This past Sunday’s tree lighting and plaza dedication downtown was capped off with the Canada 150 Award being presented to Helen Rice.

Rice recieved the award which was something that was given to people across the country who have a long standing track record of service to their community. She says she learned about the award after receiving a phone call from Senator Doug Black.

“They had done a dedication ceremony, they had done some in Edmonton and some in Calgary. In talking to him we decided it would maybe be more meaningful to me to have it sent up to Grande Prairie and have the mayor combine it with the plaza dedication and the tree lighting.”

Rice expressed her gratitude to the mayor and council for making it such a special celebration for everyone.
She added the plaza dedication moment was something she was thrilled to share with so many people.

“It was incredible and very humbling. It’s really a special honour to be honoured by your peers and your friends.”

Rice continues her work with the Downtown Business Association and since leaving council has joined a few boards during her “semi-retirement”. She says the tree was inspired by residents requests for one in the last few years. She also says they plan to continue to improve the tree each year.