ION LRT project team wins IABC’s Gold Quill Award of Excellence for Community Relations

(May 15, 2017) – Communication and community relations are important factors to ensure a project’s success. In receiving the Gold Quill Award from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) for our work on the Region of Waterloo light rail transit (LRT) project in Ontario, our community relations team from the environment group was recognized for their outstanding achievements in carrying out this complex project.

Awarded in April 2016, the project consists of finalizing the design, and building of Stage 1 ION — the Region of Waterloo’s new light rail transit system. When completed, it will connect the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo on 19 kilometers (12 miles) of track and include19 LRT stations. The region awarded the consortium GrandLinq Contractors with the contract to design, build, finance, operate and maintain ION. AECOM serves as a subconsultant to lead communication, community engagement, media relations and issue management for the consortium.

In cooperation and coordination with the Region, our team managed issues, provided information and kept the project on track to completion this summer. Their proactive, effective and ongoing communication helped address community concerns during construction. The project required the installation of almost 53 kilometres (32 miles) of new underground utilities (i.e., water mains, storm sewers and sanitary systems) and close to 36 kilometres (22.3 miles) of LRT track, affecting urban roadways and causing access and service disruptions to both businesses and residents.

‘’We are proud of this award win, and grateful to the Region of Waterloo and GrandLinq for the opportunity to undertake the project,” says Avril Fisken, Practice Lead, Communication and Community engagement. “It showcases both our commitment to communication excellence and our ability to provide all-in-one services that help clients move projects forward.”

The Gold Quill Awards program recognizes business communication excellence globally, and is acknowledged as one of the most prestigious awards programs in the industry. For more information on the Gold Quill Awards, including the full list of winners, visit the IABC website (English only).