Kitchener turns the spotlight on local people, partners, and community heroes during State of the City address 

Kitchener, Ontario – Earlier today, Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic used his annual State of the City address to turn the spotlight around and focus on the people, partners, and community heroes who pulled us together as a city and as a community over the last year.  

Mayor Vrbanovic and Kitchener City Council hosted the virtual ‘Thank You Kitchener’ event on the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 emergency declarations in Waterloo Region. The event, partially streamed live from Kitchener City Hall, highlighted how the story of Kitchener has been shaped by business owners, health care heroes, essential workers, educators, students, shelter workers and more.  

“The story of Kitchener over the past year has truly been unlike any other. Our story has been filled with grief, sorrow, frustration and fear. But it has also been filled with moments of hope, humour and creativity. With silver linings that have shone a light on our humanity, pulled us together and shown us the power of our own resilience,” said Mayor Vrbanovic. 

 “Despite everything we have faced, I have never been more proud of the people of this city.”  

The Mayor shared a video that introduced community heroes across a variety of sectors. The video shared the emotional journeys that individuals and groups have gone through over the past year. It was a touching tribute to the power of individual hope and resilience and a reminder of the importance of community connection. 

“Despite our separation, we have found ways to connect with family, friends and neighbours. To share memories and moments…to find gratitude and grace shining through the dark chapters of this pandemic,” said Mayor Vrbanovic. “While these personal stories underline some of our struggles and challenges, they also demonstrate powerful reasons for hope.” 

The event closed with an inspiring original performance by members of KW Glee. They performed, We Got This, an original number that captures the spirit of youth and their struggles and connections throughout the pandemic – all wrapped into a fun 80s vibe. 

As part of saying thanks, the Mayor also noted that the Kitchener Fire Department, together with the Cambridge and Waterloo Fire Departments, Waterloo Regional Police and Paramedic Services will be participating in an emergency services parade later today. They will be passing by our hospitals, vaccines clinics and some long-term care homes to recognize the workers and volunteers who have given their all over the past year. 

State of the City was hosted by Kitchener City Council in partnership with the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. In lieu of paid tickets, participants who were able, were asked to donate to the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation. 

A recording of the 2021 State of the City will be available on the City website at 


For more information:  
Shawn Falcao  
Manager, Corporate Communications