Fiddler Brianna Lizotte and her father Brian performed at the Earth Day celebration at Ft. Normandeau on Saturday. The free event was hosted by the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance and partners. See related video at bprda.wpengine.com (Photo by Jeff Stokoe/Advocate staff)

Making a Splash on Earth Day

Diversity through a water lens

Blistering winds and the crisp air did not keep Red Deerians away.

Historic Fort Normandeau was the place to be on Earth Day to witness Canada’s history and diversity through a water lens.

The crowd was treated to a BBQ and hot chocolate while Stephanie Poor, a Jingle Dancer from the Saulteaux First Nations in Manitoba, who lives in Red Deer performed two jingle dress dances, followed by a round dance that got everyone involved and warmed up.

All was part of The Red Deer River Watershed Alliance’s Splash event, which ties into Canada’s 150 and has a focus on love, stories, and place.

“This is fantastic, we had no idea how many people would come out, we created and designed this to be a fun family event and I think it worked.” Jeff Hanger, Executive Director of the Red Deer Rivershed Alliance was excited to see how many Red Deerians came out, despite the cold weather.

Red Deerians were invited to write love letters to Canada’s waters, which will then be part of a community art piece. They were also invited to explore the living library and hear stories. Fort Normandeau was once known at the red Deer River crossing, it is a gateway between northern and southern Alberta.

“We’re hoping that people take away two things from today. First is that there are a lot of community groups and organizations committed to and second, that everyone has a role to play and that every activity has an impact on the soil or our waterways,” says Hanger.

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated worldwide on April 22. Various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970.

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