4-H values take centre stage at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa


Source: 4-H Canada

Close to 300 people gathered at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre to recognize the outstanding contributions of 4-H youth, leaders, alumni and champions and raising a record amount of money for the organization during the 4-H Canada Leadership Awards on February 10.

The Leadership Awards are 4-H Canada’s signature annual event, bringing the 4-H movement together to showcase the achievements of individuals who champion 4-H values. The event has grown every year, which is an incredible reflection of the support that exists for the 4-H mission to empower youth to become responsible, caring, and contributing leaders that effect positive change in the world around them.

“We believe strongly in the value 4-H programming provides to Canadian young people. Not only are we providing them life skills and experiences that set them on a path to success in their future, but we are also empowering youth as leaders in the world around them today,” says Shannon Benner, 4-H Canada’s CEO. “It’s a wonderful thing to have so many of our 4-H youth, volunteers, partners, and supporters within various levels of government and the agriculture industry under one roof to celebrate.”

In the crowd were more than one hundred 4-H professionals and volunteer leaders who were in the capital to attend the annual 4-H Canada Leadership Summit, as well as youth leaders, and supporters of the program including Senator Rob Black, Member of Parliament John Barlow, and Neil Ellis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

The night honoured Lisa Patton, a volunteer leader who dedicates herself to empowering youth through 4-H programs, Canadian country music star Gord Bamford, an accomplished alumnus who credits skills learned through the 4-H program for making an impact on his path to success, and two individuals, Kim McConnell, and Carm Hamilton, whose years of commitment and service have unquestionably advanced the 4-H movement in Canada.

The evening also recognized four young people who are blazing trails and creating positive change in the world⁠—Doug Sroka, Josiah Lodewyk, Riley Callahan, and Courtney Taylor⁠—the recipients of 4-H Canada’s Leadership Excellence Award of Distinction (L.E.A.D.). A highlight of the evening was the announcement of the mentors to each of the L.E.A.D. scholars, industry leaders who will provide guidance in the years to come, helping to further the educational and career goals of each recipient.

The Leadership Awards is also an important fundraiser for the organization and raised more than $18,500 which will go toward ensuring the future of 4-H programming across Canada.

4-H Canada’s Leadership Awards will return to Ottawa in 2021 and will move to Halifax in 2022.

To learn more about the 4-H Canada Leadership Awards, please visit 4-h-canada.ca/4hawards.