Guy Bridgeman

Message from the Board Chair

This year’s annual report theme — Celebrating our Success, Building the Future — speaks to the significant accomplishments we achieved in 2017 and looks ahead to what’s next for the RVA.

With the completion of projects in the Phase I Capital Program, we’re beginning the next chapter in our story as we lay the groundwork for Phase II.

The Plan of Action that was developed over 10 years ago is coming to life in a tangible way, and it’s creating new connections, opportunities and access for people in our seven shareholder municipalities to enjoy the river valley.

These accomplishments demonstrate that the RVA model of collaboration with our shareholders, provincial, and federal governments is effective — and it’s something of which to be proud.


Brent Collingwood

Message from the Executive Director

This was truly a milestone year for the River Valley Alliance and our shareholders, marking the completion of Phase I of the Plan of Action. We saw the conclustion of many projects in 2017 including the Mechanized River Valley Access in Edmonton, Devonian Garden Trail in Parkland County and the Lamoureux Trail in Sturgeon County. This accomplishment is the result of years of planning, investment and cooperation between the RVA and all three levels of government.

The successful launch of the first annual EPCOR RiverFest was a real highlight of 2017. Held over three days in September in the communities of Devon, Edmonton, and Fort Saskatchewan, the event saw over 3,000 people participate in water and land-based activities EPCOR RiverFest enabled us to bring the RVA message to a wider audience by providing an engaging opportunity to celebrate the river valley trail system, highlight the completed RVA capital projects, encourage people to use the trails and infrastructure available, and share our call to action for future RVA projects. A big thanks is in order to EPCOR who played an integral role in making the event as great as it was.

Celebrating Our Success

Completion of Phase I Capital Program

This past year marks the completion of the first phase of the RVA’s Capital program. 

1) Lamoureux Trail in Sturgeon County was an example of a multi-partnership collaboration with stakeholders that included TransCanada Trail and Alberta Trail Net.

2) The Devonian Garden Trail in Parkland County, was completed with support from the University of Alberta and Alberta Sport Connection.

3) Mechanized River Valley Access in Edmonton creates access to the river valley, making it accessible to those who may previously have never been able to enjoy it.


Celebrating Our Success

Stakeholder Activities & Events

In April, over 75 guests attended our annual Stakeholder Reception to celebrate the RVA’s achievements. The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure, brought greetings from the Government of Canada and MLA Rod Loyola attended on behalf of the Government of Alberta. The Friends of the River Valley Alliance volunteer program was created in 2017 to provide citizens with information to share with others about the RVA, including encouraging awareness and use of the river valley trail system. Approximately 60 volunteers were trained over three training sessions.


Public Engagement & Outreach

Spreading our message of one connected river valley

Sharing our message with the general public, organizations, and groups is one of the ways the RVA creates strategic partnerships – and ambassadors – that support our vision. Our Board, Committees, volunteers, and staff actively promoted the organization at public events in 2017 including River Day, River Valley Clean Up, the Fort Edmonton Canoe Brigade’s Canada 150 Celebration, and Strathcona County’s “The Great Trail” celebration. Organizations presented to by the RVA Speakers Bureau included Alberta Parks and Recreation, Edmonton Trail Runners, Building Owners and Management Association, and various Rotary groups in our shareholder regions. When it comes to reaching the general public, in 2017 we brought our message to a large and broad audience for the first time with EPCOR RiverFest.

EPCOR RiverFest

EPCOR RiverFest draws nearly 3,000 attendees, wins award in first year.

In September 2017, the RVA, shareholder municipalities and EPCOR held Edmonton and area’s first-ever river valley festival. The idea for EPCOR RiverFest came from a desire to bring people together to celebrate the river valley park system, highlight the work of the RVA, encourage people to use the trails and accessible features that have been completed to date, and bolster a call to action for future RVA projects.

In its first year, the event drew nearly 3,000 attendees across the three locations, called Rendezvous sites. Each Rendezvous consisted of the following: a raft float on the North Saskatchewan River; activities and exhibitors who encouraged attendees to take advantage of local trails, amenities, organizations, clubs and businesses associated with the river valley; and food vendors and entertainment.

Building the Future

Phase II
Capital Program

The successful completion of the first phase of the Capital Program and other initiatives in 2017 is the foundation for the start of Phase II (2018-2022).

A $100 Million

The successful completion of the first phase of the Capital Program and other initiatives in 2017 is the foundation for the start of Phase II (2018-2022).


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.

Finance Committee:
  • Guy Bridgeman, Chair and Treasurer
  • Mark McCrae
  • Chris Sheard/Brent Collingwood

Implementation Committee:
  • Bob Horton, Chair
  • Pat Butler
  • Dennis Dembicki
  • Arlaine Monaghan
  • Chris Sheard/Brent Collingwood

Governance Committee:
  • Wendy Boje, Chair
  • Dennis Dembicki
  • Peter Faid
  • Chris Sheard/Brent Collingwood
  • Larry Wall
  • Kristine Archibald
  • Alex Bonokoski
  • Tina Connolly (Contract)
  • Tanya Klein
  • Mackenzie Nugent (MBA Student)
  • Connie Smart (November - December)
  • Chris Thrall (January-October)

Special Thanks:
  • Phil Krysa, Principal, Architectural Works Inc.
  • Ruth Stiksma, Corporate Support Group
  • Trevor Tessier, Strong Coffee Marketing
  • Shannon Troke, King and Company Chartered Accountants