An insight into the many ways that volunteers contribute to the communities, help their fellow citizens, support their charities and non-profits, and lead the way in demonstrating a selfless approach to society’s needs and those in need.

Passion, dedication and a commitment to community are the driving forces behind the volunteers who receive the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.

The medal recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields and pays tribute to the dedication and commitment of volunteers. They embody the caring country we aspire to build.


The Medal

The Medal for Volunteers consists of a silver circular medal that is 36 mm in diameter with a suspension ring. The obverse depicts a contemporary effigy of the Sovereign, circumscribed with the inscription in capital letters of the Canadian Royal Title and the word “CANADA”, separated by two maple leaves.

The reverse indicates the ideas of caring and generosity, represented by two interlaced hearts. The sunburst pattern of the rim symbolizes the time that volunteers are giving and their actions. The ribbon uses the viceregal colours of blue and gold. The five gold stripes evoke the fingers of a hand, present in the Caring Canadian Award emblem, while the deep red colour is associated with royalty.

The design of medal was created by the Canadian Heraldic Authority, based on a concept by Darcy DeMarsico of the Chancellery of Honours. The medal is manufactured by the Royal Canadian Mint at its Ottawa facility.

The following individuals were presented with a Canadian honour during a private virtual ceremony. The private ceremonies were attended by a small gathering of family and friends to celebrate each individual for their contributions to their communities and to Canada.

Order of Canada

Charles Roy Guest, C.M., Calgary, Alberta

Nipper Guest is a successful businessperson and philanthropist. As a founder and former president of Spartan Controls, he initiated an innovative profit-sharing and employee ownership plan as a means to motivate and reward staff, which created a culture of giving back within the organization. Along with his late wife, Eleanor Guest, he also established the Bearspaw Benevolent Foundation to help vulnerable and underprivileged members of society through donations and bursary contributions totalling several million dollars.

Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division)

Art Gruenig, M.S.M., Cranbrook, British Columbia

Art Gruenig has devoted much of the past four decades to protecting and reviving vulnerable species in the East Kootenay region. Focusing on local populations of western and mountain bluebirds and western painted turtles, he has performed field work to provide safe nesting habitats and protection from predators. By educating interested groups, he has fostered awareness and engagement in nature conservation.

Thomas Belliveau, Dieppe, New Brunswick

Thomas Belliveau has been volunteering in the community for over 50 years, supporting the local economy, youth and the arts. He has given of his time to Scouts Canada, the Restigouche and Campbellton hospitals, as well as the Campbellton Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Campbellton Centre-Ville.

Alex Polowin, Ottawa, Ontario

Since 1996, Second World War veteran Alex Polowin has volunteered with the Tamir Foundation, organizing events and fundraisers to assist children and adults in Ottawa with developmental disabilities. He has also been involved with Historica Canada for the past 15 years, sharing stories and memories of his time on board HMCS Huron and HMCS Pictou.

Pierre-Paul Tellier, Montréal, Quebec

Through Head & Hands, Pierre-Paul Tellier has offered medical, social and legal assistance to people from all walks of life for 37 years. His compassion and willingness to help others, in conjunction with the time and effort he contributes, have served to better his community.

Pieter Valkenburg, North Tryon, Prince Edward Island

Pieter Valkenburg has dedicated himself to preserving Canada’s military history by conducting research and collecting information on fallen soldiers from cenotaphs over many years. He travels across the country and abroad to gather details from the families of these soldiers to ensure the articles he writes and later shares with the public are accurate.



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