upper deck

Every year, Karen Merk, an award-winning York Region photographer, and the Portraits of Giving committee, partners, and past honourees, choose a new group of community leaders to be highlighted in the region’s annual Portraits of Giving awards.


The honourees are leaders who give back for the right reasons and often do not want to be in a spotlight, but feel honoured to be celebrated. Merk was personally inspired by the many business professionals in the community who donate their time and resources for the benefit of others. She developed the concept for Portraits of Giving nine years ago, and continues to produce and organize the exhibit with a growing team of partners and committee members.


To add another dimension to this exhibit, Merk invited writers like the IC Publishing team to interview the honourees and tell the stories behind their generous efforts. The program is designed to inspire others to do the same. Friends, family and colleagues of the nominees joined us at H.J. Pfaff Audi for a cocktail reception to recognize the honorees for their community efforts above and beyond the call of duty. Food was supplied by Little Red Catering Company, and wine was donated by Magnotta Wineries.


2018 Portraits of Giving Honourees

Life Time Giver (NEW CATEGORY FOR 2018): Tom Taylor

Newmarket: Kirk Bowden

Aurora Chamber of Commerce: Rod & Ian Johnson

Richmond Hill: Jason Kaptyn

King Chamber of Commerce: Robin Priestly

Markham: Glenn D. Crosby

Vaughan: Rossana Magnotta

Georgina: Gail Lenters

Stouffville: Todd & Marcia Finlayson

East Gwillimbury Chamber of Commerce: The Franklin Club

York Regional Police: Superintendent Fred Moffatt

York Region Fire Services: King City Fire Chief Jim Wall

Sports (NEW CATEGORY FOR 2018): Nancy Black

SMAI Young Adult: Iman Tajadod