Hello, Diamond Valley. Canada Day is July 1st, which is a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of Canadian Confederation, which was July 1, 1867. With the passing of the Constitution Act, 1867, the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada. The name Canada likely comes from the Huron-Iroquois word “Kanata” meaning village or settlement. According to Canada.ca, back in 1535, two aboriginal youths told French explorer Jacques Cartier about the route to Kanata, actually referring to the village of Stadacona. For lack of another name, Cartier used the word Canada to describe the entire area which was controlled by its chief, DonnaCona. Explorers and fur traders opened up territory to the west and south, and the area known as Canada grew. In the early 1700s, the name referred to all French lands in what is now the American Midwest and as far south as present day Louisiana. The first official use of Canada as a name was in 1791, when the province of Quebec was divided into the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada. In 1841, the two colonies were united under one name, the province of Canada.
Unfortunately, our own Canada Day celebrations are cancelled for this year, due to COVID-19, and the uncertainty of planning such a big celebration with the Music Festival and fireworks. I’m sure curious to know how the Calgary Stampede will go. It seems strange to go from all the restrictions and closures to an event as large as the Stampede. It’s too crowded for me normally anyhow, so I will stay away as usual and watch it on the telly. The Turner Valley Gas Plant is closed also for the season, and at the time of writing the Town had not been contacted yet regarding the annual Diamond Valley Car Show usually held at the end of July, as most events are being decided more last minute due to COVID-19. This seems to be the case with a lot of events we usually look forward to, and I certainly sympathize with organizers. But we can certainly find other things to keep us occupied this month anyway.
The kids are out of school and there is lots for them to do, including the Turner Valley Pool. The Pool will run basically the same as last year, with no drop-ins allowed. Okotoks has taken over the contract for the next three years to manage the Pool, so if you would like to book your swim, go to activeokotoks. ca, and look under “Aquatics Activities in Turner Valley”. If you did not use your pass from last year, they will still take them as a discount on new passes. They added extra hours of lane swim and have made other adjustments to compensate for the restrictions. The Pool is celebrating its 57th year!
Kids can also make use of the Black Diamond Skate Park, which includes a 1⁄4 ramp rail/jump, a round grind rail, a straight flat grind rail, and an inverted jump. No idea what this means, I couldn’t stay on a skateboard for more than .2 seconds if you paid me, but it is fun to watch these young ones swirling around on their skateboards. Residents have been donating towards the Park, with the entire cost being fundraised by Black Diamond Skate Park Fundraiser Committee, with no cost to taxpayers, which is awesome. The Skate Park is located behind the Oilfields Regional Arena, in the Erma Joy Brown Park, and wear your helmet.
Several summer day camps are in operation for July and August, hopefully there are some spots left if you wish to enroll your kids for a week or longer. The Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area offers virtual Nature Safari Day Camps as well as Leadership Camps in July and August. For ages 6-15, more information can be found at crossconservation.org. The Leighton Art Centre also offers Art and Nature Summer Day Camps they run July 5 – August 27 from 9:30-3:30 weekdays with themes of What’s the Buzz (about bees), A Walk in the Woods, To the Moon and Back, and Big Alberta Skies. Find out more at leightoncentre.org.
Our own Boys and Girls Club of Diamond Valley and District offer Summer Camps for 5-12 year olds during the week. Themes for 2021 include: Animal Planet, Survivor, Olympics, Water Adventures, Sports, and Inventors Workshop. Their 2021 season for camps runs from July 5 – August 20, and is very reasonable. The number for more info is 403-933-3066. And Foothills Academy offers Camp Annicus, which is designed specially for children and youth with learning disabilities and/or ADHD. They also host an online camp, an advanced day camp in Bragg Creek, and a horsemanship camp at the Academy. The Camp has its beginnings in 1982 and has a 3:1 ration of staff to campers. Go to foothillsacademy.org to find out more and happy camping!
The Highwood Business Development Corporation has a large youth department in which it supports youth in our community. If you are under 18 and are looking for a summer job, need a good resume, career direction, or even to start your own business, they can help! They have lots of different business programs, business loans, and services to both youth and employers looking for students to hire for the summer. Find out more at hbdc.net.
Why not take your kids out fishing on the Free Fishing Weekend, July 3rd and 4th. No fishing license is required this weekend, anywhere except national parks, and fishing regulations must be followed. We went camping in the middle of June and saw lots of minnows in the shallows of the Sheep River, so fishing should be good this year. To find out where you can fish, and what bodies of water are stocked and aerated, regulations, and more, go to mywildalberta.ca.
If you are into hiking and exploring nature, the Kananaskis offers splendid trails and sights. Some trails to check out include Indian Oils, Mist Creek, South Gorge Creek, Death Valley, Curley Sand, Sheep Trail, Ware Creek, Windy Point, Volcano Creek, Wildhorse, and Threepoint Mountain.
Trails range from about 3-15 kilometers with different grades of steepness. These trails are in the Sheep River Valley protected area. Please help minimize your impact on the environment while out hiking in our beautiful Kananaskis. For more information, visit Kananaskis-Country.ca.
Our annual Bloomin’ Turner Valley contest’s deadline is July 5th. Submit your garden flower photos to admin@ turnervalley.ca to try for a chance to win $100. There are five categories; Home Grown Favorite (residential flower display), Best Business or Non-residential Display, Community Spirit, Conservation and Environmental, and Creative Kids (flowers, vegetables, bee boxes, bat houses, and bird houses. Check out the winners and pictures on July 16. My flowerbeds have really come along in the past years so I just might enter. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “flowers are the Earth’s laughter”. Good luck to all contestants!
The 32nd annual Ride for STARS takes place virtually from May 15th– August 15th. The popular event invites you to ride your horse on your favorite trail and collect pledges for STARS Air Ambulance. You can sign up today. They also sell raffle tickets for great prizes. An online auction will take place from August 1-6. If you’re interested in donating a prize, silent auction item, or register as a rider, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more, go to STARS.ca.
While in Turner Valley, please check out Jessica’s Closet, a second hand and consignment store located at 406 Main Street. They have a Facebook page where you can find out all about this unique organization, and also see what goodies they have for very reasonable prices right here at home. Jessica’s Closet is open Thursdays and Fridays from 1-5, and Saturdays from 9-5. Their phone number is 403-878-7756.
If you have any events or news regarding your not for profit organization or just some interesting tidbits about what’s happening around town, feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com. Our paper is distributed all over the Foothills and has a lot of good reading in it every month. The deadline for the August issue is July 15th. Whatever you decide to do this summer, have fun and be safe!