About

MISSION

We connect people to the stories of our city 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

Programs & Partnerships 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

Operations Manager

A longtime resident of Edmonton’s northeast, Mary makes her home near the same area in which she spent her grade-school years. Even as a child, she appreciated cultural diversity, especially enjoying costume, dance, music, food, and personal accounts about families and cultural experiences.

Mary comes with decades of not-for-profit experience in administration, finance (payroll, accounts payable), and Human Resources. She truly enjoys the development of structure, processes, procedures, and policy. She approaches these and all other things (like relationships, revamping old clothes, and gardening) with her motto in life, which is to “leave things better than I found them.”

Julia Darby

Grants Coordinator (on leave)

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.

Kyla Fisher

HCIP & Research Assistant

Kyla is passionate about building community and making it a welcoming place for all. Descended from settlers who called both the east and west coasts home, she finds herself in Edmonton, surrounded by oceans of wheat. She has lived here for the past twenty years, studying, enjoying all aspects of the arts, and learning more about what draws people to these lands. Kyla has a decade of experience working in the non-profit sector and finds herself always coming back to the Edmonton Heritage Council.

She is currently the President of the Braille Tone Music Society of Edmonton, and is starting a toy lending library through her local community league. You can find her exploring Edmonton with her two little boys, partner, and dachshund.

Rayna Gopaul

Community Outreach Coordinator, FIRE (on temporary leave)

Rayna Gopaul is a First Nations history, protocol, and practice practitioner in the city of Edmonton. She’s focused most of her career on program development and delivery, and worked primarily with First Nations people and communities, supporting adults, youth and families in varying capacities. She has strong knowledge of protocols and practices related to supporting Indigenous self-determination and reclamation of culture and language.

Joe Hartfeil

Communications Coordinator

With a strong track record of staff, board, and committee service within Edmonton’s heritage and art sectors, Joe brings a history of community engagement to his role on EHC’s communications team. An award-winning writer and broadcaster, his convoluted career path has taken him through the occasionally rocky terrains of the film industry, radio, historic interpretation, theatre, music, research, and linguistics; his relationship with the stories of his hometown has been equally enriched by each stop along the way.

When not trying in vain to clean his glasses, Joe enjoys getting up at ridiculously early hours to create children’s books and radio programs before his brilliant wife and daughter join him in the land of the waking.

Jamad Hassan

Community Engagement Coordinator

As the child of immigrants and a first-generation Canadian, Jamad has lived across Canada before settling down in Edmonton’s North end. Graduating with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from MacEwan University, Jamad has worked in advocacy, child protection, and community engagement sectors. Her passion is working alongside diverse and minority communities to foster empowerment, representation, and resiliency. Jamad approaches her practice with the motto “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”  

In her spare time, Jamad enjoys corralling her energetic cat Tino and immersing herself in Edmonton’s vibrant cultural communities.

Jessica Johns

Indigenous Initiatives Lead

Jessica Johns is a nehiyaw aunty with English-Irish ancestry and a member of Sucker Creek First Nation in Treaty 8 territory in Northern Alberta. She is a writer and editor of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art criticism, and her writing can be found in publications across ministik. Her career has been focused primarily on uplifting and supporting Indigenous storytellers, and her work in community is centered on an ethics of care and relationality.

Fabiola Muñoz

Administrative & Programs Assistant

Born in Mexico City, Fabiola studied Modern English Language and Literature with studies in Postcolonial Literature and English-Spanish Translation at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). In 2003 she moved to Alberta and started a family, later obtaining diplomas in Office Administration and Financial Management for Non-Profits and Charities as well as a certification as a Community English-Spanish Language and Cultural Interpreter.

Fabiola has promoted Hispanic culture and Spanish within several non-profits. As a resident of one of the most culturally diverse cities in Canada, she values the contribution newcomers make to our community and loves the rich tapestry of cultures they create in our city.

Elaine Yip 葉曉菱

Digital Projects Lead, Edmonton City as Museum Project (temporary)

Elaine Yip 葉曉菱 is interested in cultural knowledge and educational development through digital media infrastructures. She seeks ways to engage with both current and historical forms of data, including travelling and connecting through food histories. Her practice is further informed by her diasporic position within colonial geopolitics and migration displacements.

Since 2017, Elaine is learning what it means to be a Treaty person today, as a Vietnamese-Chinese and Cantonese-Canadian forever tourist in her birth nation. Elaine has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a MA in Recreation and Leisure Studies from the University of Alberta. She can be found on long walks and playing recreational sports. The Anne Frank House and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are places that inspire her and she first dipped her toes into the Pacific Ocean in Hualian, Taiwan.

Board of Directors

Robert Hobson

Chair

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.

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

Jean-Louis Zokpe

Vice-chair

Jean-Louis is a former member of the board of the Council for the Advancement of African Canadians (CAAC), where he served on the governance policy committee. He is a founding member 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 was a volunteer with Pastoral of Oratory Saint-Joseph (Montréal), working to help the homeless in the downtown streets. He served on the Social Issues committee of the board of Conseil Jeunesse de Montreal (CJM), an advisory council on youth issues for the City of Montreal.

Jessica Burylo

Secretary

Jessica Burylo is the Outreach Officer for Elk Island National Park, where she collaborates with heritage organizations in the Edmonton area to further the preservation of our history and natural spaces. She has developed her expertise in visitor services, community engagement, and site curation through past positions in municipal committees, heritage foundations, and museum management in Southern Alberta.

A new Edmontonian who is keen to contribute to her community, Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology with post-graduate studies in Heritage Resource Management. She has published work advocating for the use of historical case studies to teach science curriculum to promote science accessibility and literacy. She believes that heritage is a valuable platform for citizens to cultivate their own identity and to explore complicated societal issues.

Tim Gilchrist

Treasurer

Tim has spent much of his life in the Edmonton area and has deep-rooted family ties to the University of Alberta and various clubs from throughout Edmonton’s history. He has a passion for history, heritage, and architecture and enjoys travel that lets him explore these pursuits throughout cities around the world.

His more than two decades of experience in the accounting sector includes working for home builders and Edmonton area development companies. He is currently a partner at an accounting firm and enjoys the networking and relationship building opportunities the role brings.

Greg Cardinal

Greg, who works as both a Referral Clerk with Indigenous Services Canada and as an Indigenous Interpreter at Fort Edmonton Park, has expertise in history, storytelling, research, and administration. Previously Supervisor of Indigenous Narratives at Fort Edmonton Park, Greg has specialized in oral storytelling, residential school intergenerational trauma, and Indian day school experience.

He has an interest in advancing Indigenous representation within local organizations, community groups, and mainstream think tanks. He also served on an advisory committee for the River Crossing grants program in 2018. Greg is a member of Saddle Lake Cree Nation and has a B.A. in English and History.

James Lamouche

James is Cree/Métis and grew up in Treaty 8 Territory, near kapawe’nohk (Grouard) on the shores of the Lesser Slave Lake.

After moving to amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) to attend the University of Alberta, he worked as a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School before returning to work in Indigenous education focusing on the links between Indigenous Knowledge and Science. He has extensive experience working with Indigenous nations and organizations in the areas of health, Indigenous knowledge, traditional medicine, education, and Indigenous rights.

He has served as Director of Research and Indigenous Health Sciences Coordinator at the University nistameyimakanak Blue Quills (UnBQ); and as Associate Director of Indigenous Student Services at McMaster University. He currently serves as Director of Innovation and Research with the Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre.

Kathryn Gwun-Yeen 君妍 Lennon

Kathryn was born and raised in amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton), with mixed Hong-Kong Cantonese and Irish settler ancestry. With an eye to equity, diversity, and inclusion, Kathryn is especially interested in intangible cultural heritage and has touched on this in the realms of arts and culture, Chinatown placemaking, and urban food systems.

She has worked at the intersections of community-building, engagement, communications, planning, and research. Kathryn’s experience with a diversity of organizations and audiences includes those in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, working with local government, arts, advocacy, Indigenous, multicultural, cultural, faith, and grassroots organizations. She is also the co-creator, along with Kyla Pascal, of Hungry Zine, a community-focused food publication. Kathryn holds an MA in Planning from UBC, and a Bachelor of Environment from the University of Waterloo.

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 led to a personal passion in the stories of the people who occupied those environments. He strongly believes that 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 for historic preservation and heritage celebration in Edmonton. He previously served as Alberta’s representative on the National Trust for Canada’s Board of Governors, where he led a Strategic Issues Committee.

Abbey Preston

Abbey is a born and raised Edmontonian with a significant interest in the heritage and historical integrity of our dynamic and beautiful city. A library and information professional, Abbey works as community librarian with the Edmonton Public Library and has a decade of experience providing heritage, cultural, and outreach services to communities.

After completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta, she pursued a Master’s in Library and Information Services Management in Sheffield, England. Spending five years abroad fostered her deep appreciation for preserving and advocating for heritage and history in Edmonton. She is also passionate about storytelling and creating opportunities for community connections.

Eleonora Sermoneta

Eleonora, an Edmonton resident since 2018, works with the Royal Alberta Museum as Adult Programmer, with previous experience in education and school programs at Fort Edmonton Park as well as with heritage organizations in British Columbia. She has served on the board for Vancouver Heritage Foundation and on the Advisory Committee of the Burnaby Art Gallery.

A lifelong passion for cultural heritage has taken Eleonora from museum collections research and management to heritage education programs, as well as the development of initiatives related to heritage and museums advocacy, policy, fundraising, and outreach. As a heritage professional and a new Canadian, she is passionate about connecting with and actively participating in the cultural and social life of her community.

Rahil Verma

Rahil is a mortgage advisor and banking consultant. She has served as Chair of the Park Allen Community League, working with Heritage Days Festival on behalf of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues. She is a founding member of YEGPro, a South Asian networking group offering seminars, workshops, and events to connect community members. She has served as an event organizer, also providing communications support for school parent councils and organizations like Bollywood YEG.

She has worked in rural management, training and development in India and holds degrees from the University of Rajasthan in Business (MBA) and Science (B.Sc).

Geoff Wagner

Geoff is a Professional Engineer with over 25 years’ experience in the power industry. He holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Engineering from the University of Alberta. Geoff currently works in Project Development with EPCOR. For the last 12 years, Geoff has been responsible for the Rossdale Generating Station, a provincially designated historic resource.

Geoff is currently a director for the Edmonton Power Historic Foundation, which operates a museum in Leduc Country and whose mission is to preserve the history of electric power in Alberta. Previous volunteer roles include serving on the board of the Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way, leading Scouts, and coaching soccer.

City Advisors

Roger Jevne

Branch Manager, Community & Recreation Facilities, City of Edmonton

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.

Scott Ashe

Principal Heritage Planner, Urban Design, City of Edmonton

Scott Ashe, Principal Heritage Planner, Urban Design within the City of Edmonton’s Urban Form and Corporate Strategic Development department of City Planning, serves as a City Advisor to the EHC Board of Directors.