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Canada’s largest fireworks show of the year set for Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, and Red Deer to celebrate the Stampede

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News Release from The Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede to Light up the Night Sky Across Alberta!

The Calgary Stampede is proud to celebrate the resilience and determination of our great province through a province-wide fireworks display on Friday, July 9. The Fireworks Spectacular presented by Bell, will take place in Lethbridge, Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary and we invite all Albertans to join together in celebration as we light up the night sky in recognition of our shared goals and bright future for our province. This incredible display will be a must-see, as the largest and most sophisticated firework event produced in Canada this year.

Since 1912, fireworks have played an important role in Stampede celebrations. Taking place in coordination with the fireworks of the Calgary Stampede Evening Show performance on the first night of Stampede 2021, the sparkling world-class display will occur simultaneously in all four participating cities to a synchronized musical soundtrack.

“This is our way of lighting up the Alberta skies and providing the opportunity to celebrate together,” says Steve McDonough, President & Chairman of the Stampede Board. “Thousands of Albertans will be able to view this amazing firework show from their own neighbourhood at the same time, with the same soundtrack on July 9th.”

“On behalf of Lethbridge City Council, we congratulate our friends in Calgary for their creativity and collaboration on this fireworks spectacular. We look forward to helping celebrate the beginning of the Calgary Stampede with what is sure to be a brilliant display of fireworks for residents and visitors to enjoy,” says Mayor Chris Spearman of the City of Lethbridge.

“The Calgary Stampede is leading the way in the return to community life in our province. Red Deer is honoured to be a part of this initiative to celebrate our Western heritage together,” says Red Deer Mayor, Tara Veer. “Albertans have been hit hard by the pandemic, but together we can rebuild and demonstrate our resilience on July 9th.”

The pyro-technical experts from Fireworks Spectaculars Canada, an Alberta based company, are familiar with all four cities, and bring their award winning and awe-inspiring team together across the province to create this magical moment to kick-off the 2021 Stampede.

“At this stage, we have to think about how we get major events up and running again. The Calgary Stampede is leading the way and, one by one, other events will follow. As Explore Edmonton takes over management of K-Days in Edmonton, we are watching and learning from our friends at the Stampede. This will mark the beginning of recovery for the events sector and it marks a milestone moment for Alberta as we emerge from the pandemic,” says Maggie Davison, Interim CEO, Explore Edmonton

“As we move hopefully into our post-pandemic future, this fireworks display will allow us to safely honour what we’ve been though, to express our gratitude to all the essential workers who gotten us through, and to look forward with optimism,” says Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi

The Fireworks Spectacular presented by Bell will feature four identical, world-class firework displays in each city – Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer and Lethbridge – starting at 11 p.m. on July 9. Albertans are invited to participate in this in this free, family-friendly celebration with specific viewing locations and information available at CalgaryStampede.com. It will also be broadcast live on CTV Calgary, CTV2 and CTVNews.ca beginning at 11 p.m., so that you can watch from the comfort of your own home. Tune in as we light up the night sky to celebrate Stampede Spirit across Alberta. We thank our community partners Explore Edmonton, The City of Red Deer, Westerner Park and Lethbridge & District Exhibition. This is a celebration of our province, and at the Calgary Stampede we believe we are Greatest Together.

Watch in person from your seat at the 2021 Calgary Stampede Evening Show! Evening Show and Rodeo tickets are now available and include admission into Stampede Park the day of the show. New in 2021, a VIP, full-service, outdoor experience that will put you in the heart of the action on the Grandstand tarmac. Reserve a table for your group of four or six people to enjoy the experience in a brand-new way! To book your Evening Show, Rodeo or VIP Tarmac tickets, or to purchase general Park admission for days you are not attending the Evening Show or Rodeo, go to CalgaryStampede.com

About the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together, we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

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Alberta

British Columbia won't take COVID-19 patients from Alberta: Dix

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VICTORIA — British Columbia’s health minister says the province won’t be taking COVID-19 patients from Alberta due to current demands on its own health-care system.

Adrian Dix says the B.C. Health Ministry told its Alberta counterpart Thursday that the province will help in other ways if it can and may be able to take patients in the future.

Alberta is facing a COVID-19 crisis that is threatening to collapse its health system, with 269 patients in an intensive care system set up for 173.

British Columbia reported 706 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday along with four new deaths linked to the illness, bringing the death toll to 1,877.

The ministry says in a statement there were 5,844 active infections across the province with 291 people in hospital, including 134 in intensive care.

It says close to 79 per cent of eligible B.C. residents aged 12 and up have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 86.3 per cent have received at least one shot.

“We are in a global pandemic, and our thoughts are with Albertans as they respond to COVID-19 in their province,” Dix says in a statement.

“We salute Alberta’s health-care workers, and all health-care workers who are working tirelessly to care for patients and protect people and communities in the face of great challenge.”

About 30 per cent of active cases in B.C. are located in the Fraser Health region, followed by nearly 26 per cent in Interior Health, 18 per cent in Vancouver Coastal Health, close to 15 per cent in the north and 11 per cent in Island Health.

There were 23 active outbreaks in health-care settings, including three hospitals.

The Health Ministry says people who have not received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine made up 81.5 per cent of hospitalizations due to the illness in the first two weeks of September, while partially vaccinated people represented 4.9 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta business groups want more clarity around new COVID-19 restrictions

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Alberta businessgroups say a new program the province has launched to fight COVID-19 has been short on details while giving business owners little notice to make dramatic changes to their operations.

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce and Canadian Federation of Independent Business said Thursday that their members have uncovered plenty of confusion as they scramble to make sense of the restriction exemption program Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced Wednesday.

“Yesterday’s announcement prompted more questions than answers for our business community,” said Deborah Yedlin, the chamber’s president and chief executive, in a statement.

“Answers and clarity are needed urgently.”

The program Yedlin was referring to is meant to force people in Alberta to show proof of vaccination to enter non-essential businesses, including select stores, restaurants, nightclubs, casinos, concerts and libraries as of Sept. 20.

Businesses can opt out of the program but must operate at reduced capacity and with distancing rules or restrictions. For example, restaurants not in the program are limited to outdoor dining with no more than six people at a table.

Just after the program was announced, Annie Dormuth, the CFIB’s provincial affairs director for Alberta, was already hearing from owners confused about if they will have to apply to use the program or to opt out of it.

Others were concerned the government didn’t offer guidance or training to staff around how to check if vaccination proof is fraudulent or deal with unruly patrons who disagree with the measures. 

Some even lamented a lack of time to reorient their businesses and retrain staff for the new policies because the program has more exemptions than initiatives in other provinces and was announced roughly four days before it will go into effect.

“In the province of B.C., they were given a week and they were given support in the form of posters and guidance documents and here, we are three-and-a-half days away from this now and there’s not a whole lot of guidance being provided to business owners right now,” said Dormuth.

The lack of details is the latest challenge for small business owners who have spent much of the pandemic dealing with lower sales and fewer patrons.

CFIB estimates that small businesses in Canada now have debt totalling $139 billion due to COVID-19, a slight increase from the estimated $135 billion in February of this year. 

Three quarters of small businesses that took on debt believe it will take more than a year to repay. In the hospitality sector alone, 87 per cent believe it will take longer than two years to deal with their debts.

Despite the pandemic challenges, Andrew Cowan had no qualms about requiring guests to show proof of vaccination before they visit Northern Chicken, the Edmonton restaurant he co-owns. 

“Between my business partner and I, there were chats about how maybe we were going to do a vaccine passport ourselves, but the government is doing it now, so we don’t have to worry,” he said.

Cowan believes the changes won’t take much effort for his restaurant to implement because it doesn’t seat too many people and his staff have become accustomed to adapting to changes quickly after more than a year of pandemic regulations.

The biggest task stemming from the new program, he said, is training staff to check vaccine statuses and deal with any guests that try to buck the new regulations.

“It was a pretty muddy announcement, but we’ve got it pretty much figured out now and it doesn’t really change much from our perspective,” Cowan said.

“We were already being careful and trying to keep everything socially distanced in the restaurant already.”

The program that his restaurant and others are now adjusting to was introduced because a wave of new COVID-19 cases has overwhelmed hospitals.

Seeing droves of unvaccinated patients, health-care workers intensified their calls for more stringent safety measures amid polls showing support for vaccination passports in recent months, but Kenney refused to heed their advice until this week.

“Jason Kenney has demonstrated himself to be a skilled contortionist, bending himself virtually into a pretzel in order to appease a small fringe but vocal group of individuals who are opposed to vaccination,” University of Alberta assistant professor of infectious diseases, Dr. Ilan Schwartz, said at a Wednesday press conference held by Protect Our Province.

The organization comprised of health-care workers has long urged the government to take the pandemic and the fourth wave more seriously by retaining basic measures like isolation for people who test positive for COVID-19.

Despite Kenney finally edging toward more measures, the group remains disappointed with his new program and its lack of clarity, and fears it will do little to quell the virus.

Dr. Schwatz said, “We’re left with a hodgepodge of measures that are confusing, and consequently, they’re likely ineffectual.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2021.

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said restaurants that opt out of the vaccine program are limited to no more than six people at a table, but that is only for outdoor dining.

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