Elsie MacGill Awards Gala – The Elsie

The 13th annual Elsie MacGill Award Gala will be held at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel and Suites in Richmond Hill on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at 5pm-10pm. This year, for the first time, the Northern Lights Aero Foundation is planning an exciting two-hour networking event prior to dinner.


Individual gala tickets are $170/person. Student tickets are also available for $95/person. Purchase your tickets today!

Tables & Sponsorship

We will be accepting ads for our gala program and sponsorship for corporate and student tables of eight starting August 2. Corporate tables are $2,500 and student tables are $1,500. A combination of both a corporate and student table is available at the discounted rate of $3,500. Purchase your tickets today! Please contact us at for more information about sponsorship.

The 2022 award recipients are:

    • • Business Award – Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Air Canada Executive Vice President
    • • Education Award – Stéphanie Angrand, instructor, Canadian Forces leadership school
    • • Engineering Award – Damineh Akhavan, CEO of Global Women in STEM
    • • Flight Operations Award – Kim Winsor, Air Canada training Captain
    • • Government Award – Gisele Garceau, professional engineer and commercial pilot
    • • Trailblazer Award – Marlene Shillingford, Chief Warrant Officer, 2 Canadian Air Division
    • • Rising Star Award – Donya Naz Divsalar, CEO Caidin Biotechnologies
    • • Rising Star Award – Zainab Azim, future astronaut Virgin Atlantic


Please read this year’s award recipients’ full bios on our Wall of Fame page.


Do you know an inspiring Canadian woman in aviation or aerospace? Nominations for the 2023 Northern Lights “Elsie” awards will be opening January 1, 2023.

The Foundation’s national awards program, The Elsie MacGill Awards ("The Elsie") was established in 2009, and each year honours up to eight women for their contributions in specific aviation and aerospace disciplines. Award categories are: Flight Operations, Government, Business, Education, Trailblazer, Engineering and Rising Star. 

Through a nomination and judging process honourees are named each year and they are recognized each fall at a gala dinner. The event highlights the honourees’ life history through a combination of visuals, display materials and speakers who have known her throughout her personal and business life.

Nomination Criteria

      • determination and perseverance
      • enthusiasm
      • leadership
      • personal accomplishments in aviation or aerospace
      • the ability to inspire others
      • a contribution over an extended period of time (exception: Rising Star Award)

Nominations open annually January 1 - March 31 (We are accepting nominations in Jan 2023.)

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact

Click here for the 2022 recipients