WEYBURN – A longtime recreation and culture director for the City of Weyburn, Alice Neufeld, received the Meritorious Service Award at the SUMA convention on April 5.
She served the City for 34 years, and retired from her position at the end of 2021.
“It’s been a really exciting career,” said Neufeld in an interview, adding she has been missing the social aspect of interacting with the different arts and culture groups and artists in the city and area since retiring. “There was never a dull moment.”
Neufeld began in 1987, working out of the old City Hall, as the recreation and culture coordinator, working with the arts director and the recreation director.
“We didn’t even have any computers when I first started in 1987. We did everything by hand.”
In 1989, she became the arts and culture director for the City, and her office was then located in the Signal Hill Arts Centre until that facility was sold by the City.
“I enjoyed working with so many groups and organizations in the city, and I learned a lot,” she said, adding she very much enjoyed being able to work with different types of groups and to do many different things over the years, providing quality programs and services to residents.
One of the most rewarding aspects of her position was “to see the look on little kids’ faces to see a program that they love,” said Neufeld.
She also loved being exposed to so many artists and types of arts and crafts, and enjoyed such experiences as opening a kiln after firing pottery pieces, and seeing the look on the faces of those who made the pieces. “It’s like Christmas,” she said.
Neufeld noted that Weyburn has always been a very active arts community, and there has always been a lot of interest in the arts here.
The James Weir People’s Choice competition is an ongoing example of this. She didn’t organize it directly, but she gave whatever assistance or advice she could to the curator who set it up each year.
Neufeld felt very honoured to receive this award, and having it presented at the provincial convention of municipalities, held at the Queensbury Centre in Regina, was very special for her.
“Receiving this award was a confirmation that people did appreciate the work that I did over the years,” said Neufeld. “It was a good place to receive it. You saw people from other communities who also received this award. It was the perfect place to get this award.”
Looking back at her years with the City, Neufeld said, “I don’t regret anything with my time spent with the City. I’ve learned a lot and I met a lot of people along the way.”