About Us

Celebration of People is an annual awards program and dinner event, first held in Ottawa in 2001. Presentation of the awards takes place each year in conjunction with December 3 – designated by the United Nations as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The awards recognize the achievements and contributions of individuals, businesses and organizations promoting accessibility, inclusion and full community participation by citizens with disabilities.

Award recipients include individuals with disabilities who are advocates for others with disabilities and/or whose personal example of excellence demonstrates the potential of all members of the community. They also include companies, agencies, government and other organizations which have created opportunities for people with disabilities to participate more fully in their workplaces, schools and volunteer organizations—for example, through projects to enhance physical accessibility or inclusive hiring practices and policies.


Through the Celebration of People, we will create a community that embodies the principles of inclusiveness and acceptance in all aspects of life for people with disabilities.


To establish a world class event that recognizes the outstanding achievements of members of our community.

The Partners

Celebration of People is a collaborative partnership of a group of community organizations providing services and programs for people with disabilities.

Citizen Advocacy Ottawa (lead partner)

Vista Centre Brain Injury Services

Algonquin College

Celebration of People Steering Committee

The Celebration of People Steering Committee oversees, directs and implements the awards program and dinner event.

Lead Partner Representative:

Heather Lacey, Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa

Steering Committee Chair:

Martha Marr, Algonquin College

Celebration of People Steering Committee Members:

David F. Walls, Vista Centre Brain Injury Services

Kelly Mertl = EARN, United Way Ottawa

Kevin Brown, OCDSB

Laurie Alphonse, Algonquin College

Lori Gandy

Celebration of People Honorary Chair


Photo of Jim Munsun, Honorary Chair of CoP

The Honorable Jim Munson is best known to Canadians as a trusted journalist and public affairs specialist. As a journalist he reported news for more than thirty years, most recently as a television corresponded for the CTV network. During those years he applied his knowledge, his skills and his wit as an acute observer of people and politics to write and deliver compelling television stories and reports from all parts of Canada and around the world for Canadian viewers.

Jim Munson was called to the Senate of Canada on December 10, 2003, to represent the province of Ontario. He is currently the Senate Opposition Whip and has previously served as Chair of Senate Liberal Caucus.

Senator Munson, in addition to his duties in the Senate, is actively involved with Special Olympics Canada, S.O.S Children’s Villages Canada and many groups promoting autism awareness.

Born in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Jim Munson and his wife Ginette reside in Ottawa. They have two sons.