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Local attractions to benefit from Canadian Badlands successful funding application


    The Atlas Coal Mine and the Canadian Badlands Passion Play will each receive a portion of the $6.2 million committed Monday by the federal government through the Community Adjustment Fund.
    The formal announcement of an injection of funding to Canadian Badlands occurred on Monday, September 21 at the Canadian Badlands Passion Play Site. Political leaders from many municipalities throughout the Canadian Badlands, as well as operators and other stakeholders were in attendance as MP for the Crowfoot Constituency Kevin Sorenson made the announcement.
    “Our government, through the Community Adjustment Fund, is proud to support rural Alberta communities and provide them with opportunities for economic growth,” said Sorenson, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “We are putting Canada’s Economic Action Plan to work by protecting and creating jobs, supporting the local tourism industry, and enabling communities to strengthen their foundation for long-term success.”
    Under the newly formed “Canadian Badlands Tourism Development Centre,” a single application was submitted to the Community Adjustment Fund for 23 different projects on behalf of 19 rural Alberta communities. Canadian Badlands Ltd. has since received the green light to make improvements to existing, as well as creating new, tourism-based infrastructure.
     “This money is going to do so much for our smaller, single-industry communities,” said Cindy Amos, executive director for Canadian Badlands. “The funding will put people to work, increase tourism capacity, attract small to medium size business to rural communities and stabilize rural populations.  This is a real boost to the local economy as well as to our ever-expanding tourism industry here in the Canadian Badlands.”
    Locally the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site will share a portion of the funds. Chair of the Atlas Coal Mine Historical Society Gerhard Schwarz said the funds would go towards the Site’s fundraising to complete Tunnel Vision. He says Sorenson has been an unwavering supporter of the Atlas Coal Mine.
    The Canadian Badlands Passion Play is also a recipient of a slice of the pie. Passion Play board chair Wilf Golbeck says the funds will help upgrade the heating system at the lodge, as well as expand hiking trails and extend the Roman Road.
    Treasurer of Canadian Badlands, Doug Jones, says this funding goes towards smaller infrastructure projects. This announcement follows on the heels of another contribution to Canadian Badlands from the provincial government just weeks ago.
    “What makes this good is the funds we received from the provincial government was more on the training side,” said Jones. “This is for infrastructure. This is going to build on the ground capacity.”
    Canadian Badlands Ltd. is a not for profit organization, which seeks to make the 90,000 square km region into Canada’s next iconic tourism destination.
    The Community Adjustment Fund is a federal program to mitigate the impacts of the economic downturn by encouraging job creation in affected communities.
    Other communities that will receive funds through the Canadian Badlands application are the MD of Acadia, the Village of Acme, the Village of Beiseker, the Town of Bow Island, the Brooks Aqueduct, the Village of Coutts, the Village of Foremost, the Town of Irricana, Kneehill County, the Town of Milk River, the Town of Oyen, the Village of Rosemary, Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions, the Village of Stirling, the County of Warner and the Village of Warner.

Morgan Jayne Project remembers Dallas Martens


    The story of Dallas Martens is the story of love, altruism, hope and dedication.
    It all came to a tragic halt as the man from Martensville, Saskatchewan, who committed to the Morgan Jayne Project and Familias Saluables, was killed tragically in a robbery, shocking the small island of Roatan, the international community, and here in Drumheller.
    “The world will be an emptier place without him,” said Fred Makowecki.
    Dallas and his wife Krissy happened on the Morgan Jayne Project after travelling to Roatan and seeing the clinic and project working on the front line of AIDS prevention with children. The couple, not married a full year began working on behalf of the project and soon staged a fundraiser in their home community.
    In July, they took a giant leap and moved to Roatan to stay a year, and to work in the clinic. They were planning to adopt Baby Will, a baby brought back  from the brink of death. The couple fell in love with the boy during their visit at Christmas in 2008.
    The tragic news of the passing of Dallas came to Makowecki via e-mail from Valerie Nelson, the Canadian woman who perates Familias Saludables, the Morgan Jayne Infant Care Centre and administers the Morgan Jayne Project in Roatan.
    On Friday evening, the couple was out to celebrate their first anniversary.  They went to look at a property to buy and possibly stay on the island, when they were approached by masked men. Dallas was shot and killed instantly.
    Dallas was one of the sweetest, kindest men I knew,” said Nelson in a letter to supporters and friends.
    News of the tragedy has hit hard in Drumheller. In May when Nelson visited the valley, Dallas and Krissy were here and met many local supporters of the Morgan Jayne Project.
    Makowecki said many in town followed the Martens’ family story as they moved down, helped to open the Infant Care Centre and then they planned to adopt Baby Will. Makowecki has heard from many involved with the project who are saddened and moved, and want to know what they can do to help.  He praises the community’s generosity, and willingness to get involved.
    “It really pains me, he was a dad and a husband of just a year, and he was senselessly murdered, It’s all so sad," said Makowecki. “They are perhaps the most giving caring people I have ever met.”
    Through this tragedy the project marches on. Mackweki says Dallas committed to the same cause as many others in the community who have given to the Morgan Jayne Project.
    "We want to make sure Dallas is remembered as we continue on the same efforts to save babies."

Passion Play to host Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast


The Drumheller Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is scheduled for Wednesday, October 7, 2009 and features a gourmet breakfast by Double D Catering, wonderful music, and guest speaker Rev. Lloyd Huber.
    This year’s Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is sponsored by the Canadian Badlands Passion Play Society. It is modeled after similar events in Edmonton and Ottawa.
    “The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast serves as a quit way to re-affirm our faith in God and an opportunity to participate in fellowship,” says Wilfred Golbeck, President of the Canadian Badlands Passion Play Society. He adds that the Prayer Breakfast is especially designed for business and community leaders.
    “It allows us an opportunity to reflect, and to connect with others,” says Golbeck.
    Mayor Bryce Nimmo is pleased to lend his support to this initiative.
    “Our country is formed on Christian principles,” says Nimmo. “The Prayer Breakfast gives us an opportunity to reinforce our feeling and share them with others.”
    The breakfast will start at 7:30 am in the Fellowship Hall at the Drumheller Church of the Nazarene. Tickets are $25 per person, or $240 for a reserved table of eight, and can be obtained at the offices of the Canadian Badlands Passion Play, at Town Hall, and at the Brick.
    Further information can be found at


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