Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson today announced the 15 residents who will be inducted into the Order of Ottawa this year, as well as the 2016 recipient of the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching.

This year’s Order of Ottawa ceremony will take place at City Hall on November 17.

“The Order of Ottawa honours remarkable residents for their service in both professional and civic-oriented endeavours,” said Mayor Watson. “It is a privilege to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of these influential people who enrich our city and have made a difference in the lives of others in our community.”

Those who will be invested by Mayor Watson into the Order of Ottawa for 2016 are: Adrian Burns, Brian Coburn, Sister Louise Dunn, Clarence (Gus) Este, Abraham Feinstein, Harley Finkelstein, Dr. Nishith Goel, George Hanna, Tae Eun Lee, Gibson Patterson, Jacqueline Pelletier, Chris and Erin Phillips, Jim Robinson, David Smart and Mark Sutcliffe.

Bill Malhotra was selected as a 2015 Order of Ottawa recipient however was unable to attend this ceremony. He will be honoured at the 2016 ceremony.

John Medeiros will be presented with the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching, a City award that recognizes the contribution of an amateur coach who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment.

The Order of Ottawa recognizes exceptional residents who have made a significant contribution in a professional capacity in many areas of city life, including arts and culture, business, community service, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, medicine, sports and entertainment, or other fields of endeavour that benefit the residents of Ottawa.

This prestigious civic award was established in 2012 by Mayor Watson and members of City Council. Recipients of the Order of Ottawa are chosen by a Selection Committee comprised of the Mayor, City Clerk and Solicitor, Chief of Police, Chief of Protocol, City Archivist, and the Chief Executive Officer of Library Services.

For more information regarding the Order of Ottawa and the full biographies of the recipients, visit




Abridged biographies of recipients

Adrian Burns
Ms. Burns has served as Chair of the National Arts Centre (NAC) Board of Trustees since December 2014 and has dedicated her career to Canadian broadcasting and the arts, education, corporate and public governance, and community development. She is deeply involved in the Ottawa community and has worked on a number of foundation boards.

Brian Coburn
Mr. Coburn has 30 years of diverse public sector and community service experience, including as Councillor and Mayor of Cumberland and as Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans with various ministerial portfolios. He served on the Board of Governors for Algonquin College and continues to be active with community events and charitable organizations.

Sister Louise Dunn, C.N.D.
Sister Dunn co-founded Serenity Renewal for Families, a charitable organization opened in 1983 providing a wide range of educational and counselling services. She has accompanied countless individuals on their recovery journey and has helped thousands of individuals and families to live in a spirit of health, hope and self-awareness.

Clarence (Gus) Este, CD
Mr. Este is a Korean War Veteran who served 34 years with the Canadian Armed Forces and has worked with Veterans Affairs Canada to ensure that there is an oral history of his experience in the Canadian military and the Korean conflict. He has a long history and notable involvement with the Royal Canadian Legion and has made service to veterans his top priority.

Abraham Feinstein, Q.C.
Mr. Feinstein joined Soloway Wright in 1965 as a lawyer in their Real Estate and Development Law Group in Ottawa and has extensive experience in real estate financing, acquisitions and land development. He has lectured extensively in real estate law and is currently co-chair of the Fundraising Committee for the Law Library Renovation with the County of Carleton Law Association.

Harley Finkelstein
Mr. Finkelstein is a Canadian entrepreneur, lawyer and public speaker. He is best known as the Chief Operating Officer of Shopify, one of Canada’s most valuable technology companies, and one of the largest employers in Ottawa. He is on the Board of the C100, an organization that supports the Canadian technology community and is a bridge between Canada and the Silicon Valley.

Dr. Nishith Goel
Dr. Goel is the CEO of Cistel Technology, an IT company he founded in 1995 which has operations in Canada and the U.S. He is a veteran technology executive and a serial entrepreneur and has been an active member of the Ottawa community for the last thirty years having served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Ottawa, the Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH) Foundation and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation.

George Hanna
Mr. Hanna was appointed President of Gabriel Pizza Franchise Corporation in 2003 and within five years had grown the company to  23 locations across the national capital area while creating hundreds of new jobs for Ottawa residents. He has strong bonds to the area and continually gives back to the community serving as Chair of the Board of Directors at St. Elias Cathedral, as well as the Chair of the Ottawa Lebanese Festival.

Tae Eun Lee
Grandmaster Tae Eun Lee opened Ottawa’s first Taekwondo School in 1977 and has shaped the lives of over 20,000 students over the last 39 years while developing affiliated schools and clubs across the region and in many other locations. He founded Canada’s national sport organization, Taekwondo Canada, and is the only internationally certified Grandmaster with the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) in Ottawa.

(Note: Mr. Lee is unable to attend the 2016 Order of Ottawa ceremony, and will be honoured at the ceremony to be held in 2017)

Bill Malhotra
Mr. Malhotra is CEO, President and founder of Claridge Homes Group of Companies and employs over 750 staff He has strategically grown the company, and has now built over 8000 homes, 4300 condominiums, and five retirement homes totaling over 650 suites across the city, as well as the new luxury 200-room Andaz Ottawa Byward Market Hotel. Mr. Malhotra supports numerous charities and non-profit organizations in Ottawa including the Ottawa Hospital Foundation and other public institutions and helped to create the Malhotra Family Foundation.

(Mr. Malhotra was selected as a 2015 Order of Ottawa recipient, however, was unable to attend this ceremony and will therefore be honoured at the 2016 ceremony)

Gibson Patterson
Mr. Patterson is known for various real estate initiatives having developed two family farms in the Hunt Club Road area into high-density housing developments and commercial properties. He owns three golf courses in the Ottawa area and is a founding member of the Ottawa-Carleton Plowing Association, and an active community supporter and long-time member of the Ottawa Rotary Club.

Jacqueline Pelletier
Ms. Pelletier has over 30 years of experience in government, as well as the voluntary and private sectors, specializing in strategic development and change management. She chaired the board of directors and fundraising for La Nouvelle Scène (LNS) from 1998 to 2001, and co-chaired the steering committee for the 2013-2016 Renewed Action Plan for Arts, Heritage and Culture in Ottawa.

Chris and Erin Phillips
Mr. and Mrs. Phillips are strong believers in giving back and investing in their community and have been part of the Candlelighters’ Childhood Cancer Support Program for the last 13 years as Honorary Chairs. Mr. Phillips was a member of the Ottawa Senators for his entire career, starting in 1997 and was the longest serving player in the Senators’ franchise history.

Together, Mr. and Mrs. Phillips have given their time and resources to many charitable initiatives including the Snowsuit Fund, the Ottawa Dragon Boat Foundation, 24H of Tremblant, DIFD, and  Queensway Carleton Hospital for the Care Grows West Campaign.

Jim Robinson
Mr. Robinson was Race Director of the Ottawa Marathon from 1996 to 2013 and developed the event into a world-class marathon, attracting 48,000 participants. Ottawa Race Weekend’s growth has resulted in the annual generation of an estimated $28 million in economic activity for the City of Ottawa and the charitable impact from race weekend is estimated to be well over $6 million and growing for a number of local and national charities.

David Smart
Since taking over as head coach of the Carleton University Ravens men’s basketball team in 1999, Mr. Smart has turned the program into one of the most successful dynasties in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) with a record 12 CIS team titles. He has numerous coaching awards including six Canadian University Coach of the Year Awards and he continues to help develop outstanding young men by instilling the values of hard work, team first, respectfulness, modesty and community spirit.

Mark Sutcliffe
Mr. Sutcliffe has been a writer, broadcaster, entrepreneur and volunteer for more than 30 years and has had a lifelong interest in the media and in helping his Ottawa hometown flourish as a place of opportunity, diversity and equality. He is a passionate volunteer and fundraiser, and has served on and chaired many community boards, including the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Invest Ottawa, Algonquin College and United Way Ottawa.

The Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching

John Medeiros
Inspector Medeiros has played a leadership role creating and serving as a volunteer coach with an Ottawa Police Service Soccer Mentoring Program that brings at-risk children from grades three to six and police officers to the soccer pitch. He recruits and organizes other police officers to join, teaches rules and techniques, describes the responsibilities of being part of a team, the importance of each player’s role, attitudes, behaviours and their impact and affect on life and life choices.

Inspector Medeiros is also an active participant and supporter of the Aboriginal Working Committee (AWC) since its inception in 2008, and led the effort to spearhead a soccer mentorship program that includes Aboriginal participation.