• Rabbi Cantor Daniel Benlolo receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and Kitchissippi Ward Councillor Jeff Leiper presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Rabbi Cantor Daniel Benlolo at City Council today in recognition of his volunteer service, particularly with the Jewish and interfaith communities.

    Rabbi Cantor Benlolo is very active in the community. He has worked as an educator at Talmud Torah and as a Judaic advisor for the Tamir Foundation. He is a frequent visitor to educational institutions to deliver interfaith messages of hope and peace.

    For Rabbi Cantor Benlolo, music is really at the heart of everything he does. He uses music to bring people together. He regularly visits the sick and the elderly and sings for them. He works closely with adults with disabilities, breaking down barriers through song. He founded the Tamir Neshama Choir, comprised entirely of adults with developmental disabilities.

    Rabbi Cantor Benlolo has been recognized for his community work. He is the recipient of the Elaine Rabin Social Services Award, the 2013 Governor General Caring Canadian Award and the 2004 United Way Community Builder Award.

  • Ibrahim Musa receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson, with councillors Catherine McKenney, Mathieu Fleury, Michael Qaqish and Marianne Wilkinson, presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Ibrahim Musa today at City Council in recognition of his volunteer work and efforts to empower and inspire young people in Ottawa.

    Ibrahim Musa is the Communications and Engagement Coordinator with Youth Ottawa, a not-for-profit charity founded in 1997 that envisions a city where youth drive positive change. Youth Ottawa was spearheaded by Max Keeping to take his advocacy for children and youth to the next level. The charity provides youth across Ottawa with the resources, training and support to develop the skills, confidence and strategies necessary to build a better community for themselves and their peers. Ibrahim is recognized for his belief that every moment spent with youth is an opportunity to empower and inspire them, and for living by that principle in his day-to-day life.

    Ibrahim arrived in Canada as a refugee from Iraq in 2002 and has lived in Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) ever since. He is an OCH Tenant Ambassador and a volunteer with the Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee (OYEC) where he works to increase youth engagement in decision making within the City of Ottawa. OYEC helps to encourage youth engagement and to amplify youth voices and representation at the City of Ottawa.

    Ibrahim is the founder and Executive Director of the Cuts for Kids Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides free haircuts for children of low-income families in the Ottawa community. He is currently a student of Political Sciences at the University of Ottawa and uses the opportunity to take what he learns in the classroom into the real world, every day.

    He is passionate about national socio-economic issues affecting low-income youth and families, which inspired him to initiate Cuts for Kids in 2015. Since its inception, Ibrahim has managed a team of eight dedicated volunteers. He has mobilized community members, local barbershops, hair salons and even lawyers who attend his events and provide pro bono advice and assistance. Ibrahim inspires youth to pursue and achieve their goals and Cuts for Kids is meant to help youth look and feel good about themselves. In August 2017, the Cuts for Kids Foundation received Agent Status with Youth Ottawa and officially become a charity. All Cuts for Kids fundraising efforts go directly towards the program to help more children around the City of Ottawa.

     

  • Kay Dubie and Liz Tucker receive Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Councillors Marianne Wilkinson and Allan Hubley, recognized Kay Dubie and Liz Tucker’s dedication to the community at today’s City Council meeting by presenting them with the Mayor’s City Builder Award.

    Kay Dubie began her volunteer work at the Kanata Seniors Centre in The Craft Group as a volunteer knitter and soon became and continues to be the Chair of the Kanata Seniors Craft Group. In this role she coordinates the operations of the group, which includes sponsorship of seniors’ services in the community, notably donating $10,000 to the local Hospice Care Ottawa facility.

    In September 2010, Kay became the Vice-President of the Kanata Seniors Council Inc., a local community association that advocates for seniors’ needs in the community. Part of her role with the Council was to implement an annual seniors’ games program.

    Kay then became President of the Kanata Seniors Council, leading the board through its various operations, Council Cafe, Instructional Computer Training Program, Travel Trips and other services for seniors in the community. Kay is now Past President of the board.

    Kay’s unwavering commitment to the Kanata Seniors Council Inc. and the partnership between the Council and the City of Ottawa is reflected in the quality of services available to seniors in the community.

    Liz Tucker has been a long-time resident of Kanata. She began her volunteer work at the Kanata Seniors Centre as a front desk receptionist where she greeted many friends and neighbours and introduced other seniors to the activities available at the Centre. She quickly expanded her volunteer role to join the Centre’s Special Event Team where she helped to coordinate and implement special events for the members of the Centre. In January 2010, Liz became the Treasurer of the Kanata Seniors Council Inc.

    In addition to her responsibilities as Treasurer, Liz also stepped forward to implement the annual seniors’ games program. The launch of the Far West Fun Fest began in May 2011 and saw 200 seniors participate in over 20 activities in a two-week period. This program is still going strong. Outside of Liz’s involvement with seniors, she is still an active volunteer with the Friends of the Library, Beaverbrook Branch, assisting with fundraising to augment the services available to the community.

  • Raffaela Plastino receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Riley Brockington recognized Raffaela Plastino’s commitment and dedication to the community by presenting her with the Mayor’s City Builder Award at today’s City Council meeting.

    Plastino and her family emigrated from Cleta, Italy in 1949. After landing in Halifax, they journeyed to Ottawa where they were welcomed by friends and family. Over the years, Rafaela has worked tirelessly for the Canadian Italian community and has always been ready to lend her organizing skills to help out a good cause.

    One of Raffaela’s major contributions has been the formation and promotion of Italian Week which started in 1974. She has dedicated over three decades in various capacities, having served as the president for 8 years and vice-president for 12 years. She has taken the lead, along with other committee members, to elevate this event from a local community celebration to a full-fledged popular extravaganza that is now advertised on tourist information sites throughout North America. Raffaela has also been involved in building the long-term care centre for seniors known as Villa Marconi. She also went door to door in the community to raise funds to help people in the Friuli region of Italy devastated by strong earthquakes in 1976.

    Raffaela has never shied away from hard work and long hours because her dedication to the community has always come first. She became the go-to person for translation services, a driver for medical appointments, a referral service for legal and medical services, and a source of support for people in dire straits. She has become well known for her willingness to help others. Her efforts have increased revenues for many businesses in Little Italy and around Ottawa, but most importantly have brought people together to savour Italian heritage.

  • Michael Deyell receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Michael Deyell at City Council today in recognition of his commitment to showcasing Canadian artists and for his many contributions to the LGBTQ community in Ottawa. The honour comes as the city celebrates the annual Ottawa Capital Pride Festival.

    Mr. Deyell returned to Ottawa in 2012 to purchase After Stonewall, Ottawa’s only LGBTQ bookstore, founded in 1990, in order to keep it open. He added further life to the store by, turning the business into Stonewall Gallery to showcase Canadian artists and their creations. In the last year, Mr. Deyell merged the gallery with his partner’s business, Wilde’s, creating Stonewall Wilde’s, a community shopping destination featuring the works of over 70 Canadian artists on two levels.

    Mr. Deyell is an active community leader and supporter of LGBTQ initiatives and causes. He is an advocate and fundraiser for Bruce House, which cares for and supports people living with HIV and AIDS. He has also been extremely active and supportive of the Village, Ottawa’s Gay Village, helping nurture it into a thriving, inviting and inclusive neighbourhood with businesses and restaurants. In 2015 Mr. Deyell sat on the board of Swirl and Twirl, an annual Ottawa fundraiser for charities. With his expertise in social marketing and public relations, he currently sits on the board of TotoToo Theatre.

     

  • Christo Bilukidi receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson, Gloucester-South Nepean Ward Councillor Michael Qaqish and Alta Vista Ward Councillor Jean Cloutier  presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award at City Council today to Christo Bilukidi.

    Christo Bilukidi was born in Angola and lived in France and Brazil before his family settled in Ottawa. He attended and played football for Georgia State University on a scholarship, and later played in the National Football League for the Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens. When the six foot five, 300-plus-pound, defensive lineman left the NFL last August, after four seasons in the League, he just wanted to come back home, where he knew he could find happiness both in his heart and in his head.

    A few months ago, Bilukidi became an ambassador for Ottawa Community Housing and is excited about the role. Getting involved in the community is important to him. In his work with Community Housing, he is having an impact on youth — something that makes his mom, Juliana, proud, but is also important to him. He now runs a summer camp for OCH youth with the help of the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks.

    He also has a love for fashion, which has not only translated into a business, with his men’s clothing line, Idlewood Bespoke, but a great way to give back to the community, by participating in OCH Arts Camps where he has the chance to discuss fashion and entrepreneurship with kids of all ages.

    He shares with the youth that coming from a low-income area shouldn’t discourage them from succeeding in life. Bilukidi’s conversations with kids go much deeper than just football; he is there to talk about anything that may be on their minds. For these reasons, Christo is glad to be back in the place he calls home.

  • Ottawa Police Chorus receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson, West Carleton-March Councillor Eli El-Chantiry, and Somerset Ward Councillor Catherine McKenney presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award at City Council today to the Ottawa Police Chorus for their contributions to the community since 1972 and for enhancing the image of the Ottawa Police Service through song.

    Chorus Manager Barbara Duggan accepted the award on behalf of the 43 members who sing in four-part harmony, and Musical Director Geoffrey Linklater addressed the audience before the chorus performed “Go Now in Peace”.

    The Ottawa Police Chorus was the brainchild of former Police Chief Leo Seguin and began in 1972 as an all-male group of active, on-duty police officers under the direction of Craig Davidson an Ottawa school music teacher. The chorus was set up to encourage the men of the Police Force to become better acquainted with each other on a less formal level and to enhance the image of the police through song. In 1991, membership was extended to women, civilian staff and members of the community.

    This year the chorus celebrates 45 years of singing for the community in support of the Ottawa Police Service. Three of the original tenors, Wayne Barry, Paul Rochon and Jean Roger remain singing with the chorus which has performed annually since 1978 at the Canadian National Police Memorial Service.

    The chorus is privileged to stand with other police choruses from across Canada on the steps of Parliament Hill every September to honour the sacrifice of fallen officers at the National Police Memorial and also performs at the annual memorials for fallen police and peace officers held in May at Queens Park in Toronto.

    Significant events for the chorus include memorial services, Remembrance Day ceremonies, and civic events like the Mayor’s Canada Day Breakfast, that speak to the variety of repertoire needed and the scope as the chorus continues to address the objectives of its mandate. Over the years the chorus has performed abroad in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Germany and the United States. It has also welcomed police choruses from the UK and Germany as well as locations across Canada.

  • The Very Reverend Father Ghattas Hajal receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson, River Ward Councillor Riley Brockington, and Gloucester-South Nepean Ward Councillor Michael Qaqish presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award at City Council today to the Very Reverend Father Ghattas Hajal, the Dean and Pastor of St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral. Father Ghattas has served at the Holy Altar for 40 years and is recognized as a City Builder for enriching the life of the Cathedral and its faithful with his pastoral experience and leadership.

    Father Ghattas was born in Lebanon and ordained to the Holy Priesthood on the Great Feast of Pentecost, May 27, 1977. In 1990, he and his family departed Lebanon to build a new life in Canada. He established Saint Mary’s Church in Montreal where he was their first priest in charge. In 1992, Father Ghattas assumed the pastorate of Saint Elias Cathedral in Ottawa. Under his leadership, the membership increased significantly to 1,800, the new church was completed, and the mortgage paid off. In addition to his pastorship, Father Ghattas holds other leadership positions in the Orthodox Church, namely: Dean of Canadian Deanery of the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada, and Upstate New York, President of the Eastern Orthodox Clergy Association of Ottawa, Spiritual Advisor of the Order of Saint Ignatius of Antioch for the Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada, and Upstate New York, Chaplain of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship of Carleton University, and Member of the Interfaith Steering Committee of Ottawa.

    Father Ghattas is an active and outspoken pillar in the Ottawa Lebanese community. His passion for his Orthodox faith and Lebanese heritage are a beacon that guide the entire Lebanese community in Ottawa, not just his parishioners. Under his guidance, the Ottawa Lebanese Festival, chaired by George Hanna, has provided thousands of attendees with an opportunity to experience a glimpse into Lebanese culture and the Orthodox Cathedral. Father Ghattas always found joy in dancing, and every July at the opening ceremony of the Ottawa Lebanese Festival, he proudly and patriotically dances carrying the Lebanese flag. His impact on the Lebanese community, and all that encounter him has been extremely positive.

     

  • Glenn Mooney receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Osgoode Ward Councillor George Darouze presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award at City Council today to Glenn Mooney for his many years of service with Camp Quality, a national charitable organization devoted to providing free camp experiences and year-round programming for children with cancer.

    Glenn Mooney is Director of Camp Quality of Eastern Ontario and he and his wife Pam have been involved with the organization for over 18 years. Camp Quality Canada is part of an international family of organizations originally founded in Australia in 1983 and brought to Canada in 1988. Its mission is to provide programs to support children with cancer and their families, an area not being addressed by any other organization. The aim of Camp Quality is to provide uplifting experiences for kids with cancer, and the primary focus is the incredible opportunity to create a program of empowerment, encouragement and, most importantly, fun for these amazing children.

    Glenn projects a warm, cheerful attitude to campers, parents, volunteers, and everyone he interacts with. He resolves conflicts and handles other difficult situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact. He loves people, works hard, and always tries to lift the spirits of those around him. His willingness to take on difficult projects, such as raising the tens of thousands of dollars required to run the camps, and coordinating with teams of volunteers to see them to succeed, is impressive.

     

  • Patrick Lin receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Ottawa – As the founder of RideauStone Arts Centre, a not-for-profit organization based in Ottawa, Patrick Lin was presented with the Mayor’s City Builder Award at today’s City Council meeting by Mayor Jim Watson and Gloucester-South Nepean Ward Councillor Michael Qaqish for promoting cultural exchanges between Canada and China. Mr. Lin was also recognized for his work with the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, Invest Ottawa, and with many programs to attract Chinese investment to Ottawa.

    Mr. Lin and his wife are active patrons of the NAC Foundation, and they are supporting partners of the NAC Orchestra Canada 150 Tour. Mr. Lin also organized a concert on February 12, 2017 for a musical celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary by the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra,

    Mr. Lin was born in 1966 in the People’s Republic of China and graduated with a Bachelor Degree of Laws from Beijing University of International Relations in 1989. He worked in the Central Government of China, and Beijing Municipal Government for 10 years in senior and key positions and in 1999 received his diploma of Business Administration from Siemens Management Institute, specializing in human resources management and strategic investment.

    Mr. Lin and his family moved to Ottawa in 2011 and set up his investment company RideauStone Investment Inc, which engages in material investment in Ottawa. He also set up a consulting company in China named Beijing Ottawa Summit in order to facilitate the exchanges between Beijing & Ottawa.

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