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Anne Ewen Receives Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal

Updated: Feb 1

By Donna Livingstone, Chief Executive Officer

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Anne Ewen has a distinguished career as an art curator, arts administrator, author, heritage consultant, and mentor to new artists and curators. She has been recognized with medals and awards for her services to the museum community and to Alberta culture.

But this week, she received an award that caused her to reflect on the decades she has spent volunteering in the community and what it has meant for her and her family.

The Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal in Alberta was presented to Anne in recognition of her service to her peers, to the community, to Alberta. and to Canada. Anne was nominated by Easter Seals Alberta, an organization she has spent over 20 years serving for the Alberta Society but also as an active member of the national board.

Receiving the award was an honour, and it gave Anne time to look back on her career and her time as a volunteer.

When you work in the arts, your time just spills over into volunteering. Easter Seals was a departure from that but opened her eyes to the challenges that are faced every day by people with disabilities and their families.

“We had young children then and recognized how fortunate we are that they are healthy. Easter Seals, and especially Camp Horizon, showed what a difference it can make for one week a year when the kids with differing abilities can just relax and be supported," says Anne. "Lifetime friendships are established enabling campers to support each other throughout the year using assorted ambulatory and communication devices.”

"It was a learning curve for our whole family. Some fundraising events I couldn’t attend, so I sent our son in my place and he happily climbed mountains and rappelled down office buildings to raise funds. Our daughter, a young teen at the time, was the ideal candidate to help the female campers spruce up for Camp Horizon’s annual Christmas dance."

Anne was impressed with the national spirit of the organization which is active in the provinces and territories. “Functioning across the country, it ensured we came together to work on projects of national significance. For some initiatives, we also partnered with Easter Seals America.”

“The resilience and stoicism of the many families caring for their loved ones is both heart-warming and wrenching. So many success stories juxtaposed with casualties. It has been a privilege to have met so many wonderful people and I look forward to volunteering on a less formal basis.”

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