My Community Foundation...Hope For The Future

An Interview with Joyce Boyce

Ed Boyce Memorial Fund 

It has been 43 years since Joyce Boyce came to the Peace Region. 

Grande Prairie is where Joyce and Husband Ed grew their business and family. After his passing Grande Prairie was the place Joyce and family decided to create Ed’s legacy.

Tracey Vavrek: You are not originally from the Peace Region, What drew you to the area?

Joyce Boyce: Ed was in insurance in Stettler. A local adjuster in Stettler had heard about an insurance business in GP that was for sale, so this man and Ed came up to GP and looked at it. They decided there was not enough work for two people; so Ed and I came up and ended up buying what was the Richmond Insurance.  We moved into the mall and changed it over to Prairie Villa Insurance, and I guess the rest is history.  That was 43 years ago. As time went on it wasn’t right having both of us at the office, so I left and I worked for 11 years for two different MLA’s;  Elmer Borstad and Gordon Elliot.   I planned Fergie and Andrew’s visit to Grande Prairie when they came. 

TV: Well those are really special times.   Sometimes that history gets lost, so it’s so important to have these conversations so we can record them.

JB: Yes, well when I worked for Elmer Borstad he was the chairman of the Alberta Development Council, and we traveled to all the different communities in the North.  We even toured the coalmines in Grande Cache.  There have been lots of changes for sure, and we are a regional center so that’s a good thing.

TV: Well you have certainly seen GP grow then over the years!   43 years is a long time. 

JB : Yes when we came to GP the population was 12,000. 

TV: What has it meant to be in the Grande Prairie area for so many years and the support that GP has given you?

JB: Well it is become HOME really.   At first we were just going to come up her from central Alberta for a while, but then we stayed. We had Cindy and she raised her family here and now it’s just home. It’s Home for me and I like it.  There have been so many changes in the city over the years.  Driving around now I see so much change like the new hospital, and it just feels like it has always been there.  It was the perfect spot there.  

TV : Oh Yes!  I have seen it going up from my office window from the ground up, layer by layer and it really does feel like it has always been there – the perfect spot.  It is also great to see Brent and Cindy following in your footsteps, giving back to the community, raising their family here and taking on the business.

JB: Yes, we started with just Ed and I. Now I don’t even know how many employees they have.  They have since sold the Licence Center which had about 12 employees, but they are still in my office building!

TV: What is your vision for GP now?

JB: Oh gosh, I feel like I have been out of the business world for so long now!   I don’t know that I think too much about that anymore.   What I just can’t believe is the growth in the city even with the downturn in economy. It seems to me that everywhere I go there is a new building or a new business going up, and that’s really wonderful.  I think that at some point the city just grows in itself and just needs the extra structure to support what is already here. 

TV : It was a difficult  time for you after you lost Ed.   So when Cindy and Brent came to you and asked about setting up a Fund in memory of ‘Dad’ what did that mean for you at the time?  

JB: Well, Ed was always very community minded .  We were both in Kinsmen and Kinnets, and then when you get to be 40 you become a K-40.  Then later Ed became a Rotarian and a Shrine; so community meant a lot to us we both worked in the community a lot.  

TV: What do you think Ed would think about his legacy today?

JB: Oh, I think Ed would be pleased that this was something in his memory.   He really cared about community.

TV: As you recommend projects for grants, what things do you think about?   Each year you have participated in the granting ceremony, and being a Donor Advised fund you get to take the reins and say this is important to me.    What does this event mean to you?  

JB: Well I guess because I am a senior citizen and when Ed passed away, the Outreach Center helped me out with quite a few things.  I could see that there are a lot of people that need those services, and so that is why I chose this area.  It is probably more to do with this time of my life as a senior, but I just felt that that was a good place to offer my help for now.    You definitely have a lot of programs that give back with food in the schools, and that’s is appealing as well. 

TV: That’s the wonderful thing about the Community Foundation is that we can give back to any part of the community.

JB:  Yes, and the CF gives back not just in GP but in the surrounding communities too.  I like that. 

TV: When you are with us for our Grant Ceremony and giving back to the community like the Seniors Center – what does that mean to you?

JB: I just think that I am so glad that I am in Grande Prairie!  I love it!  I guess it’s not different than any other community, but when it becomes your community that’s when it makes the difference. 

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