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Community Builders Awards

Honouring the residents of Orillia & Lake Country who inspire all of us to reach our full potential

Nominations for 2023 are closed.

The 2nd annual Community Builders Awards will be taking place in April 2024, celebrating the extraordinary individuals and organizations making significant contributions to our city.

Submit nomination Past winners




The award goes to an individual or group that has helped make the Artistic community stronger. They have championed an individual, an event, an idea, an ethic, or philosophy.

Economic Development

The award goes to an individual or group that has had an important impact on the economic well-being of the community. They have chaired and led a committee, they have helped bring new business to town, or they are responsible for putting in place infrastructure.


This award goes to a student, teacher, administrator, or education advocate (i.e. parent) who has made a difference in the Orillia & Lake Country area. It could be an extraordinary teacher who has changed the direction of students’ lives, an administrator who established a specialized program, or an advocate who saved a school from closing.


This award recognizes a person or group that has had an important positive impact on our environment, both man-made and natural. It may be a private initiative (i.e. an innovative energy efficient home) or a public one (a re-greening project). What all initiatives will have in common is that they demonstrate to the rest of us what is possible in improving our environmental footprint in our community.

Hall of Fame

Big ideas. An individual or a group that has had a significant impact on the community. People who can be credited with the establishment of an institution (a festival, a park, a community centre).

Health Care

The award goes to an individual or group that has had an important impact on the health care of the community. It could be as straight forward as a health-care professional who has gone beyond the call of duty, or the individual who helped establish a health care program that wouldn’t exist without his or her leadership.


The Legacy Award is awarded posthumously to an individual who has created lasting change and measurable difference in our community through commitment and perseverance. This award pays tribute to an individual’s professional, social or cultural leadership, and vision, and his or her ongoing legacy.

Sports and Recreation

The award goes to the individual or group that has contributed to the strength of sport in the community. They have inspired people (a coach), established a program (a league or playground), mentored a team or an individual to extraordinary accomplishment, or set an example for many to carry in their hearts.

Unsung Hero

This award is presented to an individual or group whose tireless work and/or volunteer efforts in our community seek to improve the lives of others. The recipient has created a positive impact in our community both now and for the future.

Young Leader

The award goes to an individual or group, under 25 years of age (as of March 2024) actively involved in worthwhile community service, in any one of the Community Builders categories. Recipients are young leaders who show a commitment in making their community better for others.

2023 Winners

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the Community Builders Awards, designed to honour outstanding members of our community who help make Orillia a better place to work, live and play.

As steadfast champions of local, we strive to support and uplift our community and that most certainly includes the innovative, resilient and inspiring people who make the Orillia & Lake Country area so special.

These awards recognize the incredible achievements of ten local people, organizations or businesses in ten different categories.


  • Arts award: Pam Carter
  • Economic Development award: Laura Thompson
  • Education award: Children of Carole Boshier
  • Environmental award: The Couchiching Conservancy
  • Hall of Fame award: The Community Foundation of Orillia & Area
  • Health Care award: Dr. Jeff Pitcher
  • Legacy award: Chris Bellchambers
  • Sports and Recreation award: Pocket Skate and Vintage
  • Unsung Hero award: Annette Hird
  • Young Leader award: Sustainable Orillia Youth Council


Why should I submit a nomination?
This is an opportunity to recognize remarkable contributions to our community and the people who make them. Community Builders are people who get involved, roll up their sleeves and make this city a better place to live. You are also recognizing the vision, creativity, spirit and hard work of these individuals and organizations.

What are the eligibility requirements?
To be eligible for nomination, the candidate must be a resident of Orillia & Lake Country for the past 5 years. For the Young Leader award specifically, the nominee must be under 25 years old.

*Please note: Village Media staff and sitting politicians are not eligible for nomination.

Can I nominate myself?
All qualified candidates are encouraged to nominate themselves or you may also nominate any qualified individual or organization.

What are the nomination categories?
Categories can be found by viewing our awards.

How many submissions can be made for the same individual or organization?
We only accept one nomination per individual or organization as long as they meet the eligibility requirement.

Is my submission confidential?
Yes – all awards submissions are treated as highly confidential. Only the awards team and judging committee will view them.

When is the nomination deadline?
The nomination deadline for 2024 is Friday, March 8.

How are the winners chosen?
All submissions are provided to a special judging committee who will review them to select a winner in each category. Note: All nominations are judged solely on the nomination submitted. Please include known community history and/or previous achievements to ensure a thorough nomination package.

When will the winners be announced?
The winners and their nominators will be notified in March and the winners will be announced publicly beginning April 29.

Can I re-nominate a candidate next year if they weren’t successful this year?
Yes, candidates can be nominated 2 years in a row. We recommend you update the nomination and re-submit for next year.

How do I submit my letters of support for a nomination?
You can upload your letters from the nomination form or you can email them to [email protected].

What is the best format for my support letter?
A Word document or a PDF.

Any tips on writing an effective nomination?
Our Judging committee suggests the following:

  • Carefully read the category's description.
  • Choose the category that will best showcase the candidate.
  • Fill out the nomination form with as much detail as possible.
  • Answer all questions.
  • Ensure your answers directly relate to the specific category.
  • Don’t forget the supporting letters. You can include a minimum of two letters (5 letters maximum).


At The Community Builders Awards, we greatly value our relationships with our sponsors. Through close collaboration, we strive to develop a sponsorship package to meet your company’s exact needs.

Our tailor-made sponsorship opportunities are designed to address each of our partners’ marketing goals and brand exposure. Our events attract supporters and professionals who are appreciative to luxury products, brands and services. Sponsoring the Community Builders Awards is a creative answer to your marketing needs.

For information regarding sponsorship opportunities, please contact:

John Hammill
Regional Publisher
[email protected]

Past sponsors

Orser Technical CC Fashions Bak 2 Basics Print and Signs (Georgian Bay Printers) Orillia Perch Festival Team Micks Orillia Hyundai Rotary Club of Orillia Ellwood Epps Braestone Club Orillia Home Hardware Building Centre


Jasmyn Rowley
Director of Marketing & Communications, Village Media
[email protected]

Abbas Homayed
Director, Community Relations, Village Media
[email protected]