Edmonton, Alberta — The biggest attraction during the 98th Grey Cup festival was the Capital Power zip line, and soldiers from 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (1 PPCLI ) helped prepare participants for the ride.
“We’re helping people get their harnesses on,” said Master Corporal William Robert Tyers, of A Company, 1 PPCLI. “We talk to them a little bit, reassuring them, and make sure they are good to go to participate in the zip line activity.”
The ride by Ziptrec Ecotours was free, but donations for the Edmonton Garrison Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) were accepted at the end. Donations of five dollars or more gave participants access to the Ziptrec website to download a picture of themselves on the zip line.
“Most people are donating,” said Barry Turner, fund development coordinator with the Edmonton Garrison MFRC. “We’re getting a lot of five-, ten- and twenty-dollar donations.”
The sponsor, Capital Power, agreed to match all donations up to $10,000.00.
“This money will go towards the many programs and services of the MFRC,” said Turner, “[including] programs related to prevention and intervention, child care programs, community integration and welcome programs, as well as supporting members of our military community and their families.”
“I saw a zip line on TV and I decided I really wanted to do that,” said Bethany Milligan. “[My friend] Kassia called me and let me know about this, and I was so excited.”
Those riding the zip line had to first queue up to get a wristband and return later when it was their turn. Only those with wristbands or military personnel in uniform were allowed to take part. For some, getting the wristband was easy.
Jeff Jones, of Ziptreck Ecotours, was impressed with the response to the activity. “It’s been going amazing,” he said. “It has been a great turnout—a little cold when we were setting up, but it’s warmed up quite nicely for us.”
Ziptrec Ecotours has ten zip lines set up in Whistler, British Columbia and another six lines in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Article and photos by: Cpl Bill Gomm