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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - February 28, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 34 - THE IETHBR1DGE HERALD - Wsdnesday, February 26, 1973 o Rosedale, Alberta is a bustling little town. Its 450 residents are proud of their community. But it hasn't always been so enterprising. Located four miles east of Drumheller Rosedale is the site of a plastics factory, picnic and campground, fire hall, several businesses, and a beer garden, popular throughout the valley. Yet just two years ago, it had no industry, and neither gas nor water and sewer facilities to support it. Rosedale was without its public park, fire hall, beer garden and several of the stores. If residents weren't happy about the lack of facilities, they had learned to acept the fact. Rosedale's days as a busy mining town were over and the future looked bleak. Change In tire winter of 1970, tilings began to change. With the cooperation and concerned effort of interested citizens, Rosedale's spirit was restored. Their experience may interest other Alberta communities seeking to spark community action. A handful of villagers decided Rosedale could be helped. Led by Peter Ludwig, an aggressive and articulate school bus driver, they formed the Rosedale Citizens' Committee. Tony Karch of the University of Calgary division of continuing education was invited to meet with them. Mr. Karch had been working In the Drumheller Valley, experimenting with the use of half-inch videotape recording equipment to foster community dialogue. He hoped that by interviewing citizens for their opinions on problem issues, he would focus attention on the issues and stimulate conversa-ation which would produce action. His project was sponsored by the National Film Board's "Challenge for Change" program and the U of C's division of continuing education and school of social welfare. "Challenge for Change" is a division of the National Film Board seeking to use the media lo increase public awareness of social problems. Training Tn Rosedale, Mr. Karch immediately placed the half-inch VTR equipment in the hands of the citizens committee. The compact, two - suitcase package included camera, microphone, tape recorder and TV monitor. He trained members in its use, then remained in the background as a resource person. Committee members moved out onto the streets, asking residents for their views on making Rosedale a better place to live. Those interviewed understood that they would see the film immediately afterward, and would have editing rights on any segment featuring them. Residents were co-operative and enthusiastic, Mr. Karch reports. A total of 11 interview tapes were edited into an hour-long film which summarized the disco ntent villagers hadn't openly exposed before. The film was shown at a community meeting that attracted most of the village. The interest and conversation that had been sparked by the interviews reached a peak. Smaller committees were formed that night to acquire gas, water and sewer facilities, as well as recreational and industrial development. A clean-up day, planned almost immediately, brought a quarter of the residents out to clean streets and clear vacant lots of old cars and debris. A f sw weeks later, they devoted an entire weekend to converting a wooded area near the town into a picnic and campground. Improvement "These starts ' on improvements only made the villagers impatient for more," said Karch. The role of VTR in Rosedale was not to record, but rather to serve as a catalyst to increase Citizens helped themselves . . . Video tape helpsd town to find itself awarenes of problem Issues and to move citizens to contruc-tive action. As citizens became increasingly concerned and involved, the need for VTR to stimulate dialogue diminished. Fired by their new spirit of co-operation, it was only a year before residents had gas and water lines, a fire truck and fire hall, and a small plastics factory which now employs several people. After Mr. Karch had left the community, an independent assessment of the Rosedale project was commissioned. It was carried out by David Baxter, then a graduate student, now a faculty member of the U of C school of social welfare. The assessment became the subject of Mr. Baxter's master's theis entitled "The Utilization of Videotape in the Community Development Process." Assessment To conduct the assesment, Mr. Baxter interviewed a 11 members of the Rosedale Citizen's Action Committee, and a random sampling of citizens. He found a strong feeling of self-help prevailed among residents, an indication that the goal of the community development worker had been accom- plished. Residents felt their Citizens' Action Committee had contributed most to the change, with Tony Karch, VTR and the rest of the community following in contribution. However, the residents also felt their project might never have been launched without Mr. Karch and progress would have been much lower wiuiout the VTR. "This was a good case of people helping themselves," remarked Mr. Baxter. 'They had help, but they were in control." In another project last year. Mr. Karch introduced VTR to a group of Peigan Indians who used it to obtain community response to a five-year economic plan currently under way. He also demonstrated the use of VTR to members of Calgary's Association for Social Change, which is dedicated to advising and representing welfare recipients. Both projects were undertaken with National Film Board support. The only NFB involvement now is co-sponsoring an annual workshop, "Change and the Media," with the U of C school of social welfare, the division of continuing education and Calgary's Media Access Committee. Save 1* Little Girls7 Shoes Bump-toe "Heavies" in super, colourful leather now This is the way she'll be dressed for school Brightly shod in shoes that are comfortable, sturdy and great-looking. New bump toes, platform soles. IV heels. Sizes 12Vi to 4 all. c-3-eyelet tie. White/Blue. Save 2" Women's Casuals 09 Reg. $12.98 Slip into something casual. Look great. Save Money! d-4-eyelet saddle oxford in fine quality leather. Stitchwork. Layered sole, heel. White/Brown. 5-9. e-4-eyelet high rise vamp spectator saddle shoe. Smooth leather uppers.. Pi" heels. Brown/Tan, Navy/Grey. 6-9. Men! Save 4" Buy those shoes you need for Spring and save! 199 I Reg. $26.