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Downtown Business Spotlight: CanWest Travel Company

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5 minute read

For this week’s Business Spotlight, we stopped into CanWest Travel Company. Located at 5018 50 St (Ross Street), CanWest Travel Company has been part of downtown for over 24 years! We sat down with, managing partner, Joanne Walokoff, to learn more.

 

What is your business?

CanWest Travel, a retail business agency.

When did you open?

1996.

What would you say makes your business unique?

We’re the only one downtown, I believe. We serve all of Central Alberta. We used to have a location in the south as well. We specialize in African travel, and we custom design any trip that people want—whereas other traditional travel agencies will sell packages that are already put together. But we love to customize plans for people, make it their own.

What are some products/services that you offer?

We are full retail, so we sell airline tickets, do hotel bookings, all-inclusive packages, cruises, coach tours, expeditions tours, expedition cruises, lots of niche products like polar bear adventures—that sort of thing. That is what full service is, I guess.

Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?

Well my brother and I are partners here, and we are from Red Deer, so we just wanted to be in the center, in the heart. This is our third location in Red Deer, but we’ve always had a location downtown and we just love the people that are down here and want to see it thrive.

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?

I think it’s the mix of people, and the mix of businesses—people coming for lots of different reasons; for hair, for groceries, for travel, for banking… lots of different services, shopping, dining. It just has a lot to offer and City Hall Park is a beautiful place to hang out, have some lunch. Ross Street Patio is always fun, the market is great. People are coming down if its once a week or once a month, there is still something to draw them to the heart of Red Deer.

I love Downtown Red Deer because… it is home for us. We don’t live downtown but we work downtown, and the majority of our time is here, and it’s been successful for us. And we do enjoy the diversity of people. We see a lot of the people from C.A.R.E. go by and have served a lot of them. We collect clothes and housewares for new immigrants and refugees in our basement, and we have volunteers at TGSL. We get a lot of those people that come in that we meet and welcome them, so they have a comfortable place in town. I just love a lot of things about it, even some of the street people are so awesome, it just makes it more unique. Lots of people are scared to come downtown and I am so shocked by that, really, people are harmless. So, I love downtown because it’s our home, and we’ve made it our home. It’s not big and concrete either, like downtown Edmonton. It’s big and busy—I like that it’s small and more cozy, intimate. And lots of small businesses, which is nice. If you look across the street you can see four other businesses.

 

Be sure to check out CanWest Travel Company for your next vacation! You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Website: https://canwest.travel/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanWestTravel/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/canwesttravelcompany/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/canwesttravel

We serve approximately 500 businesses and property owners in Downtown Red Deer, Alberta. Our Mission is to build an engaged Downtown community, develop a Downtown brand and enhance the Downtown experience.

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Former student lovingly remembered by classmates

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From Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools

A former Father Henri Voisin School student, Julie Burke, was lovingly remembered today through an outdoor blessing and dedication ceremony.

The Julie Burke Memorial Bench was unveiled to the Father Henri Voisin School community and blessed by Father Jan. Julie’s family, division senior administration and Grade 5 student leaders were in attendance in a socially distanced manner.

The memorial bench will be a friendship bench for students.

Julie’s former Grade 4 teacher, Jessica Maloughney, fondly remembers Julie as a girl who was full of kindness and bravery, despite her illness, and says that the bench will, “be a symbol of Julie’s love and bravery. Even though Julianna is no longer here with us, she lives on in all of our hearts. When a student is brave enough to sit on the bench, waiting for a friend – Julie will be there with them. When one of you sees someone sitting on this bench, and invites them to play – Julie will be with you too.”

Father Henri Voisin School Principal, Jeff Tuchscherer, added, “we feel extremely blessed and privileged to have been provided this bench by the Burke family. It will honour Julie’s memory and provide a powerful reminder of the value of friendship, as well as the importance of bravery. Present and future students will vastly benefit from this legacy of a child that lived her life with steadfast love in her heart for all.”

The Julie Burke Memorial Bench faces the school playground and will serve as a reminder to all the students at Father Henri Voisin School that nothing is more important than friendship and kindness, just like Julie believed.

Father Henri Voisin School serves over 385 Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 5 students in Red Deer. As a learning institution, Father Henri Voisin School is committed to serving students with a complete offering of learning opportunities delivered within the context of Catholic teachings.

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Great organization marking milestone anniversary

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Story by Amelia Schofield

Photo by Yolanda Genu:

Richelle Belzerowski, Executive Director, Friends of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, Kim Storey, Senior Operating Officer at the hospital and Tracy Reberger, Acute Care Manager, stand next to one of the isolation carts purchased in 2018 by the Friends. The carts store the personal protective equipment staff require on their rounds.

Friends of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre celebrate milestone

This month marks 40 years that the Friends of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre (RDRHC) have supported the facility to the tune of around $10 million raised to date toward patient comfort and care.
“We’re thrilled to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This is an important milestone, and speaks to the commitment and dedication of our staff, volunteers and board members,” says Richelle Belzerowski, executive director of the Friends.
Since 1980, the group has focused its efforts on fundraising for equipment, supplies and services to enhance care for patients and families.
Over the years, their contributions have ranged from purchasing televisions and tablets for patients to enjoy, comfort items for moms and dads suffering the loss of a child, and enhancements such as new hospital furniture, blanket warmers, blood pressure monitors and more.
“We’re so thankful to the Friends of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre for their long-time support of our hospital,” says Kimberly Storey, Senior Operating Officer, RDRHC.
“Their contributions over the past four decades, along with those of the groups before them, have had a tremendous impact on the care we provide our patients. We couldn’t be more grateful for their support, and look forward to our continued partnership for years to come.”
Tracy Reberger, Acute Care Manager for the Palliative Care and Oncology unit at RDRHC, has worked at the hospital for more than 25 years and has witnessed first-hand the difference these contributions make for patients.
According to Reberger, the Friends have supported the purchase of several pieces of equipment for her unit over the years. More recently, their donations funded new over-bed tables for each patient, specially-designed mattresses to prevent pressure wounds as well as bedside baskets to provide nurses with easy access to pulse oximeters, thermometers and blood monitors.
“Our patients are some of the sickest in the hospital, and are often facing the scariest time of their lives,” says Reberger.
“The contributions from the Friends help us provide them with the most comfortable stay we can, and go a long way to lifting the spirits of our patients.”
The Friends currently has more than 120 active volunteers who raise funds predominately through a gift and flower shop, and two cafes on-site at the hospital. They also participate in charitable gaming and hosting events like their recent Friends of the RDRHC Charity Garage Sale.
“We also want to thank the community for their ongoing support of the Friends. Our heart and soul is invested in improving the experience of patients, and supporting our hospital’s staff. It’s with their contributions that we’re able to fulfill that mission each and every day,” says Belzerowski.
The Friends’ roots reach all the way back to 1904 at the Red Deer Memorial Hospital, where they were then known as the Hospital Women’s Aid, truly a visionary group for its time. Later, their name changed to the Women’s Auxiliary to the Red Deer General Hospital, before eventually becoming the Friends of the RDRHC.
For more information on the Friends of the RDRHC and how to get involved, visit friendsoftherdrh.com or call Richelle Belzerowski at 403-343-4520.
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september, 2020

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