Awards Showcase: CCNAwards 2023 Outstanding Community Service Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 CCNAwards in the Outstanding Community Service category. “All nominees demonstrated a passion for their community and the power of the press to achieve good things.”

This category accepted entries that reported on a single project extending beyond the normal community service mission of the newspaper. Judging took into account the scope of the project (importance to the community, innovativeness of the idea), depth of research, quality of reporting, use of photos, editorial and promotion as well as the newspaper engagement and benefit to the community.

Click the links below to view winning entries.

1st – Gulf Islands Driftwood, Salt Spring Island, BC – “Let’s Pick It Up, Salt Spring!”

Let’s Pick It Up, Salt Spring! is an island-wide roadside and beach clean-up campaign. As an unincorporated area, the island community has no local government agency to take care of litter and trash maintenance, and insurance issues have made it not possible for a non-profit to do it either. With a huge void in an important civic and environmental area, the Driftwood has stepped up in recent years to coordinate islanders to clean up the island and to participate ourselves as staff members. A local garbage/recycling company provides bags and covers disposal costs and a cafe gives tea/coffee coupons to those who participate. People enthusiastically express their gratitude to the Driftwood for organizing the campaign, which has seen participation increase each year.

The winning entry included the introductory call for participants, four weekly campaign updating pages, an editorial and front-page photo, and 3 Instagram photos promoting the campaign.  

2nd – The Haldimand Press, Haldimand County, ON – “Provincial Debate 2022”

In May 18, 2022 The Haldimand Press hosted an all-candidates debate for the provincial race, with in-person attendance around 150 people. More importantly, however, The Press streamed the debate live on Facebook and over Zoom. A couple hundred people tuned in to watch the debate live, and hundreds more watched the recordings in the following days. Along with offering candidates a platform to share their messaging through advertising, The Press’ extensive coverage of candidate platforms and providing the debate ensured readers and the general community had the best possible chance to be fully informed voters.

(Tie) 3rd – Chemainus Valley Courier, Chemainus, BC – “An enjoyable time and raising money bottom line of music trivia tournament”

Long-time staffer and the newspaper have organized this music trivia fundraising effort supporting the Alzheimer Society of BC for eleven years. In 2022, they raised more than $14,000, bringing the grand total since inception to almost $90,000.

(Tie) 3rd – The Uxbridge Cosmos, Uxbridge, ON – “Special Edition”

On May 21, 2022 a category EF-2 tornado touched down in the centre of the Township of Uxbridge, cutting off power to much of the township. Vital information was only transmissible through word-of-mouth and the local radio station – but no one could listen to a radio! Township officials asked to publish that week’s newspaper early, as it was the only media through which the township could communicate urgently needed information to residents. Within 48 hours, a special edition of The Uxbridge Cosmos was produced (using generators) and hand-delivered by volunteers.

The 2023 CCNAwards recognize the outstanding work produced in 2022 and celebrate the vibrancy of community newspapers across Canada. Award winners were announced on September 15, 2023. For a full list of winners click here.