Larry Hnetka Community Builder Award

In honour of the late Larry Hnetka, the Community Builder Award annually recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the health & wellbeing of Vancouver’s Westside neighbourhoods. The award recognizes someone who is committed to neighbourhood values of connection, engagement, and neighbourhood involvement.

2016 Winner: Ross Moster

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Ross Moster is best known as the founder of Village Vancouver (VV), being part of the global movement and integrated network of the Transition Movement. He has been a strong advocate for climate change and one of Vancouver’s leaders in creating community-level sustainability. With a premise so simple and yet profound: “Getting to know your neighbours can save the world,” Village Vancouver has grown with relatively short amount of time as a grassroots network of over 3000 + people in the City of Vancouver.

Ross, along with his enthusiastic team of Village Vancouver volunteers and dedicated board members, have created socially vibrant communities through sharing resources, including but not limited to, community gardening, chicken coops, tool sharing, community potlucks, or car-free block parties, all of which help build strong human connections and ultimately, a healthy community.  If you come to the Westside Community Market on Thursday here in front of Kits House you will often see Ross there with his seed library, always willing to share his skill and knowledge about gardening with others.

Since its Westside inception in 2012, Ross has been active with the Westside Neighbourhood Small Grants, both as a project leader and as a member of Westside Neighbourhood Small Grants Resident Advisory Committee. He extends the same integrity and dedication he holds for Village Vancouver to the Resident Advisory Committee and always tries to give EVERYONE a chance to shine as a NSG project leader and community builder.

You may have come across some of Ross’s Westside NSG projects over the years – the range of his NSG projects are vast and diverse and include projects such as the Kits Plastic Recycling, Permaculture projects, his Seed Library, creating pollinator corridors, collaborative gardens, and I’m sure there are a few others that haven’t been included in this list and a few others that Ross just hasn’t gotten around to doing yet!

In summary, Ross is a visionary leader who is passionate about the community and has built something long lasting – human relationships.   He builds community through his many and varied interests and his ability to connect people to each other.

There were many worthy nominations submitted for consideration for this award this year and Ross certainly had some competition in being chosen for this award tonight! Ross Moster’s contributions to building community, not only here on the Westside but all through the City of Vancouver,  truly made him stand out in a group of what are simply amazing community builders and leaders.

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About Larry Hnetka

Larry Hnetka was born on the prairies and grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan.  He travelled to Vancouver in his 20’s and quickly decided BC was where he wanted to be.  He moved to Kitsalano and lived on W 4th since the mid ’80’s.

He was a beloved friend, neighbor and colleague to all who had the pleasure of knowing him.  He loved his neighbourhood and every dog he met particularly the ones around his home whom he often baby sat.  He used his dog walking as a way to get to know people.

In the last decade of his life he was “the” person who brought the 6th Avenue Kitsilano neighborhood together.

He watched many changes happen in the Kits area, one major one was the revitalization of the Kitsalano community centre.  He walked around the block everyday to see what progress was made. He became friends with every project manager and construction worker on site.

Larry was a proud tour guide when the renovated Kits House opened and had just become actively involved in the art courses at the time of his passing.

Everyone on site as well as many in the neighbourhood knew him by name and by reputation- he was known as the man with a million ideas and the charm and energy to make them happen.

Nomination Process

Nominees for the Larry Hnetka Community Builder Award must be from Vancouver’s Westside which includes the neighbourhoods of Kitsilano, Dunbar-Southlands, Shaughnessy, Kerrisdale, Arbutus Ridge, West Point Grey & UBC.

Nomination forms can be picked up from the Front Desk at Kits House or by clicking on this link to download a form from the Kits House website

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Nomination Form

2017 Nominations are due Friday May 19th, 2017. The award will be presented to the winner on Tuesday June 20th.
Completed nomination forms can be dropped off at the Kits House Front Desk at 2305 West 7th Ave or emailed to:  
faithg@kitshouse.org