David Smallwood’s work with the arts earns him Corner Brook’s Citizen of the Year Award


Published on May 16, 2017

Arts patron and volunteer David Smallwood accepts congratulations after being named Corner Brook’s Citizen of the Year at the City of Corner Brook’s Achievement in Community Excellence Awards Tuesday evening.

©Gary Kean/ The Western Star

Whether performing on a stage or acting behind the scenes, miscues are a rarity for David Smallwood.

So, it was a little funny that he would fumble his award as he accepted the prestigious Citizen of the Year Award during the City of Corner Brook’s Achievement in Community Excellence Awards Tuesday evening.

The long-time Corner Brook resident, who first came to the west coast city in the mid-1970s to work at Grenfell College, has become one of the biggest supporters of the thriving local arts community.

He has acted in numerous productions, sang in choirs and served in various executive capacities for artistic organizations, in addition to taking on a number of other volunteer roles in the community.

His biggest contribution to life in Corner Brook has undoubtedly been helping to spearhead the establishment of the new Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook.

“Corner Brook is a very nice place to be citizen of the year of,” Smallwood said moments after receiving the award.

“When we moved here, we decided it was perhaps the ideal place to live, work and raise a family and I don’t feel any differently now, more than 40 years since that move.”

He said it was an honour and a delight to be rewarded mainly for doing something he dearly loves.

“I enjoy the arts and the promotion of the arts,” he said. “It’s very important to me and my family. It’s nice to be able to support them, organize and develop them and to get rewarded for it, both in terms of their success and the fact this award came my way tonight.”

As if he needed a fire lit under him, Smallwood said the award will inspire him to keep doing what he does for the local arts scene.

The other nominees for citizen of the year were former municipal politician and tireless volunteer Priscilla Boutcher, and Kody Gardner, whose impressive volunteerism in multiple capacities earned him the Youth Citizen of the Year Award.

The City of Corner Brook recognized some of the people and groups who contribute greatly to life in the city during the annual Achievement in Community Excellence Awards Tuesday evening. Among the winners were, from left, (front) Paul Riley of the Community Youth Network, winner of the Green Business Award; musical duo Bridget Swift and Dahlia Waller, winners of the Emerging Artist Award; Ian Locke, whose theatrical piece “Postcards from the Train” won the Heritage Project Award; Candice Pike, winner of the Overall Artist of the Year Award; Shannon Coyle of the League of Artists of Western Newfoundland, which won Arts Event of the Year for its exhibition “A Month of LAWN;” (back) Rick Carey and Len Moores of the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Games Organizing Committee, which took home the Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award; Kris Watton of the Western Environment Centre, which earned the Corner Brook Environment Award; and Kody Gardner, Youth Citizen of the Year.

©Gary Kean/ The Western Star

Athletics were a part of the City of Corner Brook’s annual Achievement in Community Excellence Awards handed out Tuesday evening. Recognized for their successes in 2016 were, from left, (front) Stephen Leonard, president of the Corner Brook Minor Soccer Association, winner of the Coach/Executive of the Year Award; golfer and curler Andrew Bruce, winner of the Male Athlete of the Year Award; hockey and baseball star Brooklyn Childs, winner of the Gerry Basha Award for Female Athlete of the Year; Darrin O’Quinn, president of the Corner Brook Baseball Association, winner of the Active and Healthy Living Community Champion (Organization) Award; (back) former player and longtime hockey coach Angus Head, winner of the Joe Mullins Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award; and skier/runner/triathlete Steve May, winner of the Active and Healthy Living Community Champion (Individual) Award.

©Gary Kean/ The Western Star