Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Gloucester-South Nepean Ward Councillor Carol Anne Meehan presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Rohit Saxena at City Council today, in recognition of his volunteer contributions to the Ottawa Humane Society.

Since 2010, Rohit Saxena has volunteered as the official photographer for the Ottawa Humane Society. Mr. Saxena’s photography brings out the personality and individuality of each sheltered animal, showcasing them to would-be adopters and helping them find their forever homes. Mr. Saxena has donated hundreds of hours for animal portraits, as well as commercial photos for publications and Ottawa Humane Society events. He helps with media pitches and loves telling stories about the animals and the value of adoption.

Mr. Saxena is also a mentor to younger photographers, showing them how to best shoot Ottawa Humane Society events and offering tips and tricks about how to take animal portraits. The organization recognized him for his tireless devotion to animals at their 2016 annual general meeting.

Mr. Saxena has donated time to his alma mater as well. Working with the Carleton Student Engineering Society, he has doubled student participation in social events and raised funds for local charities. In his honour, the society created the Rohit Saxena Award to recognize a graduating student who has made an unparalleled contribution to its vision and leadership.

The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created to recognize an individual, group or organization that, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements.

Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public.

The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.