Guelph merits top award for National Public Works Week public awareness events

OTTAWA, ON, November 26, 2012 – The City of Guelph was recently selected to receive top honours for their five-day series of public awareness events held during May 2012.

The City will be honoured with the first place award in the “Medium Centre” category in the Canadian Public Works Association (CPWA) National Public Works Week (NPWW) awards program. The award will be presented to Rodney Keller, Guelph General Manager of the Public Works Department, and the Public Works staff by NPWW Chairman Kealy Dedman, P. Eng., Director of Engineering Services, City of Cambridge, at the November 26th meeting of the Guelph City Council at 7 p.m., Council Chambers of City Hall, at 1 Carden Street in Guelph, ON.

“CPWA is pleased to recognize the excellence of Guelph’s National Public Works Week events. Guelph’s public awareness series of events provided both community outreach and a special focus on educating the future workforce about public works. This two-fold approach is to be congratulated, as the objective of the week is to highlight public works for citizens, so they can become familiar with the quality of life that public works brings to their community, and also let students know that there is the potential for a meaningful career in public works” NPWW Chair Kealy Dedman

Guelph’s NPWW Open House was attended by 350 local citizens and many local dignitaries including Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge, and Member of Parliament Frank Valeriote. The Open House featured interactive displays, contests, a Forestry exhibit, demonstrations, and freshly shined equipment. Children had the opportunity to climb up heavy equipment, explore a transit bus, and maneuver a parking lot on tricycle. Displays for traffic signals, winter control operations, and tools of the trade were buoyed by contests and an opportunity to “paint a snow plough blade.” Bucket truck rides hosted by the Forestry crew were available for the exchange of non-perishable food donations to the Guelph Food Bank. Mayor Karen Farbridge delivered a heartfelt speech recognizing the Public Works Staff for going above and beyond in the performance of their work and their care for the City of Guelph.

CPWA was also impressed by Guelph’s outreach to the Specialist High Skills Major Program. Approximately 100 students from local high schools were able to participate in this unique “hands-on” career promotion and exploration program as a partnership through the City and the School Board. Students performed vehicle inspections, toured the water management pond, and learned about construction project planning – all working side by side with Guelph Public Works staff. A multi-stationed “real work environment” was set up on a residential road where students could be involved with tools and road repair, man hole and catch basin repair, and a construction zone traffic set up. The City of Guelph was presented a Certificate of Appreciation from the Upper Grand District School Board for these career oriented events.

During the public awareness events, Guelph also reached out to immigrant populations with a special targeted networking event that promoted engineering and other positions for internationally trained engineers. The event featured partnership groups that specialize in employment skills, training, and education for internationally experienced engineers, such as Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington, the Local Immigration Partnership Project, Lutherwood, and the University of Guelph’s Office of Intercultural Affairs.

Finally, Guelph recognized the valued employees of the Public Works Department with a special recognition barbeque and awards. Public Works Manager Rodney Keller said, “The events brought together the entire team to embrace a common goal, and to celebrate the pride of the work that the team performs on a daily basis. Our entire staff reached out to the community and students to show them the high quality of life that our public works department helps bring to our community.”

Celebrated in May each year, National Public Works Week annually recognizes the tens of thousands of men and women in North America who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services collectively known as public works. The 2012 theme for NPWW was: Public Works: Creating a lasting impression.

For more information about CPWA/APWA, or the NPWW program, please visit the website at

About CPWA

The Canadian Public Works Association (CPWA) is an organization of 2,000 public works professionals in Canada active in chapters in each province and members of the American Public Works Association, which has more than 28,500 members in the U.S. and Canada. Founded in 1986, the Canadian Public Works Association ( is the voice of public works in Canada, promoting professional excellence and public awareness through education, advocacy and the exchange of knowledge.

For more information

Laura Bynum
Media Relations and Communications Manager 
Canadian Public Works Association