Local briefs – July 20

Westerner Days really has gone to the dogs this week, offering plenty of action for fairgoers with a passion for pooches.

DockDogs to be one attraction

Westerner Days really has gone to the dogs this week, offering plenty of action for fairgoers with a passion for pooches.

DockDogs promises a big splash at the Parkland Pavilion, immediately south of the Centrium, with its Big Air Wave, Extreme Vertical and Speed Retrieve competitions, all featuring dogs retrieving objects in and over a pool of water.

DockDogs hit the deck at 3, 5 and 7 p.m.

An entirely different set of dogs with an entirely different and arguably more important task will perform daily at the Gasoline Alley Harley-Davidson stage, located between the Midway and the race track.

RCMP dog masters will show their animals off in a one-hour demonstration, starting at 3:30 p.m.

For those who need a little hands-on time with something cuddly, there’s a petting zoo at The Little Red Barn, located at the front of the AgriCentre.

Westerner Park is open from noon to midnight throughout the five days of the fair, starting today and running through Sunday.

Normal admission is $10 for adults, $8 for ages 13 to 17, $4 for ages six to 12, $5 for seniors and free for children five and under. Parking is $6 per vehicle.

eXtreme Diabetes talk held

Children and teens are getting together for XDT — eXtreme Diabetes Talk.

The discussion group has met every other month since November to give pre-teens and youth with diabetes an opportunity to learn more about the disease with their peers and health-care professionals.

“It’s driven by what they want to talk about that night. There are no parents allowed, which kind of opens the door for communication for the kids,” said Lorelei Domaschuk, program manager for the Diabetes Education Centre, on Tuesday.

“They talk about absolutely everything.”

XDT is free and open to Central Alberta youth with diabetes, age 12 to 18.

Alberta Health Services staff at the Diabetes Education Centre and Community Addictions and Mental Health in Red Deer developed the program that gives participants a chance to meet, make friends and enjoy healthy food, fun and games as they learn how to take charge of their health.

Domaschuk said XDT members have wanted to chat about how to deal with low blood sugar at school and work, social situations where there is pressure to drink alcohol, travel, dating and sex.

They have also talked about how to live day to day with diabetes, body image and self-esteem, insulin pumps, healthy eating, exercise and mental health.

Between 12 to 14 young people have attended the sessions.

“We would like to encourage more families to bring their children with diabetes.

“Some of the kids are a little bit nervous, but once they come we see a really good response.”

XDT has been incorporated into the annual budget at Diabetes Education Centre.

XDT meets next on July 28, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., at the Diabetes Education Centre, located at 4755 49th St. in Red Deer.

To find out more about XDT or to register for the next meeting, call 1-877-314-6997.


Downtown district naming contest drawing suggestions

A City of Red Deer contest asking people to name a downtown district is grabbing all sorts of suggestions.

Area residents have submitted dozens of names for a neighbourhood presently called the Railyards.

Submissions showing on the reddeer.ca website include “Xanadu,” which means a place of idyllic beauty. An entrant also suggested “The Benz,” which they say describes as an area where the river bends, plus “The Benz sounds trendy and a place you would want to check out.”

Other suggestions include Steelbridge Estates, Coupler Links, Elk Crossing District and McGhee Meadows.

People will have until this fall to submit a name for the new neighbourhood.

Name ideas can be submitted through planning@reddeer.ca, along with the entrant’s contact information.

The Railyards district (previously known informally as Cannery Row) is visible on archival photographs as a collection of industrial buildings constructed in the 1960s and 1970s between the CP Rail tracks and the Red Deer River, north of the railway station and south of the railway bridge.

The neighbourhood’s Area Redevelopment Plan is being worked on. It is intended to become a vibrant mixed-use area with an emphasis on high-density urban living.

The winner of the contest will receive $250 worth of gift certificates from businesses within the district.

A steering committee for the project will narrow the list of names to 10 that city council will review.

Elected leaders will then narrow the list down to three, which will then go forward to a public online vote. The winning name will be announced in early 2012.

If multiple entries are received for the winning name, a draw will be held to determine the winner.


Farm woman’s life told in ‘Heirlooms’ story

A story that weaves dance, images, music and song in the telling of a Central Alberta farm woman’s life is on now until near the end of September.

Heirlooms explores the growth of suburbia over farmland and its impact on the people who work the land, says Sky Stevens, a performance spokeswoman.

The 30-minute show opened July 17 and runs until Sept. 25 at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery.

The next performances are on Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. and on Aug. 6 at 3 p.m.

Co-creator and performer Lynda Adams is joined by co-creator and choreographer Gerry Trentham and director Trevor Schmidt.

Adams is a member of the faculty at Red Deer College, where she teaches in the Theatre Performance and Creation program.

The story revolves around Mary’s struggle between her commitment and love of the land and her yearning for the big city life she once knew as she faces the ultimate decision of whether to stay or go.

Helping with the production are set and lighting designer Kalon McClarty, and music and sound designers Peter Christian and Lisa Heinrichs.