Four people from Inuvik and Yellowknife were recognized in the NWT's Outstanding Volunteer Awards ceremony at the legislature on Thursday.
The awards, handed out each year, acknowledge "outstanding contributions in communities across the territory" according to the territorial government.
The 2019 Elder award was presented to Patrick Clancy, who some may call Sensei. Clancy started Yellowknife's Wado Kai Karate Club in 2009, and has since seen 16 of his students receive black belts.
“It's not every day that you get recognition when you volunteer your time. You just do it and you don't do it for the recognition. You do it because you love to do it,” said Clancy.
Davonna Kasook received the Youth award, as an active volunteer in Inuvik since the age of 15.
Besides helping out with sports in the community and climate change-related initiatives, she spends her time working to educate youth on mental health and self-care.
Kasook encouraged everyone to volunteer. “Get out there and do it because it’s an everlasting journey of learning and growth, you absolutely won’t regret it,” she said.
The group award was given to the Yellowknife Community Foundation. Bronwyn Watters, accepting the award, praised the foundation's helpers behind the scenes.
“The Community Foundation wouldn't be anything without the contributions of so many families and organizations who have donated their money and committed to the community," she said.
"We say that people working together can make a difference and that's our motto, I firmly believe it's true.”
Margo Nightingale was honoured with an award for her role as director of the Yellowknife Choral Society. She has been volunteering with the choir for almost 20 years.
“It's really humbling, to be honest. I mean, these things we do because we love them, we don't expect this kind of recognition,” she said.
Her choir group was in attendance and they celebrated her win the best way they know how: by singing.
Listen to the Yellowknife Choral Society serenade award-winning director Margo Nightingale.