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Posted: October 5, 2017

Announcing the 2017 Kootenay Game Changer nominees

Dedicated community members from throughout the region to be acknowledged at Awards Gala on October 27

Kootenay Game Changer nominations have been closed and nominated individuals, groups, and organizations have been contacted. All of the nominees will each be honoured at the October 27 Gala at the St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino, with one nominee from each category receiving special acknowledgment.

The Kootenay Game Changer Awards are a collaboration of local media (, Black Press, Total Country B104, and 102.9 The Drive) to honour individuals around the Kootenays.

“We know there are amazing individuals in the Kootenays who contribute every day,” stated e-KNOW owner/publisher Carrie Schafer. “It is such an eye-opening process during nominations. We discover people in our community who are doing so many incredible things, but rarely ask for acknowledgment. It is a good feeling to shed light on some of these individuals. There are some really inspiring stories.”

Each nominee will be treated to dinner thanks to support from local businesses from around the Kootenays. Guests will also enjoy the musical talents of local musician Dawson Rutledge; and be able to participate last years very popular SnapShot Selfie Station.

“Each nominee will be treated to dinner at the St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino, thanks to a Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry and the many local business sponsors; as well as St. Eugene graciously hosting the event,” said Total Country and the Drive, General Manager Leo Baggio. “It is a good feeling to treat the nominees to dinner, as a true thank you. Last year was a great success. There were a lot of laughs and some really emotional moments as well. We are looking forward to our second year.”

“This year we have more than 50 nominees attending the dinner from all over the East Kootenay,” added Black Press/Cranbrook Townsmen Publisher Karen Johnson. “There are nominees from the Elk Valley, Cranbrook, Kimberley, Columbia Valley,  Creston and the Ktunaxa Nation. We look forward to honouring their stories and hard work, and encourage local residents to join us in honouring them.”

The Kootenay Game Changers Gala is on October 27, at the St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino. Tickets are available by calling 250-426-2224.

The list of the nominees up for an award on October 27 are:

YOUTH GAME CHANGER Sponsored by Mister Tire

Seamus Damstrom

552 Key City Air Cadet Squadron

Andreas Kamp

Tony & Tracy Harris

Interact Club of Golden

Elevate & Ignite Youth

SENIORS GAME CHANGER Sponsored by B104 & The Drive

Laurie Harris

Sandy Zeznik

Caregivers Network of the East Kootenay

Fernie Seniors Citizen Drop in Centre

EDUCATION GAME CHANGER Sponsored by Leanne M Goddard Chartered Professional Accountant

Greg Constable

Elizabeth jorgensen

Erinn Willoughby

Evan Bueckert

Karen Barraclough

Doris Silva

HEALTH & WELLNESS GAME CHANGER Sponsored by Peak Family Dental Centre

Seamus Damstrom

Trisha Reimer

Diana Zmijak

Major Kirk Green

GOVERNMENT GAME CHANGER Sponsored by Paulson Fire & Flood

Loree Duczek

S/Sgt. Hector Lee (Cranbrook RCMP)

Michelle Shortridge

PROTECTIVE SERVICES GAME CHANGER Sponsored by Rocky Mountain Pro Drivers

Sgt. Chris Newel (Kimberley RCMP)

Kimberley Search and Rescue

Cst. K.P. Forgeron (Cranbrook RCMP)

Dawson Rutledge will be performing at the Oct. 27 Gala at St.Eugene Golf Resort and Casino.

FAMILY GAME CHANGER Sponsored by Ostash Exterior Building Products

Rob Martin

Sebastiaan Van der Horst

East Kootenay Midwives

Dani Williams

ARTS & CULTURE GAME CHANGER Sponsored by Sandor Rental Equipment

Paul Reimer

Fernie Chautauqua

Columbia Valley Arts Council


Michelle Shortridge

Kevin Dyer

Kathy Bonell

Street Angel

OUTDOORS & ENVIRONMENT GAME CHANGER Sponsored by Vast Resource Solutions

Columbia Outdoor School

Al Skucas

SPORTS & RECREATION GAME CHANGER Sponsored by Cranbrook Dodge

Laura Niehaus

Isaac and Gabrielle Hockley

Emily Brydon Youth Foundation

TOURISM GAME CHANGER Sponsored by The Heid Out Restaurant & Brewhouse

Jim Webster

Steven Lathem

Michelle Forbes

UNSUNG HERO GAME CHANGER Sponsored by Freightliner of Cranbrook

Steve Mercandelli

Dave Miller

Nathan Lieuwen

Katryna Sigurdson

Joyce Bull

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT GAME CHANGER Sponsored by Jason Wheeldon Personal Real Estate Corporation, Royal LePage East Kootenay Realty

Mary Giuliano

Colin Campbell

Bud Abbott

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