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It's time to nominate someone for Orillia Citizen of the Year award

'This year has been very difficult, and we must celebrate those in our community who have gone above and beyond in exemplifying the Orillia spirit,' says mayor

For most people, this year has been memorable for all the wrong reasons.

The global pandemic has altered the way we live and shifted our realities in ways we could not have envisioned.

But amid the gloom and darkness, there are people who, once again, have stepped up in profound ways to demonstrate kindness and generosity and selflessness.

And they deserve recognition.

That’s why the Orillia Citizen of the Year award will persevere this year even while most other such events have been cancelled.

Nominations are now open for the prestigious award started more than 50 years ago by the Orillia Packet & Times newspaper.

When The Packet was shuttered three years ago, the City of Orillia stepped up to save the award and ensure its continuation.

Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke was instrumental in preserving what has become a time-honoured tradition in Orillia.

In a media release, he conceded it was disappointing to cancel this year’s New Year’s Eve Bash and the Athlete of the Year award.

He went on to say: “I can think of no better year to recognize a Citizen of the Year,” stressing “Orillia is known for being one of the most caring, giving and philanthropic communities in all of Ontario. 

“This year has been very difficult, and we must celebrate those in our community who have gone above and beyond in exemplifying the Orillia spirit.”

If you know someone who exemplifies that spirit, now is the time to nominate that person. Nominations must be in by noon on Thursday, Jan. 7.

It’s important to note the Citizen of the Year Award is not meant to be a lifetime achievement award, but rather recognition of exemplary efforts in a given year - in 2020.

Nominees must be residents of Orillia, Rama First Nation,  Oro-Medonte, Ramara or Severn Township, who have contributed to the betterment of Orillia.

Emphasis should be placed on the nominees' volunteerism and accomplishments during 2020.

The 2020 Citizen of the Year panel includes former winners Steve Clarke (non-voting member), Leslie Fournier, Michael Gordon, Stan Mathewson and Gini Stringer, as well as OrilliaMatters reporter Nathan Taylor, Orillia Today reporter Frank Matys, and Rick Purcell, 1st Vice President of the Orillia Legion, Branch 34.

Nominations can be submitted online at, or submitted using the nomination form available from the Customer Service Desk located in the Orillia City Centre.

Submissions must include the full name of and contact information for the nominator and the nominee, as well as a detailed explanation of why the nominee deserves to be named Citizen of the Year.



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Dave Dawson

About the Author: Dave Dawson

Dave Dawson is community editor of
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