COVID-19 pandemic resulted into cancellations and closures in Calgary

After the Government of Alberta has limited the public gathering to 15 people, lots of events have been postponed or cancelled. Recreation facilities are also closed.

In Alberta, the first case of COVID-19 came out in the first week of March. After that the Government of Alberta has started making strict decisions to slow down the spread. It includes limiting the number of people in gatherings.

Private organizers cancelled the events. Business owners temporarily shut down their business. Most of the recreational places got closed after 15th of March.

The calendar below shows the list of some places and businesses who made the decision to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

The City of Calgary has also announced a local state of emergency, resulting in closure of all city owned recreational facilities.

The following map shows some recreational centres which are temporarily closed due to COVID-19.

Food industry is also going through really hard times. Restaurants are shutting down and laying off their employees. It is also hurting people who are habitual to eat food from outside. Some people are unable to cook food daily, so they have to order it from different restaurants.

Following map shows some of the 4 plus rated restaurants which are still open but only providing delivery or take-out services.

Event cancelation is still going on. The City of Calgary has cancelled all city organized events till June 30. List of events can be found here.

List of other private organized events is getting bigger. Global News is maintaining a list of events that has been postponed or cancelled. Look here.

The City has also cancelled permits for third party events that were set to be held on city’s land through June 30. Also, it is not accepting any applications for permits for future events until further notice.

If the date for cancellations will be extended past June 30, City will let Calgarians and organizers know by May 5.

Alberta Government told public to cancel the gatherings of more than 250 people

After 4 new cases of COVID-19 found in Alberta, Chief medical officer of health announced new measures for Albertans’ safety. Government of Alberta also recommends people to stay at their home for 14 days if they are coming outside of Canada.

Schools can remained open but they can not organize large gathering or classrooms

Alberta Energy War room is facing oppositions since its inauguration.

War room has been in operation for a month, and it has turned into a laughingstock for number of reasons.

So far we have seen, it’s a complete failure.” said Irfan Sabir MLA Calgary McCall and Official opposition Critic for Energy and Natural gas. “This is a complete misuse public funds and complete abuse of power that needs to be stopped.”

According to Sabir, Government of Alberta has cut the funding for education and health care. It has started funding 30 Million per year to an organization that Albertans don’t need. Alberta Energy War room also known as Canadian Energy Centre is a provincial government corporation, but is overseen by three cabinet ministers on its board of directors.

“They said we do not warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of the information on their website,” said Sabir. “But they have committed to provide a rapid response and accurate information about our oil and gas industry.”

War room become a headline due to its logo before it starts operating. It was a modification of a US based company’s logo. Another embarrassing thing was to impersonate their staff as reporters. Canadian Association took an action on that.

Tom Olsen CEO and Managing director of Canadian Energy Centre, a Journalist and a former candidate of UCP for Calgary-Buffalo has said on War room’s website that “it is a crown corporation.” But according to Sabir it’s not. Moreover, when he was interviewed during its opening he said, “our job is discrediting truth.” But actually, its job is to discredit untrue things.

Parmeet Singh Boparai former NDP candidate for Calgary-Falconridge said, “if something’s launch is not good then how it will be working good.” “They will hurt our Oil and Gas instead of advocating or promoting it.”

War room does not come under FOIP (Freedom of information and privacy). It means nobody will be able to get information regarding its budget, activities etc.

“This is totally undemocratic, there is no transparency of its operations.” “Tax payers will never know where their money is being spend by War room.”

According to Dhaliwal, TIER Technical Innovation and Emission Reduction will be a source of funding 20 Million of its revenue for it and another 10 Million will be taken from Government’s advertising fund. Which means they will be spending 82 Thousand per day. Officials from War room are saying that they will be promoting Alberta’s Oil and Gas, which will lead to more investment in Alberta.

Whenever someone talks about Oil and Gas Albertans become sensational, that sensationalism will bring votes.Raj Dhaliwal

“Organisations like Canadian Association of Petroleum and Canadian Energy Pipeline Association are already doing that work,” said Dhaliwal. “We do not need any other organisation or corporation to do this job.” “Canadian Energy Centre is a UCP’s brainchild to politicise that Alberta’s Oil and Gas is under attack,” he added.

Love of Miniature Donkeys.

Have you ever heard about the people who love donkeys more than horses? Who think donkeys are cute? Who thinks donkeys are worth more than to just haul things around?

By Dharampreet Dhillon

Have you ever heard about the people who love donkeys more than horses? Who think donkeys are cute? Who thinks donkeys are worth more than to just haul things around?

Kim Bowie and Shanna Jones are the few people that consider donkeys to be more than haulers. Both sisters come from Scottish heritage. They are always ready to talk about miniature donkeys and love to spend their time on their farm. The venture between local and a city girl is very interesting. While Shanna hosts the donkeys, sister Kim has become training & showing partner. 

How Kim Bowie, a city girl found her love of donkeys? What were the things which took her to a farm house from a big city?

“Donkeys are amazing little creatures,” said Kim Bowie owner L’Lass Miniature Donkeys in a face to face interview. “They’re wonderful animals to just hang out with.”

A farm located in Rocky View County, Alberta is the place where you can find little donkeys walking, running or playing in the big ground and simply living life.

Her sister, who lives on John’s Hereford Ranch, one of the ancient and old ranches in Alberta has always wanted to raise donkeys, and they decided that it would be a nice thing to do together as sisters.

“I’m a city girl, and I was excited to start learning more about them,” she said. “They’re great jumpers, and they also pull us in carts.”

There are so many breeds of donkeys. Miniature donkeys which Kim and Shanna own are a distinctive breed. They’re not miniaturized from a larger donkey, they possess different genetics than the standard donkeys. There are the three sizes of donkeys that are available in North America.

Donkeys are new to North America, they didn’t come here until the early 1900s. And they originally came into Alberta, to work in mines. They can pull about 300 pounds, about their weight behind them. And they’re also small enough to get into mines easily. The working donkey in North America didn’t last for very long. They became pleasure animals fairly quickly.

Kim loves to train her donkeys. It is a challenge to train any kind of animal, the challenge of teaching them, to do obstacles to get them jumping, to build trust between them.

“They’re just really gentle, loving animals,” she said. “There’s no better feeling than walking into a field of donkeys and having them surround you looking curious about who you are if you’re new to them.”

Her sister Shanna Jones, who’s a rancher, helped her to build a confidence in raising donkeys and the rural life.

“She grew up in the city most of her life and she found it an incredible challenge to be able to be a part of a rural endeavor,” said Jones in a face to face interview.

Lots of people that have donkeys also have horses. If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy getting on top of a horse and riding it, owning a donkey is a great substitute.

Donkeys tend to get along with horses very well. Racing horses often will have a donkey’s companionship to keep them calm since they differ nature. Donkeys are very calm animals, while horses on the other hand, especially high-performance horses, can get spooked easily and be high strung.

Kim owns a breeding herd of Jenny’s (female donkey) and she sells some of the babies every year and sells adult animals as well. Sometimes they sell female donkeys who are breeders and produce foals. They also have two intact males, the breeders. Sometimes other donkeys come in and pay to use their studs.

“It’s really more an endeavor of love, than it is of profits,” she said. “You’re never going to get rich by raising donkeys.”

 Stampede provides a chance to people of Calgary, to learn about the miniature donkeys.  Kim comes to stampede every year with her donkeys. She loves to tell other people about her donkeys.

There’s an obvious division between urban and rural people. Almost everyone buys their food comes from grocery store like Safeway but they don’t have a proper understanding of where their food comes from, where animals come from, what animals are used for. Events like Stampede helps to narrow that difference.

I’ve developed a real passion for them. And I love sharing that with other people. – Bowie.

Kim and Shanna started raising donkeys in 2010 in Shanna’s family farm under the name L’Lass Miniature Donkeys. “Lass” is the Scottish term for young girl, and L’Lass is an abbreviation for “Little Lass,” which is also a perfect description of the small female donkeys. 

Canada’s 152nd birthday celebration in East Village Calgary was so much fun.

By Dharampreet Dhillon

Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate Canada day. It was red and red everywhere.

People from different cultures were presenting their love for Canada. Food trucks, fun activities, live bands made the day memorable.

Two men were attracting everyone. One was flag man wearing a hat with small flags and holding Canadian flag, the other man’s body was painted with maple leaves. People were gathered around them and were taking pictures with them.

“I love Canada,” said a man who was referring himself a Canada day man. “You can see on my body, and it is in my blood as well.”

A man attracts crowd during celebration of Canada Day on July 1, 2019 in East Village, Calgary. He was calling himself Canada Day Man.(Photo by Dharampreet Dhillon/SAIT)

Live band by Messenger Angel was amazing, people got stuck in front of their stage. Number of singers performed during the whole day. Musicians were magicians, they were performing at the corner of 6 and 7 street SE, but people right in front of the Calgary Fort were listing and enjoying the music.

Messenger entertaining people during celebration of Canada Day on July 1, 2019 in East Village, Calgary. (Photo by Dharampreet Dhillon/SAIT)

Red FM was also there, giving away prizes and snacks. Bhangra (Punjabi folk dance) classes were also arranged. Young Bhangra Academy tutors were there and people joined them. Everyone who was there enjoying the beats and doing bhangra. Tutors were helping others to do Bhangra, kids were attracting so many people.

People doing Bhangra on Canada Day celebration on July 1, 2019 in East Village, Calgary. They also gave Bhangra classes to other people. (Photo by Dharampreet Dhillon/SAIT)

“It’s my pleasure to teach Bhangra here,” said Aman Managing Director Young Bhangra Academy. “I am so happy to see the interest of people from other religions to do Bhangra.”

“O my Canada” sung by the marching band group was awesome. A group of six people in red dress was performing the song again and again. People were gathered around them and singing Canada’s National Anthem with their music.

Band group poses during Canada Day celebration on July 1, 2019 in East Village, Calgary. Band played Canada Anthem many times during that day. (Photo by Dharampreet Dhillon/SAIT)

Prairie Winds Park turned into mini Punjab during Calgary’s Vaisakhi celebration

by Dharampreet Dhillon

Crowd during Vaisakhi celebration in Prairie Winds Park in Calgary on Saturday, May 11, 2019. (Photo by Dharampreet Dhillon/SAIT)

Last month’s Vaisakhi celebration made a history, Saturday, May 11 was historical day in Calgary’s history.

“This was the second largest gathering in Calgary,” said Tarvinder Singh Chahal member of organizing committee in a face-to-face interview. “It will be on first position in upcoming years.”

According to Chahal, Vaisakhi has been celebrated every year for 20 years. The Number of attendants is increasing every year. The Dashmesh cultural centre is main organizer of the event. Vaisakhi celebrations occurs for three days and the Parade day is the second day.

More than one hundred thousand people from Calgary and other parts of Canada gathered in Prairie Winds Park and a procession called the Nagar kirtan or the Sikh parade was brought there from the Dashmesh cultural centre.

Number of activities and free food stalls were arranged in the park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. People from other communities other than Indians also came to celebrate this holy festival.

Alberta’s major political parties the NDP and the UCP attended the event and said “happy Vaisakhi” to all. Premier Jason Kenney came to the stage, and said hello to the public in the Sikhism way saying “Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh.”

Racheal Notley leader of NDP Alberta showed up in Punjabi Dress and walked with the Parade.

Racheal Notley leader NDP Alberta giving speech during Vaisakhi celebration in Prairie Winds Parkin Calgary on Saturday, May 11, 2019. (Photo by Dharampreet Dhillon/SAIT)

Red FM 106.7 is an important part of the organizing team and it make the celebration more interesting with number of contests. Main stage was also arranged by Red FM.

“I love to be a part of this event,” said Michael Pedersen Station manager Red FM. “We will do more to make it make best, next year.”

This year, Red FM arranged best buy furniture worth of ten thousand dollars give away contest. They also gave phones and other gifts to the contestants. A number of singers were invited to the stage to sing religious songs.

SAITSA has made a history by donating ten million dollars to SAIT

By Dharampreet Dhillon

SAIT student association has raised ten million dollars and donated it to SAIT during a big announcement on January 23rd.

SAITSA worked for ten years to raise money. More than seventy thousand students contributed to this big gift to SAIT. According to SAITSA, the main purpose of this donation is to build a new building and start a new faculty in SAIT campus.

“The vision is truly inspiring,” “you work together better than nobody else for the benefits of all our students” said Dr. David Ross, President and CEO, SAIT in his speech to the students. “Congratulations everybody.”

Ryan Morstad, Chair, SAITSA board of directors presented this gift on behalf of current students and SAITSA as well as former students and SAITSA.

“We made it together” said Ryan Morstad in a face to face interview. “This was a long process and SAITSA of past years have made it successful, he said.” “This is not just a donation to SAIT, this is the donation to student space on campus.”

SAITSA tweeted, “history made – SAITSA’s $10 million donation is largest of its kind from a student association to an institute of technology in Western Canada.

A big event was organized to make this big and historical announcement. More than 400 people, including students, staff and donors got together in Irene Lewis Atrium. Presidents and Directors of past year SAITSA were also invited to the event. Students and other people who were standing there, had bells and artificial clap hand in their hands to celebrate this movement with full joy. After the great announcement the whole crowd started shouting, playing the bells, start clapping with the funny artificial hands. Free hot dogs and beverages were served to first 300 people.

I am so glad that SAITSA is using my money really well,” said Brigitte Matheson, former student of sait while attending the event.

According to Mr. Morstad, a referendum vote was held more than ten years ago to know that students are willing or not to pay certain amount of money for SAITSA and the results were surprising, majority of the students said “yes” to pay SAITSA fees. At this time SAITSA fees is 143 Canadian dollars. A few years ago, there was another referendum vote to release that fund. “We were supposed to start building new SAITSA HQ last year but it took longer time,” he said.

Answering to the question that is this money is not more than the spending on a building? Mr. Morstad said, the remaining money will be used for paying the loans.

“Despite of being supported by fellow students, we have to deal with a lot of problem,” said Parmvir Gill, Director, SAITSA in a face to face interview. “Everyone has to work hard in our association to make SAITSA works successful, at the same time we have to focus on our studies,” he said.

SAITSA works like all other student associations, it deals with the problems of students and try to provide them best environment for studies. As Mr. Gill said that they are dealing with government, big institutes, lawyers and so many parties.

This fund-raising work will continue and we will keep on spending this money for making student space better. This is the money of students and only for students. – Gill

According to SAITSA, every Wednesday, they offer free lunch to the students and always come up with recreational activities. So that student can break the monotony of their life and rejuvenate their minds outside of their classes.