2021 Vital Award Winners AnnouncedNovember 16, 2021


Cape Breton Island, NS – NextGen Unama’ki – Cape Breton and the Cape Breton Partnership are pleased to announce the 2021 Vital Cape Breton – Unama’ki Excellence Awards recipients to be presented on December 3 at the Port of Sydney’s Royal Cape Breton Room.

The Vital Awards annually recognize youth and young professionals across Cape Breton – Unama’ki who have made significant contributions to their community, school or workplace, and the employers who support them. This year’s celebration will mark the ninth annual Vital Awards, with last year’s celebration being held virtually due to public health measures that were in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re so excited to be hosting the 2021 Vital Awards in-person this year, after nearly two years of our community being apart due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Natasha Kochhar, Chair of the NextGen Unama’ki – Cape Breton Board. “I’m very proud of the work NextGen has done over the years. It has been a catalyst for engagement and empowering young leaders to be the change in their communities. Our board cannot wait to celebrate the excellence of youth and young professionals across our incredible Island.”

The 2021 Vital Award Winners are:

Vital Excellence Award – Recognizes individuals who have played a vital role in their community through volunteerism, culture, leadership, innovation, etc.

  • Michael Keating
  • David Meuse
  • Ashley Roach Poirier

Vital Employee Excellence Award – Recognizes employees who have played a vital role in their workplace in Cape Breton.

  • Dr. Carl Marshall, Eskasoni Health Centre
  • Sarah MacArthur, Autism Nova Scotia, CB
  • Kaitlin Munroe, Breton Ability Centre

Vital Employer Excellence Award – Recognizes employers who have played a vital role in creating rewarding employment opportunities for youth in Cape Breton – Unama’ki.

  • LearnAbility
  • Selkie’s Neighbourhood Diner
  • 45Drives

Vital Newcomer Excellence Award– Recognizes newcomers who have made significant contributions to a community or communities in Unama’ki – Cape Breton through leadership, mentorship, entrepreneurship, etc.

  • Élodie Nasone

Vital Young Leader Award – Recognizes individuals under the age of 18 who have made contributions to their community through volunteerism, innovation, or leadership.

  • Glace Bay High School Changemakers

Vital Pandemic Leadership Award – Recognizes businesses, organizations, or individuals who have gone above and beyond to support Unama’ki – Cape Breton through safety, advocacy, or relief measures during COVID-19.

  • Michael Hatt

“This annual celebration of the youth, employers and leaders of our Island continues to be an important way to recognize the outstanding value of youth to Cape Breton – Unama’ki,” said Carla Arsenault, President & CEO of the Cape Breton Partnership. “We are truly honoured to regularly partner with NextGen Cape Breton – Unama’ki on this event and help share the important message that our Island’s youth are vital.”

Tickets to attend the 2021 Vital Cape Breton – Unama’ki Excellence Awards are on sale now and until November 24. This event will be following all current public health restrictions and requirements, and pre-registration is required. Tickets can be purchased by visiting https://2021-vital-awards.eventbrite.ca.


Media Contacts:

Natasha Kochhar
Chair, NextGen Unama’ki – Cape Breton

Jeremy Martell
Cape Breton Partnership

About NextGen
NextGen Unama’ki – Cape Breton envisions a network of young, community-minded professionals that contribute to socio-economic prosperity, fair equality of opportunity and community development through leadership and innovation.  To realize this vision, we engage young professionals in dialogue and inspire them to become more active in all aspects of the future of their communities. With our partners, we identify and promote advancement opportunities for young people. 

About the Cape Breton Partnership
The Cape Breton Partnership is Unama’ki – Cape Breton’s private sector-led economic development organization that supports companies and entrepreneurs by promoting our Island as a great place to live and invest; growing a culture that values and celebrates creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship; and connecting entrepreneurs and companies to the resources they need to succeed.