United Way Celebrates with Annual Spirit Awards

Fifteen workplaces and individuals were at honoured at this year’s United Way Greater Victoria’s (UWGV) Spirit Awards held on April 22. 

The most prestigious award of the afternoon was awarded to longstanding donor of UWGV, University of Victoria President and Vice-Chancellor Jamie Cassels who received the Chair’s Award of Distinction. 

Professor Cassels, QC, joined the UVic in the Faculty of Law as a professor in 1981. He subsequently served as associate dean and dean of the law school. Prof. Cassels has been active in many professional and community organizations including the United Way. Since becoming UVic’s President in 2013, Prof. Cassels has continued the legacy of supporting a strong and thriving campaign on campus. Since 1994, UVic has raised almost $4.8 million in support of the UWGV’s community campaign. In addition to the money raised, UVic has been a tireless supporter of the campaign through sponsorship, research partnerships, and participation in the Loaned Representative program.

“The workplace campaign is a great community building exercise. It’s also an opportunity to amplify what we do as individuals…you are doing this in conjunction with hundreds of other people united in a cause to support others,” says Prof. Cassels. On a personal note, he adds: “I’ve been involved with United Way almost my whole life.  The priorities resonate with me; to strengthen opportunities for children, to help alleviate poverty and strengthen our community. What a wonderful way for me to contribute to community building.”    

When asked about Prof. Cassels winning the award, Associate Vice-President of Human Resources, Kane Kilbey shares: “UVic has a proud history of giving generously to United Way’s campaign and this past year was no exception with the campus donating over $278,000. Through it all, Prof. Cassels was leading by example, inspiring the entire campus community to participate and contribute what they could in order to make a vital impact in our own community.”

“As the second highest grossing campaign in Greater Victoria, UVic is a strategic partner and the work they are doing for UWGV is changing lives,” says Patricia Jelinski, CEO at United Way. “We are grateful for Prof. Cassels’ support as a donor and champion and for the leadership he has shown as president in supporting the campaign. His personal dedication to philanthropy and our community is inspiring.” 

The remaining Spirit Award recipients were recognized for their enthusiasm and success in running their workplace campaigns and for their commitment to helping strengthen the communities in which they live and work. United Way would like to thank the over 10,700 donors, 550 volunteers and 300 workplaces that participated in their 2015 campaign and helped raise $5.5 Million. Because of donor support, 97,000 lives were changed through over 110 funded programs – that number represents 8,000 families, 27,000 children and youth, and 62,000 individuals.

The Spirit Awards recipients (based on UW’s 2015 campaign) are: 

·        Chair’s Award of DistinctionJamie Cassels, QC, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Victoria

·        Naden Band Spirit of Excellence AwardRoyal Roads University with Royal Roads Faculty Association and Canadian Union of Public Employees 3886

·        Triple CrownSchneider Electric

·        Outstanding Workplace CampaignGreater Victoria Public Library with Canadian Union of Public Employees 410

·        Power of YouGulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada with Public Service Alliance of Canada Union of National Employees

·        Outstanding Employee Campaign Chair under 100 employeesCory Mireau from Island Savings Mayfair Branch

·        Outstanding Employee Campaign Chair over 100 employeesShawn Johnson from TD Canada Trust

·        Outstanding Campaign CommitteeHP Advanced Solutions with BC Government Employees Union 1201

·        Leadership GivingCanada Revenue Agency with Public Service Alliance of Canada Union of Taxation Employees 20028 and Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

·        Community ImpactStantec Consulting Ltd

·        Community PartnerInter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria with BC Government Employees Union 301

·        Labour PartnershipViking Air Ltd with Unifor 114

·        Engineering ChallengeRead Jones Christoffersen Ltd

·        Post Secondary CupUniversity of Victoria

·        Financial ChallengeRBC Royal Bank