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Canon NZ announces winners of biggest ever Grants program

11th September 2023

Love Soup  Sustainable Ocean Society  Predator Free New Zealand Trust
Image (L-R): Love Soup, Sustainable Oceans, Pukekohe High School

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND – 11 September 2023: Canon Oceania today announced the winners of the 2023 Canon Oceania Grants Program, recognising three inspiring New Zealand based organisations that are making a positive impact in their community.

Community not-for-profit Love Soup, Pukekohe High School and environmental group, Sustainable Oceans Society have each been awarded $2,500 cash and $2,500 worth of Canon equipment of their choice.

In addition, due to receiving the largest number of public votes, Love Soup took out the overall winner’s prize and will also receive a Content Development Package valued at $10,000.

These funds will support the projects by enabling the organisations to continue expanding the work in their respective fields.

“This year’s Grants program is the biggest it has ever been, as we celebrate 50 years of Canon in Oceania. The winners announced today are amongst the many incredible organisations that continue to make a difference in their local communities. The spirit behind the work being done is why Canon’s Grants program has gone from strength to strength over the past 17 years. We share in the recipients’ celebrations, and it’s our hope the Grants will bolster the impact these projects have on their local communities.”

Kotaro Fukushima, Managing Director, Canon Oceania

Introducing the New Zealand 2023 Canon Oceania Grants Winners

Community Grant and Content Development Package: Love Soup
Love Soup collects surplus food, from partners such as Countdown, and re-distributes it to frontline organisations like foodbanks, schools, and community kitchens so they can feed those in need. Last year alone, Love Soup rescued over 500,000 kilos of food which not only supported and nourished communities but prevented food waste. Their impact is felt across Auckland, Rotorua and Tokoroa communities where they also provide free community meals for families to come together and enjoy a night out together.

Julie King, Love Soup Founder, said “Love Soup is about feeding people and not landfill but we also work alongside a lot of other great food rescue groups and organisations sharing kai, like the Food Banks. Being awarded this grant will allow us to create a range of promotional materials so we can raise awareness of what we do, spread our impact and help more people. Charitable organisations can struggle with the small things so this wonderful prize will enable us to reach more people who need our help”

Education Grant: Pukekohe High School
A major art project in the heart of Pukekohe is sparking change and acting as a conversation starter for students about their own local history - especially Māori culture. Three of five murals are now complete, with rangatahi from Pukekohe High School working alongside Māori contemporary artists to not only enhance the town but connect the people of Pukekohe with their history.

Catherine Tamihere, Pukekohe High School art teacher, said “The Pukekohe Mural Project is about inspiring all our kids, Māori and non-Māori, teaching and enabling our rangatahi to respond to our history in a positive and creative way. These murals are about growing our spirit, building pride and shifting mindsets together, but they are also intended to provoke thought, conversation and to make sure we do not forget or ignore our history. This project has enabled our rangatahi to visually transform public spaces and to demonstrate to them, that they can be part of shaping their community.

The Canon Grant will help our rangatahi by providing the right tools to visually document and capture their environment and those in it. Their documentation becomes powerful resources for everyone, we would like to express our sincere thanks to Canon and everyone who supported the Pukekohe Mural Project. “Ka mua ka muri – we walk backwards into the future”.

Environmental Grant: Sustainable Oceans Society
Sustainable Oceans Society is currently undertaking the Great White Project which involves deploying satellite tags on baby and juvenile Great White Sharks in the Tauranga harbour region. This project will not only help them understand why these Great Whites have been migrating to the region but will help reveal habitat use and behaviour. It also involves scientific photo ID of sharks using their unique markings. The purpose of this project is to limit the adverse interactions between great whites and the public through widespread knowledge and information where, ultimately, the Great Whites tracks will be displayed live on a website to allow people to decide where to swim in the ocean.

Dr Riley Elliott, Shark Scientist said “The Canon Grant will go a long way in supporting the Great White Project. The camera equipment from Canon will assist with Photo ID work on a new and growing population of Great White sharks in New Zealand’s NE region. Photographs of unique dorsal fin and skin pigmentation markings on sharks allows scientists to identify individuals through time and space and enable population estimates.

The financial contribution of the grant will go towards boat running costs required to be on the water, the tagging work to track these animals and the community engagement both locally and nationally educating the public on where Great White sharks are and what they do via the Great White App. This is all in effort to inform the public of where these incredible, yet endangered animals are living and how their presence is a keystone species for the marine ecosystem.”

Since the inception of its Grants program 17 years ago and guided by its Kyosei philosophy of living and working together for the common good, Canon has supported more than 100 community organisations and schools, providing more than $500,000 in monetary and product support.

For more information about Canon Oceania’s Grants Program, please visit: New Zealand: 

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