Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Award

Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Award

September 28, 2011 13:10 ET

Trailblazer, Activist Wins Prestigious Aviation Award

High-Res Images Available Upon Request

UNIONVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 28, 2011) - Victoria's Roberta Taylor is the 2011 winner of the prestigious Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Award. Named after aviation pioneer Elsie MacGill, the award was established in 2009 to recognize and honour outstanding Canadian women in aviation and aerospace. Past award recipients include the Transportation Safety Board of Canada's Kathy Fox, and Heather Sifton of the Toronto Buttonville Municipal Airport.

Throughout her career, Roberta (Robbie) Taylor has demonstrated remarkable courage and perseverance through her contributions to the aviation industry and to society as a whole. Taylor grew up in Fort William, Ont. (now Thunder Bay) where she started her career as a commercial bush pilot with her parents float plane operation. Relocating to B.C., Taylor and her husband formed Taylor Aviation in 1978 in Cranbrook, B.C., where she flew in the rugged terrain of the Canadian Rockies as a fire patrol pilot for the B.C. Forest Service. Taylor became actively involved in air search and rescue and participated in a number of high profile searches conducted jointly with military air search and rescue crews. She became the first woman pilot to achieve civilian search master credentials in B.C.

Throughout her career, Taylor has tenaciously represented the interests of women in aviation. In 1972, she was recognized by Chatelaine magazine as Woman of the Year for her groundbreaking achievements in aviation and as a role model for women struggling to integrate the roles of wife, mother and career woman.

After injuries sustained as a passenger in a serious car accident ended her flying career, Roberta worked on the front lines in the social service field and on native reserves before completing her Master's degree. She now teaches at the University of Victoria in the Faculty of Human and Social Development. An environmental activist, Taylor is actively engaged in ensuring a safe operating environment for floatplanes, paddlers and rowers in the busy Port of Victoria.

Taylor will be presented with the Elsie MacGill Northern Lights Award at the third annual gala ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 29 at The School Restaurant in Unionville, Ont. The CBC's Jacquie Perrin will be moderating a guest panel at the event. For tickets and more information, visit www.northernlightsaward.ca.


High resolution images are available upon request. Please contact: Andrea Kwasnik at andrea@northernlightsaward.ca.

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