V-Oscars Volunteer Awards 2023

BRAMPTON, ON, July 18th, 2023 – The 2023 V-Oscars by Volunteer MBC, presented by Maritime Ontario, hailed 62 Award Nominees and 48 Stars on the Cineplex Mississauga stage. Four of the 16 award categories honoured the legacy of Lois Rice, Bonnie Yagar, John Huether and Hazel McCallion, the former two trophies being handed out to their recipients by the eponymous leaders themselves.

Marking its post-pandemic return to the in-person format, Peel Region’s volunteer recognition award gala was meant to be the most memorable in its 13-year history. And Volunteer MBC delivered: the sold-out crowd of in-the-flesh and virtual guests, hosted by emcee extraordinaire and former Volunteer MBC Board Director Jake Dheer, walked the pre-show Green Carpet, were entertained with spoken word artistry by Shamas Berantuo a.k.a. Rhapoetriaa, live music by R&B Vocalist Sukhi Kay and pianist Mary-Anne Braganca, and rewarded with fun interactive games, live auction, great prizes, buttery popcorn, big-screen volunteer story-telling, and the first-ever Vollywood Walk of Fame sponsored by GiveLife365.

“This unprecedented V-Oscars edition was four years in the making,” declares Carine Strong, Volunteer MBC’s Executive Director. “Everyone seems to have enjoyed this fusion festivity in honour of the remarkable volunteers of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. Many thanks to all who inspired and helped make this event so memorable, proving that first-rate Peel volunteerism, in its many forms, is alive and well!”

Early on, Volunteer MBC had invited its not-for-profit member organizations to nominate their most outstanding volunteers of 2022 for 15 individual and group award categories, who were then evaluated by the Judging Committee comprised of experienced volunteer engagement professionals Gaya Nagendra, Chandra Vaidyanathan and Navreet Gill. The Hazel McCallion Power of Giving Award category, the only one not reviewed by the Judging Committee, is named after the first Mayor of Mississauga –known for her passionate civic engagement– and dedicated to a special selection made by the Volunteer MBC Board of Directors in advance.

Congratulations to all the 2023 V-Oscars Award Recipients:

  • The Hazel McCallion Power of Giving Award, sponsored by Brampton Brick Ltd., went to Diane Kalenchuk who accepted her trophy from
  • John Digby and Jake Dheer, past recipients of the same award.
  • Kathleen (Kitty) McCarthy of William Osler Health System – Brampton Civic Hospital was recognized with the Lois Rice Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award supported by Lois Rice.
  • Also nominated by William Osler Health System – Brampton Civic Hospital, Dawn Ragnauth received the Helping Hands Award –Brampton sponsored by Rotary Club of Brampton, and Jorge and Anna Cardoso got the Family VolunTree Award sponsored by Peel Children’s Aid Foundation.
  • Nominated by Vita Centre, Christina Boyle received the Bonnie Yagar Award for Outstanding Board Leadership sponsored by Pallett Valo LLP, Mike McGinnis got the John Huether Award for Volunteering Excellence sponsored by The Co-operators, and Royal Bank of Canada was recognized with the Business Vitality Award – Mississauga sponsored by OASSIS Benefit Plans.
  • City of Mississauga’s nominees Irena Tyszler and ‘Sauga Stroke Breakers were presented with the Helping Hands Award – Mississauga sponsored by DoGood Fundraising, respectively the Continuum of Care Award supported by VMBC Board President Jim Waechter.
  • Wayne Noble, nominated by the Town of Caledon, was given the Helping Hands Award – Caledon sponsored by Rotary Club of Palgrave.
  • The Newcomer Gem Award, supported by Sukhjit Singh Ahluwalia, went to Divya Banga of Punjabi Community Health Services.
  • The Youth Lead by Example Award, supported by the Perera Family, was bestowed on Volunteer MBC’s nominee Sending Sunshine.
  • Mahnoor Moin of Girls Empowerment Movement (Peel GEM) was the recipient of the Youth Champion Award sponsored by Multilevel Leadership Consulting.
  • The Business Vitality Award – Brampton, supported by Arno Ilic, went to Rotary Club of Brampton, Regeneration Outreach Community’s nominee.
  • The Business Vitality Award – Caledon, sponsored by the Town of Caledon, went to Mars Wrigley Caledon Community Services. Sponsored by BTI Brand Innovations, the Leader in Volunteer Engagement Award was received by My Women Support’s nominee Nihan Siddiqi.



Volunteer MBC, the volunteer centre for Peel Region, fuels purposeful connections between thousands of residents and hundreds of community service organizations to respond to our community’s most pressing social issues.

Please visit www.volunteermbc.org for more information.

Event contact: Shan Abbasi, sabbasi@volunteermbc.org, 416-305-4736

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