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Committee seeks more local award wins

St. Albert city council believes more local residents and organizations should win awards, so it established a committee that will try and make that happen.

St. Albert city council believes more local residents and organizations should win awards, so it established a committee that will try and make that happen.

Council voted Monday to establish a new awards council that will compile a list of awards that are available and nominate locals.

“It’s something that the city has needed for a long time. We have so many outstanding volunteers and people in this community,” said former councillor Gareth Jones, who spearheaded the idea last term.

Jones was voted out of office in October but the new council voted unanimously in favour of forming the committee. The program will have three components: identifying available awards, identifying potential nominees and completing and submitting nominations.

The aim is to have more St. Albert people and organizations recognized for their contributions, which in turn will increase the city’s profile, Jones said.

The program isn’t meant to replace or compete with any of the local awards programs, like the volunteer of the year award, he said.

The city has already started a list of awards sponsored by corporations, governments and various organizations, such as the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association.

The committee is meant to provide a more cohesive approach to having locals in the running for awards available at the provincial and national level, whether it be for accomplishments in humanitarian areas, sports or arts and culture.

“Over the years I believe more St. Albert people should have been recognized in those areas. Here’s an opportunity to try and do that,” Jones said.

Coun. Len Bracko is council’s representative on the committee, which will also include nine members of the community representing a broad cross-section.

Bracko feels the committee will provide continuity, consistency and a “bigger picture” approach to awards for St. Albert people and organizations.

“I think it will be a big plus for St. Albert,” he said.

A report compiled by city administration suggests the city as a whole would benefit if many St. Albert-based individuals or groups were to receive awards, as this would establish an association of excellence with St. Albert in the minds of outsiders.

“A trend of this sort could also be a source of civic pride for other city residents,” the report states.

It’s true that the community will benefit but that’s not the focus, said Mayor Nolan Crouse.

“Over a period of time, the by-product is that the community is also acknowledged but the most important thing is that the individuals are acknowledged,” Crouse said.