2024 Niagara Impact Awards

The Niagara Impact Awards recognize community members who have made a positive impact on life in Niagara.

Residents are encouraged to nominate individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations who have gone above and beyond to help make living in Niagara a little better for others during the past year.

In 2023, the T. Roy Adams Humanitarian of the Year Award was added to the Niagara Impact Awards program.


  • Open to current residents, businesses, and community and non-profit organizations in Niagara
  • Evidence showing the spirit of volunteerism and community
  • Elected officials currently in office and Regional staff are not eligible


When completing the application, you'll be asked about:

  • The action or initiative performed by the nominee that had a positive impact on Niagara during the past year and approximately how many residents it affected
  • How this action contributed to community spirit and Niagara's image
  • Contact information for the nominee

How to nominate

2024 nominations are closed.

Video: When I think of Niagara

2024 Impact Award recipients

  • T. Roy Adams Humanitarian of the Year Award - Colin Strickland (Port Colborne)
    Colin Strickland

    Colin Strickland is being recognized for his decades of volunteerism and community service. He's a teacher, coach, fundraiser, and proud supporter of small businesses, impacting hundreds of individuals locally and globally.

    Colin has personally raised over $22,000 for Movember Canada and founded "The Corners Run Crew" in 2019, creating an inclusive running community that emphasizes personal connections over pace. Starting with eight members, the Crew has grown to over 85, gathering three times a week and boasting an online following of nearly 5,000.

    With a motto of "Moderate Pace, Positive Space," The Corners Run Crew fosters a safe, inclusive environment for sharing, learning, and friendship. Starting each run at a local business, the club supports Niagara's economy while advocating for marginalized individuals.

    Colin's lifelong dedication to community service and inclusiveness embodies the spirit of T. Roy Adams.

    Learn about the T. Roy Adams Humanitarian of the Year Award.

  • Community Leader Award - Tim Denis (St. Catharines)
    Tim Denis

    For over three decades, Tim Denis has been a steadfast voice on local radio, delivering trusted local news in a constantly evolving media environment. His dedication has fostered open dialogues on pressing regional issues, earning him unwavering reliability.

    Tim's influence transcends broadcasting. He's conducted interviews with prime ministers, premiers and local officials, consistently prioritizing our community's concerns. Known for his professionalism and impartiality, he's earned the trust of Niagara residents.

    Beyond journalism, Tim advocates for Niagara businesses, amplifies charitable causes, and champions mental health, homelessness and food insecurity initiatives. His advocacy extends to promoting equity for marginalized groups.

    In the arts, Tim's leadership and talents shine as an actor, director and producer, enriching our cultural tapestry. His musical accomplishments, including a top ten album in 1985, further showcase his versatility.

    Niagara expresses gratitude to Tim for his enduring dedication and passion, ensuring his impact resonates for generations.

  • Youth Award - Valentina Agudo Chacon (St. Catharines)

    Valentina Agudo Chacon

    Valentina, a 17-year-old high school student in St. Catharines, was recognized for her volunteer efforts with the Jaguars Sport and Social Club where she serves as a youth leader, mentor and role model to young girls and newcomers to our region and country.

    Through her actions, which include coaching, playing and convening the Jaguars girl’s basketball program which she established, Valentina's leadership is helping to build our community by ensuring that everyone feels welcome and has a sense of belonging.

  • Individual Award - Mark Basciano (Thorold)
    Mark Basciano

    Mark Basciano, president and owner of Mountainview Building Group in Thorold was recognized for his dedication to enhancing his community through his ongoing philanthropic endeavours.

    Since 2022, Mark has helped raise $185,000 for Niagara Foundation for Family and Children's Services (FACS) through his company's title sponsorship of the Mountainview Lemon-Aid Day fundraiser. Mountainview provided extensive support to the initiative including covering campaign expenses, securing additional sponsors, constructing 100 lemonade stands, and ensuring families across Niagara could participate without barriers. Together, these monies have helped fund more than 800 camp experiences for underprivileged youth.

    In addition to supporting FACS, Mountainview has made significant contributions to various community organizations, including the new South Niagara Hospital Site and Pathstone Mental Health.

  • Community Non-Profit Award - The Strong Water Singers (Fort Erie)
    The Strong Water Singers

    The Strong Water Singers are an Indigenous-led group of women who get together weekly to learn and walk together in accordance with Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action.

    The singers regularly attend retirement residences across Niagara to volunteer their time and energy and spread their "heart medicine". They also lend their voices to various organizations across the region to help raise awareness for many different causes.

    Honorariums received from their performances are pooled to help community members, including single mothers in need, women escaping domestic violence, replacing an Elder's cistern allowing him to have running water again, and finally, supporting men to maintain their sobriety.

    The commitment and dedication of the Strong Water Singers is helping to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals living across Niagara.

  • Business Award - Pie Guys Bakery and Cafe (Port Colborne)
    The Pie Guys Bakery and Cafe

    Pie Guys Bakery and Cafe is renowned for its award-winning baked goods and pies, and its strong commitment to community. Owners Rob Carter and Brennon Zwingli actively support fundraisers, from selling specially baked poppy cookies for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 26 to donating proceeds to local organizations like the SPCA, Community Living, and Port Cares.

    Last year, Pie Guys faced adversity when their business was vandalized. They turned this setback into an opportunity by launching the "I LOVE PORT COLBORNE" bracelet and keychain campaign, raising nearly $10,000 to help address mental health, addiction recovery and homelessness in their community.

    Thanks to significant media attention, an anonymous donor stepped forward and matched the funds resulting in almost $20,000 being directed to Port Cares community support agency.

    Rob, Brennan and the whole team at Pie Guys Bakery and Cafe have gone above and beyond to serve the community and help boost civic pride in the City of Port Colborne.

  • Environmental Award - Liz Benneian (Lincoln)
    Liz  Benneian

    Liz Benneian has tirelessly championed environmental protection, leaving her mark on communities across the region.

    An advocate for environmental education, Liz has engaged over 90,000 students in high schools, universities and community libraries, both locally and province-wide.

    As the founder of Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara, Liz has been pivotal in projects like the Val Fleming Butterfly Garden in Beamsville and the Grand Oak Park Restoration in Grimsby. She has also spearheaded initiatives to plant thousands of trees on public land throughout Ontario.

Past winners

  • 2023

    Community Leader Award

    • Dr. Yousef Haj-Ahmad

    Youth Award Winner

    • Mackenzie Agretto

    Individual Award Winner

    • Janice Ford-Spencer

    Non-Profit Award Winner

    • Tomorrow's Voices Children's Choir

    Business Award Winner

    • General Motors St. Catharines
  • 2022

    Community Leader Award

    • Chris Sinclair and Adam Shields

    Youth Award Winner

    • Katie-Ann Wolfenberg

    Individual Award Winner

    • Bob and Louise Montgomery

    Non-Profit Award Winner

    • Zonta Club of St. Catharines

    Business Award Winner

    • BTO Performance
  • 2021

    Community Leader Award

    • Tom Rankin

    Youth Award Winner

    • Anisha O'Brien

    Individual Award Winner

    • Justin Preston
    • Natasha Bell
    • Amanda Cote

    Non-Profit Award Winner

    • Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 613

    Business Award Winner

    • Dillon's Small Batch Distillers
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