June 25, 2018

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Innovation Network is proud to announce the 2018 Best for Canada Municipal Innovators awards to 10 local leaders and their teams, who are driving innovation in their community and setting an example for others across the country. 

Municipal leaders are routinely faced with a barrage of new approaches and ideas, and have to make critical decisions on when, where, and how to use innovation to improve the lives of their residents. The 2018 Best for Canada Municipal Innovators award recognizes local leaders who turn ideas into action through expertise and experience. 

This year's leaders are solution-focused, committed to change, and always willing to share lessons learned with their peers. Each one has addressed a need from the community; demonstrated leadership; encouraged multi-sector collaboration. They have made a long-term impact in their communities with significant social, environmental and economic benefits.

The 2018 Best for Canada Municipal Innovators are:

  • Amber Zirnhelt, City of Campbell River, BC - for her work on the City of Campbell Sea Level Rise Plan, a valuable land use planning tool for future building, development and infrastructure projects in the Campbell River area
  • David Goddard, Capital Regional District, BC - for his work researching hydrogen fuel cell technology and incorporating fuel cell electric vehicles into the municipal fleet
  • David Rauch, City of Edmonton, AB - for his work on the City of Edmonton's 'You Can Benefit' program, a digital tool that links residents with the social benefits they need
  • David Roulston, District of Squamish, BC - for his work on the District of Squamish Integrated Flood Hazard Management Plan, a comprehensive plan to mitigate risk and ensure the community will develop to be safe, vibrant, and resilient in the face of increasing effects of climate change
  • Mike Mellross, City of Edmonton, AB ­- for his work on the implementation of an energy transition strategy, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy efficiency across the city
  • Mike Thomas, City of Revelstoke, BC - for his work on transportation, challenging traffic speeds, road design, and pedestrian, cyclist, and parking priorities with a goal of developing productive, livable streetscapes in his community
  • Paul Pentikainen, Town of Innisfil, ON - for his work developing a partnership between the Town of Innisfil and Uber, resulting in a unique alternative to mass transit
  • Travis Peter, City of St. Albert, AB - for his work on the St. Albert Smart City Strategy, a roadmap for the community's innovation priorities including a project to transform local mobility with artificially intelligent systems, adaptive traffic controls, and instant data sharing
  • Trevor Imhoff, City of Hamilton, ON - for his work aimed at improving energy efficiency in social and other low-income housing, to improve the environment and reduce the strain of high energy bills on individuals and families
  • Vera LeFranc, City of Surrey, BC - for her work on a social innovation strategy for improving the lives of Aboriginal children and families in Surrey

The recipients will receive formal leadership recognition from peers within the sector, gain access to a network of collaborators, and connect with peers across the country. Over the next year, the Best for Canada Municipal Innovators will participate in a customized program that leverages the strengths and skills of the network. 


"Cities and small municipalities face similar challenges day-to-day. These recipients and their teams are driving innovative solutions for these challenges and making the best infrastructure decisions for their community. By working together, local governments can develop the smart leadership and informed solutions needed to tackle the challenges that shape our communities and our country. "
— Bill Karsten, FCM 1st Vice-President and Councillor to the Halifax Regional Council 

About FCM's Innovation Network

A forum for collaboration, information-sharing and education; FCM's Innovation Network (FIN) equips municipal leaders with the knowledge and tools they need to make these critical decisions. To date, FIN includes 250 collaborators.

A FCM funded initiative - FIN brings together municipalities, industry, academia, youth and other key stakeholders to explore ways to use innovations in technology and practice to build prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable communities. This program is supported by partners at the Cement Association of CanadaCIBCCiscoCNSignify (formerly Philips Lighting), and Telus.

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FCM Innovation Network

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