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Nominations open for Nelson’s 2023 Citizen of the Year

Nomination deadline is Feb. 25
Dr. Nicholas Sparrow was Nelson’s 2022 Citizen of the Year. Sparrow, an ER doctor at Kootenay Lake Hospital, also volunteers his time responding to emergency calls after founding the Kootenay Emergency Response Physicians Association. Photo: Tyler Harper

Nominations are open for Nelson’s Citizen of the Year award for 2023, presented by the Nelson Star.

The deadline is Feb. 25 and the winner will be announced March 7.

The award, which has been given every year since 1964, celebrates someone who has made a significant difference in the lives of people in Nelson through volunteer work.

Last year’s winner, Dr. Nicholas Sparrow, is an emergency room doctor who voluntarily responds to accidents and emergencies. The previous year’s winner was Pat Dooley, a lifelong volunteer who has supported various healthcare and education initiatives.

Nominations may be made online at The nomination form asks for the reason for the nomination, how long the person has lived in the area, a list of organizations they have been affiliated with, and contact information for the nominee. The nominator’s name will be kept confidential.

Previous citizens of the year

1964: Helen Morris, Red Cross

1965: Elwyn Owens, community service

1966: Helen Catley, community service, Mt. St. Francis

1967: William Young, Shriners, children with special needs

1968: Mabel Cartwight, community service

1969: Margaret Barwis, community service

1970: Cornelius Van Pelt, community service

1971: Joan Lefeaux, community service, especially children

1972: David Fairbank, community service, Jubilee Manor

1974: Ben Sutherland, Shriners, children with special needs

1976: Frank Hufty, community service

1977: Everett Kuhn, community service, square dancing

1978: Gordon Hoover, Kiwanis Club, Boy Scouts, junior sports

1979: Laura Maglio, community service, Guides, Brownies

1980: June Dolman, musical arts, fashion classes

1981: Mas Fujibayashi, youth sports

1982: Corrine Massey, community service

1983: Inez Eckmire, community service, veterans

1984: Walter Waite, founder mid-summer curling bonspiel

1985: Lloyd Miskiman, snowfest co-ordinator

1986: Bob Allen, Shriners, search and rescue

1987: Rocco Mastrobuono, hospital equipment

1988: Betty Drew, library, hospital, music festival

1989: Deb Kozak, special needs children

1990: Margaret Murphy, community service

1991: Doug McDonald, music to shut-ins

1992: Les Clarkson, community service

1993: Shawn Lamb, museum, arts council

1994: Fran Horan, community service

1995: Bert Daynard, community service

1996: Bob Nuyens, community service

1997: Jim and Nancy Dow, special Olympics

1998: Amelia Fukala, Legion, Guides, Eagles, curling

1999: Margaret Stacey, community service, music, arts

2000: Marguerite Santor, community service, junior hockey

2001: Frances Welwood, community service

2002: Alan R. Ramsden, community service Museum Arts Boy Scouts

2003: Bruce Morrison, community service Osprey Foundation

2004: Al Craft, community service, water rescue

2005: Debra Zeeben, community service, Hospital Foundation

2006: Dr. Ken Muth, community service, health

2007: Douglas Stoddart, community service

2008: Dr. John Mackay, community service, health

2009: Mathilde Klassen, community service, music and arts

2010: Bill McDonnell, community service, sports

2011: Bruce Halstead, community service

2012: Lois Arnesen, community service, welcome wagon

2013: Peter Defeo, community service, fire department

2014: Barry Nelson, community service, car co-op, social justice

2015: Susanne Raschdorf, community service

2016: Helen Jamieson, community service, conservation and animal care

2017: Kim Charlesworth, community service

2018: David Hogg, community service, pipe band

2019: No award given due to pandemic

2020: Keith Bridger and Rob Wright, Nelson Tennis Club

2021: Pat Dooley, health care and education

2022: Dr. Nicholas Sparrow, Kootenay Emergency Response Physicians Association