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Candace Boechler: Cultivating a Legacy of Community Growth

Candace Boechler: Cultivating a Legacy of Community Growth

Candace Boechler's roots begin in the landscapes of the Peace Country, growing up on Saskatoon Mountain and attending school in the rural communities of Beaverlodge and Hythe. Throughout her schooling, Candace was fortunate to receive not only academic education but also profound insights from the Indigenous Elders who generously shared their wisdom. A profound gratitude for these teachings and upbringing has shaped her connection to the Peace Region and its diverse heritage.

When asked about her motivation for community involvement and her drive to make a positive impact, Candace reflects on the values instilled in her from a young age. For her, it's not a choice but a way of life, a legacy passed down from her grandparents and parents who epitomized the importance of contributing to the greater good of society. 

When asked about a woman who serves as a source of inspiration, Candace doesn't hesitate to mention two remarkable individuals who have left a mark on her life: Her grandmother, Flora, who has faced 92 years of life's challenges and hardships, only to leave a lasting family legacy. She also mentions her mother, Karen. From her work as a 911 dispatcher firefighter to leading 4-H clubs and representing Alberta Summer Games & Canada Winter Games, Karen's determination shines through. Karen's adventurous spirit and support for her family inspire Candace every day.

Yet, behind every inspired individual lies a supportive network, and for Candace, her husband Derek stands as a pillar of support. Together, they find joy in witnessing their children's growing passions, whether it be through the arts of performance theatre or local sports. It's within the tapestry of family life that Candace finds further motivation to continue her journey of community engagement; When asked about the moment that motivated Candace to go forward in making positive changes, she explains, “Becoming a Mom. Knowing that we are entrusted with creating a world for our children and generations to come.” 

As a proud alumna of 4-H and a former Peace Country 4-H Ambassador, Candace credits her upbringing for teaching her the invaluable lesson to "learn to do by doing." Through hands-on experiences and mentorship within these organizations, she honed her skills and cultivated a deep sense of responsibility towards effecting positive change. Candace now carries a remarkable portfolio of positive contributions across various organizations, events, and initiatives.

At the forefront of her endeavors is her passionate involvement in community musical theatre performances, providing opportunities for families to come together and entertain through dance, singing, and acting. With over 30 years of experience teaching tap dance and musical theatre, Candace has left a beautiful mark on the local arts scene, participating in numerous productions such as Shrek, Fiddler on the Roof, and Mamma Mia, both on stage and behind the scenes as a choreographer and part of the production team. Recently, she has shared her expertise with students in Beaverlodge, fostering a love for tap dance at Satin Slippers, a community institution she has been associated with for over three decades.

In addition to her artistic pursuits, Candace serves as the Secretary on the Board of Sunrise House Youth Emergency Shelter, demonstrating her commitment to supporting vulnerable youth in need. She also plays key roles in organizing events such as Tenille Townes' Big Hearts for Big Kids and the Sunrise House Odyssey House Golf Tournament.

Candace's passion for sports development is evident in her volunteer work with organizations like the Peace Wapiti Speed Skating Club and Peace River's Northern Lites, where she supports the development of local athletes. As an official at prestigious events like the 2024 Alberta Winter Games and the 2024 Mat-Su, Alaska Arctic Winter Games, she brings her expertise and enthusiasm to the forefront, contributing to the success of these events.

Her commitment to community service extends to coordinating living statues for the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation’s Festival of Trees Gala and volunteering at the Bear Creek Folk Festival. Furthermore, Candace's dedication to her community is further evidenced by her involvement in teacher appreciation events, neighborhood associations, and community beautification projects. With a career focused on promoting over 500 community events annually, Candace remains deeply connected to the pulse of her region, tirelessly working to enrich the lives of those around her through arts, culture, sports, and community happenings.

Over her years of dedication, Candace Boechler has encountered numerous rewarding experiences, yet a handful stand out distinctly;

"I’ve been part of the community for so long, that dancers who I taught when they were kids, are now bringing their own kids to dance." Candace shares. " To reconnect & get a big hug feels so wonderful, knowing you made a positive impact and lasting impression."

Among the many highlights of her community involvement, Candace recalls some rewarding achievements as well, such as being awarded by Jennie Tetreau for longtime, outstanding contributions to the Grande Prairie theatre community, and receiving the House League Coach of the Year award for Grande Prairie Minor Baseball. Candace shares that these awards were both "surprising and appreciated." 

Reflecting on her journey, Candace also candidly acknowledges the challenges she has encountered along the way and the strategies she uses to overcome them.

"If I'm being totally honest," Candace begins, "it’s the people pleasing, the number of hours in a day, and the doubt, wondering if I did enough." As a woman navigating various spheres of life, she acknowledges the unavoidable barriers and the struggles they entail. But amidst these challenges, she adds, "there are also allies who will help you open a door."

Candace emphasizes the importance of surrounding herself with women of diverse backgrounds and experiences, drawing inspiration from them. "I’ve surrounded myself with women who have more life experience and wisdom than I do, and females of all ages who bring a fresh, lively perspective to the world" she explains. As an extrovert who thrives on human connection, Candace finds strength in the supportive relationships she has fostered.

Throughout her journey, Candace has learned to embrace both the positives and negatives that come with each experience. "Experience in life brings wisdom and knowledge," she reflects, "I’ll always be a lifelong learner." Despite the challenges, Candace chooses to focus on the positive aspects of her journey, finding solace in the belief that even amidst clouds, the sun continues to shine.

Candace encourages women to embrace the power of human connection, emphasizing the importance of meeting new people and engaging in meaningful conversations. She believes that these interactions can lead to unexpected opportunities and invaluable insights, shaping one's journey in ways previously unimagined.

As she reflects on her personal journey, Candace likens it to planting and tending. "I feel like I've been planting seeds and watering the garden for a long time," she shares. "Now I'm enjoying the flowers and sharing the beauty with others." Her journey of growth and self-discovery has led her to a place of fulfillment and purpose, where she finds joy in nurturing the beauty and potential in her community.

As part of the '30 Women for 30 Years' campaign, Candace shares a powerful message and legacy for future generations of women, “Who you are, matters! No one can be you, better than YOU! Your voice belongs… speak up. Your experience is relevant… share it. Find the courage to advocate for what you believe in. And, surround yourself with people who bring joy to your life!” Her message is one of empowerment, resilience, and authenticity, inspiring women to stand tall, speak up, and make their mark on the world.


We would like to thank Candace for her multitude of contributions to our community and the positive changes she will continue to make as a Woman of Impact in the Peace Region.