People learned about all kinds of things to do in Slave Lake

Pearl Lorentzen

Lakeside Leader

From handbells to nature groups, people at Parade of Programs learned about all kinds of things to do in Slave Lake and area.

The goal of this annual event is to let people know about volunteer opportunities, things to do, and support services in Slave Lake. It was September 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Multi Rec Centre fieldhouse.

In total, 51 organizations were represented, with around 100 people manning these tables and a few others performing. Another 175 or so people showed up to look around.

The organizations represented music and art, physical activity, wellness, community service, etc.

On the music and art front, the Slave Lake Handbell Choir, Susanne Campbell (piano teacher), Dancin’ Kids Slave Lake, Dance Creations, Lakeside Figure Skating Club, Lesser Slave Lake Regional Arts Council, Slave Lake Writers’ Group, Slave Lake Zumba, and Stage North had information at the event.

The two dance studios and Campbell’s piano students performed at the event.

“We had nine pianists performing on Saturday,” says Campbell. “It was a great opportunity for all of them to get out in the community and perform.”

The following represent things to do connected with nature: WildBoreal, Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation, Lesser Slave Lake Forest Education Society, Junior Forest Wardens, Lesser Slave Watershed Council, Northern Lights 4-H, and Regional Environmental Action Committee (REAC).

KidSport gave out free skates, helmets, rollerblades, and other sports equipment. Slave Lake Volleyball had a table. Also, CC Fitness and Slave Lake Zumba held free workout classes. The first one had five participants by the end and the second had 13.

Jaymee Tanasiuk, with Zumba, says, “We had a blast. Nice to get out and see the large variety of programs and events in town … Great way to spend a Saturday.”

Volunteering can be a lot of fun. Some of the places people can volunteer in Slave Lake include: the Slave Lake Fire Department, Rotary Club of Slave Lake, Slave Lake Youth Justice Committee, Animal Rescue Committee of Slave Lake, Slave Lake Legion, and Slave Lake Kinettes.

Other organizations were also present.

“Parade of Programs is a great opportunity for the community to come out and see what services, programs and groups have to offer,” says Cleo Carifelle, with CC Fitness. “I would encourage everyone in the community to check out the Parade of Programs in the future, as it is a one-stop shop to see what is available for families in the community.”

“I’ve learned a lot about the many unfamiliar programs available in our town,” says Divine Kitchen, with Community Futures Lesser Slave Lake Region.

Edith Maddex, contact person for the Slave Lake Community Handbell Choir, says, “This was my first time participating in the Parade of Programs, and I really enjoyed my time. I had a variety of ages stop by my table, and they were amazed how the bells sounded and what techniques are used to give off a specific sound. Time well spent.”

“This was the first time we took part,” says Everett Evison, with GriefShare. “It was so encouraging to see the response to our healing and support seminars/sessions on how to journey through the journey of grief.”

Sarah Cardinal, Family Support Worker, with WJS Canada in Slave Lake, says, “We enjoyed the interaction with community members and being able to talk about our agency WJS Canada and promote awareness for the FASD Bridges Program.”

This is the second year that the Slave Lake and Area Mental Health Network (SLAM) and Town of Slave Lake Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) have organized this event. The name was used back in the 1990s in Slave Lake to describe a similar event.

Planning is underway for the 2024 event.

SLAM received a grant for Parade of Programs from the Rural Mental Health Network and Canadian Mental Health Association.

Sebastian Medina (left) and Neil Cruz build a tower in front of the Byte Hub table at Parade of Programs on Sept. 9 in the Multi Rec Centre. Byte Hub was one of 51 local organizations and businesses represented at the event.
A young spectator watching Dancin’ Kids Slave Lake dancers perform at Parade of Programs on Sept. 9. Dancers from two schools and piano students performed at the event. Two exercise businesses also held free classes.
Kinettes Shelly Perkins (left) and Christina Lukan were looking for volunteers at Parade of Programs.
Gwen Bonnell, with Swan Therapeutic Services, at Parade of Programs. She is one of the private mental health counsellors in Slave Lake.

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