Skip to main content

Tag: Fort Macleod

Poster promoting the Music Man at the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod

The Music Man is sure to delight at the Empress Theatre

There’s trouble in River City — find out why at Empress Theatre’s spring production, The Music Man, running  June 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 at the historic Fort Macleod venue.

The musical follows travelling huckster Harold Hill, who arrives in sleepy River City, Iowa, to convince the locals to purchase uniforms and instruments for a boys’ band that Harold vows to organize — though he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef. His plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian the librarian. 

“Choosing the play was the hardest part of this whole process,” says Maren Coates, the play’s director and a local drama teacher.

“I spent six months exploring shows I knew and shows I didn’t. I looked at small casts and large casts. Shows with children and without. I changed my mind several times,” she says.

“All the while The Music Man sat in the back of my brain. I kept telling myself why it might not work, but finally I thought, ‘It’s a show that’s just right for Fort Macleod.’ And it is.” 

The show became a hit on Broadway in 1957, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and running for 1,375 performances.

Ace of spades card on ad for Chase the Ace at the Pincher Creek Legion

Maren says the cast of 45 is huge, but “luckily for me, they are absolute geniuses to work with.”

“From the beginning they’ve been tenaciously happy and optimistic. Their excitement is contagious,” she says.

“Most of our cast and crew are from Fort Macleod, or Macleod alumni, with a few borrowed talents from Lethbridge, one from Claresholm and one from Crowsnest Pass.

“It makes me so proud to say that. Our town has been fighting hard in recent years to create a healthy theatre community and we’re well on our way! We’ve got a mix of kids, teens and adults, theatre veterans and newbies alike.” 

The cast and crew of The Music Man have dedicated an immense number of hours to the play. 

“Our scheduled rehearsal hours are around 150, but that doesn’t include the hours each cast member spends memorizing lines, running over their choreography or solidifying their harmonies,” Maren explains.

“It also doesn’t include the many hours spent by our choreographers, musical director, lighting designer, wardrobe crew or our stage carpenter, nor the months I spent researching and deciding on a show, plus my other director’s duties.

“I’d be hard pressed to come up with an accurate number of hours we’ve all invested in this show, but it’s not unreasonable to say we’ve definitely gone over a thousand.” 

The annual musical production is a fundraiser for the Empress. Performances of this year’s family-friendly show begin at 7 p.m., with a matinée performance on Saturday, June 15, at 1:30 p.m. 

Tickets cost $20 for adults or $10 for children and seniors, and are available online at or by calling 1-800-540-9229.

Table setting of wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

Ad for Aurora Eggert Coaching in Beaver Mines

Shootin' the Breeze ad for free trial subscription

Obituary photo of Elba May Packham of Fort Macleod, Pincher Creek

Obituary | Elba May Packham

Elba May Packham, of Fort Macleod, Alta., beloved wife of Irwin Packham, passed away surrounded by family on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, at the age of 85.

She is survived by her son Scot, daughter Joanne (Gordon Huff), son Gary, and daughter Jody (Grant) Dugan. She is also survived by her beloved grandchildren Jonathan, Nathaniel, Cassandra (Tim) Gifford, Chelsea (Mike) Lyle, Jordan, Kimberly (Trevor) Galla, and Travis; great-grandchildren Macie Lyle, Cameron Lyle, Josh Galla, Emma-May Galla, and Olivia Galla; her brother George (Joan) Huddlestun; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and their families.

Mom was predeceased by our brother Darren Packham; our grandparents Fred and May Huddlestun and Frank and Kathleen Packham; her sister Pamela Huddlestun; her brother William “Bill” Huddlestun; and sisters-in-law Joyce Huddlestun and Doreen Huddlestun.

Our mom was born in Pincher Creek, Alta., and raised on a farm just east of Twin Butte. She married our father in 1958, and together they raised a family of five children. Our parents lived many years in the north working side by side in business, spending 20 years as owners of the True Value Hardware and V&S Variety stores in High Level, Alta.

In 2001, our parents retired to Fort Macleod, which is exactly where our mom wanted to be — closer to friends and family. Our mom loved gardening, reading, socializing and over the years hosted many parties, special holiday events and family gatherings.

She touched the lives of many people and will be dearly missed and lovingly remembered.

A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, 2024, at Eden’s Funeral Home, 2424 Fifth Ave., Fort Macleod. Social to follow at the Pioneer Lodge, 660 28th St., Fort Macleod.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to Eden’s Funeral Home.


Pig roast at wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.



Shootin' the Breeze connection to more local stories


Portion of red emergency sign on hospital building

24-hour emergency department closure starts Thursday in Fort Macleod

Alberta Health services has given notice that the Fort Macleod Emergency Department will be temporarily closed from 8 a.m. Thursday, May 23, to 8 a.m. Friday, May 24. 

Patients seeking care are encouraged to go to the Pincher Creek Health Centre, Cardston Health Centre or Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge.

According to a media release from AHS Wednesday evening, this sudden closure is due to a lack of physician coverage. Nursing staff will remain on-site to provide care for long-term care residents.


Ad for Blinds and More in Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass


EMS calls will be re-routed to Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge, 49 kilometres away. An AHS media representative clarified with Shootin’ the Breeze that this shouldn’t mean any increase in transportation fees. 

Patients should still call 911 for health emergencies, and 811 for non-emergency health questions.



Aerial view of the Cowley Lions Campground on the Castle River in southwestern Alberta
Jay Reischman and the Jaybirds band

John Reischman’s roots music coming to Empress Theatre

Toes will tap in time April 19 when John Reischman and the Jaybirds take the stage at Fort Macleod’s Empress Theatre.

The group’s musicianship is tight with Reischman on mandolin, Trisha Gagnon on stand-up bass and vocals, Nick Hornbuckle on banjo and bass vocals, Greg Spatz on fiddle, and Patrick Sauber on lead guitar and vocals.

Lively instrumental solos pass from one musician’s nimble fingers to the next without dropping a beat, and no individual part outshines another.

Together since 1999, John Reischman and the Jaybirds have produced seven albums and earned national acclaim.

The group has two Juno nominations in the Roots and Traditional Album of the Year (Group) category, along with nominations for the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Concertgoers can look forward to an evening of finely balanced melodies and harmonies accented by a tone that can be found only when people truly enjoy playing together.


Ad for Ascent Dental in Pincher Creek


Reischman started playing mandolin in the 1970s. Before joining the Tony Rice Unit, he was a standout soloist with the Good Ol’ Persons, a bluegrass band from the San Francisco Bay area.

True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe was named Bluegrass Album of the Year at the 1997 Grammys, with Reischman among the musicians playing on the tribute album.

His first solo album, North of the Border, was released in 1993 and his third, New Time and Old Acoustic, in 2021. A Juno nomination for Traditional Roots Album of the Year came with the latter.

The new album includes a refreshed version of “Salt Spring,” one of Reischman’s best-known compositions. Recorded with the Jaybirds in 2001, the song has become a jam-session staple for mandolinists worldwide. While you might not know it by name, there’s a good chance you will recognize the melodious picking at the Empress show.

Give the Empress Theatre box office a call at 403-553-4404 to reserve your seat, or purchase tickets at



Ad for Shadowbar Shepherds Training in Pincher Creek
The Ecto-1 cruises Main Street with a purpose for scenes in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

The shows must go on

Alberta’s magnificent countryside and historic downtowns will continue unfolding across screens here and abroad, incentives supported in Budget 2024 suggest.

A $5.4-million pot for project grants is not merely so the people of Fort Macleod and Grande Prairie can blurt “I’ve been there!” through their popcorn. The numbers show that the business case for film and TV is as strong as the wind across the Prairies, the government says.

Every dollar of support generates four dollars in provincial investment, which justifies putting money into “securing Alberta’s position as a filmmaking production hub through targeted incentives,” says the UCP budget tabled Feb. 29 by Finance Minister Nate Horner.

Alberta has been a hotspot for the making of movies and TV shows for decades, despite a slump in the late 1990s because of a major funding elimination. Often, Alberta’s countryside, cities, towns and tourist destinations stand in for U.S. locales, and Albertans are now well accustomed to seeing their neighbourhoods and scenic vistas splashed before their eyes.

Since 2020, the Alberta government has helped fund 267 screen-based projects, the responsible ministry says. These have resulted in a $1.2-billion spend-back in the province and created over 4,000 jobs.

Tanya Fir, the minister of arts and culture and the member for Calgary-Peigan, said in an email statement that the government is “very proud of these numbers, and we will continue to find new ways to expand this booming sector. We are seeing numerous award-winning productions choose Alberta because of our trained and ready workforce, breathtaking filming locations and low corporate tax rates.”


Ad for Vape in Pincher Creek


Alberta’s general corporate income tax rate is eight per cent, the lowest of all Canadian provinces. In 2022 the province said 3,200 new workers a year are launched into the creative industries by post-secondary institutions. The category includes much of the technical and artistic workforce behind making movies and TV shows.

In all, the province is earmarking $8 million for the Alberta Media Fund, maintaining last year’s record dollar figure for screen and cultural grants.

The Alberta Made Screen Industries Program accepts grant applications for production; post production, visual effects and digital animation; and project/script development.

Other grants in the media fund support organizations involved in music production and book and magazine publishing, along with some film, TV and video work.

Depending on criteria met, tax credits valued at 22 or 30 per cent of production and labour costs come via the provincial Film and Television Tax Credit. New rules will open that eligibility window wider, to 120 days from the start of a project, while also making reality and game shows eligible.

Alberta’s nearest Prairies neighbour earmarked $12 million in grants for film and TV last year, up $2 million from the previous budget. That number does not include a late-year top-up in Saskatchewan of $7.5 million in funding to meet unexpected demand.


Ad for Creekview Dental Hygiene clinic in Pincher Creek


Saskatchewan tax credits for the industry were eliminated in 2012. The general corporate tax rate there, at 12 per cent, is four percentage points higher than Alberta’s.

The Alberta formula appears to be working, a scan of recent productions suggests.

TV series like Billy the Kid, Fargo, and My Life with the Walter Boys make the success-story list, along with Disney’s feature-length film Prey.


Fort Macleod is transformed, from some angles at least, into the Austin, Texas, an entertainment and arts mecca promoted with the slogan Keep Austin Weird.

Fort Macleod is transformed, from some angles at least, into the Austin, Texas, an entertainment and arts mecca promoted with the slogan Keep Austin Weird.

Photo by Frank McTighe, The Macleod Gazette

So does the post-apocalyptic TV drama The Last of Us, starring Pedro Pascal of The Mandalorian fame. It hopped all over the Alberta map, with scenes reportedly shot in or around Fort Macleod, High River, Bragg Creek, Okotoks, Waterton Lakes National Park, Olds, Stoney Nakoda First Nation, Priddis, Canmore, Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie and other communities.

The British-Canadian TV production Tin Star, with Tim Roth playing a relocated London detective, filmed its first two seasons in Alberta locations like High River, Dorothy and Waterton.

Success stories started long before the current support structure.


Director Christopher Nolan, left, chats with an example the movie Interstellar's star power, Matthew McConnaughey.

Director Christopher Nolan, left, chats with an example the movie Interstellar’s star power, Matthew McConnaughey.

Photo by Frank McTighe, The Macleod Gazette


Released a decade go, Interstellar, a dystopian spacetime-warper starring Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey, included location shoots in Fort Macleod, Nanton, Longview, Lethbridge and Okotoks.

Paul Gross’s Canadian First World War film Passchendaele, released in 2008, sent actors and crews to Fort Macleod, Calgary and Tsuut’ina Nation. Way back in the early 1990s, Clint Eastwood used Alberta’s Longview area to stand in for Wyoming in his seminal, Oscar-winning western The Unforgiven.

The year before the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, filming of Ghostbusters: Afterlife took place in Fort Macleod, Beiseker, Drumheller, Crossfield and other Alberta places.

Heartland, a long-running, family-friendly CBC Television series, is largely filmed in and around High River.

But does government money in film and TV have an impact on the industry?

Probably. Back in 1996, the Ralph Klein austerity movement saw the elimination of the Alberta Motion Picture Development Corporation. Reportedly, the value of film production dropped by about two thirds and the industry tanked.

Jake and The Kid was a short-lived TV series adapted from a collection of stories by iconic Canadian author W.O. Mitchell, filmed in the mid-1990s in and around Leduc. Production ended after the film corporation’s demise.

Too late for Jake and the Kid, provincial incentives – albeit at a reduced level – returned in 2001.


Ad for Dragons Heart Quilt Shop in Pincher Creek


More Budget Numbers

Other creative work also receives support in Budget 2024. The Alberta Foundation for the Arts is set to receive a $4.5 million boost to $33.1 million this year, followed by $4.5 million for each of the next two years as well.

“This funding is specifically dedicated to supporting Alberta’s artists in all corners of our province,” the ministry’s statement says.

The budget earmarks $6.2 million for Alberta’s two Jubilee auditoriums and $1.8 million for other cultural industries.

For information about the film and TV production and grants, visit

Information on claiming the tax credit can be found at




Aboriginal woman with dark, pulled-back hair, looking down from camera.

Theresa Red Young Man missing from Fort Macleod

Fort Macleod RCMP has requested assistance from the public in locating Theresa Red Young Man.

The 30-year-old woman was last seen in Fort Macleod on April 8, 2023, and there is concern for her well-being. RCMP say she may have been travelling to Calgary or Lethbridge.

Theresa is described as being 5′ tall and about 140 pounds. She has black hair, brown eyes and a medium complexion. Her hair could be blonde or black with red.

If you have any information regarding Theresa’s whereabouts, please contact Fort Macleod RCMP at 403-553-7220 or your local police.

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

Wavy image of pride colours

Empress Theatre stands with LGBTQ+ community following vandalism

Fort Macleod RCMP have arrested two youths in connection with an incident of vandalism during a Pride event at the historic Empress Theatre.

Last Saturday, the Fort Macleod Pride Committee hosted a drag show at the Empress Theatre as part of the town’s annual Pride celebrations.

Just 10 minutes into the show, audience members began to notice what Denise Joel, who chairs the Empress board, called a “very unpleasant, putrid smell.” 

Unbeknownst to those in attendance, a group of youths had begun pouring a noxious black liquid out of a glass container onto the floor.

“They were sitting in the back, and there was no sign that there would be any trouble. All of a sudden, we started to smell something quite unpleasant. Initially, people thought someone had set off a stink bomb,” Joel said.

“They had this container hidden in a bag, and they were leaking that substance onto the floor, beneath their seats, then they got up to leave and continued to leak that substance onto the carpet. When they reached the foyer, they smashed the entire contents of this jar onto the floor.”

Police, having been made aware of the disturbance, were quick to apprehend two suspects as they attempted to flee the scene.

Initially, police were informed that a smoke bomb had been discharged in the theatre, but investigation later revealed that fisher and marten lure oil had been used.


Ad for Sara Hawthorn, Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass realtor


Due to online backlash regarding scheduled Pride events, the town had a heavy police presence during Pride festivities, making this act of vandalism a bold one. 

“It didn’t happen just randomly, that’s certainly apparent,” Joel said.

“It was targeted, it was meant to happen at that specific event, and I think that’s very concerning. There is absolutely no place for this kind of act.”

The theatre announced on its social media pages that it will be closed until further notice, while the extent of damages is determined.

“A big part of the issue is that it’s a historic theatre, a lot of what’s damaged is of historic significance, so we’re just ensuring that everything can be cleaned appropriately and properly. We hope, obviously, it can all be restored quickly,” Joel said.

The same day as the Empress incident, another act of vandalism targeting a Pride event was carried out when the community flagpole and Pride flag were torn down and burned. 

In the wake of the incidents, both the Empress Theatre and Fort Macleod Pride have received unwavering support from the general public through messages, donations and more. 

In a statement issued by the Town of Fort Macleod, members of town council condemned what they referred to as “heinous actions.” 

Both the Empress Theatre and Fort Macleod Pride have since issued statements thanking everyone who has stood by them and offered their support.

“The Empress has always been, and will always continue to be, a safe and inclusive place for all. Please remember: Love always wins,” says an online statement from the theatre.

The Empress says it will work with local RCMP, the Town of Fort Macleod and other authorities to identify the best way to move forward.

The two incidents remain under investigation by RCMP.

Things to do before saying ‘I do’

Use this month-by-month checklist to make sure you don’t forget a thing.

12 months before

  • Decide on the type of wedding you’d like (civil or religious, big or small)
  • Choose a date
  • Determine the number of guests
  • Establish a budget
  • Pick venues for the ceremony and reception (it’s best to reserve early)

11 months before

  • Make your guest list
  • Choose a caterer (meet with a few first)
  • Select your wedding party
  • Hire a wedding planner

10 months before

  • Start shopping for a wedding dress
  • Decide on a theme for your wedding
  • Choose an officiant if you haven’t already done so


9 months before

  • Book a photographer
  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms for your out-of-town guests
  • Purchase a wedding gown
  • Shop for the groom’s attire and purchase it

8 months before

  • Meet with your officiant to plan your ceremony
  • Book your entertainment (DJ, band, MC, etc.)
  • Shop for and purchase your bridesmaids’ dresses
  • Design and order the wedding invitations and save-the-date cards

7 months before

  • Create a gift registry
  • Hire a florist
  • Plan your honeymoon


6 months before

  • Send out the save-the-date cards
  • Book your hair and makeup appointments for the day of (and trial runs for both)
  • Book a hotel room for the wedding night if necessary

5 months before

  • Create a schedule for the big day
  • Decide on dates for bachelor and bachelorette parties
  • Shop for and purchase shoes, jewelry and accessories

4 months before

  • Reserve wedding day transportation for the wedding party
  • Select alcohol and other drinks for the reception
  • Taste and choose your wedding cake
  • Buy wedding bands
  • Shop for and order the groomsmen’s attire


3 months before

  • Purchase wedding favours for your guests
  • If you’d like a loved one to say or read something during the ceremony, let them know
  • Write down your vows
  • Decide on activities for the reception (photo booth, dancing, games, etc.)

2 months before

  • Send out your wedding invitations
  • Do trial runs for both hair and makeup
  • Give your music selections to the DJ or MC

1 month before

  • Finalize the schedule for the big day
  • Choose a seating plan for the reception
  • Break in your shoes


1 week before

  • Visit the desired beauty professionals (hair colourist, esthetician, etc.)
  • Practise reading your vows
  • Write out cheques to pay your vendors

1 day before

  • Get your nails done
  • Give the cheques to someone you trust to pay the vendors

Day of, Enjoy!

Womens' hands joined in a gesture of comfort

Increased demand for victim services, volunteers needed

Ranchlands Victim Services, the only 24-hour crisis unit in Alberta, is looking for volunteers who can devote time to assisting victims of crime and tragedy with their short-term needs.

In partnership with the RCMP and additional co-partners, RVS provides victims with emotional support, practical assistance and referrals to community resources for continued support. 

According to Shelly-Anne Dennis, executive program manager, the organization has recently experienced increased demand for their services, requiring more volunteers to provide victims with support. 

“We’re seeing more cases of domestic violence and sexual assault, which means a greater need for our services,” she says.



Volunteers typically go out to crisis calls and may provide court support, accompaniment, transportation and other means of assisting victims.

Supporting the communities of Pincher Creek, Crowsnest Pass, Fort Macleod, Claresholm and Piikani Nation, RVS emphasizes the provision of a co-ordinated, skilled and efficient response to victims of traumatic events. 

“Being able to administer trauma support to victims of crime and tragedy in our community is a very crucial and beneficial service,” Dennis says.

The RCMP often rely on RVS staff and volunteers to provide support to victims and their families, while they focus on potential offenders, particularly in cases of criminal activity.



Part of the struggle to find volunteers comes with the rigorous background check that each potential volunteer or staff member of RVS has to go through to be accepted.

“You have to pass an enhanced security clearance, which is the same clearance as an RCMP officer, so it’s a very strict background check,” Dennis says

Employees and volunteers of RVS have a level of security clearance that exposes them to police files that they must keep confidential. A thorough background check is crucial in ensuring someone is suited to sign on.

These background checks are meant not only to look for criminal history, but also to look for anything that could affect work credibility or re-traumatize someone who was once a victim themself.



This could include a recent history of domestic violence, assault or financial stressors.

In time, Dennis hopes RVS can get more volunteers to maintain a full unit to service and support our communities.

“I’m pretty passionate about this job — it isn’t just a job to me. I love helping people and the work I do to help said people,” she says.

“We hope that our work decreases the amount of trauma that people have to go through and that eventually, with the proper help, they could move back into a normal lifestyle sooner.”

If you wish to become a volunteer with RVS, the advocate application is available online at


Ad requesting memorabilia from CNP music festival



Local Stories Obituaries Story Idea?





Alexander Gordon Russell Obituary

A proud and independent man, Alex was a loving husband to Margo and a devoted father to Alexandra. He wore his heart on his sleeve and would lend a helping hand to anyone in need; always thinking of others. Struggling with health issues over the past few years, Alex faced his challenges with grit, determination and thoughtfulness.

He is survived by his beloved wife and soulmate, Margo, and his precious daughter Alexandra; two daughters from a previous marriage, Marla and Mida; his sister Betty (Don) Bauer; nieces Tracy and Karen and their families, as well as his cousin Pat, who he reconnected with after 60 years. Other surviving family members reside throughout Alberta and British Columbia.

Alex was predeceased by his parents, Gordon and Flora Russell, and numerous extended family members.

Alex was born and raised in Claresholm, Alta., and spent his formative years acquiring entrepreneurial skills that included learning to drive at the tender age of six (sitting on telephone books to see), whilst his father picked mushrooms on the side of the country road; delivering milk as a young boy in town using a horse and buggy; and working at the local movie theatre with his aunts. When he wasn’t working, he was running, riding his bicycle, swimming in the creek or playing baseball.

After high school, Alex continued his hard-working ways and worked for many years for Safeway Shelter Systems in Claresholm building manufactured homes; ultimately progressing to purchasing manager. When the company closed their doors, Alex was able to transition easily to working full time in the farming and ranching industry for many years — a lifestyle he thoroughly enjoyed.

Alex and Margo met in Stavely and, desiring to be closer to the mountains, moved to Pincher Creek — an area where Alex felt content and at peace. They raised their daughter and the menagerie of horses, dogs and cats on their acreage. Being retired, Alex was able to build and fix things in his Quonset and spend time driving his daughter all over the country for 4-H, school sports, dancing and community volleyball. He also supported Margo with her career and numerous adventures.

Alex, you will be sorely missed and our lives feel empty without your loving and protective ways to guide us forward. We will miss your many stories about childhood and growing up and your ingenuity in solving any problem, as well as your sharp wit, humour, and most of all your love. We are blessed to have had you as a husband, father and best friend.

A special thank you to the doctors, nurses and support staff at the Claresholm Hospital, Fort Macleod Health Centre and Lethbridge Regional Hospital in their loving care of Alex.

If you so desire, donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Alex’s name.

It all started with a smile and a wave … Love you forever Alex.


Funeral arrangements entrusted to Eden’s Funeral Home



Shootin’ the Breeze extends condolences to the family and friends of Gwenda Stockinger.


View Additional Local Obituaries


Text "Three from Fort Macleod charged in Cowley break-in" over top of red and blue lights with RCMP logo

Three charged in Cowley break-in

Three people have been charged in connection with a weekend break-in at a public works yard in the village of Cowley. A fourth suspect remains at large, according to Sgt. Ryan Hodge, commanding officer at Pincher Creek RCMP.

Mounties arrested the trio Monday on Highway 3 near Pincher Station, roughly a day after two men allegedly stole keys and hand tools from the works yard at 518 Railway Ave. in Cowley.

Two Fort Macleod men, aged 50 and 21, are charged with breaking and entering and possession of stolen property.

“There was quite a bit of property recovered,” Hodge said Tuesday. 



A third suspect, a 21-year-old woman from Fort Macleod, was arrested and charged with possession of stolen property.

The 50-year-old suspect was in police custody as of Tuesday morning, held on a number of outstanding charges and arrest warrants. The second man was released Tuesday, following a telephone hearing through Pincher Creek provincial court. The female suspect was also released.

Hodge said Mounties are looking for the fourth suspect, another Fort Macleod woman who is believed to have been involved in Sunday’s break-in.

Hodge praised Monday’s arrests as the result of a combined investigation by the Pincher Creek detachment, Taber RCMP and Taber Police Services, Lethbridge Police Services and Fort Macleod RCMP.

“The only way to catch (the suspects) was to co-operate. We’re always co-operating,” Hodge said.



Grey-haired caucasian male wearing dark suit speaks into microphone

Don Whalen seeks Livingstone-Macleod nomination

Don Whalen, an entrepreneur and lay preacher from Parkland, Alta., announced Sunday, Nov. 18, that he will seek the United Conservative Party’s nomination to represent Livingstone-Macleod in the next provincial election. 

In his first media interview Wednesday, Whalen said he would file his papers as soon as the party reopens the nomination, probably after Christmas. 

Incumbent MLA Roger Reid announced Nov. 1 that he would not seek re-election. The UCP later rejected a nomination bid and subsequent appeal by former People’s Party candidate Nadine Wellwood, citing recent social media posts in which she likened vaccine passports and other pandemic health measures to Nazi Germany.

Next spring’s election would be Whalen’s first run for public office, he said. The nomination hopeful aligns himself closely with Premier Danielle Smith, calling himself “a lifelong conservative” and a former Wildrose voter.

“I’m liking what the premier is doing: She’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes in.” 

Whalen said he wants to serve in the legislature to be the voice of disaffected voters in the riding. 



“I’m really concerned about the direction our province and country have been going in over the last two to three years. People are being marginalized and they’re not being heard.” 

Taking aim at the federal government and former premier Jason Kenney, Whalen said pandemic health measures had gone too far. 

“Our personal rights and freedoms were just trampled on, and the Charter (of Rights and Freedoms) was just a piece of paper for a couple of years.” 

Whalen said public health policy should be informed by medical science, but lamented that pandemic measures had been overtly politicized. 

“During Covid, Deena Hinshaw,” Alberta’s chief public health officer until Smith fired her Nov. 14, “was the most important person in Alberta, and we had non-elected officials basically deciding everything for us,” he said.

Looking ahead to Smith’s long-promised Alberta Sovereignty Act, Whalen said the province doesn’t need legislation to assert its jurisdiction over things like natural resources. He was also highly critical of pending federal legislation he said would “confiscate” hundreds of local gun owners to give up their guns, but stopped short of advocating separatism.



“I’m an Albertan. But, I’m also a Canadian. I am concerned that it’s going to be very hard to change things with Ottawa, so I’m stepping up to be a voice for that change in a positive way.” 

On climate change, Whalen said he opposes the federal carbon tax, but supports the development of clean-burning energy. 

Whalen said he co-owns a small buy-and-sell business with a friend. He is also a lay preacher, taking the pulpit about once a month at Fort Macleod’s House of Prayer.


Kiss tribute band ready to rock ’n’ roll all night at the Empress

Hailing from Western Canada, Ikons is one of most sought-after tribute bands on the circuit. Ikons delivers a high-energy show, complete with the classic Kiss tunes we all know, and an authentic concert experience guaranteed to satisfy even the most diehard Kiss fans. 

Ikons covers songs from Kiss’s musical career beginning in the 1970s, with chart-toppers including “Rock and Roll All Nite,” “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” and “Beth.”  

Kiss is known for its members’ face paint and stage outfits and its pyrotechnics. The band members took on personas in the style of comic book characters: the Starchild, the Demon, the Spaceman or Space Ace, and the Catman (Criss).

You just might think it’s the real deal once you see Ikons’ authentic looks, moves and music. 

Tickets to Ikons: the Kiss Experience are $37.50 each and available online at, by calling 1-800-540-9229, or at the box office on Main Street in Fort Macleod.