2017 Civic Recognition Award Recipients

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Arne Handley
A resident of Medicine Hat for 60 years Arne Handley was one of the early visionaries and believers in the opportunities that laid in the rubble at the derelict Medalta Potteries site. A volunteer Director of the Friends of the Medalta Society throughout the 1980s, Handley helped establish Medalta as one of the premiere pottery and ceramic arts and museum centers in North America. A working artist, Arne has shared his practical experience and knowledge while reinforcing the importance of arts and heritage in our community.  He has been a member of the Heritage Resources Committee, helping preserve the City’s history for generations to come. As Chair of the Public Art Committee, he shares his belief in the significance of accessible art and its value.




John Slater
As a member of the Grasslands Naturalists, John participates in presentations, fieldtrips and special events at the Nature Centre and has been on the executive since 2006. John has a friendly and encouraging attitude and his competent leadership has encouraged others to participate in a variety of projects supporting increased awareness and appreciation of nature. Under John’s leadership and encouragement, trees are now protected from beavers and truckloads of baby’s breath seedheads have been hauled away. He was instrumental in initiating the annual park, highway and shoreline cleanup. John is a member of the cycling community and has encouraged active transportation through advocacy of bike lanes on the roadways and bike racks on transit buses. John’s goal is to enhance the city and to encourage residents to get outdoors and enjoy and protect our natural spaces.




Gerald Freedman
Gerald spent his career in finance but has spent his life dedicated to the social service sector. Gerald’s generous heart is seen throughout the community in many organizations, demonstrated both through fundraising and funding. Gerald not only gives generously of himself but also spreads the word to his many friends and acquaintances. He is often the first one to step up and many people look to him for guidance in regard to their donation dollars. He teaches by example and through his leadership, effectively funding and filling needs of organizations. Gerald is proud to be from Medicine Hat and cares about what happens here, always wanting the best for this city.



  Stan Sakamoto
Stan is a member of a local Rotary Club, Junior Achievement volunteer, REDI Enterprises board member and Kiwanis Christmas Banquet volunteer. Through his company, Shooting Star Events, Stan has employed thousands of young people over the past 26 years. He regularly donates food to the Champion Centre, The Salvation Army and various fundraisers and often personally delivers gifts of food to grieving families and individuals in need in the community.  He sponsors the Medicine Hat Cubs hockey club. Stan continually offers advice and mentoring to organizations and individuals such as college students, new business owners and people facing transition.


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