New look for heritage awards
The Red Deer Heritage Recognition Awards are back to honour those who have put historical preservation first.
After the cancellation of the awards last year, the 2013 edition is seeking to celebrate the past as the city does the same in its centennial year. Nominations opened Thursday with an event kicking off the 10th iteration of the honours.
The Heritage Recognition Awards have been given out since 2002.
Last year, however, the awards were cancelled owing to a lack of nominations received.
So, the committee in charge of the awards opted to update the process and add clarity to its award categories for the city’s 100th birthday.
For this year, they are introducing a new category for non-professional youth under 25 who have made special contributions to heritage.
Youth contributions to heritage could be anything from an elementary school art project to high-level study, said Susan Knopp, chairperson of the Heritage Preservation Committee.
“It can be grassroots, hands-on and fun, all the way up to if you’re a graduate student or university student studying history and you’re doing some work that pertains to Central Alberta history, we want to hear about it,” she explained.
Recognizing heritage does not simply mean preserving historic buildings, said Knopp, citing the work of John Tobias, the long-time Red Deer College history instructor who received a Heritage Award posthumously in 2011.
“I think it’s really important that we remember our collective past. It helps guide how we envision our future and gives us all a sense of place; a sense of history,” she said.
The awards, to be presented in five categories, are for work completed in the last four years by individuals or groups in the city and county of Red Deer, along with seven area hamlets.
Mayor Morris Flewwelling said the richness of communities depends on the preserving of their pasts.
“I urge everybody to think about what’s happened in our community that needs to be recognized and honoured,” he said.
Nomination forms are available at the City of Red Deer Culture Services Centre and the Red Deer County office. Online, forms can be found at www.reddeer.ca/heritage or http://rdcounty.ca.
The nomination deadline is April 30, with the awards to be presented as part of Alberta Culture Days on Sept. 27.