Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village hosts 2016 Canada Day celebrations in Pincher Creek

Josh Davis - Hundreds of Pincher Creek residents celebrated Canada at the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village, on July 1 2016. The action packed day started at 10 am, with opening ceremonies held at the North West Mounted Police Building at 11:00 am. 3 bouncy castles were set up near the front, along with a face-painting station, balloon animals, and other crafts and games, provided by Children's World Daycare Actives. Concession, beer gardens provided by the Pincher Creek Rotary Club, and a barbeque lunch were made available to the throng, along with a cake cutting at noon, and homemade cookies at the new Village Bakery. A rope-making course was also taught behind the Cyr School in the afternoon.

MC Bob Westrop, Mayor Don Anderberg, and Reeve Brian Hammond, flanked by the colour guard
Bob Westrop served as MC for the opening ceremonies. Veterans and RCMP attended the ceremony in uniform, serving as the colour guard, and flying the provincial flag, the Union Jack, and the maple leaf. Mayor Don Anderberg and Reeve Brian Hammond led the throng in the singing of 'Oh Canada'. Both municipal leaders spoke out on the celebration of Canada's birthday.

Afghanistan veteran Pierre Comeau
Mayor Anderberg gave praise to the Pincher Creek Historical Society, and thanked the tireless volunteers who made the event possible. Reeve Hammond spoke about the importance remembrance, honour, respect. and pride. "How often sung is the Canadian national anthem?" asked Hammond. "Not often enough." Hanmond spoke on previous attempts to change 'Oh Canada", our national anthem, including failed attempts in 2002 and 2010. He also spoke about 2016 bill c210, which aims to change the line "In all our sons command" to "In all of us command". Hammond also commemorated the 100th anniversary of Battle of the Somme, which took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 during the first world war.

Volunteer Ray Degan teaching youngsters how to make rope
Pierre Comeau from Pincher Creek Legion  #43 took to the podium next. "If you can't stand behind the troops, try in front of them for a while," said Comeau. Comeau spoke of the 21 funerals of soldiers under his command that he attended over the course of six months, and how he was effected by them.  

President Colleen Casey Cyr 
Pincher Creek Historical Society President Colleen Casey Cyr said the turnout was down slightly this year. "Last year we had over 900 people at the event." The lower turnout was expected, as a result of July 1 landing on a Friday, as well as the construction taking place near the museum.

Kevin Turner and Francis Cyr, hard at work at the grill
Kevin Turner, who assisted Francis Cyr with the grilling
Music and entertainment was provided by Blue Rock Music from Cowley.  History Wrangler Rob Lennard stole the show at 1:00 pm, at the Gazebo, with his fun, educational songs. Lennard is an historian and the director of education at the Historic Bow Valley Ranch.This is Lennard's second stop along his 2016 Cowboy Trail Tour. Lennard was introduced by local author Gord Tolton and KBPV curator Farley Wuth.

Rob Lennard the History Wrangler
Tolton took the opportunity to speak about the 100 year anniversary of John George "Kootenai" Brown's death, coming later this year. He commemorated Brown by sharing some of the story of his life. Wuth also spoke about Kootenai Brown.

The event ended with the Rotary Club's duck race. Rubber duckies were sold at $10 a piece throughout, and floated down the creek. Katie Bernardo won the $400 first prize. The money raised was split between Kootenai Brown and the local Rotary Club. A portion of these funds will be donated to the spray park initiative, with another portion dedicated to the Junction food bank. The Rotary Club also held three races for youth attending the celebrations: a sack race, a three legged race, and an egg race.
Curator Farley Wuth in a stylish hat

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