In 2016-2017 the Lawson Foundation is celebrating its 60th anniversary as a national family foundation. Over the course of our history, the Foundation has granted to initiatives across the country that have made significant progress in achieving impact in a number of fields.

In honour of that milestone, and in recognition of the tremendous work that has been achieved by our grantees, we’re delighted today to announce the recipients of the Lawson Foundation’s 60th Anniversary Awards – awarded to grantees who have made very significant contributions in their respective fields of work. Similar awards were given for the Lawson Foundation’s 50th anniversary, so when selecting the recipients for this milestone, we looked back over the past ten years to identify grantees deserving of this recognition, which includes a grant of $100,000 for their ongoing work. A special 60th Anniversary Awards committee was struck and undertook the very hard work of selecting winners from a great number of outstanding grantees.

Please join us in congratulating our four Lawson Foundation 60th Anniversary Award of Excellence recipients:


Dr. Jonathon Fowles
School of Kinesiology, Acadia University
Nova Scotia

Lawson Foundation Honour for outstanding contribution in the area of physical activity and diabetes management.

Dr. Jonathon Fowles has emerged as a leading researcher in the area of physical activity and exercise and chronic disease management. His many accomplishments include the Physical Activity and Exercise Toolkit, an initiative designed to address a major gap in the management of diabetes. More than 2,800 diabetes care professionals from across Canada have been trained and the Toolkit has reached well over 100,000 healthcare providers and their patients. The work has informed clinical practice guidelines for diabetes and physical activity, which now include evidence that was introduced through the Toolkit project and contain a number of statements that reflect questions that Dr. Fowles’ team raised through their campaign to make physical activity and exercise management part of the treatment paradigm. These successes have benefitted the diabetes care community in Canada and globally. Jonathon has also led the national dissemination of Exercise is Medicine Canada, an initiative to promote the prescription of physical activity and exercise through primary practice.


Dr. Mark Tremblay
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute

Lawson Foundation Honour for outstanding contribution to pediatric healthy active living, knowledge translation and mentorship of young emerging researchers.

Dr. Mark Tremblay is a distinguished researcher in pediatric healthy active living. His numerous accomplishments include his role as Chief Scientific Officer the ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity of Children and Youth, the most comprehensive assessment of child and youth physical activity in Canada. Since 2010, he has also led the Junior Research Chairs program, a training program for young researchers interested in prevention to eventually reduce and reverse the trends in unhealthy living behaviours that precipitate childhood obesity and premature cardio-metabolic disease. He also led the research and development of the Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play with the input of a multi-sectoral expert team of community-based organizations and academics, which was published in 2015.


Dr. Heather Dean
University of Manitoba (retired)

Lawson Foundation Honour for outstanding contribution to pediatric diabetes research, prevention and management, knowledge translation, and the mentorship of emerging leaders.

Dr. Heather Dean has dedicated her life to caring for children and youth with diabetes. Manitoba has one of the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in children in the world and the number of children in Manitoba with type 2 diabetes is 12 times higher than in any other Canadian province. She has mentored young scientists who are now leaders in the area of pediatric diabetes and work with communities to translate knowledge into community interventions. In the 1980s, she identified one of the first cases of childhood type 2 diabetes in northern Manitoba. In 1985, she helped found Canada’s first full-time interdisciplinary pediatric diabetes clinic. In 2003, Heather and her colleagues established the ongoing Next Generation longitudinal birth cohort focused on the children of First Nations mothers who had type 2 diabetes prior to their pregnancy. She also launched the Maestro Project to provide support and service navigation for emerging/young adults with diabetes during their transition from pediatric to adult care. The Maestro Project is now established as an ongoing program of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and is a model for other health centres in Canada.


Science of Early Child Development
Red River College of Applied Arts, Science and Technology

Lawson Foundation Honour for innovation in ECD knowledge mobilization.

The Science of Early Child Development (SECD) is a multi-media, multi-edition interactive educational resource designed to share the science and information about the vital importance of the early years. From the latest research into brain development and the social determinants of health to topics such as literacy and the importance of play, SECD shows how the foundations of individuals and societies are formed in the early years. It is a valuable resource for anyone whose work relates to early childhood health and development or is concerned with the profound impact that this period has for children and communities. There are close to 5000 users of the platform and more than a dozen post-secondary institutions in Canada have now adopted the resource as core learning material. While the resource is used in Canada predominantly by early childhood education students and faculty, the resource has demonstrated its power at home and abroad to break down sector silos and provide common ground for all professionals interested in child development.

Congratulations to all of our award recipients!




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