Meet the 23 finalists in the five categories of the 2015 Nature Inspiration Awards, as well as the person to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Hannah Alper, 12, Richmond Hill, Ontario
An animal lover, Hannah started blogging at age 9. She is a public speaker (now co-host of Free the Children's North American We Day tour) and an engaged global citizen. She advocates for eco-friendly living, fair trade, water conservation and other social issues.
Miranda Andersen, 16, Port Moody, British Columbia
Miranda is an exceptionally talented environmental filmmaker, as well as a speaker, blogger and volunteer. Her topics have included coral conservation and Nature Deficit Disorder, and her latest subject is the Steller Sea Lion. Miranda's passion for nature is truly inspiring!
Guillaume DeBlois, 9, Québec, Quebec
Guillaume loves turtles! So much so, that he wrote a book about saving them. He has been commended by numerous Quebec politicians as well as David Suzuki, who invited him to speak at a youth conference. He also spoke at the 55th Science and Environnement Forum… and he's only 9!
Ontario Nature Youth Council, Toronto, Ontario
This group of about 50 youth is dedicated to advocacy and education about protecting wild spaces and species. Recently, the group developed a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of Ontario's pollinator species. Environmental action at work!
Meredith Brown, Executive Director, Ottawa Riverkeeper, Ottawa, Ontario
Meredith is a symbol of perseverance. In 2004, she started as its only staff member. Through her leadership and collaborative approach, Ottawa Riverkeeper has grown to become a strong voice for sustainable water management and for conservation of the Ottawa River watershed.
Alan DeSousa, Mayor of Saint-Laurent, City of Montréal, Quebec
For more than 25 years, Alan DeSousa has been associated with preservation of the environment on the Island of Montreal. Involved at all levels of government, he has had an impact on environmental regulations, policies and programs—creating a real shift in how decision makers and the community approach sustainable development.
Andrea Koehle Jones, journalist and author, Bowen Island, British Columbia
Andrea is a children's book author and founder of The ChariTree Foundation and Love Trees. Her goal is to give children in Canada and around the world a tree of their own, and to educate them about nature.
Arthur Sterritt, Executive Director, Coastal First Nations Alliance, Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Art is an artist, sculptor and goldsmith, and the leader of the Coastal First Nations alliance. This group was created to promote sustainable economic development that respects nature and the culture of the alliance's eight First Nations. Art's amazing capacity to build partnerships has allowed numerous outstanding initiatives to succeed.
Ecologos Institute, Toronto, Ontario
For 17 years, Ecologos has delivered remarkable environmental education and action programs. Known for its Water Doc Film Festival, this not-for-profit has created the Water Docs @ School program for Ontario Grade 8 students. The program combines watershed stewardship and education with documentary filmmaking.
FLAP Canada, Uxbridge, Ontario
The Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) inspires bird lovers to action. As a small operation that relies on volunteers, FLAP Canada uses clever collaborations to address the challenge of bird-building collisions. It develops creative programs and activities to safeguard migratory birds in urban environments.
Groupe d'éducation et d'écosurveillance de l'eau (G3E), Québec, Quebec
The mission of G3E is to preserve aquatic ecosystems through the efforts of youth and the community. For 15 years, this organization has managed Adopt-a-River, which lets youth monitor a river's health and its biodiversity. This great learning opportunity guides young people in taking action to address environmental issues!
ACAP Humber Arm, Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador
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.
Nature Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Women for Nature is unique! Organized by Canada's oldest nature conservation charity, this network brings together influential women from diverse high-level leadership positions. They meet to discuss nature issues, share actions and spread their love for nature.
Take Me Outside (TMO), Banff, Alberta
In 2011, Colin Harris ran across Canada. His goal: engage students to spend more time outside, be active and connect with nature. He visited more than 80 schools that year. Since then, Colin has created TMO Day—in 2014, more than 1,000 schools participated across the country.
Adopt-a-Pond, Toronto Zoo, Toronto, Ontario
The Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme helps save turtles, frogs and their habitats. Educators, students and community groups are given resources and opportunities to protect, restore and conserve wetland areas and biodiversity. Adopt-A-Pond was created in 1989 with Bob Johnson, a remarkable curator with the Zoo.
David Suzuki Foundation's Homegrown National Park, 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.
Ducks Unlimited Canada, Stonewall, Manitoba
Ducks Unlimited Canada conserves wetlands and associated habitats essential to the survival of North American waterfowl, wildlife and humans. Conservation projects, public policy work, and education programs such as Project Webfoot all contribute to preserve and create wetlands.
Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver, British Columbia
The Vancouver Aquarium leads the way with innovative programs that empower people to effect positive changes for wildlife and the environment. It runs a successful shoreline clean-up program, the innovative Ocean Wise certification for sustainable seafood consumption, and a citizen-science network for tracking marine mammals.
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.
Baka Communications, Inc., Etobicoke, Ontario
Baka is an independent wireless communications dealer. The company stands out for its constant innovation and green initiatives. Baka’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint continue with an e-waste program for customers, and the installation of a first-of-its-kind solar canopy to charge the company’s EV fleet.
Hydro Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
Hydro Ottawa is Ontario's largest municipally owned producer of green power. It applies strategies to reduce the company's impact on the environment and improve its environmental performance. These include the Fridge and Freezer Pick Up recycling program, the peaksaver PLUS program, and the Energy Coach program for small businesses.
Sitka, Victoria, British Columbia
Sitka began as a surfboard manufacturer. It has evolved into a sport and nature gear retailer with a vision to reconcile the bottom line with environmental awareness and action. Recent projects have supported an expedition about the impacts of plastics in the ocean, a #lovethewild photo campaign, and the underwater Hydrophone Project.
Windmill Development Group, Ottawa, Ontario
Windmill Development is a real estate development company that strives to create a landmark portfolio of "green" real estate. Windmill applies innovations using land, water, air and energy to create buildings with a goal of a zero ecological footprint. All of Windmill's projects to date have achieved LEED Platinum certification.
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 world.
Find out which finalists took home an award.
Laureate profiles and videos.
Brochure 2015 (PDF).
In order to fully access some of the content on this page, you may need to download the following: