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Fort Vermilion & Area Board of Trade

The Board of Trade was formed in 1914 to promote trade and commerce, and the economic, civil, social welfare of the area. In March of 1917, the Board of Trade built and moved into its first building.

In 1958 the name was changed to Fort Vermilion and Area Board of Trade and consisted of 2 directors from Fort Vermilion, 2 directors from La Crete and 2 directors from the North Peace Area. That year the board moved that a suitability for settlement report be done for the Buffalo Head Prairie area. They also sent a letter to AGT protesting the poor phone service in the area and suggested land west of Buffalo Head be opened for settlement.

In 1981 after much consulting and many letters, the board received a letter stating a new hospital would be built.

Today the Fort Vermilion Board of Trade operates with the same vision in mind as in years past. Its focus of promoting and improving trade and commerce for the people remains the same.


The First Board of Trade Building

Board of Directors

Danny Friesen


Danny is married to Tara, and they have 3 kids. He is a local farmer and entrepreneur. When he's not farming on Big River Farms, he can be found promoting his newest business venture, CropMaxx - an independent ag retail.

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Ray Toews

Vice Chair

Ray and his wife Robyn have lived here since 1978. They own Hydway Hardware and Grampas Finest Cannabis. They have 2 children and 3 lovely young grandchildren. They live in the Trapper Shack, a provincially designated historic building located on the river.
When they aren't working, Robyn loves to paint, and Ray runs Inner Peace Flight, and does ultralight flight training. Ray is also a long-time member of the Canadian Rangers ; there are about 20 members from the local area.

Rodney Friesen


Rodney & his wife Brooklyn (and their 4 kids), own of Aspen Acres Organics; along with operating their organic farm, they purchases grain from local farmers, offers custom rail car loading, and runs a commercial carrier with Super B Bulkers to transport commodities through-out Alberta & Saskatchewan.

David Lizotte


Bio - coming soon

Jed Randle


Bio - coming soon

Thomas Simpson


Thomas is a small town farm boy, born in High Level and raised just outside of Fort Vermilion. His dad and a couple uncles moved into the Fort vermilion area in 1978. They bought farm land and owned a few dozers which they used cutting seismic line in the winter months. When his uncles moved away, his dad remained at the farm which his brothers and Thomas continue to operate. Thomas have close ties to both the farming and town communities that raised him, and hopes to give back with time and efforts to continue to make this region a great place to not only live, but be a prosperous region for all.

Thomas is 30 years old and has been married to Jessica for 4 years. She’s a beautiful and motivated woman who has embraced the cultural difference from home. Her smile and quick wit keeps the sometimes quiet nature of the north exiting. They currently live in a small trailer on a small lot in Fort vermilion with, of course, a garden and greenhouse. Jessica has a soft spot for animals and is not likely to be seen without her golden retriever “Ellie”.

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Cheryll Welke


Cheryll is Partner/Owner of Pioneer Pharmasave in Fort Vermilion, Alberta. She has lived in the region for 36 years. Her family is from the Carcajou/Paddle Prairie area. She looks forward to supporting the Fort Vermilion Board of Trade.

April Loewen

Secretary & Treasurer

April moved to the area in 2020 from central Alberta. She works for a local farmer and has fallen in love with her new community. Her husband Kelly is a Medevac Pilot for CanWest Air based in Fort Vermilion.

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