Community Development Awards

Community Development Awards Wrap-Up Guide

Image cover for Community Development Awards booklet
Click the guide image to view the flipbook.

Highlights from the 2023 Ceremony

Congratulations to the 2023 Community Development Award recipients
  • Best New Build or Renovation Award – Under $300K
    Lisa Kaniuk – Chameleon Home / Ralph Smith Construction
  • Best New Build or Renovation Award – Over $300K
    Riversyde 83
  • Outstanding Community Design – Award of Merit
    Bevco’s Fernridge Estates
  • Outstanding Community Design – Award of Excellence
    Indwell’s Dogwood Suites
  • Environmental Sustainability Award
    Charlotteville Brewing Company
  • Norfolk Spirit Award for Agriculture
    Sawaya Gardens
  • Thriving New Business Award
    Wishbone Brewing Company
  • Economic Excellence and Prosperity Award
    Roulston’s Pharmacy
  • Youth Leadership Award
    Sarah Dolina
  • Lifetime Leadership Award
    Jean Montgomery
  • Community Development Champion Award
    Sue Downs

About the Norfolk Community Development Awards​

The Norfolk Community Development Awards are part of a strategic initiative to evolve the existing Heritage Dogwood Awards and Development Site Plan Awards into a merged program with exciting and new categories. The new categories include Heritage & Culture, Recreation, Economic Development, Planning, Building, and other community development-related themes.​

Awards Celebration Event

Award winners were recognized at an in-person event in June.

Award Categories

Read award descriptions, criteria, conditions, and eligibility below.

This award is for the top new building construction that exemplifies outstanding building design, construction techniques, architectural innovation or expression and/or seamless integration into the built form of the streetscape and community. This is intended to recognize an individual building and may include one building or structure, an addition, or an interior renovation/adaptive reuse of an existing building. The focus is on the building itself and its features (not necessarily the landscaping or other site development features). It may be for a residential or non-residential build. The award includes two categories: small projects and large projects.

Small Project: Construction value is under $300,000

Large Project: Construction value is equal to or greater than $300,000

Award Criteria
  • The project must have received a building permit
  • The project must be substantially complete to the point of occupancy permit between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2022
  • The project must not have any outstanding building safety issues, fines or penalties, property taxes or owing amounts to the County
  • The project should exemplify excellence in building design and construction (both internally and externally)
  • The projects will be scored using the following categories: Building Design, Building Construction, Creativity and Innovation/Architectural Ingenuity, Site or Neighbourhood Integration, Sustainability, Permit Submission Quality, Miscellaneous/X-Factor

This award is to recognize a new development that achieves a high level of urban design for a site or subdivision. The planning, design and construction of more sustainable and inclusive development can contribute to a more complete and healthy community. 

Award Criteria
  • The project may be a study, plan/design or actual development site that is approved or at least 50% built by December 31, 2022, and located in Norfolk.
  • May be an individual new or redeveloped site, subdivision, neighbourhood or entire community. Is not purely just a building but all aspects of a site.
  • Demonstrates an integrated approach to design which helps achieve objectives of the Norfolk Official Plan and other community benefits such as:
    • Includes a range of housing, densities and/or land use types
    • Supports active modes of transportation (walking, cycling)
    • Well-designed and pedestrian-focused public realm (parks and public space)
    • Green infrastructure and sustainability elements (low-impact development, etc.)
    • Affordability and accessibility
    • Enhanced streetscape and landscape design and characteristics
    • Deploys innovative, creative design solutions or approaches to development in Norfolk

This award is for a person, a group, a building, larger development or a neighbourhood or a project. It could involve actions related to greenhouse gas mitigation or adaptation, energy management or conservation, water or wastewater conservation or reuse, waste conservation/management, building or neighbourhood design, agricultural practices, food security, transportation demand management or overall climate change. For example, a community garden project with rain-water harvesting involving knowledge sharing could qualify.

Award Criteria
  • The individual or group’s primary location, building/development site, neighbourhood or project must be originally from, reside or work in, or be located in Norfolk County.
  • The action is specifically targeting an aspect of environmental sustainability identified within the description.
  • The achievement or specifically planned achievement of measurable results (e.g. reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of ## tonnes CO2 equivalent)
  • The initiative can have a wide range of impacts and/or be scalable
  • Represents a new action, innovation or evolution of a “greening” initiative for Norfolk
  • May be an initiative that has received grant or other funding from a government, agency, or private sponsor – including the County; but may not be a project directly undertaken by or an individual working for or consultant on behalf of the County.
  • The action, initiative, project, person/group undertaking must have occurred on Jan. 1/2019-Dec. 31/2022.

This award is to celebrate great achievements in the field of agriculture which is a primary industry in Norfolk County. The intent is to recognize leadership, innovation, and long-term standing in the commitment to undertake and improve agricultural-related practices.

Award Criteria

May be an individual, group, business, or non-profit organization

  • Must be agriculture-farming based, including Norfolk-grown and distributed products
  • Could include products sold locally (farmers markets, local stores), domestically or international
  • Can demonstrate how adversity or obstacles have been overcome
  • Has a positive reputation amongst customers
  • Provides a positive contribution to the County and contributes to its reputation
  • Provides employment opportunities
  • Takes pride in living, farming and serving Norfolk County
  • May be over any length of time
  • Would not include a sole non-agricultural use (e.g. residential) on an agricultural property

This award is to recognize a recent business created in Norfolk that has demonstrated successful operation, early growth and employment support and may have contributed a positive impact within, beyond and for the County.

Award Criteria
  • Must be a business incorporated since January 1, 2020
  • Must have a primary address of the business within Norfolk County (may operate other facilities or components of the business outside the County provided the ‘headquarters’ is located within Norfolk)
  • Should be able to demonstrate financial success and year-over-year growth
  • The business may be from any sector - commercial/retail, office, industrial, health/institutional. By default, a non-profit organization would not necessarily qualify as a ‘business’ under this category
  • May have a unique business model
  • Has the potential for further growth and impact in/for Norfolk
  • May have a dynamic, innovative or creative owner and/or staff
  • May have an inspiring journey or journey to come

This award is for the overall impact of a business in Norfolk and the legacy that it is contributing to the community. The business would have strong employment, financial, and reputational growth within and beyond the County.

Award Criteria
  •  May be a business, group or individual based in Norfolk County
  • Could be in business for any length of time but must currently be active (not a defunct business)
  • Should have demonstrated evidence of strong economic growth, including with stable or growing employment
  • Preference given to a business that has also shown resilience, perseverance and potentially growth during the pandemic
  • Has strong customer loyalty, business sense and understanding of community stakeholder trends
  • Contributes to the betterment of the community
  • Provides innovative, creative or inspiring product(s) or service(s)
  • May have a far-reaching impact beyond Norfolk County

Norfolk is a community rich with history, heritage and culture. This award is to recognize outstanding stewardship of a heritage designated property.

Award Criteria
  • The property must be in Norfolk County (note: the owner is not required to reside within the County)
  • The building or property must be designated under the Ontario Heritage Act
  • May not include the municipality or other public authority, but may include a non-profit organization, private individual or business
  • Shall illustrate excellence in long-time (10 years plus) conservation, maintenance and/or enhancement of the significant cultural heritage elements of the site
  • May include successful renovations/rehabilitations, additions or adaptive re-use
  • Must have received any required permit
  • Must not have received a previous Dogwood Award for this category

The goal of this award is to honour an individual and a group for their outstanding achievements and contributions to heritage and/or culture within Norfolk County. Heritage includes, but not limited to the built, natural, multicultural, indigenous or social history. Culture, includes but not limited to visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, crafts, music and media arts.

Award Criteria
  • The individual and group should be able to demonstrate actions and activities that contribute to, support, celebrate or promote heritage and culture within Norfolk County
  • May include programming, events, exhibits, publications, etc.
  • May be a new or long-standing (recurring) contribution
  • Initiatives should include some of, but are not limited to the following: Ingenuity; Creativity; Diversity of audiences; Multiculturalism; Creation of volunteer opportunities; Development of partnerships within Norfolk County.
  • May not necessarily reside within Norfolk but the contribution must be within or towards a facility, program, event, or activity in Norfolk
  • Must not be a previous Dogwood Award winner

The recipient of this award should exemplify and exude a positive spirit of collaboration and leadership to undertake one or more initiatives that help create a stronger, more connected and healthy community. This individual may be a leader in multiple categories within the Community Development awards or fulfill an aspect of taking action to support and empower the community that is not directly reflected in one of the other awards. Examples may include successfully furthering the arts, culture, entertainment, a non-profit, fundraising, working with marginalized or special interest groups, and removing barriers, etc that benefit the community.

Award Criteria
  • Is an individual that lives or works in Norfolk
  • Demonstrated achievement either in the past year or with multiple or sustained activities or examples over the past 3 years
  • May be in the fields of arts and culture, natural or built environment, social aspects (e.g., supportive housing or services), health and recreation, non-profit and fundraising, mobility, placemaking, related to community participation-engagement-empowerment
  • Community Development impact factors to consider: Social, Economic, Cultural, Innovation/Creativity, Scalability, Change, Community Impact
  • The potential to showcase within and beyond Norfolk is of benefit

This award is to recognize the outstanding contributions of an individual that has contributed to a better Norfolk. This may be an older adult or someone that has spent numerous years volunteering, leading groups, establishing new endeavours, fundraising or displaying leadership qualities that inspire others to do great things. The individual may have contributed in the field of heritage and culture, recreation, the environment, equity and diversity, accessibility, entertainment or other aspect of a healthy and livable community.  The focus is not as much on business leadership for this category.

Award Criteria
  • Must be an individual residing or working in Norfolk (not a group)
  • May be any age although expected to have several decades of demonstrated experiences and activities- thus likely the individual would be an older adult.
  • Has undertaken multiple initiatives, actions, and projects, and led groups or teams over time that have demonstrated leadership, impact on others and service to the community.
  • Example leadership qualities include, but are not limited to: inspiring/empowering others, commitment and passion, resilience, integrity, innovative or challenging the norm, confidence and drive.
  • Recognition of the leadership action within or beyond Norfolk through media/social media is of benefit

The future of Norfolk will one day be in the hands of our youth. The intent of this award is to recognize an exceptional young person that has stepped forward to enhance the lives of youth and our community. They may have individually or led their peers to create something new, rethink how we should approach things, volunteered to work hard to get something done, gathered a group or inspired others to take action to further improve Norfolk. Perhaps an individual help lead a “greening” or environmental initiative, a snow clearing for elders program, led a recreational team, contributed to our heritage and culture or started a non-profit group.

Award Criteria
  • Must be an individual residing or working in Norfolk (not a group)
  • Must be under 18 years of age
  • Has undertaken an initiative, action, project, group or team that has demonstrated leadership and growth
  • Example leadership qualities include, but are not limited to: inspiring/empowering others, commitment and passion, resilience, integrity, innovation or challenged the norm, confidence and drive, and integrity.
  • Would not include solely a school project, but may have evolved from such a project provided there is wider-reaching implementation within the community
  • Recognition of the leadership action within or beyond Norfolk through media/social media is of benefit

Call out for Selection Committee members

Applications for Selection Committee Membership for the newly evolved 2023 Community Development Awards will be open from February 22 – March 19, 2023. Please consider volunteering and apply to join a selection committee in a category you are passionate about.

The selection process​

Each Award Selection Committee will consist of one (1) Norfolk County staff and four (4) members and the public. The Selection Committee will review each nomination and select the recipients. The Selection Committee reserves the right to move a nomination to a more appropriate category, if necessary. All decisions made by the Selection Committee are final.


For more information about the Norfolk Community Development Awards, please email

[email protected]