One of Canada's Premier Birding and Nature Festivals

Archive for April 28th, 2016


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IMG_0965 (2)When Anne Cathrae was asked about her first reaction to being named the 2016 Norah Toth Award winner her answer was indicative of her selfless attitude.

“I didn’t think I qualified,” she said. “I went back to the criteria and I think the only criteria that gets me into this is my volunteering…something insignificant like that.”

But when you look at the fact that Anne has volunteered at 17 of 19 festivals beginning in 1999, her contribution to HFBF over time is hardly ‘insignificant’. In fact those who’ve known and worked with Anne over the years see things differently.

As far as John Cummings is concerned, “What a truly deserving candidate! Never has anyone done so much for so many, and been observed by so few while doing it!”

“She’s there at the crack of dawn and stays until the last gun is fired,” says Liz Addison. “She recognizes just about everyone so if someone is missing from a group or shows up late, she directs them to where their group went.”

And Norah Toth describes Anne as, “The face of the festival for those who are returning and new. She is always at the on-site registration tent.” That’s her domain, her office, her resource for every HFBF activity happening on any given day, from the crack of dawn to the end of the day’s schedule. If ever the Huron Fringe Birding Festival had a familiar face it would be Anne’s. Her ability to work with, and organize, the various wide range of personalities within the Festival volunteers without losing her cool never ceases to amaze. As far as Anne is concerned though, “its long hours but not hard work.”

Anne would be the first to tell you that she considers herself ‘a non-practicing birder.’ But, as such, she appreciates and values nature and has been active with the Owen Sound Field Naturalists, Grey Sauble Conservation Foundation and a financial supporter of the Cabot Head Bird Observatory and other related groups.

The way Anne sees it is simple, “I guess I’ve been working for nature now for quite a while.”

True Anne. And that’s the prime reason why you are the 2016 HFBF Norah Toth Award Winner.