A new terminal is making waves as the first of its kind in Alberta.
The $42 million co-op fertilizer facility between Taber and Grassy Lake, Alta., offers more than just run-of-the-mill fertilizer supplies by blending and distributing crop nutrition products, including liquid micronutrients and nitrogen stabilizers, and the state-of-the-art technology offers customizable options.
“Farmers will be able to come in [and] they’ll be able to get the right blend for their crop, depending on where their area is and where they’re farming,” CEO of South Country Co-op Ltd. Paul Haynes explained.
The Grassy Lake facility can also store more than 34,000 metric tonnes and has built-in access to a loop track that can accommodate up to 110 rail cars.
Officials say this will make phosphate, which is no longer produced in Western Canada, more readily available.
“The market here takes about 1.3 million metric tonnes of phosphate per year,” vice-president of agriculture and consumer business for Federal Co-operatives Limited Ron Healey said. “That all has to be imported into Western Canada right now, so facilities like this are going to be increasingly important.”
The facility currently has five full-time employees who say the advanced technology makes it a smooth process.
“There’s not much hands-on,” terminal operator Charlie Liebrecht said. “It’s all automated so everything is really user-friendly.”
They also say the feedback from farmers in the first month of operation says it all.
“They love it,” terminal operator Kayne Watts said. “From sign in to sign out, we can load a truck in 15 minutes. It’s about four to five minutes to load a 45-tonne truck.”
Government officials are optimistic this will pair well with other agricultural innovation in the area.
“We have everything we need to be able to make this the agrifood processing corridor of Canada,” Taber-Warner MLA Grant Hunter said on Tuesday, adding that new nearby irrigation projects will be announced later this week to encourage further industry growth in southern Alberta.
In the meantime, the new fertilizer terminal is giving producers from central Alberta to southwestern Saskatchewan a leg up in producing higher quality Canadian food.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
How travel restrictions are impacting art – The Globe and Mail
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Art galleries on the brink as pandemic lays waste to plans – TheChronicleHerald.ca
By Barbara Lewis and Will Russell
MUDDLES GREEN, England (Reuters) – This was to have been the year that an art gallery deep in the southern English countryside took the United States by storm with exhibitions of the extraordinary Lee Miller, a 1920s fashion model, surrealist and World War Two photographer.
Filming for a biopic starring Kate Winslet was also meant to have begun at Farleys House in Muddles Green, where the American-born Miller recovered from documenting the horrors of war and entertained guests including Pablo Picasso and fellow surrealist photographer and her former lover Man Ray.
Instead, the pandemic has put almost every plan on hold.
“It’s like a wasteland of tumbleweed,” said Ami Bouhassane, Miller’s granddaughter.
She curates the Miller archive with her father, Antony Penrose, Miller’s son with the surrealist artist Roland Penrose.
COVID-19 has compounded the uncertainty created by Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU), with a transition period ending on Dec. 31. That has left galleries anxious about how complicated it might become to stage shows and transport artworks abroad.
For more than a decade, Farleys House and Gallery has averaged four international exhibitions a year, loaned mostly around Europe, accounting for roughly a third of its revenue. Other income comes from rights relating to the 60,000 negatives in the Miller archive and from visitors to Muddles Green.
This year, it was planning on seven and to expand into the United States as part of a strategy to cope with Brexit. Two have gone ahead – one in Germany, traditionally one of its most important markets, and another in non-EU Switzerland.
A third show, intended for Europe, is being shown instead to Farleys’ trickle of socially-distanced visitors, while the other exhibitions are in storage.
Such problems are shared to varying degrees by art institutions great and small as visitor numbers no longer justify large-scale exhibitions and planning is fraught.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entirety of the arts and culture sector,” said Arts Council England in an email. The body is helping to administer a government 1.57 billion pound ($2.04 billion) Culture Recovery Fund.
London’s Wallace Collection, which includes works by Rubens, Van Dyck and Titian, has also seen a 90% fall in visitors and has deferred exhibitions to next year.
“Financially it doesn’t make sense to do blockbuster shows at the moment,” Xavier Bray, director of the museum, told Reuters.
Commercial revenue from events, a shop and restaurant has dropped by 1.5 million pounds and the museum faces “a massive deficit” this year, Bray said. “Any help is going to be crucial to the survival of institutions like the Wallace Collection.”
($1 = 0.7717 pounds)
(Reporting by Barbara Lewis in Muddles Green and Will Russell in London; additional reporting by Gerhard Mey and Carolyn Cohn,; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
Art on Stone adapts to overcome pandemic challenges (4 photos) – OrilliaMatters
It’s Small Business Week in Ontario. To celebrate, the Township of Oro-Medonte is turning the spotlight on five innovative small businesses that epitomize this year’s theme of entrepreneurial resilience and adaptation in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. The second of five articles, submitted by the township, focuses on Art on Stone.
Art on Stone is a Horseshoe Valley-based studio which turns treasured photographs into beautiful pieces of stone art using a unique printing technique.
Images can be provided by the customer or selected from a professional image library and then carefully printed on natural stone to make a unique keepsake or gift. Art on Stone specializes in high quality trivets, coasters and larger stone art.
It has been a challenging year for Art on Stone business owner Jan Novak who, prior to COVID-19, built his business by selling products at popular markets, festivals and retail stores.
At events like The Images Studio Tour, Muskoka Arts Festival, Bala Cranberry Festival and regional Christmas markets, customers could see, touch and feel his unique product.
Yet once these sales channels were suddenly eliminated, Art on Stone had to pivot quickly in order to keep the business going strong.
“COVID-19 forced us to rethink our marketing approach to selling our art online,” said Novak. “Our 2020 business plan, marketing plans and budget had to be completely revised. New ways of selling our product had to be created…from scratch.”
Over the winter and spring months, Novak spent countless hours working with web designers and e-commerce experts to build an innovative new website that allows people to upload their images and place orders for his stone art products virtually.
Novak revamped his website to allow users to create custom designs, and see how they look before confirming the order. Users can upload images that they wanted printed on stone, and place orders virtually.
Customers can select free curbside pickup or opt for flat fee shipping to most locations in Canada and the U.S.. He even added a YouTube tutorial video to help people understand the site better.
Building a boutique e-commerce site from scratch was a real learning curve for Novak, who had earlier plans to do this but never a sense of urgency to get it done.
“We did extensive research over the internet to see how other unique and custom gift production companies designed their website in way that was attractive, engaging and easy to use,” he said. “Changes were being done daily and the launch had to be delayed until we were comfortable and satisfied with the design.”
During the summer Art On Stone helped to organize a fundraiser called Home Made Masks for Home Town Heroes. The fundraiser offered custom designed coasters with a special design to honour frontline workers in Barrie and Simcoe North. Some proceeds of these limited edition products were donated to a local food bank.
In the future, Novak plans to expand these special offerings and work with other groups, organizations and charities where he can provide assistance with raising funds and continue to give back to the community.
Check out Art on Stone at www.artonstone.com.
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