History of the ASVA and Summer Villages in Alberta
Since the first decade of this century, Alberta’s lakeshore properties have been purchased for cottage use. Institutional and organizational camps also emerged along the lakeshores. Destination public beaches developed along road and rail routes, accessible from larger urban centres. Summer Villages were formed in Alberta out of a desire by cottage owners in recreational subdivisions to govern themselves.
When Gull Lake, the oldest summer village was incorporated in March 1913, the document of incorporation identified, among other lands, a plan of addition to “Gull Lake Summer Resort”. When Provincial Statute Chapter 39 established the Summer Village of Lakeview in October 1913, it severed the cottage area from the Village of Wabamum.
The first use of the term Summer Village appears in the incorporation notice for Seba Beach; followed three weeks later in August, 1920 by the incorporation of the Summer Village of Alberta Beach.
Over the decades, these municipalities have provided Albertans with an opportunity to effectively manage both their resort communities and the environment within which they were located.
On November 5th, 1958, supported by the Itaska Summer Village Council, Charles D. Denney organized the first meeting of 33 individuals representing eleven summer villages. The organization known today as the Association of Summer Villages of Alberta (ASVA) was launched. In 1977, the Association of Summer Villages of Alberta was incorporated as a non-for-profit organization within the Province of Alberta.
In 1995 the Provincial Government introduced and passed Bill 32, the Municipal Government Amendment Act, which removed Sections 77(b) and 79 from the new Municipal Government Act which had been passed in 1994. The removal of these sections eliminated the provision which permitted the formation of new summer villages. There still remains the original 51 Summer Villages in Alberta.
The ASVA works towards the successful accomplishment of their objectives with a Board of Directors made up of elected officials from the member summer villages. Although Directors sit on a number of external committees, the ASVA has two standing sub-committees reporting to the Board of Directors , being the Lake Stewardship Steering Committee (presently focusing on Cyanobacteria and Aquatic Invasive Species) and the Conference Organizing Committee.