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  6. Canadian Museum of Nature announces winners of 2015 national Nature Inspiration Awards

Canadian Museum of Nature announces winners of 2015 national Nature Inspiration Awards

Martin Lipman © Canadian Museum of Nature.

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The winners, finalists and jury members following the presentations of the 2015 Nature Inspiration Awards at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

WinnOttawa, November 4, 2015—A teenage filmmaker, an Arctic adventure travel company, an advocate for healthy rivers, an urban greening project and an ocean-based educational program—all are 2015 recipients of the Canadian Museum of Nature’s Nature Inspiration Awards. Winners were announced this evening at a gala hosted by the museum, which is Canada’s national museum of natural history and natural sciences.

These awards, inaugurated by the museum in 2014, recognize individuals, groups and organizations whose leadership, innovation and creativity connect Canadians with nature and the natural world. The winners cover five categories: Youth (aged 17 and younger), Adults, Not-for-Profits (small to medium), Not-for-Profits (large) and Corporations. A special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, O.C.

The 2015 recipients include: Miranda Andersen, a British Columbia videographer and speaker who has been making environmental films since age nine; Meredith Brown, head of the Ottawa Riverkeeper, which promotes conservation of the river watershed; ACAP Humber Arm, a Newfoundland-based not-for profit that lets high-schoolers experience a day of "science at sea"; the Homegrown National Park Project, which has mobilized citizens to create an urban “green” corridor in Toronto; and Adventure Canada, an Arctic tour company from Mississauga that promotes environmental sustainability through its educational journeys. Videos about each of the winners can be seen at nature.ca. 

"This year we received more than 70 nominations from across Canada and it was truly inspiring to see the diversity of projects and people that are contributing to a healthy and creative engagement with the natural world," says Meg Beckel, CEO and President of the Canadian Museum of Nature, which developed and manages the awards. "We congratulate the winners and we are grateful for the opportunity to recognize their achievements."

A jury whittled down the applications to a shortlist from which the winners were selected. Winners receive $5,000 that they can designate to a program of their choice. The 2015 awards were supported by presenting sponsor Enbridge, Inc. and media sponsors The Walrus and The Globe and Mail. Category sponsors were TD Bank Group (Youth Award), Scott’s Miracle Gro (Adult Award) and Bruce Power (Not-for-Profits, large).  

Winners of the 2015 Nature Inspiration Awards:

Youth category– Miranda Andersen, Belcarra, British Columbia
Miranda Andersen, aged 16, is a talented environmental filmmaker, as well as a speaker, blogger and volunteer. At age nine, she produced her first film about a fish fishery in her hometown. Since then, her film topics have included coral conservation, deforestation, and plastic pollution, and she has spoken about Nature Deficit Disorder. Her latest film subject is about the Steller Sea Lion.                                                                                              

Adult category (aged 18 and up) – Meredith Brown, Executive Director, Ottawa Riverkeeper
Meredith Brown started with the Ottawa Riverkeeper in 2004. Through her leadership and collaborative approach, the Ottawa Riverkeeper has grown to become a strong voice for sustainable water management and for conservation of the Ottawa River watershed. Meredith has championed the Ottawa River Action Plan, and has helped develop the Riverwatchers, a group of community volunteers who want to protect the river.

Not-For-Profit category (small/medium organization) – ACAP Humber Arm, Corner Brook, Newfoundland
Through partnerships, Humber Arm leads environmental programs in the Bay of Islands area of Newfoundland. An innovative and comprehensive program called Trading Books for Boats gives high-school students a day on a boat—a stimulating opportunity to learn about marine science and ocean conservation.

Not-For-Profit category (large organization) – David Suzuki Foundation’s Homegrown National Park Project, Toronto, Ontario
This project, started in 2013, is creating Canada's first citizen-led urban green corridor. It inspires and empowers people to become leaders who can transform their communities: encouraging residents to bring nature to places such as their yards, backyards and alleyways that can be quickly and inexpensively transformed. The project has recruited and trained more than 60 volunteer Homegrown Park Rangers who have helped to create a butterfly-friendly corridor through parts of the city.  

Corporation category – Adventure Canada, Mississauga, Ontario
Adventure Canada is an Arctic cruise company committed to responsible travel, innovation and environmentalism. Its journeys let guests connect with nature through guided hikes, lectures and workshops. A Discovery Fund supports sustainable initiatives such as the Torngat Mountains National Park Clean-Up Project.

Lifetime Achievement Award - Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, O.C., Vancouver, British Columbia
Cornelia has devoted her life as a landscape architect to the field of sustainable design, and the preservation and appreciation of nature. An early proponent of green roofs, her legacy is widespread: from the Children's Creative Centre for Expo 67 in Montreal, to the National Gallery of Canada, the Legislative Assembly in Yellowknife and the Canadian Embassy in Berlin, to name a few examples. An Officer of the Order of Canada, she has been called the Queen of Green, an apt moniker for a lifelong commitment to the natural

In addition to Meg Beckel, the jury included Shelley Ambrose, Executive Director/Co-Publisher, The Walrus; Jack Cockwell, Chairman/CEO, Partners Limited; Philip Crawley, Publisher, Globe and Mail; John Geiger, CEO, Royal Canadian Geographic Society; Geoff Green, Founder and Executive Director, Students on Ice Foundation; Becky Mearns, researcher with the Inuit Tapariit Kanatami; and Kristine Webber, Executive Director of NatureKids BC and Vice-Chair, Imagine Canada Standards Program.

Information for media:

Dan Smythe
Senior Media Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of Nature
613.566.4781; 613-698-9253 (cell)
dsmythe@mus-nature.ca

John Swettenham
Director, Marketing and Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Nature
613.566.4249; 613-868-8277 (cell)
jswettenham@mus-nature.ca