‘Morally despicable:’ Judge sentences former Young Canadians worker to 10 years

CALGARY — A man who worked for 36 years with a Calgary young people’s performance group has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sex offences against some of the performers.

Justice Larry Ackerl accepted a joint sentencing recommendation after Philip Heerema, who is 55, and entered guilty pleas mid-trial in January.

Ackerl says Heerema preyed on the young men and his actions were morally despicable and ultimately criminal.

Heerema, who has been free on bail, resigned in 2014 from The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts in Calgary when police began investigating several complaints.

The alleged victims were teen male students who were at the school between 1992 and 2013.

The school works with students between 11- and 18-years-old and their training in dance, voice and performance culminates with a grandstand shows during the Calgary Stampede every July.

s

Just Posted

Rebels drop home opener to Oil Kings

The Edmonton Oil Kings were simply better than the Red Deer Rebels… Continue reading

Diesel spilled in Penhold neighbourhood

Penhold Fire Department responded

House fire in Penhold

Damage estimated at $30,000

Red Deer Players host play reading for public

Audience feedback for playwright

Sylvan Lake cleanup cancelled

Weather prompts cancellation

RDC Kings topple Medicine Hat College Rattlers

Kings Matheus Alves scores twice in the win

Nurse leads Canada over South Korea 82-63 at FIBA Women’s World Cup

TENERIFE, Spain — Kia Nurse poured in 29 points to lift Canada… Continue reading

Aretha Franklin exhibit debuts with eye toward her legacy

DETROIT — The Detroit museum that hosted Aretha Franklin’s public visitations after… Continue reading

‘Anaana’s Tent’ passes Inuit songs, legends, language to a new generation

In Pangnirtung, Nunavut, on the eastern tip of Baffin Island, Rita Claire… Continue reading

Housing data decision opens door to real estate innovation, say realtors

TORONTO — Realtor Daniel Steinfeld has wanted to post home sales data… Continue reading

Ty Long kicks winning field goal, Lions come back to beat Ticats in OT

VANCOUVER — Ty Long was eager for a special moment, and he… Continue reading

Indigenous eateries take centre stage in Canada thanks to increasing awareness

VANCOUVER — Since Paul Natrall started serving Indigenous cuisine from his Mr.… Continue reading

Canada’s capital region reeling after intense tornado rips through communities

OTTAWA — Parts of Canada’s national capital were still reeling Saturday after… Continue reading

Coaches, players on Alberta university rugby team buckle up for the Broncos

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — The head coach of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns… Continue reading

Most Read