Summer of Thunder

    Terri Clark will be back in her home province for Country Thunder Alberta.

    Summer of Thunder Summer of Thunder

    Vimy Ridge – 100 Years Later

    Remembering the sacrifices made at Vimy Ridge.

    Vimy Ridge – 100 Years Later Vimy Ridge - 100 Years Later

    Decadent Dessert

    The ultimate show side food is BBQ, but at this new BBQ house, dessert can take center stage.

    Decadent Dessert Decadent Dessert

    Oldstoberfest Returns for Second Round

    Bier, Broncs and Lederhosen are back!

    Oldstoberfest Returns for Second Round Oldstoberfest Returns for Second Round

    Mane Event 2017

    A fun-filled weekend of equine learning, shopping and entertainment!

    Mane Event 2017 Mane Event 2017

    Canvas Auction Numbers Up

    Community support shines at 2017 Calgary Stampede Canvas Auction.

    Canvas Auction Numbers Up Canvas Auction Numbers Up

home_b4_blog

Summer of Thunder

By Piper Whelan

Medicine Hat’s Terri Clark has produced myriad hits over her two decades in Nashville, and she’ll return to the prairies this summer for two noteworthy country music festivals. In July, fans can enjoy Clark’s upbeat set at Country Thunder Saskatchewan in Craven (July 13-16). She performs on Sunday, July 16, and is looking forward to going on before fellow country star Keith Urban. “He’s, to me, just the most legitimate talent we have in our format,” she says a day after a show at the Grand Ole Opry where both she and Urban performed. “We haven’t worked together on the stage in a long, long time, so it’s going to be fun.”

In August, Clark will be back in her home province for Country Thunder Alberta in Calgary (August 18-20). After the success of last year’s inaugural Country Thunder Alberta, Clark is excited to play to an audience in the province she grew up in, and fans can look forward to an energetic show when Clark hits the stage on Saturday, August 19.

These are just two of Clark’s tour stops in a jam-packed summer that will take her from Tacoma, Washington to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. In addition to a busy tour schedule, she has many projects on the go, including collaborations with some friends in the industry. “I just want to start doing some things that are a bit different, and keep things fresh for me, too, as an artist, as well as the audience,” she says. You can also hear Clark interview country artists on her weekly radio show Country Gold, which now airs on 120 stations. As well, she has plans for new music in the works. “I’m doing a bunch of work this summer on the road, and I’m writing songs and I’m going to start recording new music this summer … so I’m going to be busy for a while,” she laughs. “No slowing down.”

Vimy Ridge – 100 Years Later

Pack horses taking up ammunition to the guns of the 20th Battery Canadian Field Artillery, Vimy Ridge, April 1917.

 

BY TODD LEMIEUX

In the depths of trench warfare, the assault on Vimy Ridge began on Easter Monday at 05:30 AM April 9th, 1917.  By April 12th, through Canadian tactical and strategic innovation, and a radical departure from warfare at the time, Vimy Ridge would be captured.  The cost was tremendous, 3,598 Canadian dead and 7,004 wounded, an average casualty rate of 147 soldiers per hour of battle.

Both the British and French had previously tried to dislodge the Germans from Vimy with no success.  A combination of Canadian pioneer spirit, meticulous planning, study of previous failures, crafty use of “creeping barrage” artillery, and “leapfrogging” of Canadian units to maintain a crushing forward momentum, ultimately took Vimy under 72 hours. The German Army had held Vimy and repelled attacks successfully for 3 years prior.

The taking of Vimy Ridge, Easter Monday 1917, by Richard Jack.

*

Vimy represents much more than just an isolated battle in terrible war.  The Canadian Corps radical change from contemporary British warfare tactics of the day represents the first departure and a distinct move towards independent thinking and nationhood from the encompassing British Commonwealth. For Canadian soldiers on the ground, most of a rural background, the fastest and most efficient was the only way to get things done. They cared not for antiquated protocol, especially when their lives were hanging in the balance. It was this thinking that drove innovation and battlefield success.

The Vimy memorial, unveiled on July 26th, 1936, stands as a beacon to our nation’s determination and strength in the face of adversity. France has granted the land that it stands on, to Canada, for all time.

The Vimy Ridge memorial.

*

On April 9th, 2017, take a moment to stop and consider the lump rising in the throat of a young Canadian kid, as he stepped to move forward and walk behind the barrage and advance up that daunting ridge.

It is our Canada now, but they earned it for us, forged in fire, steel and blood.

Canadian Calvary moves to position at Vimy Ridge.

*

I became a Canadian on Vimy Ridge…
We became a nation there in the eyes of the world. It cut across French and English, rich and poor, urban and rural. Vimy Ridge confirmed that we were as good as, if not better than, any European power.

– Reginald Roy, WW1 Veteran

Canadians advancing on the scarred landscape of Vimy Ridge.

Decadent Dessert

 

 

By Ingrid Schulz

Rob and Jody Bolton toured the best barbecue houses in Texas, joints like Franklin Barbecue in Austin, and Blacks Barbecue in Lockhart, before they swung open the doors of their own style of barbecue house – Big Sky BBQ, just outside of Okotoks, Alberta. Every day they crank out such revered barbecued staples as smoked pulled pork or chicken, and homemade jalapeno cheddar sausage, matched with delicious sides of jalapeno corn bread, baked beans and coleslaw. With an ambience that can be described as eclectic West/biker, the restaurant is quickly becoming a local favorite for the dressed-up or casual. For events they offer a smoke-wagon catering service for small or large groups, but perhaps their biggest convenience appeal is the BBQ App they recently launched, where customers simply log on, place an order from the menu, pay and state what time they’d like to swing by the drive-through window to pick it up. You won’t even have to drop your trailer to access the drive-through as it is designed to accommodate truck-and-trailer combos!

While it’s the barbecue fare that brings in the customers, Big Sky is turning a few heads with it’s inventive and decadent desserts, like barbecue pit master Ryan’s signature bacon and whipped cream-dripped chocolate chip cookie. So good, we had to ask for the recipe.

Barbecue Chocolate Cookie with Maple Bacon Drizzle
Total Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Total Servings: 16 cookies
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:
Whip cream    ½ cup
Candied bacon (for whip cream)    1 strip

Brown sugar    1 cup
Butter (softened)    1 cup
White sugar    1 cup
Eggs    2
Vanilla extract    1/8 cup
All purpose flour    3 cups
Baking soda     1 tsp
Salt    ½ tsp
Chocolate chips    2 cups
Smoked candy bacon    10 strips
Warm water    1/8 cup

Method

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together with the butter, and make sure it is well mixed with the chopped bacon.
  2. When the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed, mix in all the liquid ingredients very slowly until you get a smooth dough ball.
  3. When the dough is ready cover it and let it rest in the fridge for an hour.
  4. After an hour your dough is ready.
  5. Portion your cookie dough into four-ounce balls and place them on the cookie sheet.
  6. Pre-heat the oven for 280°F. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes.
  7. While the cookies are baking whip the cream and add a bit of crumbled candied bacon to the final whip.
  8. Pull out the cookies and let rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Decorate with whipped cream and candied bacon.
  10. For an extra kick of decadence, drizzle warmed caramel sauce over the entire cookie and whipped cream.

Thanks to Rob Bolton for this recipe and barbecue talk. Visit Big Sky BBQ on the north side of Okotoks, or at www.bigskybbq.ca or download their app, Big Sky BBQ Pit.

Oldstoberfest Returns for Second Round

  The unique event that combines rodeo with an Ocktoberfest swing to it is returning to Alberta this September 15-16 at the Olds Regional Exhibition grounds. In 2015, the event brought over 8,000 visitors into the town with a professional rodeo, an authentic Biergarten and world class concerts. Under new ownership of C5 Rodeo Company, Oldstoberfest will now return […]

[Continue reading…]

Mane Event 2017

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MANE EVENT It’s Spring and that means the Mane Event, Red Deer, AB, is just around the corner! Elevate your riding skills and learn how to communicate better with your horse at the upcoming Mane Event, Equine Education and Trade Fair April 21 – 23, 2017 at Westerner Park in […]

[Continue reading…]

Canvas Auction Numbers Up

In a show of strong community support for the sport of chuckwagon racing, the total auction proceeds this evening are $2,420,500 up $123,000 from 2016. Kelly Sutherland takes home the top bid of the night, $110,000, courtesy of Friends of the King. “This sport has deep roots in our city and in our country, and tonight’s bidding […]

[Continue reading…]

Colt Starting for A Great Cause

The Okotoks Agricultural Society will play host to a special event this Sunday, March 19, as a one-day colt starting demonstration will be conducted by Alex Alves (Bassano, AB) and Nick Baer (Olds, AB) – all in support of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. All proceeds generated from the event will be donated directly to […]

[Continue reading…]

BAR T5 Agra Services Inc. – More Than Trailers

Approximately 35 years ago, Greg Thomson and his family moved to the beautiful foothills of Alberta. After leaving a career in petroleum marketing and an enjoyable six year sojourn as a Councillor for the M.D. of Foothills, Greg decided to pursue his entrepreneurial instincts. A love of rural life, animals and business resulted in the […]

[Continue reading…]

6th Annual Saskatchewan Equine Expo

  SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – Prairieland Park organizers and the Saskatchewan Equine Expo committee would like to thank their partners The Saskatchewan Horse Federation and the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, along with all the sponsors, the media and volunteers who helped to make the 6th Annual Saskatchewan Equine Expo such an amazing success. The 6th […]

[Continue reading…]