Sexsmith town councillors reveal the new Arbour Park sign Monday, June 24, 2019. The sign is in honour of late Sexsmith Mayor Claude Lagace, who passed away in fall 2018.
Peter Shokeir / Daily Herald-Tribune
Sexsmith continued to remember its late mayor, Claude Lagace, by dedicating Arbour Park and planting a tree in his memory.Prior to the Monday dedication, local dignitaries and relatives of Lagace offered a few words at the Sexsmith Community Centre. His daughter Laurie Olson spoke on behalf of the family and thanked the community for the tree and park dedication.“For this to be happening, he would have been overjoyed because it was above anything he would have expected and it would have meant a lot to him,” Olson said. “It’s the perfect thing, so thank you for knowing him enough to know that it would be so meaningful for all of us.”On Sept. 29, 2018, Lagace passed away at the age of 66. He had been a resident of Sexsmith area for over 50 years and served as a town councillor during the 1990s and early 2000s before being elected continuously as mayor from 2007 to 2018.The passing of Lagace triggered a byelection that saw former town councillor Kate Potter elected as the new mayor in December 2018. Mayor Potter, who also emceed the ceremony, noted how Arbour Park had been a special place for her predecessor.“It’s our honour today to dedicate that park to his memory and to also have a tree planted in his memory,” Potter said. “He was the first one to plant a memorial tree there for his father-in-law Lynn Harding and so that’s a very special place for us as a community as well as his family.”
Relatives of late Sexsmith Mayor Claude Lagace unveil a plaque for a tree dedicated on behalf of Lagace at Arbour Park in Sexsmith on Monday June 24, 2019.
Peter Shokeir /
Lagace helped develop many projects in Sexsmith including the medical clinic, spray park and fire hall. He also had a hand in the Lakeview Seniors Home in Clairmont and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his dedicated service to his community.The late mayor was also involved in community organizations. He was chair of the Grande Spirit Foundation, which provides low-cost housing and quality care to seniors and families in the Grande Prairie area.In addition, he was a member of Citizens on Patrol and represented Sexsmith as a shareholder for Aquatera, the regional provider of water, wastewater and solid waste services.Speakers at the event included Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given, County Reeve Leanne Beaupre, Grande Prairie-Mackenzie MP Chris Warkentin, Valleyview Mayor Vern Lymburner, members of Sexsmith Town Council and others.“Just listening to everybody here that has known him and been with him, I hope you feel like we do that, even though he’s gone, you only have to pause for a minute and you’d know what he would say,” Olson said.“He was consistent in his beliefs and his believing in the right thing and so even though he is very, very missed, he’s very much with us every day and I feel that you all feel that way as well,” she added.
Sexsmith Mayor Kate Potter speaks during a dedication ceremony for her predecessor Claude Lagace at Arbour Park in Sexsmith on Monday June 24, 2019.
Peter Shokeir /