Archive for the ‘August 20’ Category

One building was a two-storey, 26-room structure constructed of limestone and blue rolling stone, with a gabled roof, bay windows and a large veranda.

Gilt-framed oil paintings, Turkish carpets, hand-carved fireplace mantles and other elegant touches finished the interior. Out back, foxhounds from Isle of Wight stock lounged in their kennels and thoroughbred horses lodged in the stables – stone stables that included mahogany-lined stalls with brass nameplates.

Sounds like a mansion straight out of a Victorian novel but no, this was a bachelors’ pad in the late 1800s in rural Saskatchewan. The magnificent 18-man bunkhouse and foreman’s residence lay a stone’s throw from the village of Cannington Manor. There one can see more houses – on a less grand scale, mind you – along with a clutch of buildings necessary to village life: a store, hotel, blacksmith shop, school and church.

And there many residents played out a lifestyle as English as the setting.Foxhunts, croquet, cricket, tennis, poetry readings and dramatics societies were the order of the day at Cannington Manor. Hardly seems possible that this went on in the heart of the Canadian prairie, but it’s all the more reason to visit Cannington Manor Provincial Historic Park.

There the long-ago village has been partially reconstructed at the original site 26 kilometres southeast of Moose Mountain Provincial Park, minus the luxurious bunkhouse that is now in rubble on private land. Enough former buildings have come back to life, along with a well-appointed visitor centre, to convey the spirit behind this bit of transplanted Jolly Olde.

During the 1880s and 1890s, the Canadian government and other groups promoted establishing a British agricultural society on the Prairies to settle the west. Accordingly, Captain Edward Pierce came from England and started Cannington Manor. To get this envisioned upper-crust English colony going, he built an agricultural college and advertised for students among the sons of well-heeled English gentlemen.

Three of these students built the ostentatious house that became home to the young bachelors who formed part of the social order in the fledgling village. Homesteaders and tradesmen, some from other parts of Canada (some originally from Britain and some directly from there) were another group, and a significant one, although often overlooked.

Then there were the upper-middle class families such as Pierce and fellow Brit James Humphrys. This bunch wanted to live as gentlemen farmers, but supported themselves through their business ventures; the Moose Mountain Trading Company that Pierce and his partners established, as well as the Humphrys’ Pork Packing Industry and two cheese factories.

The opportunity to be a landowner – something not readily available in England – helped draw people to the village, says Sarah Schafer, park program co-ordinator for the southeast park area.

“In England there was such an emphasis on owning land.”

The idea of expanding the British Empire was another reason behind Cannington Manor, she says.

The village quickly reached a population of 200. For a while life was good and there were some successes amongst the trades and business people – miller Harold Fripp won first prize at the 1893 Chicago World’s fair for his Snowdrop brand of flour, for instance. However, the death of founder Pierce in 1888, combined with a drought and falling grain prices, led to Cannington Manor’s decline. The building of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s regional branch line 10 kilometres south of the village rather than through it was the final nail in the coffin. It wasn’t long before the remaining residents returned to the mother country or struck out for jobs in other parts of the west.
What you will find at Cannington Manor today:

Visitor Centre – Start here for a look at the modern displays to acquaint yourself  with the village.

The Le Mesurier Home (or Bachelor’s Cabin)  – similar to the cabins most of the bachelors built. Unlike most of the young men who left the village to seek further adventures, Arthur Le Mesurier married and settled permanently in the area.

Newman house – home of carpenter Joseph Newman and his wife Elizabeth

Carpenter’s shop – where Newman made everything from utilitarian furniture to coffins

Blacksmith shop – where blacksmith Hume Robertson shod horses, repaired machinery and ran a Massey-Harris implement dealership. Like the Le Mesuriers and the Newmans, the Robertson family settled in the area for good.

Maltby house – Ernest Maltby was the village postmaster as well as a partner in the Moose Mountain Trading Company and the best lawn tennis player around. His wife, the former Mary Humphrys, was a talented amateur artist.

All Saints Anglican Church – Built on land donated by Edward Pierce, this log church dates back to 1884. It is the property of the Diocese of Qu’Appelle and is still used by the local congregation.

Humphrys/Hewlett house – This large three-storey three kilometres west of the main village stands as it was built in 1888. Signs outside tell visitors what lies inside the heritage building, which is not open to the public due to safety concerns.

Between 3,000 and 3,500 visitors stop at Cannington Manor annually. Many are from the surrounding communities, as well as Moose Mountain Provincial Park, Schafer says. Others are travelling across Canada and a few are international, from England in particular.

Educational programs are held for students in late May through June. Special events over the summer include the annual Cannington Fair on the Sunday of the Civic Holiday weekend, church services followed by a Victoria tea, horse and buggy rides and evening lamplight/candlelight tours.
Chosen as an historic site in 1954, the initial commemoration was a cairn and marker. Further development followed in the 1960s and the site officially opened in 1965.

Cannington Manor received provincial park designation in 1986. The park is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday to Monday (closed Tuesdays) Victoria Day weekend to Labour Day.

The Village of Kenosee, Moose Mountain Provincial Park, White Bear Casino and Kenosee Superslides are just minutes from Cannington Manor Provincial Park.

Email manor.cannington@gov.sk.ca.


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Sing along with Cantilon

Parents, children and audiences in Canada and abroad are unanimous in their praise of Cantilon Choirs.

Serving the Greater Edmonton area, including St. Albert, Sherwood Park and Spruce Grove, Cantilon offers its members a unique, exciting approach to singing and enjoying it!

Founded by Heather Johnson in 1999, Cantilon Choirs has earned a tremendous reputation for guiding the program participants in developing their musical and social skills.

Right from the start, the program itself was intended to foster – and has indeed consistently brought about – co-operation, respect, confidence, and a significant degree of musical understanding at all levels. In addition to weekly rehearsals, the participants perform in public, tour, record and socialize. They all constitute the extended Cantilon family, focused on sharing the art of singing and having a lot of fun in the process!

Cantilon Choirs welcomes singers of all ages, regardless of experience, ability or financial constraints. The program is built around five main choirs: Kindersingers, ages four to six, non-auditioned (Edmonton, St. Albert); Primary Choir, ages six to nine, non-auditioned (Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park and Spruce Grove); Children’s Choir, ages 10-14, auditioned (Edmonton); Chamber Choir, ages nine to 19, auditioned (Edmonton); and Belle Canto, adult female voices, auditioned (Edmonton). These choirs have been invariably led by Alberta’s most outstanding choral specialists, including Heather Johnson herself.

Cantilon Choirs’ trademark method combines the highest standards of rehearsing and performing with a positive and encouraging attitude toward the choristers.

This has resulted in a string of provincial, national and international awards. Major honours include consecutive first places won at the Alberta and National Music Festivals (2000-2009); two first prizes at the Béla Bartók International Choral Competition in Debrecen, Hungary (2006); second prize at the prestigious Cork International Coral Competition in Cork, Ireland (2007); as well as first and second prizes at the CBC National Radio Choral Competition (2000, 2002, 2004, 2008), to mention just a few.

Check us out at cantilonchoirs.ca. For more information call 780-732-1262, email cantilon@telusplanet.net or just drop by for a chat at #205, 10209 123 Street.

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Scottish country dancing

Scottish country dancing (SCD) is a modern form of the country dancing popular in England and Scotland in the 18th century.

It involves groups of six to 10 people — a set — dancing to the driving strains of reels, jigs and strathspeys played on the fiddle, accordion, flute, piano and drums (no bagpipes, mostly).

Think of SCD as a cross between square or contra dance (although there is no caller) and ballet; there are about a dozen basic figures which will get you through quite a number of dances, although many dances have their own quirks and specialities which make them unique and fun.

SCD is a very social form of dancing, not only because you get to dance with seven or so people at once instead of just with one partner (smiles and eye contact are almost mandatory) but also because there are workshops, balls and social dances being held in places all over the world.

It is nice to be able to travel and join a SCD group for a night nearly everywhere you go.

Today the RSCDS numbers about 25,000 members and has branches in various countries all over the world.

Come try out the RSCDS Edmonton Branch at the Central Lions at 1113 113 St. for adult and teen classes on Thursday evenings.

Children’s classes are at 8524 95 Ave., Edmonton on Saturday morning. Check details at our website at http://www.rscdsedmonton.org to learn more about this economical, fun fitness activity in a social setting. Beginners are made welcome and no partner, special costumes, or particular cultural heritage is needed.

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Ask a veterinarian

Q: I had to bring my dog to the emergency clinic. The attending veterinarian diagnosed an acute allergic reaction. Should I carry an epi-pen in case this happens again?

A: Possibly. Allergic rea ctions range in severity from mild itchiness to complete cardiovascular collapse.

The majority of acute reactions present to me because owners noticed that their dogs’ faces started to get puffy and swollen.  These can often be treated with pills such as diphenydramine (Benadryl®).

I have seen only two cases of circulatory collapse. And unless there is a history of collapse, I haven’t prescribed epi-pens (preloaded syringes of epinephrine that deliver a very specific dose via a hypodermic needle).

Though there are no contra-indications to epinephrine in a truly life-threatening situation (i.e. death is immediately eminent), the trick is determining whether or not the situation is truly life-threatening.

There are, however, significant side-effects if epinephrine is given to a dog whose life is not under threat, such as a life-threatening increases in heart rate and blood pressure.

Giving an injection can also present a challenge. A struggling dog presents an even greater challenge. Therefore, I instruct clients that if you must wrestle with your dog, their condition is not yet life-threatening so they don’t need the injection yet. Note that in order to be effective the epinephrine should be injected into muscle.

There are no dog specific epi-pens, but there are other options. The most common option is to carry the human Epi-pen for use in dogs weighing more than 44 pounds and the epi-pen junior for anything weighing less. There are conflicting opinions about using the junior in anything that weighs less than about four pounds. Whichever epi-pen you are prescribed, expect to invest about $100 annually since they usually expire within 12 to 18 months.

If you are very concerned that your dog is at high risk of developing a life-threatening allergic reaction, discuss your concern with your veterinarian who can prescribe an appropriate emergency response which may or may not include an epi-pen.

Dr. Jeffrey Person practices at the Delton Veterinary Hospital & co-hosts the

listener call-in show Pet Talk, every Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on AM630 CHED.

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Hi there, my name is Munch (sort for Munchkin!) and I am a six-year-old spayed female chocolate Lab looking for a new home.

I am a very good girl, housetrained and well mannered in the house. I get along fine with other dogs of any shape and size. I am very tolerant and just want somebody to love me and make a fuss of me now and then.

If you are looking for a quiet companion – someone to laze on the deck with you or sit by the fire in the wintertime, then please call about me. My adoption fee is $200 and I am spayed already and have all my shots.

You also get a free vet check for me as part of the adoption package. So if you like the look of me please call NASAP on 780-922-0250.

My foster mom Jaclyn will be happy to answer any questions you might have about me. Thankss for reading about me.

Love, Munch xoxo

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As we promised in the Aug. 6 edition of Country Asides, here is the continutation of The Sky Guy’s celestial wisdom for the month. Here, Harris Christian tells us where and when to get the best view of the planets in the August night sky.


Venus is the brightest planet in the night sky and shines at visual magnitudes of -4.3 to -4.6 during August. The brighter the object, the more negative the number. For example, our Sun is rated at -26 magnitude. And NEVER look at the Sun with the naked eye! I have been safely observing the Sun since 1993 in a telescope equipped with a solar filter enabling safe views.

Back to Venus, after locating Venus, scan about 20 degrees down to the lower right to locate tiny, star-like Mercury. In comparison to bright Venus, Mercury shines at magnitude 0.1 to 0.7 later in the month. So it will appear much fainter.

Early in the month the planets Mars and Saturn may be found above Venus but move away as the month progresses. Look west to locate the Red Planet Mars and the Ringed Planet Saturn. The amazing rings of Saturn are visible even in telescopes of small size. I regularly view them in my two smaller telescopes measuring only 90 and 114 millimetres.

Back to the planets. For brightness, Mars glows at magnitude 1.5 while Saturn will be magnitude 1.1. In contrast to red Mars, Saturn appears a shade of pale white to my eye. As an aid to locating planets, remember that they shine brightly like stars but do not twinkle like stars.

Over time, astronomy is a lot like fishing: patience and refinement of your observing techniques will yield eventual better results. The dwarf planet Pluto may be found in the constellation Sagittarius (south) but you require a telescope to make this observation. Pluto can be a faint object at an extreme visual magnitude of 16.1. That magnitude would require a much larger telescope than the small instruments previously mentioned. I’ve tracked Pluto down a few times and found the exercise to not be as rewarding as observing the other planets.

Pluto appears to look much like a tiny star without any visual details like the other planets offer. Once you locate it, it’s useful to either sketch or photograph the field of view. Locate the field of view one hour later, using your sketch or photo and you’ll notice that Pluto has moved away from its former position. That confirms that you are looking at a planet that is in orbit. Planets move but stars do not. The term “planet” is based upon the Greek word for “wanderer.”

Later in the evening:

Neptune rises around sunset but will be tough to locate at magnitude 7.0. Typically, the average unaided eye begins to detect objects at about magnitude 6.0 so visual aid will be required for this observation. It’s a small target. Try looking later in the night after it has risen higher in the night sky.

Neptune will be located near the constellations Aquarius the Water Bearer and Capricornus the Goat in the southeast. When you find Saturn setting in the western sky, Uranus will be rising in the east. At sixth magnitude it borders at the edge of naked eye visibility but is an easy binocular target.

Certainly more spectacular is the gas giant planet Jupiter, glowing at 2.9 magnitude. Telescopic views of Jupiter show the four most visible moons Europa, Callisto, Ganymede and Io. These tiny moons were discovered by Galileo and offer very entertaining views as they change locations while orbiting Jupiter each night.

They travel across the planet and display shadows across the surface of Jupiter. This event is called a Shadow Transit and can be observed in a telescope. The moons also disappear behind Jupiter and reappear at a later time. This event is known as an Occultation because the moon is being blocked or occulted by the planet. I’ve once even observed one Jovian moon (referring to a moon of Jupiter) occult another Jovian moon. I first noted only three moons visible but as I watched, one moon began to change shape from round to oval and then separated into two moons. It was a cool event.

Not to be overlooked, the surface of Jupiter displays dark bands of colour at the equator plus both north and south hemispheres. Within the dark bands one can observe white-coloured festoons, resembling white spots (not the musical group!). There is also a salmon-coloured area known as the Great Red Spot that appears with each rotation of Jupiter. This object has been observed for over 300 years and is essentially a giant atmospheric storm. This spot is oval shaped and changes size but measures about 13,000 kilometres by 30,000 kilometres on average.

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