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Agnes Macphail Award
Previous recipients
  The Agnes Macphail Award

Agnes Campbell Macphail (1890-1954) was once described as "the most important woman in public life that Canada has produced in the 20th century."

In 1921 she blazed a path for women with her election to the federal House of Commons. Following her election in 1943, she became the first woman to sit in the Ontario Legislature, representing the riding of York East (which at that time included the community of East York and a large surrounding rural area).

On March 24, 1993, the Mayor proclaimed the first annual Agnes Macphail Day in the Borough of East York, in honour of the 50th anniversary of her election to the Legislature.

In January 1994, East York Council established the Agnes Macphail Award.

Alan Redway was the 2013 Agnes Macphail Award recipient. The ceremony took place on March 24, 2013 at the East York Civic Centre. See previous recipients of the Agnes Macphail Award.

Purpose of the Award
The purpose of the award is to recognize the importance to the East York community of the issues that Agnes Macphail espoused in her long career.

An annual award is presented to an East York resident who has made outstanding contributions as a volunteer in one or more of the following interests:

  • Women's rights
  • Fairness to seniors
  • Criminal justice system and penal reform
  • International peace and disarmament
  • Access to adequate housing, health care and education

The nominee must be a resident of the former Borough of East York.

Nominees from previous years are eligible for re-nomination. Previous recipients are ineligible.

The ideal candidate will live by Agnes' motto, "Think Globally, Act Locally".

The nominee should be an outstanding volunteer, advocate and contributor to community life. The contribution should be in an area of, but not limited to, Agnes Macphail's traditions and interests. Nominators should satisfy themselves that the candidate has volunteered in several fields, not just one, and that the various commitments extend over considerable periods of time.

How the recipient is selected
Anyone may nominate a candidate. Do you know an East Yorker who is involved in social justice issues — who believes in "thinking globally but acting locally" — and is an outstanding contributor to community life in areas such as women's rights, fairness to seniors and youth, criminal justice system and penal reform, international peace and disarmament, access to adequate housing, access to adequate health care or access to adequate education? This person could be our next Agnes Macphail Award recipient — but only if a nomination is completed.

We encourage all community groups in the former Borough of East York to nominate a candidate who meets the criteria and espouses Agnes Macphail's tradition of leadership. Nomination packages must include some or all of the following information. Only information actually written in the nomination package will be considered. The Committee is not permitted to contact the nominator for further information.

  • Nominator's testimonial of the nominee's accomplishments, particularly the outstanding volunteer contributions.

  • Biography/Profile of the nominee which could include particulars about the nominee such as education background, work and additional volunteer experience and hobbies. This could take the form of a CV or résumé if one is available.

  • Affiliation with other organizations, associations, and committees is an important aspect of the diversity of the nominee's contribution.

  • Letters of support from organizations or individuals are important in describing the commitment and diversity of the nominee.

Nomination form and deadline

The Agnes Macphail Award nomination package must include:

  1. the nomination form (PDF)
  2. additional detailed information about the nominee as described in How the recipient is selected
The nomination deadline for the 2014 Agnes Macphail Award is Thursday, January 30, 2014.

Agnes Macphail Award Ceremony
The Agnes Macphail Award Ceremony will be held on the birthday of Agnes Macphail, Monday, March 24, 2014, 7 p.m., in the True Davidson Council Chambers, of the East York Civic Centre, at 850 Coxwell Avenue.

The recipient is honoured with a medal and a framed certificate of recognition.

Each year the Agnes Macphail Fund receives donations from our citizens that are passed on directly to a registered charity. The recipient has the honour of designating that charity and actually presenting the cheque.

We invite you to contribute to the Agnes Macphail Fund of The East York Foundation (PDF), c/o the address below. A charitable income tax receipt will be issued.

Secretary-Treasurer, East York Foundation
50 Merritt Road
East York, ON  M4B 3K6

Donations to the charity chosen by the 2013 Agnes Macphail recipient have now been closed. Donations are now being accepted towards the charity that will be chosen for the 2014 award.

Donations made to The East York Foundation are deductible for Income Tax purposes. A tax receipt is issued at the time of donation.

Agnes Macphail Recognition Committee

Agnes Macphail Recognition Committee
c/o Councillor Janet Davis
Phone: 416-392-4035
Fax: 416-397-9289

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