by Kathryn Hunt
The Federation of Citizens’ Associations of Ottawa (FCA) presented its annual awards recognizing contributions to the community on June 15 at its annual general meeting.
This year’s recipients include Judy Forrest from the Centretown Citizens Community Association (CCCA), Ian Johns (nominated by the Lowertown Community Association (LCA)) and Archie Campbell from the Dalhousie Community Association (DCA).
The FCA is a forum for citizens’ associations and similar non-profit volunteer groups in Ottawa. Member associations share information about issues facing their communities and, when appropriate, take joint action. Its membership includes associations from the city centre, inner suburbs, suburban communities outside the Greenbelt and rural Ottawa.
While there are established community groups which are not yet members of the FCA, the FCA strives to communicate with all identifiable community groups.
The FCA acts as a bridge connecting community groups and City Hall to enable more community engagement in civic issues. On the provincial level, it is also a member of the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario. which brings neighbourhood concerns to the provincial government.
Guest speakers from all levels of government, including councillors and top level city staff are regularly invited to the FCA’s general meetings.
Nominations for the awards are accepted from the public, but the final decision rests with the FCA, and an award may not necessarily be given out in a particular year.
The CCCA’s Judy Forrest was awarded the FCA Award, given to an organization or individual for outstanding contribution to the mission and activities of the FCA.
Ian Johns was given the FCA Community Builder Award, given to an organization or individual who improves the quality of life of the city’s residents and is not a member of the federation.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is given for for outstanding volunteer contribution to improving the quality of life of fellow citizens, not only at the neighbourhood or ward level, but also possibly at the city or provincial/national level.
According to the FCA, “the recipients of this award have been an inspiration to others, steadfastly engaging others to participate in civic life.”
This year it was awarded to Archie Campbell, co-founder of the DCA, board member of The Centretown BUZZ and a member of the FCA since 1986.
“I’m very honoured to receive this award, though also humbled by knowing of many others who deserve this award more than I do. I look forward to adding their names to this award in the years to come,” Campbell said.
The first FCA award was given in 2012 to Elspeth Menendez as part of the commemoration of FCA’s 25th anniversary.
The award was then titled Outstanding Community Service. Menendez, who now lives in Perth, was one of the presidents of the organization in the 1970s.
An additional award is planned for 2018: the Excellence in Media Award will be given for in-depth reporting on municipal or neighbourhood issues.