Meet the Community Volunteers of 2022

Posted on:
June 22, 2022

Each year Victoria County recognizes and celebrates those who volunteer their time to make our communities better places to live. Individuals and local organizations in Victoria County are nominated for Community Volunteer of the Year by residents. Recipients are then selected from the list of nominees based on community volunteerism and leadership. This year’s winners include five individuals, one organization and a family.

Victoria County is pleased to announce the 2022 Community Volunteers of the Year.

  • Ryan Costello, Ingonish (Provincial Volunteer Nominee)
  • Dr. William Fitzgerald, Baddeck
  • Smokey Recreation Society Fundraising Committee, Ingonish
  • Michelle MacDonald, Ingonish
  • The Nicholson Family, Big Baddeck
  • Gilles Poirier, Aspy Bay
  • Bernie LeBlanc, Baddeck

Congratulations to this year’s recipients. We appreciate everything you do for our communities. Victoria County is a better place to live, work and play because of you.

Read more about the 2022 Community Volunteers.               

Ryan Costello
Ryan has been extremely active in the North of Smokey Region of Victoria County, Cape Breton. He has held numerous positions in the Ingonish Development Society, including chair. He is the Chief of the Ingonish Fire Department and organizes a range of events for the community. He has been one of the main forces behind the annual Hucklebuckle Festival and Canada Day celebrations. He is continuously working on funding proposals to support community initiatives. Ryan is integral to building and maintaining a sense of community in Ingonish and surrounding areas. Ryan is also the Provincial Volunteer Nominee.

Dr. William Fitzgerald
Dr. Fitzgerald is a retired surgeon and active member of his community. He is currently chairing the board of BOLD, the Library Visioning Committee and the Library Society. He volunteers for community cleanups, at the St. Ann’s Bay Health Center and more.

Michelle MacDonald
Michelle volunteers with home and school for Cape Smokey Elementary. She goes above and beyond to help and plan hot school lunches to contribute to the overall wellbeing of the children in our community.

Gilles Poirier
Gilles was nominated for dedicating his time to North Highlands Nordic Ski Club. Gilles organizes volunteers to maintain the trails and assists in maintaining the groomer. He helped build the new groomer room and the club room that opened this year and loans his tools and equipment for various projects.

Bernie LeBlanc
Bernie currently holds the role of Baddeck Community Market Board Chair. He provides strong leadership and demonstrates exceptional commitment to the market to build community, support local, small businesses and unique shopping experiences for residents and visitors.

Smokey Recreation Society Fundraising Committee
The Smokey Recreation Society Fundraising Committeecreates activities for the community to help the society remain afloat financially, especially following COVID-19 restrictions. The committee provides activities and events for all ages encouraging participation from everyone in the community and promoting active living. 

The Nicholson Family
The families of Angus and Janie Nicholson and Roderick and Maria Nicholson donated their properties for community use of a river and hiking trail in Big Baddeck. They continue to support the development and maintenance of the trail that is heavily used by Victoria County residents and visitors.

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