News & Public Notices
Kingston to honour outstanding citizens with Civic Awards
June 20, 2017 -
The City of Kingston's Civic Awards recognize the outstanding contributions made by residents to the community. This year's recipients, whose dedicated efforts positively impact the lives of Kingstonians, will be honoured at the Canada Day Civic Ceremony at noon on Saturday, July 1 on the Sesqui Stage at City Hall.
"Volunteers are the heart and soul of our community," says Mayor Bryan Paterson. "Join me in celebrating the extensive contributions of these great Kingstonians at this year's sesquicentennial Canada Day celebrations."
First Capital Distinguished Citizen Award
For 40 years, John Armitage has been setting his alarm clock for 4:30 a.m. spring through fall for his love of rowing with young athletes. He has worked with more than 2,000 atheletes over the years – and has participated as an athlete himself at the World Rowing Championships and as a coach at the World University Games. At last year's Rio Olympics one-third of the men's rowing team had been coached by John at one point. He helped establish a rowing program at Queen's University in 1976 and opened the Kingston Rowing Club in 1977. That was also the first year he served as the Head Coach at Queen's and has since coached the team to 13 Ontario Universities Athletic Association championships, seven OUA men's titles and the 2007 women's national championship. His rowers have won 86 OUA gold medal individual crew championships. He helped guide the 1988 Ontario team to gold at the Canada Summer Games. His coaching efforts have been recognized and awarded several times. John's contributions are not contained to the world of rowing. He is past chair of the Kingston Area Economic Development Commission and the City's Focus Kingston committee and past president of the Kingston Home Builders Association, Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce and the Kingston Area Economic Renewal Project (Advantage Kingston). He is a recipient of the Kingston Achievement Award of the Queen's Alumni Association and the Rotary Club's Paul Harris Fellow Award and has been inducted into Kingston's Sports Hall of Fame and Kingston's Business Hall of Fame. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to get all that done!
First Capital Honourable Achievement Award
Renowned blues singer and inspirational leader of Shout Sister Choir, Georgette's efforts have enriched the lives of her community singers and all those who hear her and her choir. Choir members know that Georgette understands and uses the power of music to heal and bring joy. "Hers is a joy which spreads and which multiplies as it spreads," wrote the choir in its nomination of Georgette. After 15 years, there are now 1,400 Shout Sister members in all whose chapters (23 at last count) have benefitted their home communities, helping to raise many tens of thousands of dollars as a "go-to" choir for charitable events. She has made Shout Sister a self-sustaining community arts organization. This highly regarded music professional and mentor has devised more than 100 original choral arrangements for Shout Sister and recently developed a Grand Theatre show, "At Last," a tribute to blues legend Etta James giving each back-up singer the opportunity to do solo songs in the show. Georgette has also conducted musical outreach efforts providing instruments and other supplies to Waskaganish First Nation in Quebec and has been invited to start a community choir in the Chippewas of Nawash (Cape Croker) First Nation. The long list of Georgette's music awards shows she is a musician at the very top of her field – her place in the hearts of her many singing sisters is higher still.
Henrik "Henk" Wevers:
Henk's contributions to the community demonstrate his deep interest in a number of areas – including mechanics, history and science education for children – and his willingness to take action on those interests. From designing prosthetics and the Q'STRAINT wheelchair restraint system used in buses to representing the Glenburnie community to performing on drum in the La Salle Adult Band, Henk's hands-on approach has put him in at the centre of community and university efforts. He co-founded the Queen's Clinical Mechanics group, now known as the Human Mobility Research Centre and, as an emeritus professor he continues to be an active contributor to the intellectual life of the university. Since retiring, he's volunteered at the City's Pump House Steam Museum and has helped refurbish its original machinery, create its Gordon C. Leitch Discovery Centre and communicate its historical significance. He also acted as project manager on the restoration of the historic steam launch, Phoebe, and remains her steadfast champion. Henk has taught science and technology at the Boys and Girls Club and maintains a website on science crafts for kids (https://bgsctechclub.wordpress.com). He also maintains a website on the history of Aragon Road (https://aragonroadhistory.wordpress.com/about/), which includes stories, archival maps and interviews with residents – a rich and diverse record of this road on the Rideau Canal. Henk has mined his own history to compose short stories and his novel, Going East. His nominator put it best: "This brilliant, generous man has made outstanding contributions to Kingston, its youth and elders, its heritage and quality of life.
Mayor's Award For Youth Volunteerism – Grade 9 To 12 Category
From working on Student Council and the Model UN to fighting to end bullying and raise funds to cancer research, Erin has distinguished herself as a leader and a motivator. As a presenter for the Canadian Red Cross's Beyond the Hurt program, Erin has taken a leadership role in this effort to end bullying. She has also been Co-President of the Math Club, Chair of DECA (a college and career preparation group), Vice-Chair of Finance for the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life, Co-Chair of the Model UN and Grade 12 Girl on KCVI's Student Association. She organized a competition amongst Kingston's DECA teams which led to her representing Kingston in international competition in California. She and her partner also led a financial literacy conference for grade 7 and 8 students and are now part of Kingston's first Financial Literacy Network. Erin has taken on these responsibilities while also representing her school on athletic teams and staying on the honour roll.
Mayor's Award For Youth Volunteerism – Post-Secondary Category
Erina, a nursing student at St. Lawrence College, has put in more than 1,000 volunteer hours with the Sexual Assault Centre of Kingston (SACK) – 900 of them working on the 24/7 crisis line. She has accompanied survivors to hospital and to visit police and court services and has acted as a weekend facilitator for the crisis line, supporting a team of more than 50 volunteers. Erina has also volunteered significant time to Community Living Kingston and District, accompanying seniors who have intellectual disabilities on community excursions and supporting a couple of individuals with their specific needs. In addition to these considerable efforts, Erina has also volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross, the Relay for Life committee of the Canadian Cancer Society and Canadian Blood Services. Erina demonstrates energy, commitment and compassion that make her "an exemplary model to others in Kingston of what community truly looks like," as one of her nominators noted.
Media contact: For more information call the communications & customer experience department at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.