February '10 Newletter

Town Council News

February  2010                                                                Volume 5, Issue 1

Jennifer Raboud, administrative assistant with the Athabasca Regional Multiplex, invites residents of the region to drop in and consider all that the facility has to offer.

Multi-use Multiplex offers sports and much more

Things are happening at the Athabasca Regional Multiplex! From a variety of sports events and activities, to community meetings, conferences, social events and more, the multi-use facility is a focal point of activity in the community.

Jennifer Raboud, administrative assistant for the Multiplex, is excited about all that the facility has to offer — virtually something for everybody, and not just the Multiplex proper, but sister facilities in town as well, like Athabasca Landing Pool and the Nancy Appleby Theatre.

One example was the recent Family Day holiday. To help celebrate the event, the Multiplex opened its doors to the community, inviting everybody to come in and enjoy all of the facility’s resources free of charge. It was a good opportunity for newcomers in town, and area residents who had not recently visited the Multiplex, to check it out and see what is available. The invitation included free use of Athabasca Landing Pool.

Jennifer has been a member of the Multiplex administrative team since early in January.

“It’s been a great experience,” she says. “We have good staff and a great facility.”

Ongoing activities and attractions include minor hockey, minor soccer, the Athabasca FLIPS gymnastics club, curling leagues, physical wellness programs, and drop-in activities, such as public skating, volleyball and the fitness centre... or simply go for a walk around the track in the field house.

Plenty of events and activities are on tap for the coming weeks and months. Dates are starting to book up, so members and groups in the community who need certain dates are advised to get their bookings in as soon as they can.

Facilities at the Multiplex are well-suited for weddings, graduations and other large social gatherings. “We’re starting to book weddings for the summer,” says Jennifer.

The curling rink is doing its part to keep the facility bubbling with activity. The Athabasca Rotary Bonspiel was held this past weekend (Feb. 18-21), and more events are scheduled for March.

“It’s a busy month in the curling rink,” Jennifer confirms. “The Sustainable Resources and Development Bonspiel is March 6 and 7, the Ladies’ Bonspiel March 13 and 14, and the Men’s Bonspiel March 20 and 21.”

In April, a popular event returns that provides fun and excitement for the whole family.

“The Shriners are coming again, on April 30, May 1 and May 2,” Jennifer explains. “We’re really excited about that! It was a great event last year.”

 Athabasca Performing Arts Centre

The Nancy Appleby Theatre, in the Athabasca Performing Arts Centre, is a busy venue that promotes culture and entertainment in the community.

Multiplex staff receive insight and advice from the Athabasca Arts Alliance on the interests and needs of theatre user groups. The Alliance hosts some events and provides technical support and training to other users where needed.

“The Multiplex takes the bookings for events held at the Nancy Appleby Theatre and the Athabasca Arts Alliance acts as the liaison with the user groups,” explains Rob Balay, Manager of Regional Recreation Services. “The Arts Alliance provides theatre lighting and sound system orientations to users.”

Colin Byers and Dylan Richards are the go-to guys for information about the Athabasca Arts Alliance. Contact Colin at 780-675-3240, and Dylan at 780-675-1197.

The theatre is also home to the Heartwood Folk Club, a group of supporters and season ticket holders who host a series of concerts in the spring and fall of each year. Heartwood concert information is available from Peter Opryshko, 780-424-2915.

Other local groups also make good use of the facility for a variety of concerts, competitions and events.

“The Crooked Creek Conservancy Society is hosting an upcoming Watershed Conference at the Nancy Appleby Theatre,” notes Jennifer. “More details are available from Harvey Scott at 780-675-4158.”

The Ukrainian Folk Dance Club has a performance on Feb. 27; the Athabasca Dance Festival, featuring local and non-local participants, is on March 12, 13, 14; and the Athabasca Music Festival is scheduled for March 17-22 with some performances to be held in the Nancy Appleby Theatre and some in other locations around town.

Jennifer would like to receive information about other events in town to pass along to interested parties. “It’s great for the community to know of local events, so give us a call,” she advises.

More details about the Athabasca Performing Arts Centre, the Athabasca Regional Multiplex and Athabasca Landing Pool are available by calling the Multiplex at 780-675-2967. Some information is available online at the Athabasca Regional Multiplex website.

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TASP to be presented in March

Final touches are being put on the Town of Athabasca Sustainability Plan (TASP) before being presented to the public in March.

Early in February, Jane Dauphinee, of Municipal Planning Services (Alberta) Ltd., sent the latest set of revisions to Town Council for consideration.

“The final draft was still in the review process,” says Jane. “I’ve had meetings with Council and Town staff and we have set a date to present the plan to the community in March at the Athabasca Regional Multiplex.”

A TASP launch celebration will be combined with a land use and development planning workshop, scheduled for March 9, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in the Multiplex lounge. The community is invited and light refreshments will be provided.

Community residents and stakeholders who participated in three public focus group sessions held last year to help develop the plan will receive email notification when the plan is available for their review.

The TASP will help Town Council and staff make decisions relating to infrastructure, economic initiatives, social services, heritage initiatives, recreation initiatives, cultural initiatives and governance initiatives. The plan will inform and influence such planning documents as the Municipal Development Plan, Land Use Bylaw, Area Re-development Plan and Heritage Plan.

Jane has provided consultation and leadership throughout the development of the TASP and will continue to work with the Town to revise other documents.

“Our next steps will be to revise the Municipal Development Plan and the Land Use Bylaw,” she says.

More information about the TASP and the development process can be found in these previous Town Council News stories:

-   Town of Athabasca Sustainability Plan

-   Sustainability Plan nears completion

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Centennial planners invite participation

When it comes to pulling off a successful event, planning, preparation and personal commitment are key principles that typically make it all happen. As Athabasca prepares to celebrate its first one hundred years in 2011, a core group of citizens is meeting regularly to help lead the planning process.

Executive members of the Athabasca 2011 Centennial Committee get together monthly to compare notes, discuss ideas, and receive presentations from groups and individuals who are interested in leading a project or holding an event in 2011.

“Community members who wish to present an idea to the executive committee are encouraged to contact the chair,” advises committee member and Town Councillor Paula Evans.

The committee received two promising presentations at their meeting in January. One was from Henrik Asfeldt, representing the Athabasca Cross Country Nordic Ski Club, and the other was from Bruce MacDonald, drama teacher at Edwin Parr Composite School.

Henrik had been approached by the committee about the possibility of the ski club planning several winter activities early in 2011. During the January meeting, he discussed with the committee a few potential activities, including a loppet and hosting a particular two-day event that circulates between communities in the province.

“We have an excellent opportunity because we haven’t hosted one for a number of years and they like to move it around,” noted Henrik. “People come from other provinces. It could possibly draw 200-plus competitors, and coaches, parents, etc.”

In addition to discussing this potential event, the Centennial Committee talked about winter event tie-ins. Paula suggested a winter carnival concept that could include dog sled racing, ice sculpting and more. Further research will be done.

Committee member and Town Councillor John Traynor then introduced Bruce MacDonald.

Bruce is interested in pursuing a suggestion to involve EPC students in the planning and presentation of a Centennial play. It could be a melodrama, he said, based on historical facts and crafted into an entertaining work of historical fiction. “Preferably to be presented in the Nancy Appleby Theatre, in one hour or under, and maybe it could be performed a few times,” said Bruce.

His ideas were received well by the committee and he was encouraged to look into the project further.

Other individuals or groups who would like to present ideas to the Centennial Committee can contact committee chair, Joan Veenstra, via the email link found at the Athabasca 2011 Centennial Celebration website.

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