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The Borough of CDN—NDG honours its Outstanding Citizens

8 juin 2012

Montréal, le 8 juin 2012 - The Borough of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (CDN—NDG) honoured eight individuals and organizations at the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts during its annual Outstanding Citizens Awards gala held on the evening of June 7th, 2012. Constantin Marinescu, Ivyline Fleming, the MultiCaf Community Cafeteria, the NDG Community Council, Abicumaran Uthamacumaran, the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, Hiroshi Nakamura, and Françoise Sullivan each received the title of Outstanding Citizen, the highest honorary distinction awarded by the Borough of CDN—NDG.

This event is a way of paying tribute to individuals and organizations deserving of recognition from their peers for achievements in a sphere of activities that garners the borough acclaim, both within and beyond its borders. The borough also takes this opportunity to honour its new retirees and thank them for their many years of service.

"For a third consecutive year, we have acknowledged the commitment and determination of citizens stemming from various environments and cultures, and from various age groups, who all cherish the same cause, the improvement of quality of life in CDN—NDG," said the mayor of the borough and chairman of the Executive Committee of the Ville de Montréal, Mr. Michael Applebaum. "Through their social involvement, their volunteer work, and their excellence in their respective areas of expertise, these individuals and groups all contribute to the borough's acclaim. They are the wealth of our community.”

In addition, members of the jury drew attention to the great quality of the nomination files submitted for this third edition of the Outstanding Citizens Awards, making the selection process that much more difficult. The borough of CDN—NDG counts many residents and groups all working to enhance the well-being of their fellow citizens. The jury spoke, but this in no way lessens the invaluable contributions of the other nominees. Citizens are encouraged to re-submit those nominations next year.

The Borough of CDN—NDG Outstanding Citizens for 2012 were honoured in the following categories:

Ambassador and Outreach category
Constantin Marinescu is a dynamic and multi-faceted creator: designer, sculptor, illustrator, artistic director, humorist... He has been exhibiting works tinged with humour and social commentary worldwide for over 30 years. He is the recipient of numerous Canadian and European awards, thereby contributing to the spread of the Montréal arts and culture scene. He also serves as a mentor to youth. What's more, his community involvement as a volunteer worker for both his community of origin and his adopted community (CDN) caught the jury's attention. Finally, his influence is felt both in the heart of the borough of CDN—NDG as well as beyond its borders.

Volunteerism and Social Involvement category
Ivyline Fleming has been involved with the community since 1962 and has, with dedication, served the Jamaica Association of Montreal for 40 years. She works with visible minorities, particularly with young women, whose full potential she helps them achieve (most notably through education), as well as with the elderly. Moreover, she has been a pioneer in promoting the rights of women. A hard worker, ever busy, she is currently President of the Jamaican Canadian Community Women's League of Montreal.

Organizations and Community category
Draw: MultiCaf Community Cafeteria and the NDG Community Council.
For over 25 years, MultiCaf Community Cafeteria has tended to the needs of the more vulnerable and underprivileged CDN area residents. Through its supply of adapted services, including meal deliveries, a cafeteria, a food bank, and a program to fight against child hunger, it serves:
• 2 meals a week, at home, to the elderly or to those with functional limitations;
• 300 meals a day, for $1.50 per meal, to impoverished citizens;
• 800 food baskets a month;
• 1,300 hot meals delivered to the children of 4 local elementary schools.
Aside from tending to the dietary health and safety of families, children, the elderly, or those whose mobility is reduced, MultiCaf helps break social isolation through communal activities.

The NDG Community Council is the second oldest organization of its type in Canada and is celebrating, this year, its 70th anniversary. Over this span of decades, the Council has succeeded in adapting itself to ever increasing challenges and to provide a voice for residents needing to be heard. It pays attention to the needs of residents and is hard at work to help improve the living conditions of all and to break social isolation. The Council's scope of action includes, amongst others, matters related to health, safety, and services to families and newcomers. It also sired many neighbourhood organizations, such as the NDG Food Depot. Finally, it is the focal point and the fulcrum for partnerships between groups operating in the area.

Economy and Innovation category
Abicumaran Uthamacumaran has distinguished himself through his contribution to the advancement of scientific research. At age 16, he had already contributed to cancer research. The results of his work were published and acknowledged by his peers the world over. From high school, he was admitted straightaway to McGill University, where he studies today. He is the recipient of numerous awards and bursaries, including a Harvard Medical School admission scholarship and a Governor-General of Canada award. His sharp mind is paired with a compassionate heart that finds its full expression through an outstanding community involvement that has very much impressed members of the jury.

Heritage and Architecture category
The Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre promotes respect for diversity and for the sanctity of human life. Its mission is to educate people of all ages about the Holocaust and to sensitize the public to the dangers of racism, hatred, and indifference. Over 150 trained volunteers work to these ends. The Centre is home to a vast collection of artifacts preciously harvested and preserved since its founding in 1976. Finally, its teaching mission and its transmission to visitors of a duty to remember, as well as its rigorous historical approach, garner the Centre its honours in the Heritage and Architecture category.

Sports and Culture category
Draw: Hiroshi Nakamura and Françoise Sullivan
Hiroshi Nakamura is an athlete at the top of his game, winner of numerous championship medals and awards. He has also trained many world championship and Olympic medalists. This year, 7 students from his school will participate in the Olympic Games. His whole life is centered around Judo and his outstanding contribution to the discipline in Québec has earned him a 9th dan, a great honour in the judoka community. He is a promoter not only of Judo itself but of the entire set of values that follows from it. Thanks to his contribution, Canadian judokas are renowned the world over for being among the best there are.

Françoise Sullivan has participated in the development of the Canadian arts scene for over 7 decades. The breadth of her artistic endeavours is impressive: dance, choreography, photography, painting, sculpture... Her works have even travelled far beyond our own borders, having been exhibited in numerous museums and venues, both nationally and internationally. She has, amongst other distinctions, received the Governor-General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts, and has been named a knight of the Ordre national du Québec and a Member of the Order of Canada. She was part of an artistic avant-garde movement alongside Paul-Émile Borduas and was one of the signatories of the famous Refus Global manifesto. She remains active as an artist, a source of inspiration, and a mentor to hundreds of young artists.

Members of the Jury
The 2012 Outstanding Citizens were chosen by an independent jury chaired by Louis Legault, lawyer at the Régie de l'énergie du Québec. The committee members were: Russell Copeman, Riza Esmeralda, Brian Smith and Isabelle Marcotte, all very active in the CDN-NDG community.

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