run event rental company, they cater to tradeshows and large events. Some of the 35 staff they laid off in March have been hired back after accessing relief programs, but with more than 80 events already cancelled, owner Chris Sisson worries about the future.

“It feels like the carpet kicked out from under you,” he says. “I’ve always been able to provide for a great number of families, not just my own, and today I have no idea how to provide for my own. I have been in this industry my entire life, and now I have no idea what to do. It is truly humbling and dumbfounding.”

Chris Sisson of Superior Show Service

Event promoter Mike Andersson prefers not to dwell on what has been lost, instead focusing on building something consumers will want to come back to when it is over. He knows how to manage complex logistics and bring large groups of people together. Even when faced with severe restrictions for events, his company, Trixstar, was busy creating pandemic proof event manifestos, and blue-sky concepts for safe gatherings.

“When everything came crashing down we were putting up material about what events look like after this, and showing some optimism,” he says. “It is important to get people together and to celebrate.” He admits there are good days and bad days. “It is a rollercoaster of emotions,” he says. “Obviously we feel terrible. It affects us, but it affects so many companies. From the security companies, to the ticketing companies, to the tent company, to the production company – all those people are affected.”

Event photographer Dale MacMillan also worries about the people behind the scenes. He has lost more than 100 days of shooting for professional sporting events, large music events, festivals and fairs, which makes up about 60% of his income, and he knows others are in the same situation.

Dale MacMilon takes event photos like this shot of Trixstar

“There’s a guy sitting out there with probably a quarter section of land and he’s probably got 5500 porta potties that are out at ten to 20 events throughout the month, and he is affected tremendously,” says MacMillan. “I see some of the guys that are usually in the business of trucking the machinery to set up the fairs and festivals that are delivering for Amazon now. I look at all of those people who work the booths to break plates. They are not working at all. How else is a guy who owns a plate breaking booth going to get any other business?”

Even artists like Clayton Bellamy are wondering how to pay their bills. As a successful singer/songwriter and member of Canada’s top country band, The Road Hammers, he wishes the gold records on his wall represented a decent living, but admits there is no money to be made without touring. With up to 90% of his income derived from live shows, and almost no revenue from music streaming, he says he will do whatever it takes to feed his family.

“Obviously I have kids and that comes first before anything,” he says. “The main thing to do is to find work.” He also knows lack of touring impacts others. “Our band employs a lot of people. It is not just me on the stage – it is the tour manager, and the person in the office answering the phones at the management company, and the manager. We help employ 50 people. If you think about the industry as a whole, there are a lot of people relying on that trickle-down.”

Clayton Bellamy

Beckett says the model for live events has changed forever.

“If we are going to collapse, then we are going to give it all we can. Right now, we are optimistic that we can somehow find ways to juggle.”

Production World is streaming virtual events to online audiences, and delivering reimagined AHS compliant live events with a mobile stage, video wall, and in-car audio for things like graduations, weddings, movies, drive in music events, and even funerals. They are retrofitting churches for virtual services, and recording content to deliver music and sermons to parishioners.

Sisson suggests his industry should collaborate with government and other industry professionals to develop a plan, like doing events by the hour to control occupancy counts, disinfecting surfaces, contact tracing and testing, and utilizing existing technologies like temperature checks and facial recognition.

“I will be ashamed of our industry if we cannot have something that is approved and a way to conduct ourselves by October,” he says. “At the end of the day there are a lot of livelihoods that need to get looked after.”

MacMillan says the advice his parents gave him to plan for a rainy day was valid. He will get creative with other revenue sources and try to take advantage of programs and subsidies.

“If it helps you along one more month, it is one more month that you can make it until things open up again.”

Bellamy tries to keep his mental health in check by maintaining a rigorous schedule of practicing, writing, and working on existing projects. He plans to finish a new record so he can hit the ground running when touring resumes.

“Right now, I have no income,” he says. “I don’t have a safety net. I don’t have a plan B.”

He says if people want to support their favourite artists they should buy music and merchandise directly, like and share posts and music on social media, and send a letter to the government to help change laws that impact fair pay for artists’ streaming rights.

A return to “normal” is a long way off, and no matter when life starts to feel unrestricted again the world will be altered, and things will be different. Behind the scenes, the event industry not just trying to reinvent itself, it is fighting for survival.

“People don’t think about the human side of it and all that goes into it and all the different companies that come together to produce an event,” says Anderson. “Nobody in the entertainment industry is making a dollar right now. Everyone has to figure out how to survive this, and survive it together. So, my optimism is, I think a lot of companies are going to survive this because they are working together. They are going to support each other once we come out the other side.”

On September 22nd Canadian event industry technicians, suppliers and venues from across the country will Light Up Live events in red to raise awareness for the live event industry – which is still dark.

www.ilancooley.com

Read more on Todayville.

 

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september, 2020

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