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Posted: March 27, 2022

Dennis Walker celebrated as 2021 Citizen of the Year

Dennis Walker with wife Jeab Gay.

Dennis Walker personifies ‘going the extra mile.’

Cranbrook’s 2021 Citizen of the Year may also be the human form of the Energizer Bunny – from his passion for cycling to his job as 2Day FM radio host and community reporter, Walker (nee: Gay) doesn’t stop.

“I have never met anyone who cares about community like Dennis Walker. First, it’s his work ethic. He literally works seven days a week covering the community. He is not required to do this in his job description. He just does it because he believes the community needs to know what is going on,” stated co-worker and award co-nominator Jason Caven, who co-hosted a gala awards ceremony at the Heritage Inn and Conference Centre along with Loree Duczek Friday, March 25.

“On his weekends ‘off’ he is about covering numerous community events, all on his own time and of his own efforts. From car shows to farmers’ markets, to local plays, to theatre events, to concerts, to fundraisers the list goes on and on. And he never asks for money or extra time off for this,” Caven described.

“Dennis is a kind, compassionate soul whose eternal drive is to make Cranbrook the best possible place to live.”

Loree Duczek and Jason Caven emceeing the gala evening.

Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo co-chairs Frank Vanden Broek, the 2015 Citizen of the Year, and Steve Weatherall stated: “Many people feel that one individual can’t make much of a difference in this crazy world of ours. But Dennis Walker is living proof that isn’t true. Through his selfless actions and thoughts, Dennis has made our community and our world a better place to be.”

Evening co-host Duczek, the 2003 Citizen of the Year, noted the characteristics the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce looks for in reviewing nominations is “a community builder who contributes significant volunteer time to enhancing the quality of life in Cranbrook. Dennis unquestionably has built community since his arrival in Cranbrook, and what makes him particularly extraordinary is that his entire approach in meeting people, participating in events or learning about people’s stories is his belief that every single person contributes in some way to a richer community.

“At his core, Dennis is a community builder. And he does it with kindness, with openness and with an eagerness that builds this sense of community in others.”

City of Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt with Dennis Walker.
Christine Hoechsmann, Past President of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, presented a photo of the Spirit Tree to Dennis, along with flowers for Jeab Gay.
Past citizens of the year – Left to right, back row: Marvin “Skip” Fennessy (1995), Frank Vanden Broek (2015), Jason Wheeldon (2012), Garry Anderson (1994), Jim Wavrecan (2018), Mike Adams (2017). Front row L to R: Ann Wavrecan (2018), Karin Penner (2016), Dennis Walker (2021), Loree Duczek (2003) and Nella Rounsville (2005).
Sweetheart of Sam Steele Youth Ambassador Team – Ambassador Makayla Gallina and Princess Madeline Gauthier with 2018 Princess Brooke Wheeldon. Hats off to Makayla and Madeline for serving as youth ambassadors for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lead image: Former Citizen of the Year Karin Penner presents Dennis Walker with the Citizen of the Year plaque. Photos by Carrie Schafer and Ian Cobb


Congratulations Dennis! Extraordinarily well earned! – Ian and Carrie

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