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REPORTING · 4th February 2015
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council was asked to reconsider the town’s recognition of excellence awards on Monday, January 2nd. A motion was made by Councillor Mario Feldhoff to remove the Arts and Athletics section of the Community Recognition Awards program and replace it with a youth service award or film festival.

A report to Council explained the program was started by the recreation department in the 1990s and so Mayor and Council could acknowledge those who were honoured at the Provincial, National and International levels as well as people who distinguish themselves as citizens of the Kitimat. The awards would be presented on July 1st and the nomination period would take place between May 1st of the prior year and May 1st of the current year.

“Over the past several years, the number [of] persons receiving the awards for arts and athletics has begun to drop, even though advertising of the program has been increased: mail outs to user groups, newspaper ads, posting on Kitimat.ca and Facebook, acknowledgement at Council Meetings and notices in the recreation facilities,” wrote Director of Leisure Services Martin Gould.

He wrote that recently, groups and teams have not taken the time to nominate so potential nominees have to be chased down. In addition, award winners have not been participating in the award ceremony. Administration has also being asked why people who have been recognised by a higher level of government also being recognized by Kitimat for the same achievement.

They are proposing the resources which were put into this program could also be put into a youth film festival or recognize young people for outstanding community service.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff asked how the community could recognize athletes at higher levels who achieve greatness. He was told they plan to keep the distinguished citizen in place. If an athlete achieved greatness, there is considered to be an obligation to show off the successes and get the community involved.

The motion was called and carried.