Ontario Heritage Trust calls for nominations to community recognition programs

    TORONTO, May 22 /CNW/ - The Ontario Heritage Trust is seeking nominations
for its 2009 Young Heritage Leaders, Heritage Community Recognition and
Community Leadership programs. The nomination deadline is Friday, July 17,
    These annual recognition programs celebrate volunteers and communities
for contributions to preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage.
The Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award is the highest level of
recognition awarded through the programs.
    "I urge communities and schools to submit nominations recognizing
outstanding heritage work," said The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, Chairman
of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "Celebrating the achievements of volunteers and
communities helps to promote conservation."

    The programs recognize achievements in built, cultural and natural
heritage conservation:
    -   Young Heritage Leaders helps schools and communities recognize
        exceptional young volunteers. The most outstanding individual and
        group nominees are eligible for the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario
        Heritage Award for Youth Achievement. The top individual also
        receives a $2,000 post-secondary scholarship, awarded by the Ontario
        Heritage Trust and program sponsors Great-West Life, London Life and
        Canada Life.
    -   The Heritage Community Recognition Program celebrates individuals and
        groups of volunteers for conservation activities. Volunteers with
        contributions over a period of 25 years or more can be nominated in a
        special category for the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award
        for Lifetime Achievement.
    -   The Community Leadership Program honours communities with a proven
        track record of heritage conservation and promotion. Communities can
        nominate themselves for the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage
        Award for Community Leadership in one of four population sub-
        categories (under 10,000; from 10,000 to 50,000; 50,000 to 125,000;
        and over 125,000).

    Program nominations must be endorsed by the local mayor, reeve, warden,
regional chair, chief or council president - or by the school principal for
Young Heritage Leaders. The 2009 program guidelines and nomination forms are
available at www.heritagetrust.on.ca.
    "These awards acknowledge the tireless work of volunteers who contribute
greatly to preserving the unique heritage of our cities, towns and rural
areas," said Aileen Carroll, Minister of Culture. "Their contributions help
Ontario to build strong communities and strong local economies."
    The funding from Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life for Young
Heritage Leaders comes through The Key to Giving(TM), their national corporate
citizenship program. Through The Key to Giving, the companies contribute to
non-profit, charitable and community organizations across the country to
address health and wellness, education, social services, arts and culture and
civic initiatives. The Key to Giving also supports the volunteer involvement
of staff and financial security advisers in their efforts to meet the needs of
the communities in which they live and work.
    "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 proud that
our long-term support has helped the Ontario Heritage Trust recognize young
leaders who inspire their peers 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.

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For further information:

For further information: Catrina Colme, Marketing and Communications
Coordinator, Ontario Heritage Trust, Telephone: (416) 325-5074, E-mail:
catrina.colme@heritagetrust.on.ca; Marlene Klassen, Assistant Vice-President,
Communication Services, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life,
Telephone: (204) 946-7705, E-mail: marlene.klassen@gwl.ca

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