The History Team

Calling Lake History Committee

Wilf Brooks

History committee co-chair, project lead

A property owner in Calling Lake since 1973, Wilf has worked on a variety of history projects in Edmonton and beyond. He was a force behind numerous start-ups in the community, including the Calling Lake Trail Association, outdoor and other educational projects, search and rescue teambuilding and previous history gathering. His lifetime of community engagement during a career as co-owner of United Cycle include erecting a linear museum at his firm’s flagship store in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and playing a central role in founding Sport Central, an equipment bank for kids. Connected through marriage to a homestead family along the nearby Athabasca River, he is passionate about bringing the past to life and determined to make Calling Lake history accessible and available in ways it never has been before.

Phone: 780-289-8615

Kathy Stubbs

History committee co-chair, archiving lead

Raised in northern BC’s Peace River Block, Kathy’s heart is “in the North.” After time as an adult on the BC north coast and in Yukon, she came to Alberta in 1969, living and working in the High Level and Edmonton areas. Her family owns Delta Helicopters, which serves the North. She became involved in the Calling Lake community immediately after buying a property here in 1998. A board member with the Calling Lake Cottage Association for two decades and a founding member of the Calling Lake Community Society, she brought the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association ACE (Active Creative Engaged) Communities process to Calling Lake as a way of inspiring grassroots involvement in creating places, spaces, connections and a culture that promote wellbeing. An amazing ambassador for the history project, her enthusiasm is bringing numerous people aboard to share their history and/or to volunteer.

Phone: 780-719-9949

Professional support

Cheryl Mahaffy

Planning, research, writing, editing, resource curation

A freelance writer with a Masters in journalism, Cheryl has proven her ability to bring history to life on numerous heritage teams. Related initiatives include Women Building Alberta, a website that shines a light on Alberta’s earliest women architects; Field Law at 100, the history of a firm closely intertwined with Alberta’s history; It’s Amazing, the history of Edmonton’s sport equipment bank for kids in need; and heritage signs and scripts for Strathcona County.

Cheryl came to know Calling Lake while writing about its work as an ACE community and helping to edit the resulting strategic plan. She met Wilf Brooks while writing the history of Sport Central and recognized his consummate ability to make things happen by drawing the right people together with a clear goal in mind. For the Calling Lake history project, she is commissioned part-time to conduct research, write most of the text, edit materials written by others and gather/curate the cache of shared documents. She will also be working with designers and others to make materials available online, on site and within Calling Lake.


Mika Yeo

Website and Multimedia design

After completing the Bachelor of Design program at the University of Alberta, Mika developed a strong passion for design. Participating in collaborative projects across various faculties and groups at the University of Alberta, she focuses on improving the accessibility of ideas, stories, and concepts. Her approach involves a user-centered perspective to ensure the result aligns with the project’s goals and user needs.

Mika’s introduction to the Calling Lake came through Cheryl, with whom she had collaborated on a prior project. Her interest was immediately piqued due to her passion for creating designs that have the power to amplify the stories of individuals, their environments, and their histories. She aspires to channel this passion into the Calling Lake Project, aiming to contribute to the enhancement of these stories. She is engaged in the design of diverse print and digital materials, which encompass projects like the development of the Calling Lake Website.

Website: Mikaela Yeo Design

Community support

The Calling Lake Community Society executive is actively involved, both as funder and on the frontlines. For example: Jennifer Schacher, who staffs the local post office, manages the Spirit newsletter and is taking a  lead on our social media; Angela Lightning, who directs the MD Opportunity’s Recreation and Culture department, provides crucial liaison with the municipality;  Roger Smolnicky, CLCS president, supports this work out of lived understanding of how culture and heritage can enrich communities.

Curtis C Cardinal is a member of the Bigstone Cree Nation in Treaty 8. He has vast experience in the tourism industry, having worked for the Municipal District of Opportunity #17 as Visitor Information Centre Supervisor for nine years and more recently for Indigenous Tourism Alberta. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Native Studies from the University of Alberta and has a particular interest in history, genealogy and art. A descendant of Jean Baptiste Gambler, he administers the Facebook group Jean Baptiste Gambler Descendants. He is adept at building interest in local history (and in the Calling Lake historical project) through his own Facebook page .

Brenda Bladon, former chair of the MD Opportunity Library Board, which created oral histories of some Calling Lake elders, is organizing onsite materials at the Calling Lake Historical Centre.

Kevin Prather and Devin Dequaine, who have strong ties in the community and knowledge of its sport history, have offered to scout for stories and photos related to sport and recreation.

James Bissell, whose family trapped and ran sawmills in and near Calling Lake, is contributing insights about living off the land and forestry. Now residing in Spruce Grove, his ongoing ties to Calling Lake include friends, grand- and great grandchildren and fishing.

Kelly (Ennis) McIntyre, who hails from a long-time cottage family, is helping to gather the history of her family’s experiences at the lake and as leaders in the Calling Lake Sailing Club.

Elizabeth Peck, daughter of cottager Av Mann, is delving into her father’s files to piece together the history of his many community endeavours (including the launch of the sailing club) and to tell of her family’s experiences as cottage owners on the lake. She has also offered to tap her archeological training to help identify artifacts found around the lake.

Trish Bone, Calling Lake volunteer for ALMS/Lake Watch with water sampling projects. Interested in helping to educate fellow lake users on water health, water quality and the side effects of ever-changing shorelines.

Experts consulted

Margaret Anderson, archivist at Athabasca Archives, is providing any acquisitions that relate to Calling Lake, scouting for specific materials on request and advising on archival standards.
Marvin Bjornstad, who manages the Elk Point Historical Society online presence and was instrumental in developing the Iron Horse Trail along abandoned railways, is providing advice as we step into the world of social media.

Dr. Gregory Johnson, author of Why Athabasca and Lac La Biche Chronicles, is sharing his insights about nearby places where many Calling Lake families lived before moving here. Holding a PhD in history from York University, he taught at the University of Victoria, Red Deer College, the University of Alberta and finally at Athabasca University, where he remains adjunct professor.

Tracey Kinsella, executive director of the Alberta Sport Hall of Fame and Museum, is partnering with us to explore Alberta’s northern and long-past sport history.

Mark Lund, author of Mark’s Guide for Alberta Paddlers, is helping us understand the waterways that led people to Calling Lake when rivers were used as highways. Understanding our waterways and watersheds and how they were used by Indigenous peoples as well as settlers will help us piece together just how Calling Lake came to be – and why families took root here. Mark holds an MA in physical education and taught at MacEwan for 30 years. Combining passions for history and paddling, he is a key organizer of numerous voyageur canoe brigades.

Bruce Mayer, who served as Calling Lake Forest ranger and later as ADM with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, is sharing a goldmine of research he has gathered on the region’s forest industry as an active member of the Forest History Association of Alberta.

Ruth Gruhn, author of Archaeological Research at Calling Lake, is sharing insights from her work. In the 1960s, her team found an abundance of prehistoric material alongside the lake, including four campsites dating as far back as 3000 B.C.

Ike Glick, who led a Mennonite voluntary service team that served Calling Lake and other northern communities from 1954 to 1970, is sharing memories from those decades. His book Risk & Adventure, co-written with his wife Millie, describes how the team built up a multi-faceted health care, teaching, agricultural, social welfare and religious instruction program in Calling Lake while helping nearby communities launch schools.

Chad Carter of Rhino Designs is working on landscape and sign designs, informed by his Métis heritage. He also has drone footage of the area that promises to greatly enhance our signage.

A project of the Calling Lake Community Society

Land Acknowledgement

Recognizing that we are all equally responsible to know our shared history and journey forward in good faith, we acknowledge with respect that Calling Lake stands on land, and alongside water, where Indigenous peoples have gathered, hunted, fished and held ceremonies from time immemorial.

Our Funders