Marianne Wilkinson

Marianne Wilkinson is a graduate in Geography from Trinity College at U of T and received a Masters in Management Studies from McGill in 2022. Starting as a Geography Teacher she then served on municipal councils for 29 years, starting with her election as Councillor for March Township in 1969, the first woman ever elected in that area. She was the last Reeve of the Township when an amalgation created the City of Kanata and she was elected its first Mayor. She later served as Councillor for Kanata North for 12 years in the City of Ottawa, retiring when she turned 80. She became President of the Association of Municiplities of Ontario in 1985 and served on the Board of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in 2010. Marianne has run many workshops on local government, advocacy and women’s issues as well as serving on numerous boards, including the Ontario Provincial Parks Board, Hydro Ottawa, Ottawa Community Housing (as Chair) and many more As a mentor she has empowered women and girls to become voices at the decision table. As well as President of CFUW Kanata and VP of CFUW nationally she served as parliamentarian for CFUW. She has been a member of the Council of Women for more than 50 years, serving as President of the Ottawa, Ontario and now National Council’s as well as many committees at the local and national levels. Most recently she was Resolutions Chair for national. Marianne has received numerous distinctions and awards including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal; the Platinum Jubilee Community Service Award; as one of the 100 Notable Women across Canada at the CFUW’s 100th Anniversary; the Paul Harris Fellowship Award for Humanitarian Efforts from the Rotary Club; Lifetime Achievement Award from the YWCA; Honorary Life Membership from CFUW Kanata; and the Legion’s Airforce Medal for Women in the RCAF.  Ottawa City Council honoured her in 2022 by naming the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Trans-Canada Highway in Kanata as the Marianne Wilkinson Bridge.