The City of Kelowna announced the first of nine Civic and Community award winners Monday

Arts, sports honoured

Despite seeing many of their traditional activities and events scrapped throughout most of 2020 because of COVID-19, many within Kelowna's arts and sports communities still found a way to make a difference.

Those accomplishments were recognized as the city kicked off a three week campaign to honour its volunteers and corporate leaders in a very different looking Civic and Community Awards presentation.

The first three awards, unveiled at the top of Monday's city council meeting, focused on those who made a difference in the arts and sports world.

Okanagan Mission Secondary student Julius Brooker was named Teen Honour in the Arts recipient.

Brooker performs in the schools concert band and jazz band. He also volunteers teaching private lessons and mentoring younger students.

He also performs at events around the community.

Along with the award, Brooker will also receive a $500 entrance scholarship at UBC Okanagan.

Karma Lacoff Nieoczym is the honour in the Arts winner.

Lacoff Nieoczym took on a leadership role last year, developing the Central Okanagan music strategy while also juggling her positions with the Rotary Centre for the Arts and Creative Okanagan.

She also helped secure multiple grants to keep these arts organizations running during an unprecedented year.

Meghan Faust is the recipient of the Bob Giordano Memorial Award.

Faust is a basketball coach at Okanagan Mission Secondary.

She has dedicated thousands of volunteer hours to help inspire confident, responsible, and respectful young athletes.

Due to the of many sporting activities in 2020, the city's athletes and team of the year are not being handed out this year. The Central Okanagan School District has also decided against handing out the Augie Ciancone Memorial Award this year for high school male and female athletes of the year.

Next week, the city will unveil winners in three more categories, Champion for the Environment, Corporate Community of the Year and the Central Okanagan Foundation's Volunteer Organization of the Year.

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