Last night, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce held its 2023 Business Excellence Awards Gala to celebrate our wonderful local businesses.
Thank you to Terry Caddo, President and CEO, and the team at the Burlington Chamber of Commerce for once again hosting an amazing night of celebration and showcasing some of the great accomplishments of our local businesses and community groups.
Burlington Chamber of Commerce News Release:
Congratulations to the winners of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce 2023 Business Excellence Awards
As part of its annual Business Excellence Awards, the Chamber invites the Mayor to bestow an award of recognition, on behalf of the City of Burlington, to local businesses/non-profit organizations. The Mayor’s awards have evolved many times over the years, often focusing on philanthropy, community engagement, and sustainability. This year, we focused on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) as our category.
Thank you to all those who submitted a nomination for a non-profit or for-profit organization for the 2023 Mayor’s Award — it was so wonderful to review all the nominations we received and to read about the amazing things our local businesses and organizations are doing in the area of EDI! We are so proud of all the work that Burlington-based businesses and organizations (both for-profit and non-profit) are putting towards making EDI a priority.
Choosing a recipient this year was extremely difficulty.
I was very honoured to present the Mayor’s Award on behalf of the City of Burlington to Olivia Netto and Iman Nemar of The Pink Project!
These amazing ladies delegated at the City during our 2022 budget deliberations and provided a plethora of research as to why all City facilities should provide free menstrual products to our community. As a result, we launched a pilot project in March 2022 and at our Nov. 8, 2022 Burlington City Council meeting, we unanimously approved the staff recommendation to make the pilot program permanent.
Olivia and Iman have been strong advocates for women in our community and beyond — making them worthy recipients for 2023. We heard two things from Olivia and Iman: we don’t pay for toilet paper or paper towels when we enter a bathroom, so menstrual products should be no different and 66% of women struggle to afford feminine hygiene products. Providing these products free of charge is something that we can do that brings us closer to equity at our City facilities.
Scroll down to learn more about Olivia, Iman and The Pink Project.
Mayor’s Award — Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Recipient: The Pink Project
This year’s award recognized a non-profit organization that has contributed to the well-being of our community members through advocacy for equity, diversity and inclusion.
Olivia Netto and Iman Nemar became friends in high school and launched The Pink Project Burlington in their senior year.
What began in the Burlington community has now spread beyond — The Pink Project has has been able to successfully advocate for free period products being available now in Milton and Halton Hills as well. The duo say they live by their two-part mission statement: to deliver and to inform.
The first pillar of their project is to deliver products. Just like toilet paper and soap, period products are a necessary amenity in public washrooms. Getting period products out to the community was where they started and what they strive to do.
The project’s second pillar is education and that’s where they say taboo ends. If people are unaware of the issue at-hand, it becomes much harder to solve. Through teaching the community about everyday effects of periods and the shame surrounding the subject of menstruation, the pair strive to create a safe, productive space that fosters growth and progress.
The Pink Project’s efforts in Burlington have directly resulted in City staff putting forward a pilot program to put free menstrual products in 90 public washrooms at city recreational facilities and City Hall.
Olivia and Iman have stated that according to the Canadian Public Health Association:
- $9,000 is the average annual cost to women in Canada for menstrual products
- 70% of women/girls miss school or work due to their period
- 66% of women under 25 struggle to afford period products
- period poverty is real, there is often shame/taboo around the topic at school and work, and marginalized communities are the most affected.
In 2021, The Pink Project also received $2,000 from the City of Burlington’s Community Matching Fund to launch free menstrual products in several sites in Burlington, including all seven Burlington Public Libraries, Joe Dog’s Gasbar Grill, Value Village and Halton Police District 3.
These ladies have done exceptional work in EDI for women in our community through The Pink Project Burlington.
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Congratulations to all of last night’s winners — to learn more about them, please click/tap the link at the end of this post. For a list of previous Chamber Mayor’s Award recipients, click/tap here or see the link at the end of this post.
Thank you to all those who submitted a nomination for this year’s Mayor’s Award in the EDI category. In fact, there were so many incredible nominations, we have decided to continue the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion category for the rest of this term — that includes the 2024, 2025 and 2026 award seasons. This means if you nominated someone for the Mayor’s Award this year, and they were not selected as the 2023 recipient, they will still be considered in subsequent years this term (2024, 2025 and 2026) and you don’t have to nominate them again.
We will still do a call out each year for new nominations.