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Posted: September 20, 2013

RDEK honoured for flood communications

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) has received an award from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) for civic engagement, for its communication efforts during the June flooding crisis in the Elk Valley, Wasa, Kimberley and Columbia Valley.

Loree Duczek
Loree Duczek

During the extensive flooding period, RDEK communications director Loree Duczek and staff compiled and distributed numerous updates – called a “Regional Snapshot” that broke down exactly what was occurring in the flooded areas.

The steady communication was utilized by regional and outside media sources to keep the public alerted to conditions in the region.

The 2013 UBCM Community Excellence Awards were presented at the 110th annual Convention in Vancouver yesterday, Sept. 19.

The annual awards are designed to showcase local governments who take risks to innovate, establish new partnerships, challenge established ways of doing business, and pioneer new customer service practices.

Award applications were received from communities throughout the province for several innovative and outstanding ideas that will now serve as examples to other local governments around the world.

Members of the UBCM Executive board were joined by experts to evaluate submissions based on how well they demonstrated “excellence” based on their relative size or resources available.

Awards in the Best Practices category recognize a local government in B.C. that has improved upon or revised an existing program or service.


WINNER: City of Kelowna (Reporting Problems On The Go – A Unique Approach);

Honourable Mention: Thompson-Nicola Regional District (Thompson-Nicola Regional District Vignettes).


WINNER: City of Surrey

Honourable Mention: District of Maple Ridge.

Mark Creek in full roil during the June flooding. e-KNOW
Mark Creek in full roil during the June flooding. e-KNOW

BEST PRACTICES, Civic Engagement

WINNERS: City of Coquitlam – Recycling and Waste Reduction School Workshops Program); and

Regional District of East Kootenay (“Regional Snapshot” – Emergency Communication).

Awards in the Leadership and Innovation category recognize regional districts and municipalities demonstrating environmental excellence in successfully implementing programs, policies and plans that have significantly benefited a B.C. community.


Biodiversity Conservation WINNER: District of Tofino (Conservation of the Tofino Wha-nah-jus Hilth-hoo-is Mudflats).

Climate Action WINNER: City of Colwood (Solar Colwood)

Climate Action Honourable Mention: City of Duncan (Community Carbon Marketplace – City of Duncan Pilot Project).

Awards in the Partnerships category recognize two or more partners who have collaborated on a joint venture or initiative with outstanding results.

WINNER: Cariboo Regional District- (a partnership of six communities): Esket’Emc First Nation, City of Williams Lake, District of 100 Mile House, City of Quesnel, District of Wells. Remembering, Recovering, and Reconciling – St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School Commemorative Project.

The 2013 Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Community Excellence Awards were generously sponsored by Urban Systems, Green Communities Committee, and the Province of British Columbia.

National Chief Shawn Atleo closed the awards ceremony by bringing greetings on behalf of the Assembly of First Nations.

Formed in 1905 to provide a common voice for local government, the UBCM continues to follow that mandate today.  Through its resolution sessions, the Annual Convention provides a platform for local government leaders to establish policy directions for UBCM’s activities over the coming year.

For e-KNOW’s editorial take on Loree Duczek’s/RDEK’s communication efforts during the flooding, please read:

Above photo: UBCM President-elect Rhona Martin, and Director, Columbia-Shuswap Regional District, presents the award to Regional District of East Kootenay board chair, Electoral Area C director Rob Gay, Electoral Area E director Jane Walters and Electoral Area F director Wendy Booth. (Photo credit: UBCM)


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