Hello, Diamond Valley. Well we had our first bit of snow on October 12 but it had all melted by noon. Oh, not too bad, we thought, happy days are here again. Well Mother Nature had the last laugh when we woke up to a nice wet dump of snow with a forecast for more to come. Sigh. I guess it’s time to pull out the snow shovels and the winter coats. However, I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. It was a quiet weekend for many and it seemed we didn’t have as much traffic around town as usual.
Speaking of snow, volunteers are needed every winter to shovel walks for seniors and those needing a hand. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer Snow Angel, please contact Suzan at 403.933-4348 for the address of someone in your area who could really use your help.
Many of us are tired of the news these days. It’s been a long haul with this pandemic with not much of an end in sight for now. The first Wednesday of November, the 4th, is National Stress Awareness Day. This day aims to identify and reduce the stress factors in life. Everyone has stress. Some is good for us as it helps us to respond to changes in life. It is our body’s way of protecting itself from harm. However, too much stress causes harm to our health and relationships. The pandemic definitely continues to be stressful for us all, and some feel it even more when you add in bipolar disorder with the changing of the season, anxiety disorder, depression, and post- traumatic stress disorder. There is help to be had! The Canadian Mental Health Association has strategies to help, such as physical activity, doing things you enjoy, meditation, counselling, support groups, and so much more. Please take a moment to check out their website at mymentalhealth.ca. It is a valuable tool in helping yourself, your family, and others, and remember, you are not alone in these stressful times.
Rowan House is an important organization here in our Foothills, as a short-term women’s emergency shelter. When women reach out to them for help, it tends to be after abuse has taken place. They strongly believe in prevention and education, and so have an awareness event coming up, the third annual “Breakfast with the Guys”, with keynote speaker Jake Stika. Jake has an impressive background in both women’s and men’s voices being heard, and will talk about the small ways you can actually make a big difference for all the women and girls in your life. This will be a virtual event and includes fun surprises. A $20 ticket gives you access to this Zoom event, and $40 includes access, a mailed swag bag, and a $25 gift certificate to Foothills restaurants for breakfast, all for a worthy cause. Breakfast with the Guys is on Friday, November 6 from 7-9am, for tickets and information, go to rowanhouse.ca. Ifyou or someone you know needs help, call their Crisis Line at 403.652.3311 (text enabled) or toll free at 1.855.652.3311.
The Alberta Government is providing monetary help to municipalities, charitable and non-profit organizations to provide help to individuals, seniors, families, and other vulnerable Albertans who are isolated or impacted by measures to contain COVID-19. Through grants from their local Family and Community Support Services Association of Alberta, funding will be distributed to civil society organizations. These organizations will support a range of services needed from at-home help for seniors, crisis and helplines, food security issues, emotional and mental health counselling or any other identified community issue. To find out more about eligibility for your organization, contact Black Diamond FCSS at 403.933.4348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the time of writing, our towns and our not-for-profits have had the difficult decision to cancel many events this year. We will not be doing Light Up, Firefighter’s Food Drive, Shop Black Diamond Contest, Oilfields Hospital Basket Raffles, and Tree of Giving. But! Stay tuned on the web for updates frombothtowns,asthingsmaychange. Remembrance Day is November 11. There will not be a ceremony at the High School this year, and no service afterwards at the Legion. Just too many people and not enough room to hold us all safely. The Legion will have a small ceremony at the Cenotaph to honour our lost soldiers. Please honour them at 11:00 am with a minute of silence. And wear a poppy! The Poppy Campaign kicks off Oct. 30 and they have said volunteers will be set up at Costco, Walmart, and usually they are at BD’s AG Foods as well. Look for poppy boxes at local businesses as well. The Poppy is our emblem of supreme sacrifice. All monies raised from the Campaign go towards Veterans, bursaries, and programs and benefits for Veterans.
So, this year there are many events that are cancelled because of safety concerns, and rightly so. But many have forged ahead and are finding creative ways to follow AHS protocols and still have their events. In an attempt to bring some normalcy back, the Turner Valley Legion Ladies Auxiliary will be going ahead with their annual Holiday Shopping Spree on Sat. Nov. 21 from 10-3. They hope to have their popular bucket raffles as well, with local businesses doing their best to support them. Depending on the amount of donations, they may have some extra raffles at the Friday night suppers. Our community is strong and resilient and they hope the coming event will give everyone something to look forward to. So, come out Nov. 21, have breakfast, do some shopping, and help support our Legion, our Veterans, and our many local Artisans. For more info the Legion’s number is 403.933.4600.
New this year is the first annual Cowboy Christmas Western Vendor’s Market. Hosted by Big Rock Arena and Black Magic Quarter Horses, this Market is all things western and horse themed, and all local Canadian handmade items.
Admission is free for this indoor heated riding arena. Come hungry as there will be food trucks on site. Just minutes off Highway 7 and north on 48 St. W., for more info, check out their Facebook page.
The very popular Millarville Christmas Market is a go with pre- purchased tickets mandatory this year, no drop ins. They must adhere to a maximum capacity within the grounds to help keep everyone safe. Your $5.98 ticket gets you parking, admission, and two hours of exclusive Christmas shopping like never before! Kids 12 and under are free. Dress in layers as there are over 300 vendors indoors (check out albertawhiskycake. com to see if they will be there this year!) and out, food trucks, campfires, forging demonstrations, music, photos with reindeer, and much more. The Market runs November 5-8 and again November 12-15. When you purchase your ticket, you will be able to pick your two hour time slot. For more info or to purchase your ticket, visit millarvilleracetrack.com or call 403.931.2404.
Not far from Millarville is the beautiful Leighton Art Centre. They are pleased to host their annual Christmas in the Country Art Sale from November 5 – December 23 from 10-4. Fine craft and artworks by local artists will be featured in the galleries of the historic Leighton home and on their online shopping site (shop.leightoncentre.org). Discover over 1000 talented artists. Free parking and admission with donations gratefully accepted. Spectacular Rocky Mountain views included! More info at leightoncentre.org.
And our friends in Okotoks will be hosting their annual Christmas Market November 13-15. They are excited to announce over 150 of the best artisans from Southern Alberta along with Santa, live caroling, and more. The event will be spread over two locations, the Foothills Centennial Centre and the Elks Hall. For more info on this event, visit themarketsquare.ca.
Our dear Valley Neighbours Club member, Laura Haywood, has for many years talked of the Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Program, which people can gather items for children to have something at Christmas time. Operation Christmas Child 2020 is a go. You can build a box online this year, or pack your own shoebox. Items can include school supplies, toiletries, small gifts, and letters and pictures also. Empty shoeboxes can be found at Black Diamond Gospel Chapel and can be dropped off at the Okotoks Free Church, or High River Baptist Church. A $10 postage must be included. National collection week is November 18-24. For more information, visit samaritanspurse.ca or for online boxes, PackABox.ca.
Sheep River Library is offering many programsthisyeartokeepyoubusy. One to keep you warm and entranced is Poetry by the Fireside with famous Cowboy poetess Doris Daley facilitating. This group meets on the last Thursday of the month at 10:30 to read the works of poets both dead and alive and share their own work. A voluntary monthly writing project is assigned. Check out this and other programs at sheepriverlibrary.ca. or give them a call at 403.933.3278.
Amalgamation talks are still up in the air. The next Joint Friendship Agreement Committee Meeting will be held on November 11 at 6pm at the Flare and Derrick to facilitate physical distancing for both towns council members. Members of the public can view using Turner Valley’s live stream link. The agenda or previous meeting’s minutes can be viewed using the “Download Agenda” button at the top of the screen at turnervalley.ca. For more updates and frequently asked questions regarding amalgamation, visit town.blackdiamond.ab.ca and search “proposed amalgamation”.
If you have any events or news for the December issue, please email me at email@example.com. The deadline for this issue is November 15.
Stay safe and keep smiling everyone!