1955-2002. — 38 cm. — 250 photographs.
Elmer Borstad was born in 1924 and raised on a farm in the Ross Creek area near Elk Island Park. His mother died when he was only ten or eleven so he had to learn to look after his younger brother, cook, milk cows, and take care of the school house five miles away for some pocket money. Starting in 1942, Elmer worked on the Canol Pipelin, joined the Navy and served on HMCS Gatineau & Sioux. By 1945 he was discharged from the navy and had married his childhood sweetheart, Doreen Schnieder, who had graduated from Alberta College where she had taken secretarial training. They came to Grande Prairie in 1946 and Elmer went to work as a surveyor on the Hart Highway. From 1950-1953 he worked as a surveyor with Century Geophysical. In 1953, he joined his father and younger brother in a trucking business, Borstad Cartage Ltd., which expanded into a 50-man operation with branch offices in Peace River and Dawson Creek. The company was sold in 1972, and a new venture, Borstad Welding Supply (1972) Ltd. was formed. By this time, Elmer, Doreen and their two sons, Gary and Lane, were well established in Grande Prairie.
Mr. Borstad’s early public service included five years as chairman of the city’s police commission, three years as chairman of the economic development commission, two years as chairman of the local Progressive Conservative constituency association and three years on the executive of the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce. He founded the Grande Prairie Royal Canadian Sea Cadets in 1954 and was Commanding Officer until 1964. He was also involved with the Masonic lodge, the Shrine Club and the County Fair Board. Doreen was involved with several business ventures including G.P. Business Assignments, a shoe store in Peace River, Gaylan Shoes in Grande Prairie and she also worked for Borstad Welding.
In 1963, Mr. Borstad ventured into politics as a city alderman, and was elected Grande Prairie’s mayor in 1968. In 1973 he did not seek re-election but remained active in the community. From 1979-1982 he served as Grande Prairie’s MLA in the provincial legislature and during this time successfully lobbied for changes to the Urban Parks Program to allow cities smaller than Edmonton and Calgary to receive funding. The result was Grande Prairie receiving $10 million for the redevelopment of Muskoseepi Park and a commitment for 15 years of maintenance. Borstad Point, a tribute honouring his efforts, is located in the park.
Mr. Borstad turned back to the family business in 1982 but sold his interests in 1985. He then retired to the B.C. coast but returned to Grande Prairie in 1995. In 1997, as chairman of the QEII Hospital Foundation, he headed up the MRI capital campaign, raising over $4 million to secure a MRI for the hospital. In 2001, as chairman of a capital campaign for additional student residences at the Grande Prairie Regional College, he secured funding for two phases of a student village complex.
The records were donated to the South Peace Regional Archives in 2004, 2005 and 2010 by Elmer Borstad.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of Elmer Borstad’s personal papers, records as alderman and mayor including pages from a large scrapbook, records and photographs of involvement with the Chamber of Commerce and Northern Alberta Development Council, a scrapbook of records (1978-79) related to his nomination as candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party and subsequent election as MLA for Grande Prairie, a scrapbook of records as chairman of the QEII Foundation and head of the MRI capital campaign (1997-1999), and records of his chairmanship on the Capital Campaign Committee for building additional student residences at GPRC. There is also a mylared copy of a full-page 1959 advertisement “marking 12 years of service to Grande Prairie & District” , a booklet “The Canol Adventure” written by Mr. Borstad, and a photograph album detailing Elmer’s involvement with RCSCC Micmac Squadron Sea Cadets (1955-1966), including photographs of the first Wrenette Corps in Alberta established in Grande Prairie in 1957.
Title based on contents of the fonds
This fonds has been identified as having Indigenous related content. Researchers may encounter language that is outdated and offensive. To learn more about Indigenous records at the South Peace Regional Archives please see our guide.
Table of Contents
|Series 163.01||Personal Papers|
|Series 163.02||Alberta Resources Railway Opening|
|Series 163.02||Alderman and Mayor|
|Series 163.03||Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce and Northern Alberta Development Council|
|Series 163.04||Provincial Politics|
|Series 163.05||QEll Hospital|
|Series 163.06||Grande Prairie Regional College Student Village Project|
|Series 163.07||Grande Prairie Sea Cadets – R.C.S.C.C MICMAC|
|Series 163.01||Personal Papers. — 1957-1998. — 2 cm of textual records.The series consists of news clippings, invitations, awards, a resume, cards, a musical score called “Elmer’s Tune” and a poem “Something to Think About.” An accrual is a booklet, Elmer’s account of ” A Canol Adventure”, the building of the Canol Pipline from Norman Wells to a refinery in Whitehorse during World War II.|
|Series 163.02||Alberta Resources Railway Opening. — 1969. — 2 photographs.Photographs related to the Alberta Recources Railway opening in 1969.|
|Series 163.02||Alderman and Mayor. — 1963-1974. — 6.5 cm of textual records. — 21 photographs.The series consists of copies of news articles, letters and photographs relating to public appearances, the coming of the Alberta Resources Railway, the successful courtship of Proctor and Gamble Pulp Mill, the opening of several seniors citizen’s facilities, and documents relating to the bid for the 1975 winter games. Also included are scrapbook pages containing pictures and news articles documenting the years 1963-1974.|
|Series 163.03||Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce and Northern Alberta Development Council. — 1976-1983. — 5 cm of textual records. — 4 photographs.The series consists of news clippings, a brochure, a letter of resignation from NADC, and 4 coloured photographs of NADC from 1979-1983.|
|Series 163.04||Provincial Politics. — 1978-1985. — 11 cm of textual records. — 9 photographs.The series consists of a binder of information relating to his nomination for Progressive Conservative candidate and subsequent election as MLA for the Grande Prairie constituency; documents and news items relating to his 1979 term; pictures, news articles, invitations, documents relating to the Alberta Winter Games in Grande Prairie and the 75 Anniversary celebrations of the province in 1980; a housing study, Hansard records from 1980-81; the Opening Ceremonies program for the 1982 session of parliament; and pictures, correspondence and news articles paying tribute to his service in provincial politics.|
|Series 163.05||QEll Hospital. — 1984-2001. — 7.5 cm of textual records. — 6 photographs.The series consists of master of ceremonies’ notes for the official opening of the hospital in 1984, Mistahia Achievements document (1996) and three year business plan, 1996-1999, QEll Foundation newsletters and reports, 1994-2001, and photographs of the farewell to Carmen Haakstad (former executive director of the Foundation.) The series also includes a binder of information and photographs documenting the MRI Capital Campaign successfully completed in 2001.|
|Series 163.06||Grande Prairie Regional College Student Village Project. — 2001-2002. — 1 cm of textual records. — 13 photographs.The series consists of a booklet outlining the project, GPRC publications tracing the progress of the campaign and announcing the official opening in 2001.|
|Series 163.07||Grande Prairie Sea Cadets – R.C.S.C.C MICMAC. — 1955-1966. — 5 cm. — 197 photographs.The first sea cadet corps in Grande Prairie, the R.C.S.C.C. MICMAC was formed in November 1955. Parades were held every Wednesday evening in D’Coy Armories. Unifroms were issued in January, 1956. Elmer Borstad was Cadet Lieutenant. Bill Anderson was executive officer, and L. Tegan, T. Meen, and Gerry Duncan were divisional officers. The cadets ranging in age from 14-18 were able to attendThe series consists of a photograph album containing 197 photographs, plus newsarticles and paper artefacts detailing Elmer Borstad’s involvement with R.C.S.C.C. MICMAC Squadron Sea Cadets (1955-1966) and the history of the first Wrenette Corps in Alberta established in Grande Prairie in 1957.|