Cruisin' Classic Cars

Mike Webb chats about his 49' Mercury M-47 truck with attendees and other car enthusiasts on June 25. Photo Lorna Hamilton. Vermilion does not have an official classic car club, but Thursday evenings at A&W in Vermilion is the place to be if you are a classic car/truck enthusiast. “Our group meets at the Vermilion A&W on Thursday evenings when the weather is conducive for that and will socially distance ourselves while admiring other cars and chatting about the hobby. It’s part of Crusin’ the Dub which has been around for a while. Most of us remember the good old days when you pulled into the local A&W with your favourite buddies or to show off your new girlfriend and sat around in your ca

Vermilion History: The Much-Adored Ponderosa Restaurant

The Vermilion Ponderosa. Photo Submitted. The Ponderosa Restaurant was a much-adored location for Vermilion locals. Originally built by Les Kreller in early 1964, the Ponderosa was a staple to Vermilion locals. The restaurant was the perfect hangout for all ages from teenagers to seniors, reportedly having ‘the best mushroom burgers’. The Ponderosa switched hands only a few times; in 1969, it was sold to the Letawski family, who built and lived in living quarters above the restaurant. Later, the restaurant was sold to the Mah family, who expanded the restaurant in the 1980’s to accommodate for the volume of customers. The Mah’s bought the restaurant in 1977 and ran it until Don Mah suffere

Vermilion Unites

Brad Gallamore along with attendees held a round table meeting in the field beside the Pollinator Gardens in Vermilion on June 25. Photo Lorna Hamilton We are a collective of residents of Vermilion and the surrounding region who wish to bring light to the racial prejudice that exists here and around the world. We support peaceful and pragmatic reform of all institutions that discriminate based on race, ethnicity and culture. We acknowledge that racism is systemic, but we also acknowledge that many are unaware that their beliefs are founded on a long history of cultural bias and dominance. We are proud of Canada’s multicultural identity and we promote equality and fairness for all races, ethn

The Race Of Vermilion Success

Team Dutch Blitz, first place winners of the Race of Vermilion. Photo Submitted. The day was a great success! Being that we are making our best efforts to respect the regulations set out during the re-opening of Alberta, we limited the number of teams and ensured that we encouraged the current social distancing expectations. Advertising for the event was only done locally, so we did not have the mass amount of people that we had in the past. Even so, it was still a great opportunity to encourage people to learn more about our businesses and attractions. A list of 90 tasks were sent out to the participants via email, which they completed throughout town (mostly through signage posted on the

Elk Point Resident Wins Oilers Mask Contest

Van der Hoek's mask design. Photo Submitted. A unique contest hit twitter on May 11, in which Edmonton Oilers fans were asked to design a goalie mask. The winning design would be made into a real Oilers mask to be auctioned off to fundraise for COVID-19 relief in Northern Alberta. Elk Point native and long-time Oilers fan Jennifer Van der Hoek saw the contest as an opportunity to get creative, and put her passion for art to use towards a good cause; “The premise of the contest was great,” Van der Hoek states. “I didn’t expect to win at all, but I thought it would be fun to do up a design. The more that I worked on it, the happier I became with the mask,” she explains further; “I wanted a b

Systemic Racism In Vermilion?

If you’ve been following the latest community events then you probably heard about the racism discussions in Vermilion. Following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota by a police officer during an arrest and a video of the incident going viral, many protests erupted all over the United States and the world against racism and police brutality. In Vermilion things weren’t any different. On Facebook Brad Gallamore started a call for a “Vermilion Unites for Equality” protest which garnered many comments. Most of them weren’t very supportive and were skeptical of the need to have such an event since according to many, “Racism is not a problem in Vermilion.” On June 18, the s

Alberta And Saskatchewan Fishing Regulations

Vermilion Trout Pond. Photo Elaina John Due to the varying zones and regulations throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan, it may be hard to keep track of which regulations apply to a certain area. In Alberta, there are three different zones: 1, the Eastern Slopes, 2, Parkland-Prairie, and 3, Northern Boreal. Zone 2 as described by, “consists approximately of the southeastern quarter of the province, east of Highway 2 from the Montana border to the North Saskatchewan River,” making Vermilion and area part of Zone 2. In Zone 2, lakes are open all year. Streams in Zone 2 are open from May to March (specific dates depending on the year), and bait in both streams and lakes are

Vermilion Elementary School "Cruises Into Summer"

Attendees wave as they pass by the Cruising Into Summer parade. Photos Elaina John The last day of school for Vermilion Elementary School (VES) students was Friday, June 19. Since VES was unable to have a conventional celebration for their students, the school organized a “Cruising Into Summer” reverse parade. “It was just so nice for all of the staff to be able to see our students on their last day of online learning,” comments VES staff Janna McLaughlin, “It was a fun way to end the school year.” Participants of the reverse parade consisted of VES staff, the Vermilion RCMP Department, the Vermilion Fire Department, and members of the community exhibiting vintage cars for VES students to

Vermilion Unites For Equality

Organizers and attendees with signs. Photos Elaina John On Thursday, June 18 individuals gathered at the Vermilion pollinator garden to “Educate themselves and others about the racism in Vermilion and surrounding areas,” as explained by Vermilion local Brad Gallamore, organizer of the event. The event began with a brief introduction from Gallamore and Tigra-Lee Campbell, who stated; “We are here as a call to action that systemic racism is alive and well and we need to do something about it.... We are here to demand that the Government of Canada take action and dismantle the systems that keep minorities oppressed....” Many attendees including Campbell were invited to share their experience

United Church Fundraiser

Attendees purchased pie at the United Church Fundraiser. Photos Elaina John On Wednesday, June 17 the United Church held a pie social at the outdoor oven to fundraise for their church ministry. In previous years, the church has fundraised via a concession booth at the Vermilion Fair, but due to COVID-19, the Fair was cancelled. Attendees of the fundraiser were served pie, ice cream, coffee and tea by church volunteers wearing gloves and masks. “It’s nice that now that some restrictions have been lifted, people can get out and socialize at a distance,” said church volunteer Dot Hartwell. #Fundraiser #Church

Family Farm Round Up

Bill Hamblin one of the many ropers who helped with the processing. Photo Sue Chikie This family farm was started over 100 years ago and now with their 4th generation in the stirrups, they are operating as Kabe International. They are grain and beef farmers, with red and black angus and speckle park beef breeds. The processing of calves in the spring is a yearly job, one of many on a working farm and ranch. This year, June 14 started with the round up of the cows and calves followed by a day of processing, then another day of rounding up the herds and another day of processing. Kamille Andersen said the processing of calves is to insure a healthy calf crop. With many hands helping out,

Vermilion Outreach School Graduation Gathering

Vermilion Outreach School Staff and graduates. Photo Kevin John On June 11, Vermilion Outreach School (VOS) held a small outdoor gathering for their graduates. Graduates received gifts from VIBE and the school, light-up balloons, and awards for their investment in the community and volunteer work. VOS had five graduates this year “I think it’s important that the graduates understand that the academics are just a vehicle for the real things. The real things are what got you the success and what got you through; and those are the things that will get you through down the road,” comments VOS Principal Barry Scinski. Scinski hopes the school will be able to organize a proper grad celebration

St. Jerome's Grad Photos

St. Jerome's Grads. Photo Submitted Like all schools in our area and much of the world, St. Jerome’s unfortunately cannot have a traditional grad celebration due to COVID-19. However, on June 12, St. Jerome’s grads gathered in front of the school for socially-distanced photos in recognition of this critical achievement. Each grad had a sign with their grad photo along with a congratulatory message. #Graduation #Grad2020 #StJeromesCatholicSchool

Stage 2 Of Alberta's Relaunch Strategy

On June 9, it was announced the Stage 2 of Alberta’s Relaunch plan would begin on June 12. Stage 2 of relaunch will allow many facilities to open, including gyms, libraries, casinos, campgrounds, theatres, pools, places of worship, and more, with social distancing measures still in effect. Stage 2 also permits the opening of K-12 schools for requested diplomas and summer school, with regular classes starting again in the fall. It is clarified that nightclubs, amusement parks, major sporting events, non-essential travel, major festivals, and vocal concerts are still not approved for stage 2. For more information on lifted restriction, COVID-19 cases, safety recommendations, and tips, visit

The Potential Of Bill 1 And A Middle Ground

Bill 1, also known as the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act had its introduction on February 25. The bill protects an extensive list of “critical infrastructure” from barricades, vandalism, and protests. The Bill classifies a broad range of properties as critical infrastructure-both private and public. There are many vocal individuals terrified of what the Bill could mean for activism, protests, and freedom of speech. Others are supportive of the Bill, as they foresee the positive outcomes of protecting critical infrastructure and the economy. One major issue with how Albertans approach this bill is this: the moment an individual becomes extremely opposed to or extremely supportive of a

J.R. Robson Graduates

J.R. Graduates. Photo submitted Due to COVID-19, J.R. Robson School’s graduation has been postponed. Group photos submitted of the graduates were fortunately taken before winter, as none could have anticipated social distancing measures put in place and carried out this spring. The class of 45 will have a traditional graduation celebration tentatively in August. Along with grads across the globe, graduates of J.R. have experienced a vast change of routine in attempting to finish the last half of their final year in High School in an online setting. #Graduation #JRRobson

Marwayne Jubilee School Graduation Parade

Decorated vehicle in graduation parade. Photo submitted. On May 29, Marwayne Jubilee School (MJS) graduates gathered for a parade in their honour, which was lead by a decorated school bus. The parade consisted of over 50 vehicles, many of which were decorated. The bus led the parade around the village honouring the 20 Grads as it passed. “We were also honoured to have our Buffalo Trail School Board Chair Lanie Parr, Mayor Cher Eikland, the Fire and Rescue Department, as well as many families and friends that came from as far away as Edmonton to join us in our celebration!,” acknowledges Marty Person, assistant principal at MJS. #Graduation #Parade #MarwayneJubileeSchool

Wainwright Is “Undeniably A Better Place” Thanks To 2020 Rhapsody Award Recipient

Dr. Beverly Brilz. Photo courtesy of Zak McLachlan, Wainwright Star News Following a review of the outstanding candidates nominated this year, the RhPAP Board of Directors has endorsed Dr. Beverly Brilz of Wainwright as the 2020 recipient of the Rhapsody Physician Award. The Rhapsody Physician Award recognizes the contributions of rural physicians, especially those unsung heroes, who provide Alberta rural communities with outstanding patient care, and who make notable contributions to both medical practice and their communities. Dr. Brilz was selected based on the extent of both of her medical and community contributions, as well as the numerous testimonials received reflecting her dedicati

Islay Senior's Week Parade

Decorated car with a message to Assisted Living Centre residents. Photo Elaina John On Thursday, June 4, the residents of Islay Assisted Living Centre sat in front of the centre to enjoy a parade organized for Senior’s Week. The parade was organized by staff of the centre on May 29 to “Honor the contributions they’ve [senior’s] made to the community throughout their lives,” explained Caroline McKinnon, Assisted Living staff. The community offered much support to the parade as participants consisted of the families of residents, Hospital Auxiliary, and the Islay Volunteer Fire Department. Some participants arrived with decorated vehicles and messages to the residents of the centre. After th

Newborn Fawn Found And Nursed To Health

Baby fawn on dirt road. Photo Submitted On June 1, Vermilionite Russ Cameron came across a fawn on a drive down a dirt road. He guessed that the fawn was dead as it was lying down on the road immobile, but upon further inspection, he discovered that the fawn was alive, yet unable to move. “There was just so much life in his eyes,” Cameron states. Cameron explains that he called Brian Chrisp, a cattleman who lives near where Cameron found the fawn. Chrisp observed that the fawn was a newborn and that without help, it wouldn’t survive more than two hours. It was Chrisp who helped Cameron decide what to do with the fawn, and together they agreed to take it to the Vermilion Vet Clinic. Camero

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