CUC Awards

Shining Lights Award

Shining Lights Chalice created by Jo’Anne Kelly of Winnipeg

The Shining Lights Award celebrates innovative projects developed by our congregations and groups. Awarded annually in May, the Shining Lights Award honours creative and impactful programs, and provides a platform for all congregations to be inspired and learn from each other. Learn more about the nomination process and how Canadian UUs are welcome to share their stories of inspiration, from the smallest project to the largest program.

Our previous winners:

In 2020 the congregation of the First UU Church of Winnipeg received the Shining Lights Award for their creative and comprehensive month-long celebration, including more than 20 events, centred around the topics of death, dying, and grief. The congregation hosted a variety of events including a resource fair, movie and art night, book discussion, and two well-attended workshops: an advanced care directives workshop and a full day communications workshop which was delivered twice with more than 45 people attending.  Overall the organizers estimated more than 400 attended the events, with 75 to 80% of those being new connections for their congregation. They celebrated the success of the month-long event with a potluck meal and meaningful conversations with new friends and community partners.

The first Shining Lights Award was presented to the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton for their social justice work focusing on affordable housing; sexual and gender justice; and empowering those living in poverty to fulfill their potential.

Social Justice Recognition Award

Unitarians and Universalists have a proud history in the forefront of many movements for social change. The Social Justice Recognition Award is granted to an individual for their outstanding contribution locally and nationally in an area of social justice work. This individual is nominated by their peers for making notable contributions to a single initiative or for their overall commitment to social action.

In 2018, the SJ Award was presented to Philip Symon for his unflagging commitment to working through domestic and global issues, and for being the editor of JustNews, the newsletter of the Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice for twelve years.

Awarded to posthumously to Bruce Schwartzentruber (First Toronto), 2015.