Leaders and builders honoured at Port Moody civic awards

Port Moody’s best and brightest individuals, organizations and businesses were honoured at the city’s civic awards last Saturday at city hall.

They include the leader of a community agency that is creating new housing opportunities in Port Moody for people with developmental disabilities, a longtime artist, an environmental advocate and trail builder, an Indigenous educator and a trio of athletes.

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Christine Scott, the CEO of Kinsight, received the Peter Hulbert accessibility award for her efforts to forge unique partnerships to create shared, welcoming spaces. The latest is an arrangement with Catalyst Community Developments Society, Inlet United Church, Share family and community services and BC Housing to build a mixed-use project with affordable rental units, homes for people with developmental disabilities, a children’s centre as well as space for the church. The project, at the site of the former St. Andrews United Church on St. Johns Street, is currently under construction.

Landscape painter Val Simons received the city’s arts award for her accomplishments as the president of the Port Moody Arts Centre Society from June, 2015, to May, 2019. She also led the Unity Project, a community art initiative to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017 as well as at the second annual Car Free Day in 2018.

Kevin Ryan’s efforts as the president and operations manager for the Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society earned him Port Moody’s environmental award.

He’s worked to cement a solid partnership between the Mossom Creek and Noons Creek hatcheries, as well as participated in the Salmon in the City program to improve habitat for the rearing of coho and spawning of chum salmon.

Ryan also brought together municipal, provincial and federal government representatives and users to improve the condition of trails on Eagle Mountain for mountain bikers, motor bikers and 4X4 groups. Some of those enhancements include better signage, the closure of problematic trails and education about the environmental impact of unregulated trail use.

Tasha Faye Evans was presented with Port Moody’s heritage award for her work to build awareness of the city’s Indigenous history and culture. She followed up her leadership of the Welcome Post project in 2017 and ’18 with the Stakw: Water is Life project to celebrate the connection between water and Coast Salish culture and to the city’s way of life. She also helped organize National Indigenous People’s Day activities in the city.

Port Moody’s sports award was presented to Doug MacDonald, Jeff Gombar and Katrina Voss.

MacDonald was the first hockey player from the city to make it to the National Hockey League. He played 11 games for the Buffalo Sabres between 1992 and ’95, and now works as a scout for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Gombar played 13 seasons for the Coquitlam Adanacs in the Western Lacrosse Association. He also played for Canada at three world championships from 1994 to 2002, in Manchester, Baltimore and Perth, and in 2006 he was an assistant coach for Canadian men’s field lacrosse team that won its first world championship in 28 years.

Voss, 19, competes in downhill, slalom, giant slalom and super giant slalom in the International Ski Federation (FIS) after a successful youth career in which she won several medals in U16 races at the BC Provincial Open series and the zone finals.

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