Nominations open for 2024 Building Diversity Awards

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Michael Lewis

Special to Ontario Construction News

Nominations are open in a host of categories for the 4th Annual Canadian Building Diversity Awards, with recipients to be feted at a gala on June 14 at North York’s Meridian Arts Centre.

“Join us for an unforgettable evening of celebration, inspiration, and recognition as we honor the visionaries and trailblazers shaping a more inclusive future in the construction industry,” says the Toronto Community Benefits Network, which is hosting the awards along with Canadian financial services co-operative the Desjardins Group under this year’s Building a Sustainable Future theme.

The network is a 120-member community and trade union partnership that advocates for equitable economic opportunities for all in the GTA. The awards, which have quickly grown into a leading platform for the celebration of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the construction industry, have expanded to a national program as the network marks its 10th anniversary.

“This year we aim to double our impact, supporting diversity programs making a difference in local communities, such as TCBN’s NexGen Builders program,” said the network’s executive director Rosemarie Powell.

Award winners in 2023 include Black-led construction company Dream Maker Developments whose projects include a condo/townhouse/retail development just across from Yorkdale Mall in Toronto and whose leader Isaac Olowolafe Jr. has encouraged inclusivity and diversity on his firm’s worksites.

Chinyere Johnson was recognized in the NexGen Builder Mentee category for her accomplishments since moving from Trinidad to Canada, where she has continued her career in construction at EllisDon as an assistant project manager and as manager of infrastructure and capital projects at consultancy Deloitte.

The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades took honors in the Leading on Diversity Unions category for its work in providing apprenticeship support to racialized groups and for its creation of a role filled by a Black journeyperson aimed at attracting more Black youth into its ranks.

Those interested in nominating an individual or organization for the 2024 Building Diversity Awards are advised to  select the desired award category at https://buildingdiversity.ca/nominations/and complete the respective nomination form by the end of the day April 30.

A member of the TCBN team will contact the nominee to confirm their acceptance and to seek details showcasing their efforts in fostering a respectful and inclusive workplace environment.

A nominations committee will review and shortlist three to five of the strongest candidates in each category to submit to a selection panel comprised of community, labour and industry leaders, although the Community Benefits Champion Award will be selected by the public through an online People’s Choice voting process. Shortlisted honorees in all award categories will be notified no later than May 1. They will be asked to confirm their consent to being publicly recognized and their attendance at the June 14th Awards Ceremony.

Names of the shortlisted honorees will be shared with the media on May 14th. Award recipients in the organization categories will be notified by May 31 and a reception will be held for all shortlisted honorees prior to the awards.

Award categories:

Owner/Client

Leading on Diversity Award

The award recognizes an owner/client that is making extraordinary efforts to ensure underrepresented groups are accessing jobs and opportunities in construction.

Contractor

Leading on Diversity Award

The award recognizes a contractor that is making extraordinary efforts to ensure underrepresented groups are accessing jobs and opportunities in construction.

Union
Leading on Diversity Award

… recognizes a union that is making extraordinary efforts to ensure underrepresented groups are accessing jobs and opportunities in construction.

Mentee

NexGen Builders Award

The award recognizes a new construction pre-apprentice, apprentice or professional participating in a mentoring program. As a mentee (individual), the nominee has made exceptional progress in their career.

Mentor
NexGen Builders Award

… recognizes a current or past construction industry labourer, journey person or experienced professional who served as a mentor.

Employer
NexGen Builders Award

The award recognizes a construction industry employer that has excelled in supporting the professional growth and development of diverse workers.

Champion
Community Benefits Award

… recognizes an individual whose dedication to advancing community benefits in policy and/ or practice at the systems level within the construction industry has significantly benefited equity deserving groups.

Project
Community Benefits Award

The award recognizes a major construction project with a formal community benefits agreement in place that has achieved outcomes meeting or exceeding those stated in the agreement.

Diverse Contractor to Watch Award

Presented by the Afro Canadian Contractors Association, the award honours a standout emerging minority owner contractor or social enterprise from each Canadian province and territory. It recognizes those demonstrating readiness to successfully compete for ICI construction contracts.

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