Andrew Kiss

Andrew Kiss is a Canadian artist, who focuses primarily on landscape art, particularly oil painting.

Born in Hungary in 1946, he and his family emigrated to Canada in 1957. After arriving on the East Coast of Canada, they moved to the Vancouver Island, Cowichan Lake area in British Columbia. Kiss spent his early adulthood employed as a draftsman. After being transferred to the town of Mackenzie, British Columbia in 1974, he began to spend more time on his art.

Kiss has exhibited in Hong Kong, Switzerland, England, Austria, New Zealand and Germany. In North America he has exhibited in Florida, South Carolina, Las Vegas, Montana, Phoenix, Seattle, and in Canada.

He currently lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Born in Hungary in 1946, Andrew and his family immigrated to Canada in 1957 after escaping the turmoil of the Hungarian uprising against the Russian invasion.  After arriving on the East Coast of Canada, their journey eventually led them to Vancouver Island, British Columbia.   Although Andrew spent his early adulthood employed as a topographical draftsman, his love of art was always with him.  He began working with oils and painting his surrounding landscape.  A move to the interior of BC gave him more inspiration with the vast mountains, lakes, and wildlife.  In the early 1980’s he started to paint wildlife and sell his works through small local shows and galleries.  This self taught artist was starting to see his talent evolve through developing his own recognizable style.

With a growing demand for Andrew’s work he began to produce limited edition prints.


Eric Pehota

Eric Pehota (born November 17, 1964) is a Canadian alpine skier, best known for his more than 40 first descents of mountains on skis, and his appearances in a number of ski films, including ski documentary Steep (2007), and a number of Warren Miller films.

Pehota grew up in Mackenzie, a logging town in British Columbia. Pehota’s father and grandfather were loggers.

Pehota rose to fame as a big mountain skier in the early 1990s with his friend and ski partner, Trevor Petersen. The pair met shortly after Pehota graduated high school, and went on to complete a number of first descents, including Mount Waddington in 1987. The two appeared in ski films, including Cosmic Winter and Tales from the Snow Zone.

Eric Pehota and his wife, Parveen, live in Pemberton, Canada, and own and operate a jet-boating company, Whistler Jet Boating. The couple have two sons, Dalton and Logan (both are named after mountain summits). The family of four can all be seen in the film, Warren Miller’s Cold Fusion (2001).[7]

Pehota remains a recognisable figure in alpine skiing, appearing in magazine articles and films, such as Steep (2007), and 2009’s The Edge of Never,[8] and is a sponsored athlete of Rossignol and Arc’teryx.

Ferry Strobl: A Pine Pass Pioneer Remembered

Ferdinand “Ferry” Strobl, who was 81 years old when he died on Dec. 14 following a battle with cancer, is being remembered as an avid outdoorsman who played an instrumental role in establishing Azu Ski Village, the precursor of present-day Powder King.

“He was the face on the hill,” said Ilona Breckon, who is putting together a history of 60 years of skiing in the area,. “Everyone associates Ferry with Azu.”


– See more at:

Further Reading:


Leah Callahan

Leah Callahan (born June 20, 1987) is a female freestyle wrestler. Callahan was born in Newfoundland, grew up in Mackenzie, British Columbia, and currently resides in Calgary, Alberta. In 2012 Callahan won the gold medal at the Pan American Qualification tournament and thus qualified to compete at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Callahan is the subject of an interactive documentary film called The Sticking Place, released on June 27, 2012.

Further Reading:


Turner Stevenson

Turner Ladd Stevenson (born May 18, 1972) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey right winger who played 13 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, and Philadelphia Flyers. He won the Stanley Cup with New Jersey in 2003.

Drafted 12th overall in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, Stevenson played his first nine professional seasons with the Canadiens. Left exposed in the 2000 NHL Expansion Draft, he was claimed by the Columbus Blue Jackets, who then sent him to the New Jersey Devils to complete a previous trade involving Krzysztof Oliwa. He spent the next four seasons with New Jersey, winning the Stanley Cup in 2003. Following the 2003–04 season, he signed a three-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. Stevenson only played 31 games with the Flyers during a 2005–06 season in which he struggled due to hip problems and the Flyers bought him out following the season. He retired on April 13, 2007, and became an assistant coach with the Seattle Thunderbirds, the team he played for prior to his professional career.

Born in Prince George, British Columbia and raised in Mackenzie, British Columbia, Stevenson began playing hockey at an early age on a small skating rink constructed next to his home in the Gantahaz Lake area.

Alexander Mackenzie

Sir Alexander Mackenzie (1764 – 1820) was a Scottish explorer. He is known for his overland crossing of what is now Canada, to reach the Pacific Ocean in 1793. This was the first recorded east to west crossing of North America north of Mexico.

1789 Mackenzie River expedition to the Arctic Ocean

On behalf of the North West Company Mackenzie traveled to Lake Athabasca on the present-day Saskatchewan / Alberta provincial border where, in 1788, he was one of the founders of Fort Chipewyan. In the hope of finding the Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean, he set out by canoe on July 10 1789 down the river known to local Dene First Nations as the Dehcho. He followed the river to its mouth and ended up reaching the Arctic Ocean on July 14, not Cook Inlet in Alaska as he had expected. The Dehcho river was later renamed the Mackenzie River in his honour.

1792–93 Peace River expedition to the Pacific Ocean

In 1792, Mackenzie set out once again to find a route to the Pacific Ocean. Accompanied by two native guides (one named Cancre), his cousin Alexander MacKay, six Canadian voyageurs (Joseph Landry, Charles Ducette, Francois Beaulieux, Baptiste Bisson, Francois Courtois, and Jacques Beauchamp), and a dog simply called “Our Dog”.

They left from Fort Chipewyan on October 10 1792 and traveled via the Pine River to the Peace River. From there they traveled up the Peace River, arriving November 1st at the fork of the Smoky River where they built six houses and spent the winter. This later became known as Fort Fork, a North West Company trading post, southwest of the present-day town of Peace River, Alberta.

The group left Fort Fork on May 9, 1793 following the Peace River. They crossed the present-day British Columbia border on May 14, traveled through the Rocky Mountain Canyon on May 22, and reached the junction of the Finlay and Parsnip Rivers on May 31.

Traveling up the Parsnip River and over the great Divide to the Fraser River, they then reached the Pacific Ocean on July 23, 1793 via the Nuxalk-Carrier grease trail, a 420 km long overland route between present-day Quesnel and Bella Coola. The trail was originally used by the Nuxálk and Carrier First Nations for communication, transport and trade, in particular, trade in Eulachon fish grease from the Pacific coast.

In 1801 the journals of his exploratory journeys were published. He was knighted for his efforts in 1802.

Local Commemorative Sites

The town of Mackenzie was named after Sir Alexander Mackenzie.

On June 11, 1993, BC Hydro and the residents of Mackenzie dedicated a recreation site on the shore of Williston Reservoir’s Parsnip River Reach (previously the Parsnip River) “Alexander Mackenzie’s Landing,” in recognition of the two hundredth anniversary of Alexander Mackenzie’s historic journey through this area.

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Further reading:

Alexander Mackenzie’s journals are published by A.S. Barnes & Company: Voyages from Montreal Through the Continent of North America to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans in 1789 and 1793. Vol. I. and Vol. II.


Edward Ruzicka

2003_15_87 Edward Ruzicka Peace-1900“My Grandfather, Edward Ruzicka, was with a party of prospectors in the early 1900’s.  They did work with the RCMP for one summer, constructing a part of the RCMP trail.  I understood it was the trail east of Ft. Graham.  They worked on trail going from Ft. Graham to the west, up the Omineca River and at that time visited a site (Mica Peaks) that would become a mica mine in the 1920’s.  They had traveled up the Finlay River until they reached Deserter’s Canyon.  While they were living in the Finlay Forks area, my Grandfather told me how they met a family of Indians from the Ft. Graham area.  They helped the family (the family was on the verge of starvation, they were either ill or the main provider was injured) and an older man in the family showed my Grandfather a number of native medicines.  One of them was pitch.”

-Recollections of Richard David Forshaw (April 2010), Photo of Edward Ruzicka [2003.15.87]

Rose Toodick Boyko

Rose Toodick Boyko is a Canadian First Nations lawyer and retired judge. She was the first aboriginal woman appointed as a superior court judge in Canada. Her mother was Sekani, her father Ukrainian. She is a member of the McLeod Lake Indian Band. Born in 1950, her early memories are of life on the trapline on the Parsnip River near Finlay Forks in northern British Columbia. Her family’s trapline was flooded by the construction of the W. A. C. Bennett Dam in 1967.

She initially trained as nurse, receiving her R.N. diploma from the Royal Victoria Hospital in 1972. She served in remote Cree communities in the James Bay area and then as a critical care nurse at Kingston General Hospital.

Deciding to shift her attention to law, she enrolled for pre-law studies in the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Law Program, followed by law school at Queen’s University, from which she received her law degree in 1980. She was called to the Ontario bar in 1982 and to the Saskatchewan bar in 1988. She began her legal career with the Department of Justice in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan. This was followed by an intergovernmental exchange with the Quebec Department of Justice in Quebec City from 1989 to 1991. This was followed by a move to the Indian Taxation Secretariat of the Department of Indian Affairs in Ottawa where she remained until she was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in 1994. She retired from the court in 2008.

In 1997 she received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Queens University. In 1999 she received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the Law and Justice category. In 2008 she was elected to the United Nations Appeals Tribunal.In 2012 she received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Special Exhibit: Marge McDougall Gallery

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