11 individuals and groups who are making Canada’s cities healthier, safer, and more dynamic places to live and work have been chosen as the winners of this year’s Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) Urban Leadership Awards program.
Ranging from a group of community animators to an international film festival, to individuals who have dedicated years to combating poverty or enriching the cultural fabric of their city, the winners this year once again demonstrated creativity, resourcefulness, and dedication to improving quality of life in cities across Canada.
Selection of this year’s winners was done by a cross-disciplinary jury, under the chairmanship of CUI Board Member Rupen Seoni. “Once again we had an amazing number of nominations to select from, all with very impressive accomplishments” said Seoni. “It is always difficult to choose the award recipients, but we take it as very positive sign of how many civic-minded people are out there, engaging in city-building and applying their talents to solving urban problem.”
For the first time ever, the jury also awarded a City Champion award in recognition of Paul Oberman’s lifetime dedication to building, restoring, and reviving the City of Toronto. The award acknowledges Paul’s distinctive contributions to the culture and renewal of Toronto, and his personal commitment, vision and passion to enhancing Toronto’s neighborhoods, public spaces and streetscapes.
The awards ceremony to honour this year’s exceptional urban leaders will be held on June 9th from 5-7:30-pm at the Liberty Grand at Exhibition Place.
City Soul Rita Davies: for her leadership role in stewarding Toronto’s cultural landscape through the commissioning of the Culture Plan for the Creative City, and for overseeing the creation of a Waterfront Culture Plan, Door’s Open Toronto, and Toronto’s Live With Culture that culminates in Nuit Blanche
Local Hero Bob Saunderson: for undertaking and championing the Bloor-Yorkville Urban Design Guidelines and the Bloor Street Transformation Project and for his dedication to the Bloor-Yorkville BIA
Lawrence Heights Community Animators: for playing a fundamental role in supporting and facilitating civic participation in the Lawrence-Allen Revitalization Plan and assisting in the development of a community vision for this revitalization process
Global City Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF): for bringing the best of world cinema to Canadians and the best of Canadian cinema to the world through the largest public film festival on the globe
Imagination Green Change Project: for building capacity for environmental change in the Jane Finch neighbourhood through training and work opportunities for local residents, networking and community events and a permanent space for resident-led social enterprise initiatives
Prosperity Mark Chamberlain: for his dedication to creating businesses, jobs, prosperity and a culture of innovation in the Greater Hamilton Region through his leadership role in creating The Innovation Factory, the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction and the Jobs Prosperity Collaborative (JPC)
Renewal CentreVenture Development Corporation: for providing the leadership, vision and connection for business and government to work together on development opportunities for the betterment of downtown Winnipeg and the city as a whole.
Safety and Resilience The Victoria Integrated Homelessness Intervention Initiative: for its innovation program to assist Victoria’s high needs population with an integrated housing and health services program.
Youth The Burgundy Brick Foundation: for acting as a bridge between youth volunteers and Toronto’s not-for-profit organizations to support affordable housing initiatives within their community.
Chalo Barrueta: for his leadership roles at Banyan Youth, which engages young people in hands-on environmental education experiences to provide life skills, and at UforChange, which serve as a forum to explore socio-economic issues and art forms to generate social and economic change.
David Crombie Award Jane Pepino: for her extensive record of volunteer service in support of women’s health and public safety.
2011 Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award Eb Zeidler: his contribution as an architect, planner and city builder dedicated to improving the public realm spans the length and breadth of Canada over more than four decades.