By Lucie Roy
St. Albert – The Centralta Tourism Society (CTS) held their annual general meeting Mar. 24 at the NABI Centre in St. Albert. Sixteen CTS members from Legal, St. Albert and Morinville were in attendance to discuss and set the organization’s priorities for 2012.
Among the initiatives discussed were the first stage of CTS’s École Citadelle project which will run until June and examines the history of the school, including the historical significance of the school and the contributions people have made to the development of the school. CTS is looking for those connected to the school through the town, school board, committees, teachers, students and parents. Stories ranging from 500-5,000 words in length will be collected, preferably in French and covering the challenges, obstacles and contributions since the school opened in 1990. Centralta Tourism Society Coordinator Erest Chauvet said deadline for the project is Apr. 30. Information will be retained until such time as the organization has funds to publish a book on the information collected.
Other projects tabled during the meeting included ideas for the Town of Legal’s 100th anniversary in two years. The Village of Legal became a reality Feb. 20, 1914, though homesteads were in the region since 1894.
The meeting also reflected on some of the things the group has worked on over the past year. CTS contracted two murals to go in Morinville’s St. Jean Baptiste Park, one on Christendom, the other on Alexander First Nation. Stands for the murals are already in place in the park on the west side of St. Jean Baptiste Church. Seven vignettes were also approved for installation in St. Jean Baptiste Park. Themes for the vignettes include the Cardiff Coal Mine, military, the festivals, medicine, Father Primeau, agriculture and Hotels. The project involved local artists, including Karen Blanchet, Jacques Martel, Doris Charest and students from MCHS.
The Mar. 24 annual general meeting was followed by a special evening recognizing the Honourable Ken Kowalski and his wife Kristina as well as recognizing Louis and Mary Forcade for their volunteer service. The event was held at the Community Hall in St. Albert and included French Canadian music and comedy. Kowalski was instrumental in the Francophone monument at the Alberta Legislature and was a constant defender of the French language and people. The CTS recognized the contribution the Forcades made, and mention was made of the iron monument commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the 200 plus hours of volunteer labour Forcade put into it.