Slava Doval receives Nelson’s 2018 Cultural Ambassador in the Dance category from Mayor Deb Kozak. Photo: Ginger Lester

Columnist, dance instructor honoured by city

A Nelson Star columnist and a creative dance leader receive awards

A Nelson Star columnist and historian was honoured along with a prominent creative dance leader at the city’s Annual Reception on Monday night.

Columnist Greg Scott was awarded the City of Nelson’s annual Heritage Award for 2017 for his dedicated work in the education, promotion and preservation of Nelson’s local history. The award comes with a $1,000 honorarium.

“Greg Scott is an extremely worthy recipient of this award,” said heritage working group chair and Touchstones Museum executive director Astrid Heyerdahl. “His commitment to Nelson’s heritage is invaluable, and we are lucky to have such a resident, dedicated to keeping Nelson’s history alive.”

The other major award went to Slava Doval, who through her company DanceFusion is a notable creative force in the community. She was appointed Nelson’s 2018 Cultural Ambassador in the category of dance and was also given a $1,000 honorarium.

Doval, “a highly skilled and beloved teacher and performer of dance, was recognized for her commitment to her craft and to mentoring other community members of all ages,” said a city press release.

Doval grew up in the Kootenays, and studied elsewhere before returning to develop dance in Nelson.

“Each year she leads many different classes in various styles and provides numerous opportunities for her students to perform – from her term-end shows and involvement in various theatrical productions at the Capitol Theatre to outdoor venues such as Markfest, ArtWalk, Starbelly, the Kaslo Jazz Festival, and many other festivals in the region,” said the release.

She has also performed and participated in many dance events across Canada and internationally.

“I am very honoured and grateful to receive this opportunity,” said Doval, “and look forward to sharing my love of Nelson in the wider dance community outside of our sweet little bubble.”

In 2018 Doval will be travelling to Los Angeles to train at the famed Millenium Dance Studio. Additionally, she’ll be performing at the Vancouver International Dance Fest, attending a week of Impulstanz (one of the world’s largest contemporary dance festivals) in Vienna, and visiting her homeland of Slovakia.

“Slava an ideal cultural ambassador for our city,” said Sydney Black, chair of the city’s Cultural Development Committee. “Her contribution to the overall cultural fabric of our community is huge, and she’s a very deserving recipient of this honour. We are lucky to have her.”

Scott, an accomplished writer and researcher whose regular columns documenting Nelson’s history appear in the Star and previously the Nelson Daily News, said, “I am honoured to receive this award, in what I am sure is a well-deserving group.”

“In timing with my move to Nelson in 1997, I took my late father’s advice to explore a hobby or interest that would occupy retirement, although at the time it was a dozen years away. He was of the opinion that upon retirement if you just went home to sit in front of the TV, you would be dead within a year.”

Scott, a volunteer at the Shawn Lamb Archives at Touchstones archives, was one of the founders of Kootenay History Interest Group and the former Touchstone’s Heritage House Tours.

Scott is the archivist, historian and tour guide pivotal in the interpretation of the Anglican Church’s St. Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral stained glass windows. His research and subsequent publishing of the book on this subject, “Cathedral Whispers,” has added significantly to the preservation and documentation of Nelson’s heritage.

Additionally, Scott gives monthly history/heritage talks at Broader Horizons Adult Day Centre, is a contributor to the 54th Kootenay Battalion website, and was recently appointed as the archivist/historian at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 51 Nelson.

The City’s Heritage Working Group established the award in 2015 to recognize individuals, groups, businesses, or other organizations that have made an outstanding contribution towards the preservation and/or promotion of Nelson’s heritage, and to reward and encourage initiatives in support of it.

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Star columnist Greg Scott receive the Heritage Award for 2017 from Mayor Deb Kozak. Photo: Ginger Lester

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