It is that time of year again when nominations are being sought for outstanding local citizens and organizations to be recognized for the 2021 Cochrane Community Awards.

The awards are an annual event which recognizes the stellar efforts of local citizens, community leaders, schools, businesses, and organizations that make Cochrane the great place it is to live.

The Cochrane Community Awards program is overseen by a committee of local representatives and the Chair of the Organizing Committee, Valerie McCracken says, “I love this job as the chair because we’re looking for all the great people that are in our community and celebrating the fact that they contribute so much to making Cochrane a great place to live.”

McCracken says over the years the awards have evolved to encompass numerous facets of the community. There are numerous categories as McCracken says, “In an attempt to try and break out the different sectors and areas where people are really contributing.”  

The categories are  Ambassador of the Year, Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Community Builder, Education Initiative of the Year, Employer of the Year, Equity & Inclusion Champion of the Year, Newsmaker of the Year, Pathfinder of the Year, Senior of the Year, Volunteer Group of the Year, and  Youth of the Year.  Plus, there is the prestigious Order of Cochrane which is presented by Cochrane’s may and council and has a separate nomination form.

Categories are added to reflect the growing community. McCracken says,  “We are really trying to capture the full spectrum of the community we added the Equity and Inclusion Champion a few years ago, again to recognize people who are making strides in those areas. […] We added the Pathfinder of the Year to acknowledge Cochrane’s sustainability plan and the people who are really trying to make a difference in that area.”

McCracken says the awards are about finding and recognizing those in our community who often do what they do not for recognition but for satisfaction. She says, "In many ways, trying to find often those individuals that are just quietly going about doing great things and maybe not all of us know about them. So, just trying to find those gems in our community and celebrate what they are doing for us.”

So, if you know of such a “gem” put your nomination in by Friday, April 9.

The ceremony itself will have a different look of course due to the pandemic and details are being ironed out to make sure that they are presented in a COVID-adapted ceremony. The program is funded through sponsorship from local groups and businesses and there are still sponsorship opportunities available.

For full details, go to

The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday May 16, 2021.