Town snowflakes: ‘Maybe we can strike a deal’

Joe McWilliams

Lakeside Leader

The Town of Slave Lake is thinking of replacing its collection of ‘snowflakes’ – the large, lighted decorations that hang from power poles in the winter months.

At council’s Nov. 21 meeting, with Director of Operations Couturier on the hot seat, Councillor Kimberly Hughes asked about the snowflakes. She said she’d been approached by “a group” that might be interested in raising money for an “upgrade” of the snowflakes, some of which are starting to look a bit shabby. How many are there? she asked.

“Sixty-four,” said Couturier.

“And they’re owned by the town?”

They are, the director confirmed. They used to be owned by the Chamber of Commerce, but that organization handed them over to the town a few years ago. He confirmed that some of the units are due for replacement. Attempts have been made to fix them, but “it’s getting rough.”

How about bringing it up at budget, suggested Councillor Brice Ferguson.

That’s the plan, said Couturier. The new ones – should the proposal be approved – would be different. They’re called ‘pole hangings,’ and cost about $1,000 apiece.

That’s a hefty price tag, Hughes said, adding that she’s heard grants are available for such beautification items.

We’re looking into that too, Couturier said.

Another possibility that’s being considered is offering the old ones that are still in good working condition for sale. The last time the town replaced some of its older snowflakes, the M.D. of Opportunity bought them.

“Maybe we can strike a deal,” Couturier said.

The deal struck with Opportunity last time might have been facilitated by one councillor’s dislike of the Christmas decorations Opportunity was using at the time – at least the ones in Calling Lake. At a meeting in late 2021, newly-elected councillor Cheri Courtorielle memorably suggested the M.D. get new Christmas lights, because to her, the existing ones looked like a certain delicate part of the human anatomy.

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