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My European Favourites – Canada in WWI Belgium

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My European Favourites – Canada in WWI Belgium

We have conducted many tours to Europe since 1994, and many people we meet are very grateful for the role and sacrifice Canadians made in both World Wars. This is especially true in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Canada has a proud history of stepping up and bravely serving to preserve peace and freedom; this is especially true during the First World War. When Britain went to war in 1914, members of the British Empire, including Canada, automatically entered the war. Canadian troops were at the forefront of many of the greatest battles, endured heavy casualties, and often persevered to overcome the enemy in seemingly impossible conditions. Over 650,000 men and women from our country served in uniform during the Great War, and it is said that Canada became a nation during the First World War. The Ypres Salient in western Belgium was the site of many of WWI’s deadliest battles, and it is the focal point of our sobering tour of Canada in WWI.

Bruges Veterans parade on Nov. 11, a canal cruise and colorful buildings on Market square.

Bruges

Bruges, the capital of West Flanders with just over 100,000 residents, is the starting point for our tour. Bruges is known for its historic city centre, medieval buildings, cobblestone streets, and canals. From the 12th to the 15th century, Bruges’ location, on a waterway called the “Golden Inlet,” made it a perfect location for merchants, and soon it became a member of the Hanseatic League which controlled trade from the Baltic and North Seas. This access to the English Channel became of paramount importance during WWI. A couple of years ago, we were lucky enough to be in Bruges on the November 11th Armistice Day, and we saw a Veterans parade make its way through the market square.

The Passchendaele Canadian Memorial with wreaths and photos placed on Armistice Day.

Passchendaele Canadian Memorial

Only forty kilometers from Bruges is the Canadian War memorial at Passchendaele. Fought from July 31 to November 10, 1917, the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was fought to gain control of Belgium’s important channel ports. The Ypres Salient was the last portion of Belgium that was not under control of the Germans, and after three years of fierce fighting, allied forces from Britain, Australia and New Zealand were deadlocked with the Germans. The area was flat and was kept dry only by a drainage system of dykes and ditches; however three years of fighting had destroyed much of the drainage infrastructure. With no drainage and heavy rains in the fall of 1917, the numerous shell craters filled with water, and the battlefield became a muddy bog strewn with fallen trees, metal shell remnants and dead soldiers.

In mid-October, and after their April success at Vimy Ridge in France, four divisions of the Canadian forces arrived at Passchendaele to relieve the Allies. The 20,000 Canadians were brought in to assist in the final push to capture the ridge and were shocked at the horrible conditions. Under commander Sir Arthur Currie, the Canadian forces immediately began preparations, and with a late October offensive assisted by two British divisions, they eventually captured the ridge on the 6th of November. When the fighting ended four days later, Canadians had 16,000 casualties with 4000 killed and an approximately 12,000 wounded.

Unfortunately, the effort did not do much to help the Allied effort and the battle became synonymous with the senseless loss of life in the First World War. In total, the British forces suffered an estimated 275,000 casualties, while the Germans had 220,00 in just this one battle.

The Passchendaele Canadian Memorial is located at the site of the Crest Farm where some of the fiercest fighting during the battle took place. The monument’s location is surrounded by a grove of maple trees overlooking the Ravebeek valley. At the centre of the memorial, there is a huge block of octagonal granite with carved ornamental maple leaves and the following text:

THE CANADIAN CORPS IN OCT.- NOV. 1917 ADVANCED ACROSS THIS VALLEY – THEN A TREACHEROUS MORASS – CAPTURED AND HELD THE PASSCHENDAELE RIDGE

A nearby plaque explains the historic significance of the site for Canadians. The remarkable efforts of these brave Canadians in unbelievably bad conditions should never be forgotten. Nine exceptional Canadians earned the highest award for military valour, the Victoria Cross, for their bravery at Passchendaele.

The “Brooding Soldier” of the St. Julien Canadian Monument

St. Julien Canadian Memorial

Only a few kilometers from the Passchendaele Canadian Memorial, on the main road from Bruges to Ypres, we find one of Canada’s most striking memorials near the village of Saint-Julien, Langemark-Poelkapelle. The towering St. Julien Canadian Memorial is visible well before arriving at the site. It commemorates those who perished from the First Canadian Infantry Division during the Second Battle of Ypres. On April 22, 1915, the Germans unleashed the first poison gas attacks of the First World War using chlorine gas cylinders. In the face of chemical warfare for 48 hours, the Canadians held the line and prevented a German breakthrough until reinforcements arrived. During those 48 hours, the 18,000 strong First Canadian Infantry Division suffered over 6,000 casualties, of which 2,000 were killed.

During the war, the location of the memorial was known as Vancouver corner. The monument’s eleven meter tall granite column is topped with the upper torso of a “Brooding Soldier.” The soldier’s helmeted head is bowed and his arms folded on the butt end of his, reversed and down-turned, rifle. The sentinel’s striking pose is a gesture of mourning and respect for the fallen. His bowed head faces the direction from which the gas attack came.

The monument sits on a circular terrace surrounded by conifer trees and juniper bushes brought here from Canada. Some of the garden soil was brought from different parts of Canada to acknowledge that members from throughout the country served valiantly on this ground. A plaque on the side of the monument reads:

THIS COLUMN MARKS THE BATTLEFIELD WHERE 18,000 CANADIANS ON THE BRITISH LEFT WITHSTOOD THE FIRST GERMAN GAS ATTACKS THE 22-24 APRIL 1915. 2000 FELL AND LIE BURIED NEARBY

The Brooding Soldier is one of the most impactful war memorials I have seen in Europe. The designer of the memorial was able to effectively transfer the emotions of the soldier to the visitor. I have seen more than one tear shed at the memorial on our tours as people reflected on the horror that must have gripped each Canadian soldier as he was faced with deadly chemical warfare.

Before leaving, take a moment to read the plaque across the street for Lieutenant Edward Donald Bellew, who became the first Canadian officer to be awarded the Victoria Cross for his acts of bravery during the gas attack on 24 April, 1915.

Panoramic view of the Tyne Cot Cemetery.

Tyne Cot Cemetery

Only minutes from the St. Julien Canadian Monument, we reach the Tyne Cot Cemetery. Tyne Cot is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world with the remains of 11,961 Commonwealth soldiers from the First World War. The cemetery commenced in October 1917 with over 300 graves marked by wooden crosses. After the war, the crosses were replaced by headstones and the cemetery was enlarged by concentrating graves from other nearby battlefields and cemeteries. About 70% of the headstones are for unknown soldiers who could not be identified and may be listed on the Memorial Wall.

Tyne Cot Memorial, Canadian headstones and a British police group laying a wreath.

A curve shaped Memorial Wall, located at the rear of the cemetery, displays names of 34,991 men with no known grave who died on August 16th, 1917 and onwards. Their names on the wall panels are arranged by regiment and rank. Those who died previous to August 16th are engraved on the Menin Gate in Ypres.

The cemetery site overlooks the surrounding area, and as such, was strategically important. You can still see remains of German pill boxes on the cemetery grounds, and a centrally placed “Cross of Sacrifice” was built on top of one of the pill boxes.

Grave of Victoria Cross recipient Private Robertson, rows of headstones, and poppy wreaths.

There are 966 Canadian soldiers buried at Tyne Cot including Private James Peter Robertson (1883-1917), who was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery. Private Robertson was born in Pictou County, Nova Scotia but lived the majority of his life in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Many Canadians stopping at the cemetery will search out his headstone in particular.

Walking past the row upon row of gravestones and seeing all the names on the Memorial is overwhelming, sobering and humbling. Even more moving to think that the over 40,000 that are buried or listed on the wall at Tyne Cot are only a fraction of the over 250,000 Allied casualties at the battles of Ypres.

Wreaths laid for Armistice Day, the cemetery and the bunkers.

Essex Farm Cemetery

Just down the road, we stop at a much smaller cemetery than Tyne Cot, but it’s one with great significance for Canadians. As a school child, Remembrance Day meant reading the poem “In Flanders Fields” by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae and drawing images of the Flanders Fields he describes with crosses and poppies. In fact, I can’t think of a Remebrance Day when I haven’t heard or read the poem. It’s a poem that has become a symbol of Canadian valour and our national identity.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

John McCrae, from Guelph, Ontario, worked at various hospitals as a physician and was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. He served as a Canadian Contingent soldier in the South African Boer War from 1899-1900 and reenlisted after the start of World War I.

He worked at a Field Dressing Station for 17 days during the Second Battle of Ypres starting in late April, 1915. Here, he tirelessly and in terrible conditions, tended to the sick and wounded. On May 3, 1915 after the death of close friend Lt. Alexis Helmer and his subsequent burial amongst the poppies, he wrote the famous poem. The poem was later published in a British magazine and its popularity led to the poppy being adopted as the symbol of remembrance for not only Canadian but for British and Commonwealth fallen soldiers.

Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae was, later that year, transferred to a hospital in Boulogne, France, where he worked until his death from pneumonia on January of 1918.

At the Essex Farm Cemetery, we can enter the bunkers that were used as a dressing station during the war. There is also a Canadian government plaque in honour of John McCrae which includes the text of the famous poem. There are 1,206 servicemen buried in the cemetery, and one of the most visited is the grave of 15 year old British Rifleman Valentine Joe Strudwick. Even though the official age of army recruits was 19, some young men lied about their age when they enlisted. Just before his 15th birthday on February 14, 1915, he enlisted in the 8Th Battalion Rifle Brigade and was killed 11 months later on January 14, 1916.

The Menin Gate, the Ypres War Victims Monument and the reconstructed Cloth Hall.

Ypres (Ieper in Dutch)

A short distance from the Essex Farm Cemetery is the town of Ypres that was flattened during the First World War. When we arrive to the city centre, we immediately see the large medieval Cloth Hall which dominates the Market Square. It was rebuilt after the war according to the original plans from 1304, and as the name implies, it originally served as the main market and warehouse for the local cloth industry. Today, the building houses the “In Flanders Fields Museum

‘ and information centre. The museum contains many objects and images from the battles in the West Flanders region and tells the story of the First World War in Belgium. If possible, I urge visitors to climb the 231 steps up the Cloth Hall’s belfry to get a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding battlefields.

The Menin Gate, located a short distance from the Cloth Hall, contains the names of almost 55,000 soldiers who died prior to August 16, 1917 and were never identified or found. When not all the names of missing soldiers could be placed on the gate, those who died after August 16, 1917 were placed on the Wall Memorial at the Tyne Cot Cemetery. There are 6,983 Canadians on the Menin Gate including three Victoria Cross recipients; Frederick Fisher, Frederick William Hall and Hugh McDonald McKenzie. Private John Smith of the 14th Battalion Canadian Infantry who died at just 15 years of age is also listed on the gate.

The gate is located on the spot where soldiers would leave the town to go fight on the frontline. A group of dedicated volunteers honour the soldiers’ who died in the three battles of the Ypres Salient between 1914 and 1918 with Last Post ceremony. No matter the weather, the ceremony has occurred every evening at 8 p.m. since 1928, except for a four year pause during WWII when the town was under German occupation. Police will stop traffic and a crowd will gather to hear the buglers sound the last post. The buglers are all members of the local volunteer fire department and wear their uniform during the ceremony. If you get the opportunity, please take in the very moving Last Post ceremony.

Poppies in Flanders fields.

Other Memorials in the Ypres Salient in Belgium

On our day tour, it is impossible to visit all the important battlefields and Canadian Monuments in the area. Other places you may want to visit include the Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood) Memorial, the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry Memorial, the Passchendaele New British Cemetery, and the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, but there are many others.

During this day trip from Bruges, it reinforced, to me, what it meant to be Canadian. I wish I could take every Canadian to West Flanders in Belgium, so that they can understand the bravery, heroism and sacrifice made by our finest generations who fought in two great wars.

I am very thankful that my generation has never had to endure the horrors of war and pray that our future generations do not as well.

Explore Europe With Us

Azorcan Global Sport, School and Sightseeing Tours have taken thousands to Europe on their custom group tours since 1994. Visit azorcan.net to see all our custom tour possibilities for your group of 26 or more. Individuals can join our “open” signature sport, sightseeing and sport fan tours including our popular Canada hockey fan tours to the World Juniors. At azorcan.net/media you can read our newsletters and listen to our podcasts.

Images compliments of Paul Almeida and Azorcan Tours.

Click to read more of Paul’s excellent series on Europe.

I have been in sports management and the sports tour business since 1994 when I created my company, Azorcan Global Sport, School and Sightseeing tours. Please visit our website at azorcan.net for more information on our company, our tours and our destinations. We are European group tour experts specializing in custom sightseeing tours, sport tours (hockey, soccer, ringette, school academies) and fan tours (World Juniors). Check out our newsletters, and listen to our podcasts at azorcan.net/media.

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My European Favourites – Day Trip From Amsterdam

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The Netherlands is a great place to visit either as a main destination or as a stopover for a couple of days. I have always enjoyed flying KLM and use them often for our many groups travelling throughout Europe. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is an east hub to fly into from North America, and I like the airport layout over other big and busy European airports.

Amsterdam itself has many interesting places to visit and explore. The city is full of history, great architecture, canals, bridges, museums, great shopping, cyclists, interesting cafes, the Anne Frank House, the Heineken Brewery, and yes, the notorious red light district. Not many people venture outside the city during a stopover, but one of our favourite day trips is from Amsterdam. We always try to do it on a Wednesday, so we catch the Edam cheese market show.

De Huisman Windmill exterior and interior grinding spices. Clog machine at work and the final products.

Zaanse Schans

Our twenty minute early morning trip to Zaandam starts after a good breakfast at our centrally located hotel in Amsterdam. On the way, you can enjoy the beautiful Dutch countryside including dikes and plots of land reclaimed from the water, called polders. Starting in the late 16th century, the Zaandam and the Zaan river area were important wood milling regions during the “Dutch Golden Age” with thousands of saw windmills. In the 19th century, the area became a leader of the “Industrial Age” in the Netherlands.

Starting in 1961, the Zaanse Schans was turned into an open air museum with windmills and buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Various wooden houses, barns, shops, warehouses and windmills were transported here starting in 1961. The buildings along with traditional farmsteads, paths, ditches and fields depict how village life was like during that prosperous time.

When we arrive at the Zaanse Schans parking lot, you will undoubtably smell chocolate from the nearby cacao processing factories. Entrance to the Zaansee Schans is free, but some of the workshops and windmills located throughout the grounds are museums and require an entrance fee. You can purchase a ticket to have access to all the museums.

One of the first buildings you will see on arrival is the Kooijman Souvenirs & Clogs Wooden Shoe Workshop. Here you can see a wooden clog machine demonstration. Afterwards, wander throughout the site checking out the bakery, fisherman’s house, weavers house, clock house, merchant house, cheese house, pewter house, pancake house and see how vats and barrels are made at the cooperage. With a little breeze, you can see the sails of the windmills slowly turning while the inner workings churn away. The windmills saw wood or mill oil, flower, spices or pigments to dye cloth. Some windmills allow visitors to climb up to the deck via narrow stairs for a nice view of the river and the area.

The Zaans Museum, located by the parking area, opened in 1998, and contains clothing and artifacts from the area. At its Verkade Experience you can see original chocolate and biscuit factory machines from the early 20th century at work. The museum also has a café and shop.

Traditional houses that are now workshops and museums. Like the Catharina Hoeve Cheese House.

Edam

Another short 20 minute drive, and we reach Edam, which is famous for its cheese market that started in1520. Edam cheese is round with a flattened top and bottom and is coated with a red paraffin wax which allowed it to age well and not spoil on long voyages. Its unique taste plus the lack of spoilage made it extremely attractive for exporting throughout the world. The market was closed in 1922 when cheese began to be made in factories rather than by local farms.

At the original market, farmers would bring their cheese using horse drawn cart or by boat. Once they arrived, the cheese carriers, who wore different colored hats depending on which cheese guild they belonged to, would load the product onto wooden barrows. Once the barrow was loaded, the carriers placed carry straps over their shoulders and walked the precious cargo to the cheese tasters. The tasters would drill a core sample from the cheese and based on the exterior wax, smell, taste and other factors began to bargain the price with the seller using a series of shouts and hand claps. When the price was settled the cheese was taken to the weighing house to determine the final amount to be paid.

Every Wednesday in the summer from 10:30 to 12:30, the town re-enacts the hustle, and bustle of the market at the Jan van Nieuwenhuizen Square. The colorful market includes many family members, including children, wearing traditional costumes, dresses and clogs plus kiosks selling cheese. Throughout the performance, horse carts and boats arrive, cheese carriers scurry at a comical pace and bargain shouts and hand slaps can be heard. So visitors understand everything that is happening, there is a person on a microphone explaining the entire process. It’s quite interesting and fun to witness.

The Edam cheese market square, unloading the boats, cheese carriers and girls in traditional costumes.

Smoked Eels

Next, we will travel from Edam to the seaside fishing village of Volendam to visit a local smokehouse that was founded in 1856.  Smoked eels at one time were an important staple food in the Netherlands but recently a drop in the eel population and the resulting price increase has made it a delicacy. Today, the 5th and 6th generations of the Smits’ family keep their family’s secret fish smoking process and traditions alive. The smoked eel is their specialty and during the eel fishing season the entire family is involved in the cutting, gouging, skinning, digging and filleting of the eels. The Paviljoen Smit-Bokkum offers private tours of the smokehouse to introduce people to the traditional eel fishing, processing and smoking activities. In addition to eel, they smoke salmon, dorado and sea bass using pine wood. The eel is delicious and at their restaurant you can try various local dishes. The location also has a shop and a small Palingsound (eel sound) Museum dedicated to Volendam’s unique and famous pop music.

The Paviljoen Smit-Bokkum, our guide with smoked eels, smoked fish and a fish display in Volendam.

Volendam

Volendam, once a simple catholic fishing village, is now Holland’s best-known seaside town and is visited by millions annually. The Volendam Catholic fishermen had their own typical costumes and dialect. The town’s boardwalk, once home to fishermen’s wooden shacks, is now adorned with colorful wooden houses, tourist shops, cafes and restaurants. As you walk through the town and its shops, you will see locals wearing the traditional clothing. If you explore the village’s narrow lanes in the old neighborhoods, you can still see some of the old fishermens’ houses.

There used to be hundreds of vessels at one time when Volendam’s fishing fleet had access to the North Sea, but after closing its access, the harbour contains only a few fishing vessels doing fresh water fishing on Markermeer lake. Nowadays, leisure boats and the ferries that go to the nearby island of Marken occupy the majority of the harbour space.

Some restaurants offer tasty local seafood dishes and cool drinks on patios overlooking the harbour. For a quick lunch, food stands and take away restaurants sell kibbeling (battered and fried fish nuggets), herring, shrimp and of course smoked eel.

A visit to the Volendams Museum provides an interesting look into the town’s history, costumes, traditions and art. If you have time, you may consider taking the Volendam Marken Express boat to Marken.

Volendam’s boardwalk with shops and restaurants. The harbour area with leisure and ferry boats.

Cheese Farm

On the way back to Amsterdam, and a short distance from Volendam, we will stop at the Henri Willig Jacob’s Hoeve cheese farm. The staff wear traditional clothing, and they give a short introduction and demonstration of the cheese making process. The number of cow goat and sheep cheese varieties is quite overwhelming but very interesting to sample. Some flavours you might encounter include truffle, cumin, pesto, red chili pepper, coconut, pepper, rosemary and garlic. They are all for sale in various sizes along with other Dutch souvenirs and foods. You can also see the cows in their new stable especially designed for the organic farm’s herd of Jerseys.

Henri Willig Jacob’s Hoeve entrance, the cheese making demonstration and the many cheeses for sale.

It is only twenty minutes back to Amsterdam and as you enjoy the countryside you can decide on what great restaurant you will go to tonight. I think an authentic Indonesian “rijsttafel” or rice table would be a great way to end the day. The rice table was brought back to the Netherlands from the Dutch East Indies where it was created by the Dutch as a festive way to showcase their colony’s diverse and multi-ethnic Indonesian cuisine. The rice is accompanied by a multitude of small meat, vegetarian and condiment dishes that may include spring rolls, satay meat skewers, curries, fish, boiled eggs, spicy sauces, peanut sauces, vegetables, and fried bananas. It is great for sampling different tastes and for sharing. You can find Indonesian fast food and restaurants throughout Amsterdam, but a place like Tujuh Maret or Ron Gastrobar Indonesia offering a rice table is definitely something you should experience.

Explore Europe With Us

Azorcan Global Sport, School and Sightseeing Tours have taken thousands to Europe on their custom group tours since 1994. Visit azorcan.net to see all our custom tour possibilities for your group of 26 or more. Individuals can join our “open” signature sport, sightseeing and sport fan tours including our popular Canada hockey fan tours to the World Juniors. At azorcan.net/media you can read our newsletters and listen to our podcasts.

Images compliments of Paul Almeida and Azorcan Tours. This article was original published in March 2021. 

My European Favourites – One Day In The Bavarian Alps

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Alberta

Flames and Oilers Battle of Alberta brings in a Million dollars for the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre

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News Release from the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre

Records Broken for the CACAC Battle of Alberta

The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre held their signature event: The Battle of Alberta for the second time this past Tuesday and Wednesday after being postponed for a year, grossing over $1M!

The CACAC Battle of Alberta Charity Golf Tournament is a two-day event presented by the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. The two notorious rivals come together with one goal in mind – helping our children by bringing together both alumni and current players to battle it out on the green!

“The past 18 months have been extremely challenging and have certainly brought Mental Health even more to the forefront than it had already become before COVID. The fact that the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is in the Mental Health sector it is fitting that we are having one of the first events post COVID.”Terry Loewen, Board Chair, CACAC

The first night of the BOA includes a celebrity auction hosted at the Cambridge Hotel & Conference Centre, and this year records broke with highest bid for the top two players: Kelly Buchberger and Theoren Fleury. Twenty-eight other Oilers & Flames joined in to cap-off the 30 team roster, including: Lanny MacDonald, Louie Debrusk, Kris Russell, Glenn Anderson, and Mike Vernon. The Luau-themed event also included exclusive hot-stoves with Brian Burke, and was co-hosted by Danny Hooper and Ron Maclean.

“The Calgary Flames and the Calgary Flames Alumni are always so grateful for the support we receive from our fans in Central Alberta. We consider Red Deer our home that we happily share with our rivals in Edmonton during this important fundraising event in support of the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre. Congratulations to Terry Loewen and his hard-working committee on another extremely successful Battle of Alberta Golf Tournament. And a special thank you to Flames alumnus Sheldon Kennedy for his leadership in changing the way Alberta responds to child abuse. This new facility in Red Deer will ensure every child’s needs are met, and they are supported in the most child-friendly way.”

– Rollie Cyr, Executive Vice-President, Calgary Flames

The golf tournament was hosted at the beautiful Red Deer Golf and Country Club, where the 30 teams teed off with their celebrity players and caddies. Every hole was sponsored by local community organizations and included activities, draws, food and beverages, along with stories of the old days by alumnus and talks about the upcoming season with the current players.

“It was truly incredible to see the community come together for the Battle of Alberta Golf Tournament in support of the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Center (CACAC) in Red Deer. What the CACAC is doing to help children and families in central Alberta is remarkable, and they’re making a difference for so many children in need of support. The entire Oilers Entertainment Group and Oilers Alumni are proud to support central Alberta and the CACAC, and you can bet we’re already looking forward to the tournament in 2023.” –Bob Nicholson, Chairman, Edmonton Oilers

The event concluded with the After Party back at the Cambridge where another two hot-stoves took place, along with a record-shattering live auction and newly added virtual silent auction.

“To say we’re blown away by the generosity and support at the child advocacy centre is an understatement. As an organization, we could not have had three better events over the two days to celebrate the work we do for children. At the end of the day, we’re trying to make a difference for children and families in Central Alberta. What we witnessed at this event is what happens when a whole group of difference makers come together for the good of a community. A heartfelt thanks to the many people who helped make the Battle of Alberta tournament a success.”

– Mark Jones, CEO, CACAC

Another new stand out addition to the Battle of Alberta was the donation of two custom trucks to the Live Auction! A fully custom, one-of-a-kind Calgary Flames truck and Edmonton Oilers truck, both valued over $90,000 were given to the CACAC to auction off.

Dan Wiebe of Integrity Group of Companies heard about the work that the CACAC was doing and wanted to be involved. Dan enlisted the help of friend Brad Rempel of Alberta Boys Custom to customize an Edmonton Oilers truck specially for the BOA Live Auction!

After the donation of the Oilers truck, a few of our supporters wanted to ensure the “C of Red” was represented! Together, Rob McWilliams of McWilliam Auto Appraisals, Garrett Scott of Kipp Scott GMC, TNT Customs, and Dave Appleby of Vibe Audio came together to create their very own exclusive Calgary Flames Truck for the 2021 Battle of Alberta Live Auction. Both trucks were auctioned off Wednesday night with 100% of the proceeds going to the CACAC.

The CACAC is overwhelmed with the success of the event – and the support of the community. Final numbers are still coming in with net proceeds to be calculated in the coming weeks, but the CACAC is proud to say that over $1,000,000 gross was raised in two nights with a small but mighty group of people. Not only was money raised for the CACAC, going towards specific projects like the upcoming building project, but awareness was raised; conversations were had, and everyone stood up to be a voice for the children in our community who need it most.

The CACAC would like to thank every single donor, participant and volunteer who had a part in the 2021 Battle of Alberta.

“I want to thank all of you for your participation and sponsorships. I’m not sure if people fully realize the magnitude of their impact; the lives they change or lives they have saved by supporting this organization! You are all champions of the CACAC – thank you! – Terry Loewen, Board Chair, CACAC 

The CACAC would like to recognize the following donors with special thanks to the committee and volunteers (Listed in randomized order):

Presenting, Major & Event Sponsors:

Edmonton Oilers | Calgary Flames | Integrity Group of Companies | D.J. Will Holdings | Alberta Boys Custom | McWilliam Auto Appraisals | Cambridge Hotel & Conference Centre | Eagle Builders | Kipp Scott GMC Cadillac Buick | Vibe Audio | Blue Grass 

Sponsors:

HPC High Performance Coatings, Flo-Pro Performance Exhaust, Waschuk Pipeline, MNP,  GSC Energy Services,  Electric Horsepower,  Scotia Wealth Management: Keylock Group, Gallagher Insurance, White Swan Environmental Ltd., ATB,  Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, Scotia Wealth Management: Calgary, Marshall Construction Company, Cody Snyder Bullbustin’, Earth Smart, Precede Occupational Health Services, Q2 ALS, Blackfalds Bulldogs,  Red Deer Motors, Phone Experts,  Jedco, Glover Trucks, The Liquor Hutch,  Fourlane Ford, Ing + McKee Insurance, Bill Hull, Canadian Western Bank, Rogers Insurance, Cilantro & Chive, Tiffany’s Steakhouse, Shek Crane, Mal’s Diner, Chiefs, Molson Beer, Earls, Bo’s Bar and Grill, Culligan Water, Red Deer Golf & Country Club, Cooperators, Deerfoot Inn & Casino, TRC Auctions, Riverview Insurance, Abbey Platinum Master Built, Four Star Drywall, Pivotal LLP, Care Industries, Servus Credit Union, ViTreo, Melcor, Tar-ific Construction, Red Deer Discount Golf, The Coverall Shop, P.J.M. Home Advantage, Alberta Parking Lot Services, Adrenaline Exotics, General Appliances, Parkland Funeral Homes ,BJ Bobcat Trucking Ltd., Aesthetic Solutions, Apollo Landscaping Compass Geomatics, Big 105 & Rewind Radio, Gasoline Alley Harley-Davidson, Al Sim Remax, League Projects, The Zukiwsky Group, True Spirits Mobile Bar, Ten02, Willson Audio Visual, Ash Maclean Photography, Danny Hooper Productions, Prospector Visual,  Haywork Secure Driving Services/Douglas Workman, Central Alberta Tile One, Duane Sokalski, Theoren Fleury, Grant Fuhr, Reid & Wright Advertising, Andrew Hutchins, Calgary Flames Foundation, Toast of the Town, Todayville, Trevor Roszell, Nucleus Energy Services, John Macphail, Kelly Hallgren, Laebon Homes, Johnston Ming Manning, Printing Place, Red Deer Rebels, Safari Spa & Salon, Flames TV, Oilers TV, SN960, OilersNOW, Rivertown, Chainsaw Spirit plus our incredible Silent Auction sponsors (check them out here!)

 

Please visit centralalbertacac.ca to learn more about the community support services the CACAC offers. Collectively, we can end child abuse.

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