The 2018 GC Awards were announced at Green Communities Canada’s (GCC) Annual General Meeting, 18 June. The awards recognize the many champions who work and volunteer with GCC and its member organizations.
Green Community of the Year – City Green Solutions, Victoria, BC
City Green Solutions has developed a foundation for market transformation in energy efficiency for both new home construction and existing housing stock.
The BC Home Energy Coach program provides energy coaching services for consumers, industry, utilities, and local governments. It has become the leading resource for learning how to reduce energy consumption and about rebate programs.
City Green has also developed a tool to train energy advisors on how to demonstrate that a new home meets required energy code levels.
Both initiatives are increasing energy efficiency and have high potential for being replicated at the national level.
This award is for an organization that demonstrates innovation in programming, partnerships and marketing, and successful local community (businesses, households) or broader transformation (policy, government).
Environmental Lifetime Achievement Award – two winners
- Dr. E. Melanie Watt, Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, Canmore, AB
- Ellen Mortfield, EcoSuperior, Thunder Bay, ON
Dr. E. Melanie Watt
She is a well-known author and academic, and is recognized as a community champion and expert in sustainability.
Ellen is a tireless champion for environmental causes in Thunder Bay and the Lake Superior Basin. Her strength in community engagement and constructive collaboration have resulted in strong and sustained partnerships with key regional stakeholders.
Ellen is a champion grant writer, a diplomatic communicator, and undoubtedly the “glue” that holds EcoSuperior together!
This award is for an individual who demonstrates through work and achievements a lifetime contribution to improving the environment.
Innovation Award – two winners
- Green Action Centre, Winnipeg, MB: Compost Winnipeg, GOManitoba, Onsite programs
- Green Venture, Hamilton, ON: Smoothie Bike program
Green Action Centre: Compost Winnipeg, GOManitoba, Onsite programs
Green Action Centre has developed three innovative projects to promote green living:
- Compost Winnipeg is a social enterprise to encourage green jobs while reducing waste. Compost Winnipeg operates 7 days a week, employs 7 people, and collects between 2-3 metric tonnes of organics daily.
This project has shown innovation in:
- collection methods by using electric bikes
- accessibility by collecting from seniors who otherwise aren’t able to compost, and
- and organizational structure by creating a non-profit waste collection agency
- GoManitoba is an app and website that helps facilitate carpools, promote public transit use, and match commuters with bike and walk mentors. It is a quick, secure, and personal way to find new commuting options.
While there are other carpool apps on the market, GOManitoba is unique in that it encompasses all aspects of healthy commuting, such as cycling, transit or walking.
- Onsite helps tenants and building management set up compost facilities on site, and offers training and expertise, with regular follow-ups.
Green Venture: Smoothie Bike program
The Smoothie Bike program is an innovative addition to Green Venture’s work in sustainable transportation, healthy food, and sustainable energy. It is also a marketing and community engagement success that has expanded from funded presentations at schools to private bookings.
The smoothie bike program began with local schools using stationary “blender bicycles” to make delicious healthy smoothies while learning about local food.
Phase 2 added the ability to power small electronic devices while making smoothies.
Phase 3 (2018) includes quantifying screen time by determining mileage ridden.
This award is for an organization that demonstrates innovation in programming, partnerships, marketing and events.
Outstanding Staff Person Award – two winners
- Laura Anderson, Green Venture, Hamilton, ON
- Brendan Schaefer, Reep Green Solutions, Kitchener, ON
Laura is a tireless champion of Green Venture’s gardening programs, who actively promotes the organization to the community, and has facilitated many community initiatives and partnerships.
Laura is detail-oriented and runs her programs effectively and within budget, and, at the same time, constantly strives to improve them. She goes out of her way to ensure her programs are working in concert with other activities being conducted by Green Venture. She is a leader in the Green Venture organization.
Brendan is the Swiss army knife of Reep. He can literally do just about anything, and he does in fact do just about everything in the organization.
Brendan is Reep’s:
- IT and security guru
- the facility manager of the Reep House
- a Registered Energy Advisor
- WET auditor, providing water conservation audits
- Rain Home visit guide
- Rain barrel installer
He demonstrates his commitment to Reep and to environmental sustainability every day.
This award is for a staff person who has demonstrated through his/her work and achievements the strongest commitment to a Green Community bringing about positive change and impact to the organization.
Youth Engagement Award – three winners representing two Green Communities
- Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, Canmore, AB
- Erin Moir and Aynsley Klassen, Program Coordinators, EcoSuperior Environmental Programs, Thunder Bay, ON
Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley
The Biosphere Institute’s youth programs have been recognized with prestigious grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. They include:
- school specific programming (K-12)
- spring/summer camps
- programing for Family and Social Services groups, youth groups (i.e. Scouts, cycling clubs, Green Clubs), and programs for new Canadians.
The widely popular EduKits are travelling trunks of teaching activities, props and resources that have engaged more than 5,000 youth in active, hands-on learning and environmental stewardship. Also popular are our youth movie-making workshops. In addition, the Biosphere Institute strives to include youth in all of its programming and program decision making.
Erin Moir and Aynsley Klassen
Erin and Aynsley are the driving forces behind the Agents of Change, Climate Action Project. The project will inspire 150 youth from across Northwestern Ontario to reduce GHG emissions and create positive change through action.
In addition, Erin is the coordinator of EcoSuperior’s Summer Day Camp, and both Erin and Aynsley deliver classroom education programming for local school boards.
This award is for a member that excels at engaging youth in programming, not only in school specific programming, but also in day camps and other organizational programming.
Outstanding Board Person – Janek Jagiellowicz, Reep Green Solutions, Kitchener, ON
Janek Jagiellowicz is a Human Resources professional who provides invaluable advice and guidance to Reep Green Solutions. His advice is always succinct, practical and encouraging and he knows how to provide a different opinion without creating conflict.
This award is for a board member who has demonstrated through his/her work and achievements the strongest commitment to a Green Community providing exceptional stewardship to the organization.
Resilience Awards – Given to GC member organizations that have continued to succeed despite challenges, thanks to a host of qualities including flexibility and adaptation, and have reached a milestone in longevity.
Green Calgary 40 years
Environment Network 25 years
Windfall Ecology Centre 20 years
GCC salutes this year’s winners. Winners receive a certificate and bragging rights for the year.