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Last updateFri, 22 Jul 2016 5pm

Passion Play opens with a new script and boosted attendance

passion play stock

The Canadian Badlands Passion Play rose again for another opening weekend on Friday, beating attendance numbers of the last two years thanks to a revised script and cooperative weather. 

The new script, an adaptation of the Gospel of Luke titled “Face to Face” and written by Alberta playwright Barret Hileman, is causing quite a buzz around the Passion Play’s 23rd season says executive director Vance Neudorf .

“Everything is new this year,” Neudorf. “If you haven’t been for a few years, (the Gospel of) John was a very different experience than what you’ll get this year – music-wise, how it looks onstage, the costuming and movement – in almost every way the play is different. It’s giving people a fair bit to chat about.”

It’s strange to think that a 2,000 year old story could be reimagined in a different light that would cause a stir amongst the most Bible-savvy play goers, but Neudorf said the script doesn’t waver far from scripture.

“You would find everything that’s in the play in the Book of Luke. Every single part is there, the entire story, it’s just the way we arrange it and put it together in order to make it work on stage. There’s people of course who want it to be more true to the Bible and to use exact words, but for the most part the ones that know the story are coming back and saying we are staying true to the story,” said Neudorf.

“If you sit down and read the gospels it will take considerably longer than the play’s two-and-a-half hour runtime. We are adapting it in different ways and formats to make it come across quite different on stage.”

The music in this year’s performance is striking and on point, provided through a surround speaker system and composed by Alberta composer Luke Ertman. The play is directed by Brian Jensen, who played the role of the apostle John for the previous five seasons.

The Passion Play runs from July 8 until July 24 on weekends.


Drumheller Institution under lockdown

institution

On July 11, 2016 at about 1:15 p.m., a lockdown was put in place in the medium security unit at Drumheller Institution, to enable staff members to conduct an exceptional search.

The search was ordered to ensure the safety and security of the institution, its staff and inmates. Normal operations will resume as soon as it is considered safe to do so. 

Visits have been suspended until the search is completed.

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is committed to preventing the entry of contraband into its institutions. CSC also works in partnership with the police to take action against those who attempt to introduce contraband into correctional institutions.

Drumheller RCMP welcomes new corporal

gerald sherk

The Drumheller RCMP detachment is celebrating the arrival of a corporal from Whitehorse who brings a wealth of specialized talent to the unit, including years spent fighting the digital exploitation of children.

Corporal Gerald Sherk began familiarizing himself with his new colleagues and the valley last week and will assume general duty in a supervisory position at the detachment. 

“I’ll spend a lot more time passing on the skills I have learned to the members here, and developing them with their own investigative skills, as well as handle administration type duties that I had done before, such as the management of members and their careers and the detachment in and of itself,” said Cpl. Sherk.

Cpl. Sherk began his career in Comox Valley on Vancouver Island and worked general duty for three years before taking a position with the integrated child exploitation team within British Columbia’s major crimes unit. 

For four years he specialized in sexualized, digital crimes against children, investigating both creators and traffickers of child pornography and individuals luring children. 

The work demanded computer know-how and investigative skills while cooperating with other units throughout the province to expose those exploiting children online. 

Cpl. Sherk entered that pathway because it allowed him to utilize his already developed technical skills and also provided a place to learn how to properly run an investigation.

“It was very rewarding work. You knew that no matter what the file was that there was always a real victim. Even if it was just someone trading pictures, that’s a real child in the photo. So you knew you were doing something really good when you went into work that day,” he said.

“It wasn’t a drunk person angry at another drunk person. This was a child who was at risk or who had already been victimized. It was pretty black and white, but that’s what made it so rewarding – you knew what you were doing made a difference and this was real victims who needed help.”

After four years with the integrated child exploitation unit, Cpl. Sherk felt he needed a change and to broaden his experiences while applying what he had learned at the unit to a new field.

“It’s very graphic material you’re seeing regularly. After a point in time you have to make that decision if you want to continue seeing just that.”

He took a northern post with the Whitehorse, Yukon RCMP, in the general investigation unit and dealt with serious and violent offences in a busy jurisdiction. 

“It was an excellent place to learn and grow and a beautiful place to live.”

He was offered a promotional transfer to Drumheller and is already enjoying his new environment.

“It’s beautiful to look out of my office and see the hills. The day I moved in people were coming by the house to introduce themselves and say hello. It’s going to be a really good place to work.”

Cpl. Sherk will assume a supervisory position with intent to apply what he’s learned in both BC and the Yukon to the detachment and it’s members.

“I want to get my feet wet in managing the members themselves before going on. Hopefully one day I will move up to running my own detachment, but it’ll be a surprise where my career goes with the next step. For now, I really like this area and I think this is a place we are going to call home for a while.”


Will you travel out of province for vacation this summer?

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