The Civic Awards for Youth Volunteerism and the First Capital Distinguished Citizen/Honourable Achievement Awards honour individuals who have made a significant contribution to our community through volunteerism. The awards are in their 19th year and winners will be honoured at a ceremony on Canada Day.

Last year a scholarship program was introduced for the winners of the Mayor's Awards for Youth Volunteerism. The scholarship program is made possible thanks to the United Way of KFL&A. Our local United Way is using funds received from the net proceeds of the 2017 Kingston Penitentiary tours to create the ongoing scholarship program.

Award recipients will receive a scholarship with a monetary value catered to each category, as outlined below;  

  • Grades 5-8 - $750 to be used toward a school project of their choice or design
  • Grades 9-12 - $1,500
  • Post-secondary youth (up to age 24) - $2,000

The intended use of the scholarship monies is to support the youth in their academic endeavours for the Grade 9-12 and post-secondary categories. The Grade 5-8 category is to support a project of the winners choosing or design through their school.   

Award criteria

Civic Award for Youth Volunteerism

The Civic Award for Youth Volunteerism recognizes youth in three categories – Grades 5-8, Grades 9-12 and post-secondary youth up to age 24 – who demonstrate one or more of the following attributes:

  • Leadership qualities, challenging themselves and others.
  • Care and compassion for members of the community, particularly those with special needs.
  • Ability to overcome personal challenges to donate their time to volunteer and assist others.
  • Ability to motivate others to achieve and strive for goals.
  • Willingness to mentor fellow youth and others.
  • Has special skills and personally contributes to improving the quality of life of the Kingston community.

First Capital Distinguished Citizen/Honourable Achievement

The First Capital Distinguished Citizen and Honourable Achievement Awards recognize volunteers of all ages for community contributions in the area of: culture, heritage, recreation, sports, health, education, health care, environment, safety, volunteering or business.  First Capital Distinguished Citizen Awards recognize a lifetime of volunteer work, while Honourable Achievement Awards recognize more specific efforts.

2018 winners

Mayor's Award for Youth Volunteerism

Abigail HarrettAbigail Harrett (Grades 5-8) – Abigail's strength, wit and personality shine in her roles as a volunteer for Change for Families in Need and Home Free Farm. Her Change for Families team mates have come to rely on her involvement at the events they host. They have noticed her empathy for others and her ability to advocate have grown over the years along with her confidence. Her work at Home Free Farm has involved countless hours cleaning stalls, tending to animals and doing other hands-on work around the farm. Abigail helps wherever she is needed whenever she is called upon. Her volunteer work has shown her to be an independent and confident young leader.


Alexander AbichtAlexander (Alex) Abicht (Grades 9-12) – Scouting enthusiast, Alex Abicht, has been instrumental in re-establishing the Kingston Centre Scouts troop in the city's north-end. This 2017 Chief Scout Award-winner is the Loyalist Area Youth Commissioner and attends meetings of many scout troops in the area where his love for getting outdoors to swim, camp, boat, hunt and fish make him a wonderful role model for younger scouts. Last year, he was recognized for his work with a Commendation from Governor General David Johnston, which noted his confidence, maturity and positive attitude. This year he's received a Duke of Edinburgh's International Silver Award. Beyond his dedicated scouting work, Alex is an Honour Roll student, a rower, saxophone player, Bronze Cross swimmer, and the "Most Sportsmanlike Player" on his Church Athletic League St. John's hockey team.


Yaara DocratYaara Docrat (Post-secondary) – A Teacher Candidate at Queen's University, Yaara Docrat is deeply involved in many efforts using the arts to help transform the lives of students. Last year, she organized for the nine members of Busty and the Bass to play for and mentor Grade 7 and 8 students at J. G. Simcoe Public School. She has volunteered for the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning helping add to the Map of Arts & Learning, creating opportunities for artists to bring workshops to schools. She led the new Kingston Youth4Music hub in the first Virtual Summit for Music Education hosted by The Coalition of Music Education. Based out of the Tett Centre, the summit brought youth from six time zones together to talk about music education. In May, Yaara planned "School Invasions" at Cataraqui Woods Elementary School and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School bringing music, song and dance to 700 children. Well-loved by her students and peers, Yaara spends countless hours planning these inspiring events working with organizations such as Juvenis Festival, Martello Alley and Youth Diversion to educate herself and motivate youth to strive for and achieve their goals.


Honourable Achievement Award

Emilio FrometaEmilio Frometa – Many will know Emilio Frometa as a captain on the Queen's Gaels football team. Some may know he's done this while studying for his Masters of Industrial Relations at Queen's University. Others know him as the founder and executive director of the Queen's Autism Mentorship Program that pairs varsity athletes with local youth who have Autism Spectrum Disorder to foster friendships and assist with building skills. They meet weekly and hang out for a few hours playing sports, having fun and doing school work. The program also offers inclusive and sensory-safe events to enjoy with their program participants and their families. Emilio saw the need, recruited volunteers and created this program, which has paired more than 40 student athletes with 80 youth and is now supported by Autism Ontario. He hopes to expand the program to other universities across the province.


Jason TruemanJason Trueman – Jason is the volunteer race director for the Kingston's Kids' Triathlon. First held in 2015, it attracted 200 athletes aged 4 to 15. This past year, more than 400 young athletes competed in this swimming, cycling and running race at the Memorial Centre. The event also attracts hundreds of youth from outside Kingston, offering economic benefits for Kingston's hotel and tourism industry. Coordinating the more than 100 volunteers needed to support this event requires Jason to put in hundreds of hours a year. He has also engaged local businesses to act as race sponsors. Most importantly, Jason sets the tone for the event so that every young athlete is made to feel included and like they are competing in a world-class sporting event. Jason's four years of dedicated hard work has made Kingston's Kids' Triathlon a remarkably successful and positive sporting experience for kids and one with innumerable healthy benefits to young athletes and the wider community.

Past Winners

Distinguished Citizen Award

  • 2000 - Jim Bennett, Edward Grenda, Thomas Zakos
  • 2006 – Frank Norman, Amanda Milliken
  • 2007 – Jim Keenleyside, Alan Grant
  • 2008 – Fred LaFlamme, Keith Watson
  • 2009 – James Brown
  • 2010 – Glenn G. Williams (posthumously)
  • 2011 – Brigitte McConnell
  • 2012 – Cindy Mills
  • 2013 – Dr. Robert Gordon
  • 2014 – Joanne Langlois, Alan Murphy (posthumously)
  • 2015 - Curt Bolton
  • 2016 - Robert Charest, Venicio Rebelo
  • 2017 - John Armitage

Honourable Achievement Award

  • 2000 – Jack Bryden, Ross Cameron, Dorothy Elston, John Mannerings, Thelma Martineau
  • 2006 – Bill Robb
  • 2007 – Carol Steele, Ed Kehoe, Mary Elisabeth Poirier, Jim Stevens
  • 2008 – Sarah Emery
  • 2009 – Debra Lefebvre, Julian Brown
  • 2010 – Dr. James Low, Arthur Milnes
  • 2012 - Anne St. Denis
  • 2013 – Tammy Babcock
  • 2015 - Fred Jones
  • 2016 - Cristiano Vilela
  • 2017 - Georgette Fry, Henrik "Henk" Wevers

Mayor's Award for Youth Volunteerism

  • 1999 - Karen Batten, Emily Smyth
  • 2000 - Melinda Morey, Charles Wilson
  • 2001 - Kathryn McCartney, Brittany Tough
  • 2002 - Erin Stewart, Andrew Burtch
  • 2003 - Jessica Baird, Irfaan Manji , Carolina Escudero, Sara Heath
  • 2004 - Amrit Sehdev, Becky Shillington
  • 2005 - Nick ArnoldVincent Strohmaier, Vivian Lee
  • 2006 - Spencer Watson, Ashley Gow
  • 2007 - Parnika Gupta
  • 2008 - Melissa Hogeboom
  • 2009 - Jeremy Dent, Alison Bagg,  Vishvek Babbar, Deanna Elderhorst
  • 2010 - Darry Malka Kyakimwa, Judy Kim, Harley Sardinha, Lindley Kenny
  • 2011 - David Covey - Joshua Ryan Edwards
  • 2012 - Devon Cobb, Prerna Babbar
  • 2013 - Cheyenne Wood, Cynthia Bradley, Katrina Putos
  • 2014 - Lucy Bellemare, Robert Colwell
  • 2015 - Jayan Anpalahan, Mackenzie Curran
  • 2016 - Virginia Weese, Daniela Cino
  • 2017 - Erin Peterson, Erina Park
Civic Awards