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National Volunteer and Partner Recognition Awards

To mark International Volunteer Day, Diabetes Canada is paying tribute to the tireless volunteers and community partners with a virtual awards ceremony.

Diabetes Canada’s volunteers provide support to people affected by diabetes, advocate on their behalf and support innovative research. Every day, thousands of people from across the country dedicate their time and energy towards a shared goal – Ending Diabetes.

“We’ve had a lot to celebrate in 2021 as we recognize the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin and our volunteers have been part of our success since day one,” says Laura Syron, President and CEO of Diabetes Canada. “Without the support of dedicated volunteers and partners we would not continue to provide world-class Canadian research to improve treatments, develop best-practice Clinical Practice Guidelines for health professionals caring for people with diabetes, advocate to governments, schools, and workplaces on behalf of everyone living with the disease. Simply put, we would not be where we are today without volunteers and it’s my honour to formally acknowledge these outstanding contributions with these awards.”

Despite the discovery of insulin 100 years ago, diabetes continues to be successful at taking over the country. Even after 100 years of insulin, 1 in 3 Canadians are living with or at risk of diabetes. While insulin has made great progress, it is still not a cure and we are not at the finish line.

Each year, Diabetes Canada commemorates the exceptional contributions of individuals and organizations making a profound impact with national awards. Below is a list of this year’s recipients, representing provinces and territories across the country.

2021 National Award Recipients:

The Frederick G. Banting Award - Recognizes an individual, not-for-profit organization, group, corporation or government department that has significantly contributed to either preventing diabetes and chronic disease in Canada, or to improving the quality of life of individuals affected by diabetes nationwide. Awarded to Member of Parliament (Brampton) Sonia Sidhu (Ontario).

Outstanding National Partnership Award - This award is to recognize a partner in business, media, health care, government, non-government organization, educational institution, service club or any other sector that has worked with Diabetes Canada to create a significant outcome. Awarded to Novo Nordisk (Canada).

The Kurt Kroesen Inspiration Award - This award is intended to recognize either an individual or family who has overcome great odds to manage their diabetes and continue to live a fulfilling, active and inspiring life. Awarded to Leslie Ann Bent (British Columbia).

National Young Volunteer Award - The National Young Volunteer Award has been designed to honour youth for their role in furthering the advancement of the Mission and Ends of Diabetes Canada. Awarded to Miles Dyer (Manitoba).

The Collaboration Award - Nominees for this award provide outstanding examples of collaboration within Diabetes Canada and/or the diabetes community. Awarded to MDC Lions Cavalcade (Alberta).

The Charles H. Best Award - This award recognizes a health-care professional who has made a significant difference across Canada towards improving the quality of life of individuals living with diabetes. Awarded to Dr. Michael Vallis (Nova Scotia).

National Advocacy Leadership Award – Recognizing a member of Diabetes Canada Professional Sections, National Advocacy Council or Area Advocacy Committee, or a grassroots advocacy volunteer or group who has demonstrated exemplary leadership, commitment, and dedication in advancing public policy in the interests of people living with diabetes and in accordance with the advocacy strategy of Diabetes Canada. Awarded to the Yukon T1D Support Network (Yukon).

National Volunteers of the Year Award – This award honours volunteers, either individuals or groups, who have gone above and beyond in supporting the work of Diabetes Canada. Awarded to:

  • Randeep Birdi (Alberta)
  • Sikh Motorcycle Club (Canada)
  • D’arci Sutton (Alberta)

The Innovation Award – Recognizes individuals who have found innovative, creative and efficient solutions to further Diabetes Canada’s mission and make a difference in the lives of the people living with diabetes. Awarded to Dale Alderson (Manitoba).

The Bold & Audacious Achievement Award – This award recognizes the achievement of a goal or project that set a compelling vision for something so impactful, others might have doubted that it could be done, but they did it anyway. Awarded to Paul Kuspira (Saskatchewan).

About Diabetes Canada

Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:

  • Resources for health care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
  • Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
  • Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).


Category Tags: Announcements;

Region: National