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Last updateThu, 21 Sep 2023 8am

Canadian Badlands Passion Play opens July 9


    The Passion Play Site is a flurry of activity as masons place the final stones, costume makers stitch the final pieces of wardrobe, and actors, directors and musicians perfect their parts for this year’s Passion Play.
    The Canadian Badlands Passion Play has enjoyed nearly two decades of renowned success in the valley and has told the passion and resurrection of Christ to thousands of spectators in the natural amphitheatre nestled in the hills.    
    Despite this, every year those who stage the play are continually tweaking it to make it more relevant and accessible.
    “This year is going to be the best ever,” Randal Wiebe, artistic director told The Weekender, “and this is not just me, everyone is saying it.”
    In its April 14 edition, The Drumheller Mail reported on some of the physical changes to the site which included a more accessible seating area for those with mobility issues, the addition of 150 seats and set improvements. What Wiebe is excited about is the play. He says actors and directors have made the performance more accessible adding more depth to the characters, making it easier to identify with.
    “It is more than a re-enactment, the actors bring more understanding to the story,” he said.
    Returning are Tim Hildebrand as Matthew, Stephen Waldschmidt as Jesus, and Lennette Randall who portrays a powerful Mary Magdalene. Davis Snider, who played Jesus in 2007 is back in the fold at the Passion Play to portray Sadduk, a Pharisee in Jerusalem as well as act as an understudy for both Jesus and Matthew,
    There have also been changes to the music and the addition of a conductor, so the musical director Bill Hamm can monitor the performance more effectively.   
    Wiebe explains one change that surprised him as to the powerful affect it has had on the look of the performance is in the costumes. He said designers have made a concerted effort to recreate the costumes so they reflect the regional clothing and time period of the characters in the play. He says it has made an impact visually on the performance.
    The Passion Play opens tonight, Friday, July 9 at 6 p.m. and plays Saturday, July 10 at 6p.m., and Sunday, July 11 at 3 p.m. It continues Friday, July 16 at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 17 at 3 p.m., and Sunday, July 18 at 3 p.m.
    For more information go to

Motorcycle Madness returns this weekend


    That all too familiar rumbling is coming back to the valley this weekend for Motorcycle Madness.
    Some of the hottest rides from the valley and beyon will be descending on downtown Drumheller to celebrate all things motorcycle. Terry Kuhl, one of the organizers of the event says they have a full slate of activities for bikers and spectators alike.  The tagline for the event is “Bikes burnout and family fun in the heart of downtown Drumheller.”
    The beauty of the motorcycle is the majestic feeling of hitting the open road, and that is the main activity for the weekend.    
    On Friday night, riders can get involved by jumping in the steak ride and dinner. Those wanting to participate will be mustering at 5 p.m. on July 9 at Yavis Restaurant, and then hitting the road at 5:30 p.m. for an approximately one hour tour of the valley to culminate with a steak dinner
    Things get going bright and early in Downtown Drumheller on Saturday morning.  There will be a pancake breakfast from 8:30 to 11 a.m., hosted by the Morgan Jayne Project. This is also the time to register for the poker run, which takes off at 10:30 a.m., and takes riders on a tour of the area picking up cards along the way.
    The final card will be at the Drumheller Legion, the epicentre of the afternoon’s events. Centre Street from Railway Avenue, north past the Legion will be blocked for a show and shine, bike games, a burnout pit, live entertainment and other activities hosted in conjunction with Downtown Drumheller. The Legion will be hosting a beer garden and concession, and there will be entertainment into the night.
    All of these activities are not only to have fun but to support local community groups. The Morgan Jayne Project will benefit from the pancake breakfast, and the Drumheller and District Humane Society will be hosting a lunchtime barbecue to support their efforts. Last year the Motorcycle Madness committee, working as a non-profit, named the Drumheller Area Health Foundation as a benefactor of the event. This year they have decided to direct their funds to KidSport, a charity that allows children to participate in organized sport by helping to offset the costs for those in need.
    “That is why we do it all, to have fun and to raise funds for groups in need in the valley,” said Kuhl.

Motorcyclist killed in single vehicle accident


A single vehicle motorcycle accident on the North Hill of Drumheller resulted in the death of the operator, early Wednesday afternoon.
    Around 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7, Drumheller RCMP, Drumheller Fire Department and Badlands EMS were dispatched to the scene of a single vehicle accident north of Drumheller on Highway 9. According to a police release, the motorcycle was heading south down the hill when it went out of control with the driver and bike landing in the ditch on the west side of the road.
     The driver was taken by ambulance to the Drumheller Health Centre where he died shortly thereafter.
Police continue to investigate. According to Corporal Kevin Charles, witnesses to the accident observed nothing unusual in the driver’s handling of the motorcycle. Alcohol and speed are not believed to be factors in the accident.


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