As the graduating classes of 2020 get closer to what would have been their biggest education celebration, students and families have been scrambling to find solutions to celebrate their grads’ success. 

In response, central Alberta grads have been invited to take part in a chairlift grad processional at Canyon Ski Hill as a unique and fun way to celebrate their achievement. 

Robyn Martel, co-owner of the local ski hill, says they have been working hard to arrange the event for grads. The cost to participate is $100, which covers the cost of the actual lift ride, professional photography, a DJ, and other special features that have helped get this unique event off the ground. 

“We very much wanted to open this up and make it a community event. We’ve been reached out to by people from a whole bunch of different areas, Red Deer, Sylvan Lake, Lacombe, a lot of places. We didn’t want to put any restrictions [on guests]. This is a really difficult time for 2020 grads and their families,” Martel said.

Grads will be dropped off by their families at the bottom of the hill and enjoy a 10-12 minute ride up the lift, have their photo taken along the ride with the river valley backdrop, and will be announced by a DJ as they make their way to the top. 

Once they get there, they will have the opportunity to have a few professional shots taken with their family to commemorate the day. As well, Canyon has prepared some special 2020 Graduation memorabilia for each of the graduates to help mark their special day.

Martel said people will only be permitted to mingle with people who arrived in the same vehicle as them, as per AHS guidelines. Families will book a time slot that works for them and the grads will get their moment in the spotlight. 

“These kids have done 13 years of hard work and this is something they’ve looked forward to. A lot of them have suits or dresses and might not have had the opportunity to use them, so we wanted to work with the community to be able to bring this to fruition and we’re really excited about this opportunity," she added.

Martel said that if all goes well, they can look at doing something similar in the years to come.

To register your grad for this unique central Alberta grad experience, you can check out the event facebook page.