Gateway Gazette

Former Speaker Gene Zwozdesky To Be Honoured with Legislature Portrait

The official portrait of the Honourable Gene Zwozdesky, 12th Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, will be unveiled during a ceremony on Monday, June 27, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. in the rotunda of the Alberta Legislature Building.

“Gene Zwozdesky brought to the speakership a wealth of experience and knowledge gained over the course of close to 20 years of public service, which included several Assembly, ministerial and committee appointments,” said Robert E. Wanner, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. “As Speaker he was enthusiastic and congenial, capping off a brilliant and dedicated career in service to Albertans with further service to his peers.”

Gene Zwozdesky served six terms as a member of Alberta’s Legislative Assembly. He was first elected to Alberta’s Legislative Assembly on June 15,1993, and became Speaker of the Legislative Assembly on May 23, 2012, a position he held until 2015. Over the course of his 22-year political career he filled a multitude of roles, including Minister of Alberta Health and Wellness, Minister of Aboriginal Relations, Minister of Education and Minister of Community Development. He was also the Associate Minister of Health and Wellness and Associate Minister of Capital Planning.

Before becoming an MLA, he worked as a teacher, administrator, professional musician and business owner. He was also the executive director of the Alberta Cultural Heritage Foundation and of the Alberta Ukrainian Canadian Centennial Commission.

An avid volunteer and an active member of his local community, he has been involved with the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, Northern Alberta Alliance on Race Relations Society, Alberta Folk Arts Council, Alberta Recording Industry Association, Edmonton Canada Day Committee and the Edmonton Heritage Festival Association.

The portrait in honour of Zwozdesky’s service was painted by Tag Kim, one of Alberta’s most prolific artists. Kim studied fine art and commercial art in South Korea. He has lived and worked in Canada for 40 years, during which time his work has been exhibited extensively throughout western Canada. Other official portraits painted by Kim for the Legislative Assembly of Alberta include those of former Lieutenant Governor Gordon Towers, former Premier Don Getty and former Speakers Orin McPherson, Dr. David Carter, Stanley Schumacher and Ken Kowalski.

Zwozdesky’s portrait will join the collection permanently displayed on the fourth floor of the Legislature Building.

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