The 2022 award recipients were honoured at a ceremony on October 4.
The Minister’s Seniors Service Awards recognize individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations who support seniors, lead the way for improved services and contribute to strong communities.
Nominations were accepted for individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations who support seniors through their extraordinary volunteerism, philanthropy, innovation, or outstanding service.
An individual Albertan or couple, of any age, who provides volunteer service, demonstrates philanthropy, or outstanding service to seniors in Alberta.
An Alberta business or corporation that exhibits excellence in innovation or philanthropy in support of Alberta’s seniors.
An Alberta non-profit organization that exhibits excellence in innovation or outstanding service to Alberta’s seniors.
Special Service Award – Building Better Together
An Alberta individual, business, group, or non-profit organization that strives to bring together organizations and service providers to build collaborative networks to improve services to seniors.
The Special Service Award highlights an area of particular importance in any given year.
Alice Modin Award
An individual or couple who is 65 years or older and has:
- been volunteering in their community for 20 or more years;
- actively promotes volunteerism; and/or
- has had a provincial impact through their volunteer efforts.
This award is given in honour of Alice Modin who, more than 30 years ago, campaigned for a seniors’ day in Strathcona County, and paved the way for the province-wide Seniors’ Week we celebrate to this day.
Nominations are assessed based on
- Contributed time to assist seniors and/or seniors-serving organizations.
- Provided financial support to seniors and/or seniors-serving organizations.
- Motivated others into philanthropic giving, through leadership and encouragement.
- Lead, organized and supported fundraising activities.
- Created programs or services to address essential needs of seniors in the community, such as food security, emotional supports, transportation, or technology.
- Developed new ways for Albertans to connect with seniors.
- Demonstrated outstanding commitment and dedication to serving seniors.
Learn about each of the 2022 Minister’s Seniors Award nominees (PDF, 162 KB).
2022 award recipients
Kristen Chambers – Hinton
Kristen Chambers is the Chief Administrative Officer of The Evergreens Foundation, a not-for-profit housing management body based in Hinton, Alberta. She is a true visionary and leader who, in her 16-year career, brought meaningful changes to seniors housing in the region. She has been a tireless advocate for seniors in Hinton. Even though a rural community, she ensured that seniors within her region received the best available support by leveraging resources and industry contacts.
Kristen envisions what seniors value and strive to have in their lives. The Evergreens Foundation provide the amenities required to achieve that vision, and more. Under Kristen’s leadership, the Evergreens Foundation pioneered the mixed-market rent model to expand the supportive housing services to a larger senior population. Her administration policies ensure that the foundation hires the best staff, the best contractors, and receives the best products so that seniors in her facilities get nothing less than what facilities have in major cities. Kristen is well respected within the region for her leadership, knowledge, and motivation to deliver successful services. Her advice is sought after by various provincial and municipal governments on matters related to seniors, housing, and other social services.
Linda F. Ensley – Sturgeon County
Linda F. Ensley has created innovative community partnerships to protect seniors from fraud and other abuse. She has created discussion groups for seniors to voice their experiences. As a founding member of the YEG Alliance, she initiated a collaboration with several organizations including the Edmonton Police Service, DynaLife, Bubar Communication, and the Edmonton Community Foundation to create simple multi-language anti-fraud resources for seniors.
During the pandemic, Linda quickly pivoted her organization to virtual mode, organized the distribution of 100 meals to low-income seniors, and organized a Seniors’ Town Hall with Edmonton City Council and a Mayoral Forum with the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council. Linda is known for her inclusive and imaginative efforts to serve seniors.
Rossbina Nathoo – Calgary
Rossbina Nathoo came to Canada in 1972 as a refugee from Uganda. She was amazed at the kindness with which she was welcomed, inspiring her to develop a deep interest in supporting seniors through volunteerism. This interest grew into a passion, and in 2007, Rossbina founded F.O.C.U.S. on Seniors with the mission to advocate for seniors to improve quality of life through social, educational, recreational, and cross-cultural activities. Rossbina has also been instrumental in implementing several supports for seniors in collaboration with the Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society. This includes her involvement as a partner in the Igniting Neighbors for Kind Communities, delivering meals to seniors in Calgary during the pandemic, implementing cultural diversity programming, and supporting the Seniors Connecting Seniors program. Rossbina does all this as a volunteer community organizer.
Sherrisa Celis – Calgary
Sherrisa Celis goes the extra mile to create a collaborative community in southern Alberta by connecting organizations to address senior issues. Sherrisa has worked for Calgary Catholic Immigration Society since 2006 and goes above and beyond in her role by dedicating her time to making the lives of seniors as enjoyable and meaningful as possible. She is an instrumental leader in advocating for seniors’ issues throughout Canada, such as elder abuse awareness. Sherrisa is a co-chair of Calgary Elder Abuse Awareness Collective, a partnership of agencies working together to provide awareness and education.
She is constantly creating opportunities to sustain seniors’ everyday needs and to satisfy their desire to be active and meaningful members of society. Sherrisa has arranged various workshops and outdoor activities for seniors, such as Multi-cultural Day, National Seniors Day, and social activities which support senior’s social integration and engagement. Her outgoing and caring personality and exceptional leadership skills have helped many seniors thrive. She has created and maintained a wonderful atmosphere of learning, growth, collaboration, and support for immigrant seniors over the years. Her volunteerism and creativity in serving seniors impresses and inspires everyone around her.
Audiology Innovations – Calgary
Audiology Innovations supports seniors in the community who have hearing loss as well as organizations that support seniors. Their team provides educational presentations to many seniors’ groups as part of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alberta educational program. They provide sanitized, donated hearing aids to seniors, partnered with Calgary Lions Club, the Bowmont Seniors Assistance Association, and the carya organization. This program helps reduce financial barriers for Alberta seniors who require hearing assistance. Countless seniors in Calgary benefit from this recycling program. Audiology Innovations also provides 'pop-up' clinics in senior lodges at no charge to seniors who would not be able to obtain hearing care services due to mobility, transportation, or financial barriers. The team has creatively developed programs to address the essential needs of seniors in the community for hearing health and safety and goes beyond in their dedication to serving all Alberta seniors.
Photo: Dr. Carrie Scarff
Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council – Medicine Hat
The Alberta Elder Abuse Awareness Council is a province-wide network of professionals representing communities across Alberta. The Council believes that every senior is a valued member of society and has a right to live free of abuse, that elder abuse is intolerable and unacceptable, and that increased awareness is the key to addressing elder abuse. The Council promotes the well-being and security of seniors through education and training about elder abuse to service providers and community members. The Council leads educational activities such as ‘Taking Action Against Elder Abuse’ (for service providers) and ‘Neighbours, Friends and Family’ (for community members to support elders experiencing abuse and to guide them to community supports). The Council also spreads awareness through platforms such as CORE Alberta, an online hub for senior-serving organizations and advocates via educational talks and resources such as ‘Staying Safe: A Resource for Older Adults Living in Alberta.’
Photo: Brittney Wells
Sage Seniors Association – Edmonton
Sage Seniors Association is a non-profit organization that has provided programs and services for seniors in the Edmonton area since 1970. The organization operates Sage Seniors’ Safe House, an all-gender domestic violence shelter offering services to seniors escaping violence and abuse. The shelter offers accommodation for seniors in need of refuge, providing the security, and safety needed for seniors to embark on the road of recovery. Qualified social work staff provide holistic case management, peer support, professional and practical assistance, and connections to community resources that help seniors deal with all areas of their lives that have been impacted by abuse. Sage Seniors Association also has a partnership with Alberta SPCA to ensure pets have a safe place to stay while their owner is recovering in shelter. They strive to help seniors heal and regain confidence in themselves and in all aspects of life, delivering a level of care and attention that allows seniors to rebuild their lives with dignity.
Photo: Michelle Markham
Alice Modin award
Tom Zariski – Drumheller
Tom Zariski is serving his fourth term as Councillor for the Town of Drumheller. During his early teaching career in 1975, Tom introduced the Seniors Christmas Dinner, in which students prepared an entire banquet for approximately 300 seniors. Since then, this event has become an annual event in the community. Over the years, Tom has been actively involved in his community by serving on and founding numerous community committees and organizations. While on the Emergency Management Committee, during the pandemic, Tom ensured the safety of the residents of the Hillview and Sunshine Lodges by securing funds for sneeze guards, recruiting door greeters, and acquiring PPE equipment.
Tom is passionate that seniors in his community have safe and affordable housing in the communities where they have lived and worked their whole lives. He was instrumental in securing funds for renovations and upgrades at both lodges as well as an additional 26 supportive living units.
Special Service award
The Good Samaritan Society – Edmonton
The Good Samaritan Society provides long-term and complex care, supportive and assisted living, and other specialized health care programs in innovative and caring environments across Alberta. The Society serves seniors, adults with developmental disabilities and individuals with a chronic illness. Over the past year, the organization has made serving Indigenous communities a strategic priority.
The Good Samaritan Society is fully committed to supporting vulnerable Albertans and has exemplified outstanding service regarding Seniors’ Indigenous Health and Wellness. The organization is uniquely positioned to provide leadership and supports for the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of Indigenous patients and families and is passionate about finding new opportunities to realize its mission, vision and values. As such, the organization is evolving their mandate to enhance their focus on mental health and Indigenous health issues and services.
Presently, the organization serves over 5,000 residents and individuals in the community. The Good Samaritan Society strives to establish continuous and meaningful reciprocal partnerships with Indigenous organizations, senior residents/clients, and families. The Good Samaritan Society created cultural competency training to develop and implement a diversity strategy with a focus on Indigenous health. Recently, they launched several initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion among the residents of 29 care homes and 28 group homes.
Photo: Dr. Katherine Chubbs
Past award recipients
Read about all recipients since 1998 (PDF, 72 KB)
Award recipients – 2021
- Benita Galandy – Grande Prairie
- Cory Young – Peace River
- Haidong Liang – Edmonton
- Aspen Care Ltd. – Calgary
- Jewish Family Service Calgary – Calgary
- Linking Generations Society of Alberta – Sherwood Park
- Volunteer Strathcona – Sherwood Park
- Dirk Bannister – Airdrie
- Meagan Chapman – Parkland County
Award recipients – 2020
- Liza Bouchard – Beaumont
- Jenna Jepson – Calgary
- Corrina Roth-Beacome – Bow Island
- Surinderjit (Stan) Singh Plaha – Calgary
- Bethany Care Foundation – Calgary
- Ismaili Muslim Community – Calgary
- The Joy4All Project of Ever Active Schools – Edmonton
- Ladybug Support Services Ltd. – Wetaskiwin
- Servus Credit Union – Edmonton
Award recipients – 2019
Alice Modin Award
- Margaret Ann Woodward – Hillcrest Mines
- Margaret Stolk – Hillcrest Mines
Individuals and organizations
- Georgette Cyr – Legal
- Allan Holt – Radway
- Leonard Purnell – Cardston
- Harjit Singh Brar – Calgary
- Darrell Wood – Okotoks
- Friends of the St. Michael’s Society of Edmonton
- Westend Seniors Activity Centre – Edmonton
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