2017 Award Winners 

Interpretation Canada is pleased to announce the winners of the Awards of Excellence for 2017 programs and products. These awards are an opportunity for our profession to recognize and promote excellence in interpretation across Canada. Three categories of awards were presented May 1, 2018 for projects from the previous year.

Non-Personal Interpretation

In the category of Non-Personal Interpretation, such as exhibits, websites and other media, we had a large number of entries this year, four qualified for awards. We encourage everyone to visit these sites to see excellence in interpretation in action.

An Honourable Mention award goes to the Calgary Zoo for their Canadian Wilds Whooping Crane exhibit. Some of the judges’ comments: “Nice blend of written and physical play media.” “Liked the play structure and letting the parents relax and learn as well as kids learning intuitively.” “I really enjoy that you've thought about giving each part of your target market (children and adults) something to do while the other is interacting with the exhibit.” Well done Calgary Zoo and Lisa McDonald and Chrissy Begus.

The Calgary Zoo also received a Bronze Award of Excellence for its Land of Lemurs exhibit. “Loved the lemur hand-human hand activity. Simple and impactful.” “...professional and humorous... great job of connecting our forests and caring about these animals.” “Great work choosing specific target market and developing a product with them in mind.” Congratulations again to the Calgary Zoo, Lisa McDonald and Chrissy Begus.

Parks Canada out of Gatineau, Quebec was awarded a Bronze Award of Excellence for its new collection of Xplorers Booklets. “It's great to see so much work going into continually improving these booklets. Nice work!” “The design is clear and age-appropriate... Nicely done.” Congratulations to the Parks Canada, Manon Cuthbertson, Véronique Morin and Roxanne Raby.

A Silver Award of Excellence was awarded to Parks Canada Lake Louise / Yoho / Kootenay Field Unit for its Sharing Spaces with Wildlife exhibit. “Excellent play learning, I liked the call to action.” “I love that they took an experiential learning approach to the exhibit.” “The interactivity- the activity in general- is clever and the design is appealing.” Congratulations to Parks Canada and Science World, Ross MacDonald, Lyndsay Fraser and Bryn Finer of Bryn Finer Studios Inc.

Personal Interpretation - Non-theatrical

In the category of Personal Interpretation for a non-theatrical presentation only one program qualified for an award. The Silver Award of Excellence for Personal Interpretation was presented to Parks Canada Lake Louise / Yoho / Kootenay Field Unit for their program Wheel of Wildlife. Judges said “Refreshing to see an interpreter engaging the whole audience to participate.” “Two things stand out as excellent in this program - the program design and the interpreter’s delivery.” “I really liked the presenter and her natural, easy, engaging manner while conveying her passion for wildlife.” Congratulations to Lydia Smith as the interpreter and Kristy Putnam and Jacquie Gilson for a great program design. You can view this winning entry at: youtu.be/bL_supYt95s.  

Personal Interpretation - Theatrical

Three Awards of Excellence were given out in the category of Theatrical Interpretation. Honourable Mention went to the Mountain WIT team from Banff National Park for their program Banff Behind the Scenery, at the Telus SPARK centre in Calgary. Judges said “A quality program with a good and uncommon message.” The wolf tracking demonstration, with the volunteers from the audience, stood out as an excellent bit of interpretation” “...simple and at times, thought-provoking. My attention was held throughout the whole program.” Congratulations Phillip Nugent, Steve Jarand and Laurie Schwartz. You can watch their program at: youtu.be/JKvLXLoUPiM.

Honourable Mention was also awarded to Catch the Keys Productions for their program Dead Centre of Town, held at Fort Edmonton Park. Judges commented “an excellent tourism product for visitors who are looking for those unique experiences while vacationing,” “This is an entertaining, professional, atmospheric and provocative theatrical production and a unique way of bringing visitors to historic locations.” “I love the unique method that this group uses to portray the history of a city.” Congratulations to Megan Dart and Beth Dart of Catch the Keys.

The Bronze Award for Theatrical Personal Interpretation was given to Jasper National Park for its program Claw & Order. Praise from the judges included “The children in the audience definitely enjoyed the big characters” “It was not only entertaining, but it was professional quality, and provided relatable information for its audience.” “All of the messaging was presented through characters in a dramatic setting with an elegant structure and seamlessly performed by only two interpreters.” Congratulations to Laurie MacDonell, Julie Seymour and Marie-Hélène Hamel.  

Congratulations to all the award winners. Your programs and products are an inspiration to us.


Interpretation Canada c/o Kerry Wood Nature Centre 6300 45th Ave Red Deer, AB, Canada  T4N 3M4

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