Canadian Biomass Magazine

Winners of 2024 Canadian Biomass Awards announced

April 19, 2024
By Canadian Biomass Staff

Biomass professionals from across Canada gathered for a virtual celebration this week as the winners of the inaugural Canadian Biomass Awards were announced.

Awards were handed out in five special categories, recognizing the work of both individuals and organizations across the country. Here’s the list of who took home the hardware — with in-depth stories to be published on each of them in the coming weeks and in a special section in the spring print and digital issue of Canadian Biomass. 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner: Rob McCurdy

McCurdy is the former CEO of Pinnacle Renewable Energy. With a distinguished career spanning decades, Rob has exemplified leadership, innovation, and a commitment to excellence.

Winner: Burkhard Fink

Fink has been a leader in the development of commercial and institutional biomass heating systems for the last two decades.


Winner: John Swaan

Swaan is a well known pioneer in the wood pellet sector, is known as the grandfather of the industry, and he produced and shipped the first bulk shipment of pellets 25 years ago.

Community Project of the Year

Honourable Mention: Belledune Port Authority

It was nominated for its leadership in working to grow wood pellet and wood chip volume for the last six years, soaring from 223,000 tons to more than 510,000 tons.

Honourable Mention: Arctic Energy Alliance

AEA has pioneered bio-heat in the Northwest Territories, making it the most successful region in Canada for that technology.

Winner: Village of Fort Simpson

The village in the Northwest Territories has a made a commitment to heat all municipal buildings with wood pellet heating and this year they underwent two biomass projects – a new wood pellet boiler in the water treatment plant and connecting the community pool and gym to an existing biomass-fueled district heating system.

Thought Leader of the Year

Honourable Mention: Benjamin Patton, Treecycle

Patton has revolutionized traditional waste streams of biomass and wood waste to ensure the highest and best use of all materials while prioritizing zero waste principles.

Honourable Mention: Jamie Stephen, Torchlight

Among other things, Stephen is a prolific writer of thought-provoking papers on the role of bioheat in displacing electricity demand and the need for greater Canadian adoption of biomass district heating.

Winner: Liezl van Wyk, Drax Group Canada

Her leadership in the biomass industry has been exceptional, marked by innovation, resilience, and a steadfast commitment to safety.

Champion of the Year

Honourable Mention: Jesse Douglas, Green Impact Partners

With a focus on renewable natural gas, GIP is developing the world’s cleanest energy sources – including Future Energy Park which will be the largest carbon-negative RNG and ethanol project in North America.

Honourable Mention: Joe Webster, Tsi Del Del Enterprises

Webster is renowned for many things, including his mastery in managing crews and machinery.

Winner: Gordon Murray

Murray is the executive-director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC).

Company of the Year

Honourable Mention: Fink Machine

Fink is Canada’s largest supplier of biomass heating systems with more than 170 installations across the country.

Honourable Mention: BSB

BSB is a supplier of biomass energy that offers the sale of energy and heating equipment. The company was founded in 2011 by the owners of Group Savoie and Compact Appliances.

Winner: Ecostrat

Through its BDO Zone Initiative, it has been pivotal in advancing Canada’s bioeconomy, issuing 48 BDO zones since 2021. Notable achievements include the National Workshop Agreement with the SCC and aiding 10+ communities in securing funding from NRCAN’s Clean Fuels Fund.

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