Canon nurtures Canadian nature

Mississauga, Ont.-based Canon Canada is looking for community groups who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. The first-annual Canon Nature Nurture Awards will award three $20,000 prizes to revitalize natural habitats.

Mississauga, Ont.-based Canon Canada is looking for community groups who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. The first-annual Canon Nature Nurture Awards will award three $20,000 prizes to revitalize natural habitats.

The program is specifically geared towards small towns and rural areas in need of environmental TLC, says Canon Canada senior manager, corporate communications, Wayne Doyle. To reach out to those communities, Canon and Toronto-based PR AOR High Road Communications sent prepackaged editorial content mentioning the program to community newspapers through a service offered by Toronto-based distributor News Canada. At press time, papers from as far afield as Fort McMurray, Alta., and New Glasgow, N.S. had picked up the story. A more traditional PR push garnered five million media impressions in the first week or so, says Doyle. ‘It’s not the sort of thing that you have to go out and spend money on advertising, because once one person in the green community sees it, they’re going to send it off to all of their friends. It’ll track like wildfire.’

The inspiration for the awards came out of Canon’s long-running Canon Envirothon, a North American environmental science competition aimed at high school students. ‘This program is extremely hands on,’ says Doyle. ‘We don’t want to provide funds for theory; there are enough ecosystems across the country that need help, and that’s what this is all about.’

Proposals can be uploaded to the Canon site until Sept. 1. The winners will also receive a Canon digital SLR camera and video camera to document their projects. The results will be posted online. www.canon.ca/donations_sponsorships