Anne WheelerWestern Canadian stories filmed in Western Canada are the hallmark of the work of filmmaker Anne Wheeler, 1967 BSc, 1990 LLD (Honorary). After graduating from the University of Alberta in 1967, she spent the next four years travelling, holding a number of jobs including computer programmer and high school teacher. Her career path changed in 1971 when she, along with nine friends, founded the Film West Associates, a film production company. The members knew little about making films, but taught themselves. The group lasted for a few years, during which they won several awards for their productions.
Wheeler subsequently moved to the National Film Board as a producer and director. There, she produced documentaries, often based on her own or family members' experiences, including Great Grandmother in 1975 and A War Story in 1981. She left the NFB a few years later to work as an independent producer/director and made several movies for the CBC before making her first feature film, Loyalties, in 1985. Wheeler has written, produced, and directed many movies, including Bye Bye Blues, The Diviners, and Angel Square, for which she won three Genies.
In the 1990s, she returned to television, this time directing television shows such as North of 60, Da Vinci's Inquest, This is Wonderland, and Godiva's.
As a writer and director, Wheeler is regarded as a pioneer in the burgeoning Canadian film industry. In addition to the many industry awards she has won, Wheeler has also been awarded six honorary degrees and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1994.
In 1996, Wheeler was a recipient of the University of Alberta Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award.