Alumni Humanitarian Award

Gala Award

Presented to a Queen’s alumnus/alumna in recognition of distinguished work or volunteer service, at home or abroad, which has made a difference to the well-being of others.

Blaine Favel

2020 Recipient

Blaine Favel


Blaine Favel has been a lawyer, a Canadian diplomat, a business leader, chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan, chief of the Poundmaker First Nation, and grand chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. As a chief, he pioneered two national firsts: the establishment of the First Nations Bank of Canada, Canada’s only aboriginal controlled bank, and Canada’s first Indian gaming organization that provided jobs to First Nations at a time when unemployment was widespread. In 2019, after 25 years of advocating led by Mr. Favel, the federal government exonerated his predecessor, Chief Poundmaker, and had this leader recognized as a peacemaker. Throughout Mr. Favel’s many roles, he has always led by example and demonstrated his commitment to enhancing the lives of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Past Award Recipients


If a humanitarian is someone who alleviates the suffering of others, saves lives and strives to maintain human dignity for all without prejudice and with deep compassion, then Eric Windeler is a humanitarian. Through (formerly known as the Jack Project), an initiative he founded in 2010, the result of profound personal loss, Mr. Windeler has affected positive change in the complicated and often misunderstood area of mental health. became an independent national charity in 2013.

Mr. Windeler, with his wife Sandra Hanington alongside, put his business interests aside to lead, a national network of young leaders transforming the way mental health is perceived in society. He plays an instrumental role in all aspects of the organization and works tirelessly to inspire discussion about mental health, particularly among young people.’s work is based on the best evidence and seeks to not only help young people with their mental health. It extends to giving our youth a meaningful voice in the important systems change work that is required to revolutionize the sector. Addressing this, the most important health issue for our youth, Mr. Windeler’s efforts range from leadership to fundraising, to creating partnerships in Canada and abroad.

In 2013, Eric received the Champion of Mental Health award from CAMIHI and the QE Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2015, Eric was honoured by Queen's University, receiving an honorary degree (LLD) recognizing his work in the field of mental health. In 2017, Eric and Sandra Hanington received the Meritorious Service Cross (Civil Division) from the office of the Governor General. Most recently, Eric was selected as one of the 150 CAMH Difference Makers for mental health in Canada. Eric sits on the board of FRAYME, a global youth mental health best practices non-profit.

John MacIntyre’s dedication to young Canadians complements his proven excellence in business and finance. A philanthropist devoted to helping Aboriginal and first-generation Canadians gain access to education and employment, he is a worthy recipient of the Alumni Humanitarian Award.

Mr. MacIntyre, Com’78, has built an illustrious career in finance, beginning at Ernst and Young LLP and then serving TD Canada Trust in a variety of roles including President of TD Capital and Head of TD Global Private Equity. In 2005, Mr. MacIntyre co-founded Birch Hill Equity Partners. Helping to open doors for Aboriginal youth is a priority at Birch Hill, especially given its role as a National Partner of the Prince’s Canadian Responsible Business Network. Founded by His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Charles, the network is dedicated to being a catalyst for increasing employment opportunities for youth in underserved neighbourhoods across Canada. In collaboration with Aboriginal agency partners, Birch Hill was involved in mounting an Aboriginal Career Market in October 2015 that attracted 241 job seekers and 33 employers.

Mr. MacIntyre’s work with Aboriginal youth shines a light on the talent and promise that Indigenous people bring to Canada’s finance sector. Having spent time in northern communities and witnessing the disadvantages Indigenous youth experience, Mr. MacIntyre asked, “What can businesses in Toronto do to change things in a positive way?” He answered that question by opening doors to employment opportunities for Indigenous people by connecting those seeking employment with opportunities ranging from entry-level to management positions. Hosting the first-ever Aboriginal Job Seeker Career Market, Mr. MacIntyre arranged for 30 Birch Hill companies and other organizations in Toronto to participate.

In 2015, Mr. MacIntyre and his business partner established the Birch Hill Partners Lifetime Achievement Award with a generous gift to set up a scholarship with the Smith School of Business, Mr. Macintyre’s third major gift to Queen’s. The Award provides $9,000 annually, renewable in each of the program’s four years. It is granted on the basis of demonstrated financial need, academic achievement, leadership skills, and involvement in school or community activities.

Mr. MacIntyre is the past chair of Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation and continues to support the foundation by participating each year in the Wellspring Peloton Team Challenge, a bike circuit that starts in Toronto and travels to New Orleans. He is also Chairman of the Board of the Toronto Community Foundation. Mr. MacIntyre continues to leave a mark of excellence in the finance industry, and perhaps more importantly, continues to provide opportunity through philanthropy for Indigenous youth through his humanitarian efforts.

Fiona Sampson, Artsci’85, Law’03, has always been a champion of human rights. A lawyer with a PhD in women’s equality law, she has dedicated more than 20 years to seeking justice for First Nations, refugees, disabled persons, and victims of violence.

In 2008, Ms. Sampson founded e2 equality effect and is the current CEO of the organization. Through human rights law, e2 equality effect works to protect girls and women from sexual violence, encourage and enable education, and realize their professional potential.

In 2013, Ms. Sampson led her team to a landmark victory in Kenya in which the country’s High Court found the state’s failure to protect young women from sexual abuse was unconstitutional and violated their human rights.

Ms. Sampson has been called one of the world’s “women revolutionaries” alongside such notables as Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, and Isobel Coleman.

In addition to her full-time role with the e2 equality effect, Ms. Sampson serves as an appointed member of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. An experienced litigator, she has appeared repeatedly before the Supreme Court of Canada representing various women’s NGOs in equality rights cases.

Ms. Sampson has received many awards and much recognition for her human rights work; most recently Ashoka, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, appointed her as an Ashoka Canada Fellow. She was named the 2014 Lawyer of the Year by the New York State Bar Association, one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyers magazine (Top 5 on the “World Stage”), and named one of 50 Global Heroes working to end violence against children by Safe magazine, along with Queen Noor and Hillary Clinton, among others.

Fiona Sampson was honoured at the QUAA Alumni Awards Gala on April 2, 2016.

Award recipients are the Queen's Players Toronto’s founding members: Don Duval (Artsci'99), Tim Evans (Com'99), Peter Higgins (Artsci'03), Paul Levia (Artsci'97, MIR'98), and Michael Payne (Artsci’99, Ed'00).

Combining good humour with good deeds, Queen’s Players Toronto (QPT) has been making people laugh in support of a host of excellent causes for ten years.

But as hilarious and entertaining as the shows are, what makes QPT special is the ensemble cast’s unwavering commitment to giving back to the community. To date, QPT has raised more than $135,000 for a variety of organizations that include (to name a few) The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, Camp Oochigeas, Femme International, The Stephen Lewis Foundation, Community Living Toronto, Movember, and the Word Society For The Protection Of Animals.

These five worthy Alumni Humanitarian Award recipients have played an important role in the lives of many people, thanks to their ability to mix creativity, philanthropy and compassion.

The Queen's Players Toronto’s founding members were honoured at the QUAA Alumni Awards Gala on April 2, 2015.

2014 Shelagh Rogers, Artsci'77, LLD’19

2012 Farouk Jiwa, Artsci'98

2011 Debra Pepler, Arts/PHE'73, Ed'74, DSc’16

2010 Amma Bonsu, Artsci'02, Artsci'03

2009 Mark (Artsci'96), Sean (Artsci'98), and Paul (Artsci'99) Etherington

2008 Marilyn McHarg, Artsci'83, LLD’08

2007 Ben Peterson, Artsci'99, Artsci'00

2006 The Framework Foundation – Anil Patel, Artsci'98, Simon Foster, Artsci'97, Nick Maiese, Artsci'97, Andrew Klingel, Com'98, MBA’06

Award Eligibility & Criteria

Candidates should be:

  • A Queen’s alumnus/alumna
  • Someone who has made an outstanding difference in the well-being of others within their community or beyond
  • Recognized by their peers as having demonstrated humanitarian service that has enhanced the lives of others
  • An individual who has accomplished this service in either a professional or volunteer capacity

For more information about alumni awards, please contact Lenore Klein, 613-533-6000 ext 78846.