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City of Red Deer

City has to close all recreation facilities

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From the City of Red Deer

City of Red Deer closes recreation and culture facilities amidst COVID-19

All City of Red Deer operated recreation and culture facilities will temporarily close to the public to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) effective at closing time of each facility today, Sunday, March 15, 2020.The decision was made in alignment with Alberta Health’s recommendation to cancel all K-12 and post-secondary classes in the province and to promote social distancing and minimize the potential spread of COVID-19. There are no confirmed cases of the virus in Red Deer, according to Alberta Health Services, and the risk to residents remains low.

City facilities affected by the temporarily closures include:

  • Collicutt Centre
  • G.H. Dawe Community Centre
  • Recreation Centre
  • Michener Aquatic Centre
  • Servus Arena
  • Kinsmen Community Arenas
  • Kinex Arena
  • Setters Place at Great Chief Park
  • Intermediate School Site (Culture Services Centre)
  • All leased spaces within City operated recreation and culture facilities including food vendors, retail stores, and private recreation providers, will be closed. This does not include those spaces that have an external public access (i.e. Red Deer Public Library GH Dawe branch, Exalta Gymnastics and Red Deer Minor Hockey Association office).

In addition, Red Deer’s Northside Community Centre closed to the public today, Sunday, March 15, 2020, under direction from The YMCA of Northern Alberta. The City is in communication and sharing information with contractors operating City facilities (including Heritage Ranch, Bower Ponds, Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery and neighbourhood activity centres), however business decisions remain with the individual operators.

“This was a difficult decision, but it’s in the best interest of our residents and City employees,” said Karen Mann, Emergency Operations Centre Director with The City of Red Deer. “While we don’t know how long these closures will last, we want to assure residents and staff that our first priority is, and always will be, your health and safety. We will continue to be guided by the province’s public health officials in taking actions to protect the public.”

Other measures being taken by The City at this time include:

  • Continued activation of The City of Red Deer Emergency Operations Centre
  • Continued activation of The City of Red Deer call centre daily from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. for residents to make non-emergency inquiries about City services and policies (403-342-8111)
  • Enhanced cleaning and janitorial services in high traffic areas
  • Mandatory 14-day isolation period for City employees who are symptomatic and/or have returned from international travel after March 12, 2020.
  • Notifying customers affected by program cancellations at City facilities including fitness classes, swimming lessons, educational and cultural courses and childminding minding services.
  • Revised cancellation policies for passes, programs and room rentals. Details are posted at www.reddeer.ca.

Security and staff will remain on site at the closed facilities to support the management of the city assets.

In addition, the following City facilities remain open to the public at this time, however with potentially amended service levels.

  • City Hall and Professional Building
  • Sorenson Station and Red Deer Transit service
  • RCMP detachments

“Our staff are the backbone of what we do at The City of Red Deer and we are dedicated to supporting them in this time of uncertainty,” said Allan Seabrooke, City Manager. “During the next several days, we will ask some employees to step outside their regular duties and provide support in other areas or departments to help with the increased workload COVID-19 has placed upon us.”

Residents are reminded not to attend City facilities or any public facilities if they are feeling ill. Call Alberta Healthlink at 8-1-1 for non-emergency health information about COVID-19 and 9-1-1 only in the case of a life-threatening emergency or crime in progress.

The COVID-19 outbreak remains a fluid situation and information can change quickly and often. The City of Red Deer is prepared to make additional changes to policies as required in order to keep residents safe and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Residents are urged to visit the Alberta Health Services website at www.ahs.ca for the most up to date information.

“Dad, is the Coronavirus going to make humans extinct?” Time to talk to our children!

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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City of Red Deer

Residential plowing continues in North Red Deer Monday and Tuesday. Check here for your neighbourhood.

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City crews are removing snow from city streets after nine days of near-constant snowfall. At this time, Purple Routes are completed. Red routes and Snow Zone D (Downtown) will be completed, and residential snow clearing began Monday, November 14, 2022.
(Check below to confirm which zone your neighbourhood is identified as.)
Zone Subdivisions Map
A Kentwood, Johnstone Snow Zone A – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
B Glendale, Normandeau, Pines Snow Zone B – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
C Fairview, Highland Green, Oriole Park, Riverside Meadows Snow Zone C – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
E Clearview, Garden Heights, Michener Hill, Parkvale, Waskasoo, Woodlea Snow Zone E – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
F Deer Park (north of 39 St), Rosedale, Timberlands Snow Zone F – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
G Bower, South Hill, West Park Snow Zone G – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
H Eastview, Grandview, Morrisroe, Mountview Snow Zone H – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
I Anders, Sunnybrook (north) Snow Zone I – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
J Deer Park (south of 39 St), Lancaster Snow Zone J – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
K Inglewood, Sunnybrook (south)/Southbrook, Vanier Snow Zone K – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
O Evergreen Snow Zone O – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
It is early in the season for residential plowing in Red Deer compared to recent years. The snow fell on warm ground and created a layer of ice beneath it, which exacerbated the situation on our roads. With this in mind, The City moved forward with a residential plow on Monday, November 14.
“Right now, crews are working around the clock to keep roads drivable. With minimal breaks between snowfalls, crews have found themselves circling back to start the process of clearing Purple and Red Routes before being able to move on to other secondary arterials,” said Halldorson “In the same way citizens have been circling back to repeatedly shovel their sidewalks and driveways, our crews have been circling back to re-plow bridge decks and priority roadways.”
Additionally, crews are sanding intersections, hills, and bridges as much as possible.

The current schedule for residential snow clearing is as follows:

Snow Plow 2022

Residents are encouraged to watch for no-parking signs on Green Routes and at the entrance to their neighbourhoods for Grey Routes and to sign up for Snow Zone notices at www.reddeer.ca/notifyreddeer to get text, email or phone call reminders before they need to move their vehicles off the street.

“We ask that citizens move their vehicles to make way for plows and equipment as this enables crews to move through neighbourhoods quickly,” said Halldorson.

Parking restrictions are in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily while plowing is scheduled, and vehicles left on the street will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

The City of Red Deer has a priority-based snow and ice control program with specific triggers to indicate when, where and how plowing and sanding should take place across the city. There are many different types of roads, sidewalks and paths throughout the city that serve different purposes. The overall goal is to plow sooner, quicker and more often, within the budget provided.

Residents are encouraged to contact Parks & Public Works at 403-342-8238 to report streets in need of attention.

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City of Red Deer

The rich and sobering history of Red Deer’s “Unknown Soldier”

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The origins of Red Deer’s beautiful Cenotaph date back to the end of WWI.  The statue of the Unknown Soldier is a provincial historic site.  In this article, historian and author Michael Dawe helps us understand the rich history of this monument and reminds us all of the sacrifices of our forebearers.  Enjoy the photo gallery showing the changes to the Cenotaph and its surroundings over the years. 

The Cenotaph by Michael Dawe (originally published Nov. 9, 2019)

There are many memorials around the City of Red Deer to honour those who served and those who lost their lives during a time of war. The main community memorial is the Cenotaph, the statue of the Unknown Soldier that stands in the centre of Ross Street in the heart of downtown Red Deer.

The origins of the Cenotaph go back to the end of the First World War. That conflict had been a searing experience for Red Deer. 850 young men and women from the City and surrounding districts had enlisted. Of these, 118 lost their lives. Of those who returned, many had suffered terrible wounds and faced a lifetime of ill health and suffering.  Hence, it was extremely important to the community that a fitting and very special memorial be created.

On December 18, 1918, five weeks after the end of the War, the Central Alberta local of the Great War Veterans Association (forerunner of the Royal Canadian Legion) organized a large public meeting to discuss the creation of such a memorial.  Three proposals were initially made. The first was to construct a pyramidal monument of river cobblestones in the centre of the City. The second was to construct a community hall and recreation facility next to City Hall. The third was to purchase the old Alexandra (Park) Hotel and turn it into a community centre.

After considerable discussion, a fourth proposal was adopted. It was decided to build a monument rather than a community centre.  However, at the suggestion of Lochlan MacLean, it was also decided that this monument be in the form of a statue of a soldier, mounted on a pedestal, rather than a cobblestone pyramid or obelisk.

Major Frank Norbury, an architectural sculptor at the University of Alberta and a veteran of the War, was commissioned to carve the statue. He came up with the concept of carving the Unknown Soldier as he was coming off active duty on the front line. He was to face west, toward home and peace. He was also to be positioned towards the C.P.R. station from which most of the soldiers had left Red Deer for the War.

This latter point was one of the greatest controversies about the Cenotaph. City Council and a few others wanted it in the centre of the City Square (now City Hall Park). However, the majority wanted it facing directly towards the station and in the middle of Ross Street, Red Deer’s busiest thoroughfare, so that it would be a constant reminder of the sacrifices of the War.

Meanwhile, fundraising for the project commenced, but proved quite a challenge. Post-war Red Deer faced one of the worst economic depressions in its history. However, despite the general shortage of money, by the following summer more than half of the $6200 needed had been raised.  Unfortunately, Red Deer City Council decided that given its financial situation, it could not contribute any money to the project. This decision reinforced the opinion of the Memorial Committee that Council’s wish to have the Cenotaph in the middle of the City Square should be ignored.

There were still a lot of hard feelings about that lack of official City participation. Eventually, City Council agreed to build a boulevard in the middle of Ross Street, west of 49 Avenue, as a site for the Cenotaph. A decision was also made to place street lights at either end of that boulevard to provide nighttime illumination of the spot.

There was another debate regarding the proper means of recording the names of those killed in the War. Some wanted tablets placed on the pedestal. However, the Memorial Committee was worried about having a complete and accurate list. Finally, it was agreed to have two scrolls prepared, one with the names of those who had served and one with the names of those who had lost their lives. Both scrolls were put into a copper tube and placed in a cavity in the pedestal.

On September 15, 1922, the Cenotaph was officially unveiled. To the delight of the community, Governor General Lord Byng of Vimy agreed to come and do the honours. Lord Byng was a hero of one of Canada’s most significant military victories, the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Vimy was also a victory that had also come with very heavy loss of life, both locally and nationally.

At the time of the official unveiling, it was reported that the Cenotaph was the first sculpture war memorial in Alberta. Once the official dedication was completed, the monument was placed into trust with the City on behalf of those who had contributed to its creation.

The Cenotaph was rededicated in 1949 to include remembrance of those who served and lost their lives in the Second World War. A plaque signifying that designation was added to the pedestal. After the completion of the new City Hall Park and the Memorial Centre in the early 1950’s. there was a push to relocate the Cenotaph from its location on Ross Street to either the centre of City Hall Park or a new site in front of the Memorial Centre. However, a plebiscite was held in 1953 in which the citizens of Red Deer voted to keep the Cenotaph were it was.

Another plaque was added in 1988 in memory of those who served and died in the Korean Conflict. At the same time, through the efforts of some dedicated members of the public, special lighting was added to ensure that the Cenotaph was highly visible at night.

There were new proposals in the 1990’s to relocate the Cenotaph to City Hall Park. However, Charlie Mac Lean, son of Lochlan MacLean and one of the last surviving people to have actually built the Cenotaph, offered the opinion that he did not think that the monument could be safely relocated.

In 2006, the Cenotaph was extensively cleaned and repaired. City Council then successfully applied to have the Cenotaph designated as a Provincial Historic Site. In 2010-2011, a beautiful Veterans’ Park was created around the Cenotaph, to enhance it and to make it more accessible to the public.  Moreover, eight interpretive panels were created to let people know the full significance of Red Deer’s official war memorial. They give the stories of those who served in the Boer War, First World War, Second World War, Korean Conflict, the Afghanistan War and all the peace-keeping and peace-making missions in which Canadians have been involved.

Lest We Forget.

Michael Dawe

Here are some other local history stories you might enjoy

The Battle of Vimy Ridge Described by Michael Dawe

Armistice Day 11/11/1918 from a Red Deer perspective in pictures and story

 

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december, 2022

thu08dec5:30 pm7:30 pmPregnancy & Loss Support Group - Zoom Session5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

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