Zwozdesky at a charity function in June 2013
|12th Speaker of the Alberta Legislative Assembly|
May 23, 2012 – June 11, 2015
|Preceded by||Ken Kowalski|
|Succeeded by||Bob Wanner|
|MLA for Edmonton-Mill Creek|
|Preceded by||New District|
|Succeeded by||Denise Woollard|
|MLA for Edmonton-Avonmore|
|Preceded by||Marie Laing|
|Succeeded by||District Abolished|
|Born||July 24, 1948|
|Died||January 6, 2019 (aged 70)|
|Political party||Progressive Conservative|
Zwozdesky was born on July 24, 1948 in Nipawin, Saskatchewan to Ukrainian-Canadian parents Alec and Anna Zwozdesky and came to Alberta at the age of two. He lived in Grand Centre, Hinton and Sangudo before moving to Edmonton, where he lived since 1963. After attending Victoria Composite High School, he obtained bachelor's degrees in arts and education from the University of Alberta. Before becoming involved in politics, Zwozdesky worked as a teacher, administrator, professional musician, and businessman.
Zwozdesky was first elected in the 1993 Alberta general election as the Alberta Liberal Party's candidate, defeating incumbent Marie Laing of the Alberta New Democratic Party. He was re-elected to the new riding of Edmonton-Mill Creek in the 1997 Alberta general election.
In July 1998, he left the Liberal Party caucus and sat as an Independent member after a dispute over fiscal policy. He joined the governing Progressive Conservatives a month later. In the 2001 Alberta general election, he won by a generous margin over the Liberal challenger Bharat Agnihotri.
On December 15, 2006, Zwozdesky was replaced in Premier Ed Stelmach's cabinet by Ron Liepert. He again joined the Alberta Cabinet on June 27, 2007 as Associate Minister for Capital Planning. In 2008, he was the Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Deputy Government House Leader. He was also co-chair of the Advisory Council on Alberta-Ukraine Relations, co-chair of the Cabinet Policy Committee on Public Safety and Services, and a member of the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing.
Zwozdesky has won numerous awards from cultural and arts organizations, as well as the 2005 Alberta Centennial Medal.
Personal life and death
Zwozdesky joined the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers in 1963, and danced in the troupe for six years before becoming the musical director, composing and conducting Shumka's music for twenty-five years; he also served in the same role for the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company. He was involved in various other cultural organizations, was the executive director of the Alberta Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Alberta Ukrainian Canadian Centennial Commission, and has served on various voluntary boards. He was married to Christine, with two children.
|1993 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Avonmore|
|Progressive Conservative||Ken Alyluia||3,433||26.88%||-3.33%|
|New Democratic||Marie Laing||2,190||17.15%||-24.56%|
|Social Credit||Leslie M. Jackson||285||2.23%||–|
|Natural Law||Lucia Hoff||40||0.31%||–|
|Rejected, Spoiled and Declined||28||–||–|
|Eligible electors / Turnout||22,055||58.04%||–|
|Liberal gain from New Democratic||Swing||7.15%|
|1997 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Mill Creek|
|Progressive Conservative||Sukhi Randhawa||3,679||28.27%||–|
|New Democratic||Stephen Crocker||1,804||13.86%||–|
|Social Credit||Christie Forget||776||5.96%||–|
|Rejected, Spoiled and Declined||18||–||–|
|Eligible electors / Turnout||23,216||56.14%||–|
|Liberal pickup new district.|
|2001 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Mill Creek|
|Progressive Conservative||Gene Zwozdesky||8,085||55.67%||27.40%|
|New Democratic||Edwin Villania||1,893||13.03%||-0.83%|
|Alberta First||Kyle Harvey||220||1.51%||–|
|Rejected, Spoiled and Declined||41||–||–|
|Eligible electors / Turnout||26,307||55.37%||-0.78%|
|Progressive Conservative gain from Liberal||Swing||1.45%|
|2004 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Mill Creek|
|Progressive Conservative||Gene Zwozdesky||5,070||42.08%||-13.59%|
|New Democratic||Nathan Taylor||1,709||14.18%||1.15%|
|Alberta Alliance||Robert J. Alford||523||4.34%||–|
|Rejected, Spoiled and Declined||50||–||–|
|Eligible electors / Turnout||24,419||49.55%||-5.82%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||-10.03%|
|2008 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Mill Creek|
|Progressive Conservative||Gene Zwozdesky||6,857||50.78%||8.70%|
|New Democratic||Stephen Anderson||1,822||13.49%||-0.69%|
|Rejected, Spoiled and Declined||90||–||–|
|Eligible electors / Turnout||29,773||45.66%||-3.89%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||7.12%|
|2012 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Mill Creek|
|Progressive Conservative||Gene Zwozdesky||6,623||55.06%||4.28%|
|New Democratic||Evelinne Teichgraber||1,336||11.11%||-2.39%|
|Alberta Party||Judy Wilson||194||1.61%||–|
|Rejected, Spoiled and Declined||117||–||–|
|Eligible electors / Turnout||25,250||48.10%||2.44%|
|Progressive Conservative hold||Swing||8.05%|
|2015 Alberta general election: Edmonton-Mill Creek|
|New Democratic||Denise Woollard||9,025||55.94%||44.83%|
|Progressive Conservative||Gene Zwozdesky||3,848||23.85%||-31.21%|
|Rejected, Spoiled and Declined||59||–||–|
|Eligible electors / Turnout||32,521||49.79%||1.69%|
|New Democratic gain from Progressive Conservative||Swing||-2.37%|
- "Premier Redford welcomes Gene Zwozdesky as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly". Government of Alberta. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
- The Canadian Parliamentary Guide - Gale Canada, Pierre G. Normandin - Google Books. 2008-10-16. ISBN 9781896413433. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
- "MLA still gets kick from time as Shumka dancer". The Edmonton Journal. March 18, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
- Nick Lees (2018-07-22). "Nick Lees: No signs of slowing down as Gene Zwozdesky turns 70". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
- "Legislative Assembly of Alberta". Assembly.ab.ca. 2018-07-01. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
- "Alberta Election 2015: Former Speaker of the House Gene Zwozdesky loses Edmonton-Mill Creek seat to NDP". Globalnews.ca. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
- "Dancer turned politician reflects Shumka success | CTV News Edmonton". Edmonton.ctv.ca. 2009-11-22. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
- Alex Antoneshyn (2019-01-06). "Edmonton MLA, legislative speaker Gene Zwozdesky dies". CTV Edmonton. Retrieved 2019-01-06.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gene Zwozdesky.|
- Alberta Legislative Assembly biography Gene Zwozdesky
- Edmonton Mill Creek political history, CBC News
|Order of precedence|
Alison Redford, former premier of Alberta
| Order of precedence in Alberta
as of 2014[update]
Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Canada