GRANDE PRAIRIE NEWS - 2017
January 2017: Construction has began on the 43X Bypass from the north side to the west side of Grande Prairie. There will be a set of lights where it meets Highway 43 (west of the city) about 4 km east of the Richmond Hill. -Part of Highway 40 South from Grande Prairie to Wapiti River is also being planned to be twinned.
January 2017: With more people moving back to Grande Prairie for work, the rental vacancy is decreasing a bit and the Real Estate Market is expected to improve.
February 2017: Winners Store will be moving to a new location in March, former Future Shop building on the west side of Grande Prairie (116 st and just south of 100 ave). Also near the same location but north of 100 avenue, The Hampton Hotel had its Grand Opening.
February 2017: The 150 unit Seniors Complex called Lakeview is scheduled to open in April in Clairmont, Alberta. The sod turning event took place on July 30, 2015 for the $30 million new senior's complex facility that will feature 77 senior lodge units and 73 affordable enhanced senior apartments.
February 2017: Ben Moss Jewelry Store was to close across Canada but was sold and will remain open. There is a location in the Prairie Mall, Grande Prairie.
February 2017:Chief economist at ATB Financial says 2017 will be a rebound year in Alberta with jobs in the energy sector improving in the second half of the year. Agriculture should perform well, but the forestry industry won't have news til the U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement is renegotiated. Unemployment should remain close to 9% for most of the year.
February 2017: Two new catholic schools officially opened. The St Catherine Catholic School (K-8) with 500 students located at 9902-101 Street, Grande Prairie (Royal Oaks Subdivision), and the St Mary Catholic School in Beaverlodge (K-9) with 300 students also opened.
February 2017: It appears that it may be more than rumours that Go RV has closed north of Grande Prairie by overpass. Even though their phones are connected and website still active, there are no RV's displayed in their front yard and there is no furniture visible in their showroom.
March 2017: Wee Links Par 3 Golf Course and Campground located at south Bear Creek, will reopen this spring as it will now be run by the Nitehawk Year-round Adventure Par with partnership with the Sunrise Rotary Club of Grande Prairie. It has been renamed The Bear Paw par 3 Golf Course.
March 2017:Willie de Wit has been appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench as a judge. Willie is originally from Grande Prairie and a well known boxer who had won Silver in the Olympics.
March 2017: Hollywood Video located on 100th Street has closed its doors. They had opened in 2012 in the former Rogers Video location.
March 2017: The Ken and Teresa Sargent Foundation has donated $100,000 towards the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation.
March 2017: The Alberta Province has approved the replacement of the Composite High School and the modernization of the St Patrick Catholic School, both located in Grande Prairie. Construction won't start until 2018. (enlarge picture)
March 2017: Downtown Grande Prairie will continue with its Downtown Rehabilitation and Streetscapeproject. There will be a number of phases that will see underground utilities replaced including sidewalks, curbs, lighting, furniture and even trees and plants.
March 2017: Sunrise Records will be opening in the HMV store in the Prairie Mall, Grande Prairie. When HMV announce they were closing all their locations, Sunrise said they would be taking over the 70 locations including Grande Prairie.
April 2017: A 2nd location of the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy opened in the Northridge area, 10071-120 Ave Grande Prairie (just north of the Servus Credit Union). Curtis Crough is also the owner of the 2nd location.
April 2017: Marshalls brand name and designer fashion store is coming to the Prairie Mall in Grande Prairie. It will located near the Coles store.
April 2017: Former Grande Prairie Storm forward, Tanner Fritz agreed to a 2 year contract with NHL's New York Islanders, effective next season. He played with the GP Storm in the 2007-08 to the 2010-11 Season.
April 2017: London Drugs celebrated a Grand Reopening of its newly renovated store in Grande Prairie located in the Gateway Power Centre (west side of the City). -Brenda Yamkowy announces she is retiring from the executive director of the United Way. She was with the United Way for 3 years and 15 years with a number of other organizations.
April 2017: Even though the 2017 Municipal Election isn't until October 16, 2017 there has been a number of candidates who have registered at City Hall including Clyde Blackburn, Dylan Bressey, Tyler Bulford, John Croken, Bill Given, Jill McCure, Kevin McLean, Cooper Morrison, Wade Pilat, Ramesem Rajnut, Tyla Saverd, Morgan Suurd, Chris Thiessen, Dylan Thompson, and Michael Wolfel.
April 2017: The current City councilors voted a pay raise for all those elected in October. The Mayor of Grande Prairie will receive an increase of $11,000 while councilors will get a bit over $13,000 pay increases.
April 2017: The Grande Prairie Dream Home winner this year was Adam Hickson of Grande Prairie. Matthew Watson of Sexsmith won the 50/50 draw that got him $243,320.
May 2017: Mission Thrift Store has opened in Grande Prairie, located in the Towne Centre Mall. Proceeds from the store support the ministry of the Bible League of Canada.
May 2017: A multi-million dollar acid gas injector facility is proposed to open near Grovedale just south of Grande Prairie. It is estimated there will be 500 contractors for the construction, then will have 17 full time employees.
May 2017: The Block Parent Program returns its operations in Grande Prairie. It will provide a network of safe places where kids can go.
June 2017: Jeffrey's Cafe is building a new restaurant near Esquires on the west side of Grande Prairie. Owner Lance Warkentin hopes it will be open in late July or August.
June 2017: Robert Guest, renowned local artist, passed away from a heart attack in Nanaimo, BC. He was born in 1938 in Beaverlodge and was an instructor at the GPRC and Fairview College for many years.