When Nelson’s Stephanie Fischer first saw the email announcing she had been awarded the Medal of Good Citizenship she thought it was spam.
Eden DuPont secretly nominated Fischer for the award so the news came as a surprise.
“I’ve known Stephanie for over 15 years and worked with her on a number of projects,” DuPont says. “I’ve seen her leadership style, her ambition, her dedication and commitment to the projects she’s got involved in, and then I’ve seen her go above and beyond all of that. I think people like her should be recognized for what they do.”
Fischer has been involved in arts and culture in Nelson since 1995. She’s worked with many local organizations — Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History, Kootenay Kids, the Capitol Theatre, and the City of Nelson’s cultural development committee to name a few.
The Medal of Good Citizenship launched in 2015 to recognize B.C. citizens who have made outstanding contributions to their communities. Nineteen people receive the award each year. Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall presented the medal to Fischer.
“It’s really important for us rural communities to take the time to recognize each other,” Mungall said. “It’s very rare that names from rural communities come across the cabinet table where we approve the nominations.”
A ceremony honouring Fischer was held at the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday. Donna Wright opened the ceremony by drumming the “Eagle Song” and closed it with the “Women’s Warrior Song.”
“This song is for a warrior, somebody who is good to themselves and their family and their community and stands up for them, and I can’t think of anybody who deserves this more,” she said.
Fischer said she believes “volunteerism is the cornerstone of a healthy arts and heritage sector” and she wants to share her skills and knowledge as often as she can.
“I’m really honoured that Donna Wright could come out and do the drumming opening and closing, it’s all so wonderful,” she said. “And many of my friends came out to celebrate the moment with me. It’s really very nice.”
As executive director of the Capitol Theatre, Fischer is currently studying whether there is a need in Nelson for another performance space, specifically a 125-seat black box theatre.