MP Brent Rathgeber congratulates the Lo-Se-Ca Foundation for receiving a Prime Minister's Volunteer Award

ST. ALBERT, ALBERTA, March 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Brent Rathgeber, Member of Parliament for Edmonton-St. Albert, today participated in an event held in honour of the Lo-Se-Ca Foundation, which was among the first recipients of the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards. As part of their recognition package, the Lo-Se-Ca Foundation will receive a one-time grant of $5,000 from the Government of Canada.

"I am immensely proud to congratulate the Lo-Se-Ca Foundation for receiving a Prime Minister's Volunteer Award for Social Innovator. Volunteerism is an important part of what makes Canada such a great country," said Mr. Rathgeber. "If you know of another individual, a business or a not-for-profit organization that deserves a Prime Minister's Volunteer Award, there is still time to nominate them. The current call for nominations is open until April 15, 2013."

The Lo-Se-Ca Foundation operates 23 community residences in St. Albert and in Edmonton, where they provide residential and job support services for people with developmental disabilities. The Foundation helps their residents become more independent and participate in the life of their community. The majority of funds raised to support the Foundation come from the profits of a volunteer-run thrift store.

The Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards recognize the exceptional contributions of volunteers—including individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organizations—whose outstanding leadership has strengthened the well-being of their communities. The first recipients of the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards were recognized at an award ceremony held on December 14, 2012 in Ottawa.

Award recipients were selected through a three-step process, which consists of eligibility screening, a regional review and recommendation by a National Advisory Committee.

Almost half of all Canadians (47 percent) volunteer their time, energy and skills to benefit their communities, with the replacement value of their work estimated to be around $14 billion, or the equivalent of nearly 1.1 million full-time jobs. Volunteers are crucial to Canada's not-for-profit sector, which includes 161 000 registered charities and not-for-profit organizations. Businesses contribute to their communities in many ways as well. For example, in 2010, over half of employees who volunteered said that they had received support to do so from their employer.

Please visit or for more information about the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards, including past recipients and the current call for nominations.


Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards

The Government of Canada is committed to recognizing the enormous contribution volunteers make to Canada. The Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards were created as a way to annually recognize those who make exceptional voluntary contributions, including individuals, not-for-profit organizations and businesses.

The Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards consist of 17 awards in total.

Fifteen regional awards - three awards for each of five regions across Canada (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, British Columbia and the North):

  • Community Leader recognizes individual volunteers or groups of volunteers who have taken a lead role in developing solutions to local challenges.
  • Business Leader recognizes businesses that demonstrate social responsibility in their business practices.
  • Social Innovator recognizes not-for-profit organizations that demonstrate innovation in addressing social challenges.

Two national awards:

  • Emerging Leader recognizes new volunteers who help build stronger communities through leadership and have made a positive difference in their community in a short period of time. This award is for those who have volunteered for no more than three years.
  • Lifelong Achievement recognizes individuals who have dedicated their life to volunteering and have inspired other volunteers, led volunteer groups or made other exceptional achievements through volunteering. This award is for those who have volunteered for a period of at least 20 years.

The first recipients of the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards are:

Regional award recipients 

  • Community Leader - Ashid Bahl (Prairies), Alfreda Bérubé (Atlantic), Richard Busque (Quebec), Rich Goulet (British Columbia and the North) and Dr. Rick Irvin (Ontario).
  • Business Leader - Caisse populaire de Clare (Atlantic), Canadian Pacific Holiday Train (Prairies), Savoie & Savoie, avocats (Quebec), TELUS (British Columbia and the North) and Ziebarth Electrical Contractors Ltd. (Ontario).
  • Social Innovator - Child Development Institute: SNAP (Stop Now And Plan) Model (Ontario), Exploits Valley Community Coalition (Atlantic), Go le Grand Défi Inc. (Quebec), Ilisaqsivik Society (British Columbia and the North) and the Lo-Se-Ca Foundation (Prairies).

National award recipients:

  • Lifelong Achievement - Randy Fowler (Calgary, Alberta)
  • Emerging Leader - Timea E. Nagy (Hamilton, Ontario)

Information about the first award recipients, announced on December 14, 2012, as well as the call for nominations, can be found at

SOURCE: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

For further information:

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

For further information:

Marian Ngo
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Finley

Media Relations Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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