About

We connect people to the stories of our city through our leadership, support, and programs. We do this by helping Edmontonians research, preserve, interpret, and advocate for our heritage.

Vision

Edmonton embracing its diverse heritage, inclusive of all people, communities and cultures on Treaty 6 Territory, consistent with the principles of Truth and Reconciliation.

Mandate

The Edmonton Heritage Council has a mandate to serve as a leader in advancing Connections & Exchanges, Edmonton’s 10-year arts and heritage plan 

Success

Indications of the Edmonton Heritage Council’s success in achieving our vision will include the committed and informed participation of Edmonton’s citizens in heritage, the support of heritage by educators, and the support of heritage by government and business.

Our Staff

David Ridley

Executive Director

David began as EHC staff in April 2009, working with the EHC’s steering committee before the official founding of the Council in November 2009. His past work in heritage has been as a cultural community researcher with the Royal Alberta Museum and director of research with the Heritage Community Foundation. He has worked on several projects documenting, interpreting and writing about local cultural life and religious tradition in a number of Alberta communities. He has served as a volunteer director with historical Rundle’s Mission Society, the United Church Historical Society and is currently active with his neighbourhood’s community league.

Danielle Dolgoy

Operations & Initiatives Manager

Danielle grew up on the edge of Edmonton’s MacKinnon Ravine, bike riding through the neighbourhood, playing soccer on the community league team, and getting a head start on her homework. With her degree in Liberal Arts and Art History, as well as her graduate studies in Communications and Media Studies, she seeks out connections in unlikely places and helps people tell their stories to enrich communities and preserve culture.

As a Project Manager, Danielle enjoys planning events and executing projects down to the smallest detail. When she’s not at work, you’ll find her scrambling up mountains with her husband or in her front yard vegetable garden, seeking shade beneath a very large tomato plant.

Mary Schuurman

Administrative Coordinator

A longtime resident of Edmonton’s northeast, Mary has chosen to live her adult life in the same area of the city in which she spent her grade-school childhood. Even as a child, she enjoyed cultural diversity, especially as it pertains to costume, dance, music, food and opportunities to listen to personal accounts of family and cultural experiences. 

Mary has come to Edmonton Heritage Council with longtime experience in administration and Human Resources in the not-for-profit sector.  Mary’s motto in life is “to leave things better than I found them” which she likes to apply to everything from the board room to (in her personal life) the sewing room – but most importantly, to relationships. She can be found developing processes and structures, getting statutory documents in order, organizing files, revamping old articles of clothing and turning dandelion filled yards into perennial gardens and chatting with passersby.

Soni Dasmohapatra

Grants Coordinator

Soni Dasmohapatra was born and raised on the South Side of Edmonton. She spent much of her youth performing at different festivals like Heritage Days and Fringe. After completing her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Alberta,  Soni moved to Toronto where she built her career in sectors of academia, non-profit, public service and philantrophic sectors. In Toronto, Soni was involved in supporting granting and philanthrophy work at the community level with organizations such as the City of Toronto, United Way Toronto, Laidlaw and Maytree Foundations. Soni has also worked with the United Nations. Since returning to Edmonton she has worked with the Alberta Provincial Government (Ministry Status of Women), Edmonton Public Library and been a core team member at the Edmonton ShiftLab.

Soni just recently completed her Master in Public Administration at the University of Victoria (BC). This year 2019-2020, Soni will be acting interim grants coordinator, she looks forward to building the capacity of Edmonton Heritage Council, specifically with her work with the Heritage Community Investment Program (HCIP).

Molly Staley

Communications Coordinator

Molly Gisela Staley is a communicator, active feminist, and community leader. After studying Contemporary Dance at Montreal’s Concordia University, Molly returned to Edmonton to explore her passion for the non-profit sector through communications, administration, and advocacy. Molly has completed her diploma in Arts and Cultural Management at MacEwan University and is now in the process of completing her Bachelor of Professional Communications at MacEwan. Molly’s work in media coordination, marketing, and professional writing includes projects for the Winspear Centre and the Government of Alberta, among others. Molly has also been recognized for her work in creative storytelling, filmmaking, and theatre.

In her personal life, Molly aims to be unapologetically herself in all things; she embraces her disability as more than a part of her body, but rather an essential part of her personality and, in her spare time, enjoys sharing photos of her pug and cat babies, exploring Edmonton with her beloved partner, Orlando, and laughing whenever possible.

Joe Hartfeil

Communications Coordinator

As a compulsive joiner of boards and committees alike, Joe brings a solid history of community engagement to his role on EHC’s communications team. His convoluted career path has taken him through the occasionally rocky terrains of the heritage sector, the film industry, broadcasting, theatre, music and linguistics, and his relationship with the stories of his hometown has been equally enriched by each stop along the way.

When not in meetings, Joe enjoys getting up at ridiculously early hours to work on ideas for children’s books and radio programs before his brilliant wife and daughter join him in the land of the waking.

Christina Hardie

Curator, Edmonton City as Museum Project

Christina was born and raised in the south-east Edmonton community of Mill Woods. She is passionate about storytelling, local and public history, and the transformative power of story to foster social change and build community connection.

After completing her Theatre Arts diploma at MacEwan University, Christina worked as a professional actor for a number of years before moving her love of storytelling and performance off-stage and into the found spaces of educational interpretation. She has worked as an Interpreter at a variety of natural history sites, served as Programs Coordinator at John Walter Museum, and most recently worked for the Rupertsland Institute researching and writing about historic Métis communities in Alberta. Prior to becoming the Curator of the Edmonton City as Museum Project, Christina undertook her own ECAMP adventure where she explored the history of Mill Woods through oral history interviews related to natural spaces and the childhood experience of growing up in the community. 

Christina is currently completing a History degree at MacEwan University. She enjoys camping, crafting, and thrift store shopping, and also volunteers her time to a number of organizations including Girl Guides Canada, the Edmonton Regional Heritage Fair, and the MacEwan Indigenous Students Club.

Grace Doll

Financial Officer

Julia Darby – ON LEAVE

Grants Coordinator

During her childhood, Julia spent most of her time practicing the cello, writing novels that would never be published, and reading at the public library. In university, she pursued a passion for music history that had been developing since she first started music lessons at age six, culminating in a graduate degree in Musicology from the University of Toronto. She returned home to Edmonton to a career in arts administration, gaining experience in funds development, festival planning, and grant writing. She firmly believes in the essential value of storytelling in building meaningful relationships and strong communities, which inspired her to join the EHC in 2018.

When not at work, you might see Julia performing around the city with her string quartet, walking with her retired racing greyhound, or training for her next half marathon.

Board of Directors

Wendy Birch

Chair

Wendy is a Manager of Agency Governance with Alberta Advanced Education. She has held several roles with the Government of Alberta that have given her an extensive and varied background in issues management, policy analysis, program creation, and the development of strategic policy.

A born and bred Edmontonian and a second-generation Canadian of Ukrainian descent, Wendy has an extensive background of community volunteer work, including serving as Chair of Habitat for Humanity’s Family Support Committee. She has a Master of Science in Psychiatry from the University of Alberta.

Martin Kennedy

Vice Chair

Martin is a communications professional, heritage advocate and community volunteer. He is a past Chair of the Edmonton Historical Board, and a volunteer and board member with Preserve Garneau since 2001. Martin is currently Vice President External Affairs at Capital Power, and recently served as a Senior Official in the Alberta Public Service.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, board member for the Sled Island music festival, and past member of the Premier’s Council on Culture.  You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @mkyeg.

Alex Abboud

Past Chair

Alex Abboud operates Abboud Strategies, a consulting term focused on communications, strategy, and organization development. He works with clients in the non-profit, government, and private sectors.

Alex has more than 10 years of leadership experience in the non-profit sector and government. From 2010 to 2015, he worked for Homeward Trust, a large non-profit organization focused on ending homelessness. From 2013-15, he served as Director, Communications & Fund Development, and previously as a Policy Advisor and Communications Manager. He previously served as a key political staff person at City Hall in Edmonton, and as Executive Director of Students Nova Scotia.

In addition to his service with the Edmonton Heritage Council, he currently serves on the board of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and has also served on the boards of CPAWS-Northern Alberta – including a term as Chair, North Saskatchewan River Vally Conservation Society, and Friends of McKay Avenue School. In his spare time, he writes, is a marathon runner, and a hobby photographer.

Christina Williamson

Secretary

Christina Williamson is an emerging public historian and Doctoral Candidate at Carleton University in Ottawa. As a settler who grew up in beautiful Treaty 6 territory, she develops collaborative and innovative approaches for telling stories that challenge mainstream narratives about Canada and the peoples that live here.

research focuses on Inuit women’s labour history in the twentieth century and through that work, does oral histories in Nunavut and studies historic Inuit parkas and beadwork in museums across Canada and the United Kingdom. 

Christina has worked on many exciting projects that link the University to the Community though documentaries, public art, museum and art exhibitions as well as more traditional publications. She founded the University of Alberta undergraduate history and classics journal Constellations, and has worked as an interpreter and curator in several Ottawa and Edmonton-area museums. Christina is currently editing a book on decolonizing national archives.

Arundeep Singh Sandhu

Treasurer

Arundeep was born and raised in Mill Woods, Edmonton, and has a B.Comm in management accounting from the MacEwan School of Business. He operates a transportation and construction business with his family, and has built projects across Northern and Central Alberta, and in the Edmonton area.

Over the past fifteen years, he has worked with the Sikh Heritage Society of Edmonton, the Sikh Students’ Society at the University of Alberta, and many other heritage organizations in the Edmonton area.  He served as a Vice President of PC Alberta from 2011 to 2015. He also served as a special advisor in the Government of Alberta and brings a history of helping community groups work with government to raise and address issues important to them.

Andrea Diamond

Andrea is the Grants Impact Associate at Edmonton Community Foundation, where she works to understand the impact of the Foundation’s grantmaking and student awards through research and evaluation. She is currently co-investigator on a research project which explores the relationship between student awards and community involvement.

Andrea holds a Masters of Public and Urban Policy from the University of Glasgow, where she wrote her dissertation on light industrial built heritage and its perceived social and economic value. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in history and anthropology from the University of Alberta. In her spare time, Andrea can be found on the curling rink, at the ski hill, or playing her trumpet with her community band.

Angelina Bakshi

Angelina is a director at consulting firm Veridant and currently serves on the board of Women Building Futures and the Northern Alberta Risk & Insurance Management Society.  Her previous board roles include the Seniors Assisted Transportation Society of Greater Edmonton and CreatiVenture Collective in Toronto. As a consultant, she specializes in setting strategic visions for her clients, and meeting these visions by employing the right people within the right organizational structure.

In the realm of culture, Angelina began as a classical East Indian dancer, before going on to train in classical ballet throughout her formative years. She then decided to apply her dance garnered discipline and focus to become a professional civil engineer and eventually an MBA at the University of Alberta.  She has certifications in Risk Management (CRM), Leadership in Energy and Environmental design (LEED) and is a Fellow in Board Governance.

Brad Seneca

Brad is the Elder for Cultural Services at Ben Calf Robe Society and the founder and Executive Director of the Buffalo Keeper Nehiyaw Centre Society created in 2018. He was a co-founder and co-executive director of Bent Arrow Traditional Healing society in 1994 until 2008 and formed Skye Employment Training after that time. He has served on City of Edmonton boards and worked with Correctional Service Canada as the programs Elder for two different institutions in Alberta.

Cathy Roy

Cathy Roy retired as the curator of Western Canadian History at the Royal Alberta Museum in 2016. A fourth-generation Edmontonian, she has had a long interest in our City’s heritage. She is a member of the executive of Friends of the University of Alberta Museums society and has served on other community and professional boards. In her retirement, she has continued conducting historical research on local history and on the technical documents of the tailoring trade.

Cathy brings her knowledge of the built heritage of central Edmonton and her passion for our lively and diverse city.

Emma Banfield

Emma was born in Edmonton and moved back to the city a few years ago. She is delighted to discover such a vibrant and community-oriented city. Emma recently completed a degree in law, and holds a doctorate in music. Prior to starting law, she performed and taught as a violinist across Canada and the United States.

Emma is active in her community and has been engaged in such initiatives as starting a free community chamber music series, coaching soccer, volunteering on community boards, and bringing speakers to Edmonton to present on broad topics of social engagement. She regularly devotes her time to projects that support Indigenous persons, women, children, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and low-income individuals. She lives in Old Strathcona, where her two young sons keep her outside as much as possible. In her spare time, she loves to walk, read, and garden.

Henry Maisonneuve

Henry is an 11th generation Canadian and a 2nd generation Edmontonian. Employed in the Building Design Consulting Industry for 25 years, his professional passion for delivering built environments, lead to a personal passion, in the stories of the people, who occupied those environments. The stories of buildings/landscapes and the people of the time, and how this created the meaningful Places, of today. Great Places are where Community and Heritage, thrive.

Henry volunteered with the Old Strathcona Foundation, for 18 years. He liaised with National, Provincial and Municipal agents, advocating Historic Preservation and Heritage Celebration, in Edmonton. He recently completed two terms, as Alberta’s representative on the Board of Governors, of the National Trust for Canada, where he led a Strategic Issues Committee, through new subsidiary agreements with a provincial organization and an organization re-branding from the Heritage Canada Foundation, to the National Trust for Canada.

Jeanne Lehman

An active community leader, Jeanne is the founder and former President of the Francophonie Albertaine Plurielle (FRAP), working within Alberta’s Francophone communities. She also founded My Voice Counts, an organization for civic engagement of new immigrants. She worked with and served on boards of directors (The Africa Centre, ECALA), as well as with external entities in the public and private sectors in order to maintain effective governance.

Jeanne has a Bachelor of Business Law from the University of Paris X and Master Degree in International Relations from the Sorbonne, Paris; and a Graduate Diploma in Management from HEC Business School, Montreal. She has recently worked in project management with Diversity Group and the Africa Center and currently works with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Government of Canada).

Jean-Louis Zokpe

Jean-Louis is a former board of directors of the Council for the Advancement of Africans Canadians (CAAC) where he served in the governance policy committee. He is a member founder of Edmonton Beninese Association, and past vice-president and treasurer. He currently works as a senior compliance officer for the federal government, with 10 years’experience in the pharmaceutical industry as a manager, supervisor and specialist in quality assurance.

Prior to coming to Edmonton, he where he was a volunteer in the community and social life with Pastoral of Oratory Saint-Joseph (Montréal) to help the homeless in the downtown street. He served on the Social Issues committee of the board of Conseil Jeunesse de Montreal (CJM), which is an advisory council for the city of Montreal on youth issues.

Leylene Mayes

Leylene is a Program Services Coordinator with Alberta Justice and Solicitor General. She has held leadership roles within both the federal and provincial governments, which has provided her with a comprehensive background in program management, social services, issues management, strategic planning, and policy development.

Born and raised in Edmonton, Leylene is a 4th generation Edmontonian / Canadian, with direct roots to black pioneer settlements in Alberta and Saskatchewan (featured in the exhibit I Am Here, Royal Alberta Museum, 2019), and distant ties to both the underground railroad and the Mayflower.

Leylene’s Edmontonian upbringing, ethnocultural background, and employment history provides her with an awareness of the city, insight into issues of diversity, and offers knowledge of community programs and government services, including seven years managing government grant programs.

Robert Hobson

Robert is a professional planner with over 40 years of experience in setting public policy, heritage conservation and environmental land use planning. He has been active in local government, serving as a City Councillor for the City of Kelowna from 1988-2014 and Chair of the Central Okanagan Regional District from 1993-2014, among other positions. In 2015, Robert moved to Edmonton and in 2016 he was appointed to the City of Edmonton Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. He has also been active with the Edmonton Heritage Council.

Robert was awarded the Queens Jubilee Medal for his leadership on municipal, regional and provincial issues. He has focused on reconciling interested between local and regional governments and between municipalities and First Nations.

Sally Scott

Born and raised in Edmonton, Sally falls increasingly more in love with this city, enhanced through her work in heritage over the past ten years.  She holds two Bachelors of Arts degrees from the University of Alberta; one of these with a specialization in Western Canadian history, focusing on women’s history since the 19th century and the fur trade in the West.

Sally has been deeply involved in public interpretation, cutting her teeth at Fort Edmonton Park as well as the University of Alberta Museums and the Royal Alberta Museum. For the past two years, Sally has contributed articles for the Edmonton City as Museum Project, covering topics from Edmonton’s downtown farmers’ market to the first women’s organization at the University of Alberta.

City Advisors

Robert Geldart

Senior Heritage Planner, City of Edmonton

Robert Geldart is an architect with a Masters degree in urban planning and is the City of Edmonton’s Principal Heritage Planner in the Planning and Development Department. He also serves on the Edmonton Historical Board in an ex-officio capacity.

Kathryn Ivany

City Archivist, City of Edmonton

Kathryn has been an archivist for 20 years. Two years ago she came to the City Archives as part of the team of archivists preserving and restoring Edmonton’s history. She has now taken over the helm from former archivist, Michael Payne and her first order of business is to make the archives more accessible to the public and to city staff.

Roger Jevne

Branch Manager, Community & Recreation Facilities, City of Edmonton