Visit our service sites

ECVO Jubilee

ECVO Jubilee

A royal anthem, an Indigenous honour song, rows of polished medals, and dozens of people gathered to celebrate some of Edmonton’s most dedicated and passionate non-profit advocates. On December 6th, Indigenous dignitaries along with members of the ECVO and Terra Centre gathered at the bright and spacious newly-opened Stanley A. Milner Public Library to present 10 of the top Edmonton non-profit advocates with the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal.

In November 2022, ECVO put out the call for nominees who demonstrated creativity and innovation as they forged solutions to challenges impacting the sector and who create a more just and responsive society. Dozens of nominations were received and over the course of two weeks, a committee of ECVO board members and staff reviewed each nomination carefully. With so many amazing stories, personal experiences, and important projects, it was with great difficulty that 10 nominees were finally selected for the honour.

ECVO Nominees:


Erick Ambtman

Erick is the Executive Director of EndPovertyEdmonton. He is an influential sector leader who has made significant systemic changes in Edmonton’s non-profit system. He approaches his work with creativity and innovation and is committed to supporting the community.

David Benjestorf

David is a board member with Edmonton’s Food Bank, a volunteer supporting Ukrainian refugees and an advocate addressing food insecurity. He has committed significant personal time and resources to find unique solutions to food insecurity in our community.

Russ Dahms

Russ has supported the non-profit sector in Edmonton and Alberta for more than 30 years. He has created systemic change to strengthen the non-profit sector through building sustainable partnerships. He is widely known for his ability to bring the sector together to find solutions to complex problems.

Sue Gilchrist

Sue is the CEO of Special Olympics Alberta. She is a long-time advocate for inclusive education, life supports, and sports for persons living with physical and intellectual disabilities. She drives her community and works to highlight the systemic inequities that people with disabilities face.

Sharif Haji

Sharif is the Executive Director of the Africa Center. He took on the role during a time of instability and has successfully turned the Africa Centre into a leading Black-led organization in Canada. He advocates for his clients and community and is a strategic leader who has influenced systemic change in Edmonton.

Sahra Hashi

Sahra is the Executive Director of the Alberta Immigrant Women and Children Centre. Her dedication has brought services to an underserved population in Northeast Edmonton. Her work has led to the reduction of criminality and abuse amongst immigrant women, youth and children.

Marco Luciano

Marco Luciano is the Executive Director of Migrante Alberta. Marco is a dedicated and passionate individual who has strong relationships in communities of migrant workers and undocumented individuals. He is a trusted leader and advocate and works at the community and systems levels.

Susan Makale

Susan is the Board President of BGC Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton and Area. She played a major role in the merger discussions which led to serving thousands more children. She is committed to the children and youth of the agency, community and school district.

Don Slater

Don is a volunteer and advocate for people with disabilities. He has worked tirelessly to connect the disabled community and to advocate for the disabled community among a diverse group of stakeholders, to solve problems with creativity and innovation.

Astrid Velasquez

Astrid is the Executive Director of the New Canadians Health Centre. She is a dedicated, hard-working and passionate person. She came to Canada as a refugee many years ago and spends her time advocating for and supporting refugees from around the world.

We thank everyone who put forward a nominee. Edmonton’s non-profit sector is full of volunteers, advocates, and leaders who, under challenging circumstances and limited resources, daily strive to ensure everyone in our city has a voice and has the resources they need to thrive.

Congratulations to the honourees!