Mayor’s Honour List for 2016
Mayor Matt Brown is pleased to introduce the Mayor of London’s Honouree List for 2016.
Each year, many active members of the London community are nominated in specific categories as a means of recognizing the diversity of philanthropic work taking place in The Forest City. The nomination process is handled through the City of London’s Advisory Committees with established criteria in place. Once a winner in each category is determined, the recipients are honoured at the first City Council meeting of the New Year. Following is the roster of this year’s honourees.
Gary is a strong community leader and supporter for grassroots action and community engagement. With a passion for cycling, he has been a champion in London for cycling initiatives. As a result of Gary’s leadership the start-up of London Cycle Link, a volunteer organization dedicated to making London a place where citizens can easily choose cycling as a preferred mode of daily transportation, is now London’s cycling resource.
Gary is the past vice-chair of the revived City of London’s Cycling Advisory Committee which advises and supports Council on policy such as the City's Bicycle Master Plan (BMP); the cycling component of the Transportation Master Plan, Active Transportation and Transportation Demand Management; and London’s Road Safety Strategy.
Charles and Carolyn Innis
Charles and his wife Carolyn initiated, organized and carried through for the 4th year in a row the Forest City Multimedia Free Literacy Camp. This is a week-long camp for children ages 8-16 from diverse backgrounds who come from families of a lower income in London. The couple networked with different companies and volunteers, collecting donations and support so children could participate in this camp free of charge.
Activities at the camp include arts, physical recreation, yoga, music, cooking and team building, all of which teach the children skills that would help them to overcome their economic situation and give them the tools to better, not only themselves, but empower them to make a difference in their community.
Charles and Carolyn are a dedicated couple to the betterment of the London community as whole.
Category Diversity and Race Relations
Reta van Every
Reta knows people, how to get to know people and how to help them be the best they can be. Reta has been an active member of the Aboriginal Community for over 20 years. She has been a champion in the process of building relationships between the Native and non-Native communities, and is well known in other organizations as a can-do person.
Reta’s name is often the first that comes to mind when someone is called upon to talk about Aboriginal issues, as she is well-versed on topics such as Residential Schools Experience; the Sixties Scoop; Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples; Truth and Reconciliation Commission; Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; Idle No More Movement and Decolonization.
She is also a volunteer herself with Deshkan Ziibii, the local chapter of Ontario Native Women’s Group associated with ONWA (Ontario Native Women’s Association).
Glen is the former Head of the Ivey Family History Room (London Room at the LPL) and continues to provide detailed information and research into heritage matters.
He is an active member of the Brick Street Cemetery restoration and preservation group, a member of the London and St. Thomas Railway group, and a long-time heritage supporter of the Woodfield Community Association and the Woodfield neighbourhood itself.
Jens is a real estate developer and property manager who puts his heart and soul into community economic development. In 2011, his company built a 72-unit affordable housing apartment building. The development includes a nine-storey tower and a three-storey building which features ground level retail along the façade and a solar thermal heating system on the roof that helps keep the rent affordable for its 60-and-over residents.
In addition to lending his expertise as a landlord, Jens supports a number of local start-up social ventures through flexible rents. Current tenants, who are granted a range of rental rates ranging from zero to less-than-market, include: On the Move Organics, Hacker Studios, My Sister’s Place Microenterprise, Green Energy London Co-op and Evolution.
As busy as Jens is, the time he puts into volunteering remains endless.
Category Persons with Disabilities
Bonnie is a long-time advocate for accessibility and change to better the lives of persons with disabilities in London and beyond. She was a founding member of the City of London’s Accessibility Advisory Committee (ACCAC) and helped to mould its mandate, composition and vision. She served consistently since its inception through till the end of her last term in early 2015. During her commitment to ACACC, she served as both the Chair and Vice-Chair of the committee, as well as Chair of various different sub-committees. During her time on ACCAC she was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Facility Accessibility Design Standards (FADS), countless outreach and awareness initiatives, and sat as a member of the planning committee for the annual conference hosted by ACCAC for many years.
She volunteers with the Independent Living Centre London and Area, and the London Chapter of the MS Society. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for ARCH Disability Law Centre, where she sits on various committees.
Category Safety and Crime
As the Old East Village (OEV) has been transforming into a dynamic, urban residential and commercial hub, improving community safety has been a consistent theme. Paul Seale has contributed tirelessly to numerous initiatives that have brought the community together and enhanced public safety. The end result of Paul’s efforts has been to get the residents of OEV out of their homes to meet and engage with one another. This outcome in itself has greatly enhanced community safety and crime prevention.
As a volunteer, Paul was instrumental in launching and sustaining the Walking School Bus initiative in OEV. This program has been one of the most successful in the City, in which community volunteers and parents accompany children on a designated route to school.
Paul was an active participant in the OEV Safety Task Force (2013-2014), which developed the Old East Village Safety Plan. His expertise in social media has been instrumental in enhancing community awareness about specific safety issues, directing the community to online reporting tools with London Police Services and spreading the word about London Block Parent and Neighbourhood Watch initiatives.
In a few short years Holly Painter has transformed spoken word from a little known art form to an almost mainstream acceptance and has more than put this artistic medium on the map. Holly has used her talent to help many in the London community find their voice, their inner artist and change lives in a very positive manner through her poetry workshops and slams.
She's worked with marginalized populations to help them find their voice and express themselves. Her passion and enthusiasm for poetry has opened doors for not only the people who have participated in her workshops, joined in at a slam, or have read her poetry but the city as a whole has benefited from her inspiring story and her strong sense of community.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have represented London, Ontario on the Canadian and international stage for over a decade. The pair has consistently placed among the top of the pack at international competitions, including a gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, two silver medals at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, and gold at the 2010 and 2012 World Figure Skating Championships.
Tessa and Scott began skating together in 1997 and won their first World Championship medal in 2009. In addition, they became the youngest pair ever to win an Olympic title at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Their Olympic gold medal was the first ever ice dance gold for Canada and North America.