2022 Civic Awards Presentation

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Peterborough, ON - The 2022 Civic Awards were presented at a ceremony in Council Chambers on June 26, 2023.  Awards were presented recognizing outstanding individual and group achievements that brought honour and enriched the lives of people in the City of Peterborough in 2022.

The Civic Award major trophies are sponsored by the following organizations:

  • Peterborough This Week sponsors the Junior Athlete of the Year
  • CHEX TV sponsors the Senior Athlete of the Year
  • Cogeco sponsors the Volunteer of the Year
  • Peterborough Examiner sponsors the Lifetime Achievement Award

 “The individuals and groups we recognized this evening represent some of the most remarkable members of the City of Peterborough as they contributed a great deal to our community in 2022. We encourage everyone to read about the Civic Award recipients – we believe that you will find their achievements to be inspiring,” said Mayor Jeff Leal.

“We would like to thank everyone who took the time to let us know about these amazing people in our community by submitting a nomination.  No matter how wonderful an achievement is, we cannot recognize it if someone doesn’t nominate the group or individual for an award.” 

Community Betterment

Mitch Champagne

As a part-time faculty member at Trent University and President of CUPE 3908, Mitch Champagne is known in the community for his tireless commitment to Truth and Reconciliation. Determined to bring about concrete action, Mitch first approached the Peterborough Public Library in 2017 to create a Downie Wenjack Legacy Space that engages our community on an ongoing basis. Over the next few years, Mitch undertook the task of bringing together funding partners and establishing a formal relationship with the Downie-Wenjack Fund. Most importantly, Mitch recognized the critical importance of adequate and respectful consultation with Indigenous stakeholders, so from the very beginning connected with the Curve Lake First Nation Council, the Community and Race Relations Committee of Peterborough, the Peterborough and District Wapiti Métis Council, the First People’s House of Learning at Trent, and the Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre.

Mitch volunteered over 200 hours in 2022 to bring the Legacy Space to fruition and the result is a Legacy Space that invites us to embrace the myriad possibilities for Reconciliation and reminds us of the beautiful physical and cultural space that we are privileged to share in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong.

In the words of his nominator, Mitch is a truly remarkable individual who embodies community spirit.

Heather Hedges

Heather Hedges has been active in helping others for most of her life, not least as a teacher of the visually impaired in the public school system. Her professional work notably brought her into contact with a family of Syrian newcomers, and they formed a close connection that deepened her commitment to helping refugees and former refugees.

In 2015, Heather volunteered with the New Canadians Centre as a support team leader to welcome a Syrian government-assisted refugee family of 10 to Peterborough. She led a team of over 20 volunteers to provide wraparound support for the family.

In August 2021, during the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan Heather responded to a call for help, working around the clock to complete applications for embassy staff, interpreters and former aides to the Canadian military who were fleeing persecution in Afghanistan.

Since that time, some of the people she helped have settled in the Peterborough area, and Heather has been a welcoming presence to them and to other Afghan arrivals. She has also become a regular and welcoming presence at the New Canadians Centre, helping to grow awareness of newcomer and refugee issues, and to build ties between those newcomers and the local community. Congratulations Heather!

Guye Vondette

Guye Vondette is the president, the head ref, and the heart of the thriving local Ball Hockey league offering affordable team play to over 300 players in Peterborough and area.

The league faced many challenges during the pandemic; however, Guye continued to be optimistic, consistently working to improve the local youth sport to be inclusive and affordable. Always striving to provide the league’s players with the best opportunities and experiences, Peterborough was represented in the 2022 provincial tournament in Mississauga with one team bringing home the win!

This year Guye was nominated for and accepted the position of Chair of Youth Sport with the Ontario Ball Hockey Association Board of Directors. He was recognized for his passion and expertise in youth sport and for officiating hockey, sledge hockey, ball hockey and lacrosse over many years.

Cultural Betterment

Peterborough Musicfest Volunteers

A dedicated group of volunteers work at the Peterborough Musicfest every event, rain or shine, all summer long include Lindsay Norman, Colleen Brisbin, Sean White, Florence Abbott, Bob Elliott, Daphne Sugrue, Kinsey James, and Tim Peters. The spirit and hard work they dedicate to the festival is remarkable.

Peterborough Musicfest returned in the summer of 2022 after the pandemic for its 35th year. These dedicated volunteers put in many tireless hours over the 16 nights at Del Crary Park last year, providing help with customer service, merchandise sales, park patrol, and ushering attendees.

Holnbeck Award

Eric Thornley

Eric Thornley has volunteered his time for the past 10 years sitting on the joint Accessibility Advisory Committee of Selwyn Township and the County of Peterborough. He has been an effective Chair of this Committee for 6 years and is currently the Vice Chair. During the ten years on the Committee, he has assisted in hosting the Time in My Shoes program which is a hands-on experiential learning program. It is designed and held to educate members of the Selwyn Township Council and Peterborough County Council around issues of accessibility and inclusion. Eric volunteers with lived experience and first-hand daily challenges faced through realistic simulations.

Eric has brought his unique perspective as a person with a disability to the joint Accessibility Advisory Committee, as well as to the Lakefield Youth Unlimited, various steering committees, and as a training officer at the Peterborough Sailing Club. He also volunteers his time to be a member of the Selwyn Township Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.

Athletic Award of Merit

Toula Pappas

Toula Pappas began her curling career at the young age of seven. In the past decade she has grown and excelled as an athlete. For the past six years she has been curling competitively in both the Junior Slam Series and the Trillium Series, both governed by Curl Ontario and Curling Canada.

In a very competitive field, Toula helped lead the Peterborough team to a fourth-place finish during the 2022 regular season, and then on December 29, 2022, the Peterborough team stuck gold winning the Canadian Junior Cup.

During the season Toula was scouted by three Universities and has recently accepted an offer from Trent hoping to help the University and City claim an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) title.

Not only has Toula exhibited on ice skill. She has been heralded as a great communicator and has embraced the ideals or sportsmanship and fair play. Toula also enjoys passing on her experiences to the next generation as she assists the Peterborough club’s junior program on Sunday mornings. Toula’s athletic abilities are not confined to the ice sheet. Toula has also competed at softball, volleyball and enjoys rock climbing.

Junior Athlete of the Year

Phoenix Walker

Phoenix is an 11-year old student at St. Patrick Elementary. He has trained in martial arts for just over 5 years. He actively competes in karate and kickboxing and has won many awards.

In 2022 Phoenix competed at the National World Association of\ Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) tournament. He won gold in open hand and silver in weapons. Phoenix made team Canada and went to Italy to compete at the WAKO World Juniors. He won gold for his open hand and Bronze for weapons. He was also selected to participate at the Ontario Winter Games and won Gold and Silver.

He has represented his city respectfully at many tournaments. Even during covid he trained and committed himself to martial arts and his schoolwork. He advanced in karate earning higher belts. Aside from training he also helps teach the younger classes.

Phoenix has worked very hard and is officially a Provincial, National and World Champion.

Senior Athlete of the Year

Ab Doyle

A proud representative of Peterborough, Ab Doyle is an excellent example of how someone in their senior years of life can compete at provincial, national, and international levels of sport.

At 64, Ab curled in leagues at the Peterborough Curling Club, as well as a ‘super league’ at the Lindsay Curling Club. He participated in the CurlON Senior Men’s Provincial Championship in March 2022 and represented the Peterborough Curling Club at the Men’s Master Provincials in December 2022.

Ab is also an active participant in Triathlon events. At the beginning of the 2022 triathlon season, he completed his 150th race. He competed in 20 events during 2022. Ab represented Canada in two triathlon events in 2022, first at the age group Worlds in Montreal in June, and then at the Multi-Sport World age group championships in Slovakia in August.

Ab never seems to slow down whether it is winter or summer, and he always demonstrates sportsmanship and comradery, while still being a competitor.

Volunteer of the Year

Community Care – Meals on Wheels Volunteers

The 2022 Meals on Wheels Team is a group of 96 dedicated and hard-working volunteers who ensured that hot and frozen meals were delivered to those in need of the service in the City of Peterborough.

The Team has a huge impact on the community and its residents. This group of volunteers tirelessly ensures that over 430 community members living in their own homes have hot and frozen meals delivered to their homes.

In 2022, Meals on Wheels volunteers delivered over 7,900 hot meals and 16,400 frozen meals to city residents! The volunteers in this program go far above just delivering a meal. With each delivery they provide a wellness check on the client to ensure that each person is safe and doing well.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Roy Wood

Roy has dedicated his life to educating Peterborough’s youth, providing decades of civic duty, participating on countless Boards and Committees, and providing leadership in our community’s most critical roles, at the most critical times. Roy’s dedication to The Children’s Aid society, and Peterborough Public Health, demonstrate his deep compassion for our community’s most vulnerable.

In 1992 Roy was awarded the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal, by the Governor General of Canada, that honours Canadians who have made a significant contribution to their community. Roy was inducted into the Kenner Hall of Honour for his community leadership volunteerism, and a Leadership bursary is now awarded annually in his name.

Roy served as a Council member for 21 years. His public service included serving as a Director and Board Chair for the Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Society for many years in addition to being a member on the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority, Fairhaven and the Ontario Provincial Review Board for Pensions and Benefits.

In the words of his nominator: “The Lifetime Achievement Award is a fitting and deserved recognition for someone that has dedicated almost 60 years of unwavering service to their City.”