Saying goodbye to 2016, through stories and pictures

It was time for ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at a New Year’s party in the Centre Chevaliers on Dec. 31, 2015.

Express Staff
It’s time to reflect on the year passed, through a year in review. This edition will feature January through June 2016, and the next edition will finish with July through December.

January 6, 2016 – Local businessperson says, “Let’s Talk Business”
Originally from Holland, Eric Verstappen, has been in Alberta since 2008 and is keen to create greater dialogue and exchange of ideas with business people in the region.
“I am a business person who is fairly new to this community,” says Verstappen. “I was a salesman for John Deere for a couple of years, quit that and started my farm business. I sell beef, lamb and chickens.”
Verstappen, who is also a financial adviser with the co-operators in Falher, says what he misses compared to his experience in Holland is communication between business people.
“I walk through town and I always go on foot, I go to the stores, I go to the different banks. All the business owners are hiding. I cannot walk into a business and have a short, quick chat with the owner. And that would be such a huge advantage for our businesses.”
He points out that there are so many things that everybody does and with which everybody struggles like succession planning, staff issues, accounting, tax, education, customer approach and service those kinds of things.
“There is no communication, there is no training, so if we don’t change that it is going to be like this for the next 25 years.”

January 13, 2016 – McLennan Library gets go ahead to offer innovative electronics program for February
McLennan Library Board has approved the acquisition of electronic or robotics kits to offer a new program designed for kids to construct a variety of electronic and remote control devices.
The program will introduce the children to hands-on practical learning, cooperation, and an understanding of concepts that they can ultimately realize into a functioning unit.
Designed with a collective work environment in mind, the project encourages children to exercise their imagination and fosters collaboration while teaching the practical skills to take a project from conception to a fully realized functioning device.

Katrina Jolie swears the oath of office as CAO Lilliane Bessette reads it to her, and Mayor Myrna Lanctot looks on. Jolie was sworn in during the Donnelly council meeting on Jan. 11.

January 20, 2016 – Providence skating program closer to goal following breakfast fundraiser
Learning to skate and playing hockey is a rite of passage for every Canadian kid and of course getting the equipment such as skates and helmets can often present a serious challenge for many parents.
Now that Ecole Providence has added skating to its physical education program it recently put out a call for people in the community to donate used skates and helmets to ensure that all students have an opportunity to participate in this activity.
To raise funds and equipment in hope of getting the program underway while there is still time left in this year’s season, the school also held a pancake breakfast fundraiser on Sunday January 10. The well-attended event raised $510 along with a number of generous donations of skates and helmets.
To help fast track the program, the Royal Purple donated $200 and the McLennan Rec Board donated $250, so the kids are hoping they can enjoy some ice time and skating instruction in the very near future.

Donnelly council approves fire protection services agreement with M.D.
During their meeting on Jan. 11, council for the Village of Donnelly passed the 2015 budget as their interim budget.
Council also signed a fire protection services agreement with the M.D. of Smoky River No. 130.
At their special meeting on Jan. 13, Councillor Katrina Jolie was appointed to the Disaster Services committee, the Smoky River Airport Commission and the Smoky River Regional Physician Recruitment committee.
She swore the oath of office during the meeting on Jan. 11.

Chinese investors are seeking to buy Long Run Exploration, but operations are normal here
A group of investors based in China is seeking to buy Calgary-based Long Run Exploration.
Long Run Exploration issued a news release on Dec. 21, 2015, announcing details of the proposal.
“Long Run Exploration Ltd. Is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive arrangement agreement with a group of investors based in the People’s Republic of China,” begins the news release.
It also says that, after an extensive review of the company’s strategic and financial options to improve its capital structure and create value for stakeholders, Long Run’s board of directors and management team have decided to pursue the agreement.
“The Transaction will be of benefit to Long Run, its stakeholders and employees and Canada,” the news release continues. “Long Run understands that the Purchaser’s plans for the Alberta-based business will provide long-term benefits, including maintaining Long Run’s head office and management in Alberta, enhancing capital expenditures and ensuring employment for Canadians in the continuing operations of Long Run.”
A special meeting of shareholders and debenture holders is supposed to be held in February, where approval for the sale is expected. The sale could be completed in April.
Meanwhile, nothing has changed for Long Run Exploration’s operations in the Smoky River region, says Robert Chenard, the company superintendent in Falher.

January 27, 2016 – Zirka Dancers hit the stage for Ukrainian Christmas dinner
The Guy Community Hall was filled to capacity with several hundred people on Jan. 16, for the third annual Ukrainian Christmas dinner.
“This is a good event for the winter,” says board member Louis Gagne. “The overall response has been very positive. It’s a good way to bring families together and socialize.”
It’s an affordable event for families, he adds.
Among the items for dinner were borscht soup, cabbage rolls, Nalysnyky Ukrainian filled yeast Pyrizhky (stuffed buns), creamed mushooms, brussel sprouts with chestnuts, baked salmon and bread pudding. Volunteers started the day prior, getting the food prepared and the hall decorated.
The High Prairie Zirka Dancers were the featured entertainment and the various groups hit the stage in turn.
The junior 1 group opened the event with the ‘Zinci Harvest’ dance. The seniors’ group performed the ‘Horianka Hutzel’ and the beginners performed ‘Dance with Me Poltava’. Next, the intermediates did the ‘Tropak Poltava’ and the junior 2 group offered the ‘Bublin Tanetz Drum Dance’.
The event ended with the junior 1 group doing the ‘Kozachoclk Poltava’ and the seniors doing the ‘Hopak Poltava.’

Share this post