Blogs

Taphorn Brought Elvis to Westlock County

When Trudy Taphorn grabs onto something, she tends to grab on hard. An example is when she accepted two registered collies as payment from a Saskatchewan couple  for training their horses. She thought the dogs would make good family pets. Then a friend took her to a dog show. “I was there for 15 minutes and I couldn’t believe this world existed without me in it,” says Taphorn. “I started showing in 1987 and in 1989, I was awarded top breeder of collies in Canada.” The owner of...

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Bringing the City Closer to the Farm

Tam Andersen spends a lot of time at work on her knees. It helps her to see through the eyes of the children who come to visit. She knows that kids learn when they’re having fun. “I had a little fellow the other day,” smiles Andersen. “Jason arrived with his mom in tow and he’s like, ‘mom, I love this place!’ At age 7, we completely hit the mark with him.” Andersen is a pioneer in agri-tourism in Alberta. Her Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm...

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Meet K Division's New Deputy Commish

Marianne Ryan felt deprived as a child. She loved being active outdoors — on the tractor and being with her father — but growing up on a farm meant less time for sports and other activities because she had to get home right after school to do chores. In hindsight, it may have been the best experience for her chosen career. “We worked really hard in some really hot summer days in southern Ontario,” says the top officer of Alberta’s RCMP. “I think it brought to light for me the importance of teamwork and that, if we all pitch in, we can...

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Meet the new CEO of Alberta Health Services

When she was in junior kindergarten, Vickie Kaminski wanted to be a nurse or a teaching nun. This was not surprising; in the 1950s, women were still limited in their career choices. In high school, she loved sciences and helping people, so nursing turned out to be a good choice. But, there were early indications that the new President and CEO of Alberta Health Services would not have a traditional career. “I don't think leaders have to be...

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Hollo Helps People find the Artists Inside Them

If hindsight is 20/20, for Wendy Hollo, it goes back to her grade 8 class in the very small town of Spanish, Ontario. She was one of just two people who passed that year. “Probably most of the people in the class would have had a developmental disability or mental health issue,” says Hollo. “There would be some woman who would walk past our house in the ditch instead of walking on the road. Clearly she had something diagnosable, but it was seen as a little quirk and she did just fine. Nobody labelled her....

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Leading Cancer Researcher's Move a Coup for the U of A

She’s an attractive, 35-year-old who exudes enthusiasm with the occasional giggle. So it’s no surprise that when the accomplished scientist is asked to speak about her work in cancer research at international conferences, first impressions lead some colleagues to underestimate what she brings to the table. But attitudes change as soon as Dr. Lynne Postovit talks about her work. “I do think it’s an advantage,” says the cell biologist. “I...

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Entrepreneur Carrie Langevin Celebrates Aboriginal Culture

As a child, Carrie Langevin learned about the healing properties of native plants from her grandmother, who also loved making remedies. What wasn’t shared was any sense of pride in the aboriginal culture. It was something not to be talked about. Aboriginal pride is now a prime motivator for Langevin. She and her husband, Darrell, own Mother Earth Essentials, a unique line of 68 different organic products like teas, soaps, lotions, bath products and essential oils made with traditional healing plants grown in Alberta. The products are sold through their Edmonton...

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Capt. Patterson Keeps Our Military in Good Health

Capt. Rebecca Patterson has always loved the sea. The daughter of a Canadian submariner and a British Royal Navy nurse, she joined the Navy League at age 12. She was a cadet throughout her teenage years until going overseas as a Rotary exchange student at age 17. She also loved the popular television series, M*A*S*H, a comedy about an American medical unit in the Korean war. So, when it came time to do something with her life, she didn’t see any other path but the family tradition. Patterson is Commander of 1 Health Services Group, responsible for the delivery of...

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Sole Sisters Grow the Poppy Barley Brand

Kendall and Justine Barber always had trouble finding boots that fit. “I blame everything on running,” Kendall laughs. “My calves are bigger and my feet seem to get flatter and wider as I get older. I buy a lot online, but not footwear. And with boots, there’s a 50 per cent chance that I’m not going to be able to zip them up.” So when Justine found a pair of boots she loved while on a trip...

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Quon's the Queen of the Kitchen

The food court is small, tucked away in the basement of the Scotia Place. There are just a handful of food vendors there, but the lineup that’s more than 60 people deep is for just one of them.  This is the scene every single weekday during the noon rush hour at Chicken For Lunch. Behind the counter, frantically scooping up several portions of food into Styrofoam takeout containers so full that they’re hard to close, is owner Amy Quon. One of her staff members works the constantly ringing register in front of a sign that says “Cash Only.”...

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