Kamloops, BC—At an awards ceremony tomorrow night, Mayor and Council will bestow the distinguished Freedom of the City Award upon Stella Black. The Freedom of the City Award is symbolically known as the “Key to the City”, and it provides the recipient with certain privileges. The award is regulated by Section 158 of the Community Charter.
Freedom of the City is awarded infrequently (most recently in 2019) and only with the unanimous support of Mayor and Council. Since 1949, only 27 individuals and 6 entities have been recognized with this esteemed distinction.
The ceremony tomorrow will also recognize five Exemplary Service Award recipients. For a list of past recipients, visit the Freedom of the City page on the City’s website.
Throughout a lifetime of living and serving in Kamloops, Stella Black has supported some of our largest and most significant institutions through monumental changes and improvement, selflessly giving of her talents to benefit the health and vitality of our community and beyond. Her achievements have been deemed worthy of the highest honour that can be bestowed by the City—the Freedom of the City Award.
Stella was born and raised in Kamloops and is proud of her local roots. Her nursing career flourished at Royal Inland Hospital, where she progressed from Staff Nurse to Clinical Head Nurse, Supervisor, Associate Director of Nursing, Director of Nursing, Director of Acute Care Services for the Thompson Cariboo Shuswap Health Service Area, and ultimately, Executive Director of Acute Care at Royal Inland Hospital.
Throughout her service in health care, Stella served on committees at several post-secondary institutions to support and develop quality education in health care, including the following:
- Nursing Advisory Committee at Cariboo College
- Advanced Nursing Studies Committee at British Columbia Institute of Technology
- Development of Critical Care program at UBC
She also helped develop the curriculum for the Open Learning Agency’s Bachelor of Health Science Degree.
Stella spent many years serving on the BC Cancer Agency Board of Directors, and during this time, she was involved in publications that were instrumental in forming breast cancer early detection and self-examination programs. She served as an advisory member for the Southern Interior Cancer Clinic in Kelowna and the Funding Task Force Committee for community oncology clinics.
Locally, Stella served on Thompson Rivers University’s Board of Governors for 10 years, starting when it was just a college. She participated in the process to change the college’s status to university college and then to university as it is now, and she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree for her service.
Throughout an amazing health care career, Stella found time to be involved in the community as a member of the Kamloops Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. She served on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club and the Kamloops Symphony. She also volunteered during the 1993 Summer Games and helped coordinate the South Central Trucking Industry’s annual golf tournament.
Stella truly exemplifies the spirit of service with her dedication to health, education, culture, and local community.