Minister's Awards for Municipal Excellence

2019 Awards Program

The Minister of Municipal Affairs invites submissions for the 2019 Awards program.

Since 2002, this annual award program has encouraged municipalities to share their successes by recognizing accomplishments in the provision of municipal services in Alberta. Each year municipalities, whether individually or in partnership with other organizations, have highlighted practices including new and unique approaches to issues, streamlined processes for existing practices, and creative community partnerships.

Submissions will be accepted in the five categories outlined below until March 29, 2019. 

Innovation – Recognizes a leading practice embodying the first use of an idea in a municipal context in Alberta (municipalities with a population of less than 500,000)

Partnership - Recognizes a leading municipal practice involving consultation, co-ordination and co-operation with other municipalities, jurisdictions or organizations (municipalities with a population of less than 500,000)

Safe Communities – Recognizes a leading practice focused on making municipalities safer through prevention and enforcement (municipalities with a population of less than 500,000);

Smaller Municipalities – Recognizes an innovative practice developed by communities with less than 3,000 residents

Larger Municipalities – Recognizes an innovative and creative practice of larger municipalities with populations of 500,000 or greater that have a substantial resource base and who can partner with departments within the municipality’s control

Outstanding Achievement – Recognizes a municipality or municipal partnership that has helped to inspire action and change that has benefited local government practice in Alberta.  This award, if chosen by the review committee, recognizes the best submission from the other categories.


Submission Guidelines:

1. A municipality may submit a maximum of two practices per Award year.

2. A practice may be submitted to one category only per Award year.

3. Partnership Category: one municipality submits on behalf of the partnership.  All organizational partners to be recognized should be named (individuals will not be recognized). Each partnership is restricted to one submission.

4. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of municipal representatives, which will recommend award winners to the Minister.

5. Submissions must demonstrate that the practice addressed a community need and has been in place for a sufficient length of time to produce verifiable results.


Questions?  Please contact the Municipal Excellence Team at 780-427-2225, or by email at



On This Page...

  1. 2018 Minister's Awards of Municipal Excellence - Winners
  2. 2017 Minister's Awards of Municipal Excellence - Winners
  3. 2016 Minister's Awards of Municipal Excellence - Winners
  4. 2015 Minister's Awards of Municipal Excellence - Winners
  5. 2014 Minister's Awards of Municipal Excellence - Winners

QUESTIONS?  Please email or phone 780-427-2225.


2018 Minister's Awards for Municipal Excellence - Winners


The Town of Drumheller's Dinowalk - Dinosaur Street Walk Project adds a digital layer of information to wayfinding signage to encourage pedestrians to learn how dinosaurs shaped Drumheller's natural history. This approach means that smartphone users can access information, comparable to street-level interpretive information, linked to Wikipedia. Using this approach makes it possible to promote the use of digital information sharing, without the costs associated with conventional interpretive signage.


The Traditional Knowledge and Use Agreement is a partnership between the City of Lethbridge and Blackfoot Confederacy Nations (Blood Tribe, Piikani Nation and Siksika Nation). The project aims to identify and understand places of traditional land use, ecological knowledge and spirituality within the boundaries of the city. The information gathered will inform land use and parks planning projects and on-going heritage management in the city.

Safe Communities

The Town of Coaldale established an effective, well-rounded and collaborative emergency management training program that has improved the level of emergency preparedness and public safety. In 2017 the town implemented training initiatives that increased the level of confidence, skills and knowledge of its emergency management agency and town staff to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters. This has added greatly to public safety in Coaldale.

Larger Municipalities

The City of Calgary began building a wireless Internet of Things network in 2016. When complete, this project will provide wireless signal coverage for a large part of Calgary to accommodate 100,000 Internet of Things sensors. This will allow the city to develop and deliver new services and prepare for city-wide applications such as noise and air-quality monitoring.

Smaller Municipalities

Smoky Lake Grows Entrepreneurs is an initiative by the Town of Smoky Lake aimed to help small business develop and grow in small, rural communities. A contract business coach works with entrepreneurs, the chamber of commerce and Grades 7-9 students at Smoky Lake’s H.A. Kostash School and teaches them about running a business. Together, businesses and organizations learn about doing business and supporting sustainability after the project ends.

2017 Minister's Awards for Municipal Excellence - Winners


Clearwater County’s Sasquatch and Partners initiative, a marketing campaign using an innovative approach to educate and encourage recreational visitors to the West Country area to take initiative regarding environmental stewardship, was chosen as the Innovation winner.

Honourable Mention

The honourable mention in this category goes to the Town of Olds for This Affects You: Municipal Engagement Excellence.  This practice established a public engagement policy to ensure citizen engagement is a deliberate and prioritized process.


Leduc County was the winner in this category with it Aerotropolis Viability Study. This comprehensive plan and feasibility study to develop the Aerotropolis site to further leverage connectivity of the Edmonton International Airport was a complex project involving multiple stakeholders and regional participants.

Honourable Mention

The honourable mention goes to the Town of Grimshaw for its Joint Schools Project/Joint Use Agreement.  The partnership with several partners resulted in construction of a K-12 public and K-9 Catholic school attached to the Mile Zero Regional Multiplex in Grimshaw, and a joint use agreement for its operation.

Safe Communities

Parkland County was the successful award winner with its Property Awareness Safety Training initiative. This comprehensive training tool combines information and practical skills to promote the safety of public service employees when approaching residential and commercial properties. This is an emerging issue for many municipalities and can serve as a best practice for other communities.

Larger Municipalities

The City of Edmonton’s Civic Accommodation Transformation initiative was selected as the winner for this category.  This project consolidated 3,200 employees from multiple buildings into the new Edmonton Tower and also incorporated employee health and wellness to maximize the workforce of the future and increase engagement. This practice demonstrated how to complete a complex move (and can serve as a blue print for other municipalities) that also built in cultural change incorporating wellness into the accommodation practice.

Larger Municipalities
Honourable Mention

The honourable mention goes to the City of Calgary for the Transforming Municipal Procurement initiative.  This project will transform how the city conducts fair, open and transparent procurement processes.

Smaller Municipalities


The Villages of Irma, Chauvin and Edgerton were the winners for their Shared Staff and Equipment initiative.  This practice sees the municipalities working together to provide safe drinking water by hiring a Regional Water Operator, sharing costs for a snow operator and snow removal, and joint meetings with RCMP for the viability of citizen watch groups. This is an excellent demonstration of municipalities collaborating to share resources.
Smaller Municipalities
Honourable Mention
The honourable mention goes to Northern Sunrise County for a weed inspection program. The Inspectors Next Step Per Established Communication Table (I.N.S.P.E.C.T.) constructed a simple and effective inspection matrix that guides weed inspectors in following a set communication and action strategy to manage weeds.

Outstanding Achievement Award

After reviewing the 37 applications, the review committee recommended the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Post-Wildfire Re-Entry Information Centres initiative as the winner of the Outstanding Achievement award. These information/reception centres were established to assist the re-integration of the community through a phased, voluntary re-entry strategy. The information centres became a critical element in the municipality's efforts to help residents adjust and the majority of residents - approximately 83,000 - would visit the centres. This practice demonstrated extensive partnerships with community organizations, industry and business and other levels of government to provide services to residents.


2016 Minister's Awards for Municipal Excellence - Winners

Innovation Award: Town of Hinton – Participatory Budgeting

The Town of Hinton empowered its residents to determine how to use $100,000 of the town’s annual budget. Residents present project ideas and residents vote on the possible projects. Voting is open to all residents from 14 years old and up.   The town has completed this process for two years. The first year, bus shelters were built and the hall was renovated. The next year, the Master Trail plan was created to improve the trails throughout the town.

Contact:   Josh Yaworski ( -

Larger Municipalities Award: City of Calgary – Municipally-owned Fibre Infrastructure

The information technology business unit at the City of Calgary has leveraged capital works projects to build and deploy a fibre optic network to support city services. This approach has been effective in building over 450 kilometres of city fibre in use today. The City of Calgary has built the municipally-owned fibre infrastructure. Owning the infrastructure provides the city greater security and control of its networks. In turn, it is able to offer reliable and superior performance, lower costs, and scalability within a sustainable framework for the future.

Contact:  Heather Reed-Fenske ( -

Partnership Award: Summer Village of Jarvis Bay – Shared Administration

Five summer villages (the Summer Village of Jarvis Bay, the Summer Villages of Birchcliff, Half Moon Bay, Norglenwold, and Sunbreaker Cove) share the same administration, but keep their individual councils, bylaws, and Chief Administrative Officers. This shared service achieves cost savings and enables the individual municipalities to work together without losing their own unique and individual identities, needs, and cultures.

Contact:  Phyllis Forsyth ( -

Partnership (Honorable Mention): County of St. Paul – St. Paul Occupational Health and Safety Program

The County of St. Paul, Towns of Elk Point and St. Paul, and the Summer Village of Horseshoe Bay partnered together to regionalize their Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) programs. A regional director of OH&S was hired along with an administrative position.  OH&S training, documentation, daily inspections, risk assessments, reporting of incidents, and prevention of incidents through training have increased. Work environments are now safer for employees and residents.

Contact: Kyle Attanasio ( -

Safe Community Award: City of Grande Prairie – Crime Prevention

The City of Grande Prairies has created a proactive crime prevention department which continues to build on the strengths of the city by using a co-ordinated approach to engage citizens, agencies, and businesses to reduce crime in the community.  As a result of the new department, the community’s knowledge of crime prevention awareness and resources to address potential crime has increased. Community members are better prepared to deal with unexpected and emergent crime issues. Citizens feel that their neighbourhoods are safer and experience a decrease in social isolation.

Contact:  Karen Gariepy ( -

Smaller Municipalities Award: Town of Bon Accord – Light Efficiency Community Standards

The Town of Bon Accord was designated as an International Dark Sky Community in 2015. It is the first in Canada and one of only 11 communities across the globe to receive this designation. The town implemented its Light Efficient Community Standards Bylaw which helped to reduce light pollution, through at least 10 projects supported and completed in the bylaw. This included street lighting retrofits by Public Works and outreach visits at local schools to inspire students to embrace the nighttime environment. The community hosts an annual Equinox Festival each September, which draws both residents and tourists to Bon Accord for a celebration of the night sky.

Contact:  Vicki Zinyk ( -


2015 Minister's Awards for Municipal Excellence - Winners

Innovation Category: Starland County for Starland Solar Initiative

Partnership Category: Clearwater County, Town of Rocky Mountain House, and Village of Caroline for  Inter-municipal Collaboration Committee (ICC)

Safe Communities Category:  Town of Sexsmith for Sexsmith Citizens on Patrol Society

Smaller Municipalities Category:  Summer Village of Grandview for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship

Larger Municipalities Category:  City of Calgary for Flexwork Hub  (note: new category for 2015)

Outstanding Achievement:  City of Edmonton for Brownfield Redevelopment Grant Program


2014 Minister's Awards for Municipal Excellence - Winners

Innovation Category: County of Vermilion River, Delta Waterfowl, Alberta Conservation Association, Cows and Fish, and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development for Alternative Land Use Services Partnership: City of Calgary, Federation of Calgary Communities, and Canadian Home Builders Association-Calgary Chapter for Transforming Planning

Safe Communities Category: City of Calgary and City of Calgary Public Communications for Text 9-1-1

Smaller Municipalities Category: Summer Villages of Ma-Me-O Beach, Argentia Beach, Crystal Springs, Golden Days, Grandview, Itaska Beach, Norris Beach, Poplar Bay, Silver Beach, and Sundance Beach for the Pigeon Lake Summer Villages Regional Emergency Management Plan

Outstanding Achievement: City of Airdrie for Online Census



  • Date modified: 2019-01-14