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    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.



    Maintaining optimum health & fitness is more than just half a promise for this Sherwood Park power couple.

    Photography by Sean Williams
    Photography by Sean Williams

    Several years ago, Carrie Doll and her husband Stephen Petasky made a monumental lifestyle decision- to invest in their own health and ensure exercise, eating healthy and living well were the number one priorities in their lives. And for many (most!) of us, that goal always seems valiant and often half-hearted; but for Carrie and Stephen, their pledge was far from token.

    As the anchor for CTV Edmonton News at Six for 12 years, and 20 years in media, Carrie was always comfortable with being in the public spotlight, knowing that image, along with smarts and drive, go a long way in the world of media. Along with husband Stephen, who is founder and president of the Luxus Group – a successful company that offers luxury vacation properties, development and more – this dynamic duo already knew the importance of looking after themselves to become successful in life. But in the past few years, Carrie and Stephen have taken that general sense of well-being to the next level of fitness.

    “One thing we never compromise on is our health and our exercise. Because once that deteriorates, we deteriorate so it’s always a number one priority: it’s just a way of life for us now,” says Carrie. “Even when I am not feeling well, or I have a cold coming on, I’ll always drag my butt to the gym because after that workout and that boost of endorphins I feel better. It gives me a clear head and helps me function better through the day. I always say that exercise is my magic elixir,” she adds.

    And for both Carrie and Stephen, starting the day off early with an hour of morning exercise is vital to their success in life.

    “If we don’t [exercise], it feels like we are sacrificing our day, because we are less focused and our productivity goes down,” says Stephen.

    And with various business, charity and community commitments, being focused is essential for the power couple. Since leaving CTV a year ago, Carrie has started her own consulting business, and has also continued being a much sought after public speaker and facilitator, as well as being more involved as a principal with the Luxus Group, with husband Stephen.

    Besides their hectic business schedule, both are heavily involved in the community. Both Stephen and Carrie are co-chairs of the Glenrose Courage Gala, while Carrie is the chair of the Stollery Women’s Network, is the honourary chair for both the CIBC Run for the Cure and the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards, and is also involved with the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, the Zebra Foundation and Kids with Cancer, among many others over the years.

    “We want our kids to understand that it’s a way of life.”

    Stephen also sits on the Stollery Hospital board, and has taken over running the Tee Up For Tots, a charity golf tournament once managed by Kevin Lowe and Sam Abouhassen, and helped raise over $1 million last year for the Stollery. He is also on the exploration committee for Northlands to decide what to do with Rexall Place once the new downtown arena is built.

    “This community is our community and we have to take ownership of it. We always felt that if we want to see improvements [to the community] then we have to get involved. Instead of saying ‘this needs to be done, or that needs to be done’ we look at it from the perspective of how can we help, and how can we make a difference, and also, how can we motivate other people to get involved?” says Carrie.

    Stephen also echoes the same sentiment, but adds that selecting where to help can be challenging.

    “We look at something that is close to our heart, first and foremost. But we also look at where we can provide the biggest impact in the community,” says Stephen.

    But with all the commitments and more, finding time to exercise five to six times a week, plus yoga, mountain and road biking, or running in the river valley with their son Kasha and daughter Allegra, the goal of keeping fit is something they help and encourage each other attain.

    “Both of us are very respectful of each other’s work out time. We are very encouraging and supportive of each other. And the busier we get, we always remind each other to make time for exercise. In the past, it was easy for exercise to be the first thing that went out the window, but we’ve learned from those mistakes.

    Carrie Doll Article 4

    “There’s ebbs and flows to everything though. Some months we do just awesome, and some weeks we fall off the bandwagon a bit. But we both motivate each other and try to pull the other back on track if the wheel falls off,” says Carrie with a laugh.

    Part of that commitment comes from the fact that they do invest monetarily in personal trainers and more, but both agree that any money spent of staying healthy is the best investment they could ever make.

    “My problem used to be that I would go to the gym, talk my time away, and get absolutely nothing accomplished.”

    “My problem used to be that I would go to the gym, talk my time away, and get absolutely nothing accomplished. So I needed [a personal trainer] to keep me focused and push me beyond limits that I would ever push myself,” says Carrie.

    “I agree,” says Stephen. “If I’m paying for it, I want to make sure that I am getting more out of it. And if I’m not paying for it, I just don’t push myself enough, and it also makes me more accountable to the goals that I set,” he adds.

    But that’s not to say that Carrie and Stephen are not human as well, and admit that there are times when diet and life in general can get in the way of perfect optimum health, but both agree that when they do falter, they just work a little harder the next day.

    “We love champagne and sometimes when we go out we might indulge a bit much, but we make sure to drag our butt out of bed and jump on the treadmill. It’s the hardest thing to do, but after you’ve done it, you feel like a million bucks again,” says Carrie.

    Due to the nature of Luxus Group owning dozens of international vacation properties, business and travel often mix, and while the first thing to be packed is the runners, they do ‘vacation’ sometimes.

    “It’s always challenging for both of us to maintain our diet on vacation. Restaurants are the killer. We just love Italian food and when we are there we let our guard down in terms of diet,” says Stephen.

    As for their daily diet, both eat light and fresh, with regular green spinach protein shakes, plenty of big salads and a minimum of snacks.

    “One thing we never compromise on is our health and our exercise.”

    “Stephen is the cook. I’m a terrible cook!” laughs Carrie. “But he does such a great job and he gets very creative with things like salad, and even makes all his own dressings,” she adds.

    With such healthy living and eating, both are making sure to pass that wellness message down” to their two children.Carrie Doll Article 1

    “We want our kids to understand that it’s a way of life. So they see us exercising and that becomes their normal, and they understand that is part of being healthy and part of life,” says Stephen.

    As for their next fitness goals? Carrie is studiously contemplating tackling the New York City Marathon, as her trainer would like her to, while Stephen is heading down to the U.S. in a few months to take part in a simulated “Hell Week” with some friends that incorporates the same training that US Navy Seals endure complete with sleep deprivation and basic water ‘torture.’

    “Our goal is to just survive it, but I’m really excited about taking part. I think it’s going to be very tough mentally. I feel that will be the biggest challenge,” says Stephen.

    With hard training going on for almost a year now in preparation for “Hell Week” Stephen has been pushing himself beyond the usual limits.

    “It’s empowering for me to see the dedication and the hours that he’s putting into it to push the limits, which is great for anyone,” says Carrie.

    But both agree that while they have made health a major priority in their lives, they feel that anyone, no matter how busy, can attain the same goals by starting small and staying committed.

    “When it’s a priority, you make the time no matter what. Anybody can say they don’t have the time, but you have to find it in your day and a half hour is better than nothing. Once you make exercise part of your lifestyle, everything else changes in your life as well. You will find that you will eat better, sleep better and feel better,” says Carrie.

    Sounds like good advice.

    Carrie Doll Article 2



    Edmonton Eskimos CEO Len Rhodes has opened up his heart and home to providing a service dog for those in need

    Photography by Grant Olson

    When Len Rhodes took over as President and CEO of the Edmonton Eskimos in 2011, he knew that giving back to the community at large was an essential part of his role. While he has been involved in many philanthropic ventures over the years, including raising money for amateur football, to sitting on various community boards to helping women’s shelters. But one community society in particular has seen Len and his girlfriend Maureen open up their hearts and home for the past two years to help train and love a service dog for someone in need.

    Dogs With Wings is a local Edmonton organization that aims to assist people with disabilities by providing fully trained service dogs to people who are have either visually or mobility disabilities, and recently to children with autism as well.

    Their puppies, usually yellow or black Labradors, are put through an intense two-year training program for each dog that relies heavily on the good nature of it volunteers to open up their homes, time and energy, and more. Eventually, through the work of foster parents, trainers and community representatives, these dogs become fully graduated to help serve others.

    Rhodes was paired with Oakley for the past year in the second stage of her “career” training, where they formed an inseparable bond, spending 24 hours a day together.

    “We take her to church, to restaurants and even grocery shopping. It takes twice as long to shop though because of all the people we interact with have so many questions when they see she is a service dog. I think it brings a level of conscientiousness for people to understand that some functions we take for granted, other people rely on an animal to perform certain functions,” said Rhodes.

    “You do make a sacrifice, but you have to keep in mind the bigger picture.”

    Oakley was being trained to assist someone with a mobility and/or agility challenges and it has been a long but rewarding challenge for all involved. Dogs enter the Puppy Program at eight weeks of age, and are with their puppy raisers until they are approximately 12 months old. During this time, they are taught basic obedience and are exposed to many different situations out in the community. If they have met basic criteria for health, temperament and skill, they enter the Adult Program. The second stage, in which Rhodes was involved with, lasts another six to eight months during which time they perfect their obedience and learn many specific skills useful later on.

    “When Oakley has her coat on, she knows she’s on duty, but it’s also very important at the end of their assignment to let them be loose and just be a regular dog. When they are done working, you say the word ‘release’ and she knows then she can just have fun and be like any other dog. But these dogs carry tremendous responsibilities on their shoulders, and they are well trained to do so,” said Rhodes.

    Oakley was just recently paired with a woman in a wheelchair. And while it was hard to say goodbye, he knew that was what he, Oakley and more had been working towards.

    “You have to love animals and you have to love people. Because at the end of the day that will be tested – your love for the dog and the fact that you know you won’t have that dog forever. You do make a sacrifice, but you have to keep in mind the bigger picture. You can’t be selfish, so you have to let the dog go to help someone who is in need of that help,” says Rhodes.

    His love for animals also saw him recently involved with the Edmonton Humane Society’s Pets in the Park event, where Len and Maureen helped raise $19,000 towards the society.

    “We take her to church, to restaurants and even grocery shopping.”

    But giving back to the community is something that Rhodes says just seems to come naturally to him and that it’s something he has always believed in and something he helps pass on to other Eskimo players and staff.

    “I feel it’s very natural for me and part of my calling in life. Yes, I do what I do for a living, but in being part of a community owned football team there’s an understanding that we should do more in the community. Yes, we play football, but when I took this role I understood there was much to it than football and doing this was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life.”

    To learn more about Dogs With Wings and how you can help, visit dogswithwings.ca




    Dancing into the heart of Ellen and 30 million more, Taylor Hatala is taking the world by storm

    Taylor Article Cover-1
    Photography by Sean Williams. Shot on location at Kore Dance Studios

    Taylor Hatala is just like every other 11-year-old girl. She still loves playing with Barbie;s and her little sister Reese, going to school and birthday parties, shopping and hanging out with friends. Like every other tween girl that is, until the music starts pumping and all of a sudden a superstar in the making shines through. With lightening fast and unique Hip-Hop moves, Taylor transforms from a quiet, polite youngster to a girl possessed by urban beats and rhythms, and most of all, pure happiness.

    Taylor and her sister Reese show off some of their dance moves.
    Taylor and her sister Reese show off some of their dance moves.

    And that love for dance and music has caught the world by storm. Within the last few months, the Sherwood Park student has gone from being loved by family and friends, to being loved by tens of millions of people after a video of Taylor dancing to Annaconda went viral.

    Within minutes of the video being uploaded to Youtube (now at almost 12 million views), father Chad says that he got a call from Taylor’s choreographer and mentor Alex Chung, who said that social media was starting to explode. They agreed to meet to discuss the sudden explosion, and Alex told Chad that he wouldn’t be surprised if The Ellen DeGeneres Show called.

    “Within 30 seconds of Alex saying that, we got an email from Ellen. It was unbelievable. And within 24 hours, every major talk show in the States had contacted us,” says Chad.

    Since then, Taylor’s total views for her videos have reached almost 30 million worldwide and growing by the day, with non-stop requests for interviews, appearances, proposals for TV show auditions, music videos and more, proving that she is more than just a viral sensation.

    “It still feels like I am dreaming. It just doesn’t seem and feel like real life,” says Taylor about her sudden success. “I came home from the Ellen trip and everyone was so supportive. My whole class held this huge party for me and I think it just hit me then,” she adds.

    “It still feels like I am dreaming. It just doesn’t seem and feel like real life.”

    “I was super nervous, but also very excited, so it was a big mixture of emotions,” Taylor says of her Ellen appearance. “But I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I just wanted to enjoy myself. Then all my nerves went away when the crowd started dancing.”

    Taylor Article-1Having tried out sports like soccer and horseback riding, Taylor says she “just wasn’t any good at any of them.” Her mom Theresa was already a trained dancer, so her parents suggested that she take it up too.

    “It came very naturally for me. At first I really liked it, then I loved it, and then I couldn’t live without it!” says Taylor. While she started with more of the classical dance genres, she discovered her love for Hip-Hop dancing around age six.

    “When I started Hip-Hop, it just felt different and it made me want to dance even more than I did before. It just brings out something in me like nothing in this world does,” says Taylor.

    After the first Ellen appearance, Taylor has launched her own YouTube Channel and calls have come in to try out for a new Nickelodeon series, various music videos, a YTV dance tutorial, a spot at The Pulse Teacher Workshop, appearances on television shows across Canada and the US, as well as a second appearance on Ellen in mid-December, in which the host admired how Taylor’s first appearance on her show had already received more than eight million views.

    “I feel so grateful and thankful fir the people around me.”

    Taylor is also broadening her entertainment talents by taking on acting and singing classes, as the Hatalas have realized from their time in LA that producers are always looking for that “triple threat” of someone who can sing, act and dance.

    But all of this success wouldn’t be possible without all of Taylor’s hard work (with minimum practice of four hours a day, seven days a week and weekly trips to Los Angeles) and the support she has from her family, friends, fellow dancers, choreographers and more.

    “I feel so grateful and thankful for the people around me. If I didn’t have those people around me make those great videos happen or to support me, then I wouldn’t have the exposure that I do,” says Taylor.

    She also adds that there are many people in the world who inspire her to follow her dreams.

    “It’s seeing all the other [dance] students and choreographers that are so motivated too, that it just pushes me. But even if it’s an artist or a singer, when I see how passionate they are about their craft, then that inspires me to reach the heights that they have,” she says.

    As for what’s next for Taylor and family?

    “I’m just really excited and curious,” says Taylor. “But I remember we were walking down a street in LA and there was a fortune teller. My mom asked me if I wanted to go inside and I said ‘nope.’ I just want to leave the future to do its own thing and not know what the future holds.”

    Taylor Article-2




    Since opening in 2009, the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute has become one of the leading heart institutes in North America and has changed or saved the lives of more than 100,000 patients!

    Unless you’ve actually been to the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, either as a patient, visitor, or because you work there, you may not know what a tremendous asset we have right here in Edmonton.


    Here’s a quick primer:

    • Named to honour the Right Honorable Don Mazankowski, former Deputy Prime Minister and long-time Conservative MP for Vegreville, Alberta, “the Maz,”as it’s fondly known, is the referral centre for the most complex cardiac patients from across the prairies, northern Canada and north eastern British Columbia.
    • Since opening in July, 2009, doctors and cardiac care professionals at the Maz have changed and saved the lives of over 100,000 patients; performed more than 6,000 open heart surgeries; and completed 284 heart, heart/lung and lung transplants.
    • The Maz is home to the largest heart transplant program in Canada and the largest lung transplant program in western Canada.

    And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Edmonton’s history of setting a new standard in cardiac care actually goes back to 1948 when the first recorded cardiac surgery in Edmonton took place. This marked the beginning of an incredibly long list of “firsts” in the city’s history of excellence in cardiac surgery and cardiac patient care.

    Case in point:

    Did you know that the first open heart surgery in Canada was performed at the University of Alberta Hospital in 1956? That the first heart transplant in western Canada took place here in 1985? Or that the first baby born during emergency open heart surgery occurred here in 2008?

    The Critical Role of Community Support

    Donors to the University Hospital Foundation continue to support building and equipping the Maz with some of the most advanced medical and imaging technology in the world. To date, donors have contributed an incredible $65 million towards:

    1. Providing over one in four dollars to help build Western Canada’s leading heart institute;
    2. Fully funding the $6.6 million Cardiac Hybrid operating room, thereby providing a life-saving alternative for patients with health conditions so complex that traditional surgery is not a viable option;
    3. Donating $3 million towards the Jim Pattison Centre for Heart Health, a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation centre designed to complete the continuum of cardiac care provided at the Maz;
    4. Contributing $1.4 million – including $1.1 million from the 2013 Festival of Trees, Edmonton’s signature kick-off to Christmas event – towards the expansion of the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) at the Maz, increasing capacity to allow 200 more surgeries to be performed every year, and providing more patients than ever before access to specialized care.

    To read more about the University Hospital Foundation, visit their website at www.GivetoUHF.ca


    Teamwork a Vital Ingredient

    Advances in cardiac care have saved and changed the lives of thousands of grateful patients. Today, teams at the Maz face a new reality: aging patients who present a diverse range of serious health conditions. Often this means more complicated surgeries and prolonged, intense recoveries.

    The Maz is the only heart institute in western Canada that offers the complete package of cardiac care, from advanced diagnostic imaging right through to surgery and rehabilitation.

    Daily meetings are held in which doctors share the stage with social workers, dieticians, nurses, physiotherapists, rehabilitation specialists, pharmacists and other experts in related fields. This way, patients’ entire well-being and health is addressed by a multidisciplinary team.

    Pushing the Frontiers of Translational Research

    Imagine this: a world without waiting lists for patients in need of heart and/or lung transplants. Unfortunately it’s going to be awhile before that happens, but the dream is alive thanks to extraordinary research being conducted by cardiac surgeons and researchers at the Maz.

    Other research projects are looking into the causes of heart failure, coronary artery disease and pulmonary hypertension, a rare but lethal disease, and many other research projects that will change the way hearts are mended around the world.

    “The vision was to create a world class cardiac centre to serve the needs of people across western and northern Canada. The reality has exceeded the dream.” 

    — Dr. David Ross, Head, Cardiac Surgery, Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services

    Healthy Tips for Healthy Heart Living

    by Kara Penney

    Program Manager, NACRP, Jim Pattison Center for Heart Health and the Glenrose Hospital

    1. Eat a Heart Healthy Diet as outlined in Canada’s Food Guide. Look for the Health Check™ symbol when purchasing groceries.
    2. Modify your diet to reduce fat consumption; this can help lower your cholesterol.
    3. Participate in a variety of endurance, flexibility and strength activities.
    4. Practice good sleep habits.
    5. Accumulate 60 minutes of activity everyday. Add up your activities in periods of at least 10 minutes each. Start slowly and build up.
    6. Become a “self manager.” Take the attitude that “I am responsible for my health.”
    7. Plan using S.M.A.R.T. goals: S – Specific, M – Measurable, A –Achievable, R – Realistic, T – Timely
    8. Have an annual checkup with your family physician.
    9. Quit smoking. Seek appropriate medical help to ensure you are successful.


    Edmonton’s river valley plays host to the season finale of Red Bull’s Crashed Ice

    Imagine hurtling down an urban ice track weaving through the streets of downtown Edmonton and the river valley at breakneck speeds of over 60 kilometres an hour while thousands cheer as you fly by, knowing that one wrong move could send you into a glorious crash… Well, you don’t have to just imagine, as The City of Edmonton and Red Bull have teamed up to bring the grand finale of the 2015 Red Bull Crashed Ice to our city on March 14, and you may even get the chance to take part!

    crashed ice3

    Ice cross downhill (or downhill ice cross), involves direct competitive downhill skating at extreme speeds on a walled track featuring sharp turns and high vertical drops. A combination of hockey, bordercross and downhill skiing, only the toughest and fasters skaters from around the world shine in this extreme sport. Entering its 15th year of competition, ice cross downhill is recognized as one of the most unique and challenging sport of its kind, as well as the fastest sport on skates.

    Since the first-ever race back in 2001, Red Bull Crashed Ice has developed into one of the world’s most breathtaking winter sports events. Riders hurtle down courses up to 600 metres in length in groups of four, shoulder to shoulder, as they fight it out for victory. The whole race is held on a steep downhill track dotted with chicanes, jumps and rollers. Pushing, sliding and sprinting are all on the agenda as the athletes race down the course, but the rules are very simple: first to the bottom wins.

    “Hosting major international events during the winter helps us share our passion for winter and show the world that Edmonton is a prime winter destination. Red Bull Crashed Ice aligns extremely well with the Edmonton Winter City Strategy and is yet another reason for Edmontonians to embrace winter, and our northern heritage. This event is going to transform downtown and bring excitement to an area that is growing and becoming more vibrant,” says James Jackson of Edmonton Tourism.

    Red Bull says that bringing Crashed Ice to the city of Edmonton is an exciting end to the 2015 season. The season finale stop is consistently renowned as the most iconic of the circuit and Edmonton’s will feature the longest track of the entire 2015 season. Other stops prior to Edmonton include: Saint Paul, Minnesota (Jan. 24);  Helsinki, Finland (Feb. 7); and Belfast, Northern Ireland (Feb. 21).

    “As the sport of Ice Cross Downhill grows, it’s very exciting to expose Red Bull Crashed Ice to a new audience in Western Canada,” says Christian Papillon, Ice Cross Downhill Sport Director. “The city offers a perfect urban backdrop. I can tell you that Edmonton’s final showdown will have the most impressive and challenging track of the season.”

    As the event is completely free to attend, organizers expect tens of thousands of people from all over the world to come and enjoy Crashed Ice and the general party atmosphere of downtown during this world-class event.

    “In Quebec City last year, they saw roughly 100,000 people come to enjoy Red Bull Crashed Ice. I have a feeling Edmontonians will come through with flying colours,” says Jackson, adding that past Red Bull Crashed Ice events have brought in significant and positive economic impacts for previous host cities.

    “This event is going to transform downtown.”

    “Red Bull Crashed Ice, and all the other incredible sport and cultural events our community hosts have already put us on the map. We have a historic and well respected history of ice hockey and hospitality, not to mention a renowned event hosting capacity.” said Jackson.

    Even though competitors come from around the world for Red Bull Crashed Ice, fearless local male and female athletes also have a chance to participate. If you feel like you have the right mix of strength, speed, stamina and courage, then Red Bull is inviting 200 male and 20 female athletes per qualifying city to participate in the Edmonton qualifier on January 31 (registration closes Jan. 23). If more than 200 men and 20 women register, then a lottery will be held to see who will be randomly selected for time trials.

    As for the “professionals” competing in Edmonton, two Canadian athletes currently hold top 10 spots in the sport of Ice Cross Downhill. Scott Croxall (Ontario) sits at second place, trailing only Marco Dallago of Austria. Scott’s older brother, Kyle, a resident of Calgary, currently sits in ninth place overall and will have the coveted opportunity to battle on his home turf this season.

    “Edmonton’s final showdown will have the most impressive and challenging track of the season.”

    According to Red Bull, they are expecting the event to be one of the best yet in the history of the sport.

    “Edmonton has a longstanding history of hosting world-class sport and culture events. From festivals to outdoor recreation, Edmonton residents come out in the thousands as spectators and volunteers to support major events. The city is a prime winter destination in Canada, with a population that truly embraces the winter season,” says Emily Palley-Samson of Red Bull Canada.

    Closer to the March 14, further event information and broadcast details will be released. For more information, or to register as a participant, visit RedbullCrashedIce.com.




    Change your mind set when it comes to cigarettes

    Lungs made of black powder explosion isolated on whiteI smoked for 28 years and I finally did quit. But how? During that time I must have tried to quit a thousand times. In my mind each pack was my last explaining why I never did buy a whole carton. “What would I do with the other seven packs?” I reasoned.

    As well, I openly admitted I didn’t smoke because I enjoyed it, but instead smoked because I was hooked, or addicted… and I never let go of the intention and the hope that I would one day quit forever.  It seemed like such an unreachable dream though!

    Like many smokers I always looked at the prospect of quitting somewhat forlornly, as if it would be like saying goodbye to an old friend or something enjoyable that I would no longer have in my life. The truth of course was that what entered my lungs was not a friend, nor bringing me pleasure or any other form of benefit. I wasn’t as much sucking on the filter, as the butt was sucking life from me and I could feel it every day.

    What changed things was hearing one day about the simple concept of “choosing not to smoke.” The wisdom in this went along the lines that one shouldn’t think of it as “quitting” but instead of simply “choosing not to smoke.” When someone asks if you want a cigarette for example, instead of saying “no thanks I quit” which can make you feel the pressure of a commitment that you may not be able to keep, you simply say, “no thanks, I choose not to smoke.” Say it again… do you hear the difference in that?  Your emphasis is not on any commitment or attempt to go “over the wall.” Instead you have stated something that is now, at this moment, completely doable.

    “The truth of course was that what entered my lungs was not a friend.”

    How that worked for me is that I was about to go to a spring meeting in the mountains where I knew that I would be with a number of folks in a social situation, many of them smokers (it was the early 90’s). It was a five-day event and I had the mindset that I would choose not to smoke for those five days and see how that went. With nothing in my mind but a long list of the many positives that would come into my life by choosing not to smoke, I got through it without too much angst and then thought, “hey, that was pretty easy, let’s choose not to smoke for the next five days also.” And so it went until 10 days became 20 and eventually 100 and 200. By now it’s been 22 years and I still tell people who offer me a smoke that “I choose not to smoke.”


    As a leadership speaker and trainer, I always want to help people—it’s no different when it comes to smoking. When I get on an elevator with a smoker or get near them in a line-up at the coffee bar, I wish they could observe what others do about them. The smell or even stench of smoke in their hair and on their clothes is indescribable.

    This is so unfortunate for smokers since it subtracts from the attraction they could otherwise have. Dating is a clear example: most smokers would not reject out of hand dating a non-smoker but the reverse is certainly not true! Do smokers see that their date may note their kiss is like tasting an ash tray? 

    It is a negative in the workplace as well. For example, I recently had my hair cut and styled by a hairdresser I had gone to for the first time; and honestly, she reeked so bad of smoke that I barely got through the experience. She seemed unaware of how her habit was impacting her customers and her own career.

    It’s the same with virtually all other forms of employment. The simple fact is that most employers faced with choosing between an employee who smokes and one who doesn’t smoke will consistently choose the latter. Whether correct or not, their view is that non-smokers don’t take as many breaks or at least when they do break, the breaks are usually briefer. As well they expect non-smoking employees will experience fewer sick days while being more alert and energetic on the job. Sorry smokers, but that’s the way many employers see it.

    “The smell or even stench of smoke in their hair and on their clothes is indescribable.”

    For me, I found it helpful to keep daily track of the many benefits that were now coming into my life as a non-smoker. That included marking off the days, weeks and months since I had last smoked. I also ran a total of how much money I was saving as a result of my choice to not smoke. The numbers added up pretty fast and I was impressed when each time I looked at my results on a sheet of paper it added to my determination to continue the next day with my choice not to smoke.

    In closing I want to say that if you really do want to quit smoking, you will. If not this time, then next time or the time after that.

    The smokers who never quit seem to be those insisting they smoke because they enjoy it… yeah right. The main thing is to not give up on yourself.

    Top 10 Reasons To Choose Not To Smoke

    1. Live longer.

    2. Improve your health.

    3. Have more energy.

    4. Save a ton of money.

    5. Be more attractive to others.

    6. Breathe, smell and even taste better.

    7. Reduce stress and facial lines.

    8. Have more time in your day.

    9. Provide a positive example.

    10. Increase your confidence by feeling empowered.



    When it comes to sports and community involvement, CTV Chief Meteorologist Josh Classen and family epitomize team spirit

    Photography by Walter Tychnowicz
    Photography by Walter Tychnowicz

    Growing up in Lloydminster, Josh Classen found an early love for broadcasting. Already a regular at the local rinks as an aspiring NHL goaltender, Classen filled his off-ice time by announcing his younger brother’s hockey games. That passion for sports and communication has grown into a successful television career and has fueled important life lessons that he and his wife are passing on to their three children.

    As the chief meteorologist for CTV Edmonton for the past several years, Classen has become one of Edmonton’s most trusted weather gurus, a champion for dozens of charities and a proud husband and father. But Edmonton was almost robbed of his weather expertise and could have seen him as the voice of the Oilers or Eskimos, as a career in sports broadcasting was his intended career choice.

    “I actually fell backwards into weather. I went to NAIT wanting to become a sportscaster but got a weather job first,” said Josh.

    Although he aimed for a sports position at the local station in Lloydminster, the job ended up being given to Adam Cook, the current sports director at CTV Edmonton. “After a week of doing the weather at CKSA-TV in Lloydminster I was hooked. I was horrible… but I loved it. I was told that when [Adam] left that I could have the sports job. He left, but by then, I loved weather too much to switch to sports,” said Josh.

    And it wasn’t long before his fascination for weather forecasting grew, guided in part by influences from stalwarts at Environment Canada.

    “When I moved to Saskatoon, I lived a couple blocks away from the Environment Canada offices. I would stop in and visit with Bob Cormier, Wayne Miskolczi, Larry Flysack and the rest of the crew. Those guys taught me as much as three years at MSU [Mississippi State University Broadcast Meteorology Program] and that helped generate a real interest in the science of forecasting,” said Josh.

    Even though Classen did develop a successful passion for weather, he never lost his love for sports. While he had dreams of becoming an NHL goalie, the chance never came, but he always appreciated the effort of his parents, which he and his wife Kristin mimics today with their own children’s hectic schedules.

    “I can’t begin to imagine how much time and money my parents must’ve sacrificed to help me become a so-so beer league goaltender, not to mention the stress of having a goalie for a son! There is a special place in heaven for the parents of goalies,” said Josh.

    Along with a love for weather and sports, a chance meeting at a fashion event Classen was emceeing in Saskatoon resulted in another love—that of his future wife Kristin.

    “Kristin and her girlfriend were attending to show support for her friend’s sister. I remember turning to my co-emcee and saying, “I love that woman!” My co-emcee rolled her eyes… but it really was love at first sight for me. It took Kristin a little bit longer to fall for me!

    A conversation briefly after the fashion show resulted in the discovery that Josh knew Kristin’s older brother and that they would both be attending a mutual friend’s wedding later that summer. They reconnected shortly before that wedding and the rest is history as they say.

    Fast forward several years and now the Classens have three wonderful boys: Oaklan, Pryor and Beckett, all of which are now heavily involved and passionate about various sports of their own. But with that comes an ever-growing hectic schedule for the Classens, given Josh and Kristin’s busy work schedules and charitable events, combined with several sports and conflicting games and practices for the children.

    Classen001All three boys are in swimming, golf and rock climbing. Oaklin trains with the St Albert Olympians Swim Club, Pryor is on the track team at school, Beckett plays hockey and tennis. As well mom Kristin takes Sculpt-Barre classes several times a week while Josh plays hockey twice a week.

    But how do they manage all those various commitments?

    “Hand-written daytimers are essential!  To be honest… we don’t know anything different [from other parents.] We’ve learned to be satisfied with doing the best we can and not beating ourselves up over things that can’t get done. We’re a team and support each other the best we can,” said Josh.

    Despite scheduling challenges, both Josh and his wife are happy to be run ragged due to their belief that sports for their children are essential building blocks in their development into young men.

    Classen002“Sports teaches so many valuable lessons to children. We don’t expect any of them to turn pro. But we do want them to learn how to work with others, how to push themselves, how to win and lose, how to listen to instruction, how to lead and follow. We want them to be healthy and hopefully, sports keeps them out of trouble!”

    “Watching them enjoy themselves is great. But the best part is the feeling that we’re actually doing something that will help turn these three great boys into responsible, successful men,” said Josh.

    “Sports teaches so many valuable lessons to children.”

    But the lessons taught in organized sports are not the only values being taught to the kids as community involvement and charity is also a big part of the Classen household.

    One of his great local charity successes in Edmonton is the creation of Hats for Homeless: a program that donated toques to homeless shelters in Edmonton for five years. What started as a way for Josh to wear goofy hats on the air has resulted in an overflow of toques, so much so that he is looking to create a new community initiative.

    Josh has also been involved with the Stollery Children’s Hospital, the Alberta Diabetes Foundation, the Canadian Breast Cancer CIBC Run For the Cure, the Excel Society and much more.

     “We were just raised knowing that there’s a value and joy in helping others. I also realize that we’re pretty lucky to be in the position we’re in. There’s a responsibility that comes with the job I have and I’m happy to do all I can to help as many people and organizations as possible,” said Josh.




    According to 84-year-old Del Dilkie, age is just a number

    Photography by Sean Williams On Location: Royal Glenora Club

    When Del Dilkie was 73 years young, she was already exceeding societal expectations of fitness for a senior citizen with a daily fitness regime that would challenge most in their 30s. Not seeing the results she would have liked, Del decided to up the ante on the advice of her instructor and start training for competitive bodybuilding. Did I mention she was 73 at the time?

    What followed was intense weight training, three trophies and many heads turned at competitions. But such is the discipline and passion for health and exercise that has fuelled Del’s desire to live life to the fullest and smash expectations.

    Looking back 10 years ago (Del turns 84 on November 17) she wonders how she managed to compete successfully in bodybuilding for several years when the rest of her competitors were in their 20s, 30s, or at most, in their 40s.

    “I know that without exercise, I would feel so much older.”

    “They looked at me like I had two heads at first, and were very surprised, but everyone was so proud of me also,” she says. “But those years made me realize that you have to work hard to get healthy. It takes lots of discipline, diet and dedication.”

    Del’s journey into a lifetime of fitness began much earlier in her 30s, when she began do visit health spas in the U.S. due to a lack of suitable facilities in Canada, and immediately she became hooked on health.

    “I would go for a week to 10 days and come out six to eight pounds lighter, and I just couldn’t believe the results,” she says.

    Ever since then, Del has made exercise a daily part of her routine, but has also managed to be a successful business owner both in Edmonton and abroad.

    Del when she was competing in body building.
    Del when she was competing in body building.

    In her 40s, she opened Del’s on 9th Fashionable Finds, a unique discount store for women that carried designer fashions, both new and consigned, which she owned and operated for more than 30 years before retiring in 2008.

    “My body is used to exercise now, so when I do take a day off, my body cries to get back into it.”

    Several years later, she took her love for business and exercise abroad and opened up a gym in Guayabitos, Mexico, even though she was told it would never happen.

    “When I was there, I couldn’t find a place to work out so I looked around to open my own gym. People said it couldn’t be done, but that just made me more determined. So, I went to the local mayor and the bank manager and within four years that goal became a reality.”

    But those who know Del will tell you that nothing she does surprises them, as she has more drive and energy than people half her age.

    As an example, her daily/weekly exercise regime consists of a minimum on one hour per day on her own doing 20 minutes on the treadmill, 15 minutes on a yoga ball, and various other exercises including weights, squats, lunges and more and tries to finish each routine with a dip in the pool for some aquacise. Del also trains twice a week with a personal trainer at the YMCA to make sure she maintains proper technique and variety.

    “He really keeps on changing my routine almost daily to keep me interested. My body is used to exercise now, so when I do take a day off, my body cries to get back into it,” says Del.

    But what keeps her so motivated at her age, when many others are doing much less?

    “I do it because I care about myself, first and foremost, but also because I feel much better. It has nothing to do with age, because age is just a number. I know that without exercise, I would feel so much older. But with exercise, I feel so good. I say a little prayer before bed because I have a lot to be thankful for.”


    Photography credit: Cedric Angeles

    Celebrity Chef Marc Murphy takes his lessons from life to educate Edmontonians on real food and the dangers of convenience

    Marc Murphy thinks Canadians can do better. That’s not to say he doesn’t like Canadians. In fact, he thinks we are better (but not much) than his fellow U.S. citizens when it comes to his biggest pet peeves: processed foods and the absence of balanced, healthy diets in North America. And now he is on a crusade to fix that.

    As a regular judge on the Food Network’s Chopped, guest on Iron Chef America, Martha Stewart and more, this executive chef, restaurateur and television personality knows a few things about food and what we should is or should not be eating. But his desire for healthier masses comes from a love of food, good health, and general well-being: he aims to educate, not berate. 


    Murphy, the son of a globetrotting diplomat, has lived all over the world as a boy in cities such as Milan, Paris, Rome, Genoa and Washington DC, all before the age of 12, which he says served as an excellent education in French and Italian cooking. Murphy has also attributed his cooking influences to his mother and grandparents, as he has recounted experiences of enjoying leg of lamb and ratatouille in the south of France. He has also credited renowned French chef Jean-Louis Palladin’s first cookbook for having the biggest impact on him.

    While Murphy always loved eating and preparing food at home with his family, he never really desired to become a chef like his older brother, who had enrolled in culinary school. After a few odd jobs, such as residential and commercial painting, Murphy finally saw the light and worked towards a career in culinary arts. Shortly after, he attended school at The Institute of Culinary Education and started as a line cook at Prix Fixe in New York.

    But his love and talent for food grew and by the mid 1990s, he was a sous-chef at Layla in New York and in 1996 became the executive chef at Cellar in the Sky, also in New York. After reaching executive status, Murphy began to set his sights on more personal entrepreneurial ventures.

    From 1997 to 2000, he was the co-owner and executive chef of La Fourchette. In 2000, he also became the executive chef at Chinoiserie as well as the partner and co-owner of Le Couteau, both of which are in New York.



    Word of Murphy’s talents reached far and wide in New York very quickly and in March 2004, he opened Landmarc Restaurant to great success with his wife Pamela Schein in TriBeCa, New York, where he is also the executive chef. In 2005, he also helped open another restaurant, Ditch Plains. By 2006, he opened his second Landmarc restaurant at the Time Warner Center in New York City, with almost three times the seating capacity of his original Landmarc, with 280 seats.


    For those who have never watched the Food Network, Chopped is an American reality based cooking television series hosted by Ted Allen that pits four chefs against each other competing for a chance to win $10,000. In each episode, four chefs are challenged to take a mystery basket of ingredients and turn them into a dish that is judged on their creativity, presentation, and taste with minimal time to plan and execute. Murphy was part of the original season in 2006 and has continued to be a regular judge on the popular show, which has also spun-off into a northern version with Chopped Canada. The popularity of the reality show has helped launch Murphy from a restaurateur into a bona fide celebrity chef, easily recognizable to droves of fans.

    During the show, the chefs must cook their dishes and complete four platings (one for each judge plus one “beauty plate”) before time runs out. After each round, the judges critique the dishes based on presentation, taste, and creativity. The judges then decide which chef is “chopped,” that is, eliminated from the competition. Thus, by the dessert round, only two chefs remain. When deciding the winner, the judges consider not only the dessert course, but the entire meal presented by each chef as a whole. Murphy says the biggest mistakes he routinely sees on the show is when chefs panic and change directions too often. His success on Chopped has made him a regular or guest on many other popular shows, including Iron Chef America, another popular reality show.



    And while he may seem incredibly busy with running several restaurants, numerous television appearances and more, Murphy is also on a crusade to bring healthier eating to the plates of everyone he meets.

    In May, Edmontonians were treated to Murphy’s wisdom as one of the key note speakers at Host Edmonton, an event aimed at the hospitality industry in Edmonton. Murphy spoke about the dangers of processed foods, especially sugar, and how poor government policies and convenient meals full of chemicals are slowing ruining the health of the masses and he warned about the health risks and costs associated with those choices. He also spoke about the growing problem of childhood obesity and how children are bombarded with junk food commercials on TV and lamented the fact that there is twice as many junk food ads on TV as there was six years ago. Murphy also spoke about how we are all responsible for our individual food choices, but decried the lack of support by U.S. and Canadian government and their move towards larger industrial farming as opposed to smaller, organic farming. But rather than complain, he suggested that North American governments could look to other European countries, such as Switzerland, where there is a big push to promote local farming.

    As he spoke at length about the dangers of convenient foods, junk food, the lack of grass-fed beef and the dangers of corn-syrup and its encroachment into many foods, you could tell that he was passionate about his crusade for a healthier population. “If I change the minds of a few people here today to change the way they look at food, or change what they give their children, then I consider that a victory,” said Murphy. 



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