FOCA Award

This Award is presented to a FOCA member Association each year to celebrate the successes of the FOCA community, and encourage sharing of best-practices.

banner: Latest News
March 2024 – the “FOCA Achievement Award” has been renamed by the Board of Directors as the “Terry Rees Achievement Award” in honour of his 20 years as the FOCA Executive Director, and 10 prior years as a Board volunteer.

March 2, 2024: the 2023 FOCA Achievement Award was presented to the Lake of Bays Association! (LOBA)

LOBA was celebrated for their work over several years to weigh-in on a land development plan for Langmaid’s Island, one of the largest undisturbed properties on the lake, with a heritage designation. Read about the plan, LOBA’s actions, and President Wendy Gibson’s “best practices” tips for any other associations facing development proposals, in the 2024 FOCA Spring Seminar Event Summary (see pages 5-6). 

Pictured: LOBA President Wendy Gibson and FOCA’s Terry Rees with the award sign, at the presentation on March 2, 2024.

LOBA accepts the Terry Rees Achievement Award

Nominate your FOCA-member association for the next Achievement Award!

Apply NOW or by October 30th at the latest.

Large or small associations can apply, and accomplishments should be current, but can include long-standing efforts that have recently reached a new milestone or highlight.

Click to download the FOCA Achievement Award Nomination Form (PDF; 3 pages) which is a fillable form you can complete, save to your computer, and email to FOCA as an attachment.

Important Dates & Details:

  • Nominations can be submitted until October 30th of the year.
  • The award recipient will be announced the following February, and the award is presented in person at the FOCA Annual General Meeting in March. (Save the date! FOCA’s next AGM will be on Saturday, March 2, 2024 in Toronto and by webinar.)
  • A representative of the association is asked to attend the AGM to present a brief presentation about the work undertaken.

Criteria for Nomination:

Nominees must be current FOCA member Associations in good standing.

Nominees’ activities must be consistent with FOCA’s Vision of “thriving and sustainable waterfronts across Ontario” and in-line with FOCA’s Strategic Priorities:

  • promoting healthy lands, lakes and rivers
  • serving lake and road member associations
  • advocating for responsive government
  • championing affordable and safe rural living
  • building capacity and converting new supporters
  • fostering community in rural Ontario.

Activities or achievements should be current, although they can be long-standing programs, and should relate to at least one of the following categories:

  • environmental stewardship
  • land use planning initiatives
  • research and/or education
  • political involvement
  • other innovations or successes in line with FOCA’s mission & vision.

Nominations are welcomed from individuals, associations, umbrella organizations, municipal/county/provincial government employees, conservancies and any other interested parties.

Nominations consist of a completed nomination form (see link above) and any additional support documents deemed significant by the nominee. Recipients of the award will be selected primarily based upon the documentation submitted with the Nomination form.

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria outlined here (PDF, 3 page) will be used by the Selection Committee to review all nominations and should be considered by prospective nominees when drafting their submission. Any nominations deemed “ineligible” in section #1 will receive follow-up from the FOCA staff by December 15th at the latest, and the Association will have 14 days to remedy the situation (if, for example, the issue is Membership not currently in good standing), to be re-assessed for eligibility. Any nominations deemed “eligible” in section #1 will be presented in their entirety to the Award Selection Committee, with sections #1 and #2 pre-filled by FOCA staff from information already on file and/or information provided in the Award Nomination Form.

March 4, 2023: the 2022 FOCA Achievement Award was presented to the Wolfe Lake Association – Westport!

The Wolfe Lake Association – Westport (Frontenac County) was celebrated for their “Let’s Get the Lead Out” initiative and lead fishing tackle buy-back program.

This voluntary program was launched in 2022; by the end of the year, they had already collected over 100 pounds of lead, keeping this source of contamination out of the waterway. They also galvanized neighbouring lake associations to join their initiative including Upper Rideau Lake, Chaffey’s Area Lakes Association, Otter Lake, Charleston Lake, and also the Temagami Lake Association. A grant from South Frontenac Township helped to fund $10 vouchers for each person who turned in lead fishing tackle. 

Learn more online at

Related News Coverage: listen on Blue Fish Radio (April 2023) – the discussion of “Get the Lead Out” starts around minute 31 of the recording.

On behalf of the Wolfe Lake Association - Westport, Margie Manthey accepts the 2022 Achievement Award road sign from FOCA President Ian Crawford.

Congratulations to the 2021 FOCA Achievement Award Recipients:

The LBPOA worked with the Mayor of the Village of Sunridge and the Clerk of the Township of Strong to form the Roundtable on lake health for Lake Bernard.

 The roundtable includes the Near North Enviro-education Centre, the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority, and the Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce. Their first priority was to educate locals on lakefront wastewater management systems, leading to a septics information mail out and survey, in support of the health of the lake.

Past FOCA Achievement Award recipients:

Wondering about past Award recipients? Consult the list below, with links to the Association websites where available.

Also, review a brief synopsis of winners from 1996 through 2015, in the video at the side.

Finally, read more about the origin of the award, following this list of past recipients.

2021 Lake Bernard Property Owners’ Association
2020 Long Point Ratepayers Association
2019 Farlain Lake Community Association
2018 White Lake Cottagers’ Association
2017 Skootamatta District Ratepayers Association
2016 Golden Lake & Bonnechere River Property Owners’ Association
2015 Jack’s Lake Association
2014 Redstone Lake Cottagers Association

2013 Pike Lake Community Association
2012 Leech Lake Cottagers Association
2011 Crane Lake Association
2010 Hudson Lakes Association
2009 Point Clark Beach Association
2008 Otty Lake Association
2007 Kennisis Lake Cottage Owner’s Association
2006 Limerick Waterways Ratepayer’s Association
2005 Faraday (Trout Lake) Association
2004 Huntsville Lakes Council
2003 Eagle Lake Conservation Association
2002 Kawartha Lake Stewards Association
2001 Norway Lake Association
2000 Cecebe Waterways Association
1999 Belmont Lake Association & Greater Bobs and Crow Lakes Association
1998 Paudash Lake Conservation Association & West Carling Association
1997 Lake Panache Campers Association
1996 North Sound Cottagers’ Association

History of the Award:

What was recently referred to as the “FOCA Achievement Award” was first presented in 1996 as a memorial after the passing of FOCA’s first Executive Director, Jerry Strickland, who served as a FOCA volunteer for 18 years.

Jerry joined FOCA in 1978 and he was a member of the Miskwabi Lake Area Cottagers’ Association in Haliburton. He is remembered for his dedication to FOCA’s operations. In the words of then-President Jean Anthon upon Jerry’s passing, he came as close as anyone could to being ‘Mr. FOCA’.