SUMMERSIDE — Every seat was filled Tuesday night at Eptek Art and Culture Centre as the venue played host to the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation’s annual Heritage Awards.
The annual ceremony, held in conjunction with Heritage Week, honours and commemorates achievements made in preserving Island heritage.
Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis was on hand to congratulate each award recipient as they were recognized for their work.
Betty Howatt was among those honoured.
Howatt, who spent 12 years on the board of the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation, has been proactive in preserving Island heritage and authored the book “Tales From Willowshade Farm,” which featured stories from her family farm.
She was honoured to find out she had been chosen to win the award.
“I was grateful, thankful to the members of the board,” said Howatt. “It’s certainly quite the reward for what I have done. I certainly didn’t do it in hopes of receiving anything.”
Though the award means a lot, Howatt only got involved in preserving Island heritage because she found the history interesting.
Howatt would like to see a museum built to preserve the stories of the Island.
“It would help every generation to put themselves in the proper picture, to see the larger picture,” she added.
“There are too many people who are just in the here and now and they forget what has come before.”
Wyatt Heritage Properties received the Wendell Boyle Award for their film and radio drama, “Summerside Armoury: Fit for Duty”, which celebrated the historical building’s 100th anniversary.
Lori Ellis, manager of the city’s cultural and heritage properties, accepted the award along with Marlene Campbell who wrote the film and radio scripts.
“It’s feeling of being proud of what you’re able to do in your community in regard to the preservation of heritage,” Ellis said of the recognition.
“To be able to go up and receive an award in front of your colleagues that have similar interests feels really, really good.”
Ellis said the awards ceremony, which alternates each year between Summerside and Charlottetown, went well.
“We had a great turn out and it seems like a great energy in the room with regards to the spirit of celebration, with regards to heritage and all those initiatives we do provincially and municipally.”
Other award winners included Claude Arsenault, Volunteer of the Year; Steven J. Hornsby, Publication of the Year for his book “Surveyors of Empire”; Linda Jean Nicholson, the Mary Cornfoot Brehaut Award; Paul Smith and Michael Murphy, the Irene Rogers Award; and Douglas Sobey, the Natural Heritage Activity Award.
Heritage Activity award recipients
- Jacinthe Laforest and Georges Arsenault for their book Les Acadiennes de l’Ile-du-Prince-Edouard
- The Aviation Society of P.E.I. for the Summerside Aviation Park.
- Marian Bruce for the book Remembering Old Dan
- Isabel Court for her restoration of 163 Main St., Mount Stewart
- Mike Gaudet, Aldine Richard, Edmond Gallant, Zita Gallant, Leo Gallant and Alyre Richard for restoring headstones at the Mont Carmel Cemetery.
- Sharon Larter for restoration of 179 Euston St. in Charlottetown.
- Errol Lauchlin for the book Looking Back: Memories of T. Errol Lauchlin
- Art and Miriam Lockhart for their headstone photography project
- Peter and Bonnie MacDonald for restoration of 141 Water St., Charlottetown
- Rev. Nathan Mair for various activities
- Preservation group and Green Park Development Corporation for restoration of St. James Anglican Church, Port Hill
- The Shamrock Club of Fort Augustus
- Summerside and Area Historical Society for the book CFB Summerside: Our Base, Our History