We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of long-time publisher and friend to the association, Ruth Kelly. For more than 20 years, Ruth has had an immeasurable influence on the publishing industry in Alberta and beyond.
A public statement from Ruth’s family reads: "Our family is grieving the profound loss of Ruth Kelly. To us she was Ruth, a woman we loved, but to Albertans she was a distinguished business woman, a community leader, a philanthropist, and a role model.” Ruth's family has asked for privacy as they mourn her loss.
Ruth was the president of the AMPA board at a crucial period in the development of the magazine industry and determining the success of the association. She was the 2012 recipient of AMPA’s Achievement in Publishing Award, where her profile read, “Her respect for creativity and craftsmanship led her to publishing and made her one the industry’s most respected leaders.”
Ruth was the president and CEO of Venture Publishing Inc. and the publisher and editor-in-chief of the award-winning Alberta Venture and Alberta Oil magazines. Venture Publishing’s custom publishing division produced magazines for a variety of clients including Finning Canada, Alberta Cancer Foundation, Consulting Engineers of Alberta, Merit Contractors, Alberta Health Services, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, Canadian Association of Drilling Engineers and Petroleum Services Association of Canada, among others.
Ruth was also known for her philanthropic endeavours, including her time as the chair of EPCOR’s Community Essentials Council and the Capital Region's United Way campaign, membership on the Alberta School of Business’s Advisory Council, the Alberta Promise cabinet and the board of directors of Magazines Canada.
In 1998, Ruth was recognized as a Global Woman of Vision, a YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Entrepreneur category in 2003, and was the Allard Chair of Business at MacEwan School of Business in 2005. The Canadian Women in Communications selected Ruth for their 2008 Woman of the Year award, making her the first Albertan to receive this national honour. She received an honorary degree in business from NAIT in 2008, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta in 2016.
In 2013, Ruth received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada. In the same year, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs awarded Ruth with their Celebration of Entrepreneurial Achievement recognition. The Alberta Congress Board also selected her as their 2014 Distinguished Workplace Leader award recipient.
Our thoughts and condolences are with Ruth’s family, friends, colleagues and all those affected by the loss.
So sad to hear about Ruth Kelly's passing. A tremendous leader and voice in Alberta journalism. https://t.co/KkKiHc8WUU— Jason Markusoff (@markusoff) June 15, 2017
Devastated. My leader and mentor are gone! Edmonton publisher Ruth Kelly dies https://t.co/71GfZj5WU3— kathy kelley (@katkel50) June 15, 2017
Such sad news regarding Ruth Kelly's passing. Ruth was an icon who I always looked up to as a female business leader & powerhouse. 💕 https://t.co/0GBZ4S6MQz— Candice S (@Candy_S22) June 15, 2017
Sending prayers and love to Ruth Kelly's family as they mourn her passing. She was a role model to so many and will be sorely missed.— Focus Communications (@focuscom) June 15, 2017
I will miss my chats with Ruth Kelly, her smile, & her unwavering faith in Alberta. My thoughts are with loved ones & @VentureMags staff.— Thomas A. Lukaszuk (@LukaszukAB) June 15, 2017
RIP Ruth Kelly.— Sandra Marocco (@ssmarocco) June 15, 2017
Utmost respect for what she did for women in publishing. As a competitor and partner, she taught me so much. So sad. https://t.co/8OEXH6Wai4
So sad to hear Ruth Kelly of @AlbertaVenture has passed away. A tough, thoughtful & visionary leader in Cdn mag publishing.— Paul Marck (@paulmarck) June 15, 2017
"Be curious. Be bold. Be kind.” A msg that Ruth Kelly echoed. She had an incredible spirit & passion for helping others. A huge loss for AB.— Arif Karmali (@arifkarmali) June 15, 2017
So sad to hear of the passing of Ruth Kelly. She was a great and passionate Edmontonian, and will be missed. My condolences to the family.— Brent Collingwood (@brentc5370) June 15, 2017
Thank you Ruth Kelly for taking a chance on a fresh out of uni journalist and letting me be a part of the amazing Venture family.— Jenn Mentanko (@jementanko) June 15, 2017
I'm saddened to hear about the passing of my friend Ruth Kelly. She was a great advocate of Edmonton. My thoughts are with her family.— Amarjeet Sohi (@SohiAmarjeet) June 15, 2017
Ruth was a mentor to me and gave me, and many others, wonderful jobs for years. https://t.co/6sM7Q2ix3R— Mike Ganley (@michaelbganley) June 15, 2017
Stunned & sad at passing of Edmonton publisher Ruth Kelly, who contributed much to Canada's magazine industry https://t.co/25aUbCdzLB— Michael Fox (@foxist) June 15, 2017
This is awful, she was my mentor when I was young 'Extraordinary woman': Edmonton publisher, editor Ruth Kelly dies https://t.co/UchLfM0239— Emily Deveaux (@emmydeveaux) June 15, 2017
Ruth Kelly was a major advocate for many issues and causes, making a difference for thousands. Her passing is a loss for our whole community pic.twitter.com/kGhnDjd4Vs— United Way ACR (@myunitedway) June 15, 2017
I am devastated to hear of Ruth Kelly's passing. For many years I worked for her doing the thing I love most. Ruth will be missed.— Jen Madole (@JennnMad) June 15, 2017
Alberta's lost one of my generations trailblazing women. I knew her well in the 90s when starting out in my career in #yeg. RIP Ruth Kelly.— Kim Page Gluckie (@kimpagegluckie) June 15, 2017
Ruth Kelly gave me a boost during a low time in my career. She hired me to write a humour column for Alberta Venture. I'll miss her.— Marty Chan (@Marty_Chan) June 15, 2017
She was a truly amazing woman, mentor, and role model. The world just got a little less interesting. I'm gonna miss you Ruth. https://t.co/dTW34Tp4t5— Jenn Schmidt-Rempel (@JennSRempel) June 15, 2017