In November 2022, the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta asked the community to nominate outstanding Albertan leaders and change makers to be considered and possibly awarded the five medals the Queen’s Jubilee had given the organization.
On December 14th, 2022, the Community Foundation appointed five medals to these Albertan leaders and change makers in a ceremony located at Teresa Sargent Hall. Members from many recognized businesses and the City of Grande Prairie were in attendance as the Community Foundation, among other awarding organizations in Grande Prairie, in order to congratulate and award these incredible trailblazers. As the slightly unexpected sun shined in through the Hall’s beautiful windows, friends, family, and supporters of the recipients and the event gathered in joy and celebration of these five incredible change makers.
[Left to Right, Top: Tahnia Getson, Kathy Miles, Bottom: Kristy Tissington (accepting on behalf of Terry Tissington), Lionel Robins, Not Pictured: Ryan Mitchell; Photo Credit: Maj Photography]
An active part of the Grande Prairie and surrounding community, and integrated into the arts scene for most of their adult life, founding their own theatre company and promoting youth engagement and mental health. As the Executive Director of NWPSA a nonprofit providing advocacy and governance to students they bring extended knowledge on systemic barriers, effective advocacy, nonprofit structure. They are striving to build a sense of community for students on campus, access to financial assistance, access to food assistance and access to mental, physical, sexual and spiritual supports for their health and wellbeing. They have built strong rapport with CBYF and Northreach Society to bring an Inclusion and harmreduction model to fruition. Their successful advocacy efforts have been demonstrated through the raising of a pride flag for the firsy time in the institutes history. They have also aided the student-led Executive Council and Student Council to achieve success in fundraising for a student pantry to tackle the rising food and hygiene insecurities.
Working with non profit organizations for over 30 years, her work with the Peace Draft Horse club brings community together in several ways. She is always welcoming and encouraging youth and anyone interested in trying out an event, volunteering to be a part of the community. The club is also putting on events where funds raised are given to charity or to help a family/group. Kathy and her husband, Barry Miles, have been at the heart of this organization for many years and can be seen at almost every event. Kathy has a love for community and bringing people together and everything she does is to create a fun, inclusive environment that uplifts our community. She is not a loud outspoken leader, but is often in the background organizing, building, putting things together, setting up or on the sidelines engaging with community members and encouraging their participation and involvement.
Serving with distinction in the Canadian Armed Forces for 18.5 years before being medically released, he was one of the youngest Peacekeeping Patrol Commanders during Canada’s mission to Bosnia as a Quick Reaction Force Commander. In his “spare time” he worked to get 3x 40’ sea containers of donations for the needy. He now continues to serve, but now mentoring young soldiers and their families during their service and release through job retraining and courses for free. Here at home Ryan participates in local food and clothing drives for Afghan and Ukrainian Refugees. As well as his new passion, Mental Health First Aid courses for veterans, first responders (through COVID) and their families, with him almost losing his own life and family due to PTSD and mental illness. Ryan donates over half of his time as a volunteer helping with a number of National programs Ryan is active in the Royal Canadian Legion, CPCOE, St Johns Ambulance, Wounded Warriors Canada, Veteran Transition Network, Portal Over Pain, TWS, Air Cadets, Character Council, Respect Forum and local baseball.As well as a number of Veteran and First Responder Panels and Studies (UofC) especially during COVID to help the frontline workers in the Aboriginal and Francophone communities as well with him being bilingual.
He has been a cadet instructor, a volunteer fire fighter, a director on the Chamber of Commerce, a director for the Grande Prairie Airport Commission, a director on the Alberta Lottery Council, a member of the Alberta Transportation Safety Board. As an Auxiliary Constable, he volunteered a minimum of 350 hours/year for over thirty years. Terry has also established a scholarship program for medical students and worked in a volunteer capacity and as a fund raiser in support of mental health and addictions programs. He is a gentleman and genuinely cares for his community and the people he shares it with.
In his positions as Indigenous Relations within renewable energy companies, he gives space for Indigenous peoples in both Alberta and renewable energy. His position as the Chair of the 2018 Summer Games showcased community involvement and his insistence on the involvement of local Indigenous groups once again gave space for Indigenous peoples and creators. His time as CEO of Revolution Auto Group and Board Member of STARs Air Ambulance was rich with community involvement and support, such as delivering gifts to the Hospital during Christmas time by helicopter or local sponsorships.