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Messenger Meats aims to meet community needs


Through the family business, Mercedes Messinger is a long time community supporter.   That’s part of the reason why the owner of Messinger Meats found herself at the 2019 Red Deer Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Awards last fall.  Messenger Meats was nominated for Business of the Year and Mercedes was listening to the finalists for another category when she heard something that stayed with her.  Though she was a long time supporter of the Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre, Messinger had no idea the organization actually provided homes to new mothers as they sorted through life with their newborns.  This discovery lead Messinger down a path that culminated in a beautiful announcement in her store at the beginning of 2020.  In the following video Mercedes Messinger explains a new initiative she’s undertaken to bring a little financial help and even more awareness to worthy Not For Profit organizations.


Every Thursday though 2020, Messinger Meats will donate 2 dollars from every meal purchased to the chosen Not For Profit.   These organizations include ASPIRE Special Needs Resource Centre, Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre, Central Alberta Refugee Effort,  Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, The Lending Cupboard, The Mustard Seed, Potters Hands, Safe Harbour Society, Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation, Turning Point, and Vantage Community Services.

Potters Hands was the first charity selected.  At the end of every month, the recipient of the support will select another not for profit organization from the list.


#RedDeerStrong – Adjusting to isolation? Now’s the time for new habits. Studio Pilates will help make fitness part of your new routine.



What does your business do?

We offer group fitness, pilates training, and personal training. During the health crisis, we are offering fitness instruction virtually (a variety of 30-40 min classes). We also offer an online training app called Trainerize that provide 5 home workouts per week, in addition to the classes we’re offering. The trainerize app has an accountability check in for each workout and in-app messaging with a trainer from the Studio.

Colleen Manning is the Owner of Studio Pilates

How has COVID-19 affected you?

When life throws you curves, you learn to swerve.
Every individual in our community is adjusting to a new way of living and an underlying fear for their health and the health of their loved ones.

For many this is a time of crisis, elevated stress, & uncertainty, while others are finding joy in the simple pleasures of life that in past months were somehow swallowed up in our over scheduled lives.

Covid-19 has forced us to lay off over 15 of our team members…some instructors who chose to not film classes, receptionists, childminders, our massage therapist, and estheticians.

With overhead on our 7000 sq foot facility, we need to get creative to cover rent, bills, insurance, gov’t remittance, and wages for our instructors who are filming classes.

Studio Pilates will offer regular classes via video

What are you doing to adapt?

Studio Pilates has been in operation in Red Deer for 19 years, and we’ve gone through our fair share of challenges. We’ve embraced this Covid-19 situation as an opportunity – to connect with individuals in our community who have been contemplating a fitness program, or those who have always wanted to take our classes, but time has been their barrier. We’ve accepted the challenge of moving our classes to a virtual platform, and we’re excited to launch Trainerize with the public.

On our main Studio Pilates facebook page we offer a LIVE workout every Friday at 9:15am. These live workouts will remain on the page so that anyone can go back on the newsfeed on our page, and repeat the workouts! These are body weight workouts – no equipment required. Modifications are always offered for various fitness levels. On our main facebook page we are also offering Episodes of “My Kitchen is Bitchin” which is tips & tricks for healthy eating from our kitchens to yours (our fitness pros share their healthy go to rituals and recipes in the kitchen).
We’ve also aligned with other like minded businesses in Red Deer to offer content and connection for the public….for example, Nan Dell’s Chickadee Catering Co & The Cooking Room filmed cooking segments just for our Studio Pilates FB audience!

Offering our members valuable content and connection, is our top priority. Those who have punch passes still have the option to sign up for daily classes through our studio management softward called MindBody. We have our own Studio Pilates app that can be downloaded free from iTunes/Googleplay and our daily classes appear on the app. Individual classes & punch passes can be purchased on this app. When a class is purchased, that individual has a link to the class (youtube link) that doesn’t expire for 48 hours. This means the workout can be repeated if desired. We encourage everyone in the household to join into the workouts as well! Moving together is good for the soul – smiles are guarenteed!

For those interested in our “Online Training Package” during this temporary closure of gyms and rec centres, we offer a wealth of information, connection, & workout choices. This package is what our members who has Unlimited memberships are receiving. This includes becoming a client on the Trainerize app (easy set up – download the trainerize app from itunes/googleplay), and you are emailed an invite. Once you’re in the app, your workouts appear – scheduled through the week). The Online Training Package also includes every fitness class that we offer throughout the week….for example, Barre, Interval Workouts, Mat Pilates, Yoga, Essentrics, Body Weight Strength classes, Mom & Me Workouts…and more!
Online Package members are also invited into a closed facebook group where we also do Live workouts just for the group!

Visit our website or Facebook page for live fitness instruction!

What kind of help do you need?

We need help getting the word out to the community about our online fitness options. We’d love to invite the public to our FB page and instagram, to take advantage of the workouts and information we’re sharing.

What do you want the community to know?

We would like to invite those who are not currently active or who have been intimidated to enter a “gym” to get to know us through the online offerings. Online instruction removes the very real fear of walking into a facility. We will begin offering INTRO TO FITNESS videos on our main Facebook page and on our instagram to get beginners moving! Any movement is good movement….you don’t have to do a high intensity workout to gain the benefits of physical activity. Strengthening your immune system, managing stress, and improving sleep all comes from moderate amounts of exercise. We are here to lead ALL individuals through movement, no matter your age & current activity level.

With gratitude,
Colleen Manning
Owner/Director Studio Pilates Fitness & Wellness

Your story is important – #RedDeerStrong – free and easy story form

#RedDeerStrong – Small business wants to make a big difference to families with ‘isolated’ children


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List of “non-essential businesses” – Alberta COVID-19 update



Update 14: COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (March 27 at 8:30 p.m.)

From the Province of Alberta

Fifty-six additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 542.

To protect Albertans and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the province has introduced new restrictions on mass gatherings and specific types of businesses.

Latest updates

  • Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
    • 337 cases in the Calgary zone
    • 120 cases in the Edmonton zone
    • 30 cases in the North zone
    • 43 cases in the Central zone
    • 12 cases in the South zone
  • Of these cases, 23 are currently hospitalized, including 10 admitted to intensive care units (ICU).
  • In total, there have been 34 hospitalizations, with 11 admissions to an ICU.
  • Two deaths have been reported.
  • Up to 42 of the 542 cases may be due to community transmission.
  • A COVID-19 outbreak was confirmed March 24 at the Nelson Home, a Calgary group home for persons with developmental disabilities. Two care workers and a resident have tested positive for COVID-19, and two other residents have been tested, with one negative result and no results available yet on a second. All individuals are self-isolating.
  • To date, 20 cases have been identified in staff and residents of continuing care facilities, including 15 in McKenzie Towne Long Term Care, one case in Rosedale on the Park and four at Shepherd’s Care Kensington Village.
  • There are six new confirmed recovered cases, bringing the total to 33.
  • Aggregate data, showing cases by age range and zone, as well as by local geographical areas, is available online at
  • All Albertans need to work together to help prevent the spread and overcome COVID-19.
  • Public access to all courthouses in Alberta is restricted, and the Court of Queen’s Bench has updated the process of requesting emergency/urgent hearings.

Increased security for Alberta renters

A new package of direct supports and deferrals is being provided to provide security for residential renters amid the financial burden brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. Tenants will be protected from eviction for non-payment before May 1, 2020, rents will not increase during the state of public health emergency and late fees cannot be applied to rent payments for three months.

Vehicle restrictions in parks and recreation areas

Automobile access is temporarily suspended at all provincial park and recreation area access points. This matches the restrictions currently in place at national parks.

New restrictions on non-essential businesses

New restrictions are in place for close contact businesses, dine-in restaurants and non-essential retail services.

Non-essential retail services include:

  • Gift and specialty stores
  • Jewellery & accessories
  • Non-essential health and beauty care
  • Luggage
  • Art and framing
  • Mens’, ladies’ and children’s wear
  • Shoes
  • Bridal
  • Computers & gaming
  • Hobby & Toy
  • Photo, music and books
  • Sporting goods

List of essential workplaces

The list of essential workplaces that can continue to operate in Alberta can be found here.

New restrictions on mass gatherings

In addition, Albertans are prohibited from attending gatherings of more than 15 people, and they must continue to observe two metres of social distancing. Additional information can be found in this news release.

Recruiting physicians

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta has developed an online tool for Alberta physicians to self-report their ability to be redeployed to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the College has identified doctors who can provide additional services, AHS will help with recruitment and ensure the doctors are deployed to the areas of greatest need where they will have the most impact.

Operating guide for continuing care

A new guide with mandated directions on how to respond to and prevent COVID-19 concerns and cases has been posted online for operators of continuing care facilities, seniors lodges, residential addiction treatment facilities and licensed facilities for person with disabilities.

Diagnostic imaging and lab tests

Effective immediately, Alberta Health Services (AHS) is postponing some diagnostic imaging procedures as part of the effort to prevent spread of COVID-19 and protect Albertans. Imaging deemed to be non-urgent by the ordering physician will be postponed.

AHS will work closely with patients whose exams are being rescheduled. Patients whose conditions change should connect with their physicians.

To free up more laboratory space for COVID-19 testing, physicians and community providers are being asked to immediately stop all non-essential and routine laboratory testing.

Flexibility for municipal governments

Government has added a new COVID-19 containment measure under the Municipal Government Act (MGA) called the COVID-19 Suppression Regulation. This gives local governments flexibility in doing business during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the option to hold meetings while still observing physical distancing. Municipal Affairs has extended a number of reporting timelines under the MGA, giving municipalities the time and ability to deliver on the needs of their residents and meet the requirements set out by the Act.

Mental health supports

AHS has boosted its service to help Albertans should they need to speak with someone about mental health concerns.

If Albertans call the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 or the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2323 between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week, they will be connected directly to a dedicated team of AHS addiction and mental health staff.

This change will support 811 operators to focus on COVID-19 calls during the day and improve wait times for others needing telephone advice. Calls placed from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. will continue to be routed through 811.

Pausing some health construction projects and non-essential service contracts
In order to protect patients, families and staff providing key services inside health-care facilities, AHS has informed some contractors and vendors that provide non-essential services at some health facilities that their projects will be temporarily paused.

These include non-essential delivery services and facility maintenance, such as flooring replacement, departmental renovations or lighting retrofit projects.

Alberta Infrastructure is also working with AHS to ensure that construction projects being done inside health facilities do not impact the operations of the facility.

As each project is reviewed and assessed, Infrastructure will provide notice to affected contractors if any projects are deferred.

Emergency isolation supports

Emergency isolation supports are available for Albertans who are self-isolating or who are the sole caregivers for someone in self-isolation, and have no other source of income. Applicants can view eligibility criteria and apply at To carefully manage the flow of applications, we are periodically closing access to MADI and the Emergency Isolation Support. We will provide daily updates about system availability.

Access to justice

Effective March 30, 2020, public access to all courthouses in Alberta will be restricted until further notice. Members of the general public will only be permitted to enter a courthouse in certain circumstances. More information:

The Court of Queen’s Bench is accepting requests for emergency/urgent hearings in all criminal, family, commercial and civil matters online or over the phone (for parties without access to the internet). More information:

Food supply

Despite higher retail demand, Alberta’s food supply remains secure. Government is in regular contact with other levels of government, producers, distributors, retailers and processors to ensure it stays that way. We are working with food banks and Indigenous communities to understand their needs and ensure everyone has access to the food supplies they need.

Medical evaluation for drivers’ licences

Alberta Transportation has extended the timeline to 90 days for most drivers requiring a medical evaluation to complete their medical form when applying for or renewing their licence. This will reduce the current strain on the health-care system. Medically high-risk drivers will still be required to present their medical evaluation at the time of their application or renewal.

Offers of help

The Alberta Emergency Management Agency Unsolicited Offers Program has been set up in response to growing offers of generosity from individuals and organizations to help with the challenges many Albertans are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those wanting to help can go for more information.

Quick facts

  • The most important measures that Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.
    • This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately, and staying home and away from others if you are sick.
  • Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.
  • For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit
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march, 2020

sat28mar5:04 pm5:04 pmQuarantini Power Hour of Networking Event (Central Alberta)5:04 pm - 5:04 pm