The Suzy Hamilton Legacy Fund honours the work of one self-identified woman environmental activist in the West Kootenay each year through a cash award. The Legacy Fund was established at the Osprey Community Foundation in 2016 after the death of well-loved and dedicated West Kootenay environmental activist and journalist Suzy Hamilton, founder of the West Kootenay EcoSociety.
Countless women are doing phenomenal work in the West Kootenay on a wide range of conservation and sustainability issues. Every year the awards committee is deeply impressed by the passion of the nominees and by the words of their nominators.
There is no official entry form. Entries should include the name and contact information of the nominee, as well as a short paragraph about the work they do for the environment. We welcome the re-submission of nominees from previous years. Nominations can be sent to the fund’s award committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations close on April 30.
The committee selected Jade Osecki as the 2021 recipient of the fund, in recognition of her involvement with Fridays For Future West Kootenay and her engagement in Citizens Climate Lobby, Climate Strike Canada, and Stop Ecocide Canada.
The committee also honoured award nominee Carolyn Schramm, with a new extension of the award in 2021 meant to recognize the enduring dedication of a female-identified champion of the environment. Carolyn was recognized for her work on her co-founded organization, Mt. Willet WIlderness Forever (MWWF), in proposing to add Argenta-Johnsons Landing to the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park.
Previous winners of the funds are Heather McSwan of the Glade Watershed Protection Committee, Laura Sacks of Citizens Climate Lobby, wildlife biologist and educator Joanne Siderius, and long-time Slocan Valley environmental and Indigenous rights activist Marilyn Burgoon.
As the cash value of the Suzy Hamilton Legacy Fund endowment grows, the award amount increases. The award committee encourages donations so that Suzy’s legacy continues to grow. Please check out the Osprey Community Foundation to make a donation, so that we can continue to honour women environmental activists in a financially meaningful way.