Every year, the City of Brooks and local groups participate in Alberta Culture Days. It's a three-day even at the end of September that showcases local art and culture, and has been ongoing since 2008.
This year, there were several events at the Brooks Public Library, an art exhibit and sale by the Sage Brush Arts Group, performances by Tumbleweed Theatre and the ever-popular Taste of Nations event at the Lakeside Leisure Centre.
Added this year was a talent show put on by Brooks & County Immigration Services. Those featured in the Talent of Nations served as a prelude for what the community can expect from BCIS' famous Brooks Got Talent night (coming in November).
To start off the talent show, a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony took place, including a live demonstration on the stage. Then, the audience was invited to try the fine coffee and indulge in some homemade Ethiopian bread.
Check out some of the entertainment in this gallery. We certainly enjoyed the show, and we hope you did as well!
A few days ago, I was walking in to work when I felt something dreadful happen. My camera bag slid from my shoulder and landed on the concrete below me.
It all seemed to occur in slow motion, just like the movies. I even had time to shout the obligatory "nooooooooo!"
Upon inspection, my worst fears had been realized. The lens and body would never be mates again.
Now, the glass itself was in perfect shape. Barrel, hood, everything seemed intact....except two little pieces of plastic that locked into the body of my Nikon D90. The body was also fine, despite the fall.
My first repair thought was to simply super-glue the pieces back on. That actually seemed to work.....for all of five minutes. Obviously, things had to step up a notch.
Now, I would not recommend somebody actually glue their lens onto the body of a DSLR. It's not a very smart idea. However, I justified my actions being the body was obtained second-hand at a very good price, as was the kit lens. The glass always gave me sharp images, and it seemed a shame to scrap it just because two inches of plastic denied me the option.
I carefully checked the available glues and epoxies at my local hardware store, and purchased a powerful automotive adhesive. Now for the tricky part - applying the super strong glue to the surfaces without totally wrecking anything. Using q-tips, I carefully placed the glue where the body and lens meet, careful not to drop any onto the exposed mirror inside the body of the D90 or the glass on the lens. Then it was time to attach the lens...hopefully for the last time. Since this is my everyday setup, I'm not going to change lenses on the body anyway. Good thing, because now they're fused together!
The most agonising part was the 24-hour cure time, after which I gingerly tested the camera. Yup, seemed to work. Success!
So far, so good...now to test it out in the field!
We recently had the fortunate opportunity to shoot a few frames at the historic CNR Roundhouse in Hanna. It was a chance to meet up with fellow area photographers, while basking in this amazing site.
The roundhouse dates back to 1913 when a 10-bay facility was constructed. In 1921, five more bays were added, but by the 1960s, trains ceased using the building. While there were once several such places across the prairies, the vast majority have since been abandoned and demolished.
Hope of a new life for the Hanna Roundhouse came in 2009 when a local non-profit group - the Hanna Roundhouse Society - began raising funds to restore and preserve this rare piece of history. They acquired the roundhouse and turntable in 2013, and is working hard to make their dreams a reality.
While the 1921 addition had a major collapse back in 2007, the original 100+ year-old facility still remains. The bones of this building are in surprisingly good shape, considering how long the building has not been used.
One claim to fame is that the Hanna Roundhouse is where local band Nickelback filmed part of their video for Photograph (just before the three-minute mark).
The Hanna Roundhouse is certainly much like several hidden gems on the prairies - a treasure nestled in plain sight.
Rated as #1 of ‘one’ things to do in Torrington by TripAdvisor, the World Famous Gopher Hole Museum is certainly a must-see! I’ve been wanting to check this place out for years after hearing about it, but never found the opportunity. That is, until, one rainy day forced me and the kiddos out on an adventure!
Torrington is a small community near Three Hills, AB that has certainly embraced it’s collective ‘inner gopher’. The one-room museum was established in 1996, and yes: PETA put up a stink about the creation of such a facility, begging the community to not kill animals to fill the premises. As anyone who has come from an agricultural background, or even seen with their own two eyes the devastation a large amount of gophers can cause, they will agree with the alleged two-word postcard reply the museum us said to have sent: Get Stuffed!
Here’s what you will find if you visit this museum. Outside the entrance is a fun sign to have you picture taken in. Yes, your face can grace the body of Clem T. Gopher (side note, you can also find a statue of Clem in Torrington!). When you open the door to the museum, you will be greeted by a friendly lady and a large smile. The gift shop is adorned with newspaper clippings, merchandise for sale (including handmade knitted items) and information on the many hand-painted fire hydrants about town (yes, painted as gophers!).
Then, you enter THE room: the diorama room.
Here’s the main attraction - over 40 dioramas of stuffed gophers depicting scenes of Torrington locals, businesses and attractions famous in the region. From a wedding scene, to a few gophers shooting pool at the beer parlour, to a holdup at the local ATB branch, these dioramas are simply fantastic. Yes, it’s a whacky tourist attraction, but as you explore the themed dioramas, one realizes that the scenes showcase small-town life and all it’s many quirks. Simply put, the museum is good, clean fun. With so many major attractions nearby, Torrington is worth a visit. Where else can you take an adult and two kids for an entertaining afternoon, all for the low price of three bucks?
When my kids and I ventured out, Torrington was the destination, but we did travel through Drumheller on the way home to visit the big dinosaur at the tourist information centre (and for a small fee, climb up and enjoy the view from his toothy mouth).
An added bonus for those interested in Geocaching, these areas are loaded with interested caches. You could easily spend days exploring this interesting area.