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Claude Lepalme and the RDSO’s “A Night at the Movies”

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  • I had the opportunity to chat over coffee with Claude Lapalme, Music Director of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra (RDSO). I learned that he is as engaging in person as when he appears on stage.

    For now, I will share three thoughts:

    1. This is his 29th season with the RSDO. He came to Red Deer with his wife, a cellist, and both have enjoyed our wonderful community for its many benefits. Another attraction is its proximity to Calgary and Edmonton where both are involved in the symphony scene. Immediately prior to Claude’s arrival, he had spent time studying in Toronto and the Netherlands.

    2. When I asked him what had changed in his time here, he said, “There have been lots of changes over the years. The RDSO performed four concerts in 1990 while now we do seven. We have also expanded our educational offerings and community concerts and we have begun to do a bit of touring. We have visited Camrose on several occasions as well as other small centres. The personnel of the orchestra has changed and, as it changes, the product becomes a little bit more refined and more current ways of playing are being exemplified. There are different schools of performance; different conservatories teach different things. Since we deal a lot with older music, there are different ways of approaching different styles so it varies over time. As more scholarship is shared by professors and musicologists, the players will apprehend this knowledge and start to apply it. As an orchestra gets younger (older members retiring), new ideas come with this change of the guard.”

    3. In response to a query as to the educational aspect of the RDSO, Claude said, “We had been visiting schools but stepped away for a period of time. We will now be doing this again but with a twist – the students will come to the symphony orchestra. Every year, twenty schools get to choose two songs they’ve learned in their elementary school choir programs (Grades 3 – 5). I orchestrate the pieces for a small orchestra of 12 or 13 people. We do four performances, two on a Monday and two more on a following Monday. We call it Choir Kids and they get to perform with us. We’ve been doing this since 1999. Last year I met someone who did the program in her Grade 6 year who introduced me to her child in Grade 3. That was quite moving for me.”

    My wife and I will be attending our second-ever performance of the RDSO (A Night at the Movies) on Saturday, March 23 at the Red Deer Memorial Centre. Show time is 8:00 p.m. A call to the Black Knight Ticket Centre informed me there are only 50 tickets left.


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    Branded Content

    Todayville Top 5 features five facts about favourite fooderie… Earls

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  • Todayville Top 5 is a sponsored segment produced by Jock Mackenzie (learn more about Jock below).   In this feature we learn (you guessed it) 5 things about some really cool aspects of Red Deer that make this city, our home.

    If our very first segment, Jock features a staple in Red Deer’s dining scene since it opened in … well let’s leave that up to Jock.  Welcome to the Todayville Top 5 with Jock Mackenzie.

    Todayville Top 5 Featuring Earls Restaurant

    1 Heritage

    Earls in Red Deer was the seventh-ever Earls in existence. Bill and Rhonda Olafson purchased the franchise and opened the current restaurant in 1984. Chef at the time, Andrew Lam, is still involved. Over the years, additions to the west and north have been added as has the covered, heated patio. The patio is unparalleled by other outdoor dining facilities for comfort and its Hawaii-like greenery. Today there are over 70 Earls restaurants across Canada and the United States. The founder, Leroy Earl “Bus” Fuller, brought A & W to Canada and is also the founder of the Fuller’s and Corkscrew restaurant chains. 

    2 Community Support

    Giving back to the community is a cornerstone of the Earls Red Deer philosophy. Those in need come first: rebuilding the youth camp at Camp Alexo, the Youth and Volunteer Centre, support for the Women’s Shelter at their annual gala, title sponsorship for the last six years at Rotary’s Black Tie Bingo, a 5-year ongoing plan to support the new Child Advocacy Centre, wine and wine service at the preview dinner for the Festival of Trees since the Festival’s inception . . . and many more.

    3 People

    With over 80 people on staff, Earls has provided employment for high school and college students over its 35 year history. The Earls philosophy, the practical skill set, and menu knowledge make up the intensive training each support staff and server undergo. Consistency is a hallmark. Numerous staff members have made life careers at Earls–and that’s one reason why you can count on a great meal every time. 

    4 Menu

    Fresh ingredients are key! The kitchen deals with “just in time” orders so that produce and proteins (delivered three times per week) come fresh to each table. The menu is becoming more and more inclusive–it meets an ever-increasing variety of dietary needs: numerous gluten free and plant-based options are available.             

    5 Interesting tidbits

    Beer? Earls brews its own Rhino beers (pale ale, lager and a seasonal beer) in Surrey, BC at Central City Brewery. There are also local products from Troubled Monk, Blindman and Snake Lake as well as a wide variety of domestic beer.

    Four Earls “Test Kitchen” chefs travel the world looking for new ingredients and dishes. A “Test Kitchen” in Vancouver will roll out a new dish and tailor it to an appropriate market in the 70 locations across North America–the furthest away is Miami. 

    Want to know more?  Click to go to https://earls.ca/locations/red-deer 

     

    Todayville Top 5 features the freelance writings of Jock Mackenzie.

    Jock is an original Red Deerian!  Educated at Lindsay Thurber and Red Deer College (with a stint at the U of A), he became an educator himself, spending 31 years with the Red Deer Public school system.

    It’s safe to say Jock knows Red Deer about as well as anyone (OK.. maybe not Michael Dawe).   As a confirmed life-long learner, Jock never tires of getting to know his surroundings even better.  That’s where the Todayville Top 5 comes in.  In each feature, Jock shares a few ingredients that go into the mix that makes this delicacy called Red Deer the place we want to call home.  As a well organized person who knows you’re busy, he’s choosing just 5 juicy tidbits to share each time.

    If you’d like to be featured by Jock Mackenzie on the Todayville Top 5, just contact us at info@todayville.com.

     


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    Celebrity Dance Off

    Celebrity Dance Off’s first “trio” takes the trophy

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  • It was a remarkable evening at the Cambridge Red Deer Hotel and Conference Centre Saturday as 8 celebrity dancers and their professional partners lit up the crowd and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Friends of the Red Deer Regional Hospital.

    Of all the amazing performances, one in particular managed to edge out the competition.  Vanessa Higgins-Nogareda discovered she was pregnant shortly after she agreed to participate in this year’s dance off.  Together with her professional partner Leo Sato, they decided to go ahead.  You have to see the results to believe it… Fortunately we have the official video right here for you.


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