A Sylvan Lake couple who invested four decades into Canyon Ski and Recreation Area east of Red Deer are recipients of this year’s coveted Mayor’s Special Award.
Karl and Lorraine Martinek will be honoured along with more than 100 other Central Albertans during tonight’s Mayor’s Recognition Awards at the Capri Centre.
Mayor Morris Flewwelling will hand out the awards.
The husband-wife team are being hailed for their passion and enthusiasm in the development of Alberta’s largest non-mountain ski hill.
Lorraine Martinek said the recognition is “very nice” but she says they couldn’t have done the work without support of the community and their three children — Sonia Hand, and Curtis and Kristina Martinek.
“We’ve done a job for 40 years that we have loved,” Martinek said.
Husband Karl first began at the ski hill in 1968 and Lorraine followed two years later.
She said it’s been great to see the small hill emerge into one that attracts 40,000 to 50,000 annual ski visits and is open year-round.
“Now it’s time to pass it on to someone else,” Martinek said.
The Martineks hope to officially close a sale of the ski hill with the City of Red Deer and Red Deer County next month.
Created in 1990, the Mayor’s Recognition Awards honour achievements and volunteer service of individuals, teams and groups who have enhanced the image or made a significant contribution to the community of Red Deer.
Mark Meunier, who has spent 24 years developing cross-country ski trails in the city, is one of two Red Deer residents honoured with the Distinguished Voluntary Service Award.
Also honoured is Nancy Nolan, a 35-year volunteer with the Downtown House who has entertained many as leader of the Happy Gang singing group.
Wild Rose Harmonizers chorus and Red Deer Royals Marching Show Band will be honoured tonight within the Fine and Performing Arts category.
Power lifters Birchmans Pereira and Brandon Pereira are recipients of the Athletics Award.
The Citizenship Continuous Voluntary Service Award will be handed out to eight winners — hospital volunteer Barbara McKinnon; Special Olympics volunteer Connie Biro; Moose Cottage volunteer Hazel Brewer; palliative care volunteer Karen Edwards; Rosedale community association volunteer Kim Fay; Special Olympics volunteer Neil Garbutt; hospital volunteer Shauna Hill and David Thompson Health Region volunteer Wayne Hill.