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January 18, 2018
City of Toronto launches young women's leadership award in memory of Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell
The City of Toronto has launched a new award to recognize young women's exceptional leadership in memory of Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell. The award was announced today by Mayor John Tory during a break of the 2018 Protégé program orientation, an initiative started by the late Deputy Mayor.

"Toronto is a better and fairer place, thanks to Deputy Mayor McConnell's service, advocacy and commitment to building a city that is equitable, fair and inclusive for all its citizens," said Mayor John Tory. "The Pam McConnell Young Women in Leadership Award honours her work and values as a social justice advocate."

Deputy Mayor McConnell was a member of Toronto City Council from 1994 (then Metro Toronto Council) to 2017 and the former Chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Standing Committee on Increasing Women's Participation in Municipal Government. This present term marked her seventh on Council. She served as Deputy Mayor, South and was selected by Mayor Tory in 2015 as the champion of the City's Poverty Reduction Strategy.

"It was through Deputy Mayor McConnell's passion for civic engagement and her commitment to supporting young women in politics that we saw the realization of the City's Protégée program," said Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale), City Council's 2018 representative for the program. "She believed fiercely in the program and the young women it mentored."

"The Protégée program and role models like Pam McConnell have helped inspire and engage young women in organizations, politics and communities so that we can make a difference in our city," said Edna Ali, Executive Director, Toronto Youth Cabinet and former Protégée program participant. "This award is a way to acknowledge her legacy."

The Protégée program is in its sixth year and has mentored approximately 50 young women between the ages of 19 and 26. This year, nine young women will take part.

The Pam McConnell Young Women in Leadership Award will be open to young women residing in the City of Toronto, between the ages of 19 and 26, who have:
• demonstrated exceptional leadership skills through a proven track record of volunteer and/or paid work in the community-based sector
• shown a commitment to social justice work by creating or leading community-based programs or services for vulnerable youth or residents in Toronto
• inspired other young women through formal or informal mentorship.

Applications for the award will open on January 16 and are due by midnight on February 16.

The successful recipient will be presented with the award and a small cash prize ($500) at the March 8 International Women's Day event at City Hall, hosted by the Toronto Public Service Women's Network.

More information on the Pam McConnell Young Women in Leadership Award is available at

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at, on Instagram at or on Facebook at

Media Contact
Olga Lukich
Strategic Communications



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