The City Gives Back
Each year the City of Edmonton recognizes the citizens who donate their time and energy to others
Monday, Sep 07, 2015 06:00 am
Community service is one of Edmonton’s hallmarks but volunteering isn’t about big gestures. It’s about touching lives through small gestures. Each year the City of Edmonton recognizes these outstanding citizens with the Salute to Excellence Awards. The Citation and Performance Awards nomination deadline for 2015 is September 11. A ceremony and reception, which are open to the public, will be held November 23 at 7:30 PM at City Hall. “It’s important for the city to recognize the impact these people have on their specific community,” Councillor Andrew Knack says.
Citation Awards recognize Edmontonians who have given more than five years of service to their community. The three awards categories are sport, arts and culture and community service. Performance Awards recognize individuals, groups and organizations and teams that have achieved success in sports and arts and culture. “These are people who neither ask for nor expect to be recognized,” Councillor Knack says. But it is important for the city to have this annual ceremony because it builds civic pride and volunteerism, and “builds greater awareness for others who may not know how they can volunteer for the city,” says Knack.
Past recipients of the Citation Award include 2014 Arts and Culture recipient Jalal Barzanji. Born in Kurdistan, Barzanji helps writers who have been denied freedom of expression; he was named Edmonton’s first PEN Canada writer in exile. Recent recipients of the Art and Culture Award include citizens who have advocated for youth dance workshops, introduced a choir at the Edmonton Institution for Women and supported alternative theatre. It is this variety of contributions that helps make Edmonton arts so diverse and dynamic.
Community Service recipients are no less diverse. Valerie Bright has helped create spaces in her Parkview neighborhood for after-school activities and drop-in play. Other recipients have helped community leagues with solar energy systems, helped underprivileged children get their first bicycle and arranged musical concerts for seniors.
The City also recognised Edmontonians also excel in local and international sport. The late Stuart Winkler won gold in Ski Jumping at the 1975 Deaflympics. For many years he donated his time to Edmonton’s skiing and running events. Past recipients of the Sports Citation Award include a leader in orienteering and a woman who gives underprivileged children the chance to participate in sports.
Performance Awards honor Edmontonians who have gained international recognition in sports and arts and culture. The most recent arts and culture recipients are the Metis Child and Family Jiggers who promote their culture through dance and have performed for international audiences.
If you would like to nominate a citizen for a Salute to Excellence Award, you can download a nomination form from The City of Edmonton Website. You will need biographical information about the nominee, a letter explaining why that person is deserving of the award and short reference letters from two other people.