2018 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards showcase conservation and youth achievement

TORONTO – 120 individuals, including students from Smith Falls, Ottawa and Windsor, were awarded Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards at a ceremony on Friday, February 22. The awards, which were presented by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, recognized individuals, groups and communities for exceptional contributions to conserving Ontario’s heritage.

“The efforts of these recipients have conserved vital pieces of our heritage from which we may learn and mature,” said The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. “I thank them for their championing of our past, and their work to shape our future.”

Established in 2007, the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards are annual juried awards administered by the Ontario Heritage Trust to recognize exceptional achievements in heritage conservation. Presented each year in a ceremony at Queen’s Park, the awards are part of the Trust’s annual celebrations marking Heritage Week.

“The Ontario Heritage Trust is proud to join the Lieutenant Governor in recognizing these remarkable individuals, organizations and communities for their exceptional achievements in conservation,” said Harvey McCue, Chair of the Trust. “Their work has made an enduring impact – helping to preserve the irreplaceable heritage of this province – so that it remains for future generations.”

Among the recipients of this year’s awards were Amy MacFarlane who received an Individual Youth Achievement award and student contributors from Academie Ste. Cecile who received a Group Youth Achievement award. MacFarlane, a Grade 11 student from Machar, saw the effect of algae blooms while working as a summer student at Mikisew Provincial Park. Through experimentation, she developed a solution capable of extracting the algae-causing nutrients from the water. Students from Academie Ste. Cecile undertook a project that focussed on the history and significance of “hidden cemeteries,” with a focus on Black cemeteries, in the area. Through use of data collection and geo-technology, they created an interactive digital map that contains location, condition and photographs of gravestones in the area.

MacFarlane and Nathalie Picard, winners of the Youth Achievement Award, will also each receive a $2,000 post-secondary scholarship, jointly funded by the Ontario Heritage Trust and Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life – sponsors of the Trust’s Young Heritage Leaders program. In addition to these awards, 121 youth are being recognized at the community level through the Trust’s annual Young Heritage Leaders program, which recognizes young volunteers for their contributions in identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario’s heritage.

“The leadership and contributions of this year’s youth recipients are inspirational, and we’re honoured to join the Ontario Heritage Trust in celebrating them, and all young Ontarians who are working to improve the well-being of our communities,” said Debbie Down, Director, Community Relations, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. “Supporting charitable organizations and initiatives across the country is one of the ways our company gives back to Canadians, and we believe in the importance of supporting post-secondary learners through bursaries and awards so they have the ability to reach their full potential.”

Four individuals - from Waterloo, King Township and Gravenhurst - also received Lifetime Achievement awards for volunteer contributions to the conservation of community heritage over a period of 25 years or more. Additionally, 10 conservation projects received Excellence in Conservation awards, including ERA Architects, NADAAA – Architecture & Urban Design and the University of Toronto for One Spadina Crescent, and Mudtown Station for the restoration of the former Canadian Pacific Railway Station.

“Heritage is an important aspect of community life and helps define how we see ourselves as a province,” said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “The work of these individuals, communities and groups has made a positive impact on Ontario’s natural and cultural legacies, and it’s important to recognize their significant contributions. Congratulations to the 2018 recipients of the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards.”

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The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. The Trust identifies, protects, promotes and conserves Ontario’s heritage in all of its forms. The Trust is empowered to conserve provincially significant cultural and natural heritage, to interpret Ontario’s history, to educate Ontarians of its importance in our society, and to celebrate the province’s diversity. The Trust envisions an Ontario where the places, landscapes, traditions and stories that embody our heritage are reflected, valued and conserved for future generations.

Media contacts

Kelly Johnston, Ontario Heritage Trust

Liz Kulyk, Great West Life, London Life and Canada Life

Alexandra Tichinoff, Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario