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Creston’s 2021 Citizen of the Year

Congratulations to Heather More, a very well deserving individual!
Heather More is the 2021 Citizen of the Year. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)

Submitted by Creston Valley Rotary Club

Every year, the Citizen of the Year award is announced during the Creston Valley Blossom Festival. This year, it goes to Heather More, a very active and dedicated volunteer in the Creston Valley since 1997.

“There’s such a long history of work she’s done with very diverse community groups,” said Marg Durnin, who nominated her along with Rita Scott. “She is very community-minded and has so much concern for people facing life’s challenges.”

Her most notable service has been her intelligent and ethical policy development and leadership to the many community service organizations in which she has served. Her contributions to the Creston Valley over the past 23 years reflect her primary concern for the less advantaged and most vulnerable people in the community. Heather was awarded the Governor General’s medal in 2017.

The list is long of Heather’s involvements and volunteer activities in the community but we are proud to share some of them here. Heather has been involved with the Parent Advisory Committee, Canyon Homelinks, and District Parent Advisory Council in the positions of secretary, treasurer, and chair. Along with policy development and goal setting for the benefit of students and parents, she was particularly helpful to new teachers coming into the Homelinks program, orienting them to the process and assisting staff to make the transition from the public school system to the home-based system. Heather’s involvement with the Canyon Community Association gave leadership and direction as a director, treasurer, and chair to the group. They carried out fundraising leading to the renovation of the Community Hall.

The Creston-Kaminoho Friendship Society appreciated Heather’s involvement again as secretary and treasurer, and she was instrumental in facilitating this organization as it cemented a relationship between Creston and the community of Kaminoho, Japan (our sister city), which included a Japanese student exchange program, and the creation of a Japanese Garden in Millennium Park.

Heather initiated the Karate for Kids and Self-Defense programs and continues to be the volunteer teacher. Karate for Kids was designed for those young people who are not inclined or able to join teams or competitive or expensive sport. In addition to leading classes, she spent much time and her own funds to make sure the participants had uniforms. Heather also initiated, and continues to offer on request, a program of self-defense training for the community in general. Heather also instilled self-esteem and self-confidence to all who participated.

As a director and treasurer of the Kootenai Community Centre Society, Heather provided leadership and training to help develop programs for recycling and income generation by means of New Life Furniture, purchase of the Grizzly Bear Child Care premises, and developed policy for advocacy programs within the agency.

Heather has been the long-standing Chair of the Valley Community Services Society and has been instrumental in developing policy and governance for the Board. Again Heather has been secretary, treasurer, and chair of the Creston Valley Community Housing Society, which has been very successful with projects such as Legacy Place, a six-unit affordable family housing facility with opened in 2015. As a result of her skill and experience she was requested by BC Housing to assist in the development of the new building for the disabled located on Spectrum Farm (Kootenay Regional Association for Community Living). The Society is currently proposing another 14 unit affordable family housing project.

As if that is not enough, Heather has served on the Columbia Basin Trust Social Advisory Committee, offering her advice on appropriate and innovative initiatives for funding throughout the Columbia Basin. Heather has been a participant on the Lower Kootenay Band Housing Committee, bringing her expertise to the table in the planning and development of housing initiatives by the Band.

Heather provided parent support to the Rotary Interact group and chaperoned two trips to Honduras. The Rotary Club of Creston welcomed Heather as President and Past-President and she currently serves on the International Service Committee.

READ MORE: Creston announces 2020 Citizen of the Year

READ MORE: Creston’s 2021 Junior Citizen of the Year