Significant snowfall – 30 to 50 centimetres (12 to 20 inches) — is expected in southwestern Alberta, prompting Environment Canada to issue a winter storm watch for Pincher Creek, Crowsnest Pass, Piikani Nation, Waterton and surrounding area.
The storm will hit with heavy snow falling early Monday morning. It is anticipated to slow down in the afternoon, but will intensify again later in the day and snow will continue to fall through. Tuesday.
The highest amounts are currently expected in the Waterton area.
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The winter storm watch was issued at 3:50 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023 for the MD of Pincher Creek near Beauvais Lake Provincial Park, Cowley, Burmis, Maycroft and Twin Butte; the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass including Coleman and Frank; Piikani Nation; Waterton Lakes National Park and Blood Reserve; and MD of Ranchland.
The Revive the Roxy project has received a tremendous leg up. With the support of Montem Resources and Heritage Crowsnest, the former Montem office building, an adjacent property to the theatre site in Coleman, will be incorporated into the plans and infrastructure for the theatre restoration project.
With the additional space, the Crowsnest Culture and Recreation Society (Crowsnest CanDo) hopes to accommodate certain requirements for the theatre, including additional space for guests, backstage needs and, should there be enough space, food services.
“When Montem approached us asking if we were interested in acquiring the old Montem building, it was a no-brainer on our end,” says Howard Vandenhoef, communications director for Crowsnest CanDo.
The organization has spent roughly two years working vigorously with the community to push forward the Revive the Roxy project. The primary goal is to re-establish and restore the historic Roxy Theatre into a regional performing arts centre for southwestern Alberta.
The Roxy was once a staple of the town of Coleman. Built in 1948, the quonset-style theatre was home to film showings as well as musical performances and special events.
In 2003, the Roxy closed its doors and the building remained in limbo until Crowsnest CanDo purchased it in 2021 with the intention of creating a performing arts centre.
“It is wonderful that we are able to help out the Revive the Roxy project and see our former office space in downtown Coleman transformed into an important piece of this community project,” Peter Doyle, managing director and CEO of Montem Resources, said in a press release.
The takeover of the Montem building would not have been possible without Heritage Crowsnest, a newly formed organization that aims to preserve the stories and sites that make Crowsnest Pass such a unique, history-rich area.
The group’s goal is to act as a social enterprise for culture and heritage in Crowsnest Pass, to preserve, restore and share local history.
With the aid of Heritage Crowsnest, it is expected that the addition of the Montem building will save the Revive the Roxy project an estimated $400,000.
“You revive the Roxy and you change Coleman. The impact that it would have on the main street would be extraordinary,” says Chris Matthews, CEO of Heritage Crowsnest.
“Ultimately, Heritage Crowsnest came in and we said we’d purchase the building for the purposes of the Roxy project and secure it for them so that their fundraising efforts don’t get bogged down by the financial strain.”
The addition of the Montem building will significantly help the project along, but there is a lot of work still to be done. The project is currently in the planning and design phase as those working diligently to revive the theatre begin renovating and reshaping the Roxy.
To learn more about Revive the Roxy and how you can help the project, visit www.crowsnestcando.ca.
When Alberta outlawed the importation of alcohol in 1918, Emilio Picariello excavated a room under the Blairmore Hotel (which he owned) and dug a tunnel leading to the road so he could smuggle liquor directly into his cellar.
The Alberta Provincial Police set up checkpoints throughout Crowsnest Pass to search for illegal liquor, but Emilio had ways to avoid getting caught.
At times, he would load his vehicles with what appeared to be sacks of flour. The sacks on the outside of the car, which were most susceptible to being searched, contained actual flour, which threw officers off the trail of the liquor inside the sacks in the vehicle.
Though it was widely known he was a bootlegger, Emilio was respected in the community. He gave his sacks of decoy flour to needy families, bought $5,000 in victory bonds during the First World War, and contributed money to the families of coal miners who were on strike in 1918.
Things started to go downhill for Emilio in 1921, when he was fined $20 by the APP after officers found four barrels of alcohol in his warehouse.
In 1922, APP officers recovered a whopping 70 barrels of beer from a railway car. The bill of lading had Emilio’s name on it and he was subsequently fined $500.
Later that year, officers received a tip that Emilio’s son, Stefano, was bringing a carload of whiskey to Blairmore from Fernie. Police met him outside the Blairmore Hotel, but Stefano attempted to escape with the whiskey.
A chase began in Coleman, with Const. Stephen Lawson firing shots in an attempt to stop the car. One of the bullets struck Stefano in the hand, but he was not seriously injured. When word of his son’s injury made it to Emilio later that evening, he and his housekeeper, Florence Lassandro, confronted Const. Lawson in front of the APP barracks.
An argument ensued between the two bootleggers and the constable. Shots were fired, and Const. Lawson was killed in front of his young daughter.
It’s not known for certain whether it was Emilio or Florence who pulled the trigger and killed the constable, but both were eventually convicted of murder and hanged. Florence is the only woman to ever be hanged in Alberta.
The APP Barracks, restored a few years ago by the Crowsnest Historical Society, are open to the public. The exhibit can be explored by going to the Crowsnest Museum at 7701 18th Ave. in Coleman.
Here, you can explore where Const. Lawson lived, worked and was killed. You will learn more about Alberta’s Prohibition history and can decide for yourself who murdered the constable.
In Pincher Creek, Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village will host a day of family activities starting at 10 a.m. There will be a bouncy castle and traditional picnic activities, including a three-legged race, a sack race and an egg race.
Blue Rock Entertainment will DJ the event and Noel Burles will perform live music. Admission is free, and burgers and ice cream will be sold. A beer garden will also be available.
The day will finish with DJ Stu broadcasting live from the agriculture grounds on 103.5 FM, starting at 9 p.m. Families can gather to enjoy the music and fun at the outdoor venue that will conclude with a fireworks display at 11.
Organizers request that dogs be left at home.
The duck race along Pincher Creek and the Legion’s afternoon market have both been cancelled.
Canada Day events in Cowley
Cowley hasn’t held a Canada Day celebration since the country’s 150th anniversary in 2017.
“It’s been a long time since people have had the opportunity to actually come to a public open event,” says Mayor Barbara Burnett. “I think it’s long overdue.”
A large turnout is expected, with some people coming from as far as Claresholm and Taber.
“There has been a lot of interest in the village,” says Mayor Burnett. “Recent house sales have gone immediately. Within two weeks they sold. One even sold for $30,000 over market price.”
“We’re just trying to make the village visible,” she says, adding that the desire to make Cowley more attractive to outsiders, and to give the community more of a regional spotlight, were primary motivators behind the decision to host the event.
The festivities will start with a pancake breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. at Cowley Community Hall, where MLA Roger Reid and MP John Barlow will make an appearance.
From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., car enthusiasts can display their classic cars at a show and shine by the railway tracks across from the post office.
They will also have an opportunity to take part in the parade that will begin at 11 a.m. at the corner of First Avenue and Highway 510 and circle around the northwest end of the village past the railway tracks. Parade preparation will begin around 10:15 a.m. and registration is not required.
Mayor Burnett says the event committee extended parade invitations to the Cowley Boat Club, to a provincewide gun group known as the Alberta Black Powder Association and to all Cowley residents aged 75 or older.
The community hall will be filled with a variety of activities, including a market that will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a heritage display with historic photos of the village. Locals will have the opportunity to play cards and Rene Desjardins will provide musical accompaniment, likely country and classic rock.
There will be plenty of family-friendly activities, including face-painting, soccer and equipment demonstrations from Cowley Fire Department. The fire crew will also be flipping hamburgers starting at noon.
Children are encouraged to set up their own lemonade stands, and Cowley resident Norm Walker has arranged for free ice cream.
Canada Day events in Crowsnest Pass
Pre-pandemic events are making a comeback in Crowsnest Pass and Canada Day will start with breakfast and a parade.
From 8 to 10 a.m., folks can head over to the Coleman Legion for pancakes — $8 for anyone 13 or older, $5 for children aged five to 12, and free for children under five.
The parade will depart from Flumerfelt Park at 11 a.m. and pass through downtown Coleman. Entry applications are still being accepted.
From noon to 4, Flumerfelt Park will be a hub of activity, complete with a bouncy house, a splash pad and inflatable bumper balls. Guitarist Kevin Smith will perform live music and Harvest Spoon and Snacknhand will sell burgers, pizza cones and fries.
Cake will be passed around at 1 p.m.from 8 to 10 a.m.
The mini heritage railway train will be making rounds near the Canadian Pacific Railway line junction off 133rd Street, and children can take a free ride any time in the afternoon.
Crowsnest Cando has arranged for live musical entertainment in front of Roxy Theatre, located on Coleman’s main thoroughfare.
The lineup includes Tynan Groves, Larry Whan, Lani Folkard, Sarah Lillian,the Big Beat and On the Rox, with music starting at 1 p.m.
Raffle tickets will be on sale for a chance to win Roxy merch and a Canada Day cake.
Everyone is invited to visit Crowsnest Pass Museum to check out the newly updated exhibits on the second floor, or to stop by the Alberta Provincial Police Barracks to take part in Escape the Barracks, its latest attraction, launching July 1.
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