Monday, September 12, 2011

Change a Life that can Change the World - The 2011 Naturally Autistic People Awards

The 2011 Naturally Autistic People Awards and Convention is just a whisper away, but there is nothing quiet about this gala production.  This event will honor the creativity, talents, and magnificant work by autistic children and adults from around the world. Nominees submitted original artwork, poetry, music, photography, and writing and the award winners were choosen by an independent judging committee. Submissions came from the UK, Canada, Australia, India, USA, Germany, Scotland and New Zealand. 

September 23rd thru the 25th, the winner's names and efforts will be recognized and awarded in an unforgetable way, in one place, Vancouver, Canada.

Who should attend?  Anyone who is autistic, anyone who has been touched in some way by autism, and everyone else in the general public.  The days of being unaffected by autism are over.  This is a great way to see what happens when we focus on the good, hone the strengths, and work hard to overcome challenges, no matter who you are!

Charlie Collura
Leonora  Gregory Collura
Who is the mass force behind this global event? A husband and wife team, also the founders of ANCA, are behind the scenes. They receive no grants or funding, yet have worked hard, one relationship at a time, as their vision for the inclusion of all people has culminated into this elegant, extravaganza put together "by autistic people, for autistic people." 

Charlie Collura and Leonora ( Leo) Gregory Collura, the brains behind ANCA, are both autistic. They have had a huge outpouring of support by both individuals and businesses who are wisely mindful that Charlie and Leo's tireless efforts in teaching families, children, and society how to adjust to life with autism, in a natural way, is an asset to the community, surrounding areas, the nation, and now, the world. Focusing on what can be done instead of what cannot and focusing on strengths is a big part of their attitude. Seems like a breath of fresh air, but Charlie and Leo have been faithfully helping autists help themselves for 30 years!

Kay Meek Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia,  Canada
On Friday, Sept. 23, guests will arrive at the beautiful, Kay Meek Centre, to view a magnificant, 24-piece collection of original art by talented, autistic people from all over the world. 

Guests will be entertained by the marimba band,  The Knotty Dotters and actor Tammy Klein will emcee the evening's events.  Here is a 30 second link to hear her speak about the Awards:

Janet Panic will also be singing the National Anthem and event's theme song, "It Will All Work Out." There will be several other readings, performances, and demonstrations, as well as a video message by Joey Travolta and a live phone message from Dr. Temple Grandin who is the event's Official International Ambassador.  Several hosts made up of various performance artists and entrepreneurs will be presenting the 2011 submissions/nominations.  All involved are autistic.

The Pinnacle at the Pier, North Vancouver
The festivities and fellowship will continue the next day, Saturday, Sept. 24 with workshops by autistic people and a guest appearance by TV and film actor Michael Harding.  This part of the event will be held at the luxury hotel and restaurant, The Pinnacle at the Pier - North Vancouver.

Sunday, Sept. 25, will bring on the Gala Awards Dinner and Dance also at the posh Pinnacle at the Pier.  There will be a mingling reception from 5pm to 6pm as well as a photo shoot. Dinner will be served and afterwards, the breathtakingly beautiful awards, each one original handblown glass, standing at least 10 inches high, will be presented to the deserving winners. To top off the celebration, a dance kicks off at 8:30pm with the live Jazz trio, Kevin Costin and the Raincoast Riders.

To really feel the impact, to be touched and understand the outreach happening here please click this link showing last years nominations and awards event.  Turn your volume up so you can hear this year's theme song, it's wonderful! 

To learn more or to help an autist get to the event, please go to

Annie Eskeldson writes children's books about autism that also nurture the parent and can be found at  She also hosts Children's Express, a show brought to you and sponsored by ANCA to help parents learn how their children naturally express themselves.  It can be found on


  1. Amazing. Have not heard about this, glad you posted this. delete

    sschell73 Added: 12 Sep, 2011 9:27 am

    People with challenges can make contributions to society. delete

    thegfcfchef Added: 12 Sep, 2011 8:23 am

    Awesome. delete

  2. Patsy Added: 14 Sep, 2011 7:59 pm

    Sounds like an amazing Gala. Let us know how it goes, Annie. delete

    MysonJACKSON Added: 13 Sep, 2011 1:18 pm

    Absolutely love that they have this. I had no idea, either! delete

  3. AnnieEskeldson Added: 15 Sep, 2011 10:42 am

    Thanks everyone - yes, this is a huge event - ANCA spends all year planning it. I have personally spoken with Leonora many times, she is amazing and so is her team. This is the attitude we all need regarding autism, that our children ( and adults) have value, have worth, and for everything people see wrong with them, there's most likely double the things right. This is the way I've viewed my own daughter and felt so alone until ANCA and Leonora came along and so validated my attitude and all the work I've done with my own child. You've only just begun to hear about the Naturally Autistic People Awards!!!!! Thanks so much for reading ya'll!! delete

  4. SashaVeritas Added: 15 Sep, 2011 4:41 pm

    Must be an amazing ceremony and a great event to attend. Very Awesome! delete

  5. noelbella Added: 16 Sep, 2011 2:55 pm

    Would love to watch this. delete

  6. _savadosh Added: 21 Sep, 2011 3:48 pm

    Love it :-) delete

    Claire_radley Added: 20 Sep, 2011 2:01 pm

    Wonderful that Canada is doing something like this! Very cool. delete

    daiel_boyd Added: 19 Sep, 2011 8:00 pm

    What a terrific celebration! delete

    UK_CHARLIE Added: 18 Sep, 2011 7:56 pm

    Having asperger's I wish I heard about this before. Sounds so great!

  7. This is actually a fantastic blogs! More of these details are superb -it is nice to see one that current.
    military watch