Kalyna Country Chooses New President, New Direction
By Mark Watson
Kalyna Country Ecomuseum and Trust Society, usually known as Kalyna Country, has a new focus and a new president to go with it. At their recent meeting, directors of the society chose Wayne Taylor of Smoky Lake to replace retiring president Ray Sauer.
Wayne is the founder and president of Taylor Financial Group, and is also president of the Smoky Lake & District Chamber of Commerce. He has been a director of Kalyna Country since 2007 and is looking forward to the challenges that come as part of his new position.
Ray Sauer, the outgoing president, has overseen the transition from the Society sharing its office space with The Marketer to now independently operating out of offices at the Vegreville Train Station. Along with the change in location comes a change in direction for the organization.
For many years, the emphasis for Kalyna Country was on developing tourism in the region. With a sense of accomplishment on that count, the Society is redirecting its energies into further development of the Ecomuseum concept. This is outlined on Kalyna Country’s web page as follows:
“The 20,000 square kilometer Ecomuseum is a unique Natural & Heritage district. Extending east of Edmonton towards Lloydminster on the Saskatchewan border, it is a special parkland and prairie region with scenic, cultural, recreational and natural attractions. It is where the Aspen parkland meets the Boreal Forest, amidst thousands of hectares of prime agricultural land, all within one of the historic regions in Alberta!
Living history, unique architecture, multi-cultural, eco & outdoor adventures and the energy of our friendly residents all combine to make Kalyna Country an authentic one-of-a-kind experience for visitors of all ages.”
Mr. Taylor has launched a new initiative that fits this Ecomuseum in the Smoky Lake County area, with financial and other support from the County council. At their September meeting County council approved supporting Mr. Taylor’s quest to establish an “Urban Dark Sky Park” in the area. He envisages this as a tool for exploration of our world and the natural environment, with particular interest from school programs in larger centres.
With the change in direction, Kalyna Country will be reducing its emphasis on tourism promotion, leaving that in large part to the commercial market. Instead, look for Kalyna Country to focus more on development of the cultural and natural aspects of its mandate in the months ahead. The Kalyna Country office can be contacted at (780) 632-4161 (4922 52 Ave Vegreville, AB T9C1R9) during regular business hours.