Sunday, March 13, 2016

Lethbridge Public Library Bookmobile

INITIATIVES - The Lethbridge Public Library Bookmobile program has been in operation for over 3 decades. This "mobile branch on wheels" serves areas of Lethbridge, Alberta that are new or are without a local library, often making stops at schools and malls to better connect with those communities. After 30 years on the road, it was decided that the original vehicle needed to be replaced. The new mobile unit is roomier and better equipped for the digital age. The following series of videos was filmed during the 2015 launch of the library's new bookmobile, custom built by local manufacturer, Intercontinental Truck Body.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Canadian Pacific

FILM - Canadian Pacific is a 1949 big-budget historical drama starring Randolph Scott (1898-1987), Jane Wyatt (1910-2006), and introducing Nancy Olson (b. 1928). Apart from the fact that Canada built a Trans-Continental Railway during this time period that followed the same route through the Rocky Mountains, the story is largely fictional and historically inaccurate. The plot centres around the conflict between a CPR surveyor (played by Scott) and a group of fur traders ("west of Calgary") who want to put a stop to the railway's construction. Despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles (geographic, political, and financial) which the project faced, an armed insurrection was not one of them.

Western settlers welcomed the railroad, treaties had been already forged with First Nations, and prime fur trade country (rivers, lakes, and forests) lay well to the north of the steel. None-the-less, Scott's character is likely based (however loosely) on the real life explorer and surveyor, Albert Bowman Rogers (1829-1889) who was indeed American (like Scott's character) and did discover the all important Rogers Pass, which proved pivotal to the route to the Pacific the CPR would ultimately take. Canadian Pacific was filmed in Banff and Yoho National Parks, and on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. Known then as the Stoney Indian Reserve, other Hollywood movies shot on location there include: Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson and Open Range.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Whatever Works Counselling

INNOVATION - Whatever Works Counselling is an private counselling practice in Calgary, Alberta which uses a converted motorhome as it's mobile office. Canadian Certified Counsellor, Amy Godderis MA decided to go mobile in order to better connect with her clients. She specializes in working with teenagers, particularly ‘at-risk’ youth who have been mandated by the courts to attend counselling. Bringing her office to them ensures a higher likelihood of attendance, and is often safer and more comfortable than going into their homes. In the privacy of the mobile office, Amy can have at hand pets, books, and activities that aid in the counselling process. The following video features a young woman who was able to turn her life around, thanks to Whatever Works Counselling.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Faces of Humanity

EVENTS - Faces of Humanity is a new campaign by the Canadian Red Cross which showcases the humanitarian work of Canadians who have been at the frontlines of some of the world's most recent emergencies. The campaign shares the stories of 13 Canadian aid workers, ranging from electricians and engineers to social workers and medical practitioners, who have lent their talents and skills to helping the most vulnerable during times of crisis. Their work with the Canadian Red Cross has taken them to impacted areas such as West Africa to fight the outbreak of Ebola, Syria to aid in the refugee crisis, and Nepal following the devastating earthquake.

The humanitarians profiled in the campaign include such people as Albertans: Sean Freeman and Sarah Mutch. Sean is an electrician and volunteer firefighter from Strathmore who helped repair essential infrastructure in Sierra Leone, Haiti, the Philippines, and Nepal. Sarah is a maternity nurse from Calgary who delivered the first baby in Nepal after the earthquake. She describes her month-long assignment there as head nurse at a Red Cross field hospital as “life changing and very humbling”. You can learn more about all these Canadian humanitarian aid workers at the Faces of Humanity website.

In the coming weeks, Faces of Humanity events will be taking place across Canada. In Alberta there will be exhibits in both Calgary and Edmonton at the following locations:

Calgary: March 9-10, 2016; Wednesday – Thursday: 10:00am – 5:30pm; The Core Downtown (Plus 15 level), 8th Ave and 4th Street SW, Calgary

Edmonton: March 16-24, 2016; Monday – Friday 7:00am – 10:00pm, Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm, Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm; Edmonton City Hall (north side of the atrium), 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton