Compassion, integrity and dedication to the community pretty much sum up Craig Horsland’s character and commitment.
And with those types of credentials, it came as no surprise that Horsland was named the 2012 Beaver Valley Citizen of the Year.
“I always say that people use big cities and towns use the people,” said Horsland. “Volunteer committees build the community from within.”
Horsland’s name will be familiar to many thanks to the 30 years he spent teaching in the Beaver Valley. Now he serves as an art instructor for the UBC West Kootenay Teacher Education Program offered through Selkirk College.
It’s years of dedication to teaching that has kept him connected to the people and community.
“It keeps me in touch and it keeps me active,” said Horsland. “You can’t teach what you don’t know. I just try to give (students) a good grounding so that they’re confident.”
Away from the classroom setting, Horsland devotes any spare time to working with senior citizens and restoration projects.
Previously, he volunteered as a summer camp counselor for the United Church and contributed to several specialty art projects.
“I think that having a background in art made it easier to set up museum exhibitions,” said Horsland.
“Museums are for telling stories, it’s the memory of the community.”
Although his passion is art, Horsland organizes and maintains heritage kiosks at the Fruitvale Kootenay Credit Union and the village offices in Fruitvale and Montrose.
He’s also actively engaged in the Beaver Valley Pend d’Oreille Historical society and as a member for the community museum.
“When he sees something old, his eyes light up,” said Art Benzer, former chairman of the Kootenay Columbia Educational Heritage Society. “He just enjoys history, I guess.”
The Beaver Valley Citizen of the Year award will be presented at a ceremony at the Beaver Valley Curling Rink on May 25 at 7 p.m., and is open to the public.