National Recognition for Calgary and Area Volunteers

October 31, 2019

Leading community volunteers from Southern Alberta were honoured today at a special ceremony at McDougall Centre in Calgary. Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell presented the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to recipients from Airdrie, Calgary and Nanton. The presentations were made on behalf of the Chancellery of Honours.

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers is a part of the National Honours system and recognizes the time, compassion and commitment that Canadian volunteers share with a wide range of community organizations.

“Ceremonies like this are an important way to recognize the many dedicated citizens across our province who contribute to the quality of life we all enjoy. It’s my sincere pleasure to thank them on behalf of all Albertans for their dedicated service.” Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

View Ceremony Photos

Recipients of the medal are chosen from public nominations.  Learn more about the medal program information and nomination details.

Following are citations for the Albertans who received a medal at the October 31 ceremony in Calgary:

Angeline Beaver. Morley, Alberta : For more than two decades, Angeline Beaver has been helping the members of the Stoney Tribe with income tax filing and applications for benefits. Her fluency in the Stoney language allows her to assist the Elders of her community in the language of their choice.

Colin J. S. Cantlie. Calgary, Alberta: For many decades, Colin Cantlie has helped improve the lives of people with hearing impairments. Through his leadership of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association and his consultations with the public and private sectors, he has shaped policies and measures that have enhanced accessibility for thousands of Canadians.

Daniel Fox, Nanton, Alberta: With a passion for aviation history, Daniel Fox has been preserving and restoring aircraft and artifacts from the Second World War for more than 30 years. In 1988, he led efforts to create the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, which has become a major tourist attraction in Nanton, garnering an international level of recognition.

Terry Gibson, Calgary, Alberta: For 15 years, Terry Gibson has helped travellers passing through the Calgary International Airport by shuttling passengers around the terminals, providing directions and answering questions. When not at the airport, he volunteers his time with the Condo Owners Forum Society of Alberta to assist condominium owners in governing their communities.

James Hands, Calgary, Alberta: Jim Hands has been active with the Calgary Police Service Ceremonial Unit for the past 20 years, making him the Unit’s longest-serving member. He is passionate about ceremony, history and traditions, and he has been an invaluable mentor and instructor within all levels of the ceremonial community.

Ameer Manjee Keshavjee, Calgary, Alberta: Ameer Keshavjee has been helping students in difficult circumstances access post-secondary education over the past three decades. Through his volunteer work with such institutions as the Aga Khan Education councils and boards, youth from around the world have fulfilled their educational aspirations.

Karl Kjarsgaard, Nanton, Alberta: Karl Kjarsgaard has dedicated his volunteer time to museums that preserve the history of Second World War aircraft. His contributions, expertise, network and enthusiasm have been valuable in recovering and rebuilding Halifax bombers for the National Air Force Museum of Canada and Bomber Command Museum of Canada.

Lane Kranenburg, Calgary, Alberta: In 1988, Lane Kranenburg brought together a team of enthusiastic young adults to run the mascot program at the Calgary Olympic Winter Games. He then brought this team to the Calgary Stampede, where he established and chaired the Harry the Horse sub-committee. He also coordinated the donation of two mobile stages, combining them with ongoing volunteer efforts to support local organizations over the last 30 years.

Catherine Laing, Calgary, Alberta: Through her volunteerism with the Calgary Hornets Rugby Football Club and the Alberta Junior Rugby Association, Catherine Laing has expanded the sport, particularly for women and girls. Since taking on a leadership role with the Calgary Hornets, she has become instrumental to the club’s operation.

Keith Mann, Calgary, Alberta: Keith Mann has been volunteering since the 1970s, first by officiating hockey games and later joining the Lions Club and the Royal Canadian Legion. For the past 25 years, his contributions at the executive level have helped to advance the Air Cadet League of Canada, the Royal Canadian Air Force Association and 52 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

Paul Manuel, Airdrie, Alberta: For more than 30 years, Paul Manuel has coordinated extensive and visionary volunteer projects for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. He has led volunteers at all levels, designed the Toonies for Torches fundraiser, created the Flame of Hope Harley-Davidson Raffle, and coached a growing number of athletes.

Theresa Manuel, Airdrie, Alberta: Using her talent for engagement and outreach, Theresa Manuel has created successful raffle draws and actively participated in fundraising events for Special Olympics Alberta. Notably, she organized a highly successful wine tasting and silent auction event for the Law Enforcement Torch Run by personally soliciting thousands of dollars in donations.

Beverly Nelson, Nanton, Alberta: Beverly Nelson has been serving her community for more than three decades, notably with the Stavely Royal Purple Elks Lodge and the Bomber Command Museum of Canada. She is currently the casino chair at the local Royal Canadian Legion branch and volunteers with the Nanton Quality of Life Foundation’s Meals and Wheels program.

Sally Nilson, Calgary, Alberta: Since 1995, Sally Nilson has been assisting individuals and families with low incomes through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. She has served the organization as a tax preparer, program planner, volunteer trainer and supervisor, and remains committed to meeting the needs of her clients.

Donald (Sandy) Owen, Calgary, Alberta: Sandy Owen has been an active volunteer with the Royal Canadian Legion in Calgary and Vancouver for more than 15 years, serving on the executive and assisting with fundraising events. He also founded the Calgary Courier Association and assisted many new entrepreneurs in the local courier business.

Robert Schwartzenberger , Calgary , Alberta: For more than half a century, Robert Schwartzenberger has helped generations of youth learn valuable life skills through his involvement with Scouts Canada. As a district service commissioner, camp director and troop leader, he has provided leadership and advice to scouting groups throughout Alberta, ensuring their success.

Tom Shindruk , Calgary, Alberta: For close to 20 years, Tom Shindruk has been supporting cancer patients and their families through his volunteer work with the Canadian Cancer Society. Notably, he played a leading role in efforts to raise almost $3 million for the Calgary Relay for Life initiative during his tenure as recruitment chair.

Tara Sukut, Calgary, Alberta: Tara Sukut has dedicated her life to promoting folk and Canadian roots music. As a volunteer with the Calgary Folk Music Festival and Wide Cut Weekend, she has encouraged a revival of Canadian heritage through music.

David Alexander Swanson, Calgary, Alberta: Since 1999, David Swanson has been a search coordinator and zone safety officer with the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association. He has also served in several leadership positions with the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping and with the Ogden United Church.

Gustave Yaki, Calgary, Alberta: Gus Yaki has been raising funds for and awareness of habitat conservation and biodiversity for more than 50 years, inspiring generations of Canadians to learn about natural history. For more than 25 years, he has led the monthly Elbow River Birding Survey with Nature Calgary, and coordinates birdwatching courses with the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society.

Michael Yanko, Calgary, Alberta: Michael Yanko has been a dedicated and passionate leader of the Calgary Youth Justice Society for the past 15 years. He developed a training program for volunteers and has trained more than 550 volunteers to skillfully determine the needs of youth offenders by encouraging them to take responsibility for their actions and repair wrongdoings.

Media contact:

Janet Resta;; 780-919-5505; Communications Officer, Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta