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Meet Your Council

Okotoks Town Council consists of a Mayor and six Councillors.  The current Council was elected on October 18, 2021 for a term of four years. The Mayor is the Chief Elected Official of the municipality and has the duties of both Councillor and Chief Elected Official. A rotation for each Member of Council to serve as Deputy Mayor is established by Council. 


Corresponding with Council

When corresponding with Members of Council, please consider that public input, feedback or presentations to Council (or any of Council’s Boards and Committees) in the form of letters, emails, or in person, may become part of the public record and may be published in a Council agenda package. These packages are posted on the Town of Okotoks website for public viewing. 

  1. Council has Administrative staff who are available to assist residents with their inquiries. Contact the Legislative and Policy Services team through the online form and a response, if required, will be forthcoming. If you are providing a comment, thank you for taking the time to contact the Town of Okotoks.  

    Inquiries
     
  2. To contact Okotoks Town Council as a group (which includes the Legislative Services team), please use the online form and select – Council from the drop-down menu.
     
  3. Contact individual Council members using the Contact button provided in the "READ BIO" sections below.  Responses by individual Councillors will be provided at their discretion.  

Council Biographies

Mayor Tanya Thorn

Mayor Tanya Thorn

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Tanya was first elected as a Councillor with the Town of Okotoks in 2013. She attributes her family’s strong interest and involvement in politics growing up for instilling in her the desire to be involved in the shaping of her community.

Tanya has a strong belief in the power of community. It has been a central factor in her personal life and her political career. Being involved in Municipal Government has allowed her the opportunity to directly influence the quality of life for her family, friends and neighbors. In her opinion, it is the most responsive and impactful level of government to be involved with.

Tanya has lived and worked in Okotoks for 30 years. And her love for her community has been proven in her commitments to the Alberta Water Council, Sheep River Health Trust and working hard as Director, Towns South on the board of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. While she is always working in the best interests of Okotoks, Tanya understands that what benefits her home community can also benefit others across Alberta.

Tanya’s reputation for problem-solving was developed in her years in the IT industry. She seeks out the optimal solutions to complex community issues and forges forward to enact change that will help Okotoks thrive now and well into the future. It’s something she does for her daughter and for the people who look to her for grounded, reasoned solutions that will help build a stronger community.

As a graduate of the University of Calgary’s Political Science program, she has been very effective in navigating changes in provincial government and shepherding important issues such as water resource concerns, economic development, and creating more transparency and open dialogue in government.

Facebook: Tanya Thorn - Okotoks Mayor

  • Number
    Phone: 403-938-8904

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Councillor Cheryl Actemichuk

Councillor Cheryl Actemichuk

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Cheryl and her family have made their home in Okotoks for 27 years. She grew up with parents who were very involved in their community. Her grandfather served on many clubs and organizations and was a school trustee for many years. Her entire family have volunteering in their DNA. Cheryl’s interest in politics started in elementary school when Edmonton’s Mayor, Ivor Dent became her school principal and grew larger when her father volunteered to campaign for Bill Diachuk, who was elected as MLA.

She was involved with municipal, provincial and federal elections as a volunteer for candidates and also worked as a returning officer, did census, and was a poll clerk for several elections. She was elected and served 9 years as a volunteer on the board of the Okotoks & District Chamber of Commerce as  director, vice president, president and past president. She was recruited by the board of directors in 2014 to take on the role as their Executive Director and sole employee. During her tenure with the Okotoks & District Chamber of Commerce she fostered positive relationships with the Town and business community and worked to create partnerships with Economic Development, Community Futures Highwood, Bow Valley College and McBride Career Group. She credits this time to where she learned about governance, setting policy, passing bylaws, and the processes involved in meeting fiscal responsibility. Cheryl would often attend council meetings on her own time to further educate herself on municipal politics and worked with other local small town chambers in the Foothills to streamline services and problem solve. 

She is certified with the Canadian Institute of Bankers, retail lending, finance and audit and is a graduate of the Disney Institute of Customer Training.

She has served and worked as a volunteer on Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Sheep River Cleanup, Foothills Country Hospice, Foothills Scholarship programs, Okotoks Parade, Rotary Soap Box Derby, Light Up Okotoks, Okotoks Food Bank, Jail and Bail for United Way, Charity Check Stop, Junior Achievement and many more. She is one of the original 7 people who formed the Okotoks Show and Shine.

She is honoured to have been elected to serve the community. She is excited and eager to be able to represent every resident and is committed to represent your concerns to the best of her ability.

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Councillor Oliver Hallmark

Councillor Oliver Hallmark

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Bio coming soon.

  • Number
    587-888-0515

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Councillor Ken Heemeryck

Councillor Ken Heemeryck

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Living in Okotoks for 40 plus years, Ken is married to Melanie and they are raising two amazing kids in the best community in Canada. Growing up in Okotoks, Ken enjoyed many years of playing on local sports teams and he is a long time member of the Okotoks Curling Club and Turner Valley Golf Club.

After graduating from Foothills Composite High School, Ken obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary and a post-graduate business certificate from the University of British Columbia. Employed as a Property Valuation professional, Ken appraises commercial buildings, residential houses and land in Okotoks and area.

Ken served as a citizen member of the Town of Okotoks Subdivision and Appeal Board before becoming a Town Councillor in 2013.  Ken loves to assistant coach his son's Okotoks Minor Hockey team.

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Councillor Gord Lang

Councillor Gord Lang

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Gord has lived, worked and played in Okotoks for over 28 years. Together with his wife Laurie, they have raised three beautiful daughters. During the summer months, there is a good chance you will see Gord on a golf course or taking in a Dawgs game. The winter months take him into the Okotoks Curling Rink or enjoying a hockey game of any level from Timbits to Jr A.

Gord attended Lethbridge College and graduated with a diploma in Business Administration. He then decided to pursue his true passion and headed to Olds College where he earned a diploma in Horticulture – Turf Management, and acted as the Student Union Vice President.  Gord’s passion for people and community led him to serving on the board of the Okotoks Curling Club for several years as a Director and eventually ending up as President.

Gord is excited for this next chapter and looks forward to being part of this team; one that will make Okotoks even better and stronger as a community.

  • Number
    587-586-1090

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Councillor Brent Robinson

Councillor Brent Robinson

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Brent Robinson was born and raised in Okotoks before leaving to complete his post-secondary studies in 1998. After completing his studies and living in Calgary for a time Brent returned to live in Okotoks in 2011. He has been married to his wife Lindy since 2001 and is proud to raise his three children in Okotoks.

Brent completed a B.A. (with Distinction) with a double major in Political Science and Economics from the University of Calgary in 2001 and an L.L.B. degree from the University of British Columbia in 2004. Between 2004 and 2019 Brent practiced as a commercial litigation lawyer with Carscallen LLP located in downtown Calgary and remains a non-practicing member of the Law Society of Alberta. Starting in 2019, Brent began pursuing graduate studies in data science and analytics at the University of Calgary. He completed his Graduate Diploma in 2020 and is working on a Master of Data Science and Analytics degree with an estimated completion date in 2022.

Brent has been actively involved in minor sports, most particularly lacrosse. He has coached minor box lacrosse since 2004. Brent joined the board of the Okotoks Raiders Lacrosse Association in 2017 becoming President of that association in 2018. He has also served as the Secretary of the Calgary District Lacrosse Association since 2017.

Brent has a passion to serve and give back to his community and hopes to use his time on Council to ensure that Okotoks remains a great place for people of all ages and backgrounds to live and thrive.

  • Number
    403-701-0643

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Councillor Rachel Swendseid

Councillor Rachel Swendseid

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Rachel was born and raised in Okotoks and has called Okotoks her home for over 30 years. She holds a BSc in Environmental Conservation with a major in Land Reclamation. Rachel has worked extensively across the province in oil sands, forestry and conventional oil and gas reclamation. For the past 10 years, Rachel has worked as a Natural Resources Educator in schools across Western Canada, helping students and teachers understand the science and multiple perspectives associated with natural resources development.

Rachel is a committed community member and co-founded an Okotoks not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing free essential baby items to Foothills families facing hardships. She is also a volunteer with Foothills Community Immigrant Services. Through these experiences, Rachel has worked with hundreds of Foothills families with young children and has a strong understanding of the role that municipal government plays in people’s lives. Her passion for the environment led her to becoming a member of the Okotoks Sheep River Valley Committee.

Rachel and her husband have two young children, two dogs and for the past several years had four backyard chickens as part of the Town’s Urban Hen Project.

  • Number
    403-671-4414

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About Town Council

Council Attendance, Expense Reports and Disclosure Statements