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2016 Finalists

Meet the finalists in the 2016 Nature Inspiration Awards.

Lifetime Achievement
Not-for-Profit Organization (Small and Medium)
Not-for-Profit Organization (Large)
Business (Small and Medium)
Business (Large)

Youth Award

Three people pose in front of a science-fair-type of poster presentation.

Anayat Sidhu
17 years old
Calgary, Alberta
From building a community greenhouse out of water bottles in Calgary to making seed pods at a school in India, Anayat's passion for environmental sustainability translates into projects that engage her community and help people take action at the local level.


Joel Mathew.

Joel Mathew
10 years old
Milton, Ontario
Joel loves animals. Asking for donations instead of birthday presents, he started campaigns to protect first the Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) and later the eastern wolf (Canis sp. cf. lycaon). He also leads clean-up activities at his school to keep local ecosystems clean.


Kathy Nodzynski.

Kathy Nodzynski
17 years old
Montréal, Quebec
Working on composting projects and developing TopPlay (a project to build environmentally friendly, safe roof-top playgrounds on apartment buildings) lets Kathy help people and the environment at the same time.


Ta'Kaiya Blaney.

Ta'Kaiya Blaney
15 years old
North Vancouver, British Columbia
At age 10, Ta'Kaiya's first song, "Shallow Waters", and its accompanying video brought international attention to the impact of oil spills on otter populations in British Columbia. Since then, as a UN Youth Ambassador for Native Children's Survival, Ta'Kaiya champions the rights of indigenous youth in environmental protection. Her new song, "Earth Revolution", features children from around the world in a call to action to protect Mother Earth for future generations.



Individual Award

A man stands in a forest.

Bill Kilburn
Program Manager, Back to Nature Network
Milton, Ontario
A committed, natural educator and interpreter, Bill dedicates his days to helping people connect meaningfully to nature through unique hands-on experiences. He is a sought-after speaker and is recognised for his expertise and commitment to innovative approaches.


A man checks a fluid level in a motor.

Eric Peterson
Heriot Bay, British Columbia
Six years ago, Eric and his partner Christina Munck founded the Hakai Institute in a fishing lodge on Calvert Island, British Columbia. Today, Hakai is one of the leading centres for marine research in Canada, having 200 scientists working on coastal- and marine-ecology projects.


John Lounds.

John Lounds
President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy of Canada
Toronto, Ontario
Under John Lounds, the Nature Conservancy grown to become Canada's leading private land trust. Working with individuals and groups, the organization works to conserve more than 1.12 million hectares of ecologically significant land. John's leadership tripled Nature Conservancy's budget and his energy continues to inspire staff and volunteers alike.


Two people stand near bee hives.

Marianne and Matthew Gee
Founders, GeesBees Company
Ottawa, Ontario
Matthew and Marianne provide sustainable solutions for helping declining honeybee populations. They do this through hive rentals, public education and humane removal of bee infestations.


Michelle Valberg.

Michelle Valberg
Nature Photographer
Ottawa, Ontario
Michelle is known as much for her haunting portrayals of the natural world's interconnection with the human condition as for her tireless work as a volunteer and philanthropist, supporting and inspiring people to protect our natural heritage.



Lifetime Achievement Award

Two people collect waste at an outdoor gathering.

Carla Carlson
Vineland Station, Ontario
As a committed lifetime community volunteer for wildlife causes in the Niagara region of Ontario, Carla has raised the bar in environmental education and outreach in the area. From owl rescue to wildflower identification and eat-local food campaigns, Carla is recognised as driving force for sustainability in her community.


Grant Linney.

Grant Linney
Dundas, Ontario
Grant Linney dedicated his career and life to outdoor and environmental education for children. His involvement in organizations and in many publications over the years is remarkable. He has clearly influenced schools and teachers. Since 2010, he has become an advocate for actions that limit the effect of climate change.


A man stands on the shore of a pond.

Neal Jotham
Ottawa, Ontario
Neal Jotham played a central role in the creation and adoption of international standards on humane animal traps used in the fur industry. Despite controversy, he always remained true to his goal: to improve the animal-welfare aspects of trapping. As a direct result of his leadership, the suffering of millions of wild fur-bearing animals has been eliminated.


A man tends to a bird in a clinic.

Robin Campbell
Erringon, British Columbia
Robin devoted his career to caring for injured and orphaned wildlife and educating the public on wildlife and environmental issues. As Founder and Operations Manager at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association, he pioneered innovative approaches to rehabilitation such as a full-sized flight cage for injured birds to regain their wings.



Not-for-Profit Organization (Small and Medium) Award

A man crouches on sea ice.

Churchill Northern Studies Centre
Churchill, Manitoba
The Churchill Northern Studies Centre is a completely independent education facility and research centre. It supports the study of the unique flora and fauna of the Western Hudson Bay region. Since 1976, staff have mentored local youth in order to train the next generations of Arctic field scientists.


An audience at a presentation in a clearing.

Nature-Action Québec
Beloeil, Quebec
The territory of Montréal's greenbelt is a mosaic of uses and environments. Working with the community and the private and public sectors, Nature-Action Québec led a project that ultimately saw 900 hectares of natural environment and 8000 ha permanently protected through voluntary conservation.


Children walk along a sidewalk.

NatureHood Program, Nature Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
Nature Canada's national NatureHood program connects urban Canadians—especially young people—to nature right in their cities. A variety of free and accessible activities encourage learning and conservation in the community where people live. The focus is on relevant topics such as pollination in backyard gardens and migratory stopovers in urban trees.


A group of people poses on a hillside.

The Natural Step Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
Natural Step Canada change labs and IMPACT! Champions programs provide science-based tools for groups and businesses to discuss, resolve and move forward on difficult sustainability challenges.


People pick plants in a forest.

The Riverwood Conservancy
Mississauga, Ontario
Every year, the seven full- and five part-time staff at the Riverwood Conservancy welcome 10 000 visitors to this 60 hectare woodland oasis in the centre of Mississauga. Special programming such as the Enabling Garden that helps individuals with disabilities connect to nature is a hallmark of Riverwood's inclusive programming approach.



Not-for-Profit Organization (Large) Award

A man looks over a valley.

Nature Conservancy of Canada
Toronto, Ontario
Since 1960, the Nature Conservancy has enabled private efforts to conserve Canada's natural heritage through unique research and community partnerships and the only nation-wide conservation volunteer program.


Sharks and fish near the ocean floor.

Ocean Tracking Network, Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia
The Ocean Tracking Network brings together researchers, experts and communities from around the world to monitor aquatic life. The network uses state-of-the-art acoustic equipment to enable conservation efforts. For example, autonomous robots track populations of important species such as lobsters.


Three men pose in front of a mural.

Ocean Wise Program, Vancouver Aquarium
Vancouver, British Columbia
In 2005, the Vancouver Aquarium partnered with local seafood chef Rob Clark to develop the Ocean Wise program. The program encourages local restaurants to source and label sustainable menu items for customers. Today, Ocean Wise is a national programme with a network of nearly 700 partner businesses and thousands of locations.



Business (Small and Medium) Award

A Greenbug Energy turbine.

Greenbug Energy Inc.
Delhi, Ontario
Greenbug Energy's tiny turbines use an ancient Greek technology, the Archimedes screw, to provide a green water-powered energy option. The simple system can be used by even small farms or individual households as a sustainable energy source.


A landscaped garden.

Helping Nature Heal
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
Helping Nature Heal is an ecological landscaper whose revolutionary approach focuses on sustainable methods. This includes using native plants and creating spaces that engage, educate and foster community spirit.


A group of employees pose behind bags of garbage.

PowerStream Inc.
Vaughan, Ontario
PowerStream is a community-owned energy company, providing power and related service to customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. From operating a vanpool program to help employees commute, to offering customers free pick-up programs for appliances that are energy inefficient, to saving an Osprey nest found on company powerlines, PowerStream has made environmental stewardship part of its culture, every day.


Several Flight of the Butterflies packages on a table.

SK Films
Toronto, Ontario
SK Films creates and distributes multimedia natural-history productions. They help people take action in their backyards through series such as the Water Brothers, which use a multi-platform approach with hands-on information and projects.



Business (Large) Award

A view of a forested river valley.

Teck Resources Ltd.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Recognizing the impact of mining operations, Teck's company-wide environment-management strategy goes beyond cleaner operations. Part of the strategy is ensuring that closed mine sites return to a state of net-positive biodiversity. Another part re-establishes closed mine sites as self-sustaining ecosystems that can be used and enjoyed for years to come.