On Tuesday, April 27, EDHS held our April Speaker Series night for the second time in the pandemic era. Once again, our John Rowand dinner was scratched due to health restrictions, but we had a generous attendance for our online speaker presentation and annual general meeting.
Our speaker was Darren Dalgleish, President and CEO of Fort Edmonton Management Company. As our members are aware, Fort Edmonton Park has been closed for two years for upgrades and enhancements. After revealing – not surprisingly, considering the current situation – that the park will not re-open as anticipated this Victoria Day weekend, but rather on July 1st (fingers crossed), Darren gave our audience a sneak preview of the Park’s new look and experiences.
While a great deal of the work has been on infrastructure and utilities largely invisible to visitors, they will see a brand new entrance to the park, designed to handle the crowds on busy days. The 1920s midway has also been expanded, with a Ferris wheel twice the size of the previous one. But the addition that will enhance the park more than any other is the new Indigenous Peoples Experience. Developed with the collaboration of more than fifty Indigenous Elders, historians, educators, and community members, the new exhibit will allow visitors from around the world to discover the diversity of First Nations’ and Métis peoples’ histories, cultures, experiences, and perspectives. In summing up its impact, Darren says he has seen members of preview audiences brought to tears by the beauty and poignancy of its narrative.
The annual general meeting saw some major changes to the EDHS board. Five board members, including our president, Tim O’Grady, along with Joe Hartfeil, Sean Moir, Matt Ostapchuk and Stephen Yakimets, have retired from the board as their terms of service come to a close, or due to the pull of other commitments. We have been honoured to work with each of these gentlemen, and benefitted greatly from the unique talents they brought to the EDHS. We’re sorry to see them go and we wish them well.
Fortunately, our AGM was also the occasion to welcome five new directors: Maggie Bodnar, Myriam Gerber, James Klassen, Brett Lamoureux and Owais Siddiqui. Veteran board member and acting vice-president Christine Prokop takes over as president, while Kelsey Kendrick becomes vice-president. Lee Smith continues as secretary and Cadence Bergman as treasurer. Elizabeth Alke and John Dolphin continue as directors at large.
We’re excited to put our new board to work. Stay tuned!