2020 Award Winners

2020 brought unprecedented challenges to our profession. Despite these challenges, interpreters found innovative and creative ways to connect with their visitors. Whether it be through new virtual media or modified in-person programs, these entries showcase interpreters thriving and rising to the challenges of 2020.  

Interpretation Canada is proud to announce the winners of the 2020 Awards of Excellence. These awards are an opportunity to recognize the dedication and creativity of interpretive programs and products from coast to coast to coast. 

Each entry was judged on individual merit and each that met the criteria received an award. We encourage you to check out the programs below and read some of the highlights from judges.

Personal Interpretation


Pirates of Kananaskis 

Alberta Parks: Kananaskis Interpretation Joe Fowler

Judge's comments:

“This was a Masterclass in theatrical interpretation with the right balance of fishy facts, fish fun, enthusiasm, costume changes, audience participation, oversized props, a song AND a dance.”

This one man show is so impressive – it would take at least two other interpreters to pull off all the characters and lengthy script to remember”

The presenter is dynamic and fun. That is an intense script to learn and present and it was done flawlessly.”


Virtual Ridzvo: Ukrainian Christmas

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village – Pamela Trischuk, Kevin Baron, Lessia Petriv, Trevor Sliwkanich, Iryna Tatko

Judge's comments:

Taking a living history program and making it a virtual program is a huge challenge. The video of Kolach making was masterfully delivered and I could smell the bread baking.”

The presenters radiated warmth in spite of the remote format.”

These two are master interpreters with so much passion and stories to share.”


Phantom of Chiroptera 

Alberta Parks: Kananaskis InterpretationJulie Ryan

Judge's comments:

Everything was seamless and the audience was engaged and entertained.”

“This program was perfectly scripted and delivered. She must have done it many times.”

“Golden! Can't wait for more interpreters across the country to see this program!”


Parks Canada / Canucks Autism Network 

Parks Canada  Maja Lampa & Abigail Borron

Judge's comments:

Thank you for finding a way to bring a wilderness walk into the homes of these participants, and congratulations on creating a fun and engaging interpretive opportunity that could be offered even when in-person visits to Parks are not possible!”

“It was a joy to see how well the presenters had thought about who they would be presenting to and how well they applied their techniques.”

“Remote presentations for children are in many ways a young interpretive genre, and I was impressed to see how well the presenters ensured that in spite of their distance from the audience they consistently ensured their topics were relevant to the participants' world.”

Non-personal Interpretation


Learn Where You Live 

Wild Pacific Trail Society Tanya Nestoruk

Judge's comments:

The chosen Host, Tanya, was a very good choice for this project. Tanya was clear, friendly, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic and I now want to go on an in-person tour with her.”

“‘They've even invented ways of growing insulated layers of skin.’ This was my absolute favourite line of the whole video, and it's the perfect example of understanding best practices.”

“The overall quality of the video, presentation, and program was just great – especially in such challenging times.”


Botanical Ramble

Parks Canada: Prince Albert National Park – Cree Longjohn & Quinn Franks

Judge's comments:

So much of last summer’s reopening was made ‘on-the-fly’ – we were trying to make sense of an uncertain and trying time. And trying to respond in creative ways to provide interpretive services to bring some sense of normality back into our visitors' lives. This is a great example of that.”

“I love the idea for this program and the problem solving that it encapsulates. The pandemic has been stressful for everyone, and I can imagine the colour and design/interpretive art of the chalk drawings brought some delight and meaning to your audience.”

“The medium is excellent, creative problem solving, and blends with the environment, relatively easy to produce, change, adapt, and it draws the eye.”


One Great History Podcast

One Great History – Alex Judge & Sabrina Janke

Judge's comments:

Loved the micro-history approach and the individual stories within the larger narrative. Presenters were at their best when describing the details of the mock invasion and what it meant at ‘street level’ This was engaging stuff!”

“I really liked the conversational aspect of their podcast. It didn't sound terribly scripted and felt like I was sitting in the room with them.”

“It was entertaining and I learned a lot.”

Feeling inspired? You can submit an entry for consideration in the 2021 Awards. Check out the How To Enter page to find out more.

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

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software