The LGLA Certificate Program & The Cathy Watson Memorial Award

LGLA Certificate Program

THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP ACADEMY (LGLA) supports and promotes education and training for local government and First Nations elected officials and senior administrators throughout the Province of British Columbia.

The LGLA Certificate Program is designed to support and encourage elected officials to enhance their leadership skills and knowledge to help enable effective local governance.  Benefits of obtaining a certificate include:

  • Development of core leadership competencies essential for effective governance.
  • Increased understanding of both the “big picture” and the “fine details” of governance.
  • Recognition of commitment to continuous learning.

Elected officials wanting to apply for a certificate must complete the online application for the relevant level linked below. The application provides the required documentation of learning activities for review by the LGLA Board. Please review the Information Circular for more information on the requirements to obtain a certificate.

The LGLA offers three levels of certification for elected officials:

Level 1 - Certificate in Local Government Leadership

Establishes a basic level of knowledge, skills, and abilities that newly elected officials required during their first term of office.

Level 2 - Advanced Certificate in Local Government Leadership

Augments the competency gained by a returning elected official with additional knowledge, skills, and abilities that can be used in service to the community.

Level 3 - Certificate of Excellence in Local Government Leadership

Acknowledges the competency gained by experienced elected officials who demonstrate exceptional leadership skills.

Supporting Documentation

Recipients of 2018 LGLA Certificates

Not Pictured

Level 1: Councillor Clay Bassendowski, Village of Chetwynd; Councillor Jenna Jensen, District of Sparwood; Councillor Jeremy Loveday, City of Victoria; Councillor Jillian Merrick, City of Prince George; Councillor Sally Mole, District of Ucluelet; Councillor Larry Schwartzenberger, Town of Oliver; Councillor Heather Stewin, District of Hope; Councillor Ian Thorpe, City of Nanaimo; Councillor Teri Towner, City of Coquitlam Level 2: Mayor Ken Christian, City of Kamloops Level 3: Councillor Chad Eliason, City of Salmon Arm; Director Ronaye Elliott, Thompson Nicola RD; Director Walter Popoff, Central Kootenay RD; Mayor Robin Smith, District of Logan Lake

Cathy Watson Memorial Award

The award consists of:

Complimentary Registration

Complimentary registration for either an Annual Leadership Forum or an Elected Officials Seminar* in the year following local government elections.

Complimentary Accommodation

Complimentary accommodation for the duration of the event.

Reimbursement of up to a maximum of $1,000

Reimbursement of up to a maximum of $1,000 in travel and related expenses upon submission of receipts.

CATHY WATSON was a long-serving employee of the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and was one of the original, founding members of the Local Government Leadership Academy. She was a dedicated proponent of local government and First Nations relations, education and leadership training and made many lasting contributions in this area. Sadly, Cathy passed away in May of 2015.

The Cathy Watson Memorial Award is established in her honour to enable participation in the annual LGLA Leadership Forum and Elected Officials Seminar Series by local government or First Nations elected officials who might otherwise be unable to attend.

The award is available to one applicant per Leadership Forum or Elected Officials Seminar who demonstrates financial need and an interest in developing their leadership capacity. (Please note: a total of five awards, one per region, will be given out in Elected Officials Seminar Series years.)


Downloadable Award Information

Applicants must submit a letter of not more than 500 words explaining their interest in attending the Elected Officials Seminar and their desire to improve their leadership capabilities. Applicants must also indicate the value of their attendance to their council or board and to their community at large, and must demonstrate financial need.

Letters should be addressed to the LGLA President and be submitted to


Applications to attend a Leadership Forum must be received by October 15. Applications to attend a regional Elected Officials Seminar must be received by November 15.

Evaluation Criteria

Primary evaluation criteria include the following:

  • Applicant must be a BC local government or First Nations elected official;
  • Applicant must demonstrate an interest in developing their leadership capacity;
  • Applicant must explain how their participation will benefit their local board/council and community;
  • Applicant must demonstrate financial need.

Additional evaluation considerations may include:

  • Past regional representation at LGLA events (i.e., Has it been some time since a delegate from your community or region attended an LGLA event?)
  • Balance between municipal/electoral area/First Nations representation (i.e., If the last several successful applicants have been from local governments, preference may be shown to applicants from First Nations communities; or, if a number of awards have gone to municipal representatives, preference may be shown to electoral area applicants.)

Evaluation and Notification Process

Letters of application will be evaluated by the LGLA Board. LGLA Board members or staff may contact applicants to request additional or clarifying information in evaluating applications. Recipients will be notified within six weeks of the respective application deadline.


Additional Details

  • The Cathy Watson Memorial Award is open to BC local government and First Nations elected officials only.
  • Recipients must submit receipts for reimbursement of travel and related expenses up to a maximum of $1,000.
  • Former recipients of the Cathy Watson Memorial Award are not eligible to re-apply.


Any questions about the Cathy Watson Memorial Award or the award application process should be directed to