News Release

District of Lake Country Wins National Municipal Innovation Award


Fredericton, NB (May 30, 2018) – The District of Lake Country, BC has received national recognition for its Lake Country Frog Talks and On Point Engagement Series from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA).  The District of Lake Country was presented with the 2018 CAMA Willis Award for Innovation, in the Under 20,000 population category, during CAMA’s national conference in Fredericton, NB. 


“CAMA is pleased to recognize the District of Lake Country for the innovation demonstrated by their public engagement series,” said Janice Baker, president of CAMA and City Manager for Mississauga, ON.  “It was a very creative and innovative way to involve citizens in developing their Official Community Plan.”


The District of Lake Country is the fastest-growing community in British Columbia, so talking about the future is important. Knowing that the traditional open house format wouldn’t work, and knowing that people are busy, Frog Talks was the solution to engage with the public in a fun, but still meaningful way.


Residents would pick up frog figurines with questions attached to take home to help encourage discussions with family and friends about Lake County’s future. Residents were encouraged to order pizza for these gatherings, and as a bonus, the District of Lake Country reimbursed residents for the cost of the pizza if they sent in feedback based on the frog’s questions.


In addition to Frog Talks, Lake Country also hosted the On Point Engagement Series, a departure from the traditional Open House model. Sessions featured craft beer, music, poetry, and local art. Speakers included local youth, businesspeople, and social justice representatives.


“These organic outreach events, facilitated by the creative planning team at Urban Systems, prompted a more meaningful discussion on the community and provided strong direction for the Official Community Plan and the future of Lake Country,” said Mark Koch, District of Lake Country Community Services Director.


“CAMA received a total of 32 award submissions for this year’s awards program,” said Jack Benzaquen, Chair of CAMA’s Awards Committee, CAMA Representative for Quebec, and City Manager of the City of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC.  “We were impressed by the quality of entries and the projects being carried out by our members.  Congratulations to the winners and all those who took the time to enter a submission.”


The Willis Award for Innovation, awarded in recognition of Jack Willis for his contribution to CAMA, is presented for programs, projects or services that demonstrate exceptional innovation or meritorious initiative.  Since Canada has a unique mixture of small and large communities, awards are granted according to population – for municipalities under 20,000, for those between 20,001 and 100,000 and for those over 100,000. 


About CAMA:

The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) is a national, non-profit association open to all Chief Administrative Officers / City Managers and any person employed in a senior management position that reports directly to a CAO.  With a membership of approximately 575 senior municipal employees, from all parts of Canada, CAMA collectively represents more than 70% of the nation’s population.




Media Contacts:

CAMA:  Stacey Murray, 506-261-3534,

District of Lake Country:  Karen Miller, Communications Officer, 250-766-5650


View a video highlighting the details of Lake Country’s innovative approach to public engagement: