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2011 Awards

Award Recipients GroupThe 2011 Mayor's Community Safety & Crime Prevention Awards honoured nine individuals and groups at City Hall on Nov. 7, 2011. The three Outstanding Community Projects received $1,000 from their award sponsors to reinvest in community safety initiatives. The awards were presented in conjunction with Ontario's Crime Prevention Week. 

2011 Award recipients


Community hero - Ellen Chambers

Community Hero Award - Ellen ChambersAfter seeing the effects of bullying on youth, Ellen Chambers fought for policy change to improve the safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, two-spirited, queer and questioning (LGBTTQQ) students at Lakehead Public Schools. These students were experiencing homophobic bullying, harassment and physical violence. As a result of Ellen’s advocacy, each of the high schools within Lakehead Public Schools now have designated safe spaces for LGBTTQQ students, a Gay-Straight Alliance, and anti-homophobic training for all teachers and staff of Lakehead Public Schools. In recognition of her efforts, Ellen received the 2011 Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario President’s Award for making schools safer.

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Business - Thunderstone Pictures Inc.

Business Award Thunderstone Pictures IncIn addition to commercial work, Thunderstone Pictures Inc. makes movies that document social justice issues in Northwestern Ontario. Michelle Derosier and Dave Clement have helped eliminate barriers between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people by openly portraying racism, suicide, mental illness and poverty. Their award-winning first film, Seeking Bimaadiziwiin, is still being used as a teaching tool by hospitals, healing centres, police forces and education institutions across North America. In 2009, Michelle and Dave were instrumental in the creation of the Biindigate Film Festival which increases awareness and understanding of the Aboriginal community. Their most recent film, The Life You Want, examines OxyContin addiction and the barriers people from remote communities face in getting treatment.

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Media - CBC's Common Ground Café

Media Award CBC Common Ground CafeA safer Thunder Bay was the focus of the Common Ground Café hosted and moderated by CBC Radio. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants prepared and shared a meal together while discussing their concerns about community safety. The discussions demonstrated the different perceptions that people have about crime and solutions to crime, and showed that perspectives are often based on race. The discussions were aired locally and nationally, and the conversation has continued on a Facebook page under the same name.The CBC partnered with the Learning Café for a Conversation Café where the public was able to join the discussion. Reaction from the community has been so positive that CBC continues to get requests to moderate discussions.

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Education - Charlie Bishop and Michelle Probizanski

Education Award Charlie Bishop and Michelle ProbizanskiEducation Officer Charlie Bishop and Principal Michelle Probizanski have been instrumental in introducing Restorative Practices to Lakehead Public Schools. Restorative Practices help repair the harm after a student misbehaves. This whole-school approach works with students to help them accept responsibility for their actions, build community, and separate the doer from the deed. The success of this approach has been immediately apparent. Students experienced more positive feelings about themselves and their classmates, plus their behavior improved. A pilot project at six schools resulted in a reduction in the amount of suspensions by nearly half. Teachers, staff and students are excited by the introduction of Restorative Practices. Lakehead Public Schools plans to implement the program in all schools.

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Youth Leadership - Gurleen Chahal

Youth Leadership Award Gurleen ChahalGurleen Chahal is a voice for young people as President of the Regional Multicultural Youth Council and as a member of the Crime Prevention Council. The Grade 12 student at Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate and Vocational Institute is learning firsthand about the problems in our community and providing information and leadership for youth on these key issues. Gurleen has delivered anti-bullying and discrimination workshops, she helped organize a conference about the effects of drugs and she is involved with the Girl Power empowerment program.

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Enforcement Professional - Sgt. Glenn Porter

Enforcement Professional Award Sgt Glenn PorterSgt. Glenn Porter is often the first Police Officer our children meet in Thunder Bay. Sgt. Porter has instituted programs to help prepare children to safely ride the bus and cross the road. He always makes time when it comes to the safety of school children. His hands-on approach often brings him to schools where he meets the children, parents and teachers to emphasize his safety messages. He interacts with the children, engages them, gains their trust and always delivers a safety message that is understood.

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Outstanding community project -
John Howard Society Re-integration Services

Outstanding Community Project John Howard Society Re-integration ServicesRe-integration Services provides transitional housing, healthy life skills and support to help clients find and maintain employment, and complete secondary school. Thanks to United Way funding and community donations, clients have an opportunity to address the factors that contribute to the involvement in criminal activity. Each year, the John Howard Society provides 200 people with a place to live, 30 people with assistance to complete high school, and connects 250 clients to needed services in the community. These programs and services provide critical and timely support to at-risk individuals by targeting the root causes of crime.

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Outstanding Community Project -
Neighbourhood Capacity Building Project

Outstanding Community Project Neighbourhood Capacity Building ProjectThis Project of the Urban Aboriginal Strategy supports seven Thunder Bay schools with a high proportion of Aboriginal students by providing daily nutritional services, mentorship and leadership programs, literacy activities, drum groups and girl power activities. The Project continues after hours with homework help, sports and games, and cultural teachings. The Project works toward eliminating child poverty by increasing the life skills of children and their families. Staff use programming to reconnect children with their culture and improve their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.

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Outstanding Community Project -
Evergreen A United Neighbourhood

Outstanding Community Project Evergreen A United NeighbourhoodDedicated to enhancing the capacities and strengths of the people in the Simpson-Ogden neighbourhood, Evergreen has been proactive in identifying safety issues in the area and working to improve them. Led by Linda Bruins and the residents, this has included collaborating with the City on enhancements to Minnesota Park to create a neighbourhood hub. Activities include regular movie nights, sports activities for youth and skating. As well, residents credit the weekly Walking Night Club with making a big difference in how they feel in their neighbourhood. They say the walking club is a great way to get to know others in the community and has reduced fear of crime and social isolation.

Watch the Outstanding Community Project Award Video