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Ottawa Philanthropy Awards highlight unprecedented community leadership

Phils header
Phils header

The 2020 AFP Ottawa Philanthropy Awards, also known as the ”Phils,” are back, but with a twist. 

To recognize the unique nature of this year, the Ottawa Philanthropy Awards have created a one-time award to acknowledge the incredible efforts of our community towards a collective COVID-19 response. 

The Emergency Response award and seven other award categories were announced on Tuesday, Sept. 29 via livecast, with a unique address from representatives of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Ottawa and Peter Nicholson, presenting sponsor of the campaign and president of The Foundation (WCPD).

This one-time award recognizes the extraordinary philanthropic efforts undertaken by an individual philanthropist or volunteer, business, group, foundation, charity or other organization in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The successful nomination demonstrated evidence of significant philanthropic leadership or volunteerism in response to the crisis; as well as a positive impact on human welfare amid the crisis.

This year’s winner of the outstanding Emergency Response award is Matthew Rinfret and the PCL/EllisDon Joint Venture, nominated by the Royal Ottawa Foundation. 

The PCL/EllisDon Joint Venture led a fundraising initiative that included 41 key companies and many individuals working on the restoration of the iconic Centre Block on Parliament Hill – the largest heritage restoration project in the history of Canada – that will span the better part of the next decade. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, The Royal was in great need of community support, and this group of companies raised an unprecedented $220,000 in 72 hours (almost half of the total fundraising target.) The Royal was seeking urgent funding for its C-PROMPT clinic that allows mental health services to scale up to meet the unprecedented mental health needs of the community, and to do so remotely and virtually.

“There has perhaps never been a more urgent need and opportunity to celebrate the Phils – 2020, without question, has been a year of trauma and disruption for countless people,” says Teresa Marques, the board chair of AFP Ottawa and the president and CEO of the Rideau Hall Foundation. “And yet, community survives; it continues to fill the gaps; it makes us stronger by bringing us together to support those in our community who are in need. That is what the Philanthropy Awards do best.”

Complete list of the 2020 Ottawa Philanthropy Award winners:

Award For Outstanding Fundraising Professional

Jacline Nyman

Award For Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser

Peter Charbonneau

Award for Outstanding Philanthropic Group

Ski For Kids, Derek Noble and Tom McKenna

Award for Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

Award for Outstanding Individual Philanthropist

Joe Thottungal, Coconut Lagoon and Thali Restaurants

Award for Outstanding Small Business Philanthropist

Emond Harnden

Award for Outstanding Youth Philanthropist

Ava Sidoli

This year marks the 26th year that the Ottawa chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and its volunteers, sponsors and supporters, have hosted the celebration of philanthropy in Ottawa.

Traditionally, award recipients are honoured at the annual AFP Ottawa Philanthropy Awards Gala in November. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, guests are unable to gather together this fall to celebrate these philanthropic accomplishments.

The awards, adds Marques, “shine a spotlight on incredible acts of generosity and community building, at a time when it’s never been more critical. The Ottawa Philanthropy awards are completely volunteer-driven. A hearty and sincere thanks to the 2020 co-chairs Angie Kelly and Jessie-Lee Wallace, and their hardworking committee.”  

The Ottawa Philanthropy Awards have partnered with Ottawa Business Journal and Rogers Communications to promote the 2020 AFP Ottawa Philanthropy Awards recipients through our combined digital and social media channels. A video related to each award category will also be released in the coming weeks to share these incredible stories of hope.

 A multi-week marketing campaign will culminate in a live panel discussion in November featuring this year’s recipients, where they will have an opportunity to speak and share their story. Further details will be shared shortly. 

The Ottawa Philanthropy awards are made possible this year with the following sponsors:

  • Presenting sponsor: The Foundation (WCPD)
  • Award sponsors: The Zed Family and Welch LLP
  • Friends of the Phils sponsors include: Virtual Works, Blakely, Yellow Tree Grant Writing, and Lupiano Executive Search

The awards represent the very best of the charitable sector and are a celebration of service, hope and commitment in this evolving year.

To learn more about sponsorship and other opportunities, please contact: