“I believe no matter what our race or colour is, how rich or poor we are, everyone deserves clean drinking water.
Water is the lifeblood of Mother Earth.” – Autumn Peltier
“The Changemaker Awards are an opportunity to celebrate young individuals who are spearheading initiatives that drive change.” – Rupert
Sustainable practices are reshaping industries, organizations and everyday life for the better, and we couldn’t be prouder that Canada’s youngest generations are leading the way.
Harrowsmith is honoured to partner with No.9 and Cloud 9 to launch our first annual Youth Sustainability Changemaker Awards: A celebration of bold, young Canadians who serve as agents of change
— individuals who identify places and systems needing improvement. This group of recipients is working hard to design solutions and then engage diverse networks to turn those ideas into action and build them to scale.
From Guest Editor, Rupert Davies
‘Celebrating’ harnesses the power of positivity, engagement, and inspiration to drive collective action and commitment to environmental stewardship. It helps make sustainability an optimistic part of our culture and daily lives rather than just an abstract concept, vehicle for greenwashing/political division, or personal obligation.
My world is fuelled by music and my desire to work toward a purpose that is greater than myself. As a curator, composer, producer, DJ and innovator, I consistently collaborate with passionate, creative young people and have witnessed the profound impact of community engagement in driving positive change. It was with this insight that I launched the Cloud 9 Electronic Music and Eco-Art Festival, an immersive and multisensory celebration of a sustainable future, alongside an incredible team of peers. Soon after that first event in September 2022, the Cloud 9 Youth Curatorial Committee recognized that our annual festival could be an ideal platform to foster a sense of togetherness pivotal for propelling us toward the right path. That realization led us to partner with Harrowsmith for the next logical step: identifying sustainability changemakers who had already initiated cultivating their communities and networks.
When I think of the Changemaker Awards, I think of mycelium, the intricate underground network of fungal threads, and it offers a meaningful analogy for me: interconnectedness and spreadability. Mycelium exemplifies interconnectedness as it weaves through the soil, connecting trees, plants, and organisms in a symbiotic relationship. Similarly, the Changemaker Awards aim to connect diverse individuals and communities, fostering a sense of unity and collaboration. It recognizes that as mycelium connects ecosystems, people can unite to address environmental challenges. Mycelium can transport nutrients and information over long distances efficiently. Similarly, the Changemaker Awards facilitate the spread of innovative sustainability solutions and ideas, helping them reach a broader and more receptive audience.
The Changemaker Awards are an opportunity to celebrate young individuals who are spearheading initiatives that drive change. These people are not doing the same things hoping for different results; they are innovating and leading the new pathways for the future of our world.
Mycelium, the intricate underground network of fungal threads, offers a meaningful analogy for the Changemaker Awards.
- Interconnectedness: Mycelium exemplifies interconnectedness as it weaves through the soil, connecting trees, plants, and organisms in a symbiotic relationship. Similarly, the Changemaker Awards aim to connect diverse individuals and communities, fostering a sense of unity and collaboration. It recognizes that just as mycelium connects ecosystems, people can unite to address environmental challenges.
- Spreadability: Mycelium can transport nutrients and information over long distances efficiently. Similarly, the Changemaker Awards facilitate the spread of innovative sustainability solutions and ideas, helping them reach a broader and more receptive audience.
Do you know a changemaker?
You can nominate them for the 2025 Changemaker Awards.
Click here for the form
During the inaugural Changemaker Awards event, an unexpected surprise unfolded. Sean Martinale, an artist commissioned by No.9 to design/build a community structure on-site, came up to me after viewing the exhibition and the list of award recipients and told me that one of the changemakers worked alongside him in his past projects. It was heartening to discover that this initiative was already forging connections within existing networks.
“My goal is to work toward a purpose that is greater than myself.” – Rupert
MEET YOUR 2024 CHANGE MAKER WINNERS
Sage Lacerte, 27
Founder & CEO of the Sage Initiative,
Mission: Investing in Womxn
Naila Moloo, 17
Mission: Tackling deforestation
Jessica Liu, 20
Mission: Protecting marine life
THE WATER WALKER
Autumn Peltier, 19
Chief Water Commissioner for the
Anishinabek Nation, Ottawa, ON
Mission: Accessible clean water for all
THE FOOD WASTE WARRIORS
Sanch Gupta, 26 & Milton Calderon Donefer, 26
Co-Founders, MealCare, Toronto, ON
The Mission: Ending food waste and insecurity
Rosalie LaBillois, 26
Co-Chair of the Assembly of First
Nations National Youth Council,
Eel River 3, New Brunswick
The Mission: The rights of First Nations youth
Sylvie Stojanovski, 26
Award-Winning Multidisciplinary Artist, Scarborough, ON
Mission: Empowering change through eco-conscious art
THE FASHION DISRUPTOR
Sophia Yang, 25
Founder & Executive Director of Threading Change, Vancouver, BC
Mission: A feminist, fossil-fuel-free fashion future
Kasha Sequoia Slavner, 25
GenZ Filmmaker and Founder of The Global Sunrise Project, Toronto, ON
The Mission: Create positive change through media
THE CULTURE OF
Through the four pillar projects:
- Public Art for Change,
- Imagining My Sustainable Community,
- No.9 Gardens,
- Cloud 9 Electronic Music & Eco-Art Festival,
No.9 is harnessing the power of innovation, imagination, and rejuvenation to build sustainable communities. Through our unique commitment to empowerment, education, and collaboration, we bring together the visionary voices needed to inspire a cultural shift toward creating sustainable communities and support those voices so that positive change can and will occur.