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Fierce competition at WorldSkills

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    It was an experience of a lifetime for Daniel Green as he competed at WorldSkills 2009.
    Green, of Drumheller, was one of eight Alberta competitors at the international competition in Calgary. He competed in the automotive painting category, and he learned just how competitive a field it was. To the untrained eye, his completed work was impeccable. In the judges hands, he placed 14th out of 16 competitors. He explains that this was indicative of the competition as only a few points separated first from last.
    “They were all really good,” he said of his competitors who came from around the globe to the competition in Calgary from September 1 to September 5.
     Being from Alberta in the year that the games were hosted in Calgary, he said he felt like there may have been more pressure on him going into the contest. It soon dissipated.
    “I was nervous the first day, but then I settled down,” he said.
    The competition tested all his skills as a journeyman. Each participant was given the front clip of a car to complete the task. They had to mix their colours, prime, smooth the contours and do body repair. They then had to paint a design and apply decals.
    “It was testing  painting, prepping, masking, everything,” he said, adding they were graded on their workmanship as well as following procedure.
    Auto body work is his passion, and he excelled up the ranks leading to WorldSkills. It also ends his run at trades competition.
    “You are only allowed to participate at the worlds once, so I let someone else do it,” he said.
    He is thankful for the support of many in the community who supported his appearance at WorldSkills, especially his local employer Peterson Auto Body.
    “They taught me all of what I know today,” he said.

photo courtesy WolrdSkills


Dorothy's OH Ranch part of Doc Seaman's legacy

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    The OH Ranch’s natural character and ecological integrity will now be preserved for future generations thanks to a commitment and contribution honouring Calgary businessman and philanthropist, Daryl “Doc” Seaman.
    A special dedication took place on the ranch in Dorothy on Friday, September 4, which marked the ranch, along with the OH Ranch property in Bassano being dedicated a conservation easement, through an agreement with Ducks Unlimited.
    Members of Doc Seaman’s family, as well as Medicine Hat MP LaVar Payne and MP for Macleod Ted Menzies were on hand, marking the donation of one of Alberta’s largest conservation easements.
    “The OH Ranch is one of the oldest ranches in Alberta with a 125 year legacy of grazing and environmental stewardship,” said Jack Hole, president of Ducks Unlimited Canada. "Ducks Unlimited is proud to continue this long standing conservation tradition.”   
    “Years from now this land is going to look the same, and that is a great thing.”
    A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement between landowner and a qualified conservation organization. The landowner retains possession of the land, but commits to preserving the natural character, ecological integrity, the scenic value and/or the educational character of the land.
    According to Dave Kaye, Alberta operations manager of Ducks Unlimited, the type of landscape the OH Ranch has, is important habitat for the Northern Pintail, which nests in large tracks of native prairie. It is also important for the Long Billed Curlew, Sprague’s Pipet and the loggerhead shrike. The easements on the OH Ranch Dorothy and OH Ranch Bassano will help protect more than 45 square kilometres of southern Alberta grassland.
    A portion of the property at Dorothy has been classified as having ecologically sensitive lands or sites that contribute to biodiversity and environmental heritage. The donation qualifies for Environment Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program, and is eligible for an income tax benefit.
    MP Ted Menzies, spoke on behalf of Environment Minister Jim Prentice.
    “(This is) an important donation through the Ecological Gifts Program in partnership with Doc who has generously donated the land on which we  stand, the Government of Canada has helped to secure six new ecological gifts on four properties covering 7,179 hectares, worth approximately $26 million. This certification allows the land and the species that depend on it to be preserved in perpetuity. This is a marvellous legacy for future generations,” said Menzies.
    Seaman was an avid outdoorsman and hunter.
    “OH Ranch  has worked with Ducks for many years, so it was a natural fit for us to further partner with them to ensure these conservation easements were placed on OH Ranch Dorothy and OH Ranch Bassano,” said Doc’s son, Bob Seaman. “Wetland and wildlife conservation is an important component of the OH Ranch philosophy, and it is my father’s legacy.” 

World’s Largest Dinosaur welcomes 1,000,000th visitor

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The World’s Largest Dinosaur (WLD) celebrated a monumental milestone on September 5, 2009. Julie Mainville of Edmonton, Alberta was the 1,000,000th person to climb 106 stairs to the mouth of the dinosaur.
    Mainville received a gift package valued at over $500. The package included World’s Largest Dinosaur merchandise, passes to other great Drumheller Valley attractions, a meal voucher and dinosaur dollars.
    Operated by the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce, the World’s Largest Dinosaur officially opened its doors on October 13, 2000. The towering T-Rex standing 86 feet tall was the brainchild of a group of Drumheller business owners. It was through the determined work of many volunteers and funding from a variety of sources that the project was completed.
    Nine years later, the WLD has celebrated many successes. It has been honoured with several prestigious awards including Attractions Canada Awards at both the provincial and national levels. Loans used to fund the project were paid back in full, five years earlier than originally planned. The Chamber of Commerce has also established a Legacy Fund, which designates 15% of admission fees and 10% of Giftshop sales to help other organizations realize their goals.
    General Manager of the Chamber of Commerce, Heather Bitz states “It’s an exciting day in the 88 year history of the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce. Drumheller, the Dinosaur Capital of the World, is a great vacation destination and we are happy to provide visitors with such a unique attraction.”


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