The annual awards celebrate successful and innovative municipal initiatives to improve the lives of residents.
The 2019 winners are:
- Innovation Award – Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
- Safe Communities Award – Town of Claresholm
- Partnership Award – County of Warner
- Larger Municipalities Award – City of Calgary
- Smaller Municipalities Award – Town of Bruderheim
- Outstanding Achievement Award – County of Barrhead
“The recipients of this year’s awards have set an example for what inspiration, hard work and collaboration can achieve. I am proud to recognize the successful efforts of these Alberta municipalities, which have found innovative solutions to the challenges facing their communities.”
- The Minister’s Awards for Municipal Excellence have been presented for the past 18 years.
- This year, 33 applications were received.
- An awards committee consisting of representatives from municipal associations determined the winners.
Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (Innovation Award)
The Ideas Committee was developed in August 2017 to grow a culture of innovation and change in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. It gives municipal staff an opportunity to come together to discuss new ideas, efficiencies, cost savings and revenue opportunities to deal with the complexities facing the community. By connecting “boots on the ground” to senior leadership, employees have been empowered to create positive change and use creative thinking to grow a culture of innovation.
Town of Claresholm (Safe Communities Award)
The Risk Reduction Community Coalition connects police, Alberta Health Service providers and first responders with students and families towards preventative education. Together, they educate community members about smart choices and practising safety in everyday life. The goal of this initiative is to change behaviour, thoughts and feelings associated with the risks young people face, and to eliminate destructive choices.
County of Warner (Partnership Award)
The Milk River Ridge Reservoir Water Quality Stewardship Initiative is a collaborative effort that involves provincial and municipal governments, private and public organizations, and local volunteers. Its aim is to explore, assess and implement strategies to improve management of the provincial land corridor and nearby private lands. Where possible, restoration can also be done. All of this is meant to maintain or improve water quality in Ridge Reservoir and the conveyances and storage facilities connected to it.
City of Calgary (Larger Municipalities Award)
Calgary launched its 311 Live Maps in September 2018, allowing people to view 311 service requests as they are reported in real time. Citizens can now serve themselves online and view specific details about requests without having to call 311 for updates. Users can view online maps, calculate distances, get directions to reported concerns and download information, including pictures of work completed by city crews. The service has helped reduce costs and improve service levels while increasing transparency and accountability.
Town of Bruderheim (Smaller Municipalities Award)
The Business Incubator and Women Rising networking group was started with a goal of improving quality of life and supporting new and existing businesses. Created by the Bruderheim Infinity Business Centre, the volunteer-led programs are the first of their kind in the area, serving the rural region east of Fort Saskatchewan. They provide training, resources and opportunities for a stronger economic development presence in Bruderheim and surrounding areas.
County of Barrhead (Outstanding Achievement Award)
The Barrhead and Area Regional Crime Coalition was established in 2017 as a partnership between the town and County of Barrhead, along with Woodlands County, Barrhead RCMP and Barrhead and District Rural Crime Watch Association, in response to increased crime rates throughout the region. By modifying technology usually used by a single municipality, the coalition was able to bring more law enforcement resources to bear in areas with limited services. This approach was a first not only for Alberta, but for Canada. By combining fiscal and administrative resources, the coalition made costs more feasible and workloads more manageable for all of the partners.