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Celebrate Downtown

2018 Heart of Our City
“Celebrate Downtown” Event

The process of great city-building is an evolving and ongoing endeavour. Good ideas emerge and are continuously improved upon to achieve success. As such, Downtown revitalization is considered to be an ongoing campaign rather than a project or program.

Marianne Williamson, a renowned author and lecturer once said that:

“In every community there is work to be done. In every heart there is the power to do it.”

In 2016, the Heart of Our City Committee commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Heart of Our City Master Plan with a celebratory event. The event, which recognized individuals, businesses and organizations for their outstanding efforts in enhancing our downtown, was well-received. There are still many outstanding individuals, businesses and organizations deserving of special recognition so the Heart of Our City Committee has decided to hold the event again this year.

The HOC is inviting the community to nominate the individuals, businesses, organizations and programs that have made contributions that exemplify the vision and pillars of the revitalization of our Downtown. These outstanding individuals, businesses and organizations have invested time, ideas and capital into the Downtown to make it more beautiful, livable, exciting, vibrant, accessible and sustainable. The Heart of Our City Committee is pleased to recognize the tremendous work that is taking place in our downtown community every day. This annual event will provide an opportunity for Downtown Champions, those friends, neighbours, colleagues and community members, to meet, mingle and network.

Recognition Awards will be presented at the Celebrate Downtown event Wednesday, April 11, 2018,  5:30 - 7:30 pm at Casa.​

Seven categories have been established to recognize special contributions to the continuous improvement of Downtown:

  • Back in the Day Award recognizes a nominee who significantly contributes to the preservation of Downtown history.
  • Champagne Award recognizes a nominee who deserves a toast for all they do as an incredible volunteer and champion for a vibrant Downtown.
  • Hip Downtown Transformation Award recognizes a nominee who is leading a transformation of Downtown spaces, business, neighbourhoods, activities, and/or events that make Lethbridge’s Downtown just that much cooler.
  • Running With The Bulls Award recognizes a nominee who takes on great risks and is not scared to challenge the status quo as they work to create, maintain, support, and/or promote an exciting Downtown.
  • Taking Care of Business Award recognizes a nominee who is committed to taking care of the Downtown community, its streetscapes and spaces, to build a beautiful Downtown – they are not afraid of getting their hands dirty to get it done and are often an unsung hero.
  • From the Heart Award recognizes a nominee who is a social change agent who is creating an inclusive Downtown. This nominee is involved in making Downtown a welcoming place for all.
  • Downtown Event of the Year Recognizes a Nominee (event) committed to creating a vibrant and inclusive downtown.

A total of 42 outstanding organizations, events, businesses and individuals are nominated for the third annual Celebrate Downtown awards. Winners will be announced at an awards event April 11.

Award recipients will be announced at the Celebrate Downtown 2018 Event at Casa (230-8 Street South in downtown Lethbridge) on Wednesday, April 11 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend, but space for attendees is limited to 200 so please register in advance for tickets

Celebrate Downtown 2018 Awards Nominees


  • Hunter Heggie
  • Jean Johnstone
  • Levi Cox
  • Mike Jensen
  • Ted Stilson


  • Clara Piedalue
  • Danielle Ford
  • Devon Hargreaves
  • Helen Schuler Nature Centre
  • Ian Thompson
  • Josee's Hand Made Imports
  • Kate Connolly
  • Random Acts of Kindness First Friday – Volunteer Lethbridge


  • Chad Brandt
  • Glen Fenimore – The Stoketown Café & Cure
  • Lane Anderson - London Road Media
  • Leigh Guerrine – Rocky Mountain Tattoo
  • Patricia Luu - Umami Shop
  • Rock Mountain Tattoo


  • Andrea Sandul – The Port Coworking Space
  • Club Didi
  • Community Futures - Lethbridge Region
  • Jay Whitehead – Club Didi
  • Roy Pogorzelski – Oktoberfest YQL


  • Action Fitness & Conditioning
  • Judi Dormaar
  • Melissa Johnson
  • Southern Alberta Art Gallery


  • Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone
  • Himalayas Enterprises – Gita Mishra
  • Kurtis Mueller – Jaded Body Arts
  • Lethbridge Pride Fest Society
  • Levi Cox
  • Loralee Sand-Edwards
  • Miranda Hlady
  • Streets Alive Mission


  • Citizen Walk About - South Region Self Advocacy Network (SRSAN) & Southern Alberta Individualized Planning Association (SAIPA)
  • Downtown Farmers' Market – Lethbridge & District Exhibition
  • Lethbridge Caribbean Carnival – CariBridge
  • Local Immigration Partnership Newcomer Welcome Event – Lethbridge Family Services
  • Oktoberfest YQL 2017– Roy Pogorzelski
  • Shakespeare In The Park – Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society
  • The Word On The Street festival – Lethbridge Public Library
  • Whoop-Up Days Parade – Lethbridge & District Exhibition

Celebrate Downtown 2018 Awards Winners


Jean is passionate about the City she chose to live in in 1955. She has been the Chair of a sub-committee of the Lethbridge Historical Society  since 2004 placing bronze plaques on city buildings  totaling almost 70 to date with most of them in the downtown area.  

The Historical Society has very little to do with these plaques, it is totally through the efforts of Jean herself.  The Society is just a working source.  Jean is also very keen on saving downtown buildings with historic value. She has served on many city of Lethbridge committees relative to the downtown in particular.


Kate is an absolutely invaluable citizen of this community. She works tirelessly to bring us The One Act Festival in April, the London Road Family Fair in June and of course her Piece de Resistance, Shakespeare in the Park, spanning May and June (rehearsals) and July and August (performance) For all of these things Kate spends much time encouraging and finding performers, volunteers and one more essential ingredient, to make all of this work possible, sponsors. 

She also serves on various city committees and always has her hand up when there is work to be done. After spending so many hours organizing all these events and more, Kate truly deserves this award. I know many, many people who feel this way and I hope they will stream out of the woodwork and vote!

HIP DOWNTOWN TRANSFORMATION AWARD: Stoketown Cafe-Cure (Glenn Fenimore)

Stoketown is local downtown stop shop for all your cafe needs! Stoketown tries to order locally for their food menu items, such as Cobbs bread, and there are many others. They recently added two free consignment shelves for local artisans, crafters, and makers.

Small biz owners and organizations can use their boardroom for $15/day which includes secure Wi-Fi, printer / scanner, audio visual suite and free batch brew coffee. With student ID, all of this is free. They even allow their storefront for pop-up shops for local businesses, such as the Hawk + Harvest Market. They also partner with local biz such as Crazy Cakes, O2 Training, Red Engine Coffee to name a few!


Andrea and Tim have taken on a risk with a new idea by creating their co-working space, and in so doing have created an incredibly micro-community of entrepreneurs and exciting ideas.

They've created an atmosphere of supporting, collaborative entrepreneurship that will be echoed in many businesses that will be a big part of Lethbridge for years to come.


Judi is a great neighbour on 7th Street, supporting our arts activities, including Soar and Arts Days, and is tireless in her efforts to beautify our street by planting and maintaining flowers on our block all summer, as well as helping keep the streets swept and shoveled year round. Judi is always looking for ways to support other businesses and events in the downtown.

Aside from Judi's efforts to keep 7th Street looking it's best, Judi has been integral in communicating with all of the businesses and organizations on our street to work together - a vocal and active advocate for keeping the downtown a vibrant and positive community.

FROM THE HEART AWARD: Streets Alive Mission

Streets Alive Mission has been providing outreach and support for those in need in the Downtown for over 26 years. For 6 days/week, year around Streets Alive provides for the basic physical needs of needy adults and children, through their Drop-in Centre, Food Crew, P.I.N.(Persons in Need) clothing and personal items Bank and special meals throughout the year.  Streets Alive Mission also provides counseling and mentoring support to help empower those without hope to achieve productive hope-filled lives.

Streets Alive Mission provides a welcoming place in the Downtown for those of our community who are homeless or down-and-out. S.A.M. encourages inclusion for all members of our community, consistent with the Heart Of Our City vision of a welcoming and inclusive Downtown, for all of our citizens and visitors.


On Saturday, September 23, 2017, the Lethbridge Public Library hosted The Word On The Street (WOTS) for the seventh year. WOTS is an award-winning festival held in four cities across the country and one of the top literary events in Canada.

The Word On The Street is dedicated to celebrating the written word and advocating for literacy. The Lethbridge festival includes seven venues for readings and workshops with approximately thirty presenting authors and artists, a stage for live music, a vendor and exhibitor marketplace, and street performers, scavenger hunts for adults and children, face painting and mascots, crafts and activities with community partner organizations and a food court area. 

Lethbridge's festival has consistently attracted excellent established and emerging authors in a wide range of genres and interests, features local talent alongside notable authors from across the country, and provides a venue for authors and artists to interact, for local emerging authors to learn more about the craft and industry, and showcases and celebrates the written and spoken word in the arts.  

Festival attendance was estimated at 5,200, a marked increase over 201 numbers attendance of 4,800, considering that the weather was the coldest to date, a drizzly fall day with only a high of 12 C. Our biggest draw was Japanese-Canadian author Joy Kogawa, though longtime prairie writer Sharon Butala was also very popular. The children’s tent was over capacity for picture book author Barbara Reid (who kindly stayed a full extra hour at the signing table to get to the end of her line-up), and children’s fantasy author Kevin Sand’s audience and signing line proved he has obtained rock star status for our middle grade students.