• Mayor’s City Builder Award – Louis V. Patry

    Mayor Jim Watson and Innes Ward Councillor Jody Mitic presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award today to Louis V. Patry, recognizing more than 35 years of volunteer work in preserving and promoting the history and heritage of Orléans.

    Louis is a co-founder of the Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans (MIFO) in 1979, and la Société franco-ontarienne du patrimoine et de l’histoire d’Orléans (SFOPHO) in 2008. Over the years he has led many committees and contributed his expertise in the Francophone history and culture of Orléans to dozens of organizations and projects. Some of his notable achievements:

    In 1968, he was the first bilingualism policy advisor to the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.
    The first French cultural shows offered by MIFO in the early 1980s were organized by Louis and his team of volunteers. The popular program continues today at the Shenkman Arts Centre, with more than 8,000 tickets sold in 2014.

    In 2011, he created and served as the chair of the Comité pour l’amélioration de la place des noms francophones d’Orléans (CAPNFO), a SFOPHO committee that raised awareness about the importance of using French accents on French words in names and titles of public places, notably the accent on the “é” in Orléans.
    As a member of the Mayor’s working group to update the City’s Commemorative Naming Policy in 2011-2012, he researched and wrote a paper on commemorative naming policies of various provinces and major cities.
    At the request of the Gloucester Historical Society, he wrote a history of Orléans, which is available on the SFOPHO website in both languages.

    Louis’s contributions have helped make the SFOPHO a vibrant and active organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the Francophone heritage of Orléans and Ottawa. As the SFOPHO is the only Francophone historical society in the Ottawa region, it is often called upon to represent the French-speaking community of Ottawa with regard to heritage.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Helen Synek

    Mayor Jim Watson and River Ward Councillor Riley Brockington presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award today to Helen Synek, recognizing her 30 years of volunteer work at the Caldwell Family Centre in Carlington.

    In 1954, Helen left school in Youghal, Ireland, at 14 to start helping to support her family by working in a textile factory. She immigrated to Ottawa when she was 20. She has never forgotten her blue-collar roots and the loneliness of moving to a much bigger city so far from home. Her upbringing, and the challenges of living in a new country, helped her to make friends easily and to be empathetic to the people who seek essential social services as well as companionship at the Caldwell Family Centre.

    She continues to work in the day program at the centre most of the day, but also helps with the neighbourhood food bank and the seniors’ drop-in program. At almost 75 she has no plans to retire, preferring to stay busy and active helping the hundreds of people who come to the centre, whom she embraces as friends.

    The Caldwell Family Centre recently presented a 30-year service award to Helen. She told a reporter from the Ottawa Citizen: “The best part of the job is seeing the people every day and to try to make them feel important…and not use them to make yourself feel better.”

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Marie-Eve Chainey

    Mayor Jim Watson, Rideau-Vanier Ward Councillor Mathieu Fleury and Beacon Hill-Cyrville Ward Councillor Tim Tierney presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award today to Marie-Eve Chainey for her tireless work raising public awareness and funds to help people living with chronic kidney disease.

    In late 2001 while on an exchange program in Spain, Marie-Eve, a rising track-and-field athlete, was diagnosed as having kidney failure due to a rare blood disorder called Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS). She returned to Canada in February 2002 and survived on transfusions and dialysis but had to use a wheelchair and was not able to perform basic functions independently. Her situation began to turn around when she started nocturnal dialysis every night while she slept. She gained her strength back, worked hard to regain her fitness, went to uOttawa to study nursing, and joined the university track and field team. In July 2010, after struggling with kidney disease for eight years, she was able to compete in high jump at the National Track and Field Championships.

    Marie-Eve and her doctors believe patients with kidney disease do much better if they strive to be as fit as it is possible for each individual to achieve.

    As a result, she brought together a few dedicated medical professionals and family members to form the Alive to Strive Kidney Fitness Project — a not-for-profit organization committed to education and public awareness about chronic kidney disease and prevention.

    Through Alive to Strive, Marie-Eve is also involved with The Active Living Grant Program, which provides funding to help people within the Champlain Local Health Integration Network area who are living with kidney disease to participate in fitness activities.

    In April 2015, the annual Alive to Strive Race raised over $30,000 for the Alive to Strive Active Living Grant program and over $15,000 for three related charities, including the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Canadian Diabetes Association and Ottawa Hospital Kidney Research Centre.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Daniel McCarthy

    Mayor Jim Watson and Alta Vista Ward Councillor Jean Cloutier presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award today to Daniel McCarthy for his dedication to the mission of Scouting and to enhancing Ottawa’s southeast as a healthy, caring community.

    Over the past 20 years, Mr. McCarthy has been a leader of Beaver, Cub, Scout and Venturer troops with the 101st Ottawa Scouting Group at St. Aidan’s Church in Elmvale Acres, as well as a Group Commissioner for 13 years.

    Mr. McCarthy exhibits outstanding dedication and leadership, helping youth of all ages to get the training and master the skills they need for personal development, and inspiring other adult troop leaders by example. He is a special advisor to the Venturer Company, mentoring teens at a challenging time in their lives. He also leads the 101st Group in providing exemplary support to local community services through such initiatives as organizing a Christmas appeal to help local families in need, with the Scouts gathering donations.

    In 2013, he prepared an application on behalf of the 101st Scouting Group, for a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The application was approved in 2014, and the Elmvale Scouts received a grant of $8,900 that was used to replace and update camping equipment and tents, to buy equipment for backpacking, canoeing and snowshoeing, and to subsidize training for leaders as well as 15 Venturers.

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  • Dr. Safaa Fouda receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Ottawa –Mayor Jim Watson and Beacon Hill-Cyrville Ward Councillor Tim Tierney presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award today to Dr. Safaa Fouda for her volunteer work in bringing together Canadians and new immigrants, as well as all kinds of faith groups, with the goal of promoting mutual understanding and compassion.

    Dr. Fouda is a pioneering female engineer who moved to Canada from Egypt in 1969 and holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. She retired in 2005 as Deputy General for the CANMET Energy Technology Centre, Natural Resources Canada.

    During her career, she volunteered in a broad range of advisory committee roles with various federal government departments, the Police and RCMP, as a consultant on the tenets of the Muslim faith, and as a presenter in the interfaith community, consistently with respect to helping immigrants to integrate into and serve their new community, and to promoting shared respect and common values.

    After she retired, she became more involved in philanthropic and community work with an interest in helping vulnerable communities and in cross-cultural bridge building, peace-building, Muslim/non-Muslim relations, supporting human relief, education and advocacy for justice and human rights. She contributes finances and volunteers with numerous NGOs that focus on these causes. She has received several recognitions including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and Ontario’s “Leading Women Building Communities” award.

  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Mitch Kurylowicz

    Mayor Jim Watson and Osgoode Ward Councillor George Darouze presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Mitch Kurylowicz today in recognition of his volunteer work with Free the Children, the world’s largest organization of kids helping kids, and his four years to date of fundraising to build a boys’ secondary school in rural Kenya.

    Mitch, who is 17, has been doing volunteer work to benefit children in developing countries for 10 years through Free the Children. Inspired by Canadian philanthropists Craig and Marc Kielburger, who founded youth-targeted charities Free the Children and Me to We, Mitch has travelled to Kenya, India and China to work on community development projects.

    Since 2011, he has been raising funds through Project Jenga, a charity he founded to help Free the Children build an all-boys secondary school in the rural Narok south district of Kenya, which will complement the all-girls Kisaruni school that opened four years ago. Jenga is a Swahili word meaning “to build”.

    Free the Children has raised $1.8 million of the $2 million needed to build, furnish and start up the school, and Project Jenga is the biggest single contributor with more than $500,000 raised. The main fundraising event that Mitch organizes is an annual gala dinner; three have been held to date, and the 2015 gala held on March 31 raised $117,000. Mitch travelled to Kenya last August to break ground for the school; it is scheduled to open at the end of 2016.

    As the current Head Boy at Ashbury College, Mitch also works to organize collections for the Ottawa Food Bank and raise funds for Christie Lake Kids. Last year, he founded the Ashbury College Community Service Club. Also in 2014, he was awarded the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award for community leadership.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Jean Séguin

    Deputy Mayor Bob Monette and Councillor Stephen Blais presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Jean Séguin today in recognition of his many years of leadership and volunteer contributions in the Vars community.

    From 2006 to 2009, he spearheaded the participation of Vars in the City’s Neighbourhood Planning Initiative pilot project. Many of the programs and projects currently underway in Vars flow from the community plan that was developed during this process.

    As the immediate past president of the Vars Community Association and a tireless booster of his community, Mr. Séguin volunteers his time and considerable diplomatic talents to initiatives including the Marketmobile, the Vars summer youth camp program, the local rink, the community garden, renewal of the Cenotaph war memorial, and the establishment of a community Christmas sing-along and the lighting of the village Christmas tree.

    He works with the Anglican and Catholic parishes, French and English service organizations, funding partners from the private sector and at all levels of government, and any benefactor he can find who is willing to help the community to move forward on its priority projects. While Vars has been literally on the map for 130 years (as of 2016), and Mr. Séguin is working on pulling together a history of the community, he also focuses stakeholders on the great future that the village has ahead of it.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Chris Taylor

    Mayor Jim Watson, along with College Ward Councillor Rick Chiarelli, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Chris Taylor for his exemplary volunteerism providing educational presentations on computer-related topics as a member and current President of the Ottawa PC Users’ Group (OPCUG).

    Mr. Taylor has been an active member of the not-for-profit Ottawa PC Users’ Group since 1984, and was elected to the organization’s Executive Board in 1986. His ongoing involvement with the Ottawa Public Library’s (OPL) Community Events Program, since it began in 2008, has provided hundreds of free technology-based presentations to the community at various library branches across the city.

    Through the Ottawa Public Library, the Ottawa PC Users’ Group has delivered more than 220 free two-hour educational presentations to the Ottawa community on a variety of computer-related topics, based on the group’s philosophy of “users helping users.” Mr. Taylor has worked tirelessly and selflessly for more than 10 years, often giving two or three presentations per week, on timely topics ranging from “How to Buy a PC,” “Protecting Your Computer,” and “How to Secure a Wireless Home Network.”

    Having personally delivered more than 200 presentations as of 2014, Mr. Taylor has demonstrated leadership, outstanding community service, and a strong commitment to educating and enlightening the residents of Ottawa. This dedication to public education continues with his commitment to additional presentations this year with the Ottawa Public Library on topics including digital cameras, photo editing, how the Internet works, media streaming and computer security.

    The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created by Mayor Watson to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building, or other exemplary achievements. Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public. The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Kerry MacLean

    Mayor Jim Watson, along with Beacon Hill-Cyrville Ward Councillor Tim Tierney, today presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Kerry MacLean for his outstanding community service as high school coach, founder and President of the Maverick Volleyball Club.

    Mr. MacLean is recognized for his inspirational leadership of the Maverick Volleyball Club that he started in 1985 and built into the largest and most successful volleyball club in Eastern Ontario, with 27 teams and more than 75 volunteers and coaches.

    Mr. MacLean has been building the volleyball community in Ottawa since he became a teacher at Colonel By Secondary School in 1984. He has been a volunteer coach for more than 150 teams during his career and has led both boys and girls teams to league, city, and provincial championships.

    He founded the Maverick Volleyball Club to offer children an opportunity to enjoy and excel at the sport through skills development and competition, and to gain valuable life and leadership skills. His leadership and vision has influenced and motivated thousands of children in the city, allowing them to develop as athletes and as productive and inspired citizens.

    It is a true testament to his leadership that, with the incredible growth and success of the club, he has also inspired many of the early members to return to volunteer and coach, as well as bring their own children into the program.

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  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Margaret Knight

    Mayor Jim Watson and Councillors Rick Chiarelli and Mark Taylor presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Margaret Knight today in recognition of more than 35 years of running free breakfast and lunch programs at the Foster Farm Community Centre, as well as volunteering with several other community charitable organizations.

    Often long before sunrise, five days a week Mrs. Knight is at Foster Farm’s kitchen preparing breakfast for 40 to 45 children and planning two lunches weekly for about 35 adults. Her breakfasts give the children a nourishing, filling start to their day, and her lunches aren’t a simple soup and sandwich – she prepares full meals like turkey or chicken dinners, homemade lasagna and shepherd’s pie, all with vegetables and dessert. If the available funds on any given day don’t stretch far enough, she often buys additional supplies with her own money.

    And her generosity doesn’t stop when she leaves Foster Farm. She’s also an enthusiastic volunteer at the Britannia Woods, Morrison Gardens and Starwood nursing homes and St. Vincent’s Hospital. She assists physically challenged members of the community to get to church on Sundays; she prepares Christmas hampers; and on Fridays, she delivers Meals on Wheels.

    The residents who nominated Mrs. Knight say her welcoming and caring nature contribute at least as much to the community as her volunteer work. She not only provides meals, she provides companionship. She loves to introduce people who are alone to others, and she creates a positive atmosphere of sharing and encouragement.

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