Faces Awards Showcase What Makes Ottawa Golden

Ah, the beginning of a year. For us in The Great White North it’s filled with a lot of, well, white North. If you’re a fan of award season, however, the first few months of the year gives you a welcome winter escape into a lot of gold. Dive on in Scrooge McDuck style! The Oscars, the Golden Globes and the Grammys all bring in a captivated Canadian audience ready to see who’s taking home the evening’s most coveted prizes.

While one may not be walking the red carpet in an Armani Privé dress here in the coldest capital city in the world, one local publication has splashed some golden glitz of their own over city snow banks these last five years with The Faces of Ottawa Awards. For Faces Magazine, however, it wasn’t about the pageantry or politics that make their way into most awards shows these days. It was about recognizing how community orientated this city is and honoring the multitude of people and businesses that make Ottawa great.

“Traditional awards shows tend to focus on certain categories, and we wanted to create unique and interesting awards to put more people on the stage,” says Faces Editor, Kimberley Brooks. “We designed the Awards as a way to not only recognize a broad range of professionals and businesses, but also to start a conversation and involve the whole community in the voting process.”

With 150 categories, there’s a lot of choice in which direction you take that conversation with pretty well every facet of Ottawa living touched by one nomination or another. Ever want to give an extra compliment to your favorite local coffee shop? What about a teacher, your kid’s daycare or the radio station you bop to on the way to work? Politicians? Check. Chefs? Check. Accountants, lawyers, and dentists, oh my!

Ottawa Life Magazine’s own Sean Sisk and Kamara Morozuk can be found in the photographer category while this writer has been given a nomination in the journalist section. OLA winners like The PepTides, John Mielke and Strawberry Blonde Bakery can also be found on a list that keeps growing each year as they add more categories based on public requests.

“We have and still do receive some comments about how many categories we have, but our answer to that is always ‘Yes, can you think of any more?’. We want the Faces Awards to recognize as many people as possible. From receptionist, to volunteer, to Ottawa’s Favourite Place to Work, to angler! We aren’t afraid of having too many categories,” says Brooks.  

People’s choice was key to not only how the nominations were selected but also what goes into choosing the winners. Votes are cast by the public throughout January on the publication’s website with a steady stream of buzz ensuing online as people share their favorites. It's all a big boost for local businesses, bands and those who usually don't find themselves on the receiving end of such honors. 

“Throughout nominations and voting, we see a lot of action on social media by the community. And not just by the finalists—voters really do use their vote as a way to express their positive experiences with local businesses and professionals, and it creates great buzz,” Brooks tells Ottawa Life.

It all calumniates in the many cogs that keep Ottawa in motion converging into one place on Awards night.  This year, the now sold out cocktail style event takes places Saturday night inside the Brookstreet Hotel’s new ballroom. While there are sure to be some sweaty palms attached to those patiently waiting for their category to come up in hopes that their name is called, Brooks says the event is more a chance to mingle with others in different sectors of the community than your traditional awards show.

“We are not just celebrating the winners," she says, "but all of the nominees.”

Voting continues on http://facesmag.ca/awards/ until 9 tonight so still time to click in a nod for who you think brings out the gold in O-town!