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FOCA Achievement Award

Nominate your association for the next FOCA Achievement Award!

Large or small associations can apply, and accomplishments should be current, but can include long-standing efforts. Apply by November 30th. 

Click to download the Nomination Form (PDF; 2 pages) which is a fillable form you can complete, save to your computer, and email to FOCA as an attachment.

Be certain to read all the details of the Nomination process below, or download the overview (PDF; 3 pages) which includes an explanation of the Selection Criteria that will be used by the Award Selection Committee.

About the Award:

The FOCA Achievement Award is presented annually to a FOCA Member Association to celebrate the successes of the FOCA community, and to encourage peer sharing of best practices. The Award has been given out since 1996.

The Award recipient* is selected annually from eligible nominations received by FOCA, and FOCA reserves the right to assign an unlimited number of additional Honourable Mentions in any year.

Nominations are reviewed by the Selection Committee, comprised of the Membership Services & Benefits Committee of the FOCA Board of Directors, supported by FOCA staff input, and based on Selection Criteria outlined below.

* We refer to the Award “recipient” rather than “winner”, as we recognize and applaud all the accomplishments of all our volunteer association nominees!

Who can be Nominated:

Any current FOCA Member Association in good standing may be nominated. (NOTE: The Award is not open to FOCA Affiliate or Supporting Groups who do not pay per-member annual fees to FOCA, but are nevertheless our valued regional partners.)

Accomplishments should be in line with FOCA’s vision of “thriving and sustainable waterfronts across Ontario, now and for future generations” or at least one of 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.

Association accomplishments in the following areas could include, but are not limited to the following:

  • environmental stewardship, monitoring, lake planning, invasives prevention
  • science, research, education
  • land use planning initiatives
  • boating safety initiatives
  • successful advocacy/interaction with government partners at any level
  • fire safety, emergency preparedness
  • membership growth & engagement
  • road maintenance, capital programs, planning, novel partnerships
  • collaborations with local service clubs, organizations, or communities
  • youth, newcomer, or indigenous partner outreach
  • innovative programs, events, communications.

Large or small associations are encouraged to apply. Regional diversity among Award recipients is just one of several considerations weighed by the Selection Committee (see Selection Criteria, below). Accomplishments should be current, but can include long-standing efforts that have reached a milestone or feature a recent highlight. Please do not apply if you received the Award for the same or similar accomplishments in the past 5 years, or if the featured accomplishment was funded primarily by FOCA.

Past Award winners have demonstrated accomplishments beyond the regular scope of day-to-day volunteer Association work, by presenting new or scalable ideas, or successful efforts that set a precedent or can serve as an inspiration to fellow members across the province.

Who can Nominate a Member Association:

Nominations can be made by individuals, associations, umbrella organizations, government partners (municipal/county/provincial), conservancies, FOCA staff and Board, and any other interested parties.

How to Nominate a Member Association:

Download and complete the Award Nomination Form (PDF, 2 page fillable form), and return it by email along with any photos and additional support materials to info@focaon.ca. Nominations received by November 30th of the year will be considered for that year’s Award.

Selection Criteria:

The criteria used by the Selection Committee to review all nominations should be considered by prospective nominees when drafting their submission.

Section #1: Eligibility from Nomination Material and information on file with FOCA:

  • Nominee is a full FOCA Member Association in good standing? (If no, not eligible unless status is resolved by December 15th)
  • Received the FOCA Award in the past? If yes, in what year? (If received 5 or fewer years ago = not eligible)
  • Accomplishment is current – or, if long-term, there has been a recent milestone or highlight over the past 12-18 months? (If no, not eligible)
  • The primary featured program/accomplishment was entirely funded by FOCA or other grant programs? (If yes, must exclude this accomplishment from any rankings in Sections #3 & #4 below.)

Section #2: Demographics of the Association from information on file with FOCA:

  • # of members reported last year = ___ of approximately ___ # of total properties in the area (large or small – does not limit eligibility)
  • year formed (if known) = ____ and year joined FOCA = ____
  • Association’s Municipality/County/Region = _____
  • year of the most recent FOCA award recipient from the Region = _____

Section #3: Alignment of Eligible Accomplishment(s) with FOCA’s Vision or any of the 6 Strategic Priorities, according to the Selection Committee’s review of Nomination Materials:

  • see Vision and Strategic Priorities list in “Who can be Nominated” above

Section #4: Impacts & Other Considerations, in the opinion of the Selection Committee (1= ‘not very much’; 3= ‘fairly or somewhat’; 5= ‘extremely’):

  • How much has this accomplishment demonstrated quantifiable benefits?
  • How significant is the accomplishment for the size of the association, or number of volunteers involved?
  • How novel or innovative is the accomplishment for this association itself?
  • How rare is it that FOCA has news to share about this topic, best practice, or type of accomplishment?
  • How much will it have effects beyond the immediate local community (regional or provincial implications)?
  • How inspiring could this example be to others (worth sharing)?
  • How ‘reproducible’ is it for other member groups (worth doing/able to accomplish)?

When the Award is Presented:

The selected  Award recipient will be notified the following February. The Award will be presented at the next FOCA Annual General Meeting & Spring Seminar traditionally held on the first Saturday of March; watch for event details in the FOCA Elert A representative of the recipient Association is invited to attend the event to receive the Award and make a brief statement about the accomplishment that led to the Award.


Past Award Recipients:

February 26, 2022 – the latest FOCA Achievement Award was presented at the 2022 FOCA Annual General Meeting and Spring Seminar.

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.

Sherrie Berdusco, President of LBPOA, accepts the award at the 2022 FOCA AGM & Spring Seminar

4 Honourable Mentions for 2021:

Related news coverage:


Watch a slide show that highlights several past winners of the FOCA Achievement Award, up to 2015. Click the image to link to the short YouTube video montage –>YouTube FOCA Award video still 2015

Past FOCA Achievement Award 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


Apply for the award on behalf of your great association! Use the Nomination Form, above.

Michelle LewinFOCA Achievement Award