Campbell River is the winner of two awards presented last week at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention.
The city was honoured with a Community Recognition Award for its Wood First Policy last Wednesday, and one day later, took first place in community engagement at the UBCM Excellence Awards in Vancouver.
“The Community Excellence Awards program recognizes ideas that rise above challenges with vision, creativity and teamwork,” said Heath Slee, awards chair.
Mayor Charlie Cornfield was surprised but pleased that Campbell River was a winner.
“It’s really an amazing award, we’ve been recognized by our peer group and others involved in the UBCM executive which is made up of elected officials around the province,” Cornfield said. “There are critics that say ‘this can be done better’ but this award just confirms we’re doing the right thing.”
Campbell River was singled out in the Civic Engagement category for its efforts in increasing awareness of government services during Local Government Awareness Week, and for facilitating community participation in policy development for the Sustainable Official Community Plan.
The city hosted several open houses to gather input into the Agriculture Plan, Master Transportation Plan and other aspects of the Sustainable Official Community Plan.
“This award is one we share with the entire community,” Mayor Charlie Cornfield said. “It’s the staff, it’s council, it’s the community.”
More than 1,500 Campbell Riverites have contributed input into the Sustainable Plan, including youth and First Nations. There have been 25 public workshops and forums organized by city staff and consulting teams HB Lanarc, Beringia Planning and Urban Systems.
“Many staff members worked very hard, and put in extra time in order for Campbell River to earn this prestigious award,” Cornfield said. “Over the past year we have had so much meaningful input and ideas from our community about their vision for the future and we are excited to put these into policy in the Sustainable Community Plan.”
The Community Excellence Awards are presented annually at the UBCM’s yearly, week-long conference.
Campbell River’s second award was presented by Wood Works! BC for demonstrating leadership and vision by adopting Wood First commitments.
City council passed a Wood First policy last October to ensure all future city-funded buildings and additions will use wood as the primary building material.
Prior to adopting the policy, the city had passed a Wood First resolution to fall in line with the province’s Wood First Act, which requires projects funded by the provincial government to be mostly constructed out of wood.