Born in Whangarei, New Zealand, Mark grew up in Olds, Alberta where he loved camping, hiking, fishing and playing hockey. He studied commerce and became a commercial diver before returning to New Zealand where he completed an Engineering degree at the University of Auckland. Returning to Canada in 1989, Mark explored many professions, ultimately preferring to be self-employed in his own small businesses. In 1998 he married Susan and after their daughters were born, tag teamed with Susan over the years as stay-at-home parent as well as managing several rental properties. He was an excellent home renovator and was well liked by his tenants.
After moving to Grande Prairie in 2003, Mark became involved in the community simply by being someone reliable you could call on to help out because he possessed so many skills. An interest in computer animation led him to developing animations for the Arctic Winter Games, the Reel Shorts Film Festival and the Grande Prairie Storm hockey team.
In addition to this, he designed graphics and slideshows to accompany the interdisciplinary art performances of Womansong and Power of the Land. His expertise in designing Google apps made him a valuable asset in designing scoring apps for the Destination Imagination tournaments as well as Heritage Fair. Community minded, he became a founding member of the Swanavon Community Association where he served as Treasurer for many years and helped coordinate many activities within the neighborhood. His willingness to help also led him to volunteer for Grande Prairie Live Theatre, the Street Performers Festival, the Grande Prairie Children’s Festival as well as being a member of the Weyerhauser Community Advisory Committee. He would often muse when purchasing a lottery ticket, how the money could be put to good use in the community.
In 2013 Mark’s parents moved to Grande Prairie to be closer to family for support as they aged. Sadly, Robert Picard passed away in January 2014 and for the next five years, Mark cared for his mother Greta who had been placed at the Grande Prairie Care Center due to dementia. He visited his mother daily to attend to her unique needs, and over the years got to know many of the residents and helped them out in many ways. He had a knack for seeing what needed to be done that he was able to do, and then went ahead and did it whether it was tending to the Care Center garden, making sure there was music available in the dining area, or getting books for residents.
Mark loved the simple things in life: spending time with family, gardening, backyard fires, and finding treasures when diving with his daughter. He had a great sense of humour and possessed many virtues including honesty, integrity, excellence, commitment, and service. Recognition never mattered to him as much as knowing for himself that whatever he put his mind to was done in the best way possible for the right reasons.
You can make a difference in our community – not only for today but forever. When you make a donation to the Mark Picard Legacy Fund, we invest that gift into a permanent endowment fund and the original gift is never spent. Earnings from your gift are distributed in our community to support all needs in the community. Donations can be made online here – https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/46584 or by calling the Community Foundation at (780) 538-2820.