Onet Offers One Gigabit of Bandwidth

Thursday, Jul 18, 2013 03:00 am  BY PAUL EVEREST  , Olds Albertan

Asked how O-NET’s milestone decision to offer one gigabit of bandwidth will benefit the non-profit Internet service provider’s customers, Nathan Kusiek put it this way.”You have the speed. We’ve given you a super fast car on a really nicely paved highway now and you don’t have to worry about speed limits.”
Kusiek, the service provider’s sales and marketing manager, said O-NET’s management decided on July 18 to increase the service’s maximum bandwidth from 100 megabits to 1,000 megabits, or one gigabit.
The increase, he added, puts Olds ahead of any other city and town in Canada for downloading and uploading speeds.
“We’re the first community in Canada to put fibre directly to someone’s house and with that fibre optic connection, we’re the only ones that can actually deliver that speed,” Kusiek said.
O-NET is the service provider and marketing brand for Olds Fibre Ltd., a company owned by the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development, and is the first community-owned, community-wide fibre-optic network in the country.

Read more about Onet’s new Initiative at:

I’ve joined a new Real Estate team!

I celebrated my birthday this year by launching a new phase for my real estate career.  After 16 very satisfying years within a family-owned real estate office, I have ventured into the networked world of CIR Realty.  I welcome you all to my new offices where I continue to meet the needs of buyers and sellers looking for homes, lease properties, businesses, or industrial property.

The changing nature of the regional real estate market was a major motivation. I felt that taking advantage of connections with the Calgary real estate community would result in more opportunity for our region. The individuals I have met during the first weeks in CIR have definitely given me support, encouragement and ideas for a host of new approaches for marketing and featuring our community for investment.

The  attraction of business and industry and development of new jobs in our area has been a long-standing added objective of mine. This is a natural carry-over from my previous role as Director of Economic Development for Olds, and prior to that as the Executive Director of a regional grouping of small rural communities in Central Alberta who worked together to grow their communities.  My experience in the whole range of real estate and economic development issues makes me the ideal choice for comprehensive service – assisting with resources and networking to ensure integration into the community with ease and the least stress.

While I have been focussing on many housekeeping issues necessary in the transition to CIR Realty, I feel this website is very worthwhile to my customers and newcomers to our community. I welcome you to contribute with comments on my website and blogs, and hope that together we can continue to improve this website as a source of information, connection to the community, and a one-stop portal to many of the resources and activities that make Olds and area such an attractive region in which to live, work and play.

New Catholic School Starts Construction

The ground breaking ceremony signaling the start of construction for  the new Holy Trinity School in Olds was held this past week. This school will include Kindergarten to Grade nine and will have a maximum of 300 students. The school site encompasses about 10 acres for both the school and sports fields. Servicing the site has begun and the school anicipates to be open for the fall 2010 term. It is located in the southwest quadrant of Olds where a new residential sub division is planned.

Olds Grizzlys Alumni in NHL

It has been great to see the Olds Grizzlys and Olds Minor Hockey alumni in the NHL news and games over the past months. As a long-time volunteer and supporter of our local levels of hockey in the development process, it has been gratifying to hear the names of young men we have had the pleasure of knowing, achieve their dreams of playing on NHL franchises. These players like Nathan Lawson (who stayed with us over several seasons) and Jason Jaffray (who we have admired as an exceptional hockey player and contributor to the hockey programs in Olds as a graduate of the minor hockey programs), as well as our much-admired Jay Rosehill, (whose entire family has been a strong contribution to sports in general and specifically the success of the Grizzlys) show how strongly the development levels of hockey contribute to the success of the “big show”.  Now, if we could just get some kickback from the NHL teams for developing this talent over the years it takes, the financial success of teams like the Grizzlys would be less of an ongoing challenge. Enjoy the games, and reflect on the role this organization has had in building opportunities for these and other exceptional young men who have been grown or have passed through our community!

Grand Opening of It’s a Jungle


Grand Opening of It’s a Jungle -Seems like yesterday this young entrepreneur spread her wings. Since then, she married, moved to a new and larger space under her personal rebranding to “Sparkling Dahlia”.  We have celebrated with her at each step.

Now she and hubby have sold the business and moved to Manitoba where the fishing is legendary, the sunsets on the lake are stunning, and she is able to bring her creativity to the area where she grew up.  She has taken her education, superlative service skills, design and sense of fun to heights well beyond our dreams and expectations. She has proven that great service works in small town Alberta. She has left a multitude of well-wishers and customers eager to visit the spots she raves about on their next trip out east. We will beating a path to her new door soon – because the kind of relationships we cherish are built on life’s celebrations and living life to the max.

OLD POST -I am very pleased to announce that my customer Erin Leutschaft has shown true entrepreneurial spirit in the purchase of the flower shop on Mainstreet Carstairs known as It’s a Jungle. Her Grand Opening celebration  was on August 15, 2009 . Needless to say she was gratified by the initial response and looks forward to providing a continued high level of service to her existing and new customers.

Her passion for flowers started an early age and grew as took the Floral Design Program and Olds College. Upon graduating in 2002 she has worked in the industry and run her own on-line  and home-based wedding flower business.  I am certain that her new storefront location will compliment and help her expand her wedding business. Oh! and by the way she delivers.

One of the interesting lines she will soon be adding  in gift wear selection is that she has found a supplier that will provide her with unique hand crafted products made by Women of Afganistan.

(Contact information – removed)

Goodbye to the Olds High School Building Reunion

This unique reunion is for all former staff and students of the Olds Jr/Sr High School. It will be held October 16-18, 2009. As the completion of the new Community Learning Campus draws near it seems like a good time to commemorate the Olds high school along with all the people that were affected during the course of its existence as learning institution.

For more information please call  403 556 3391`.

Olds Sustainable Garden Tour with Jim Hole

The Green Thumb….. Green Life, Garden tour is the first annual garden tour for the Olds Municipal Library as a fund raiser for its building expansion project. The theme for for this years tour is sustainable yards. It will be held on Saturday July18, 2009  beginning at 10:30 am and culminating at 3:00 pm with High Tea at the Olds College Botanic Gardens.The tea also is featuring a  special guest speaker in the person of Jim Hole a noted Alberta horticulturalist.

The cost per is $30.00 and can be puchased by calling 403 556 6460 or visting the Library. Come on out and visit the sustainable Olds through selected yards in our community.

Olds Sustainable Living and Pathways 2 Sustainability Conference

Some members of the Olds Advisory Group for Sustainable Living had the recent opportunity to attend a conference in Cochrane. Our initiatives around the “grass roots model” of community-driven projects and input to governance were featured. Mayor Judy Dahl, Olds Institute Chair Stirling McLeod, and our Director of Corporate Affairs and guide along the pathway to sustainability for Olds, Nina Gales did an outstanding job in representing our projects and processes. Cody Becker, the new Chair of the Olds Advisory Group for Sustainable Living (OAGSL), along with committee members Caroline Bodmer, and Carol Jorgenson also attended and learned that the host of communities making great strides is growing.

We are fortunate to have had such a strong jump start in Olds, having the funding from the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association to run our processes as one of 5 communities operating as pilot projects. If anyone was part of those first community workshops to help create the vision for our community, you can take great pride in reviewing the Olds Sustainability Strategic Plan, and the review of progress during the first year.  There is always room at the Olds Institute and the OAGSL tables for people who want to become more contributors to these processes, and no matter what the new or old wisdoms are that are brought to these tables, you can rest assured that you will find help in identifying resources and connections that will help build momentum for your project.

Caroline relayed enthusiastically on her return that she really enjoyed the chance to meet a wide variety of people and heard excellent speakers who have been leaders in sustainable thinking. Check out the Town of Olds website for more info!

Olds Approves New Residential Subdivision

Town Council has recently given approval for further planning and the first phase of construction on the “Richardson” subdivision located in a recently annexed portion of south west Olds. Phase one of the Area Structure Plan that has now been adopted which will allow for the new Catholic School and related collector roads.

In  addition  phase two calls for the development of 109 housing units. The remaining phases provide  for the staged development of approximatley  870 residential units comprising  the various densities associated with Ri,R2. and R3 zoning. This sub division  has a ten to 15 year development horizon.

Olds Fibre to Premise Test Project

The Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development(OICRD) through its Technology Committe is proposing a test project for later this summer. The test purpose is two fold. Firstly it will allow  for the laying of  a quarter inch pipe rather than the more conventional two inch pipe. By testing the pipe  size which contains the the fibre cable the Committee can determine the technical and financial feasibility  of using the smaller pipe for the entire project.

Secondly the test also will enable the Committee to evaluate  the performance of the construction and management team that has been chosen . It will also give the Committee an accurate gauge for the entire project.

One of the underlying principles of the The Fibre to the Premise intiative is that the community will own the fibre infrastructure and that the Technology Committee will actively seek an internet service provider (ISP) that would provide broadband internet access. It is anticipated that the ISP would pay for using the fibre highway and the Committee is in negotiations with a number of providers. In addition by owning the Network the community will be in a more advantageous position to advance the Towns  economic and social amenities to the Canadian market place.

Ride For Sight Coming to Olds AB.

This national fund raising event will be held at the Olds Agricultural Society fairgrounds on the weekend of June 12,13,14 2009. The Alberta Ride for Sight parades will be departing from three locations  in Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer. You can call

1 888 547 4448 for details.

The Ride For Sight is the longest running motorcycle charity fundraiser in Canada. Over the years since 1979 the Ride For Sight has grown from a small local fundraising event to national charity which raises more than one million dollars annually. This makes Ride For Sight not only the largest charity motorcycle event in Canada, but the single largest fundraiser for vision research in the world!

Numerous events are scheduled over the weekend such as the popular Show and Shine , Bike Games, Motorcycle Stunt Show and the Motorcycle Parade through Town.

As with most events of this nature there are lots opportunities to Volunteer.

For more information about registration, event schedules, volunteering or paricipating in the event please visit

Olds Rotary Club Fundraiser Golf Tournament

This the Ninth Annual Rotary Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, June 19,2009. Shotgun Start at 1:00 pm at the Olds HighLands Golf Club. The format is a four person scramble. The entry fees before May31,2009 are $125.00 per person or $500.00 for a foursome. After June01 fees are $135.00 for a single and $540..00 for a foursome.

Corporate Sponsorships are also available. For more information call 403 556 8720.

Proceeds from this fund raising event enable the Rotary Club to contribute to local charities and community projects.

The Olds Grizzlys Foundation to Start

An organiztional meeting for a new charitable non-profit society called the Grizzlys Foundation will be be held 7:00 pm Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at the Town of  Olds Council Chambers. All Grizzlys hockey fans and supporters who may be interested in select fund raising activites that will help finance the Grizzlys Team Operations are encouraged to attend. The Grizzlys are a typical small market Junior A Hockey Club and as such are looking for innovative ideas that will insure the teams long term viablity. Take a break from professional hockey on tv and come and support a Junior A team where real hockey matters. See you there.

Becoming a Fair Trade Town

On Tuesday May05/09 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the Olds Advisory Group for Sustainable Living is hosting the second event in the ‘Food for Life” series, featuring Fair Trade. A representative from Ten Thousand Villages will make a presentation on Fair Trade and a facilitated discussion on how it works will follow. The event will be held at the Olds Curling Club. Please RSVP to Nina Gales at 403 507 4805 or email

Click image to see full size

For more in formation visit

Olds & District Marketplace and Lifestyle Show May2&3

This annual trade show is jointly hosted by the Olds Agricultural Society and the Olds & District Chamber of Commerce. It  will be held Saturday,May02  from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm as well as Sunday, May03 from 12 noon to 5:00 pm  at the Olds Sportsplex located at 5133-52 St. Olds.Ab. The admission is $4.00 per person with children five  and  under FREE.

Food and beverages will be available  on site at The Olds Kiwanis Club’s concession.  I will working  at the concession from noon to three both days so come on down and visit  me at the  Trade Fair. See you there!!

Scholarship for Olds Grizzlys Grad

Curtis DeBruyn after a four year tour with the Olds Grizzlys Junior A Hockey Team, and most recently as  its Captain, has signed a letter of intent to play Division One NCCA Hockey with  the University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers. He will be heading south for the 2009/10 season.

To me as a Grizzly fan, volunteer and past president of the Team, this announcement makes it all worth while. Curtis is a fine example of a young man and exceptionally skilled athlete who has, through hard work and diligence at school, has been able to leverage his athletic ability into a scholarship that  will allow him to continue to purse  both hockey and education at the same time and earn a Degree. As a teacher by training, this is why I am proud to be Grizzlys volunteer.

Curtis will be joining  fellow Grizzly alumni ; Bruce M ulherin (2001/02) and Tyler Hilbert ( 2003/04) who  earlier having both played at Alabama Huntsville.

For a complete list of Grrizlys players who have obtained scholarships over the years. please check out the following link to the Olds Grizzlys website at

Potential Economic Development and Real Estate Impacts of Olds FTTP Project

So what does this mean for Olds?  Here is one persons opinion (mine)

My technology motto/credo is “I do not know what I do not know” but intuitively I believe the Fiber to the Premises project (FTTP) means the potential for a huge internet play for Olds residents and businesses and has tremendous economic development potential for the town and trading area.

My reasoning is based upon five years of direct involvement through being a founding member on the Board of the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development (OI).  The FTTP project is the brain child of the OI Technology Committee and has been championed by Joe Gustafson as chair.  The FTTP network, with its huge bandwidth and speed of uploading and downloading will provide Olds with the ability to have the triple play of voice, data and video at our door step.   It will be up to us as individuals or businesses to capitalize on it and explore “what we do not know.”

The potential economic development impacts as I see them can be seen as follows:

–  It could give Olds a leg up in terms of strategic advantage for the Town as compared to any community on Alberta’s “Highway 2 Corridor.”

–  It could gives OI the opportunity to create a technology based cluster of development (i.e Sillicon flats). The cluster could include both technolgy driven companies as well as those companies that need exposure to new technologies to enhance their productivity;

– It could provide the impetus for the development of some sort of unique incubation/commercialization entity for small and medium size business (SME’s) and supported by the development of an Angel/Venture Capital network (again the Sillicon Flats example).

– It could provide Olds with the opportunity to further capitalize on the graduates of the School of Innovation at Olds College.

Based on these concepts, the Business and Investment Attraction Committee (of OI) of which I am the chair, is currently exploring how we might promote this fiber capability based on the premises of  location, location, location and may be seen as follows

–  In terms of proximity to the Calgary Internation Airport (45 minutes away), we could prospect businessess who benefit from both technology and easy access to national and internation travel.

–  Prospecting the Corridor market from Calgary to Edmonton for the entreprenerus that can utilize the benefits of fiber connectivity.

–  Exploring how the local real estate market  could be impacted positively by this connectivity in terms of increased economic activity created by companies and indivudals moving to Olds.

 —  Opportunity for the ‘Youth’ to grow and flourish or return to Olds as residents, employees or entrepreneurs.

 According to Joe Gustafson ‘the Olds  Fiber to the Home (FTTH)project will provide a future-proof telecom infrastructure so Olds residents can obtain the latest Small Office/Home Office and entertainment services and the fastest residential and business Internet service in Canada. The network will be designed to accommodate more than one voice, data and entertainment service provider. A study of the US FTTH market found the average homeowner sees FTTH being worth an additional $4000-$7000 (US) per home in the future resale value of a home.”

–  In my view the FTTP can become our ‘economic oyster” as its benefits will contribute to our quality of life.  This means that living in a small town does not automatically disqualify any one from the latest of technology but perhaps in fact give access to the leading edge, rather than ‘sucking the hind tit  (translation availabe for those of non-agricultural background) which has historically been our fate.

–  Opportunity for the ‘Youth’ to grow and flourish or return to Olds as residents, employees or entrepreneurs.

I may be dreaming but I believe this will be Olds’ opportunity to leap forward.

These are just of my opinions.

Your thoughts and ideas are welcome.