2008 Mayor’s Award recipients

Ken Gee

Ken Gee accepting award from Mayor FarbridgeKen Gee has made a significant and lasting contribution to the artistic and cultural identity of Guelph. An accomplished pianist and impresario, Ken has freely given of his talents to enrich the local music scene.

When the Guelph Spring Festival announced that it would no longer operate, Ken founded Guelph Musicfest to ensure that classical music continues to feature prominently in the Guelph spring season. He believes in the festival so much that he funds it entirely with his own money. In addition to securing top-flight talent to perform varied and innovative programming, Ken provides the piano accompaniment for some recitals himself. He also prepares the promotional materials and coordinates an army of volunteers to run the event.

Beyond his work on Musicfest, Ken has volunteered countless hours for the benefit of young, aspiring musicians in the city. He serves on the board of the Guelph Youth Music Centre and is a volunteer accompanist. He has also been a volunteer accompanist for the Suzuki String School of Guelph since 1983, and volunteers countless hours to the school every year. In addition, he volunteers regularly for the Kiwanis Music Festival and the Guelph Youth Singers.

Guelph is so fortunate to have someone with Ken Gee’s energy, enthusiasm, talent and devotion to music. Music lovers and aspiring musicians in our community have benefited immeasurably from his generous sharing of time and talent.

We have a long and proud history of music in Guelph and Ken keeps that legacy alive.

James Gordon

James Gordon accepting award from Mayor FarbridgeThe citizen who nominated James Gordon for this award called him “Guelph’s bard,” and that is certainly an apt description. Throughout his successful 35-year career as a singer-songwriter, James has become well-known not only for his musical talent, but for his tremendous passion for the city he calls home.

James researched, composed and performed Guelph’s 175th anniversary CD, Song of our City, and donated all proceeds to Guelph Museums. He also composed and performed the theme song for the opening of the River Run Centre; the Guelph Public Library’s 175th anniversary song; and the score for Guelph’s Communities in Bloom video.

He is the co-founder of the Hillside Festival, which has become an enormous success while remaining true to its roots. He was the founder and Artistic Director of the Canadian Songwriters’ Festival, which took place at River Run, and served as a member of the Guelph Spring Festival board for several years.

In addition to his contribution to the arts, James is a respected community activist known for his insightful analysis of local issues. He is the founding President of the Guelph Civic League, which aims to engage citizens in civic affairs. He’s a founding director of the Wellington Water Watchers, a group dedicated to the protection, restoration, and conservation of drinking water in Guelph and Wellington County.

Over the years, James has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about mental illness. He is also a tremendous ambassador and promoter of our local arts and culture scene, and a mentor to many young musicians.

James is proof positive that one person really can make a difference, both here at home and beyond our borders.

Larry Kelly

Larry Kelly accepting award from Mayor FarbridgeLarry Kelly has spent a lifetime dedicated to public education and service to the community. Many know Larry as a teacher, vice principal and principal in the Wellington Catholic District School Board. Yet he has also made a difference as a longstanding member of the Guelph Museums board, a member of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation board, a Rotary member, and a coach and mentor to young athletes.

Larry is in his tenth year as a member of the Museum Board. Under his guidance, Guelph Museums began the process of planning for the future of Guelph Civic Museum and the relocation to the Loretto Convent. Larry is guided by his conviction that we are simply stewards of our community, and we have an obligation to acknowledge what has come before us and ensure that we pass it on in equal or even better condition.

In all of his civic interests – whether it be the Museum Board, Rotary, or St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation – Larry does not merely attend meetings and functions; he is the first to jump in as a volunteer to contribute to the hard work that must be done.

As an active golfer and curler, Larry has coached and mentored many young athletes over the years. He has made extensive contributions to the Guelph Curling Club, and through Rotary, has participated in a curling exchange between Canada and Scotland every other year. He is also a member of the selection committee of the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame.

Larry’s contributions in so many areas of community life are truly making a difference, and will continue to resonate for future generations.

Glynis Logue

Glynis Logue acception award from Mayor FarbridgeGlynis Logue is well-known as a community leader in environmental stewardship and sustainability. She has taken her education and experience in environmental science and landscape architecture and used it to help found two community institutions: Guelph Environmental Leadership and the Guelph Enabling Garden.

As the co-founder and Executive Director of Guelph Environmental Leadership (GEL), Glynis works tirelessly to get all sectors of the community engaged in environmental sustainability. Since its incorporation in 2002, GEL has been successful in encouraging sustainable behaviours and getting the community talking about the environment through initiatives like the Earth360 Creative Expo and the Smart Changes Environmental Lottery.

Last year, GEL launched Green Impact Guelph (GIG), teaming up with other organizations to promote and distribute more than 16,000 household energy conservation kits and 40,000 CFL bulbs across the city.

Glynis was also the driving force behind the Guelph Enabling Garden, a fully accessible community garden that teaches therapeutic gardening skills. As the landscape designer and project manager, Glynis worked on the Enabling Garden since its beginning in 1999. No detail was overlooked to make the garden a multi-use, interactive space and a positive sensory experience for people with varying degrees of physical and cognitive abilities. The Guelph Enabling Garden is a model for others across the country.

Those who have had the privilege of working with Glynis explain that she is that rare combination of a dreamer and a doer. She not only has the vision of what could be; she has the drive to make it happen. There is no doubt that Glynis will continue to make a difference in our community for many years to come.