(OTTAWA, ON) October 6, 2021 –

At the Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) Annual Awards of Excellence ceremony, held virtually this year, winners of the 2021 Outstanding Achievement Awards were recognized for their commitment to animal welfare, conservation, science and education.  These facilities have made significant investments to ensure world-class care of animals and inspire global conservation.

CAZA also recognized volunteers who have contributed their valuable time and effort to wildlife conservation at a member institution.

“We are so incredibly proud of the dedication and accomplishments of our accredited facilities,” said CAZA Executive Director, Jim Facette.  “Their commitment to excellence in animal care and leadership in the fields of education, conservation, science and animal welfare throughout COVID-19 is remarkable.”

  • Seven different facilities this year were acknowledged for their excellence: Zoo de Granby, Saskatoon Forestry Farm, African Lion Safari, The Greater Vancouver Zoo, Assiniboine Park Zoo, the Toronto Zoo and Little Ray Nature Centers, all were judged to have achieved industry excellence.

Each year, after all the award applications have been received, five professional fellow members, retired professional fellow members or Director Emeritus/Emerita from institutions not nominated for an award, are recruited by the National Office. The identities of panel members are held in confidence, including from each other. In other words, judges don’t know who else is judging and no one else does in fact.

Members of the review panel independently score the submissions and submit their assessments directly to the National Office. If there is only one application for a category, that application is scored by the panel and must achieve a score greater than 51% of the available points.  If the applicant does not achieve that threshold the award is not presented.


About CAZA:

CAZA is the voice of zoos and aquariums in Canada. We are the leading organization in Canadian animal welfare standards development, our accreditation process includes expert standards set by leading researchers, biologists, and academia who ensure we reflect the latest in animal welfare research, organizational management, and public safety protocols.  Through a science-based approach, CAZA’s accreditation bridges the ethical concerns with conservation and the public interest.


Jim Facette
Executive Director & CEO
Mobile: 613 850-2669


The 2021 Award of Excellence recipients are:


Thomas R. Baines Award – Large Facility

Granby Zoo – Zoo de GranbyThe New Rhinoceroses’ Multi-Species Habitat


Thomas R. Baines Award – Small Facility

Saskatoon Forestry Farm, Park & Zoo – Prairie Dog Exhibit


Colonel G.D. Dailley Award – Large Facility

African Lion Safari – Asian Elephant Program


Colonel G.D. Dailley Award – Small Facility

Greater Vancouver Zoo – Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Program


Peter Karsten Award – Large Facility

African Lion Safari – Elephant Conservation


Peter Karsten Award – Small Facility

Little Ray’s Nature Centers – Wildlife Rescue


Eleanore Oakes Award – Large Facility

Assiniboine Park Zoo – Beluga Bits

Toronto Zoo – Climate Action Learning & Leadership (CALL)


Eleanore Oakes Award – Small Facility

Saskatoon Forestry Farm, Park & Zoo – Interactive and Online Environmental Education Programs


Volunteer of the Year Award

Toronto Zoo – Pam Paterson


Zoo/Aquarium Professional Award

Zoo de Granby – Rock Boily (Veterinary Technician)



Backgrounder – CAZA Awards of Excellence


Thomas R. Baines Award for Excellence in Habitat Design and Development

This award recognizes excellence in habitat design and development by a CAZA accredited institutional member. Success in this category will depend upon the applicant applying creative and unique approaches to animal care and welfare, enhancing public appreciation of the species and conveying meaningful educational messages.


Colonel G.D. Dailley Award for Ex-situ Species Propagation

This award recognizes achievement in ex-situ propagation and management programs that contribute to the long-term survival of animal species or populations.  The successful applicant will demonstrate a significant institutional commitment to propagation or management programs that produce multiple or single births that have a positive impact on the sustainability of the species or population.


Peter Karsten In-situ Conservation Award

This award recognizes institutional achievement in the field of in-situ conservation. Applications are encouraged for projects in areas of in-situ species, habitat or biodiversity support, recovery and/or restoration. Types of support include, but are not limited to, fiscal, educational and personnel.   The successful applicant will demonstrate a long-term institutional commitment to the submitted activity.

Eleanore Oakes Award for Education Program Design

This award recognizes outstanding achievement and innovation in education program design that enhances conservation knowledge and/or promotes positive conservation attitudes and behavior.  Successful submissions will demonstrate creativity, innovation, goal setting and include a means to measure success.


Zoo/Aquarium Professional Award

This award recognizes innovation and significant contribution to the zoo and aquarium field by permanent staff employed at a CAZA institutional or educational affiliate member.

To learn more about CAZA and the Outstanding Achievement Awards, visit:

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