Radway Pioneer Days – July 28, 2018

Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater MLA Colin Piquette tries his hand at grinding rye while grist mill demonstrator Chris Petryk looks on. The demonstration took place during Radway’s Pioneer Days celebrations on July 28 using a zhorna (stone grist mill) brought from the Ukraine by the Wenger family, who settled in the Radway area in 1904.

—Margaret Newell

Canada Day Celebrations! – July 1, 2018

It’s always an honour to participate in local parades. I was able to take some time and volunteer at Thorhild’s Canada Day Rodeo and then later at the Athabasca River Rats festival. I hope everyone had a happy Canada Day! 

Provincial Historic Resource Designation – Ukrainian Farmers’ National Home of Taras Shevchenko – June 15, 2018

I was absolutely delighted to attend the Provincial Historic Designation of the Ukrainian Farmers’ National Home of Taras Shevchenko as well as the Zabava at the Highland Community Hall with Minister Miranda.  Alberta has such an interesting and rich history.              

Some background information:

Constructed in 1933, the Ukrainian Farmers’ National Home of Taras Shevchenko in Barich is significant as a rare example of a once common social and cultural institution within the Ukrainian bloc settlement of east central Alberta. The hall served as an important social and cultural institution and mirrored similar institutions in European Ukrainian communities. It was used as a library and meeting place for political discussions, but also served as the community’s social hub, hosting dances, dramatic productions, concerts, and  various celebrations. The hall’s fieldstone construction reflects the skilled craftsmanship of local masons, while the auditorium layout, stage, and ticket booth communicate its function as a meeting space and entertainment venue. The pastoral backdrop and side panels are typical of Ukrainian halls and the stage curtain advertising local business points to the building’s historic connections to the local community. Despite becoming dormant by the 1960s, the building was saved by community efforts and has now been fully restored. The Highland Community Hall of Barich Society has received the following funding in the past five years.

Vilna Kindergarten Graduation – June 14, 2018

I was honoured to bring greetings on behalf Premier Rachel Notley and Education Minister David Eggen and to congratulate Vilna School’s Kindergarten class, who celebrated their graduation. I always appreciate attending ceremonies highlighting the importance of education and the potential of young students. 

Alberta’s students are some of the most accomplished in Canada – because of the hard work of Alberta’s teachers, support staff and students families. So many go on to become world class scientists, engineers, future teachers, or even an MLA. 

Thank you again to the Vilna School  for having me for this important event. I look forward to visiting you again!



Smoky Lake Signal – Métis Crossing breaks ground for the Cultural Gathering Centre – May 22, 2018

Smoky Lake honoured to be included in Métis Crossing groundbreaking ceremonies

“Piquette thanked Elder Crerar for the beautiful blessing to open the ceremony and, speaking from the heart, pointed out that we had all gathered on this land, under this tent for a reason. 

We were not there because we answered an incite or to report on the event.  

We were there because, ‘This is where the Métis culture began, and it contintues to be an improtant place of traditional culture and commerce.’

Piquette continued by saying Métis Crossing is an important time and place in Albertan and Canadian history, and will be now always be a gathering place to education, celebrate, and continue making history.”