Saanich currently honours its most benevolent residents by bestowing upon them the title of freeman of the municipality.
Green-conscious leaders get recognized by Saanich through the municipality’s annual environmental awards.
But Coun. Vic Derman now wants to give recognition to the people and groups who make a significant impact on arts, culture and heritage in Saanich.
“It’s a way of publicly saying thank you for the amount of effort that someone has put in to something,” said Derman, who chairs the arts, culture and heritage committee. “I think it’s essential that you take the people who are really making a difference in your community, and you do that public thank you.”
A recommendation to endorse the awards was expected to be discussed by council at Monday night’s council meeting (Aug. 11).
Derman supplied a list of potential award categories, including Youth Artist or Performer, Heritage Preservation Award and Cultural Enrichment “Builder” Award.
“The committee does have a budget to promote the arts, culture and heritage,” he said, but added the committee would like to seek sponsorships for the awards.
He also mentioned the possibility of launching a new gala event where the awards could be presented, alongside a night of entertainment.
“That hasn’t been decided yet, but it’s been floated out there and, I think, it would be another great event that the committee puts on,” Derman said.
If council approved the recommendation, the committee would now be tasked with solidifying award categories, eligibility criteria and a budget.