Laurel Awards

The 2019 Duncan Craig Laurel Awards

The Laurel Awards annually recognizes the achievements of non profit groups in Edmonton and area including Drayton Valley. Each year starting in February until the end of May, we receive applications from non profit groups for these awards. A selection committee then evaluates the programs and projects on the basis of their successful innovation and creativity, regardless of size and overall budget and select the winners. This year we celebrate the Laurel Awards at a luncheon on October 30, 2019 at The Chateau Lacombe.

There are five awards with honorariums that will be presented at this year's luncheon including Gold, Silver, Bronze, Staff Choice and Audience Choice.

Entry Requirements

Applications must be submitted by the non profit organization responsible for the program or project by May 31, 2019 at 11:00 pm MST.

The program or project must have been completed by a non profit society, a registered charity or through an appropriate government program. Non profit organizations may submit as many of their programs or projects as meet the Laurel Awards criteria. Winning programs or projects from previous years will not be considered.


The program or project must:

  • Further the recognized mission of the organization;
  • Have met predetermined goals and objectives;
  • Demonstrate innovation through the creative utilization of resources (e.g. volunteers, partnerships, sponsorships, etc.);
  • Exhibit original thought in the creation or implementation of the project; and
  • Have taken place within Edmonton and area including Drayton Valley.

Application Form is Now Open

Click here for the 2019 Application form.

Click here for the 2019 Application How-to Guide.

Recognizing the Innovation & Creativity of Non Profit Organizations

To celebrate 100 years of continuous legal practice, Duncan Craig LLP developed the Laurel Awards in 1994. The laurel wreath has been a symbol of high honour for more than two thousand years. The history of the laurel is traced back to the early Greeks and Romans, who bestowed wreaths upon community leaders, scholars and athletes who had excelled in their endeavours.

In keeping with this tradition, Duncan Craig LLP established the Laurel Awards to honour non profit organizations and charities that further their objectives through exceptional creativity and innovation in Edmonton and area including Drayton Valley. Every fall, we gather at a luncheon to present the gold, silver, and bronze awards with honorariums of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 respectively. In recent years, we have added a staff choice award and audience choice award which each have an honorarium as well.

In 2018 we celebrated our 24th Laurel Awards with a luncheon at the Chateau Lacombe where we honoured and recognized 52 non profits in Edmonton and area. Please click on the link below to read last year's program and read the bios from each of our nominees.

We were delighted to have Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta to provide a Toast to the Queen. The Keynote Speaker, Kathy Hawkesworth, LLB TEP, is the Director of Donor Services at the Edmonton Community Foundation and presented the Gold Laurel Award, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ricardo Miranda presented the Silver Laurel Award, and City Councillor Jon Dziadyk presented the Bronze Laurel Award.

This year, we are celebrating our 25th Anniversary of the Laurel Awards with a special luncheon in October. If you are interested in learning more about the Laurel Awards, please contact us.

Click here to see the 2018 Duncan Craig LLP Laurel Awards Program.

2018 Winners

Wellspring Edmonton
Wellspring Edmonton

Prior to 2017 there were few support services for people in Edmonton who were facing cancer. Opened in February 2017, Wellspring Edmonton now fills that need. It presently supports 1,600 members and delivers 2,000 participant hours of programing every month. In one year, we have gone from being an unknown resource to a place where almost every family in Edmonton will have reason to enter our doors over the course of the next few years. As the ninth Center in Canada, Wellspring Edmonton is the shining jewel within the Wellspring network. When you combine a beautiful facility with our phenomenal and empowering programing, Wellspring Edmonton is a world-class leader in cancer support. Over 160 trained volunteers operate the Centre under the direction of a small professional staff. The focus at Wellspring is to teach cancer patients and their families how to help themselves, and to empower them so they can "be well" during and after cancer treatment.

iHuman Youth Society
LiNKS Mental Health Clinic

Operating since 2013, iHuman's LiNKS Mental Health Clinic was initiated by federal Youth Justice Fund seed funding for three years. The purpose of the pilot was to develop and test a model designed by iHuman youth to impact young offender recidivism rates and mental health stigmatization. The model allows youth to self-determine their engagement in their mental health supports. Key features include a non-punitive approach to missed appointments; youth can choose their counselor; and provide informed consent through an artistic medium such as rapping, photography or poetry. A mental health youth worker intakes youth and supports them in building a relationship with a registered psychologist or Masters/PhD counselling student. Once a relationship is established, youth book their own appointments as they wish. LiNKS is free to youth and demonstrates significant engagement by young people who are not accessing existing public mental health supports. The physical location of LiNKS within iHuman creates a sense of safety to the youth through the agency's harm reduction and trauma informed approaches that extend to LiNKS.

Edmonton Meals on Wheels
Extended Production Hours

The goal of this project is to maximize our current facility to improve existing space utilization, create new volunteer opportunities, and redistribute heavy staff workloads by increasing staffing and extending work hours of the kitchen. Shifting working and opening hours to include evenings, is something that we have been working towards for quite some time. In 2015, we started this shift with 'evening deliveries.' One Meals on Wheels staff member stayed at the office until 5:30pm to coordinate the delivery of frozen meals, and groceries to clients. This shift started with Wednesdays, and soon expanded to include Thursdays as well. The change allowed us to not only reduce workload of the daytime Volunteer Drivers but enabled us to engage a new demographic of volunteers who are not available during traditional business hours. These extended hours will allow us to expand services to meet growing community need, improve the utilization of our current production, and to further capitalize on recruiting volunteers who are not available during traditional business hours.

Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta
Medical Outreach Committee
The goal of the Medical Outreach Committee is to increase the visibility and knowledge of Make-A-Wish in northern Alberta to ensure all qualified children receive a wish. There are many more children in northern Alberta who may qualify for a wish and who deserve the opportunity to receive one. Launched in 2016 and made up of 6 dedicated volunteers, this committee conducts comprehensive and regular outreach efforts in the medical community, creates greater awareness of our mission, and identifies innovative ways to reach wish families and communities. These goals are met through numerous strategies including hospital craft nights, lunch and learns, presentations and collaborative family events with support groups throughout northern Alberta. The excellent work carried out by our Medical Outreach Committee, including recognizing all referral sources and demonstrating to them the impact of a wish, has resulted in an increase in referrals to Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta.

SkirtsAfire Society
SkirtsAfire Festival

SkirtsAfire Festival is a multi-disciplinary arts festival in Edmonton that celebrates and elevates the work of women. The 4-day festival coincides with International Women's Day each year, and includes visual art, theatre, music, dance, comedy, and spoken word. In March 2018, we held the 6th annual festival to great success. Audiences and artists came together to take in performances, workshops and exhibits that were provocative, passionate, insightful, entertaining and fun. By creating a platform for women in the arts to showcase their talents in a professional environment, we strive to change the severe underrepresentation of female artists at the professional level. No other festival in Edmonton currently focuses its efforts solely on supporting the work of women artists. This year, we were able to hire over 125 female artists and we hope to increase that number every year. By building awareness of the festival, we were able to increase audience attendance and our social media reach.

Laurel Awards

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