The Ontario government presented eight Ontario Medals for Good Citizenship recognizing Ontario citizens for their contributions to their communities and the province. The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, was joined by Vincent Ke, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport on March 7th, 2019.
“I am honoured to invest this year’s recipients of the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship, all of whom have demonstrated a common devotion to Ontario,” said the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. “Good citizenship is the foundation of a society that aspires to be resilient. It is fundamentally about how we live together and what we can expect from one another. The civic leadership of these awardees is helping to shape our future as well as our present.”
“Congratulations to the honourees of the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship,” said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sport. “These individuals have devoted their time, passion, expertise and efforts to make positive change and a lasting impact in their communities and the province. They stand as model Ontarians who exemplify civic-mindedness, integrity and community leadership.”
The following are recipients of the 2018 Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship:
Vivian Hould of Aurora knows all about the calming effects animals have on people. With dedication and compassion through the St. John Ambulance York Region Therapy Dog program, she has assisted thousands of people, including those living with Alzheimer’s, and has helped bring happiness and joy to so many – people and dogs alike.
Albert Roland Kowalenko of Toronto is an inspiration to many, and his all-around volunteer efforts are influential in the success of many non-profit and charitable organizations. As a volunteer and advocate for a whole generation of deafblind Canadians through the Canadian Helen Keller Centre and the Deafblind Association of Toronto, he has raised awareness and promoted change for them to live fuller lives.
Jim McGregor of Birch Island, former Chief of Whitefish River First Nation, works untiringly as a community leader and advocate to advance Indigenous rights. Channelling his love of hockey, education and community service, he co-founded the Little Native Hockey League, promoting sports in First Nation communities. Integral to his character is spirituality as he remains a devoted volunteer in his church as a respected council member and president.
David (Dave) Money of Scarborough, a passionate horticulturist for over 40 years, has been a source of inspiration and guidance to many horticultural societies he founded and revitalized. The creation of the Todmorden Mills Wildflower Preserve in Toronto has enabled future generations to enjoy. His influence can be felt across the province.
Maryam Nazemi of Toronto turned a personal workplace tragedy into a driving force for change. A community builder, she is helping many from many cultural backgrounds deal with the pain and disruption of a work injury. She is the recipient of the Willowdale 150 Commemorative medal for outstanding contributions to the community.
Frank Perissinotti of Tecumseh says, “No child or family should be left behind.” His many and generous community efforts are with a deep sense of compassion and belief in giving back, essential to a well-balanced community.
E. Jean Polak of Bracebridge can be described as a gift to her community. Whether defending the most vulnerable, assisting those in difficult times, protecting the environment or enriching the community, it is done with enthusiasm and compassion.
Olga (Ollie) Sawchuk of Thunder Bay has been a leader in the advancement of culture and heritage and life enhancement for Thunder Bay for over 60 years. Her every role is taken on with gusto and with a sense of making a difference in her community and beyond.