Catching Up With Leor Rotchild, 2011 YMCA Peace Medal Recipient

The 2011 YMCA Peace Medal Recipient for Humanitarian Award was Leor Rotchild.

When Leor moved to Calgary more than ten years ago, he was enticed by the city’s potential of making a positive impact on the world stage. Leor began getting involved in an array of different issues. Today, he remains firmly rooted with a hand in multiple projects that covers many issues including corporate responsibility, environmental sustainability and civic engagement.

The numerous initiatives Leor has been involved in have made a profound impact on Calgarians, Canadians and even citizens of the world. His work in corporate responsibility has helped large influential organizations reflect on their impact on the community.

“What I’ve realized is that there are people all over the place doing all kinds of inspiring work, says Leor. “When you do get started, you connect with these people and you realize there’s so much strength in numbers.”

Among his many projects, Leor helped reduce the environmental footprint at the Calgary Folk Music Festival. He has grown the Folk Festival’s Environment Program to reduce the festival’s total waste by 75% while diverting 58% of that away from the landfill through a sophisticated recycling and composting program. Leor took the program one step further and eliminated bottled water at the festival.

Leor is also the co-founder of the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival. The festival showcases documentaries from around the world involving social justice and environment.
“My advice to people is just start somewhere, whether it’s internally, within the community or somewhere around the world, says Leor. “You can do something and make a difference. The beautiful thing is it makes your community better, and it makes yourself better.”

Follow Leor on Twitter.

If know of an individual or group like Leor who helps to build peace in their community, nominate them for a 2013 YMCA Calgary Peace Medal!