Local musician awarded “Sackville Citizen of the Year”

Janet Crawford recognized by Sackville community for substantial volunteer service

The Sackville Citizen of the Year Award is presented each fall with the purpose of recognizing outstanding volunteerism within the Sackville community.

This year’s winner is Janet Crawford, a local musician and the owner of Fog Forest Art Gallery on Bridge Street. Crawford is a long-time Sackvillian who boasts an impressive list of volunteer experience.

Crawford is involved in a diverse range of programs, including the Marjorie Young Bell Music Award Committee, the Tantramar Blues Society, Sing Sing Sackville and the annual Culture Days. “[Volunteering is] not just about business, and it’s not just about the arts, and it’s not just about community development, it’s about a little bit of everything,” Crawford said.

Laura Hunter, co-creator and member of Sing Sing Sackville, said over email, “[Crawford] brought her enthusiasm, encouragement, organizing and managing skills to the table – literally, her kitchen table – and in one evening we were able to launch this event that brings together a wide cross-section of the community who love to sing together. Janet’s an amazing community connector.”

Crawford has also been a board member of organizations such as the Drew Nursing Home, the Sackville Arts Wall and the Community Business Development Corporations (CBDC).

The Sackville community has developed many programs with the help of volunteers. “It’s an amazing community in terms of the volunteerism that goes on. If you think about all of the organizations, right down to the children’s sports teams, to service clubs, to hospital boards, to nursing home boards, fundraising committees . . . they’re all volunteers and it’s really quite remarkable what goes on [in the community],” Crawford said.

Sackville, like many small communities, benefits immensely from its volunteers. “In many ways I think it’s even more important to [volunteer] now than when I started working in community activities,” Crawford said. “We can’t expect the centre of the region to be thinking about what needs we have — we have to do it ourselves.”

As a young woman, Crawford was inspired to start volunteering because her older brother was involved in a number of community activities. Additionally, Crawford said, “I [started volunteering] because I had other women — older women — who I used as role models. I would see a number of women stepping up for the hospital association, or stepping in to what was then the school board — and I admired those women.”

Things have come full circle, as Crawford is now a role model and is sure to inspire members of the Sackville community for many years to come.

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