Edmonton salutes its 2016 Citation and Performance Award recipients

It was a full house at City Hall on November 21, with more than 200 individuals being recognized for their tremendous achievements in arts and culture, community service and sports throughout the last year.

Since 1951, Salute to Excellence has recognized Edmontonians who have gone above and beyond, contributing to the unique and diverse fabric of our community. The list of recipients included a wide variety of personalities and pedigrees: from a folk dance legend to a jiu jitsu master; a philanthropic doctor to junior-sized bowlers. The ceremony was a true showcase of the spirit of Edmonton — dedicated and inspiring builders.

Jessica St. Pierre sings O Canada at the start of the Citation and Performance Awards Ceremony.

Jessica St. Pierre sings O Canada at the start of the Citation and Performance Awards Ceremony.

Mayor Don Iveson was on-hand, along with Councillor Scott McKeen, to help congratulate and present each recipient with their certificate of recognition. “If I could choose a hat that represents each and every Edmontonian, it would be a hard hat,” Mayor Don Iveson summed up. It seemed a fitting choice, with so many tremendous individuals and groups who have committed their time and energy to building Edmonton’s reputation across Canada and around the world.  

There were two Citation Award recipients for Arts and Culture this year:

  • Rajammal Ram. Founder and director of the Kala Nilayam School of Dance and an executive member of the Edmonton Folk Arts Council. Rajammal has passionately promoted Indian culture in Edmonton.
  • Matthew “Creeasian” Wood. As an artist, youth worker, DJ/dancer and community organizer, Matthew shares his talent and passion for hip-hop culture and social change in innovative and inspiring ways.

Two for Community Service:

  • Dr. Rob Agostinis. Founder/past president of the Terwillegar Riverbend Advisory Council, he was instrumental in establishing the Southwest Edmonton Farmers Market and Edmonton Youth Talent Show, and cofounded the Southwest Edmonton Seniors’ Association.
  • Don Baergen. Supporter of the positive integration of newcomers to Canada for more than three decades, he has single-handedly helped more than 10,000 people settle and integrate. His tireless, compassionate example has motivated countless others to provide meaningful settlement experiences for newcomers. 

One for Sports:

  • David Embury. Cofounder of the Edmonton Juventus Cycling Club, David helped establish the Argyll Velodrome Association. He has provided decades of contribution to the Edmonton cycling community.

The evening’s emcee, City Manager Linda Cochrane, relayed a short bio for each recipient that came up to accept an award. Linda expressed an extra special note of encouragement for some of the youngest recipients, the 2016 Bantam Mixed Youth Bowl Canada National Champions.

A few of the evening’s brightest stars, the Bantam Mixed Youth Bowl Canada Champions accept their Performance Award Certificates.

A few of the evening’s brightest stars, the Bantam Mixed Youth Bowl Canada Champions accept their Performance Award Certificates.

We wish each and every award recipient continued success and thank them for their ongoing representation as ambassadors of the City of Edmonton.

The Salute to Excellence Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Monday, June 12, 2017 at the Francis Winspear Centre for Music. The Hall of Fame recognizes and honours outstanding citizens who — through their contributions in arts and culture, community service and sports, or through extraordinary service to their communities — have made exemplary contributions to the quality of life in Edmonton.

To nominate someone for the Hall of Fame and to see the complete list of 2016 Citation and Performance Awards recipients, please visit edmonton.ca/salute.

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