News | DrumhellerMail - Page #3218
Last updateThu, 11 Apr 2024 9am

Passion Play sees record attendance this season

    The weather may have hindered a few outdoor events this summer, but there was one show it spared, and this was the 2010 Canadian Badlands Passion Play.
    In fact, the play received a record attendance this year.
    “We had record attendance with 12,200 people attending,” artistic director Randall Wiebe told inSide Drumheller. “We would probably have had even more if it hadn’t been a bit rainy beforehand but in terms of the play itself, the weather was absolutely wonderful.”
    The show, which has run for 18 years now, saw quite a few changes this year, such as some major revisions to some of the scenes, a large change in the costumes, and the addition of the Baptismal pool.
    “I think the play looks more beautiful than ever,” said Wiebe, “and in terms of the play itself, it was clear, the transitions were faster, cleaner and the play, as far as I am concerned, transitioned extremely well from scene to scene and the story itself was clear.”
    Wiebe is so content with this particular production that when asked if there was anything he was particularly pleased with this year, his answer was “Everything! That was my response many times over… There’s always room for improvement, but I was extremely pleased.”
    As well as the set, costumes and production, the play comes alive thanks to hundreds of actors and volunteers. “We had the most excellent team of staff and volunteers - they worked together in harmony, they were just amazing volunteers,” said Wiebe.
    Now that the 2010 production is over, minds are already thinking about the future.
    “Next year, it may in fact be a whole new play, we are contemplating that, but it is too early to speak about it,” said Wiebe.

Atlas receives federal grant boost Thursday


    The Atlas Coal Mine in East Coulee received a federal boost on Thursday when Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson announced $110,000 was awarded for the completion of several projects.
    With this money, the Atlas may go ahead with beginning work on the Blacksmith Shop, Rotary Dump, and opening the #3 mine entry.
    “We are in the planning stages,” explains the Atlas’ Executive Director, Linda Digby. “The job is very hard logistically.”
    With the rugged terrain that makes the site special, it also makes construction work difficult and hard to find contractors.
    “As with everything we do, it has to be done historically. If we add little changes that aren’t accurate, gradually the site would lose authenticity.”
    This money, from the National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program, was awarded to the mine because visitation to one site in the valley increases money earned by all businesses.
    “If we can have people stay for two or three days, that is increased money spent elsewhere in town, not just the Atlas,” said Digby to a crowd of about 50 gathered at the foot of the mine tipple.
    “It helps tourism throughout the valley,” said Member of Parliament Kevin Sorenson.
    “The government understands the potential sites like these have. Our cost-sharing program is an interesting tool.”
    The Atlas was approved the money last year, but due to an unexpected wind storm, the money was used for repairs.
    Thursday’s funding makes up for that, and allows the Atlas to move forward with their goals.
    Their aim is to start work by September, when tourist numbers are lowest and construction is still possible, and if the weather holds out.
    “Our mission here at the Atlas is to not just remember this mine. As the last mine left, it is a vehicle to remember all 139 mines and all miners past who built our town,” says Digby.
    “Parks and historic sites represent the best Canada has to offer. It gives us a sense of community, place, and pride,” said Sorenson.
    Visitation to the mine has increased this year.
    Pieces of the federal grant is being matched by the Alberta government and the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce.
    The cost-sharing program enables a site owner to receive up to 50 per cent of eligible costs incurred in conserving and presenting a national historic site.
    Site owners must apply for financial assistance under the program.

Alleged bylaw breach lands Town, sign promoter in court


    The new LED sign by the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce office, is landing the Town of Drumheller and the sign’s owner, DCT New Age Promotions Ltd., in court.
    Following a complaint made by local resident, Mr. John Parsons, represented by Schumacher Gough & Company, the Crown has issued summons against the Town of Drumheller and DCT New Age Promotions Ltd. for breach of a town bylaw.
    The charge states that the town, as the owner of the land, and DCT New Age Promotions Ltd., as the lessee of the land, permitted a condition that constitutes a nuisance to exist contrary to bylaw 24.98.
    Mr. Parsons, who resides near the sign, brought the complaint as he feels the board and its location has a negative effect on the neighbourhood due to its lights shining into nearby homes, as well as changing lights, constituting a nuisance.
    “It is sad that it has to come to that,” Mr. Parsons told The Mail, explaining he has tried various avenues to resolve this.
    On January 25, 2010, Mr. Parsons approached Council asking them to reconsider their decision to allow the sign to be placed at its current location, explaining the nuisance he felt the board and its location were causing.
    He also questioned the classification of the sign, explaining the product was described as a billboard by its manufacturers, rather than a third party free standing sign, terms the Town and Municipal Planning Commission used to describe it.
    As a billboard, Mr. Parsons alleged the sign was in breach of various bylaws due to its location, height and lighting.
    Mr. Parsons asked Council to rescind the motion MO2009.131 dated May 25 2009 which allowed for the sign to be put up, and to have the sign removed.
     Following the meeting, Mr. Parsons told The Mail Council advised him they felt their decision to allow the sign was not in breach of bylaws and the sign was to remain.
    “The facts are that the Town of Drumheller has approved a sign which should not have been approved….They [the Town] don’t have the right to impose something on the citizens without some moral justice in it.”
    Mayor Nimmo told The Mail the summons had been received.
    "We, at Council, have not discussed it because it just goes through the regular court situation,” he said, adding they would await the outcome of the hearing and deal with any changes the court requests if the complaint is found to be valid.
    Darcy Thompson, of  DCT New Age Promotions Ltd., was unable to comment as he had yet to see the summons when The Mail contacted him.
    The hearing will take place on Friday, September 10, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at Drumheller Provincial Court.


The Drumheller Mail encourages commenting on our stories but due to our harassment policy we must remove any comments that are offensive, or don’t meet the guidelines of our commenting policy.