City of Vaughan

City of Vaughan

March 02, 2009 14:38 ET

Vaughan Shines as National Champion in WinterLights Competition

VAUGHAN, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 2, 2009) - The City of Vaughan has been named the 2008-2009 WinterLights Celebrations National Champion. The City received the highest score in the over 100,000 population category at the WinterLights Celebrations Symposium and Awards Ceremony held in February in Prince George, British Columbia.

"Our City has been extremely successful at both the WinterLights competition and the Communities in Bloom events," said Mayor Linda Jackson. "We are a three-time winner of the Communities in Bloom program at the provincial, national and international levels. This is another feather in our cap leading up to Vaughan hosting the world at the Communities in Bloom Symposium on Parks and Grounds and National Award Ceremonies in September 2009."

At this year's awards, the City received a five-star rating, as well as special recognition for the City's Shine Appeal Program and was a finalist in the Youth Involvement category. The winter equivalent of the Communities in Bloom program, WinterLights involves local communities promoting colourful displays, festive events and winter-related activities. It supports Canada as a winter tourism destination and creates awareness of cultural and social events.

"Vaughan leads the way on numerous initiatives," said Regional Councillor and Acting Mayor Joyce Frustaglio at the award announcement. "Winning this outstanding award puts Vaughan on the national and international stage. The hard work and dedication of everyone involved reflects the civic pride our citizens have in Vaughan."

The Shine Appeal Program recognized homeowners and businesses for their festive displays and was one of several initiatives celebrating the winter season as part of "My Vaughan Shines" WinterLights Celebrations. Other activities included a school program to recognize the efforts of students at elementary, secondary and private schools.

"There's nothing sweeter than the national championship. When the City of Vaughan was announced as the winner, we didn't walk, we flew onto the stage," said Regional Councillor Mario Ferri, who spearheaded the Communities in Bloom program in Vaughan and who chairs the WinterLights Celebration Committee. "This was truly a team effort and this victory belongs to all of us. My heartfelt thanks to all the residents, businesses and volunteers - everyone who was involved in bringing this national title to Vaughan."

Now in its eighth edition, WinterLights Celebrations is the winter edition of the popular Communities in Bloom program. During the months of November and December, trained volunteer judges evaluated the participating communities on the program's five criteria: Visual Presentation, Festive Season Celebrations, Winter Pleasures, Goodwill Programs and Tourism & Promotion.

At the awards ceremony, the winners were announced in their respective categories with each participating community receiving a special recognition for an outstanding program or feature. Seven communities were also recognized for outstanding achievements in selected criteria, and the "most appealing community display" award for on-site community exhibits was presented by Municipal World. For more information visit
www.winterlights.ca.

To view event photos visit the City of Vaughan's media centre at www.vaughan.ca.

About Vaughan

The City of Vaughan is one of Canada's fastest growing cities with a population of 250,000. Members of Council for the 2006-2010 term of office include: Mayor Linda D. Jackson, Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio, Regional Councillor Mario Ferri, Regional Councillor Gino Rosati, Ward 1 Councillor Peter Meffe, Ward 2 Councillor Tony Carella, Ward 3 Councillor Bernie DiVona, Ward 4 Councillor Sandra Yeung Racco and Ward 5 Councillor Alan Shefman. Visit the City of Vaughan's website at www.vaughan.ca.

Contact Information