Lake Country wins innovation award

Lake Country wins innovation award

District recipient of CAMA Willis Award for public engagement series

The District of Lake Country has received national recognition for its Lake Country Frog Talks and On Point Engagement Series from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators.

The district was presented with the 2018 CAMA Willis Award for Innovation for the under-20,000 population category at the CAMA’s national conference in Fredericton, NB.

“CAMA is pleased to recognize the District of Lake Country for the innovation demonstrated by their public engagement series,” said Janice Baker, president of CAMA and city manager for Mississauga, Ont.

“It was a very creative and innovative way to involve citizens in developing their Official Community Plan.”

Lake Country is the fastest-growing community in British Columbia, so talking about the future is important. Knowing that the traditional open house format wouldn’t work, and knowing that people are busy, Frog Talks was the solution to engage with the public in a fun, but still meaningful way.

Residents would pick up frog figurines with questions attached to take home to help encourage discussions with family and friends about Lake County’s future.

Residents were encouraged to order pizza for these gatherings, and as a bonus, the district reimbursed residents for the cost of the pizza if they sent in feedback based on the frog’s questions.

In addition to Frog Talks, Lake Country also hosted the On Point Engagement Series, a departure from the traditional open house model. Sessions featured craft beer, music, poetry and local art. Speakers included local youth, business people and social justice representatives.

“These organic outreach events, facilitated by the creative planning team at Urban Systems, prompted a more meaningful discussion on the community and provided strong direction for the Official Community Plan and the future of Lake Country,” said Mark Koch, District of Lake Country community services director.

“CAMA received a total of 32 award submissions for this year’s awards program,” said Jack Benzaquen, chair of CAMA’s awards committee and city manager of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que.

“We were impressed by the quality of entries and the projects being carried out by our members. Congratulations to the winners and all those who took the time to enter a submission.”

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