Franklin Countys First News

International book group established between Rangeley and Canada

RANGELEY - Recently, Rangeley Public Library patrons traveled to Red Deer, Canada, without even getting stopped at the border to show their passports. In a first-time venture, the Rangeley Public Library participated in an international book group discussion. Using videoconferencing technology, the Rangeley participants enjoyed some lively chatter with our neighbors to the north.

Red Deer is a city in Central Alberta, Canada. It is located near the midpoint of the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor and is surrounded by Red Deer County. Red Deer is Alberta's third most populous city—after Calgary and Edmonton. The city is located in Aspen Parkland, a region of rolling hills that is subject to oil, grain, and cattle production. Red Deer is a center for oil and agriculture distribution, and the surrounding region is a major center for petrochemical production.

The population of the City of Red Deer according to its 2010 municipal census is 90,084. Named Cultural Capital of Canada by Canadian Heritage in 2003,[16] Red Deer is home to a wide variety of cultural groups. It is the home of Central Alberta Theatre, Ignition Theatre, Central Music Festival, the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, as well as many other performing arts and fine arts organizations.

The Cree peoples called the river on which Red Deer now stands, Waskasoo Seepee. This can be translated "Wapiti River" or "Elk River." Some of the first British traders thought the Wapiti were a type of European red deer and gave the river its current name.

While the book club from Red Deer read Empire Falls by Richard Russo, the Rangeley group read the non-fiction book I Am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby. Empire Falls depicts life in a small fictional Maine community which has been hit by tough economic times and the inhabitants who struggle to keep hope alive. I Am Hutterite takes readers into the hidden heart of the little-known Hutterite colony in southern Manitoba where author Mary-Ann Kirkby spent her childhood.

“I could see by looking at the expressions on the faces of those who participated that they were enjoying it. I know that the Rangeley Public Library feels that they have formed a friendship with some great people who love their community in Red Deer and are very gracious hosts,” said Library director, Martin Gagnon. “We would love to do something again in the future.”

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