After 90 years the Welcome Wagon is shutting down.
Having a visit from a member of the Welcome Wagon has been a staple for Canadians for as long as we can remember but unfortunately it couldn't survive the hard times brought on by COVID-19.
A Welcome Wagon representative would bring newcomers greetings, as well as small gifts and coupons from local businesses, and information about services.
The company has fallen victim to changing practices and COVID-19 measures
Erica Oseen managed the Welcome Wagon in Cochrane for years.
"In Cochrane I oversaw and managed it for probably about 10 years and did visits out there for that long and met lots of great businesses and worked with them in partnership to build their business and get their information out to people in the community."
Oseen says it's the end of an era.
"We won't be around to do our traditional welcome with the basket of goodies and information to help them get settled into the community so unfortunately that service is no longer going to be something that we are doing."
She says there are still ways of accessing what Cochrane has to offer but people will need to do a little digging on their own now.
"Cochrane has such a great small-town feel to it still and even things like the Visitor's Centre on Main Street. You go in there and you get tons of information and there are still lots of resources, you're just not going to have someone showing up and having it all in one complete package for them, unfortunately."
Oseen says she enjoyed working with local businesses, meeting newcomers and hearing all of their interesting stories about what brought them to Cochrane.
"One of the things that we really liked about doing our visits was actually meeting the people and having that warm-fuzzy feeling and I think people are missing the personal touch of our society because everything is online."
She says "One of my colleagues, Christine is looking into doing something slightly different with a Cochrane focus and is just investigating doing a new endeavor to get local businesses, their information out to people in the community."
Christine Halmazna is interested in setting up something similar and is looking for businesses who would be interested in teaming up.
You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org