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May 19, 2024 May 19, 2024

Irwin design highlights Cypress County Welcome Centre opening

Posted on May 9, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman
Commentator/Courier Photo Submitted. PRIDE OF PLACE: Mikayla Irwin’s t-shirt design will feature prominently at the Cypress County Welcome Centre in 2024, set to open on May 17.

By Heather Cameron

The Cypress County Welcome Centre’s 2024 season opening day is on May 17, and 10-year-old Mikayla Irwin is especially looking forward to it because she designed a t-shirt that will be sold there this season.

“I drew it on a digital app called Procreate,” said Mikayla Irwin. “I thought of like, not really a playground, but like a sunset view and hills, so it looks like Alberta, and a teepee for Cypress County, for the heritage.”

Sean Rooney, Communications Coordinator for Cypress County, said that Irwin designed the t-shirt for a contest hosted by the Welcome Centre back in February. 

According to the Cypress County Welcome Centre’s Facebook Page, the t-shirt design contest was open to all ages and skill levels and the objective of the contest was to make a design that included the words ‘Southeast Alberta’s Playground’. The deadline for entries was March 1, and the top five entries were voted on.

Jamie Irwin, Mikayla’s mother, says that the family saw an ad for the t-shirt contest that they were running for Cypress County for their new slogan and Mikayla loves drawing, so she wanted to enter a drawing. Once the family found out that Mikayla was a finalist, Jamie Irwin says, Mikayla was super excited and told everybody at school about her achievement and then got everybody in her family and at her school to vote for her design and so she ended up winning the contest.

Jamie Irwin emphasizes that Mikayla was extremely excited about ultimately winning the contest. 

“She was pretty excited that it was going to be available at the tourist center, so anybody who came through could pick up her design,” said Jamie Irwin. “We’ve had lots of people asking how they can buy t-shirts and when they’re available.”

For winning the contest, Rooney says, Irwin received a goody bag and the first t-shirt that was made with her design on it. 

“It’ll be a good representation of how beautiful it is around here,” said Mikayla Irwin.

Rooney says that in addition to the t-shirts being sold at the Welcome Centre in Walsh, Irwin’s carefully designed t-shirt will also be sold at the County Office in Dunmore. 

Once open for the season, Rooney says, the Welcome Centre will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week until Labour Day. 

“The Visitor Center is a place where you can find out more about everything else that’s going on in the county,” said Rooney. “We’ve got lots of travel brochures and the typical stuff you find at travel centers, and we sell some merchandise, but it’s all about getting people on their way and finding exciting things to do in the county and beyond. We encourage people to check out all of Alberta and beyond no matter which way they’re going. It’s a great little spot.”

For more information about the Cypress County Welcome Centre, visit: 

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