New public schools to honour artist Alex Janvier, 2 other community-building Edmontonians

The Edmonton Public School Board has announced the three community-building Edmontonians who will have schools named after them.

The new schools are scheduled to open in September 2021. In December, EPSB asked the public for help coming up with meaningful names.

“We’re looking for names of those who have made a valuable contribution to education, have made a valuable contribution to the community at large (or who) are significant to the community, including community names,” the school board said in a news release.


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On Tuesday, the selected names were made public. A Grade 4 to 9 school in the Westlawn community near 95 Avenue and 165 Street will honour artist Alex Janvier.

Janvier is well-known in Edmonton for his art installation “Iron Foot Palace” on the floor of Ford Hall in Rogers Place, and his “Sunrise” and “Sunset” pieces in the Alberta legislature. He’s part of a group of artists call the “Indian Group of Seven.”

EPSB said at the age of eight, Javier “was uprooted from his home and sent to the Blue Quills Indian Residential School near St. Paul, Alta. Although Janvier speaks of having a creative instinct from as far back as he can remember, it was at the residential school where he was given the tools to create his first paintings.”

The biography goes on to say: “Unlike many Aboriginal artists of his time, Janvier received formal art training from the Alberta College of Art in Calgary where he graduated with honours in 1960. Immediately after graduation, Janvier took an opportunity to instruct community art classes at the University of Alberta.”

Alex Janvier School is part of the EPSB’s solution to the closure of four west-end schools: Afton, Glendale, Sherwood and Westlawn.

A new kindergarten to Grade 3 school in Afton is also in the works. It will be named after Aleda Patterson.

Patterson was a teacher at John A. McDougall and Westmount schools, who went on to build community agencies supporting mental health, families and young children.

“In the early 1980s, Patterson helped establish the Personal Development Centre in the basement of the Moravian Church in the Rio Terrace neighbourhood. The Centre offered free family counselling to families that could not afford psychological services and is known today as The Support Network,” EPSB said in its news release.

Patterson also founded the ABC Head Start program and the Scarecrow Festival.

Aleda Patterson School will be built near 91 Avenue and 167 Street.

Afton, Glendale, Sherwood and Westlawn schools will remain open until Alex Janvier and Aleda Patterson open to students.

The third school EPSB announced a name for is Garth Worthington. The kindergarten to Grade 9 school is being built in the Chappelle East neighbourhood.

Worthington was a music teacher who worked for EPSB for 30 years at Eastglen High School, Highlands Junior High and Jasper Place High School. He conducted thousands of students in school bands and choirs.

He sang baritone and played piano, guitar, clarinet and sousaphone.

“Worthington was one of the creators of Night of Music, an annual showcase of students from Edmonton Public Schools, now in its 55th year,” EPSB said.

“For over 20 years, Worthington also worked with the Edmonton Centennial Singers, a choir of students from across the city.”

The school named in Worthington’s honour will be built on Chapelle Drive and 141 Street in southwest Edmonton. It will accommodate up to 900 students.

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