Campus News

a man in a suit smiles for the camera The chair of Lethbridge College’s Board of Governors has received one of Alberta’s most significant public honours. Michael Marcotte, a long-time Lethbridge business owner and chair of the college’s board since 2019, was one of 19 southern Albertans awarded the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal at a ceremony on Monday morning at the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association.

The medal was created to mark the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the throne as Queen of Canada. To celebrate this historic event, the medal recognizes outstanding service from Albertans who have dedicated themselves to family, community and country.

“I am deeply moved to receive this recognition,” says Marcotte. “The idea that one can be recognized for choosing to do the right thing is not lost on me, however it is not the motivation. It is a privilege to find myself in a life position where I am afforded the time and resources that I can give back to my community in a way that is meaningful and creates an impact. If awards like this inspire others to engage in causes meaningful to them, then they are purposeful.”

Owner of both Prime Catering and The Italian Table, Marcotte has used his community ties to support a wide variety of causes throughout southwestern Alberta, including STARS Air Ambulance and Rotary International. Prime Catering was honoured by the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce in 2017 with the Spirit of Lethbridge Award for philanthropy and as the 2018 Business of the Year. In 2019, Marcotte and Prime Catering were awarded an Inspiring Philanthropy award in the small business category by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Southern Alberta Chapter.

“In my work at the City of Lethbridge I have had the opportunity to work with Mike Marcotte on several occasions,” says Perry Stein, project planning lead for the City of Lethbridge, who nominated Marcotte for the medal. “I am always impressed by his dedication to the community, the attention he places on equity-deserving individuals, his willingness to be an early supporter for important causes, and the lack of recognition he seeks through his philanthropy. The Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal was created to honour individuals in our community who are selfless in their public service, and who lead by quiet example. As a public servant myself, it was important to me to invest the time to nominate one of my fellow community members who I feel embodies that ethos. Mike’s was the first name that came to mind.”

Marcotte, who values the power of education and calls his time with Lethbridge College’s Board of Governors, “the most rewarding position I have held,” is also a strong proponent of Truth and Reconciliation work.

“I grew up in poverty, unaware of privilege,” says Marcotte. “But living in our current environment, the outcomes of the residential school system and colonialism, and the inter-generational trauma they have created become more visible every day. It is obvious to anyone who lives and works in our community, and all communities throughout Canada and beyond. The call for action cries out at us each day.”

The Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal will be awarded to 7,000 Albertans throughout 2022 in recognition of significant contributions to the province. Anyone being nominated for the medal must have a direct connection to the province and must have made a significant contribution to the province. Medals are officially awarded to recipients at presentation ceremonies throughout the province, organized by program partners.