Each year, the CVMA proudly recognizes veterinarians, veterinary teams, and student veterinarians for their outstanding contribution to veterinary medicine. The 2023 CVMA Awards will be delivered at the Awards Gala on Thursday, July 6 during the CVMA Annual Convention. Nominations for the 2024 awards will open on November 1, 2023.
Honourary Membership is presented to an individual who has rendered distinguished service to the profession, whether residing in Canada or elsewhere. The Honourary Member does not pay fees and cannot vote at meetings, or hold any elected office in the CVMA.
Award not presented in 2022
Established by the CVMA in 1986, and sponsored by Merck Animal Health, this award recognizes leadership in the care and well-being of animals. The award, which consists of $1,000 and a plaque, is presented to a CVMA member whose work is judged to have contributed significantly to the welfare and well-being of animals.
Dr. James Stickney
Dr. Stickney grew up on a crop production farm, which had no shortage of farm animals, outside of Hythe, AB. Watching, handling, and working with these animals inspired his desire to pursue veterinary medicine. Growing up in northern Alberta, Dr. Stickney enjoyed many outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, camping, quadding, and snowmobiling. In 2006, Dr. Stickney took over his Uncle Dewey Stickney’s practice upon graduation from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Stickney knew early on that his intended practice destination would be relatively remote and full of challenges. Nonetheless, for the past 14 years, Dr. Stickney and his wife, Jocelyn, have provided veterinary services to several communities throughout northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Clients would often travel six to eight hours to seek out Dr. Stickney’s expertise. Currently, Dr. Stickney operates a 72-foot-long tractor-trailer unit that functions as an ABVMA licensed, year-round, mobile veterinary facility. It is not uncommon for him to set up in the next town after driving through the night in a snowstorm while dodging bison – which his staff can attest to.
Instituted in 1996, the CVMA Industry Award publicly acknowledges and celebrates the role of industry in veterinary medicine. The award formally recognizes a CVMA member for their contributions to the advancement of veterinary medicine.
Dr. Kathy Keil
Dr. Kathy Keil, a 1997 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College, also has a Master’s degree in psychology. Five years after graduation and early in her industry career, Dr. Keil received the University of Guelph Alumni medal for community leadership. While working with Bayer Animal Health, she earned a President’s and Toronto United Way awards for spear-heading an after-hours call line and chairing Bayer’s 2001 record-breaking United Way campaign respectively. Her over 20-year career in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry includes providing customer support, monitoring field trials, and delivering professional skills and scientific training. With Merck Animal Health, Dr. Keil spearheaded the Merck-CVMA It’s Time to Talk about Mental Health in Veterinary Medicine Awareness Campaign. Her psychology background and recognition of psychological distress in veterinary medicine have led her to pursue mental health training from the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and Centre for Suicide Prevention including certification to teach suicide prevention courses. Dr. Keil is dedicated to veterinary volunteerism. She has served as president of the Ontario Association of Industrial Veterinarians, volunteered on the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association board, served on the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) council, and is currently a member of the ABVMA Member Wellness Committee and chair of the CVMA Wellness Advisory Group. Dr. Keil finds peace and happiness living in Calgary with her husband Tom, two cats, Smidgen and Sven, their border collie, Taff, and Flora her dressage horse.
The CVMA Distinguished Member Award is presented to a CVMA member for long and outstanding service on CVMA Council, Executive, Boards and Committees, or for outstanding contributions to the veterinary profession. The Distinguished Member is presented with a framed certificate and shall be invited to attend meetings of the association, and shall not be liable to pay dues, but shall enjoy all the rights and privileges of membership. Please note: The Life Membership Award was renamed The Distinguished Member Award at the end of 2022.
Dr. Éva Nagy
Dr. Éva Nagy, who hails from Hungary, has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine summa cum laude from the University of Veterinary Medicine and a PhD and Doctor of Sciences from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She was a faculty member at the Ontario Veterinary College where she rose through the ranks to University Professor Emerita. Dr. Nagy was an Adjunct Professor at the Atlantic Veterinary College and Visiting Scientist at the University of Utrecht. During her tenure, she trained 34 of her own MSc and PhD students and 16 post-doctoral fellows and served on advisory committees for many more candidates. Highly collaborative, she has over 175 peer-reviewed publications, largely on avian adenoviruses and at least 15 other animal viruses. She has published nine book chapters and has five patents, mostly on her avian adenovirus vaccine platform. An international speaker, Dr. Nagy has received several distinctions during her career, including as an External Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and later as Honorary Professor at the Hungarian University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest. She won a Pfizer Award for Research Excellence and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the YMCA, Guelph Chapter. She has been the Editor of the Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research since 1999 and is a member of the CVMA Editorial Committee.
Established in 2013, the Practice of the Year Award consists of $1,500 and a plaque and is sponsored by Scotiabank, a leader in banking services for professionals. The award recognizes a veterinary practice team for outstanding achievement within their local community. Such achievements may include innovations in provision of veterinary services, commitment to work-life balance, meaningful community or charitable involvement, or implementation of 'green' practice procedures.
Founded by Drs. Ed and Al MacAulay in 1971, Fundy Veterinarians was built on the core values of upholding service to the veterinary profession and the communities throughout central Nova Scotia. Fundy Vets has a long history of supporting local causes including youth athletics and education, school breakfast programs, 4-H, food banks, and refugee causes, to name only a very few. Fundy Veterinarians has strived to never lose sight of its roots while remaining focused on long-term service to the people and animals who are so much part of their story. The Fundy Team members are immensely proud of their deep and long history of being a force for the well-being of clients, animals, and the communities in which they live, and they look forward to growing with their communities for the next 50 years!
The CVMA President's Award is periodically bestowed to recognize an individual member for his/her exceptional contributions and devotion to the association. Recipients are selected by the President and the CVMA Executive Committee.
Dr. Jim Fairles
Dr. Jim Fairles has experience in private mixed practice in Mount Forest, ON and international experience in China. Since 2004, Dr. Fairles has been a Client Services Veterinarian at the Animal Health Laboratory, University of Guelph. He also holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (1980) and MBA (1999) degree from the University of Guelph. Dr. Fairles has been involved with veterinary associations on local, provincial, and national levels. He is a past-president of the CVMA and of the Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians. He is a past chair of the Canadian Animal Health Coalition and a member of all national species groups. Currently, Dr. Fairles is an industry representative on the Animal Health Canada board of directors where he is chair of the financial committee. Dr. Fairles resides in Elora, ON with his wife Mary Lou. In his spare time, he enjoys various sports activities including hockey and triathlons as well as astronomy, airplanes and, most importantly, his grandchildren.
The CVMA Student Leadership Award, instituted in 1966, consists of a plaque and a monetary award presented annually to a 3rd-year veterinary student at each of the Canadian veterinary colleges. The recipient is selected by their classmates based on their leadership and achievement in student affairs.
Kasadee Allan has always had a passion for leadership and being chosen for this award, especially because it is selected by her peers, means a lot to her.
Born and raised in rural New Brunswick, she is the youngest of 5 children, all of whom learned a strong work ethic at an early age while working on their father’s seed potato farm. She followed her love of farming to the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus, where she earned a Bachelor in Agriculture, majoring in Animal Science. After a 2-year hiatus, she decided to return to school at Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC). She has had the privilege of being involved in the close-knit AVC community through the Society of Atlantic Veterinary Students, her class Executive Committee and other clubs.
She plans to return to New Brunswick and become a large animal general practitioner, at least for now. Continuing her education may bring her back in a few years. She looks forward to being a part of her next community after graduation.
Outside of veterinary medicine, Kasadee enjoys playing sports with her friends, especially basketball, quoting movies with family, and performing stand-up comedy.
Myriam Verge Delisle
Myriam Verge Delisle is a 4th year student at the University of Montreal’s Faculté de médecine vétérinaire in Saint-Hyacinthe (FMV).
She grew up in the countryside with horses, Bernese Mountain dogs and 2 lamas. After persevering to get admitted to veterinary school, she feels like she is in the right place to pursue her dream. Myriam got involved right away in her first year as the academic delegate of her class and is now an Academic Affairs Coordinator for the Student Association. Helping others has always been something important for her and this is why she keeps volunteering at school and is always available to listen to her colleagues’ academic or personal concerns. This led her to be involved in various academic committees, as well as a project creating a new veterinary campus in Rimouski, Quebec.
Myriam is on the board of the Quebec Association of Equine Veterinarians and is also President of the Equine Club of her school, which allows her to organize activities and conferences. She has also been working for more than 3 years at the equine hospital in Saint-Hyacinthe and has participated in large animal externships. Her interest in small animals also led her to join a veterinary clinic in her area. For many years, Myriam has been involved in the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Quebec to help the health and well-being of those dogs, as well as organizing health veterinary clinics in ophthalmology and cardiology for all breeds, with the objective of helping prevent genetic diseases.
All those experiences allowed her to evolve, and she intends to stay involved in various fields while completing her degree and exploring many areas of veterinary medicine. She sincerely thanks the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and her colleagues for this award.
Brent Carbone is in his 4th year at Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) where he is specializing in small animal medicine with a focus on emergency medicine. Brent is originally from Buffalo, New York, but chose to attend OVC because of the rigor of the classes, as well as the close-knit community and class that is fostered at OVC.
He is the Co-President of the Class of 2023 and believes that it is because of his work to make everyone’s 4 years as productive and memorable as possible that his peers nominated him for this award.
The class of 2023 (The Opal Otters) makes him proud every day and he is amazed at how far they have come in just 4 years as they will soon be treating animals from around the world.
Brent feels incredibly fortunate to have been chosen by his peers for the CVMA 2022 Student Leadership Award.
Ashley Finch grew up in Edmonton, Alberta and is currently in her 3rd year of studies at the University of Calgary — Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM).
She started her journey into veterinary medicine in high school working for a local small-animal practice. In her free time, Ashley joined the administrative team of an animal rescue with the small mammals and exotics division where her passion for exotics and pocket pets flourished.
She has continued to be an active animal rescue volunteer for the past 7 years taking part in animal fostering, public outreach, and school education programs. Ashley is excited to experience and contribute to the evolution and growth of exotic medicine.
Ashley started her studies with a BSc in Animal Health at the University of Alberta before moving to Calgary to pursue veterinary medicine. At UCVM, Ashley took on the role of Vice President and now Class President for the Class of 2024; she values this role as it is a way to advocate for positive change and helps support her classmates in voicing their suggestions and concerns. While exploring her passion for emergency medicine, Ashley became treasurer for the SVECCS (Student Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society) club. Throughout her education, Ashley has continued to pursue her interest in emergency medicine and works as a surgery technician assistant.
In her free time, Ashley loves to spend time at the barn with her Warmblood horse, Ice. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a small animal rotating internship and will continue to be an active member of the rescue community.
Charlie Wyatt-Swain is a 4th year vet student at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). She currently lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with her husband, their daughter, and their dog. Charlie is Inuit-Metis from the NunatuKavut community in Labrador and is particularly interested in how we can better assist remote Indigenous communities in regard to veterinary services and dog management. She enjoys working with organizations such as Canine Action Project to promote healthy dogs and healthy communities.
Charlie has many roles at the WCVM including being Co-President/Co-Founder of WCVM DIVERSE, C/O 2023 Indigenous Representative, and WCVM Committee on Indigenous Engagement Student Representative. Her work has led to receiving awards such as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Rising Leader Award from the Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association — MCVMA, an international organization that supports diversity within the veterinary profes-sion. She is also involved in organizing events at the college such as Ribbon Tying Ceremonies to share support for Truth and Reconciliation and hosting panels such as “Indigenous Animal Welfare: Understanding the Rez Dog.”
In addition, Charlie is currently involved in a research project led by WCVM Professor, Clinical Associate, and PhD candidate Dr. Jordan Woodsworth, focusing on dog management strategies for remote Indigenous communities within Saskatchewan.
The CVMA Teacher of the Year Award is presented annually to a teacher at each of the five Canadian veterinary colleges. The recipient, selected by veterinary students, is a teacher who inspired them most by their approach to the subject, teaching methods, and enthusiasm.
Dr. Mitchell Carr
Dr. Mitchell Carr is a lecturer and clinician at the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island. He works with the Community Practice team and teaches pre-clinical lectures and laboratories for veterinary students.
Dr. Carr is an alumnus of the Atlantic Veterinary College (Class of 2018). After working in predominately small animal practice after graduation, he joined the Atlantic Veterinary College in late 2021. He takes pride in providing services that match client needs while providing quality care for the patient — skills he learned through fantastic mentorship after graduation.
Dr. Carr’s advice to new graduates: “Veterinary life is complicated and exhausting. Being on-call and alone can be daunting. You’ve got this! Try to surround yourself with mentors and colleagues who can help. If you’re stuck with the on-call phone, always let it go to voicemail; 99% of the time, you’ve got the time to take 2–3 minutes to open a book and refresh your memory. You’ll look and sound like you’ve been doing this for “years.” It’s saved my sanity many nights. Also, don’t forget to find things that make you belly laugh. Life is worth it.”
Dr. Mouhamadou Diaw
Dr. Mouhamadou Diaw, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT is an Associate Professor in theriogenology at the University of Montreal. He graduated from the École Inter-États des Sciences et Médecine Vétérinaires in Dakar (Senegal) and worked for several years in mixed private practice.
After spending a breeding season at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Lexington, Kentucky, he completed a residency in theriogenology at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. After completing his residency, Dr. Diaw was a lecturer in theriogenology at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina. Dr. Diaw is particularly interested in advanced reproductive techniques.
Dr. Diaw’s advice to students: “To the students, I would say that they will encounter obstacles but that nothing is insurmountable; they should not give up but rather learn from the situations they will be confronted by in order to better progress, and never forget that after the night, always comes the day.”
Dr. Andrea Sanchez
Dr. Andrea Sanchez graduated from the University of Murcia, Spain in 2011 after which her Canadian adventure started. She was accepted into an anesthesiology residency and graduate (DVSc) program at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).
After graduating in 2015, Dr. Sanchez worked in a private practice for a year while she studied for her anesthesia boards. After successful completion of American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia boards, she was presented with an opportunity to follow her passion for teaching and began her career as an Anesthesiology Professor at OVC in 2017.
Today, she is fortunate to be able to work with some of the best specialists and researchers in their fields and contribute to the growth of amazing future veterinarians.
Dr. Sanchez’s advice for students: “I think the best advice I can give the students for the years to come is to follow these three rules: Never stop learning, support each other, and have fun. The best veterinarians I know are the ones who use every opportunity to learn something new and improve themselves even after years in their field. We also know that our profession is going through a rough patch right now, so make sure that you all become part of a strong support system and look out for each other. And of course... always remember to have fun along the way!”
Dr. Koji Aoki
Dr. Koji Aoki is an Assistant Professor of small animal surgery at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). He received his veterinary degree in Japan and went to UC Davis and Michigan State University for research and clinical training. He then completed a small animal rotating internship at University of Minnesota and surgery residency at University of Saskatchewan. He became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2019.
Dr. Aoki received a Clinical Professor of the Year teaching award at WCVM in 2021.
Dr. Aoki has passion for any kind of challenging surgeries, but his primary focus is joint replacement and minimally invasive orthopedic surgery. In his current role, he teaches various courses to DVM students in all years at WCVM.
He is very grateful for all the opportunities he received in Canada.
Although he is not sure if he is the best person to give advice to students, his best advice is: “Find a specialty you love, then you will be loved.”
Dr. Angelica Galezowski
Dr. Angelica Galezowski graduated from the University of Winnipeg with her BSc in 2003, then obtained her DVM from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan in 2007.
Dr. Galezowski entered a 3-year clinical pathology residency program at the WCVM and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) in 2010. She joined the Veterinary Diagnostics Services (VDS) pathology team in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2010, and in 2013, was appointed the diagnostic lead for the clinical pathology laboratory.
Dr. Galezowski joined the University of Calgary — Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) in 2017 as an Assistant Professor where she teaches in all 4 years of the program, including the Clinical Pathology, Pathologic Basis of Disease, Clinical Skills, Professional Skills, and Clinical Presentations courses and 4th year clinical rotations. She served on the ACVP Board Examination Committee for several years and in September 2022, was appointed Associate Dean Student Experience at UCVM.
Dr. Galezowski’s advice to students: “You are infinitely capable! Give yourself some grace when you don’t immediately understand ‘x’ concept or perform ‘y’ clinical skill with ease. Lifelong learning is a marathon, not a race. So be kind to yourself! You got this.”
Sponsored by Petsecure Pet Health Insurance, this award is presented to a CVMA member whose work in small animal practice, clinical research or basic sciences is judged to have contributed significantly to the advancement of small animal medicine, surgery, or the management of a small animal practice. The award consists of $1,000 and a plaque.
Dr. David Silversides
Dr. David Silversides received his DVM degree from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1982. He is also a proud graduate of the University of Saskatchewan where he received a B.Sc in biochemistry (1978) and earned a PhD in reproductive physiology (1986). Following these accomplishments, he spent four years of post-doctoral studies in the United States, including two years in San Francisco and two years in Houston, Texas, learning molecular biology techniques. He then returned to Canada, to St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, where he accepted a position at the Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal. Here he has worked as a researcher in genetics and genomics for the last 32 years. He has more recently turned his focus towards the known mutations that are the cause of over 200 genetic diseases in our domestic dog breeds and the over 30 genetic diseases in our cats. With knowledge comes power, with power comes responsibility. The www.labgenvet.ca web site is Dr. Silversides’ contribution towards this responsibility of eliminating genetic diseases from our small animal populations by providing education and an unbiased knowledge base for veterinarians, vet technicians and breeders alike.
Established in 1985, and sponsored by Merck Animal Health, this award is presented to a CVMA member whose work in large animal practice, clinical research, or basic sciences is judged to have contributed significantly to the advancement of large animal medicine and surgery, including herd health management. The award consists of $1,000 and a plaque.
Dr. Brian Taylor
Dr. Brian Taylor was born and raised on a small cow-calf farm in Caledon, ON. His interest in animals and veterinary medicine was ignited early in his life with visits from the farm veterinarian, Dr. Gerald Stirk. Dr. Taylor spent his holidays volunteering at Dr. Stirk’s clinic, cleaning and restocking shelves. After graduating from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1983, Dr. Taylor began working, mainly in dairy and equine practice, for the same veterinarian who inspired him to pursue veterinary medicine, Dr. Stirk. In 1985 he became a partner and managed their Schomberg clinic. Dr. Taylor served as one of the official bovine veterinarians at the Royal Ontario Winter Fair from 1983 to 1995. In 1987, he was asked to be the attending veterinarian for 800 Canadian Holsteins being transported by ship from Richmond, Virginian to Maracaibo, Venezuela. Following several vacations to the Foothills, Dr. Taylor and his wife, Julie, moved to Alberta in 1996 after falling in love with the area. Dr. Taylor began working in mixed animal practice at the Nanton Veterinary Clinic and became a certified Veterinary Acupuncturist in 1999 after completing the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society course. Dr. Taylor began working at the Highview Animal Clinic, owned by Dr. Dave Dempsey, in 2007. Later he became a shareholder and is currently employed at the clinic part-time. He has spent over 40 years working with cattle, on an individual and herd basis, to improve the cattle industry.
The R.V.L. Walker Award, instituted in 1986, consists of a plaque and cash award. There are two recipients of this award: the plaque is presented annually to the President of the Students of the CVMA (SCVMA) in recognition of his/her contributions in promoting student interests in the CVMA; the cash award is made available to a veterinary student in financial need at the veterinary college where the President of the SCVMA is registered.
Mr. Jeff Li
Mr. Jeff Li, a veterinary student at the Ontario Veterinary College and a native of Toronto, has had a long-standing curiosity for the natural world since childhood. A desire to become more immersed in the majesty of Southern Ontario led him to the University of Guelph in 2017 where he a majored in Bio-Medical Sciences. The university’s forward-thinking and inclusive approach to incorporating wildlife and green spaces on the campus further catalyzed his interest and love for animals. As he progressed through his undergraduate studies, Mr. Li became involved in poultry and rodent research, as well as environmental conservation through non-profit organizations. One such organization was Wild Ontario, where he became exceptionally versed in raptor training and health. He was introduced to the clinical aspect of veterinary medicine during his time working at the Toronto Animal Health Partners, which cultivated his interest in companion animal emergency medicine. Since entering veterinary medicine in 2020, he has strived to immerse himself in learning more about different aspects of veterinary medicine and currently sits on his school's student council and Emergency and Critical Care club. A large part of his free time is dedicated to intramural ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and spikeball leagues.