Eric Marsden takes Shayla Bristow (sitting in front) and Ruth Schenk for a spin on a dogsled. This was one of the more popular attractions at the Canada 150 Voyageurs Rendezvous and Métis Homecoming at Rocky Mountain Historic Site on Saturday.

Canada 150 Voyageurs event kicked off in Rocky Mountain House

A summer of voyageur-related activities are planned to celebrate Canada’s 150th

Fiddlers, native drummers, dog sleds and Métis jiggers provided the sights and sounds for the Canada 150 Voyageurs Rendezvous and Métis Homecoming on Saturday.

Held at the Rocky Mountain House Historic Site, hundreds stopped by to take in the events that ran over two days.

It is the first event ahead of the Confluence Heritage Society-organized canoe race that will begin on Canada Day in Rocky Mountain House and end in The Pas, Man. three weeks later. It is a scaled-down version of a centennial-celebrating 5,283-km race from Rocky to the site of Expo ‘67 in Montreal.

Confluence Society special events co-ordinator Adele Poratto said there will be a number of canoe events this summer.

“That’s what this is all about. Celebrating Canada 150 and the rich heritage of the voyageurs.”

In June, a fur trade paddling school will see students across the country learning the art of dipping an oar and water safety. A four-day, 120-km paddling event from the Kootenay Plains to Rocky Mountain House and voyageur whitewater canoe race are also planned for that month.

It all leads up to the departure of canoe teams for the big race on July 1.

“They’re going to be portaging, they’re going to be tenting and they’re going to need your encouragement to clap and cheer and wave them on,” said Poratto, during Saturday’s opening ceremonies.

One of the biggest draws for the youngsters on Saturday was the dogsled demonstration. Children were lined up to ride the sled behind a yapping team of sled dogs.

“I liked it,” said Ruth Schenk, 7, after her turn.

“This was a totally new experience,” said her mother Julie Schenk, who lives north of Edmonton and was in the area visiting family.

The event went over well with her family.

“It’s awesome. Beautiful weather and lots of things for the kids to do.”

Connie Marsden and husband Eric brought their dogsled teams all the way from Revelstoke, B.C. to show what their four-legged athletes can do.

The couple own Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures and have been training and racing dogsleds since 2009.

“It’s been pretty busy,” she said as a line of children waiting their turn on the dogsled grew behind her.

The conditions were almost too warm.

“There’s not much snow coverage. But with two dogs it’s totally do-able.”

Asked what she likes about dogsledding, she doesn’t hesitate.

“Everything. It’s a lifestyle,” she said.

For more information on this summer’s events go to www.voyageursrendezvous.ca

Just Posted

Relatives of murdered family critical of killers’ sentences

Open letter to sentencing judge criticizes ruling allowing killers to apply for parole in 25 years

City rolling out Green Carts

Green Carts used for organics, such as yard waste, food scraps and pet waste

New teaching standards applauded

New code of standards affecting teachers, principals and superintendents to kick in Sept. 1, 2019

UPDATED: Agriculture minister speaks to cattle producers

2018 Alberta Beef Industry Conference underway in Red Deer

Updated: Red Deer gets WHL Bantam Draft and Awards Banquet

WHL will holds its draft and awards ceremony in Red Deer for next three years

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Twenty years later, figure skating’s most famous backflip remains amazing (and illegal)

Figure skating involves spins, jumps, twizzles and a whole host of other… Continue reading

You don’t need to chop like a TV chef to get the job done

Standing in line at the emergency room, makeshift bandage around my finger,… Continue reading

Seychelles swaps debt for groundbreaking marine protection

CURIEUSE ISLAND, Seychelles — With deep blue waters, white sand beaches and… Continue reading

Trump endorses raising minimum age to 21 for more weapons

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump endorsed stricter gun-control measures Thursday, including raising… Continue reading

Red Deer blood clinic in need of 600 donors

Aunt encourages Central Albertans to donate blood after losing nephew

Court considers banning diesel cars in German cities

BERLIN — A German court began considering Thursday whether authorities should ban… Continue reading

US women beat Canada in Olympic hockey; Gisin tops Shiffrin

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — A tense shootout, a dazzling deke and… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month