Ontario Government To Recognize Thousands Of Volunteers In Ceremonies Across The Province



    Fourteen To Receive First Annual June Callwood Outstanding Achievement
    Award For Voluntarism

    TORONTO, March 28 /CNW/ - More than 9,000 Ontarians will be recognized in
45 Volunteer Service Award ceremonies taking place across Ontario from late
March to late June announced Mike Colle, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and
Immigration.
    "Volunteers build communities and the Volunteer Service Awards are an
opportunity to recognize these individuals for the generous contributions to
their community," said Colle.
    This year's tour of 45 ceremonies will cover 34 different communities
across the province with ceremonies in locations from Atikokan to Niagara
Falls, Windsor to Ottawa. This year's ceremonies will kick-off in Aylmer on
March 28th and wrap up in Toronto on June 27th.
    The first annual June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for
Voluntarism, formerly called the Outstanding Achievement Awards for
Voluntarism, will also be presented at select ceremonies. The June Callwood
Award recognizes extraordinary leadership, innovation and creativity. Each
year, up to 20 Outstanding Achievement Awards are presented. This year there
are 14 recipients.
    Ms. Callwood is synonymous with social justice, social activism and
caring in this province. She founded or co-founded more than 50 social action
organizations including Digger House, a youth hostel; Nellie's hostel for
women; Jessie's, a centre for teenage parents; and Casey House Hospice for
those with AIDS.
    "Volunteers contribute energy and expertise to thousands of organizations
across the province. They help coach sports teams, sit on boards, participate
in fundraising efforts and everything in between. These engaged, active
individuals make our communities better places in which to live," added Colle.
    More than 5 million Ontario residents volunteer time to 45,000 charitable
and non-profit organizations across the province.

    
    Other government actions that support and recognize volunteers include:
    -   The Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers to recognize outstanding
        achievements of young people that improve the quality of life in
        their communities;
    -   Strategic Partnerships Initiatives such as Promoting Diverse
        Voluntary Sector Leadership; Seniors Mentoring Newcomers
    -   The Ontario Public Service Spirit campaign that encourages OPS
        employees to participate in volunteer activities.


    Disponible en français

                          www.citizenship.gov.on.ca
                          www.gov.on.ca/citizenship


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                     THE ONTARIO VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARDS
    

    Purpose

    The Volunteer Service Awards are a way for the government of Ontario to
recognize the millions of Ontarians who volunteer. By submitting a nomination,
individuals and organizations can help ensure that Ontario's volunteers
receive the recognition they deserve.

    Recognizing Continuous Service

    The Volunteer Service Awards recognize volunteers for their continuous
years of commitment and service to an organization. Youth volunteers (under
the age of 24) are recognized for two or more years of continuous service.
Adults are recognized for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 or more years of
continuous service. In recognition of exceptionally long-term commitment, a
Volunteer Service Award for 60 years and over has been introduced.

    Eligibility

    The Ontario Volunteer Service Awards are presented to individuals who
contribute consecutive years of service to an organization within Ontario, and
whose work is characterized by the following:

    
    -   Volunteer time given to the same group on an ongoing and active
        basis. (Membership alone is not a qualification for recognition).
    -   Volunteer services are performed outside the normal course of
        professional or business duties.

    Organizations that have been in existence for a minimum of five years may
complete a nomination. Each organization may nominate up to seven volunteers.
At least one of the volunteers must be a youth. Organizations nominating only
adults are limited to six nominees. Nominators must attest to the accuracy of
the information provided for each volunteer by signing a certification clause
on the nomination form for this program.

    What Recipients Receive

    Volunteer Service Award recipients are presented with stylized trillium
pins and personalized certificates at special ceremonies held across the
province. Pins and certificates each correspond to the length of service being
recognized. Recipients receive an invitation to attend the ceremony with one
guest. Each organization making a nomination is also invited to have two
representatives attend the ceremony.


               THE JUNE CALLWOOD OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
                               FOR VOLUNTARISM
    

    Purpose

    The June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Awards for Voluntarism in
Ontario, formerly the Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism, recognize
extraordinary leadership, innovation and creativity. Each year, up to 20
awards are given to a select group of individuals, organizations and
businesses that have made superlative contributions to their communities and
the province through voluntary action.

    Eligibility

    Individuals, groups and businesses that have made lasting and meaningful
contributions, or provided significant support to the volunteer activities of:
community and not-for-profit organizations or associations; co-operatives;
boards; commissions; businesses; government ministries that directly recruit
volunteers; art/educational/correctional institutions and schools;
municipalities; long-term care facilities and hospitals.

    Recipient Selection Process

    An independent selection committee reviews the nominations and selects up
to 20 recipients. The committee is made up of individuals from across Ontario
and represents a variety of disciplines.

    Timing of the Award Presentations

    The June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Awards for Voluntarism in
Ontario are presented at various Volunteer Service Awards across the province.
Invitations are extended to each recipient and the nominator.

    What Recipients Receive

    June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award recipients are presented with
a stylized trillium award and a personalized certificate.


    Disponible en français

    
                          www.citizenship.gov.on.ca
                          www.gov.on.ca/citizenship


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 2007 VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD CEREMONY DATES

    The following is a list of locations and dates for the 2007 Ontario
Volunteer Service Awards.
    The June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism will be
presented at select ceremonies indicated below by an asterisk.

    MARCH
    -----
    March 28: Aylmer
    March 29: London (*)
    March 30: Stratford

    APRIL
    -----
    April 11: Chatham                  April 19: Kitchener(*)
    April 12: Sarnia(*)                April 20: Kitchener (2nd ceremony)
    April 13: Windsor                  April 23: Scarborough
    April 16: Hamilton                 April 24: Scarborough (2nd ceremony)
    April 17: Hamilton (2nd ceremony)  April 25: Oshawa
    April 18: Brantford                April 26: Oshawa (2nd ceremony)

    MAY
    ---
    May 1: North Bay                   May 23: Petawawa(*)
    May 2: Sudbury                     May 24: Ottawa
    May 3: Huntsville                  May 25: Ottawa (2nd ceremony)
    May 7: Thunder Bay                 May 28: Lindsay(*)
    May 8: Atikokan                    May 29: Peterborough
    May 10: Kenora                     May 30: Belleville
    May 15: Timmins(*)                 May 31: Coburg
    May 17: Sault St. Marie

    JUNE
    ----
    June 5: Orillia                    June 19: Richmond Hill(*)
    June 6: Barrie                     June 20: Richmond Hill (2nd ceremony)
    June 7: Owen Sound                 June 21: Kingston(*) (1)
    June 11: Niagara Falls(*) (1)      June 22: Kingston(*) (2nd ceremony)
    June 12: Niagara Falls (2)         June 25: Toronto (1)
    June 13: Vittoria                  June 26: Toronto (2nd ceremony)
    June 14: Mississauga(*)            June 27: Toronto (3rd ceremony)
    June 15: Mississauga (2)         (*)Kingston - JCOAA date to be confirmed


    Disponible en français

                          www.citizenship.gov.on.ca
                          www.gov.on.ca/citizenship
    





For further information:

For further information: Lily Pavlovic, Communications Branch, (416)
314-7725

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