Important dates

Nominations are closed for the 2018 Inspiration Awards.

Recipients will be announced at the Inspiration Awards ceremony in Calgary on Friday, November 23, 2018. Find other events during Family Violence Prevention Month.


Every November during Family Violence Prevention Month, government presents the Inspiration Awards to outstanding Albertans who are making a difference in their communities. Their efforts build awareness, contribute to violence prevention and advance healthy relationships for all Albertans.

Award categories


Individuals, organizations or businesses are recognized for work that contributes to violence prevention and promoting health relationships.

Up to 3 awards are given for leadership in each of these categories:

  • Family Violence Prevention
  • Sexual Violence Prevention
  • Child Abuse Prevention
  • Bullying Prevention


  • Up to one award is given in each of these categories:
  • Emerging Excellence – recognizes a youth or new professional aged 24 or younger who demonstrates leadership in any of the social issues above
  • Innovation – awarded to an individual, organization or business for an innovative approach to any of the social issues above
  • Lifetime Achievement – honours an individual for their long-term commitment to violence prevention and/or building healthy relationships


Alberta residents or Alberta-based organizations, agencies, government offices, businesses or groups may be nominated for an Inspiration Award.

How to nominate

You may nominate an individual or organization for an award if you are:

  • 13 years or older, and
  • an Alberta resident, and
  • not related to the individual or someone in the organization you are nominating

Step 1. Read the guidelines

Review the 2018 Nomination Guidelines (PDF, 219 KB) to understand:

  • how the Inspiration Awards are administered
  • the supporting documentation that must be included with the nomination form
  • how award recipients are selected

Step 2. Complete the nomination package

Make sure your nomination package is complete by:

  • filling in all sections on the nomination form
  • providing a nomination letter with examples demonstrating how the nominee addresses 1 or more of the social issues above (maximum 600 words)
  • including a letter of support from another individual, organization or business that also gives examples of the nominee’s contributions (maximum 600 words)
  • supplying a biography for the nominee that highlights their contributions (maximum 100 words)
  • including a photo of the nominee (uncropped JPEG, 1MB+) or logo for the organization being nominated (EPS, 300 dpi)
  • having the declarations signed by you and the nominee

Step 3. Submit the nomination package

Choose one of these options to submit the completed nomination form and supporting documents:

Fax: 780-415-9345
Mail: Gillian Barnes at the address below with a post mark before the nomination deadline

After you apply

  • All nominators and nominees receive an email confirming their nomination was received.
  • Recipients are chosen by an awards selection committee that includes Alberta government and community representatives.
  • Once selections are chosen, only the successful nominators and nominees are contacted.
  • Award recipients are honoured during a ceremony in November 2018.

Award recipients

  • 2017

    Individual Award – Leadership in Bullying Prevention

    Linda Crockett, Edmonton

    Linda Crockett of Edmonton is recognized for her leadership role in advocating for those affected by bullying. She is the founder of the Alberta Bullying Research, Resources & Recovery Centre. The centre provides education, awareness, advocacy, and recovery counselling services to anyone affected by bullying, including rehabilitation for perpetrators. She has facilitated numerous workshops for social workers, teachers, youth justice volunteers, the Edmonton Support Network, First Nations Communities, and teens.

    Group Award – Leadership in Bullying Prevention

    Cold Lake High School’s Best Buddies Program, Cold Lake

    This program builds healthy relationships and prevents bullying by providing youth with the opportunity to engage with peers with disabilities.  CLHS student “Buddies” in the school’s Inclusive Education Life Skills Program are paired with mainstream “Peer Buddies” students with the aim of building one-on-one friendships and creating an inclusive school community.

    URSTRONG, Calgary

    Founded by Dana Kerford, a teacher from Calgary, URSTRONG’s focus on bullying prevention has improved the social climate in schools, teaching kids a common language to confidently manage conflict and create a culture of respect and kindness. URSTRONG’s workshops and programs have now been adopted by over 110 schools in Alberta, as well as hundreds of other schools in Canada, United States, and Australia.

    Individual Award – Leadership in Child Abuse Prevention

    Dr. Eden McCaffrey, Calgary

    Dr. Eden McCaffrey’s dedication to child abuse prevention work demonstrates remarkable leadership. She provides assessment, therapy, consultation and education via her private practice, Ascend Services in Calgary, primarily in the area of child abuse prevention and treatment. She assists the Alberta legal system, provincial Child and Family Services and families by identifying persons who are at risk of child abuse through her assessments, speaking in court, advocating for children and providing parent interventions.

    Honorary Award – Leadership in Child Abuse Prevention

    Fossey, Service Dog, Zebra Child Protection Centre, Edmonton

    Fossey’s official title for the last six years has been “Zebra Child Protection Centre VIP” (Very Important Paws) but a title alone doesn’t do justice to the impact of her work.  Since 2013, she has lent her strength to victims of child abuse at the Zebra Centre as she supports them throughout the entire disclosure, investigative, judicial and healing process.

    In 2016 alone, Fossey supported six children through court preparation, greeted and stayed with 56 children as they waited for their interview, and accompanied 54 children through their forensic interview. She was also recognized by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, who appointed Fossey, and her handler Carolyn Thom, as official ambassadors in 2014. Fossey retired from her position at the end of November 2017.

    Emerging Excellence Award – Leadership in Family Violence Prevention

    John Wenlock, Claresholm

    John Wenlock’s leadership in preventing family violence is inspirational. As the Youth of Tomorrow Teen Center Coordinator with FCSS Claresholm, he organizes programs for the youth to learn about fitness, health, hygiene, healthy relationships, positive behaviour, art, and volunteering. This group, comprised of mostly boys, are thriving with John’s leadership. In the spring of 2017, John received the Foothills Canada 150 Medal for his contributions and Volunteerism Award.

    Group Award – Leadership in Family Violence Prevention

    Dr. Margaret Savage Crisis Centre, Cold Lake

    The Dr. Margaret Savage Crisis Centre in Cold Lake is dedicated to building a stronger community free from family violence. The centre provides a safe shelter and support to women and children fleeing abuse or in a homeless situation. They offer workshops, teen groups, educational presentations and group support sessions for both female and male clients to build healthier lifestyle changes and relationships.

    Peaceful Alliance Rejecting Injustice, Violence and Advocating Respect, Edmonton

    The group is being recognized for their efforts to promote healthy and safe families within the South Asian Edmonton community. They are a Mill Woods based initiative focused on developing a collaborative community response to family violence. PARIVAAR addresses family violence by directly engaging communities and fostering partnerships across sectors, including professional, community, spiritual leaders and police services.

    Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers Society, Calgary

    Since 2009, Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers Society in Calgary has been a leader in awareness and advocacy on family violence and domestic abuse. The Society organizes soup-making events with their volunteers to communicate directly with women’s emergency, second-stage shelters and youth serving agencies about family violence and the work of the agencies. The group’s youth programs also promote healthy relationships and encourage youth leadership to more than 300 Albertans.

    Wheatland Crisis Society, Strathmore

    Wheatland Crisis Society, which operates the Strathmore Shelter, has been dedicated to preventing family violence and making a positive contribution to their community for 25 years. The Society provides shelter, counselling, referrals, public education, and outreach to survivors of abuse regardless of their gender, age, race, religion, socioeconomic status, sexuality, marital status, or mental/physical ability. They are committed to a vision of a future where their community is free of violence and citizens are empowered to resolve conflict in peaceful and productive ways.

    Individual Award – Leadership in Family Violence Prevention

    Bela Gupta, Calgary

    Bela Gupta has demonstrated her commitment to ending family violence at the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association as a family counsellor for over a decade. Leveraging her multicultural background, passion for women’s empowerment, and family inclusive practice, she has established herself as a leader in helping individuals and families dealing with family violence in the South Asian community. Notably, she spearheaded multiple men’s support groups to engage them in ending domestic violence.

    Michael Hoyt, Edmonton

    Michael Hoyt, a social worker with the City of Edmonton, is being recognized for his many years of work to engage men and boys in family violence prevention. Michael also brings a passion for engaging diverse communities in his work, including working with Indigenous groups and new immigrant and refugee communities. His 30 years of service in this field includes work in intimate partner intervention programs and serving on the Domestic Abuse High Risk Team, a partnership of the City of Edmonton and Edmonton Police Service

    Joseph Luri, Edmonton

    Joseph Luri is a community leader in helping newcomers to Alberta build healthy relationships and prevent family violence. As the Team Lead of Safe Families with the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, he has played a critical role in bringing culturally effective innovations from family mentoring and meditation, to educational program development, to creative preventative programming for men within the immigrant and refugee communities.

    Ravi Natt, Calgary

    Ravi Natt is being recognized for her work to address barriers for immigrant families experiencing family violence. She was a founding member of Punjabi Community Health Services in 2014. By providing language and culturally appropriate social services within the South Asian community, she has enhanced access to social service supports for those affected by family violence and addiction.

    Kim Ruse, Calgary

    Kim Ruse, Executive Director of Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter has led the development of innovative violence prevention programs that help clients build skills to make healthy choices in their lives. In the community, she has developed a strong partnership with the Tsuu T’ina First Nation in their efforts to combat family violence within their community and enhance services to Indigenous people.

    Lalita Singh, Calgary

    Lalita Singh shows in her professional and volunteer experience that it takes working together to address family violence. She played a significant role in the creation of the Northeast Calgary domestic violence prevention collaborative, where more than 15 local resident groups are now implementing action plans on addressing family violence. In her volunteer time, she provides advice and mentorship to many ethnic and community organizations in building their own leadership and organizational capacities.

    Business Leadership in Sexual Violence Prevention

    Pattison Outdoor Advertising, Calgary

    Pattison Outdoor Advertising in Calgary has stepped up as a business leader in sexual violence prevention as a media partner for the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services’ #IBelieveYou public awareness campaign. The campaign won a 2016 North American SABRE Award, for Superior Achievement in public relations. More survivors now feel safe to tell someone, report to the police, or reach out for counselling services.  Pattison Outdoor Advertising has helped to spread the message and has contributed to making Alberta’s communities healthier and safer for everyone.

    Emerging Excellence Award – Leadership in Sexual Violence Prevention

    Shalea Harder-Mah, Lacombe

    Shalea Harder-Mah is being recognized for her passion in helping others affected by sexual violence. She started the first Red Deer College Sexual Assault and Abuse Awareness Group and continues to manage the group.. In 2016, the group received special recognition from the Student’s Association of Red Deer College for their work. She also works with the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre as a crisis line volunteer, an educator to facilitate youth programs, and as a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) member.

    Group Award – Leadership in Sexual Violence Prevention

    Amethyst Project, YWCA of Lethbridge and District

    Amethyst Project is being recognized for their service to sexual violence survivors. Sexual Assault Advocates work out of the Lethbridge and District YWCA and provide services to victims of sexual violence at the local Alberta Health Services emergency room. The advocates improve care and confidence for patients by providing advice, options and counselling support. Since the project’s 2015 inception, the advocates have been greatly beneficial to patients, Sexual Assault Response Team physicians, hospital staff, and the whole community.

    Calgary Police Service Sex Crimes Unit

    The Sex Crimes Unit of the Calgary Police Service plays a leadership role in sexual violence prevention through their approach in investigating cases. Calgary is the first major Canadian city to implement the Philadelphia Model, a model of accountability for law enforcement to review unfounded and a random sampling of sexual assault cases. The efforts contribute to the prevention of sexual violence by helping build trust in the justice system, which can lead to higher reporting of sexual violence and more successful convictions for sexual crimes.

    Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre, Red Deer

    The Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre in Red Deer demonstrates leadership in sexual violence prevention through innovative and comprehensive programs and services. They educate, support and empower individuals, families and communities regarding all aspects of sexual abuse and sexual assault. They have created quality education programs, Culture of Respect principles with the iRespect campaign, and the Family Intervention Program.

    Sexual Violence Action Plan Committee, Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services (AASAS)

    In May of 2017, the committee launched Alberta’s first Sexual Violence Action Plan. The group oversaw an extensive literature review on sexual abuse primary prevention, sexual violence plans from around the world, and a research brief on the risk and protective factors of childhood sexual abuse. The committee’s vision for an Alberta free of sexual violence is a result of over 40 years of front line experience, research, and best practices addressing sexual violence in Alberta.

    Lifetime Achievement

    Milton Iwaasa, Coaldale

    Citizens of southern Alberta’s rural communities are grateful for Milton’s leadership efforts in family violence prevention. Milton is a true example of building healthy relationships as a long term strategy to ending violence among all ages. During his 30 year career with Barons-Eureka-Warner Family and Community Support Services, he has been instrumental in initiating many innovative programs to reduce social isolation and build healthy relationships.  In November 2017, Milton wrapped up a tremendous professional career with his retirement and will leave behind a legacy of supporting families and preventing violence.

  • 2016

    Group Award – Leadership in Bullying Prevention

    Canadian Red Cross Alberta Team’s Respect Education, Edmonton

    The aim of the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Team’s Respect Education course is to create environments free from violence, including abuse, bullying or exploitation, through prevention, education and response. The Beyond the Hurt Bullying and Harassment Prevention Program was developed in 2002 to help people of all ages recognize, respond to and prevent bullying. It has since been delivered to hundreds of adult and youth audiences through school and community events across Canada. The team has worked closely with Edmonton Public Schools to deliver Respect Education workshops.

    Cold Lake Bully Free Committee

    Cold Lake Bully Free Committee was established in 2007. The committee is comprised of volunteers from various human and health service agencies, schools, businesses and the community at large. The committee addresses bullying as a social ill that requires community solidarity to defeat and enables Cold Lake residents to create bully free environments.

    Dare to Care, Calgary

    Dare to Care Calgary was founded in 1999 to address the pervasive issue of bullying. Dare to Care provides all individuals within a school community, including administration, staff, parents and students, with a common language, skills and supports to address bullying behaviours.

    Individual Award – Leadership in Bullying Prevention

    Amy Jeannotte, Edmonton

    Amy Jeannotte of Edmonton works with YouCan Youth Services. She focuses on youth in schools, helping them develop healthy relationships, reduce risks associated with bullying and promote protective factors that support emotional resiliency.

    Sarah Weaver, Lethbridge

    Sarah Weaver, Youth Services Supervisor for the Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge & District, works with youth to promote inclusivity, honesty, responsibility, conflict resolution, fairness and non-threatening behaviour.

    Individual Award – Leadership in Child Abuse Prevention

    Dr. Karen Dushinski, Edmonton

    Dr. Dushinski is a respected child, adolescent and adult therapist, and the Director of Client Services at the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton. She also provides training on child sexual abuse for the Edmonton Police Service, University of Alberta students and various community agencies. She believes strongly in human rights and currently chairs the Edmonton chapter of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.

    Dr. Nicole Letourneau, Calgary

    Dr. Letourneau is the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Research Chair. AT the University of Calgary she is a professor in the Faculties of Nursing and Medicine (Pediatrics and Psychiatry) and Director of RESOLVE Alberta. Her CHILD (Child Health Intervention and Longitudinal Development) Studies Program examines the impact of parent-child relationship quality and supportive relationships in the context of family violence and other traumatic stress on children’s health and development.

    Group Award – Leadership in Elder Abuse Prevention

    Elder Abuse Resources and Supports, Edmonton

    Elder Abuse Resources and Supports is a program of Catholic Social Services in Edmonton. The program provides support, assessment and referral, as well as information and presentations to elderly adults who are at risk of experiencing abuse or neglect. This includes assisting seniors in making changes, setting boundaries, obtaining protection orders when necessary, and creating safety plans.

    Lethbridge Elder Abuse Response Network

    The Lethbridge Elder Abuse Response Network coordinates community organizations in response to elder abuse and neglect. The network provides peer coaching, training, collaboration on elder abuse cases, and support and intervention when protection is required.

    30th Anniversary Award – Leadership in Family Violence Prevention

    Town of Hinton

    The Town of Hinton was the first municipality in Alberta to raise public awareness on family violence prevention. Thanks to the vision of its dedicated citizens, Hinton’s example inspired the creation of Family Violence Prevention Month throughout Alberta.

    Business Leader in Family Violence Prevention

    Len Rhodes, Edmonton

    Len Rhodes is the president and CEO of the Edmonton Eskimos Football Club. He committed the Eskimos to partner with the Calgary Stampeders to play an integral role in the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters’ Leading Change program. More recently, he served as co-chair for the Lurana Shelter Society Avenue of Hope Gala, and was named a CEASE (Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation) Man of Honour for his work assisting WIN (Women in Need) House and survivors of domestic violence.

    Emerging Excellence Award – Leadership in Family Violence Prevention

    Makda Habtegergesa, Calgary

    Makda Habtegergesa is a second year political science student at the University of Calgary. Her passion for advocacy and volunteerism led her to coordinate a successful fundraising bike-a-thon for the Sheldon Kennedy Advocacy Centre, which serves children, youth and families traumatized by abuse. She subsequently joined the Centre’s Education Committee. She also volunteers at the University of Calgary Campus Distress Centre and served on the planning committee for the 2016 International Congress for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, held in Calgary.

    Group Award – Leadership in Family Violence Prevention

    Alberta Alliance for the Safety of Animals and People

    The Alberta Alliance for the Safety of Animals and People (AASAP) serves as an advisory board for the Pet Safekeeping Program across the province. The program provides temporary foster care and treatment for pets of domestic violence victims who, without such care, would remain in violent situations.

    Central Alberta Regional Vision for Non-Violence Coalition

    The Central Alberta Regional Vision for Non-Violence Coalition collaborates on family violence and bullying prevention initiatives in the communities of Benalto, Bentley, Blackfalds, Bowden, Delburne, Eckville, Elnora, Innisfail, Lacombe, Rimbey, Rocky Mountain House, Stettler and Sylvan Lake.

    Lives in Transition, Edmonton

    Edmonton based Lives in Transition (LIT) is a 30-week program dedicated to women whose greatest barrier to employment is family violence. Through LIT, women find support to understand the impact of family violence and the history behind their own stories, to recognize relationship red flags and to make a positive change for themselves and their families.

    Individual Award – Leadership in Family Violence Prevention

    Victorio Lantion, Calgary

    Victorino Lantion is the Community Programs Manager of the Ethno-Cultural Council of Calgary. He also coordinates SHARE (Sustaining Healthy and Awesome Relationships), an initiative that works with ethno-cultural communities and partners to prevent domestic violence.

    Rita Tshiluba, Edmonton

    As a member of the Alliance Jeunesse-Famille de l’Alberta Society (AJFAS), Rita Tshiluba of Edmonton brought together a group of francophone immigrant women to prevent family violence. She led the group in promoting their own well-being and helping them to access information about their rights as women in Canadian society.

    Corey Wyness, Edmonton

    Corey Wyness works with REACH, the Edmonton Council for Safe Communities. He is passionate about ending family violence and keeping kids off the street by providing care and support to those who need it. Through REACH, Corey facilitates open conversation between LGBTQ youth and their families helping them to maintain healthy relationships and embrace acceptance.

    Group Award – Leadership in Sexual Violence Prevention

    YWCA Edmonton

    YWCA Edmonton leads, supports, and advocates for women and families in its comprehensive and continuing effort to build a world of equality, opportunity and choice for women. YWCA Edmonton provides programs and services to more than 8,000 people each year.

    Individual Award – Leadership in Sexual Violence Prevention

    Jill Green, Edmonton

    Jill Green of Edmonton is the founding member of MacEwan University’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Committee and Sexual Violence Response Team. Her work focuses on developing and implementing primary prevention strategies and sustainable responses to sexual violence on campus, and includes the development of one of Alberta’s first standalone sexual violence policies at a post-secondary institution.

    Lifetime Achievement Award

    Susan Scott, Calgary

    Susan Scott has been instrumental in shedding light on family violence and its connection to women’s homelessness in Canada. Susan’s efforts have led to the development of three affordable housing projects for women in Calgary, Canada’s first Housing First project at Discovery House for women fleeing violence, and the establishment of Brenda’s House, a family emergency shelter, also in Calgary.

    Outstanding Service and Dedication Award

    Patrick Dillon, Edmonton

    The late Patrick Dillon of Edmonton dedicated his life to the service of others and was passionate about building healthy families. Patrick was the Provincial Coordinator for the Alberta Father Involvement Initiative, the forerunner of current programs to engage men as allies in family violence prevention. Patrick believed in living life to the fullest. He inspired others to live their best life every day. He is deeply missed.


To connect with the Inspiration Awards program:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-5916
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-415-9345

Inspiration Awards
Alberta Community and Social Services
Community Services and Supports Division
3rd floor, 44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5E6