Authors Posts by Jo-Anne Fischer Cassidy

Jo-Anne Fischer Cassidy

Jo-Anne Fischer Cassidy


    2015 Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Inductee impresses the Great One and others everyday.

    Photo Credit: Grant Olson


    Each year, notables from the world of sports are inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. The list of inductees for 2015 includes Joey Moss, a man of humble beginnings, who has overcome the odds to become a mainstay in the locker room for the Edmonton Oilers and the Edmonton Eskimos sports teamsand an inspiration to people everywhere.

    Hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky feels that Joey Moss was “put on earth for a reason.” He “can’t say enough” about how Joey has “opened so many doors for mentally-challenged kids.”

    The Canadian Down Syndrome Society also named Joey an “Ambassador” for their 2015 conference in Edmonton, saying “Joey’s accomplishments make him the perfect representative for Edmonton.”

    Joey’s numerous honours and achievements encompass the National Hockey League’s 2003 Seventh Man Award for outstanding contributions to the league off the ice; a City of Edmonton-commissioned mural on 99th Street; the Winnifred Stewart Association’s assisted-living facility, which carries his name (Joey’s Home); a City of Edmonton Mayor’s Award in 2007, and more.

    Joey Moss entered the world in 1963, as the 12th child (of 13) of Sophie and Lloyd Moss, a modest Edmonton couple. Joey was born with an extra chromosome, a condition known as Down Syndrome, which generally includes varying degrees of developmental delay or disability. At the time, people with Down Syndrome were sometimes institutionalized, but Joey remained at home with his family. He was educated at the Winnifred Stewart School, and took part in family activities—from playing street hockey to occasionally strumming a guitar with the Moss family band, which toured the North and won many festival awards.

    Photo Credit: Scott Shymko

    Joey’s fame really started when his older sister, Vikki, began dating a young hockey player in town, Wayne Gretzky. Vikki—now a designer, business owner, wife and mother, based in California—was the 11th child, following several brothers. Lloyd Moss died in 1977, and the family was not well-off.  As Vikki tells it, their fun was mostly playing in a park across the street from their home.

    Vikki was a tomboy, who met Wayne Gretzky before he went pro, and she was treated like one of the guys. When she was 17 and Wayne was 18, they started dating, and her younger brothers, Joey and Stephen, were often tagging along with her, as they had been since she was a young child.

    As a typical young woman wanting to be independent, attempting to develop her own career as a singer, Vikki was not always overjoyed to have her siblings hanging around. However, Wayne developed an affinity with her brothers, and would often invite Steve and Joe to join in on activities. Wayne would do things to make the boys feel special, such as inviting them to golf tournaments and having them make the last putt, or flying Joey to the Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp. Eventually, Vikki and Wayne moved in together, and he would bring Joey to their home on weekends.

    According to younger brother, Stephen Moss, Joey’s guardian, who lives and works in Edmonton, Joey began to be recognized, and he would often be asked to participate in other activities or charitable events. Joey enjoyed the activities, and the invitations have continued to this day. He still engages in many enterprises, whenever possible. Vikki says the family is “proud and overjoyed” about Joey’s involvements and success.

    The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, is still so inspired by Joey that, when informed by Vikki about this article, he volunteered to call and be interviewed (while in an airport, en route to a family vacation!) about his perspective.

    Wayne has personal experience with developmental disabilities through his dad’s sister, who lived with Down Syndrome, while Wayne was growing up.  She was born in the 1950s, when children were often placed in institutions to live, and sometimes, overmedicated. Wayne’s Polish grandmother could not read or write, but she had opinions and was against institutionalization.

    “Wayne recalls that Joey was ‘a breath of fresh air’ in the Oilers dressing room.”
    Photo Credit: Grant Olson

    Therefore, when Wayne met Joey Moss, he connected to him in a special way. The hockey player understood “Joey was from a good family” and noted “Sophie (Joey’s mom) treated him like everyone else.” After Joey’s graduation from school, he was working in a bottle depot for $1 per hour. Wayne went to his coach, Glen Sather, and asked if the Edmonton Oilers could employ Joe in their locker room. Two years later, Joey started working for the Edmonton Eskimos in a similar capacity, and he is still a fixture in the teams’ locker rooms to this day.

    Wayne recalls that Joey was “a breath of fresh air” in the Oilers dressing room. Whenever the Oilers lost a game, especially in the playoffs, Joey “always had a smile and a positive outlook” that uplifted the team.

    Wayne also credits the people of Edmonton, and the Oilers and Eskimo organizations, for accepting Joey. As he puts it, “Kevin (Lowe), Paul (Coffey) and Mark (Messier) accepted him (Joey), and then he was accepted by others.”

    Wayne notes that he has “seen it all” in regard to how society has treated people with developmental challenges over the years—from the days when those with disabilities were “hidden away” to the more open and welcoming attitudes of today. He continues to support Joey and others like him.

    Joey’s family, in turn, credits Wayne Gretzky with helping to improve their lives. It is known that when Sophie Moss was trying to raise her family on her own, after Lloyd passed on,

    Wayne hired her to look after his fan mail. Suggesting Joey for the job in the Oilers locker room was another of Gretzky’s acts of kindness. Stephen Moss avows that Wayne “improved Joey’s lifestyle by 1000%” with that single action. Stephen also mentions Lyle Kulchisky, (former Edmonton Oilers Equipment Manager; known as “Sparky”), Barry Stafford (former Oilers Head Equipment Manager), and Dwayne Mandrusiak (Edmonton Eskimos Equipment Manager) as Joey’s important friends and mentors.

    “Joey has opened so many doors for mentally-challenged kids.”
    Photo Supplied by Edmonton Eskimo Football Club

    Spending time with Joey, one appreciates his cheerful nature. He was delighted about the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. In addition to sports, his joys include his family, watching movies, especially “007 (James Bond),” and eating hamburgers and French fries, “but not all the time.” His friend “Sparky,” whom Joey’s younger brother, Stephen, calls “a huge influence in Joey’s life,” taught Joey the importance of eating “good food, healthy food,” such as tuna, apples, grapes and oats.

    When questioned, Joey calls Taylor Hall his current favourite hockey player, and all of the Eskimos, his favourite football players. The Eskimos football camp each year excites him.

    Joey’s hero is his brother, Stephen, because “he helps me a lot.”

    Joey is fond of helping people, and according to Stephen, seems to understand and appreciate his celebrity status.

    Stephen, whose own young family and work take up a lot of his time, wishes he was retired, to be able to help Joey more. At age 51, Joey is slowing down a bit.

    The Moss family is proud of, and a bit surprised at, all of the accolades and opportunities that have come Joey’s way. At the same time, he works hard, and earns the recognition. The Moss family, Wayne Gretzky, and Joey’s other friends will continue to support him in the future, as he affects and influences others. Joey will go forward with enthusiasm, as always.

    Check out Joey’s Alberta Sports Hall of Fame induction on YouTube.



    Tennis champion and 6-time Grey Cup winner make health a priority together.

    Photography by Grant Olson


    Jan Penning and Tom Towns are an Edmonton couple who thoroughly believe in doing their utmost to stay healthy and well.

    Tom, an Edmonton Eskimos football star, who played from 1975-1984 (winning six Grey Cups) is now an accomplished business owner and jewellery designer with Kline Fine Jewellery and Design. Jan is a skilled dental hygienist, and a long-time competitive tennis player, who most recently won the Tennis Canada Women’s Western Indoor Championship (ages 60+), in April.


    After dating briefly in the 1970s, Tom and Jan married other people, and each had two children, now grown. Jan had moved to Toronto, while Tom made his life in Edmonton.

    After their marriages ended, fate brought Jan and Tom together again in late 2002. In November, Jan and her daughter, Jasmine, who now lived in Edmonton, met at the US Open (Tennis Championships). Jasmine wasn’t wearing a piece of jewellery that Jan had given her, and Jan wondered what had become of it. Jasmine explained the jewellery needed repairs, and suggested when Jan came to Edmonton they could get the piece fixed at Jasmine’s favoured shop—which happened to be Tom’s store.

    DSC_5290-3Eventually, the women went to Tom’s business to have the repairs done. Jan wasn’t certain Tom would recognize her—and he didn’t. Jasmine re-introduced them, and Tom questioned, “My Jan?” The relationship rekindled then and there.

    After about a year of monthly visits to Edmonton by Jan, Tom suggested she move here. Jan got her registration to work as a dental hygienist in Alberta, and began “temping” in both Edmonton and Toronto. In 2003, she relocated here permanently.

    “Live life with passion.”

    In 2013, at an Easter dinner with friends, Tom surprised everyone by proposing to Jan, putting a wine wrapper on her finger. The jeweller later replaced the wrapper with a beautiful ring. The couple combined an already-planned sailing trip in Greece with a romantic wedding on the island of Mykonos.

    DSC_5342-2-2These days, both have busy schedules filled with family and work. Jan takes the lead in regard to fitness and nutrition in the household, but Tom does most of the cooking. They happily live life together, but allow each other to “do their own thing.”

    An athlete all her life, Jan loves all sports, especially tennis; gymnastics; downhill skiing; waterskiing; long-distance running; dancing, and, occasionally, golf. Her philosophy is to “be fit for life,” and includes eating well about 90% of the time, and allowing herself to “cheat” the other 10%.

    Jan’s athletic past includes twice participating on Canadian National Teams in tennis, winning two Easter Indoor Tennis Championships, being a finalist in a couple of Western championships, and running two marathons for fun, in Toronto. Her long-term goal is to make the national team (over 60s) for next year. Jan competes “for the love of sport—not for money.”

    Jan frequents the Royal Glenora Club for fitness and training. Her routine starts about 5:30 am, with about 1 ½ hours of tennis before she heads to work. Since she started training in the morning, Jan finds she doesn’t get stressed and is happier in her day to day life. She is able to “let things go” more easily. She also has a personal “mantra” she employs on the tennis court, tapping her leg to help her get rid of negative thoughts.

    Wednesday nights, Jan practices tennis with a group of other provincial and national female competitors, aged 30-73 years. She also takes private tennis lessons. In all, she estimates she plays tennis about 12 hours per week.

    DSC_5209-3Jan and Tom also took up yoga, at Tom’s suggestion. After tennis, Jan tries to do 20 minutes of yoga to help protect her from injuries. Tom uses it to stay flexible after his long football career.

    After previous shoulder surgery, Jan also benefits from a physiotherapy session on occasion.

    Jan and Tom also have a weight room in their home, and Jan works out there at least four times each week. Tom likes to use their elliptical machine and do weights, as well. In addition, Jan is an avid gardener who does all of her own yard work. Tom plays some tennis, too, and occasionally takes part in other fitness activities.

    “Staying healthy and fit.”

    Moreover, Tom and Jan’s healthy way of living encompasses good nutrition. Jan starts most mornings with a special shake—comprised of almond milk; high-quality protein powder; avocado; kale, and a whole banana. Sometimes, she might eat a two-egg omelet, with some mozzarella cheese; mushrooms; and ham, along with fruit on the side.

    DSC_5215-3As mentioned earlier, Tom is the chef in the household, with a great reputation among friends and family. He learned his culinary skills on his own, and possesses a cupboard full of recipe books, including a 1993 Edmonton Eskimos Championship cookbook. He employs recipes as a guide, making each dish his own. Tom concocts signature fare such as prime rib; beef tenderloin on the rotisserie; and a turkey breast roll with cranberry and cherry stuffing, accompanied by his cranberry sauce.

    Jan Penning and Tom Towns live life together with passion, letting each other be who they are, and respecting each other’s independence. Staying healthy and fit, and eating well, allows them to do what they enjoy. Jan plans to compete in tennis into her 90s!



    Discover Wonderfall in Lake Louise


    Mountains beckon nature-lovers at any time of year. Winter snow brings skiers and snowmobilers; spring offers wildflowers and animals waking from their long winter sleeps; summer presents numerous activities and opportunities for adventure, such as fishing, golf and hikes into high mountain meadows. But, what about autumn?

    Surprisingly, this can be a somewhat forgotten period in the mountain calendar for tourists and explorers. However, it can also be a hidden gem for those who want to avoid the crowds of summer and the cold temperatures of winter.

    Lake Louise is a stunning destination at any time of year. In autumn, the Larch trees put on a special golden show in the region, creating a magical experience for visitors.

    Banff & Lake Louise Tourism recognizes this spectacle with Lake Louise Wonderfall until October 12th, 2015, assembling an awesome array of activities, accommodations, and amazing cuisine options for travellers. The Lake Louise Wonderfall experience allows you to luxuriate in extraordinary scenery, participate in all sorts of outdoor and indoor pursuits, and enjoy an alpine picnic or dine in a fine restaurant specializing in haute cuisine.

    “Paddling through the breathtaking blue waters can soothe your soul.”


    _47A4788 (1)A multitude of wild animals lives in Banff National Park and Lake Louise. For those with a keen interest in wildlife, there are a number of ways to safely seek out viewings. Parks Canada can direct you to scenic hikes in the back country, where you are more likely to see animals in their natural settings. Trained guides can also lead you on targeted treks with critters in mind. There are also great locations for birdwatchers to hang out and spy feathered friends. Driving or biking the panoramic roadways might also bring you into closer contact with wildlife. Whatever you do, make sure you are properly prepared for your adventures, to keep you and the animals safe.


    To help you capture amazing images of all the displays of flora and fauna, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is offering a fabulous “Fall Photography Weekend Package” with instructional indoor and outdoor workshops led by celebrated nature photographer, Richard Berry, on September 18th and 19th.


    Untitled1WELLNESS presents fitness expert Susan Agrios, who guides participants on an enchanting, healthful journey—hiking, meditating, and practicing yoga—through the amazing mountain country, from September 18th-20th. Google “Training by Agrios” to register for the retreat.

    Throughout the month of September, on Saturdays and Sundays, Parks Canada teaches visitors to geocache. Meet at the Lake Louise Campground Theatre and learn how to seek and find hidden “treasures” using a supplied GPS device.

    2015 is also the 75th Anniversary of the fabled Icefields Parkway. This famous scenic route guides you through mountain highlands full of turquoise sparkling lakes and vivid glaciers, highlighting unparalleled vistas. Parks Canada encourages you to take it in with their complimentary Icefields Parkway Explorers booklets, available at the Lake Louise Visitor Information Centre.

    For those who feel the pull of the water, canoe and kayak rentals are available throughout the park, and at Lake Louise, in particular. Paddling through the breathtaking blue waters can soothe your soul.

    Another way to appreciate the magnificent scenery is by going on a trail ride. Brewster Lake Louise Stables and Timberline Tours proffer numerous choices, including a “Spooktacular” option.

    Alternatives abound for hikers, too. Choose an easy ramble such as the Bow Summit Lookout trail, or have tea at the top, with moderate hikes to the Plain of Six Glaciers the Lake Agnes Teahouse. If you desire a more demanding track, the enticingly-named Paradise Valley & Giant Steps trek, or the Boulder Pass route will meet your expectations. No matter which way you walk, the majestic views of the mountain scenes and fall colours will delight you.


    _47A5000If all of the activity makes you hungry, the Lake Louise Sightseeing Gondola and Whitehorn Lodge Restaurant proposes either the “Lift, Lunch and Larches” package or the “Gondola and Gourmet” option. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise presents more dining choices, in their Fairview or Walliser Stube restaurants. A host of other eating alternatives is available in and around the lake and village. Visit Poppy Brasserie, the Baker Creek Bistro, Laggan’s Mountain Bakery or the renowned Post Hotel & Spa. You can find everything from mountain cuisine to continental to pasta and pizza.

    “The Larch trees put on a golden show.”

    So, if you’re looking for an autumn getaway that will stir all of your senses, “Wonderfall” is the perfect time to visit Lake Louise!


    For more information on Wonderfall, go to:

    A bit of history:

    Both Lake Louise and the province of Alberta were christened for Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, whose husband was Canada’s Governor General from 1878 to 1883. Sadly, the Princess never saw the beautiful lake, nor the province, which were later named after her.


    Enter for your chance to win 1 of 5 great prizes from Banff & Lake Louise Tourism by sharing your favourite Wonderfall photos on Instagram or Twitter hashtag #lakelouisewonderfall between September 5th and October 12th.



    An Organic Foods Primer

    “Organic” has become a buzzword in regard to healthy eating – but, what does it really mean for you and your family?

    How can you be sure to buy foods that are safe to eat, and are truly organic? Is organic food always better for you?

    Years ago, organic food was everywhere, as people grew their own food, and kept their own animals. Later, farms became larger, and more impersonal. New ideas about producing food introduced chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics – in theory, to grow bigger, stronger, and healthier food products, and reduce disease in plants, and animals. With similar aims, scientists began to experiment with modifying foods genetically. Recently, science has shown that these methods may sometimes cause other problems, such as antibiotic resistance, certain types of cancer, harm to the environment, and animal welfare issues.

    Thus, there has been a revival of organic farming. Again, juicy, vibrant, and tasty organic produce is cultivated in Alberta’s magnificent farmland. More organic alternatives come to us from around the world.

     “Tasty organic produce is cultivated in Alberta … ”

    Producers such as Sunrise Gardens’ Dawn Boileau and Kate Hook work to bring their food to market. They assert additional reasons for growing, and going, organic: “We are passionate about growing organically for many of the same reasons a consumer may buy organic food. Buying organic is a good way of using your dollar as a tool for change. The organic system in Canada encourages and regulates a more earth-friendly approach to sustainable farming practices. Healthy soil equals more nutritious food equals healthier consumers. Buying organic now means contributing to a healthier planet in the long run.”

    Organic producers now sell their wares at farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and supermarkets, and some growers even deliver foodstuffs to your home.

    “Buying organic now means contributing to a healthier planet in the long run.”

    To aid you in making the best food choices, the Government of Canada, in response to consumers and producers, created the Canada Organic Regime. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CIFA) oversees the organic agricultural industry, so Canadians can make informed decisions about their nutrition.

    The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CIFA) states:

    • As of June 30, 2009, any product with an organic claim must comply with the requirements of the Organic Products Regulations.
    • Only products with organic content that is greater than or equal to 95% may be labelled as: “Organic” or bear the organic logo.
    • Multi-ingredient products with 70-95% organic content may have the declaration: “contains x% organic ingredients.” These products may not use the organic logo and/or the claim “Organic.”
    • Multi-ingredient products with less than 70% organic content may only contain organic claims in the product’s ingredient list. These products may not use the organic logo.
    • Certified organic products must also bear the name of the certification body that has certified the product as organic.

    More detailed information on how to identify organic products in Canada, certification, and regulations, can be found at the CIFA website:

    Organic Specialists:

    Sunrise Gardens
    Planet Organic
    The Organic Box
    Roots on Whyte
    Earth’s General Store
    Canadian Organic Growers
    Organic Alberta
    Organic Producers Directory


    Community Gardens Come Alive in Edmonton

    Most Edmontonians would be surprised to know that the city’s first community gardens came into existence in the early 1900s.

    At that time, the gardens were known as “Vacant Lot Gardens.” According to the Edmonton Horticultural Society (EHS), “World War I brought food shortages which made vegetable gardening a matter of public policy,” and in 1916, a Vacant Lots Garden Club was formed, using empty land to cultivate much-needed produce. The Horticultural Society and the Garden Club soon became one entity, and the program, managed under the EHS, continued to rent out vacant lots in varying numbers (sometimes in the thousands) over the past century, with those numbers often dependent on the economy or political situations, such as during the Depression or in war years.

    Edmonton’s long history of community gardening is experiencing a resurgence – thanks to increasing interest in sustainable food supplies, obtaining local foods, and reducing the amounts of pesticides and herbicides in the food we eat.

    Though Edmonton’s growing season can often be short, the city’s northern location results in long days. In addition, the Government of Canada’s Canada Land Inventory states that much of the Edmonton area has “high quality agricultural soil.” These factors are conducive to good gardening in our city.

    Today, Edmontonians by the thousands are creating communal gardens with numerous types of crops, for a variety of reasons. Living in a predominantly urban environment, many people simply want to be connected to their surroundings, and the food they eat. Others want to promote the local food movement, reducing global transportation of food stuffs, and the effects of corporate farming on the environment. Another group of citizens may wish to increase opportunities to improve nutrition, or eat organically, with less exposure to sometimes toxic chemicals. Many plant trees to improve air quality and help to reduce ozone in the atmosphere. Others see community gardening as a way to enjoy nature, get some exercise, or expose their children to growing things. And, some persons aim to beautify the urban environment, by growing plants, flowers and increasing green space to please the eye.

    “Citizens connect with their neighbours”

    In addition, with shared gardens, citizens connect with their neighbours in a way that is not always possible in a large city. These growers can also share and gain information about gardening in a social way. Community gardeners (as well as those with private gardens) also contribute food to those less fortunate, through organizations such as Plant a Row • Grow a Row, which encourages gardeners to cultivate extra produce for donation. This fresh fare is then distributed to the less-fortunate.


    Also, many studies have suggested that community gardens contribute to safer neighbourhoods, increased property values, and the general mental, and physical, health, and well-being of citizens.

    The City of Edmonton, and the non-profit group Sustainable Food Edmonton, support community gardening in the municipal area, and are excellent resources to use for people interested in starting, or joining, a garden initiative here. The two groups work together, along with community leagues, to assist residents throughout the process.

    “Beautify the urban environment”

    Currently, according to the city’s website, Edmonton boasts more than “30 community garden groups” and “60 different garden sites.” More exist in the wider metropolitan area. Fulton Place Community League is presently developing a community garden. The University of Alberta has its “Campus Garden,” as do other schools. Some churches have set up communal plots, as well. The Strathcona Community Rail Garden is another unique space. The diversity of the sites, dependent on the people involved in their creation, adds another dimension to the community garden experience.

    Sustainable Food Edmonton’s (SFE) website gives detailed advice on starting and maintaining community gardens, and several more related topics, from urban agriculture, to composting, to involving children in gardening. SFE can even arrange workshops with their Community Garden Facilitator for groups of people interested in starting their own garden initiative.

    If someone desires to learn about gardening in general, the sources above, area schools, and garden centres, offer multitudes of courses to teach individuals almost anything one could want to know about the subject.

    Community gardens provide Edmonton residents with near-endless possibilities to improve their health and wellness, improve the environment, contribute to society, be creative, and have fun!


    Online Resources:

    City of Edmonton

    Sustainable Food Edmonton

    Edmonton Horticultural Society

    Plant a Row • Grow a Row

    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

    Alberta Agriculture



    Activate a Plan for Your Family

    Rona Ambrose-01Over 50% of children in Canada are not doing enough to achieve their “optimal growth and development,” according to studies cited by Health Canada. This shocking statistic should be enough to motivate parents to work with their offspring to improve diets and increase physical activity – but where do they start?

    Busy parents are often overwhelmed with day to day chores and activities, and may feel that they do not have the time, money or means, to tackle the necessary task of working to improve their child’s health and fitness. However, there are fairly easy ways to access knowledge and support services.

    One approach to start with is to visit your family doctor for advice. These days, not every family is able to have their own family physician, or pediatrician, but there are many walk-in clinics, as well as provincial health centres, with professionals available to provide guidance.

    The Dieticians of Canada website has valuable reference material for families, including information on how to locate a dietician in your area, to work with you to create a healthy eating plan.

    “Get up off the sofa, turn off the electronic devices, and move!”

    Government websites and agencies are another place to begin a search. All levels of government provide health information online, and often have programs in place to assist families in their pursuit of wellness.

    For example, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Canada’s Minister of Health, recently announced a new Government of Canada project, The Play Exchange, a contest which asks Canadians to send their ideas to help youngsters “get moving.” The aim is to assist the development of new initiatives, improve fitness, and reduce chronic disease among youth. Judges will choose the most promising contest ideas; community and business leaders will mentor contestants to develop the concepts; and in January 2015, the finest innovations will be highlighted on TV, and voted upon by the public. Up to $1 million will be awarded to the winner to bring the top idea to fruition.

    In addition, “The Play Exchange’s Active at School Challenge is looking for the best idea in each province and territory that helps children achieve one hour of physical activity every day. The Play Exchange’s Active at School Challenge will provide $3,000 to the top innovation, entered by a school , in each province and territory.”

    Moreover, the federal government revived the popular ParticipACTION plan a few years ago. It also created a Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, which allows parents to claim up to $500 for eligible fitness program fees for children under the age of 16 (or 18, if the child has a disability).

    Closer to home, the City of Edmonton works to ensure young citizens are “welcome and involved” and “promotes their well-being and safety,” through Child Friendly Edmonton. The plan highlights kid-friendly parks, pools, rinks and playgrounds; activities such as day-camps, sports teams, and art programs or performances; and visits to locations like the John Janzen Nature Centre, Edmonton Valley Zoo, or City Farm.

    The provincial government has information and initiatives for children in Alberta, as well. In 2010, it launched the website, Raising Children, which coordinates information regarding children aged 0-6. Additionally, a co-departmental approach is used, with Alberta Education and Alberta Health in the forefront through school and health care programs.

    With a little research, you can locate other health and fitness resources to boost your child’s well-being. Alberta Recreation and Parks Association oversees Everybody Gets to Play, which was developed by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association. This project aims to increase access to recreation for youth from lower income families.

    “There are easy ways to access knowledge and support services.”

    Sports for Kids provides child care along with physical activity, for ages 3 to 16, in the Edmonton Westmount area. The organization offers fitness experiences and instruction for youth in attendance.

    Don’t forget to check the options and facilities available through your local community league. For more than 90 years, the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues has featured all sorts of recreational choices for families.

    The most important thing to do for your child and your family is to get up off the sofa, turn off the electronic devices, and move indoors or out. You will save yourselves from a lifetime of health problems, feel better, and accomplish more with your lives!



    Alberta Health Services
    Alberta Recreation and Parks Association
    City of Edmonton
    College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta
    Dieticians of Canada
    Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues
    Government of Canada
    Health Canada
    The Play Exchange
    Raising Children
    Sports for Kids


    Carole Anne Cover-01Carole Anne Devaney declares that she has no motivation to exercise, but this influential woman doesn’t let that idiosyncrasy stop her, as she maintains a hectic schedule of fitness, work, and volunteer activities.

    Carole Anne is now a popular staple in the Edmonton television news scene, after arriving from Ottawa in 2008. Following a  stint with the CBC, she moved to Global TV in 2011. After a few months, Global recognized Carole Anne’s abilities, and promoted the Edmonton newcomer to the news anchor desk. The top-rated anchor is also in demand as an emcee and host (speaking three languages), and assists many charitable groups in the Edmonton area.

    In order to keep up with her busy life and career, Carole Anne must stay in good shape, and she was not always in tip-top form. Several years ago, this active woman faced real problems with her neck and back, brought on by years of competitive gymnastics. The situation got so bad that she decided to make changes in her life. She started working out with personal trainer Carrie Robinson, whom the newswoman credits with rebuilding her body. Carole Anne declares, “It was the best health investment I ever made.” She credits it with totally changing her life and says she now feels “so nimble.”

    “I don’t enjoy the workout itself, but I enjoy how I feel afterward.”

    Yoga and meditation have become Carole Anne’s favourite fitness tools, but this dynamic broadcaster often changes it up by walking her dog, doing stairs (which she loves!) and occasionally, going to the gym. She asserts, “I don’t enjoy the workout itself, but I enjoy how I feel afterward.” She prefers to take a break from her fitness regime on weekends.

    There is a gym in the building where Carole Anne resides with her firefighter husband, Connor, and the energetic TV anchor will occasionally take advantage of the elliptical machine there, or do some circuit training.

    Carole Anne also suggests that she loves to eat, and works out so that she can enjoy her favourite foods without guilt.

    “It was the best health investment I ever made.”

    bust5(1)This mover and shaker’s fitness practice helps her to keep up with an on-the-go work and social life. In addition, it boosts her energy levels, so that she can aid others through her numerous charitable endeavours. Carole Anne gives back — with organizations such as Meals on Wheels; Bust a Move for the Alberta Cancer Foundation; and a relatively new event, Bloom, which combines yoga, music, and inspirational speakers. There is definitely a “wellness thread” running through these initiatives. Carole Anne aims to “help out as much as she can,” but notes that almost every hour of her life is scheduled. When she does discover some free time in her calendar, Carole Anne indulges in other activities that make her feel good, such as travelling, snowboarding, golfing, and attending the theatre.

    Setting an example that others can follow, Carole Anne lives life to the fullest. Her health and wellness routine certainly seems to be working for her.

    Carole Anne Tips-01

    Edmonton Resources:

    Prime Strength and Conditioning
    Flaman Fitness
    Sundance Ski & Board Shop
    Edmonton Municipal Golf Courses
    Alberta Motor Association (AMA) Travel



    Fresh Fit Foods innovative concept provides an enjoyable new way to get healthy. Advertising Feature Photography by Grant Olson Chicken & Fruit Snack No time to cook,...