Municipal Trailblazers is FCM’s spotlight on exceptional leaders, professionals and individuals who are making outstanding contributions to Canadian communities. Read about our winners below.

Do you know of a local leader who is making a real difference in their community?

Rowena Santos

First elected to Brampton City Council in 2018, Rowena Santos was recently honored as Municipal World’s Women of Influence in Local Government. Her tireless work in Brampton, ON has included setting up the municipality’s first Women’s Empowerment Group for city staff, and a Women’s Advisory Committee. Councillor Santos has served on FCM’s anti-racism and equity committee since its inception. Having recently moderated a crucial discussion on the need for a new Municipal Growth Framework during a recent FCM Board of Directors meeting, she remains a committed and collaboration-focused community leader.

Jessika Corkum-Gorrill

In her role as Acting Manager of Environment & Sustainability at the city of Charlottetown PEI, Jessia Corkum-Gorrill has been at the heart of that city’s response to post-tropical storm Fiona. Jessika worked to mobilize a major tree clean-up and recovery effort, then engaged the community in processing this major loss to the city’s urban environment. Jessika has been leading the way forward with ambitious replanting plans centered around the city’s long-term environmental goals and priorities. Her leadership at this difficult time has been much-appreciated in the Charlottetown community.

Lanie Hurdle

Lanie Hurdle has been the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Kingston, ON since 2019, having been Commissioner of Community Services for eight years prior to that. A dedicated, solutions-focused public servant, the impact of ongoing mental health and addiction issues prompted her, with council approval, to lead the drive for Ontario's first municipal 'integrated care hub'—combining harm reduction and support services to help transition people from addiction to recovery. This model has since been used in other major Ontario cities. As the city’s first female CAO, she helped led the city through the challenging pandemic period, while actively promoting respect and dignity for the city’s municipal officials.

Amber Hoffus

Amber Hoffus is a community organizer based in Porcupine Plain, SK. In addition to operating a long-standing local business, she has been instrumental in supporting on-the-ground projects that improve quality of life for her community, including the construction of a new playground, overseeing the replacement of a much-needed community pool, and covering fundraising for the operation of the town’s winter arena. A recipient of the 2022 Insurance Brokers Association of Saskatchewan (IBAS) Community Leadership Award, Amber Hoffus is a much-appreciated local figure who contributes actively to the town’s ongoing community activities and seasonal events.

Françoise Asselin

Françoise Asselin, a dedicated municipal councillor in Saint-Luc-de-Vincennes, QC, is currently serving her fourth term and has been contributing to her community for over 15 years. Her deep-rooted involvement in her community, particularly in her role in seniors’ issues, has allowed the emergence of new family policies and the Municipalité amie des aînés recognition. As a proactive member of the Board of Directors of the Centre d'action bénévole de la Moraine, she helped develop a local Meals-on-Wheel program to help address the nutritional needs of vulnerable people. Françoise has also been a driving force behind establishing a local food solidarity cooperative. Beyond her civic contributions, her commitment to heritage preservation is evident in her role as owner of a Bed & Breakfast in the parish’s former presbytery.

Dan Boyd

As one of the longest serving members on Council in Whitehorse history, Dan Boyd has been a champion for improving municipal services for decades. His deep commitment to the community is evident in his role as an invaluable resource, providing key insights and guidance to both new members of the council and city staff. Most recently, he spearheaded Whitehorse's initiative to reform and modernize permitting processes, showcasing a forward-thinking approach, dedicated to ensuring the city’s continued growth. His legacy as a mentor, champion and catalyst for positive change is felt across Whitehorse and has helped shape the city’s trajectory for the better.

Duane Nicol

First elected in 2002, Duane has served three terms on Selkirk, MB’s council, during which he led the historic establishment of the city’s public transit system. Since 2014, Duane has provided administrative leadership to the community as CAO and has supported efforts that have made Selkirk a frontrunner in climate action, environmental stewardship and asset management in the province, with the city being recognized with a CNAM award in Asset Management Innovation. Duane’s leadership and resourcefulness has extended to projects and bodies beyond Selkirk, and he has made a truly positive impact on the community he serves.

Kimberly Meyer

Since her election as Mayor of Lac-Tremblant Nord, QC in 2017, Kimberly has made a major contribution to protecting areas rich in biodiversity around this small community in the Laurentian Mountains. This includes working with the Society for Nature and Parks (SNAP Québec) towards securing a protected ecological area covering local woodland and ultimately towards obtaining official protected area status. With the region home to several endangered species and reliant on tourism and activities closely related with the rich natural environment, the work done by Kimberly alongside her team and other members of the community will help ensure the preservation of biodiversity in this special region for generations to come.

Nicole Somers

First elected as mayor of Saint-Quentin, NB in 2014, Mayor Somers has been at the forefront of efforts to improve quality of life for residents of this municipality in historic Restigouche County. Having been a long-time advocate for better ambulance services, she has supported youth-focused programs and the opening of the landmark Palais Centre-Ville cultural venue. Additionally, Mayor Somers has been a strong supporter of securing municipality’s long-term interests, including adopting better asset management practices and a climate change action program. Mayor Somers has also focused on attracting new arrivals and workers to better support economic development and help local firms thrive in this part of New Brunswick.

Jennifer Schnier

Jennifer is Director of Sustainability for the Township of Georgian Bay, ON. Since she joined the team in 2010, she has made a massive contribution to socio-economic development and community inclusion in this picturesque community on the shores of Lake Huron. Her achievements include securing funding to better develop the Port of Honey Harbour, which serves as a regional gateway to the unique Georgian Bay Islands National Park. Jennifer has been at the heart of forward-thinking policies on plastic use, electric vehicle recharging facilities and support for diverse local food producers and businesses. Jennifer has helped strengthen relationships with Indigenous leaders, including with the Georgian Bay Métis Council to better represent the area’s rich Indigenous history.

Sue Wood

As Director of Corporate Services for the city of Salmon Arm, Sue Wood has played a vital role in Human Resource management in this growing lakeside community. By adopting a fresh approach built on collaboration, she has helped strengthen relations between the city and its employees, while working to extend better training, mentorship and upskilling opportunities to city staff. With over six years of service for the city, she has become a trusted and effective colleague, an ally to city councilors and administrators, and a professional that tirelessly helps city employees do their very best work. Her contributions and dedication has made a real difference to her municipal colleagues in this dynamic and developing city in BC’s interior.

Jacques Delisle

As mayor of the municipality of Saint-Thuribe, Jacques Delisle has provided committed and creative leadership for this community located rolling countryside of Quebec’s Capitale-Nationale region. The municipality has spread its wings with new ventures in the past year, with its historic church reopening to host a landmark exhibition of works by famed artist Jean Paul Riopelle, while also making strides in improving its digital footprint to stimulate visitors and improve communication with residents. These are just some of the latest initiatives supported by Mayor Delisle, who has provided over a decade of dedicated service and helped deliver vital new infrastructure assets in this small but future-focused community.

Mike Yargeau

Mike Yargeau was elected as mayor of the small, western Alberta town of Penhold 2017, becoming one of the province’s youngest mayors. Since then, he has led the community he grew up in with passion and patience. His steady leadership has won praise from his municipal colleagues and he was awarded the Alberta Municipalities Award of Excellence in 2022. His commitment to communication is especially evident during council meetings, when he provides Q&A sessions to further community engagement. Mayor Yargeau helps organize a regular charity mini-marathon and is a regular at seasonal community events around Penhold. He remains focused on continuing to expand recreational and commercial development in the municipality over the coming years.

Frédéric Broué

Frédéric Broué was elected mayor of the town of St. Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts in 2021, a picturesque community nestled in the Laurentian mountains north of Montreal. First being elected as a councillor in 2017, since being elected mayor he has identified fostering a strong relationship between municipal staff and residents as being vital. During his tenure, the town has moved forward with significant new sporting and recreation facilities and adopting a master plan for its extensive hiking trails. As the community felt the impact of flooding and extreme weather this past year, Mayor Broué was on the frontlines, leading with creativity and commitment. This includes his collaboration with other Quebec mayors and adding his voice to that concentrated push on housing, infrastructure, climate and public transit by signing the Call for Mayors in Action.

Christine Vigneault

Christine Vigneault is Manager Development Services / Secretary Treasurer to the Committee of Adjustment for the city of Vaughan ON. Christine’s public service journey began more than 16 years ago in the city of Port Hope. Led by her passion for public service, she progressed to a role with Richmond Hill, before joining the team in the neighboring city of Vaughan. Her work in Vaughan has been invaluable as she helps to improve service delivery times and staff time management in this vibrant and fast-growing community. Beyond her daily role, Christine has contributed to the education and training of municipal leaders in her voluntary work with the Board of the Ontario Association of Committees of Adjustment & Consent Authorities (OACA). Her colleagues deeply appreciate her efforts and insight.

Tony Keats

As mayor of Dover, NL, Tony Keats was awarded the 2023 World Mayor Community Award on January 30. Chosen from a list of global candidates, Mayor Keats is a life-long resident of the small coastal town of Dover, located on the western shores of Newfoundland’s Bonavista Bay. His exceptional record of community service spans over 30 years and includes being Past President of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, championing the local region’s much-needed Family Resource Centres, organizing community events, serving as a local postmaster and tirelessly supporting the local economy and touristic appeal of the town. Mayor Keats is a founding member of the Dover Fault Committee, the Dover Tidy Towns Committee and has served on FCM’s Board of Directors. His imagination and focus serves as an exceptional example for community leaders across Canada and beyond.

Christine Mitton

Christine Mitton, Director of Government Relations for the city of Laval, has built a distinguished career spanning over 25 years across public and private sectors. In her current role, Christine meticulously plans and coordinates activities integral to the development and management of the city’s relations with government and public organizations, associations and institutions. Her proactive role in promoting Laval's interests across various initiatives demonstrates her impactful influence, contributing to the city's trajectory within policies and strategies that she not only proposes but also implements. Going beyond her governmental affairs responsibilities, Christine leverages her extensive experience as a strategic consultant, further enriching her contributions to the city's continuous growth and success.

Sherry Bondy

Mayor Sherry Bondy of Essex, ON, demonstrates unwavering commitment to ensuring that all councillors receive comprehensive information. Her dedication to fostering inclusivity and transparency has set a new standard, ensuring that everyone is informed and involved like never before. Prior to her appointment as Mayor in October 2022, Mayor Bondy served as councillor representing Ward 4 from 2010 to 2022, pushing forward progressive ideas and strategic planning. As a long-term resident of Harrow, ON, she is passionate about the community and understands the unique needs of the municipality. Through her tireless efforts, Mayor Bondy exemplifies the qualities of a true trailblazer in municipal leadership.

Amanda Ferraro

Amanda Ferraro is the Director of Community Services at Uxbridge, ON, and has led exceptional initiatives aimed at fostering Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). Among her achievements is the launch of the first Jumpstart Inclusive Multisport Court in Canada, a facility that supports activities for a variety of abilities, including basketball, wheelchair basketball, tennis, wheelchair tennis, ball hockey, volleyball, sitting volleyball, pickle ball and more. This achievement symbolizes a strong commitment to inclusive recreation and accessibility. Amanda was also instrumental in creating the Path of Inclusion in the town’s central park, a project that includes the planting of white pines as requested by Indigenous stakeholders, a land acknowledgement, orange benches to support the Every Child Matters movement and rainbow benches to support the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Brian Peach

Brian Peach, Director of Planning and Development in the town of Portugal Cove – St. Philips, has been conducting PhD research on the practice application of the Infraguide for rural municipalities. While conducting this important research, he was also acting as the CAO of two small towns in Newfoundland. He participates in many municipal sector groups and manages the Rural Outreach branch of his University’s Engineering Outreach program. Every semester he hires co-op engineering students to work with small rural municipalities. The students take on projects ranging from GIS flood mapping and designs of gazebos to new trail signage standards and wheelchair ramp designs.

Martin Davis

As mayor since 2018 of the small village of Tahsis (BC), located on the western shore of Vancouver island, Martin encounters challenges that are quite different from those in more connected, larger communities. Nevertheless, his municipal colleagues have hailed his thoughtful and inclusive approach and his commitment to empowering local voices. He has advocated for the economic development of this unique village, while continuing to highlight the importance of the vibrant natural environment that Tahsis offers, including exceptional caving, forest hiking and fishing opportunities in a vibrant ecosystem. His municipal colleagues deeply appreciate his dedication and passion for the local community he serves.

Marc Morin

Marc has served as councilor for Pleissisville, QC since 2021, and in that time has dedicated himself to the needs of residents in this community nestled in the heart of Quebec’s L'Érable MRC. As an active member of committees concerned with waterworks, day camps, and cultural heritage, he has thrown himself into the needs of the community at large. As a great listener and an excellent mobilizer, he has been able to tackle complex issues and move forward to contribute to the community at large. Marc has always had a goal of supporting local organizations and residents of all ages, and his colleagues have recognized the considerable professional experience he brings to his work as a councilor as well as his true commitment to teamwork.

Bob Brooks

As CAO of the Rural Municipality of Belfast on PEI, Bob Brooks is dedicated public servant who serves this small community of 1,700 people in the southeastern end of the island. Beyond working hard to serve the needs of his municipality, Bob also serves as the President of the Association of Municipal Administrators of PEI. Bob has always been keen to speak up for the needs of his community, and alongside a dedicated team of elected councilors, works tirelessly to support the needs of individuals across the municipality. Bob works hard to support new programs and initiatives, balancing public consultation with action, and his passion for improving quality of life in Belfast has led his colleagues to nominate him as a municipal trailblazer.

Carolyn Kolebaba

A regional as well as local leader, Councillor Carolyn Kolebaba of Northern Sunrise Country in Alberta has been an active member of her municipal council for more than 20 years. Deeply devoted to northwest Alberta, she is the chair of the Peace Region Economic Development Alliance and the Northern Transportation Advocacy Bureau. In addition to her official roles, she has led municipal partnerships, to the benefit of smaller and less affluent municipalities in the province’s north, including offering assessment services to other communities. Carolyn’s dedication to her community and this unique part of Alberta is deeply appreciated by her municipal colleagues and those who call Northern Sunrise County home.

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