Thursday, March 23, 2017

Celebrating Volunteerism

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Council’s efforts to ensure the City is financially sustainable, to maintain and modernize its core infrastructure and amenities, and to promote our community using fresh, current, and relevant marketing tools would all be in vain if we did not have engaged and dedicated people living here who contribute so much every day toward making our city a wonderful place to live and to visit.

I constantly hear from new residents and visitors alike about the friendliness of our city; a sentiment that simply reflects how welcoming and helpful Quesnel residents and businesses are toward strangers.

That innate friendliness and our city’s natural beauty have garnered Quesnel a reputation as a great community to visit and to live in. A reputation we hope to broadcast and expand upon with our new branding and marketing initiative because it’s in our nature to be a welcoming and accessible community.

And, as our Volunteer Citizen of the Year Committee recently affirmed, it’s also in our nature to be a community of volunteers. In fact, without the ongoing dedication of our many volunteers Quesnel would not be able to offer the incredible diversity of amenities, events, sports and cultural activities, and support programs that our multitude of volunteer organizations and individuals offer all year round.

Every year we recognize our volunteers through the Volunteer Citizen of the Year (VCoY) nomination process and awards dinner. This is a community-based nomination process that seeks to recognize individuals (or on occasion couples and groups) who have dedicated themselves to serving the community in a volunteer capacity; people who make our community a more vibrant place to live through their personal investment of time and energy into the things they are passionate about.

On April 26, we will host the 37th annual VCoY Awards Banquet featuring the Correlieu Jazz Band and tickets are on sale now at City Hall. But, before we pop the bubbly and toast our volunteers, you have an opportunity to nominate those who will be recognized at this event. Nomination forms are available at City Hall and at the Observer (a much-appreciated major and ongoing sponsor of this community event), and the deadline for nominations is Monday, March 27 at 4 p.m. (completed forms can be dropped off at either City Hall or the Observer).

Council will recognize the community’s nominees for the Volunteer Citizen of the Year in Council Chambers at our regular meeting on Tuesday, April 18. This is always a much-appreciated opportunity for Council to recognize how important volunteers and volunteerism is to our community. At the award banquet, the VCoY Committee will also present two other awards to deserving volunteers: “Silent Hero” and “Lifetime Achievement.”

Our community would not be as vibrant, welcoming, accessible, and fun without the personal time and energy commitments of our volunteers. But, our core volunteer community is ageing and we need more people to step up and help out. Along with nominating a worthy volunteer for some deserved recognition,

I hope you will also consider volunteering in some capacity this year. That way the VCoY Committee’s desire for our community, as reflected in their new slogan, can be realized: “we’re all volunteers.”

The above column was written by Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.  He can be reached via email at 

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