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Dedicated Port Coquitlam volunteer honoured with provincial award

Julie Schmidt's terms as president of the PoCo Heritage Museum is soon coming to an end after nearly 20 years with the organization.

Commitment, passion and talent.

That's what peers of Julie Schmidt say is the key to her near 20 years of volunteerism in Port Coquitlam, and those attributes were recently praised by a provincial tourism organization.

Schmidt was recognized by Heritage BC with its distinguished service award at its joint annual conference with the BC Museums Association, in honour of her dedication to education and awareness of history and culture.

She currently serves as the president of the PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives, and has volunteered with the local facility since 2003.

"I was honoured to learn I was nominated for a Volunteer Award by the hard-working PoCo Heritage Grant Committee and staff," said Schmidt in a PoCo Heritage statement to the Tri-City News

"I was even more excited and honoured to be recognized by Heritage BC for my volunteer commitment to Heritage these past years."

The award, however, may also be bitter sweet for Schmidt and her colleagues as her term as PoCo Heritage president is ending in June.

The organization tells the Tri-City News Schmidt's "passion, dedication, and leadership will be sorely missed," adding she's spent "countless hours" facilitating programs, exhibits and administrative tasks at the museum.

Heritage BC chair Britney Dack says Schmidt has used her knowledge and experience to ensure inclusion and functionality for all.

"Any organization that has a volunteer like Julie Schmidt should acknowledge how lucky they are," said Dack.

"Julie Schimdt is no ordinary volunteer; she gives many hours weekly and successfully takes on diverse responsibilities from public programming and research to administrative and committee work. We know that success of heritage is always because of people, and Julie is an example for us to celebrate."

Schmidt also received the Port Coquitlam lifetime achievement award at the city's volunteers night on April 20.

For more information about the PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives, you can visit it's website.