City lauds the very BEST at an awards ceremony - Borovitch named Citizen of the Year

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 12th, 2017



There were 24 people nominated with eight of them named the city’s BEST in different categories.

The awards were presented at an event at the Royal Botanical Gardens – a positive shift in venue for the event.
Burlington’s Best Awards are managed by a citizen’s committee established in 1965 with the mandate of recognizing Burlington residents who bring honour to the city and make a difference in the community.

The Burlington’s Best categories include:
• Heritage Award
• Community Service Award
• Environmental Award
• Arts Person of the Year
• Accessibility Award
• Junior Citizen of the Year
• Senior Person of the Year
• Citizen of the Year

The Citizen of the Year Award is given to a person whose volunteer activity has made a significant and sustained contribution to the vibrancy and wellbeing of the Burlington community.

Dorothy Borovitch

Dorothy Borovich: 2016 Citizen of the Year

Dorothy Borovich has been a community builder for more than 15 years. She co-founded Youthfest, an initiative that brought together community not-for-profit agencies, city, business and youth leaders to promote youth philanthropy and engage in volunteerism.

Borovich encouraged youth to take on community involvement and volunteering as a lifestyle in order to gain a sense of belonging. Through her fundraising efforts, a permanent endowment fund with the Burlington Community Foundation was established and continues to assist youth in their community endeavours. Borovich also founded the Crystal Ball, a significant source of annual funding for Joseph Brant Hospital, and the Healthy Reflections event which raises funds to assist women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Borovich is described as an inspiring leader; her commitment and passion has made Burlington a better city.

The Heritage Award went to Jim Clemens. He is no longer a Burlington resident but the city owes him a huge debt of gratitude for heading up the Citizen Heritage Advisory committee that solved the problems and did what the city had not been able to do.

Clemens Jim - Heritage

Jim Clemens given the 2016 Heritage Award.

The award is sponsored by Heritage Burlington, a City of Burlington citizen advisory committee made up of 14 volunteers who provide advice to City Council on issues related to the conservation of Burlington’s cultural heritage.

The award goes to an individual who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the preservation of Burlington’s heritage, and has volunteered his or her time to support the preservation of Burlington’s heritage.

Clemens has been a leader and supporter of heritage and culture in Burlington for many years. He has a deep knowledge of the issues and legalities that influence Burlington’s capacity to preserve its heritage. As a past member and Chair of Heritage Burlington, he was instrumental in the development of the document “A New Approach for Conserving Burlington’s Heritage” resulting in the implementation of the Burlington Heritage Property Tax Rebate Program. Through his work with the Burlington Historical Society and Heritage Burlington, Jim has demonstrated an ongoing commitment and dedication to maintaining Burlington’s heritage for future generations.

The Community Service Award, sponsored by COGECO, is given to an individual or group whose volunteer activity has contributed to the betterment of the Burlington community.

Marion Goard

Marion Goard given the 2016 Community Service Award.

Marion Goard  was chosen for this award – she believes a better community is the responsibility of every individual and she strives to find ways to contribute to Burlington. She is the co-founder of 100 Women Who Care Burlington, an organization of 100 women who donate $100 four times a year to four different charities – $10,000 per charity.

The Environmental Award is sponsored by Walker Environmental Group, a leading waste management company that develops solutions for environmental challenges.

Kale Black was chosen for this award.

Burlington Transit Youth Ambassadors gather in a bus shelter. Front row: YAs Benoit, Shaan, Billi and Harrison. Back row, BT’s Sandra Maxwell, YA Kayla and Burlington Green advisor Kale.

Kale Black, upper right given the Environmental Award for 2016.

He is described as a shining example of how one person can truly make a difference. His journey to champion the environment began while attending Aldershot High School and since then, he has dedicated almost nine years of his life striving to create a better planet and benefit the community.

Black has hand-sorted more waste at Burlington festivals and events than any other individual in the city and his active participation and team leadership at 44 community events has resulted in the diversion of 61 tonnes of waste from the landfill. Black is best known in the community for his extensive contributions to inspiring and engaging local youth to grow up green and has taught fun-filled, educational workshops to 7000 Burlington children. Black is an environmental and community champion who actively leads and serves as a steward for our environment and the youth of Burlington.

His hard work and dedication to environmental initiatives in Burlington, including protecting the rural environment and valuable green space, has touched many lives. Black has pushed for environmentally sustainable policy and decision-making and has led the BurlingtonGreen team to grow as an effective, impactful organization through various programs, services and advocacy campaigns.

The Arts Person of the Year Award, known as the K.W. Irmisch Award, went to Margaret Lindsay Holton, a woman who has made a significant contribution to the arts and as an activist she has stood up and spoken out about environmental issues and where the city was getting it wrong.

This is a woman who does not want to understand what no means.

It is interesting to note that two people who have made significant contributions at the cultural level have been recognized. Kudos to the selection committee for seeing things through

Holton - Margaret Lindsay large

Margaret Lindsay Holton: 2016 Arts Person of the Year

Holton is a well-known Burlington born artist and activist who has made significant contributions to the community. Her 25 minute short film called “The Frozen Goose” had a cast made up of local cast and crew – keeping the production “grassroots” and grounded in this area. Accessibility Award

The Accessibility Award went to the Tetra Society, an organization that recruits skilled volunteers to create customized assistive devices for people with physical disabilities and enhances the health and quality of life for thousands of people with disabilities.


A chair being built by the Tetra Society

They design and build a wide variety of “gizmos” such as communication adaptations, eating and drinking utensils and educational and recreational aides for people of all ages and abilities. The Tetra Society is a hidden hero in the Burlington community that is invaluable in enriching the lives of others.

Mehr Mahmood founded Youthfest in 2002 and was named the Junior Citizen of the Year last night.  They avidly promote the importance of youth in our community; developing youth responsibility and action in the community by connecting youth to meaningful volunteer opportunities and available supportive service. The winner receives a $500 bursary, courtesy of the Bank of Montreal, which has been a leading and supportive partner since the inception of Youthfest.

The award is given to a high school student, 18 years of age or younger, who has made a significant contribution to the Burlington community.

Mehr Mahmood

Mehr Mahmood, on the right with Burlington MP Karina Gould.

Mehr has made significant contributions to the Burlington community through her volunteer work as a volunteer. She has contributed her time, energy and talents to many organizations including Burlington Public Library, 3 Things for Burlington, Halton Mosque and the Compassion Society. Mehr has been an inspiration and natural leader on the Library’s Teen Advisory Board in the development of a program called Fusion, which brings teen volunteers and teens with developmental disabilities together.

Mehr a compassionate young woman and is dedicated to growing acceptance and inclusivity in our community.

Dave Page was named the Senior Person of the Year Award that is given to a Burlington resident aged 55 years or older who has advocated on behalf of seniors and/or made a significant contribution to the Burlington community.

Dave Page

Dave Page: 2016 Senior Person of the Year

Page has been an active volunteer with the Age Friendly Housing Committee for more than five years and demonstrates his passion for the need for affordable, accessible and safe housing for older adults living in Burlington.

He played a vital role in the development of the Halton HomeShare Toolkit, a guide to support older adults to stay in their home and share it with a home seeker who can help with household responsibilities.

In addition, Page is responsible for the creation of a conversation circle where Halton Multicultural Council’s newcomers and refugee groups can practice their English speaking skills. Burlington is richer for having a man like Page who silently goes about supporting the health and well-being of the community through his volunteer activities.

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