Award recipients

The Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy is pleased to announce the recipients of the Rideau Corridor Recognition Awards. On October 6th at The Station Theatre, Smiths Falls, the award winners were recognized for their hard work to help protect, enhance, promote and celebrate the heritage value and sustainability of the Rideau Canal corridor.

Category: Community Building

Honourable Mention: Rebecca Whitman - Foley Mountain Conservation Area

Rebecca’s pride in the Rideau corridor shines through her work as supervisor at the Foley Mountain Conservation Area. She is a passionate advocate for the protection of the natural environment and believes that education of the next generation is key to sustaining the local ecosystem to benefit humans, flora and fauna. Since 2008, she has led the youth environmental education program for over 5,000 annual participants, combining modern technology with traditional outdoor activities to improve environmental awareness, and highlight the importance of responsible stewardship and conservation of the local environment.

Merit: Seeley’s Bay and Area Residents’ Association - Steps Up Program

This community-driven, multi-faceted revitalization project, launched in 2010, celebrates, protects and promotes this heritage community in its unique location within two UNESCO designated sites - the Rideau Canal and the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve. Through components such as eco-friendly, affordable outdoor recreational activities, community branding and promotion, the enhancement of village nodes, such as Haskin’s Point and the Red Chairs program, and community festivals such as the Smalls Hall Festival and Red Canoefest, the Steps Up Program celebrates and promotes this charming village on the Rideau Canal.

Merit: Friends of Foley Mountain

The Friends of Foley Mountain is a community-based group of volunteers who has provided support to the Foley Mountain Conservation Area for over 20 years. Since 2007, the group has raised over $100,000 to develop a universally-accessible trail, install solar panels, and purchase educational material for the outdoor environmental youth education program. Through their volunteer efforts in the Visitors Centre, at festivals, and through their newsletters and newspaper articles, the Friends help raise awareness and knowledge about environmental protection in this conservation area.

Excellence: Scott Cameron - Rideau Ferry community champion<.

Scott is central to all of the projects and events that have put the hamlet of Rideau Ferry on the map and in the news over the last 10 years, including the revitalization of the Rideau Ferry Vintage Race Boat Regatta, the 2015 and 2017 Rock the Docks music festival, and the development of the new Rideau Ferry public docks and community space. He has earned the moniker "Mr. Rideau Ferry" for his tireless work and advocacy for his community that has made it a go-to destination on the Rideau Canal.

Category: Environmental Stewardship

Honourable Mention: Murphy’s Point Provincial Park and the Friends of Murphy’s Point Park – Adopt a Gray Ratsnake Program

For 10 years, the Adopt a Ratsnake program has presented demonstrations of captive ratsnakes to foster understanding of the snakes, provided updates to adopters who help fund tracking chips in snakes, and funded two years of radiotelemetry to locate critical habitat. This important work helps to conserve this Species at Risk and its critical habitat, educates the public about the unique landscape comprising southern boreal and temporal forest, and promotes the sustainability of the canal corridor by protecting a unique ecosystem within it and the diversity of wildlife which calls it home.

Merit: Friends of Foley Mountain

The Friends have been supporting environmental protection and awareness of the Foley Mountain Conservation Area since 1996. These volunteers supported the development of the Silversides Outdoor Learning Centre and the installation of a solar energy system; support the outdoor environmental youth education program to help students understand the natural environment and their relationship with it; work in the Visitors Centre and at festivals; and raise awareness and knowledge about environmental protection through their newsletters and newspaper articles.

Excellence: Perth Wildlife Reserve

The Perth Wildlife Reserve is a model for how the environment and heritage of the Rideau Corridor (Tay Canal) may be enhanced through a range of creative and quality protection and awareness-building activities, as the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority and community volunteers carry out at this site. The Reserve helps protect the Tay Marsh Provincially Significant Wetland and Jebbs Creek wetland, and engages visitors with its Butterfly Garden and Trail, bird-watching tours, the Tay Marsh Lookout, interpretive panels on natural and cultural heritage, and protected areas to support species at risk.

Category: Design

Merit: Seeley’s Bay and Area Residents’ Association - Steps Up Program

The community revitalization project emphasizes the authentic waterside village experience, as shown in its branding and new entrance signage, and the Haskin’s Point swimming hole, based on historic photos and designed to integrate with the rocky shoreline. The new park furniture and associated structures provide a cohesive village palette, while enhanced landscaping with native plant species and a shoreline renaturalization demonstration highlight the importance of the natural environment.

Excellence: Township of Drummond North-Elmsley - Rideau Ferry Public Docks

The creation of new public docks in the village of Rideau Ferry was a collaborative project that transformed an unused area of land into an integral public space for residents and tourists alike, featuring 180 feet of dock space, a gazebo, public washrooms and the adaptive reuse of the original bridge deck as a new picnic area. The compact, high quality design complements and integrates with the waterfront residential and tourist commercial village core and is a destination for community events and celebrations.

Category: Heritage Conservation and Promotion

Merit – Heritage Conservation: Friends of Andrewsville Bridge

The Friends of Andrewsville Bridge have been a strong steward of the conservation of the Andrewsville Bridge, promoting it as a heritage and aesthetically pleasing Rideau Canal crossing. The group began as a community effort based on the desire of the members to protect this heritage asset in their community. This single lane truss bridge continues to transport residents and visitors across the Rideau Canal. An interpretive plaque recognizes the bridge as part of the local history.

Merit – Heritage Promotion: Dr. Laura Murray - Inner Harbour Kingston

Dr. Murray’s work tells the story of the southern stretch of the Rideau Canal system, bringing the Inner Harbour’s dynamic past to light. Her tours, based on extensive research and oral histories, are inspiring, increasing public awareness of why the Inner Harbour is important, and offering a chance to appreciate the human activity that occurred in the area and to understand the Cataraqui River’s cultural heritage.

Excellence: Murphy’s Point Provincial Park and the Friends of Murphy’s Point Park – Silver Queen Mine Interpretation Program

There is no other living history presentation of the industrial mining history associated with the Rideau Canal besides the tours of the Silver Queen Mine. This fascinating program enhances the understanding of mining history along the Rideau Canal and its role in shipping to England and the United States, through the conservation of important cultural heritage features, costumed interpretation, theatrical spirit walks, and special events.

Category: Economic Development

Excellence: Seeley’s Bay and Area Residents’ Association - Steps Up Program

This multi-faceted revitalization plan is intended to help sustain and support local businesses, and to improve the overall quality of life for all area residents, both seasonal and full-time. Phase 1 work included critical infrastructure for the main street and new tourism products such as a new paddling station, parkette nodes, and the Red Canoefest. Phase 2 focuses on marketing and brand promotion, community signage, and educational support for local businesses, assisting with their online presence and capitalization of the Seeley’s Bay brand.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Rideau Canal’s inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, the Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy presents the Rideau Corridor Recognition Awards Program. The goal of the awards program is to recognize, honour and promote good design, environmental stewardship and economic development, through public and youth engagement, that serves to protect, enhance, promote and celebrate the heritage value and sustainability of the Rideau Canal corridor.

For more information, please contact:

Doug Struthers, Chair