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River Valley Annual Report 2016

Creating Connections

Message from the Board Chair

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Christopher Sheard
Board Chair

I am pleased to have this opportunity to reflect upon the past year’s activities and accomplishments of the River Valley Alliance.

The Plan of Action which was approved by municipal councils in 2007, is our guiding document and framework for the planning and development of the Capital Region Park. The River Valley Alliance, along with our municipal, provincial and federal partners have been successful in implementing the Plan of Action.

In June, we celebrated the opening of the Devon Riverfront Trail which runs along the North Saskatchewan River in Devon. In July, Fort Saskatchewan hosted a ceremony to unveil their new direction and interpretive signage. Over 100 signs make the trails more accessible and easier to navigate for residents and visitors. In October, the community came out to celebrate the Terwillegar Park Footbridge and West End Trails opening. The West End Trails links Terwillegar Park to the Fort Edmonton Footbridge.

Looking ahead, the priorities of the River Valley Alliance and the Board will continue to be regional connectivity of the park. The 2017-2022 Capital Plan was developed with input and full collaboration with our municipal partners. Future funding will focus on making the next phase of the Capital Plan a reality.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the individuals who work with me on the RVA Board of Directors. Our elected municipal Board and Directors and Directors at Large represent the goals and directives of their municipality but they also work in partnership to realize the vision and goals of the River Valley Alliance. They provide oversight and direction to Administration, and act as advocates and stewards for the Plan of Action.

In closing, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank our shareholders, committee members, employees and partners for their support in 2016. We are excited for the future of the River Valley Alliance and Capital Region River Valley Park.

Chris Sheard Signature

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Future project

Future Capital Programs

The RVA is nearing the completion of the 2012-2017 Capital Program, and has been working with our municipal partners to develop the Next Phase Capital Program. The Next Phase Capital Program is a continuation of the Plan of Action, focusing on achieving connectivity from Devon to Fort Saskatchewan through a combination of primary trails, secondary trails, and pedestrian bridges. Municipal shareholder support for the Next Phase Capital Program will be a vital component of proposals to funding agencies as we seek to secure support for the next phase of development.

Outreach Initiatives

We were pleased to participate at the following events that increase the visibility and recognition of the River Valley Alliance.

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2016 Highlights

2016 was a significant year for the River Valley Alliance as construction was completed on a number of our 2012-2017 Capital Programs. Thank you to federal, provincial and municipal administrators and staff for their support on these projects.

Capital Projects by the Numbers

River Valley Alliance is currently working to complete the 2012-2017 Capital Program which is composed of eighteen initiatives to advance connectivity and access within the river valley, from multi-use trails to pedestrian bridges and Alberta's first river valley funicular. The RVA has made significant contributions and progress toward making the Capital Region River Valley Park a reality.

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    New trail construction projects in the river valley

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    River valley funicular in Edmonton

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    River valley community center in Fort Saskatchewan

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    Kilometers of new trails throughout the river valley

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    New pedestrian bridge crossing the North Saskatchewan River

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    Upgraded staging areas in Parkland County and Sturgeon County

Message from the Executive Director

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Larry Wall
Executive Director

Each year as we develop our Annual Report to share with supporters of the River Valley Alliance, we attempt to highlight the accomplishments of our organization. The administrative theme for 2016 was “Relationship Building” and we have been very successful in this goal. Through such initiatives as our Stakeholder Symposium held in March and coordination of River Day in June, we continue to reach organizations and individuals who use the river and river valley in order to share our vision to preserve, protect and enhance the Capital Region River Valley Park System.

The 2017-2021 Business Plan was accepted by our Board of Directors and it guides the activities of the organization. Key result areas include: maintaining a successful governance model; achieving organizational effectiveness; receiving sustainable operating and capital funding; ongoing planning and development based on the Plan of Action; and partner and citizen engagement.

The RVA has begun a process to renew and diversify its sources of funding for operations and capital projects. Through this process, we will define a plan that will outline a strategic approach to fund development. Potential funding sources include governments, foundations and corporate and private sources.

I am fortunate to work with a strong staff who share my vision and together we have created three main areas of focus: capital program management; outreach; and administration.
Our staff grew this year with the recruitment of Christopher Thrall as Outreach Manager. Christopher leads the Outreach Team which has the task of developing strategic partnerships, alliances and programs that engage citizens who are aligned in their interests and values with the RVA.

Planning and coordination for the RiverFest 2016 pilot project provided us with the groundwork for RiverFest 2017, a fall river valley festival. This three day event in September will bring together municipalities, user groups and supporters at activities that will highlight the physical, mental and spiritual health and wellness benefits that the river valley provides.

Thank you for your support of the River Valley Alliance. As we move forward, we continue with our goal of creating a connected river valley trail system. Please join us in celebrating all of our accomplishments to date.

Municipal Partners

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Governance and Staff

Our Board of Directors includes representation from our seven member municipalities including Councillors from these counties, towns and cities. There are also seven Directors at Large appointed by the Directors at the Annual General Meeting. The Board governs the operations and business of the River Valley Alliance. We also have many dedicated volunteers who commit their time by serving on our four committees that report to the Board.

  • Board of Directors

    • Christopher Sheard, Chair
    • Wendy Boje, Parkland County
    • Guy Bridgeman, City of Edmonton
    • Brent Collingwood, Advisory Committee Chair
    • Dennis Dembicki, City of Fort Saskatchewan
    • Michael Gardiner, City of Edmonton
    • Bob Horton, Strathcona County
    • Arlaine Monaghan, Parkland County
  • Elected Officials

    • Councillor Vic Bidzinski, Strathcona County
    • Councillor Sheldon Bossert, City of Fort Saskatchewan
    • Councillor Ferd Caron, Sturgeon County
    • Councillor Ben Henderson, City of Edmonton
    • Councillor AnnLisa Jensen, Parkland County
    • Councillor Michael Laveck, Town of Devon
    • Councillor Michael Walters, City of Edmonton
    • Mayor John Whaley, Leduc County
  • Governance Committee

    • Wendy Boje, Chair
    • Dennis Dembicki
    • Peter Faid
    • Chris Sheard
  • Implementation Committee

    • Bob Horton, Chair
    • Pat Butler
    • Dennis Dembicki
    • Arlaine Monaghan
    • Chris Sheard
  • Finance Committee

    • Guy Bridgeman, Chair and Treasurer
    • Mark McCrae
    • Chris Sheard
  • Advisory Committee

    • Brent Collingwood, Chair, City of Edmonton
    • Ted Belke, Town of Devon
    • Paul Bunner, City of Edmonton
    • James Cockburn, City of Fort Saskatchewan
    • Margaret Elliott, Sturgeon County
    • Wendy Lickacz, City of Edmonton
    • Gail Upton, Town of Devon
  • Advisory Committee Continued

    • Jocelyn Mackay, Leduc County
    • Christine McCourt-Reid, City of Edmonton
    • Stephanie Morrison, City of Edmonton
    • Anna Pandos, Strathcona County
    • Bill Reynolds, Strathcona County
    • Lisa Smith, Parkland County
    • Sheila Thompson, City of Edmonton
    • Valerie Turner, Parkland County
  • Staff

    • Larry Wall, Executive Director
    • Alex Bonokoski, Capital Program Manager
    • Chris Thrall, Outreach Manager
    • Tanya Klein, Communications Coordinator
    • Kristine Archibald, Office Administrator
    • Kylie Pollard, Event and Outreach Specialist
    • Paulina Retamales, Event and Outreach Specialist
  • Special Thanks

    • Phil Krysa, Principal, Architectural Works Inc.
    • Rosemary Malowany, Piccadilly PR and Events
    • Jessa Dupuis, zando & jot
    • Trevor Tessier, Strong Coffee Marketing
    • Ruth Stiksma, Corporate Support Group
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A photo from the Devon Riverfront Trail Opening in 2016