• 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Patricia Tait

    Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Eli El-Chantiry presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Patricia Tait today in recognition of her 20 years of community activism in West Carleton, notably her volunteer work with Ottawa Riverkeeper.

    Mrs. Tait has been an active volunteer for over 20 years helping to maintain the Morris Island Conservation Area, and has been monitoring the health of the Ottawa River near Chat Falls Dam for 10 years as one of 50 River Watchers for Ottawa Riverkeeper. She took a lead role in the work to find an ecologically friendly solution for shuttling boats around the Chat Falls Dam. The boat bypass, at Mohr’s Landing next to the Quyon ferry dock, opened in July 2006. In 2009, she received the Daniel Brunton Outstanding Volunteer Award from Ottawa Riverkeeper.

    She is a community leader who helps residents on both sides of the Ottawa River to understand why protecting the river is important, and what they can do to help. She is often seen at community events in West Carleton–March wearing her Riverkeeper t-shirt, spreading her knowledge and passion for clean, healthy and sustainable waterways – always with a friendly smile.

    She’s also an enthusiastic volunteer with the West Carleton Food Bank food drive, the Arnprior and District Food Bank and the Friends of the Carp River.


  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Carol Burrows

    Mayor Jim Watson and Ward Councillor Peter Clark presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Carol Burrows today for her five decades of advocacy for seniors’ rights and continuing volunteer work to improve the quality of life of Ottawa’s seniors and older adults.

    Mrs. Burrows, at 78, is not spending her upper years in warmer climates and leisure pursuits. Rather, she continues to work with many Ottawa organizations that help and advocate for seniors. Her personal focus is on affordable supportive housing for seniors, particularly women and those who have the lowest incomes or are homeless.

    She started working for a better quality of life for seniors in the 1970s, when she was in her 20s. She was managing a Lighthouse program at a local school, where she arranged an evening program to help teach people how to care for their elderly parents. She also developed a pilot project that encouraged grade six students to spend at least one afternoon a week with seniors at a nearby nursing home. The pilot was a huge success and became permanent.

    The long list of organizations she has worked with, and helped steer as a director, includes:

     – Cornerstone, an emergency shelter and supportive housing facility for homeless women
    – Community Care Access Centre
    – Council on Aging of Ottawa
    – Carefor Health and Community Services
    – Champlain Local Health Integration Network
    – United Way Ottawa Seniors Affordable Supportive Housing Task Force

    Mrs. Burrows has received numerous awards and citations for her work, including the Council on Aging of Ottawa’s 2008 Margaret Griffiths Award

  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Bill Robinson

    Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Marianne Wilkinson presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Bill Robinson today, recognising his devotion to improving the lives of at-risk children and youth, and new Canadians, over the past 30 years.

    Mr. Robinson’s countless hours of volunteer work with the Michelle Heights Community House, the Pinecrest Queensway Community Health Centre, the Dave Smith Treatment Facility, Volunteer Ottawa, Rotary District 7040 and the Rotary Club of Nepean-Kanata have made a difference in the lives of new immigrants and the most vulnerable young people in our community.

    His focus in much of his volunteer work has been on promoting success in school and helping to provide the building blocks to secure job experience and build successful careers.

    As a Rotarian, he has worked on many community-service initiatives that have had a direct positive impact on Ottawa residents. He is currently a board member of the Ottawa Rotary Home, a respite care home for children and adults with complex disabilities. For the Caring and Sharing Exchange, he organizes the delivery of more than 300 Christmas hampers every December.


  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Catherine Burns

    July 9, 2014 – Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Katherine Hobbs presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Catherine Burns today for her outstanding contribution to culture in Ottawa through her work as a founder and builder of the traditional-song and contra dance community over the past 25 years.

    As a founder and tireless volunteer with the Old Sod Society and Ottawa Contra Dance, Catherine has been instrumental in building a vibrant community of musicians, singers, callers and dancers who enjoy affordable dances, concerts and workshops year-round.

    Aided by other volunteers, she runs approximately 50 community song-and-dance events a year for the Old Sod Society. She has recently founded a family dance series for parents and children, as well as a monthly community dance series, and provides training for volunteer local callers through the Ottawa Callers’ Collective.

    She has been a volunteer caller for contra dances at Winterlude, the Ottawa Folk Festival, the Grassroots Festival and Westfest, among other community events. She has recently expanded her calling to dances she has designed for local adults with disabilities.

    Contra dance refers to several partnered folk dances and has its origins in English, French and Irish country dance styles of the 17th century. The dance is designed and led by a caller. The music for contra dances includes Irish, Scottish and French-Canadian folk songs. The fiddle is the key instrument, but guitar, mandolin and other acoustic instruments are also used.


  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Mrs. Laura Dubois

    Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Allan Hubley presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Mrs. Laura Dubois today for her outstanding contributions to the Kanata community through her support of dozens of schools, charities and other community organizations.

    Laura is the owner of Laura’s Your Independent Grocer at Hazeldean Mall. She began her grocery career at 15 as a cashier. She worked her way up to service manager, to assistant manager, to manager, then bought her own Your Independent Grocer franchise over seven years ago. She and her husband sold their Orléans home and moved with their daughter, son and four cats to Bridlewood.

    Owning a neighborhood grocery store has given her a great way to support her community. She volunteers her time and donates food to many causes including local schools, The Kanata Food Cupboard, the Scott Tokessy Memorial Ball Tournament, the Shepherds of Good Hope, the City’s annual Christmas food drive, and countless local events and fundraisers.

    She donates food, prizes, funds and space inside the store for various organizations to run fundraisers that support the Kanata community.

    She serves on the John Young School Council and will be donating the food for a new breakfast program for children in need at the school.

    She also offers a free shopping service to local seniors and others whose special needs make it difficult for them to get out and shop for groceries.


  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Mrs. Doreen Lebano

    Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Jan Harder presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Mrs. Doreen Lebano today for her outstanding contributions to public health as the event founder for the Barrhaven Lions Club’s annual Mother & Daughter Gala Dinner, which raises funds for cancer patient care at the Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH).

    Doreen is a 24-year survivor of breast cancer and an 11-year survivor of a rare blood disorder called Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP).

    During the long hours of her treatments for TTP, Doreen’s daughter, Angela, would keep her company. Doreen enjoyed the quiet one-on-one time with her daughter and found it aided in her recovery. When she was healthy again, she decided to organize a fundraising event for the QCH. Her daughter suggested a mother-and-daughter gala dinner, and Doreen, a long-time member of the Barrhaven Lions, decided the Lions Club would be an excellent organization to host the gala.

    The Mother & Daughter Gala has been held every May for the past ten years. Doreen is the lead organizer and she has spent countless hours seeking sponsorships. To date, the gala event has raised over $100,000 for cancer patient care at the QCH. Recently, a patient counselling room in the Irving Greenberg Family Cancer Centre was dedicated to the Barrhaven Lions Club Mother & Daughter Gala in recognition of their support.

    Doreen also volunteers for many other community fundraising efforts by the Barrhaven Lions Club, as well as working at the Jerry Lewis Telethon for the past 12 years, and Barrhaven Fun Day on Labour Day weekend for the past 18 years. She has received two prestigious awards from Lions Club International: the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award and the Helen Keller Award.


  • Mayor’s City Builder Award – Susan MacLatchy

    Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Keith Egli presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Susan MacLatchy today in recognition of her outstanding contributions to public health through the founding of the Carleton Heights Curling Club’s Annual Bonspiel for Breast Cancer.

    Susan MacLatchy launched this event in 2000, raising $6,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in its first year. Along with her organizing committee, she has worked tirelessly to grow this event every year since.

    The 15th Annual Bonspiel for Breast Cancer was held on March 29, with approximately 100 women curlers from across Ottawa participating. This year’s bonspiel raised more than $40,000. In total, the Carleton Heights Curling Club Annual Bonspiel for Breast Cancer has raised approximately $400,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation while helping to build awareness of breast cancer prevention and treatment in our community.


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