Mayor Jim Watson today announced the 16 residents who will be inducted into the Order of Ottawa this year, as well as the 2018 recipient of the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching.
This year’s ceremony will take place at City Hall on November 22.
Those who will be invested into the Order of Ottawa by Mayor Watson are: Julian Armour, Bernie Ashe, Graham Bird, Dr. Angela Cameron, Monique Doolittle-Romas, Marie-Claude Doucet, Barbara Farber, Emily Glossop, Elizabeth Graham, Lawrence Greenspon, David Rattray, Dr. Marc Ruel, Inderpreet Singh, Brian Tardif, the late Robert J. Wilson and Kathy Wright.
Aldège Bellefeuille will be presented with the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching, a City award that recognizes the contribution of an amateur coach who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment.
The Order of Ottawa recognizes exceptional residents who have made a significant contribution in a professional capacity in many areas of city life, including arts and culture, business, community service, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, medicine, sports and entertainment, or other fields that benefit the residents of Ottawa.
This prestigious civic award was established in 2012 by Mayor Watson and City Council. Recipients of the Order of Ottawa are chosen by a selection committee comprised of the Mayor, City Clerk and Solicitor, Chief of Police, Chief of Protocol, City Archivist and Chief Executive Officer of the Ottawa Public Library.
For more information regarding the Order of Ottawa, please visit the Awards and Recognition page on ottawa.ca.
“The 2018 inductees into the Order of Ottawa join an incredible list of accomplished residents who have improved Ottawa through their work and professional accomplishments. Their efforts and leadership have made Ottawa a better place to live, work and play, and they serve as an inspiration for the entire city.”
Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa
Biographies of recipients
Over the past 20 years, Julian Armour has distinguished himself as an arts administrator, artistic director and award-winning, international performing musician. He is the Artistic and Executive Director of Music and Beyond, the Artistic Director of the Chamber Players of Canada and the Principal Cellist of the chamber orchestra Thirteen Strings. Mr. Armour founded two major music festivals in Ottawa, Music and Beyond and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival. Each festival generated millions of dollars for Ottawa’s arts and culture sectors and economy. Mr. Armour teaches arts management at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business and has regularly taught courses in both music and arts management at the University of Ottawa.
Through his Music and Beyond festival and numerous other avenues, Julian Armour remains a dedicated advocate of Ottawa and Canadian artists and composers. One of Canada’s foremost experts on Canadian music, he continually strives to cultivate Ottawa as a major international artistic centre and cultural hub. He is internationally renowned for innovative, high-level music programming and he has created important performance opportunities for young musicians. He has brought top international talent to perform in large and small performance halls and spaces in Ottawa.
Mr. Armour’s Music and Beyond festival was named “Event of the Year” at the 2018 Ottawa Tourism Awards. Under his direction, the Ottawa Chamber Music Society was a seven-time recipient of Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for the Arts. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, and in 2002, he was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the government of France for his contributions to music. He was awarded the Friends of Canadian Music Award from the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Music Centre in 2011. He has recorded more than 30 albums, with his most recent release with the Chamber Players of Canada nominated for a Juno Award in 2014.
Bernie Ashe has enjoyed a long and formidable career as a key community builder in the nation’s capital, contributing to its economic growth and making the City of Ottawa a better place to live and work.
In his role as Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club from 1990 to 1997, he helped establish the business of hockey and build the Canadian Tire Centre. As the first CEO of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, Mr. Ashe was instrumental in the development of Lansdowne Park and the launching of major sports franchises in Ottawa. Canadian Football League team the Ottawa REDBLACKS made it all the way to the 2015 Grey Cup in their second season, and won the 2016 Grey Cup. The Ottawa Fury FC competed in the league’s championship match at the end of their second year. More recently, Mr. Ashe’s ambition and hometown pride helped bring the 2017 Grey Cup game and festival and the 2017 NHL 100 Classic to Ottawa.
Mr. Ashe helped the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group Foundation raise more than $2 million to lower financial barriers and enable youth from all backgrounds to participate in team sports. He launched the Bernie Ashe Sports Fund, which will provide children in the care of the Children’s Aid Society a chance to participate in organized sport.
A long-serving trustee and former Chairman of the Board of CHEO, Mr. Ashe also served on the boards of the Shaw Centre and Celebrations Ottawa, the organization that planned a range of Ottawa events for Canada’s 150th anniversary. He was a member of the Mayor’s Leadership Table on Homelessness and acted as a mentor to future leaders as CEO in Residence of the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management. In 2015, he was named the CEO of the Year by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce.
Community builder and former City and Regional Councillor for Elmdale Ward, Graham Bird is a Professional Engineer and the President of GBA Development and Project Management. Mr. Bird has been a committed advocate for charitable and city building throughout his professional life.
With more than 35 years of development, construction and project management experience, Mr. Bird has played an integral role in the development of many Ottawa landmarks. These projects include the World Exchange Plaza; Orléans Town Centre; Royal Ottawa Hospital; Canada Post Headquarters; Chambers Building (NCC); Canadian Firefighters Memorial; the Lansdowne Revitalization; Canadian Museum for Human Rights; LeBreton Flats; and the Ottawa Convention (Shaw) Centre. Mr. Bird’s high level of experience, expertise and positive working relationships with industry professionals, trades and authorities has led to the successful completion of these projects on time and on budget.
As part of his lifelong commitment to community building, Mr. Bird has and continues to donate his time to a variety of community organizations. These include the University of Ottawa Heart Institute; Operation Come Home; Co-Chair of the Ottawa Hospital President’s Breakfast; The Ottawa Civic Hospital; the Ottawa University Executive MBA Advisory; CHEO Foundation Board; the Children’s Aid Society Board; past Chair of the Ottawa Board of Trade; past Chair of the Community Care Access Centre; past founding member and Vice Chair of the Ottawa Airport Authority; the Salvation Army Advisory; the Forum for International Trade Training; and the Ottawa-Carleton Economic Development Corporation.
Mr. Bird received the Governor General Sovereign Medal for volunteers in 2017. He is the son of Gordon and Jean Bird, brother to Margie and Art, and is married to Cynthia, who together have two children, Jacqueline and Alannah. A native of the City of Ottawa, Mr. Bird attended Connaught Public School, Fisher Park High school and Queen’s University.
Angela Cameron Ph. D.
Dr. Cameron is one of Ottawa’s leading advocates for the equality and health interests of Indigenous peoples, for women and girls, and for LGBTQ rights. An Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, she is heavily involved in both academic and community-based advocacy and research, governance of not-for-profit organizations, volunteer work and research for women’s anti-violence organizations. Dr. Cameron often works collaboratively across disciplines, producing influential and groundbreaking research that explores the exploitation of the reproductive health industry as well as educational practices that discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
A highly effective community builder, Dr. Cameron is the Chair of the Feminist Alliance for International Action, one of Canada’s leading feminist organisations and the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, and the Canadian Association of Law Teachers. She is the co-chair of the Ottawa Rainbow Friendship Alliance, an LGBTQ refugee sponsorship organisation. Dr. Cameron has brought together academics, policy-makers and activists to develop feminist shadow reports on Canada’s progress on women’s rights to the Human Rights Committee to the UN. She has organized a major consultation with Indigenous and other feminists to advocate for and inform the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and to advocate for amendments to the sex discrimination that remains in the Indian Act. She has been instrumental in providing legal, economic, and familial resources to some of Ottawa’s most vulnerable populations including refugees facing persecution in their home countries.
Dr. Cameron has been a faculty advisor to the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law Women’s Legal Membership Program. She is currently the advisor to the OUTlaws LGBTQ student group and continues to ensure that Indigenous students have the support needed to succeed in law school. She is the current Shirley Greenberg Professor of Women and the Legal Profession Chair at the University of Ottawa, a position designed to strengthen teaching, research and administration with respect to feminist perspectives on the law and to maintain and foster links between women in the legal academy and women in the legal profession.
Monique Doolittle-Romas is the Executive Director of The Good Companions Seniors Centre. She was the Executive Director of the Canadian AIDS Society from 2006 to2015 and Regional Director for the Canadian Hearing Society. Ms. Doolittle-Romas has led a variety of not-for-profit agencies, leading these organizations to increased engagement among members, communities and the private sector. She brings a revolutionary approach to social organizations without compromising the advocacy or emotional fabric from which they were built.
She is responsible for expanding and solidifying partnerships in the community with the Ottawa Seniors Pride Network, serves on the Older Adults Centres’ Association of Ontario’s Board of Directors, and donates her time to the Canadian Society of Association Executives as a member of the Network Council. Ms. Doolittle-Romas successfully received funding for Ottawa’s Seniors Centre Without Walls program, the first virtual seniors centre in the province that provides a connection for seniors who may not be able to leave the comfort of their own home.
Ms. Doolittle-Romas is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to benefit the plight of isolated seniors in our communities. She inspires, engages, and empowers community members to become catalysts and advocates for the marginalized, those deprived of opportunity, or simply forgotten.
Marie-Claude Doucet is celebrating 20 years at the Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans (MIFO), the organization that has provided French-language services to the Orléans community and surrounding areas for 40 years. Under Ms. Doucet’s leadership as Executive Director, MIFO has become a centre for the community promoting collaboration, engagement and a sense of belonging within the National Capital Region.
Ms. Doucet has helped to reduce isolation experienced by seniors, helped provide safe and stimulating spaces for children through childcare services and camp, and helped to foster cultural and artistic expression through performances, visual arts, film, and music school within our communities. Through Ms. Doucet’s involvement in the education sector and her role in creating hundreds of jobs in Orléans, she has contributed to the region’s social and economic development. Through Ms. Doucet’s leadership, MIFO offers many opportunities to young people in our community who have benefited from a spirit of collaboration and philosophy of community service. While remaining faithful to MIFO’s mandate as a non-profit organization, she has overseen a 300 per cent increase in its revenues over the last 10 years.
Ms. Doucet has been recognized as Personality of the Year awarded by Le Droit/Société Radio-Canada, Business Category in 2017, Leader of the Year – Gala de l’excellence du Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la capitale nationale (RGA) in 2016 and received a Certificate of Merit – Women Leaders in Community Development awarded by the Ontario Minister for the Status of Women in 2011.
Barbara Farber is the President of Leikin Group Inc., a family business focused on real estate development and property and asset management.
Ms. Farber has served in the community for close to five decades investing her time and talent to ensure that the education, skills development, and applied learning required by community initiatives, businesses, and manufacturing companies right across the city are met. She was Chair of the Jewish Community Council of Ottawa, and National President of United Israel Appeal Federations Canada. She was an appointed member of the National Capital Commission Mandate Review.
Ms. Farber was the first and founding chair of the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation, the founding Chair of the Algonquin College Foundation Board of Directors, and Co-Chair of Women’s Heart Health $4 million capital campaign. She has also served as a board member of the Ottawa Police Services Board, Crime Prevention Ottawa, Major Gifts Division United Way Ottawa, the Ottawa International Airport Authority, Ottawa Community Foundation, and was an ambassador and fundraiser for the Wabano Centre. Ms. Farber is presently serving as Chair of the Board of Directors of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation.
Numerous students in the community benefit from bursaries, scholarships, apprenticeships and employment opportunities that Ms. Farber has provided.
Ms. Farber received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003, an Algonquin College Honorary Degree in 2009, the Gilbert Greenberg Distinguished Service Award and the Ottawa Philanthropy Award for Outstanding Volunteer Fundraising, among other honours.
Ms. Glossop is a former member of the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team, serving as a guide skier to one of Canada's top vision-impaired skiers, and winning many World Cup medals. Ms. Glossop is a Recreation Therapist with CHEO, providing therapeutic, educational and support services to children and youth with physical and/or developmental disabilities. Her passion, teamwork and advocacy help her clients develop independence, problem solving and life skills.
Ms. Glossop has dedicated her life and career to working with children and youth with multiple physical, developmental and associated behavioural needs. Ms. Glossop advocates for programs and services for people of all abilities to ensure equal opportunities and equal access. Since 2013, Ms. Glossop and her husband Todd Nicholson have been planning Abilities Centre Ottawa, a major component of the proposed redevelopment of LeBreton Flats. The Centre is planned to be a 125,000-square foot fully integrated, fully accessible, inclusive, multi-purpose recreation and community facility for people of all ages and all abilities. Abilities Centre Ottawa will offer four streams of service: sport and recreation, arts and culture, life skill development and research and innovation.
As a motivational speaker, Ms. Glossop gives talks on the importance of physical activity and following your dreams. She is the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award, one of the highest honours Rotary can bestow upon a person, in recognition of her outstanding contributions, exemplifying the highest ideal in Rotary in placing “Service Above Self.” She also received the Growing Up Great Award for Stable and Nurturing Relationships from the Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative. Most recently, Ms. Glossop was one of 16 women acknowledged for their contributions at CHEO in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Elizabeth Graham and her late husband, Tony Graham, built Tony Graham Automotive Group, a successful automotive business in Ottawa, which today continues to thrive and is one of the top-selling Toyota dealerships in Canada. Established in 1969, three generations of family members now work for the business.
In appreciation of the Ottawa community’s support of the family business, Mrs. Graham formed The Graham Family Foundation to support community hospitals, research and disease control, the environment and charities. The Foundation has made significant donations to many Ottawa causes such as the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre; St. Vincent Hospital refurbishment campaign; canine and equine therapy for veterans; Beechwood Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services; The Unforgettables Fund, a fund for families requiring assistance providing funeral services for their deceased children; Socks for The Homeless; the Wabano Centre; and the Barrhaven Food Cupboard. Mrs. Graham and her late husband chaired a major campaign to raise much needed funds for the Bruyère Centre, and Ms. Graham ensured that a succession plan for the campaign was established.
Mrs. Graham’s work has consistently demonstrated, her determination and compassion to assist and help others who are less fortunate in the Ottawa community. Her efforts have made significant improvements in the lives of so many Ottawa residents.
Mrs. Graham was knighted as Dame of the Order of St. George, and has been a generous contributor to its foundation. The Order supports the personnel and families of members of the Canadian Armed Forces and ancillary government services, in particular those demonstrating need after stressful duties performed by members at home and abroad.
Lawrence Greenspon is the senior partner at Greenspon Granger Hill and practices criminal defence and personal injury litigation. He is the only lawyer in Ottawa who is a specialist certified by the Law Society in both criminal and civil litigation.
For more than 35 years, Mr. Greenspon has represented disadvantaged and diverse individuals and groups against governments, police, insurance companies and corporations. As a criminal defence lawyer, he has represented people charged with murder, drug and other criminal offences. He represented the first person charged in Canada under the Anti-Terrorism Act. He has represented individuals at the trial level, the Ontario Court of Appeal and has appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada on eight occasions.
In 1981, the International Year of the Disabled Person, Mr. Greenspon co- founded REACH, the Resource Education Advocacy Centre for the Handicapped, and was a Chair and Board member of the organization for more than ten years.
A steadfast community supporter, Mr. Greenspon was a past chair and Board member of The Snowsuit Fund of Ottawa for 25 years. He chaired the United Way Community Services cabinet, Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa (CAYFO), the Defence Counsel Association of Ottawa, Multicultural Centre and the Jewish Community Centre. He co-founded the highly successful Maharajah’s Ball, which funded the City’s Defibrillator Program, the Elisabeth Bruyère Hospital and the Sens Rink of Dreams. He initiated the Nordic Pole Walk for Cancer Survivor Care. Mr. Greenspon has danced with the stars for the Easter Seals and boxed in the Fight for the Cure.
Mr. Greenspon has been recognized as a Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa champion and twice received the Golden Apple Award from the Ottawa Food Bank, the Quality of Life Award from the St. Joe’s Women’s Centre, the Lifetime Achievement Award from Volunteer Ottawa, and the Community Builder of the Year Award from the United Way. He has received the Gordon Henderson Award for his community work, the Bill Carroll Criminal Case of the Year and the Advocates Society Award of Justice.
Prior to his work as a management consultant, David Rattray was an Assistant Auditor General of Canada for 16 years and a Senior Principal for five years. For six years, until 2014, he was a Treasury Board of Canada appointee to the audit committees for the Department of National Defence and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. For the past two years, he has been an external member of the Audit and Evaluation Committee for the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada and remains keenly interested in promoting accountability and sound management of public funds.
For almost 40 years, Mr. Rattray has been an active volunteer. He founded the Scouts Canada Foundation and served as its National Chair and Past Chair until November 2004. He co-founded the Christmas Cheer Foundation in 2007, co-founded the Ottawa Heart Support Group through the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and was a 10-year Director of The Unforgettables Fund, a fund used by CHEO Social Workers to assist young families in providing a dignified funeral service for their deceased children.
He is a past or current board member of several boards and foundations, notably the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation, the Ottawa Senators Foundation, the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Foundation, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation, Order of St. George Foundation, member of Rotary International, an Affiliate Member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 641, the Fundraising Committee for Roger Neilson House, and was co-founder of Socks for the Homeless with his wife Marion,.
Mr. Rattray is a recipient of the 125 Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal as well as the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals and the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. He is a Chevalier Commander of the Order of St. George. He is an international Baden-Powell Fellow, was awarded the Paul Harris medal from Rotary International, and holds several other awards for his community service.
Dr. Marc Ruel
Dr. Marc Ruel is a pioneer in the field of heart surgery, where he has distinguished himself as a top surgeon, researcher, educator, and administrator. Dr. Ruel is a professor in the University of Ottawa’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and in the Department of Surgery, where he is also the Head of the Division of Cardiac Surgery. He is the Michael Pitfield Chair in Cardiac Surgery and Chair in Cardiac Surgery Research, and the Surgical Director of the heart transplantation program at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He is also the President-Elect of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, Canada’s most prestigious cardiovascular organization.
Committed to seeking new, innovative and minimally-invasive ways in which to execute cardiac care, Dr. Ruel co-developed the world’s first series of minimally invasive cardiac surgical coronary artery bypass grafting operations, changing cardiac surgical practices worldwide. He is continually pushing the boundaries of surgical intervention, advancing care, research and technical innovation in an effort to shorten patient recovery time and ensure better overall outcomes. Dr. Ruel shares his knowledge and expertise with his peers across Canada and internationally, widely involved in teaching advanced surgical techniques. He is the editor of a textbook about cardiac surgical techniques, and he has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific publications and book chapters. He is devoted to improving the access, safety and efficiency of cardiovascular care delivery, for the greater overall benefit of Ottawans, Ontarians and Canadians.
Dr. Ruel has received many awards. He was named UBC’s Alan Bernstein Distinguished Lecture, the first recipient of the University of Ottawa Robert Roberts Award, the University of Ottawa Alumnus of the Year, and Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient. He was awarded the Gold Medal in Surgery from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, becoming the first Ottawa surgeon to ever win this award.
Mr. Inderpreet Singh is a leader in the South Asian community in Ottawa. Mr. Singh is the Director of the Ottawa Indian Film Festival Awards, a five-day film festival that launched in June 2017, and is devoted to cultivating an audience for Indian cinema and culture in Ottawa. The festival highlights Indian films, support Indian filmmakers, recognize various performers and business executives, and promote the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora. Working in partnership with Ottawa Tourism and other local organizations, the festival awards acts as a platform for networking and promoting local talent, filmmakers, distributors and producers.
Previously, Mr. Singh published a fan magazine called Bollywood Plus, which was available at Chapters and Indigo locations across Canada, and was devoted to India’s movie stars and film industry. The only one of its kind in Canada, the magazine had a quarterly run of more than 5,000 copies. In 2010, Mr. Singh published the first issue of South Asian Connection, a business directory and guide to local business and professionals, targeted to the South Asian community in Ottawa, a readership base of more than 50,000. Now in its ninth edition, it has a distribution of more than 15,000 copies and is available free at local libraries and Metro grocery stores in Ottawa.
Mr. Singh also founded the annual “Job and Newcomers Settlement Fair,” a volunteer-driven event attracting hundreds of participants, local community leaders, as well as public and private sector companies looking for talent. It offers opportunities for newcomers to Ottawa to learn about settlement services and secure mentorship and entrepreneurship support, while helping job seekers explore open positions at a variety of companies. Mr. Singh is dedicated to supporting the greater Ottawa community and is at the forefront of numerous fundraising initiatives, including those supporting the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, the Queensway Carleton Hospital and United Way Ottawa. In 2016, he participated in the Mayor’s Trade Mission to India, travelling with the mission to help generate investments and opportunities in technology, film production and tourism for his business and for other entrepreneurs in Ottawa.
Brian Tardif was the Executive Director of Citizen Advocacy Ottawa from 1985 to 2018. Citizen Advocacy Ottawa is a not-for-profit organization that supports and advocates for people living with disabilities and their families. Under Mr. Tardif’s 33-year leadership, Citizen Advocacy Ottawa grew from a staff of four to 30. It grew from running one program and serving only Ottawa residents to offering several programs, events and services across Eastern Ontario helping more than 1,400 people monthly. In its early days, the organization would raise less than $1,000 a year. By 2018, it was raising approximately $700,000 annually.
Recognizing the need to support people with disabilities and their families, Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa introduced a number of family support programs including Walking in My Shoes, Lifetime Networks, the Fetal Alcohol Resource Program, a sibling support program and Independent Facilitation.
Mr. Tardif also served the community as a volunteer contributor to a number of civic groups including the Ottawa Developmental Services Network, the Ottawa Transportation Committee and Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Advisory Committee. He was instrumental in inaugurating the Celebration of People awards banquet hosted by Citizen Advocacy Ottawa and other community agencies, now in its 17th year. In 2010, Mr. Tardif was recognized as the United Way’s Community Builder. In 2015, Mr. Tardif was awarded the Ontario Good Citizenship Award and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.
The late Robert J. Wilson
Robert J. Wilson was a teacher who made significant contributions to his community through volunteering.
Mr. Wilson’s volunteer efforts included working as a National/International student exchange coordinator, President of the Carleton Athletics Association, Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and an annual judge of the Canadian Geographic Challenge. He was a founding member of the South Nepean Autism Group. He devoted many years of service to the Nepean Museum and coordinated a veteran’s recognition program to thank more than 1000 veterans. He spent more than nine years volunteering for the Ontario Trillium Foundation and helped grant more than $1 billion to charitable and not-for-profit organizations in Ontario. He served as a volunteer with the City of Nepean’s Park and Recreation, the Nepean Sports Hall of Fame Board, the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee, and the Ottawa Sports Awards Committee helping to shape the history of amateur sport in Ottawa and recognize more than 5000 amateur athletes. Mr. Wilson spent six years organizing a very successful Canadian Little League Baseball Championship in Ottawa, and the winning team went on to represent Canada at the World Little League Championship.
Mr. Wilson was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012; named a member of the College of Fellows of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2009 and received the Nepean Carleton 150 Inspiration Award in 2017. He received the Canada West-Nepean Community Leadership Award in 2017; the Carleton Board of Education Coaches Award in 2002; and the Mayor’s Cup from the Ottawa Sports Awards Committee in 2018.
Kathy Wright was the First Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa-Carleton, now known as the Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County, which launched in 1985. Under Ms. Wright’s leadership, the organization grew from a one-person office to one of 25 staff, hundreds of volunteers and more than 3,500 clients. It provides information, resources, education, support and counseling to those with dementia and their caregivers.
Ms. Wright has led many successful initiatives and programs, ranging from fundraising and advocacy work to the creation of respite and specialized community-based programming, such as Minds in Song and Minds in Motion. A partnership was established with the City of Ottawa to build and design the Bungalows at the Peter D. Clark Long-Term Care Home for those with dementia. Working with the Champlain Dementia Network, she helped establish the First Link Framework, a program that links individuals and families to a community of dementia learning, services and support. It is now recognized as a best practice in Ontario. She established the Guest House with the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre and VON Ottawa, now Carefor Health and Community Services, the first to provide an appropriate, home-like setting for overnight respite for those with dementia. Ms. Wright worked closely with the Champlain Dementia Network and was co-chair with the leads of the Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario for 10 years. The network provides leadership on the implementation of a regional dementia strategy.
Ms. Wright was the recipient of the Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario’s Award for Exemplary Leadership and Commitment to the Development of Geriatric Services in 2016.
Ms. Wright achieved many accomplishments in her 30 years of dedicated service to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, transforming the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County, and improving access, awareness and support to a growing number of individuals with dementia and their families.
Brian Kilrea Award
For more than a decade, Aldège Bellefeuille has been a coach and executive with the Orléans Bengals Football Club. Established in 1973, the football club provides recreational opportunities for youth aged seven to 19. While the club has achieved many championships and accolades during his tenure, thanks to Mr. Bellefeuille’s leadership and his two-prong approach of “no child left behind” and “outside the white lines,” the Bengals continuously strived for excellence on and off the field.
In 2012, Mr. Bellefeuille was one of the key architects behind the Orléans Bengals “Be a Bengal, Not a Bully” program aimed at helping children who are bullied, angry and socially isolated to develop stronger social skills and a sense of community. The program, a youth-led initiative that brings the anti-bullying message to the community, won the prestigious Royal Ottawa Inspiration Award (Community Category) in 2012. Mr. Bellefeuille also developed the club’s “Bengals Play 90” program, which consisted of two free, off-season programs aimed at helping children remain physically active throughout the winter. In addition to these programs, Mr. Bellefeuille generously supported the “Streets for Cleats” program and pioneered a similar program that secured appropriate football equipment for club athletes in need.
In his past role as Executive Vice President and Vice President (Operations), Mr. Bellefeuille was responsible for fundraising and community relationship development for the club. As Fundraising Director, he raised funds in support of properly certified helmets, replacing outdated equipment, camps and cleats for at-risk and less affluent players.
Over the last three years, Mr. Bellefeuille has worked with community leaders and politicians to obtain support to renew the aging Bilberry Park into what is quickly becoming a recreational facility jewel for all sports enthusiasts to enjoy in Orléans.
While Mr. Bellefeuille has provided numerous contributions to the success of the Orléans Bengals, he has also consistently exhibited a selfless commitment and support to numerous other high school and community football programs across Ottawa.