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The Muskoka Awards 2013
| Community 2013-09-24 13:18:24
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    The Muskoka Awards ...celebrating Muskokans who have made outstanding contributions to the community Brock and Willa Napier Citizens of the Year Peter and Michelle Swanek Arts Fran Coleman Community Advocate George Daniels Natural Environment Charlie Scott-Field Sports and Recreation Heather Berg Volunteer Huntsville Hospital Auxiliary Community Organization South Muskoka Shield Community Organization Melissa Polischuk Employee of the Year Muskoka Yoga Studio Muskoka Business of the Year - 1 to 14 Employees Lakeland Holding Ltd. Muskoka Business of the Year - 15 or more employees 5th Annual Gala Dinner Presentation Friday, September 20, 2013 at JW Marriott, The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa Proudly showcasing 2013 Nominees and Award Recipients

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    2 September 25, 2013 www.whatsupmuskoka.com The Muskoka Awards Discover more about your hometown on Channel 10. - only on Cable!

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    Donald Smith, Publisher-Print & Digital Sandy Lockhart, Editor-Print & Digital Matt Driscoll, Assistant Editor Chris Occhiuzzi, Journalist Corey Wilkinson, Photographer Donna Ansley, Martha Gillan, Laurie Johle, Shannon Donnelly, Steve Payne Advertising Sales Marc Bonitatibus, Production Manager Addie Collins, Matthew Walker Design Department Angy Gliddon, Ken Northey, Susan Smith, Reader Sales and Service How to contact us: Mail: P.O. Box 180, Bracebridge, ON P1L 1T6 Street Address: 12 – 440 Ecclestone Drive, Bracebridge Phone: (705) 646-1314 Fax: (705) 645-6424 E-mail: mm.info@sunmedia.ca The Muskoka Awards program, Muskoka Magazine and What’s Up Muskoka are published by Cottage Country Communications, a division of Sun Media Corp. Copyright© 2013, Sun Media Corp. All rights reserved. Printed in Canada. Reproduction of any material published in The Muskoka Awards program is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. Celebrating Muskokans This is the fifth year The Muskoka Awards have celebrated Muskokans who have made outstanding contributions to their community. It has truly been an honour to work each year with the judges as they review the many nominations and determine who will be selected as recipients of The Muskoka Award. The task of the judges is not an easy one. Selecting the annual recipients can prove very challenging as every nominee has had a positive impact on their Muskoka neighbours by changing lives, mentoring, providing leadership, sharing their creativity and giving of themselves. It is for this reason we share the story of each nominee with our readers in this section. It is our hope the examples they have set through their actions will inspire others to contribute to the well-being of their fellow Muskokans. Additionally, each of the nominees is presented with a lapel pin – a tangible recognition they, as well as the award recipients, have given of themselves and made Muskoka a better place. The independent judges of this year’s nominations were Nancy Cox-Godfrey of Bracebridge, Mark Gidley of Muskoka Lakes, Virginia Hastings of Huntsville and Mayor Bob Young of Lake of Bays Township. To them, a personal note of thanks. In determining those who will be recognized with The Muskoka Award, the judges have looked at many factors. They note everything from the significance of an individual’s work in the community to the length of service and from the selflessness of their deeds to the example they provid to others. The recipients have distinguished themselves through what they have accomplished. The presentation of The Muskoka Awards would not be possible without the participation of a great many people. A sincere thank you goes to the nominators, the sponsors, emcee Victoria Banks, the many guests who have taken part in the awards celebration, the very organized team at The Rosseau Muskoka resort and our staff. Together, you have made The Muskoka Awards possible. Congratulations to all! PUBLISHER 3 The Muskoka Awards September 25, 2012 www.whatsupmuskoka.com Investing in Our Communities Powering Bracebridge, Huntsville, Burk’s Falls Magnetawan and Sundridge Lakeland Holding Ltd. 1-888-282-7711

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    4 The Muskoka Awards – Recipients September 25, 2013 www.whatsupmuskoka.com The Muskoka Awards Citizens of the Year The individual selected as the recipient of this prestigious award will be chosen from all of the nominations. Chosen at the discretion of the judges, the recipient of this award will be celebrated for their exemplary contributions to the people of Muskoka and/or the well-being of Muskoka. Brock and Willa Napier generously contribute to worthwhile projects which immeasurably better the lives of Muskokans. Their soft spoken, humble natures belie the good works they initiate, facilitate and finance. “They quietly support many organizations and individuals, not only financially, but also by giving of themselves, their time and energy to make our communities better places to live,” say their nominators. “There was a presentation (by concerned residents) about the need for a nurse’s station and we latched on to that,” says Brock Napier. “The problem came up in that they had no place to put it.” They found appropriate property, purchased it and then donated it. The gift of land in the Township of Muskoka Lakes at Port Carling is facilitating three wonderful projects, which will comprise a new Wellness Centre. “It suddenly just came together that we could put all three on one location” says Brock. First there will be a Muskoka Lakes Nursing Station, in which there will be a nurse practitioner, and other service providers, such as a diabetic clinic. Secondly, Andy’s House, Hospice Muskoka will provide palliative care; it will be located in a quiet area of the property. Thirdly, the proposed Hub of the Lakes Retirement Residence, a project of the Port Carling Lions’ Club, will round it out. “We are hoping this will be a model for small towns” says Brock. The Napiers have also donated $250,000 to each of the three services, for a total of $750,000. This permits a giant leap forward to the establishment of all these ventures. The Napiers participate in and fund several other endeavours. The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Bracebridge badly needed new facilities; the Napiers met that need by purchasing the property to donate to the organization. They gave a further gift of $250,000 to the work, with the result that animals in need are now housed and cared for in proper facilities. It’s not just the big items that get their attention. They support the community Brock and Willa Napier of Minett, including the Peninsula Lions Club, the Minettones choir and regularly attend area meetings and events. “We are sure there are many behind-thescenes donations of time, money and energy that we are not aware of as they often do their good work anonymously,” write their nominators. The Napiers want to encourage others to do what they can for their communities. “It’s not for our own edification,” says Brock. He sums it up by quoting the motto of the Wellness Centre: “Partners make dreams come true. Please be a partner.” Category proudly sponsored by

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    Arts This award celebrates individuals whose creativity, personal artistic achievements, support of the arts and/or leadership has had a significant impact on Muskoka’s arts community. The Muskoka Awards – Recipients Community Advocate Through words and actions, individuals nominated for this award will have championed a cause or activity that has improved Muskoka and/or the lives of its residents. 5 The Muskoka Awards September 25, 2013 www.whatsupmuskoka.com Peter and Michelle Swanek Fran Coleman Peter and Michelle Swanek have dedicated their lives in Muskoka to bringing great music to the masses. Working under the belief, music can heal all that ails, the Swaneks have time and again proven this through concerts at Peter’s Players in Gravenhurst. Even those who might not be able to afford tickets, but could use a night of uplifting musical intervention, have been invited by the Swaneks to attend concerts at their theatre. They participate on community boards in Gravenhurst, contribute to charitable organizations in Muskoka, bring in enormous amounts of tourism and business to the area while running their successful theatre business. The results are palpable says both Peter and Michelle of music’s ability to heal. Michelle says it’s a good feeling knowing Peter’s Players is not exclusive to those who can afford it and being able to bring music to the community is an amazing experience. Peter says they notice a change in the way people feel from when they walk through the doors at Peter’s Players to when they leave following a concert. “This happens just about at every single show,” says Peter. “Their heads are literally spinning off their shoulders because they’re in disbelief and they’re elated. And whatever mindset they were in when they came, it was completely recalibrated throughout the show and they leave in a whole different mindset.” Peter made the decision to relocate from Innisfil to Gravenhurst in 2007 and despite doubts from family members, he envisioned the transformation from a place known as Moe’s Garage into the acclaimed swinging theatre it is today. In April 2008 Peter’s Players opened with Johnny Winter and James Cotton playing to a sold out audience. Peter married Michelle in 2009. She is very involved with everything from writing thank you notes and supporting local charities to keeping the place looking good and running well, with her keen eye on the financials. “The intent was to bring in great artists that weren’t around, so I could bring focus on our venue,” says Peter. “That has been achieved because we bring in lots of international artists and sometimes it’s the only Canadian date they’ll play on a tour, so the entire focus is here in Gravenhurst.” Peter and Michelle Swanek are the recipients of the Muskoka Award for Arts. Fran Coleman is a tireless fighter for affordable, sustainable housing for Muskokans. She seeks opportunities at the Town and District levels of government to help the disadvantaged have homes. “I’ve always been an advocate,” she says. “Before you do anything, you need a roof over your head. We have 650 names on the waiting list for housing, which is huge.” Coleman is on the Muskoka District and Huntsville Town councils. She continues to chair and co-chair committees, among them the Muskoka Attainable Housing Advisory Table, to identify the difficulties people are facing with affording places to live, and to make resolutions to implement solutions. For example, she was the driving force, some time ago, to quickly have the District apply for a Federal-Provincial infrastructure grant of $9.6 million before the opportunity disappeared. This money was used to create an 80-unit seniors’ residence in Bracebridge. “We needed to get into the mix and work.” Other smaller programs, championed by Coleman, provide funds which subsidize the construction of new rental units across the district, and to subsidize rents with existing units, all with strict stipulations. Coleman was instrumental in the passing of two bylaws to better facilitate the construction of the desired affordable units: one to waive developer charge fees, and the other to set out the procedures for the District to fund the projects, using the money no longer required for items for which the Province uploaded responsibility away from the District level. A total of 277 units have been created by the District in the last few years, with Coleman’s energies as the principle motivator. Because Coleman targets money already available due to projects taken on by other levels of government, there is no increase in the District’s spending of tax dollars for these affordable housing initiatives, and saving money by cutting other municipal services is not required, either. “You need to be proactive and strike while the iron is hot,” says Coleman. With its residents adequately housed, Muskoka becomes a more viable place for outside investors to choose and to create jobs and opportunities. Fran Coleman is the recipient of the Muskoka Award in the Community Advocate Category. Category proudly sponsored by Category proudly sponsored by

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    6 September 25, 2013 www.whatsupmuskoka.com The Muskoka Awards Natural Environment This award recognizes those who have shown how to lessen human impact on the environment and made a long-term commitment to preserving Muskoka’s well-being while encouraging others to practice good stewardship in the future. The Muskoka Awards – Recipients Sports and Recreation Through personal achievement, by providing leadership or by supporting the development of sports and recreational activities, the nominees for this award will have set an example for others. George Daniels Charlie Scott-Field George Daniels got his pilot’s license in 1956. He takes people flying over Muskoka in his Cessna 177 Cardinal, to help raise funds for local charities through silent auctions. But that’s not all this energetic 78- year-old former broadcast executive does to contribute. His chief passion is Lake of Bays – both the community in which he cottages and the lake itself. “Brook trout are highly sensitive to the environment: the water they swim in, the air that is around the water and all the junk that mankind throws at them,” says Daniels. “Lake of Bays is one of the few lakes, and maybe the only lake outside of Algonquin Park that has brook trout. The fact that we have them means we have a good lake . . . so let’s keep it that way.” As well as volunteering for the Lake of Bays association for 25 years including two years as president, Daniels helped found the Andrew Daniels Fish Stewardship Foundation, named after his late son, in 2004. He also co-founded the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation, helped raise funds for a fireboat on the lake, and helps run the annual Lake of Bays Anglican Church Regatta. He was a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal last year. Being around Lake of Bays since his 20s means Daniels has seen big changes. “The condo-ization of Muskoka and fractional ownership has been a significant change,” he says. Daniels has been working hard to meld the interests of the permanent residents with the interests of the seasonal resident. “They’re really the same interests,” he says. “Selecting a beneficial project, having the judgment to anticipate its success, selecting a willing volunteer team, and having the ability to mobilize and inspire them to go with the plan,” says Daniel, defining his idea of leadership. “I have no magic halo, I just try to make things happen,” he says. “You get more out of life than you put in, so you might as well put in a lot.” George Daniels is the recipient of the Muskoka Award for Natural Environment. He might consider himself “just a silly old guy kicking a ball with a bunch of kids,” but to the many members of the Huntsville Soccer Club Charlie Scott- Field is much more. With an energy and enthusiasm rivalling his young charges, Scott-Field brings smiles to the faces of those he coaches and even their parents. Not bad for a guy who admits to being “over 70.” As the Huntsville Soccer Club’s technical director, Scott-Field goes beyond the roles laid out in his title and can often be seen six or seven days a week on the pitches teaching players, chatting with other coaches and parents, or just encouraging those around him to have fun. While quite adept in terms of soccer ability, it’s the intangibles Scott-Field brings to the pitch which set him apart from the rest. A positive attitude and an unwavering love for the sport are easily mimicked by those around him. As a certified coaching instructor, he takes pride in his community coaches and often refers to them as “my coaches.” He will make the rounds on each night of summer House League play to ensure everyone, whether it be player, coach or parent is enjoying themselves. He also is a coach for one of the Huntsville Soccer Club all-star teams and helps run the indoor program which takes place every Thursday night from January through March. Having coached soccer for over 50 years, Scott-Field joined the Huntsville Soccer Club several years ago and his enthusiasm has been infectious. From kids in the Mini Mario program to the big children in the adult league, almost everyone who sees Scott-Field will immediately yell “Hey Charlie!” Yet, through it all, the one thing which matters most to Scott-Field is seeing the improvement in the kids as they go through season after season of playing the beautiful game. “I’m just planting seeds and painting pictures for them,” he says. “Seeing them begin to get it and utilize what they’ve learned during games and at tournaments is what this is all about.” Charlie Scott-Fields is the recipient of the Muskoka Award for Sports and Recreation. Category proudly sponsored by Category proudly sponsored by

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    Huntsville Hospital Auxiliary Huntsville District Memorial Hospital is supported by the truly remarkable Huntsville Hospital Auxiliary. Founded in 1955, the HHA functions to improve The Muskoka Awards – Recipients Community Organization Nominees include volunteer organizations, associations, service clubs, religious groups, businesses or other non-profit groups that have undertaken projects and programs that have significant positive impact on Muskokans. the experiences and lives of the community in a myriad of ways. Joanne Matthews, a retired nurse who now functions as president, says it’s the long-term volunteers she finds amazing. “Just today, we honoured three members who have been serving forty years.” That’s forty years of unpaid volunteering, performing invaluable services in countless ways to the patients and medical staff of Huntsville’s hospital. The 134 volunteers of the Huntsville Hospital Auxiliary, whose average age approaches 80, give hours of service in the hospital: portering, talking to patients, delivering mail and flowers, working in the gift shop, tending the garden, assisting with wheelchairs, along with making reminder calls for appointments. “Retired hairdressers will go in; they have a setup there. These people can’t go out to a hairdresser. The (volunteers) will do their hair for nothing,” says Matthews. The members also put hours in for fundraising. The fundraising is extensive, on the order of $100,000 a year, from the gift shop and many activities like bulb and flower sales, cook books, tag days, bingo, and the BMO Golf Classic. The auxiliary works with the hospital foundation in deciding what new equipment is needed the most. Recent examples include $200,000 raised toward the mammogram equipment and $300,000 for the Day Surgery unit. The auxiliary’s abilities to raise the funds facilitated the decision to obtain the equipment. In fact, over the course of its 58-year history, the Huntsville Hospital Auxiliary has raised a total of $1.6 million. “The hospital definitely needs us. They need us and appreciate us.” Most of the money raised has gone to new medical equipment, but also to a gazebo, and lately a mural near the front door, featuring the Group of Seven’s Spring in Algonquin Park. “There were Tom Thomson reproductions all over Huntsville but we didn’t have one” says Matthews. Unique ideas to brighten one’s hospital stay come from auxiliary members. At Christmas, stockings are hung on each door, and babies born on Christmas Day get to be held in a big stocking, made by a volunteer. The Huntsville Hospital Auxiliary is a recipient of the Muskoka Award for Community Organization. 7 The Muskoka Awards September 25, 2013 www.whatsupmuskoka.com South Muskoka Shield The South Muskoka Shield is comprised of young men who play competitive hockey and aim to win. But the attributes that make them a team are not limited to the games. They have a collective heart in many ways. “We’re pretty proud of them. The guys look forward to being out there and helping out anyway they can” says Dallyn Telford, general manager and head coach of the Junior A team from Gravenhurst. Endorsements abound regarding the team’s participation in off-ice activities that reach out to the young and the old. Events are co-ordinated with the Gravenhurst Legion, with the team laying a wreath at the cenotaph at Remembrance Day services. Many of the team members participate by selling and distributing poppies. As well, the team assisted with a food drive by putting hangers on doors throughout the town, as part of a local charitable effort. While sports teams have been known to exhibit negative behaviours, on and off the ice, this group is very civil and caring in their work with others. The team assists with the Breakfast Club at local public schools. The examples they set regarding team work, friendliness, and respect noticeably influence the students, creating a more civil and happy place of learning. They mentor young students with reading, and participate in their gym classes, which encourages all the students to participate and try hard. The team partners with A Child’s Voice Foundation. They raise money through selling 50/50 tickets at all their games, as well as by selling raffle tickets and collecting donations. The young men have hosted a breast cancer awareness day, raised money with the Salvation Army, and hosted a children’s Christmas party with the Severn Bridge Women’s Institute. A local child, disadvantaged with developmental disabilities and long term leukemia treatment has been “adopted” as an honorary member of the team. “He’s a bright spirited young guy and has had a ride on the Zamboni,” says Telford “It’s important for them to be role models. Those teams don’t come around every day. It stays with them on and off the ice.” The South Muskoka Shield is a recipient of the Muskoka Award for Community Organization. Category proudly sponsored by

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    8 September 25, 2013 www.whatsupmuskoka.com The Muskoka Awards Volunteer Through their actions, individuals nominated for this award will have touched the lives of their fellow Muskokans and/or peoples in other parts of the world. They will have made a difference in the lives of others. The Muskoka Awards – Recipients Employee of the Year This award recognizes an employee – working in a business environment in the private sector, public sector or a “not-for-profit” business – whose efforts have made a significant contribution to his or her employer. Heather Berg Melissa Polischuk Heather Berg is a good example of a person whose good works are driven by her faith. Berg’s roots in Huntsville go back four generations; in fact, she lives in a house that was built by her great-grandfather. She became Christian at age five, grew up attending Christian camps, went to a Bible college and is now strongly involved in her church, Harvest Bible Chapel in Bracebridge. In high school she spent a co-op semester at a police station. “I saw a lot of things that are still vividly etched in my memory,” she says. “The thing that really struck me was that there is poverty in Huntsville.” A mission camp journey to Belize showed her even more severe poverty, making her consider becoming a missionary. But in 2006, after watching a video about community service, she felt a strong sense of God nudging her into action, specifically to start a soup kitchen. Following that imperative, she started the Table Soup Kitchen in Huntsville in 2006. After two years, it was serving more than 3,000 meals per year. An excess in food donations led her to expand the Table to a food bank as well. The Table’s current project is to create a men’s shelter. “We focus on women and children, but there are men couch-surfing, living in the bush, living in cars, or going to shelters in Orillia and leaving their families and support networks at the worst times in their lives,” she says. With the town, a local radio station, a local builder and many others online, Berg hopes to have most of the necessary renovation done in time to be open for winter. “God turned my hand that way,” she says. “It’s good to have a world focus to what you’re giving, but not to the extent that you forget the people at home. “I really believe that God’s heart is for those who are hurting and going through stuff. I like to be his hands and feet, as it were, helping where I can.” Heather Berg is the recipient of the Muskoka Award in the Volunteer category. Melissa Polischuk works at Algonquin Grace and “grace” is a perfect word to describe not only the work that is done there, but Polischuk herself. Algonquin Grace is the 5-bedroom palliative-care centre operated by Hospice Huntsville. Terminally-ill people go there to receive care and attention during their final days. Hospice Huntsville’s Algonquin Grace facility provides a safe, caring environment for residents and their families during the most difficult of times, and Polischuk’s efforts make a difference. Those efforts, and the skill, dedication and sensitivity with which Polischuk carries them out, are recognized by those who work with her. Almost half of Hospice Huntsville’s operating budget needs to be generated each year through fundraising, and that’s where Polischuk comes in. Hired originally in 2010 as an administrative assistant, she proved to have numerous talents, and Polischuk soon became the organization’s fundraising and public relations co-ordinator. She heads the fundraising committee, and organizes several fundraising events throughout the year, such as the Hike for Hospice, Swim for Hospice, and Honda for Hospice, where the organization raffles off a new Honda CRV to a lucky winner. She also handles all the media and public relations needs for Hospice Huntsville, including social media. In addition to the skill, dedication and organization that she applies to her duties, Polischuk’s supervisors and coworkers are quick to note her willingness to assist anyone at the hospice, answering phones and questions or just providing a listening ear to a resident or family member who needs someone to talk to. They note that Polischuk’s personal touch is the key not only to the success of the organization’s fundraising efforts, but to the community’s awareness, understanding and appreciation of the valuable service that Hospice Huntsville provides. “I do it because I love it,” Polischuk says. Although by nature hospice work can bring sadness when a resident passes away and their family and friends leave Algonquin Grace, Polischuk values the relationships formed. “It’s one of the most rewarding places I’ve ever worked because you see your work and how important it is in the eyes of others,” she says. “It makes you realize what you’re working for and why.” Melissa Polischuk is the recipient of the Muskoka Award in the Employee of the Year category. Category proudly sponsored by Category proudly sponsored by

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    Muskoka Business of the Year - 1 to 14 Employees This award recognizes a private sector business with 1 to 14 employees that has demonstrated overall outstanding achievement, has a commitment to customer service and is an active contributor to the business community. The Muskoka Awards – Recipients Muskoka Business of the Year - 15 or more employees This award recognizes a private sector business with 15 or more employees that has demonstrated overall outstanding achievement, has a commitment to customer service and is an active contributor to the business community. 9 The Muskoka Awards September 25, 2013 www.whatsupmuskoka.com Lakeland Holding Ltd. Muskoka Yoga Studio For Tara Kinden, a return home has brought with it business success. In less than a year of operation, Kinden’s Muskoka Yoga Studio has gone from hosting a single client, to serving 376 clients indoors, outside and on the water. “When I talked to a lot of people, they said, ‘you’re opening a business in Gravenhurst and you’re doing yoga?’” says Kinden. “I had no idea how busy it was going to be. It’s been amazing.” The studio officially opened in January, after Kinden and her husband Dwayne moved back to Muskoka following several years spent in Toronto Kinden hosts yoga programs for the Town of Gravenhurst, provides classes at her studio and even holds stand up paddleboarding yoga classes. Kinden says the numbers attending her studio grew significantly with the influx of summer cottagers, but the base of her clientele remains those who live in the community year-round. She attributes much of her success to offering something unique to the area. “A lot of people are looking for an alternative to the bigger gym. They want a smaller environment and I’ve created a sort of boutique experience,” she says. “The classes are never overpacked. We can really only take about eight people at a time in our studio. People get more of a one-on-one experience and a lot more guidance than you would in a big class.” Kinden’s work is also getting noticed by other businesses. In September she was contacted by Lululemon, one of North America’s largest manufacturers of yoga and running gear, about the prospect of hosting one of their events. “They said we want you to guide our class up there because we want to start making some connections in Muskoka,” she says. “It sounded cool and we did some classes down at the wharf and ended up with around 50 people.” Lululemon is now considering popup locations in the area, she says, due to those initial successes. “That means more jobs here and that’s awesome,” she says. As for Muskoka Yoga Studio, Kinden says she has a three-year plan and she can’t wait to see what the future holds. Muskoka Yoga Studio is the recipient of the Muskoka Award for Business of the Year – 1 to 14 employees. Lakeland Holding Ltd. is a large and progressive organization. It was formed in September 2000 when Bracebridge, Huntsville, Magnetawan, Sundridge and Burk’s Falls merged hydro assets and worked together to form a company. From 2006 to 2012, that company, Lakeland Holding Ltd, has paid a cumulative cash dividend totalling over $3.8 million to its municipal shareholders. The 2013 cash dividend is expected to be one million dollars. Lakeland Holding’s consolidated revenue is projected at $33 million on assets of almost $60 million for 2013. “We are good stewards who encourage sustainable growth,” explains Lakeland Holding Ltd. chief operating officer Vince Kulchycki. The holding company operates Bracebridge Generation, Lakeland Energy (and Networks) and Lakeland Power. Over the past eight years they have increased Bracebridge Generation production for two megawatts to 10 megawatts, by investing $30 million to purchase two water generation plants, build a new waterpower generation plant and upgrade two existing waterpower generation plants. The company has been EcoLogo certified since 2001. The progressive holding company continues to grow, increasing shareholder valued and annual cash dividends that are invested back into the community. Lakeland Holding has 39 full-time employees including millwrights, linespeople, technologists and engineers. “We provide careers in Muskoka and area with our quality skilled jobs,” says Kulchycki. “There is a diversity of things we do.” They also regularly participate in career days at area schools. Each year the holding company donates an average of $45,000. Projects they are involved in include Junior Achievement Awards, Muskoka’s hospital foundations and the Haliburton/Muskoka/Kawartha Children’s Water Festival. “We give back,” says Kulchycki. On top of making monetary donations, the company is also involved in events in their communities. “We may be sharing safety messages or just giving bucket rides but we are involved.” Lakeland Holding Ltd is a company that is a good steward encouraging sustainable growth. “We are environmentalists and we care,” says Kulchycki. Lakeland Holding Ltd. is the recipient of the Muskoka Award for Muskoka Business of the Year – 15 or more employees. Category proudly sponsored by Category proudly sponsored by

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    10 The Muskoka Awards – Nominees September 25, 2013 www.whatsupmuskoka.com The Muskoka Awards Diane Adamson-Brdar Don Beacock Muskoka residents can now enjoy opera at the Rene M. Caisse Theatre in Bracebridge, thanks to the tireless efforts of Diane Adamson-Brdar. A charter member of the Muskoka Opera Guild, Adamson-Brdar recognized the desire for opera in Muskoka from both residents and visitors alike. In 2009, she proposed hosting a Muskoka Opera Festival, which began in 2010. The festival completed its fourth year in August and continues to flourish, even being lauded by the Town of Bracebridge for its cultural impact. At 84 years young, Don Beacock has no plans to stop his volunteer work. “I’m retired and I’ve got to do something,” he says. “I just like to give back for I have been so fortunate in life. I receive when I give.” Beacock’s career was in police work, construction and surveying. There are still people who remember him as a police officer with the old Bracebridge police force, and how he changed their life for the better by providing guidance, understanding, respect and the occasional hug. “Opera for me is really satisfying,” says Adamson-Brdar. “It offers all components of theatre, story, music, singing, costuming, staging, acting, everything. For me it combines everything so I really enjoy it.” As chair of the festival, Adamson-Brdar has worked diligently behind the scenes to see it reach new heights in terms of performances and attendance. She has demonstrated innovation, authority, planning and guidance to assemble a large group of volunteers to make the festival a success. Adamson-Brdar wants the Muskoka But Beacock also volunteered with the Bracebridge Fire Department for about 15 years, and teamed up with a co-worker to mint centennial coins for Bracebridge in 1975 and Gravenhurst in 1977. Now he transports patients for the Canadian Cancer Society, works the Pioneer Power Show and carves bowls out of burls to donate to silent auctions for fundraising. Within the last few years he’s been crafting Christmas ornaments out of walnuts – inscribed with “Merry Christmas” on one side and the year on Opera Festival to keep growing year after year. “Really my dream is to have a Muskoka festival like the Banff Springs Festival that develops young talent, whether it be singing, instrumental, artistic, whatever creative work is out there musically,” she says. “It’s a beautiful area, we have such a wonderful facility, the theatre is state-ofthe-art and opera singers have said you’ve got such a wonderful facility here, it’s like a diamond.” Diane Adamson-Brdar was nominated for a Muskoka Award in the Arts category. the other – and giving them out to whoever wants one. He does hundreds each year. “I give these walnuts out especially for children and older people,” Beacock says. “The smiles that I get on their faces, it’s beautiful. There are people always worse off than me, and than you. I just enjoy giving; it’s as simple as that! I enjoy children and I enjoy older people too – I love ‘em all!” Don Beacock was nominated for a Muskoka Award in the Volunteer category. Bonnie Blaine Bonnie Blaine started volunteering at age 11 for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in Bracebridge. Then, after an injury forced her to leave her career in nursing 30 years ago, she decided to devote her life to volunteering, mostly in the field of health care. Blaine has been a volunteer at The Pines Long-Term Care Residence in Bracebridge for 10 years. She is now the volunteer coordinator for the Therapeutic Touch, Grief and Bereavement and Palliative Care Group, and her passion is to sit with the dying and aid their families. “I had a nurse that did it for me when my mother died,” Blaine explains. “She came in after she punched in her hours and sat with me, and I thought, if I ever have a chance to do this, I will.” Her own neardeath experience informs this work. “I have personal experience. When I was operated on in 1980, I died on the table and a nurse brought me back. For me it’s not all doom and gloom and oh-my-God. When you see them suffering, it’s easy enough to say go to the light.” Blaine, 67, has worked for 24 different groups in the last 30 years, including the Victorian Order of Nurses, Muskoka-Parry Sound Sexual Assault Services, the Spiritualist Church, the Canadian Cancer Society, Hospice Muskoka, Bracebridge Memorial Hospital, the United Church Soup Kettle. “I’m a little stubborn,” Blaine says. “When I make up my mind I’m going to hit a goal I usually hit it. When someone asks what I do, my girlfriends say, ‘she’s a professional volunteer.’ You’ve got to keep going . . . otherwise I’d be sitting in my chair all day long.” Bonnie Blaine was nominated for a Muskoka Award in the volunteer category. Susan Daglish Probably Susan Daglish’s most visible contribution ever is the mandatory list of ingredients you see on every food product. The federal government put through this legislation in 1976 after Daglish, head of the Allergy/Asthma Information Association, had a five-minute conversation with then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. She also started up the Non-Smokers Rights Association in the 70s. All this advocacy, which she made her career, came about due to her daughter’s asthma and violent allergies to certain foods. “I had to do something,” says Daglish, “or she wouldn’t live.” She continued her advocacy in Muskoka, where she moved after retiring. Those contributions include her 2010-13 term as president of the Muskoka Ratepayers’ Association (MRA). Daglish and the MRA helped promote the Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve and the Port Carling Nursing Station. Daglish also hosts historic walks for the Port Carling Museum and volunteers with Opening Doors, a group that promotes non-traditional careers to high-school girls. She’s been involved with the Port Carling United Church Women’s Executive, the Canadian Federation of University Women, the Muskoka Heritage Foundation (now the Muskoka Conservancy), Probus, Spinning Reels and Communities in Bloom. “Muskoka is the probably most wonderful place in the whole world to live. My family loved it in past generations, and if I can do anything to keep that for the future, that’s what I’m in for.” Susan Daglish was nominated for Muskoka Awards in the Community Advocate and Volunteer categories. Bryan Ingram Bryan Ingram studied Fish and Wildlife at Sir Sanford Fleming College long before taking the role of manager at Bracebridge Generation. He started as a summer student in 2003 and today is responsible for the day-to-day operations of five generating stations and associated dams. Along the way Ingram, the third generation member of his family to look after these falls, went into machinery automation. “It was a natural progression to hydro,” he says. “We play a pretty key role in the water management in the north branch of the Muskoka River,” he says, explaining Bracebridge Generation works closely with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and others. Bracebridge Generation is 100 per cent municipality owned by Bracebridge, Huntsville, Magnetawan, Sundridge and Burk’s Falls. When they recently expanded production at the Bracebridge Falls from 600 kilowatts to 2,600 kilowatts, the natural environment was a big concern. Walleye habitats were expanded, viewing areas were added and a photographic study ensured scenic water flow at the falls was maintained and improved. “We decided to do this work on our own,” he says, explaining the MNR, the Ministry of the Environment, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and local biologists and ecologists were involved and assisted. “They never had to encourage us to do this. Ingram calls his job both fun and satisfying. “Every kid loves to splash in puddles and make dams, and watch fish,” he says. “ I do that while we create green energy.” Bryan Ingram was nominated for a Muskoka Award in the Natural Environment category.

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