Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate staff Ken Lewis, Red Deer County conversation co-ordinator, explains the origins of his story ‘Advisory Panel’ he presented at the digital storytelling event Monday evening at Crossroads Church.

Local stewards of the land share their stories at digital storytelling event

For Albertans, making the best of it in hard times and the good seems to always shine through.

On Monday at the Crossroads Church, farmers, ranchers, and conservationists from the Red Deer County shared stories through digital media – with photos and video – about their connection with the land.

The event, hosted in conjunction with Red Deer County, Cows and Fish, Clearwater County and the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance showcased the tales of eight individuals and their stewardship of land and water.

“Showcasing stories about how farmers look after the land. This is a chance to tell the stories about how farmers and ranchers have been looking after the land forever,” said Ken Lewis, Red Deer County conversation co-ordinator.

“Over the years, we’ve maybe not told that story enough. This is a chance to start telling that story again.”

Lewis, who produced a story called “Advisory Panel,” said the event highlighted the challenges farmers face today while taking direction from the past as an indicator to overcoming the adversity that both the land and life create.

“In the end, I guess that’s one of the cool things about this, is people come to the session with pictures and nobody knows what their story is. I think everybody ended up with a story that they didn’t think they were going to when they came,” Lewis explained.

“Maybe that’s the reality – that’s Alberta. That’s what our stories are all about. Overcoming hardships and dealing with tough times. Making the best of it. The pure Albertaness comes out in the stories.”

The eight producers of the digital stories at Monday’s event gathered in November at a two-day workshop for instructions on how to put the stories together.

Lewis said it’s the second time they’ve hosted the event in Red Deer Country, and, overall, he was happy with the public turnout Monday for the showcase and how the stories looked in the end. About 25 members of the public were on hand to take part in the evening.

“The stories were fantastic. We did one of these workshops about 10 years ago, and it was amazing stories then. This was our second go at it with producers from the Red Deer County and it was fantastic,” he said.

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