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The annual Barley & Smoke fundraiser will take place on August 26th, 2023 and it’s so much more than a fun evening of food, beer and music. It’s also a chance to see how businesses come together to design and build creative play structures for Camp Kindle. Camp Kindle is owned and operated by the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta. For decades, their core mission has been to create magical camp experiences for children with cancer. For the inaugural event, five reading forts were designed and built by Calgary companies specifically for the kids attending Camp Kindle. Those forts were then exhibited at the event for attendees to admire before being sent to the camp. 

“They were a really big success at the camp with the kids. When we were discussing how the forts could be different, Kids Cancer Care came up with the idea of creating a Western Towne for the kids to play in,” says Barb Walters, the volunteer project manager of the Western Towne exhibit.  

The combined efforts and tremendous contributions of local interior designers, builders and numerous trades over the years has resulted in the creation of several kid-sized forts that form an old-fashioned Western Towne that consists of a sheriff’s office and jail, a bakery café, puppet theatre, a tailor and dress-up shop, saloon, bank, general store, schoolhouse, hotel and even a mini train station. This year's event will bring another round of fort building for Camp Kindle that will include a towne hall, post office, blacksmith, library and a dentist which will be on display for visitors to explore and admire at the event.


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