Awards streamlined

When the community awards are presented next month, there will be fewer than in the past.

When the community awards are presented next month, there will be fewer than in the past.

The awards list has been trimmed from 19 awards last year to 12 this year.

Among the cuts, the Arts Award and the Cultural Development Award will not be presented at this year’s ceremony.

The awards ceremony has been a Summerland tradition since 1937. It is organized by the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism.

Chamber president Arlene Fenrich said several of the smaller awards were removed and rolled into the Citizen/Volunteer of the Year Award.

“By keeping that award, we’re making sure people will not be left out,” she said.

In past years, the Citizen of the Year Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award were two separate awards.

Fenrich added that the focus of the evening is on business excellence in various categories.

Chamber manager Christine Petkau said efforts to streamline resulted in fewer awards this year.

“There is no question that volunteers play a major role in our community and that they are active in many vital areas; not only the arts, but in education, health care, etc.,” she said. “Rather than single out a particular area, the board wishes to acknowledge all areas through nominations to the Citizen/Volunteer of the Year Award.”

She added that one award alone will carry more prestige than several awards which have similar criteria.

But David Finnis, president of the Summerland Community Arts Council, wonders why the two awards were cut from the evening presentations.

He said the Arts Award has been organized through the arts council and  presented at the awards ceremony for many years.

“We’ve been permitted to present the award at this event,” he said.

The arts council will still present its award, but at another time. Finnis said it will likely be presented during Arts and Culture Week in spring. The events during Arts and Culture Week do not draw as many people as the community awards ceremony, he added.

The nomination and selection process has also changed this year.

Nominations can be made by businesses and the public. Self-nominations can also be made.

A committee will then draw up a short list of finalist and members of the chamber will be able to vote for the winners, with one vote per member. Voting will be done electronically and members will receive their ballot information through the chamber.

Petkau said there are more than 800 chamber members who are eligible to vote for these  awards.


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