Every year at the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society Annual General Meeting (AGM) we recognize individual contributions to the Edmonton cycling community with awards.
The Jack Grainge Award is celebrates a lifetime commitment to cycling in the broader community. This award is open to any community member, not just EBC volunteers.
We aren’t the first to set up an award in Jack’s name. There are at least two other awards out in the world honouring Jack’s work as an engineer. As well, he authored the book The Changing North: Recollections of an Early Environmentalist (published by Canadian Circumpolar Institute Press, 1999), a book that he was very proud of.
However we knew Jack in a completely different context. Jack was a dedicated EBC volunteer, committed to cycling and EBC. In fact, he cycled right up until the Monday before he died. In the early years of EBC, Jack was on the board, acting in the role of advocacy, and later he became a director. After he stepped off the board, we knew we could call upon Jack to bike park every day of any festival, and he’d be ready, willing, and able. We remember him fondly.
Jack Grainge was passionately committed to cycling. He sat on the Advocacy Committee when EBC was first inaugurated. He worked hard at making sure cyclists’ needs were met, well before everyone considered cycling trendy.
He also lived what he preached and rode almost everywhere, up to and including to the hospital during his first heart attack.
He had been mowing the lawn – the story goes, as I heard it in the 90s – and was experiencing chest pains whilst doing so. His phone rang before he had completed the task and upon answering it, he found it to be his doctor son from Toronto. They chatted for a while before Jack mentioned his chest and his son asked that Jack hang up and go to the hospital immediately. So Jack did. He got his helmet and his bike and pedaled over to the university hospital, close to where he lived.
Upon arriving he parked his bike and went inside to stand in line. Eventually a nurse came around to see what his complaint was and initially it was about the lack of bike parking! After they sorted the parking issues, he advised of his chest pain in under closer examination, was found to be in the midst of cardiac arrest. Evidently, Jack’s heart was in poor shape and he was told during the course of his treatment that it was only due to his cycling that he was alive at all.
It always makes me smile to think of Jack, standing in line, with his heart failing him, remonstrating the nurse about the lack of bike parking. No wonder cycling has come so far in our city – a city known for being the largest northern metropolis where people are inclined to drive more frequently than not, with heroes like Jack and his big, albeit broken, heart.
The Dale Allsopp Award is awarded to a person for bringing something special to the organization (innovation, volunteering, energy).
Dale joined EBC and eventually brought much of his family to the EBC fold as well. He was on the board, helping new members plan strategy, guiding everyone’s bike repairs, and building trailers. People who have a Dale Allsopp trailer cherish it and its practicality, sturdiness and light weight. Dale assisted with the various moves of EBC, as well as volunteering at bike parking and other events, and helping out at BikeWorks. He was very committed to utilitarian cycling in Edmonton.
Ian Helgesen Memorial Award
The Ian Helgesen Award is awarded for contributions to cycling in Edmonton or to EBC.
Matthew Ian Helgesen, a friend and devoted EBC volunteer, spent countless hours sharing his considerable knowledge and passion for cycling with the community and helping others fully experience the pleasures of cycling. Ian volunteered year-round at BikeWorks, teaching others how to repair their bicycles, and also regularly helped with EBC events: whether it was fixing bikes in a park or hauling loaded bike trailers in the middle of winter, Ian was always willing to help. Ian passed away in July 2011 at the age of 27. Originally from Silver Bay, Minnesota, Ian moved to Edmonton to pursue graduate studies at the U of A, where he was a member of the Hurd Lab, researching the role of honesty and ambiguity in the evolution of communication between animals with conflicting interests via mathematics and computer modelling. Ian’s presence was one of warmth and generosity, and he is greatly missed.
Peter Pal Memorial Award
The Peter Pal Award is awarded for contributions to cycling in Edmonton or to EBC.
Peter Pal, a dedicated BikeWorks volunteer and 2012 recipient of the Dale Allsopp award, passed away in January 2013.
We remember Peter as the friendly volunteer with the gruff exterior who was at BikeWorks South every day during the winter and summer. Often working alone, he built up and stripped down countless numbers of bikes. He knew metal well, and he was always extremely diligent in making sure that none went to waste, and that anything we couldn’t use was properly recycled. He often worked at the shop alone, and as such was an unseen hand in preventing us from becoming overwhelmed by the sheer number of bicycle donations. Whenever he was unable to come in, his absence was immediately felt as the wheels piled up.
EBC is immensely grateful for all the time, thought, and expertise that he shared with us over the years. He made a significant contribution to BikeWorks, and it won’t be forgotten.
Grainge-Allsopp Memorial Award
- 2005 – Eric Filpula, for assisting with Bike Month since inception, and working with the board and others on the vision and mission of EBC
- 2006 – John Collier, for being a constant volunteer cycling instructor and mentor to Edmonton cyclists, former president, organizing special needs cycling instruction, and helping out as a Bike Month mechanic
Following 2006, the awards were split into the Dale Allsopp Award and Jack Grainge Award. Dale’s award is for people that have brought something to the organization (innovation, volunteering, energy, etc.) and Jack’s award is for personal commitment to cycling, and contributions toward making cycling more accessible in the broad community.
Jack Grainge Award
- 2007 – Karly Coleman joined EBC in 1992 as the office manager, little suspecting that she’d stay for 13 years, saturating herself in bicycle advocacy and all things bikey. From office manager to President and back again, Karly worked on making Edmonton Bicycle Commuters part of the mainstream Edmontonian’s vocabulary. She was integral to getting additional bike racks on buses for routes 1 and 4, as well as developing a social marketing process to encourage additional cycling, initiating the Bikeology Festival, assisting with yard cleanup days, and overseeing at least 2 of the 5 moves that EBC had made. She helped develop the ideas that people presented and then helped to make them into reality – projects like the the Grainge Allsopp Awards, the EBC winter cycling video, and other videography projects. While Karly is no longer so closely tied to EBC, she continues to volunteer for bicycle training courses and media inquiries. As well, she is Edmonton’s only bike traffic reporter, and can be heard on CJSR FM88.5 on Monday and Thursday mornings.
- 2008 – Molly Turnbull received this award for her dedication to EBC through many years, both on the board as well as at BikeWorks, throughout Bike Month, and throughout the community. Molly has been helping out at BikeWorks, making sure that new patrons don’t stand around lost but feel welcome and empowered. She also regularly volunteers for all sorts of events, and has been integral in organizing Bike Month and the Bikeology festival.
- 2009 – Don Iveson bikes to get around, with his dog, with his young son, or to get to work. His work happens to be at City Hall, where he’s been fighting for better cycling infrastructure and has been a strong voice on city council for active and sustainable transportation. He’s fortunately not alone, but for his exceptional work in this car-centric city, he is deserving of this award.
- 2009 – Sarah Chan runs the blog girlsandbicycles.blogspot.com. She’s appeared in Momentum Magazine, the Edmonton Journal, and various national publications, showing a much-needed side of cycling culture: style. Whether riding in heels and a dress to the symphony, or taking her dog for a stroll around the block, or biking downtown while pregnant, or even riding through Edmonton winter, Sarah shows that you can fit the bike into your regular life, and look fashionable doing it.
- 2010 – Shaughn Butts is a writer and photographer with the Edmonton Journal. This summer, he wrote a weekly series about bike culture called Crank & File, highlighting many aspects of cycling culture, from racing to bike polo to tech tips. He also wrote about EBC and some more of our friends. For highlighting the diversity, practicality, and fun of cycling in Edmonton, and for raising the profile of the many facets of local cycling culture, Shaughn Butts was selected for the 2010 Jack Grainge Memorial Award.
- 2011 – Kris Andreychuk has been integral in launching The Spoke, finding a home for it, and keeping it going and growing despite huge hurdles. Without Kris, there would be no Spoke!
- 2012 – David Jones brings the perfect storm of skills and abilities to The Spoke. David is a former youth worker, a police officer, a cycle enthusiast, one of the founders of The Spoke, and a proponent and believer in seemingly subtle actions becoming transformative in community. He has stood beside The Spoke, participated, and has witnessed its growth since the first session. Whether it is intentional or unintentional, David humanizes the police for our youth participants. He has, and continues to, gain their admiration and respect by demonstrating positive regard and investment in their lives, this community and our city.
- 2013 – Janine Halayko, with her background in physiotherapy, has been integral to the creation and success of You Can Ride Two, which since 2003 has taught over 100 children with special needs how to ride a conventional, 2-wheeled bicycle. This year, she launched the You Can Bike Too program, which provides children with special needs, who can’t ride a conventional bicycle, access to bikes specially adapted to their needs. Because adaptive bikes can be prohibitively expensive and kids grow out of them so quickly, Janine envisioned a pool of bicycles that could be loaned to families for a season, and then re-adapted and loaned to other children later. She has found bikes and funding, and this year connected over 40 kids with adapted bikes, and helped 40 families to bike together, as a whole family. None of this would have happened without her tireless efforts.
- 2014 – Tyler Golly is the Supervisor for Sustainable Transportation at the City of Edmonton.
- 2015 – Conrad Nobert receives the Jack Grainge Award for commitment to improving cycling in the broader community. A life long environmental activist, last fall he spearheaded the Edmonton Bike Coalition to raise Edmontonians’ voices in favour of prioritizing active transportation in the face of a city budget that allocated $0 to its Active Transportation budget line. With more than 1100 citizens participating in the photomosaic campaign, the Edmonton Bike Coalition grabbed the attention of City Hall, helping convince councillors to vote unanimously in favor of funding a high quality bike route on 102 Ave and funding active transportation to the tune of 20 million dollars. Conrad continues to work towards a building a people-friendly city through a new group, Paths For People.
- 2016 – Julie Kusiek of the Engage 106-76 and Queen Alexandra Crossroads project has been instrumental in pushing the City to focus on a more livable neighbourhood renewal plan. Her leadership and drive has helped put her neighbourhood, and the many communities connected along the 76 Ave and 106 St corridors, in a race to see Edmonton’s first protected bike lanes. The whole team of people have put hundreds of volunteer hours into advocating for a more walkable, livable community, and their efforts have produced tremendous results.
Dale Allsopp Award
- 2007 – Keith Hallgren received this award in recognition of his hard work and dedication as a volunteer at EBC, especially BikeWorks.
- 2008 – Rob Drinkwater has been a endlessly-dedicated and talented volunteer, helping to run the shop on Saturdays (and other days) for years without fail, in addition to helping at various events and always cheerfully helping people.
- 2009 – Coreen has been integral in making BikeWorks a more open, inviting place for all members of the community. Already a longtime volunteer as a mechanic at the shop and at events, Coreen spearheaded initiatives this past year to make BikeWorks more welcoming, and has been running the shop along with some other volunteers on our Women and Trans only Sundays. She is a proficient mechanic and a great teacher to everyone.
- 2009 – Keegan McEvoy has a great energy when volunteering and makes sure that everyone around him feels included, regardless of their bike knowledge or experience. He is extremely patient when explaining things to people and is a good teacher. Keegan volunteered consistently throughout the year, doing design work, acquiring materials, and promoting EBC and presenting at events, and helping out extensively during Bike Month. By using his people skills, his mechanical abilities and his artistic talents, as well as his passion for cycling and for EBC, Keegan helps makes EBC a stronger and better organization.
- 2010 – Jordan Hiller has been an outstanding volunteer mechanic at BikeWorks, but also a regular volunteer with our inner-city outreach work, fixing bikes at inner-city centres for free each week. Some weeks he hauls all the equipment (by bike, of course) downtown, fixes bikes for several hours, and then hauls everything back at the end. He even has CANBIKE II certification. Jordan’s dedication to cycling and contributions to EBC have been invaluable.
- 2011 – Adam Burgess is a dedicated volunteer that has contributed countless hours and experience to BikeWorks and EBC. From regular shifts to filling in where needed, teaching other volunteers, and going beyond just being a mechanic, Adam’s energy has made a big difference to EBC.
- 2012 – Peter Pal has been a fixture at BikeWorks over the past year, coming nearly every day to repair wheels, build bikes, recycle, and look after the shop, as well as helping patrons, even outside of regular shop hours. In short, he does everything, and is tremendously committed.
- 2012 – Tim Fitzpatrick jointly receives the 2012 Allsopp award with Peter, for a similarly extraordinary level of commitment. Every nomination this year mentioned both Tim and Peter and their dedication to EBC. Congratulations, Tim & Peter, and thank you!
- 2013 – Robert Clinton If you’ve spent any time at BikeWorks North, you’ve probably met Robert Clinton. Robert is a dedicated volunteer, excellent with patrons, and fun to work with. Friendly, energetic, and with a great sense of humor, he is one of the best shop hosts at EBC. He is always there to help out and make people feel welcome. When it comes to bringing something special, he embodies the essence of this award. BikeWorks is more than just a place to fix your bike, it’s a center of the community, and Robert really gets that. And even though he’s not a master mechanic (though he knows a lot more than he’ll take credit for), he has been absolutely integral to the success of BikeWorks North in its first year.
- 2014 – Don Holmes started volunteering with EBC in early 2014 as the renovations to the new BikeWorks South space were getting underway. Don brought a lifetime of construction and building knowledge to the renovation team, and became the project manager overseeing the building of the new shop, raising the level of professionalism and attention to detail for an organization very much used to a DIY aesthetic. Renovating the former video store into one of the best community bike shop spaces on the continent became his full time job, and he is responsible for building our beautiful front desk, removing a wall to create a more open layout, installing the kitchenette and wash-up counters and sinks, guiding a bunch of construction newbies to finish the floors like pros, and so many other little details.
- 2015 – Brendan Huynh and Thomas Dessein are the co-winners of the Dale Allsopp Award for contributions to BikeWorks. Being a regular BikeWorks volunteer can sometimes be challenging commitment. Brendan and Thomas share in common their consistent commitment as BikeWorks volunteers through the most challenging circumstances, keeping the shops open on Saturdays when the demand for service is highest and the volunteer pool has been the smallest.
Relatively new to the BikeWorks team, Brendan rose to the task of being a key volunteer on many of the busiest shop days of the year, quickly learning the ropes, rapidly expanding his mechanical knowledge and immersing himself into many aspects of Edmonton cycling culture.
Meanwhile at BikeWorks South, Thomas has been the rock solid foundation for the growth of the Saturday team. He greets the Saturday crowds with infinite patience and good humor, always diligent in making sure that everybody gets the advice and help they need. This past spring and summer was particularly challenging as a record number of people were using the shop but our volunteer base had not yet grown in stride, and Thomas played a huge part in helping EBC to meet the demand.
- 2016 – Maria Dacruz-Smith has been a leader at BikeWorks North. She is a backbone to get things happening and get things done. When she comes in, she always helps everyone to contribute and to feel included. Her work ethic, reliability and exceptional efforts help us keep the shop open and welcoming.
Ian Helgesen Award
- 2013 – Tara Sobey‘s association with EBC began as a practicum placement through Grant MacEwan’s social work program in 2012. For the past year, and long after her practicum ended, she has been almost solely responsible for running The Spoke, recruiting & coordinating volunteers, connecting with other community & service groups, finding funding sources, and managing the waiting list of kids wanting to get into The Spoke program. She also meets with families, makes sure the participants and volunteers are fed, and helps fix bikes. An incredible contribution from an incredible volunteer.
- 2014 – Robert Clinton. This year’s renovations at BikeWorks South left little staff time to manage BikeWorks North. Robert Clinton stepped up to help coordinate and organize BikeWorks North. The success and value of his efforts can be seen in the record-setting performance of the north shop this year.
- 2015 – Michael O’Neill is the recipient of the Ian Helgesen Award for contributions to EBC and cycling in Edmonton. While completing his Master of Urban Planning at McGill University, Michael spent his summer interning for EBC in his hometown, compiling GIS data to help EBC better target its campaigns as well as providing detailed analysis and recommendations on the confounding Bicycle Bottleneck, one of the busiest bike intersections in the city. Not satisfied to work solely in the background, he also contributed significant time volunteering at BikeWorks South.
- 2016 – Mike Kim is a regular BikeWorks volunteer. In past year, he has been incredibly dedicated, always stepping up when we need an extra set of hands, and helping patrons with his patience and knowledge.
Peter Pal Award
- 2013 – Tim Fitzpatrick. Almost anyone who has volunteered at BikeWorks South will know who Tim Fitzpatrick is. He is an extremely devoted volunteer who has been a friend and mentor to a countless number of volunteers. Like Peter did, he acts in an often unseen but critical role at BikeWorks by ensuring that the rest of us do not get overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks that need to be done. It’s safe to say that if not for Tim, BikeWorks would have been stretched beyond the breaking point a very long time ago. Whether it’s cleaning the washroom, disassembling scrap bikes & wheels, cleaning tools, or patiently helping patrons rebuild long neglected bikes, Tim is always around to help with whatever needs to be done and preventing any individual task from becoming too daunting. It is rare for us to award the same person two years in a row, but Tim undoubtedly deserves it.
- 2014 – Jan Przysiezniak has been a dedicated volunteer for several decades, and is always committed to efficient resource reuse and recycling. Jan is a regular volunteer at BikeWorks, helping patrons, but he also breaks down and sorts parts for recycling. He uses some of the scrap in his work as Jelly Parrot Trash Crafts, transforming it into bicycle art, clothing, notebooks, machines, and other works incorporating discarded materials.
- 2015 – Keith McIsaac receives the Peter Pal Award for contributions to BikeWorks. Keith was one of the original volunteers who helped open BikeWorks North more than 3 years ago and has been an integral member of the north side team ever since. When BikeWorks North is open and busy, Keith can seemingly be at 3 places at once giving expert direction on bike repairs. After-hours, he spends considerable amounts of time organizing, cleaning, and improving the shop, doing so many of the important things that go overlooked and taken for granted, yet are vital to keeping the shop open. The passion for bicycles Keith brings to EBC also permeates the rest of his life, raising his family car-free, blogging, and participating in many group rides throughout the year.
- 2016 – Derek Flynn has been a volunteer with The Spoke from the beginning. He has inspired many youth, sharing his love of life and bikes, and connecting with the participants. Derek has also been volunteering with You Can Ride 2.