The City of Airdrie’s communication coordinator was recently recognized for her work with the Airdrie Centennial Committee.
The Alberta Areté Awards, Alberta’s only provincial public relations awards program, recognized Tara Richards and the Airdrie Centennial Committee with the External Communications – Community Relations award.
The award was presented June 17 at the annual general meeting of the Canadian Public Relations Society’s (CPRS) Calgary chapter.
“This project was interesting, complex, with good upfront research to develop strategy and objectives,” said Daorcey Le Bray, co-chair of the CPRS Alberta Areté Awards.
“It was well put together and we were impressed by the volume of activities. It was very comprehensive. The core materials were very well done and consistent.”
The Airdrie Centennial Committee was formed in 2006 and was responsible for many centennial projects including the logo contest, the Centennial song contest, a commemorative book – Airdrie 1909-2009: Celebrating 100 years of History, Community and Opportunity, a website, fundraising, two Legacy Art Projects, planning the homecoming weekend on Sept. 10-13, the Centennial DVD, a walking tour and more.
“The judges were very impressed with how ambitious the committee was,” said Richards.
“But it wasn’t just about how many projects we did, it was the quality of the projects. We were successful in every project we took on.”
Richards said the goal was to do something great for the community, by the community.
“We wanted to celebrate the centennial but also to build community pride, define Airdrie’s identity and develop something for future generations to enjoy.”
The Airdrie Centennial Project cost $415,058. City council allocated $175,000 over three years, $110,415 was awarded in provincial and federal grants and $85,000 from corporate sponsorship.
About $44,000 in revenue has been generated to date from merchandise and book sales.
After seeing the success of Airdrie’s centennial, a number of municipalities have come to the City for advice on planning upcoming events.
“There is a reason so many people are moving here and other communities see that and want to know what we are doing,” said Richards.
“There are so many volunteer initiatives and projects and that is part of our community pride and identity. Get involved, the satisfaction you feel by getting involved is not something you can buy and it is what makes Airdrie a great place to live.”
The Alberta Areté Awards celebrate excellence in public relations and communications in Alberta, and are jointly sponsored by the Calgary and Edmonton Chapters of CPRS.
In 2010, the program entered its fourth year and was sponsored by CNW Group.
“Areté references the ancient Greek concept of achieving one’s potential,” said Le Bray.
“The quality of the submissions we received demonstrated that we have many excellent and accomplished public relations professionals in this province.”
Nancy Arab from Alberta Electric System Operators (AESO) took home the award in External Communications for AESO’s public education program.
Judi Gunter won the Award of Attainment for outstanding professional, personal and leadership achievements and service in public relations.
“The Areté Awards are important to both the CPRS and the Alberta public relations industry as a whole,” said Troy Tait, Co-Chair of the CPRS Alberta Areté Awards.
“They provide a unique opportunity for Alberta practitioners to have their work evaluated and acknowledged by their industry peers, raising their profile and the profile of the profession as a whole.”