The Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year ceremony marks the opening to Silver City Days festivities. Photo: Unsplash

The Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year ceremony marks the opening to Silver City Days festivities. Photo: Unsplash

Covid cancels Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year

Organizers are hoping to bring back the annual tradition after the pandemic ends

While there are certainly plenty of locals deserving of the Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year award – the cold reality is that COVID-19 has cancelled the annual tradition this year, and maybe even next.

Trail Warfield Citizen of the Year is traditionally awarded in a ceremonial opening to Silver City Days in May, starting with the recipient being led into St. Micheal’s Catholic School gym by a procession including Major Gordon Titsworth of the Trail Pipe Band (shown) and Knights of Columbus members. The pandemic has cancelled Silver City Days for a second year, and now it has suspended the citizen award for at least one year. Photo: Trail Times

Trail Warfield Citizen of the Year is traditionally awarded in a ceremonial opening to Silver City Days in May, starting with the recipient being led into St. Micheal’s Catholic School gym by a procession including Major Gordon Titsworth of the Trail Pipe Band (shown) and Knights of Columbus members. The pandemic has cancelled Silver City Days for a second year, and now it has suspended the citizen award for at least one year. Photo: Trail Times

With churches closed in Trail and most of the people who do the nominating year-after-year being seniors, the organizing committee from the Knights of Columbus decided they did not want to put anyone at-risk of infection.

“We are hoping to get back at it,” said Brian Volpatti, longtime organizer with the Knights. “But I don’t know how long this pandemic is going to go on, I don’t think anyone really knows.”

Volpatti said the committee discussed at-length what they would do before making the ultimate decision it was a no-go.

Given the Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year event traditionally opens Silver City Days in May, this decision was made around the time that Trail council announced Silver City Days was indeed cancelled for a second year. (Planning for this event begins in November, long before festivities go for one week in May.)

“When we made this decision it was in December at the peak [spike in Covid cases] and right now, it doesn’t look like it’s going to change,” Volpatti said. “We are hoping to bring it back next year, but who knows. What can you do?”

Since Citizen of the Year began in 1957, there were only two years, 1976 and 1977, when a person was not awarded. Reasons for this are unknown.

Although the award won’t be given out this year, Volpatti encourages locals who have someone in mind, to give him the heads up for the coming year. The award isn’t specific to an age group. Moreover, nominations may be submitted by any resident of Trail or Warfield, or by an organization that serves at least one of the two municipalities.

Volpatti can be contacted via email at brian.mary@shaw.ca.

Historical honour roll of Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year recipients.

Read more: From children to seniors: A lifetime of advocacy

Read more: Seniors advocate named Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year



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