Celebrating Canada’s nature leaders: Finalists announced for 2022 Nature Inspiration Awards



OTTAWA, Sept. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Canadian Museum of Nature is pleased to announce the finalists and the Lifetime Achievement recipient for its 2022 Nature Inspiration Awards.

These national honours, presented annually since 2014, recognize individuals, groups and organizations whose leadership and innovation connect Canadians with the natural world—a link that is increasingly important with mounting environmental challenges facing the planet.

The 25 finalists for 2022 will be celebrated on November 14, when winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by the museum, which is Canada’s national museum of natural history and natural sciences. The 2022 awards cover six categories: Youth (aged 17 and younger), Adult, Not-for-Profits (small to medium), Not-for-Profits (large), Sustainable Businesses and Community Action.


Among the 2022 finalists are youth who lead by example as environmental ambassadors and as innovators through science-based projects, while adults help educate about the diversity of nature, galvanize others to protect ecosystems, and initiate programs to conserve species. Not-for-profits and community groups show leadership in taking action to protect wildlife and habitats, or in developing new educational programs, often incorporating Indigenous knowledge about nature. The businesses being recognized show innovation with the development of “green” products, sustainable practices, and alternative energy programs.

“This year’s finalists remind us of the many innovative ways through which Canadians are making a difference in supporting a sustainable future,” says Dr. Danika Goosney, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature, and member of the selection jury. “We are pleased to recognize their efforts and look forward to celebrating them through our national awards.”

In addition to the category finalists, naturalist Larry Halverson is this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Throughout his life, including 38 years with Parks Canada, the Invermere, British Columbia resident has been dedicated to engaging people and creating initiatives that help protect nature. He co-founded the Wings Over the Rockies festival in 1997, which has inspired numerous other bird and nature-based events across Canada and the United States. While never a formal fundraiser, Larry has helped raise millions of dollars for outreach programs through his kindness, humour and "just do it" attitude.

The museum is grateful for the support of media partners The Globe and Mail and the Walrus, as well as category award sponsors—the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Youth); Ontario Power Generation (Not-for-Profit, small to medium); NASCO Building Cleaning Inc. (Community Action) and Meta (Sustainable Business). The jury included Shelley Ambrose, former Executive Director/Co-Publisher, The Walrus; Carolynn Beaty, Director of Granting, The Sitka Foundation; Christine Beevis Trickett, Director, Editorial Services & Internal Communications, Nature Conservancy of Canada; Kevin Chan, Global Policy Campaign Strategies, Meta Inc.; Phillip Crawley, Publisher, The Globe and Mail; Dolf DeJong, CEO, Toronto Zoo; John Geiger, CEO, Royal Canadian Geographical Society; Geoff Green, Founder and Executive Director, Students on Ice Foundation; Danika Goosney, (in her former role as Vice President, Scholarships and Fellowships, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada); and John Swettenham, ex-officio, Interim Co-President & CEO, Canadian Museum of Nature.

Winners for each category receive $5,000 that they can “pay forward” and designate to a nature-related program of their choice. The Nature Inspiration Awards are produced by the Canadian Museum of Nature. Details, including profiles of the finalists and the Lifetime Achievement recipient, can be found at nature.ca/awards. Here is the list of finalists: Youth category (aged 17 and under as of Dec. 31, 2021)

  • Caio Krause Condradt, Coquitlam, British Columbia: ambassador for ocean conservation through the YouthtoSea program;

  • Naia Moloo, Ottawa, Ontario: youth scientist, environmental leader, and podcaster;

  • Artash Nath, Toronto, Ontario: innovator and creator of a website to monitor underwater sound pollution;

  • Avery Parkinson, Ottawa, Ontario: champion for cellular agriculture and alternative food sources;

  • Annabelle Rayson, Sarnia, Ontario: award-winning science-fair participant, focusing on environmental projects.

Adult category (aged 18 and up)

  • Adam Oliver Brown, Ottawa, Ontario: educator, broadcaster, and science communicator;

  • Dr. Melissa Lem, Vancouver, British Columbia: environmental physician and leader for development of prescriptions-for-nature programs;

  • Michael Runtz, Arnprior, Ontario: naturalist and educator about wildlife and natural history;

  • Arlene Slocombe, Eden Mills, Ontario: community activist for the protection of aquatic ecosystems;

  • Bridget Stutchbury, Ph.D., Vaughn, Ontario: protection of species at risk through leadership of the Wildlife Preservation Society.

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

  • Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association, Parry Sound, Ontario, coordination of Canada’s 19 UNESCO biosphere regions;

  • Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources: collaborative leadership program for the health of Lake Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba;

  • Mériscope, Portneuf-sur-Mer, Québec; conservation and outreach for the protection of marine mammals;

  • Nikanese Wahtzee Stewardship Society, Moberly Lake, British Columbia, conservation and recovery programs for regional caribou populations;

  • Youth Climate Lab, Ottawa, Ontario: empowerment of youth under 30 to become effective climate leaders.

Not-For-Profit category (large organization)

  • Birds Canada, Port Rowan, Ontario: production of Canadian podcast about bird conservation;

  • Humber College Early Childhood Education Program, Etobicoke, Ontario: creation of course for nature-based play that incorporates Indigenous knowledge;

  • Ocean School, National Film Board, Montreal, Quebec and Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia: development of free learning resources about the interconnected relationship between the Haíɫzaqv people in British Columbia and their keystone species (herring and salmon);

  • The Land Conservancy of British Columbia, Victoria, BC: creation of the Deertrails education program.

Community Action category

  • Fishing for Success, Petty Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador: hands-on programs about traditional fishing practices, including Girls who Fish;

  • Green Hope Foundation, Toronto, Ontario: protection of endangered Wood Turtles through community stewardship;

  • St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences, Cornwall, Ontario: development of a science-based, community-led program promoting health of the St. Lawrence River.

Sustainable Business category

  • Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics, Inc. St. Catharines, Ontario: development and manufacturing of sustainable cosmetic products;

  • Cowbell Brewing, Blyth, Ontario: leadership in sustainable practices and carbon-positive brewing operations;

  • Montana First Nation Solar Farm, Maskwasis, Alberta: development of the largest on-reserve solar project in Canada.

About the Canadian Museum of Nature Saving the world through evidence, knowledge and inspiration! The Canadian Museum of Nature provides evidence-based insights, inspiring experiences and meaningful engagement with nature's past, present and future. It achieves this through scientific research, a collection of 14.6 million specimens and artifacts, education programs, signature and travelling exhibitions, and a dynamic website, nature.ca.


Information for media: Dan Smythe Head, Media Relations Canadian Museum of Nature 613.698.9253 (cell) dsmythe@nature.ca

John Swettenham Vice-President, Marketing and Public Affairs Canadian Museum of Nature 613.868-8277 (cell) jswettenham@nature.ca

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