2023 Volunteer Recognition Awards – Celebrating our volunteers

The Volunteer Recognition Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Individual awards, who were honoured at the Volunteer Recognition Dinner on June 21 in Gatineau, Québec.


Individual Awards

The Claude Edwards Leadership award

Robert Giroux – President, Ottawa Branch

One of the hallmarks of Robert’s presidency has been the branch’s full expansion into educational programming on financial literacy and healthy ageing. Robert’s vision is for the Ottawa Branch to offer educational information on a regular basis as part of the branch’s value proposition so that the branch’s members can enjoy a safe, secure, healthy, and happy retirement. Since 2017, the Ottawa Branch has delivered 186 educational events that have been attended by over 11,000 members and guests.


Collaboration Award

Jacques Lecompte – Secretary, Outaouais Branch

During the pandemic, Jacques developed a members engagement survey and a director’s manual to support colleagues on the branch’s board of directors. As well, Jacques developed a biannual strategic plan and an action plan for recruitment and retention of members. This has helped better structure the branch’s recruitment and retention initiatives.

Volunteerism Award

Gerard Carmichael – Director, Kitchener Waterloo & District Branch

Gerard is a volunteer with Independent Living Waterloo region and the founding member of the Tournament of Hope Classic. He has been an active participant on the organizing committee for 25 years. Although the pandemic did not permit tournaments, through creative partnerships, they were still able to raise funds and support disabled individuals in the community. Over the past 25 years, the Tournament of Hope has assisted 287 individuals in the community and raised more than $625,000.

Branch Awards

The Nanaimo & Area Branch is the recipient of the Advocacy Award. The branch’s advocacy committee has become a trusted resource for elected officials. The branch was invited to participate in a seniors’ health care round table in Qualicum Beach hosted by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and MP Gord Johns. This branch also had a table at the Nanaimo Duncan & District Council Labour Day picnic where hundreds of people were provided an opportunity to learn about the Association and its priorities. It also allowed them to speak with many local politicians about the Association’s priorities.

The branch encourages members of the Advocacy Committee to participate in webinars on subjects touching the Association’s priorities. As an example, the branch Advisory Liaison volunteer attended a webinar about the then national standards for long-term care. This particular webinar was a joint initiative of the National Pensioners Federation and the Council of Senior Citizens Organization in BC.

The Membership Recruitment and Engagement award was provided to the Outaouais Branch. The branch has been working tirelessly to increase its membership. Despite the global pandemic, the branch scheduled several video conferences focussing on showcasing services that were offered by preferred partners, hear loss signs, sensory deprivation, cognitive aging, and communications strategies (held in both official languages) to name just a few. They were so popular that the branch decided to maintain them as the in-person meetings began to open up again.

The branch reaches its members through a facebook page with 853 subscribers, through its tab on the national website and monthly bilingual newsletters.

In 2022, the 30th anniversary was celebrated with a holiday banquet which attracted 174 people. It was the first in-person activity in two years.

The Winnipeg & Area Branch were the recipient of the Volunteer Support and Development award. Despite the global pandemic, the Winnipeg & Area branch held frequent board meetings by Zoom to ensure that they were taking advantage of every opportunity to further the objectives of the Association and stay engaged. Following the election of new board members, a two-day planning/orientation/team building retreat was held to welcome new board members and to assign areas of responsibilities. The retreat focussed on areas such as education for new board members; and development of a branch operational plan which supports the national strategic plan; and defining roles and responsibilities.

All board members attended the regional learning conference, and the branch also provided the funding for executive members from all other smaller Manitoba branches to attend. All board members actively recruit various volunteers to help either at the branch’s general meetings; speaker series and other branch activities.

Please join us in congratulating the 2023 Volunteer Recognition award recipients and nominees. We thank you for all that you do for our fellow volunteers, our branches, our Association, our communities, and our members!