December 9, 2019
Former Speaker Robert E. Wanner Legislature Portrait Unveiled
Edmonton, AB - The official Legislature portrait of the Honourable Robert E. Wanner, 13th Speaker of
the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, was unveiled this morning during a ceremony in the Legislature
“With his meaningful work in social services and his personal dedication to community development,
Speaker Wanner was able to bring a unique perspective to the role of Speaker” said Honourable Nathan
Cooper, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. “His insight enabled him to perform the role
After becoming a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in May 2015, Wanner was elected as
Speaker in June 2015 and served until May 2019. He was chair of the Special Standing Committee on
Members' Services and president of the Alberta branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
During a 35-year career with the city of Medicine Hat he held various positions, including director of
preventive social services, director of administration and planning for the police service and
superintendent of social planning and housing. In 1995 he was appointed to executive leadership as the
public services commissioner.
Wanner is a registered social worker, qualified mediator and registered family mediator. He has over 40
years of community service experience and cofounded Canadians Reaching Out to the World's Children
Foundation, dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable children in Medicine Hat and around the world.
Speaker Wanner’s official Legislature portrait was painted by Joe Versikaitis. An artist for 25 years
specializing in sports portraiture, Versikaitis has painted images of professional athletes from hockey hall
of famers to international soccer stars. His painting of Brazilian soccer player Neymar Jr. was honoured in
the Federation of Canadian Artists 2015 national open competition and in 2016-17 Versikaitis’ work was
exhibited in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. He is originally from Venezuela and now
resides in Calgary.
Speaker Wanner’s Legislature portrait will be placed with the collection on permanent display on the
fourth floor of the Alberta Legislature Building. A photo of the portrait is available on the Assembly Flickr
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Jeanette Dotimas, Communications Consultant
Legislative Assembly of Alberta