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My First Red Deer Symphony Orchestra


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I enjoyed our first-ever Red Deer Symphony Orchestra and celebrated Robbie Burns Day all at once. On a trip to Scotland some years ago, I bought a Mackenzie tartan kilt, sgian-dubh (dirk), socks, sporan, and belt. My wife, Janet, bought a Mackenzie tartan sash and brooch. For this special evening, I rounded out my outfit with a Bonnie Prince Charlie jacket, dress shirt and gillies borrowed from my friend Buck Buchanan.

We were looking about as fine as we possibly could but we didn’t shine as brightly as did the members of the RDSO. We were literally blown away by the power and expertise of the more than 40 musicians. Wow! I am not well versed in classical music but the performances were truly memorable.

Guest violinist, Kai Gleusteen, played the entire first half of the program on a violin made in 1781 by J.B. Guadagnini. I had the pleasure of meeting the star performer afterwards and learned the value of this prized violin – over a million dollars. When I asked him if there was a future for budding musicians, he said, “There is always room for young musicians with talent and dedication. What there isn’t is audiences. The general public no longer seems to understand or appreciate classical music.”

Admittedly, I am one of those people. I’ve had a bit an education (thank you Noreen Kester, music teacher at Aspen Heights Elementary who played classical music every morning over the intercom prefaced by a short educational script).

Thanks to the quality of the symphony and assisted by Conductor Claude Lapalme’s humourous and insightful explanations, I did appreciate and understand more than I thought I would.

Added to the music was the opportunity to see all kinds of Red Deer friends I haven’t seen for years. We took advantage of ordering a wee dram in advance so it was waiting for us at the intermission and we maximized our visiting time. Good stuff!

Will we return? Absolutely! We are looking forward to “A Night at the Movies” at the Memorial Centre on March 23.  See you there?

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The Grand Opening is TODAY!

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A Day Filled With Hope – Years in the Making!
For years the CACAC has been walking hand-in-hand with many different partners, community members, donors, policy makers, and leaders in research and advocacy towards this moment.The Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence now stands in the heart of Central Alberta, the first Centre of its kind in North America, creating space for different strategic partners to operate alongside one another in the best interest of children, youths, and families who have experienced any form of abuse.

Now, during this momentous chapter in our history, we invite you to join us for the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence. 

We’re excited to welcome you and your family to the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence today!

Today’s events are family friendly, and there’s something for everyone!

From Noon to 5:00PM the public is welcome to come and see everything the building has to offer at the SKCOE Open House! Staff from every organization from within the SKCOE will be there to answer questions. This is a great opportunity to learn about why this Centre is so important for Central Alberta.

Beginning at 7:00PM, the public is also invited to the formal program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, which is the building immediately North West of us across the parking lot. The formal program will have many messages and presentations from dignitaries, and you can pick up our Champions of Courage pin, which was minted for the Grand Opening only! Following the program there is a ribbon cutting ceremony.

There is a lot to celebrate, so come out and say hi!

When: Thursday, May 16

Where: Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence, and Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, Main Campus of Red Deer Polytechnic, Red Deer, AB.

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Open House

7:00 PM – Formal Program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to follow.

How to get to the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence

Please note that there will also be parking available at the lot directly North of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

Detailed RDP Parking Map

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Last Day: What would you do with $20,000 Early Bird Prize?

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$20,000 could go a long way!  Want to find out what it would be like to win that much cash? Your chance to win is waiting, but only until 11:59pm TODAY.


You might be the lucky person to win $20,000 CASH! 
Your ticket will also be entered for many more prizes, including our Sorento Custom Dream Home package and Tree Hugger Tiny Home Package! 

$25 EACH | 5 FOR $100

10 FOR $125 | 25 FOR $250

There’s over $1.29 Million in prizing to be won.




Thank you so much for your support, and best of luck in the draws. 
403.340.1878      1.877.808.9005
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