Honorary Citizen Awards


The City of Victoria was pleased to present Honorary Citizen Awards to 14 individuals at a ceremony on July 20, 2018.

Honorary Citizen Awards celebrate those who have performed outstanding service to the betterment of our community. Eligible nominees include those who have contributed exceptionally in the areas of arts and culture, business, community volunteering, education, environmental stewardship, First Nations, multiculturalism, social and health issues, sports, and youth. All honourees must be current or former residents of the local First Nations or the Capital Region. Past recipients of the Honorary Citizen Awards are not eligible for nomination.

This award program was instituted in 1970 as an official recognition of persons who had, over time, served the city meritoriously in any walk of life, often in a volunteer capacity and without recognition and are presented every four years.

The 2018 Honorary Citizen Awards committee consisted of Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe (Chair), Mavis Degirolamo, Helen Hughes, Richard Hunt, Vicky Husband, Bernie Pauly, Ben Pires, Jay Rangel, and Jan Ross.

2018 Honorary Citizen Award Recipients

Marika Albert: for her community work on housing and youth issues, including with the Together Against Poverty Society and fundraising for the Women’s Transition House, for teaching theatre skills to youth on the autism spectrum, and for her affordable housing policy research.

Mark Ashfield: for founding Superheroes of Victoria, through which he raises funds, awareness and volunteer labour for campaigns related to childhood illness, positive body image, poverty and other social issues, and for being a positive role model to children with critical illnesses.

Fiona Bramble: for her publication Here! Magazine which is widely used as an accessible source of information for newcomers to Canada, and for her leadership in bringing together the community of newcomers and service providers to build a welcoming and inclusive region.

Diya Courty-Stephens: for her initiative “Neighbourhood Bites” which distributes food that would have otherwise gone to waste, and for her numerous volunteer and leadership roles that engage other youth and bring positive change to those around her.

Denis Donnelly and Siobhan Robinsong: for their community-building through music, for the inclusivity and success of the Gettin’ Higher Choir and its fundraising efforts, and for mentoring others to create community choirs elsewhere. 

Terry Farmer: for his dedication to the community through many volunteer roles including at the Greater Victoria Hospital Society, Pacifica Advisory Association, and Victoria Hospice, while running successful businesses that add to the vibrancy of the region.

Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi: for bringing together stakeholders and service providers to collaborate and create culturally appropriate services to end Indigenous homelessness on Vancouver Island, and for her leadership in Indigenous adult education.

Frances Litman: for championing environmental sustainability, connecting individuals, businesses and other organizations who are committed to sustainable practices, as well as her leadership in building communities around many social issues.

Alan Lowe: for his commitment to volunteering, including on the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, Spirit 150 Victoria Committee, Victoria Conservatory of Music, Jeneece Place and others, and for playing an important role to create lasting relationships between community organizations and the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations.

Rob Reid: for raising funds, awareness and opportunities for physical activity, in particular for youth from low income households and people experiencing challenges with housing, mental health and addiction, and for community-building through the renowned GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon.

Patti Stockton: for her dedication in support of seniors and veterans, working daily at the Pro Patria Legion and mentoring veterans dealing with post-traumatic stresses, as well as for her multitude of other volunteer efforts and leadership in traditionally male-dominated public service roles.

Rupert Yakelashek and Franny Ladell-Yakelashek: for their dedication to environmental rights and protection, actively working with all levels of government to encourage support for these goals, as well as for raising awareness and accessibility of environmental rights and advocacy among youth.