Media Archive

<p><span style="font-size: 24px;">A clear spring day turns to chaos.</span></p>
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Wildfires are certainly not uncommon in northern Alberta. In the spring of 2011 there were 146 recorded in the Lesser Slave River area alone. In most cases, these fires are kept at bay by Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (SRD). In this instance, however, winds reaching 100km/h made suppression next to impossible.</p>
<p>Flames spread incredibly quickly and bypassed barriers put in their way by fire crews. Glowing embers were carried up to fifteen kilometers. Water bombers and helicopters were eventually grounded due to extreme winds and excessive chop in the nearby lake. All pre-existing man-made checks and balances were thwarted by the elements. In the words of Calgary Fire Services Public Information Officer Brian McAsey: "If our 1400 men and women were lined up on that road, if you told us it was coming, and if we had every apparatus ready to go, we could not have stopped that fire. It was unprecedented. It was unstoppable."</p>
<p>The toll of this catastrophe continues to be calculated. But despite one of the largest displacements of residents in Alberta's history, and despite the tragic loss of homes and businesses, common accounts from those on the ground are immense pride in the people of Lesser Slave River, and sheer amazement that not a single life was lost to the flames.

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<p><span style="font-size: 24px;">Voices from the Front Line</span></p>
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A lot happened in the first few days. Things came at us pretty fast and just didn't stop. I cannot begin to express my gratitude and pride in the resourcefulness of the MD employees and elected officials during this catastrophic event. Had we not had the strong working relationship before the fire, things could have easily run off the tracks at multiple points.
Allan Winarski, Chief Administrative Officer
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Multimedia Library

Working together to cultivate a healthy municipality.

The Agriculture department works with the public and inter-jurisdictional partners to coordinate and deliver agricultural services to Lesser Slave River residents while meeting the legislated requirements of the Agricultural Service Board Act, Weed Control Act, Soil Conservation Act, Agricultural Pests Act, and the Livestock Diseases Act.

In addition to controlling weeds and maintaining municipal road allowances and drainage ditches, the Agriculture department provides identification and information services on weed, pest, and insect control and offers an array of programs, information, advice, and education to the agricultural industry and the Agriculture Service Board.

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Agriculture Service Board

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Businesses

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Life, Work and Leisure in Lesser Slave River

There are a million reasons to love our rugged-and-real region. What's yours? Click Here and tell us about the people, places and things in Lesser Slave River that matter to you. The best entries will be added to these speech balloons for all the world to see!
Your Name Here

Flag Bearers

Our region's global goodwill ambassadors.

No matter how far from home they travel, Lesser Slave River employees have a habit of taking the municipal flag along with them on their journey. From the beaches of Playa del Carmen to the exotic Great Wall of China to bold, beautiful vistas in Canada's own backyard, our intrepid MD flag bearers have flown the Lesser Slave River colours across the globe with pride.

The MD's photo wall of flag bearers grows with each passing year. This section is dedicated to Lesser Slave River representatives both past and present who have extended this gesture of local pride and global goodwill on their travels.

 


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Life, Work and Leisure in Lesser Slave River

LeAnyone’s first stop in Lesser Slave River should be the Visitors Information Centre, located on Highway 2 just five km east of Slave Lake. A multitude of information about every recreational activity imaginable can be found here, and local staff are eager to help plan a fantastic stay or a day out in the Region. Visit the Municipal History section to learn more about our region's rich heritage.
Legendary Lesser Slave River

The May 2011 Wildfires

A story of regional crisis and recovery.

The dense forest throughout Lesser Slave River adds to our region's rugged mystique. However, our most abundant natural asset can also pose a very real danger to lives, homes and livelihoods when wind direction, moisture codes and other variables conspire. In the early afternoon of Sunday, May 15, 2011, conditions for disaster to strike could not have aligned with more devastating precision.

By now, most of us have heard about the Lesser Slave River wildfires; one of the largest natural disasters in Canadian history. But the most important stories left to tell are those of communities working together to help one another. Of firefighters who drove hundreds of kilometers to join the fight. Of municipal neighbours who donated clothing, fresh water and other vital supplies in the blink of an eye. These are their stories.

Content for this section of our website has been gathered from many sources including media outlets, municipal workers on site, and in many cases ordinary individuals who rose to the task of helping their neighbours to safety. While their words, images and videos have been vital in helping us tell our story, we request that they remain on this site with the exception of reproduction for educational purposes.

A Chronicle of the May 2011 Wildfires

Disaster Timeline

Evacuation Efforts

Emergency Ops

The Aftermath

Stories from Those who Were There

We worked amongst so much devastation, but remembered our job at hand. It was eerie driving through town with so few people around to wave as we passed by, but the dedicated volunteers left their families...More
Vanessa Houston

It has been a long journey both personally and professionally. My heart breaks every day for my friends who have lost their homes and all their belongings. Our lives and community has changed forever...More
Kelly Adelman

Questions varied. "Where do I stay?" "When can I return to the MD?" "Is our house still standing?" "What are the underground services like?" "You'll have 10 semis with relief goods delivered tomorrow, where do you...More
Charlie MacDonald

Municipal History

A legacy like no other.

Though Canada was founded in 1867, the roots of our region trace back to the dawn of man. Ours is a storied past filled with thriving indigenous communities, intrepid explorers, and the inevitable march of progress and industry into our unique boreal region. From downing giant bears to guarding Nazi POWs, our true northern tales rival those of any Jack London novel. This interactive timeline is a work in progress, and is designed to chronicle some of the key events that have shaped the course of Lesser Slave River's history.

Help strengthen the MD's historical timeline. Spot a date or description that's not quite accurate? Have a photo or story of your own to tell? Contact the Communications Department and add to Lesser Slave River's legacy.


Life, Work and Leisure in Lesser Slave River

David Thompson, an explorer, arrived at the mouth of the Lesser Slave River on April 28th, 1799, and was the first white man to see the vast Lesser Slave Lake. Thompson established a townsite thereafter called Sawridge, coming from the sawtoothed appearance of the large sand ridges along the north shoreline of the Lake. Visit the Municipal History section to learn more about our region's rich heritage.
Legendary Lesser Slave River

Canada 150

Celebrating the sesquicentennial in style.

2017 marks Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation. That means all year long, communities across the nation will be doing their part to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial in style – and Lesser Slave River is no exception. As a region that’s well-known for playing just as hard as it works, Lesser Slave River’s festival and cultural event planners are pulling out all stops to ensure an unforgettable 150th.

All year long, the MD of Lesser Slave River will be doing its part to showcase the splendour of the region to travelers from afar and home-grown locals alike. The MD is nearing completion of its piece of the Trans Canada Trail. This coast-to-coast marvel is designed to help Canadians get out and explore the nation.

Are you planning something spectacular for Canada 150 in the Lesser Slave River region? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. about your upcoming event. All entries that are deemed appropriate will be added to this special Canada 150 page for all to see!

Make the Most of this Year of Celebration

The MD will be curating a variety of area activities within this special Canada 150 section of the website. Visit this page often to discover a growing inventory of natural wonders, local festivals and much more. From a world-renowned fishing derby to fairs, rodeos and a wide variety of native cultural activities, the reasons to celebrate Canada’s 150th in our uniquely beautiful boreal home know no bounds.

Canada’s 150th provides a great opportunity for us to reflect on our heritage and celebrate our special place on the world stage. For Lesser Slave River, this means a year-long celebration that has already begun. Take part in the excitement!

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Life, Work and Leisure in Lesser Slave River

The Smith-Hondo Fall Fair and Rodeo is held on Labour Day weekend and showcases the rodeo, chariot racing and calf roping, with a large dance and open festival. Visit the Municipal History section to learn more about our region's rich heritage.
Legendary Lesser Slave River

Instagram Feed

Share your special MD moments.

The MD is making it easy for Lesser Slave River residents and visitors alike to share their unique stories via Instagram - a free, fun and instant way to share pictures online. Load the Instagram app on your smart phone, then snap away and start sharing. You can also choose different filters to transform each image into a unique memory to keep around forever. The Instagram photos below are a collection of these memories, taken by both MD staff and the public at large.

On Instagram, you can use hashtags to let people find - and share - your photos. All Instagram images are public by default, so if you use #explorelsr when you share your pics, we'll post them in this section for all the world to see. Please note that all photos will be viewed by a moderator before being posted live. Happy snapping!


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Life, Work and Leisure in Lesser Slave River

Outdoor enthusiasts find world class activities in the Slave Lake Region: fishing, hunting, boating, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, golfing, motocross, snowmobiling, ATV-ing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and more! Sports such as hockey, soccer, curling, baseball, cricket, swimming and tennis are enjoyed by all in the area. Visit the Municipal History section to learn more about our region's rich heritage.
Legendary Lesser Slave River

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MD of Lesser Slave River

Just a few hours due north of Edmonton, Lesser Slave River is a truly unique place to live, work and play. From breathtaking expanses of boreal forest and unspoiled natural wonders to a thriving economy and genuine work/life balance, opportunities abound. Here you'll discover a place of rugged beauty. A place of real people. A place you'll never want to leave.

General Contact Info

 info (@) mdlsr.ca
 780.849.4888
 1.866.449.4888
 780.849.4939

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