Welcome to Clearwater County Podcasts. An ongoing conversation about the issues that matter to residents and businesses of Clearwater County. Audio versions are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and other streaming services.
Current podcast series: Doing Business in Clearwater County
This is a great opportunity to showcase your business and help grow community connection and economic development!
To have your business featured on this podcast series, please contact our Economic Development Officer at email@example.com.
Episode 1: Internet & Education, Part 1
Economic Development Officer Jerry Pratt welcomes Principal Tim Bowman of École Rocky Elementary to discuss the importance of Internet access to education. Despite the growing importance of reliable, high-speed Internet access to a quality education, large gaps in service remain. More than 10 percent of Canadians still do not have Internet access at home, while rural speeds are on average, ten times slower than urban speeds.
- Pandemic highlights Internet inequality in Canada, CBC The National, September 27, 2020
- Communications Monitoring Report 2019, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
- New internet performance data shows scale of Canada’s urban-rural digital divide, Canadian Internet Registration Authority, May 8, 2020
- Drive-up wi-fi project helps rural students get online, Holly Caruk, CBC News, April 17, 2020
- Home connectivity and the homework gap, Leila Meyer, The Journal, June/July 2016
Episode 2: Internet & Education, Part 2
Economic Development Officer Jerry Pratt welcomes Jana Thomson of the Rocky Learning Centre to discuss the evolution of continuing education. Sectoral shifts, changes in technology and market demands are all contributing factors in the growing need for employees to update their skills. With more and more education programs migrating online, high-speed and reliable Internet connectivity has become essential for accessing opportunities and earning credentials.
- Six Reasons Why Continuing Education is Important, Western Governors University
- Rocky Learning Centre
- Khan Academy
- Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology, University of Alberta
- Feds add $750M in funding to broaden access to high-speed internet in Canada, Global News, November 9, 2020
Episode 3: Internet & Education, Part 3
Economic Development Officer Jerry Pratt welcomes Stacey Wigley, Principal of West Central High School to discuss how Internet access is influencing modern classrooms and the importance for learning outcomes. The digital mobilization of education has left many parents anxious about the availability of high-speed, reliable Internet access. The effects of the pandemic have exacerbated the problems of connectivity for rural students.
- Calls grow for internet to be declared essential, CBC News, May 25, 2020
- Ontario’s Broadband Problem, TVO, August 11, 2020
- School boards scramble to get computers to students for remote learning, CBC The National, April 14, 2020
- The Lost Year in Education, Maclean’s, Sarmishta Subramanian, June 4, 2021
- What COVID-19 Underscores About How Broadband Connectivity Affects Educational Attainment, Pew, December 7, 2020
Episode 4: Connecting Small Business
Economic Development Officer Jerry Pratt welcomes Roxanne Franczak, owner of Forkin' Delightful to discuss how Internet access is critical to success in the rapidly transforming world of digital commerce. As most business owners would agree, high-speed, reliable Internet access is no longer a complementary piece of the puzzle but rather an essential service that businesses need to grow, compete and innovate.
- Small and medium-sized businesses' adoption of technology crucial to Canada's pandemic recovery: report, Kelsey Rolfe, June 17, 2021
- The Employment and Wage Impact of Broadband Deployment in Canada, Olena Ivus and Matthew Boland Queen’s School of Business, Queen’s University
- Ontario’s Broadband Problem, TVO, August 11, 2020
- Few high-speed internet options frustrating for people in rural Alberta, Global News, September 26, 2020
Episode 5: Interview with Brett Pawlyk About Exploring David Thompson Country
Brett Pawlyk is a long-time local adventurer and guide. In this video he speaks with Jerry Pratt, Economic Development Officer with Clearwater County, about HeLa Ventures, Mountain Adventure School, caring for the land as people recreate, and his book “David Thompson Country: A Scrambling Guide.” Brett wants everyone to know that we have a beautiful area to live and play in, and that the best way to enjoy this land for generations to come is by following the Leave No Trace principles when recreating in Clearwater County and surrounding area. Brett’s book, “David Thompson Country: A Scrambling Guide”, is sold at various stores around Nordegg and Rocky Mountain House or can be purchased online through Amazon.
Episode 6: Projects Along the David Thompson Corridor
Economic Development Officer, Jerry Pratt, welcomes Don Livingston, Director Recreation, Ecosystem and Land Management with Alberta Environment and Parks, to discuss projects along the David Thompson Highway between the hamlet of Nordegg and the Banff National Park. Alberta Environment and Parks is building new parking lots, trail heads and pedestrian crossing in response the growth in visitors to Clearwater County and David Thompson Country over the past several years. These improvements will help protect the visitors and the land that they are exploring.
Episode 7: Nature's Getaway in Nordegg
Listen the latest podcast episode about a new luxury cabin rental business in Nordegg, Alberta.
Tanya Koshowski runs Nature’s Getaway Nordegg, and in this video Jerry Pratt, Economic Development Officer with Clearwater County, interviews Tanya about why they chose Nordegg, the joys of operating multiple cabin rentals, and how they have made Nature’s Getaway a unique place for couples and families to enjoy as they explore the David Thompson Country Tourism Region.
Nature’s Getaway Nordegg can be found at https://www.naturesgetawaynordegg.com/
Episode 8: West Fraser LVL in Clearwater County
West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., a Canadian Lumber company with a laminated veneer lumber (LVL) plant located SW of Rocky Mountain House in Clearwater County, and they have sawmill and lumber treatment plant located near Sundre just South of Clearwater County. In this video Jerry Pratt, Economic Development Officer for Clearwater County, interviews Bob Jackle, General Manager of the West Fraser LVL plant, and Tom Daniels, Forestry Superintendent for West Fraser. They discuss careers, forestry management, fighting mountain pine beetle, and West Fraser’s work with local recreation groups. Audio versions are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and other streaming services.
Episode 9: Black Mountain Fire 2022 (Part 1 & 2)
Listen to the latest discussion about the Black Mountain Fire in Clearwater County about 19 kms from Nordegg in late July of 2022. In this video Jerry Pratt, Economic Development Officer, interviews the Director of Emergency & Legislative Services, Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief of Operations with Clearwater Regional Fire and Rescue Services. They discuss the conditions at the time of the fire, the response, working with Alberta Environment and Parks and Alberta Wildfire in a Unified Incident Command Centre, and review the value of the Fire Smart program on acreages and farms.
Episode 10: Clearwater County CAO Interview (Part 1 & 2)
Clearwater County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Rick Emmons, discusses the role of Council, the Municipal Government Act, Bylaws, and how services and expectations have changed for municipal government over his 30 some years of experience.
Episode 11: Amazing Horse Country
Amazing Horse Country is a ranch near Crimson Lake in Clearwater County that helps horses and riders grow closer together and trains both how so they can enjoy new adventures together. In this video Jerry Pratt, Economic Development Officer for Clearwater County, interviews Scott Phillips, owner of Amazing Horse Country. They discuss what Scott does with his clients and horses, why he chose this area for his business, and how being in nature is good for the soul.
Episode 12: County Finances
In this podcast interview Jerry Pratt, Economic Development Officer, interviews Rhonda Serhan, Manager of Financial Services, to discuss how County finances are structured. Learn about the different areas that property taxes fund and how they work.
Episode 13: Friends of the Eastern Slopes
Friends of the Eastern Slopes is a non-profit organization that has taken over the management of over a dozen Provincial Recreation Areas (PRAs) or campgrounds from Alberta Parks, most of them within Clearwater County. In this video, Jerry Pratt, Economic Development Officer for Clearwater County, interviews Dale Marshall and Suzanne Comfort, President and Vice President of the Friends of the Eastern Slopes. They discuss the purpose of the organization, the work they are doing in the PRAs, ways to support their work, and information that visitors need to know when they are recreating in that part of the David Thompson Country Tourism Region.
Episode 14: Broadband & Rigstar
Dive into the County's Open Access Network, a game-changing initiative for better connectivity in Clearwater County. With three out of six project phases done, the OAN uses a vast 360-kilometer fiber-optic cable (Core Backbone) and well-placed wireless towers for high-speed Internet across the county. Join Jerry Pratt, the Economic Development Officer, in an engaging podcast as he interviews Rigstar's President/Co-Founder, the Network Operator for Clearwater County's Open Access Network, also known as the broadband optic fiber project by some.
Episode 15: Solid Waste & Recycling
Episode 16: Introduction to Land Use Bylaw (LUB) Rewrite Interview
Welcome to our Introduction to the Land Use Bylaw Podcast, where we discuss the purpose of the LUB, why there is a need for rewriting it, how it aligns with the Municipal Development Plan, how Clearwater County residents and businesses can provide input, and who it impacts.
Episode 17: Rocky SAR Interview
Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue (Rocky SAR) is a volunteer organization that serves the residents and visitors of Clearwater County. We are very grateful for their dedication and professionalism. Eric Brownrigg, President of Rocky SAR, speaks with Jerry Pratt, Economic Development Officer with Clearwater County, about the organization, their training, and safety tips for those recreating in the David Thompson Country Tourism Region.