GRANDE PRAIRIE NEWS - 2011


January 2011: Dog Sled Races at Evergreen Park, was one of the first events of 2011, in Grande Prairie. There were a number of entries from other parts of Canada, and the two day event offered some great entertainment. You can watch a short video of part of this event with interviews with Irvin Wai, the organizer and Ross Adam, a Dog Sled Racer from Grande Prairie. Play VIDEO> 6:05min.
January 2011: The new Executive Director for the QEII Foundation is Cindy Park. The Rotary Club of Grande Prairie will now be running the Dream Home Lottery taking over for the QEII Foundation. The Rotary Club will be celebrating 60 years in Grande Prairie on April 15, 2011.
January 2011: The entire Peace Country had a record snowfall the weekend of January 15th. In Grande Prairie there was over 19 cm on Sunday and totaled 35cm for the weekend. Many stores ran out of snow shovels.
January 2011: Menzies Printers will be making a $100,000 sponsorship of the Multi-Plex. An open area near the food court will be known as the "Menzies Spot".

January 2011: State of the City Address with Mayor Bill Given will take place Thursday February 24, 2011 at the Quality Hotel. (Review 2010, plus vision for Grande Prairie for 2011).
January 2011: Grande Prairie Public School District Superintendent, Chris Gonnet passed away from a heart attack.

February 2011: The Dream Home is currently under construction in Westlake Village Subdivision, north Grande Prairie. Win a Dream Home.
Update: View Inside Photos
February 2011: Dollarama is getting ready to open just south of London Drugs on the west side of Grande Prairie.
February 2011: A new gas station and restaurant is being constructed, just east of the County Office (north of the new overpass)
February 2011: Debbie Reid and 2,000 volunteers of the Grande Prairie Arctic Games Host Society received the Above and Beyond Award presented by the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce. John Simpson received the Clem E. Collins Award, ATB Financial received the Dan H. Minchin Award, Jim and Mary Helen Boccioletti, owners of Canadian Tire were named Business Citizens of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce. - A source tells me HMV is opening in the Prairie Mall, in the old location of CD Plus.
February 2011: The regular season for the NPHL comes to a close and the playoffs begin. On February 4th the Spirit River Rangers defeated the Grande Prairie Athletics and DiscoverThePeaceCountry.com was there. Some of the action was captured on video in the following two feature videos. Grande Prairie Athletics View Video
Spirit River Rangers View Video.

February 2011: The RONA store located on the west side of Grande Prairie has been granted a Receivership Order by the Court of Queen's Bench on February 14, 2011. The $16 million, 62,000 square foot building opened in the latter part of 2009 and was owned by the Nagra family.

February 2011: Peavey Mart will be moving into a new building in September of this year. Located just west of RONA (across the road from Tim Horton's) the new building is currently under construction.
March 2011: A new feature on DiscoverThePeaceCountry.com is the Home Improvements - Renovations page. Check it out. A number of Grande Prairie businesses showcase their products and services to help you update your home.
March 2011: Moxie's Classic Grill Franchises in Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray are both for sale as they are now operated by a receiver Pricewaterhouse Coopers Inc.
March 2011: Canadian BrewHouse is coming to Grande Prairie. To be located in the old Gullivers location at the London Drugs location. Currently they have locations in Edmonton, Sherwood Park and Camrose.

March 2011: Jakes Down South is closed and will re-open under a new name. Todd from Lions Den says it will be The Zone Sports Grill when it opens in mid-May after undergoing major renovations. It will feature virtual golf, a restaurant, and will be family themed.
March 2011: Mama Panda in Grande Prairie will be re-opening after being closed for a considerable amount of time. Renovations are being done with hopes of opening soon.
March 2011: The Spirit River Rangers win the North Peace Hockey League Championship Final over the Falher Pirates 4-3. The game was won in triple overtime. See the summaries and more information on the NPHL page of DiscoverThePeaceCountry.com.
March 2011: The Grande Prairie Dream Home opening for viewing has been delayed with the new date April 29, 2011.

March 2011: The 3 Day Peace Country Classic drew good crowds at Evergreen Park. Besides having over 250 Displays and Exhibits, there were a number of activities for the children. One of the main attractions was the Northern Classic Bull Sale. You can see the highlights of this years Agri-Show on video. PLAY VIDEO> 4:30min
April 2011: David Larson is the winner of the first 2011 Grande Prairie Dream Home Lottery early bird prize of a television. There has been another delay on the opening with a new date for viewing starting May 6, 2011. Grande Prairie Win a Dream Home - 2011 Dream Home

April 2011: 2011 Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce FEDERAL ELECTION FORUM. A good crowd filled the Douglas J. Cardinal Performing Arts Centre (GPRC) on April 18, 2011 to hear the platforms of the local Federal Election Candidates.

May 2011: Chris Warkentin of the Conservative Party has been re-elected in the Peace River Riding taking almost 76 percent of the vote. (36,374 votes) Jennifer Villebrun of the NDP came in second (7740) and Wayne Kamieniecki was third (1699). Corina Ganton of the Liberals had 1481, Russ Toews, Independent had 360, Donovan Eckstrom Rhinoceros had 350 votes.

May 2011: 116st Grande Prairie is now closed as construction from 84 Ave to 69 Ave has started on widening the street to 4 lanes. (enlarge photo)

May 2011: Construction of a new KFC at the corner of 105 St and 100 Ave, Grande Prairie will replace the existing one by July 2011.The new KFC is starting to appear to the left of the older KFC on the right. (enlarge photo)

May 2011: Twinning Highway 43 east of Grande Prairie, through the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation continues, with completion expected in the summer of 2012.
May 2011: A new school is planned for Grande Prairie. The High School would support about 1,000 students, grade 9-12 and would be built near the Community Knowledge Campus. (68 avenue and Highway 40) It is hoped to be open by the fall of 2014.
May 2011: With the forest fire in Slave Lake and surrounding area, campgrounds are struggling to remain open near Lesser Slave Lake. Spruce Point campground is located 9km north of Kinuso and reports that they are currently open and have lots of room for campers but Highway 2 is still closed east/west (May 18th, 2011). Access can be made from highway 33. A fire ban is in effect. Spruce Point Park has a free area set up for those who were affected by the fire (Slave Lake, Widewater, Canyon, Assineau)

June, 2011: A new Medical Clinic is scheduled to open in Sexsmith in June at 9805-103 Street with two doctors. Sexsmith Pharmacy will also be located within the Doctor's office.
June, 2011: The US retail giant Target Stores are coming to Canada, and in 2013 will be taking over the Zellers location in the Prairie Mall.
June, 2011: Wannawafel will be coming to Grande Prairie in June featuring the Authentic Liege Wafels. The business was featured on CBC's show the Dragon's Den. Peter and Leah Christensen will be running the business in Grande Prairie.
June, 2011: Family Affair Bowling Lane on 100 Street Grande Prairie has closed for the last time. The property was purchased by Home Hardware who will be demolishing the building in June.

June 2011: Big crowds took in the Grande Prairie Highland Games held at the Macklin Field. The Highland Dance Competition took place most of the day as well as the Athletic Games. The day was perfect for this event. You can watch a video of some of the activities.
View VIDEO> (5:12min)

June 2011: Family Affair Bowling Lanes - Demolition. One of Grande Prairie's landmarks gets knocked down to make room for the expansion of the Home Hardware. View VIDEO> (3:00min)
June, 2011: Jamie Menzies has sold the Grande Prairie Royal LePage to a couple of local people, John Krol and Angie Peters, who have been part of Royal Lepage for many years. (sales and property management) It has been announced that Angie Peters is the new Broker.
June, 2011: Mama Panda re-opens its doors after being closed for a number of years. There have been renovations made to the building.
GRANDE PRAIRIE NEWS - 2011


July 2011- Over a hundred entries took part in this years Canada Day Parade. Thousands of people of all ages filled the streets to watch the parade which was about an hour long.


July 6, 2011: Many gathered at O'Brien Park, to watch the jetboats race down the Wapiti River, 11 km south of Grande Prairie. The World Jetboat Marathon took place over 9 days starting in Hay River, NWT, then Peace River, Grande Prairie, Fort Assiniboine, Whitecourt, and Fox Creek. View VIDEO> (5:40min)

July 2011: The County of Grande Prairie has approved the extension of the boundaries of the Hamlet of TeePee Creek by 480 acres. The area can now be subdivided for residential and commercial business and opens the doors for developers.
July 2011: Canadian BrewHouse is now open located in the old Gullivers location at the London Drugs location.
August, 2011: The Government will deregulate Bus Service as of October 1st, 2011. That means Greyhound will stop providing bus service from Peace River to Grande Prairie. Also no buses from Peace River to Edmonton.
August, 2011: McDonalds will be opening its 4th location November 1st, at South 40 Plaza (west of Mission Heights along Highway 40).
August, 2011: Grande Prairie's Tenille performed on CTV's Canada AM August 2nd. She has been nominated female artist of the year at the Canadian Country Music Awards. Big Country 93.1 FM has been playing her music for months.

August, 2011: Papa Murphy's has opened a second location on the NE part of Grande Prairie along Lakeland Drive and 92nd Street.
August, 2011: The location of the 2012 Dream was announced. The Dream Home will be located 5 lots east of the last Dream Home in Westlake Village, north Grande Prairie. -BC now has plans to twin the highway from the AB/BC Border to Fort St John.


August, 2011: DiscoverThePeaceCountry.com captures the Kleskun Hill Park located 20 km east of Grande Prairie Alberta. Those who appreciate unusual land forms as well as a collection of history of our area, would enjoy an afternoon visiting this park.
View VIDEO> (1:12min) For photos check the feature page of Kleskun Hill Park.
September 2011: A new gas station and another A&W are under construction near the airport on the west side of Grande Prairie. (just north of the new Peavey Mart)

September 2011: The rumors are finally over regarding the Grande Prairie Walmart (building a new store or not). Heavy equipment is currently working on the west side of their current location which is the first step of expanding their store.

September 2011: Peavey Mart is making the move to their new building on the west side of the City of Grande Prairie and should be open mid September.

September 2011: Re/Max Grande Prairie has changed ownership. After running the office for more than 27 years, Barry Diederich has decided to sell his company to Bobbi Moman-Dawson.

October 2011: Putting up the "S" on the Paradise RV sign on the new building at the new location. Paradise RV has moved to the Highway Overpass, south of the Ramada Inn, Clairmont.


October 2011: How Ironic! A fire breaks out on the roof of the new fire hall. A firetruck stands by Grande Prairie's 3rd fire hall currently under construction, expected to open in the spring of 2012.

October 2011: The 2011-2012 NPHL schedule has been released and is now posted on the feature NPHL page of DiscoverThePeaceCountry.com. First game is October 29 with Fairview in Grande Prairie. Stats and summaries will be posted of all games. See NPHL Page
October 2011: The Oasis Centre officially opened located downtown Grande Prairie. It is an affordable housing building that provides 20 units. When it opened all suites were rented.
October 2011: The Halloween Store is now located in the old Peavey Mart building and renovations are taking place at the west side McDonalds. The restaurant is closed with only the drive-thru open for business.

October 2011: The captain of the Grande Prairie Storm, Mitch Neumeier and Assistant Captain Taylor Cote display the 3rd Jersey. Business Manager Don Moon also talks about the new jersey in a new video. View VIDEO> (2:20min)

October 2011: A small strip mall has been added to the south parking lot of Home Depot in Grande Prairie. One of the first businesses to open will be Five Guys Burgers and Fries. -


October 2011: Sean Sargent Toyota had its Grand Opening of their renovated Used Department Building located at 106 Street and 117 Avenue.

October 2011: Debbie Normington has taken over the role of General Manager of the Grande Spirit Foundation. The foundation operates over 750 publicly subsidized housing units for seniors and low income families in Grande Prairie and surrounding area.
October 2011: The Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards winners this year were Best New Business: OMG! Cupcakes, Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Chris Balderston of Maddhatters, Employee of the Year: Maureen Bailey from Recycle Plus, Employer of Choice: Beairsto Lehners Ketchum Engineering, Business of the Year Under 10 Employees: Friesen Bain Chartered Accountants, Business of the Year with 10 or More Employees: GP & District Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities.
October 2011: Bill Bowes has passed away at the age of 86. He was one of the Bowes brothers who formed Bowes Publishers Limited in the early 1950's and bought the Herald Tribune in Grande Prairie. Herald Tribune History.
October 2011: The City of Grande Prairie has been awarded the "Most Entrepreneurial City" in Canada for the second straight year by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. (based on business start-ups, self employment intensity and surveys done on businesses)
November 2011: Fred Kroeskamp has passed away in Salmon Arm BC at age of 68. Fred was well known in Grande Prairie as he spent 30 years as manager of the Prairie Mall.
November 2011: The 2nd Annual Dino Ball (Fundraiser for the Dinosaur Museum) is scheduled for July 28, 2012 at the Tech Centre at Evergreen Park, Grande Prairie. One of the performers will be Emerson Drive.

November 2011: The Hockey Legends Lounge has opened at the Coca-Cola Centre in Grande Prairie. View Photo. It overlooks both ice surfaces from the 3rd floor level and seats up top 112 people.
November 2011: 116 Street is now open after upgrading took place from 68 Avenue to 97 Avenue, Grande Prairie. (the road south of Costco). The residents of Westpointe will no longer be hampered by dust from 116 Street.


December 4, 2011: What seemed like a much bigger crowd this year, many people of all ages lined the streets of Grande Prairie for the annual Santa Parade. There were close to 40 entries. DiscoverThePeaceCountry.com has captured the entire Santa Parade on this VIDEO. View VIDEO> (11:30min)

December 2011: Bruce Power has decided not to go ahead with a nuclear plant near Peace River. Over the past few years most of the comments posted on DiscoverThePeaceCountry.com were opposed to have a nuclear plant in Alberta
December 2011: County of Grande Prairie Reeve, Everett McDonald as well as Tab Pollock, local businessman, and Tom Burton, MD Greenview Councilor, will all be running for the GP-Smoky MLA Election January 28, 2012.


December 2011: The Grande Prairie Multiplex had its official ribbon cutting located on the southwest part of the City. Mayor Bill Given plus previous Mayors of Grande Prairie were in attendance.

December 2011: New Petro-Canada Gas Station is now open on the west side of Grande Prairie near the Grande Prairie Airport. Ideal for truckers as it has showers and lounge.
December 2011: Don and Trellis Sutley of Clairmont won the big prize for the CARS for CHRISTMAS LOTTERY. Other Big winners were: Cynthia Desjarlais of Chetwynd, Daryl Wells of Grande Prairie, Mark & Brenda Gommes of Grande Prairie, Jack Barton of Grovedale, Dave Smashnuk of Grande Prairie, Peter Braun of Grimshaw, Mandy Keip of Grande Prairie, Pat Martell of Grande Prairie, Ken Truhn of Grande Prairie, Mike Walsh of Grande Prairie. See the complete list of winners
December 2011: Vacancy rate in Grande Prairie was 3.9% in October (year ago it was 10.5%). There has been an increase in the labor market attracting more people moving to the city. Also there has not been much construction of new rental units in 2011.
December 2011: Todd Loewen, a businessman from Valleyview, has now been elected the Wildrose representative for Grande Prairie-Smoky.
MORE VIDEOS have been added to DiscoverThePeaceCountry.com and include: A special feature on the W.A.C. Bennett Dam View VIDEO>, Swan Lake Recreation Area: View VIDEO>, Lesser Slave Lake - Fishing for Walleye View VIDEO>, Moonshine Lake: View VIDEO>


GRANDE PRAIRIE NEWS - 2011
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