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CRC Members Promoting Community Art and Growing Agri-Business Receive Medals

Jenny McAlister (left) is congratulated by MLA Marlin Schmidt.

On Nov. 25, Jenny McAlister, a registered psychologist in Edmonton, Alta., received a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal, recognizing her work with the Strathearn Art Walk. McAlister is a member of Inglewood Christian Reformed Church in Edmonton. She was nominated for the honor by Marlin Schmidt, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for the Edmonton-Gold Bar district. Another CRC member in Alberta, Jerry Bouma, received a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal on Dec. 15 at a ceremony hosted by the Alberta Enterprise Group. 

The medals, distributed to community-involved citizens across several Canadian provinces since last February, were issued to celebrate the 70th anniversary year of the late Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne.

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McAlister founded the Strathearn Art Walk, a free, family-friendly art and music festival, 10 years ago. Described as an annual celebration that “strives to bring out the best in our community by bringing people together to celebrate emerging and professional art, all with the scenic backdrop of our beautiful river valley and city skyline,” the festival has featured over 300 artists and attracted more than 45,000 visitors each year, its website said.

Schmidt posted about the medal presentation on his Facebook page, recognizing McAlister’s seven years of service on the Strathearn Community League and her instrumental role in starting the art walk, “which is now one of the most successful and signature events in Edmonton-Gold Bar,” the post read. “In addition to her hard work as a community leader, Jenny is also an active member of the mental health community where she serves as a sessional instructor, provides clinical supervision, and has served on multiple panels and committees. Thank you for all you do, Jenny,” Schmidt wrote.

McAlister, a graduate of The King’s University in Edmonton and Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C., said she was surprised to receive the Queen’s medal, but “super honored to be counted in a group of such amazing people.” She said, “I spend time working on the Strathearn Art Walk because I believe that community is important and creating opportunities is important, but I also do it because it’s fun. And in a world where things can be very serious a lot of the time, it’s good to do things that are important and fun.”

Bouma is a founding partner of a specialized agri-food management consulting firm in

Edmonton. From 2012 to 2018 he served as a governor of The King’s University board and chaired the school’s strategic growth task force. He was nominated for a Platinum Jubilee medal by Joan Currie, a business colleague, who cited Bouma’s many worthy accomplishments as reasons for the honor, including “for a lifetime of distinguished commitment and service to the advancement of Alberta’s agri-food sector.”

Currie noted Bouma was appointed in 2019 as Honorary Consul, Kingdom of the Netherlands for northern Alberta. In this role he is helping to build “relationships between the Netherlands and Alberta companies and industry associations within the agri-food sector.” He is also an accomplished athlete and served as chair of TrackTown Canada, an organization established to host major international track and field events.

Melanie Humphreys, president of The King’s University, attended the Alberta Enterprise Group’s medal ceremony and posted her congratulations to Bouma, saying she was “delighted to attend.”

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