Friday, February 18, 2011

Ontario Heritage Trust honours volunteers and communities for contributions to conservation

TORONTO, February 18, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust announced the recipients of its annual programs recognizing contributions to conserving Ontario's heritage.

"Each year, many volunteers and communities work to identify, preserve, protect and promote our history," said Dr. Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "This is an opportunity to recognize their leadership and celebrate their achievements in conserving Ontario's heritage."

The Trust's recognition programs honour achievements in built, cultural and natural heritage conservation. The Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award is the highest award given through the programs. This year's program recipients include:

...55 young volunteers being recognized as Young Heritage Leaders. Of these, 35 (one individual and two groups) will receive the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement. The individual recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Award also wins a $2,000 post-secondary scholarship, jointly funded by the Ontario Heritage Trust and program sponsors Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life.

...139 volunteers being honoured through the Heritage Community Recognition Program for local conservation activities. Of these, 10 individuals with contributions over a period of 25 years or more will receive the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement.

...Two communities being recognized through the Community Leadership Program will receive the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Community Leadership for demonstrating exemplary leadership in heritage conservation and promotion.

Presentation events for the Young Heritage Leaders and Heritage Community Recognition Program recipients are held in local communities, coordinated by the nominating councils and schools. The Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award recipients will be presented with their awards at Queen's Park in Toronto on February 25.

"Heritage Week marks a great opportunity to celebrate the many commitments and contributions of volunteers and communities striving to preserve local heritage across this province," said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture. "Their efforts and dedication help make Ontario a diverse and vibrant place to live."

Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life have supported the Young Heritage Leaders program since its inception with funding through the companies' national corporate citizenship program.

"We have sponsored Young Heritage Leaders over the past decade because we appreciate the value of encouraging youth to take the lead in preserving local heritage and ecology," said Jan Belanger, Assistant Vice-President, Community Affairs, for Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. "We are honoured our long-term support helps the Ontario Heritage Trust recognize and inspire young leaders to greater involvement as we all work to build stronger communities together."

The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario, dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage for the benefit of present and future generations.