The Town of Aurora's Citizen of the Year Award is an annual award recognizing the exceptional contributions made by a local citizen to our community. The Citizen of the Year Award has been awarded by the Town of Aurora since 1970. This individual is selected by the Office of the Mayor in consultation with a small group of dedicated community volunteers. 

This award recipient has demonstrated all-round community involvement rather than specific activity or contribution.

Congratulations to the 2024 Citizen of the Year

Vern Cunnigham

Vern Cunnigham, the 2024 Town of Auora Citizen of the Year, has shown a steadfast commitment to bettering his community through volunteerism. Mr. Cunnigham’s early volunteer work saw him support small business owners through his work as an Aurora Chamber of Commerce board member and serving an ambassador for the York Region Small Business Enterprise Centre. He is a member of the Optimist Club and has served as the president of the Probus Club, where he remains an active board member. He has also sat on the board of the Bereaved Families of York Region, and has been a member of the Hope House Hospice bereavement team. Most recently, in 2022, Vern joined the board of the Aurora Seniors Centre and began chairing the fundraising committee – in his first year as chair, he helped raise over $15,000.

For more information on Aurora’s Community Recognition Awards or to view a full list of award categories and criteria, please visit

Past Citizen of the Year Award Winners
YearAward Winner

Wendy Browne


Sam Saberi


Eric McCartney

2020 Tom Connor
2019 Barb Allan
2018 Josie Kearney
2017 Peter van Schaik
2016 Mary Georgopoulos
2015 Diane Buchanan
2014 Beverley Wood
2013 Ron Wallace
2012 Brian North
2011 Jo-anne Spitzer
2010 Gordon Barnes
2009 David Tomlinson
2008 Susan Walmer
2007 Dorothy Clark-McClure 
2006 Sylvia Gilchrist
2005 Bud Gilbert
2004 Phil Horsman
2003 Dr. John McIntyre
2002 Bob Hartwell 
2001 Ken Smith
2000 Jackie Stubbs 
1999 Vic Priestly
1998 Ferguson Mobbs
1997 Gerry Payne
1996 Steve Hinder
1995 Susan Gwilliam 
1994 Dianne Harrison
1993 Wanda McKenzie 
1992 Jack DeGraaf
1991 Bucky McLarty
1990 Arnold Miller 
1989 Dick Illingworth
1988 Norm Stewart
1987 Nora McRoberts
1986 Fred Conklin
1985 Bill Coleman
1984 Lowell McClenny
1983 Dr. Leslie Oliver
1982 Vic Paraninfo
1981 Eric Smith
1980 Jack Williamson 
1979 Omar Khamissa
1978 Bill Dinsmore
1977 Fred Bolsby
1976 Dr. Crawford Rose
1975 Rev. Homer McAvoy 
1974 Jack Wood
1973 Don Glass
1972 J. E. (Dick) Buchanan
1971 Annebelle Black
1970      Bob Blick