UPDATED: New Westminster Citizen of the Year awards postponed

An annual spring tradition in New Westminster is moving to late fall.

The chamber of commerce has decided to postpone its annual citizen of the year and Bernie Legge cultural awards, that usually take place at the end of March, until Nov. 28.

Although they got some quality candidates, there weren’t enough nominations, said chamber executive director Cori-Lynn Germiquet, who doesn’t believe there is any shortage of citizens in the city worthy of recognition.

“The challenge is getting the people to take the time to recognize those people in the community that are making a difference. There are hundreds of people that are contributing to our community’s quality of life,” she said. “Perhaps there is a better way to communicate with the committee in order to solicit those nominations.”

Since the chamber board had been contemplating a core review of its events and programming, it chose to put off the show while it looked into its operations.

It’s always a good thing, she said, for an organization or a business to stop and assess the service they are providing to their clients or members.

“You want to be not only meeting their needs but exceeding their needs,” said Germiquet. “You just can’t assume what your constituents want. You need to engage them in your organization.”

She said the chamber’s membership has remained stable at just under 400 in the last few years, even though according to city statistics the number of business licences at the end of 2011 is more than double what it was in 2006 going from 1,762 to 3,805.

The chamber’s annual events also include the Celebration of Business Excellence awards (COBE) and the Royal City Builders Awards, both of which are usually held near the end of the year.

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