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Calgary girl who died in skiing accident remembered with Abby Award

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For David Wunsch, coming back to the ski hill where his nine-year-old daughter died never gets any easier.

“It’s difficult at times, but we get here and we know that Abby and her spirit [are] fully entrenched in the ski hill. It’s a place where I can connect with her and know that she’s around and with us here,” said Wunsch at Nakiska Ski Area on Sunday.

Abby Wunsch was on the U10 Race Club at Nakiska. She loved to ski.

“She was always smiling,” said her teammate, Natalee Tulloch. “She was a fun and happy girl, and when you were sad she would always be there to help cheer you up.”


READ MORE:
Nine-year-old girl found unconscious on Nakiska ski hill in critical condition

In December 2015, Abby was skiing with her team on a green run she had done countless times before. But this time, she hit a tree.

“She didn’t lose control,” Wunsch recalled. “There was a young witness who saw her. She wasn’t skiing out of her element. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Right away, there were ski coaches and patrols on scene and were able to help her within minutes. Unfortunately, the injuries were too great.”

David Wunsch and his daughter’s ski team jacket at Nakiska Ski Area.

Global News

Abby’s parents weren’t sure if they could ever return to the mountains again, but it was her little brother who encouraged them.

“Right after it happened, Isaac said to us: ‘We’ll take a couple of weeks off but then we will go back skiing.’ He really led us. I didn’t know at the time if we could ever ski again or even come back to the ski hill but he led us, and for such a young person to help us, we just went with it, and it’s good because the support we’ve had from Nakiska and the ski community, I think it helped us tremendously in our grief,” Wunsch said.

He added that he and his wife, Jessie, made the decision together to continue with Abby’s brother’s ski team.

“The incident was part of the sport, and we understand that. Life sometimes has inherent risks so I don’t think we can go around being bubble-wrapped and stopping living for the risk that something may happen,” Wunsch said.


READ MORE:
Alberta Alpine Ski Association mourns death of 9-year-old skier

The Wunsch family has now set up the Abby Award in memory of their daughter. Seventy-eight medals were given out in 2017 to young skiers across Canada who demonstrated Abby’s attributes, such as effort, passion and an ability to have fun.

Parents and coaches call the family an inspiration to their community.

“I admire them because going through such a tragedy and to turn it into such a positive thing is amazing to me,” said Kim Blouin, whose daughter received an Abby Award.

“This award is special because there’s all kinds of other medals for performance, but this is about attitude and work ethic and passion and showing up and being there 100 per cent of the time.”

Thoughts of Abby remain as teammates ski down the run where they lost their friend three years ago.

“I always think of her every time I go down that run,” said Tulloch, also an Abby Award recipient. “I don’t feel sad. I feel happy and grateful that I got to know her.”

Abby’s racing jacket now hangs on the wall at the Nakiska Lodge. Olympic athletes like Brady Leman and Kerrin Lee-Gartner, teammates and first responders who were at the scene of the accident wear the Abby Badge in her memory.

The award now helps all those grieving to find some peace.

“Setting up the award really brought out what Abby was about,” said Wunsch. “It helped us to honour her and helped us in our grief. It helped a lot of other people that were with us in our grief. It helps us remember all the great things about Abby and it helps us be positive for those other athletes out there and not dwell on the fact we don’t see her every day and that we will one day.”

The Wunsch family has set up the Abby Award Foundation to help cover the costs associated with presenting the Abby Award across the country. Funding for the Abby Award Foundation is being  achieved in part by selling Abby Badges.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Nostalgia and much more with Starburst XXXtreme

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Get a taste of adventure with Starburst XXXtreme based on the legendary NetEnt Game. The nostalgic themes are sure to capture fans of the classic version as they get treated to higher intensity, better visuals, and features. The most significant element of the game is its volatility. Patience will not be an essential virtue considering the insane gameplay, and there is a lot of win potential involved. It retains the original makeup of the previous game while adding a healthy dose of adrenaline. 

Starburst Visuals and Symbols

The game is definitely more conspicuous than before. The setting happens over a 5-reel, 3-row game grid with nine fixed win lines, which function if a succession from the left to the right reel is present. Only those players that that attain the highest win per bet line are paid. From a visual standpoint, the Starburst XXXtreme slots illustrates lightning effects behind the reels, which is not surprising as it is inherited from the original version. Available themes include Classic, Jewels, and Space. The game is also available in both desktop and mobile versions, which is advantageous for players considering the global pandemic. According to Techguide, American gamers are increasingly having more engaging gaming experiences to socialize to fill the gap of in-person interaction. Starburst XXXtreme allows them to fill the social void at a time when there is so much time to be had indoors. 

Starburst XXXTreme Features

Players get to alternate on three features which are Starburst Wilds, XXXtreme Spins, and Random Wilds. The first appears on reels 2,3, or 4. When these land, they expand to cover all positions while also calculating the wins. They are also locked for a respin. If a new one hits, it also becomes locked while awarding another respin. Starburst XXXtreme offers a choice between two scenarios for a higher stake. In one scenario with a ten times stake, the Starburst Wild is set on random on reels 2,3, or 4, and a multiplier starts the respin. The second scenario, which has a 95 times stake, starts with two guaranteed starburst wilds on reels 2,3, or 4. it also plays out using respin game sequence and features. The game also increases the potential with the Random Wilds feature to add Starburst Wilds to a vacant reel at the end of a spin. Every Starburst Wild gives a random multiplier with potential wins of x2, x3, x5, x10, x25, x50, x100, or even x150.

The new feature is sure to be a big hit with the gaming market as online gambling has shown significant growth during the lockdown. AdAge indicates the current casino customer base is an estimated one in five Americans, so Starburst XXXtreme’s additional features will achieve considerable popularity. 

What We Think About The Game

The gambling market has continued to diversify post-pandemic, so it is one of the most opportune times to release an online casino-based game. Thankfully Starburst XXXtreme features eye-catching visuals, including the jewels and space themes. These attract audience participation and make the gameplay inviting. The game also has a nostalgic edge. The previous NetEnt iteration featured similar visuals and gameplay, so the audience has some familiarity with it. The producers have revamped this version by tweaking the features to improve the volatility and engagement. 

That is characterized by the potential win cap of 200,000 times the bet. Starburst XXXtreme does not just give betting alternatives for players that want to go big. The increase of multipliers also provides a great experience. If the respins in the previous version were great, knowing that multipliers can go hundreds of times overtakes the game to a new level. 

Players should get excited about this offering. All of the features can be triggered within a single spin. Whether one plays the standard game or takes the XXXtreme spin route, it is possible to activate all of the features. Of course, the potential 200,000 times potential is a huge carrot. However, the bet size is probably going to be restricted and vary depending on the casino. It is also worth pointing out that a malfunction during the gameplay will void all of the payouts and progress. Overall, the game itself has been designed to provide a capped win of 200,000 times the original bet. 

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Anglais

‘We’re back’: Montreal festival promoters happy to return but looking to next year

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In downtown Montreal, it’s festival season.

In the city’s entertainment district, a musical act was conducting a sound check on stage Friday evening — the second day of the French-language version of the renowned Just For Laughs comedy festival. Tickets for many of the festival’s free outdoor shows — limited by COVID-19 regulations — were sold out.

Two blocks away, more than 100 people were watching an acoustic performance by the Isaac Neto Trio — part of the last weekend of the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique, a celebration of music from the African continent and the African diaspora.

With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit capacity, festival organizers say they’re glad to be back but looking forward to next year when they hope border restrictions and capacity limits won’t affect their plans.

Charles Décarie, Just For Laughs’ CEO and president, said this is a “transition year.”

“Even though we have major constraints from the public health group in Montreal, we’ve managed to design a festival that can navigate through those constraints,” Décarie said.

The French-language Juste pour rire festival began on July 15 and is followed by the English-language festival until July 31.

When planning began in February and March, Décarie said, organizers came up with a variety of scenarios for different crowd sizes, ranging from no spectators to 50 per cent of usual capacity.

“You’ve got to build scenarios,” he said. “You do have to plan a little bit more than usual because you have to have alternatives.”

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MELS new major movie studio to be built in Montreal

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MONTREAL — MELS Studios will build a new film studio in Montreal, filling some of the gap in supply to meet the demand of Hollywood productions.

MELS president Martin Carrier said on Friday that MELS 4 studio construction will begin « as soon as possible », either in the fall or winter of next year. The studio could host productions as early as spring 2023.

The total investment for the project is $76 million, with the Quebec government contributing a $25 million loan. The project will create 110 jobs, according to the company.

The TVA Group subsidiary’s project will enable it to stand out « even more » internationally, according to Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau. In the past, MELS Studios has hosted several major productions, including chapters of the X-Men franchise. The next Transformers movie is shooting this summer in Montreal.

Péladeau insisted that local cultural productions would also benefit from the new facility, adding that the studio ensures foreign revenues and to showcase talent and maintain an industry of Quebec producers.

STUDIO SHORTAGE

The film industry is cramped in Montreal.

According to a report published last May by the Bureau du cinéma et de la télévision du Québec (BCTQ), there is a shortage of nearly 400,000 square feet of studio space.

With the addition of MELS 4, which will be 160,000 square feet, the company is filling part of the gap.

Carrier admitted that he has had to turn down contracts because of the lack of space, representing missed opportunities of « tens of millions of dollars, not only for MELS, but also for the Quebec economy. »

« Montreal’s expertise is in high demand, » said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, who was present at the announcement.

She said she received great testimonials from « Netflix, Disney, HBO and company » during an economic mission to Los Angeles in 2019.

« What stands out is that they love Montreal because of its expertise, knowledge and beauty. We need more space, like MELS 4, » she said.

There is still not enough capacity in Quebec, acknowledged Minister of Finance, the Economy and Innovation Eric Girard.

« It is certain that the government is concerned about fairness and balance, so if other requests come in, we will study them with the same seriousness as we have studied this one, » he said.

Grandé Studios is the second-largest player in the industry. Last May, the company said it had expansion plans that should begin in 2022. Investissement Québec and Bell are minority shareholders in the company.

For its part, MELS will have 400,000 square feet of production space once MELS 4 is completed. The company employs 450 people in Quebec and offers a range of services including studio and equipment rentals, image and sound postproduction, visual effects and a virtual production platform.

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