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Meet our Outstanding Canadians

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What makes Canada an amazing country? At Shaw, we know it's more than the outdoors, or the food, or the culture; it's the people. People who, each and every day, make a positive difference in their community, their city, and their country.

That’s why Shaw is celebrating our country’s 150th anniversary by granting 150 birthday wishes to recognize the outstanding people and organizations making Canada a better place for kids. As part of this initiative, we are recognizing 50 outstanding Canadians and providing them with a $1,500 grant to donate to the charity of their choice.

Shaw is proud to announce our 50 Outstanding Canadians:

 

Adrian Bercovici – Montreal, QC 

In 1999, Adrian launched the Generations Foundation, which provides breakfast, hot lunch, and a daily snack for over 8,500 school children in 110 schools and learning centers in Montreal and the surrounding area. Click here to read more of Adrian’s story.

 

Aidan Scott – New Westminster, BC 

A survivor of childhood physical, sexual, and mental abuse, Aidan is a mental health advocate, Kids Help Phone Ambassador and the founder of SpeakBox, an online service that aims to connect all young people in Canada to digital mental health treatment and peer support programs. Click here to read more of Aidan’s story.

 

Ashley Chapman – Calgary, AB 

Following the sudden passing of her baby niece Quinn from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Ashley created Quinn’s Legacy Run, an annual event that raises awareness of and funds for SIDS Calgary. Click here to read more of Ashley’s story.

  

Brad Bowden – Barrie, ON 

Brad shares his experiences as an elite wheelchair basketball and ice sledge hockey athlete through charitable work with Classroom Champions, All Sports All People, and the Canadian Paralympic Committee Athlete Council. Click here to read more of Brad’s story.

 

Brandon Murdock – Winnipeg, MB 

Brandon is a full-time academic facilitator at CEDA Pathways, a dedicated basketball coach, and a member of the 4Rs Youth Movement, whose goal is to bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. Click here to read more of Brandon’s story.

 

Brennan Wong – Richmond Hill, ON 

Nineteen-year-old Brennan was recognized as one of Canada's Top 20 Under 20 in 2014 for his efforts as a social activist, public speaker and founder of Pledges for Change. Click here to read more of Brennan’s story.

 

Carmen Moreira – Castlegar, BC 

Carmen is the Director of SQx Dance Company, which uses contemporary dance workshops and performances to promote healthy lifestyles and relationships in an interactive environment. Click here to read more of Carmen’s story.

 

Cassandra Hill – Calgary, AB 

Cassandra is an energetic teacher who has devoted her career to helping students at Children’s Village School, an elementary school with programming designed to meet the complex learning and social needs of students with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties. Click here to read more of Cassandra’s story.

  

Cheryl Heidt – Armstrong, BC 

For over 20 years, Cheryl has dedicated her life to the Enderby Preschool Society, volunteering countless hours each week and raising over $615,000 in two years to enable an additional 33 kids to access quality childcare and preschool programs. Click here to read more of Cheryl’s story.

 

Chris Case – Victoria, BC 

Chris is a Shaw employee who regularly involves his friends, family and coworkers in the charitable initiatives to which he gives his time, including Santa’s Anonymous.

  

Chris Cederstrand – Okotoks, AB 

Following a tragic workplace accident that resulted in the partial amputation of his leg, Chris started the Cederstrand Foundation, which supports kids who face physical barriers to get back into sport. Click here to read more of Chris’s story.

 

Christian Cañas – Calgary, AB 

In addition to helping children at a local homeless shelter with their math and science homework, Christian founded Hope in the Dark, which helps underprivileged children and single mothers living in slums in Bucaramanga, Colombia. Click here to read more of Christian’s story.

 

Dale Sewers – Calgary, AB 

In almost ten years, Dale has logged over 4,200 hours of volunteer time as a front door host at Ronald McDonald House, providing support, comfort and genuine compassion to families in incredibly trying circumstances. Click here to read more of Dale’s story.

 

Daniel Reaveley – Coquitlam, BC 

Daniel founded the Charlene Reaveley Children’s Charity, an organization that provides support and assistance to children and their families experiencing the loss of a loved one, after the sudden death of his wife in a hit-and-run accident left him to raise his four young children. Click here to read more of Daniel’s story.

 

Debbie Roman – Winnipeg, MB 

After losing her 19-year-old son Steven to suicide, Debbie has poured her heart into fundraising for Kids Help Phone, raising over $75,000 in the past thirteen years. Click here to read more of Debbie’s story.

 

Elsie Morden – Port Williams, NS 

Elsie pulled through severe bullying, an ongoing battle with depression and an anxiety disorder to create the "No Time for That" Tour, which has visited almost 500 schools across Canada with its anti-bullying message. Click here to read more of Elsie’s story.

 

Erin and Tom Osterberg – Mission, BC 

Erin and Tom have personally taken on a program called Blessings in a Backpack, soliciting donations, shopping, packing and delivering backpacks to help feed hungry school children of Mission. Click here to read more of Erin and Tom’s story.

 

Ermias Nagatu – Toronto, ON 

Ermias is an individual who has affected a great deal of positive change in the world through his volunteer work with Pathways to Education, Regent Park Community Health Centre, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, Exercise Is Medicine Canada, and the Move for Movember campaign. Click here to read more of Ermias’s story.

 

Glori Meldrum – Edmonton, AB 

A passionate advocate for victims of childhood sexual abuse, Glori is the founder and board chair of Little Warriors, an organization that creates awareness around this issue, and works to prevent it and offer treatment to children who are victims. Click here to read more of Glori’s story.

 

Hamshaa Sivaruban – Toronto, ON 

Hamshaa volunteers with a number of organizations in Regent Park including the Regent Park Community Food Centre, where she has gone above and beyond by facilitating partnerships with homework and after school clubs, suggesting new ingredients, and teaching young participants how to safely work in the kitchen. Click here to read more of Hamshaa’s story.

 

Haylen Astalos – Blackfalds, AB 

At only seven years old, Haylen has already raised over $14,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities Central Alberta through his ice cream stand, which he sets up at his house and local businesses. Click here to read more of Haylen’s story.

 

Ibrahim Musa – Ottawa, ON 

At the age of 17, Ibrahim founded the Cuts For Kids Foundation, which offers professional haircuts at no cost to youth from underserved families, providing a service that many families cannot afford to give their kids. Click here to read more of Ibrahim’s story.

 

Jean-Yves Phaneuf – Granby, QC 

Jean-Yves has been supporting youth soccer in the Granby region for over 40 years, and is the founder of a local international soccer tournament and a foundation which supports youth to play soccer. Click here to read more of Ibrahim’s story.

 

Joan Holland – Calgary, AB 

Joan is a retired nurse who has dedicated her life to the service of others in a volunteer capacity at the Ronald McDonald House and the Calgary Police Service – always ensuring that the welfare of others, especially those finding themselves in troubling times, is paramount. Click here to read more of Joan’s story.

 

Joe Calendino – Vancouver, BC 

After leaving behind a troubled past, Joe developed the Yo Bro Yo Girl Youth Initiative, and was honoured with a Courage to Come Back Award in 2014 in recognition of overcoming his addictions and using his experience to help others. Click here to read more of Joe’s story.

 

Joe Roberts – Vancouver, BC 

As the Executive Director of The Push for Change, Joe is currently pushing a shopping cart across Canada – a 9,000-kilometre journey that will span 517 days – to raise awareness and money to help prevent youth homelessness in Canada. Click here to read more of Joe’s story.

  

Julie Hamilton – Calgary, AB 

Julie has turned incredible tragedy – including her daughter’s cancer diagnosis and the death of her son in a workplace accident – into an inspiring legacy, teaching hundreds of workplace safety workshops and requesting a donation to the Children’s Wish Foundation in lieu of a speaking fee. Click here to read more of Julie’s story.

 

Laurie Thompson – Lac la Biche, AB 

As the Principal of Kikino Elementary School on the Kikino Metis Settlement, Laurie works tirelessly on behalf of her students to develop their individual abilities and help them reach their full potential by partnering with local organizations like SkiFit Alberta to support confidence and active living. Click here to read more of Laurie’s story.

 

Makena Hind – Calgary, AB 

Makena created Calgary Swims for Lunch, which hosts a volunteer-based program to help kids learn how to swim, spread water safety, and provide lunch to those in need during the summer months. Click here to read more of Makena’s story.

 

Margaret Thompson – Winnipeg, MB 

Margaret gives her time each week volunteering at the NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre in support of the Kids Smoothie Bike Program, where kids create healthy smoothies that they blend using their own leg power on specially converted bikes with blender attachments. Click here to read more of Margaret’s story.

  

Mary Gordon – Toronto, ON 

Mary created Roots of Empathy, an evidence-based classroom program for grades K-8 that has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression among school children by raising social and emotional competence and increasing empathy. Click here to read more of Mary’s story.

 

Meaghan Marton – Amherstburg, ON 

Meaghan is a passionate and inspiring individual that strives to support her local community, creating a multitude of youth-driven initiatives focusing on community service, volunteerism, female empowerment, and whole body health and wellness. Click here to read more of Meaghan’s story.

 

Michelle Salt – Calgary, AB 

A Canadian Paralympic snowboarder who volunteers with a number of organizations, Michelle is a role model for all youth in the community and in particular those with physical challenges that may traditionally hold them back from fully participating in sport or the community. Click here to read more of Michelle’s story.

 

Natasha Kostenuk – Calgary, AB 

When her last child was diagnosed with Apraxia, Natasha became a strong advocate for her son and others with the severe speech disorder, creating the Calgary Apraxia Parent Exchange and a summer camp run by speech language pathologists for kids with Apraxia. Click here to read more of Natasha’s story.

  

Noel Wentworth – Kelowna, BC 

Twice a year, Noel and his teaching team at Wentworth Music put on Kelowna’s largest student rock concert, where over 200 students perform in full costumes, lighting and staging, with all proceeds going to kids health care at the Kelowna General Hospital. Click here to read more of Noel’s story.

 

Patti Foulon – Cochrane, AB 

Patti has been volunteering with Kids Cancer Care for over 15 years, including seven years providing support to children with cancer for an entire week each summer as a Volunteer Camp Counselor. Click here to read more of Patti’s story.

 

Paul Butler – North Vancouver, BC 

Paul is the Coordinator of Youth Services at Hollyburn Family Services Society and has been working tirelessly for over twenty years to assist at-risk youth across the North Shore. Click here to read more of Paul’s story.

 

Pauline Idagai – Gatineau, QC 

Since moving to Canada from Cameroon with her husband and two children, Pauline has participated in fundraisers to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti and regularly volunteers with an organization providing animation and support services for disadvantaged families.

  

Peter Wanyenya – Vancouver, BC 

Over the past 10 years, Peter has promoted the cause of creating a more just world through access to education, including working with young people living in low-income communities in Toronto, youth in First Nations reserves in British Columbia, and international and refugee students in Vancouver. Click here to read more of Peter’s story.

  

Raz Chan – Burnaby, BC 

Raz believes no child should ever be held back from experiencing the joy of childhood due to financial circumstances, and has made it his mission to raise funds for the Breakfast Program for Kids at 12th Avenue Elementary School to ensure that no kids come to school hungry. Click here to read more of Raz’s story.

  

Rob Ross – Surrey, BC 

In the 41 years that he has been volunteering as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley, Rob has had an incredible impact on 12 Little Brothers, and has recently been honoured with several awards for his outstanding services to youth in the community. Click here to read more of Rob’s story.

  

Robyn Thiessen – Abbotsford, BC 

Robyn is an education leader who is determined to make the world of education a better place for students by pursuing innovations and partnerships that flatten the walls of the classroom and allow for a global learning experience. Click here to read more of Robyn’s story.

  

Sandra Webster-Worthy – Victoria, BC 

Sandra is the founder and director of PACE Musical theatre program, which provides a place onstage for everyone regardless of experience, challenges, abilities or disabilities. Click here to read more of Sandra’s story.

 

Sarah Winstanley – Calgary, AB 

Sarah’s work at the Calgary Women’s Centre encourages girls to think critically about the issues that are important to them, and then helps these girls build their capacity in the areas of leadership and activism to work for change. Click here to read more of Sarah’s story.

 

Shazzaneiy Mohamed Nalir – Toronto, ON 

Shazz has gone above and beyond for his community and his country through his extensive volunteer work as the founder and chair of Youth2Give, a non-profit organization that has empowered youth living in low-income communities to raise over $10,000 to support disadvantaged youth around the world. Click here to read more of Shazzaneiy’s story.

 

Sutton Garner – Calgary, AB 

At only 11 years old, after learning that thousands of kids in Calgary don’t have access to school nutrition programs during the summer, Sutton founded the I Can for Kids Foundation, which in 2016 delivered 30,000 meals to hungry kids across the city. Click here to read more of Sutton’s story.

 

Tito Gomez – Calgary, AB 

Tito is an active volunteer at the Alex Community Food Centre and the founder of the Dover Kids Club, a grassroots no-cost afterschool program that focuses on creating a positive social space for children and youth in the Greater Forest Lawn community. Click here to read more of Tito’s story.

 

Tom Warshawski – Kelowna, BC 

Over the past two decades, Tom has raised awareness about important issues affecting Canadian kids, in particular the impact of childhood obesity, and has supported multiple fundraising efforts of the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation. Click here to read more of Tom’s story.

 

Tyler Barnes – Nanaimo, BC 

For the last three years, Tyler has organized “Hip Hops Toys For Tots,” a Christmas fundraiser concert that showcases talented local hip hop artists while also providing toys and gift cards for less fortunate families during the holiday season. Click here to read more of Tyler’s story.

 

Tysen Lefebvre – Stittsville, ON 

After getting his wish granted to meet Adam Sandler, Tysen launched Tysen's Mission to a Million to raise one million dollars for Make a Wish Eastern Ontario, so that 100 kids could feel the joy he did and help them forget any health issues they may have. He has raised over $600,000 so far, bringing him over halfway to his goal. Click here to read more of Tysen’s story.

 

Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination, and congratulations to our Outstanding Canadians!