The fifth annual Celebrate Downtown awards was set to be the biggest celebration to date.
The event, hosted by the Heart of Our City Committee, honours Downtown Champions and was scheduled to be held in May. But, of course, 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans.
Still, the community brought forth 66 nominations and throughout the summer, organizers of the Celebrate Downtown event were busy working hard with London Road Media to present the awards digitally.
"This year has posed a number of challenges to everybody, without questions, so to still see this type of response really shows the interest in this event and in the positive work being done in Downtown Lethbridge," says Andrew Malcolm, the City's Urban Revitalization Manager. "The Heart of our City Committee congratulates all of the Celebrate Downtown 2020 nominees and winners."
This year's seven awards are:
- Unsung Hero Award: committed to taking care of the downtown community, often without recognition or praise. Award recipient: Lee Freeman
- Transformation Award: leading the transformation of downtown spaces, business and activities. Award recipient: Mortar and Brick
- Innovator Award: takes risks and is not scared to challenge the status quo as they work to create, maintain, support and promote an exciting downtown. Award recipient: Good Times
- From the Heart Award: social change agent, working to make downtown a welcoming place for all. Award recipient: Lane Sterr
- Event of the Year: event committed to creating a vibrant and inclusive downtown. Award recipient: Lethbridge Caribbean Association
- Volunteer of the Year: someone who freely gives up their time and energy to benefit downtown. Award recipient: Victor Wutor
- People's Choice Award: overall downtown champion. Award recipient: Jeremy Rickaby – Hybrid Media
- Legacy Award: a very special award (first time ever) honouring a lifetime commitment to the improvement of downtown. Award recipient: Jean Johnstone
All of the award presentation videos, which were recorded at various times and with varying public health protocols, can be viewed on the City of Lethbridge YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQxpdQMWNU5pzPKIPrnZeacQ22pYuh0D9
More information on Downtown events and activities page is here: https://www.lethbridge.ca/living-here/Downtown/Pages/Downtown-Events-and-Activities.aspx