In late February/early March, we traveled to Playas del Coco, Costa Rica for a much-needed rest. During our stay there, we ate at a wonderful diner on the main strip called Le Coq. They serve Lebanese dishes, and we were quite impressed with the food. Then, we found out that the owners were fellow Albertans! I had the chance to meet with one of the owners, and she agreed to have a quick interview about their restaurant.
Jackie and her husband Lionel made a big decision a few years ago to leave the frigid Canadian winters in favour of a more temperate location. They chased their dream to Costa Rica to a blossoming tourist town that attracts many Canadians every year.
Finding fellow Canadians that have moved to Costa Rica is a godsend for newbie tourists. They can suggest the best places to find what you need, and note some spots that you may wish to pass on. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Jackie and Lionel, and hope to meet up with them again on our next adventure!
A crowd watched four large horses and two happy gentlemen seed this year's crop for the Newell Foodgrains Growing Project, just outside Rosemary, AB. this weekend.
In 2013, the seed for this project was planted, so to speak, after a serendipitous meeting with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. This inspired the project in it's current form, and for the past two years, land has been rented in the Rosemary area in an effort to help with the global hunger crisis.
According to statistics, one in eight people around the world go to bed hungry daily. Groups like the Newell Foodgrains Growing Project are rising up to help meet the need. They have three main objectives: to raise awareness of global hunger; raise money to end global hunger; and build community while doing this.
Certainly lofty goals, but the people of Rosemary are a dedicated, hearty bunch. And while the barley will grow thanks to the support of these people, the crop will also prove symbolic of what can be achieved when a group of people join to bolster a worthy cause.
To find out more about the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, visit their website here.
That's right, we're partnering with our friends at Something Borrowed by Dawn to offer a pop-up event this Saturday, May 27 from 1-4 p.m. in Duchess.
Space is limited as these 15-minute sessions are already booking fast! We'll be using some of the cool vintage props that Something Borrowed by Dawn has to offer (I've been wanting to work with Dawn for some time now!), and sessions are only $60, which includes a few digital images.
We're welcoming previous and new clients of RyKie Images & Events, but if you are a returning client, we do have an additional present for you for your walls!
I know this is short notice, and I hope like heck that the weather holds. My studio is currently under attack of storage boxes, so this outdoor setup will work fine!
The newly-minted JBS Canada Centre officially held its grand opening over the weekend. Dignitaries spoke during a special ceremony on May 13, and free activities (including celebrity sports) were held to mark the occasion.
The physical building was the result of many years of development, and around two years of construction. Major additions to the existing structure include a new home for the Brooks Public Library (touted as the best in mid-sized cities across Alberta by Brooks Mayor Barry Morishita), a new fieldhouse with meeting rooms and an attractive mezzanine.
Bow River MP Martin Shields provided those in attendance with a history of the facility. He was mayor when the idea of expansion was first concieved. Mayor Barry Morishita was a Councilor at that time, and both men reflected on how exciting the development has been during their tenure.
The County of Newell was a major component to the project, contributing one million dollars. Reeve Molly Douglass expressed her joy at seeing the construction come to fruition, noting that seeing the new JBS Canada Centre sign "gave her shivers."
That million-dollar number was also what JBS Food Canada Inc. contributed for naming right of the facility. The company (Brooks' largest employer) has been a huge part of the building's success, and employees receive special rates.
The building has been open during construction, and even hosted events in the new facilities. The largest of these so far was the recent Brooks & District Chamber of Commerce's Trade Expo, which utilized both the fieldhouse and curling rink areas. It was a layout many area residents were accustomed to, as the previous trade shows had used the Centennial and Sparrow arenas at the Leisure Centre.
MLA Derek Fildebrandt noted how he likes to sing the praises of Brooks and area to his counterparts in Edmonton, and this facility is another fine bragging point for the area.
The next major sporting event that the JBS Canada Centre will be an integral part of is the Southern Alberta Summer Games in July. Registrations to participate in the Games are now open, and the organizing committee is still looking for volunteers.
Has it really been three years since the last Burst of Colour Run in Rosemary? How time flies!
Well, the popular event is back again this year, and registrations are open....for a little while longer. Early bird rates are in effect until June 1, with the deadline to enter on June 10 (register here).
What's the run all about? Well, it's a 5km fun run through and around Rosemary. At each kilometre marker, runners are doused in holi powder. Each station on the journey features a different colour, and people become a running rainbow.
Oh, and did I mention the paint fight at the end? After all the runners complete the 5km, everyone gathers to make good use of all the left over holi powder, creating a huge cloud of chaos, colour, and fun.
The best part about the Burst of Colour Run is it raises funds for charities in our area, so all the money raised stays local.
I've had the good fortune to cover the run in previous years, and you don't want to miss this event. Even if you're not much of a runner, sign up anyway - the party in Rosemary is amazing!
Every year, the Brooks Rotary Club hosts the Pump It Up Run at Dinosaur Provincial Park. this is always a huge, sell-out event, and unofficially marks the start of race season in our area. Pretty sure this year Mitch Iwaasa - who has been an integral part of the run - ordered the perfect weather! Mid-20's, overcast, and just a skiff of wind. Thanks, Mitch!
It's just amazing to see hundreds (there's a cap of 500 participants, and this event is always full) of runners from all over Alberta and beyond head to the Badlands of Newell County. Serious runners, newbies to the sport and families all share the trail, which consists of a 3, 5, or 10 km run.
I was so happy to see people taking part in their very first 5 km run, like our friends Biftu Abdalla and Justine Kazimir - it was such a thrill to see their faces as they crossed that finish line. My lovely wife, Eusebia, has enjoyed the challenge that the Pump It Up Run offers previously. This year, she was accompanied by our nephew Jono, who might just have become addicted to running. See, he began in the 3 km race, but wanted to run with his aunt in the 5 km. In effect, he ended up with a staggering time for quite literally going the extra mile, and something to brag to his parents about!
Events like this run aren't just about tourism, or competition. There's a spirit that's difficult to put a name to that pervades. All you need are two feet and a heartbeat (and your race number), and you can be part of this community of enthusiasts. No special status card or elite membership is required, and people stop to help those struggling on the trail. Quite often, you'll heart runners being cheered on by complete strangers - plus local radio station celeb Toasty's high-energy announcement of completion at the finish line.
This year, I walked the 3 km with my awesome in-laws and a whole brood of my own kids, nieces, and nephews. We didn't break any land speed records; heck, for the most part, we didn't even break a sweat. But it was such a fun activity to get out and hit the trail.
Dinosaur Provincial Park is no new territory for us, our family is usually out there every week or two for a hike. But no matter how many times you've been to the park, there's always something new to discover. I was surprised that the crocuses were still around as by now, the deer have long consumed the first flower of spring.
If I've convinced you to participate in next year's run, get in contact with the Brooks Rotary Club - a group that's done so many amazing things for our community over the years. Trust me, you won't regret it!
Some of the people I photograph are just simply naturals. They're so comfortable in front of a camera, and easy-going, that the time flies by. This happened when I had the honour to meet with Sanjana and Amanuel, and gather a few images for their upcoming wedding that I'll be shooting video at.
An added bonus was that Sanjana had an image in mind that she wanted to receate. They actually created an image even better than the one she had for reference, and people even commented that they looked like they belonged on the cover of a magazine!
I like to keep things low-key and casual, and our personalities seemed to connect perfectly. We used a few locations around downtown Brooks; one that I've used before, and a couple I've been longing to utilize.
Only one downside to our amazing session: I wanted to film some behind the scenes footage for my YouTube channel, using my trusty old handheld camera. Well, the Costa Rican sun and sand must have done some damage as the camera didn't record a single frame! At one point, it even let out a high-pitched tone that I'm sure is commonly used to train dogs. So, uinfortunately, there is no video footage of our fun adventure. That problem has since been resolved, as my new video camera is en route!
Some days, I feel like I have the best jobin the world. I get to capture moments for people that are so happy; so much in love. Amanuel and Sanjana are just those people, and I'm looking forward to filming their big day!