By: Susan Gerle
Villes de Rosemere, Quebec
Villes de Rosemere refers to itself as a “Town in Harmony.” Part of the harmony is a result of its constant diligence to keep green space in the community. It has continued to mix economic development while still keeping a feeling of rural country.
The community has been home to many awards in the last few years. The most recent notoriety to come their way is through Alexandre Bilodeau. He thrilled his hometown and the whole country when he won the first Gold Medal ever to be presented on Canadian soil. Bilodeau took the top position for mogul skiing at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
In 2007, the town was presented with a Bronze Medal at the International Awards for Liveable Communities. It is also the only town in Quebec to have ever won the National Communities In Bloom Award. Two years later, in 1997, the town won 2nd prize in England in the first International Nations in Bloom.
Rosemere is located on the shores of Mlle-lles River and is considered a great vacation resort area. People can escape the city and enjoy a tranquil, peaceful, rural holiday. It’s a great place to do some fishing or spend time enjoying the river.
Ogema, the little town that could, is a very friendly rural farming community situated 1 ½ hours south of Regina, which is the home of the RCMP Training Center. In 2008, Ogema received a Silver Medal for communities under 20,000 population at the International Awards For Liveable Communities at a ceremony in Dongguan, China.
They received their award under the Heritage Management category. The town hosts one of the largest Canadian pioneer Museum’s in Canada as well as the only corner B/A station still standing in Canada. They have also managed to save other heritage buildings that have been lost in many communities. Ogema celebrates their Pioneer Days in the first part of July every year. To view a youtube video of the fair, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8CJFoAyn6U.
Ten years ago, the town was dying. The infrastructure was disappearing, the school was in jeopardy of closing, and the young people were leaving to find jobs in the big cities. Since then the town leaders have attracted new industry, and created more than 90 new jobs in the last 2 or 3 years. A committee also took on the national railway and managed to save a portion of the across Canada track system.
Southern Saskatchewan has some beautiful scenery and Ogema is definitely a good place to stay.Tourists have accommodation available as well as restaurants, a gas station, and stores.
To make arrangements to visit the community, contact www.ogema.ca
Gibson’s, British Columbia
Gibson’s, or Gibson’s Landing as it is sometimes called, is situated on British Columbia’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. In 2009 the town won a Gold Medal handed out at the International Awards for Liveable Communities held in Pilsen, Czech Republic. The town was named the most liveable community in the world under 20,000 population. Gibsons also won the criteria award for Planning for the Future.
Gibson’s became a popular spot in the 1960s when the weekly TV series, The BeachCombers, became popular. It is situated on the most southern point of the Sunshine Coast. The community can be reached by ferry and is just 40 minutes north of Vancouver.
The area is beautiful and offers every type of facility for tourists. Whether a person wants to go hiking or kayaking or just wants to enjoy the scenery, Gibson’s is an excellent place to visit. The beaches are clean and beach combing is a great pastime during a relaxing holiday in the area.
For more information on Gibson’s contact www.sunshinecoasttourism.ca
The first International Awards for Liveable Communities was held in 1997 and is endorsed by the United Nations Environment Program. The competition focuses on management of the local environments. LivCom’s mission is to improve quality of life for people throughout the world by encouraging sustainable planning. The next awards will be held in Chicago.
If you would like to enter your community, go to www.livcomawards.com/previous-winners/index.htm
About the author:
Susan Gerle has been writing and publishing since 1998. She lived in the town of Ogema for a few years before moving back to BC and now does a lot of traveling and writing.