2023 Civic Awards

2023 Spirit of Peachland Awards Announced

Peachland, B.C. – Mayor and Council announced the winners of the annual Spirit of Peachland Awards on Friday, April 26, celebrating citizens for outstanding achievements in 2023.

“The annual civic awards celebration is a chance to recognize and applaud the many individuals and community groups who make a positive difference in our community,” said Mayor Patrick Van Minsel. “This is an important way to offer our gratitude and appreciation for countless hours of volunteer time.”

2023 Awards Recipients:

Citizen of the Year – MADELEINE NIXON

As a founding member of Peachland Community Connects, Madeline brings unique and interesting events to Peachland. She has been involved in virtually every major promotion in Peachland during 2023 including the Making Waves Mural Festival and Peachland’s Got Talent showcase. She is also a key organizer with the Peachland HUB Society and the Peachland Wellness Centre. She was instrumental in the Peachland Recovery Task Force and the Tourism Promotion Committee and helped develop Peachland’s public art policy. She is a past member of the Peachland Rotary Club and the Tourism and Economic Development Committee.

Youth Citizen of the Year – OLIVIA GEMPERLE

Dubbed “Little Miss Peachland” by the Peachland Ambassadors committee, Olivia began helping the organization when she was only three years old and, since the pandemic, she has been actively involved with community events. She also makes her own crafts and sells them at ambassador events.

Councillors’ Award of Merit – MOIRA BAXTER

Moira is a long-serving Central Okanagan Public Schools Chairperson, first elected in 1996 and finally retiring from the position in 2022; she served 16 years as the chairperson. She is also an active Rotarian and serves as the current President of the Peachland Rotary Club.

Mayor’s Award of Merit – VINCE BOYKO

Vince is the definition of dependability, always eager to offer his expertise in technology and innovative solutions for a host of events and initiatives. He’s the unsung hero at Peachland’s key community festivities, meticulously ensuring that the audio and visual elements function flawlessly.

Excellence in Volunteerism – ALEXANDRA MORRISON

Alexandra is involved in numerous community organizations, at board tables and in practical roles, with the Peachland Making Waves Mural Festival, the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance and in the community centre kitchen during events.

Excellence in Arts – JANET HORNSETH

Janet has held various roles, director, volunteer, staff member and coordinator, with the Peachland Art Gallery for nearly a decade. She exhibits dedication, knowledge, and leadership, inspiring volunteers, board members, artists, and others in the Okanagan art community and beyond.

Excellence in Health Promotion – JUBI STEINHAUER & SARAH KENDRICK

Jubi and Sarah brought primary health care back to Peachland with the opening of the Beachside Health Clinic in 2023. It was no easy task to reopen a clinic and took over a year to navigate complex provincial regulations and convince Interior Health that a non-physician-run practice could work and it has exceeded expectations.

Excellence in Seniors’ Physical Fitness – KAY MUIR

Kay has volunteered for approximately 17 years at the 50+ Centre teaching the Iron and Silk seniors fitness program. Every week, she sets up and teaches the class, demonstrating her unwavering commitment. In her 90s and so generous with her time, she invests it selflessly in the well-being of others.

Excellence in Dedication and Service – MICK ARMSTRONG

Mick is dubbed “the Egg Man” and is a grounding anchor for the Peachland Wellness Centre’s Jerry Dober Breakfasts. He is also a coordinator of the Men’s Coffee and Crib that meets every Tuesday.

Excellence in Visionary Leadership – MURRAY WOOD

Murray founded the Okanagan Folk School two years ago, based on the joy of learning. Through his vision, determination, stamina, and generosity, the OKFS is now a registered not-for-profit society that serves artists and learners from all over the Okanagan Valley.

Excellence in Community Inclusion – PAM COLLINGWOOD Pam has been the Peachland Wellness Centre’s Manager of volunteers since 2020. She tirelessly organizes volunteers for every program and event. Her efforts are the difference between success and failure and, after events, she goes above and beyond to recognize volunteers.

Excellence in Environment and Conservation – PEACHLAND WATERSHED PROTECTION ALLIANCE

The Alliance engages in advocacy, education, and media outreach for water protection and promotes the understanding of the water-forest-ecosystem nexus. In 2023, they adopted a 10 Point Plan to align with BC’s water security goals and work with First Nations, Local and Provincial Government and stakeholders on water management policies, they provided a Speaker Series, workshops, and conservation activities to raise community awareness.

Excellence in Community Accessibility – RICK HORVATH

Rick is a volunteer driver with the Peachland Wellness Centre. He takes people to places they would not otherwise be able to go such as the doctor’s office, bank, groceries, hairdresser, and library. He always offers more than just a ride; he provides a friendly face and social contact.

Unsung Hero – SHEILA KERR

Sheila has an unwavering passion for the forest and wildlife that drives her determination to preserve these precious ecosystems. In 2023, she rallied a team of volunteers to clean up a massive garbage dump in the forest above Sanderson Road, and throughout the year, she tirelessly cleared away garbage from illegal dump sites. She orchestrates community clean up efforts and ensures volunteers are appreciated and well-fed.

Wedding Anniversary – WAYNE & MARY POWER - 50th Anniversary

Lifetime Service Awards - for dedicated service to the community - DARLENE HARTFORD – 25 years or more of service

Longtime volunteer involved with the Peachland Chamber of Commerce, BEEPS and the Peachland HUB.

Congratulations to all the 2023 award winners!

Mayor and Council and the District of Peachland thanks all the volunteers and sponsors for their support:

  • Peachland Lions Club
  • Peachland Ambassadors
  • Blind Angler Grill
  • Recreation Department volunteers and decorating committee
  • Grant Eisworth and Vince Boyko
  • Jean Saul, Linda Sarsons, and Ernie Sarsons
  • The Elderly Brothers
  • Peachland Civic Awards Committee