History in the making

Lieutenant Governors have had an important role to play since the Province of Alberta was created. Here are highlights of the people and events behind Alberta's vice-regal history. 

  • Queen Elizabeth II Longest Reigning Monarch

    September 9, 2015

    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning Monarch in British history, surpassing the record set by her great, great grandmother Queen Victoria. Learn more  

     
  • Lois Mitchell - 18th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    June 12, 2015 - 

    The Her Honour, the Hon. Lois E. Mitchell is an accomplished businesswoman and a proud, longstanding member of Alberta’s dedicated corps of community volunteers. She is a Calgary business leader who spent many years working as an entrepreneur. Her volunteer résumé includes service in a wide range of areas, including sport, education, the arts, national unity and support for Canada’s men and women in uniform. Biography Installation

     
  • Royal Tour - Slave Lake, Calgary

    July 2011

    Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge chose Alberta as the location for one of their first  tours as newlyweds. The Royal Couple spend time in Slave Lake, tour the Calgary Zoo and attend the Calgary Stampede. Tour details & photos

     
  • Donald S. Ethell -17th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    May 11, 2010 - June 12, 2015

    Col [Ret'd] the Hon. Donald S. Ethell becomes Alberta's Vice-Regal representative following a long and distinguished career in the Canadian Armed Forces that included 14 overseas peace support operations. One of his principle legacies as Lieutenant Governor is the establishment of the LG's Circle on Mental Health and Addiction. During his tenure, he also revives the tradition of wearing a civil uniform for ceremonial occasions.  Biography

     
  • Alberta turns 100

    September 1, 2005

    Alberta celebrates its Centennial. Lieutenant Governor Kwong helps Albertans mark the milestone with Centennial medal presentations throughout the year and takes part in the September 1 re-enactment of the 1905 Inauguration Day ceremonies on the grounds of the Alberta Legislature. Communities around the province enjoy 100th birthday celebrations and fireworks. 

     

     
  • Royal Tour - Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Calgary

    May 2005 

    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh make a special tour of the province to mark Alberta's 100th birthday. The official itinerary includes a welcome ceremony at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, the Queen's first address to the Legislative Assembly, a tour of Fort McMurray for the Duke of Edinburgh and a grand send off for the Royal Couple at the Saddledome in Calgary. Approximately 60,000 people attend official public events in Edmonton and Calgary and thousands more come out to line the motorcade routes. Itinerary and photos

     
  • Norman Kwong - 16th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    January 20, 2005 - May 11, 2010

    Calgarian Norman L. Kwong becomes the first person of Chinese heritage to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. Widely-known for his 13 pioneering and record-breaking seasons with the Canadian Football League and his long and successful business and real estate career, he brings an emphasis on sport, wellness and seniors programs to the role.  Biography  

     

     
  • Royal Tour - Edmonton

    August 2001 

    The Earl and Countess of Wessex visit Edmonton and attend the 2001 World Championships in Athletics.

     
  • Lois Hole - 15th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    February 10, 2000- January 2005

    Successful businesswoman, best-selling author, education advocate and community supporter, Lois Hole, becomes Alberta's second female Lieutenant Governor and brings a strong focus on libraries, literacy and the arts to the role. She earns the nickname "Queen of Hugs" during her tenure in office  Biography  

     

     
  • Bud Olson - 14th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    April 17, 1996  - February 10, 2000 

    Southern Alberta's Horace A. "Bud" Olson takes on vice-regal responsibilities following five-terms as a Member of the House of Commons and service as a Senator. He steps down from the role four years into his tenure for health reasons. Biography

     
  • Gordon Towers - 13th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    March 11, 1991 - April 17, 1996

    Red Deer area farmer, soil conversationalist and community leader Gordon Towers takes on vice-regal duties following 16 years of service in the Canadian House of Commons, making him the first Lieutenant Governor of Alberta to have served as a Member of Parliament. Biography

     

     
  • Royal Tour - Red Deer and Calgary

    June 27-30, 1990 

    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II tours Calgary and Red Deer.

     
  • Helen Hunley - 12th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta 

    January 22, 1985 - March 11, 1991

    Army veteran, politician and community leader Helen Hunley becomes the first woman to serve as Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, following a groundbreaking career as the first woman to hold full ministerial status in the Alberta Government, the province's first Solicitor General and the first female Mayor of Rocky Mountain House. Biography

     

     
  • Frank Lynch-Staunton - 11th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    October 18, 1979 - January 22, 1985 

    Frank Lynch-Staunton becomes Alberta's vice-regal representative following a  long career spent on the family ranch near Pincher Creek in Southern Alberta, extensive community and municipal service and duties as a reservist with the 15th Canadian Light Horse. Biography

     
  • Royal Tour - Edmonton, Central and Northern Alberta

    July-August 1978

    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Their Royal Highnesses the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward visit Edmonton for the XI Commonwealth Games and tour Grande Prairie, Peace River, St. Paul, Vegreville, Fort Saskatchewan, Mundare, Chipman, Lamont and Bruderheim.

     

     
  • Royal Tour - Southern Alberta

    July 5-9, 1977 

    Thier Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and Prince Andrew tour Southern Alberta for events related to the 100th anniversary of the Signing of Treaty 7 and attend the Calgary Stampede.

     
  • Ralph Steinhauer - 10th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    July 2, 1974 - October 18, 1979

    Ralph Garvin Steinhauer becomes the first person of Aboriginal heritage to be appointed Lieutenant Governor of a Canadian province. A respected community leader, he brings new perspectives to the office, including his experience as a farmer, as an advocate for rural concerns, and as a councilor and Chief of the Saddle Lake First Nation. Biography 

     

     
  • Royal Tour - Calgary

    July 1973 

    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh stop in Calgary during a Canada-wide tour to mark the RCMP centennial.

     
  • J.W. Grant MacEwan - 9th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    January 6, 1966 - July 2, 1974

    J.W. Grant MacEwan, a well-known agriculturalist, historian, educator, public speaker, author, conservationist and former Calgary MLA and Mayor, adds Lieutenant Governor to his long list of accomplishments. He establishes a busy schedule of traveling to visit communities in every corner of the province, often carrying his trademark shovel and a tree to plant at outdoor ceremonies as a symbol of his interest in the environment.  Biography

     

     
  • J. Percy Page - 8th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    December 21, 1959 - July 2, 1974 

    John Percy Page takes on his vice-regal duties following a career that included work as a teacher, school trustee, Member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly and, most famously, as coach of Edmonton's record-breaking women's basketball team the Edmonton Grads. Biography 

     
  • Royal Tour 

    Summer 1959

    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh stop in Alberta as part of a cross-Canada tour to mark the Opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway

     

     
  • Queen Elizabeth II Begins Reign

    February 6, 1952 

    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes Sovereign upon the death of her father, King George VI.  Learn more

     
     
  • Royal Tour 

    1951

    Their Royal Highnesses Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh visit Alberta as part of a coast-to-coast official tour of Canada.

     
  • J.J. Bowlen - 7th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    February 1, 1950 - December 21, 1959 

    The successful rancher and former MLA, John J. Bowlen becomes Lieutenant Governor and earns the unofficial title of "Vice-Regal Cowboy" for his hard working spirit, love of western culture and a life story that paralleled the growth and development of the Canadian west. Biography

     
  • Royal Tour 

    May 1939

    King George VI becomes the first reigning monarch to set foot on Canadian soil when His Majesty and Queen Elizabeth take a month long tour of Canada. They criss-cross the country in a special royal train, with Alberta  stops in Calgary, Banff, Edmonton and Jasper. Learn more

     
  • Lieutenant Governor Bowen reserves Royal Assent

    1937

    The essential constitutional function of Canada's Vice-Regal representatives is brought into sharp focus in Alberta with Lieutenant Governor Bowen's refusal to grant Royal Assent to a number of bills proposed by the government of the day. Learn more

     
  • John C. Bowen - 6th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    March 23, 1937 - February 1, 1950

    A former Edmonton Alderman, MLA and First World War veteran, the Honourable John C. Bowen takes on duties as Alberta's Lieutenant Governor beginning a tenure that spans the Second World War and includes a challenging period in the province's Vice-Regal history. Bowen's extensive term in office earns him the record as Alberta's longest serving Lieutenant Governor. Biography

     
  • Philip C. H. Primrose - 5th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    October 1, 1936 - March 17, 1937 

    Longstanding member of the North-West Mounted Police and a former city police officer, Philip Primrose becomes the first Edmonton or northern Alberta resident to be named Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. He also becomes Alberta's first vice-regal representative to die in office, just short of five months after beginning his tenure.  Biography

     
  • William Walsh - 4th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    May 5, 1931 - October 1, 1936

    Supreme Court of Alberta Justice and Calgary resident William Walsh becomes Alberta's 4th Lieutenant Governor. Key events in his tenure in office include presiding over the resignation of Premier John Brownlee. Biography

     
  • Dr. William Egbert - 3rd Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    October 29, 1925 - May 5, 1931 

    William Egbert, one of Calgary's leading medical practitioners of the day becomes Alberta's 2nd Lieutenant Governor. Prior to becoming vice-regal representative, he was a member of the Calgary Rifles (103rd Regiment) and served two terms as a Calgary alderman.  Biography

     
  • A Royal Resident - the Prince of Wales & E.P. Ranch

    1919 - 1950 

    Following a 1919 Royal Tour to Alberta, Edward, Prince of Wales (who would later become King Edward VIII) is so impressed with the ranch country of Southern Alberta that he purchases the 4,000 acre E.P. Ranch, near Pekisko. He makes a number of unofficial visits to the ranch, including a prolonged stay in 1923 when he stops in on many towns and cities over a seven week period. In 1941 and 1950 he comes to the ranch as the Duke of Windsor, with the Duchess of Windsor (Wallis Simpson). He sells the ranch in 1962, 10 years before his death. Learn more

     
  • Dr. Robert G. Brett - 2nd Lieutenant Governor of Alberta

    October 20, 1915 - October 29, 1925

    Robert G. Brett, a pioneering resident of Banff, Alberta and a key player in shaping the governance structure of the Northwest Territories, becomes the first medical doctor to be appointed as Alberta's vice-regal representative. Biography

     
  • Government House officially opens

    October 7, 1913

    Government House in Edmonton opens as the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. The province's first six vice-regal representatives and their families call the stately building home. Learn more

     
  • George H.V. Bulyea - Alberta's 1st Lieutenant Governor

    September 1, 1905 - October 20, 1915 

    George Hedley Vicars Bulyea becomes the first Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. His term in office includes many other notable first for the province, including choosing Alberta's first interim Premier and presiding over a Premier's resignation. Biography

     
  • Alberta becomes a Province

    September 1, 1905

    Alberta Inauguration Day festivities are held on the Edmonton fairgrounds below McDougall Hill. Governor General Lord Grey and Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier take part in the ceremony, witnessed by some 15,000 people. Events include a large procession down Jasper Avenue, an exhibition by 100 mounted police and a 21-gun salute. In a message to Albertans, the Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Lord Strathcona, says "My most hearty congratulations to Alberta upon her entrance into the Dominion and upon her attaining the full dignity and power of local autonomy...(the province) has my best wishes for prosperity, which now seem so assured."  Learn more