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Child Advocacy Centre looking for $3.9 million to complete Centre of Excellence building project


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Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre: Public Campaign for CACAC Building Project – Centre of Excellence

The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC) has officially launched into a public campaign for their building project – the Centre of Excellence. The 66,566 sq. ft. structure will be the new home of the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, and Alberta Health Services: Red Deer Child and Youth Addiction and Mental Health Outpatient Clinic; Move your Mood Studio; and the Step Up Step Down youth live-in addiction and mental health program.

Mark Jones, CEO of the CACAC, says they need to raise $12M in order to cover the costs of the building. Of that $12M, they have already privately raised $8.1M. They’re appealing to the public to help them raise the remaining $3.9M.

“The business plan for this Centre makes a lot of sense for the community. Through 1st-tier tenancy agreements, and full integration with our partners, this project will be very sustainable. But more than anything else, this building project represents hope for these children. This one-of-a-kind centre is going to change the way society responds to child abuse, mental health, and addiction. These children and youths are at the core of everything we do. This public campaign is your way to
take an even bigger stand against child abuse.”

– Mark Jones, CEO CACAC

The building, constructed by Eagle Builders and located on the Red Deer Polytechnic main campus, aims to be open by the end of August 2023. The 3-story structure is being built with intentional common and shared spaces to better integrate crucial partnerships, and create an environment in which children, youths, and families feel comfortable and safe. The contemporary design of the exterior is meant to be inviting for the children and youths who will use the space, while also symbolising the integrated partnerships at work within the building and on campus.

“Eagle Builders cares about the protection and care of children and families in Central Alberta, which is why we were so pleased to be part of the construction of the Centre of Excellence and Child Advocacy Centre, “ said Dennis Haan, Director and President at Eagle Builders LP. “Once complete, this building will provide the very best in care for those that need it most – when they need it most. For us, this project is more than just putting up walls, it is an investment into the future of this province and a commitment to improving the lives of all Albertans.”

Terry Loewen, Chairman of the Board of the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, notes that the CACAC addresses many of the mental health concerns faced by youth and families in Central Alberta.

”The CACAC is a transformational community project that rallies people to a common cause; that being mental health! Mental health has been something that never used to be talked about, and now it’s at the forefront of many discussions everyday. The CACAC has all the elements, and then some, in the area of mental health and is a game changer, not only for Central Alberta, but far beyond!”

– Terry Loewen, Board Chair, CACAC

Originally the vision of Sheldon Kennedy, the Centre of Excellence brings partners together for a fully integrated approach to addressing abuse. Additional research and programming will be introduced through Red Deer Polytechnic. The land was gifted to the CACAC by Red Deer Polytechnic as part of a strategic partnership that allows RDP to integrate the CACAC’s practices into its own research.

“Red Deer Polytechnic is excited to be partnering with the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre. Housing this newly constructed Centre of Excellence on our main campus will ensure that Red Deer Polytechnic is actively collaborating with the CACAC and helping to advance best practices related to childhood trauma and maltreatment. The Centre will have a profound impact on youth and families in our community and across North America will also provide critical applied research and learning opportunities for Red Deer Polytechnic’s faculty, staff and students.”

– Stuart Cullum, President of Red Deer Polytechnic

“So now we’re asking for your help. We’ve been meeting with donors and supporters, and we’ve been doing the work behind the scenes to bring this much-needed Centre to Central Alberta. We know the need is there, and that the need is growing. We’re building a path forward for these children and their families. We’ve brought together key partners, and we’re poised to meet the challenges head on. Now we’re asking your financial support, not just for us, but for a brighter
future for these children. We’re ready to build the future… are you in?”

– Mark Jones, CEO CACAC

To learn more about the project, or to donate, please visit:

You’re Our Biggest Advocate – And We Need Your Help

For six years, the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC) has been advocating for children and youth who have had opportunities taken from them by abusers. The families we work with need support and guidance at a time that is often highly traumatic. In times of trauma, it’s hard – if not impossible – to navigate the system alone. That’s where the CACAC comes in.

When a child discloses their abuse to someone, it’s a moment of sheer bravery. That’s not to say that those who don’t come forward aren’t brave – in fact, simply getting dressed and trying to have a normal day at school is an act of bravery for a child who lives in an abusive situation. They deserve to have the best support imaginable, and when they tell their stories they should only have to do that once. After all, retelling one’s story of trauma can, in itself, be a form of re-traumatization. Before the CACAC, victims would have to tell their stories three, four, five or more times to different agencies and professionals. Thanks to changes in legislation, we have a multidisciplinary team comprised of many agencies and organizations that meets around the table to discuss these cases together.

These children, youths, and families have suffered from abuse, neglect, and/or sexual exploitation, and it is our job to advocate for them. You might be surprised to learn that one of their biggest advocates is you. The CACAC doesn’t charge these families a single cent to receive our services, and that’s largely thanks to you. Your support over the years has meant that we can continually offer the programs and services that these children need. The need is growing, and we’re poised to meet it head on, but we need your help.

The Centre of Excellence will be the new home of the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, as well as the new home for the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre (CASASC) and select Alberta Health Services programs such as the Step Up Step Down youth live-in addiction and mental health program, Red Deer Child and Youth Addiction and Mental Health Outpatient Clinic, and Move Your Mood Studio. One and a half floors of our three-floor building will be leased to AHS, another half-floor to CASASC, and the CACAC will work from the third floor. The Centre of Excellence exists on the Red Deer Polytechnic main campus, and we’ve already begun integrating what we do into many of their curricula. Additionally, RDP will be creating a research hub dedicated to our field.

We need 12 million dollars for this building campaign, and we’ve already privately raised 8.1 million. We’re looking for your help to raise the remaining 3.9 million needed to get this life-saving system running. What we can do at the Centre of Excellence will change the ways in which society responds to child abuse. This project is the first of its kind in North America, and it will be built right here in Central Alberta. The children who need us deserve to have everyone standing up for them. With this campaign, and your financial support, we can make a greater stand. Let’s do this together for them. We’re ready – are you in?

Mark Jones, CEO Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre


The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is a not for profit organization rooted in the protection and recovery of today’s most innocent and vulnerable – our children. The Centre is comprised of a collective that is driven by the courage to support children, youth, and their families affected by abuse, enabling them to build enduring strength and overcome adversity. We work in a collaborative partnership with the Central Region Children's Services, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Justice, Alberta Education, the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre and the RCMP. Together we harness our collective courage to provide children with supported recovery. It takes courage and bravery for a child to share their story of abuse, for families to bring their children forward, to believe, to listen without judgement, and to seek justice. Supporting the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre today is an investment in the promise and possibility of a healthy future for our children and our community.

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Blackfalds Bulldogs Jr A Hockey Club announces finalized agreement to join the BC Hockey League effective immediately

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News release from the Blackfalds Bulldogs

The Blackfalds Bulldogs have announced a finalized franchise agreement with the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and are official members of the league, effective immediately. 

Prior to this agreement, the Blackfalds Bulldogs had agreed to terms on a framework of what joining the BCHL would look like. 

Along with the Blackfalds Bulldogs, the Brooks Bandits, Okotoks Oilers, Sherwood Park Crusaders and Spruce Grove Saints will also join the BCHL starting this season. 

“The Blackfalds Bulldogs are thrilled to express our excitement to be joining the BCHL. The BCHL’s dedication and efforts in expediting this process in light of the AJHL decisions have not gone unnoticed and we are sincerely grateful for the commitment they have shown to ensure all our players have the opportunity to complete this season with competitive hockey. This swift transition in light of the AJHL’s decisions is a testament to the BCHL’s professionalism and passion for the sport. We eagerly anticipate the journey ahead and look forward to contributing our Bulldog Best to the vibrant hockey community that the BCHL represents,” said Doug Quinn, Owner of the Blackfalds Bulldogs Jr A Hockey Club.  

“We are pleased to officially welcome these five franchises into the fold as members of our league,” said Graham Fraser, Chairman of the BCHL Board of Governors. “All five are strong organizations from great communities and we look forward to the immediate boost they will give our league.” 

Due to the Alberta Junior Hockey League cancelling league games for the 2023-24 regular season, the five teams will engage in competition with each other as BCHL teams for the remainder of the season and will eventually crown an Alberta champion. Following the conclusion of the BCHL Playoffs, there will be an opportunity for the champion from Alberta to meet the champion from B.C. in a year-end competition. 

“With the unfortunate situation the Alberta teams have faced in recent weeks with having games cancelled in their previous league, it was imperative to us to get these players back on the ice in meaningful competition,” said BCHL Commissioner Steven Cocker. “This five-team schedule and postseason will give these athletes the chance to get in a full set of games for the remainder of the year, which is the most important thing to us.” 

The schedule for the Alberta teams starts tomorrow and can be viewed here.

Details for the post-season competition will be announced at a later date. 

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions about this decision, visit our FAQ page here.

About the BCHL: 

Sending more players on to Division I college hockey every season than any other hockey league in Canada, the BCHL has established itself as a national leader in the development of young student athletes. Considering approximately a third of today’s NHL is made up of NCAA alumni, the BCHL has become a breeding ground for some the sport’s most elite and successful players. In 2022-23 alone, there were a league-record 190 players in the league with NCAA Division I scholarships. The BCHL is also a leader in player safety, with a full-time Department of Player Safety, the toughest rules on fighting in North American junior hockey, as well as a league-wide independent Safe Sport Officer and an individual Athlete Advocate assigned to all 17 teams.  

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Central Alberta

Coldest Night of the Year looking for your help to raise $100,000.00!

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Support The Mustard Seed and Red Deer Food Bank in CNOY 2024

The Coldest Night of the Year is a winterrific family-friendly walk in support of local charities serving people experiencing hurt, hunger, and homelessness. Join us on February 24, 2024 – team up, fundraise, walk, and take a moment to look closer… because it’s cold out there.

The goal in Central Alberta is to raise $100,000.00 for the Red Deer Food Bank and the Mustard Seed Red Deer. 

About Red Deer Food Bank

Many think that the food donated to the food bank only goes into food hampers. It is true the Red Deer Food Bank, with your help, assisted over 19,000 people in 2019. Approximately 40% of them were children.

With that being said, the food bank also provides food to other agencies right here in Red Deer. Agencies such as the Boy’s and Girl’s Club, The Mustard Seed, Potter’s Hands, Women’s Outreach, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and kids camps.

The Red Deer Food Bank also supplies food to other food banks in Central Alberta such as: Blackfalds, Coronation, Caroline, Delburne, Ermineskin, Maskwacis, Innisfail, Lacombe, Mirror, Olds, Ponoka, Rocky Mountain House, Rimbey, Sylvan Lake, Stettler, Three Hills and Trochu.

The Red Deer Food Bank covers an area of 20,000 square kilometres in Central Alberta.

The bread, produce and pastries that our driver/gleaner picks up each day from grocery stores are available daily. People in need can access the product Monday through Friday in our Client Service Area.

The access to these products helps supplement our clients’ grocery expenses. Coming in for bread and potatoes can save them extra funds for fresh milk and other food items they may need for their family.

Without the generosity of our community the Red Deer Food Bank Society would not exist. Many factors play a part but it is the generosity of people that is the heart of our organization.

About The Mustard Seed Red Deer

The Mustard Seed and the Red Deer Food Bank are partnering for our 40th birthdays this year for CNOY 2024 – walk with us as we raise funds to fight hunger and homelessness in our communities!

The Mustard Seed is a Christian non-profit organization that has been caring for individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty since 1984. Operating in six cities across Alberta and British Columbia, The Mustard Seed is a supportive haven where people can have their physical, mental, and spiritual needs met and grow toward greater health and independence.

At The Mustard Seed, we recognize that the root causes of poverty and homelessness are complex and diverse, so we continue to grow and evolve with the needs of those we serve.

Coldest Night of the Year is an incredibly valuable way for the community of Red Deer to partner with us to experience a small part of what our guests endure.  We would love to have you, your family, and your friends walk alongside The Mustard Seed and the Red Deer Food Bank at this incredibly important event.

Event Day Details

Save the date – CNOY Day is February 24, 2024!

It all starts here: GOOGLE MAP

6002 54 Ave, Red Deer, AB T4N 4M8

Red Deer Community Impact Centre


  •  4:00 pm: Meet Check-in + Welcome
  •  5:00 pm: Move Send-off
  •  6:00 pm: Munch Light meal served
  •  7:00 pm: Mosey Goodbye + see you in 2025!

Not able to join us in person at the Main Event? We hope you’ll register, fundraise and walk offsite with friends and family.

Route Details

  •  Route Distances: Check out the maps below to see where we will be walking.
  •  Rest stop: Keep an eye out for opportunities to rest and refresh with yummy snacks along the route.
  •  Signage: Routes will be well-signed with our bold blue CNOY signs.
  •  Route Support: Route marshals, rest stop hosts, and support vehicle drivers provide support along the route.
  •  Children 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.
  •  No Pets: We love our little furballs like you do, but pets are not permitted at the Coldest Night of the Year except for approved and trained service animals. Read more about our pet policy >


  •  All walkers participating at the Main Event on Saturday, February 24, 2024 must check-in upon arrival.
  •  Toques! Fundraising walkers who raise $150+ (or $75+ for those under 18) will receive a CNOY toque as a thank you on event day, while supplies last.
  •  Offsite fundraising walkers can contact their local event director to arrange toque pickup the week of the event.

Have questions? Visit the FAQ section!

Handling Money

  •  Credit Card: The Best Option! Simple, secure, automatically tax receipted for gifts of $20+. Visit the Donate page, share your personal page link, or have your donor call the CNOY Head Office.
  •  Cheques: The Old Faithful – made out to Coldest Night of the Year with your name on the Memo line. Mail them to CNOY Head Office along with your completed pledge form.
  •  Cash: You have 2 options:
  •  1. Login to FundHub, click “Enter $$ and Cheques,” create pledges for your cash donations, pay them off with your personal credit card, and keep the cash. OR…
  •  2. Write a cheque (made out to “Coldest Night of the Year”) for the total amount of cash you’ve collected. Mail it to the CNOY Head Office with your completed pledge sheet.


All participants must register online and accept the electronic waiver.

  •  Adults accept the waiver automatically when they register online.
  •  Youth/Children under 18 need a waiver signed by their parent or guardian.
  •  An online form will be emailed to all parents/guardians before CNOY Day.
  •  Waivers will also be available at check-in on CNOY Day.

What to Bring

A few common sense suggestions:

  •  A cell phone for emergencies (recommended but not required)
  •  Good waterproof shoes/boots for walking
  •  Warm coat and mitts/gloves
  •  Extra snacks if you have allergies or food sensitivities
  •  Your own water bottle
  •  A passion for the charity you’re walking and fundraising for!

Red Deer Maps

Check out this year’s CNOY route maps below:

Contact Us

CNOY Red Deer 2024

The CNOY Team Participant & Donor Services
Toll Free 1.877.743.3413 / Phone 519.603.2250
Email [email protected]

Got questions about the Coldest Night of the Year?
[email protected] | 1.877.743.3413
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