At the recent OBIAA Conference held in Toronto, the founder of the Roncesvalles Village BIA, Mr. John Wakulat, was awarded the prestigious Alex Ling Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Alex Ling Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually to a person in the Ontario BIA movement with major lifelong contributions to BIAs. The award is named after Alex Ling, one of the founders of the world’s first BIA, the Bloor West Village BIA, in 1970. Today there are 83 BIAs in Toronto, hundreds across Canada, and thousands upon thousands around the world.
John got his start in Roncesvalles Village in the 1950s when he started work at Pollocks Hardware Store. He bought the store in 1976 and it rapidly became one of the top stores in the Home Hardware chain.
In 1986 John was instrumental in founding the Roncesvalles Village BIA, a merger of two smaller BIAs on Roncesvalles Avenue. He served as chair of the Roncesvalles Village BAI for many years and still sits on the board as Chair Emeritus.
John has also served as president of TABIA, the Toronto Association of BIAs from 2002 until 2010, returning to the role in 2012.
We congratulate John for this richly deserved award!
Festivals and Events Ontario announced the 2015 top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario at is conference this past week. These recipients represent the best festivals and events held in Ontario, a select group of celebrations which draw both an international and a domestic audience.
The Roncesvalles Polish Festival was among the recipients of this award. Now entering its tenth year, the Roncesvalles Polish Festival has grown to become one of the largest street festivals in Toronto, and is acknowledged as both a showcase for local businesses, artists and musicians and one of the world’s largest celebrations of Polish culture.
The members and the board of the Roncesvalles Village BIA wish you a happy new year and look forward to a fantastic 2015!
The Roncesvalles Village BIA was honoured to receive a declaration from the City of Toronto at this week’s TABIA Awards Night, held at the beautiful Palais Royale.
The Roncesvalles Village BIA received congratulations on reaching its twenty-eighth anniversary, making us one of the older BIAs in Toronto (and the world.)
The Roncesvalles Village BIA was founded in 1986. Its first chair (now chair emeritus) was John Wakulat, and expanded in 2007 to include all of Roncesvalles Avenue. Through its twenty-eight year history, the BIA has reached many milestones, including one of the City’s first BIA graffiti removal programs, innovative streetscape designs, and successful promotional events, most notably the Roncesvalles Polish Festival, now acknowledged as the largest celebration of Polish culture anywhere outside of Poland.
Happy Hallowe’en from everyone in Roncesvalles Village. Here’s wishing you all a safe and happy evening.
From 2011, here’s our contribution to that year’s Sorauren Park Pumpkin Parade, a great local tradition, now entering its tenth year!
This pumpkin was carved by local artist Chris Szynkowski.