The Idlewild Dam under construction. It was recognized at the 9th annual Thompson Okanagan Kootenay Commercial Building Awards. Dave Humphrey photo.

The Idlewild Dam under construction. It was recognized at the 9th annual Thompson Okanagan Kootenay Commercial Building Awards. Dave Humphrey photo.

Idlewild Dam recognized at Kelowna award ceremony

  • Oct. 4, 2017 1:43 p.m.

Paul Rodgers

The Idlewild Dam received the Award of Excellence in the Civil category at the ninth annual Thompson Okanagan Kootenay Commercial Building Awards on Thursday, September 28.

In total 36 finalists were chosen in 12 different categories for the ceremony at Manteo Resort in Kelowna.

Mark MacDonald, president of the Business Examiner, said that the Kootenays were introduced into the event four years ago and the civil category was added two years ago. The awards acknowledge the best commercial, industrial, revenue-generating properties.

MacDonald explained that the awards are designed to shed some light on the achievement of the very busy and oftentimes behind-the-scenes individuals who build these projects.

“When you’re building commercial industrial businesses, they’re very important to any community because people live and work there. They’re a very important part of the community.”

MacDonald described the Idlewild Dam as a beautiful project that was transformational for the area.

Mayor Lee Pratt added that it was very nice to win the award, especially considering there was some controversy surrounding the decommissioning of the old dam.

“There was a lot of pushback on that,” said Pratt, “but we knew that it had to be done so thankfully the new dam, this project, has been a great improvement and is going to add to the enhancement of the rest of the park.”

The park surrounding the dam is still being developed. Pratt explained that it will take a couple of years before it is 100 per cent completed.

“But the work that we have done up there, we’ve received a lot of positive comments on it,” Pratt said. “And people are happy with it and they’re anxiously awaiting what the finished product is going to look like. But it’s definitely been an improvement and people are enjoying it.”

Winners are picked based on six or seven questions that are asked by judges, explained MacDonald, that include things like whether the projects are environmentally friendly, do they adapt to the surrounding area and do their designs work.

MacDonald added, “it’s just a great night to celebrate some of the things that have such a great impact on the communities and also create a lot of jobs. I think it’s a feather in the cap for Cranbrook to get an award like that.”

Rob MacKay accepted the award. He is the owner of MacKay Contracting, who along with their contractor New Dawn Developments, built the Idlewild Dam.