2013 Urban Leadership Award recipients announced

Seven individuals and groups have been chosen as the winners of this year’s Urban Leadership Awards program for making Canada’s cities healthier, safer, and more dynamic places to live and work.

Ranging from a mixed-media collaborative documentary program that helps communities re-envision their high-rise neighbourhoods to a volunteer-led festival of urban literacy, and to individuals who have dedicated years to building their communities, the winners this year once again demonstrated creativity, persistence, 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 Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) Board Member Rupen Seoni. “We had impressive nominations from all across the country to select from,” said Mr. Seoni. “It was an extremely difficult decision-making process this year, and the jury for the first time decided to award three honourable mentions in the Global City and Innovation, Prosperity and Renewal, and Youth Categories.”

The awards ceremony to honour this year’s exceptional urban leaders will be held on June 17, 2013 from 11:30am to 2:30pm at the Westin Ottawa Hotel.

The 2013 Urban Leadership Award Winners are as follows:

City Soul: The winner is Jane’s Walk, for initiating volunteer-led walks that help people understand and learn about their neighborhoods, and that foster urban literacy and civic engagement.

City Champion: Two winners claimed this award – Brian F.C. Smith for transforming a neighbourhood centre into one of Toronto’s leading social-services organization that has come up with innovative models to solve complex urban issues – and John Tory for building greater regional cooperation to improve the economic development and efficiency of city regions, notably through the creation of the CivicAction Alliance.

Global City and Innovation: Produced by the National Film Board of Canada, HIGHRISE is a project that used the documentary process to drive social change, bringing community collaboration to bear on a global challenge (www.highrise.nfb.ca).

Prosperity and Renewal: Niagara Prosperity Initiative for creating an extensive initiative and investing in the long term into programs to decrease poverty in the region that focus on inclusion

Youth: Jacob Zorzella for being a role model in his community through his leadership roles, while pursuing an elite athletic career.

Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award: William (Bill) Teron for his influential career in public policy and passionate advocacy for quality design and commitment to development in the Ottawa area.

Honourable Mentions: East Scarborough Storefront is a hub model for service delivery that also serves as a community builder and facilitator across agencies, communities, and support organizations; Mitchell Cohen of the Daniels Corporation for working collaboratively through all phases of the Regent Park revitalization to build a vibrant new neighbourhood; and Jade Shortte with Drum Artz Canada for her commitment, dedication and leadership in her community, serving as a role model to children and aspiring musicians.

For more information about this year’s Urban Leadership Awards Program and to purchase tickets for the ceremony, please visit our website at www.canurb.org.   

The CUI’s Urban Leadership Awards program pays tribute to individuals, groups and organizations that have made a profound and lasting impact on the quality of life in Canada’s cities and urban regions. The awards program is also a fundraiser for the Institute in support of our internship program, dedicated to providing undergraduate scholars with practical work experience. The CUI is Canada’s leading applied urban policy institute with a mission to identify, develop and deliver policy and planning solutions to enable urban regions to thrive and prosper. The Institute’s work is dedicated to building strong communities and equitable, sustainable and competitive urban regions.