Province celebrates Kitchener area volunteers

Archived Release

Province celebrates Kitchener area volunteers

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

KITCHENER, ON, April 19 - Ontario honoured 229 Kitchener area volunteers at the Volunteer Service Awards this evening for their contributions to the community, said Ontario Citizenship and Immigration Minister Mike Colle. "Volunteers build communities," said Minister Colle. "The Volunteer Service Awards and the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Awards for Voluntarism provide an opportunity to recognize those people who give their time and effort to our communities." A June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to The Minto Arts Council for exemplary voluntary contributions to the community. Now in its tenth year, the Minto Arts Council is a non-profit, volunteer directed organization designed to promote and encourage participation in and enjoyment of the arts and heritage in Minto and surrounding area. The group is a leader of arts and culture in the community by organizing exhibits and art shows, promoting local musicians, sponsoring student arts awards and developing partnerships with other volunteer associations. This year the June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism will go to 14 recipients for their extraordinary leadership. The first award was presented this year in London, Ontario on March 29th. The award was renamed to honour Ms. Callwood, earlier this year by Premier McGuinty. Previously, the award had been called the Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism. More than 9,000 people from across the province will receive Volunteer Service Awards this year. The awards are now in their 21st year. Disponible en français www.citizenship.gov.on.ca Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- THE ONTARIO VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARDS Contact Info Purpose The Volunteer Service Awards are a way for the government of Ontario to recognize the millions of Ontarians who volunteer. By submitting a nomination, individuals and organizations can help ensure that Ontario's volunteers receive the recognition they deserve. Recognizing Continuous Service The Volunteer Service Awards recognize volunteers for their continuous years of commitment and service to an organization. Youth volunteers (under the age of 24) are recognized for two or more years of continuous service. Adults are recognized for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 or more years of continuous service. In recognition of exceptionally long-term commitment, a Volunteer Service Award for 60 years and over has been introduced. Eligibility The Ontario Volunteer Service Awards are presented to individuals who contribute consecutive years of service to an organization within Ontario, and whose work is characterized by the following: - Volunteer time given to the same group on an ongoing and active basis. (Membership alone is not a qualification for recognition). - Volunteer services are performed outside the normal course of professional or business duties. Organizations that have been in existence for a minimum of five years may complete a nomination. Each organization may nominate up to seven volunteers. At least one of the volunteers must be a youth. Organizations nominating only adults are limited to six nominees. Nominators must attest to the accuracy of the information provided for each volunteer by signing a certification clause on the nomination form for this program. What Recipients Receive Volunteer Service Award recipients are presented with stylized trillium pins and personalized certificates at special ceremonies held across the province. Pins and certificates each correspond to the length of service being recognized. Recipients receive an invitation to attend the ceremony with one guest. Each organization making a nomination is also invited to have two representatives attend the ceremony. THE JUNE CALLWOOD OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR VOLUNTARISM Purpose The June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Awards for Voluntarism in Ontario, formerly the Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism, recognize extraordinary leadership, innovation and creativity. Each year, up to 20 awards are given to a select group of individuals, organizations and businesses that have made superlative contributions to their communities and the province through voluntary action. Eligibility Individuals, groups and businesses that have made lasting and meaningful contributions, or provided significant support to the volunteer activities of: community and not-for-profit organizations or associations; co-operatives; boards; commissions; businesses; government ministries that directly recruit volunteers; art/educational/correctional institutions and schools; municipalities; long-term care facilities and hospitals. Recipient Selection Process An independent selection committee reviews the nominations and selects up to 20 recipients. The committee is made up of individuals from across Ontario and represents a variety of disciplines. Timing of the Award Presentations The June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Awards for Voluntarism in Ontario are presented at various Volunteer Service Awards across the province. Invitations are extended to each recipient and the nominator. What Recipients Receive June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award recipients are presented with a stylized trillium award and a personalized certificate. Disponible en français www.citizenship.gov.on.ca Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- VOLUNTEERING IN ONTARIO Volunteer History in Canada - Volunteers established the earliest hospitals, homes for the aged and other health and welfare agencies in Canada. - Volunteers established the YMCA in 1851, the St. John Ambulance in 1877, the Red Cross in 1896 and the Victorian Order of Nurses in 1897. The Voluntary Sector - There are about 45,000 incorporated, non-profit groups in Ontario active in health, recreation, the arts, social services, newcomer settlement, education, religion, the environment and other fields. - The vast majority of non-profits are small and medium sized. More than half of non-profits are run exclusively by volunteers. - A survey by Infrastructure Canada found 82 per cent of Ontarians consider volunteer organizations to be the most important contributors to modern life in our communities. Supporting Charitable and Non-Profit Organizations: - Statistics Canada values Ontario volunteers time at over $10 billion annually, and charitable contributions at over $4.4 billion. - Over 5 million Ontarians volunteer yearly contributing over 800 million annual volunteer hours - equivalent to more than 400 000 full-time jobs. - The volunteer rate among Ontarians aged 15 and over is 50 per cent. The national average is 45 per cent. - 86 per cent of Ontarians participate in informal volunteering by helping others directly. The national average is 83 per cent. - Over half of Ontarians aged 45-54 volunteer, contributing an average of 137 volunteer hours annually. - Almost half of Ontarians aged 55-64 volunteer, contributing an average of 120 volunteer hours annually. - Ontario's youth, 15-24 year olds, volunteer at a rate of 63 per cent. The national average is 55 per cent. - Ontario's lowest volunteer rate - 39 per cent - is among seniors 65 and older; however seniors who do volunteer, volunteer the greatest number of hours. Sources: Statistics Canada 2004 Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participation National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations 2003 Disponible en français www.citizenship.gov.on.ca For further information: Lily Pavlovic, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7725 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Lily Pavlovic, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7725