Citizen of the Year
The 2018 Shaunavon Citizen of the Year is....
to recognize the importance of volunteers in our community.
Dianne's impressive resume of volunteerism in our community and her giving spirit makes her an ideal choice for this year's award
will be held Saturday, May 26
Christ the King Church Hall
Cocktails 6:00 p.m. - Banquet 7:00 p.m.
Tickets $35.00 each
Available at the Grand Coteau Centre (440 Centre Street)
Only 150 tickets available, so get yours early!
Story by Paul MacNeil of The Shaunavon Standard
Longtime local resident Dianne Greenlay is being recognized for her extensive volunteer contributions to the community by being named the Shaunavon Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.
Dianne, who has a volunteer resume in the town that spans more than three decades, will be honoured during a special gala banquet on May 26.
Chamber of Commerce president Joanne Gregoire notified Dianne of her award this past weekend.
Greenlay had just returned from a holiday in Ireland when she received a text from Gregoire asking for a meeting. Greenlay, still feeling jet lag from a trip that took her across seven time zones, was wondering if the meeting could wait a couple of days.
"But Joanne was pretty persistent and she even insisted that I meet her at my house," she explained
"It all sounded sort of ominous and I wondered what the problem was," added Dianne with a smile. "But it turned out to be wonderful news."
"It caught me completely off guard."
Dianne is a registered Physiotherapist who owns and operates Shaunavon Physical Therapy.
She first moved to Shaunavon 38 years ago and quickly immersed herself into the community.
Over the years, she has assisted and contributed at health education events. She has been involved in a wide range of health-related programs over the years, such as the annual PARTY program at Shaunavon High School that helps educate students about the dangers of risk-taking behaviour.
She is a renowned animal lover who has welcomed more than one stray pet into her home over the years.
"Dianne is a champion of all people and animals alike who are in need," stated Cathy Smith and Carolyn Illerburn, who nominated Dianne for the Citizen of the Year Award.
In fact, Dianne received two separate nomination submissions, including one from Ty and Norma Hunter.
"Dianne is a giver ... she gives encouragement, hugs and love to so many people," wrote Norma and Ty.
"Dianne volunteers all the time," they added. "If there is a need to plan, decorate or execute an event, she can be called on at a moments notice and she is aways willing to help. Not only is she a beautiful person inside and out, she is a compliment to our community."
Dianne is also an award-winning playwright and author, who has written a series of historical fiction books (the Quintspinner series) as well as a play, "The Camping Guy", which has enjoyed wide-spread success. Written more than a decade ago, The Camping Guy continues a popular run even today as the play was recently selected to be performed at the Vancouver Fringe Festival (in September).
A founding member of Darkhorse Theatre, Dianne has acted, directed and volunteered in just about every capacity for the local drama group during its almost 27-year history.
She also shares her writing experience and advice with other aspiring writers.
One of Dianne's biggest volunteer successes came two years ago when she founded the Stayin Alive (Not Expired) Choir, a singing group comprised of seniors aged 55 years of age up to participants who are in their 90s. She continues to direct the group today.
Dianne has been a board member for Creative Kids, Reel Wednesday and the Shaunavon Arts Council (performance co-ordinator). She arranged for Globe Theatre’s productions of the Patsy Cline show and the Johnny Cash Ring of Fire show to be hosted by Shaunavon Arts Council and performed in Shaunavon.
She also applied and arranged for Shaunavon to host the worldwide screening of Ellis, a short documentary starring Robert De Niro in November of 2015.
Last year, served as director and choreographer of a flash mob for Canada's 150th birthday during the Sunday in the Park celebration. She also created a flash mob dance for Shaunavon's Centennial celebration in 2013.
Dianne has served as MC for Sunday in the Park performances during Boomtown Days, and provided volunteer assistance for other activities related to the event.
She worked as an advisor to high school drama productions, and has even appeared as Mrs. Claus on several occasions during the Chamber of Commerce's annual Parade of Lights.
"The 'Arts' are often overshadowed by other community groups and activities, but Dianne has brought them to the forefront, providing our community with the opportunity to participate in and enjoy the world of music, theatre, books and art," stated Illerbrun and Smith.
But Dianne's service to the community goes beyond arts and culture.
She has also been involved with many volunteer endeavours over the years, including Chamber of Commerce events, and has served as a volunteer on a wide range of boards including the Shaunavon Centennial Committee (and led a subcommittee looking after Centennial celebration events).
She is a former president of Shaunavon Playschool and helped lead the effort to get the organization established as a registered cooperative so it would qualify for grants and funding.
Dianne was a volunteer EMT for Shaunavon Ambulance from 1991 to 2004.
Oh yeah, and if that wasn't enough, she served as the provincial marriage commissioner for the Shaunavon area between 1998 and 2013.
In her 'free' time, Dianne loves to complete renovations on her house and care for a spectacular flower garden that covers much of her corner-lot property.
"I guess I have just always liked creative outlets, whether they are emotional ones like drama, or physical ones, like building a stone staircase (for her front entrance) or working on my garden," said Dianne.
Dianne, who was raised in the Swift Current area, first arrived in Shaunavon 38 years ago. She thought it would be a nice place to spend a year or two before moving onto other professional opportunities.
"After my first year here it seemed like a good place to continue my career," she laughed. "And then it turned into a wonderful place to raise a family."
"Now, as I approach retirement age, I don't know of too many places that offer the safety and convenience of small town life with all of the other activities that Shaunavon has to offer," she added. "It's just a great community to live in."
Dianne's impressive resume of volunteerism in the community makes her an ideal choice for this year's award.
"Dianne has done so many good things for the town over the years," said Gregoire. "She is a very deserving winner."
The Citizen of the Year Award is presented annually by the Shaunavon Chamber of Commerce to recognize the importance of volunteers in our community.
The Citizen of the Year selection committee (consisting of anonymous and independent volunteers) take many factors - such as longevity and diversity of the volunteers' contributions to the community - into account when making the selection.
Officials say that all nominations submitted this year were for very worthy candidates and the decision was difficult, as always. The Chamber of Commerce encourages all nominators to continue to submit their nominations each year so that in time all of these worthy citizens will be honoured.
This year's Citizen of the Year gala will take place on May 26. Tickets will go on sale soon at the Grand Coteau Centre.
Past Citizens of the Year are:
1998 - Norm Lavoy, 1999 - Russ Markell, 2000 - Joe & Joanne Gregoire, 2001 - Bruce Pearson,
2002 - Joe Sutter, 2003 - John Henrion, 2004 - Skip & Cathie Wilton, 2005 - Vince Stevenson,
2006 - Gord Speirs, 2007 - Jean Scribner, 2008 - Jack Salmon, 2009 - Debbie Aadland, 2010 - Ken Billington,
2011 - Jay Meyer & Janelle Wickstrom, 2012 - Helen Fauchon & Florence Selvig, 2013 - Mike Elmgren,
2014 - Ken & Merle Shaw, 2015 - Kathleen East, 2016 - Sharon Dickie, 2017 - Fred Farnworth
Sponsored by the Shaunavon Chamber of Commerce