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Hoodoos to be immortalized in song

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    The Hoodoos have been a sentinel that have surpassed the tests of time and weather, and now they will be forever preserved in song.
    Through listener votes, the CBC has named the Hoodoos/ Badlands as one of 13 places to be immortalized in song by 13 Canadian artists.
    The premise for the contest was simple. Everyone knows if you make it anywhere you can make it in New York, thanks to the song. Corb Lund’s Hurtin’ Albertan also summed up the province in a time of boom. The contest answers the question, what other places, especially in Canada can be preserved through song?
 Earlier this fall CBC Radio 2 asked listeners to nominate what locations in Canada they would like to see celebrated in song, and then further, which 13 artists whom should be commissioned to write about those places. One for every province.
    The Alberta nomination came in as the Hoodoos’/ badlands. It beat out Calgary, Edmonton, Banff and Drumheller as locations to write a song about.
    The artists nominated to write the Alberta song included Chloe Albert, Colleen Brown, Dragon Fli Empire and Woodpigeon. The winner was Jay Sparrow.
    Sparrow is originally from Thunder Bay, but grew up in New Sarepta. He was the lead singer for the band Murder City Sparrows which recorded an album, produced by Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar and Grady. He has since split with the band and is working solo.
    Described in his official bio as a “punk and a poet who wears his tattooed heart on his sleeve,” comparisons range from Steve Earle to Johnny Cash. Shades of Wilco come out as he mixes folk, country and rock and various measures in each, while maintaining a stance that is all punk.
    He has released two solo efforts the first called the Running in 2008, and most recently Good Days Gone By.
    Now listeners are in a holding pattern waiting to hear the songs.
    On October 26 the 13
artists and locations were announced. Come November 23 the songs will be revealed.
    “What better way to share our collective passion for Canadian music than to hear directly from Canadian communities on what places and artists mean most to them?” said Mark Steinmetz, director of music programming, CBC Radio. “The Great Canadian Song Quest is an incredible way to discover and bring together the places, artists and music that make the Canadian musical landscape unique.”

Students at Delia School raise funds for Europe trip

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    Students at Delia School have been working hard to raise funds for their exchange trip to Europe.
    The trip is set for April 2011 with 19 high school students already registered. The cost for each student is $3,700 which through fundraising , teachers are hoping to cover up to $2,000 for each student.
“Our community has offered fabulous support and the students are very energized about the trip. We will continue to look for new ways to raise funds and hope to see more students register for the trip,” said Carmen Spritzer of Delia School.
    One of their first fundraisers was the bottle drive that raised $3,737. Students and teachers are coming up with fund raising ideas hoping to find some that haven’t been done before.
    Some of the fundraisers being used throughout the year are Moms Pantry, Spring bank Cheese and a Christmas event.
    Parents of students registered for the trip volunteered to work the “Delia Rocks” event on October 17.

Gandhara Designs shows aid through trade with local artisans

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    Sky McLaugllin is not only hoping to raise awareness of the plight of people in Afghanistan but also help them through her latest endeavour.
     McLaughlin has dedicated a portion of her career to developing international education programs. In 2007 she accepted a position with the USAID funded Afghanistan Higher Education Program to develop the capacity of the Afghan higher education system. Her latest endeavour allows her to contribute to the rebuilding of Afghanistan.
    This Saturday, November 14, McLaughlin will be at the Ramada Conference Room from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than just novelty imports, these are handcrafted works from the people.
    “During my two years in Kabul I had the opportunity to travel throughout the country and learn about the history, culture and traditions of the Afghan people. They have suffered decades of conflict and extreme poverty, but have a beauty and resilience I have not seen elsewhere. They are a people of spirit, faith and warmth,” she said.
    “I wanted to continue to contribute to the rebuilding of Afghanistan. One way that I could do that was to support, in a small way, the economic development of the country by importing a range of unique, traditional, hand-crafted items from across Afghanistan. In so doing, my company Gandhara Designs provides access to the Canadian market for women, refugees and artisans. This activity is a form of direct aid - supporting individuals to reclaim traditional skills, earn an income by receiving fair wages for their labour and feed and educate their families.”
    “I have been working in industry and working with people getting their goals and ideas off the ground for more than 10 years,” she said.
    “Obviously my goal is to support the people in Afghanistan but it is viable for Canada as well. I think people are looking for a more ethical, more sustainable way of giving that they can focus their financial resources on, and they are interested in buying from smaller corporations knowing their efforts are making a direct impact on the quality of people’s lives.”
    McLaughlin has roots in the valley. Her family were homesteaders in the area. Her great grandparents Lorne and Annie Tario, and Bill and Pauline Ritchie (nee Martin) settled in the Michichi area. Her mother Wendy Tario is from Drumheller.
    “The reason I picked Drumheller is I’m looking to come home. I’ve been away for a very long time and I have lived in very large cities and around the world, but my spirit has always been here,” she said.
    Another reason for her launch in Drumheller has to do with the people of the area.
    “People in small towns have that natural affinity to these kind of things because Albertans come from a rural economy, and Afghans come from a rural economy, agriculture is what sustains them.”
    “The Canadian debate about Afghanistan focuses on whether or not our military should remain engaged in Kandahar. From my perspective, there are many other issues Canadians could be debating. One of those is how to develop an Afghan economy so that there are real changes in the daily life of the most impoverished - changes that bring food to the hungry, education to the illiterate and employment to widows and refugees,” she said.
    Her display at the Ramada this Saturday will be more than a great chance for people to come and check out some interesting items in time for Christmas shopping.
    Beyond that, she could see a relationship between Drumheller and a community in Afghanistan.
    “Ideally in the long term there is possibilities of some twinning between Drumheller and a village or small city in Afghanistan. There is so much expertise in Drumheller in terms of agriculture, environmental conservation and water conservation.”

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