In May 2011, wildfires tore through the Slave Lake Region devastating our communities through the loss of homes, businesses and community facilities. In the wake of these wildfires, twelve petroleum companies came together and consulted with local stakeholders on ideas for a lasting legacy project. This led to the planning of a new multi-purpose family oriented space: The Legacy Centre. These companies kick started the process with a fundamental $6.4 million donation. The Town of Slave Lake, Municipal District of Lesser Slave River and Sawridge First Nation represented the region to further develop the project with community groups. The Government of Alberta supported this project with substantial additional funding.
The Wildfire Legacy Project is testament to the strength and commitment of the Slave Lake Region. It is an important aspect of the region's recovery from the 2011 wildfires that caused more than $700 million in damage. This project brings together local government and community groups in an innovative partnership. The Legacy Centre will be the much anticipated and much needed new home of the Slave Lake Child Care Society (Daycare) and the Slave Lake Elks Lodge No. 379, meeting community needs for social gathering and banquet facilities, child care and performing arts. Precisely, the community hall will include a 500 seat performing arts theatre with banquet facilities. It is important to note that nothing comparable has ever existed to accommodate so many people in this town. It will also include a Fire Smart interpretive area, First Nation cultural area and will meet the regional needs of a childcare Centre. Furthermore, the Centre will serve as an evacuation Centre to save the community in the future.
Wildfire Legacy Corporation
The Legacy Centre is owned and operated by the Not-for-Profit Wildfire Legacy Corporation. The five partners under the corporation are:
• Town of Slave Lake
• Municipal District of Lesser Slave River No. 124
• Sawridge First Nation
• Slave Lake Child Care Society
• Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Lodge #379
The two main operating partners are the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks #379 and the Slave Lake Child Care Society. Each operating partner will contribute to the overall facility operating costs through program revenues.