Trudy Beaulne Memorial Bursary

The 2022 recipient of the Trudy Beaulne Memorial Bursary is Mark Winfield, from Halton Information Providers/Information Oakville, ON. Mark was awarded the bursary on May 18, 2022 at the IO Symposium.


“Thank you, Trudy, for your passion and commitment to helping people. You are missed. Thank you for being a leader and for your courage.”

           -  Memorial message from 2018 Symposium attendee


Trudy Beaulne, the Executive Director of Social Development Centre Waterloo Region (SDCWR), passed away unexpectedly on Friday, January 5th, 2018.

Trudy was the agency’s longest serving Executive Director (more than 18 years), working as a community advocate who fought tirelessly throughout her life to represent society’s marginalized populations.

She served for two decades on a number of boards and groups, including:

  • Social Planning Network of Ontario
  •  InformOntario (IO)
  •  InformCanada (ICF)
  •  Mount Hope-Breithaupt Park Neighbourhood Association
  • Kitchener’s Festival of Neighbourhoods

Trudy was a past president at IO, and also a familiar face at IO’s annual Education and Networking Symposium as a presenter, mediator, vocal participant and advocate for the growth and sustainability of the Information and Referral sector.  Her catch-phrase of “collaboration and partnership” speaks volumes about her belief in building up services, networks and groups within all types of communities, even in times when others try to create division and distrust.

She was passionate about Community Information and Referral, and the important role it can play in an individual’s life. It can also be used in a community to help it grow, to be more compassionate and to identify unmet needs for community planning. For Trudy, the sector’s standards were more than an outline of how to do data management or how to handle questions from the public; it was about ensuring that that everyone had equitable access to human services information.

 “Anyone who had the pleasure of meeting Trudy could testify to the fact that her passion was contagious. For Trudy, her work was not simply a vocation to her—it was a way of life. Trudy’s very soul lived and breathed compassion. To be around her was to feel inspired.”

             - From letter from SDCWR board of directors about Trudy’s legacy  --- read the full announcement


The InformOntario Board of Directors, in recognition of Trudy’s commitment to the Information and Referral sector, has created the annual Trudy Beaulne Memorial Symposium Bursary.

The first recipient – in 2018 -  was her long-time staff member Todd Turnbull. Other recipients are:

  • 2019 - John Allec of Findhelp Information Services/Central 211
  • 2020 - no Symposium or bursary due to COVID-19 pandemic
  • 2021 - Faed Hendry of Findhelp Information Services/Central 211

This bursary will ensure that an eligible and deserving person within the I&R sector will have the opportunity to attend the annual 2-day Symposium (The bursary covers the registration fees only).

Eligibility Criteria:

  •  an InformOntario or InformCanada member in good standing (staff/volunteer) or individual IO member 
  • is able to attend the full 2 day Symposium
  • has been involved/worked in the I&R sector for 5 years or more

Trudy championed many things within our sector and throughout her own community. Trudy was, after all, an exemplary individual and one of a kind. In designing this Memorial Bursary, the Board knows that there are others in this sector working on many of the same goals, with similar dedication and passion. It wants to identify and acknowledge their commitment – these champions of Information and Referral.

 Our online application process should include examples of at least 2 of the qualities below which made Trudy such a fierce defender of a person-centred perspective towards social justice and equality, and the empowerment of others through information.

  • Demonstrates leadership in I&R sector/their community
  • An initiator/advocate in their community for developing partnerships and collaborative solutions
  • Politically active
  • Affiliations that demonstrate willingness to work for those less fortunate or in need of advocacy
  • Work with goal of eliminating poverty and empowering those less fortunate
  • Supported/Created community-based solutions
  • Willing to ask the hard questions, the “why” questions and push back on initiatives that create winners at a cost to individuals, services and communities

 Eligible candidates can either nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else (co-worker, stakeholder, etc). One reference who can speak about the candidate and their qualifications is required. The nominations for the bursary will be re-opened in April 2023.