EDMONTON, ALBERTA – On June 6, environmental leaders from across the province gathered at Edmonton’s Royal Alberta Museum for the 26th Annual Emerald Awards. Presented by the Alberta Emerald Foundation (AEF), the uniquely-Albertan award recognizes and celebrates environmental excellence in 12 cross-sectoral categories.
Earlier this year, the AEF received 65 nominations for the prestigious awards. A panel of knowledgeable third-party judges was tasked with reviewing all nominations and selecting three finalists, with one recipient, in each category.
“Over our Foundation’s quarter century, we have seen a great evolution in sustainable practices across all sectors in our province. We have witnessed the inspiring effect Albertan EcoHeroes have had on others, both in our province and around the globe,” says Andy Etmanski, Board Chair, AEF. “Each recipient represents a unique, positive, and innovative approach to sustainable practices. We are thrilled to share their stories with Alberta as we showcase their hard work and dedication to the environment.”
“By becoming an Emerald Awards Recipient, we hope to reach a wider audience and continue towards our goal of building a sustainable urban forest,” shares Katelynne Webb, City of Edmonton’s Root for Trees program (Government Institution Recipient). “As more volunteers become involved with the initiative, we can continue to positively impact Edmonton’s urban landscape and create stewards of Edmonton’s urban forest.”
“Many amazing environmental initiatives as groups have been recognized by the AEF, and it is incredibly fulfilling to be among them,” says Ngaio Baril, Foothills Stream Crossing Partnership (Shared Footprints Recipient). “This recognition is amazing and will provide the motivation required to keep improving fish habitat, one crossing at a time.”
Hosted by Albertan theatre artists Jana O’Connor and Chris Bullough, the 26th Annual Emerald Awards celebration featured special performances by Dallas Arcand Jr., Lindsey Walker, and poet laureate Pierrette Requier. Dr. Bob Turner, MLA, and the Honourable Lois Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, provided special greetings.
In January 1992, the Honourable Ralph Klein (then Minister of Alberta Environment) joined forces with McLennan Ross and Deloitte and Touche to update their Environment Awards program. The AEF was created, and with it came the prestigious Emerald Awards. To date, over 300 recipients and 800 finalists have been recognized with an Emerald Award. The AEF has also developed a number of outreach initiatives, including Emerald Days, the Emerald Speakers Series, and the Youth Environmental Engagement Grants program. For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.emeraldfoundation.ca.