Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Announces 2017 Citizen of the Year and Youth Volunteer of the Year

February 20, 2018, Hamilton, ON – The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce has announced Dave Hanley as the 2017 Royal Bank of Canada Citizens of the Year. This award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the Hamilton community and who have brought outstanding and remarkable attention to the Hamilton community beyond our municipal borders. The winners will be honoured at a ceremony on March 6th at the RBG Rock Garden.

Dave, who tragically and suddenly passed away this fall, was the co-founder of Pop Up Hamilton, an event company that created unique culinary and entertainment experiences in surprise locations showcasing the incredible local talent of artists, chefs, wineries, breweries and vendors. He played a pivotal role in shaping Hamilton’s emerging identity as a welcoming, creative, go-to city with a thriving food and music scene.

Dave Hanley’s influence goes beyond his Pop Up Hamilton events, and his extensive charitable works. His legacy lives on in the many thriving partnerships he helped establish between restaurateurs, chefs, artists, food vendors and guests. Dave promoted Hamilton to itself and beyond its borders.

Central to Dave’s success was his affection and respect for all people known through his famous personal credo, MADLOVE. News of his death hit the Hamilton community hard. #DaveHanley trended for days on Twitter and spawned columns in local and national media. Dave Hanley was a remarkable person, leader, volunteer, and Hamiltonian.

“It’s unfortunate that it often takes tragedy to reveal just how beloved a person is. In 2017, we saw that Dave Hanley, despite living in Hamilton for only 5 years, made an enormous impact on countless Hamiltonians” explains Keanin Loomis, President and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, “For the permanent impression he made on the soul of our community and the role Dave played in leading and bringing attention to Hamilton’s epicureal renaissance, there is no better choice as Hamilton’s Citizen of the Year.”

The Hamilton Spectator Youth Volunteer of the Year honour will also be awarded on the evening of the 28th. This award recognizes an individual 19 years of age or under whose extraordinary volunteer activities have made a difference in the Hamilton community and/or the organization in which they are involved. The winner will also receive a $500 bursary. The 2017 winner is Lucia Marchionda, a Grade 12 at Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School. In the past four years, Lucia has volunteered in her community, and has accumulated over 3,000 Community Service Hours.

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the Royal Bank of Canada and the Hamilton Spectator for their continued support of this event.

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About the Citizen of the Year Awards

The honour dates back to 1938, when the Hamilton Advertising & Sales Club began the tradition. Over the next 60 years they cared for it as few others would or could.   In 1997, however, the Club found it necessary to cease operations, but those who remained wanted to be sure that the Citizen of the Year Awards continued. They approached The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, which already held ownership of the same program in Ancaster and Dundas, and asked that it consider accepting responsibility for the program, effective 1999. With the help of the Royal Bank and The Hamilton Spectator, the Chamber agreed to do so.  On behalf of a grateful community, the Hamilton Chamber thanks all Ad & Sales Club Members, who, for 60 years, contributed to making what is today the community’s premier event saluting citizenship and volunteerism.  Past notable winners include Ron Foxcroft, Colin Millar, and the Honourable Lincoln Alexander.

Marie Nash | Communications & Events Manager
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
Office: 905.522.1151 ext. 245 | Cell: 905.741.7164

About the Citizen of the Year Awards

The honour dates back to 1938, when the Hamilton Advertising & Sales Club began the tradition. Over the next 60 years they cared for it as few others would or could.   In 1997, however, the Club found it necessary to cease operations, but those who remained wanted to be sure that the Citizen of the Year Awards continued. They approached The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, which already held ownership of the same program in Ancaster and Dundas, and asked that it consider accepting responsibility for the program, effective 1999. With the help of the Royal Bank and The Hamilton Spectator, the Chamber agreed to do so.  On behalf of a grateful community, the Hamilton Chamber thanks all Ad & Sales Club Members, who, for 60 years, contributed to making what is today the community’s premier event saluting citizenship and volunteerism.  Past notable winners include Ron Foxcroft, Colin Millar, and the Honourable Lincoln Alexander.

Marie Nash | Communications & Events Manager
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
Office: 905.522.1151 ext. 245 | Cell: 905.741.7164