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2 - PRAIRIE POST - Friday, September 9, 2011

Rosebud, Alberta Rosebud vying to be Alberta’s ‘Cultureville’


The picturesque hamlet of Inside this week:

Rosebud is one of only six Alberta communities in the final round of CBC’s Cultureville 2011. The competition, held as part of CBC's 75th Anniversary celebrations as well as Alberta Art Days, is an opportunity to vote for the province's most culturally cool community. “We wanted to do something that

See a special feature story on the Rabbit Hill Tea House which is located near Saskatchewan Landing Park. It has been a success story, 30 years in the making. See Pages 14-16.

What to know this week:

On Sept. 9, the Swift Current Kiwanis Club will celebrate its 90th Anniversary and they’re inviting the community to join them. An anniversary dinner will be held at the Great Plains College Auditorium on Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m. All former members, representatives from partner agencies, and anyone who has ever benefitted from the Kiwanis is invited to attend. Tickets are $35 each and can be purchased by contacting Dianne Miller at

What you thought last week:

We asked last week: Will the Swift Current Broncos make the playoffs? Results: No, they do not have a chance — 44.4%; Yes, they barely make it — 22.2%; No, they barely miss the post season — 22.2%; Yes, easily reach it — 11. 1%. Next week: Is the Keystone Pipeline project which will run through southeast Alberta and southwest Sask. a good thing? Yes or No?

Look for the new poll question every Thursday on:

Here’s what we featured online this week:

really celebrated the different cultures all over this province,” explained Steve Glassman, executive producer of Cultureville. “This contest gets people thinking about their own culture, and the culture in other great communities across Alberta.” With close to 40 entries, narrowing the competition

Photos courtesy Rosebud Theatre

The Rosebud Mercantile and Wild Horse Jack’s Bistro and Grill has been visited many times by drama fans.

down to only six finalists was a difficult job. Glassman noted the entries which really caught the eyes of the judges were the vibrant, busy communities with a lot of cultural activity. Rosebud, with its active theatre community, definitely fit that criteria. “Culture is so much of who we are in Rosebud,” noted Bob Davis, executive director for Rosebud Theatre. “Of the approximate population of about 100 people, about 70 to 80 of them are directly involved with the arts, or are working for businesses involved with the arts. It’s very consuming and all-encompassing of our population.” While the region around Rosebud is agricultural, the hamlet itself is defined in a large part by the cultural activities at the school and the theatre. The Rosebud Theatre plays host to more than 40,000 people each year, offering over 200 performances annually. The community is also home to the Rosebud School of the Arts, a unique post-secondary training school for professional theatre artists.With two art galleries, three choirs, a folk music club, and an annual music festival, the community offers more than just theatre. “We really just felt that Rosebud would be a good fit for the contest,” Davis explained. “We think this community is a great representation of rural Alberta, and we really wanted other people to know about our hamlet.We are

honoured to just be nominated, and are hopeful the rest of Alberta can throw its support behind the littlest town in the competition.We are up against some tough competition.” Winning the contest will not only provide the community with great bragging rights, but will also encourage tourists to visit Alberta’s new Cultureville. “Exposure and awareness are the benefits of being a

part of this,” said Davis. “We’ve seen lots of new Albertans over the last five or 10 years who might not know about us yet, and this might remind people who may have heard of us but haven’t really visited lately. For us, it’s about reaching out, making ourselves known to a wider audience.” Rosebud is up against three communities from the 780 area code (Jasper, Camrose, and Peace River), and two others from the 403 (Red Deer and Tsuu T'ina Nation). Vignettes profiling each of the communities in the running are online at and The Calgary Eyeopener and Edmonton AM will also be running community profiles during their morning broadcasts. The winning community will be announced on radio, online and on a special broadcast to be aired on CBC TV September 29 as part of Alberta Arts Days Celebrations. People can vote for their favourite community online from Sept. 6-16.

Swift Current resident a weekly winner in the Rosebud Theatre’s Prairie Stories Contest


Swift Current’s Al Romankewicz is the final winner in Rosebud Theatre’s Prairie Stories Contest. The draw, which took place Aug. 27, is a

weekly prize in a story-writing contest celebrating the theatre’s summer production of W.O. Mitchell’s Jake and the Kid: Prairie Seasons.

In addition to winning a copy of Who Has Seen the Wind, Romankewicz’s story, entitled “My Private Ghost” will be made into an audio recording by cast members of Rosebud Theatre’s production of Jake and the Kid. The story itself is posted to the Theatre’s

Prairie Post’s Rose Sanchez took part in dragon boat races in Elkwater.

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website and is about Romankewicz’s experience as a young boy working in a coal mine as a car push. Romankewicz was in the hospital when he

Al Romankewicz, of Swift Current, was one of the weekly prize winners in the Rosebud Theatre’s Prairie Stories Contest.

learned he was the weekly winner. His wife says, “he was literally blown away,” and did not believe it until he read the e-mail of congratulations. Now at his home in Swift Current, he says he enjoys writing down his experiences growing up in the Dirty Thirties in Saskatchewan. Although it was “often very difficult with a lot of hard

work, disappointment and doing without,” it also had many happy moments. He writes these mostly for his granddaughter and great

grandson, so they what it was like when he grew up. The grand prize winner of the contest, which has now

wrapped up, was Mel Risdon, Shine FM’s morning radio host in Edmonton. The prize package which included a number of books

by W. O. Mitchell was presented to Risdon while she was on air. “We did weekly draws from all the submissions,” says contest coordinator, Mark Lewandowski, “but for the final selection, we narrowed it down to 20 stories which the cast read and then chose their favourites.” Author’s names were not included with the stories, so

the decision was made on how the story caught the cast’s attention. “I think the cast agreed that Mel’s story was thrilling and interesting and very well written. It certainly had a great sense of drama.” The story entitled “Kickin’ Badgers”

relates the true story of Risdon visiting her grandfather’s farm outside Strathmore. On this occasion, her grandfather decides

to get rid of some badgers making holes in the pasture. Unfortunately, Risdon gets caught between her grandfather and a badger determined to attack her. “Obviously, I survived,” she related to her listeners on-air, “but it was terrifying.” Strathmore youngsters Megan and Cuyler

Brooks won honourable mention. “Megan (age eight) and Cuyler Brooks (age four) of Strathmore were the youngest

entrants and definitely needed to be recognized for their story,” explains Lewandowski. For Megan and Cuyler, they wrote about their memories of growing up which included lines like “When I was young, I dropped a plate” and “When I was young, I spilled my milk. “Everyone who read their story just melted at it. There was a big ‘awwww’ factor, particularly because they’re so young,” says Lewandowski. “But you could tell they have the storyteller’s gift in seeing the importance in little things.” The Prairie Stories Contest, which ran all summer long

at Rosebud Theatre, received 83 original stories from contestants all over Alberta and some as far away as Vancouver and Nashville, Tennessee. Stories varied from childhood remembrances, to works

that have been published elsewhere, to family stories passed down from parents or grandparents that have now been written down for the first time. The winning stories are posted on at www.rosebud with the recordings of winning weekly stories on YouTube. Search for RosebudTheatreAB.

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