Mandy Hambly receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

(Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Glen Gower present the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Stittsville’s Mandy Hambly at Ottawa City Hall on June 22, 2022. Photo: City of Ottawa)

At the last City Council Meeting on June 22nd, 2022, Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Glen Gower had the honor of awarding Mandy Hambly with the Mayor’s City Builder Award for all of her hard work and dedication to making Stittsville a better and more inclusive community.

The Mayor’s City Builder Award is an achievement that recognizes the outstanding volunteer work and ceaseless community involvement of a group, organization, or individual.

Through her unwavering kindness, dedication to the community, and commitment to making Stittsville the best that it can be, it’s no wonder Mandy has been chosen as a recipient for the award.

(Mandy Hambly poses at City Hall with the Mayor’s City Building Award she received for her numerous volunteer contributions to her community of Stittsville.)

She has sacrificed her time and hard work for numerous community events, activities, and platforms including her fondest, Off Gluten and Blossom Fest.

I began Off Gluten as a way to reach others “off gluten” on social media so I didn’t have to bore my friends and family with my journey with Celiac Disease.” Mandy explained. “It has helped connect me to people of all ages, from all over the world, battling the same issues as me. I often get messages from parents thanking me for helping them navigate the disease with their children.

“I’m proud to be known as the “gluten free gal” and I will never tire of helping others find safe food options. And I won’t stop pestering Tim Hortons to recognize this common dietary restriction until they offer a prepackaged gluten free food option at all locations!” 

(You can sign the petition here:

Blossom Fest existed as a dream in my imagination for many years. Crossing Bridge Park is a perfect outdoor venue for events, and with several years of experience planning, executing and working large events, I knew it was just a matter of time before I “went for it”.” Mandy said.

Our inaugural event in 2019 was really successful, and I was quite let down when the second Blossom Fest was Covid-cancelled in both 2020 and 2021. My husband and daughter started calling me a “one hit wonder” as a family joke, but it really resonated. I had to revive Blossom Fest this year to bring some real fun to my neighbourhood, and to remind the kids how fun it is to play outside after a long Winter indoors on screens.”

Even with a nasty storm that left many residents in distress, Mandy refused to cancel Blossom Fest, and by pushing forward she gave the community a wonderful day to remember and something to look forward to next year.

But volunteering can be tough, too. According to Mandy, finding funds is one of the hardest things about her volunteer work.

“Government grants were not available for Spring 2022 events, and I had very little time to fundraise.” Mandy admitted. “Fortunately Stittsville businesses, organizations and people were forthcoming with help, and I was ultimately able to stage a free event for all. It’s not easy to ask for financial help, but it is nice to see things come together with the help of many.”

Even with the hardships that come with volunteering, Mandy still encourages others to take part.

Being a volunteer is great.” She gushes. “It’s a realm free from competition, greed and spitefulness. You meet kind people who are involving themselves in projects that interest them. I had no idea how rewarding my own volunteer work would be as I said “yes” to project after project. I feel very connected to my community and I am very proud of the example I can set for my children.”

But this well-deserved award is only the beginning for Mandy. She still has plenty of plans for the future, including Blossom Fest 2023, Canada Day in Stittsville, and plans for organizing a public mural on Stittsville Main Street.

We’re excited to see what Mandy has in store for us next, and are beyond ecstatic to see her recognized for the hard work she puts into our community here in Stittsville.


Leave a Reply