Malstrom Awards

January 28th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Please nominate your favorite historic preservation project in Snohomish County for the 2015 Malstrom Award.

The League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations began as the idea of Brent Lambert, Snohomish County Heritage Planner. The group was officially formed in 1983 and, in an effort to encourage and honor heritage projects in the county, an annual awards program began, named after county volunteer and local history writer Helmer Malstrom who died in 1985. For 25 years the award was presented at the League’s annual meeting and luncheon held in Snohomish. From 2012- 2014, the presentation has been part of the League’s Heritage Day events, which were held in Stanwood at the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center building. This year (2016) the Malstrom Award luncheon returns to the Waltz Building in Snohomish to celebrate over 30 years of this program.

The Malstrom award has been given for historical publications, the preservation or rebuilding of historic structures and sites, the creation of new museums, various special exhibits and digital projects. (There is no monetary award). Beginning with 2014, the award was separated into two awards, one for publications (books, calendars, etc) and one for projects (exhibits, historic preservation projects, events, etc.)

Certificates of Commendation are given to the other applicants. Helmer Malstrom was an author and historian specializing in Everett history and devoted to the cause of sharing history with others. 

At the end of this page is a list of past winners.


The League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations invites individuals and groups to submit nominations for their heritage related projects in Snohomish County. The League’s Malstrom Awards are offered to recognize outstanding contributions to preserving our heritage in Snohomish County and to share experience, skills and resources. We encourage and welcome applications of all types and sizes to help acknowledge those that may go unnoticed outside of our local communities.

Eligible activities include historic preservation of architecture or cultural sites, historical or genealogical research/collections, exhibits, publications (print and online), audio/video productions and museum work. While an individual may be named to represent the project, it is usually the project itself and not the individual for which the award is made. Organizations and individuals are encouraged to nominate themselves since they have the best knowledge of the project.  If you think there is a good candidate but do not know how to begin, please contact us.

We can help people with the nomination form but often our members do not know of the projects so please encourage anyone who might be eligible to complete the forms.

To be eligible the project

• must have been completed in prior calendar year

• must be either independent (for example, a book, exhibit, or historic building restoration) or a clearly identifiable portion of a larger project.

If more than one publication is nominated, two Malstrom awards may be given, one for an outstanding publication and one for an outstanding project. 

The criteria the award will be based on:

• Providing new or unique historic information, interpretation or discoveries

• Contributing to the preservation or interpretation of Snohomish County history

• Use of best museum, research or digital practices

• Effective collaboration with other community organizations such as school groups, service clubs, libraries as additional outreach.

• Creative use of resources which may include funding, donated materials or services, consultants or staffing. A frequently asked question concerns applying for your own project, this is perfectly appropriate, the project managers are the most familiar with the projects and have the best access to documentation of the project (photos, testimonials, narrative descriptions, etc.)

Feel free to contact Karen to help with the application if you have questions.

If you have trouble we can email it to you, see address on About/Contact us tab above.

The League will ask an out-of-county historical group or individual to judge and select the winning project. The Date due for Nominations for projects completed in 2015 will be announced soon.

Malstrom Awards Winners 2014

Malstrom Awards Winners 2013

Malstrom Awards Nominees 2013

Malstrom Award Winner 2012

Malstrom Award Nominees 2012

Malstrom Award Winner 2011

Malstrom Award Nominees 2011

Malstrom Award Winners 2010

Malstrom Award Nominations for 2010


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