The BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) presented its inaugural Festivals and Events Excellence Award to the City of New Westminster today for Shine Bright New West. The award recognizes innovative events that are successful in improving individual and community-level connectedness, social and physical well-being, and engagement. The recipient event or festival serves as a model for other local governments or organizations to enhance their community activities.
City staff conceived of the event series early in the pandemic, using the opportunity to focus on bringing community members together in the spirit of hope, and to forge a deeper connection between event planning and positive community impact.
Activities included innovative light displays, outdoor concerts and cultural festivities, themed evening shopping events with local merchants, and an interactive light display map of the entire community. Shine Bright New West has now evolved to become the City of New Westminster's annual holiday event series and serves as a model of inclusion and community engagement for communities across BC.
The Festivals and Events Excellence Award is one of five provincial Awards of Excellence presented during BCRPA’s annual Symposium conference in Whistler. Each award is presented on behalf of over 4,000 recreation and parks sector members from across BC working to enhance the physical and mental health, wellness, connectedness, and quality of life of their communities.