News | DrumhellerMail - Page #3337
Last updateFri, 14 Jun 2024 6pm

Shopkeepers optimistic going into 2010


    With the Christmas shopping season starting to wind down, with Boxing Day sales on the cusp, local businesses are optimistic about the future.
    Traditionally, the Christmas rush is a boon for local shop owners as residents bustle to find presents during the holidays.
    Worries began in early 2009 as the word recession began to creep back into the daily lexicon. For some shop owners, they are holding their own this holiday season, while others have yet to see any marked improvement.
    “We are close to being even with last year,” said Mark Notland, owner of Drumheller Sears. “The big thing is Boxing Day, that will be the determining factor that will show whether we are up or even.”
    As the economy began to slow, Notland went into the Christmas season hoping to be on par with last year after a marked slowdown in the last part of 2009, and so far it appears his business is on track.
    “If I could be even with last year, I’d be satisfied with that, just because of the conditions we have gone through,” he said. “We had a good last year. The slowdown didn’t start until about February.”
    He said the lowest point came through the summer, but Christmas has helped to bring in customers. He knows others were not so lucky.
    “There are some stores that are down 20 or 30 per cent. When you start losing a third of what you did from last year, that’s a pretty big slice,” said Notland.
    He says part of the slowdown could have been exacerbated by the media.
    “The news media forced a lot of this. Sure there were corrections that needed to be made, but a lot of people were starting to read that this may not be just a recession, but  maybe we’d slip into a depression. That was a little extreme,” he said.
    Despite the concerns
of a recession, Mel Cragg of Bill Cross Men’s Shop says he was expecting to be down, but has been pleasantly surprised. Business has been steady.
    He says he had a pretty productive summer, supplemented by many out of town shoppers. He shad a steady stream of visitors to the valley shopping at his store .
    Marylyn Faryna of Merle Norman, Marilyn’s Fashions and Esthetics and the Underground Galleria says she has yet to see a turn around.
    ‘I am down this year for sure,” said Faryna. “I haven’t done my numbers for December, but before December, I was definitely down. I know this month hasn’t brought me back up. This last week has been good, but before that, it wasn’t even like December.”
    “I was expecting that December was going to pull me back up from the downward spiral.”
    Despite this she says she is hopeful for the future.
    "I’m optimistic, things are going to come around,” she said. “I am optimistic for next year, I think there are going to be good things.”

Rockabilly New Year’s at Outlaws with Hurricane Felix


    Rock and roll is living on the fringes of everything else, mixing influences and carving out a new direction.
    This is the same formula Elvis had, as did the British invasion, taking UK teenagers and injecting rhythm and blues.
    These are the footsteps that Hurricane Felix an the Souther Twisters are following.
    The Rockabilly trio is playing Outlaws Saloon for New Year’s Eve. The band combines  the roots of subversive rockabilly, real rebel rock and roll, with a diverse mix of influences, including members of the band’s Latino background, country, punk and burlesque dancers.
    “Hurricane” Felix Calderon  says this is the first time the band that includes Calderon on the stand up bass and vocals, Earl Garnett on guitar and Calderon’s brother Santo on the trap kit, have ever been to Drumheller.  A first listen to their latest release has the sonic feel of the grease-monkey wrong side of the track rockabilly of the 50’s, singing about drag strips and dangerous curves of all kinds.
    On the surface it has the old sound, celebrating Detroit Iron, but there is an undeniable swagger to the sound that may come from two of the members coming from a Latino-Canadian home, and their experiences growing up.
    “I moved a lot when I was young. We lived in LA for a few years and definitely got the feel of the whole culture, from the grease to the leather jackets and the music and how all that ties together,” said Felix. “And being Latino from El Salvador had a lot more to bring to it, with the flavour of the rockabilly.”
    Rockabilly is garnering a following in the Calgary music scene, and Hurricane Felix have been on the leading edge, including pioneering a gig that combines the trademark stand-up bass slapping and a burlesque show. They have been getting rave reviews as they branch out away from Calgary and into Lethbridge and Edmonton.
    “As far as being in a rockabilly band too, you always have to keep on top of it, you don’t want to  be the same, but then you really don’t want to go out of your realm,” he said.
    That realm is ever expanding. He says playing the stand up bass is versatile and lends itself to the hillbilly country sound, jazz and even polka riffs. Now a trio, Hurricane Felix has, at times, brought on pedal steel, saxophones and even banjo to the mix.
    The result is a danceable mix that is all rock and roll.
    Hurricane Felix and the Southern Twisters are appearing at Outlaws Saloon on Thursday, December 31, with special guests the Ronny Hayward Trio, another well seasoned Rockabilly act that has toured extensively throughout Canada and Europe.
    Tickets are limited for the show hosted by Outlaws Saloon and Ink Slingers Tattoo. The night includes a free shuttle service  from Outlaws to Mac’s Convenience Store, door prizes and giveaways. Call 403-823-7799 for more information.

Kiss of luck


    The results are in  and local shopper Nancy Kiss won the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas giveaway.
    This year the chamber’s annual Christmas contest, where local shoppers enter to win weekly prizes from area merchants, and then   are entered in a grand prize draw for $1,000 dinosaur dollars, concluded on December 19. This year the contest also awarded 10 runner up prizes for  $100 dinosaur dollars.
    Kiss told inSide Drumheller, December was always her lucky month an in fact the win came close to her birthday. While some have concluded she must have entered the contest a great number of times to win, she said she simply shopped as she would regularly, and entered whenever she would get the chance.
    While she has no immediate plans for her winnings, she says there are few things she needs at the Brick.
    Other winnera included Darlene Alford who won $500 dinosaur dollars, and Bonnie Chambers who won the third prize of $250 dinosaur dollars.
    The 10 consolation prizes went to Marie Fairhead, Candy Lefferson, Jesse Axelsen, Greg Jacobsen, Sharon Garner, Jo Anne Baird, Larry Poland, Margaret Tabert, Alice Wilson and Diana Wolf.


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.