2019 BC Community Achievers Announced

April 1, 2019

VANCOUVER – Premier John Horgan and Anne Giardini, OC, OBC, QC, Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation, today named this year’s recipients of the BC Achievement Community Award, marking the 16th offering of these awards.

"Our communities are made stronger by British Columbians who go above and beyond,” said Premier John Horgan. "Thanks to the 2019 recipients for helping build a better province for everyone.”

"It is an honour to celebrate the excellence and dedication of these twenty-five outstanding British Columbians,” added Giardini. "On behalf of all of us at the BC Achievement Foundation, thanks go to each one of them for strengthening their communities and inspiring others to community action."

The recipients of the 2019 awards are:
• Beth Applewhite, Port Moody
• Don Bassermann, Prince George
• Neil Brewer, Agassiz
• Evelyn Corlett, Gibsons
• Katherine Dodds, Vancouver
• Polla Eid, Kelowna
• Maureen Fraser, Tofino
• Jessie Ann Gamble, Armstrong
• Ming Gin, Vancouver
• Nancy & Gunther Golinia, Prince Rupert
• Leona Green, New Westminster
• Linda Helm, Tumbler Ridge
• Janet Johnston, Stewart
• Kenneth Kjenstad, Clearwater
• Margaret Lidkea, Victoria
• Jeffrey Lott, Nanaimo
• Dr. Biju Mathew, Maple Ridge
• Sandra McPherson, Duncan
• Sukhmeet Singh Sachal, Surrey
• Lyda Salatian, Surrey
• Lindy Steele, Prince George
• Katrin Taylor, Sparwood
• Vivian Trethewey, Abbotsford
• Arnold Trewhitt, Lake Country
• Ellen Woodsworth, Vancouver

An independent committee selects the recipients of the BC Achievement Community Award. The 2019 selection committee members are Mayor Lyn Hall of Prince George, Mayor Josie Osborne of Tofino and past recipients, Garry F. Benson, QC of Kelowna, Lolly Bennett of Vancouver and Kamal Dhillon of Surrey.

The recipients of the 2019 awards will be recognized in a formal presentation ceremony at Government House in Victoria on May 1, 2019. Each recipient will receive a certificate and a medallion designed by BC artist Robert Davidson, OC.

The BC Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed by the province of BC to celebrate excellence in the arts, humanities, enterprise and community service. Launched in 2003, the BC Achievement Community Award was the first initiative of the foundation, followed by the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art and Design, BC’s National Award in Canadian Non-Fiction (2005-2018), the Fulmer Award in BC First Nations Art, and the BC Indigenous Business Award.


Cathryn Wilson
Executive Director
BC Achievement Foundation

Learn more about the BC Achievement Foundation at: www.bcachievement.com

2018 BC Community Achievement Awards

Beth Applewhite, Port Moody
As founder of the first Secondary Black Student Committee in western Canada, Beth Applewhite promotes awareness and understanding amongst all students while fostering pride, dignity and inspiration in those who directly identify with Black/African heritage. As Vice-Principal at Pine Tree Secondary, Beth builds strong, strategic relationships with other community-based groups and coordinates annual youth events that have a profound impact on the lives of those she touches. Her energy and passion have reshaped cultural and racial understanding in her community.

Don Bassermann, Prince George
Don Bassermann is a dedicated leader and an active member of the Prince George community. An educator and school administrator, Don served six terms as a city councillor, retiring from office in 2011. During his tenure, Don’s committee work oversaw construction of many important civic facilities including the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre, the CN Centre Arena and the Two Rivers Art Gallery. An avid gardener, outdoorsman, and advocate for sustainability and food security, Don is known for his enthusiastic commitment to his community.

Neil Brewer, Agassiz
For nearly three decades, Neil Brewer has gone beyond the call of duty as a member of the Kent Harrison Search and Rescue (SAR) team. Known throughout the province by other SAR teams for his determination, skill and exemplary leadership, Neil has been involved in more than 600 SAR tasks. As a board member of the BC SAR Association, Neil volunteers his time helping secure vital funding for essential equipment for provincial SAR groups. His efforts led to the establishment of the new Kent Harrison SAR headquarters in Agassiz.

Evelyn Corlett, Gibsons
Evelyn (Eve) Corlett has cared for children on the Sunshine Coast for almost 40 years, providing around-the-clock childcare services to families over multiple generations. As owner of a family-run daycare, Eve has significantly contributed to the "quality of life” for hundreds of people in the community, and created an extended family by bringing together people from diverse backgrounds. The essential service Eve provides has enabled many community members to continue to live and raise their family on the coast while handling the daily demands of work and family life.

Katherine Dodds, Vancouver
Katherine Dodds is known for her highly effective transmedia campaigns and efforts in raising awareness around social justice, Indigenous rights, sexual health education, LGBTQI2S solidarity and international development, to name a few of her engagement areas. As founder and creative director of Hello Cool World, Katherine has inspired a generation of writers, artists, activists, filmmakers and media strategists across the province. She is a frequent public speaker and leader in her community who continuously uses her own resources to support other initiatives and campaigns.

Polla Eid, Kelowna
For over seven years, Polla Eid has volunteered four days a week, six to seven hours daily, at the Kelowna General Hospital. As someone who believes deeply in the ideals of quiet public service and in the transformative power of volunteering, Polla embodies what passion and commitment can achieve. Hospital staff and visitors know Polla to be an energetic and enthusiastic volunteer who greets and assists anyone needing help around the hospital. She leads by example and is an inspiration to her community and fellow volunteers.

Maureen Fraser, Tofino
Owner of the Common Loaf Bake Shop, Maureen Fraser is a dedicated community leader. A two-term councillor, Maureen has served on the board of the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce and Tofino Arts Council. She played an important role as a provincial member of the Clayoquot Sound Central Region board for seven years and was instrumental in securing a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation for Clayoquot Sound. A true trailblazer in reconciliation, Maureen’s proven ability to bridge divides between diverse interests is legendary in the region.

Jessie Ann Gamble, Armstrong
Jessie Ann Gamble leads the crusade to preserve her community’s history. A founding member of the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Museum & Arts Society, she has served as its president and become the "go-to-person” for local historical information. Armstrong- Spallumcheen’s 2003 Citizen of the Year, Jessie Ann is a life member of the Okanagan Historical Society ensuring that future generations do not lose the treasures and stories of the past. Her efforts to educate all community members are an extension of her teaching career and reflect her passion for documenting history.

Ming Gin, Vancouver
Ming Gin has devoted over 30 years to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation making him one of its longest-serving volunteers. He has given more than 20,000 hours of his time and played an integral role in establishing several signature events including the RBC Race for Kids (formally, Child Run) and the Miracle Weekend telethon. A generous donor, Ming has been a Circle of Care member for 18 years and a member of the Legacy Circle. His ardent leadership, unwavering commitment to volunteering and philanthropy all serve as an inspiration to others.

Nancy & Gunther Golinia, Prince Rupert
Nancy and Gunther Golinia have operated the Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehabilitation Shelter for over 30 years. Running the shelter from their home, they have rescued, rehabilitated and released thousands of birds and animals which have come from as far away as Terrace, Kitimat, Dease Lake and islands on the north coast of British Columbia. Having spent the majority of their adult lives healing wounded and abandoned wildlife with genuine compassion and care, the Golinias’ dedication, passion and selfless caring drives their unique and important community work.

Leona Green, New Westminster
As owner of the iconic Greens and Beans Deli in Sapperton, New Westminster, Leona Green is well-known for her charitable contributions. She has raised funds for various causes by availing her business for fundraisers, preparing food for the local shelters, collecting customer donations in lieu of tips to support individuals or organizations in need, to name a few. A true role model committed to making a difference in her community, Leona leads with compassion addressing every issue that comes to her attention with professionalism and grace.

Linda Helm, Tumbler Ridge
Linda Helm is committed to the development of Tumbler Ridge as an outdoor recreation and healthy lifestyle destination. Her volunteer commitments to her community include organizing the Ridge Ramble Biathlon, Ridge Ramble Cross Country Run, helping to organize Emperor’s Challenge, and helping build a network of over 50 trails for the entire community and visitors to enjoy. Enriching the lives of children is reflected in Linda’s commitment to coaching young athletes and supporting numerous school programs.

Janet Johnston, Stewart
Janet Johnston is a dedicated resident of the community of Stewart. Known for her volunteer contributions, Janet has provided services as a foster parent, fundraised for the Canadian Cancer Society, acted as Unit Chief for the BC Ambulance service and supported the Parent’s Resource Institute for Drug Education. In addition to her work as Librarian for the Bear Valley School, Janet chairs the Stewart Historical Society and volunteers with the Stewart Food Bank, local Cubs Chapter, figure skating and minor hockey clubs.

Kenneth Kjenstad, Clearwater
For over 40 years, Kenneth (Ken) Kjenstad has been a champion for the community of Clearwater. Owner of the only grocery store in town for 25 years, Ken was the chair of the Regional Hospital Board, served as city councillor, and spearheaded numerous community events. A role model for many in local minor sports associations, Ken has used his leadership skills to implement policies and programs that ensure sport opportunities are made available to all youth in the Clearwater community.

Margaret Lidkea, Victoria
Margaret Lidkea’s contributions to ecological restoration and education are legendary in her Victoria community. For over two decades, she has been one of the most visible proponents of protection and stewardship of Uplands Park in Oak Bay. A committed volunteer, Margaret works with local school boards to develop and deliver outdoor programs and has ensured that several generations of children have grown up with an appreciation and respect for the natural world in which they live.

Jeffrey Lott, Nanaimo
Retired RCMP Superintendent Jeffrey (Jeff) Lott is a dedicated volunteer leader. As a stem cell courier with the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society Jeff has taken more than 20 trips across the world to pick up stem cells for Vancouver General and BC Children’s hospitals. For 17 years he served as an Honorary Aide De Camp for the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and is an active board member for a number of Nanaimo’s social agencies. Jeff was also the President of the 2014 BC Summer Games in Nanaimo.

Dr. Biju Mathew, Maple Ridge
Dr. Biju Mathew is a psychiatrist, researcher, and author of the book Super 30 – Changing the World 30 Students at a Time. His determination to help marginalized individuals struggling with mental illness and addiction is reflected in his contributions as Director of the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation and President of the BC Psychiatry Association. As founder and president of the Ridge Meadows South Asian Cultural Society, Biju has dedicated his philanthropic efforts to highlighting the outstanding contributions made by South Asian immigrants to Canada and to raising awareness about mental health and its impact on communities.

Sandra McPherson, Duncan
Sandra (Sandy) McPherson’s history of volunteer service includes climate change initiatives, local lending, women in politics and aiding those less fortunate in the community. Prior to moving to the Cowichan Valley, Sandy served two terms as a municipal councillor in the Capital Regional District. As a member of North Cowichan’s Environmental Advisory Committee since 2012, Sandy is a champion for the municipality’s Climate Action and Energy Plan and a mentor for the Cowichan Chapter of Earth Guardians. Sandy acts to build community resilience and is a steadfast community leader.

Sukhmeet Singh Sachal, Surrey
Sukhmeet Sachal’s achievements reflect his dedication to promoting acceptance and diversity among all students. After graduating from university, he spent six months in Inuvik, NWT volunteering at the local school and tutoring Indigenous students in math and sciences. While there, Sukhmeet developed the program Break the Divide to encourage cross-cultural dialogue between Indigenous youth in the Northwest Territories and BC high school students. An advocate for inclusiveness, gender equality, mental health and survivors of domestic violence, Sukhmeet is a change maker who leads by example.

Lyda Salatian, Surrey
Lyda Salatian founded the Lower Mainland Green Team (LMGT) in 2011 to engage Canadians in environmental actions within their community and encourage a sense of belonging while raising awareness. When Lyda saw a large young demographic seize the opportunity to be engaged in environmental activities, she was inspired to create the charity Green Teams of Canada and, add a second program - the Greater Victoria Green Team. Thanks to Lyda’s leadership, thousands of Canadians are now actively caring for their local green spaces.

Lindy Steele, Prince George
For more than 10 years, Lindy Steele has given her time and energy to the Canadian Cancer Society contributing hundreds of hours to its mission. She has volunteered for numerous and diverse programs with the Society. A retired teacher who has devoted her efforts to helping and supporting others in her community and beyond, Lindy now serves as President of the Auxiliary to University Hospital of Northern BC. A mentor to other volunteers, Lindy continually inspires others with her dedication.

Katrin Taylor, Sparwood
As founder and manager of the Elk Valley Thrift Shop, Katrin Taylor and her volunteer team have raised close to $400,000 dollars for local programs and charities in just five short years. Following a philosophy of recycle, reduce and reuse, almost 70,000 tonnes of textile materials have been diverted from landfill, repurposed or sold thanks to Katrin’s leadership. Her hard work and determination have generated funds that support school programs, scholarships, clubs, food banks, other non-profits in the local community.

Vivian Trethewey, Abbotsford
Vivian Trethewey is a devoted philanthropist whose generous support of the Abbotsford Regional Hospital, its Cancer Clinic and Hospice has made an enormous impact. A founding donor of the Abbotsford Foundation, along with a recent major gift to the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation, together exemplify Vivian’s extensive and long-time community engagement. An advocate for Matsqui-Sumas-Abbotsford Museum Society, Abbotsford Recreation Commission, and the Reach to name a few of her interests, Vivian aspires to ignite the passion for philanthropy in others to ensure the sustainability of a strong community.

Arnold Trewhitt, Lake Country
A Flying Officer and Flight Instructor in the RCAF during WWII, Arnold Trewhitt is one of Lake Country’s most devoted and inspirational volunteers. During his 94-year residency, Arnold’s contributions include being a School District Trustee, the first Chairman of the Oyama Parent Teacher Association, a Boy Scout and Venture Leader, to name a few of his many activities. A founding member of both the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and Walk Around Lake Country, Arnold continues to be actively involved in both trail development and maintenance groups.

Ellen Woodsworth, Vancouver
"Ellen Woodsworth’s many achievements reflect her decades-long dedication to public service and advocacy of women's issues, peace, poverty reduction, seniors and LGBTQI2S rights. Founder of Women Transforming Cities International Society and a two-term Vancouver city councillor, Ellen has served on numerous boards, committees and task forces. An urban consultant and speaker using an intersectional lens, she is a remarkable force for justice, inclusion and equality, Ellen advocates to find common ground for progressive change that improves the quality of life for people and their communities”.

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British Columbia Achievement Foundation
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