Meet the 17 finalists in the five categories of the 2014 Nature Inspiration Awards.
Hannah Alper, 11 years old (Richmond Hill, Ontario)
Hannah Alper has been blogging since she was nine years old. She communicates her passion through various channels and organizes tangible actions to help the environment. She takes part in world-class events and conferences. Her motto: "You are never too young to make a difference in the world!"
Miranda Anderson, 15 years old (Belcarra, British Columbia)
Miranda Anderson makes environmental films. She is also an activist, a remarkable speaker and an artist. Miranda is a leader: she inspires others and makes them want to get involved.
Olivia Clement, 11 years old (Ottawa, Ontario)
Olivia Clement's fascination with polar bears has earned her the nickname Liv Polar Bear. She is actively involved in safeguarding this species. She creates clay bears and sells them to support the World Wildlife Fund. Through her website, she reaches out to the entire country.
Alana Krug-Macleod, 17 years old (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
Alana Krug-Macleod is a determined person. A trip to Antarctica when she was 14 was a major catalyst for her. Since then, she has been active informing, influencing and involving people through videos, presentations and fundraisers. Her passion: climate change and actions that are within everyone's reach.
Christian Artuso, Program Manager for Bird Studies Canada (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Christian Artuso supervised data collection on all birds living in the vast province of Manitoba. Thanks to the incredible leadership of this researcher, over 1000 volunteers have contributed 32 000 hours of time over five years. This colossal achievement will help create a bird atlas for Manitoba that will be an essential tool for their conservation.
David Katz (Port Moody, British Columbia)
David Katz founded a revolutionary company that helps reduce both pollution and poverty. The Plastic Bank operates in developing countries and encourages people to recycle. Citizens collect and bring back plastic waste. In exchange, they receive money and help improve their quality of life.
Charmaine Lurch, Artist and Art Educator (Toronto, Ontario)
Charmaine Lurch is an accomplished artist. Her latest project is an eco-sculpture that is also an educational project on the vital importance of bees. Charmaine creates giant bee sculptures using wire. She invites scientists, beekeepers and the general public to participate in her collaborative works. Charmaine uses art to make us think, increase our knowledge and raise our awareness of the environment.
Mylène Paquette (Montréal, Quebec)
Mylène Paquette is actively involved in preserving our precious oceans. During her 5000 km trip, she wrote a blog and shared pictures and videos for social media. Scientists and experts also interacted on this project. Her stories helped make the general public more aware of environmental issues and ocean health. Mylène Paquette acts as speaker at many symposiums and is a true source of inspiration. She also acts as Saint Lawrence River Ambassador for the Suzuki Foundation.
Environnement Jeunesse (Montréal, Quebec)
Thirst for knowledge, thirst for action! This is the educational tool developed by Environnement Jeunesse to help young people work on water-related problems, find solutions and present them to municipal elected officials. The goal is to highlight the importance of water, raise environmental awareness and develop critical thinking among young people.
Evergreen (Toronto, Ontario)
In some underprivileged neighbourhoods in Toronto, children have little access to green spaces and outdoor activities. Evergreen offers these children a day of activities in the Don River Valley to foster this essential connection with nature. Most of these visits are subsidized. Evergreen provides teachers with the tools needed to pursue learning about nature in the classroom.
Power to Be (Victoria, British Columbia)
Power to Be organizes nature-based activities for people with disabilities who are in need of support. Participants strengthen their skills and live a group experience. The programme also includes an educational component focused on the environment, ecosystems and everyone's environmental responsibilities. It's a way of challenging people through nature and for nature!
Tree Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)
For over 22 years now, Tree Canada encourages the planting and maintenance of trees throughout the country. The organization offers sponsorship opportunities to companies for tree-planting activities. It also lends a helping hand to communities hit by natural disasters. Active at both the national and international level, Tree Canada partners on many projects aimed at safeguarding trees and educating the general public.
Calgary Zoo (Calgary, Alberta)
The preservation of species at risk and endangered species requires a long-term commitment, as well as funding and stable and reliable partners. For over 30 years now, the Calgary Zoo has adopted this strategy and been remarkably successful at it. The zoo's Centre for Conservation and Research seeks out innovative solutions and implements them. The Husky Energy Endangered Species Program is a vast collaboration between citizens, landowners, scientists, industrial partners and government officials. The zoo also plays an educational role in schools and in training scientists.
Earth Rangers (Woodbridge, Ontario)
Earth Rangers offers children the opportunity to protect animals. To help them understand the issues, it organizes educational live animal presentations in schools. The Bring Back the Wild fundraising programme allows children to get involved in a tangible way. Those are but a few examples of how Earth Rangers passionately inspires children to become passionate about nature and take action.
Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), BioBlitz Program (Toronto, Ontario)
A BioBlitz is a survey of living species in a given area over a 24-hour period. The data collected are extremely useful for urban planners and developers. The programme brings together biologists, experts and community members. The first BioBlitz at the ROM was held in 2012, with over 500 volunteers participating! "More than just a biological inventory, it's a public festival too!"
Vancouver Aquarium (Vancouver, British Columbia)
The number of environmental programmes implemented by the Vancouver Aquarium is quite simply astounding, as is their innovative character! Since 1994, the aquarium has organized a vast shoreline clean-up operation with the help of volunteers. The Ocean Wise programme ensures sustainable and responsible consumption of seafood in restaurants. The aquarium also solicits the help of the general public in taking actions to safeguard marine wildlife.
Cascades (Kingsey Falls, Quebec)
The Lemaire family created Cascades 50 years ago based on a totally avant-garde vision: sell paper made from recycled materials. This incredibly forward thinking company now has 12 000 employees. Innovation and sustainable development are at the heart of its actions. Respect for the environment is part and parcel of the company's philosophy, as is its commitment to the community.
2014 Award Winners
Find out which finalists took home an award.
Laureate profiles and videos.
Brochure 2014 (1 Mb PDF).
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