The song ‘Valour and Pride,’ performed by local musicians in support of veterans and first responders, was officially launched Friday. (From left to right) Dylan Robinson, Steve Critchley, Micheal Thibeau, Tony Sowan, Donny Smith and Denver Swainson. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Red Deer musicians launch song supporting veterans, first responders

A song created by local musicians to support veterans and first responders has been released.

“It took a team of people to come together and make this song sound as beautiful as it does,” said Tony Sowan, who wrote Valour and Pride.

“The song has an East Coast feel. … We were inspired by the Trews song Highway of Heroes, which has an East Coast vibe too.

“I think this is going to be easily played on a country station, a rock ‘n’ roll station, any of that, especially if someone wants to build up a little awareness for what the song is about.”

Proceeds from the song, which Sowan said is available on all digital services, will support veterans and first responders dealing with post traumatic stress syndrome and other mental health issues through Can Praxis, which uses horses as a training aid.

“The money is great, and that’s going to help the program, but the awareness is probably equally, if not more, important,” Sowan said.

Can Praxis director Steve Critchley said participants are provided programming at no cost.

“We’ll pay for their transportation, their meals, their hotels. In hardship situations, we’ve flown grandma across the country so she can babysit the kids,” said Critchley.

Those participants “were in uniform, they didn’t pay to get this injury and they shouldn’t have to pay to get this injury looked after.”

Critchley said PTSD “will bring conflict and crisis into the home.

“If there’s no conversation, there’s no resolution,” said Critchley.

“The focus of our program is to help individuals with at least one successful conversation a day, because if they can have one, they can have two. And if they can have two, then they’re set up for success.”

Critchley said he hopes to “let people know there is a tomorrow and there is hope. We can help people move forward and regain their lives and families.

“With all of these folks helping out, we’re able to provide real life-saving programs for the folks who have done nothing more than look after our own safety and security. I think the least we can do is back them up,” he said.

Valour and Pride, which is performed by Dylan Robinson, Denver Swainson, Donny Smith, John Werkema and Aislynn Griffin, was launched at a media event at the Southside Dodge dealership in Red Deer.

For more information on Can Praxis, visit

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