Premier’s Awards nominees

2023 Premier’s Award Nominees

C Cunningham headshot

Christine Cunningham

Social Service Worker - 2015

Less than a decade after graduating from the Social Service Worker program, Christine Cunningham has established herself as a leader in the field of perinatal mental health, supporting hundreds of women in need.

Christine runs a successful counselling private practice that serves perinatal clients (those who are pregnant, trying to conceive, or welcoming a baby into their family). She is also the founder and executive director of Perinatal Wellbeing Ontario (PWO), a not-for-profit organization that provides free to low-cost mental health supports to those living with a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD).

With OHIP-covered PMAD programs in short supply and high demand, Christine founded PWO to help fill the gap. They offer a number of valuable services for those who don’t have access to care elsewhere, including individual or group therapy and peer support programs, free e-courses for those experiencing symptoms of PMADs, as well as a podcast about challenges in the perinatal period.

Christine also works to increase awareness of PMADs and their impacts on parents and families, and provides support and mentoring through education sessions, one-on-one consultation and supervision with other therapists.

Her contributions to volunteerism have been recognized with several awards, and she works to ensure the future of quality PMAD care by acting as a placement supervisor for Social Service Worker students from Durham College and psychotherapy students from universities throughout Ontario.

Stew MacDonald

Sports Administration - 1981

Stew MacDonald has made quite an impact on the sporting landscape of western Canada.

After graduation, the first stop on his professional journey was Regina, Saskatchewan, where he served as director of marketing and publicity for the Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL). In 1987 he joined the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League (NHL), where he served as director of marketing for over a decade. In 1998 he was named chief operating officer of the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Saint John Flames and guided the club for five seasons.

He rejoined the Oilers in 2004 and has spent the last two decades in senior management roles with the organization and was named president and chief revenue officer of OEG Sports & Entertainment in 2021. In his current role, he guides a team responsible for ticket sales, premium seating, corporate sales, marketing and business intelligence for the Oilers, the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings, the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors and Rogers Place arena.

His teams have won three Stanley Cup Championships, as well as one Calder Cup and one Memorial Cup. He continues to support Durham College as an Alumni Leader, a participant in the DC Talks: Alumni Series, and a mentor to students.

Tre Sanderson

Culinary Management - 2015

Tre Sanderson has made a name for himself as one of the most talented chefs in Canada.

He was the winner of Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada Season X, showcasing his impressive culinary skills and passion for food. A first-generation Canadian with Jamaican roots, Chef Tre is inspired by his Caribbean heritage and infuses it into every dish he creates. His dishes are a reflection of his unique culinary perspective, artful plating, and explosive flavours that have earned him numerous accolades and recognition in the industry.

Chef Tre has worked in some of Toronto's best kitchens throughout his career. He has been able to incorporate diverse culinary influences into his own creations, making him a dynamic and innovative chef. In 2023, he was awarded the Restaurants Canada Culinary Award of Excellence. He was also named one of Kostuch Media’s Top 30-Under-30.

Chef Tre is proud to be recognized as the first Black chef to win Top Chef Canada and is honoured to be inspiring the next generation of young diverse chefs. He is a firm believer in the power of food to unite people from all walks of life and is passionate about promoting diversity in the culinary world. Through his cooking, he hopes to break down barriers and bring people together.