April Fools' Day: Alberta pranksters look for laughs

It seems like quite a few Albertans got into the spirit of April Fools' Day today from Mayor Naheed Nenshi buying the Calgary Sun to Wildrose leader Danielle Smith taking a crack at the PC leadership race.

While home pranks seem to be declining, media hoaxes seem to be on the rise

It seems like quite a few Albertans got into the spirit of April Fools' Day today. 1:53

It seems like quite a few Albertans got into the spirit of April Fools' Day today.

The Calgary Eyeopener fooled a bunch of listeners this morning with a new development on the controversial bike lanes in the city.

The story said the Calgary Urban Cycling Coalition was looking to elevate cycling by making a bike lane in the Plus +15 network downtown.

The City of Calgary also said it signed an "appeeling" partnership deal to put city messages on stickers on all bananas sold in Calgary.

“Research shows that all Calgarians buy groceries and bananas are a must on everyone’s shopping list,” said city spokesperson Cindy Pickett.

Meanwhile, the Calgary Humane Society was proud to announce the appointment of office cat Gary Van Meowski as its new executive director.

The city claimed its latest communication channel would "appeel" to all Calgarians. "Our hope is to connect with Calgarians, one byte at a time," said the city about its prank claiming it would put messages on all bananas sold locally. (CBC)

Mayor buys the Calgary Sun

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi made a "major announcement" in the Calgary Sun today, which included a career change.

A fake front page claimed he was the new owner of the daily newspaper.

Opposition leader runs for PC leadership

Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith sent out a press release saying she was running to be the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

"When I said that no one person could fix the PC Party, obviously, I wasn’t counting myself," she said. "I got this.”

NDP leader Brian Mason was not far behind.

"In light of Danielle Smith's decision to run for leader of the PC Party, I was pleased to announce, on Twitter, of course, that I will step up to fill the leadership void within the Wildrose Party," said Mason

The Liberal Party also had some fun. It said it obtained documents that show Ontario-based Loblaw, which owns the popular President’s Choice grocery brand, was suing the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta for damages resulting from copyright infringement.

To find out more information the party was asking people to phone Jenny at 867-5309 — a little Tommy Tutone reference.

Metric time?

Calgary-based West-Jet's annual prank included complicated calculations to help fliers figure out when their flight left in metric time.

"Effective today, we’re converting all of our scheduled arrival and departure times to metric time,” VP of communications Richard Bartrem. 

Last year the airline said pets were allowed on board, including larger furry friends such as raccoons, goats and bears.

SAIT dome

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) announced plans to build a weather-correcting dome over all 96 acres of its main campus.

"After the dome is in place, the temperature on the SAIT campus will never drop below 15 C or climb above 26 C," said the school in a release.

The polytechnic said it would not only save them money on snow removal and power, but it would be great for student academic performance.

"The dome is scheduled to be finished by May 2016 — just in time for SAIT’s centennial," said the statement.

SAIT released plans for a "revolutionary" weather dome for its campus on April Fools' Day. (SAIT Polytechnic)

Cornish traded?

Calgary Stampeder Jon Cornish had some April Fool's Day fun on Twitter when he announced he would be heading to greener pastures with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

But the Calgary Stampeders may have given away his prank by also saying Cornish, an avid math lover, was given permission to change his jersey number to Pi.

Pothole glider

The Alberta Motor Association came up with a revolutionary new pothole protection device called the Pothole Glider for its April Fools' Day prank.

It says the device fits over standard tires — allowing vehicles to amazingly glide over potholes up to three feet deep.

According to the news release — it's not just functional — it's fashionable as the Pothole Glider comes in a variety of spring time colours. 

Holiday's history

The informal holiday is widely recognized as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other.

However, the number of pranks in the home and at the office has decreased in recent years and has been replaced by large institutionalized media hoaxes. The holiday has been around for so long that there is some debate of its origin.

According to National Geographic, the most popular theory is that France changed its calendar in the 1500s so that the New Year would begin in January to match the Roman calendar instead of beginning at the start of spring, in late March or early April.

However the article says word of the change travelled so slowly that many people in rural areas continued to celebrate the New Year in the spring and they became known as "April fools.”

Others believe April Fools' Day simply grew out of age-old European spring festivals of renewal, in which pranks and camouflaging one's identity are common.


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