WOMEN OF EXCELLENCE - This year there are 51 nominees for the Women of Excellence Awards Gala, which recognizes women’s contributions in the community. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

WOMEN OF EXCELLENCE - This year there are 51 nominees for the Women of Excellence Awards Gala, which recognizes women’s contributions in the community. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

WATCH: Record number of nominees for Women of Excellence

Various Central Alberta women recognized for their different contributions

Many women gathered at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery March 15th for the announcement of this year’s Women of Excellence nominees.

And according to Kristine Bugayong, chief executive officer for the Red Deer & District Community Foundation, this year is their record year with 51 nominees up for awards.

She added that the record number of nominees this year could be due to all of the awareness around women’s rights and women’s issues happening around the globe.

The Women of Excellence Awards Gala, now in its 11th year, takes place June 6th at the Sheraton Red Deer, and is a program that was established in 2008 with the purpose of honouring women’s contributions to the community who serve as role models for other women and girls.

There are 11 categories ranging from agriculture to athletics to human services and more.

“There’s a variety of women that actually get recognized for their work in our region,” said Bugayong.

The call for nominations, which ended in January, saw an adjudication committee go through the nomination packages, scoring and adjudicating each individual before selecting the recipients of the award.

Also in attendance at the Museum was a few of the lifetime achievement awardees and alumni.

“We have honoured over 350 women over the years, recipients and nominees,” said Bugayong.

“The community really stepped up. It’s amazing to see who’s brought forward and who receives the award in June.”

The list of nominees are as follows:

Agriculture; Leona Staples; Arts & Culture; Leslie Greentree, Nicole Leal, Louise Stuppard and Emily Thompson. Athletics, Recreation and Fitness; Brandi Heather, Teri Hunter and Janessa Marshall. Business and the Professions; Lesley McMahon and Barbara King. Community Building; Donna Abma, Ardis Bramall, Debbie Coleman, Christa DuQuette, Bre Fitzpatrick, Nicole Lorrain, Christine Moore, Lynne Mulder, Susan Neufeld, Lucinda Watkins and Krystin Woods. Education and Training; Alicia Cafferata-Arnett, Wanda Christensen, Genevieve Wiart and Anna Morgan-Wold. Entrepreneurship; Sabrina Baker, Chelsea Bootsman, Denise Gagne, Lisa Spencer-Cook and Lane Tomalty. Environment; Bridget Allen. Health and Wellness; Jas Badesha, Dr. Jody Carrington, Kim Green, Maureen Gustafson, Audra MacIntyre, Dr. Dianna Martens, Shannon McQuaig and Lisa Nicholson.

A Lifetime Achievement Award will also be presented at the Gala to an exemplary woman, who for many years of her life, has been a role model for the community.

Tickets are now on sale for $125 each. People can also reserve a table of eight for $1,000. Tickets this year can be purchased online at www.ticketsalberta.com.