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Fort Macleod Chamber postpones awards gala; nominations remain open

Fort Macleod has to wait until the new year to celebrate its outstanding citizens and businesses.

The COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on the size of public gatherings forced the Chamber of Commerce to postpone its annual awards gala.

The gala is usually held during Small Business Week in October.

“It’s postponed for now until the new year,” Chamber president Andrew Beusekom said.

Chamber members got an update on the awards and banquet Thursday during their meeting at the Empress Theatre.

ashley nelson
Ashley Nelson

Chamber executive director Ashley Nelson said other chambers in the area have done on-line awards ceremonies.

“We’re still hoping we can do it in person if things open up,” Nelson said.

The Fort Macleod awards gala has become a popular event, attracting more than 200 people to celebrate the award recipients.

“We don’t want to lose that,” Nelson said. “We do want to recognize people and celebrate with them.”

The Chamber also announced Thursday it is leaving on-line nominations open.

The deadline for nominations was Sept. 30, but since the gala is postponed the Chamber is giving more time for people to submit.

The Chamber presents awards to the Citizen of the Year, Junior Citizen of the Year, Outstanding Business, Small Business, Large Business, Agricultural Business, Home-based Business, Community Enhancement, Customer Service, New Business and Employee Service.

Nominations must include an explanation of why the person or business is deserving of the award.

Submissions that only give a name will not be considered.

Nomination forms are available on the Chamber of Commerce Web site at

Nominations can be e-mailed to, mailed to P.O. Box 178, Fort Macleod, T0L 0Z0, dropped off in a sealed envelop at the chamber office on Main Street.

Award recipients in 2019 were Mike Bourassa, Citizen of the Year; Chelsie Harris, Junior Citizen; Fort Macleod Glass, Outstanding Business; greenery on main, Small Business; Stronghold Brewing Co., New Business; Structural Truss-Forma Steel, Large Business; Darren Housenga, Employee Service; Chinook Dental, Customer Service; Southern Alberta Livestock Exchange (SALE), Agricultural Business; Kaitlyn Leader Dayhome, Home Business; and Citizens On Patrol, Community Enhancement.