2011 Highlights

In 2011, we presented a theme for Local Government Awareness Week to reflect the local government elections that were taking place in the Fall. The theme was ‘Be Heard’ and  a quiz and other resources were created to encourage community members to vote in the 2011 elections.

Have a look at the quiz, and see if you can get all the answers right:
Mythbuster Quiz

Provincial Proclamation
Each year, UBCM requests that the provincial government proclaim the 3rd week in May as Local Government Awareness Week. This proclamation was approved and presented our President, Councillor Barbara Steele.

Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong presents UBCM President Barbara Steele with a provincial proclamation declaring the 3rd week in May as Local Government Awareness Week in BC

UBCM Excellence Awards
It was also the 2nd year that we offered a UBCM Excellence Award for Best Practices, Civic Engagement. Twenty-three (23) applications were received for this category, and there was so much competition for the awards that the judges chose 1 overall winner, and 2 honourable mentions. Check out the winning projects below:

Winner- UBCM Excellence Award Best Practices, Civic Engagement

UBCM President Heath Slee presents Mayor Cornfield and Councillor Roy Grant with the award for Winner, UBCM Excellence Awards Best Practices, Civic Engagement

The winner of this award was the City of Campbell River, for their project: Sustainable Campbell River. This project was a comprehensive, interactive civic engagement program to increase awareness of government services, generate a vision for the community and increase involvement in policy development.

More than 1,500 community members have been involved in the development of the City’s Sustainable Official Community Plan and several associated plans. The Sustainable Campbell River initiative has included broad and deep civic engagement ranging from extensive youth involvement, partnerships with First Nations including hosting a Storytelling Event, video, social media, radio and print communication, school workshops, outreach at grocery stores and community events and hosting of 20 public workshops and forums. To support outreach and to increase the knowledge of citizens about the importance of participation in local decision-making and governance, during Local Government Awareness Week, staff developed a trivia contest, organized a public dinner with the Mayor and promoted tours of City facilities. Collectively, these initiatives are the most extensive civic engagement process to take place in Campbell River to date.

Honourable Mention- UBCM Excellence Award Best Practices, Civic Engagement

UBCM President Heath Slee presents Lorenda Rebelato, Manager Corporate Services and Lisa Egan, Special Events Coordinator with an honourable mention for the Excellence Award Category of Best Practices, Civic Engagement

An honourable mention was awarded to the Township of Langley for their Municipal Awareness Day which was launched in 2003 when 400 students, their teachers, and parents were invited to see the Township’s working departments. Now an annual event that has quadrupled in size, Municipal Awareness Day showcases Township programs and services and demonstrates how local government operates. Township staff from more than 22 departments host 26 stations set up in and around the Civic Facility to explain the inner workings of the municipality such as the Fire Department, Engineering, Recreation, Culture, and Parks, Legislative Services, Geomatics, and Urban Forestry. Township staff, acting as tour guides, lead visitors to each station following a predetermined itinerary and map. In 2011, more than 1,800 students in Grades 1 to 3 participated by exploring heavy duty machinery, learning about their local environment, and engaging in a unique mock Council meeting. Each station features interactive displays that engage participants and educate about municipal government.

Honourable Mention- UBCM Excellence Award Best Practices, Civic Engagement

UBCM President Heath Slee presents Mayor Mayor Dan Rogers and Councillor Don Bassermann with an honourable mention for the Execellence Award Category of Best Practices, Civic Engagement

A second honourable mention was awarded to the City of Prince George for their 2015 Canada Winter Games Bid Engagement Plan. After an 18 month bid process, the City of Prince George was awarded the rights to host the 2015 Canada Winter Games- edging out Kamloops and Kelowna to earn the right to host the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Council established a Select Committee (2015 Canada Winter Games Bid) to prepare Phase II of the Bid. Community members were appointed by the Mayor and City Manager to fill specific roles, and a City Secretariat group was formed to help provide resources to Committee.

Prince George was also informed that it should also prepare to host a daylong visit by the 2015 Canada Winter Games Evaluation Committee on August 9th. The Prince George Bid Committee now faced a monumental task to engage the community, rally community support, and move from 3rd place to 1st place all in 6 months. So how did they do it? The answer was to call in more volunteers, develop a dynamic marketing strategy, create effective communications and engagement plans, and develop a powerful media relations campaign to keep key messaging front and center in the community and region of Northern British Columbia. To gain public support of hosting a $50 million event, it was essential that all information was transparent to the public, and the BID committee ensured this was consistent from beginning to end.

Local Government Spotlight: City of Burnaby Activities

As part of Local Government Week 2011, the City of Burnaby undertook a project called ‘Be Heard: Vote Local’. This project focused on encouraging community residents to learn more about their local government and to vote in the 2011 local government election. The project derived its name and flavour from the ‘buy local’ and ‘eat local’ movements. Burnaby activities included:

  • Issuing a City proclamation recognizing 2011 May 15 – 22 as Local Government Awareness Week in Burnaby.
  • Developing a ‘Be Heard: Vote Local’ quiz, distributed through the City website and Facebook page. Completed quizzes were submitted for a draw of recreation day passes at a City facility.
  • Featuring a daily ‘fun fact’ about Burnaby’s history throughout the week on the City website. (example below)
  • Founding an ongoing feature in InfoBurnaby, the City’s quarterly newsletter that is distributed to every Burnaby household – over 88,000 of them – highlighting the work of different City departments and programs.
  • Hosting one-day displays in a shopping district in each quadrant of Burnaby that presented voting information in an interactive manner, including games and children’s activities (i.e. bean bag toss, voting-themed coloring pages, ‘find your voting area’ game). This display was sponsored by the Burnaby Now newspaper.
  • Founding a two-hour interactive public workshop called ‘Your Local Government: A Community Effort’ that has so far been offered twice through a Burnaby non-profit organization. The workshop is now available upon community request.

City of Burnaby's Mall Display for Local Government Awareness Week 2011