Patrick Conner was a passionate collaborator: as an advocate, actor, director, co-op member and colleague, Patrick gave freely and generously of himself. His contributions have influenced and inspired all who had the pleasure to work with him. It is no coincidence that after, or perhaps more accurately, alongside a successful career in the highly collaborative medium of the theater, Patrick should find himself as 1 of 70 members in a worker owned co-operative.
For the past six years, Patrick was a member-owner of The Big Carrot Natural Food Market in Toronto’s east end. He thrived in this co-operative workplace, wearing many hats and serving on numerous committees including chairing the Standards Committee, the local BIA, the Carrot Cache Board as well as The Big Carrot Board of Directors. He was an excellent ambassador for the Organic movement: eloquent, passionate and so very clever. He built partnerships easily and was a champion of people and innovative ideas. He was a man of vision, as bold and brilliant as his colorful array of pants, whose willingness to say “yes” and lend his support and acumen to an idea helped realize many projects and initiatives within the co-op as well as the Organic and non-GMO movement.
Patrick was instrumental in The Big Carrot’s continued support of education and outreach events in Ontario such as The Guelph Organic Conference and The Canadian Organic Growers: Toronto Consumer Conference. He was astute, insightful and deeply committed to creating a better food system, free of GMOs. He worked tirelessly with The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) and The Non-GMO Project to raise awareness and support for these organizations and their shared mission. He served on the Non-GMO Project Board of Directors for several years and anchored The Big Carrot’s commitment to this essential work.
Patrick Conner died of cancer on Friday, December 7, 2012. We honour his memory through our continued commitment to a non-GMO future.
Please visit Theatre Rusticle (http://theatrerusticle.org/Theatre_Rusticle/The_Patrick_Conner_Award.html) to learn more about The Patrick Conner Award. This unique award straddles and unifies the two worlds that were essential to Patrick ~ theatre and the sustainable food movement. This annual award honours two individuals, one from each sector, with a cash prize of $2500 each. The deadline for application is May 15th, 2013 and the award will be presented in Summer 2013 on the Carrot Common Green Roof.