December 15th, 2017

Henderson Lake main venue for Canada Day

By Mabell, Dave on June 24, 2017.

It won’t be your ordinary day off.

July 1 falls on a Saturday this year, and communities from Lethbridge to Long Beach, B.C., and London, Ont. to Labrador City will be pulling out all the stops for our nation’s 150th birthday.

The Herald will no doubt run a full-scale preview next week. So let’s do an overview, for those who like to plan a little further ahead.

Henderson Lake will be main venue, as usual, with a full day of main-stage entertainers including Dan Davidson, Five Alarm Funk, Fast Times, Hippodrome, Blake Berglund, Munya Mataruse, Biloxi Parish and more. The “youth stage” lineup will include Slynk and DeFunk.

Events that day will start with the Red Dress Run around the lake. But, of course, there will be a myriad of other activities throughout the park, culminating with fireworks at 11 p.m.

Over at Galt Gardens, the Interfaith Food Bank will team up with the LeBarons Car Club to present a pancake breakfast and “show and shine” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Spitz Stadium will be the setting for a Lethbridge Bulls doubleheader, taking on the Cardinals from Yorkton, Sask., at 2:05 and 7:35 p.m. Immediately west, the SLP Skate Park will host competitions through the afternoon for riders on bikes, on scooters and then on skates.

And for all who enjoyed watching this year’s Rotary Dragon Boat races, the local dragon boat association will be offering demonstrations throughout the day.

With all that going on, there’s a strong probability of traffic and parking congestion around Henderson. So Canada Day organizers have arranged for Lethbridge Transit to run shuttle buses between the park and downtown (free parking!) as well as “fireworks specials” in the evening through many of the city’s north, south and west neighbourhoods. (Check for schedules and so much more.

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Elsewhere in the city, Fort Whoop-Up and the Galt Museum will be offering no-charge “community day” activities during the afternoon on Canada Day. They’ll include music, crafts and a treasure hunt at the museum, along with horse-drawn wagon rides and a mini-powwow at the fort.

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And just a few miles north, folks in Picture Butte will be following up their Canada Day celebrations the next day with a “show and shine” afternoon at the Coyote Flats Pioneer Village. Later, the Windy Castle Medieval Faire will be held there, July 29 and 30. This year’s Old-Fashioned Harvest Days celebration and “parade of power” is set for Aug. 18 to 20.

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While putting together this column, every effort is made to avoid “A Comedy of Errors.” But our Shakespeare in the Park organization is taking quite the opposite approach.

The longtime favourite, directed by Ron Chambers, is set to open Thursday in Galt Gardens, with no-charge performances starting at 7 p.m. Presentations will continue Friday, July 7, 13 and 14, 20 and 21, 27 and 28. August dates will be 3 and 4, then closing on Aug. 10 and 11.

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Over at Casa, organizers of the annual Centric Festival have announced this year’s concert schedule, July 5 to 8.

Highlights will include internationally celebrated pianist Krzysztof Jablonski with selection of Chopin compositions, and a three-concert set celebrating Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.

Featured performers will include cellist Tyler Stewart, violinist Leslie Ting and pianists Ryan Kolodziej and Jesse Plessis. Vocalists will be soprano Lisa Mulgrew, mezzo-soprano Bethany Yon, tenor Jason Ragan and baritone Ian Fundytus.

We’ll provide more details next week. Advance tickets are available at

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Time for some shout-outs: Sean Sander, a graduating student from Catholic Central High, has been named one of about 800 young Canadians invited to take part in a “SHAD” enrichment program this summer. The intense one-month program will focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Later, participants will be linked to the growing “SHAD network” and some of the brightest young minds in the country.

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June brought well-deserved retirement for many teachers across southern Alberta. Students in Palliser Regional Schools bid farewell to Carol Ens at Jenny Emery Elementary in Coaldale, Darlene Hubber at the Rock Lake Colony School, Kathy Jakober at Picture Butte High, Sue Janzen at Kate Andrews High in Coaldale, Pat Phillips at Dorothy Dalgliesh School in Picture Butte and Harry Fritschy, retiring after three years as principal at Kate Andrews.

Fritschy, who taught in British Columbia for much of his 38-year career as an educator, came out of retirement to take on leadership at Kate Andrews. Now he’s retiring again, along with his wife Eleanor who has been teaching at a Palliser-operated school, Calgary Christian Elementary in Calgary.

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It’s not every day that a Lethbridge-area writer gets to do a book launch at Chapters. But that’s what’s happening Saturday at 2 p.m., when local authors Danika Stone and Casey Griffin showcase their books – “Internet Famous” and “Secrets of a Reluctant Princess” – at the Park Place location. No doubt, they’d be pleased to sign your copies.

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