February 15, 2014
Leadership honours highlight special awards night
Educator of the Year is Allan Nason, of Notre Dame School in Burlington. From left, Victor Santacruz, executive director of CNLA, Allan Nason and LO past president Phil Charal.
The top Ontario landscaping industry professionals were honoured for their amazing work over the past year, when the annual Awards of Excellence ceremony was held at Congress on Jan. 7. Awards presented may be found on pages from 15 to 18.

Toronto’s International Plaza Hotel saw more than 600 industry professionals attend the ceremony. The always-impressive production of the awards show featured MC Frank Ferragine of City TV’s Breakfast Television. This year’s ceremony featured a live band which accompanied the announcements of the winners.  

The following day, images of the award winning projects were displayed for attendees entering the trade show. It was a great opportunity to show off the breathtaking design and master craftsmanship in landscape construction, maintenance and design projects created by Landscape Ontario members.

Denis Flanagan, Director of Public Relations and Membership at Landscape Ontario, says, “Ontario’s inspired landscapes are due to the efforts of talented professionals, passionate in their love of nature. Our members strive to leave a positive environmental legacy for future generations. It can be challenging to select the best of the best each year. We are very proud to honour the men and women who make up Ontario’s green industry.”

The premier landscaping award is the Dunington-Grubb Award. This year’s presentation took on a different look. With a severe storm shutting down many Ontario highways, representatives from The Landmark Group in Thornbury couldn’t travel to accept the award. Instead, through live streaming, Darren Bosch and Jeff Scheper appeared live on the big screen to accept the award.

Another prestigious award is the Casey van Maris Award. This award was created by Casey’s family to maintain the memory of one of Landscape Ontario’s founders. It goes to the project that displays the highest marks for execution of unique and innovative design in landscaping. This year’s winner is Betz Pools of Stouffville.

The Don Salivan Grounds Management Award goes to the company judged to have entered the best grounds management project. Gregg Salivan presented the award named to honour his father. This year, Shades of Summer Landscaping and Maintenance received the honour.

two men on a large video screen via SkypeThis year’s premier award recipient at the Awards of Excellence were blocked from attending the presentation after snow storms caused many highways to be closed. So, electronic communication took over, allowing The Landmark Group representatives Darren Bosch, left, and Jeff Scheper to appear live at the presentation of the Dunington-Grubb Award.
Special awards during the evening honoured not just winning projects, but those who perform long and important service toward the industry.

The Frank Ewald Junior Award was presented to Ryan Heath. See page 9 for more information on the award recipient.

Four deserving members received the Past President’s Award this year. A committee of three past presidents present this award for many years of outstanding contributions to the association. This year’s four recipients were John Bakker III of JC Bakker and Sons, St. Catharines; Paul Doornbos CLT, CLP, of Thornbusch Landscaping, Lansdowne; Brian Marsh, of Earth Art Landscape, Sunderland; and Terry Nicholson CLT of Clintar Landscape Management, Markham.

A number of awards were handed out to those working to make Canada Blooms a success. The Soft Landscaping Supplier of the Year 2013 went to Uxbridge Nurseries of Brooklin. The Hard Landscaping Supplier of the Year went to Gro-Bark (Ontario), Waterloo. The Canada Blooms Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Brian Green. A new award for Canada Blooms is the Equipment Supplier of the Year, which was presented to Matthews Equipment, Toronto.

The Town of Goderich was honoured with the Community Leadership Award. After a tornado devastated the community, work commenced quickly to plant trees in the town to help maintain its reputation as Canada’s prettiest town.

Bruce Morton of the Ottawa Chapter was on hand to accept the Chapter Achievement Award. This award is nominated through the Landscape Ontario Chapter Board of Directors. The individual nominated must have demonstrated consistent volunteerism and significant contributions to his chapter over many years.

This year’s High School Horticulture Educator of the Year Award was a popular choice. Allan Nason, of Notre Dame Secondary School in Burlington, was on hand to accept the award.

Jacki Hart took the stage to announce the winners of the Prosperity Partners Leadership Award. They include Mark Fisher CLD, of the Escarpment Company, Milton; Jordan Ward, of Creative Landscape Depot, St. Jacobs; and John Wight of Wight Tree Service, Sutton West.

This year’s Trillium Award went to Jim Douglas, Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance past president. See page 27 for more information on the presentation.   

To view a video of the Awards of Excellence ceremony, go to www.horttrades.com/41st-awards-ceremony.