Community Builder Awards

United Way Ottawa honours Ottawa’s outstanding volunteers through its Community Builder Award program — those organizations, partnerships, agencies, neighbourhood groups and individuals who work tirelessly, passionately and collaboratively to make Ottawa a better place in which to live, work and raise a family.

Every year, approximately 50 Community Builders — along with Community Builders of the Year — are honoured with individual awards by Michael O’Byrne from CTV Ottawa, local entertainer Suzanne Pinel, Lucy Van Oldenbarneveld, host of CBC News Ottawa at 5, 5:30 and 6, and radio and television host, Sarah Onyango. Community Builders are also honoured at an annual awards ceremony.

In addition, their names are inscribed on the Wall of Inspiration. Located in Jean Pigott Hall at Ottawa City Hall, the Wall of Inspiration is a visible reminder to residents and visitors of the enduring commitment that these individuals and organizations have made to Ottawa. “The Wall of Inspiration is about bringing together outstanding volunteers and celebrating the positive imprint their work has left on our community. Beyond our wishes to recognize their valuable work, we also want to inspire the rest of the community to become involved and play their own role in making Ottawa a stronger community,” says Michael Allen, President and CEO, United Way Ottawa.

This lasting tribute is made possible through Scotiabank’s generous sponsorship. “Scotiabank believes in building strong communities and supporting the places in which it does business,” says Frank Bilodeau, Ottawa and West Quebec District Vice-President at Scotiabank and a member of the Board of Directors of United Way Ottawa. “The Community Builder Wall of Inspiration recognizes those who lead by example, who contribute their time and who think of innovative ways to make positive change happen in our community. Scotiabank is honoured to support the commitment of volunteers in our city.”

Nominate a Community Builder

Nominations are accepted year-round and are reviewed with volunteers prior to the beginning of each year's program. The spirit of the Community Builder Award Program is reflected in the wording on the personalized plaques that are given to each award recipient: “Thank you for helping to build a stronger, more caring community for all of us.”

These nominees should embody the following characteristics:

  • Minimum of three years volunteer work
  • Volunteer work is a model for others in the community
  • Volunteer work is beyond the normal scope of their professional duties

In addition to this ongoing program, every year United Way recognizes Community Builders of the Year in a variety of categories and celebrates their achievements at a gala event. Stay tuned to the website for nomination information in the new year.

Submit a Nomination

For more information, contact