By Jensen, Randy on August 15, 2020.
Nominations are open for the Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards recognizing those who make a lasting impact in their community.
“This year, we are continuing to celebrate the amazing volunteers in our communities, while also giving special recognition to those whose leadership and advocacy focuses on anti-racism, LGBTQ2S+ inclusion and fighting gender discrimination with the new Breaking Barriers category,” said Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, in a news release. “I encourage everyone to show their support for the extraordinary volunteers who make a difference in their community by nominating them for a Stars of Alberta Volunteer Award.”
The Stars of Alberta awards highlight and pay tribute to volunteers who give their time, energy and skills to make a difference in the lives of Albertans. Two awards are given in each of the following categories: Youth (up to 24 years of age); adult; and senior.
This year, the new Breaking Barriers category will recognize exceptional volunteers who are working to create communities that are diverse and inclusive. Three awards will be presented in this category to individuals or groups who are addressing racism, advocating for LGBTQ2S+ inclusion and fighting gender discrimination in their communities.
The awards are part of government’s commitment to recognize the contributions of Alberta’s volunteers and are handed out annually on or around International Volunteer Day. This year, recipients will be celebrated at an awards ceremony on Dec. 4. Since the inception of the Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards in 2000, 127 volunteers from across the province have been honoured.
Albertans are encouraged to submit nominations online at https://www.alberta.ca/stars-of-alberta-volunteer-awards.aspx. The deadline for nominations is Sept. 15.
Volunteers are the foundation for many community organizations providing recreational, social and cultural programs, the release noted. Alberta has more than 26,400 non-profit organizations and, each year, more than 1.6 million Albertans provide more than 262 million volunteer hours to support the non-profit and voluntary sector at a value of $5.6 billion.
The province also continues to accept nominations on an ongoing basis for the Alberta Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition Program launched in April. The Alberta Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition Program provides an opportunity to provide ongoing recognition of the many ways that volunteering and supporting one another happens in our communities. There are no requirements for hours of service, and any individual or group who helps out in their community is eligible for recognition through this program.