Each year, Sierra Club Canada grants several awards to outstanding volunteers and staff across the Club. This year's awards were handed out at the Annual General Meeting in November.
Congratulations to all the winners! Your commitment to reducing our impact on the earth is a great gift to us all.
The Ron Burchell Membership Development Award
This award is given in memory of Sierra Club Canada founding president, Ron Burchell, to the volunteer who has contributed in an outstanding way to membership recruitment.
Recipient: Betty Zaikow
Betty had been active on getting many campaigns going in the Powell River area. She is currently working to keep 1000 acres in the Agricultural Land Reserve from being developed. Since there was no local environmental group actively addressing issues such as fish farms and tire burning, etc., Betty was instrumental in forming Sierra Club Canada Malaspina Group in 2003. Whenever there is an opportunity for her to set up a table and Sierra Club banner at a community event, you’ll find Betty getting people to sign petitions, write letters, and become members. She is not intimidated by executives and representatives of large companies or government - and, when necessary, she can bring thunder to an issue!
The Chuck Chamberlin Award
This award is given in memory of Chuck Chamberlin to the volunteer who has contributed in significant ways to the health and growth of a local group.
Recipients: Jacques Morin and Eric Lorenz
Eric took on organization of the Lower Mainland ExCom group after the previous leaders moved on to other posts, effectively starting from scratch in March 05. He has spent 5-20 hours per week over the last 20 months to establish and grow a “new” Lower Mainland Group in activism, visibility, participation in local events, and establishment of an outings program. Membership has doubled because of his efforts. He has joined efforts for protection of Eagleridge Bluffs, new local mapping, trash, and climate campaigns initiated with Eric as ExCom chair, protection of old trees at UBC. He has provided statements to the media regarding these efforts gaining visibility for the Sierra Club.
Jacques has been the anchor for the Haida Gwaii group for nearly a decade, organizing and inspiring local people to represent the voices of one of the most remote communities in the Sierra Club family. Jacques has also served as a local group representative on the BC Chapter board for more than 7 years, and brings an important voice and perspective to the Chapters’ work. He juggles two significant responsibilities - serving on his local group board as well as on the BC Chapter board. Jacques takes these responsibilities on with seriousness, grace, and a sense of responsibility that are unique in our organization.
The Conservation Chapter Award
This award is given to the volunteer who has contributed to a significant environmental campaign within their chapter.
Recipient: Vicky Husband
Vicky is one of British Columbia's best known environmentalists. Past Conservation Chair for the Sierra Club of B.C., and a volunteer with the Club for the past 18 years, she is tireless in her drive to protect her province's natural heritage, especially the coastal rainforest and marine ecosystems and their inhabitants. She has been a leader in numerous conservation debates, including working for the protection of the ancient rainforests of Clayoquot Sound, and establishing Canada's first grizzly bear sanctuary, on B.C.'s north coast. For the past five years, Vicky has also focused on salmon and other fisheries-management. Vicky works regularly to educate the public about environmental issues. Her work, done entirely on a volunteer basis, has earned her numerous honours, including a United Nations award for environmental achievements, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Victoria, and membership in the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada. In 1988 she received the United Nations Global 500 Award for outstanding contributions to conservation.
The Gary Gallon Award for Environmental Achievement
This award is given annually to the staff member at the SYC, chapter or national level of Sierra Club Canada who best exemplifies qualities of commitment to the organization, respect for others, dogged perseverance in the cause of the planet and all its creatures.
Recipients: Emily McMillan and Elizabeth May
Elizabeth was the Executive Director of the national office of Sierra Club Canada for 17 years (from 1989 until April of 2006) and is one of the most respected voices for the Canadian environmental movement. As Executive Director, she was the first staff person of the national office, and in 17 years brought the national level to the enormously effective entity it is today. Under Elizabeth’s leadership, Sierra Club Canada played a key role in convincing the government of Canada to sign and ratify the Kyoto Protocol, enact a law to protect species at risk, and ensure a public panel review for the cleanup of the Sydney tar ponds, among numerous other accomplishments. She has made a profound difference to the quality of life of Canadians in our lifetime and hopefully for generations to come. Elizabeth also supported the development of the Sierra Youth Coalition, the Atlantic Canada Chapter and other Sierra Club chapters and local grassroots groups. As a Sierra Club Canada staff, Elizabeth tirelessly exemplified the qualities of commitment to the organization, respect for others, and dogged perseverance in the cause of the planet. In 1998, in honour of her achievements, Dalhousie University created the Elizabeth May Chair in Women's Health and the Environment. She has also received an honorary doctorate from both Mount Saint Vincent Unversity and the University of New Brunswick and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Emily has started campaigns and projects of the chapter such as “Stop the Spray”, anti-herbicide forestry spraying, municipalities and pesticide bylaws, one-tonne challenge project, forestry issues in Atlantic region, initiated and participated in the Atlantic Canada Energy Coalition. She is able to speak to people in community groups about ‘on-the-ground’ environmental issues, make appearances on national television with regards to campaign issues, present to large public audiences, present to donors and funders, as well as staff and volunteers.
The Sierra Youth Coalition Inspiration Award
This award marks an outstanding contribution by a Sierra Club Canada member under 25 years old.
Recipient: Barbara Hayes
Barbara was pivotal to the formation of the Canadian Youth Climate Change Coalition on behalf of the Sierra Youth Coalition. Barbara put in countless volunteer hours organizing the logistics of the entire conference and being a reliable go-to for any problems or concerns that the organizers and participants had.