The MD of Bighorn has bestowed a rare award on a long-time ally and former Canmore town councillor.
Ross Larsen has been given a Friend of Bighorn award, an honour handed out just three times since it was conceived in 2004.
According to Reeve Dene Cooper, the award is only given to people who have not lived in the MD, but worked with the community. “It’s for people who understand us for who we know ourselves to be, coming alongside us and putting significant programs into effect,” said Cooper.
The award was given to Larsen for his extraordinary work with the MD of Bighorn through his position as community affairs manager with Lafarge. “He actually began what I would call the community relations program for Lafarge,” said Cooper, adding Larsen helped to bring Lafarge and the community of Exshaw into environmental alignment, through the Bow Corridor Environmental Commission.
Most recently, both Larsen and Cooper are proud of the partnership between Lafarge and Exshaw on the village’s new water system. Even though Lafarge is outside the town’s boundaries, it contributed nearly $1 million towards the system and assisted in finding a suitable location for the new reservoir.
The award, symbolized by a stone plaque with a bighorn sheep carved into it, was presented to Larsen at his retirement party from Lafarge. Reeve Cooper presented the award to Larsen, noting he was considered an expert bridge builder.
“Ross, for the last two decades or more, has been a vital bridge between the MD of Bighorn and the Exshaw community in particular, and the Lafarge industry,” said Cooper.
For his part, Larsen said the award was one of his highlights. “I was thrilled and very honoured to be recognized by the MD. It’s a great recognition of friendship,” said Larsen.
“It certainly means a lot to me and will have a place in, not only my home, but my heart, for a very long time.”