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  6. Finalists announced for first-ever Nature Inspiration Awards

Finalists announced for first-ever Nature Inspiration Awards

Bill Lishman © Bill Lishman

Ottawa, September 17, 2014—The Canadian Museum of Nature, Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences, is pleased to announce the finalists for the first annual Nature Inspiration Awards. These awards recognize individuals, groups and organizations whose leadership, innovation and creativity connect Canadians with nature and the natural world.

The finalists in each category, and the announcement of winners, will be celebrated at a gala to take place November 5, 2014 at the historic museum in downtown Ottawa. Some of the finalists use art, blogs, films and presentations to tell stories and engage others. Some deliver ecological and educational programs. Others administer projects that empower urban youth, schoolchildren, families, and adults to learn more about biodiversity, nature and the environment. 

"It was truly inspiring to see the scope of projects from across Canada that was submitted for this first-ever edition of the awards,” says Meg Beckel, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature and Chair of the selection jury. “The finalists represent an amazing cross-section of people and organizations that are committed to encouraging a healthy and creative engagement with the natural world. We are grateful for the opportunity to recognize their achievements.”

A call for submissions in spring 2014 resulted in 34 nominations/applications, which the selection jury whittled down to the shortlist. 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; Kathleen Edwards, musician/songwriter; John Geiger, CEO, Royal Canadian Geographic Society; Geoff Green, Executive Director, Students on Ice; Mary Simon, Chairperson of the National Committee on Inuit Education; and Kristine Webber, Vice-Chair, Bateman Foundation.

The categories for the the 2014 awards are: Youth (aged 17 and younger), Individuals (aged 18 and up), Not-for-Profits (small to medium), and Not-for-Profits (large). A Corporate category recognizes Cascades Inc. for 50 years as a leader for the recycling of paper products in Canada. Winners for each category receive $5,000 that they can designate to a program of their choice. 

The Nature Inspiration Awards are produced by the Canadian Museum of Nature. The museum thanks media sponsors The Walrus and the Globe and Mail for their support.

Here is the list of finalists:

Youth category (aged 17 and under)

  • Hannah Alper, eco-blogger, Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • Miranda Andersen, environmental filmmaker, Belcarra, British Columbia
  • Olivia Clement, polar bear advocate, Ottawa
  • Alana Krug-Macleod, environmental advocate, Saskatoon 

Individual category (aged 18 and up)

  • Christian Artuso, Manitoba Program Manager for Bird Studies Canada, Winnipeg
  • David Katz, CEO of PlasticBank, Vancouver
  • Charmaine Lurch, artist/arts educator, Toronto
  • Mylène Paquette, rower/ocean adventurer, Montreal

Not-For-Profit category (small/medium organization)

  • Environnement Jeunesse, Montreal
  • Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto
  • Power To Be, Victoria/Vancouver
  • Tree Canada, Ottawa

Not-For-Profit category (large organization)

  • Calgary Zoo, Centre for Conservation Research, Calgary
  • Earth Rangers, Markham, Ontario
  • Royal Ontario Museum Bioblitz, Toronto
  • Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver

Corporate category 

  • Cascades Inc., Kingsey Falls, Quebec 

About the Canadian Museum of Nature
The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences. The museum provides evidence-based insights, inspiring experiences and meaningful engagement with nature's past, present and future. It achieves this through scientific research, a 10.5 million specimen collection, education programs, signature and travelling exhibitions, and a dynamic web site, nature.ca.

Information for media:
Dan Smythe
Senior Media Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of Nature