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WLD Legacy Fund supports local initiatives

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    The World’s Largest Dinosaur’s legacy is supporting three community groups in the valley.
    Part of the goal of the World’s Largest Dinosaur is to give back to the community. Shortly after the chamber realized the debt incurred by the dinosaur, they established the World’s Largest Dinosaur Legacy Fund. To date they have contributed $58,000 to 10 community groups for local projects.
    On Thursday, October 1, the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce presented a cheque for $2,000 to Drumheller Communities in Bloom, and $2,000 to the Canadian Badlands Artists Association. General manager of the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce Heather Bitz says this year there were 11 applications for the Dinosaur Legacy Fund. The third recipient will be announced at a later date.
    Jim Carlson, chair of the Canadian Badlands Association, told The Mail, the grant would be used to upgrade the lighting at the Canadian Badlands Artists Association’s Community Gallery in downtown Drumheller. He explains the new track style lighting will improve the look and the illumination of the gallery. Modern lighting will also help protect the works of art that can be subjected to degradation due to harsh lighting conditions.
    The Badlands Artists Association has been operating since 2001 to raise the profile and awareness of arts in the community and showcasing local artists. It operates the gallery of members’ works in downtown Drumheller. 
    Communities in Bloom in Drumheller was the second recipient of the World’s Largest Dinosaur Legacy Fund.  Communities in Bloom has been active in the beautification of Drumheller through dozens of projects contributing to the health of the community. The group recently came back from provincial adjudication awards ceremonies  with four out of five Blooms.
    One of the projects the judges liked was the revitalization on the parcel of land at the corner of South Dinosaur Trail and Highway 9/56. The money from the fund will go towards constructing signage on the lot, directing visitors to check out the amenities in downtown Drumheller. Patricia Parker says Image Crafters is making the signs which will be visible from three sides.
    The World’s Largest Dinosaur Legacy Fund invests a portion of the funds generated by visits to The World’s Largest Dinosaur, to enhance and enrich economic development activities in the Drumheller region.

PBI board members to review assessment

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    The Board members of Prairie Bible Institute (PBI) have  some important decisions to mull over, looking into the future of the iconic school in Three Hills.
    The Drumheller Mail reported in its July 29 edition that PBI was completing an analysis of its operations and exploring the possibility of moving its operation to Drumheller. President of PBI Jon Olhauser confirmed if they decide to move to Drumheller, they are investigating the former Drumheller Hospital Site as well as the current St. Anthony’s School property, both in east Drumheller.
    Most recently members of the Board of PBI held a town hall meeting with residents of Three Hills to share information with the estimated 600-plus attendants of the decision making process. Reports were that most in attendance were  strongly opposed  to the move.
    According to Bob Webber, communications person for PBI, the meeting is an important part of the decision making process.
    “The community was rallying saying, ‘this is a great place to be too!’” said Webber. “The assessment team is taking all that public input and putting it into its assessment they are bringing to the board.”
    Webber says there will be a board meeting in mid October where much of the findings of the  study will be presented.
    “It was a useful meeting and there has been some good discussion on various things and at this point, it is impossible to speculate what the board will decide, but the board is gong to have all the options laid out for them,” said Webber.
    He said the board was courageous to look at the possibilities of relocation.   
    “You have 80-some years of history in Three Hills, but the good news is there are some good possibilities for this organization that Drumheller offers, and they are willing to have the courage to look at it. It has opened a can of worms, but they are working through it,” said Webber.
    He adds the board is looking at all the possibilities that Drumheller has to offer including the air strip for its aviation school.
    “One message that did come out for everyone concerned is they can’t let a decision like this hang in the air for a long time. It creates too much uncertainly for everybody,” said Webber.

Federal, provincial contributions paves way for Rosebud Centre

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    Rosebud Theatre is now able to realize a goal it set out on eight years ago and is moving forward on the Rosebud Centre.
    On a chilly Saturday morning on October 3, the provincial and federal government brought the news of a contribution of almost $2.5 million to the theatre in the Hamlet of Rosebud.  
    Rosebud School of the Arts executive director Bob Davis is ecstatic they will be able to move ahead with the two-storey 10,000 square foot development which will expand the theatre’s dining area, gift shop, and add a tourist information centre and flexible teaching space for Rosebud School of the Arts.
    “This project marks a new era for our school, theatre and community, one that will greatly enhance the development of arts and education in rural Alberta while at the same time create jobs, opportunity for youth and important new facilities for tourism and culture that Canadians will enjoy for years to come,” said Davis.
    The federal government came through with $2 million for the project through the Community Adjustment Program. This is a two-year $1 billion national program that is part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. According to a release, it is designed to provide an economic stimulus by supporting projects that create jobs and maintain employment in rural communities.
    “I’m proud that our government, through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, is making an investment in a facility that will benefit both the economy and environment in Rosebud,” said MP Kevin Sorenson who was on hand for the announcement. “Expanding Rosebud Centre will help create jobs, improve local infrastructure and provide this region with more opportunities for economic growth.”
    The provincial government also chipped in to the project in a big way by contributing $450,000 through the Community Facility Enhancement Program.
    “All strong and vital communities have arts and culture at their core,” said Lindsay Blackett, Minister of Alberta Culture and Community Spirit. “The Government of Alberta is pleased to support this worthwhile project that will provide more Albertans with access to culture and further strengthen economic activity in the community and surrounding areas.”
    The Community Facility Enhancement Program is maintained by the Alberta Lottery Fund and has a budget of $38 million for 2009-2010. It provides financial assistance to build, repair, renovate or otherwise improve Alberta’s extensive network of community-use facilities.
    A release states that in addition to creating jobs, Rosebud Centre will, “further generate revenues by allowing the facility to operate year-round and enable more local and regional events, conferences, and festivals to be held in Rosebud.”
      Davis says preliminary discussion began in 2001 of building the Rosebud Centre. In 2003 and 2004 they began to pursue the project and completed some designs. At the time the federal and provincial government lent their support to the project, as well as other contributors including EnCana and BJ Services.  Because of the economic boom, and the skyrocketing construction costs, the project was shelved. He says these two significant donations will allow the project to move forward. The work is not over however on the fundraising end says Davis. They will still have to come up with about $700,000 to complete the project.
    Construction will begin this October and it is anticipated it will conclude in the spring of 2011.

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