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Mayor’s Gala and Community Recognition Awards Night
The Mayor’s Gala and Community Recognition Awards Night is a wonderful annual event to demonstrate our appreciation for community members and groups who make our community special and have dedicated themselves to better Drayton Valley and area! The 2023 gala was held on October 12, 2023.
The 2023 Award Categories and Recipients:
- Business Achievement Award: Carla James – Beyond Beaut
- Community Spirit Award: Chris Walsh
- New Community Organization Award: Peyak Aski
- Youth Excellence Award (Under 18): Kamryn Allen
- Excellence in Athletics: Acadia Musiyowski
- Arts and Music Award: Howard Mckay
- Teachers/Educators Award: Heather Bartling
- Healthcare Award: Shale Medical Clinic
- Emergency Services Award: Cole Starling
Business Achievement Award
Karla James, Beyond Beauty
Karla and her team at Beyond Beauty are passionate individuals who strive to exceed the expectations of their clients. They provide personalized services to ensure guests feel cared for, heard, and important. Karla states “Our community has supported us during times of chaos and struggle. We do our best to show our appreciation by giving back and empowering members of this incredible community.”
In 2021 they did 1 year of monthly random acts of kindness within the community. They still do this at random during the year. Events that they host always have charity involvement such as Cause for Critters, Warming Hearts, Food Bank, or even just helping a local family that is in need.
For the last 2 years and counting Karla has run the Woman Empowerment Initiative. Empowering female entrepreneurs & and inspiring community members. Women are nominated by their peers and two are selected at random every month to be celebrated. To date, they have celebrated, encouraged, and promoted 45 amazing women!
Beyond Beauty donates and participates in all events brought to them in the community such as; Can Vac’s Haunted House, Partee Golf, the Ladies Gala, Stockings for Seniors, Adopt a Senior, Cause for Critters, supporting Ukraine refugee families, Cuts for a Cause and many other various school initiatives.
COMMUNITY SPIRIT AWARD
Chris goes above and beyond for our community. During the wildfire, Chris and his team at IGA ensured that the Town and Emergency Services had access to the store, for food and supplies. They work closely with community organizations such as; the Food Bank, Warming Hearts, Opportunity Home, and schools. Chris and the team at IGA participated in the Second Harvest Program which aims to reduce as much waste as possible. They host several fundraisers each year to raise money for the Food Bank, the Stollery Children’s Hospital, breakfast programs and the Special Olympics.
Chris and his family are actively involved in the community. He states “We love attending events such as block parties, community dinners, hockey games, Family Day, Canada Day and the list goes on. I’m a firm believer in physical activity and like to get the kids involved. Our two oldest will soon do their second annual Turkey Trot at the Pembina Nordic and they participated in the inaugural Black Gold Brute Obstacle Course.
EMERGENCY SERVICES Award
Cole has dedicated the last 10 years to supporting his community as a volunteer firefighter. Cole has excelled as a firefighter with the local department moving into a leadership position as Captain of the department. When not working with fire services, Cole stays busy working as an EMT. He was also accepted onto Task Team 2 Canadian Urban Search and Rescue Team working with other emergency specialists helping communities around the province and Canada in times of disaster. Cole played a tremendous role during the wildfire near our community in May. If not on the ground working with fire crews, he was busy assisting the incident command team in formulating action plans to fight the fire. After working on the wildfire in our community, Cole was also sent to other communities to assist them in their fire efforts. Recently, Cole has started working with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency helping other communities prepare for disasters, teaching Incident Command courses and attending disaster situations guiding other communities that are in need.
SHALE MEDICAL CLINIC
Shale Medical Clinic is a full-service family practice medical clinic located in the heart of Drayton Valley. The clinic offers comprehensive primary health care services, including same-day urgent access service to the community on a daily basis.
At the Shale Medical Clinic, they are committed to providing patients with the highest level of care possible.
TEACHERS & EDUCATORS Award
Heather is currently the Acting Principal at the Community Outreach School. She plays a tremendous role in the lives of young adults in the community. Heather is a career counselor, teacher, athletic director, the head coordinator of the FMHS Youth Basketball Program, and she is the lead organizer for the National Student Leadership Summit. Heather is also actively involved in the community and province, she is a member of the Town’s Education Committee, volunteers with the blue and gold society, is sportsmanship commissioner for the AB Schools Athletic Association, and is a leadership training course developer and contributor for the CIAAA
YOUTH EXCELLENCE AWARD
Kamryn is involved in ringette, rugby, 4-H, and the Drayton Valley Pony Club, Kamryn enjoys taking part in team sports and being engaged in the community. She was nominated as team captain for her ringette team by her teammates. 4-H has allowed her to volunteer and mentor kids in the community. Kamryn actively participates in food drives, highway clean-ups, community dinners, STARS fundraisers, and Warming Hearts.
NEW COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION Award
SHINING IMAGES RETREAT CENTRE AND PEYAK ASKI
Shining Images Retreat Center was developed and created in the early 90’s by Gary and Alice Berger. The vision for this retreat center has always been for Indigenous teachings and ceremony.
The camp kitchen, the clearings, paths, trails, and medicine wheel made with large stones were created over 30 years ago. With the intention to give participants an expanded experience of connecting to the teachings and nature.
Over the years teachings and ceremonies such as sweat lodge, vision quests, medicine wheel, drum making, moon lodge, portrait of self and more, have been conducted and facilitated by family members.
Peyak Aski which is Cree for “One Land.” was created by Alice Berger, Linda Prentice and Wanda Schiller, as they started to bring Indigenous teachings into the community. Over the past 5 years, they have created many programs and brought back to life ancestral knowledge and teachings.
They have brought these teachings to the schools, the public school board of Alberta, the Town of Drayton Valley, various community agencies, forestry companies, and individuals.
This past summer, we brought the Medicine Wheel teachings back to the land.
EXCELLENCE IN ATHLETICS AWARD
Acadia is passionate when it comes to athletics. She has four National Gold Metals, two Alberta Rugby Cup championships, 8 provincial gold metals, and numerous medals for rugby and basketball and swim meets across the province where she always represents Drayton Valley in these competitions. In addition to participating in athletics, she also enjoys coaching swimming lessons and volunteers to mow the ball diamonds.
ARTS AND MUSIC AWARD
Howard was born and raised in Leduc Alberta. In 1978, Howard moved to Drayton Valley to teach music at Eldorado and Evergreen Elementary Schools. In 1990, he became the musical director for the DV Players production of Little Shop of Horrors. Howard has been involved in several bands while living in Drayton Valley. His one group, B.Blue Band reached the grand finals of the “Alberta Festival of Stars” in 1989. While teaching at Evergreen Elementary School, Howard was nominated twice for the provincial excellence in teaching awards. After thirty-five years of teaching students music at Evergreen Elementary School and also teaching private lessons, it is estimated that Howard has taught over 3,000 students in Drayton Valley.