Lois Mitchell is an accomplished businesswoman and a proud, longstanding member of Alberta’s dedicated corps of community volunteers. She began her duties as the 18th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta on June 12, 2015 and served until August 26, 2020. She made history education a focus during her tenure as Lieutenant Governor and is Founding Patron of the History and Heroes Foundation.
Lois Mitchell (née Boulding) was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. A passion for sport in general, and for team sports in particular, led her to studies in Physical Education at the University of British Columbia and a position teaching Grade 6 Phys Ed and English in Vancouver.
In 1960, Lois met Calgarian Doug Mitchell who was studying law at UBC and playing with the B.C. Lions Football Club. The couple were married in 1961. A year later, the Mitchells moved to Calgary where Doug began articling with a local firm. It was a natural move for Lois whose Alberta connections reach back to her grandfather, Tom Mackie, a Calgary Chief of Police in the early days of the province. The Mitchells settled in the city to build their careers and raise their four children.
In 1970, an opportunity emerged for Lois to use her natural skills as an entrepreneur. After observing a lack of team apparel available to fellow football fans, she began a business that grew over the decade to become a successful merchandising and sports marketing firm. Lois then created Amherst Consultants, a corporate training firm which allowed her to merge her teaching background with her business and communications strengths. She continued the business in Toronto for five years while Doug took on duties as the Commissioner of the Canadian Football League before returning to Alberta in 1990. In 2007, Lois became a founding partner of Rainmaker Global Business Development, a Calgary-firm dedicated to connecting companies with business opportunities around the world.
Lois Mitchell has maintained a firm commitment to community service and volunteerism throughout her life. Her belief in the value of amateur sport, to both individuals and the community as a whole, prompted volunteer service as a Director of the Hockey Canada Foundation, Ambassador and Governor of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, Co-Chair of the Gold-Medal Plates dinner in support of aspiring Olympians and was the Chair for the inaugural World Women’s Under-18 Hockey Championships. She has long been a proud patron of the Special Olympics Canada Foundation. The Mitchells have extended generous patronage over the years to a variety of programs and scholarships to support Canada’s athletes and to foster opportunities for women in amateur sport.
Lois Mitchell has shared her business acumen on the boards of UBS Bank (Canada) and Mitacs, an organization that promotes scientific and business innovation among emerging leaders. She is past Chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and Vice-Chair of the Global Business Forum. Her commitment to regional and national endeavours includes a 12-year tenure as Honourary Consul of Colombia for Alberta and Saskatchewan, contributions as a Governor of the Canadian Unity Council and duties as Co-Chair of the 2014 True Patriot Love dinner to support Canada’s men and women in uniform. Her interest in education led to volunteer service on the board of Canada World Youth and as Chair of the Advisory Board of the Latin American Research Centre at the University of Calgary. Her great love of music and the arts can be seen in past volunteer duties as Chair of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, board member of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the National Youth Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra League Council and Co-Chair of Calgary 2012 as a Cultural Capital.
In 2016, The Canada Institute presented the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service to the Mitchells as a team. In 2015, Lois received Honourary Doctor of Laws degrees from the Universities of Alberta and Calgary. That same year she became a Dame of Justice of the Order of St. John. In 2012 she was named a Member of the Order of Canada and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She was named Calgary Citizen of the Year for 2008 and received the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 In 1998 she received the Calgary Women of Distinction Award in the category of Arts and Culture.