Province recognizes two Castlegar citizens

Castlegar residents Nettie Stupnikoff and Darlene Kalawsky have been named recipients of the BC Community Achievement Awards — a major feat considering only 36 people were awarded province-wide.

  • Mar. 30, 2011 7:00 p.m.

Premier Christy Clark announced this week that Castlegar’s Darlene Kalawsky (left) and Nettie Stupnikoff (right) were among the 36 recipients of this year’s BC Community Achievement Awards.

Castlegar residents Nettie Stupnikoff and Darlene Kalawsky have been named recipients of the BC Community Achievement Awards — a major feat considering only 36 people were awarded province-wide.

The hard-working  volunteers were announced as winners earlier this week from the Office of the Premier, however they found out about the award several weeks ago.

“One afternoon, I get this call and this very nice lady is on the phone and congratulated me … my first response was, ‘is this a joke?’” Stupnikoff recalled.

“I had no idea this was in the works at all,” Kalawsky agreed.

Between the two, a good portion of Castlegar’s volunteer sector is covered.

Stupnikoff is the president of both the Castlegar and District Hospital Foundation and the hospital auxiliary, while Kalawsky is chair of Communities in Bloom, belongs to Friends of the Castlegar Public Library, sits on the board of governors for Selkirk College and is involved with the Castlegar Arts Council and SculptureWalk.

“I do these things because I have a passion for doing what I do,” Kalawsky said. “One of my focuses is to make Castlegar a better place to live.”

Both agreed that although they take the initiative for some projects, such as Stupnikoff with the Castlegar Treasure Shop and Kalawsky with Communities in Bloom, they wouldn’t be able to make as much happen without help.

“When we built our treasure shop, yes I did take the lead in that and did some research … but I had a committee of people with me,” Stupnikoff said.

Recipients of the BC Community Achievement Awards are nominated by someone in their community. Both women don’t know who nominated them at this point.

“I had no idea these people were doing these things behind my back!” Stupnikoff laughed.

Once nominated, an independent advisory council selects the recipients. This year’s council was made of Langley Mayor Peter Fassbender, Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom, former Vancouver city councillor Kim Capri and past award recipients Patrick Kelly and George Puil.

“Each of these people has a remarkable record of enhancing the quality of life of residents throughout the province,” Premier Christy Clark said in a statement. “And each truly deserves to be singled out and recognized by all British Columbians for their contributions.”

Kalawsky and Stupnikoff said they don’t volunteer for recognition, but they hope the publicity of the awards will entice more people to volunteer in the community.

“Volunteering keeps one busy and happy,” Stupnikoff said. “This (award) is not only about me but all the volunteers in our auxiliary and all the people in our community.”

Kalawsky agreed.

“It’s a great way to make friends and find out about your community,” she said. “If you can only give so much time, that’s important too. You can do a little something.”

Both said they give so much of their time to their projects that they’re often asked if they’re paid, or joke that they must be making triple-overtime some days.

“I’m there because I want to be,” Kalawsky said.

This year’s recipients will be recognized with a formal award presentation on April 20 in Victoria.

Stupnikoff plans to make a holiday of it while Kalawsky is looking forward to visiting Butchart Gardens.

But neither has lost sight of to how they got to this point in the first place.

“I could go on and on because it wasn’t just one person or one group of people — it was the community,” Stupnikoff said.

“I feel very honoured and somewhat humbled to be receiving an award of this nature,” Kalawsky said, adding that she is simply doing what she enjoys.

“If you have a passion for something, do it. Make it happen.”

Just Posted

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

Vigil re-affirms belief in peace, acceptance in wake of New Zealand massacre

Nearly 100 show up for solemn event at Mir Centre for Peace

Police bust drug operation in Castlegar

Man charged, will go to court in August

Zoning mix-up nixes Shoreacres property sale

Man says the RDCK’s listings online don’t match his property’s official zoning

Castlegar coach receives Basketball BC honour

Cheryl Closkey recognized for 50 years of volunteering

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Most Read