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Mayor & Council


Mayor Colleen Powell 
Email : mayorpowell@athabasca.ca
Phone: 780-675-5174

Colleen was first elected to Athabasca Town Council in 1998 and served five terms including one term as mayor. During her time on Council, the Town won two major provincial awards for the Town’s heritage program.


Colleen was born and raised in Calgary and after graduating from the University of Calgary, became a CUSO volunteer in Ghana. Later, she completed a Master of Arts degree at the University of Waterloo, and with her husband, Rick, lived and worked in England and Lesotho. In 1985 she, Rick and her two children, David and Megan, moved to the Athabasca area. In 1992, they moved into town.


In the past, Colleen has been involved with the Athabasca Dance Society, helping found the Society in the 1980s, and was involved with the Athabasca Heritage Society, championing their long-term lease of the Athabasca Train Station. Colleen is a passionate supporter of the Town and believes that our unique combination of people and services can help build a successful and prosperous future.


Councillor Robert Balay
Email: councillorbalay@athabasca.ca
Phone: 780-327-9646

Rob and his wife, Cheryl, have lived in Athabasca for over 20 years. Their children have attended school here.


Rob grew up on a farm in Rochester. After graduating from school, he farmed in Rochester for 15 years, working out for the Town of Athabasca during that time.


His experience with the Town includes more than 34 years in municipal public service and he has served as manager and CAO of the Athabasca Regional Multiplex Society.


He has been involved with Minor Hockey and Minor Ball, both on the executive and as a coach, has served on the Golf Course executive, and is a member of the Athabasca Rotary Club, where he served two terms as President. He is on the Board of Governors for Athabasca University and on the Board of Directors for Seeds of Hope Children’s Ministry, an organization based out of Abbottsford, British Columbia.


Councillor Tannia Cherniwchan
Email: councillorcherniwchan@athabasca.ca
Phone: 780-689-1571

An Athabasca resident since 1969, Tannia is married to Lionel Cherniwchan, a former mayor and councillor of the Town of Athabasca. They have two daughters and four granddaughters.


Tannia has a Bachelor of Education degree and a Diploma in Education Administration, attained from the University of Alberta. Before retiring, she taught elementary through high school for 33 years, serving as secretary-treasurer for the Athabasca Local of the Alberta Teachers' Association as well.


Active in the community, she has been involved in numerous organizations and is a founding executive member of the Athabasca andDistrict Music Festival and the Athabasca Ukrainian Folk Dance Club. Today, Tannia continues to support a diverse set of local groups, devoting many hours to their fundraising efforts.


Her personal insights and experiences were expanded as she worked as the Constituency office manager for the Honorable Mike Cardinal, MLA Athabasca and later was a member of the Citizens' Appeal Panel under the Income and Employment Supports Act - serving those from our community and surrounding region.


Tannia represented the Government of Alberta as an Ambassador during the Alberta Centennial celebrations in 2005, and is a recipient of the Alberta Centennial medal.


Councillor Ida Edwards
Email: councilloredwards@athabasca.ca
Phone: 780-675-4524

Ida comes from a family with deep roots in the Athabasca region. Born and raised here, she has enjoyed raising her own family in the community.


Professionally, she has a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice from the University of Alberta, and is currently studying Business Management through Northern Lakes College and Portage College.


In the arts, a high level of precision and execution is expected in performance, and Ida will bring this level of commitment to her service on Council.


Ida owns and operates a music studio in Athabasca, where the motto of her building is "Dream, Dare, Do.” She is active as a volunteer with a variety of local groups, most notably, the Magnificent River Rats Festival Society, the Athabasca and District Music Festival, and the Athabasca Landing Toastmasters Club.


She was also active with the Athabasca Communities in Bloom committees that helped lead Athabasca to win several provincial and national CIB awards and honours over a number of years.


Councillor David Pacholok
Email: councillorpacholok@athabasca.ca
Phone: 780-689-7535

This is Dave's first term serving as a Town Councillor. Born and raised in Athabasca, Dave left briefly to attend the University of Alberta before returning to assist in the operation and ownership of the family construction business.


During his time in town, Dave has served the volunteer community as chairperson of the Regional Recreation Board, EPC Parent Council and an executive member of curling, hockey, golf, football and soccer clubs, as well as coaching many teams.


Now retired after 35 years with the family business, Dave is looking forward to his term on Town Council and collaborating with the other Town Councillors to better serve the community.


With a commitment to the community as a whole, he also looks forward to collaborating with Athabasca County Councillors.


Dave has been married to his wife, Sheena, for over 33 years and they have three sons.



Councillor John Traynor
Email: councillortraynor@athabasca.ca
Phone: 587-336-5507

John was first elected to Town Council in 2007 and proudly served the community as a Councillor until 2010. He is once again looking forward to working together with fellow Councillors.


Born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1970, he moved to Edmonton in 1975 where he grew up and eventually attended the University of Alberta where he obtained a Bachelor Degree in Secondary Education.


He and Theresa were married in 2007 and have two children, David and James, who currently attend Landing Trail Intermediate School and Whispering Hills Primary School.


A former president of the Northeast Teachers’ Convention Committee, he proudly represented over 2,500 teachers.


In Athabasca, John has worked on numerous community projects and participated in many charity events, including the Magnificent River Rats Festival, Battle of the Bands and various food bank drives. He has also coached soccer and emceed many community events.