Kitchener – Today the City of Kitchener was presented with the 2018 CAMA Willis Award for Innovation from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) at their national conference in Fredericton, NB. The city’s chief administrative officer, Dan Chapman, accepted the award on behalf of the city.

Love My Hood: Kitchener’s Guide to Great Neighbourhoods strategy was recognized for its grass roots approach to building social infrastructure and for creating an environment where residents can affect their own neighbourhoods by working together.

“When I look around and see the uptake of #lovemyhood around the city, I am so proud of the incredible grassroots work happening in Kitchener,” said Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “The community has been a part of this strategy from the beginning and without them it wouldn’t be possible. To have that work recognized nationally, along with the efforts of all the staff who support residents in their initiatives, is truly an honour.”

Projects were evaluated against a set of criteria including:
• how innovative and creative they were,
• their impact on the municipal administration,
• their potential to be adopted by other municipalities,
• their impact on the organization or municipality, and
• the sustainability of the results.

“From Deputy CAO Michael May, Michelle Drake, project manager for the neighbourhood strategy, Josh Joseph, supervisor of our Neighbourhood Development Office and the entire Neighbourhood Development Office team to countless others throughout the organization - we have had a top-notch team working to drive this creative strategy through our organization. The fact that top municipal administrators from across Canada see the potential to implement a similar strategy in other cities is a tremendous compliment to their efforts,” added Vrbanovic.

The Love My Hood strategy document is the roadmap used to navigate the Love My Hood vision. When council approved the strategy in February 2017, residents made it clear that this document would not sit on a shelf. The strategy offers a unique approach to city building where residents take the lead and the city supports them along the way. The Love My Hood movement continues to grow as more residents become involved in their neighbourhoods.

This is not the first time Love My Hood has been recognized. It has also received the following awards:
• International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) -- Gold Quill Award – Best External Publication 2018
• Ontario Professional Planners Institute Award (OPPI) in the Communications/Public Education category in 2017
• Association of Marketing Communication Professionals – Gold Hermes Creative Award – 2018 (in partnership with eSolutions Group)

Learn more about the strategy and resources developed to help residents take the lead on initiatives in their neighbourhood at

About CAMA:
The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) is a national, non-profit association open to all Chief Administrative Officers / City Managers and any person employed in a senior management position that reports directly to a CAO. With a membership of approximately 575 senior municipal employees, from all parts of Canada, CAMA collectively represents more than 70 of the nation’s population.