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Red Deer’s Truly Unique Experience for Children


Since 1987, the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra (RDSO) has been committed to community programming, and has taken a strong leadership role in providing relevant programs for all age groups. We have endeavoured to meet the need in our community for enjoyable, educational, and affordable music programs, in order to nurture a new generation of music lovers, provide cultural experiences that develop creative thinking, and encourage a consciousness about their community. Our Choir Kids program has become an important element in the schools’ programming, and many students, teachers and families have been touched by this experience.

Introduced in 1998 by our Music Director Claude Lapalme, Choir Kids is a unique music opportunity which serves elementary school-aged children. Introduced as the first of its kind in Canada, the Choir Kids program allows children’s choirs the opportunity to rehearse and perform two pieces of choice with a professional orchestra. Maestro Lapalme personally orchestrates all the music for these performances. At the conclusion of the concert, all the participant voices join together for a mass choir piece.

The Choir Kids concerts hosts a total of 16-18 choirs from Red Deer and central Alberta, including home schooled children in community choirs. Overall attendance across these often sold out performances exceeds 3200 ticket holders.

Our Choir Kids program targets music education objectives outlined in the provincial curriculum that are challenging for the schools to sufficiently address, and in numerous ways, exceeds the musical opportunities available through in-school music programming. Funding provided in support of Choir Kids goes directly towards making the program happen in the most accessible way. Approximately 60% of revenues necessary for the operation of the Choir Kids program are from corporate and community support. While ticket prices and school registration fees represent 40% of revenues, they are kept to a minimum until a fully funded program is achieved.

Red Deer is one of the only cities of its size, in Canada, to boast a fully professional orchestra; making the Choir Kids experience for children, truly unique!


Edmonton community members explore using the Emergency Room as an entry point to transitional housing



Is there a better way than simply releasing a person experiencing homelessness from the hospital back onto the street? It creates an endless cycle of emergency room visits and escalating costs, not to mention the challenges the patients face in having a successful recovery.

As we continue to look for solutions to homelessness in our city, a group of community members from different fields and backgrounds met recently to brainstorm and discuss alternatives to the practice of releasing patients into a state of homelessness.

That’s a long way of saying that if someone experiencing homelessness comes to an emergency room with a need for medical aid, the only alternative once treated is to release the patient back onto the street.  The chances of recovery are greatly diminished, while the probability of return visits increases.  The costs are severe, both to the person experiencing homelessness and to our ever-more expensive health care system.

Spearheading the initiative is Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, a veteran emergency room physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and a Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta.

Watch this short video to hear from some of those involved and to better understand the concept and learn why there is a growing groundswell of support for this idea.


There are many ways that people can get involved with this initiative.  It’s common sense that housing and health are interconnected. Finding solutions to chronic homelessness and easing pressure on our health care system is something we can all get behind.

Please contact Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti directly to learn more about the project and how you can help:

Phone 780.932-7187


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Fort Normandeau Days August 24 and 25



Fort Normandeau

Post Submitted by Tanya Wells, Public Programmer & Special Events Coordinator, Kerry Wood Nature Centre & Historic Fort Normandeau

The rain has made everything so beautiful and green. It has been a little cool but this is the type of weather that can make for some great outdoor adventuring and family time!  We have some amazing events coming up at both of our sites.

Join us this weekend at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre for our Trash to Treasure program that runs from 10:00a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Join us at our Fort Normandeau site for Fort Normandeau Days, our biggest party of the season as we celebrate life at the crossing, circa 1885.  There will be battle demonstrations, performers, vendors and activities for the whole family!

Fort Normandeau Days is happening Both Saturday and Sunday, August 24 & 25 from noon until 5:00p.m. each day.

So many great events and programs to choose from.

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august, 2019

tue06augAll Daysun29sepHot Mess - Erin Boake featured at Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery(All Day)

sat24augAll Daysun25Fort Normandeau Days(All Day) Fort Normandeau, 28054 Range Road 382

sat24aug10:00 am12:00 pmRed Deer River Naturalists Bird Focus Group Walk10:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Three Mile Bend Recreation Area