Fonds 0163 - Elmer Borstad fonds

Commanding Officer, R/LT Elmer Borstad RCSCC Hockey Team Grande Prairie RCSCC Annual Inspection. Grande Prairie RCSCC Annual Inspection. Three Sea Cadets. Grande Prairie RCSCC Cadets Inspection Party. Grande Prairie RCSCC Cadets Inspection Party. Grande Prairie Sea Cadets U.C.T. Parade. Grande Prairie Sea Cadets Summer Camp, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Grande Prairie Sea Cadets Parade.
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Title proper

Elmer Borstad fonds

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  • Textual record
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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds.

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Reference code

CA GPR 0163

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  • 1955 - 2002 (Creation)
    Borstad, Elmer

Physical description area

Physical description

38 cm of textual records
250 photographs
14 negatives

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Elmer Borstad was born in 1924 and raised on a farm in the Ross Creek area near Elk Island Park. His mother died when he was only ten or eleven so he had to learn to look after his younger brother, cook, milk cows, and take care of the school house five miles away for some pocket money. Starting in 1942, Elmer worked on the Canol Pipeline, then joined the Navy and served on HMCS Gatineau & Sioux. In 1944 he married his childhood sweetheart, Doreen Schnieder and in 1945 he was discharged from the navy. The following year came to Grande Prairie and went to work as a surveyor on the Hart Highway. From 1950-1953 he worked as a surveyor with Century Geophysical. In 1953, he joined his father and younger brother in a trucking business, Borstad Cartage Ltd., which expanded into a 50-man operation with branch offices in Peace River and Dawson Creek. In 1972, the company was sold and a new venture, Borstad Welding Supply (1972) Ltd. was formed. By this time, Elmer, Doreen and their two sons were well established in Grande Prairie. Mr. Borstad's early public service included five years as chairman of the city's police commission, three years as chairman of the economic development commission, two years as chairman of the local Progressive Conservative constituency association and three years on the executive of the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce. He founded the Grande Prairie Royal Canadian Sea Cadets in 1954 and was Commanding Officer until 1964. He was also involved with the Masonic lodge, the Shrine Club and the County Fair Board. In 1963, Mr. Borstad ventured into politics as a city alderman, and was elected Grande Prairie's mayor in 1968. In 1973 he did not seek re-election but remained active in the community. From 1979-1982 he served as Grande Prairie's MLA in the provincial legislature and during this time successfully lobbied for changes to the Urban Parks Program to allow cities smaller than Edmonton and Calgary to receive funding. The result was Grande Prairie receiving $10 million for the redevelopment of Muskoseepi Park and a commitment for 15 years of maintenance. Borstad Point, a tribute honouring his efforts, is located in the park. Mr. Borstad turned back to the family business in 1982 but sold his interests in 1985 and retired to the B.C. coast, returning to Grande Prairie in 1995. In 1997, as chairman of the QEII Hospital Foundation, he headed up the MRI capital campaign, raising over $4 million to secure a MRI for the hospital. In 2001, as chairman of a capital campaign for additional student residences at the Grande Prairie Regional College, he secured funding for two phases of a student village complex.

Custodial history

The records were donated to the Grande Prairie Regional Archives by Elmer Borstad in 2004, 2005, and 2010.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of Elmer Borstad's personal papers, records as alderman and mayor including pages from a large scrapbook, records and photographs of involvement with the Chamber of Commerce and Northern Alberta Development Council, a scrapbook of records (1978-79) related to his nomination as candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party and subsequent election as MLA for Grande Prairie, a scrapbook of records as chairman of the QEII Foundation and head of the MRI capital campaign (1997-1999), and records of his chairmanship on the Capital Campaign Committee for building additional student residences at GPRC. There is also a mylared copy of a full-page 1959 advertisement "marking 12 years of service to Grande Prairie & District" , a booklet "The Canol Adventure" written by Mr. Borstad, and a photograph album detailing Elmer's involvement with RCSCC Micmac Squadron Sea Cadets (1955-1966), including photographs of the first Wrenette Corps in Alberta established in Grande Prairie in 1957.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The records were donated to the South Peace Regional Archives in 2004, 2005 and 2010 by Elmer Borstad.


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There are no restrictions on access.

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Accruals expected.

General note

This fonds has been identified as having Indigenous related content. Researchers may encounter language that is outdated and offensive. To learn more about Indigenous records at the South Peace Regional Archives please see our guide:

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Accession numbers: 2004.12; 2009.54; 2010.11

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South Peace Regional Archives

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  • English

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