(Above) Ontario Premier Doug Ford with General Brian and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, and Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd

For more photos, see our photo album on Facebook.

Attendees began the fourth and final day of the conference portion of INSPIRE events with a time of worship led by Laura Rowsell, worship ministries director at Calgary’s Glenmore Temple, and representatives of the music and arts ministries department. 
Ann Voskamp
Ann Voskamp, guest speaker at Thursday's plenary session, shares from the Word
Guest speaker for the plenary session was Canadian Ann Voskamp, author of four New York Times bestsellers including The Broken Way and One Thousand Gifts. She has also been named by Christianity Today as one of the 50 women most shaping culture and the church today. 

“Anywhere you see the Salvation Army logo around the world, you know that the hands and feet of Jesus are there to touch wounded places,” she said.

“Canada would be so much poorer if we didn’t have The Salvation Army. You are meeting emotional, physical and spiritual needs like no other community in this country.”

Skeleton Army
Performances of Skeleton Army, a captivating interactive musical that made its Canadian debut at INSPIRE, were staged throughout the week. With words and lyrics by Major Len Ballantine, leader of the Canadian Staff Songsters, Skeleton Army was originally conceived by Neil Leduke, territorial director of marketing and communications for the Canada and Bermuda Territory, based on a book by John Copeland and produced in collaboration with The Salvation Army U.S.A. East Arts Ministries Bureau.

The musical is set in the East End of London in 1881 during the uprising of the Skeleton Army, a group opposing The Salvation Army’s presence on the streets. Skeleton Army stars Canadians Kyle Higgins as Charles Jeffries, leader of the Skeleton Army, and Kathryn Higgins in three roles: a Salvation Army officer; Martha, Jeffries’ wife; and Scarlet, a spirited barmaid. Kyle Higgins delivered a stirring performance, reminding the audience of the transformative power of Christ, while Kathryn Higgins adeptly transitioned between her three distinct roles.

Skeleton Army invited audience members to participate in the performance—as gang members enjoying a “pint” at the Blind Beggar Pub or congregants singing in a watchnight service. The audience was deeply moved by the performances, joining in for a warm rendition of Jesus Saves!

The production of Skeleton Army left a lasting impression on all those in attendance, telling an inspiring story of redemption, grace and the new life offered in Christ. 

Gala Dinner and Service Recognitions
General Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, World President of World’s Ministries, received a warm welcome at Thursday evening’s Gala Dinner and COVID-19 Excellence Awards Ceremony, the final event of the conference portion of INSPIRE. 
“Decades ago, the Canadian Army was flying a tagline that said, ‘An Army is only as strong as its supply line,’ ” the General shared with the 1,500 people in attendance. “I want to affirm that this Army is strong and well-positioned because of the supply line represented by all of you here tonight. God bless you. You stand in the place where people find themselves in need. You are the champions of heart and hand for all of humanity who exist around us." 

Elizabeth Shepherd
Musical guest jazz singer Elizabeth Shepherd
Supporting the international leaders were Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd, territorial commander and territorial president of women’s ministries, and Colonel Evie Diaz, chief secretary. Musical guest for the evening was jazz singer Elizabeth Shepherd and her backup musicians.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Commissioner Floyd Tidd
Ontario Premier Doug Ford receives an award for his ongoing support of The Salvation Army during the pandemic
Also in attendance was Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who expressed his gratitude to The Salvation Army for its exceptional contributions to Ontario communities during the pandemic. “The Salvation Army is one of the greatest charitable organizations in the world,” he said. “Everywhere you go, the Army brand is synonymous with compassion and hope, and here in our province, our government is so grateful to have The Salvation Army as a partner.” He acknowledged that even in the most challenging times, “The Salvation Army shows up.”

Attendees watched The Salvation Army’s award-winning documentary, Everybody Needs an Army, and awards of excellence were presented to outstanding individuals from across the territory as they were recognized for their COVID-19 response efforts. Please see below for a full list of the award recipients.

Commemorative coin

Everyone in attendance received a special coin commemorating the event.

Incorporating The Salvation Army’s colours of yellow, red and blue, the design of the coin features the shield on one side and the INSPIRE 2023 logo on the other, complete with a Canadian maple leaf and the longtail bird of Bermuda. The design is meant to represent the Canada and Bermuda Territory and the diverse participants at INSPIRE. Click here to read more

In closing, Commissioner Floyd Tidd echoed General Peddle’s words of gratitude and encouraged everyone to share and celebrate the transformative work that God has accomplished through The Salvation Army. “Tonight, we have remembered before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

The family of Cpt Maurice Collins accepts a posthumous
award  for his service during COVID-19
COVID-19 Excellence Award Recipients

British Columbia Division
Damian and Erica Azak – Gitwinksihlkw

Jonathan Hopkins, Executive Director – Victoria ARC  

Alberta and Northern Territories Division
Major Margaret McLeod – Calgary Agape Hospice 

Captain Peter Kim – Grande Prairie Community Church  

Prairie Division
Ivy Scobie – William Booth Special Care Home

Major Brenda Hammond – Portage la Prairie Corps

Ontario Division
Meighen Manor COVID-19 Response Team
Leadership Team:
  • Julie Wong – Retired Executive Director
  • Glenn van Gulik – Response Team Co-ordinator
  • Captain Ian Scott – Response Team Co-ordinator
  • Majors Beverly and David Ivany – Team Chaplains, Emotional and Spiritual Care
  • Joanne Tilley – Divisional Social Services Secretary
  • Major Faye Shail – Chaplain
  • Major Patricia Tuppenney – Chaplain
Team Members:
  • Captain Graciela Arkell
  • Lieutenants April Barthau and (Dr.) Marco Herrera Lopizic
  • Marlie and Rick Boville (Oshawa)
  • Major Paulette Bungay
  • Major Stephen Court
  • Majors Jennifer and Terence Hale
  • Major Darlene Hastings
  • Captain David Hickman
  • Captain Kathleen Ingram
  • Major Jeff Johnston
  • Major Steve Manuel
  • Majors April and David McNeilly
  • Hannah McNeilly (Toronto)
  • Major Jim Mercer
  • Captains Keesom and Tina Phanthaamath
  • Major Laurie Reilly
  • Captain Ian Robinson
  • Major Mark Stanley
  • Kevin and Nancy Thompson (Oshawa)
  • Captains Deb and Jim Vanderheyden
  • Major Lynda Wakelin
Majors Marilyn and Sean Furey – Sault Ste. Marie

Quebec Division
Harout Tarakjian – Executive Director, Montreal Booth Centre

Maricarmen Raudales – Executive Director, l’Abri d’Espoir

Maritime Division
Majors Orest and Tracy Goyak – Saint John Hope Community Church 

Lakeview Manor – Moncton
  • Hazel Furlong
  • Major Lynda Wakelin – Executive Director
  • Major Marie Hollett – Chaplain

Newfoundland and Labrador Division
Captain Maurice Collins - Posthumously

Bermuda Division
Maxwell Assing 

Major Wayne Knight

Territorial Headquarters
Toronto Grace Health Centre Leadership Team
  • Jake Tran
  • Patricia Skol
  • Antonietta Kotanidis
  • Raymond Lam
Josie Delpriore – THQ Human Relations


On Friday, June 30, 2023, Joe said:

I'm questioning why there is no recognition of front line Community and Family services or shelter staff.

Editors note: many of these awards were presented to CF&S and residential social service leaders who rolled up their sleeves and did the hard day to day work of serving people on the front lines

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