Celebrating Albertans who make communities safe

Press Release

Apr 03, 2023

The awards honour Albertans who find ways to prevent crime and promote restorative justice in their neighbourhoods, towns and cities.

“Victims of sexual assault, individuals with mental health issues, victims of rural crime and residents of Indigenous communities are just some of the groups that have benefited from the work of the recipients of this year’s Community Justice Awards. Community safety is a collective undertaking, and I congratulate these individuals and organizations who have joined the effort to make Alberta strong and secure.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Justice

This year’s 32nd Annual Community Justice Awards ceremony took place on March 31 at Parallel Church in Taber. The event was hosted by the Alberta government, the Taber Police Service and the Taber Community Action & Prevention Society.

Recipients received awards in four categories: emerging excellence, partnerships and collaboration, innovation, and service enhancement.

2023 Alberta Community Justice Award recipients

Emerging Excellence

Family Violence Prevention Centre (Edmonton)

An Edmonton John Howard Society unit that addresses gaps in the justice system by providing free essential services to victims of family and intimate partner violence.

Residents in Recovery Society (Lloydminster)

A safe, abstinence-based therapeutic home for individuals leaving incarceration and starting their recovery journey.

Partnerships and Collaboration

Dean and Verna Hart (Red Deer)

Two leaders in rural crime watch programs, both of whom sit on the board of the Alberta Provincial Rural Crime Watch Association and work with the Red Deer/Lacombe Rural Crime Watch.

Zaki Hirabe (Edmonton)

The co-chair of the Edmonton Police Service’s Chief Community Council, which helps the Edmonton police identify gaps and blind spots that disproportionately affect racialized communities.

Debra Tomlinson (Calgary)

The chief executive officer of the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services, which creates partnerships between police, Crown prosecutors, health stakeholders and sexual assault centres to reform the criminal justice response to sexual violence.

Const. Julie-Ann Strilaiff (Peace River)

The Indigenous liaison between the Peace River RCMP and the Duncan’s First Nation, who facilitates communications between community members, elected officials and band administration on police-related matters of community importance.

Alberta Hate Crimes Committee (Edmonton)

An advocacy organization that tracks hate crimes and their effects in Alberta and provides resources to victims of hate crimes and hate-based incidents.


Gar Gar (Calgary)

The founder of the Youth Empowerment and Skills Centre, which fights gang violence by offering a safe, positive environment where youth can play sports, build skills, access technology and connect with social services.

Lyndon Grunewald (Medicine Hat)

The executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association (Southeast Region), who created the Community Assistance Response Team, which responds to low-risk mental health calls for service that do not require police involvement.

Service Enhancement

Rupert Arcand (Edmonton)

The executive director of the Yellowhead Tribal Community Corrections Society, which works to help clients meet sentencing and bail conditions, reduce recidivism and support true healing.

Kathy Parsons (Red Deer)

The executive director of the Central Alberta Legal Clinic Foundation, who has helped create programs that support tenants facing barriers to safe and affordable housing, new immigrants, and disenfranchised individuals who need photo identification to access social programs.


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