Terrera Earth Award 2024

The Terrera Earth Award is an annual award recognizing the outstanding contributions of Canadian women in the community. This includes, but is not limited to: local community development, women’s empowerment, poverty relief, humanitarian/refugee aid, or environmental sustainability. We are supporting the winner with a $1000 grant for a community initiative, project, social enterprise or business that is making a positive impact in our world!

Please read the eligibility details below at the bottom of this page.

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How to apply:

Send us an email at customercare@terrera.ca with the Subject: "2024 Terrera Earth Award: YOUR NAME" along with the following information:

1. Your Full Name and Email Address

2. Your Location (City, Province)

3. Tell us your story! (approximately 500 words or less) How did your initiative, project, or organization get started? What inspired you to work in this project? How will this grant further your goals? (Be specific! How will you use the funds? Is there a launch date/timeline?)

4. Are you receiving any external funding or awards for this project? Please list the source and the amount.

5. How did you hear about the Terrera Earth Award?

6. Attach your resume detailing past achievements, work and volunteer/relevant projects.

7. Attach a picture(s) of yourself engaged in your project.

Submission Deadline: July 1st, 2024 See below for eligibility details.


**You must answer all questions above to be entered for consideration. Eligible projects include: a new/existing business, non-profit organization, social enterprise, charity, event, or a community project. Finalists may be contacted for more information on their applications. Contestants must be a woman who is 18+ years of age and a permanent resident of Canada. Terrera reserves the right to refuse incomplete applications. One final candidate will be selected for the grant after July 1st, 2024. By applying you allow us to share your work and photo on our website and social media channels. Finalists or award recipients may be contacted for further opportunities and updates.

Reflecting On Our Winners Over The Years

2023: Sumi | Queen's Club and Mother Wise

Sumi, a 51-year-old mature student, is making a significant impact through her initiatives, Queen's Club and Mother Wise. She began her journey when the Syrian civil war compelled her to help refugees. Along with her family, she managed a tent school and clinics in Syrian refugee camps for over two years. They even established an olive soap business to help women sustain their livelihoods.

2022: Lauren | A Sustainable Solution for Remediation of Road Salt

Lauren, a Queen's University graduate student, is on the search for a more sustainable solution to the remediation process for road salt. The current processes are toxic to the environment and so she discovered a certain species of plants are able to do the job in a much more sustainable manner. Lauren is currently researching the effectiveness of the plants, as well as has long term goals to discover a more eco-friendly solution to road salt.

2021: Kayli Dale | A Friendlier Company

After graduating from Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Kayli started her venture, A Friendlier Company, with one purpose: to be part of the solution to pollution. A zero-waste initiative to eliminate the use of single-use plastics in food packaging.

2020: Tara, Amy, and Brianna | Carbon Conversations Toronto

Tara, Amy, and Brianna's project, Carbon Conversation Toronto, works to share conversations with the community about the connection between climate change and social inequality, and the need for climate justice.

2019: Julia Maxwell | Crocus Hill Farms

Julia is the owner of Crocus Hill Farms in Maidstone, Saskatchewan. She works to support sustainable farming and promote a cleaner, healthier, and happier planet. Her farm brings together the wonderful ideas around organic food production, biodiversity, regenerative agriculture, and permaculture.

2018: Ariane Drainville | Taking a Stand for Climate Change

Since her teenage years, Ariane has been interested in environment issues in Canada and around the world, which made her want to reduce impact on ecosystems and raise awareness. Ariane trained to become a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator through the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. She noticed a gap in the help and support we can give to wildlife in Quebec, and wanted to work towards filling it. She also wanted to educate people about the interaction between humans and wildlife through her work.

2017: Jana Girdaukas | The Period Purse

Jana saw a need to help women she saw begging and living on the streets. She wanted to create and give these ladies something useful - so she decided to create the Period Purse. She would fill used purses with menstrual products and hygiene items and donate them to local women experiencing homelessness. After reaching out to her Facebook local parent group asking for spare used purses, in the first four months of running the project, she donated nearly 1800 purses. Now there are 300+ women supported a month living in shelters or low income who need a monthly supply of menstrual products.

2017: Ann Gibson | Upcycle Lifestyle

Ann had a vision for Upcycle Lifestyle: to reduce consumer waste through reusable alternatives. With a passion in waste management and experience from working at a landfill and environmental compliance reporting and consulting, Ann took a leap into making clothing with 100% waste-free production. Her first upcycled product were blankets she made from 'rescuing' ugly sweaters from the thrift stores. She creates smaller products (i.e., reusable facial rounds and nursing pads) made from scraps of fabric left from the clothing she makes. The even smaller pieces, too small to sew, are used to stuff dog and cat beds that she donates to Stratford SPCA. Upcycle Lifestyle is a handmade business focused on sustainably produced, reusable alternatives to single-use products and long-lasting children's clothing. All of her products are made in her home sewing studio with 100% waste-free production.

2016: Tenille Riechelmann | Recycled Fashion

Always having an interest in fashion design, and starting with making purses our of used jeans and t-shirts, Tenille got her start in the fashion world when a local designer approached her to showcase at the Medicine Hat Pride AIDS Benefits and Fashion Show. She created a collection of custom bras made out of recycled, re-purposed and found materials. She was inspired by the need to alleviate the immense amount of soft textiles we throw out into landfills. She sourced old table cloths, clothes with holes and/or stains, and broken jewelry and repurposed them into beautiful bras and lingerie. She began to organize more charity fundraisers to benefit the community, such as a breast cancer benefit fashion show where all proceeds were donated to Medicine Hat Health Foundation.

2015: Angela Kesthely | MILKBAGS Unlimited

After seeing the disaster of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, Angela decided to help. Partnering with Air Transat, Angela managed to ship over 750,000 milk bags to Port Au Prince to help unemployed women create their own milk bag mats inspired by her personal motto of "Empower the People - Save the Planet" she taught the women in Haiti - some who did not know how to read or write - how to crochet the bags into mats, handbags, slippers, and table runners to sell in their local markets.

2014: Jill Doucette | Founder of Synergy

After experiencing the World Student Environmental Summit in Japan, Jill launched Synergy, a company whose mission is to help green businesses (by teaching them how to steward and protect ecosystems and build thriving economies). Synergy has worked with over 70 companies - each a shining example of how to run zero-waste, carbon neutral, and low-impact operations that create new green jobs. After Synergy, she launched Synergy Sustainability Institute (SSI), a non-profit dedicated to catalyzing the green economy. This would become a national organization that provides innovative solutions to bring businesses and the environment together in a symbiotic relationship. They have launched Vancouver Island Green Business, Canada's First Food Eco-District, the Green Building Research Project, and the Zero Waste Project.

2013: Honourary 2013 Award Winner | Sofiya Chroniy

For our first Earth Award, we nominated Sofiya Chroniy, a student at the time at University of Toronto studying Kinesiology, French, and enrolled in the Concurrent Teacher's Education Program. Sofiya was fascinated by the human nature connection after reading Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods. Her goal was to become a French and Physical Education teacher and instill in her students a greater understanding of the beauty inherent in the natural world. She had given multiple environmental presentations in elementary schools, coordinated two shoreline cleanups, participated in community tree planting, and was crowned "Miss Earth Canada 2013 - one of the 4th largest international pageants with a focus on environmental advocacy.