The ballots are in, but Pemberton voters won't know their citizen of the year for another week.
Midnight Jan. 18 was the deadline for voting in two categories, Citizen of the Year and Business of the Year. Results of the votes will be announced at the Pemberton and District Chamber of Commerce's Annual General Meeting, to be held at the Big Sky Golf and Country Club Jan. 29.
Nominees for Citizen of the Year include: Anna Helmer, organizer of the Slow Food Cycle Sunday, an annual event in Pemberton that sees scores of locals and others bike throughout the Pemberton Valley and sample organic foods that the region's farms have to offer. The event began in 2005 as development pressures started closing in on farmland in the Pemberton Valley. Helmer organized the event because she wanted to stress the importance of maintaining vegetable production within the valley.
Last year was a record year for the Slow Food Cycle - 2,300 people participated, coming from as far away as New Zealand and Kazakhstan. It's estimated that 40 per cent of participants came from the Lower Mainland, about 10 per cent more than the previous year.
Other nominees include Jenna Markovic, currently chair of the Signal Hill Parents Advisory Council. Also a board member of the Pemberton Child Care Society, her work has helped create a school milk program, lice program and a Children's Centre playground at Pemberton's Signal Hill Elementary School.
Arlene McClean, senior building clerk for the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, is also nominated. A Chamber press release touts her volunteer and fundraising activities within the community for such events as the Pemberton Barn Dance, the Pemberton Festival, the Pemberton Dragon Boat team, the Pemberton Secondary School Graduation and Prom, and the Christmas Bazaar.
David MacKenzie, a former councillor and mayoral candidate for the Village of Pemberton, has also been nominated. His nomination touts him as a "community-minded individual" who has given "personal time and investment" for the betterment of the community.
MacKenzie, currently general manager at the Pemberton Valley Lodge, is an ecotourism expert who has used his experience in tourism to help promote the Pemberton Valley. He's the chair of Tourism Pemberton and president of the Pemberton Regional Airport Authority.
Other nominees for Citizen of the Year include Lindsay May, recognizing her work with Pemberton's elderly population, and Marnie Simon, recognizing her fundraising efforts to obtain CAT scan equipment for the Sea to Sky Region.
Pemberton residents Jan and Hugh Naylor were also nominated for Citizen of the Year, but they withdrew their names from contention, feeling that they have already been recognized by their community.
Voting for Citizen of the Year is being held in tandem with voting for Business of the Year. There are three nominees in this category.
Shane Bourbonnais and Live Nation Canada have been grouped together as a single nominee, recognizing their founding of the Pemberton Festival. A Chamber newsletter says that Bourbonnais's contribution "cannot be measured" and that the community will benefit from "name recognition and pride" for years to come.
The Centennial Café is also nominated, as is Pemberton Valley Home and Hardware.
Anyone wishing to attend the Pemberton and District Chamber of Commerce's AGM can get tickets for $30 from the Pemberton Valley Supermarket. Maureen Douglas, VANOC's director of community relations for the Sea to Sky corridor, will be a guest speaker.