Hole history will be on display next January as part of St. Albert's 150th anniversary gala.
The Rendezvous 2011 committee this week started its push to sell tickets to the Canadian Western Bank Rendezvous 2011 Gala. The gala, expected to draw about 500 people, is the first of many major events the group has planned for the city's sesquicentennial next year.
The gala is the secular counterpart to the 150th event planned by the St. Albert Catholic Parish for Jan. 16, said Margaret Plain, chair of the 150th anniversary committee.
"It'll be a black-tie event, so people will be asked to come in their best bib and tucker." Tickets will be $100, which gets you a night of food, song and dance at the new Enjoy Centre by Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park.
The party is meant to celebrate St. Albert's creation in January 1861, Plain said. Records say that on Jan. 14 of that year, Father Albert Lacombe and Bishop Taché had tea atop Mission Hill. As the old mission at Lac St. Anne was struggling, Lacombe asked Taché if he could move it. Struck by the view, Taché agreed, planted a stick in the snow, and said the new mission would be right there, and would be called St. Albert.
The city re-enacted that moment in 1986 with the descendents of both men, Plain noted.
"Because Jan. 14 in 1986 was a beautiful, warm sunny day, there was no snow in the driveway, so we had to haul some in so the horses could pull the sleigh," she said, laughing. They haven't planned a tea party this year, she continued, but they will have displays on the city's history at the event. Aboriginal performers and the Bella Rouge Specialty Show Band will also be there for entertainment.
The gala is at 6 p.m. on Jan. 22. Tickets go on sale at the Rendezvous 2011 office on St. Thomas St. this Sept. 1.
The Hole of history
Also on display during the gala will be a new exhibit on Hole's Greenhouse & Gardens.
Greenhouse co-owner Bill Hole launched the exhibit this week. Dubbed The Memory Project, it asks city residents to share their stories about the history of the Hole family and their 50 years in St. Albert. The project is meant to celebrate the greenhouse's move to the new Enjoy Centre this fall.
They've already received a pile of stories over the years, Hole said. "We've got memories of people who remember getting vegetables or a carrot when they were a young child and how that inspired them to be in their own garden," he said.
Plain remembered how Ted Hole helped build a wall in the botanic park. Retired city arborist John Beedle had a pile of smashed sidewalk blocks sitting around, she said, and the garden needed a new wall. So, with the help of Ted's Bobcat and a bunch of burly rugby players, Beedle slapped together the wall near the rose garden over the course of two years.
Hole remembered how young couples used their farm as a parking lot. "They weren't up there to view the flora and fauna. They were there for other reasons."
Hole planned to collect stories for about a month and have the exhibit ready by November. Anyone who wants to contribute can do so at Hole's or its website.
Plain will be at the St. Albert Farmers' Market this weekend to remind locals about next year's mega-picnic.
The committee plans to hold the world's largest picnic on Aug. 28, 2011, as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations. "It's going to be a huge effort," she said. "We want to have about 25,000 people attend."
The current Guinness World Record for the most simultaneous picnickers is 22,232, Plain said, and was set in 2009 by Lisbon, Portugal.
For information on the picnic or any other gala event, including how to volunteer, visit: www.rendezvous2011.ca or call 780-458-4630.