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2022 Fort St. John community award winners

Fort St. John held its 15th annual awards Thursday night in Centennial Park, highlighting residents and organizations that have made positive contributions to the community.

It was a much-different annual Community Gala Awards ceremony in Fort St. John Thursday night.

No, it wasn't done virtual.

No, there weren't any gathering restrictions.

And, no, everyone could get in close with the winners for their photo.

But there was one big difference to this night - it was held outdoors for the first time in its 15-year history, and the weather couldn't have been more ideal, sunshine, no wind, and 18 degrees at the start of the show.

"I wish I could absolutely give every person an award," said mayor Lori Ackerman at the end of the night.

"Their contributions to the community are just like the ripples that Gurdeep (Pandher) spoke about. That positivity that goes out into the community and into the world and just makes a big difference."

Ackerman added it was tough choosing a recipient but all were full value of being nominated.

Here are the winners:

Mayor's Citizen of the Year - Mike Acko

The mayor’s citizen of the year award recognizes an individual that has achieved positive notoriety outside our community for their actions, is known as a leader or role model by their peers or has won international, national, or provincial titles or awards for their efforts. 

Lifetime Achievement Award - Gary and Trudy Alexander

The lifetime achievement award recognizes an individual’s remarkable contributions and dedication to the community. Their contributions have improved the quality of life for citizens or brought positive recognition to Fort St. John. 

Business Award - Wyld Acres Farm

The business award recognizes the distinguishing contributions of an individual, business or non-profit organization towards areas including, and not limited to; social innovation, mentorship, or investing in the community of Fort St. John.

Recreation and Sport Award - Fort St. John Huskies

The recreation and sport award recognizes an individual or group for their volunteer efforts in the promotion, organization, support, or motivation of sports, recreation, and leisure pursuits, including healthy and active living. 

Arts and Culture Award - Sabrina Brooks

The arts and culture award recognizes an individual, group, or organization for their community contribution, expressed through literacy, visual or performing arts, cultural diversity or heritage education.

Humanitarian Award - Kim Turney

The humanitarian award recognizes a volunteer or group of volunteers whose actions, commitment, volunteer leadership, service and community spirit have made a difference in the lives of those in the community.

Youth Award - Kayla Valerie Braun

The youth award recognizes an individual or youth group under the age of 19 who has made a positive contribution to the community on a volunteer basis such as developing a project, serving on a committee or other volunteer work with organizations and groups.

Gurdeep Pandher, the internet Bhangra dance sensation from Whitehorse, was the guest speaker for this year's awards, and gave a keynote speech during a break in award ceremonies.

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