CUI Awards recognize Urban Leaders across Canada

May 11, 2011, Toronto, Ontario –  Eleven individuals and groups who are making Canada’s cities healthier, safer, and more dynamic places to live and work have been chosen as the winners of this year’s Urban Leadership Awards program.

Ranging from a group of community animators to an international film festival, to individuals who have dedicated years to combating poverty or enriching the cultural fabric of their city, the winners this year once again demonstrated creativity, resourcefulness, 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 CUI Board Member Rupen Seoni.  “Once again we had an amazing number of nominations to select from, all with very impressive accomplishments” said Mr. Seoni.  “It is always difficult to choose the award recipients, but we take it as very positive sign of how many civic-minded people are out there, engaging in city-building and applying their talents to solving urban problem.”

For the first time ever, the jury also awarded a City Champion award in recognition of Paul Oberman’s lifetime dedication to building, restoring, and reviving the City of Toronto. The award acknowledges Paul’s distinctive contributions to the culture and renewal of Toronto, and his personal commitment, vision and passion to enhancing Toronto’s neighborhoods, public spaces and streetscapes.

The awards ceremony to honour this year’s exceptional urban leaders will be held on June 9th from 5-7:30-pm  at the Liberty Grand.  (Exhibition Place)  Join us for an hour of cocktails at this beautiful lakeside location before seeing the following awards presented:

2011 Urban Leadership Award Winners:

City Soul
Rita Davies: for her leadership role in stewarding Toronto’s cultural landscape through the commissioning of the Culture Plan for the Creative City, and for overseeing the creation of a Waterfront Culture Plan, Door’s Open Toronto, and Toronto’s Live With Culture that culminates in Nuit Blanche

Local Hero
Bob Saunderson: for undertaking and championing the Bloor-Yorkville Urban Design Guidelines and the Bloor Street Transformation Project and for his dedication to the Bloor-Yorkville BIA

Lawrence Heights Community Animators: for playing a fundamental role in supporting and facilitating civic participation in the Lawrence-Allen Revitalization Plan and assisting in the development of a community vision for this revitalization process

Global City
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF): for bringing the best of world cinema to Canadians and the best of Canadian cinema to the world through the largest public film festival on the globe

Green Change Project: for building capacity for environmental change in the Jane Finch neighbourhood through training and work opportunities for local residents, networking and community events and a permanent space for resident-led social enterprise initiatives

Mark Chamberlain: for his dedication to creating businesses, jobs, prosperity and a culture of innovation in the Greater Hamilton Region through his leadership role in creating The Innovation Factory,  the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction and the Jobs Prosperity Collaborative (JPC)

CentreVenture Development Corporation: for providing the leadership, vision and connection for business and government to work together on development opportunities for the betterment of downtown Winnipeg and the city as a whole.

Safety and Resilience
The Victoria Integrated Homelessness Intervention Initiative: for its innovation program to assist Victoria’s high needs population with an integrated housing and health services program

The Burgundy Brick Foundation:  for acting as a bridge between youth volunteers and Toronto’s not-for-profit organizations to support affordable housing initiatives within their community

Chalo Barrueta: for his leadership roles at Banyan Youth, which engages young people in hands-on environmental education experiences to provide life skills, and at UforChange, which serve as a forum to explore socio-economic issues and art forms to generate social and economic change

David Crombie Award
Jane Pepino: for her extensive record of volunteer service in support of women’s health and public safety

Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award
– Watch for an announcement coming soon!
For more information about this year’s Urban Leadership Awards Program and to buy tickets for the ceremony, please visit our website at

About the Urban Leadership Awards Program

Since its inception in 2004, the Urban Leadership Awards program has been paying 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.

Members of the Jury

Mr. John Kim Bell, Founder, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation and energy executive leading the Aboriginal Affairs effort for Brookfield Renewable Power; Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow, Executive Director at the Centre of Excellence for Financial Services Education, Toronto Financial Services Alliance; Ms. Helen Cooper, Former Mayor of Kingston and Head of the OMB, Manager, Ministry of Community and Social Services; Mr. Rupen Seoni, CUI Board Member and Vice President and Practice Leader, Environics Analytics; and Ms. Claudette Toupin, Regional Director, Canada School of Public Service, Manitoba.

For more information, please visit or contact Glenn Miller, Vice President of Education and Research with the Canadian Urban Institute at 416 365 0816 ext 284.

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