By Ryan Dahlman
If anything, the citizens of County of 40-Mile, Cypress County and Redcliff went through a difficult roller coaster year of emotions.
It proved the resiliency and the ability to not only ensure but overcome and even succeed.
The Covid-19 regulations and life was coming back to normal but many things had changed, attitudes in lifestyle changed. Many had lost businesses, livelihoods and loved ones.
Agriculture was hit and miss with the wild and unpredictable weather. Drought, ill timed precipitation hurt some and others had good years such as the sugar beet growers and the Alberta potato growers grew the best spuds in the country.
Locally, Bow Island’s annual community celebration came back with a gigantic parade, the emotional opening of the Kale Porteous Memorial Splash Park; Foremost celebrated the 75th anniversary of its rodeo, its rodeo school started to flourish and Foremost bullrider William Barrows rewrote the record book. 2022 also welcomed back Foremost’s Theatrical Society.
Etzikom’s windmill museum came back strong; Redcliff’s Legion looked like it was in dire trouble but through resilience and support from the community is making a strong comeback.
Walsh’ tourist centre was a strong addition to the tourism industry and Irvine had quite the year with its full year of its agriculture school, a smash hit community celebration, the library and museum rolling along and of course, chainsaw artist Marina Cole meteoric rise and the comeback of Hidden Valley in Elkwater, not to mention all of the citizen-led celebrations there including a memorable Canada Day. Dunmore had a strong economic year with businesses staying strong despite outside and uncontrollable influences.
All of the good things happened due to resilience, hard work and the caring of locals in each of those communities to make things happen.
We were nearly divided and in some ways those thoughts still linger due to Canid-19, a deep resentment and unhappiness with the federal and provincial leaders and with Premier Danielle Smith so close now, 2023 and a pending election should make this year a popcorn-worthy watch.
We just have to remember: look after each other, looking after each other in whatever respect means looking after your community and ultimately yourself.
Peace be with you in 2023.
Ryan Dahlman is the editor of the 40-Mile Commentator and Prairie Post