Canadian Leaders and Businesses Recognized as Pandemic Heroes

Olympian and Mental Health Advocate Silken Laumann to host celebration Gala on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at the OMNI King Edward Hotel

Canadian Olympic hero and mental health advocate Silken Laumann will help celebrate the extraordinary efforts of Canadians when she hosts the Pandemic Heroes – Standing Up for Mental Health Gala on Thursday, December 2, 2021.

Launched in April, the Pandemic Heroes awards program recognizes and celebrates individuals and organizations who took supporting mental health one step further during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After receiving nominations from across the country, we are pleased to announce recipients in the following categories:

Caring Partner Durham Children’s Aid Foundation|Oshawa, Ont.
When the pandemic hit, the Durham Children’s Aid Foundation pivoted from its fundraising objectives to provide children, youth and families with food and clothing before transitioning to laptops and cell phones to support online learning and work from home mandates.

Bell Let’s Talk Community Leader The Stratus Foundation|Guelph, Ont.
As their community remained in isolation during the early months of the pandemic, The Stratus Foundation created a virtual Wellness Walk to inspire safe, mindful, and socially distanced physical activity. Hundreds of donors supported the virtual event, which culminated in 4,336 km walked over two weeks and $12,410 raised.

Essential Service Employer Ontario Power Generation (OPG)|Toronto, Ont.
From the outset of the pandemic, OPG focused on the delivery of power to Ontarians as well as protecting the overall health, safety, and well-being of its employees and family members. In addition to leveraging existing programs, OPG initiated special programming to augment services available to employees and family members.

Inspiring Youth Mégane Jacques| Children First Canada| Trois-Rivières, PQ
An aspiring doctor, Mégane sits as the Chair of the Youth Advisory Committee for Children First Canada. During the pandemic she has participated as a young person aligning herself with #CodePINK, an awareness campaign to push for the federal and provincial governments to create a plan that focuses on supporting children through the pandemic. She has also worked diligently to support the Young Canadians' Parliament sessions both on the advisory committee and as a facilitator for conversations on children's mental health.

Healthcare Hero Dan Moulton and Laurie Reed|Health Sciences North|Sudbury, Ont.

Through the use of technology Dan, a chaplain, and Laurie, a social worker, worked together to connect families with their loved ones whether they were standing outside the hospital’s isolation room or miles apart. They also supported colleagues by talking through their experiences of grief, fear and moral distress.

Recipients and nominees will be recognized at the Pandemic Heroes – Standing Up for Mental Health Gala hosted by mental health advocate and former Olympic rower Silken Laumann. The Gala is scheduled for December 2, 2021 in the Vanity Fair Ballroom at OMNI King Edward Hotel in Toronto.

Tickets to the Pandemic Heroes – Standing Up for Mental Health Gala are available for purchase by visiting


About Pandemic Heroes:

Pandemic Heroes is a new national awards program celebrating the efforts of individuals, teams and businesses who worked to support the mental health needs of their colleagues, employees and communities after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic on March 11, 2020 to limit the spread of COVID-19. Created in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores), Pandemic Heroes – Standing Up for Mental Health is a celebration of Canada’s collective commitment to mental health.


For further information: Darryl Mathers, Communications Specialist, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, 905-430-4055 ext. 6583, 905-435-8623,