2020 Volunteer Award Winners

President’s Award

Presented to any individual, company, organization or Government agency that has shown outstanding support for the safety, education or development of our aviation community.

2020 Recipient: Cameron Boekhoff of Ottawa, ON

“For embodying the future of aviation in Canada”

From then COPA President, Bernard Gervais: He resurrected COPA Flight 8, he’s been a key player in the NextGen movement. He lives, breathes everything aviation. He’s been a strong supporter of the staff and board members in the younger generation. He’s participated in just about everything COPA has done. Congratulations Cameron for everything you’re doing and that you’ve done, and that you will do in the coming years.

From the awards administrator, Brian Pound: Cameron was not only nominated by the President but also by his own staff and one of the Ontario directors, obviously a great pick for our President’s Award.

View past President’s Award winners here.

Chairperson’s Award

Presented to any COPA Member who has shown outstanding commitment to our objectives to maintain our Freedom to Fly.

2020 Recipient: David Sprague of Toronto, ON

“In recognition for your exceptional service to the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association”

From the Chairman of the Board, Bill Mahoney: Dave Sprague is the President of the Buttonville Flying Club, COPA Flight 44. He not only volunteers his time with the flying club organization, but with several other organizations and volunteer groups such as Sail Canada. He is quick to volunteer and offer his assistance when asked. When we conferred with the search committee back in January of this year, Dave offered to assist. He is an executive search consultant and he offered to help our search committee with the daunting task of finding a new CEO for COPA. It was with his assistance, guidance, and direction that we were able to conduct a very rigorous and thorough search and come up with an outstanding candidate. I would like to recognize and thank Dave for his volunteer efforts, not only with COPA but with all organizations. He goes above and beyond so it is with deep gratitude and appreciation that I recognize you for your assistance and present you with the Chairman’s award for 2020.

Editor’s Award

Presented to an individual that has made a substantial contribution to the past year’s COPA Flight magazine. Selected by the COPA Flight Editor.

2020 Recipient: Jean-Pierre Bonin from Laval, QC

For his photo contributions to COPA Flight

From the awards administrator, Brian Pound: Our editor of COPA Flight, Steve Drinkwater, has nominated a photographer for this award that is often presented for a COPA Flight article. Jean-Pierre has done a phenomenal job and I hope that he keeps up sending more and more fantastic photographs into our COPA Flight, so, quite frankly Jean-Pierre, congratulations and thank you for all you have done to support COPA. Great job, thank you.

Directors’ Award Recipients 2020

In appreciation for your personal efforts to advance, promote and preserve our Canadian Freedom to Fly.

  • Association des Pilotes et Propriétaires de Hangars de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu – CYJN
    • An amazing organization, COPA Flight 160. They have 230 members and this strong flight is very active in COPA for Kids. They also work with the city management and have taken over the FBO operations, they sell the Avgas and give you great service when you land. They are also holding many safety and training sessions on various aspects of aviation. A very dedicated group.
  • Munden Critch, NL
    • He has single-handedly expanded the water aerodrome at Patty’s Pond (CCQ5), near St. John’s, Newfoundland. He is a very skilled and experienced aircraft builder and shares his knowledge and talent with anyone who needs it.
  • Mervin Zinck, NS
    • Based at New Germany Lake (CCA2) in Nova Scotia, for the past 12 years, Mervin has been hosting the annual New Germany Lake Pilot’s Picnic that hosts up to 25 planes from around the Maritimes. He truly tries to involve the whole community in this event and offers free lunches, live music, a small antique car show; Model aircraft builders and skydivers jumping out of floatplanes are all present. He’s a member of the Bluenose Flying Club and COPA Flight 196 and he has created an amazing showcase for general aviation in this small community.
  • Yvan Albert, Pierre Boudreault, Gilles Lambert, QC
    • A joint award goes out to Yvan, Pierre and Gilles. These gentlemen worked very hard to try and save their local aerodrome, a project that is still being heavily discussed. Their efforts are very much appreciated despite the current ruling. We give them a vote of thanks for working through this project and hope for a better solution in the future.
  • Gabriel Muglia, ON
    • Gabriel is of COPA Flight 8, a private pilot, a COPA member and builder of very impressive, intricate remote-controlled aircraft. He is the secretary of the recently resurrected COPA Flight 8 in Ottawa. Along with others, he has answered the call for volunteers to help get the COPA NextGen initiative off the ground, bringing great membership value to our younger members.
  • Geordie Dalglish, ON
    • Geordie has recently purchased the Collingwood airport and is an example of someone who is prepared to go the extra mile to take of our freedom to fly, looking out for our whole aviation community.
  • Clayton Smith, ON
    • Clayton is a phenomenal person and even a bit larger than life. He has managed to transform the Orillia airport into an aviation masterpiece with longer runways, a restaurant, a large new shop, 40 T-hangars, a flying school and has even moved into Parry Sound where there will be a restaurant as well.
  • Wade Cook, ON
    • Wade Cook was instrumental in forming COPA Flight 201 along with the Gore Bay Flying Club. He is a corporate pilot, an instructor, and the person responsible for getting a flight school and an aircraft for his COPA Flight so that they can have an amazing contribution to aviation.
  • Ken Zachkewich, AB
    • Ken has just been a director for the last few minutes (as of the 2020 AGM). His accomplishments, which can be read about in COPA Flight magazine, include a very successful 4000 ft ice runway fly-in at Lac La Biche where they had 69 aircraft fly in for an event. He served as captain of the Lac La Biche Flight for several years and is very active within the aviation community.
  • Ruf May, AB
    • He has worked on many aircraft and helped pilots purchase their planes for more than 25 years. He is just a phone call away and is always happy to assist. He is a fountain of information and he seems to know all his client’s aircraft parts off the top of his head. He is a multiengine pilot and an AME, he worked for Pacific Western Airlines as a flight engineer for a number of years before switching over to Canadian airlines. He has served on the Olds-Didsbury airport commission. He has been on the flying club board for many years and you’ll see him even mowing the grass, fixing the fuel system, and maintaining aircraft. A person like Ruf keeps general aviation alive and well in Canada.
  • Ryan van Haren, BC
    • Along with being an IFR controller and holding an ATPL, he has been described as the spark plug behind the British Columbia General Aviation Association and is the president of COPA Flight 194. He has truly made an enormous impact on the aviation community in BC through his tireless efforts on his web and Facebook pages that are the basis for the success of his virtual organization. Last year at the Innisfail AGM, Ryan kindly volunteered to help a fellow aviator get to a checkout ride at an airport 3 hours away.
  • Dave McElroy, BC
    • Dave is a giant of a guy in personality. He offers his support for the Kelowna Flying Club, has major fundraising efforts for his organization Wings of Hope, and has been committed to COPA. He keeps the GoPro cameras as busy as they can be with his mountain flying.

Merit Award Recipients 2020

In recognition of your personal contribution, passion and commitment to aviation in your community.

  • Jeremy Dann, NS
    • Among his contributions, Jeremy is captain of the Bluenose Flying Club and host of the Fly Nova Scotia Facebook page. He started flying back in the 70s as an air cadet and currently flies a Rans S-7 on floats. He is even currently building a hangar. Thanks, Jeremy, for all the work you do in the Maritimes.
  • Marc Quidoz, QC
    • He’s said to be at the airport nearly every day, he is making the Quebec general aviation community grow. This 4400-hour pilot has done great work and is very helpful to the people in his neighborhood. He really accepts the challenges of aviation.
  • Guillaume Narbonne, QC
    • He has been working with the local resistance but is currently expanding to Saint-Cuthbert aerodrome. He will be a great addition to that local aviation community. The directors from Quebec are very pleased nominate him for this award.
  • Laura Matheson, ON
    • Laura went to great lengths to make sure the members of her local Flight were recognized. This Vice-President of COPA Flight 8 at the Rockcliffe Airport was nominated for the merit award by two COPA directors. The members of her club are appreciative of her leadership skills and for keeping the club growing.
  • Terry Mortimer, ON
    • Terry grew up with his father flying a Cessna 310 and was instrumental in resurrecting COPA Flight 66 and is now their Flight captain. He flies an RV-6 with GoPros attached and is a huge supporter of the COPA for Kids program. The work he does is greatly appreciated.
  • Innisfail Flying Club, AB
    • If anyone was at the COPA AGM in Innisfail last year, you understand the total commitment that this flying club, as well as the town, made to make this event a success. The large improvements to their facilities at the airport and the enthusiasm of the membership was just amazing. The weather didn’t seem to cooperate but that didn’t seem to dampen their spirits and they managed to power through all that and provide us with an enjoyable gathering and all the board members were appreciative of the outstanding work that Innisfail did for us that year.
  • Warwick Patterson, BC
    • He is a talented photographer, is a passionate aviator and often the first to volunteer. An avid supporter and a voice of reason in the British Columbia General Aviation Association and the local drone association as well. He calls Squamish home and is the man behind the Flying BC podcast and website, a true leader in his area.
  • Tom Heise, BC
    • Tom is President of the Aero Club of BC, COPA Flight 16, at the Pitt Meadows airport. They hosted the Board in the 2019 Board meeting in BC and it is evident why Tom is deserving of an award. They host the BCGA, the BC 99s, the IMC club, provide the Avgas at the airport and even have a club plane for their members. Many of these endeavours and many others have been under the leadership of Tom and the many hours he has dedicated to the Aero Club, COPA and the sister organization of BC in the lower mainland. He was nominated by past director Tim Cole for his dedication, leadership and personal commitment that he has given to the aviation community of British Columbia.
  • Paul Harris, BC
    • A designated flight examiner and class 1 flight instructor within the lower mainland of BC. He has been recognized by others as an excellent instructor and a champion of aviation safety. He is currently mainly concerned with training flight instructors and if you want to get your PPL, you are advised to find a Paul Harris prodigy and you’ll get proper training.
  • Rick O’Neill, NL
    • Over the past number of years, we have observed Rick’s generous contribution of time and resources to COPA, CASARA, and the Air Cadet familiarization flight program. Regardless of what he is asked to do, or when, he is always there with unfailing enthusiasm and support.

Appreciation Award Recipients 2020

  • Bell Island, Newfoundland
    • COPA Flight 97 out of St. John’s worked with the town of Wabana along with the local fire department and the Bell Island aerodrome to organize the “Bell Island-bound Fun for All Ages Day”. This partnership allowed COPA Flight 97 to promote and share general aviation with the public, to inspire people of all ages about aviation and to generate interest in the rewarding careers that are available in aviation. Like always, it was just another fine day in Newfoundland.
  • South Shore Regional Airport (CYAU)
    • An amazing story of grassroots aviation at its best, with many of the flying club’s members who are not even pilots. These volunteers have donated their time and materials to refurbish the run-down clubhouse, clear brush and trees, hold several fundraisers within the town and at the airport. This is not an easy task as this beautiful 4000 ft asphalt runway is remotely located several miles out of town and has been neglected for years. The local remote control pilot’s club was also there as a valued partner and helped the refurbish team. They worked hard, they were smart about it and went to the town council and got a hold of their MLA, their member of parliament, the media and got everyone involved to share what they saw as a vision for the airport.
  • COPA Flight 52 –Trois-Rivières, QC
    • 2019 was a busy year for COPA Flight 52. They had a fly-in that included a tourist historic tour of the city. This is a great way to get the spouses involved in a non-aviation-related activity while still enjoying the joy of flight.
  • Nicole Wardstrom, BC
    • She is the president of the Langley Aero Club, COPA Flight 175. She gets her flying roots from her parents and is currently working hard towards her commercial pilot’s license. While being a club member for several years, she has in a short time in her new role as the leader, brought fresh enthusiasm, new ideas and new members to the group. This young woman is to be commended for her dedication, hard work, and the leadership that she has provided.
  • Horst Romani, BC
    • Many local members think that Horst is very deserving of this nomination. Among other things, he is the organizer of the Aero Club of BC’s COPA for Kids program. He is an ardent COPA supporter and is one of the guys they can rely on for support around the aviation community.
  • Janine Cross, BC
    • She has been a volunteer for ten years with the Air Time Canada program that encourages and mentors a few hundred young people to become interested in aviation. Her numerous articles in the COPA Flight magazine are geared towards getting spouses to go along on flights and experience the adventure and the magic that is possible through general aviation. These contributions have encouraged several young women to become pilots.