Ontario Heritage Trust celebrates volunteers and communities for achievements in conservation

TORONTO, Feb. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust announced the recipients of its annual programs recognizing contributions to conserving Ontario's heritage.

"The Ontario Heritage Trust is proud to be working with municipalities to recognize volunteers for contributions to conserving local heritage," said Dr. Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "By working to ensure that heritage remains a vital and vibrant part of our communities, they are helping to share and promote Ontario's story."

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, two individuals and one group will receive the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement, including an award and scholarship in celebration of the 2011 International Year for People of African Descent.
  • 139 volunteers being honoured through the Heritage Community Recognition Program for local conservation activities. Of these, 15 individuals with contributions over a period of 25 years or more will receive the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement.
  • Four 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 24.

"Heritage Week is an ideal opportunity to celebrate communities and volunteers across the province who have achieved excellence in heritage conservation," said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.  "Congratulations to all our recipients - your important contributions help honour our shared history while attracting Ontarians and visitors alike to explore and experience all that our great province has to offer."

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. One individual recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement will be presented with a $2,000 post-secondary scholarship, jointly funded by the Ontario Heritage Trust and Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life.

"We have sponsored Young Heritage Leaders for more than a decade because we understand 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 pleased that 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."

A second $2,000 scholarship for youth achievement will be presented in celebration of the 2011 International Year for People of African Descent, with funding from the Government of Ontario.

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.

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SOURCE Ontario Heritage Trust

For further information:

Jason Clark
Marketing and Communications
Ontario Heritage Trust
Telephone: 416-212-0952
Email: jason.clark@heritagetrust.on.ca

Marlene Klassen
Assistant Vice-President, Communication Services
Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life
Telephone: 204-946-7705
Email: marlene.klassen@gwl.ca


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