Paul Verhesen appointed board chair for Edmonton’s Do North Occasions

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“Cycling was my way of relaxing and focusing. There is nothing like being out on your bike and focusing on solving a problem”

Author of the article:

Nick Lees EdmontonJournal

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Dec 04, 202213 hours ago3 minutes read Paul Verhesen has been appointed board chair of Do North Events and will help Edmonton expand its reputation for staging world-class sporting events. Paul Verhesen has been appointed board chair of Do North Events and will help Edmonton expand its reputation for staging world-class sporting events. Photo by Supplied

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Avid cyclist Paul Verhesen has been appointed board chair of Do North Events and will help Edmonton expand its reputation for staging world-class sporting events.

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Verhesen, past-president and CEO of Clark Builders Group of Companies, appreciates Edmonton has hosted major international World Series triathlon events in the last two decades and its wealth of experience has provided our city with new opportunities.

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“Living an active lifestyle is so important to all of us and sports is a natural way to do that,” he said. “By creating more sporting events to participate in, both amateur the more active lifestyle, is a natural.”

Verhesen, immediate past-president of the Alberta Construction Association and a past-director of the Canadian Construction Association, is an active member of many non-profit organizations, including NAIT’s board of governors and the University Hospital Foundation board of trustees.

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He has a degree in civil engineering from the U of A and is a sought after speaker who always donates his speaker fee to a registered Canadian charity called the Clark Builders Community Foundation .

This foundation has supported a wide cross-section of charities related to homelessness, the arts, youth and education including Edmonton Opera, Northern Alberta and NWT Junior Achievement, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and the University of Alberta.

Paul Verhesen (left) with brother Peter Verhesen (centre), a 1990 Commonwealth Games silver cycling medalist, heads for Edmonton from Penticton and Perry Dalmer (right). Paul Verhesen (left) with brother Peter Verhesen (centre), a 1990 Commonwealth Games silver cycling medalist, heads for Edmonton from Penticton and Perry Dalmer (right). Photo by Supplied /Nick Lees

First question I asked Verhesen what are the Do North Events?

“The Do North Events title is a rebrand from World Triathlon Series Edmonton as it reflects our evolution to partner with other sports in addition to the triathlon,” he said.

“It reflects our new mandate and evolution to manage, deliver and consult for major events and sports in addition to the triathlon.”

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No doubt Verhesen was pleased when cycling was recently added to the Do North Events portfolio, delivering the 2022 and 2023 Canadian Road Cycling Championships and the Edmonton Urban Fondo community ride.

“Growing up in the NWT, we played what sports were available — hockey, fastball, cross-country skiing and cycling,” he said.

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“Being of Dutch heritage was always part of our life, especially when we left Fort Smith in the NWT and got to ride our bikes on pavement. Road cycling was what I always loved best.

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“Charity bike rides have been a good way for me and others to give back to the community by doing something we enjoyed. Cycling was my way of relaxing and focusing. There is nothing like being out on your bike and focusing on solving a problem.”

Verhesen still participates in cycling events and some other sports — he loves golf — but he says at 57, he is not as fast in some as he used to be.

“I believe sport participation or living an active lifestyle at any level or ability, is very important to individuals and society, particularly as we recover from the pandemic of last few years,” he said.

“Participating in a sport brings a sense of accomplishment and being part of a group or team creates comradery.”

Santa's helpers begin their busy Christmas drive Tuesday at the Alberta Aviation Museum and hope the public will back them in helping send 1,000 toys to Santa's Anonymous at the North Pole. Santa’s helpers begin their busy Christmas drive Tuesday at the Alberta Aviation Museum and hope the public will back them in helping send 1,000 toys to Santa’s Anonymous at the North Pole. Photo by Supplied

Santa busy

Santa’s helpers begin their busy Christmas drive Tuesday at the Alberta Aviation Museum and hope the public will back them in helping send 1,000 toys to Santa’s Anonymous at the North Pole.

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You are now being sworn to secrecy. Please do not tell anyone the beautifully restored, green Noorduyn Mk 1V Canadian aircraft being loaded is not going to the North Pole.

Announcing the North Pole destination of the YEG Express adds a little magic to the toy-gathering business, I am told, and the team loading toys at the famous old Hangar 14 enjoys the mystique of the operation.

And why not, the aircraft being loaded was once utilized by the historic Mackenzie Air Services and has flown in the toughest weather the Arctic had to offer.

Edmontonians can drop by the museum’s gift shop, or check out its webpage, to see toys available and their prices. Different toys will be shown on each of the 12 Days of Christmas.

The toys are taken to 630 CHED’s toy warehouse to become part of the radio station’s mammoth drive to bring a smile to the faces of thousands of deprived children.

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