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Looking to start a new Christmas tradition? Ever considered winter camping?

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Enjoy a winter comfort camping retreat at Cypress Hills Provincial Park.

From the Province of Alberta

Cozy up to winter camping this holiday season

Picture this: winter camping under a star-filled sky, gathering around the glow of an open fire then nestling into a warm cabin.

The above scenario could be you, your friends and family through Alberta Parks’ heated comfort camping units complete with essential amenities such as beds, fridges, stoves and cutlery.

Situated within select provincial parks, comfort units are an ideal setting to relax in after an afternoon of hiking winter trails, cross-country skiing or ice-fishing.

“Winter is a great time to experience the full range of what our provincial parks have to offer and the holiday season offers many recreation and other opportunities in our provincial parks. With the right gear and a bit of planning, you and your family can enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience in your own backyard or explore an entirely new area of the province.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

Ready-made winter camping experiences aren’t Albertans’ only option; Alberta Parks also offers year-round, winter campground and backcountry camping for people who still want to tent or use their trailer or RV.

Winter campers take note: services are limited and will not include access to running water.

Whether you want to camp or just enjoy a day out in nature, provincial parks also support a wealth of winter recreation activities, including hiking, downhill and cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, skating and fat biking.

Quick facts

  • Winter comfort camping options can be booked at Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park near Lac La Biche by calling 780-623-8449 and Cypress Hills Provincial Park in southern Alberta, which offers cabins, rental huts and lodge accommodations by calling 403-893-3833.
  • Check out holiday season and winter provincial parks experiences and opportunities at winter events.
  • This past summer camping season, Alberta Parks processed a record-breaking 193,995 online campsite bookings through Reserve.AlbertaParks.ca
  • The previous online reservation record was 170,997 in 2018.
  • Since its inception 10 years ago, Reserve.AlbertaParks.ca has processed more than 1.42 million online campsite reservations.
  • The online reservation system has more than 650,000 registered account users.

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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Alberta

Positive COVID-19 tests at world men's curling championship deemed “false positives”

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CALGARY — The four positive COVID-19 tests that interrupted the men’s world curling championship are considered “false positives” from potentially contaminated samples, according to the World Curling Federation.

The men’s championship concluded late Sunday night with Sweden’s Niklas Edin winning a record fifth world men’s title.

No games were played Saturday because four participants, including one from a playoff team, tested positive for the virus in “exit” tests before leaving Calgary’s curling bubble. 

None had symptoms of the illness.

All have tested negative in multiple re-tests since then, the WCF said Monday in a statement. All tests were conducted via PCR throat swabs.

“According to Alberta Health, PCR testing remains the gold standard for COVID-19 testing,” the WCF said. “Very rarely, there are occurrences through sampling or testing processes when samples may become contaminated and a false positive may result.

“Following an investigation over the weekend, it appears that this may have occurred in this case and follow-up testing was undertaken.”

All athletes and personnel considered close contacts of the four underwent testing Saturday with all results negative. 

Every playoff team member was tested before and after each game Sunday with those results also negative, the WCF said. Hotel staff were also tested Sunday and cleared.

“With the original four positive test results now deemed as false positives, the integrity of the Calgary bubble remains intact,” the WCF declared.

“The change also allows international athletes who were considered close contacts, and who would have had to remain in isolation in Calgary for 14 days, will now be able to depart Calgary.”

The fifth of seven events in Calgary’s curling hub, the Humpty’s Champions Cup, gets underway Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Pulling the plug: Edmonton Folk Music Festival cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

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EDMONTON — Despite Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s hope that the COVID-19 vaccine will allow summer events like the Calgary Stampede to go ahead, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival has been cancelled

The festival says in a statement that without full vaccination, people won’t be entirely safe from the spread of COVID-19. 

It says that with virus variants and an uncertain vaccine rollout, the impossibility of social distancing at the outdoor festival could lead to community spread.

Kenney has said that two-thirds of the population should have a vaccine shot by the end of June and things should begin to feel back-to-normal.

He says the Stampede, which is held in early July, along with sporting events and other festivals will be possible.

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival says it will continue to offer online content and, if small gatherings are permitted, it hopes to add some community engagement.

“With so many variables at play, the complexity of planning and delivering a festival of our size makes it impossible to move forward in our usual manner,” the statement said Monday.

“As profoundly disappointing as this news is, we believe this is the only safe way forward. The safety of our patrons, volunteers, and artists was of paramount importance in coming to this conclusion.”

The annual four-day festival in the city’s Gallagher Park usually attracts thousands of music fans and boasts approximately 2,700 volunteers.

Alberta introduced new health rules last week, closing restaurants to in-person dining and further reducing customer capacity at retail stores in response to rising COVID-19 numbers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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