Mayor Jim Watson inducted 16 of Ottawa’s most outstanding residents into the Order of Ottawa during a ceremony at Ottawa City Hall on November 22, 2018.
This year’s recipients included Julian Armour, Bernie Ashe, Graham Bird, Angela Cameron, Monique Doolittle-Romas, Marie-Claude Doucet, Barbara Farber, Emily Glossop, Elizabeth Graham, Lawrence Greenspon, David Rattray, Dr. Marc Ruel, Brian Tardif, the late Robert J. Wilson and Kathy Wright..
Inderpreet Singh was selected as a 2018 Order of Ottawa recipient however was unable to attend this ceremony. He will be honoured at the 2019 ceremony.
The Order of Ottawa recognizes exceptional citizen contributions in the 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 of endeavour that benefit the residents of Ottawa.
Want to know more about our recipients? Read on!
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 has 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.
Julian Armour remains a dedicated advocate of Ottawa and Canadian artists and composers. He continually strives to make Ottawa a major artistic centre and cultural hub. He is internationally renowned for innovative, high-level music programming and he creates 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. 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, and 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 in the nation’s capital, contributing to its economic growth and making the city 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 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. Its 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 a championship match at the end of its second year. More recently, Mr. Ashe’s ambition 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 for youth of all backgrounds to participate in team sports. He launched the Bernie Ashe Sports Fund, which provides children in the care of the Children’s Aid Society an opportunity 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 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.
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 and expertise has led to the successful completion of these projects.
As part of his lifelong commitment to community building, Mr. Bird donates his time to a variety of community organizations. These include the University of Ottawa Heart Institute; Operation Come Home; Ottawa Hospital President’s Breakfast; the Ottawa Civic Hospital; the Ottawa University Executive MBA Advisory; CHEO Foundation Board; the Children’s Aid Society Board; Ottawa Board of Trade; the Community Care Access Centre; 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. A native of the City of Ottawa, Mr. Bird attended Connaught Public School, Fisher Park High school and Queen’s University.
Angela Cameron PhD
Dr. Cameron is one of Ottawa’s leading advocates for 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 researches the exploitation of the reproductive health industry as well as educational practices that discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
Dr. Cameron is the Chair of the Feminist Alliance for International Action, one of Canada’s leading feminist organisations, 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 helped develop feminist shadow reports on Canada’s progress on women’s rights 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 provided services and 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. She is the Shirley Greenberg Professor of Women and the Legal Profession Chair at the University of Ottawa.
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 personal 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 those who are simply forgotten.
Marie-Claude Doucet is celebrating 20 years at the Mouvement d’implication francophone d’Orléans (MIFO), an 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 camps, and 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 a 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. She 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 founding chair of the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation, the founding Chair of the Algonquin College Foundation Board of Directors, and Co-Chair of the Women’s Heart Health 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 and 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 to one of Canada's top vision-impaired skiers, and winning many World Cup medals. Ms. Glossop is a recreational 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, and problem-solving and life skills.
Ms. Glossop is dedicated to working with children and youth who have multiple physical, developmental and associated behavioural needs. Ms. Glossop advocates for programs and services for people of all abilities to ensure equal opportunities and access. Since 2013, Ms. Glossop and her husband Todd Nicholson have been planning Abilities Centre Ottawa, a component of the proposed redevelopment of LeBreton Flats. The Centre is planned to be a 125,000-square foot accessible, inclusive, multi-purpose recreation and community facility for all people. Abilities Centre Ottawa will offer four streams of service: sport and recreation, arts and culture, life skills 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. 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 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, 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 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 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 Mrs. Graham ensured that a succession plan for the campaign was established. 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 Ottawa lawyer who is a 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 in dealings with governments, police, insurance companies and corporations. He represented the first person charged in Canada under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
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 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.
Mr. Greenspon has been recognized as a CAYFO champion and twice received the Golden Apple Award from the Ottawa Food Bank. He has received 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 award 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. During this time, he was a Treasury Board of Canada appointee to the audit committees for the Department of National Defence and for 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. He believes in 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.
He is a past or current board member of several boards and foundations, notably the CHEO Foundation, the Ottawa Senators Foundation, the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Foundation, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation, the Order of St. George Foundation, Rotary International, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 641, and the Fundraising Committee for Roger Neilson House. He co-founded 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.
Committed to seeking new and innovative 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 the world, 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.
Dr. Ruel has received many awards. He was named UBC’s Alan Bernstein Distinguished Lecture, was the first recipient of the University of Ottawa Robert Roberts Award, was named the University of Ottawa Alumnus of the Year, and received the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. 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, and the Director of the Ottawa Indian Film Festival Awards. The festival is devoted to cultivating an audience for Indian cinema and culture and promotes the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora. The festival awards act as a platform for networking and promoting local talent, filmmakers, distributors and producers.
Mr. Singh published a fan magazine called Bollywood Plus which was devoted to India’s movie stars and film industry that was available at Chapters and Indigo locations across Canada. In 2010, he published the first issue of South Asian Connection, a South Asian community business directory and guide to local business and professionals. Now in its ninth edition, it has a distribution of more than 15,000 copies.
Mr. Singh also founded the annual “Job and Newcomers Settlement Fair,” a volunteer-driven event offering opportunities for hundreds of newcomers to Ottawa to learn about settlement services, mentorship and entrepreneurship support and employment opportunities. Mr. Singh is dedicated to supporting the greater Ottawa community, including fundraising initiatives for 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 to help generate investments and opportunities in technology, film production and tourism for his business and for other Ottawa entrepreneurs.
Note: Mr. Singh was selected as a 2018 Order of Ottawa recipient however was unable to attend this ceremony. He will be honoured at the 2019 ceremony.
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. It now raises 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 has 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, now in its 17th year, hosted by Citizen Advocacy Ottawa and other community agencies. In 2010, Mr. Tardif was recognized as the United Way’s Community Builder. In 2015, he was awarded the Ontario Good Citizenship Award and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.
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 1,000 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 Parks and Recreation department, 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 5,000 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, providing information, resources, education, support and counseling to those with dementia and their caregivers.
Ms. Wright has led many successful fundraising, advocacy, respite and specialized community-based initiatives and programs. In partnership with the City of Ottawa, the design and build of the Bungalows at the Peter D. Clark Long-Term Care Home took place. She led the establishment of the Guest House at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre and VON Ottawa, now the Carefor Health and Community Services. She worked with the Champlain Dementia Network and the First Link Framework to link individuals and families to a community of dementia learning, services and support. Ms. Wright was co-chair of the Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario for 10 years, providing leadership for a regional dementia strategy implementation.
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. In her 30 years of service to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, Ms. Wright achieved many accomplishments, transforming the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County, and greatly improving access, awareness and support to 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 youth-focused recreational football club has achieved many championships and accolades during Mr. Bellefeuille’s tenure. Through his leadership and his 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 helped launch “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 won the prestigious Royal Ottawa Inspiration Award (Community Category) in 2012. Mr. Bellefeuille also developed the “Bengals Play 90” program, that helps children remain physically active throughout the winter. Mr. Bellefeuille also generously supported the “Streets for Cleats” program and pioneered a similar program to secure appropriate football equipment for athletes in need.
As Executive Vice President and Vice President (Operations), Mr. Bellefeuille was responsible for fundraising and community relationship development for the club. He raised funds for updated and certified equipment and camps for at-risk and less affluent players.
Over the last three years, Mr. Bellefeuille has worked with community leaders and politicians \ to renew the aging Bilberry Park into a recreational facility for all sports. Mr. Bellefeuille continues to support numerous high school and community football programs across Ottawa.