Goldstream Gazette is holding the first annual Local Hero Awards ceremony on the West Shore on June 18. Deadline for nominations is on May 2. (Black Press Media file photo)

Goldstream Gazette is holding the first annual Local Hero Awards ceremony on the West Shore on June 18. Deadline for nominations is on May 2. (Black Press Media file photo)

Nominate your West Shore hero today!

Submit your application to one of 12 different categories before Jan. 4

Do you know incredible people on the West Shore community that go the extra mile? Nominate them for a 2020 Local Hero award.

Nominations have reopened for the Goldstream Gazette’s Local Hero Awards and will be open until Jan. 4. While the awards were originally launched earlier this year, unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were forced to postpone the initiative.

It is now more important than ever for our community to celebrate amazing individuals who perform outstanding acts of service that are selfless and courageous, making the West Shore a vibrant place to live, work and play. So on Feb. 24, we will come together virtually to celebrate these individuals.

The Local Hero Awards were made with the purpose of creating a platform for those powerful people stories that make our West Shore community strong. The awards celebrate a wide range of organizations and individuals, in the form of our sponsors, partners, nominees and nominators – to honour our community heroes.

This is the first of its kind in the southern part of the Island, drawing inspiration from the Comox Valley Record, who initially launched Local Hero Awards in 2016.

The Goldstream Gazette thanks Prosperity Planning and Westhills for their title sponsorships for the inaugural event.

The Seniors’ Champion recognizes a senior citizen (65 years or older) who has made an outstanding voluntary contribution to enrich the social, cultural or civic life of our community.

The Environmental Hero will go to someone who makes a positive contribution to the community by championing environmentally friendly initiatives.

The Arts Ambassador honours a person, or people, deemed “vital to the diversity of our community, who encourages participation, and social well-being.”

The Coach(es) Award recognizes someone “exemplary in developing skills and confidence in participants, inspires youth, and who encourages a high level of athletic achievement and commitment.”

The Community Builder will be a person or group “that has taken the initiative to engage residents in an innovative or new community project or event. The initiative might encourage different groups to collaborate, address a gap in community participation, or result in a more inclusive, engaged community initiative/event.”

Community Volunteer is given to someone who “makes a positive contribution to the community by volunteering their time.”

The Courage & Bravery Award recognizes someone who has put their own safety at risk in coming to the aid of another.

The Educator Award will go to someone who demonstrates a high level of ethics and professional standards, is an inspirational motivator, excellent communicator, good listener and a reliable resource to the community and his or her students.

The Emergency Services Award will go to a person “exemplary in the area of emergency services and unselfishly shoulders enormous responsibility while accepting the potential risks and challenges of the job.”

The Unsung Hero honours someone who has made a positive contribution to the community through their work and has gone beyond to support the community and/or cause.

The Youth Volunteer award recognizes someone under the age of 18, who had made a positive contribution to the community through volunteer efforts.

And finally, the Hero of the Year – This individual rises above the rest by demonstrating unwavering leadership, compassion and community spirit in all that he or she does. He or she makes a genuine and significant contribution to the Valley and is a natural community role model.

The awards will be handcrafted by local carver John Bellis, who carves totem poles, paddles, drums and bentwood boxes.

Nominating someone is easy. Simply go to hero.goldstreamgazette.com, click “Submit a Nomination” and follow the directions. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 4.

West Shore