Coming together was the main theme of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic's annual State of the City address.
He made the address in-person at the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, as well as virtually.
Vrbanovic talked about the challenges of the pandemic and how they became a celebration of community differences that brought us together to make the city a world-class, innovative, caring and vibrant community.
“Our differences are what makes this city come alive – every corner of this city is part of our story,” he said.
“We speak many languages, love different foods, and enjoy unique traditions. We’re homebodies and party-people ... innovators and side-hustlers. We’re daily grinders and adventurers ... transit takers and cyclists and car-lovers. We’re activists, and futurists, and feminists. Together, we call this city home, and we all want to see Kitchener flourish, and grow – not just for you and me, but for the generations of the future.”
The mayor also thanked residents for their efforts in driving change on issues including climate change, housing affordability, systemic racism and Indigenous reconciliation.
As well, he called on residents to get involved, including providing input on the city's new strategic plan, serving on a citizen committee, or by attending a public meeting.
“Together, we can make a difference in this community, and together, we can all be part of something bigger,” Vrbanovic added.