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Recognising our community champions: Nominations for Eelco Boswijk Civic Awards open

Do you know an unsung hero, a creative visionary, or a selfless community champion?

Nelson’s Eelco Boswijk Civic Awards, recognising those in our community who go above and beyond to enrich the lives of others, are now open for nominations.
This year, Nelson City Council is partnering with the Nelson Civic Trust and Nelson Mail to deliver the Eelco Boswijk Civic Awards, making the awards a true community celebration.

The awards are named after the late Eelco Boswijk, who established the popular Chez Eelco Café in Nelson in the 1960s. Chez Eelco was a European-inspired venue at the top of Trafalgar Street that became a centre of artistic and cultural life in the city.

One of his acts of generosity – a $1000 sponsorship grant to Dame Suzie Moncrieff for the fledgeling WearableArt Awards – has carried through to the awards this year. Thanks to our sponsors; City of Nelson Civic Trust, Nelson Pine, NBS Bank, Nelmac, and Nelson City Council, the winners of each of the five award categories will receive a $1000 donation to a local charity of their choice.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said the 2021 award categories were shaped by Council’s mission to ensure our city is an exceptional place to live, work and play.

“The contributions of our resilient, creative and diverse community members are essential ingredients in making Nelson the Smart Little City it is. The Eelco Boswijk Civic Awards recognise and celebrate the mahi of those who really go that extra mile to make a positive impact in the lives of those around them.”

The categories are:
• City of Nelson Civic Trust Community Hero
• Nelson Pine Change Maker
• NBS Bank Leadership
• Nelmac Kaitiakitanga
• Nelson City Council Smart Little City.
City of Nelson Civic Trust trustee Karen Stade says the awards are a natural extension of the trust’s aim to enhance the city for residents and visitors alike. Nearly $1 million worth of projects have been funded by donations made by the trust, including the Family Tree kinetic sculpture, which the trust gifted to the city last year.
“The awards acknowledge and thank those who contribute so much to our city, often completely under the radar,” she said.
“The City of Nelson Civic Trust welcomes the opportunity to share its passion for Nelson by recognising others who give their all to make our community even better.”

Stuff’s Nelson regional editor Victoria Guild said the Nelson Mail was delighted to join with Council to celebrate the awards.
“The Nelsonian of the Year was run by the Nelson Mail for many years and was a great way to recognise the heroes in our community. We are delighted to be a part of bringing it back together with the Eelco Boswijk Awards,” she said.

Individuals, groups or organisations that have gone the extra mile between June 1, 2019 and 1 May, 2021 can be nominated for the awards, and their deeds must be of benefit to Nelson.

Nomination forms are available on, Council’s Customer Service Centre and at all Nelson Public Libraries.
Nominations open 22 May and close midnight 9 June.

Nomination Form


Click here to find out more

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