Our Future Hamilton - Our Residents

A collection of Hamilton residents providing feedback to Our Future Hamilton

Everyone has a role to play to move our city forward. What are you doing to make Our Future Hamilton a reality?

Community Champion of the month!

Share your story with us and you could win a gift bag! We will select one resident as the Community Champion of the month. 

If you are selected, you will receive an official Our Future Hamilton gift bag full of amazing prizes, including:

  • passes to Hamilton Civic Museums
  • tickets to sporting events in Hamilton
  • a True Hamiltonian t-shirt
  • other cool Hamilton gear

Tell us your story

Tell us your story and become an Our Future Hamilton Champion and we might feature your story on our website.

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Share your story


Community Champions

Laura Furster

Image of Laura Furster

Laura Furster is a passionate and engaged Hamiltonian who is dedicated to improving the local arts scene by establishing a thriving and progressive writing and publishing culture in the city. Laura is on the executive board of the Canadian Authors Association’s Hamilton Twig. This organization brings many valuable resources to writers in various strains, with a focus on professional development and peer support.

In partnership with L'etranger on James, Laura and her colleagues present monthly speaker meetings on various topics in writing, editing, and publishing, and monthly open mic evenings for local writers to share their work and connect with their peers. Laura’s intention is to create a network of writers in Hamilton who are contributing to a vibrant literary scene. Laura is a writer and artist as well as a columnist for the Hamilton Spectator. You can read her articles here.


Beatrice Vickerd

Image of Beatrice Vickerd

Beatrice is a kind and generous young Hamiltonian who cares very deeply for animals. This past summer she channeled this passion for animals into a unique fundraiser for the Hamilton-Burlington SPCA. After a visit to the local adoption centre where her family took home their newest member, a cat named Purrkins, she decided that she had to help the other animals there too.

One day, Beatrice brought her mother some colouring book pages she had finished and explained that she wanted them to be made into books that could be sold to raise money for the Hamilton-Burlington SPCA. With the help of her mother, Beatrice’s vision became a reality.

Beatrice made and sold over 40 colouring books to friends and family as far away as New Zealand! Nearly $100 was raised from the book sales. However, young Beatrice’s generosity did not end there. Instead of asking for presents at her birthday party this year, she suggested that each of her friends bring an item that could be donated to the Hamilton-Burlington SPCA. The “cat party” was a huge success, with toys, food, and other items donated to the shelter. At only 6 years old, Beatrice demonstrates that Community Champions come in all ages!


Nikola Ristevski

Image of Nikola Ristevski

Nikola Ristevski is helping bring the joy of organized sport to Hamilton youth through Hamilton Ballers, a free basketball league founded in 2016. Nikola was inspired to start the program after he realized that many youth in our community are unable to participate in sports due to financial restraints.

Hamilton Ballers gives kids a complete basketball league experience, including weekly practices and games, jerseys, trophies, medals, photos, tickets to McMaster Marauders games and more. They currently have 96 players, and 8 teams. With the help and support of his wife Nicole, the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board, 8 volunteer coaches, 4 volunteer referees, and donations from various individuals and business in Hamilton, Nikola’s program has gotten off to a fantastic start! To learn more about the Hamilton Ballers, please visit their website.


Cyndi Ingle

Cyndi Ingle

Cyndi Ingle is an award-winning photographer who is using her creativity and passion to create inclusive and supportive environments for Hamilton artists. In 2013, she created the Facebook group Hamilton Photographers Rock, which connects nearly 3000 amateur and professional photographers for discussions, photo sharing, and advice.

Under Cyndi’s leadership, this group has raised money for several local charities; including a donation of $10,000 to YWCA’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes campaign. As a contributor to the Bay Observer, she uses her personal photographic skills to highlight a diverse array of events in her Around Town page.  As volunteer editor for the Hamilton creative website Monkeybiz.ca, Cyndi also brings attention to upcoming fundraising events for community members in need.  Cyndi’s goal is to inspire others to create, share, learn and give back to the community. She is the recipient of the 2016 VIEW Gold Award for Photography, as well as the 2016 Absolutely Fabulous Women Award.

Here are some recent images from her show, People of the park: Portraits from Gore.

Photo of women in gore park

Photo of man in Gore Park


James R. Charlton

Photo of James R Charlton

James Charlton, a retired photo engraver, is helping to record the rich architectural heritage of Hamilton through his love of photography.  He has captured many of Hamilton’s historic buildings, and their transformations through his camera lens. James is a firm believer that the built heritage of Hamilton should be preserved and adapted for the enjoyment of future generations. He is using the art of photography to ensure that this happens to buildings such as the Mary St. Mill, his favourite building in Hamilton.


Julia Colantino

Julia Colantino

Julia Colantino loves Hamilton. But as a young resident diagnosed with profound hearing loss early in life, she experiences our city very differently than most residents. After starting with two hearing aids, Julia received a Cochlear Implant, an electronic medical device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear.

Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, a Cochlear Implant does the work of damaged parts of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain. But hearing aids and Cochlear Implants do not provide Julia with perfect hearing and public places with lots of background noise can be challenging.

Julia wants to create more inclusive spaces for residents with hearing loss in Hamilton. With support from Ward 7 Councillor Donna Skelly, Julia is launching an initiative to have Hearing Loop systems installed in all City and publicly owned buildings. A hearing loop is a system used for individuals who suffer from hearing loss and wear a hearing aid(s) or a Cochlear Implant that have a built-in T-Coil. In a looped area, the T-coil is activated by turning on the tele-coil switch on one’s hearing device – it then creates a sharper, clearer and more amplified sound directed to the hearing aid or Cochlear Implant with completely reduced background noise and allows hearing impaired individuals to hear to their fullest potential.

Learn more about Julia’s initiative and hearing loops.