City of Toronto presents the Pam McConnell Award for Young Women in Leadership, unveils Look at What We Have Achieved! memorial sculpture

2023 May 12

I’m thrilled to present these awards to Tara and Hanen and to celebrate Pam McConnell’s legacy with her family. Pam was known for advocating for Toronto’s most vulnerable residents and her role in the revitalization of the Regent Park neighbourhood. She worked hard to ensure the neighbourhood had resources and amenities, such as a local park and pool, to help the community thrive. The sculpture is a physical reminder of her commitment to her community

Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park)

Today, Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park) was joined by members of Pam McConnell’s family outside the Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre in Regent Park to honour the legacy of the late Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell. Deputy Mayor McKelvie also presented the Pam McConnell Award for Young Women in Leadership and unveiled a new memorial sculpture in honour of McConnell.

As part of the ceremony, the new memorial sculpture entitled Look at What We Have Achieved! by Alexander Moyle was unveiled to commemorate McConnell’s legacy. Moyle is a Toronto-based sculptor who sculpts, designs, creates and fabricates meaningful and expressive permanent public art with expertise in a broad range of materials, techniques, and forms, for diverse settings and environments. The artist and his team collaborated closely with McConnell’s family throughout the design process to ensure that her likeness and spirit were accurately captured.

The Pam McConnell Award for Young Women in Leadership is an annual award that was created in 2018 in memory of the late Deputy Mayor, who passed away in 2017. This year’s recipients are:

• Tara Currie – A founder and Head Chef of Unity Kitchen, which serves over 130 meals a day to people experiencing homelessness and food-insecurity in the heart of downtown Toronto.
• Hanen Nanaa – Founder of the Books Art Music (BAM) Collective, a community hub that empowers youth and equity-deserving people through policy, art, innovation, and community engagement.

Today’s ceremony was emceed by previous award recipient Talisha Ramsaroop and included a performance from the Nelson Mandela Park Public School Steel Pan Performers.

Throughout her career, McConnell was a social justice advocate who worked tirelessly to increase women’s participation in municipal government. The annual award in her honour is open to young Toronto women between the ages of 16 and 29 who demonstrate leadership in volunteerism, show a commitment to social justice and inspire other young women.

More information is available on the Pam McConnell Award for Young Women in Leadership webpage.