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Attendance Trending Higher At Westerner Days!

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The second day of Westerner Days Fair & Exposition saw the community come together in celebration for McDonald’s Kids’ Day, despite the rain that came down in the evening. Over 20,000 people entered the grounds to test out the rides, eat some fair food in the Grub Hub, and check out classic rockers Chilliwack and Kim Mitchell in the ENMAX Centrium, sponsored by 106.7 The Drive and 100.7 CRUZ FM.

The concert was clearly a Red Deer favourite. It kicked off at 8:00pm with 3,400 fans crowding the stands to see Chilliwack. Not long after, co-headliner Kim Mitchell took the stage, finishing the show off with a standing ovation.

Tonight’s ENMAX Centrium Main Stage show is Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, and openers Jamie Woodfin and Ken Stead. Fair-goers can get free reserved floor seating by going to the Tickets Alberta Box Office in the lobby of the ENMAX Centrium at 4:00pm today. These tickets are free with gate admission.

The Grub Hub has been a busy place this year, where attendees can chow down on all of the carnival classics, like corn dogs and mini donuts. A favourite this year is The Smokehouse, which offers mountains of meat sandwiches to fill your belly and delight your taste buds.

Fair attendees can win Grub Hub cash by participating in the Openhwy “Come Together and Get Social” contest, sponsored by Plato’s Closet. While here, use #WesternerDays and #TicketsAlberta when posting on social media to win daily prizes! If you are a winner, we will notify you day of to pick up your prize at the Guest Services booth.

Visitors should make sure to visit the various livestock areas on the grounds. Check out the Red Deer Motors North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships at 6:00pm daily (except on Sunday, when they are at 2:00pm), or stop into The Little Red Barn and visit the petting zoo. Be sure to participate in the Peavy Mart Ag-Mazing Scavenger Hunt, where you can be entered to win the Ultimate Urban Farm Experience prize package. Details are available at westernerdays.ca/information/raffles.

In addition to regular fair activities, some of the Westerner Days entertainers went to the Red Deer Regional Hospital and Ronald McDonald House to “Share the Fair”, presented by Olymel, a program designed to bring a taste of the fair to children who may not be able to attend due to an illness. Doo Doo the Clown, Bandaloni, and The Magic of Aaron Matthews participated.

“Most of the time the kids entertain me as I’m entertaining them,” says Bandaloni, the One Man Band. “[It raises my spirits to see the kids] however, it’s nice to see that there’s not many children here, which is a great thing.”

Check out the full Shaw TV segment about Share the Fair, featured on their YouTube channel (ShawTVRedDeer).

For more information, including event schedules, visit westernerdays.ca

Fair Attendance
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 – 13,583
Thursday, July 20, 2017 – 20,940 (Record set in 2016 with 23,133)
Total Attendance for 2017 – 34,523

Red Deer Motors North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships

1st – Louie Johner, Wei’s Westerner Wear, Red Deer – 1:16:61
2nd – Brian Cardinal, Challard Pipeline, Rocky Mountain House – 1:17:45
3rd – Dale Young, Calgary Flames Ambassadors, Calgary – 1:17:50
4th – Neil Salmond, ABC Restaurant, Red Deer – 1:17:51

Top Four Wagons from Thursday, July 20, 2017

Top Four Wagons Overall After Two Nights

1st – Louie Johner, Wei’s Westerner Wear, Red Deer – 2:32:43
2nd – Lee Adamson, A-1 Rentals, Camrose/ Wetaskiwin – 2:35:15
3rd – Linda ShippeltHubl, KFC/Taco Bell, Red Deer – 2:35:45
4th – Brent Lang Red Deer RV Parts, Red Deer – 2:35:94

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Canada agrees to take part in WTO talks to waive patent protections on vaccines

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WASHINGTON — Canada’s international trade minister says the federal government will take part in talks to waive the global rules that protect vaccine trade secrets.

Mary Ng made the announcement today in the House of Commons. 

The move puts Canada squarely onside with the United States, which surprised and delighted progressive anti-poverty groups Wednesday when it agreed to the negotiations. 

In theory, a waiver would make it easier for developing countries to import the expertise, equipment and ingredients necessary to make their own vaccines. 

The pharmaceutical industry says a waiver won’t have the desired effect and would undermine the development of innovative drugs. 

Other medical experts say a waiver would take too long, and the developed world should focus instead on ramping up existing production. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021. 

The Canadian Press

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Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

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Herd immunity may not be reached in Canada but a return to life similar to that before COVID-19 is possible through immunization, experts say.

Such immunity is achieved when enough people are immune to a virus, either through vaccinations or natural infections or a combination of both.

Prof. Paul Tupper of Simon Fraser University’s mathematics department said herd immunity is unlikely to happen with COVID-19 for a few reasons.

The virus is being transmitted worldwide, which means it is reintroduced in different places across borders and immunity through vaccination and infection doesn’t last permanently. The vaccines don’t seem to be completely effective against some of the new variants, he said.

“So, I think what is more likely to happen is that we end up in a situation like we have with seasonal flu,” Tupper said.

“We have to live with the flu, and I think something similar is going to happen with COVID.”

The level of immunity among the population also changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains, he said.

Sarah Otto, a University of British Columbia professor, said the disease’s reproductive rate is hard to pinpoint, which makes it difficult to establish a herd immunity target. Otto is an expert on the mathematical models of pandemic growth and control in the university’s zoology department.

The reproductive rate is the number of additional people infected by a single person with COVID-19, which has also changed because of the variants, she said.

Canada might also fall short of herd immunity because people can still get infected after vaccination, even if they are less likely to develop symptoms, she said.

“We don’t yet know how effective vaccines are at reducing transmission from person to person and that matters a lot,” Otto said.

Vaccinated people are getting fewer infections but those who do can still suffer severe symptoms, she said

“Before the pandemic, we didn’t have working vaccines for coronaviruses, so we don’t know exactly what the outcomes are going to be. It’s very unusual to have a disease with such wildly differing outcomes, with asymptomatic individuals and severely affected long haulers. How are vaccines going to change that mix? We don’t really know why the severe cases are so severe.”

Tupper said public health guidelines will change as more people get vaccinated.

“But the goal of eradicating COVID just does not appear to be realistic.”

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto, said vaccines can significantly reduce transmission rates, regardless of whether Canada reaches herd immunity.

“Some communities might have no transmission while other communities, even within the same province, might have some low levels of transmission and it’s all based on vaccine status,” he said.

“But regardless, we will achieve very, very low rates of transmission in our communities because of vaccination.”

Community level immunity is when a virus is not completely eliminated, he said.

“There may be some transmission of COVID-19 but sporadically with small outbreaks or with low levels of transmission, while most people are largely unaffected due to widespread vaccination.”

It had been suggested that herd immunity could be reached when about 70 per cent of the population is vaccinated, but now researchers don’t know what level of protection is required because of the variants.

Otto said there are more questions than answers at this point.

“With every partial answer we get two or three more questions. These are hard and tricky issues and I wish we were less uncertain, but that is the truth of the matter.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021.

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press

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