November 18, 2015 marked the media launch event to kick start the nomination process for Public Heroes Awards Ceremony scheduled for April 14, 2016 at Mississauga Convention Centre. Public Heroes Awards have been recognizing the outstanding service of Police, Fire and Paramedic services in maintaining public safety in the city of Toronto since 2011. The scope of the awards was extended to blanket the entire Greater Toronto Area in 2014.
Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives (PAMA) was the venue for the media launch organized by Intercultural Dialogue Institute (GTA). An impressive line-up of youth was recognized for their stellar record in volunteer or co-op education programs in Police, Paramedic and Fire Services.
Hosting the event was none other than Jake Dheer, one of the most influential names in the City of Mississauga, the lively Rogers TV head with the potential to light up any event with his affable persona. Dheer introduced speakers and nominees, never once forgetting to give a shout out to loved ones sitting in the audience, without whom the nominees would not have been guided and encouraged to achieve such distinct recognition.
The stories of youth nominees were not just enriching, but profoundly moving. One youth saved the life of a choking person while another escorted a lost person to the safety of home. Loud applause rent the air each time a youth nominee took to the microphone to express gratitude towards their family or support group in the most humble way. The media launch event was a fitting platform to honor youth role models, all while aspiring those in attendance to emulate their path to become responsible and productive citizens of Canada.
The audience was also treated to words of wisdom by Peel Police Chief Jennifer Evans who motivated youth to join the Police force to make a visible and lasting difference in the communities we call home. The official programming was followed by a reception where guests mingled over traditional Turkish refreshments in a true spirit of Altruism, Dedication, and Community Involvement.
Vinita Kinra is a Toronto-based author, editor, speaker and activist, best known for her short story collection, Pavitra in Paris, launched to critical acclaim in 2013. She is also a contributor for India’s largest English daily, The Times of India.