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At Your Service: Reel Mondays lined up for your viewing pleasure

Need a cinematic escape to heat up your Alberta winter blues? Reel Mondays has the cure in five marvellous doses for you.
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Cora Pacholok of St. Albert is the local co-ordinator of Bags of Hope, now in its fifth year. Annually, the Pacholok family collects food, hygiene products and warm clothing to put into backpacks and donate them to those in need through the Mosaic Centre in Edmonton. CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette

Need a cinematic escape to heat up your Alberta winter blues? Reel Mondays has the cure in five marvellous doses for you. What's more is this medicine has more stars than ever before – yet there's still something for everyone, as always. 

"Even though I am biased, I see this season as having an eclectic line up," said Valerie Spink, the president of the Friends of the St. Albert Public Library, "but then, I say that with every season." 

The upcoming 2020 winter lineup includes some big-name powerhouse performances in big marquee titles. Look for the new season to start on Jan. 27 with Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, director Richard Linklater's adaptation of the novel about an agoraphobic architect in Antarctica. Try saying that five times fast. The indie hit starred Cate Blanchett and co-starred Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer, Megan Mullally, Steve Zahn and Laurence Fishburne.

The hits just keep on coming after that, with After the Wedding (Feb. 24), Judy (March 23), The Good Liar (April 20), and Ford v. Ferrari capping things off on May 11. There's a bevy of stars offering some world-class entertainment throughout, and certainly some of these will be strong contenders for the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony set for Feb. 9. 

"One cannot go wrong with Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Renee Zellweger, Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Matt Damon and Christian Bale, all actors in the five different movies," Spink continued. "Our selection will appeal to all movie lovers."

Reel Mondays is the pillar of the Friends' fundraising efforts to benefit the St. Albert Public Library primarily through funding the St. Albert Readers' Festival, better known as STARFest. 

Individual and season tickets for the Winter 2020 season are now available at the library's customer service desk and by visiting Each ticket is $15 or $60 for the season pass, which Spink said would be a steal at that price and would make a fine Christmas present for adults of all ages.

Yoga for good spiritual health

If you've ever wanted to support seniors while supporting your body's circulatory and lymphatic systems, then there's a yoga class just for you. The event, lined up to start at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, includes peaceful, gentle yoga (led by Frances Gagnon) and sound meditation and crystal bowls (by Val Whitehead) as a fundraiser for the Support A Senior program at the St. Albert Seniors Association. Coffee and tea with sweets and snacks will follow, along with door prizes and 50/50 tickets.

People can sign up at the front desk at Red Willow Place before Dec. 9. Admittance costs $20 and people should expect to wear comfortable clothes and bring their own yoga mats and blankets. 

The Support A Senior program manages a fund that helps seniors to attend programs when they otherwise would not be able to, or who have other financial needs. The program can be accessed by contacting the Senior Services Co-ordinator at 780-459-0433 (ext. 4). 

The St. Albert Seniors Association is located at 7 Taché St. Call 780-459-0433 (ext. 0) or visit for more information.

Upcoming charity deadlines and details

Bag of Hope: collecting duffel bags/backpacks filled with necessities and comforts for metro Edmonton's homeless population (winter wear, socks/underwear, toiletries, food and bus tickets). Deadline Thursday, Dec. 12. Dropoff at St. Albert Curling Club, 3 Taché St. 

Kinettes Christmas Hamper Drive: collecting donations of non-perishable food items and toys. Deadline: Saturday, Dec. 14. Dropoffs at Servus Place, Fountain Park Recreation Centre, Overdrive Dance Force, Raw Beauty, all five Starbucks locations, Running Room, both A&W locations, BMO, Riverside Honda, Keenooshayo and Robert Rundle schools, Marshalls and St. Albert Centre.

Little Warriors Book Drive: collecting new and gently-used kids' books (ages 6 to 16) for kids receiving care at Be Brave Ranch. Deadline: Sunday, Dec. 15. Dropoffs at Core Chiropractic Clinic (30 Green Grove Dr.) and Clarity Wealth Counsel (10 Carleton Dr.).

Salvation Army Christmas Kettle: cash donations for church programs. Deadline: Tuesday, Dec. 24. Dropoffs at various local stores and shopping centres.

Giving Tree: collecting winter wear items for clients through St. Albert Community Village. Deadline: Wednesday, Jan. 8. Dropoffs at Fountain Park Recreation Centre and Servus Place. (search ‘The Giving Tree’).

Scott Hayes

About the Author: Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.
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