Arts advocate named Citizen of the Year

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March 26, 2015 8:15 AM

Josef Jacobson Photo Arts advocate Gwen Mottram was named Citizen of the Year by the Lloydminster Lions Club. From left, Lions Club Citizen of the Year Award committee chair Vic Juba, Gwen Mottram and Lions Club president Fred Hawryluk.

Local arts advocate and chairperson of the Lloydminster Regional Theatre Foundation Gwen Mottram was named Citizen of the Year by the Lloydminster Lions Club.

The ceremony took place at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall on March 23. The award was a surprise for Mottram, who was invited by the Lions to give a presentation on the Arts Without Borders Festival, which she is involved in organizing. After she spoke, Lions Club president Fred Hawryluk approached the lectern.

“Thank you for all the work you do promoting culture both provincially and in our community,” he said. “In recognition of all of your volunteerism, the Lloydminster Lions Club is pleased to announce that the recipient of this year’s Lions Club Citizen of the Year is Gwen Mottram.”

“I knew you were up to something,” Mottram said, accepting her ceremonial plaque. “Thank you so much. As you know, like all of you, I have a passion for something and mine is the arts.”

The Lions have been giving out the award since 1959. They look for people who volunteer in the community and whose only compensation is “smiles and thank-you’s.”

“When I started looking at Gwen’s background, this is a very busy lady,” said Vic Juba, chair of the Lions Club Citizen of the Year Award committee. “I think the big thing for Gwen is in 2007 when they had the (Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Gala) and Gwen certainly took hold with some other people and they put on a phenomenal show ... I think culture took quite a jump upwards since that time. So we look for these people that can make things happen.”

The members of the award committee considered various candidates, but when Mottram’s name came up, Juba said there was a unanimous positive response. Mottram says being recognized for her work gives her the motivation to do more.

“Because of the amount of organizations that I am involved with, it is a lot of work and sometimes you ware out,” she said. “This just revitalizes your energy and you want to continue on because you know it’s being recognized.”

See “Citizen,” Page 20

Mottram says the award not only validates her work, but the work of the greater arts community in general. Although she was being honoured for her past and present accomplishments, Mottram has her gaze set on the future.

“Right now we’re wrapping up our selections for the concert series, then I go directly into the (Arts Without Borders) festival and then I’m also working on another event for the (Lloydminster Regional Theatre) Foundation,” Mottram said. “I know a lot of people think that we’re a hockey town and there’s a lot of focus on sports, but for me the arts community in Lloydminster is growing, it really is, and I’m proud to be part of it.”

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