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Author: Shannon Peace

Shannon Peace is a woman with a passion for community news and the connections it fosters. She created Shootin' the Breeze in 2011 to share positive stories from southwestern Alberta. Shannon writes from the heart and has earned awards for her editorials, feature stories, news stories, local columns, health writing, advertising design, special feature production and photography.
Updated photo of missing Crowsnest Pass youth Tristen Newton. White male with very short, light brown hair, wearing black hoodie.

Missing Crowsnest Pass Youth located safe

UPDATE: Nov. 24, 2023

Crowsnest Pass RCMP have confirmed that Tristen Newton has been located and is safe.


Original report: Nov. 22, 2023

Tristen Newton of Bellevue has been missing since Nov. 18 and is believed to be in the Pincher Creek area of southwestern Alberta.

Crowsnest Pass RCMP say the 16-year-old youth was last seen in Frank on Saturday. He was wearing a grey T-shirt, burgundy sweatpants, blue Vans and possibly a black Playboy hoodie.

Tristen has blonde hair and blue eyes and is described as being about 4′ 11″ and 130 pounds.

If you have information about Tristen’s whereabouts, please contact Crowsnest Pass RCMP at 403-562-2867, or your local police service.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at or by using the P3 Tips app available through the Apple App or Google Play stores. To report crime online, or for access to RCMP news and information, download theAlberta RCMP app.


Wine glasses and cheese tray set out for sip and shop party at Emerald & Ash Clothing in Crowsnest Pass.


Soldier Jack Dudley with his mother, Mary, in 1945.

Hillcrest veteran fondly remembered by daughter

For many, this Saturday will be filled with mixed emotions, from pride to sadness, remembering those lost to war and those who returned, now gone.

For Marion Borrows, who has called Hillcrest her home for a lifetime, it will be the latter — her father, Jack Dudley, was only a teenager when he left to fight in the second World War.

“My dad was actually the longest-living veteran here at the Bellevue Legion, until he passed away three years ago. He was 99,” Marion shares. “He fought in Italy, in Sicily and Rome, and in North Africa.”

Jack, as it turns out, was also part of the contingent that helped to liberate Holland (now the Netherlands) from Nazi occupation in late 1944 and early 1945. More than 7,600 Canadian soldiers lost their lives during the campaign.

Her father, however, was one of the fortunate ones to return home.

“He was shot in combat twice. He almost bled out one of the times,” Marion says. “I believe it happened in Italy.”

Like many soldiers, her father kept many of his experiences inside.

“I really don’t know an awful lot because my dad didn’t really talk about the war until his later years,” she says.


Young woman with long, straight, brown hair smiles on Ascent Dental ad. Her Invisalign braces can barely be seen.


A member of the Seaforth Highlanders out of Calgary, Marion’s dad enlisted in the Canadian military and, after only a few short weeks of training in England, was off to battle.

In 1945, upon his return, Jack began a career in the underground mines, something he did, in one capacity or another, until his retirement.

“He worked in Coleman and McGillivary in a place called B level. He worked in Canmore for a while. And, he was also in Sparwood,” Marion says.

When there wasn’t work in the mines, because of a strike or layoff, he would pick up work on road crews. 

“He was a very friendly person,” Marion says. “Everybody liked Jack Dudley.”

“He loved to fish. He lived to fish,” she adds. “His favourite was in the river when he could fly fish.”

Also an avid ice fisherman, he could be found at Beaver and Beauvais lakes during the winter months, but arthritis from his service in the war, Marion believes, caught up with him and limited the amount of fishing he could do.

It was at a dance in Beaver Mines that he met his bride, Cecelia.

“He said it was her red hair that caught his eye and he knew she was the one for him,” Marion recalls.

The two would be later married in the Coleman United Church.


Brightly coloured floaties in an advertisement for pool parties at the Pincher Creek pool


“Times were tough, so they took a bus to Marysville [for their honeymoon], staying at a hotel for one night.”

Jack was father to three daughters — Marion, the oldest, Diane and Colleen — the loves of his life.

While he probably had hoped for a boy, Marion says he settled for a dog.

“He loved dogs. He always said that they were the only son he could produce.” 

While war often produces stories of strife and tragedy, Marion says she’d like to remember some of the happier stories her dad shared with the family — of villagers, in Italy, for example, treating soldiers like gold, and another story …

“They would go and collect all the boots of the soldiers that were laid up in the hospital, sell the boots to the locals, because they would get new boots when they returned to combat, buy wine with the money they received for the boots, and have a party.”

“I would imagine, in Italy, there was probably a lot of local vino,” Marion jokes.

Jack passed away peacefully on July 15, 2020.

As Marion’s family remembers, we, too, acknowledge the selfless service of Jack, and of all our heroes, to our country. Lest we forget.


Soldier Jack Dudley with his mother, Mary, in 1945.

A photo of a young Jack Dudley with his mom, Mary, just prior to leaving for service in the Second World War. He would return to Hillcrest in 1945 to become a miner, marry his sweetheart, Cecelia, and raise three daughters. | Photo courtesy of Marion Borrows


Two stockings, one red, one green, filled with candy on ad for Crowsnest Candy


Image of Jack Price with short, dark hair and moustace wearing suit and tie

Coleman soldier made supreme sacrifice for his country

Pte. Jack Price, a member of the 54th Kootenay Battalion, was the first Coleman man to give up his life in defence of his country. He was killed in action somewhere in France on May 7, 1916, at the age of 39.

Jack was born in the north of Ireland and came to Canada when he was eight years old. His people settled in Nova Scotia, where Jack remained until about 1906, when he came to Coleman. He was employed in the mines until the outbreak of the war.

He enlisted for active service with the 54th Kootenay Battalion in Fernie, B.C., on May 13, 1915, and served with his battalion a few days less than one year.

Jack was one of the first English-speaking married men from Coleman to enlist. That he took this step from a sheer sense of duty was clearly indicated by a conversation he had with a local professional man a few days after he signed on.

“What on earth possessed you, a man with a large family, to enlist, Jack?” was the query put to him by this man.


Plate of Charlie Biggs' chicken tenders with sauces on the side and link to Blairmore menu.


“Well, I’ll tell you. If we married men wait here for some of these unmarried men to go first, we are going to lose this war.”

So, he followed the path of duty as he saw it, and the shock which the news of his death must have brought to his wife and family here may have been softened, to some extent, by the knowledge that if any man was ever entitled to have it said of him, Jack Price would certainly be remembered by all who knew him as a man who did his duty for his country.

He was survived by his wife and a young family of six children.

Jack Price is buried in Chester Farm Cemetery in Belgium along with 87 Canadian soldiers, 306 from the United Kingdom, 21 from Australia and four German prisoners. Another five soldiers from the U.K. and one from Canada are commemorated as buried, or believed to be buried, in the cemetery, although the graves cannot be found.

Pte. Jack Price made the supreme sacrifice — he made it for us all.


Santa floating in a round tube in the an ad for family passes to the Pincher Creek swimming pool



K's Thomson, cowboy in red shirt, dark vest and hat, and fringed chaps, rides saddle bronc at CFR.

Thomson third in the average after two rounds at CFR

Keep your eye on K’s Thomson! Heading into Round 3 of Canadian Finals Rodeo tonight, the local saddle bronc rider holds third place.

K’s Thomson – saddle bronc

Lundbreck cowboy K’s Thomson tied for third Thursday, with an 84.75-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Special Delivery.

Zeke Thurston’s 87.50 proved to be the best mark among the 12 riders in Round 2, while 85.5 put Leon Fountain in second. Thomson shared third spot with Logan Hay, Lucas Macza and Layton Green.

Round 1

Fourth with 84.25 points on Big Stone’s Second Thoughts – $2,154.45

11th in total season earnings with $19,020.45

Round 2

Three-way tie for third with 84.75 points on Calgary Stampede’s Special Delivery – $1,915.17

Third in the aggregate with 169 points

11th in total season earnings with $20,935.62

About K’s

The 24-year-old from Lundbreck turned pro in 2021 and is participating in his third CFR – novice saddle bronc in 2019 and saddle bronc in 2021 and 2023.

He qualified for CFR with 2023 earnings of $16,966.11 and 11th place in the standings. K’s has recovered from a hip injury and tied for second at his hometown rodeo in Pincher Creek this year.

Outside of pro rodeo, he is a rancher and horse trainer with a special interest in training dogs. His parents, Kirk and Shandel, are former CFR competitors in saddle bronc and barrel racing. Uncles Kyle and Cody Thomson are also former bronc riders.


K's Thomson, cowboy in red shirt, dark vest and hat, and fringed chaps, rides saddle bronc at CFR.

K’s Thomson of Lundbreck scored 84.75 for this ride on Special Delivery at Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer on Thursday.

Logan Bird – tie-down roping

While a time of 9,5 seconds was good enough for a paycheque on Wednesday, an additional second meant no cash on Thursday for Nanton’s Logan Bird and eighth place in Round 2.

Behind Bo Pickett, Erik Dublanko, Jason Smith and Kyle Lucas, Bird is tied with Haven Meged for fifth in the average.

Round 1

Fourth with 9.5 seconds – $2,154.45

Second in total season earnings with $36,775.45

Round 2

Eighth with 10.5 seconds

Fifth in the aggregate with 20 seconds for two calves

Second in total season earnings with $36,775.45

About Logan

The 29-year-old from Nanton turned pro in 2013 and is participating in his eighth CFR – 2013, 2016 to 2019 and 2021 to 2023.

He qualified for CFR with 2023 earnings of $34,621 and second place in the standings. Logan won the Falkland, High River and Cranbrook rodeos this year.

Outside of pro rodeo, he is a horse trainer and a big sports fan. His sister, Lakota Bird, is a CFR contestant in breakaway roping.


Shelves of bottled liquor in an ad for Town & Country Liquor Store in Pincher Creek


Ty Taypotat – bareback

With a score of 83.50 on Duane Kesler Rodeo’s Payday, Ty Taypotat landed third at Thursday’s CFR.

Round 1

Fifth with 83 points on Calgary Stampede’s Zulu Warrior– $957.53

Fourth in total season earnings with $29,510.53

Round 2

Third with 83.5 points on Duane Kesler Rodeo’s Payday – $4,548.28

Fourth in the aggregate with 166.5 points

Fourth in total season earnings with $34,059.04

About Ty

The 31-year-old from Nanton turned pro in 2011 and is participating in his 11th CFR – 2011, 2012, 2014 to 2019 and 2021 to 2023.

Ty qualified for CFR with 2023 earnings of $28,553.23 and fourth place in the standings. The highlight of his year was getting married.

Outside of pro rodeo, you can find Ty flipping houses with his wife and fixing up the old Cummins.



Pascal Isabelle – bareback

Coming into CFR ranked ninth, Pascal Isabelle has yet to see a payday in Red Deer.

Isabelle’s 78.25-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Shadow Ride was a ninth-place ride on Thursday, an improvement from 77.75 achieved Wednesday on Vold’s Mucho Dinero.

Round 1

11th with 77.75 on Vold’s Mucho Dinero

Ninth in total season earnings with $20,250.94

Round 2

Ninth with 78.25 points on Calgary Stampede’s Shadow Ride

10th in total season earnings with $20,250.94

About Pascal

Pascal hails from Montreal but calls Nanton home. The 31-year-old turned pro in 2015 and is participating in his fourth CFR – 2016 and 2021 to 2023.

He qualified for CFR with 2023 earnings of $20,250.94 and 11th place in the standings. Pascal was champion of Medicine Hat’s indoor and outdoor rodeos, won the long round at Salinas Rodeo, and qualified for the NFR Open and Cloverdale short round.

Outside of pro rodeo, Pascal is an entrepreneur who loves connecting with nature and sports like skiing, swimming, hiking, biking and climbing.

His girlfriend Rachelle Riggers and his brother Eric Isabelle are also rodeo athletes.


Christmas is too sparkly, said no one, ever, brooch on sparkly silver background of ad for Blackburn Jewellers in Pincher Creek


Bradi Whiteside – ladies barrels and breakaway roping

Bradi Whiteside of Longview has had two solid rounds so far in barrel racing at CFR ’49. A time of 13.98 seconds landed her in third place for the day and second in the average heading into Round 3.

CFR earnings so far of $6,702.73 (the most among southwestern Alberta competitors) bring her barrel-racing total for the year to $25,944.98.

Bradi also has $14,116 behind her in breakaway earnings for the season and three opportunities to grow this over the weekend. The first round of breakaway roping is Saturday afternoon.

Round 1 – Barrels

Fourth with 13.88 seconds – $2,154.45

Seventh in total season earnings with $21,396.45

Round 2 – Barrels

Third with 13.98 seconds – $4,548.28

Second in the aggregate with 27.86 seconds in two runs

Seventh in total season earnings with $25,944.98

About Bradi

The 21-year-old Longview cowgirl turned pro in 2017 and is participating in her fifth CFR. This includes qualifying for breakaway roping in 2022 and 2023, and in ladies barrel racing from 2021 to 2023.

Bradi qualified for CFR with 2023 earnings of $14,116 and sixth place in the breakaway roping standings, and $19,242 for seventh in barrels. A highlight of her year was qualifying for the Calgary Stampede in both of her events.

Outside of pro rodeo, Bradi keeps busy as a horse trainer.

Her sister, Kylie Whiteside, is a CFR ’49 competitor in breakaway roping and, like Bradi, is a barrel racer. Their dad, Travis Whiteside was the 1997 Canadian bareback champion.


Black bear in the grass on ad for Bear Grass Bistro in Pincher Creek.


Hayden MacKay – junior steer riding

After being bucked off Wednesday, Hayden MacKay of Nanton scored 66 points in his second-round ride the next night.

He earned his CFR spot with winnings of $4,511.69 for the year. Junior steer riding wraps up Saturday afternoon.

About Hayden

Fifteen-year-old Hayden turned pro in 2022 and this year’s Canadian Finals Rodeo is his first.

The Nanton teen qualified for CFR with 2023 earnings of $4,511.69 and sixth place in junior steer riding. Hayden won the Pincher Creek and Raymond rodeos along with the Koye Larsen Memorial. A highlight was two go-round wins at the Calgary Stampede, with a score of 80 in the second round.

This young cowboy enjoys riding and running, and can be found getting ready for the next event.

Hayden’s dad, Ian MacKay, and grandpa Stuart Derochie were bull riders, while his mom, Layne Derochie, and sister Luxxin MacKay are barrel racers.



Bounce back night at CFR ’49

Canadian Finals Rodeo Round 2 Summary
Canadian Professional Rodeo Association

Team ropers Dawson and Dillon Graham proved once again why they are champions. The Wainwright brothers settled atop the leaderboard on a solid night of roping with a 3.9-second run — just two-tenths off the arena record. This after a disappointing first round where the brothers finished out of the money.

“You know you’re not out of it if you have some bad luck,” Dawson noted philosophically. “It’s six rounds and you can make a lot happen in the last five. This is our fourth year here so we feel pretty at home.”

The pair were happy with their second-round cattle draw too. “The steer we had tonight was the one Logan and Keely [Bonnett] won fourth on in round one.”

Add the fact that they are competing on the Heading and Heeling Horses of the Year, Dawson on Outlaw and Dillon on Cruz, and it’s no surprise to see the athletes enjoy a victory lap.

Of their season in general, which saw Dawson end the year 19th header in the world, and Dillon, 16th heeler, with over $87,000 in earnings each, Dillon commented, “We had a great year. We roped well and had a lot of confidence coming into Red Deer. We came in with a game plan and we’re going to stick to it.”

Tonight’s success has Dawson in second place in the heading standings just $1,300 behind second-place roper Tee McLeod with Dillon holding down first in the heeling ranks.


Dawson and Dillon Graham team roping at Canadian Finals Rodeo.
Dillon and Dawson Graham



Zeke Thurston’s opening-round saddle bronc ride silenced the Peavy Mart Centrium. That’s because the three-time and reigning World and Canadian Champion did something this or any crowd seldom sees. The champ bucked off.

But on Bounce Back Thursday, Zeke was riding and the sell-out crowd was cheering as the champ posted a sensational 87.5 points on a young Calgary Stampede bronc F-53 Flying Carma.

“Yeah, I was after a little redemption after last night,” Thurston acknowledged.

“I honestly don’t know what I’d do differently. I thought I did everything right last night and she still got me.  But to draw that little horse tonight, Flying Carma, she was really getting it on and I just tried to help her as best I could and I guess it looked pretty good. She’s gonna be around a long time and have a great career and guys are going to win a lot of money on that horse.”

The win put Thurston back into the driver’s seat in the race for the Canadian title. In fact, even having dropped out of the average race for the time being, the second-generation bronc rider has the overall lead with second-place man, Ben Andersen $6,500 back and fifth in the average.


Advertisement from Pincher Creek Women's Shelter to turn on a light during Family Violence Prevention Month.


It was pay back night for barrel racer Taylor Manning as well. After a rough start that saw the reigning champion hit two barrels, the Yellowhead County cowgirl clocked a speedy 13.86 to win the round. Lynette Brodoway maintained her hold on first place overall.

Another cowboy who evened the score on night two was Sundre bull rider, Wyatt Gleeson. The two-time Finals qualifier put his opening night buck-off in the rearview mirror and was 86.75 on Outlaw Buckers’ Afraid to Nod to collect the first-place cheque of $9,335. The win bumped Gleeson up to sixth in the standings, $25,000 back of season leader Coy Robbins who bucked off his first two bulls at this CFR.

3.9 seconds continued to be the magic number in the steer wrestling event. Three-time and defending champ Scott Guenthner shared the honours with Ponoka bulldogger Chance Butterfield. Season leader Dalton Massey continues to struggle, dropping to second spot, about $10,000 behind Guenthner overall.



Bareback rider Clint Laye demonstrated the consistency that earned the Cadogan cowboy the 2021 Canadian title and two NFR qualifications. Laye climbed aboard Big Stone Rodeo’s 313 Mayhem for 85.5 and the Round 2 win.

The Smith brothers and their Tie-Down Horse of the Year, Moon, kept it all in the family on night two. While Jason earned the Round 1 win, tonight it was Shane who enjoyed the victory lap after an 8.8-second run.

In the novice bareback, Turin cowboy Austin Broderson was 74.75 for first while Dylan Young marked 79.75 to earn the top cheque in the novice saddle bronc event. Brooks steer rider Hayden Mulvey picked up first in the junior steer riding with a 78.25-point ride.

Go to for Canadian Finals Rodeo results. Check out for additional event details.

CFR ’49 performance three starts at 6 p.m. on Nov. 3 at the Peavey Mart Centrium, Westerner Park in Red Deer. If you cannot attend the event in person, sign up to follow the action on The Cowboy Channel.


Cloud of smoke over the logo for Pincher Creek Vape Shop advertising online ordering


Young girl in multi-coloured jacket and bright pink helmet and ski pants, grins broadly while skating with arms outstretched.


Logan Hay, cowboy in dark shirt and vest and light hat, rides saddle bronc at CFR.

Canadian Finals Rodeo: Round 1 highlights

Canadian Finals Rodeo kicked off Wednesday in Red Deer, with a number of southwestern Alberta athletes on the program, including local saddle bronc rider K’s Thomson.

Thomson put $2,154.45 in his pocket last night as a Round-1 payout. The 24-year-old Lundbreck cowboy placed fourth with an 84.25-point ride on Big Stone’s Second Thoughts. This is his third time at CFR after finishing the season in 11th place with earnings of $16,866.

A time of 9.5 seconds was good enough for Nanton’s Logan Bird to take home $2,154.45 and fourth spot in the first go-round of tie-down roping. He comes to CFR sitting second at the end of the season based on winnings of $34,621.

Ty Taypotat of Nanton and Pascal Isabelle of Claresholm placed fourth and 11th, respectively, in the first round of bareback riding.

Taypotat won $957.53 for his 83-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Zulu Warrior, adding to winnings of $28,553, which saw him finish the season in fourth spot.

Isabelle came into CFR ranked ninth for earnings of $20,250, but a score of 77.75 on Vold’s Mucho Dinero wasn’t good enough for a round-one payday.

Bradi Whiteside of Longview earned $2,154.45 for a fourth-place time of 13.88 seconds in ladies barrel racing on Wednesday. She finished the season seventh in barrels with winnings of $19,242 and sixth in breakaway roping with $14,116.

Kylie Whiteside of Longview, who also competes in both events, qualified for CFR on a ninth-place finish in breakaway roping with a season total of $12,138.

With only three go-rounds of breakaway roping at CFR, be ready to watch for the Whiteside sisters along with Jenna Dallyn and Lakota Bird of Nanton, and Shayla Biever of Claresholm in those performances on Saturday and Sunday.

Hayden MacKay of Nanton had no time for his effort in junior steer riding on Wednesday. He earned his CFR spot with winnings of $4,511.69 for the year. Junior steer riding wraps up Saturday afternoon.



Huge, loaded burger and onion rings on Bear Grass Bistro ad.


Logan Hay, cowboy in dark shirt and vest and light hat, rides saddle bronc at CFR.

Logan Hay rides Elvira to win Round 1 of the saddle bronc competition at Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer on Nov. 1.

Strong first night for Logan Hay

Canadian Finals Rodeo media release

Logan Hay got the monkey off his back on night one of the Canadian Finals Rodeo. The third-generation bronc rider marked an impressive 85.75 points on Vold Rodeo’s 52 Elvira to top the field in a performance that saw the competitors take on the eliminator pen.

“I’ve never got a score in the first round at CFR in the three years I’ve been here,” the Wildwood, Alta., cowboy said.

“The first time was first-year jitters, then some bad luck honestly the next two. This year I knew I had one of the harder horses in there; she’s not easy. You have to go all or nothing as she bucks off a lot of people. All the guys had their hands full tonight. There wasn’t an easy one in there. A lot of guys stubbed their toes who don’t normally do that. I got by a tough one and I’m glad it worked out.”

Tonight’s performance was a re-match for the young athlete as he earned top honours on the same horse at the Strathmore Stampede earlier in the season.

“It’s always good to get the first one under your belt. It’s good for your confidence.” Hay added. Among the casualties on the night was three-time and reigning World and Canadian Champion Zeke Thurston who bucked off Calgary Stampede’s Cloudy Skies.



In the ladies barrel racing event it was 17 year old rookie, Blake Molle from Chauvin, Alta., who turned in the winning time – a 13.78-second run on her gelding Mercy. The tough roster of barrel racers enjoyed a strong first out with half of the runs under 14 seconds.

The first performance steer wrestling lead was shared by three men: North Dakota cowboy Riley Reiss and Albertans Ryan Shuckburgh and Ty Miller, all in at a solid 3.9 seconds.

In the bareback riding, 2019 Canadian Champion Orin Larsen teamed with Duane Kesler Championship Rodeo’s Knockout for 86 points and the $9,335 cheque. The round win moved the Inglis, Man., cowboy into the early lead overall.

On a night when the team ropers as a group struggled, the combination of Tee Mcleod and Brady Chappel – both Saskatchewan athletes – took the round win with a 4.3-second run. The victory was doubly productive for Mcleod who moved to the lead in the All-Around race.

Tie-down roping saw Wimborne, Alta., cowboy Jason Smith earn top money with an 8.3-second run on Moon, Canadian Tie-Down Horse of the Year.


Crockets Trading Company building against an orange and purple coloured sunset on ad for Crockets local Christmas gift ideas.


And 2019 Canadian Champion bull rider Edgar Durazo was flawless in covering last year’s Bull of the Year, Duane Kesler’s Alberta Prime Devils Advocate. Durazo marked 89 points to move closer to season leader Coy Robbins who bucked off in the round.

In the novice bareback, season leader Chase Siemens won first with a 77.5 effort while defending novice saddle bronc champion Colten Powell was 72.5 to win his event in the first performance.

Brodi Beasley was awarded 82.5 points to claim the junior steer riding win in performance one.

And 2006 Canadian Bull Riding Champion and youth rodeo coach Tanner Girletz was presented with the prestigious Cowboy of the Year award sponsored by Legend Rodeo. Congratulations, Tanner!

Go to for Canadian Finals Rodeo results. Check out for additional event details.

CFR ’49 performance two kicks off at 6 p.m. on Nov. 2 at the Peavey Mart Centrium, Westerner Park in Red Deer. If you cannot attend the event, sign up to follow the action on The Cowboy Channel.



White car surrounded by auto parts on Pincher Creek Bumper to Bumper ad


Pincher Creek Chamber of Commerce Awards of Excellence logo in gold text on grey background.

2023 Awards of Excellence Winners

The Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce presented its annual Awards of Excellence at a gala dinner Oct. 20.

Congratulations to all nominees and the following category winners:

Farm Family of the YearFlint Rock Ranch

Young Business of the YearTanya DuPlesis for Tanya’s Lemonade

Community Organization Impact Award – Adaptable Outdoors

New Business of the Year – Abuvmedia Productions

Home Business of the Year – Wild M Photos

Large Business of the Year – The Hut

Small Business of the Year – Fox Theatre

Chamber Member of the Year – Chalsey Peeters of Small Town Collective

Spirit of Pincher Creek Award – Randy Whitehead

Employee of the Year Award – Joanne Rainford of Training Inc.

Read about each winner from the links above. To view nomination snippets, click on the categories.

Two men in heavy-metal rocker 80s attire – one looking to the left and the other pointing at you straight on during Banger Bingo at the Pincher Creek Legion

Rock of Ages 2.0

It might not have been the musical but it was very close for a packed house Friday at the Pincher Creek Legion. Billed as “not your grandma’s bingo,” Banger Bingo didn’t disappoint with blaring flashback ’80s music from groups like AC/DC and Kiss, to an air guitar competition. That’s lead entertainer Shane-saw, who also doubled up as the bingo caller. Rock on!

Photo by Dave Lueneberg


Parents and three children in red-and-black checked pajamas on Christmas gift ad for Crockets Trading Company in Crowsnest Pass.




Young entrepreneur competition a sweet success

Rodeo weekend in August saw Pincher Creek residents and visitors treated to lemonade and other treats by the youngest entrepreneurs in town. After a few weeks to review everyone’s efforts, the Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce is happy to announce the results of this year’s competition.

“The kids really all did a fantastic job,” says Linda Davies, chamber manager. A total of 20 kids participated between the 12 lemonade stands, and Linda commends them all for their hard work and creativity.

The kids were judged in three main categories: product, stand and business plan. Four local entrepreneurs — Tori Bailer, Rylan Brown, Dennis Robin and Alexandra Russell — scored the entries to determine the winners.


Averie Russell with her Lemonade Day stand.

Averie Russell

Averie Russell won for best lemonade and was praised by the judges for her classic recipe.

“They really liked that she had done the old-fashioned lemonade as she had actually squeezed the lemons,” says Linda.


Cheska Misa with her Lemonade Day stand

Cheska Misa

Best stand was awarded to Cheska Misa for her creative stand and signage made entirely from scratch with recycled materials.

“What put Cheska over the top was she had gone to an immense amount of work,” says Linda.


Emily and Daisy Osborn with their Lemonade Day stand

Emily and Daisy Osborn

The best business plan went to Emily and Daisy Osborne, who had won the overall prize last year with an ecojustice platform.

The winners of these three categories each receive $100.


Tanya DuPlesis and her Lemonade Day stand

Tanya DuPlessis and her mother Christine pose at her cheerful lemonade stand outside Pincher Office Products on Lemonade Day in August. | Photo by Mia Parker


The overall winner this year for lemonade, stand and business plan was Tanya Du Plessis.

“She had a great stand, really good customer service,” says Linda, also noting that Tanya has been a farmers market vendor and had a variety of lemonades and treats available for the judges.

In addition to the $300 prize, Tanya will be showcased at the Pincher Creek Awards of Excellence ceremony this October, with her product as the welcome drink.

It is clear to her that this competition promoting business skills for local youth was well received by the community.

“When I looked at the totals of how much the kids sold in lemonade, the community must’ve supported them really well,” says Linda.

“It’s fun for the community to go and support the kids, but I love that it kind of instils that entrepreneurial spirit in young people, too, because if it’s a lemonade stand this year, maybe it’ll be something even bigger and better as they get older.”


Two stockings, one red, one green, filled with candy on ad for Crowsnest Candy


Angus Rance with his Lemonade Day stand

Angus Rance

Ashton Webb with his Lemonade Day stand

Ashton Webb

Emmett and Olivia Smith Lemonade Day stand

Emmett and Olivia Smith

Everly Uhrbach Lemonade Day stand

Everly Uhrbach

Jace and Lexie Horwath Lemonade Day stand

Jace and Lexie Horwath

Rayen, Dylan, Rhia and Winry Warrior with their Lemonade Day stand

Rayen, Dylan, Rhia and Winry Warrior

Urijah and Madison Fox with their Lemonade Day stand

Urijah and Madison Fox

Kesler and Logann Brauer Lemonade Day stand

Kesler and Logann Brauer

Faded and torn "Every Child Matters" T-shirt, small grey moccasins and child's black and white running shoes hang from barbed-wire fence at Piikani Nation. The black-and-white shoes are against a bright orange sunset while the other shots have a cloudy grey sky as a background.

Fading Intentions – My Little Corner

What crosses your mind as you pass through the west end of Brocket and see the memorial display on the fence line? Does the row of shoes, tobacco ties and shirts grab your attention or has it faded and become one with the background?


Every Child Matters fence-line display at Brocket in June 2021. Teddy Bears, children's shoes, tobacco ties and orange ribbons hanging from barbed wire.

June 2021 photo of the fence-line display at Brocket by Shannon Peace.


When passing by, my mind always goes back to the June evening in 2021 when the sky blazed orange and Brenda Shenton captured the amazing image below — a pair of black-and-white child’s shoes against a brilliant orange sunset. No enhancement was applied to the photo — you are seeing exactly what we saw that night.

Never had the need for truth and reconciliation been stronger than in the weeks following the 2021 discovery of unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. It was not only the Indigenous people fighting for recognition and rights, it was non-Indigenous Canadians from coast to coast demanding answers and action.

While residential school history was, in reality, only one conversation with an Indigenous person away, the topic was seldom in the public eye. Suddenly it presented itself boldly and unapologetically, with a ferocity matching that orange sky.

Truths carried by generations of Indigenous people affected by the residential school system were now unequivocally told to an audience that was receptive and ready to listen. Efforts to kill the Indian in the child were on display under a harsh international spotlight and, fuelled by anger and empathy, were shared from coast to coast and beyond.

Some were embarrassed, apologetic or both, while others denied history. Whatever the case, ugliness was front and centre in the boldest of colours, and was inspiring change and demanding action.

People of all cultures made a conscious effort to learn more and to support the need for truth and reconciliation. 

It was a necessary first step.


Every Child Matters monument at Piikani Nation. Child's black-and-white shoes hanging from barbed-wire fence with a red tobacco tie against a brilliant orange sunset.

June 2021 image taken at Piikani Nation by Brenda Shenton.


While past actions and ignorance can’t be changed, we can do better going forward. Whether we learned about residential schools as part of our education or only recently, today is the time for meaningful action. The truths we know now demand attention, and bright orange serves as a reminder.

The energy exuding from the image of a blazing sky behind a tiny pair of runners hanging from barbed wire and the feeling it continues to bring to me two years later, is what inspires me to persist in contributing to truth and reconciliation efforts.

In case one is inclined to forget, the teddy bears hanging at the roadside in Piikani Nation also keep things fresh.

Piikani elders are gracious when sharing their knowledge, some speaking for the first time about their experiences. Those inclined to listen may learn about the Creator, Mother Earth, family relations, knowledge keeping and the Ksi ski ni (bald eagle).


Logo for Charley Biggs' Chicken on bright yellow background with link to menu.


Many have learned about residential school history and reflected on its impact.

Many have shown new respect to Indigenous people in our community.

Many have attended powwows and looked beyond the regalia to learn the meaning of the dances and the honour songs.

Many have a new understanding of the addictions and mental health challenges that affect Indigenous people.

Many have newfound respect and have allowed dignity based on what has been learned.

Many have acknowledged the truth that Indigenous women and girls have a higher risk of being victims of violence and homicide than non-Indigenous females.

Many have examined personal biases and strive to do better.

And many are teaching their children difficult history lessons and moulding them into people who will be inspired to make change.

Every action is commendable.

For the Indigenous and for us all, there is new hope, but it will be generations more before reconciliation can lead to true healing of deep wounds.


Every Child Matters T-shirt, torn and faded, hangs from barbed-wire fence at Piikani Nation monument.

A T-shirt, once bright orange, hangs faded and torn on the fence-line monument at Brocket. September 2023 photo by Shannon Peace.


Indigenous people have fought for change for many years. Our job is to uplift their voices and to fight alongside them. We can contribute by amplifying their voices in spaces where they aren’t heard and help address the changes, wants and needs that are their reality. We can keep the stories alive and make sure history does not repeat itself.

What strikes me now, when passing the roadside monument, is one particular T-shirt. Once bright orange, two years in the elements has faded it to nearly white. Despite being tattered and torn by an environment beyond its control, it still exudes a sense of pride from its place on the barbed-wire fence.

People were driven to action by the vivid orange. But it seems the spirit of support is fading along with the shirt. Good intentions are fading.

The next time you drive through Piikani Nation, why not see that ragged shirt as a symbol of resilience and perseverance? Imagine it in brilliant colour and let it motivate you to help create a brighter future.

Letting truth and reconciliation intentions fade away is like killing the Indian in the child all over again. 

Let’s see orange together.



Sparkly, multi-coloured shoes hang from the fence-line monument at Piikani Nation in June 2021.
June 2021 photo by Shannon Peace.
Once sparkly, multi-coloured shoes with the colour faded away, hang from the fence-line monument at Piikani Nation in September 2023.

Since 2021, the colour has all but disappeared from these shoes. September 2023 photo by Shannon Peace.

New, orangish leather child's moccasins hang from the fence-line monument at Piikani Nation in June 2021.

June 2021 photo by Shannon Peace.

Child's moccasins, their leather faded to grey, hang from the fence-line monument at Piikani Nation in September 2023.

The colour of the moccasins has faded to grey due to time in the elements. September 2023 photo by Shannon Peace.



Visual presentation of this article published in the Oct. 4, 2023 print issue of Shootin’ the Breeze.


Newspaper presentation of Fading Intentions article. Three photos at the top. Orange background behind text fades away to the bottom of the article





Pincher Creek Legion celebrates first National Legion Week

Pincher Creek’s Legion Branch 43 hosted a private dinner Sept. 17 in recognition of the first National Legion Week, which ran Sept. 17 to 23. The new weeklong acknowledgment is meant to bring attention to the work of Legions across Canada, which serve and support military and RCMP veterans, as well as the community itself.

Photos by William Cockerell


Santa with wrench in hand and toolbelt on Ace Hardware ad


Rear view of sergeant-at-arms Fred White saluting the Canadian and British flags.

Sergeant-at-arms Fred White salutes the Canadian and British flags during the singing of Canada’s national anthem.

Three men and two women do a can-can step wearing brightly-coloured striped socks.

Dave Johnson, left Beth Goff, Rev. Dave Goff, Rachel Welsh and Fred White dance in colourful knitted socks as part of a comedy bit conducted by an area comedian, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Head-table guests look to guest speaker Gary Mills at the podium.

Pincher Creek Legion president Maggie Christians, left, Coleman Legion president Gary Littlewood, Beth Goff and branch padre Rev. Dave Goff listen attentively as guest speaker Gary Mills passionately addresses those in attendance.

Lou Niven, a woman with a coral-coloured sweater, sits next to veteran Norman Walker who is wearing military medals on his chest.

Lou Niven and veteran Norm Walker enjoy the evening’s festivities.


Acorn earrings by Holly Yashi on ad for Blackburn Jewellers in Pincher Creek


New menu items from Boston Pizza in Pincher Creek.



Two women, Brenda Shenton in light orange sweater and Shannon Peace in dark rust shirt, with award certificates earned by Shootin' the Breeze.

Celebrate National Newspaper Week with us

While times are tough in most industries right now, our team tries to keep our chins up as we face new, and unique, challenges in the newspaper business.

Celebrating what Shootin’ the Breeze does well is something I enjoy. It’s not meant in a vain way but as a matter of shining a bright spotlight on the people who work very hard to ensure there is a newspaper in your hands every Wednesday morning.

A few weeks back, Brenda Shenton and I spent a weekend in Edmonton at the annual general meeting and convention of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association. We’d talked about going together for a number of years, and now that she’s retired she finally had time to join me!

If you ask, Brenda will tell you that she came away with much deeper insight into what happens beyond our local media outlet. She knows that, despite the potholes and bumps on the newspaper highway, I come back from this annual event rejuvenated and motivated.

The turnout was grim and, as convention chairwoman, it’s something I’ve been trying to address over the past two years. Many say they simply can’t afford the cost of the trip or the cost of being away from their office for even two days.

On the bright side, those in attendance, both in person and virtually, are committed to keeping Alberta’s newspapers strong.


Dr. Baker, Dr. Leishman, Dr. Evanson on ad for Ascent Dental


Hardships were acknowledged and solutions were sought. There’s no better place to do this than among a group of your peers.

Once ideas get flowing, things quickly get productive. I’m sure each publisher in attendance went home with something new to implement.

Sometimes conversation leads to more questions than answers. This is just as important.

Brenda made a point of speaking with all of the younger members in attendance. She heard positive hopes for the future and concerns that their older co-workers or employers often aren’t open to trying new ideas.

An age-old story that is not limited to the press.


AWNA 2023 board of directors; Jeff Burgar, Amanda Zimmer, Lisa Sygutek, Shannon Peace and Evan Jamison.
2023 board of directors of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association are Jeff Burgar of the HIgh Prairie South Peace News, left, Amanda Zimmer of the Claresholm Local Press, Lisa Sygutek of the Pass Herald, Shannon Peace of Shootin’ the Breeze and Evan Jamison of the St. Albert Gazette. Missing are Craig Barnard of Post Media and Daria Zmiyiwsky of Black Press. | Photo by Pearl Lorentzen of the Slave Lake Lakeside Leader



The AGM always ends with the swearing in of the AWNA board of directors. A number of us are in our fourth year serving together, giving the board stability and strength.

This year, Lisa Sygutek of the Pass Herald has moved to the role of board president and I will work alongside her as vice-president.

Amanda Zimmer of the Claresholm Local Press is back on the board, giving southwestern Alberta the benefit of three female independent newspaper owners having a voice.

I mention female because back when my parents and Lisa’s parents were involved, these positions were generally held by men.

Joining us are Daria Zmiyiwsky of Black Press, Craig Barnard of Postmedia, Evan Jamison of the St. Albert Gazette and Jeff Burgar of the High Prairie South Peace News.

Lisa has been heavily involved in the government affairs of the association, something she excels in. Lisa is feisty and blunt, and fights for what she believes in.

We all believe in the value of community newspapers and look forward to a strong year supporting Alberta’s community news sources.


Display of fall clothing at at Emerald & Ash Clothing in Crowsnest Pass.


Along with a new title, I returned home with a number of awards for our publication.

The BNC Awards of Excellence and Photographic Awards are open to all Alberta newspapers, from the smallest to the largest.

Best Ad Campaign Award – third place: Jaiden Panchyshyn for Blackburn Jewellers 2022 Shop Local for Christmas campaign.

Best Agricultural Section – third place: Shootin’ the Breeze.

Sue Gawlak Best Local Editorial – honourable mention to Shannon Peace for My Little Corner.

Sports Writing Award – honourable mention to Mia Parker for Local Women Excel in 1,000-Mile Survival Race on the Yukon River.

Wildlife Photo – honourable mention to Jenaya Launstein.

The BNC General Excellence Awards are classed according to circulation. Shootin’ the Breeze is in a group of 13 newspapers and the awards reflect the work of our entire team.

Best Editorial Page – second place

Best Overall Score – third place

Best Front Page – third place

I tip my hat to my co-workers at the Breeze and to my fellow board members of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association. Work well done is worthy of celebration as we move forward.


White car surrounded by auto parts on Pincher Creek Bumper to Bumper ad


Man with his arm around smiling woman kisses her on the side of the head in the doorway of a barn.

Rebels Motorcycle Club members charged in Coleman home invasion

RCMP has confirmed that three local men, all active members of the Rebels Motorcycle Club, are charged with multiple offences following a Crowsnest Pass home invasion.

Five individuals entered a Coleman home Sept. 16, allegedly wielding firearms and other weapons. Two residents, a male and a female, were assaulted. A second male resident, who arrived home during the incident, was also attacked. 

Crowsnest Pass RCMP was notified when the conflict moved from the home to the street.


Garett Adam Ouellette
Garett Ouellette – Facebook photo

The first suspect apprehended was Garett Adam Ouellette, 41, of Pincher Creek. He was arrested Thursday, Sept. 21 in Pincher Creek and is charged with:

  • Aggravated assault (x2)
  • Break, enter and commit
  • Robbery
  • Pointing a firearm
  • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm
  • Carrying a concealed weapon

Ouellette was remanded in custody and will appear in the Alberta Court of Justice in Pincher Creek on Thursday, Sept. 28.


Tyler Thomas Trodden, white male with short dark hair, mustache, beard and sideburns with some grey and receding hairline. Arrested in relation to Crowsnest Pass home invasion.
Tyler Trodden — Alberta RCMP photo


A shelter-in-place advisory was issued for residents of Champion on Sunday, Sept. 24, as Tyler Thomas Trodden was arrested in the community by Vulcan RCMP.

The 39-year-old Champion resident is charged with:

  • Aggravated assault (x2)
  • Break, enter and commit
  • Robbery
  • Pointing a firearm
  • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm
  • Uttering threats
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Possession of a firearm contrary to prohibition order
  • Assault



A warrant to search Trodden’s residence led to 50 additional charges and the seizure of:

  • Two shotguns
  • Four handguns
  • One replica handgun
  • Two hatchets
  • One long sword
  • One machete
  • One functioning Conducted Energy Weapon
  • A quantity of methamphetamine

Trodden was remanded in custody and will appear in the Alberta Court of Justice in Pincher Creek on Thursday, Sept. 28.



Aaron Thompson — Alberta RCMP photo


Aaron John Thompson was apprehended Monday, Sept. 25, and faces the following charges:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Break, enter and commit
  • Robbery
  • Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose
  • Uttering threats
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Possession of a firearm contrary to prohibition order
  • Assault with a weapon

The 40-year-old Pincher Creek resident was held for a Judicial Interim Release Hearing and released on bail. His court date is Nov. 2 in Pincher Creek.


Crockets Trading Company building against an orange and purple coloured sunset on ad for Crockets local Christmas gift ideas.


Additional charges are pending in this investigation after Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass RCMP seized a firearm, prohibited weapons, knives and ammunition while conducting two additional search warrants in Pincher Creek.

Robert Russell Dwyer has eluded RCMP thus far. The 37-year-old Pincher Creek man faces similar charges related to the home invasion. He is described as a white male with brown eyes and brown hair. He stands six feet tall and weighs about 165 pounds.

Dwyer is thought to be in the Pincher Creek area. Anyone seeing Dwyer or knowing of his whereabouts is urged to contact police. He should not be approached.

A fifth suspect in the assault remains unidentified and the investigation continues.

Please contact Crowsnest Pass RCMP at 403-562-2867 or your local police if you have any information about Dwyer or the unknown assailant.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at, or the P3 app available through the Apple App or Google Play stores.



Suspects sought after Coleman home invasion

Second suspect in Coleman home invasion arrested



Scott Cooper, dressed in a red T-shirt, dark shorts and knee-high socks, puts his hands on his knees and catches his breath after crossing the Divide 200 ultramarathon finish line.

Shootin’ the Breeze – September 20, 2023

200 miles? No problem!

Looking none the worse for wear, Scott Cooper of Calgary was the first competitor to cross the finish line of the inaugural Divide 200 ultramarathon. One hundred racers started at Castle Mountain Resort and tackled a 200-mile course that included an elevation gain of about 12,335 metres (40,465 feet) in the backcountry. In next week’s issue you’ll learn how many made it back to the finish line and more about Scott’s amazing race.


Header for Frontier Canadian Recollections Column with Kootenai Brown's cabin and man in bowler hat

Life and times of frontiersman Daniel Cassidy and family

The history of the Pincher Creek area is interwoven with the tales of frontiersmen who shaped the community we have today. Such was the case with Daniel Cassidy and his family, whose rural chronicles made them well known through southwestern Alberta.

Early adventures

Daniel Cassidy was born in 1864 in what was to become Port Elgin, Ont. As his birth took place three years before Confederation, this harbour along the eastern shores of Lake Huron was still part of the British colony of “the Canadas.” His parents were Neil and Catherine (Cummins) Cassidy, and he had five siblings — four brothers and one sister.

Folklore indicates that, as a young man, the junior Cassidy led a life of adventure in parts of Canada and the United States. He always was interested in animals, and first spent time pursuing studies to be a veterinarian. Later, he raised thoroughbred race horses, and also was a jockey.

Cassidy also worked as a businessman prior to his arrival in the Pincher Creek area. It is claimed that he once owned and operated a hotel in Castlewood, S.D. He also worked as a dock foreman on the American side of Lake Superior, having secured employment with Iron King Bennett, the famous Minnesota-based shipping magnate.

It was in early November 1887 that Cassidy married his bride, a member of the Smith family who also hailed from Port Elgin. The wedding took place in the American settlement of Duluth, Minn.


Chinese noodle dish and chopsticks on ad for Bright Pearl Restaurant in Pincher Creek


Popular Mountain Mill couple

Twenty-six years later, in 1913, Mr. and Mrs. Cassidy arrived in southwestern Alberta. They established a farm a few miles west of Pincher Creek, and both husband and wife became active in the old timber-harvesting and agricultural community of Mountain Mill. This rural area had a settlement history almost as old as Pincher Creek’s, dating back to 1879 with the first sawmill in this area.

Over the years, they became fast friends with such Mountain Mill, Beaver Mines and Beauvais Lake pioneers as the Wilbur, Clifford and Ray Langs; Jack Ledingham; the McDowells; and William Boyden. They also knew Marie Rose Smith, known locally as the Fifty Dollar Bride, and her numerous children.

Three of Mrs. Cassidy’s younger brothers — Tom, Johnny and Jim Smith — also resided with the couple and their daughter Elsie, and this made for an interesting mix of Smiths in the area, although the two clans were not related. The three Smith brothers were well liked for their fiddle playing at the many dances hosted by the rural community and, like the Cassidys, were highly respected by their peers.

The Cassidys were enthusiastic about their opinions and never hesitated to comment on current affairs. It is said that the couple led many an intriguing discussion on a wide variety of topics.

The Cassidys’ farm was a thriving operation. For nearly 35 years, they resided in a large two-storey house on the property.

One of the highlights for the couple likely came shortly after their 1913 arrival in the Pincher Creek area when they ordered a large coal-burning Home Comfort cookstove. A faded old photo, now housed at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village, shows the arrival of this coveted item, brought in on a wagon pulled by a team of horses.



This steel appliance was noted for its large warming oven on top and its ornate chrome finish. Like other farming families, the Cassidys appreciated the convenience of this stove, which made cooking home meals as well as heating their home much more efficient.

For such a family located close to the Christie Coal Mine, more often than not it would have burned this local fuel, but often the pioneer stoves were adaptable to wood as well. It all depended upon which combustible resource was available locally.

The couple’s golden wedding anniversary, in 1937, was celebrated with a large afternoon community gathering. In 1945, the Cassidys retired to Pincher Creek, acquiring a house on the south side of Main Street. Mrs. Cassidy passed away the following year at the age of 89. Dan Cassidy lived another dozen years, passing away at the age of 94.

One of the many intriguing aspects of the Cassidys’ history is the varied research sources utilized to put it together. Everything from old newspaper articles from the local and regional press, archival photographs housed at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village and local folklore can be accessed to compose a historical article from the local past.

These sources underscore the importance of preserving and documenting the district’s chronicles, thereby ensuring that they can be accessed and appreciated by future generations.

Man wearing a bicycle helmet chats to a black and white cat perched on his shoulder

Meet Dave and Taylor!

white and red megaphone on green background announcing weekend closure of Pincher Creek Emergency Department

Pincher Creek ER closed overnight Saturday and Sunday

Pincher Creek will be without emergency room service overnight Saturday and Sunday this weekend, a second closure necessary this month due to a physician shortage.

This impacts both local residents and visitors to the community.

Alberta Health Services issued a notice this morning stating that the emergency department of the Pincher Creek Health Centre will close at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 22 and reopen at 7:30 Sunday morning.

The ER will close again at 7:30 p.m. Sunday and reopen Monday morning at 7:30.

Nursing staff will remain on-site to care for inpatients and will have physician support by phone.

Residents are advised that the health centres in Crowsnest Pass, Fort Macleod and Cardston, along with Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge, will accept patients from the area, and to call 911 in the case of an emergency.

Health Link 811 is also available for non-emergency, health-related questions at any time.

Pincher Creek Emergency Services will respond as usual and facilitate transfers to neighbouring sites as necessary.


Funeral announcement for Rick Brasnett

Richard (Rick) Sterling Brasnett

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Richard (Rick) Sterling Brasnett on July 14th, 2023, at the age of 73.  Rick passed peacefully at his home, surrounded by his family, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born on February 9th, 1950, in Middleton, Nova Scotia, to Fred and Mary Brasnett.

His presence will be greatly missed by his best friend and eternal companion, Lynn Brasnett; his children Christina Brasnett, Charlotte (Greg) Stene, Kacey (Jay) Brasnett-Lilburn, Sariah (Tyson) Hendernett, Dustin (Jody) Brasnett-Shields, Nikara (Derek) Wood, and Sammy (Travis) Shyback; as well as his 23 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; his sister Sandra Freeman; and many others who called him family or friend.

Rick is having a joyous reunion with those he was predeceased by — his parents Fred and Mary Brasnett, his daughter Lacey Mary Elizabeth Brasnett and several friends that he also considered family.

Rick spent the majority of his life in oilfield construction, where he made numerous friends over the years and mentored many. He enjoyed spending time black-powder shooting and riding his Harley, holding close all of the people he met along the way through these hobbies.

A funeral service will be held on July 22, 2023, at the LDS Church, 1240 Wentworth Ave. in Pincher Creek, Alta.  Meet the family at noon, funeral service at 1 p.m. with lunch reception to follow. Interment will follow at 4 p.m., at the Fairview Cemetery.

The family would like to extend their gratitude for all the care Rick received from the Pincher Creek hospital and staff, Pincher Creek Emergency Services and Jack Ady Cancer Centre Staff. A special thank you to Dr. Gavin Parker for his kindness and care!

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Pincher Creek Emergency Services.

Have you heard, written in white chalk on a blackboard

Google and Meta plan to ban Canadian news

Have you heard the news?

Google and Meta, the biggest players in the world of social media, intend to start blocking Canadian news stories in response to the passage of Bill C-18.

“Real journalism, created by real journalists, continues to be demanded by Canadians and is vital to our democracy, but it costs real money,” Paul Deegan, president and CEO of News Media Canada, said after the Bill passed June 22.

That afternoon, Lisa Sygutek of the Crowsnest Pass Herald, Amanda Zimmer of the Claresholm Local Press, myself and other board members of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association, heard directly from Paul.

Board president Evan Jamison of the St. Albert Gazette and AWNA executive director Dennis Merrill have made several trips east to share information on behalf of Alberta newspapers at hearings regarding this bill. They have kept members apprised of progress with Bill C-18 and roadblocks along the way.

Collectively, I think we felt cautious optimism after the discussion with Paul, with an emphasis on the word cautious.

Lisa also felt positive about a class-action lawsuit she and the Pass Herald have launched against Google and Facebook on behalf of Canadian newspapers. This is a tale for another day.

Social media outlets earn big dollars from Canadian journalism. Every share of a news article equals a cha-ching on their cash register.

We benefit as well. Social media can drive traffic to the Shootin’ the Breeze website as it is a quick way to advise our followers of new content and breaking news.

For every fraction of a penny we earn as people scroll past a Google ad on the Breeze website, Google earns many, many, many times more. The same thing happens on Facebook. 

Meta and Google earn dollars to the pennies left to businesses that do the work. This applies to shared content of all kinds, from recipes to travel blogs, and is not limited to newspapers.



When negotiations over C-18 began, it was said that Canadian media would stand unified in this bid for just compensation for the money social media outlets earn from their work.

However, some larger players quickly struck independent deals with Meta and Google. Only they and the flies on the wall know the details of the deals and the value of the compensation.

A big problem right now is that most of us lack a clear understanding of what losing and winning look like.

No one seems to know just how the news blocking will work.

When you consider the significant information Google and Meta hold about us all, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine who’s in and who’s out.

It took only one day for Meta to spring into action against Bill C-18.

“We are confirming that news availability will be ended on Facebook and Instagram for all users in Canada prior to the Online News Act (Bill C-18) taking effect,” Meta announced June 22.

The press release says, “As drafted, the legislation states that news outlets are in scope if they primarily report on, investigate or explain current issues or events of public interest.”

This encompasses virtually all Canadian media and, while they will continue to have access to their Facebook and Instagram accounts and pages, and to post to them, “some content will not be viewable in Canada.”

On June 29, Google announced its own plans to block and remove news in Canada on its search engine, aggregator and Discover app.



While the Pincher Creek Echo no longer exists in a traditional print or digital format, Postmedia, its parent company, made a deal with Google last summer and is reportedly paid for news content.

In the same announcement last week, Google said it would end deals currently in place with Canadian publishers.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world where there will be winners and losers. It looks like the big social media dogs have decided they will simply take the ball and run with it rather than enter into negotiations with us little guys.

This may seem like a lot of talk about money. While it was nice to imagine generating more revenue (if only for a moment), the reality is that small independent publishers, like many of us in southwestern Alberta, are not in a good place to be staring revenue reduction in the face.

Yes, the dollars matter, but it’s about more than that to me and to every community newspaper publisher I know.

There is a difference between news and journalism, and what Google and Meta are doing stands to give fake news an opportunity to thrive.

I’ve hated the term since former U.S. president Donald Trump made it popular and overused it, but it is real.

Canadian publishers are held to ethical standards and accountable for their news presentation.

Have you heard, is not how any news article should begin unless it is clearly marked as editorial content. Word on the street is not always true and little accountability exists when it’s not, whether intentionally or simply in error.


Cloud of smoke over the logo for Pincher Creek Vape Shop advertising the store


As a publisher, my integrity is on the line every time I write an article or print one by my staff. That even goes to letters to the editor — when we know something is incorrect, hateful or offside, it either doesn’t run or is discussed with the author and corrected.

We are human and when we make mistakes our team owns them, corrects them and offers a sincere apology.

We are journalists and integrity is at the heart of what we do.

As someone dedicated to community service, I do my utmost to make sure people know of emergency-room closures, wild weather alerts and evacuation notices. My team members do the same.

In preparation for a news-blocking scenario, we are working on some “Plan Bs” in the background. We will do everything within our power to ensure you receive important and factual information in a timely manner. More than that, we will continue sharing community stories and keeping you connected with your neighbours.

Social media has changed greatly over the past 15 years. Facebook was once a place for connecting with family and friends. Now it’s hard to find those types of posts when you log on.

Anonymity has also created a breeding ground for misinformation and hatred and I shudder what they will look like down the road.

Our followers will find the Breeze website a pleasant, interactive space as we shift our focus from sharing content on social media to turning into a community hub for southwestern Alberta.

Google and Meta have been testing news blocking over the winter and spring, and I’m sure we will see significant changes in the near future. 

Meta’s press statement closes with, “While these product tests are temporary, we intend to end the availability of news content in Canada permanently following the passage of Bill C-18.”

Red sign with white arrow and text directing to emergency room

Pincher Creek ER temporarily closed on long weekend

The Friday afternoon of the Canada Day long weekend is not when anyone wants to hear of an emergency room closure that would impact both local residents and visitors to the community.

Alberta Health Services issued a notice around 2:30 stating that the emergency department of the Pincher Creek Health Centre would close at 8 a.m. Saturday and not be accessible until Monday at 8 a.m.

Residents were advised that the health centres in Crowsnest Pass, Fort Macleod and Cardston, along with Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge, would accept patients from the area, and to call 911 in the case of an emergency.

Pincher Creek Emergency Services was charged with responding as usual and facilitating transfers to neighbouring sites as necessary.



“These closures only happen after exhausting all other options,” AHS said in a written statement Tuesday. “Alberta Health Services (AHS) is committed to maintaining ongoing access to health care in Pincher Creek, including the Emergency Department (ED), and are doing all we can to ensure patients receive the care they need when they need it.”

Specific questions regarding the number of patients turned away at the door or sent to other locations did not receive a response. 

Nor did the more pressing question: is this a sign of things to come?

white and red megaphone on green background announcing weekend closure of Pincher Creek Emergency Department

Pincher Creek ED closed Saturday and Sunday

The emergency department of Pincher Creek Health Centre will close Saturday, July 1, at 8 a.m. and reopen Monday, July 3, at 8 a.m.

The temporary closure is the result of a physician shortage to cover the department over the weekend, and regular 24-hour service will resume Monday morning.

Inpatient care will be provided by nursing staff, who will have access to physician support by phone.

In the event of a medical emergency, Alberta Health Services advises residents and visitors to the community to call 911. Pincher Creek Emergency Services will respond as usual and facilitate transfers to neighbouring sites as necessary.

Emergency services are also available at the health centres in Crowsnest Pass, Fort Macleod and Cardston, as well as at Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge.

Non-emergency support is also available by calling Health Link at 811, and AHS advises that “individuals requiring non-emergency medical care are also encouraged to call their family physician.”