The Alberta Emerald Foundation (AEF) announced the shortlist for the 32nd Annual Emerald Awards this week. Since 1992, the Emerald Awards have showcased over 350 recipients and 850 finalists who are raising the bar in addressing environmental and climate change issues. These environmental awards celebrate excellence across all sectors, making them unique not only in Alberta but also in Canada.
This year’s shortlist was chosen by a third-party panel of volunteer judges, each bringing expertise from numerous sectors across Alberta. Judges selected the shortlist, consisting of 39 organizations, projects, and individuals from across the province, from 51 nominations. During their deliberations, the judges also determined who from the shortlist will take home an Emerald Award in each of the 15 award categories.
“Those represented in this year’s shortlist demonstrate the incredible dedication that Albertans have toward protecting our environment and taking action against climate change” says The AEF’s Executive Director, Marisa Orfei, “The diversity in the shortlist is also astounding, there’s small grassroots organizations, large corporations, and everything in between. We’re also incredibly proud to have 17 communities across Alberta represented in this year’s shortlist, including Drayton Valley, Grande Cache, Canmore, and many more.”
Here are the organizations, projects, and individuals recognized in The 32nd Annual Emerald Award shortlist:
Air Category – Recognizing projects and initiatives that improve air quality.
- Blindman Brewing First-in-Canada CO2 Capture and Utilization (Lacombe, AB)
Business Category – Showcasing an organization engaged in commercial, industrial or professional activities that have demonstrated a meaningful commitment to an environmentally sustainable future.
- Reimagine Architects – 26 Years Building Sustainable Futures (Edmonton, AB)
- Eco-Flex Recycled Rubber Solutions (Legal, AB)
- Envirotech Geothermal – Alberta’s smartest way to Net Zero! (Sherwood Park, AB)
Community Group or Nonprofit Category – Recognizing associations dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating for a shared point of view that has demonstrated a significant commitment to the environment through their actions.
- Alberta Bike Swap – supporting the circular economy before it was cool (Calgary, AB)
- Project Forest: Rewilding Canada, One Forest at a time (Edmonton, AB)
- Alberta businesses are building a better Business-as-usual with Green Economy Canada (Edmonton, AB & Calgary, AB)
Education Category – Acknowledging those that have raised the bar by showing leadership and creativity in educating students of all ages about environmental matters.
- Eagle Point-Blue Rapids Parks Council Environmental & Outdoor Education Program (Drayton Valley, AB)
- Future Energy Systems: Exploring Our Energy Future With The Community, Our Students, And More (Edmonton, AB)
- Evergreen Theatre: A 32-Year Legacy of Inspiring Environmental Awareness & Action Through the Arts (Calgary, AB)
Energy Category – Recognizing projects and initiatives that positively support the evolution of our province’s energy systems.
- Calgary’s Residential Solar Calculator (Calgary, AB)
- Bow Valley Green Energy Cooperative, empowering community to transform Alberta’s energy (Canmore, AB)
- Metis Nation of Alberta Climate Change Action Plan (Edmonton, AB)
Government Category – Recognizing all levels of government whose ongoing commitment sets the example of environmental leadership and advocates sustainability as a major consideration in governance.
- Environmental Achievements of the City of St. Albert (St. Albert, AB)
- Violet Grove’s Constructed Floating Wetlands System with Aeration (Drayton Valley, AB)
- Nose Creek Watershed Partnership – Celebrating 25-Years of Watershed Planning, Policy and Action (Mossleigh, AB)
Infrastructure Category – Recognizing environmental advancements in the ways we design, build, and travel.
- Solar Aquatic Systems Wastewater Treatment (Drayton Valley, AB)
- SSRIA: Transforming the AEC Industry Towards a Net Zero Built Environment (Edmonton, AB)
- Ecoplast Solutions: Building Houses from Recycled Plastic Bottles (Lloydminster, AB)
Land Category – Recognizing projects and initiatives that demonstrate excellence in sustainable land use.
- The City of Calgary’s Willow Plantation for Marginal Land Improvement and Carbon Capture (Calgary, AB)
- Ledcor Highway Maintenance Yard Upgrades (Edmonton, AB)
Lifetime Achievement Award – Celebrating environmental leaders who, throughout their lifetime, have made contributions of outstanding environmental significance.
- Dirk and Nanja of The Barrelman Inc.: 25 years of protecting land and water through local action that inspires (Calgary, AB)
Public Engagement & Outreach Category – Recognizing programs and initiatives that educate and empower the broader public by teaching the necessary skills to make informed environmental decisions and take responsible action.
- GreenLearning’s Eco 360 program: Transitioning to a circular economy for plastic waste! (Drayton Valley, AB)
- My Green Closet: Sustainable Lifestyle and Slow Fashion Platform (Edmonton, AB)
- Calgary Climate Symposium: How The City of Calgary Engages and Educates Albertans on Climate Change (Calgary, AB)
Shared Footprints Award – Recognizing those who have exemplified land and water stewardship, built shared knowledge, improved air quality, reduced land disturbances, and encouraged ecotourism.
- Edmonton River Valley Conservation Coalition: Working Together to Protect the North Saskatchewan River Valley (Edmonton, AB)
- Highfield Regenerative Farm (Calgary, AB) Waste Management Category – Recognizing projects and initiatives that innovate the repurposing, reduction, and disposal of waste in an environmentally-conscious way. Earth Warrior (Edmonton, AB)
- Revolutionizing Recycling with [Re] Waste: Transforming Waste Management for a Sustainable Future (Edmonton, AB)
- Microgreens Club – A Zero Waste Initiative (Calgary, AB)
Water Category – Recognizing projects and initiatives that demonstrate excellence through the monitoring, management and/or stewardship of water and watersheds.
- Forest industry collaboration cultivates sustainability around vital wetland ecosystems (Edmonton, AB)
- LakeKeepers: Community-Based Monitoring of Alberta’s Lakes (Edmonton, AB)
- Safe water and water sustainability in Alberta (Calgary, AB)
Wildlife & Biodiversity Category – Recognizing projects and initiatives that protect and conserve natural habitats and wild species.
- Aseniwuche Winewak Nation’s Caribou Patrol Program: 11 years of saving Alberta’s caribou (Grande Cache, AB)
- Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society – Sikome Beaver Coexistence Project. (Calgary, AB)
- The Edmonton Urban Coyote Project: Collaborative Research and Education for Coexistence with Wildlife (Edmonton, AB)
Youth Category – Recognizing people, 25 years of age and under, who have made meaningful contributions and have taken positive action to improve the environmental health of their community.
- Monica Figueroa: Edmonton youth climate activist (Edmonton, AB)
- Strathmore High School Community Greenhouse (Strathmore, AB)
- Energy & Environmental Sustainability Projects in Action at New Myrnam School (Myrnam, AB)
The recipients in each category will be named at the 32nd Annual Emerald Awards ceremony on June 7, 2023, at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta. Emerald Award Recipients receive:
- A $2,000 grant to support their work or to donate to an environmental charity of their choice
- A profile of their work through The AEF’s Sharing Stories program, which includes the Emerald Documentary Series, What On EARTH Can We Do? podcast, and Emerald Speakers Series
- A certificate and Emerald Awards recipient digital logo to commemorate their achievement
The Awards will also be live-streamed through the AEF”s YouTube Chanel to allow people from across the province to attend. Tickets for the 32nd Annual Emerald Awards ceremony can be purchased here.
The Alberta Emerald Foundation (AEF) is a registered Canadian charity with the unique mission to tell Alberta’s environmental good news stories to uplift, educate, and inspire our province toward meeting environmental and climate change goals.
Research suggests that when we learn about what real environmental and climate change solutions look like and how they’re being implemented in our communities, it increases our ability and desire to take action in our own lives. By providing real-life examples of these solutions through our various storytelling programs, the AEF helps Albertans take the next step toward environmental protection and climate action. With every person that we reach through our programming, we’re helping Alberta reach its broader environmental and climate change goals.
Click to learn more about the Alberta Emerald Foundation.
Alberta Budget 2024 – Employment
Budget 2024: Maintaining Alberta’s economic advantage
Budget 2024 is a responsible plan that maintains Alberta’s competitive advantage so businesses and industry can continue to innovate, thrive and create jobs.
Budget 2024 puts Alberta on a path of continued economic growth through funding that supports creating jobs, attracting investment and developing a skilled and diversified workforce. Strategic investments will empower job creators and innovators to invest, grow and flourish in Alberta’s diversifying economy.
“Budget 2024 reaffirms our commitment to diversify, attract new investment and provide more jobs that keep Alberta’s engine humming. Strategic investments that support the growth of Alberta cities and promote apprenticeship programming and emission reduction technology will help create more opportunities to build an even stronger Alberta.”
Alberta remains a key driver of Canada’s economic prosperity, accounting for 22 per cent of all jobs created in the country last year, despite having just 12 per cent of the population. Compared with other provinces, Alberta has the highest weekly earnings and the lowest taxes, offering many incentives to newcomers seeking a great place to call home.
To further build on these advantages, Budget 2024 introduces the Alberta is Calling attraction bonus, a $5,000 refundable tax credit aimed at attracting out-of-province workers in the skilled trades. A total of $10 million will be provided to workers.
“The Alberta is Calling attraction bonus will support our government’s commitment to build a skilled and resilient labour force that helps businesses and the economy thrive. We will continue to foster the conditions for growth to ensure Alberta remains the best place to live, work, invest, do business and raise a family.”
Budget 2024 supports the sustainable growth of Alberta’s cities and communities. In addition to $724 million in municipal infrastructure funding through the Local Government Fiscal Framework in 2024-25, Budget 2024 launches the new Local Growth and Sustainability Grant, an application-based program that provides $60 million over three years to enable municipalities to fund infrastructure that supports economic development and addresses unique and emergent needs in their communities.
“We’re pleased to see so many people choosing to move to Alberta to experience the advantages this province has to offer, thanks in part to the strong communities we are supporting through predictable, sustainable funding. We also recognize the pressure this growth can put on local communities. The Local Growth and Sustainability Grant is part of our responsible plan to support a vibrant province and help communities respond to growth opportunities and acute sustainability challenges.”
As Alberta’s economy continues to grow, so does the need to sustain a vibrant and robust workforce to meet the needs of Alberta employers. Budget 2024 addresses current and future potential labour shortages by expanding skills and knowledge in key areas.
More than $100 million in new funding for apprenticeship programs will add 3,200 seats to help meet growing demand at Alberta’s post-secondary institutions. Another $361 million from the Budget 2024 Capital Plan will build and upgrade research and learning facilities in some of the province’s world-class post-secondary institutions. Investments include $63 million to renovate and expand the W.J. Elliott agricultural mechanics building at Olds College and $55 million to increase STEM programming capacity at the University of Calgary.
“Supporting growth in Alberta’s economy means ensuring no region is left behind. Our funding commitments to STEM programming at the University of Calgary and agriculture at Olds will create new opportunities for students in our rural economy and those studying in our largest urban centre.”
The Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program (APIP) is helping turn the province into a top global producer of petrochemicals. The APIP provides grants to cover 12 per cent of eligible capital costs for Alberta-based petrochemicals projects. In 2023-24, three projects are expected to receive APIP grant payments totalling $116 million, helping to diversify Alberta’s economy and create jobs.
“Royalties collected from oil and gas fund the things Albertans rely on, like health, education and social services. Budget 2024 supports the government’s mission to strengthen investor confidence and support job creation in communities all while lowering emissions through the use of new technologies.”
Budget 2024 highlights
- $597 million over three years from the province’s TIER (Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction) fund to support a suite of programs that reduce emissions, support clean technology development, enhance climate resiliency and create jobs for Albertans.
- $1.5 billion for child-care services, an increase of $200 million, enabling more Albertans with young children to participate in the workforce.
- $32 million to build three new water intakes in the Designated Industrial Zone in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, which will support long-term private investment opportunities in the area.
- Almost $30 million over three years for the Aboriginal Business Investment Fund, an increase of nearly $8 million, to help fund business startup and expansion costs in Indigenous communities.
Budget 2024 is a responsible plan to strengthen health care and education, build safe and supportive communities, manage the province’s resources wisely and promote job creation to continue to build Alberta’s competitive advantage.
Alberta Budget 2024 – Communities, Resource Development, Natural disasters, and Policing,
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