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We cannot expect to live in a world of peace if we are unable to live in peace with those close to us – even those who differ from us….
YMCA Statement on Peace

YMCA Peace Week is a time when we celebrate the presence of peace in our communities, and reflect on the peace-building work that happens all year both inside and outside the YMCA.

The YMCA believes peace is more than the absence of violence and conflict. Peace is the ongoing work of building and rebuilding conditions of fairness, inclusion, empathy, security, and respect for diversity. When Canadians embody the values of PEACE through our daily actions, we can build a better Canada.

YMCA Peace Week calls people to:
Build community. Act for peace.

When we act for peace, together we build stronger and healthier communities.

YMCA Peace Medal Recipients

Each year, YMCAs across Canada celebrate acts of peace by recognizing individuals and groups who, without any special resources, status, wealth or position, have demonstrated a commitment to building peace within their community or communities elsewhere in the world. During YMCA Peace Week, which will take place from November 13-20, 2021, local peacemakers will receive special recognition.

Click on the images below to view the 2021 YMCA Peace Medal Recipients!

North Bay

Matthew Robertson (Youth)

Matthew Robertson (Youth)

Born in Thailand, Matthew Robertson grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and moved to Canada in November 2020. With a degree in engineering and as he searches for full-time employment, Matthew spends each week giving back to local organizations by volunteering his time. A dedicated volunteer for Clean Green Beautiful North Bay, he takes part in weekly street cleanups, volunteers at the North Bay Food Bank and with the NB Heritage Gardeners.

Thank you, Matthew, for your advocacy and outstanding support of local charities in North Bay!

Mark Caldwell (Adult)

Mark Caldwell (Adult)

Mark is an inspiring individual who dedicates his free time and energy to raise awareness and funds for local mental health services in North Bay.

Mark started out by creating For The Love Of Woody, a local group dedicated to breaking down the stigma that surrounds mental health. Over the last 4 years, Mark has raised over $100,000 for various mental health services in North Bay, and volunteers a significant amount of his time for North Bay Defeat Depression in group fundraising projects.

Thank you Mark for your dedication to bringing mental health awareness to the forefront. You are helping make North Bay a better place for all!

Geoff Richardson (Adult)

Geoff Richardson (Adult)

Co-Owner and Operator of Good Riddance Pest Control, Geoff is a dedicated member of the North Bay community. One of his first volunteer experiences was when he helped deliver baskets for the Santa Fund. It’s now come full circle, as Geoff is now Co-Chair for the Santa Fund. Through his involvement with the Santa Fund, the local theater community, or helping a local charity find a new home, Geoff is having a positive impact for those who live in North Bay.

Thank you, Geoff, for your support of the North Bay community!

OutLoud North Bay (Group)

OutLoud North Bay (Group)

Founded in 2019 by Seth Compton, OutLoud North Bay is a hub and charity for 2SLGTBQA+ youth to feel safe and learn together. OutLoud is fully run by volunteers.

By offering programming such as fitness classes, arts and crafts, movie nights, life skill workshops and more, OutLoud has created a space for youth in North Bay to connect with others where they feel welcomed. They also make informational posts on their social media accounts so that others within the community can learn about issues and events that impact 2SLGBTQA+ people (such as Transgender Awareness Week).

Thank you OutLoud North Bay for your continued support of the youth in North Bay!


Sophia Mathur (Youth)

Sophia Mathur (Youth)

A committed climate activist, Sophia started striking for the climate in her hometown of Sudbury in November of 2018. She is one of seven young individuals taking the Ontario government to court for weakening Ontario’s 2030 climate target. In September 2019, Sophia joined Greta Thunberg in New York, where the two participated in a panel on climate activism and marched in the Global Climate Strike on September 20th, 2019.

She also participated in the Last Straw project, where she persuaded local restaurants and bars to reduce their use of plastic straws. Thanks in part to Sophia’s pressure, in May 2019, Sudbury City Council unanimously declared a climate emergency and, more recently, revised its climate plan so as to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Long before the pandemic, she entered into her biggest environmental battle to date. In the fall of 2019, she joined six other plaintiffs suing the Ontario government for weakening its climate targets. All of the plaintiffs were young people, ranging in age from 12 (Sophia’s age at the time) to 24. Their argument was that the Ontario government, by passing the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act in 2018, allowed more greenhouse gases to be emitted, leading to more climate change-related fires, floods and poor air quality. Sophia also recently attended the COP26 Climate Change Summit in Scotland.

Sophia, your dedication to our planet and its wellbeing is inspiring. Thank you for everything that you do!


PAD Patrol (Group)

PAD Patrol (Group)

PAD Patrol is a non-profit organization located in Timmins, Ontario. PAD Patrol was created as a result of an encounter that founder Renelle Robinson had with a client. When her client was forced to decide between getting feminine hygiene products, or getting a specialty lunch for their child, Renelle’s client decided on getting a special lunch for their child. In need of support, the client made their way to Ontario Works, where the staff were more than happy to help.

After this, Renelle decided to take action and started a Facebook page where she could accept donations of products or funds to help others in need. Since then, PAD Patrol have donated over 70,000 feminine hygiene products in Timmins, Ontario and the surrounding area.

Thank you Renelle, and PAD Patrol, for your outstanding support of the people in Timmins and surrounding area!

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