Pam Damoff
Pam Damoff
Member of Parliament for Oakville North—Burlington
MP Pam Damoff recognizes community leaders at Oakville North-Burlington’s Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Community Service Award Ceremony
August 30, 2022

August 30th 2022 

Oakville North-Burlington -- This summer, the Commonwealth celebrates the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, marking her 70th anniversary on the Throne. She is Canada’s longest reigning Sovereign and the first to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. To celebrate this momentous occasion, a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee pin was created to honour those who have made significant contributions to their communities. 

In honour of the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s reign, Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington, recognized 70 residents who have given of themselves in service to our community by presenting them with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Community Service Pin at a special event on Monday August 29.  Pin recipients were honoured for making a meaningful impact through their work or volunteerism in the arts, sciences, innovation, community service, healthcare education, entrepreneurship inclusion or sport.

“I am so proud of the many people who dedicate themselves to making our community a better place to live. These unsung heroes often go unrecognized for their work as it often happens behind the scenes.  They give from the heart without the expectation of being celebrated for it.  Special awards like the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Community Service pin are a great opportunity to honour and thank them and their efforts in our community.”

-Pam Damoff, MP, Oakville-North Burlington

To watch the full ceremony on Facebook Live click here

To see photos from the event click here


Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pin Recipients

Denise Als

Denise is a dynamic music teacher, steel pan drum lover, entrepreneur, and educator. The love of music led her to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Education in Music.  Denise has been involved with the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton (CCAH) for over 10 years and serves as its head music instructor and band leader.  Denise has grown the CCAH steel pan band to become a sought-after community inter-generational music program and taught steel pan lessons for the Town of Oakville's program. She visits Halton-area schools, retirement homes, long term care facilities and public venues to give steel pan demonstrations and performances.


Joan Atherley

Joan is a tireless advocate for the Terry Fox Run and has raised local awareness and hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Oakville Terry Fox Run as the founder of Team Darrell, named in honour of her husband who passed away from cancer in 2010.   In its first year, Team Darrell was formed just one week prior to the Terry Fox Run and, in seven days, gathered 80 friends and family and raised over $10,000 for cancer research. To date, Team Darrell has raised almost $320,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation since.


Angelo Bentivegna

Angela is a Ward 6 Burlington City Councillor.  Prior to becoming a councillor, Angelo created a 100% cost-free event called “Beauty and the Bistro.” With the help of friends and local businesses, the event raised $450,000 to purchase a state-of-the-art digital mammography machine with a biopsy attachment for Joseph Brant Hospital. Angelo is also one of three founding members of the “Gift of Giving Back,” another 100% volunteer initiative in Burlington which has become Canada’s largest food drive.  He has been a long-time supporter of minor hockey and minor lacrosse in our community, helping to grow the sport.


Katie Bowie

Katie is a very engaged student at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic School where she is a lead Student Senator and Co-Chair of the debate team. Katie spearheaded the Halton Catholic school board’s motion to declare a climate emergency, which includes requesting accountable actions from the board to mitigate the effcets of climate change and that the board consider its overall carbon footprint when making decisions.  She is an active volunteer in the community.


Joe Brathwaite 

Joe works as a parole officer and is recognized as a leader for his work with offenders. Through his work at the Union of Safety and Justice Employees, Joe has worked to ensure equitable corrections system for Black and racialized offenders, including ground-breaking changes for Black social history.


Phil Cartwright

Phil is a professional fire fighter, Oakville Professional Fire Fighters Association Vice President and a FireFit champion.  He has been involved in the annual Toy Drive and many other community activities.  He is also a volunteer with the Oakville Crusaders Rugby Club.


Chris Chandler

Twenty years ago, Chris transitioned from wheelchair basketball player to coach, and today he enjoys the development side of the game as the coach of the Burlington Vipers organization. Born with a C-5 spinal fracture, he was not a fan of individual sports growing up, but fell in love with the team sport of basketball. Chris has earned a reputation for being relentless in pursuing potential athletes for the Vipers wheelchair basketball program. One of his favourite parts of coaching is mentoring and working with talented young athletes and watching them gain confidence, skill, and blossom into great people.


Evangeline Chima

Evangeline is the founder and executive director of Black Mentorship Inc., (BMI) an organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black Professionals in Canada. BMI fosters leadership by connecting Black youths, professionals and entrepreneurs at different stages of professional and personal growth with industry experts through a unique mentoring program. BMI exists to elevate professional advancement through mentorship, education, and skills-building, thus building a better, more equitable workforce.


Randeep 'Ron' Chhinzer

A police officer and leader in the anti-gang unit, Ron has hosted over 30 Gang Prevention Town Halls in the City of Toronto's gang impacted neighbourhoods that have included gang members, ex-gang members, families who have lost children to gang violence, victims, and survivors of human trafficking. Ron is an active volunteer in the not-for-profit and charitable world in various roles including coach, board member, director, committee member, chair, and representative.


Irene Clarke

Irene has been active in advocacy since she retired from nursing and has devoted her time to volunteer work. An energetic grandma, Irene is an active member of GASP, Grandmothers Act to Save the Planet, where she helps to educate, advocate, demonstrate, publish articles and maintain a highly visible and influential presence in the climate change community.  She is a member of GASP’s political action team, watching for opportunities to influence decision-makers at the provincial or national level on matters affecting climate change and human rights.  Irene is determined to make the world a better, cleaner place for everyone’s grandchildren, especially hers.


Jessica Collins

Jessica has made a great difference in Sheldon Creek Community in Burlington. She initiated and organized six community Soccer in the Park Clubs, each of which included soccer training and games for various age groups, bringing the community closer together. She was also very involved in several Christmas Carolling performances and in developing the Sheldon Creek Traffic Survey and improvement plans.


Todd and Trent Courage

2022 marks the 37th year of the Courage Polar Bear Dip in Oakville. The Courage Polar Bear Dip began on New Year’s Day in 1985 when Gaye Courage dared her sons Todd and Trent to get off the couch and go jump in the lake.  They took up the challenge along with a few friends, and it snowballed from there.  As the event grew larger, the brothers realized this was an opportunity to fundraise for a good cause and in 1995 they teamed up with World Vision Canada. Since then, over $2 million has been raised to support clean water projects around the world. In 2017, Todd and Trent were awarded the Governor General of Canada’s Sovereign’s Medal in recognition of their efforts.


Gabriela Covaci

Gabriela is recognized for her work in helping newcomers to Canada feel at home.  She has worked with the Halton District School Board’s International Language program and volunteers with the Halton Multicultural Council (HMC).  She has also worked with the Halton Newcomer Strategy and volunteered with International Women’s Day (IWD) events.  She immigrated to Canada from Romania in 2003 and understands how important it is to for newcomers to Canada to find an advocacy and support network when they arrive.


Melissa Davis

Melissa is the ambitious, talented, and creative entrepreneur, brand architect and founder of Ugly Dukling, an influential lifestyle and beauty brand boutique that collaborates with iconic brands, blockbuster films and celebrities to create capsule collections. She is a creative visionary and a strong advocate for culture. Melissa has been selected by the iconic brand Barbie as one of 60 role models who has become successful in their field and inspires independence, self acceptance and reinvention to women around the world.


Nathalie de Caen

Nathalie has made community service a huge part of her life.  She has been a volunteer with both the Oakville Santa Claus Parade and the Oakville Terry Fox Run for over ten years, and with Cycle Oakville from 2014-2016.  As Co-Chair of the Oakville Terry Fox Run, Nathalie has taken the initiative to create and design personal signs that are displayed every year at the Run.   Nathalie also served as Co-Chair of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Promise Ball.


Tina De Crisci

Tina opened Duran Place for Kids in 2019, a unique children’s play centre in Oakville. An elementary teacher, Tina is also a mom of five and foster parent. Duran Place offers indoor and outdoor activities and provides the space and opportunities kids need to use their imaginations and get off technology. During the pandemic, Tina reached out to the community in ingenious ways such as drive by and parking lot Santa and Easter Bunny visits. She created amazing programs like yoga for adults, puppy yoga, paint nights, music lessons, ballet classes, events for dads and daughters, princess tea parties and more.


Allan Elgar

Allan Elgar has represented Ward 4 on Oakville Town Council and Halton Region Council since 2000 and on the Board of Directors for Conservation Halton since 2001. He has also served on the Board of Directors for Credit Valley Conservation, and is a member of the Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt. Allan is a true champion for environmental causes and conservation issues. His involvement in local issues started when he volunteered as a founding director and first president of Oakvillegreen Conservation Association Inc., a grassroots residents’ organization working to protect the local natural environment. Allan played a large role in the creation of Oakville’s Natural Heritage System, the first of its kind in Ontario, and spearheaded a campaign that resulted in the preservation of over 46,000 hectares of greenspace in Halton.


Jesse Flis

Jesse worked in the Toronto Board of Education as teacher, principal, consultant, and coordinator of special education before entering politics in the late 1970s, serving as Member of Parliament for Parkdale Riding in Toronto for many years.  February 15th was officially designated National Flag of Canada Day in 1996, thanks in large part to Mr. Flis, who spent years advocating for official recognition of this important national symbol.  He continues to be an active member of the community.


Sienna Foltin

Sienna dedicates her time to helping others through non-profit organizations in our community.  A student starting grade 11 this year, Sienna has already logged over 500 volunteer community service hours.  From writing letters to residents of local senior’s homes and volunteering at an animal shelter, to assisting the Oakville Rangers Hockey club with scheduling, Sienna always finds a way to help people in our community. 


Tony Gabriel

Canadian Football League Hall of Famer Tony Gabriel played in the Canadian Football League from 1971 to 1981 for both the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Ottawa Rough Riders. His three last-minute catches helped the Tiger-Cats win the 1972 Grey Cup and he caught the game-winning touchdown in the 1976 Championship for the Ottawa Rough Riders. Tony is a sports legend in our country and now he is behind a petition to put another Canadian legend on the new $5 bill – Terry Fox. As a young boy, Tony lost his father to lung cancer and in 1990, his youngest son was diagnosed with leukemia.  Tony attributes his son’s recovery from leukemia to the kind of advancements in leading-edge cancer research and treatments that are funded through the Terry Fox Foundation.


Tricia Hammill

Tricia has been an active volunteer at both the elementary and high school level, co-chairing parent council's for well over 10 years.  She has also been a Girl Guide leader running weekly meetings and outings including annual winter horse back riding camp and overnight camping trips. She exemplifies everything good in volunteers, tirelessly giving her time and energy to the school community and community at large, always giving selflessly to others.


Dr. Frank Hayden

Dr. Hayden is a retired physical education/kinesiology professor and pioneer of the Special Olympics. Dr. Hayden has committed his life to ensuring the acceptance and inclusion of individuals living with an intellectual disability. While a member of the faculty at Western University, he conducted research on the role that physical activity has in the lives of children living with disabilities.  In the 1960s his work attracted the attention of the Kennedy Foundation and its patron, Eunice Kennedy Shriver resulting in the first Special Olympic Games in 1968. It was an attitudinal breakthrough which spawned a belief that sport must be accessible for all people regardless of physical or intellectual circumstance. Today the Special Olympics program provides training for more than three million athletes with intellectual disabilities in over 170 countries worldwide. It is unquestionably one of the most successful sporting achievements in the modern age. In 2016, Dr. Hayden received the highest sporting achievement in the country - being inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.


Lisa Holness

Lisa, a long-time volunteer with the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital Foundation, helps organize the hospital’s annual Gala, the Candlelight Ball, to raise money for the Hospital Foundation. Her team at the Foundation raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for the hospital every year – in 2021, she helped to raise $615,000 through the Gala.

John Hunter

Hunter Amenities produces product for more than 45 top bath and body retail brands worldwide.  When a hold was put on travel in March 2020 and the hospitality industry disappeared, CEO John Hunter quickly retooled operations to produce a product that was suddenly in desperate demand around the world: hand sanitizer.  60 days later it was an entirely different company, distributing hand sanitizer to hospitals, first responders, grocery stores, essential workers, and the public.  Hunter Amenities has a long history of giving to local organizations like the Burlington Food Bank, Salvation Army Burlington, Hamilton Health Sciences, Good Shepherd Shelter and to projects like SoapAid to promote hygiene in Africa.

Dr. Jennifer Kagan

Four-year-old Kiera Kagan was killed by her father in a murder suicide in 2020 in Milton. While grieving the loss of her daughter, Jennifer has worked tirelessly on a Bill that would honour Keira’s life and help to protect the lives of other children in the future. Private Member’s Bill C-233, which includes what is known informally as “Keira’s Law,” raises the level of education on domestic violence for federally appointed judges in Canada and officially introduces electronic monitoring as another release condition when the safety and security of a person, including an intimate partner, could be at risk. Jennifer’s strength and determination has changed the law in Canada and will forever be Keira’s legacy.


Zain Khot

As President of the Oakville Cricket Club, Zain has worked tirelessly over the past 10 years to build recognition and support for the sport of cricket in our community. He was instrumental in pushing for, and securing, over $600,000 through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, under the Canada Community Revitalization Fund for the construction of an irrigated Class A regulation full-size cricket field at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex, which will be utilized by the Oakville Cricket Club for games and practices.  It will be able to host local and regional tournaments, attracting visitors from neighbouring communities.  


Michelle Knoll

Michelle is the Executive Director of the Oak Park Neighbourhood Centre (OPNC) and a community leader who gives of herself every day to make sure everyone in our community is healthy, safe, and included.  Over the last 20 years, Michelle has built the OPNC into a thriving community hub with a long list of exceptional social supports. When Covid -19 stopped our normal lives, Michelle stepped up to ensure no one was left behind. She instituted a porch-top food bank at OPNC, offering healthy food 24/7 based on the honor system of take what you need and leave what you can.  The OPNC hosts numerous events free to the community each year with the aim of brining people together and instilling a sense of belonging to everyone.


Jeff Knoll

Jeff is a Ward 5 Oakville Town and Regional Councillor and the owner of Oakville’s, at which he hosts countless charitable events every year. During Covid, Jeff instituted a porch-top food bank at, offering healthy food for anyone who needed it, and was selfless in his service to the community.  He organized an outdoor movie borrowing station, PPE drive, book bank, puzzle bank and toy bank. For many, these were their only resources available to them during lockdown. Through the pandemic, Jeff kept people employed, helped other businesses navigate challenges, and led initiatives to support front line workers and local charities.  


Sungmi Kong

Sungmi is an artist and owner of the Rainbow Studio in Oakville, who is best known for her unique Korean traditional folk-art paintings.  Rainbow Studio is a dynamic space for local artists to teach, learn, share, create and showcase their work in all mediums. The studio offers workshops, all-ages art classes, and exhibitions and serves as a gathering place for students, teachers, and lovers of art. Many of her students go on to earn scholarships to study art in the most prestigious university art programs in North America.


Aiden Lee

Aiden is an abstract painter and advocate who lives with Autism.  Aiden communicates and expresses his thoughts and feelings through his art, using different styles and mediums to create bright, bold colours, with a blend of different textures which inspire the mind, body, and soul. Aiden volunteers in schools across our community teaching students about the power of artistic expression. His Art From the Heart initiative, teaching the power of art and unleashing emotions on the canvas, has reached 3,700 students.  Through his role on the Halton Youth Disability Advisory Council, Aiden motivates council members to keep inspiring youth and adults in our community to be the best they can be.  Aiden’s artwork can be found in Iroquois Ridge Library, on the cover of the Ontario government’s Autism Parent Resource Kit, Special Olympics Sweden, Ontario’s Parliament Building, in the office of MP Pam Damoff, and in the home of Temple Grandin.


Sean Livingston

Sean Livingston is a history teacher, Sea Cadet instructor, Oakville naval reserve officer, naval historian, gifted storyteller, and the author of “Oakville’s Flower: The History of HMCS Oakville.”  His book covers the history of the HMCS Oakville and the heroic actions of its crew in the attempted capture and sinking of U-94 in the Caribbean on August 28th, 1942.  Sean’s story follows the HMCS Oakville through its rise and fall as a Canadian naval legend, to its revival in the town of Oakville.  In recording Canada’s naval history, Sean safeguards its legacy. 


Shagufta Lone

Shagufta Lone is a passionate and determined Kashmiri-Canadian. Shagufta is dedicated to raising awareness regarding Human Rights Issues in Kashmir through her advocacy locally with the Kashmiri diaspora and the non-for-profit human rights organization, Justice for All Canada. She is a pillar of the community and has been able to raise these human right issues at the National Level with government officials, bringing this conflict to the forefront for the public and the government.


Kelly Luscombe

While volunteering with Frontline Outreach to help feed others, Kelly works three jobs and is a single mom to her seven children.  Frontline Outreach serves people in need in our community with dignity, humility, and compassion.  Kelly is part of a group of volunteers who prepares and packages food to be delivered to the doorsteps of people who are food insecure. Each meal is accompanied by an encouraging card, created, and donated by students from schools across Oakville, and a baked good, donated by members of the community. 


Michael Marchetti

Michael has been a long-time advocate for public transit, and support for those living with disabilities.  Michael successfully advocated for a bus stop at Oakville Greenhouses so that he and his fellow White Oaks students could safely get a bus after volunteering there.  He later spoke out for the need for a cross walk from Community Living Oakville to the bus stop directly across the street on Wyecroft Road.  Michael spoke in detail about the need for a crosswalk, and the ability of those living with disabilities to live and travel independently. Council promptly directed the Wyecroft Improvement Planners to include his request in their planning process.


David Mayhew

David stepped up during the pandemic to ensure seniors in our community felt connected and engaged.  David has been the convenor of the acrylic art drop-in program at Sir John Colborne seniors centre for many years. During the pandemic, he moved the program to Zoom and created weekly Zoom meetings for a seniors’ groups and taught seniors how to start their own Zoom meetings, helping with numerous and varied tech questions from many seniors.


Robert “Bob” McCrudden

Bob has been keeping the doors of the Oakville North Group of Alcoholics Anonymous open to anyone seeking help in our community for 33 years. Many people have found a new beginning and renewed hope through Bob and the Oakville North group thanks to his support and kindness, particularly during the difficult early days of sobriety.


Shann McGrail

From start-ups to large global corporations, Haltech helps companies advance their technology-based innovations to market or scale up their business.  Shann is the Executive Director at Haltech and is a proponent of ensuring women entrepreneurs are supported and uplifted.  Five years ago, only 10% of businesses involved with Haltech were women-owned.  Today, that number is over 43%, thanks in large part to Shann’s direct involvement with the federal government’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy, which was born in Halton after a roundtable hosted at Haltech identified the need to better support and encourage women-led businesses.  


Kurt Merriman

Kurt is an Oakville firefighter and Chair of the Oakville Professional Firefighters Association’s annual Toy Drive.  Kurt leads a large team of volunteers to ensure every child in our community has a gift to open on Christmas morning.  The Oakville Professional Firefighters Association (OPFFA) has been holding a toy drive every year since 1993. Kurt has tirelessly grown the Toy Drive and is one of Santa’s elves here in Oakville.  Because of the generosity of Oakville residents, businesses and community organizations, Kurt and the Toy Drive team are able to distribute gifts to thousands of local children and youth annually. 


Lisa Michaels

Lisa is a co-founder of Bandology, a non-profit dedicated to bringing music to as many kids as possible through education, collaboration, and community involvement.  A member of a local award-winning acapella chorus, Lisa and her co-founder Peter van Duzer created Bandology because they appreciated the multiple life-long benefits that music provides. United by common goals while participating in a high school music parent association.  Peter and Lisa were inspired to go beyond the classroom and into the community to help spread the love of music.  Together, they enrich the music experience of youth across Halton and beyond, and help build transferable skills via band camps, performance opportunities, workshops, and community band partnerships.


John Mooney

John Mooney has a true passion for Little League Baseball.  Each baseball season for the past 29 years, John has coached several teams, convenes various House League and All-Star Tournaments, grooms countless baseball diamonds, and helps in any way he can. He encourages players to improve their skills and to do their best, but most importantly, he encourages both the players and the audience to have fun and love the game of baseball – he even leads spectators in singing 'Sweet Caroline!'  



James Montague

James is an active supporter and champion of many special events which recognize and celebrate young adults living with disabilities in our community. James has touched the lives of so many people, encouraging their participation in, and appreciation for, their skills, talents, and pride in their individual accomplishments. He's a proud member of Oakville’s Rotary Club.  He also organizes an annual awards night called the All- Star Gala for those who might not otherwise get recognition. During the pandemic, James organized several events to bring our community together. He partnered with local restaurant Trattoria Timone to provide hot meals to seniors in care homes, organized drive-by birthday celebrations for Special Olympians, and set up Zoom calls between friends and residents to help everyone feel connected to each other.


Dr. Shelley Morgan

Shelley is a pharmacist and the CEO of Rx Billing Genie, an app to help pharmacists manage the billing of prescriptions.  The idea behind the app came from Shelley’s frustration over the inordinate amount of time she was spending on billing insurance companies instead of helping her patients. Searching for a more efficient way to approach billing, she joined forces with a colleague to design, create and bring to market Rx Billing Genie, which allows pharmacists to drastically reduce the time they spend on billing.  Shelley is a leader, role model, advocate and mentor to students, women – particularly women of colour – encouraging them to push past barriers and excel.


Navjot “Nav” Nanda

Nav is an integral part of the North Oakville community who founded the North Oakville Ward 7 Residents Association. She has been active in promoting activities in North Oakville such as sponsoring Yoga and other health-focused initiatives including providing free masks and Covid test kits during a time when they were in limited supply in the community. She has been the Chair of Oodenawi Public School’s Parent council since the school opened.


Johnny Nguyen

Johnny is a well-know and respected coach in our community, much loved by both athletes and fellow coaches.  Johnny has been coaching with Special Olympics Burlington for 6 years in basketball, soccer, track and field and softball.


Emily O’Brien

After battling addiction and completing a federal prison sentence for drug smuggling, Emily decided to change her own life and at the same time create employment opportunities for others like her. While in prison, she founded Comeback Snacks, a popcorn company, and along the way learned valuable lessons about resilience, determination, forgiveness, and how to take a bad situation and turn it into endless positive opportunities.  In prison, she saw the need for teaching women valuable job skills while they are incarcerated, helping them to integrate back into society and find meaningful employment.  Today, Emily hires people who have been to prison, giving them the opportunity to gain new skills and create their own comebacks. 


Kwame Osei

Kwame is one of the most inspirational people you will ever meet.  Kwame is a football coach at Queen’s University, an author, and he works to teach, support, and mentor inmates at a maximum federal penitentiary in Kingston. He was also in the top three of Amazing Race Canada!  Kwame has found a powerful way to have a positive impact on everyone he meets, coaches and for those who are on their own journeys towards rehabilitation and working to change the stigma surrounding people who have been in the corrections and prison system.


Lynn Pike

Lynn volunteers in our community to bring happiness to residents in long term care homes. She started the Forget Me Not Boutique seven years ago when her mom entered long term care.  Her travelling boutique regularly visits 12 different long term care homes in our community with jewelry she collects through donations and invites residents to “shop” at no charge for new-to-them jewellery to brighten their day.


Eleeza Rafiq

In an effort to give back and put the true meaning of Ramadan into practice, Eleeza and a group of ten friends founded the Ramadan Rangers in 2015 to make an impact in our community. The Ramadan Rangers have organized food drives, toy drives and have raised thousands of dollars for various charitable organizations in the area and continued to do so throughout the Pandemic. During Ramadan, Eleeza reminds everyone to give to their communities and to others, and to remain humble.


Sybil Rampen

Sybil put her degree in Art and Archaeology to good use during her thirty-five year career of teaching art courses in painting, embroidery, and other media, solidifying her as a much sought-after mentor for many emerging artists. Her work has been exhibited locally and internationally.  Her artwork can be seen in the University of Ottawa Music Department, Princess Margaret Hospital, The Emmanuel College and St. Thomas Anglican Church in Toronto. As the founder of Oakville’s Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre, Sybil’s vison for creating it was led by her passion to conserve the 20,000 year-old valley, heritage buildings and greenspace for future generations.   Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre, with its early Canadian buildings was originally an 1827 barn. It was restored as a tribute to the pioneers who settled on this land in 1810.


Dionne Reelis

Dionne is a Registered Nurse and Clinical Resource Nurse for Inpatient Surgery at the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH). She began her career at OTMH as a staff nurse in Paediatrics and has served as the Patient Care Manager and Professional Practice Clinician for the Surgical Program and helped open and establish the OakMed Family Health Team as Executive Director/Executive Nurse. Dionne volunteers with the Canadian Cancer Society as a peer support mentor and worked tirelessly on the frontlines through both SARS in 2003 and Covid. Dionne was awarded the Frontline Leadership Award for her work during the pandemic, and this year she received her 25 Years of Service pin.


Sara Restani

Sara is the volunteer president of Ontario’s largest field hockey club, the Halton Field Hockey Club, and program manager of KidSport Ontario. She brings a wealth of corporate experience to not-for-profit and community organizations, with a focus on engagement and advocacy. Together with a network of 18 local chapters, KidSport Ontario provides grants to help cover the costs of enrolment so that all kids aged 18 and under in Ontario can play a season of sport. Sara works to ensure all kids in the province can access and excel in a sport they love.


Beth Robertson

Elected as Ward 1 Oakville Town Councillor in 2018 after a full career as a high school teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas in Oakville, Beth has been recognized for her professional and community participation with the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation Ontario Community Coach of the Year Award; Humber College Greatest High School Teacher Award; McMaster ALS Clinic Amethyst Award; Ontario Ministry for Women’s Issues Leading Women Building Communities Leadership Award; and the YMCA of Oakville Peace Medallion.  She remains committed to volunteering for ALS Canada and Acclaim Health and as a Board Member of the Global Friends Foundation.  Beth has volunteered in bereavement support for Acclaim Health and is a long-time volunteer with the Oakville Santa Claus Parade and Oakville Terry Fox Run.


Sonia Robinson

In her role as Administrator for Millcroft Against Development, Sonia calls for stronger protections for Burlington’s green space and strives to ensure the community is cleaner for future generations. As a community activist, Sonia spearheads numerous charitable initiatives including, most recently, a fundraising drive for Ukrainian refugees. She has also advocated strongly for Keira’s Law, which will raise the level of education for judges and ensure women and children are one step safer from violence and harm. Sonia continues to be a steady voice for a stronger, more unified, and safer local community.  


Suzanne “Sue” Rodgers

Sue is a dedicated and tireless member of the Sheldon Creek community who plans and organizes events, from Christmas and Halloween parties, to summer outings in order to engage and bring together neighbours across the community to foster unity and fellowship.


Karina Scali

Karina graduates this year from Sheridan College with a degree in Early Childhood Education.  Karina volunteers tirelessly and is well known in our community for her boundless determination, compassion, drive, and optimism.  Karina’s volunteer work includes working with pre-school and kindergarten children, developing a play-based curriculum for children, assisting at the YMCA children’s summer camp, Halton Region’s Children’s Water Festival and her long-time volunteer role at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. Her fundraising contributions have helped to build a school in Kenya, an orphanage in Africa and have supported children in their battles with cancer.  


Dr. Bruce Seet

Dr. Bruce Seet has made important contributions to our community through his career and his volunteer initiatives in the areas of science, innovation, entrepreneurship, and the arts. He founded and serves as the President and CEO of the Science to Business Network, which operates with a team of volunteers, and built it into a national, multi-chapter, fully volunteer, non-profit organization that connects diverse stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem, and provides professional development opportunities for young highly qualified personnel and STEM graduates. He leads the Network’s more than 70 volunteers across 10 chapters across Canada and does so tirelessly in his spare time.


Eric Smith

A graduate of Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School in Burlington, Eric celebrated his 25th year at Sportsnet and Sportsnet 590 The Fan this year and was recently inducted into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame in the media category. He is well-known as the radio voice of the Toronto Raptors and co-host of Smith and Jones on Sportsnet’s 590 The Fan, and he also works on television as an NBA analyst and feature interviewer. He called the Olympic boxing tournament in London in 2012 and annually covers the National Bank Open (Rogers Cup) women’s tennis tournament in Toronto.  Eric believes in giving back and has spearheaded a number of initiatives to support those most in need.


Robert Stapleford

Robert is a member of the Oakville Hospital Foundation board of directors and serves as secretary to the Oakville Hospital Volunteer Association.  He is also the Treasurer of the Glen Abbey United church, which is well know for its outreach support for our community and has been involved for a number of years with the Five Oaks Education and Retreat Centre in Brant that provides programs and space for a number of organizations.


Bonnie Sylvia

Bonnie is the Founder and President of the Camelot Centre in Burlington, a not for profit, registered charity offering continuing education, life skills, physical fitness, recreation, crafts, and social interaction in a structured environment for adults, over the age of 20, with an intellectual disability. The centre was founded in 2006 by a board of dedicated parents whose children, upon completing their high school educations, found they had no programs in the community to meet their special needs.


Vikas Singh

Vikas founded the Yoga in the Park program at the start of the pandemic as his way to give back to our community and encourage residents to stay connected to each other.  He volunteered his time and Yoga talent, bringing expert Yoga teachers to the park to instruct residents and bring connection to the community. Vikas is also an active volunteer for the Oakville Indo Canadian Association and is constantly helping the community wherever the need arises.


Nalini Tota

Nalini is recognized as a selfless and generous personal support worker who gives of herself to those in need of assistance in a retirement home.   She has made an enormous impact on everyone around her. 


Peter VanDuzer

Peter is a co-founder of Bandology, non-profit organization dedicated to more music for more kids through collaborative education and engagement with our community.  Peter has been actively engaged in the greater music community for many years, helping music mentors plan activities at Band Camp is reminiscent of the many years Peter spent running summer camps in northern Ontario. He has been volunteering with youth since 1985, including with the Lawson Foundation, a Canadian Family Foundation that invests in and engages with ideas, people, and organizations that contribute to the healthy development of children and youth. 


Vanessa Vis

Vanessa is an advanced care paramedic at the Halton region. While most of us were urged to stay inside as the pandemic persisted, Vanessa was one of many Halton residents who worked on the front line of healthcare to protect vulnerable citizens.  While rushing toward a medical emergency isn’t anything new for Vanessa, the uncertainty and ever-changing nature of the pandemic made her job more stressful and dangerous.  Vanessa has been at the forefront of raising awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries within her profession, and for those who work in emergency services.


Melanie Warrington

As the manager of a seniors’ residence, Melanie works with “Food for Life” to ensure weekly food delivery for seniors requiring proper nutrition.  Melanie also championed a community vegetable garden to encourage seniors to be involved with their surroundings and engage in growing and harvesting vegetables close to home.  She also worked with the Kerr Village neighbourhood to sponsor a senior for Christmas.   


John Wiggins

Oakville resident John Wiggins, Toronto Raptor’s vice-president of organizational culture and inclusion, is working with the team to combat racism and uplift marginalized BIPOC voices in Toronto and around the country.  John leads a group created to address social injustice, inclusion, equity and political reform. John has worked to set up a number of programs including a midnight basketball program to help get kids off the street at night, the return of the Raptors Pride Game, and helping players and other members of the team with initiatives they would like to support. Wiggins actively engages players in conversation, looking for ways these athletes can be more than just athletes.


Dr. Scott Aijun Xie

Scott is the founder of Upswing Academy in Oakville, which provides an enriched learning environment that has helped countless students learn, develop, and grow. His unique approach to blending teaching and learning methods helps students take the next step in their education and approach the future with confidence. One of his programs, the University Bridging Camp, helps youth seamlessly transition into university. Scott has devoted himself to educating the next generation and creating opportunities for them to get more involved with community service.  Scott is well recognized for his ability to foster  inclusivity within our community and is a strong voice for, and supporter of newcomers to Canada. 


Joe Zaccaria

Joe Zaccaria has been an elementary French Immersion teacher for twenty years at Charles R. Beaudoin School in Burlington. He is a fervent advocate for publicly funded education who has recently had the pleasure of seeing several of his former students become teachers themselves. He has served for ten years as his school's representative for the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, and is a long-standing member of several ETFO Halton committees.

His classroom is a welcoming, safe, and fun space for every child to learn and grow. Teachers like Joe have a huge influence on their students. His classroom was the first one I visited after being elected as an MP in 2015, and I have visited each year since to speak to his students about civics, government, climate change and many other things his engaged students are curious about. If you want to know how pigs fly, visit Joe's classroom.


John Zinkie

John is a tireless volunteer who is very active in the North Burlington Rotary Club and served as its President from 2009-2010. John volunteered with Burlington Habitat for Humanity and at the newly built Carpenter Hospice where he performed maintenance duties. He was a driver for cancer patients taking them to and from appointments and he devoted a great deal of time to Burlington’s Port Nelson United Church’s Property Committee and when the church went through major renovations. John has served with the Meals of Hope program at the church preparing 600+ meals each week to serve the needy in Burlington and Hamilton.

Suzanne Zinkie

Susanne, a retired nurse, volunteered at the Carpenter Hospice and the Joseph Brant Hospital for many years. She served on several committees at Port Nelson United Church where she was able to help many people by driving them to various appointments and utilizing her knitting skills to make shawls, hats, and scarves which were distributed throughout the community, and she also participates in the Meals of Hope program at Port Nelson.

Community Office
2525 Old Bronte Road, Suite 590
Oakville, Ontario
L6M 4J2


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Office Hours
Mon: 9am-4pm (By appointment only)
Tue: 9am-4pm (By appointment only)
Wed: 9am-4pm (By appointment only)
Thu: 9am-4pm (By appointment only)
Fri: 9am-12pm (By appointment only)
Sat: Closed
Sun: Closed

Ottawa Office
Valour Building, Suite 810
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6


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