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Canada

Canadian Torch-Bearer Award Recipients

  
The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean is a stateswoman who served as Canada's 27th Governor General from 2005 to 2010.  Working in her early years as a journalist and broadcaster, Michaëlle Jean also served as a charity worker, mostly in the field of assisting victims of domestic violence.  She is currently serving as the UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti and Chancellor of the University of Ottawa.  The Rt. Hon. Michaëlle Jean joined by her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond are founders of Michaëlle Jean Foundation which collaborates with a network of 700 grassroots organizations to equip disadvantaged youth with the tools and drive to ignite change in their communities through the arts.
 
Peter MillikenCanada's longest-serving Speaker of the House of Commons, holding office for 10 years.  The Hon. Peter Milliken, has been a huge supporter of the Peace Run over the years. The Run was honoured to present Mr. Milliken with the Torch-Bearer award for his service to Canada.
 
Jean Augustine, served as Liberal member of the Canadian House of Commons, Member of Cabinet, School Principal, Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Jean Augustine has offered heart-felt encouragement to the World Harmony Run over the years.  She received theTorch-Bearer Award for her service to Canada and dedication to special causes through the Jean Augustine Scholarship Fund. 
 
Butch Dick His is an outstanding life of commitment to promoting a climate of inclusion and respect for First Nations culture.  His strong and beautiful art is widely known and appreciated.  Less widely known is his role in initiating the Lekwungen project which is making the Victoria harbour and breakwater a glorious vision.
 
Michelle Stilwell,Parksville, BC, is the current paralympic 100, 200 & 400 metre world record holder. Along with being a champion athlete, Michelle does community outreach work for the Mayan families in Guatemala, and Smartrisk, a program that empowers youth through education. Michelle is an inspiration to all proving how fortitude, determined training and a passion can carry one beyond seemingly impassable obstacles.  
 
Ra McGuire, and his wife Debbie McGuire, founder of the Intensive Fine Arts Program for children in Surrey, BC, received the Torch Bearer Award. Debbie McGuire's fine arts program offers a stimulating and culturally enriched learning environment for children while Ra McGuire and his award-winning band Trooper still offer more than 100 sold-out concerts around the world every year.
 
Alexandra Morton is a marine biologist and environmentalist known for her 30-year study of wild killer whales in BC's. She is director of the Raincoast Research Society and founder of the Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society. The recipient of numerous awards and honourary degrees for her work, Ms. Morton is also a public speaker, artist, author, and scientific voice on the impact of salmon farming.
 
Samuel Nirabadhi Wyatt is a Vancouver Realtor, performer, lecturer and an avid mountaineer and outdoor enthusiast who has successfully scaled big peaks around the world including Denali (6194m) in Alaska, Huascuran (6768 – solo) in Peru, and Cho-Oyu (8201m), the sixth highest mountain in the world without oxygen or sherpa support.  On May 19, 2012 Nirabadhi carried the World Harmony Run Torch to the top of Mt. Everest.
 
Dr. Valerie Long is the Founder and Director of the Holy Heart of Mary Alumnae Choir known for its annual spring concerts, seniors outreach program and free Christmas community concerts. Among her many activities, Valerie also directs Les Ms. Choir who have raised over 70,000 dollars for the Bliss Cancer Care Centre. Valerie infuses every concert with tremendous energy and inspiration, and perfectly embodies the ideals of harmony and service in her commitment to the importance of music in bringing harmony into her community and into the world. In 2009, she was selected as "Music Educator of the Year" by Music NL (industry of musicians in Newfoundland).
 
Shivon Robinsong, is the founder and co-leader of the Gettin Higher Choir in Victoria, the Community Choir Leadership Training Course, and also founder of Hollyhock offering retreat programs for holistic learning. Her values help foster a climate of inclusion and respect for all peoples, all cultures. Shivon is an inspiration and role model for many. Her inner torch shines bright. 
 
Denis DonnellyThrough his personal performance-life, song arrangements the leadership of the Soundings choral group, the co-leadership of the Gettin’ Higher Choir of Victoria, and through the Community Choir Leadership Training Course, Denis is committed to sharing his great musicianship and teaching skills with the wider community. His work enhances both individual and community. 
 
Christina Alexander is a true peace visionary, deserving thunderous applause from both Canada and the U.S.A. for her unparalleled efforts to manifest and foster the lofty principles of harmony and cooperation between these two great nations through her work at Peace Arch Park along the border crossing of Washington,USA and British Columbia, Canada.
 
Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a world-recognized author, medical biochemist, botanist and visionary naturalist, She has a unique combination of western scientific knowledge and the traditional wisdom of the ancient world. Her Bioplan is an ambitious plan encouraging ordinary people to develop a new relationship with nature, to join together to save endangered species and to replant the global forest. Her dedication to fulfilling her lofty calling is timely, and most deserving of the Torch-Bearer award.
 
Vancouver Whitecaps FC stand out in their efforts to inspire children and communities. Since joining Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2010, Vancouver Whitecaps FC have made tremendous efforts to touch the lives of British Columbians and Canadians through their many programs including camps, clinics, school programs, and academies. Vancouver Whitecaps FC team ambassador, Carl Valentine pictured here.
 
Ken Millard is the founding Director of the Galiano Conservancy Association. Ken and others formed one of the first roundtables in BC, with industry and the community meeting over difficult land use issues particularly logging. Today the Conservancy's primary purpose is towards land and marine conservation, stewardship, restoration, environmental education and public awareness. Ken's outstanding leadership and vision have served as an inspiration to many.
 
Levi martin Levi Martin, respected Elder from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and elected councilor. Levi is an outstanding leader in both the First Nations and the wider community. He has worked tirelessly to create a climate of respect, inclusiveness and cooperation. Levi, also known as Kaa-muth "one who is all knowing" is an example and inspiration for all.
 
Réjean Dubord has significantly contributed to the sport of road running in Eastern Canada. Director of Milpat Running Club,Réjean played an essential role in the club's development and expansion. Today the club has an impressive 350 members. At 70 years young, he is a veryactive runner, with a career of over 400 races under his belt. His participation in the Peace Run dates back to its very first edition in 1987. 
 
Bhashan Beaulieu and Julie Comtois, husband and wife, are the founders of the Alliance des Nations, an NGO that aims to make everyone understand that people can be united in diversity. Its aim is to break down barriers between different nations, to make people understand that we are all alike despite our religious or spiritual differences.  Bashan met Sri Chinmoy, the Peace Run founder, in 1993 in New York, and in spite of never having met him, Sri Chinmoy called him aside and told him that he would do something very special for the world one day. This prophecy has proven to be realized in the form of the annual sharing party.
 
Brad Dusseault Brad Dusseault is the principal of Tofino's Wickanisnnish Community School. Under his leadership he and his dedicated staff have created a safe environment that fosters the physical, emotional, intellectual and educational development of the students. The emphasis on respect and appreciation for differences, cultural and individual is enriching the whole community.
 
Geoff Green Geoff Green, Inspired environmentalist, explorer, educator and speaker.  Geoff's award wining organization  Students on Ice  offers unique educational expeditions to students, educators and scientists from around the world to help them foster a new understanding and respect for the planet.
 
Ray Zahab Ray Zahab, Athlete, adventurer, educator and speaker.  Ray is a remarkable role model for self-transcendence who uses his life's passions to serve, educate and inspire others.  Ray is the founder of impossible2Possible a world class educational program inspiring youth to reach beyond their perceived limits.
 
Ray Zahab Fred Penner is a beloved children's entertainer who is a prolific musician and also hosted a hit show called "Fred Penner's Place" from 1985-1997. He is well-known for his catchy and heartfelt songs and his ability to connect with his audience in a fun and authentic way. His positivity has impacted countless lives, especially those in their formative years. His motto is: "never underestimate your ability to make a difference in the life of a child."
 
Ray Zahab Arjun Rayapudi and Shobha Rayapudi - Founders of The Gift of Health a non-profit group that empowers and educates people about the connection between food choices and health. They have helped hundreds of people to enjoy improved health through plant-based living. In addition to facilitating plant-based workshops, they also create a support system for people to continue on their heath journey, including potlucks in their home in the Burin Peninsula, Newfoundland.
 
Ray Zahab The Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice - Sister Marcella, Sister Mary and Rita Janes received The Torch-Bearer Award on behalf of The Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice in St. John's, Newfoundland for all of their hard work and dedication in raising awareness about environmental causes. Through their summer camp programs, their organic vegetable garden project and various events that are hosted at the centre, they connect the local community in caring for our planet.