Armstrong-Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce Community Excellence Awards co-hosts Phil Hughes (left) and Sean Newton will have a year to work on their material, as the annual awards have been officially cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19. Also cancelled this year is the naming of Armstrong-Spallumcheen’s Citizen of the Year. (Chamber photo)

COVID-19 cancels 2 main Armstrong-Spallumcheen events

Community Excellence Awards, Citizen of the Year, cancelled for 2020; both to return in 2021

Two of Armstrong-Spallumcheen’s biggest annual events have been cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19.

The Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce’s Community Excellence Awards has been postponed to 2021, as has the announcement of the municipalities’ 2020 Citizen of the Year.

The organizing committee of both agreed at their June meeting that the annual production of the popular community events would be cancelled due to the pandemic.

Chamber president and Community Excellence Awards co-host Sean Newton announced the cancellation which has been honouring the best of the best in the community for more than 25 years.

“Sometimes the show can’t go on even if we find a way to make it work despite restrictions,” Newton said. “Public safety and the safety of our business leaders, volunteers and production crew are our first priorities.

We looked at other options, including a ‘virtual’ event but feedback from the community and businesses was that this an event that needs to be experienced in public.”

Newton said given the current global situation and uncertainties that surround heading into the summer and fall, it is in the best interests of the Community Excellence Awards to cancel the 2020 event.

“We are looking forward to once again bringing our audience another fun evening in Spring 2021,” he said. “Including the announcement of the 2021 Citizen of the Year.”

The decision to not name a 2020 recipient of this award took many hours of discussion.

“Recognizing the Citizen of the Year is not a ‘one-night-only’ event,’” said Patti Noonan, chamber executive director. “It comes with responsibilities for an entire year.”

The Citizen of the Year is the honourary parade marshal for the IPE Parade, attends the annual Citizen of the Year Tea and Canada Day ceremonies, attends the City of Armstrong Christmas dinner, judges various events including the annual Rods n Rails car show and much more.

“Most of those events have already been cancelled for 2020 and it was felt by the committee that they wanted the recipient to enjoy the full slate of activities during their reign,” said Noonan.

Dates for the 2021 Community Excellence Awards will be announced later this year and the public can follow the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce on Facebook for updates, nomination forms and ticket information.

Information and nomination forms for the 2021 Citizen of the Year will also be available on that page.

“We are so grateful to the businesses who, despite it being a challenging year, continued their support of this event,” said Newton. “Those who supported the event by sponsoring a category or activity will have their contribution moved forward to the 2021 and 2022 years.”

Noonan said the awards are an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the dynamic and diverse group of people who make an important contribution to the quality of life in Armstrong and Spallumcheen.

‘The board and staff look forward to ensuring the 2021 event is better than ever,” she said.

READ MORE: Armstrong, Spallumcheen businesses earn deserved recognition

READ MORE: Armstrong Legion president chosen Citizen of the Year

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