Monday, September 12, 2011

Peace River Library Grand Opening

Tomorrow, September 13, the Peace River Municipal Library & Cultural Centre will have its Grand Opening! There is a formal, by invitation event at 11:00, and then the public is invited to stop in for cake and Tim Horton's coffee between 3:00 and 8:00.

Come see the beautiful new facility with an art gallery, fireside reading lounge, public computers, over 100 magazine and newspaper subscriptions, and of course, more than a few books (about 38,000, with access to thousands more through Interlibrary Loan). There are also public meeting rooms and much more. If you've never been in a 21st century library, come and see how different it is from what you may remember from childhood.

The library is located behind the Greyhound Bus Depot at 9807-97 Avenue.

Regular hours will resume on Wednesday, open 10-6.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

16th Annual Aboriginal Gathering and 8th Annual Powwow: June 11-12, 2011

It's Powwow time in the Peace Country, and in a new location this year--the Agricultural Grounds in Northern Sunrise County, East of Peace River. This is where the opening and closing ceremonies were held last year for the Alberta Summer Games and it should be a great venue for this important event. 
As much as I love the Twelve Foot Davis Ball Park, where the event was held for the past two years, it poses many challenges, such as not enough space for camping, no kitchen, and traffic control over the Heart River bridge.  At the Ag Grounds there is lots of room for camping, plus space for the drumming, dancing, jigging, and fiddling events, food booths, displays, and merchants. But I'll miss hearing the sounds of the drums and singing coming up from the ball park!

It's a great family event and a wonderful opportunity to see highly-talented individuals celebrating their culture. Plan to attend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Town of Peace River News Releases: Fire ban/Misery Mountain evacuation centre

Two news releases yesterday from the Town of Peace River:

Due to windy conditions and high wildfire risks, the Town of Peace River is implementing a total fire ban effective immediately, and until further notice.

The fire ban prohibits the use of all wood and briquette fires, including those contained in designated fire facilities and portable fire pits. Gas and propane stoves and/or barbeques, when approved for cooking, are permitted.

Media inquiries may be directed to:
Neil Tkach
Deputy Chief of Operations
Town of Peace River Fire Department
Phone: 780-624-0927
Cell: 780-618-8597


The Town of Peace River would like to extend a sincere THANK YOU to all individuals, community groups, and businesses for their incredible support and contributions during this time of hosting the evacuees of Loon River, Red Earth Creek, and Little Buffalo.

The Misery Mountain Reception Centre registered 335 evacuees and continues to provide food services to approximately 250 individuals per meal.

Due to the generous donations received to-date, the Reception Centre does not require any further donations at this time.

If you would like to volunteer your time, please call the Misery Mountain Ski Hill at 780-624-4881 to register. Volunteers will be contacted when there is a need, as each day changes.

The Town would encourage all citizens to please provide privacy to the evacuees by not coming to the Reception Centre and we would ask that you please take extra care while driving as the evacuations have brought many additional children to our community.

For donations to the Slave Lake fire please go to the Red Cross Website at

Media inquiries may be directed to:
Renate Bensch
Public Information Officer
Town of Peace River
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Public input sessions on proposed Off-Highway Vehicle Bylaw

A regional Off-Highway Vehicle Committee was formed in about 2008 to examine the issues surrounding off-highway vehicles--noise, safety, potential for trails/tracks, etc. (Off-highway vehicles include snowmobiles, dirt bikes, quads, etc.)

A bylaw has been drafted to try to address the needs of urban and rural residents with regard to these vehicles. The participating municipalities are now looking for feedback at a series of open houses.

Open houses are all at 7:00 PM (no information on how long they run):
  • April 18: Grimshaw Elks Hall (MD of Peace No. 135)
  • April 19: Manning Legion Hall (County of Northern Lights)
  • April 20: Marie Reine Cultural Centre (Northern Sunrise County)
  • April 21: Belle Petroleum Centre (Town of Peace River)

Come out to learn about how the bylaw might affect you (whether or not you use off-highway vehicles) and to offer your feedback.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Choral Music Week in Peace River: May 2-7, 2011

Peace Region residents will want to check out this exciting week of choral music.

Monday, May 2, 7:30 PM: Holy Family School in Grimshaw
The University of Alberta Mixed Chorus and Faculty of Education Handbell Ringers. Admission is $5.00 per person. 

Tuesday, May 3, 7:30 PM: St. James Anglican Church in Peace River
The Augustana University Choir will present its concert "Earth, Wind, Water, Fire." Admission is $15/adult, $10/child, and $40/family. 

During the week, the Alberta Opera will be visiting various schools in the area.

Saturday, May 7, 7:30 PM: St. James Anglican Church in Peace River
The Peace River Community Choir will hold its season finale recital. The choir recently achieved a superior rating at the North Peace Performing Arts Festival.  Congratulations! Admission is by donation. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Not an April Fool's Joke: The Peace River Bus is Done

Peace River's innovative transit system is finished, and this was abruptly brought home tonight when I spoke with a young couple who have relied on the bus for years. They are tremendously disappointed with this decision by our Town Council. In fact, I haven't spoken with anyone in weeks who thought this was a good idea. The Chamber of Commerce didn't think it was a good idea. Just who is Council listening to, besides the taxi drivers?

And as of tomorrow, the lives of this couple will once again contract to the East side of the river, to wherever they can get to by foot (he will push her in a wheelchair), and finding rides from others. Gone is the freedom and dignity they've enjoyed to choose when and where they went in this sprawling town, for an affordable price.

They and others will have to scramble to find rides to work, to college, to daycare, to get groceries, to get to the doctor or hospital. Back to having to depend on friends, scrounging rides as they can get them, or paying expensive cab fares.

And if Deputy Mayor Darling's still-in-development plan is eventually implemented, they may have the opportunity to get subsidized taxi passes if they can prove they belong to some less fortunate group that he has deemed worthy of this help.

How demeaning and disempowering. "Here's my T4 to prove I'm among the working poor;" "Here's my AISH status, my birth certificate ...") On the bus, everyone was equal and you didn't have to prove you were eligible to ride.

And now our Mayor is trying to blame staff because there hasn't been a "seamless transition" to some as-yet-to-be-decided alternative. How noble.

Has there been clear direction to staff from this Council in the form of a motion? Has Council ever clearly articulated to the public that the Town was working on something to replace the bus--if so, this is news to the riders and the concerned members of the Peace River Transit Stakeholder's Group. Why was Deputy Mayor Darling dabbling with an "enhanced" taxi pass scheme if staff had been directed to do this?  And why did NADC withdraw from doing a proper a transit study? So many questions, so few real answers. So much for transparency.

What a sad day for our town--Peace River was actually starting to look like a progressive place that welcomed all kinds of people and considered the quality of life for everyone. Now? Not so much.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tell Alberta Views About Peace River (deadline Tuesday, March 29)

Alberta Views magazine has an interesting monthly feature on communities by postal code and next up (for the June issue) is T8S--Peace River! It would be great to see a variety of responses from our residents.

You are asked to respond to three questions:

(1) What do you love about your community?
(2) What do you, well, not love so much?
(3) What would you love to change?
Submit your responses to Peter Worden at by Tuesday.