The Heart of Our City Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the third annual Celebrate Downtown Awards, which recognize and celebrate special people, businesses and organizations for contributing to the vibrancy of downtown Lethbridge.
A total of 42 organizations, events, businesses and individuals were nominated for this year's awards. Winners were announced at an awards event April 11 at Casa in downtown Lethbridge, and awards were handed out in the following seven categories:
Back in the Day Award – Recognizes a nominee who has contributed to the preservation of downtown Lethbridge
Winner: Jean Johnstone - Jean is passionate about the city she has called home since 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, most of them in the downtown area. Jean is also very keen on preserving downtown buildings with historic value. She has served on many City of Lethbridge committees related to the downtown.
Champagne Award – Recognizes a nominee who deserves a toast for all they do as an incredible volunteer and champion for a vibrant downtown
Winner: Kate Connolly - Kate is an invaluable citizen of this community. She works tirelessly to organize The One Act Festival in April, the London Road Family Fair in June and Shakespeare in the Park performances during July and August. 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.
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
Winner: Glenn Fenimore-Stoketown Café-Cure - Stoketown tries as much as possible to order locally for their food menu items. They also provide free consignment shelves for local artisans, crafters, and makers. Small business owners and organizations can use the Stoketown boardroom for meetings. They even allow their storefront for pop-up shops for local businesses, such as the Hawk & Harvest Market.
Running with the Bulls Award – Recognizes a nominee who takes on great risks and is not scared to challenge the status quo in working to create, maintain, support and/or promote an exciting downtown
Winner: Andrea Sandul-The Port Co-working Space – 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 incredible 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.
Taking Care of Business Award – Recognizes a nominee who is committed to taking care of the downtown community, including its streetscapes and spaces, to build a beautiful downtown – also recognizes those who are not scared to get their hands dirty to get it done and are often unsung heroes
Winner: Judi Dormaar - Judi is a great neighbour on 7 Street South, supporting arts activities such as Soar and Arts Days, and she is tireless in her efforts to beautify the street by planting and maintaining flowers on the 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. Judi has also been integral in communicating with all of the businesses and organizations on 7 Street South to work together. She is a vocal, active advocate for keeping the downtown a vibrant and positive community.
From the Heart Award – Recognizes a nominee who is a social change agent who is creating an inclusive downtown and is involved in making downtown a welcome place for all
Winner: Streets Alive Mission - Streets Alive Mission has been providing outreach and support for those in need in the downtown for more than 26 years. Six days a 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 in our community who are homeless or down-and-out. They encourage 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.
Downtown Event of The Year – Recognizes a nominee event that's committed to creating a vibrant and inclusive downtown
Winner: The Word on the Street Festival – In September 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, 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, featured local talent alongside notable authors from across the country, and provided a venue for authors and artists to interact, and celebrated the written and spoken word in the arts.
The Heart of Our City (HOC) Committee would like to thank 2018 Celebrate Downtown Event Organizing Committee and volunteers for their hard work in organizing this important downtown event:
Chair: Dawn Leite, HOC member
Public members: David Robb, Anna Olsen, & Kate Connolly
HOC members: Clara Piedalue (co-chair) & Rosie Digout
Pink Tie-events: Whitney Bullock
Three-legged Dog Graphic Design - Dana Woodward
Cidnee Lorenz - registration and logistics
Courtney Faulkner - Event photographer
Jenn Schmidt-Rempel for live tweeting the awards event
George Kuhl, Downtown Revitalization Manager, City of Lethbridge
The Heart of Our City (HOC) Committee would also like to recognize and thank our terrific event sponsors: CTV, 94.1 CJOC, 98.1 the Bridge, Larkspur Business Brokers, Clarity Law, Melcor Developments, KFC, Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, Funky Petals, Casa.
The Celebrate Downtown Awards were established in 2016 by the Heart of Our City Committee to recognize outstanding efforts in enhancing downtown Lethbridge. For more information, visit: www.lethbridge.ca/HeartofOurCity.
George Kuhl, Downtown Revitalization Manager
City of Lethbridge