The Canadian wind energy industry last night celebrated visionary leaders and clean energy pioneers as annual awards were handed out at the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Toronto, Ontario.
The event is the largest wind energy conference in Canada, and hosted more than 2,500 professionals from the wind energy industry and over 250 exhibiting companies.
Each year, at its Awards Banquet, CanWEA presents awards that recognize organizations and individuals who have worked diligently to advance the Canadian wind energy industry. In addition to unveiling the recipients of the traditional R.J. Templin, Individual Leadership, Group Leadership, and Friend of Wind awards, this year marked the introduction of a new award honouring the contributions of Matt Holder, a respected industry leader who passed away suddenly in October 2011.
Matt Holder Community Connection Award
Introduced in 2011, the Matt Holder Community Connection Award is awarded to an organization or individual who embodies the mandate of responsible development through a commitment to understand and build meaningful relationships with host communities.
Award winner:Mike Jablonicky (TransAlta) for his outstanding engagement with the community of Wolfe Island and his hard work and dedication to ensure the wind farm was a welcomed addition to the community.
Individual Leadership Award
First awarded in 2003, the Individual Leadership Award is awarded to an individual who has, through their own efforts, significantly advanced the wind energy industry in Canada.
Award winner: Mike Crawley (International Power – GDF Suez) forhis active participation in shaping and growing the industry through several committees and being an exemplary ambassador for the wind energy industry.
Group Leadership Award
First awarded in 2001, the Group Leadership Award is awarded to an organization that has, through its efforts, significantly advanced the wind energy industry in Canada.
Award winner:Henvey Inlet First Nation for being a leader when it comes to First Nations participation in wind energy development and for passing on their experience to allow for this trend to continue in the future.
R.J. Templin Award
First awarded in 1985, in recognition of an individual or organization who has undertaken scientific, technical, engineering or policy work that has significantly advanced the wind energy industry in Canada.
Award winner: PowerShift Atlantic for their innovative Research and Development programs in the Maritimes aimed at finding more effective ways to integrate wind energy onto our electricity system.
Friend of Wind Award
First awarded in 2009, in recognition of the outstanding contributions made by individuals or groups in advancing awareness of the positive benefits of wind energy at the community level. This year, CanWEA names two winners:
First award winner: Reinout von Martels (farmer and landowner in Ridgetown, Ontario) for actively supporting wind energy development in Chatham-Kent by attending municipal council meetings, writing letters and speaking widely of his pro-wind opinions in the media.
Friend of Wind Award, second award winners: Heidi Eijgel and David Glass (farmers in Pincher Creek, Alberta) for their efforts in promoting the industry as objective citizens, for their genuine belief in wind energy as a source of clean power and for standing up to share that view.
CanWEA is the voice of Canada’s wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy on behalf of its more than 400 members. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada’s leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits. To join other global leaders in the wind energy industry, CanWEA believes Canada can and must reach its target of producing 20 per cent or more of the country’s electricity from wind by 2025. The document Wind Vision 2025 – Powering Canada’s Future is available at www.canwea.ca .