Centennial celebrations continue

  • Mar. 20, 2013 3:59 p.m.

In the spirit of Easter, the City of Red Deer has been conducting its own hunt – but instead of looking for eggs and chocolate, we have been hunting for a 50-year-old time capsule.

“When we set out to do a time capsule as a part of our centennial celebrations, we discovered that The City, 50 years ago, had placed a time capsule in City Hall on March 25, 1963,” said City Manager, Craig Curtis. “The location was a bit of a mystery as there was no plaque to mark its place. Nevertheless, members of the community soon pointed the way and lead us on this search.”

And so the hunt began. Calls were made to resident historian, Michael Dawe, who gave us some direction based on his memories of the event, to past City staff, past council members, and the City’s archives department was enlisted to try and find documentation of the missing capsule.

The location was narrowed down to two places on the outside of City Hall thanks to calls and internal research, and through the help of Pascal Mancuso Construction Ltd. (PMCL), who removed the plaque on the park side steps, the lost was found.

“It is really exciting to make this a part of our Time Capsule Ceremony,” said Charlaine Rausch, corporate events specialist. “Thanks to everyone who helped with the search, including City employees, current and retired. Special thanks to retired City employee, Jim Bates, and to Joe Pelz, City Hall Park head gardener, for his relentless pursuit of our missing time capsule. It’s been a memorable and interesting project.”

The Time Capsule Ceremony will take place on March 25 at 10:30 a.m. in City Hall Park. The contents of the capsule will paint a picture of Red Deer in 2013 – profiling things like how Red Deer has grown in size, progressed as a community, and how technology, the media, and the people who live here have shaped Red Deer. It will include letters and messages to our future Red Deerians.

Following the ceremony, there will be a reception in the Snell Gallery, Red Deer Public Library, Downtown Branch, where we will unveil the contents of the 1963 time capsule. For more information on this event, and other centennial events, visit www.reddeer.ca/centennial.

Meanwhile, this summer, UK-based artistic studio, Creatmosphere, will bring their acclaimed floating light installation, River of Light, to the Red Deer River, and they are encouraging everyone to get involved.

Following the success of the River of Light on the Bow River in Calgary in 2010, Creatmosphere aims to make this iteration of the River of Light bigger and more far-reaching than ever, by launching a community engagement campaign to support the project.

This unique awareness and fundraising campaign is being launched in conjunction with Canada Water Week (March 18-24) to celebrate our inclusion as a “Water Education Initiative” under the United Nations banner.

The River of Light is aligned with the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, and has received official sanction as a United Nations Water Initiative. A portion of donations will go to international water initiatives.

The River of Light campaign will allow people from all over the world to support the project online while giving those closer to home a chance to contribute to the work, by buying or sponsoring a light barrel.

“At the heart of the River of Light is the Red Deer River and the community that surrounds it. Celebrating the river as central to the identity of the city, the River of Light campaign allows the community to take ownership of the project, the event, and of the city’s future,” says Creatmosphere’s Creative Director, Laurent Louyer.

The fundraising campaign aims to raise money for the event while offering a range of perks in exchange for donations to produce the light object, the light barrel.

The light barrels will travel down the Red Deer River on June 30, and then will be retrieved by purchasers and donors as their commitment to sustainable water preservation. Whatever the donation, participating in the River of Light campaign is a chance to make something spectacular for Red Deer. To make a donation visit riveroflight.org.

The River of Light has been commissioned by the Central Alberta Historical Society for the Red Deer City Centennial.

– Fawcett