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Edmontonians Awarded for Excellence

November 28, 2011

The City of Edmonton honoured the city’s best and brightest at the Salute to Excellence Citation and Performance Awards. Created to celebrate citizens who distinguish themselves in the areas of arts and culture, community service and sports, the award ceremony showcased almost 100 smart, savvy and successful awardees.

“These recipients come from a wide variety of backgrounds as athletes, artists, volunteers or humanitarians, but each of them has the same drive and passion pushing them forward,” said Mayor Mandel. “I’m proud of their hard work and know that their commitment to excellence has enhanced Edmonton’s reputation as a great place to call home.”

Salute to Excellence Citation Awards

Arts & Culture

  • Dr. David Cook: The late Dr. Cook was one of Edmonton’s most informed musical scholars, a long time supporter of Edmonton Opera, board member of Artistic Liaison Committee and a pre-performance lecturer for nearly 10 years. Cook helped build the Hear’s to Your Health music series, introduced the Mill Creek Colliery Band for 10 years, and served as host for numerous salons, cabarets, and musical functions.
  • Liz Nicholls: Edmonton Journal’s theatre reviewer for 28 years, arts commentator, lecturer on theatre and teacher of English literature at the University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan University. A respected mentor to arts writers, Nicholls has enriched Edmonton theatre through Citadel pre-show talks, Cappies Steering Committee work, and frequent public speaking engagements.
  • Miki Andrejevic: A vital player in the arts scene, Andrejevic worked as the Writers Guild of Alberta, was the executive director and The Banff Centre, initiated the Calgary’s Wordfest festival, became artistic director of the Edmonton International Literary Arts Festival and served as executive director for Alberta’s professional choir, Pro Coro Canada. Currently, he is the University of Alberta Festival of Ideas executive director and Edmonton’s Writer in Exile program chair.
  • Eva Bostrand: Performer and teacher of Pro Coro Canada and the Alberta College Conservatory of Music with a passion to help others through the arts. Bostrand developed a choir for inmates at the Edmonton Institution for Women, a music scholarship for released inmates, and the Joyful Noise choir.
  • Sharon and Steve Budnarchuk: Owners of Audreys Books, Steve is a former president of the Canadian Booksellers Association while Sharon is LitFest’s founding chair and former chair of the Downtown Business Association and Fringe Theatre Adventures. Both have served on numerous volunteer boards including the Alberta Book Fair Society, Project Adult Literacy Society, and Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Audreys has hosted writers-in-residence and sponsored the City of Edmonton Book Prize throughout its 15 year history.
  • Rollanda Lee: Jazz singer and one of Edmonton’s beloved Klondike Kates, Lee has entertained Edmontonians and audiences around the world, working 25 years with the Del Courtney Orchestra and John Norris and the New Orleans Jazz Band of Hawaii by singing in seven languages. Volunteer of 15 years as president of the Dixieland Jazz Society of Alberta, Lee has worked to provide financial aid to musicians, educational institutions, and the Edmonton International Jazz Festival.
  • Allan E. Scott: Serving on the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) board of directors for the last 12 years, after taking early retirement as chief executive officer of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, he devoted himself to the AGA building project. As chair of the board, and the building and fundraising committees, he has led a team that raised $90 million for developing the world-class museum-standard facility.
  • Wei Yew: Yew is an accomplished graphic designer who has taught at Grant MacEwan University and DevStudios and served as a guest lecturer throughout Western Canada and the Orient. Creator of the Olympic Truce logo, as well as all the graphics for the 1988 Calgary Olympics Arts Festival, he is recognized for his ability to adapt designs to various media and three-dimensional formats. His design for the Provincial Police and Peace Officer Memorial Monument and branding work has raised the profile of numerous businesses and organizations including the Stollery Children’s Hospital, EPCOR, Syncrude, and Citadel Theatre.

Community Service

  • Robert Steen: Also known as “Bicycle Bob,” Steen developed the Student Bicycle Awards Program which gives hardworking, disadvantaged students their first bikes. With helmets and reconditioned bikes from The Brick Sport Central, Steen personally delivers bikes to recipients’ schools or homes with the message that hard work in school will lead to future success. He has presented nearly 800 bikes to Edmonton underprivileged children.
  • Hang Vinh: Sensitive to the difficulties of transition, Vinh has worked to meet the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of immigrants. As a leader in Edmonton’s Vietnamese community, volunteer and fundraiser of Edmonton’s first Vietnamese home for seniors housing and supported living services, Vinh works to improve the quality of life for Edmonton’s growing senior population.
  • Andreé and Len Aston: The Aston’s embody the spirit of volunteerism and devoted community service in Edmonton with their work spanning15 years with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Edmonton Opera Association, 14 years with the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival and Fringe Theatre Adventures, 12 years with the Alberta Ballet, nine years with the Multiple Sclerosis Society, three years with the Alberta Association of Community Living, and countless years with other organizations.
  • Yash Pal Kalra: Well-known chemist at Edmonton Regional Science Fairs, Kalra has volunteered for more than 40 organizations including the Alberta Hindi Parishad, Canadian Multicultural Education Foundation, Mahatma Gandhi Foundation for World Peace, and Young Men’s Christian Association. Recently, Kalra gave more than 100 hours at 11 Edmonton events including the Freewill Shakespeare Festival, Edmonton Indy, and Dragon Boat Festival.


  • Susan Morgan: Manager of the Edmonton Chargers Football Club and on the executive board of Capital District Minor Football. Morgan is a committed volunteer who ensures underprivileged children can play by providing pre-game meals and organizing sponsors to allow children to attend Edmonton Eskimo games. Her commitment to young players lives with the help from former Charger players make up the majority of the current coaching staff.
  • Robert Grose: With over 20 years actively organizing, promoting, and participating in squash clubs at local and national levels, Grose is noted for his communication, organization, and interpersonal skills. Grose volunteered on the Squash Alberta board of directors for eight years, the last six as president. Recently he sat on the Edmonton Sport Council board and was involved with the Edmonton Squash League executive for more than 10 years.
  • James Lin: Exerting exceptional leadership and selfless volunteerism to the Edmonton badminton community, Lin spent five years as president after a year as vice-president of the Edmonton District Badminton Association. He has been instrumental in revitalizing the organization, establishing low-fee junior badminton clubs, designing and running junior training programs, and developing coaches and referees.

Performance Awards honoured individuals who have gained outstanding recognition at the national or international level.

A Métis youth dance group and individuals and teams who excelled on national and international badminton courts, curling rinks and diving boards were among those recognized as 2011 Performance Award winners.

Citation Awards honoured individuals or groups who have given more than five years of distinguished service as volunteers and have been inspirational leaders in the areas of arts and culture, sports and community service.

Seventeen individuals were awarded Citation Awards for their hard work and determination as volunteers, fundraisers, and all around as community leaders. This year’s recipients include a long time supporter of the Edmonton Opera, a theatre reviewer and lecturer of English literature, creator of a program to give bicycles to disadvantage students, a champion of the Vietnamese seniors community and a tireless volunteer who is helping underprivileged children play sports.

For more information:

Steve Hogle

Title Salute to Excellence Committee Volunteer