February '08 Newsletter

Town Council News

February 2008                                                              Volume 3, Issue 1

Athabasca Regional Multiplex opens doors to community


Residents of the Athabasca region now have a brand new facility to serve their recreational, leisure and cultural interests. The Athabasca Regional Multiplex is now open for business!

With joint leadership provided by the Town of Athabasca and County of Athabasca, the Multiplex has been made possible only through the effort, enthusiasm and support of individuals, groups and businesses from across the region.

Featuring an arena, curling rink, field house, lounge, fitness center and daycare, the Multiplex is a multi-purpose facility designed to accommodate a wide range of social, sporting and cultural activities and events. Participants and spectators of all ages will benefit from the facility for generations to come.

Single use and day passes are available. Monthly and yearly memberships will be available from March 1. Multiplex passes and memberships include access to services at Athabasca Landing Pool.

The Multiplex offers meeting rooms and areas to comfortably accommodate from 36 to over 1,000 individuals. Facility rentals are available by the hour, day or event, depending on the area of the facility and the services required.

Athabasca Regional Multiplex Society

The Multiplex is run by the Athabasca Regional Multiplex Society. Governed by a board of directors, the Society promotes cultural growth, health, wellness and fitness for all residents in the Athabasca region.

Officially registered in October 2007, the Society oversees the management and operation of facilities jointly owned and funded by the Town of Athabasca and County of Athabasca. These facilities include:

- Athabasca Regional Multiplex

- Athabasca Landing Pool

- Alice B. Donohue Library and Archives facility

- Athabasca Performing Arts Centre

- Old Brick School building

The board of directors for the Multiplex Society includes three members each from Town Council and County Council.

Representing the County of Athabasca:

- Charlie Ashbey – Board Chair, Multiplex Society

- Kevin Haines

- David Yurdiga

Representing the Town of Athabasca:

- George Hawryluk – Board Vice-Chair, Multiplex Society

- Christine Nelson

- Hugh O’Farrell

A brief history of the Multiplex

In 2001, Randall Conrad and Associates recommended the construction of a multi-use facility to replace Athabasca’s aging ice arena, curling rink and community centre.

In 2003, 35 members of the community gathered to spearhead the drive to bring the Multiplex to reality.

On Aug. 3, 2006, the first ceremonial lump of sod was turned to officially launch the building project.

On Aug. 14, 2006, the contractor began site preparation and groundwork.

In October 2007, Rob Balay officially signed on as the “Multiplex manager.” Rob’s official title is Manager of Regional Recreation Services. He is responsible for overseeing the operation of facilities jointly owned and funded by the Town of Athabasca and the County of Athabasca.

Also in October of 2007, the Athabasca Regional Multiplex Society was officially registered.

March 7-8, 2008: Grand Opening ceremonies, including unveiling of the “Wall of Recognition” acknowledging Multiplex supporters and contributors.

Multiplex Website

The Multiplex website has been updated. Included are complete details on events, activities, programming, passes, memberships, rental rates and more.

Opportunities still exist to support the facility through donations as the Multiplex fundraising drive continues. Various levels of support are encouraged and will be recognized. Visit the website for more information at www.athabascamultiplex.ca

Bertha Clark-Jones, O.C., honoured in Ottawa

Bertha Clark-Jones (l), recipient of the Order of Canada, with Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governer General of Canada, in Ottawa on February 22, 2008.
Photographer: Sgt. Eric Jolin, Rideau Hall, Office of the Secretary to the Governer General

Congratulations to Athabasca resident Bertha Clark-Jones! Bertha has joined an elite and honoured group of Canadians.

Recognized for lifetime achievement in the category of Social Service, Bertha was one of 17 Canadians appointed to the level of Officer of the Order of Canada in 2007. Seven other honourees were named as Companions and 47 as Members of the Order of Canada.

Bertha was invested into the Order of Canada in a ceremony at Rideau Hall, Ottawa, on Feb, 22, with Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, presiding over the investiture ceremony. Rideau Hall is the historic home and workplace of the governor general.

Athabasca’s Officer of the Order of Canada carried the spirit of her community to Ottawa.

“I’ll do it for Athabasca because I love this community,” said Bertha, before heading east. “You don’t win these things by yourself. A lot of people helped me along the way.”

Appointments to the Order of Canada are made on the recommendation of an advisory council, chaired by the chief justice of Canada, and announced annually by the governor general.

Athabasca reception planned

The Athabasca community is honouring Bertha with a public ceremony and reception on March 1 at 2 p.m. The event will be held in the Buy-Low Lounge (second level) at the Athabasca Regional Multiplex. Members of the community are invited and encouraged to attend.

Numerous dignitaries and guests are expected at the event, including Town of Athabasca Mayor Colleen Powell, Native Women’s Association of Canada president Bev Jacobs, MP Brian Jean, Canadian author and Order of Canada recipient Maria Campbell, President of the Alberta Métis Association Audrey Poitras, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and MLA for Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo, Ray Danyluk.

Aboriginal dancers will be present to perform in Bertha’s honour.

Trailblazer and Champion

As an Officer of the Order of Canada, Bertha is noted for her efforts to advance the issues and concerns of First Nations and Métis women. In the late 1960s, she founded the Alberta Native Women’s Voice, now the Native Women’s Association of Canada. She has been a member of the Métis Judiciary and the Aboriginal Veterans Society and has championed all her life for the rights of the underprivileged and disadvantaged.

Order of Canada honours our best

The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. It is Canada’s highest civilian honour for lifetime achievement.

The Order of Canada’s motto is DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (They desire a better country).

NAAF Award

Adding to her credits in 2007, Bertha also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation.

Established in 1993, the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards (NAAA) exemplify, encourage and celebrate excellence in First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across Canada.

Bertha’s NAAA profile notes that although she is retired, she “continues to recognize, respect, promote, defend and enhance Native ancestral laws, spiritual beliefs, language and traditions.”

Read Bertha’s NAAA profile here: Bertha Clark-Jones, NAAA http://www.naaf.ca/html/b_c_jones_e.html

View Bertha’s Officer of the Order of Canada profile here: Bertha Clark-Jones, Order of Canada http://www.gg.ca/honours/search-recherche/honours-desc.asp?lang=e&TypeID=orc&id=11403


New store signals growth for Athabasca

Canadian Tire is coming and members of Athabasca Town Council view the new retail outlet as another positive indicator of the interest the town is attracting.

Athabasca Mayor Colleen Powell believes the community is positioned well to handle growth in the retail sector.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Canadian Tire to our community,” says the mayor. “We see this as an indication of the kind of growth that has been anticipated and we are beginning to experience.”

Colleen expects that the new store, a Canadian Tire small market prototype, will help attract people from outside the area into the community. Once here, they will patronize other services.

“We trust people will not only shop at Canadian Tire, but will take the opportunity to shop at other retail businesses in Athabasca.”

The prototype store is not entirely new, she adds. Several already exist in eastern Canada. Still, the Athabasca store will sport some modifications.

“We were told by a company official that this store has been adapted to the needs of Northern Alberta communities,” Colleen explains. “It will contain a Mark’s Work Wearhouse, but it will be larger than a regular Mark’s Work Wearhouse.”

New store the result of private initiative

While Council wouldn’t mind taking credit for the new store, in reality, it was the sale of land by a private owner that attracted the interest and opened the way for Canadian Tire.

“The Town didn’t approach Canadian Tire or sell them the land,” notes the mayor. “We did work with them to secure the licenses and permits.”

In addition to a Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Athabasca’s new-format Canadian Tire store will also feature an automotive centre and a garden centre. It will be built on the east side of town, between 48 Avenue and Highway 55. Construction is expected to begin in the spring.


Text-Size: AAA