Nomination Guidelines - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Nomination Guidelines

These guidelines provide information and answer questions about the nomination and selection process for the Premier's Council Awards. Nomination forms are posted on the Council website as soon as they become available.

About the Awards

The annual Premier’s Council Awards publicly acknowledge the efforts and accomplishments of individuals, groups, businesses and organizations to develop barrier-free, inclusive communities in Alberta. Special recognition is given to individual Albertans who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in making positive, progressive and sustained change towards creating communities where all citizens can fully participate. Additionally, the awards raise awareness among Albertans about the need for and benefits of barrier-free, inclusive communities, and provide ideas, inspiration and encouragement to others.

A barrier-free, inclusive community is defined as one that any person can access and be a part of, regardless of abilities. Barriers to inclusion may include the physical environment, systems, transportation, communication, personal supports, policies and laws, attitudes and behaviours. These barriers may exist at school, work, home, or in the community.

Quite often, the change leaders are persons without disabilities. While organizations and individuals recognized with an award may or may not be directly involved in disability programs or services, they have one thing in common – a commitment to the full inclusion of persons with disabilities as demonstrated by their actions.

General Eligibility Criteria

Any individual may nominate a person, team or organization for an award. Self-nominations are acceptable. To be eligible for an award:

  • An individual nominee must be an Alberta resident.
  • A team or organization nominee must have an Alberta location.
  • Nominees must be directly involved in an initiative, project or achievement that has helped create a barrier-free, inclusive community for persons with disabilities in Alberta.
  • The initiative, project or achievement must have a positive, sustained impact on persons with disabilities and the greater community.
  • There must be some objective evaluation or measure of the initiative, project or achievement’s impact, value or benefit.
  • Awards are not issued posthumously.


  • Fill out a nomination form and email it to If you have difficulties emailing the nomination form, please contact the Council office.
  • Provide a minimum of two letters supporting the nomination.

Award Categories

There are three types of awards: the Gary McPherson Leadership Award, the Marlin Styner Achievement Award and the Awards of Excellence. An individual, team or organization may receive only one award each year.

Gary McPherson Leadership Award

This lifetime achievement award is presented to an individual Albertan who has demonstrated outstanding leadership or achievement in enriching the lives of persons with disabilities. The winner will exemplify the qualities and values of Dr. Gary McPherson who dedicated himself to furthering the ideals of equality and citizenship for all Albertans.

Dr. McPherson was instrumental in establishing the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities in 1988 and served as its first chair for 10 years. He volunteered extensively, including 20 years in wheelchair sports administration. His core values of trust, respect and courage brought people together and his influence continues to have a positive impact on provincial and national policy and programs affecting persons with disabilities.

Marlin Styner Achievement Award

The Marlin Styner Achievement Award is presented to an individual Albertan who has a disability and who, through personal or professional achievements, has not allowed their disability to become a barrier in pursuing excellence. During his life, Mr. Styner was firmly committed to improving the lives of persons with disabilities and led by example. For over 30 years, he was an accomplished public speaker who shared his experiences about living with a disability and his passion for equal and fair treatment of all persons with disabilities.

Mr. Styner earned a Business Administration Diploma from Red Deer College and was later named one of the 100 Alberta Centennial Ambassadors for the provincial celebrations in 2005. Mr. Styner was appointed as a member of the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities in 2005 and served as Council Chair from 2008 – 2011.

Awards of Excellence

The Awards of Excellence are presented in four categories. Individuals, teams and organizations are eligible to win. The categories are:

  • Education
    Awarded to an educator, team or organization that has made a significant contribution to a barrier-free and inclusive educational or training program.
  • Employment
    Awarded to an individual employer or team that has made a significant contribution to a barrier-free, inclusive work environment.
  • Community
    Awarded to an individual, team or organization that has made a significant contribution to a barrier-free, inclusive community in Alberta.
  • Public Awareness
    Awarded to an individual, team or organization that has increased the public’s awareness of the benefits and value of a barrier-free, inclusive community. This may be done through public relations, marketing, media, publicity, advertising, promotions or the arts.

Selection Process

A selection panel appointed by the Council reviews the nominations and recommends award winners to the Council. Nominations may be considered in an award category other than the one chosen on the submission if it is determined to be a better fit. The Council reserves the right to determine the number of awards issued each year, and the award winners. Its decision is final and cannot be appealed.

Awards Notification and Ceremony

The Council will notify award winners. Award winners may be asked to consent to have their name, picture and award information used for promotional and publicity purposes.

The Council Awards will be formally presented at International Day of Persons with Disability public ceremonies.

Contact Information for Council Office

If you require the nomination form in alternate formats, please contact the Council office.

You can reach Council office at or by calling 780 422 1095. If you are outside of Edmonton, call toll-free by first dialing 310-0000. Individuals who use TTY can contact the message relay service at 711.

Modified: 2017-09-14
PID: 18620