The Calgary Yacht Club has been a local institution in Chestermere for over 90 years so it is only fitting that this past Friday July 24 they hosted a well-attended tribute to another Chestermere institution, Vicki Klinger.
Vicki is leaving the Chestermere Regional Community Association after over 17 years of dedicated service. If you participated in or attended Country Connections, Go Girl, the Country Fair, Parent Drop-In, Gymkhana, or any of the many other events that make a community more than a bunch of houses you know Vicki.
She brought a boundless energy and an eye for the many details that go into a great community event and you could always be assured that things would run smoothly.
The tribute was spearheaded by Yvonne Harris, known to many of you for her wellness courses, with the assistance of Nevone Macintosh and Jennifer Peddlesden. Alex Frei supplied the music. Laurie Dunn and the Calgary Yacht Club generously donated the venue, arranged for the “cohort seating”, and pitched in on the individual food plates. George Conroy, Clara Ball, and an anonymous gentleman made cash donations to help with the costs.
Vicki’s many friends in attendance took the time to write a personal memory or funny anecdote which were presented to Vicki. Chestermere-Strathmore MLA Leela Sharon Aheer attended and shared this: “In 2010, I went to Vicki with the idea of doing a musical theatre program. We had already been doing Alberta Arts Days, the Christmas concerts and program and I was a regular performer for her many non-profit events. The program was for all ages and for all abilities. As a result, we ended up with 75 students in our first intake and it grew exponentially the years after that.
What began as a Sunday program that ran from 12-3 became an entire weekend program run out of whatever space was available in the hall that ran 9-3 on Saturday with vocal practices on Sunday’s from 12-3. The cost was so low, that it basically covered our rental and a few costumes that were made by myself and my amazing volunteer moms and dads, as well as running sound, hanging lights with a very old and decrepit lighting board, and minimal cost tickets so that all people could attend and everyone who wanted could participate.
We did epic plays from Thomas the Tank to High School Musical as well as many original scripts and songs. We cleaned out the change rooms, brought the theatre back to life and filled the house with willing patrons excited to see these amazing shows. Many of those young artists are now pursing music in their adult lives and the impact it had on my life and theirs can not be overstated.” There are many other stories like this about Vicki.
Vicki has touched many lives over the years and has been a cornerstone of the Chestermere community. I will certainly miss her energy but I fully expect we will see more of Vicki in the future as she seeks new challenges