Longtime Edmonton city councillor Bryan Anderson, who championed the growth of sports and recreation in the city, has died at 78.
Anderson, a former Edmonton high school teacher and sports coach, served on city council for 19 years before his retirement in 2017. He won six consecutive elections between 1998 and 2013 as the councillor for Ward 5 and then Ward 9 in the city’s southwest.
Mayor Don Iveson, who served as a Ward 5 councillor with Anderson when he was first elected in 2007, announced Anderson’s passing in a news release Friday afternoon.
“Having co-represented southwest Edmonton with Bryan, I saw firsthand his dedication and commitment to the residents of Ward 5 following a storied career as a teacher and coach,” Iveson said in a statement. “Bryan’s fervent belief in community and great sense of belonging will be greatly missed. In subsequent years, he led city council’s sport and recreation initiative and went on to champion varsity athletics, recreation and international-calibre sporting infrastructure.”
As a former basketball and football coach, Anderson was passionate about increasing the quality and quantity of sport and recreation infrastructure and opportunities for Edmontonians. He was instrumental in the construction of the Terwillegar, Meadows, Commonwealth and Clareview recreation centres. He also advocated for the development of the GO Centre, artificial turf facilities and the proposed velodrome in the planned Coronation Community Recreation Centre.
In 2019, a park in the southwest community of Leger across from the Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre was renamed the Bryan Anderson Athletic Grounds to honour the longtime councillor. Anderson was also inducted into the city’s sports hall of fame last June.
“It was only appropriate that the City of Edmonton renamed a south-side park in 2019 the Bryan Anderson Athletic Grounds to honour his contributions and legacy,” Iveson said in the statement. “On behalf of city council and Edmontonians, I offer our condolences and warm thoughts to Bryan’s wife, Sharin, and family.”