FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The late Susan “Sue” Popesku will be honoured with the Freedom of the City Award this month.

The award will be presented and Popesku’s contribution honoured with an event open to the public on June 11th at 3:30 pm. It will be held at the North Peace Cultural Centre in conjunction with the Fort St. John Arts Council.

Popesku made incredible contributions to the community over her life as a teacher, leader, and tireless advocate for arts and culture in the region.

She played vital roles in institutions, including the North Peace Cultural Centre, the North Peace Historical Society, Stage North, ArtsPost, Peace River North Festival Association, and the Fort St. John Arts Council. 

She was also the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation’s executive director. 

Her work in these institutions and other spaces demonstrated her commitment to developing a community with care for people at the forefront of its growth.

A legendary figure of arts, culture, and heritage in the Peace region, Popesku began her time in Fort St. John in the early 1970s with her husband, Sorin, as a teacher at North Peace Secondary School. 

The Freedom of the City Award is the city of Fort St. John’s highest honour. It is only awarded in exceptional cases and is used to recognize individuals who have made the most significant contributions to the community. 

Freedom of the City ceremonies for Jean Leahy and Popesku were postponed in December 2021 due to provincial restrictions.

Previous Freedom of the City recipients includes Charles ‘Bud’ Hamilton, the 2276 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, Richard Neufeld, and Jim Eglinski.

Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.