Recipients of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards
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Dr. Myron & Mrs. Elaine Semkuley
Dr. Myron Semkuley and Mrs. Elaine Semkuley have dedicated their lives to helping those in need. Using their own funds and risking personal well-being, they began in 1992 to deliver medical aid to refugees along the war-torn Burmese borders and impoverished villages in western Ukraine. They have continued annually ever since. As a result of Dr. and Mrs. Semkuley’s leadership, their organization, Medical Mercy Canada Society (MMC), has grown from initial operations within their Calgary home to include both a warehouse and office space. Calgary volunteers process, package and ship thousands of kilograms of medicine, medical equipment and clothing to impoverished persons and refugees in disadvantaged areas.
Dr. and Mrs. Semkuley have built a network of pharmacists and businesses to donate medical supplies and services. Starting with only a few individuals, the network has grown to over 700 donors and volunteers.
The border regions of Nepal, India and Burma, as well as western Ukraine, are areas currently served by MMC. Most medical camps, clinics and outreach programs are located in places rarely visited by other NGOs. A long-standing policy of the organization is that local participation in any project undertaken by MMC is mandatory. Host country recipients are encouraged to contribute their time and efforts. The impact of this policy is visible when revisiting these areas: physical structures (hospitals, schools, seniors’ homes, etc.) continue to be well cared for when the locals are an active part of the process.
Dr. and Mrs. Semkuley are also very active locally; they have initiated many projects aiming to help those in need. After the 2013 flood in southern Alberta, their 50th wedding anniversary celebration in August 2013 became a fundraising event for MMC and for restoring the Rowan House Emergency Women’s Shelter in High River, which had suffered material damage and losses. MMC is also a participant in the Fig Tree Foundation’s Roundtable, a group of non-profit organizations based in Calgary who share their stories and resources, partnering wherever possible. Through their passion and dedication, Dr. and Mrs. Semkuley continue to improve the quality of life in impoverished areas through humanitarian projects.
Matt Cardwell is inspiring others by example. In 2005, Mr. Cardwell suffered a major concussion that significantly changed his life forever. Although still not fully recovered, he has built two successful community businesses and now employs over 60 residents—primarily young adults—teaching them important life skills such as hard work, passion, goal setting, and skill development. Through mentoring, training and assisting them with job advancement, Mr. Cardwell takes pride in helping young people reach their dreams and achieve their full potential.
Once a need is identified, Mr. Cardwell works collaboratively with community organizations and businesses to provide a sustainable long-term solution. As a member of the Whitby Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, he founded the Young Entrepreneur and Professional’s Committee, where he spends countless hours recruiting members, and attending meetings and events. As a result of his efforts, the Committee now has sustainable funding.
Mr. Cardwell partnered with Wounded Warriors Canada to support ground- breaking programs for those suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has hosted events with all proceeds going directly to Wounded Warriors. For the past three years, Mr. Cardwell has supported the Police Memorial Fund, raising awareness and garnering support and funding for the families of police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
The Whitby Boys and Girls Club has equally benefited from Mr. Cardwell’s compassion. After learning the Club’s van had been vandalized beyond repair, he rallied together a group of people to raise enough money to purchase the Club a new van. When the Hearts of Durham, an organization that does ALS research, approached him for help, he committed to raising $10,000 for research through a number of fundraising initiatives and has offered in-kind contributions from his place of business.
Mr. Cardwell values civic engagement and exemplifies dedication to the community. His tireless volunteerism and contributions have impacted the lives of people far beyond the borders of the Town of Whitby. Mr. Cardwell uses many of his skills, most notably his ability to work collaboratively and bring together a diverse group of people and business leaders, to accomplish shared goals to better his community.
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Cody O’Brien - Atlantic
Cody O’Brien is a compassionate, enthusiastic person who values volunteering and the impact it has within the community. Mr. O’Brien’s love of science spurred him to join Let’s Talk Science, a national charitable organization that delivers unique learning programs and services that engage children, youth and educators in science, technology, engineering and math.
Fluently bilingual, Mr. O’Brien has excellent communications skills and the ability to adapt workshops to suit a diverse range of learners and cultures including Inuit, Innu and Métis. In only a few short months, he quickly became a leader within the Let’s Talk Science volunteer team in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where he inspires, trains and mentors new volunteers.
Mr. O’Brien values the importance of reaching children and youth in his home province, sparking their interest and creativity by using science outreach as a platform. He travelled to rural communities in Labrador and Newfoundland to bring such activities to areas which otherwise would not experience the same level of hands-on science as the metropolitan areas of Newfoundland. At local hospitals and schools, he delivered 29 science workshops, in English and French, to over 1,100 students from kindergarten to grade 10.
Mr. O’Brien’s volunteer contributions as a French immersion teaching assistant and through Let’s Talk Science have inspired countless students and educators in remote and rural areas of Newfoundland and Labrador. Among students, his workshops and interactive classroom science presentations will have a lasting impact. Among his peers and fellow educators, he is seen as a role model through his efforts to ensure science is seen as important and exciting.
Sylvie Ethier - Quebec
Sylvie Ethier has given children in her community a space to be heard. Inspired by her volunteer activities with the Maison de la Famille de Ste-Anne-des-Plaines and her work with children during a rewarding 11-year career as an elementary school teacher, and in collaboration with 4 other colleagues, Sylvie Ethier launched a new project that fits with her desire to serve and listen to children.
The project is a mail service for primary-age children that enables them to write to specially trained adults when they feel the need. Through hard work and energy, Ms. Ethier and her team have gradually established this service in the community’s three elementary schools. Recognizing the real need of children to talk and be heard, Ms. Ethier and the founding team decided to allow the project to grow by creating a new community organization exclusively for children—Le Phare des Lucioles. This organization received its letters patent in March 2012 and, since last September, has been registered as a charitable organization. Ms. Ethier is making a difference in her community by providing a unique service targeting exclusively children aged 5 to 12. This year, her involvement in the children’s mail service has enabled 551 students in grades 3 to 6 to access a service that allows them to share their thoughts without fear of being judged and with the assurance of receiving a personalized response. In addition, with the opening of the children’s centre in the near future, it is expected that all children from preschool to grade 2 in the region’s three schools will be added to the ranks of those benefiting from this service.
Trading in her teacher’s hat for that of the head of an organization devoted to children, Ms. Ethier continues to use her energy to make the community of Ste-Anne-des-Plaines aware of the concerns of children. She knows that it is through open and respectful dialogue that we can contribute to their growth and development.
Dr. Syed Aslam Daud - Ontario
For more than 20 years, Dr. Syed Aslam Daud has championed humanitarian causes. As the Chairman of the Canadian chapter of Humanity First, he is the primary initiator and sustainer of multiple community-based programs in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that provide support services to low-income residents, refugees/new immigrants, the homeless, seniors, children, youth, families and visible minorities.
Humanity First has earned local, national and international recognition as a leading humanitarian relief organization under Dr. Daud’s leadership. An immigrant himself, he has spearheaded programs that assist new immigrants and refugees integrate into Canadian society such as the Refugee Sponsorship and Settlement Program.
Dr. Daud also developed a Feed a Family program, where he and his team deliver food to thousands of GTA seniors, homeless and low-income families, and The Seniors First program, a health, fitness and social support program helping seniors integrate into the community. He has played a leadership role in bringing the local multicultural and multi-faith communities closer, thus promoting harmony, tolerance and mutual respect amongst community members. He is also a board member of Vaughn Community Health Centre, a non-profit health care organization, where his decision-making has had immense consequences on the health of the organization, helping them become more effective and successful in their mission.
The Ahmadiyya Children Sunday school is also one of the major achievements of Dr. Daud. It is an educational and recreational club that runs on a monthly basis in various cities in the GTA and Canada and has over a hundred volunteers with educational backgrounds working with children to develop their social, moral, recreational and religious education.
With his dedication and commitment, Dr. Daud was able to transfer his passion to serve his community and create a successful charitable organization.
Rev. (Dr.) Deborah Olukoju - Prairies
Rev. (Dr.) Deborah Olukoju has provided immeasurable support to her community. After leaving her home country of Nigeria, Rev. Olukoju came to Canada as a student to study and lead a more prosperous life. Though she had little financial resources, she persevered and improved her situation and that of those around her. She has since provided counselling services to hundreds of individuals, supported newcomers to Canada and has taken action to help prevent youth violence. As a role model in her community, she inspires action, selflessness, integrity and excellence. She has multiplied herself by training leaders who now model, counsel and coach young couples and young adults.
The range of her activities is varied, and Rev. Olukoju reaches out to those in need regardless of age, gender or financial situation. As the Manitoba facilitator for the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada Mentorship Program and the liaison for the Nigerian community with the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, she has assisted newcomers to Canada in settling and securing employment in Manitoba. The grant she secured from the public sector provides 300 children and adolescents with the opportunity to attend and gain work experience at several summer camps.
As a pastor with a congregation of over 400 members, she maintains close ties with her community and responds promptly to their needs. To share her message, she has also co-produced two powerful movies entitled “Forces Against My Soul” and “The Finest Wine,” which have touched the hearts and souls of vulnerable individuals and served as a deterrent from leading a life of violence. The third, “The Mobile Prison” whose moral lesson is about forgiveness and closer family relationship has just been released in the month of March 2015.
In the last 10 years she has assisted, cared for and provided opportunities for well over 2,500 individuals. She is known to gather household items and she continues to open her own door to those who need a place to stay. She continues to mentor hundreds of young people on how to live and serve self-sacrificially. Her role as a volunteer counsellor and coach for couples and individuals seeking spiritual, emotional and moral support leads to a healthier and happier community.
Raghbir Singh Bains - British Columbia and the North
Raghbir Singh Bains’ voluntary efforts have left a significant mark on his community. Since the age of 10, Mr. Bains has been an avid volunteer and mentor, recruiting and teaching others in an effort to introduce and expand high standards in his community of Surrey, British Columbia. Mr. Bains, a trained drug counsellor, translator and interpreter, has arranged and hosted hundreds of seminars, conferences, rallies, exhibitions, interactive workshops, youth workshops, media releases and radio-TV talk shows to better his community.
Mr. Bains has given free lectures to students in schools, colleges and universities on subjects such as life skills, multiculturalism, diversity, cooperative living, nationalism, cultural values, drugs, trafficking, sexual assault, prostitution, bullying, domestic violence and more. His work has helped countless immigrants with language barriers overcome social challenges and settle comfortably in British Columbia. In return, the community has bestowed hundreds of awards and accolades upon Mr. Bains for his service.
Through his multifaceted contributions, he has counselled people with issues of drug and domestic violence, and sat on many advisory committees in the City of Surrey, Vancouver, Delta and for the Government of British Columbia. He has also helped raise law and order awareness among people with language barriers, seniors, youth and those in need, in partnership with the police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Traffic Safety Committee of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia in Surrey, Delta and Vancouver.
Mr. Bains empowers individuals, builds solidarity, encourages general participation and protects vulnerable populations against economic, social and political marginalization in rural and urban communities of British Columbia, the USA, Europe and Asia. He has also helped to raise awareness on the plight of HIV/AIDS in Africa and the ill effects of drug abuse around the world.
LaHave River Credit Union - Atlantic
The LaHave River Credit Union (LRCU) is a member-owned, locally controlled, financial institution whose mission is to provide financial and social leadership to its membership and their community in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Committed to giving back to its community, the LRCU targets its initiatives to address the community’s needs and donates time and money to local projects.
The LRCU has become a leader in youth education and empowerment, and has supported such programs as Junior Achievement, helping to equip youth with skills to improve financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.
The LRCU also celebrates and promotes the value of education and knowledge through its support of the Knowledge Festival. The Festival provides a platform for hundreds of students to showcase their academic skills and build excitement about academic achievement in local schools.
The LRCU has helped to foster a culture of giving within its organization by encouraging their staff to sit as board members and help raise funds for local social organizations such as the Bridgewater Food Bank, The Autism Centre Society of the South Shore and the David Atkinson Memorial Bonspiel. Their work in community development is also supported by other local organizations, including the Bridgewater Volunteer Fire Department, Rotary Club, and Awesome Foundation where LRCU staff sit as active board members or participants in fund raising activities.
The LRCU has successfully leveraged the resources and energies of many organizations, businesses and schools to maximize the benefits achieved for their community. Their business model ensures that their activities directly benefit their community and that decision-making, profits, and resources are shared locally and democratically.
Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services - Quebec
Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services is a model of corporate social responsibility. Founded in 1892, the insurance company has had its values rooted in the old tradition of giving back for over 100 years. Industrial Alliance has provided outstanding support to communities at the local, regional and national levels for the past 25 years. Through donations, sponsorships and programs encouraging volunteerism, the company is committed to contributing to the well-being of the communities in which its employees and those of its subsidiaries live and work. To this end, Industrial Alliance and its employees are actively involved in causes seeking to improve the quality of people’s lives.
Industrial Alliance is a particularly strong supporter of the United Way, given the organization’s powerful outreach and its direct impact in the community. The company donated more than $450,000 in 2013 and more than $520,000 in 2014 to the United Way in Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches. Through the efforts of its President and CEO, Yvon Charest, Industrial Alliance has played a major role in motivating other insurance companies operating in Québec and the region of Chaudière-Appalaches to join in the spirit of generosity toward the United Way.
An amount in excess of $1.1 million was collected for the United Way during the fundraising campaign that took place at the end of 2014. Nationally, Industrial Alliance received the Thanks a Million award, recognizing outstanding donors (contributing $1 million and more) to United Way Centraide in 2013.
Industrial Alliance financially encourages its employees to volunteer with humanitarian organizations with which they have a close affinity. As a result, the company has donated $67,000 to over 58 organizations in 2014 and 278 company employees were personally involved in fundraising activities or as volunteers. The focus of Industrial Alliance’s philanthropic priorities is fighting poverty and social exclusion. Its commitment to the United Way, its contribution to raising awareness and the donations collected through its campaigns exemplify the depth of its culture of caring and its solidarity toward the entire community.
The Printing House Limited - Ontario
The Printing House (TPH) is helping to create stronger communities. The Charitable Office, a division of TPH, was established in 1985 and has since raised millions of dollars for a number of charitable causes. With their commitment to philanthropy, TPH contributes its resources, engages its employees in volunteerism, and provides in-kind services and financial support to benefit social and cultural organizations.
Among its many initiatives, TPH offers discounted prices to charitable organizations and donates stock to local schools, summer camps, and community and daycare centres. It is the print sponsor for the Governor General's Performing Arts Award Gala and also sponsors an annual Charitable Greeting Card Campaign, whose profits are directed to organizations that assist a variety of food programs, and over $851,700 has been raised in support of 56 registered Canadian charities.
TPH is a long-time supporter and partner of the True Patriot Love Foundation, which provides support and services to Canadian Armed forces members, veterans and military families. Thanks to the pro bono printing of promotional event materials, the Foundation is able to send hundreds of military children to summer camp, fund resilience training and peer-based therapy programs for ill and wounded soldiers, provide community-strengthening activities for military families frequently relocating from base to base, and support counselling programs for parents of fallen soldiers.
TPH is an inspiration not only for its social involvement, but also as a leader in the printing industry. With over 70 locations across Canada, it has set the brand standard and is a known industry leader.
Chandos Construction Ltd. - Prairies
Chandos Construction Ltd. is an Alberta-based construction company committed to enriching their community. They do this by providing financial as well as volunteer support to organizations and causes they believe in. For nearly three decades, they have been a pillar of support to Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). They have provided this organization with financial contributions, as well as their employees volunteering their time. Working with partners and trades, Chandos is able to reduce the cost of their services for BBBS. Because of this, BBBS has been able to maximize their renovation dollars and continue to provide community support to children and families.
When the North Saskatchewan River flooded its banks, Chandos responded to the needs of its community and sent nearly 30 employees to help sandbag during the flood. Flooding from the reservoirs affected the BBBS building. The volunteers stayed for an entire week, helping BBBS, their neighbors and the surrounding community to overcome the flood. Chandos provides support without hesitation – they found, provided and installed a much-needed pool table cloth, donated an air hockey table, replaced light bulbs, checked the status of past projects, and helped BBBS staff with jobs around the facilities. During a replacement window renovation, a break-in occurred and resulted in the theft of the club’s TV, Xbox and DVD player. Within days, Chandos hosted a barbeque to raise money to replace the stolen electronics. Chandos employees have been on the Big Brothers Big Sisters charitable golf tournament committee and helped raise in excess of $2 million for the organization.
Since 2005, Chandos Construction has raised a total of $666,466 for United Way. In addition, Chandos employees also offer their time, talent and expertise through volunteer activities as part of their annual United Way campaign. Chandos plays a leadership role, engaging every employee, including sub-contractors and tradespeople, in their United Way campaign. For example, they organized a world café initiative that brought together a group of companies to share best practices and campaign ideas to strengthen the efforts of everyone involved.
Like so many other businesses, Chandos experienced a struggle in the recent economic downturn; however, they continued to match employee donations made to United Way. Chandos serves as an inspiring example for other businesses in the community.
Victory Square Labs - British Columbia and the North
Victory Square Labs (VSL) is fostering innovation in the business and social community in British Columbia and abroad. Founded by Shafin Diamond Tejani in 2007, the company provides funding, mentorship and resources to entrepreneurs in the Web, mobile, gaming and film sectors, with a special focus on funding socially responsible companies and minority entrepreneurs.
Through their model of venture philanthropy, VSL contributes 12.5 percent of company proceeds and encourages employees to invest 40 hours per month of their time and professional expertise in local non-profits to strengthen these organizations and scale their impact. They have actively recruited a network of entrepreneurs, professionals, volunteers and community leaders to create a local network of partners uniting passion and purpose. In B.C., their mission is focused on strengthening the organizational capacity of non-profits serving children in need and youth at risk. The VSL vision is to ensure more children and youth reach their full potential.
Since its inception, Mr. Tejani and his team have donated 7,500 volunteer hours, helped raise over $75 million for school programs and community organizations, and awarded over $250,000 in scholarships.
Specifically, VSL donates time, knowledge and financial resources to non-profit organizations such as: Social Venture Partners, BC Children’s Hospital, The KidSafe Project, Athletics4Kids, Children’s Wish, Growing Chefs, Futurpreneur, Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad, Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, Project Somos, Pratham, World Partnership Walk and Focus Humanitarian Assistance.
In the past year alone, these partnerships have provided support, safety, programming and nutritious meals for over 450 vulnerable children, granted the favourite wish of 10 children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, given 800 disadvantaged youth access to organized amateur sports, and taught children, parents and community members about healthy foods and healthy food systems in over 34 different schools across the province.
VSL is currently working with KidSafe on their very important Annual Summer Break Program. This free program will be offered to children from six inner-city Vancouver elementary schools, giving some of the most economically and emotionally vulnerable students a safe place when school is closed.
NBYO – Sistema New Brunswick - Atlantic
One of the most respected youth music programs in Canada, the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra (NBYO) is inspiring children and youth through music. Originally inspired by the world-leading Venezuelan model El Sistema, the NYBO had a dream to build a music program for disadvantaged children and youth in New Brunswick, giving them a place where they could go to develop music skills. The result of that dream is Sistema New Brunswick, a free music program that allows children to realize their potential and to be inspired.
The NYBO was able to articulate its vision and earn the support of local school districts, individuals, businesses and the Province of New Brunswick to develop a sustainable after-school music program for the community. Sistema New Brunswick started with one centre, one teacher and 50 children. Today, they serve over 570 children daily and employ 40 professional Teaching Artists in four locations, teaching in French and English in both rural and urban locations. After school every day for three hours, children whose personal and/or economic circumstances leave them marginalized are able to enjoy and play music. Recent evaluations of Sistema New Brunswick's work—conducted in partnership with the New Brunswick Department of Culture, Tourism and Healthy Living—provided compelling evidence that its work has addressed psycho-social issues affecting many children and that music education has been an effective means of improving children's neural development and academic achievement.
The New Brunswick Youth Orchestra’s Sistema New Brunswick program has been transforming the lives of children in profound ways, in New Brunswick and beyond. Their leadership and the enthusiasm of their volunteers have sparked the founding of other Sistema sites from coast to coast. As a result, absenteeism from class has decreased; teachers have reported better behaviour in classrooms and have observed real and important change in the children, such as improved self-esteem and confidence.
La Tablée des Chefs - Quebec
La Tablée des Chefs is helping to promote food autonomy in Quebec. The mission of La Tablée des Chefs is to counter food insecurity, feed families in need and educate future generations by developing their food self-sufficiency. It is also the focus of social involvement of some 100 professional chefs, cooks and pastry cooks, in addition to numerous foodies, seeking to contribute to the organization’s cause.
The mission of La Tablée des Chefs responds to the needs of the community as a whole, but especially to those in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. By raising awareness among various communities (hotels, restaurants, organizations, etc.) to food waste, La Tablée des Chefs has been successful in encouraging 47 establishments to contribute to its food recovery service. In 2013, with the collaboration of a number of charitable organizations, 360 000 meals were provided to needy families. Its food brokerage service has even attracted attention outside of Quebec, and agreements have already been reached with chefs in major hotels in Calgary and Toronto. They have also created a partnership in Mexico with the Green Initiatives of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
La Tablée des Chefs also focuses on culinary education, particularly on training young people in food self-sufficiency. Through programs offered in high schools, Centres de jeunesse, cooking camps and other community locations, the organization seeks to make the acquisition of culinary knowledge the cornerstone of nutritional autonomy. In this way, underprivileged youth will be less dependent on food banks when they become adults. In 2013, 15,000 youth benefited from these programs in 8 regions across Quebec. The program has expanded considerably since its introduction, and it now reaches over 45 high schools and covers more than 12 regions in the province. La Tablée des Chefs displays tireless energy, creativity and a strong entrepreneurial spirit to meet the challenge of developing food self-sufficiency among disadvantaged populations, and especially among young people. Their involvement in the community is not only necessary but is a model example of an innovative not-for-profit organization.
Haven on the Queensway - Ontario
Haven on the Queensway is equipping community members with essential resources to succeed. Haven on the Queensway is a charitable organization meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people in Toronto and surrounding communities. Since opening its doors in 2009, Haven on the Queensway has been assisting people in the community struggling with poverty or a crisis situation. Their aim is to provide the basic necessities of life so that people can move forward to becoming self-sufficient and able to give back to their community.
Haven on the Queensway coordinates several programs including a weekly Food Bank, Clothing Boutique, Children’s Book Centre, First Care for Pregnant Women and New Parents, Pathway to Peace (a 12-step support group), RAHAB (a program for those leaving the sex trade), Alcoholics Anonymous, Inmate Rehabilitation, and Hope With Wheels (outreach van for homeless needs), Lakeside Community Dinner and other counseling and employment programs. This suite of services allows many clients to successfully establish or reconstruct new lives in an atmosphere of respect, dignity and security.
Haven on the Queensway has developed many partnerships with community organizations. For example, they work with the Daily Bread Food Bank who deliver over one ton of food every Tuesday to the Haven. This link is vital to the organization, which services approximately 350 individuals (120 families) per week. Haven also partnered with Youth Unlimited and created a rehab program specifically designed for individuals who want to leave the sex trade.
There are many beneficiaries of the Haven’s activities, the largest group being those who come to the food bank program. However, single mothers, the homeless, reforming alcoholics, children, sex-trade workers and those with criminal records also find assistance through their counselling programs. A prime example of the Haven’s outreach is their weekly Hope With Wheels program, which responds to the needs of the homeless both in Etobicoke and in downtown Toronto. Haven on the Queensway has also developed programming that caters to those required to serve community hours as ordered by the courts, giving them an opportunity to attend programs to help redirect their energies in a more positive way.
The Haven on the Queensway is over 100 volunteers strong. Many of them are seniors looking for a way to contribute, youth who want to learn how to help others, adults who wish to make a viable difference in their community and past clients who have seen less fortunate times and wish to give back.
Canadian Western Agribition - Prairies
Canadian Western Agribition is helping to highlight Canada’s rich agricultural community.
For 45 years, Canadian Western Agribition (CWA) has hosted an annual six-day agricultural exhibition that welcomes over 127,000 visitors from over 70 countries around the world. Thanks to 200 employees and over 400 volunteers, CWA is a platform that showcases Canada’s high-quality products, technologies and animals. The event gives visitors an opportunity to experience a wide range of events such as stock dogs, horse pulls, rodeo and exposure to First Nations culture.
Partnering with three levels of government, CWA’s economic contribution is over $37 million annually, benefiting the Regina community as well as the province by creating jobs, increasing product sales and offering countless visitors an opportunity to experience agriculture in an entertaining and festive atmosphere. Over 6,000 young children participate in organized school programs designed to give young people a hands-on experience with agriculture. All profits generated by CWA go back into programming and also helped support the recent construction of a six-rink skating facility and soccer complex that benefits the City and surrounding areas. CWA also leads the way in the application of technologies such as webcasting cattle shows and sales around the world, as well as adopting traceability technologies, positioning Canada as a leader in cattle production and food safety.
CWA’s launch of the First Nations Pavilion serves as an inspiration to the First Nations community as it celebrates First Nations culture and highlights successful businesses and leaders. The Pavilion creates an environment of sharing and a sense of pride in First Nations accomplishments, languages, crafts and traditions.
CWA provides a host of positive social and economic impacts that have been self-sustaining for over four decades. It contributes to the community as a whole by attracting visitors, educating children and youth, providing a market place attracting participants and visitors from all over the world.
Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association - British Columbia and the North
The Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association (NACA) has contributed largely to the promotion and development of Nunavut’s arts and crafts sector both domestically and abroad. NACA uses its core funding to leverage over $600,000 annually to offer support to more than 3,700 artists across the territory struggling to find avenues to promote, sell and distribute their products. The Association looks to increase the visibility of artists by partnering with events such as the Arts Pavilion at the 2014 Northern Lights Trade show and conference in Ottawa. Here, artists were able to have their work promoted on both a national and international level. These types of events not only promote the visibility of Nunavut artists but also provide an understanding of what Inuit arts and crafts are and what they offer as a prominent art form in today’s society.
NACA partners with many to empower young and emerging artists to follow their dreams in becoming full-time artists, if they so choose. The services offered by NACA allow artists to find new and innovative ways to develop skills in the art field. By being predominantly active in Nunavut, NACA is able to connect individual artists in remote communities with galleries and wholesalers in southern Canada, therefore providing better opportunities to sell their work and provide for their families.
NACA’s approach is a model for success, and many organizations looking to promote and highlight the Inuit arts and culture look to them for assistance in planning cultural activities and for leadership.
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