Red Deer loses two cultural movers and shakers

Braun, Forhan used their talents to enrich local cultural scene

Red Deer loses two cultural movers and shakers

Red Deer lost two vibrant cultural leaders within two weeks with the deaths of Sadie Braun and Carole Forhan.

Braun, a pianist and founder of the Red Deer Chamber Singers, died on Tuesday at age 94. Forhan, co-founder of Red Deer Players and a long-time member of Central Alberta Theatre, succumbed to cancer on Oct. 24 at the age of 74.

Both women were described as upbeat trail-blazers who freely gave of their time and talents to boost Red Deer’s cultural scene.

Braun, a Manitoba native, nurse and piano teacher, got involved with the The Waskasoos barbershop singing group after arriving in Red Deer with her family in 1973.

By 1976, the mother of three had transformed the group into the Red Deer Chamber Singers, expanding membership and repertoire to include everything from Renaissance to contemporary selections.

The group held a 40th-anniversary concert last spring that ended with a mass choir of present and former members. Braun’s daughter, Sharon, who took over leading the Red Deer Chamber Singers about five years ago, said her mother loved seeing and socializing with people she had worked with through the years.

Sharon, a respected local musician and opera singer, said Braun taught her singing and encouraged her love of music. Dale Dickau, executive-assistant of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, described Braun as “a wonderful, very warm person,” who helped diversify Red Deer’s culture scene.

Forhan arrived in Canada when she was 14 with her family from Northern England. The mother of three lived in Ontario, Quebec and Drumheller before arriving in Red Deer in 1992 with her husband, Barry Forhan, who survives her.

The former school secretary dived into on- and off-stage roles at Central Alberta Theatre. She helped found the theatre group Red Deer Players, volunteered with CARE (Central Alberta Refugee Effort), TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), and animal rescue groups.

Her daughter, Rochelle Byiers, recalled Forhan taking therapy dog, Teddy, to visit Michener Centre residents. “She chose to be positive and busy — and she never stood still.”

“She did everything,” added fellow thespian, Debby Allan, who along with Forhan’s close friend Jan Underwood, described being inspired by Forhan’s sunny disposition, humour and kindness.

A public memorial was held for Forhan on Tuesday. Her passing follows that of several other long-time CAT members and founders over the last few years, including Mary Lou Armstrong, and Harold Truckle.

A memorial concert for Sadie Braun will be held in the spring.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Contributed image)
Wolf Creek Public Schools will not participate in curriculum pilot

Central Alberta school jurisdiction joins others across Alberta

AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
Most unvaccinated Canadians uncomfortable with AstraZeneca vaccine: survey

Just 41 per cent of Canadians who aren’t vaccinated, but intend to… Continue reading

Advocate file photo
Red Deer County approves winery in central Alberta

Winery proposed for rural property northwest of Innisfail

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine that was administered to seniors, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. A second COVID-19 vaccine is being investigated for possible links to blood clots, though the syndrome appears to be extremely rare. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Rogelio V. Solis
Canada receives report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

OTTAWA — A Quebec woman is the first in Canada to develop… Continue reading

Jennifer Lopez, left, and Alex Rodriguez take a selfie as they arrive at the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in January 2020. VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World will showcase Lopez. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
Selena Gomez and J.Lo headline vax concert for poor nations

NEW YORK — Backed by an international concert hosted by Selena Gomez… Continue reading

A vial of the vaccine by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a company owned by Johnson & Johnson. Federal health officials in the U.S. said early Tuesday they were urging a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine after reports of six serious blood clots, and officials in Washington state and around the country quickly complied. (Aristide Economopoulos/NJ Advance Media)
How J&J and AstraZeneca differ from the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine has hit a stumbling block in… Continue reading

An emergency response worker carries an air monitoring device at the site of a crude oil spill at a Trans Mountain Pipeline pump station in Abbotsford, on Sunday, June 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Failed fitting caused 190,000-litre spill at Trans Mountain site in B.C.: TSB

VANCOUVER — A Transportation Safety Board report says the failure of a… Continue reading

Ottawa
Indigenous leaders, experts urge Ottawa to quickly pass UNDRIP bill before election

OTTAWA — Indigenous leaders and legal experts are pushing federal lawmakers to… Continue reading

Visitors to a roadside memorial pay their respects in Portapique, N.S., on Friday, April 24, 2020. The Canadian Red Cross confirmed today it has collected $6.2 million in donations to help the families in rural Nova Scotia affected by the mass shooting last spring that claimed 22 lives. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Red Cross collects $6.2 million for families affected by Nova Scotia mass shooting

HALIFAX — Canadians and people from around the world donated $6.2 million… Continue reading

Hindu devotees wearing face masks as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus stand in a queue to offer prayers inside a temple dedicated to goddess Kali in Jammu, India, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. New infections have surged in the past month and India has now reported over 13.6 million cases — pushing its toll past Brazil, and making it second only to the United States. In the past 24 hours, over 160,000 new infections have been detected and experts fear that the worst is yet to come. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
Johnson & Johnson delays shot rollout in Europe

BERLIN — Johnson & Johnson says it is delaying the rollout of… Continue reading

Restaurant workers and restaurant delivery workers wait in line to sign up for Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccine site, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in the Sunset Park neighborhood of New York. The mobile vaccination effort includes two buses equipped with four to six vaccinators each, delivering the COVID-19 vaccine directly to communities most in need. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J vaccine over clot reports

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose… Continue reading

FILE-Team Canada’s Meaghan Mikkelson fights for control of the puck with U.S.A.’s Hayley Scamurra during third period of Women’s Rivalry Series hockey action in Vancouver, Wednesday, February 5, 2020. Gina Kingsbury, Hockey Canada’s director of women’s national teams, hopes a Rivalry Series against the United States can happen this winter.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michael Dwyer
Canadian women’s hockey team to open selection camp in Nova Scotia

Six goaltenders, 15 defenders and 26 forwards will vie for spots on Canada’s 23-player roster

Most Read