Angela Morris (centre left) and Helen Lutz of the Kootenay Kids Society accepted a Sustainability Leadership Award on behalf of the organization from city councillor Rik Logtenberg (left) and mayor John Dooley on Monday night. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Nelson presents four sustainability awards

Awards celebrate contributions to cultural strength, healthy neighbourhoods, robust ecosystems, prosperity, and resiliency

The City of Nelson gave out its annual Sustainability Leadership Awards to three non-profit organizations and one individual Monday night.

Brian Kalbfleisch was honoured for organizing Blue Night over the past five years, a celebration of visual, performance, and music in Nelson.

“Blue Night … encourages people to walk about the downtown core to take in the sights, enjoy our arts community, and provide opportunities for young and emerging artists,” reads the city’s citation.

“Brian’s work with Blue Night has led to him developing the Marketfest Stanley Street Art Stage and an interactive art gallery at the Kaslo Jazz Festival.”

The Nelson and District Arts Council received an award for providing artists in our region with support, exhibition and educational opportunities.

“Over the last three years,” the citation states, “the organization has focused its attention on providing fully accessible, barrier free opportunities to all arts lovers and artists, whether that be through the Nelson International Mural Festival, the Rural Artist Support Weekend or ArtWalk. This supports the City of Nelson’s Path to 2040 five principles of sustainability.”

Also recognized with an award was the West Kootenay chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby for its work in educating the public about climate change. The Climate Lobby has 400 chapters around the world and believes that progress on climate action is too slow for the severity of the problem.

“In the past year,” states the city’s citation, “their chapter has worked toward the goals of Nelson’s Path to 2040 Sustainability Plan by building cultural strength, healthy neighbourhoods, robust ecosystems, prosperity, and resiliency.”

Kootenay Kids Society was given an award for its work in providing families with information, therapies, resources and support through its licensed childcare centre, the Family Place and the Child Care Resource and Referral program. The 40-year-old organization has 40 employees and a $1.5 million budget.

“With the tagline Bright from the Start, Kootenay Kids Society embraces the family centred approach to all of the work they do,” the citation reads.

A change in nomination process

The process for deciding on the Sustainability Awards changed this year. In the past the city has asked for nominations from the public, which were then juried by a selection committee.

But the number of nominations has fallen off in the past two years. So council changed its policy, and now council members decide as a group on the award recipients, based on the city’s five principles of sustainability: cultural strength, healthy neighbourhoods, robust ecosystems, prosperity, and resiliency.

Those principles underlie the city’s Path to 2040 Principles for Sustainability Strategy on which the awards are based.

Each award comes with a cash prize of $1,150.

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