2024 Suzy Hamilton Award Winners

The family and friends of the late Suzy Hamilton are pleased to announce that Andrea Fox is being honoured with this year’s Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award. The cash award is presented annually to a female-identified or non-binary environmental activist in the West Kootenay region, who embodies the environmental and social activism for which Suzy was known.

Fox is being recognized for their passionate and dedicated work in protecting old growth forests and biodiversity. Fox has consistently participated in Last Stand West Kootenay events, meetings, rallies and peace camps.

“I am grateful to have been chosen for this award, and see it as positive reinforcement for stewardship I’ve been bringing to the Kootenays over the years,” said Fox. “After many sleepless nights on the frontlines of environmental protests with Fairy Creek and Last Stand West Kootenay, I now feel inspired to keep showing up for the community as a wilderness guide. Through nature-based therapy and education I strive to transmit a love for old growth and help people from all walks of life develop a reciprocal relationship with the forest. Thank you for the trust and support! Happy Trails.”

The committee is also honouring award nominee Claudette Burton with the extension of the award meant to recognise the enduring dedication of a female or non-binary champion of the environment.

Claudette was nominated for her long-time work in advocating for land protection, particularly Lasca Creek. Her work as a volunteer at the Commission on Resources and Environment table helped create several new provincial parks in the Kootenays, including the Goat Range, Granby, Gladstone, Gilpin Grasslands, Kianuko, and West Arm Wilderness. She also founded the West Kootenay Chapter of the Wilderness Committee.

“I would like to thank the Suzy Hamilton Legacy Fund for choosing me as the lifetime environmental activist ‘grande dame’ for 2024. Being recognized for my dedication to improving forestry and watershed habitat and politics while I am still alive has given me tremendous joy!” said Claudette. “Last but not least, thank you to all the community team members who helped me over the years with these efforts.”

Additional nominees for this year’s awards were Cheryl Cook, Genna Lazier, Nancie Dohan, and Sally Hammond. A big thank you to all who put forward a nomination for this award.

The Suzy Hamilton Legacy Fund continues to grow and with it, the size of the annual award.

Donations are warmly welcomed and can be made through the Osprey Foundation.

"I wanted to do something local, such as helping seniors in our hospital here, and the fund I chose was a good fit with what I wanted to do. The donation is also a memorial to my wife; it fulfilled her wishes too."
Peter Haliday, donor Friends of Nelson Elders in Care Fund