Citizen of the year

Al Hildebrandt speaks at a kickoff event for a child advocacy centre in Kelowna in 2019.

A former police officer turned high-tech entrepreneur and philanthropist has been named Kelowna's Citizen of the Year.

Al Hildebrandt was presented with the honour during last night's virtual civic awards ceremony.

As well as working as a police officer, Hildrebrant was also employed as a firefighter. He later founded QHR Technologies, and used his wealth to generously support Cops for Kids, the KGH Foundation and World Vision.

His most recent charitable undertaking has been to support creation of the Child Advocacy Centre in Kelowna.

The centre, at 1815 Kirschner Rd., brings together police, social service workers and health professionals who help kids who've been emotionally, physically, and sexually abused.

"Once you're a policeman, you're always a policeman at heart," Hildebrandt, who was a member of the Calgary Police Service from 1972 to '78, said in a 2015 interview.

In private business, Hildebrandt made his fortune by developing work scheduling software that now has wide applications in health care.

The awards ceremony, now in its 45th year, is usually held in the 850-seat Kelowna Community Theatre. But it was streamed online instead because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other winners include:

Young Citizen of the Year - Abby Kiehlbauch

Coach-adminstrator: Darcy Rysz

Athletic team: KSS Owls AAAA Girls Volleyball team

Male athlete: Trevor Brigden

Female and high school female athlete: Madelyn Hettinga

High school male athlete: Roan McCarthy

Champion for the environment: Operation Take Two

Teen honour in the arts: Sarah McIntyre

Honour in the arts: Erin Scott

Corporate community award: Avalon Event Rentals

Anita Tozer (contributing to Kelowna's quality of life): Randy Benson