Thomas Symons Award for Commitment to Conservation

The Thomas Symons Award for Commitment to Conservation recognizes individuals who have made defining contributions to heritage conservation throughout their professional careers. The broad range of heritage activities recognized by this award includes cultural and natural heritage, intangible cultural heritage, sustainability and biodiversity.

One award will be granted annually. The successful candidate must meet the following criteria. They should:

  • have made exceptional professional contributions to heritage conversation over the course of their career
  • be a resident of Ontario
  • have demonstrated:
    • leadership
    • commitment
    • creativity
      • positive impact on the community, region or province
    • good conservation practices

Who can nominate?

Nominators can include:

  • local or regional municipalities
  • First Nations band councils
  • Métis community councils
  • conservation authorities
  • local, regional or provincial heritage organizations
  • Ontario Heritage Trust staff

Nominations submitted by municipal councils, regional councils, First Nations band councils or Métis community councils must be supported by a motion of council.

Not eligible are:

  • self-nominations
  • posthumous nominations
  • directors and employees of the Ontario Heritage Trust and members of their immediate families
  • current elected politicians or those whose activities are related to an ongoing public appointment, as long as they hold the appointment

What activities are eligible?

  • professional activities in service to cultural heritage and natural heritage/environmental organizations or institutions, including:
    • municipal heritage committees
    • conservation authorities
      • land trusts
    • diverse cultural communities
    • environmental organizations
    • museums
    • historical and archaeological sites
  • fundraising and promotion to support conservation activities
  • research and writing, development of publications, creation and delivery of public programming and interpretation and exhibits, websites and other educational material on local history, cultural/natural heritage, the environment, and/or natural history
  • conservation and interpretation of:
    • artifacts
    • archival materials
      • photographs
    • environmental information and collections
  • development and delivery of activities or events that identify, safeguard and promote intangible cultural heritage, including:
    • oral traditions
    • expressions
      • language
    • performing arts (e.g., music, dance or theatre)
    • social practices
    • rituals/ceremonies and festive events
    • knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe
      • traditional craftsmanship
  • promotion, celebration and preservation of cultural heritage and biological diversity
  • activities that protect, steward and conserve natural heritage, including:
    • restoring species-at-risk habitats
    • areas of natural and scientific interest
      • provincially significant wetlands
    • watersheds
    • other environmentally sensitive areas
  • activities that protect, steward and conserve cultural heritage, including:
    • buildings/structures
      • streetscapes
    • gardens
    • cultural landscapes
    • heritage conservation districts