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Community Builders of the Year 2017

This year we recognized seven amazing individuals and organizations at the Community Builder of the Year Awards (CBYA) Gala on May 31. We also recognize everyday heroes through our on-going Community Builder Award program throughout the year.

Gala Recipients

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company

Community Builder of the Year

Since father and son co-founders Tim and Steve Beauchesne opened the brewery in 2006, they have used their platform as a force for good. In 2013 Beau’s achieved B Corp (Benefit Corporation) status, which certifies that Beau’s meets very high standards of social and environmental performance. Notably, the annual Beau’s Oktoberfest brings more than 20,000 people to Vankleek Hill in support of fundraising and community building initiatives. Currently, Beau’s is working towards a fundraising goal of $5 million for community, charity and the independent arts over the next 10 years.

Aaron Cayer


As co-owner of Birling–formerly Antique Skate Shop–and a skateboarder for over 20 years, Aaron has become more than a familiar face at the skate park. In fact, he advocates and develops them, spurring connection and civic engagement along the way. Aaron founded the Ottawa Community Skateboard Association (OCSA) as a platform to creatively and strategically tackle community challenges and realize new opportunities. Aaron also leads the not-for-profit group For Pivots SakeLightly-loved skateboards and parts are collected and rebuilt into new boards, which are donated to marginalized youth in Ottawa. Through this program, Aaron’s social innovation endeavours have brought him as far north as Iqaluit where he organized a week-long skate camp for 40 kids in 2015. The program was so dynamic and affecting, it ran a second time in 2016.

Parkdale Food Centre

Parkdale Food Centre

Poverty to Possibility Award

Parkdale Food Centre is a registered not-for profit charity staffed by a small team of dedicated staff, supported by a large base of energetic volunteers and a network of community partners who share our vision of  an Ottawa where everyone has the means and opportunity to live a healthy, connected, and fulfilling life. PFC’s mission is to build healthier, more connected neighbours and neighbourhoods through good food, innovative community partnerships, and by challenging inequalities in order to create lasting impacts. Co-located in the Somerset West Community Health Centre, the Parkdale Food Centre has become an inclusive community hub providing broad services and support to our neighbours in a welcoming supportive environment. In addition to a food bank that provides healthy food to 750 households each month, PFC regular programming includes cooking workshops, workshops for school groups, and two social enterprises for children and youth.

Project Step

Project Step

Healthy People, Strong Communities Award

Project step was created in 2007 in response to a lack of available resources for youth seeking treatment for substance abuse. Prior to its inception, those needing help were forced to seek it outside of their communities – incurring significant financial costs and limiting access to follow-up support. Today, project step partners deliver addictions counseling, prevention education, and family support in 57 publicly-funded high schools, three community-based schools (Operation Come HomeYouville CentreWabano Aboriginal Health Centre), and two residential treatment centres.



Community Impact Award

TD Bank has set a model for philanthropic corporate engagement in Canada and has created tremendous benefit for the Ottawa community.

For four years running, TD Bank employees have run the largest workplace campaign in Ottawa, consistently raising more than $400,000 to United Way. TD Bank also provides encouragement and resources to allow employees to contribute their time. As a group, TD Bank employees volunteer more than any other private employer in Ottawa. TD employees are also generous in supporting hundreds of community events each year in our city, including Pride Weekend, Canada Day and (for United Way Ottawa) the Beau’s Oktoberfest Bike Ride initiative all because of volunteer days.

Michelle Valberg

Ambassador Award

Michelle Valberg is a renowned portrait, adventurer and wildlife photographer who has been telling stories with her camera for more than 30 years. In 2009, she founded Project North, a not-for-profit organization committed to delivering education and sport-based opportunities to youth in Canada’s Arctic. Since its inception, more than $800,000 in new sports equipment has been delivered to more than 26 Inuit communities.  By then end of 2017, Project North expects to reach $1,000,000 in equipment donations. She dedicates her time to numerous charities that include Kind Canada, CHEO, The Ottawa Hospital, St. Joe’s Women’s Centre, the Algonquin College Foundation and the Youville Centre to name a few.

Walk this Way

All That Kids Can Be Award

Walk this Way is a motivational, goal-oriented, wellness program targeting children living in vulnerable neighborhoods. Aimed at combating obesity and associated health risks, it features 14 weeks of progressively difficult destination walks, culminating with the 5k event at the Ottawa Race Weekend. The Program is unique in that it promotes not only physical activity, but leadership, social responsibility and community awareness. Originally operated in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, it has since blossomed and now boasts active participation by more than 200 children between the ages of seven and 17.

Program Recipients

Adrienne Duff

Adrienne Duff volunteers her time empowering women at Dress for Success Ottawa National Capital Region and inspiring other volunteers. They say Adrienne exudes heart and soul in everything she does, and always brings her contagious enthusiasm into the boutique.

Rev. Dr. Anthony Bailey

Rev. Dr. Anthony Bailey volunteers with Ottawans of all walks of life, from newcomers to those in need of a hot meal. Most recently, Rev. Dr. Bailey was known for standing up against the hate crimes in Ottawa after his church was vandalized and responding with love, justice and reconciliation.

Randy Provost

Randy Provost is volunteer hockey coach with Christie Lake Kids, mentoring youth and helping Ottawa kids realize their true potential.

Bismah Haq

Bismah Haq is a community leader with the Ismaili Council of Ottawa engaging youth and volunteers with Amnesty, Ontario Youth Parliament and initiatives welcoming newcomers to the city.

Leslie McDiarmid

Leslie McDiarmid has been a dedicated volunteer with the Maycourt Hospice of Ottawa for years working with people in their most vulnerable times. She has also been involved in engaging communities in local development through her work with the South-East Ottawa Community Health Centre.

Llewellyn Dicks

Llewellyn Dicks volunteers with children at the Banff Community House every Wednesday, delivering healthy snacks, helping kids with math homework and providing a listening ear for reading practice. He’s been volunteering for seven years and delivered more than 13,000 smoothies.

Kelly McKibbin

Kelly McKibbin volunteered as co-chair of the Board-wide United Way campaign last year and worked tirelessly with a campaign team of almost a hundred to raise over $500,000. She is also the driving force behind her family’s commitment as a summer host family for Waupoos Farm.

Peggy Pratt

Peggy Pratt leads the South Ottawa Little League, where participation has increased from 300 to over 500 participants, with an incline in girls participation. Over the years, Peggy has helped hundreds of youth in Ottawa thrive not only as baseball players, but as team members and eventually community leaders themselves.

Ken Sparks volunteers

Ken Sparks volunteers with Rotary Club of West Ottawa, where he led the charity golf tournament for fifteen years, raising about $150,000 for a variety of charities including Christie Lake Kids, Cystic Fibrosis, and LiveWorkPlay. Ken has supported Disaster and Humanitarian Relief efforts globally and was a driving force behind the Rotary at Work initiative, where Rotarians work to create employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Chris Sheppard

Chris Sheppard is a community leader who has helped fundraise over $40,000 for For Pivots Sake, where lightly-loved skateboards and parts are collected and rebuilt into new boards, which are donated to marginalized youth in Ottawa.Chris has been the driving force behind many projects and organizations including The Arboretum Festival, Run OttawaSupport Local Month, and Apartment 613, to name a few.

Catherine Haba

Catherine Haba is a mentor at a youth-at-risk education program called YOUCAN and a member of the Youth in Policing Initiative. She is a dedicated member of United Way Ottawa’s Speakers Bureau, spreading her inspiring story about overcoming obstacles to succeed in school, all across the city from government departments to groups of teenage peers.

Craig O’Brien

Craig O’Brien has had a significant role in raising more than $200,000 during his years behind the United Way Campaign within Nelligan O’Brien Payne. Craig served on the Board of Trustees of the County of Carleton Law Association and was part of the New Lawyers and Articling Students Planning Committee, welcoming new association members to the local bar. He has also been involved with the Terry Fox RunRonald McDonald HouseCasino Royale Charity events, United Way’s Food Fusion and many more community events across the city.

David Bostic and Ashton Hughes

David Bostic and Ashton Hughes are tremendous musical volunteers in the Trinidad and Tobago community. Ashton has been instrumental in promoting cultural steelpan music in the region for 40 years and mentors youth in the arts. David has volunteered as a DJ, event organizer and fundraiser with many of Ottawa’s cultural groups, including St. Vincent and Grenadines, Barbados and the Jamaican Ottawa Community Association. 

Tony Semaan

Tony Semaan is a dedicated volunteer with Saint Charbel Parish, Ottawa, Maronite Catholic Church and a leader within his department’s government charitable campaign and in Ottawa’s Lebanese community.

Dillon Black

Dillon Black founded Queering613, which brings safer spaces for queers in the Ottawa community and advocates for marginalized voices. They show their dedication to the community and volunteer work through the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW) and they are also a member of the Graduate Students’ Association, Carleton University – among other notable accomplishments.

Eldon Holder

Eldon Holder is a dedicated youth mentor and volunteer with the Young Leaders Advisory Council and Camp Quality. He’s involved with organizing and hosting events with Black History Ottawa and the the Jamaican Canadian Association of Ottawa.

Alex Eloise

Alex Eloise is a leader in Ottawa’s St. Lucia community, helping bring charitable initiatives to life. He is also a volunteer coach and musician.

Hazel Pompey

Hazel Pompey volunteers with the Kanata Food Cupboard, AY Jackson Secondary School and the St. Vincent and Grenadines Association of Ottawa. She has impacted hundreds of young people and continues to do so through her volunteer work.

Osman Naqvi

Osman Naqvi founded the Kiwanis Club of Barhaven, is an active volunteer with the Caring and Sharing Exchange and UNICEF. He also created the YOUthheroes initiative, empowering local youth to create change in their communities.

Barry Burbidge and Joanne Creighton

Barry Burbidge and Joanne Creighton have volunteered for more than a decade with the Awesome Auction, which supports the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. They have been involved in many organizing and fundraising committees to engage the greater community.

Dr. Tessa Hebb

Dr. Tessa Hebb has been instrumental in Ottawa’s social finance field and a dedicated volunteer with Centre for Social Enterprise Development – CSED, the Ottawa Community Foundation and various committees around social enterprise.

Amanda Krocko

Amanda Krocko empowers and mentors youth through community work with Proud To Be Me and the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre. As a skilled athlete, she also coached girls soccer.

David Spring

David Spring has been an active member of United Way’s Community Impact Cabinet since 2012, always contributing and rarely missing a meeting. David has been a volunteer with Jewish Family Services and a member of the Board of the Social Planning Council. In 2015, through his work as a volunteer with Temple Israel, David also helped to find and set up suitable accommodation for a Syrian Refugee Family.