Applied Art + Design: Enhancing the quality of life

BC Achievement is honoured to celebrate the 2020 awardees of the Carter Wosk Applied Art + Design program announced earlier this week and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments in the weeks and months ahead. It is a good time to consider how design impacts our life especially during these challenging times and we are reminded of Dr. Yosef Wosk’s reflections: 

“Applied design balances function, aesthetics and often economic success. It enhances not just the use of objects but the quality of life”. 

His remarks to the 2019 awardees address the discussion around what distinguishes art from design and how the Carter Wosk program unites them both: 

“The artist, the fine artist, the free artist, the pure artist operates more perhaps as a shaman, as a revolutionary, as a transformer and as a lover. Whereas the applied artists’ work is more often thought of as domesticated, as tamed, as practical, as ritualized. Perhaps the greatest champion and master of applied art and design was Willam Morris, the author, the designer, the printer and the seller of this book from the Kelmscott Press 130 years ago. One of his most famous statements, ‘If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it, have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. There are two different things he’s brought together as we have brought together tonight art and design. ‘Know’ means to understand; it’s a rational idea, it’s logic, it’s most often related to practical design. And ‘believe’ is more transcendent, intuitive, the pure art. Those who we celebrate this evening are among the few, the rare, the best who are both artists and designers, mystics and manufacturers. You are the hybrid few who bridge both worlds and allow the rest of us to cross between otherwise unreachable dimensions.”   

Congratulations again to the 2020 Awardees! We look forward to sharing your stories of excellence to inspire achievement. 

BC Achievement is grateful for the generosity and ongoing support of the Yosef Wosk Family Foundation. The Carter Wosk Award is named in honour of BC philanthropist, academic and visionary Yosef Wosk, Ph.D., OBC and Sam Carter, BC educator, designer and curator. 

Outstanding BC Applied Artists and Designers Honoured with Carter Wosk Award

VANCOUVER – The British Columbia Achievement Foundation announced today the 2020 Awardees of the Carter Wosk for Applied Art and Design program. 

“This year’s awardees of the Carter Wosk Award demonstrate creative flair and attention to detail, blending art and function to make our world a better place,” said Foundation Chair, Anne Giardini. “It is always an honour to showcase ways in which British Columbians make purpose beautiful and beauty functional” she added.

Recipients of the 16th annual award program are selected by an independent jury and include:

Benjamin Kikkert, Hot glass and mixed media artist / glass designer
Karen Konzuk, Concrete jewellery and objects
Jeff Martin, Furniture design

Outstanding Achievement for Product Design
Michael Barton and Mari Fujita

The board of the BC Achievement Foundation named Nancy Bryant as the 2020 Award of Distinction Laureate honouring her career and lifetime achievement in costume design.

BC Achievement is grateful for the generosity and ongoing support of the Yosef Wosk Family Foundation. The Carter Wosk Award is named in honour of BC philanthropist, academic and visionary Yosef Wosk, Ph.D., OBC and Sam Carter, BC educator, designer and curator.

The above artists and designers were selected by the 2020 jury: past recipient, Pam Goddard, Propellor Design a multi-disciplinary design studio; Ron Kong, craft advocate; Bill Pechet, 2018 Award of Distinction Laureate and Anita Sikma, past recipient and jewellery designer.

Awardees will be celebrated in online campaigns culminating in a recipient film and a tribute production to the 2020 Award of Distinction.

BC Achievement is an independent foundation established in 2003 to celebrate community service, arts, humanities and enterprise. For information on BC Achievement, visit www.bcachievement.

Cathryn Wilson, Executive Director
BC Achievement Foundation | 604.261.9777

2020 Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design – Awardee Backgrounders

Jeff Martin, Furniture Designer

Jeff Martin is a furniture designer and collaborator. His studio, Jeff Martin Joinery, explores research-based design that creates beautiful, interesting and high-quality furniture with sales across Canada, US and Europe. One of his studio’s philosophies is that beauty is inherently a characteristic of how interesting something presents. Never one to remain with a single medium, Jeff has expanded his practice to experimental glass blowing, focusing on cork molded, mouth blown collectible glass vessels.

Jeff has recently moved to a large production facility based out of Vancouver’s 1000 Parker Street studio which serves as a showroom and makes space for other designers to help promote their work. It is in keeping with Jeff’s mentorship to younger artists and designers along with his determination to collect and promote their work that makes him a force within the design community.

Benjamin Kikkert, Hot glass and mixed media artist and glass designer

Benjamin Kikkert is a hot glass and mixed media artist whose work explores themes of landscape and history through cultural, industrial and impressionist artifact. The vibrant and gritty textures of this work at once evoke senses of familiarity and discovery within the viewer. Collections document specific places and can include work installed in situ, with past projects including expeditions to the high Arctic, Newfoundland and Georgian Bay to name a few.

Working from his studio, Vancouver Studio Glass on Granville Island, Benjamin offers the public an “open kitchen” approach to a professional glassblowing studio. Contemporary custom glass design and traditional craftsmanship are presented together with ever changing variety. His goal is to offer the visitor an original experience with each visit to his studio, and to share his passion for the possibilities of glass. 

Karen Konzuk, Concrete jewellery and objects
Garden Bay

Through a studied use of clean lines and an unwavering commitment to a minimalist aesthetic, Karen’s studio, KONZUK has developed a renowned modern line of handcrafted concrete jewellery for the contemporary design lover. Her wearable architecture is artfully constructed from the meaningful use of industrial materials inspired by her appreciation of the west coast landscape and the majestic sky.

Karen has garnered international attention including being invited in 2019 to develop an official jewellery collection by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation on Wright’s works. She has retailed in internationally recognized museums and art galleries such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Guggenheim, NYC—and closer to home, at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Polygon Gallery.

Karen has recently expanded her designs to include household objects that evolve the striking aesthetic of her jewellery pieces into a series of extraordinary objects that bring a sense of drama to the living space.

Nancy Bryant, Costume Designer
Award of Distinction Laureate

Nancy is an established costume designer who has worked creatively with various dance, theatre, opera and film directors internationally and across Canada. Vancouver has been her home for the last 40 years. Her work with choreographer Crystal Pite has had much notoriety in Europe, USA and across Canada as well as theatre projects with Morris Panych and Kim Collier locally, for the Shaw Festival and Canadian Stage. She is known to bring her unique vision to every project she works on, while maintaining a collaborative approach. Her attention to detail has brought her numerous awards for costume design including Jessie Richardson theatre awards, the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award, a Leo (film) Award and two Olivier Awards.

In addition, Nancy has worked with the Paris Opera, The Royal Ballet (London), The Netherlands Dance Theatre, the Zurich Opera Ballet, the Monte-Carlo Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ballet  BC and the National Ballet of Canada  and  designed for theatre directors and artists such as Stan Douglas (Helen Lawrence), Morris Panych for many of his productions (including The Overcoat) and Kim Collier and Jonathon Young (Tear the Curtain) of the Electric Company. Her involvement with each of her creations and the actors who wear them is legendary, “She has been known to stand backstage during a dress rehearsal, sewing costume pieces onto actors as they walk onstage.” — Morris Panych, director and playwright.

Michael Barton and Mari Fujita, Product Design
Outstanding Achievement

Michael Barton and Mari Fujita are multidisciplinary designers who share backgrounds in art, film making, and architecture. Through their roles in the design practice Maiku Brando, they endeavour to produce delightful and useful human-scale products.

Michael and Mari aim to share a feeling of joy through design. Their practice is focused on the development of inventive and elegant design solutions, while seeking the potential for their designs to deliver a greater impact. They apply traditional and emerging technologies and materials in novel ways, while constantly questioning conventional industry practices and production methods.

Their design practice stands out as symbolic of the times we are in. The pandemic demands a practical response – and their face mask design unites functionality with extreme comfort, unique graphics, and an ethos of care. Each product is designed, hand dyed, hand printed, and hand sewn in Vancouver, transcending the medium. Genuine practical and psychological needs are met by their product: people need PPE and they also needed to feel uplifted. Maiku Brando strives to give both. “When society is faced with challenges, it is time to double our commitment to the acts which elevate us.” — Michael Barton

Carol Anne Hilton receives 2020 Indigenous Business
Award of Distinction

Vancouver – Anne Giardini, O.C., O.B.C., Q.C., chair of the BC Achievement Foundation, is pleased to announce Carol Anne Hilton as the recipient of the 2020 Indigenous Business Award of Distinction.  

An online digital campaign will honour Carol Anne in conjunction with all the 2020 Indigenous Business Award (IBA) awardees and culminate in a short film celebrating her remarkable achievements. 

“Carol Anne is an exceptional leader whose strategic vision is helping to foster Indigenous entrepreneurship here in her home province, throughout Canada and beyond,” said Giardini. “We at BC Achievement, are honoured to highlight Carol Anne’s many successes and to celebrate the ways in which she inspires change through the #Indigenomics movement.”

Carol Anne Hilton, MBA is the CEO and Founder of The Indigenomics Institute and the Global Center of Indigenomics. Carol Anne is a dynamic national Indigenous business leader and senior adviser with an international Masters Degree in Business Management (MBA) from the University of Hertfordshire, England. Carol Anne is of Nuu chah nulth descent from the Hesquiaht Nation on Vancouver Island. 

Carol Anne has led the establishment of a line of thought called #indigenomics – growing from a single word to an entire movement which focuses on the re-building and strengthening of Indigenous economies. Carol Anne is the author of ‘Indigenomics: Taking A Seat at the Economic Table’ and is an adjunct professor at Royal Roads University School of Business. 

Carol Anne served on the BC Emerging Economy Task Force, the BC Indigenous Business and Investment Council, and was the only Indigenous person appointed to the Canadian Economic Growth Council. Carol Anne’s work has been recognized with the national Excellence in Aboriginal Relations Award from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. 

Carol Anne currently serves as a Director on the McGill University Institute for the Study of Canada, the BC Digital Supercluster and recently as a juror on the Canadian Smart Cities Challenge. 

The Award of Distinction honours a person who has made a significant impact in the Indigenous business community and in so doing serves as an inspiration to us all.  

The Indigenous Business Award program is presented by BC Achievement in partnership with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and is generously supported by: Program Sponsor – TD Bank Group; Category Sponsors – Enbridge, New Relationship Trust, Ovintiv Inc., Teck, Vancity, and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority; Supporting Sponsors – ANTCO, BC Hydro, BC Transit, CN, FortisBC, and Shaw; and Media Sponsors – BIV, CFNR, and First Nations Drum. 

BC Achievement is an independent foundation established in 2003 to celebrate community service, the arts, humanities and enterprise.

For information on the IBA program and its award alumni, visit the Foundation’s website 

Cathryn Wilson 
Executive Director 
BC Achievement Foundation | 604.261.9777 

Evelyn Vanderhoop – Award of Distinction Laureate 2020

The Fulmer Award celebrates the intersection of art and culture, while honouring First Nations artistic traditions from throughout the province. Amongst the 80 individuals who have been honoured as awardees of this program since its inception, there is one each year who is recognized for their lifetime of artistic achievement through the Award of Distinction. This acknowledgement is presented for extraordinary and sustained accomplishment in First Nations Art in BC.  

The Award of Distinction is also a commemorative reflection on how these artistic leaders contribute to their communities, how they respect tradition, how they mentor the next generation, and how they transform reality. They ensure that BC is a place filled with astonishing craft, with unique and immensely expressive power, and continuous wonder.  

In keeping with all those who have been recognized as remarkable artists with this designation, BC Achievement is privileged to honour Evelyn Vanderhoop of Masset as the 2020 Award of Distinction laureate. Evelyn is a respected Haida traditional textile weaver in the Naaxiin (more commonly called Chilkat) tradition. Coming from a family of weavers, Evelyn delved into the origin of this technique by reading journals of the early explorers, learning from the stories of her ancestors and studying the old robes in museums around the world. Evelyn has shared her knowledge through her contributions to books on Northwest Coast Art, and lectures at universities and museums. She is now teaching others how to weave in this tradition, and has been making and posting weaving demonstration videos online to make it accessible to all. Parallel careers as a weaver and watercolour artist have marked Evelyn’s success in BC and internationally. 

Past recipients of the Award of Distinction in First Nations Art are:  

2007 Robert Davidson & Dempsey Bob  
2008 Mary Michell  
2009 Earl Muldon  
2010 Rena Point Bolton  
2011 Primrose Adams  
2012 Norman Tait  
2013 Mandy Brown  
2014 Alvin Mack  
2015 Joe David  
2016 Susan Point  
2017 Delores Purdaby
2018 Henry (Hank) Speck Jr.  
2019 Marianne Nicolson  

Outstanding BC First Nations artists honoured with Fulmer Award

VANCOUVER – The BC Achievement Foundation (BCAF) today announced  the six recipients of the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art. The recipients will be celebrated online for their artistic excellence in traditional, contemporary or media art beginning in November. 

“It is a delight for all of us at the BC Achievement Foundation to recognize the six 2020 recipients of the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art. Their work both respects deep traditions and shimmers with the new,” said BCAF chair Anne Giardini. “This year’s awardees join eighty artists from the Award’s past fourteen years. Fulmer Award alumni help to ensure British Columbia is a place of innovation and creative success,” she added. 

The 2020 recipients, chosen by an independent jury, are: 

Cole Speck, Kwakwaka’wakw – Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist Award 
Jaalen Edenshaw, Haida 
Lou-ann Neel, Kwakwaka’wakw 
Kelly Robinson, Nuxalk/Nuu-chah-nulth 
Nathan Wilson, Haisla 
Evelyn Vanderhoop, Haida – Award of Distinction 

This year’s celebration of the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art includes a series of films showcasing each awardee’s artistic accomplishments. BC Achievement thanks its media partners, CFNR and First Nations Drum for their support of the award program. 

Members of the 2020 jury include: Corey Bulpitt, past recipient and Haida artist; Philip Gray, past recipient and Tsimshian artist; and Connie Watts, Associate Director, Aboriginal Programs, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and artist of Nuu-chah-nulth, Gitxsan and Kwakwaka’wakw ancestry. Brenda Crabtree, Director, Aboriginal Programs, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, a member of the Spuzzum Band with both Nlaka’pamux and Sto:lo ancestry, serves as an advisor to the jury. 

BC Achievement is an independent foundation established in 2003 to celebrate community service, arts, humanities and enterprise. For information on BC Achievement, visit

The Fulmer Award in First Nations Art is made possible through the generous support of the Vancouver-based Fulmer Foundation.   
Detailed information about the 2020 recipients and a list of past awardees is posted on the foundation’s website at  

Cathryn Wilson, Executive Director  
BC Achievement Foundation | 604.261.9777 

2020 Fulmer Award in First Nations Art Awardee Backgrounders  

Cole Speck, Kwakwaka’wakw 
Campbell River 
Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist Award 

Born in 1991, Cole Speck was raised on the ‘Namgis reserve on the island of Alert Bay and has been carving since he was a teenager. Cole comes from a strong cultural and artistic heritage, which is evident in his carving. He is the great grandson of late Chief John Speck of the Tlowitsis, who was the father of the late Henry Speck Sr.  

Cole’s work has immense reverence for old traditions, while pushing into contemporary realms. As a young carver, Cole apprenticed under accomplished master carvers Beau Dick and Wayne Alfred and since then, he has been consistently making his mark on the Northwest Coast art scene. Cole has assisted in the making of the Pat Alfred Memorial pole with Beau Dick and in the carving of a pole for a Northwest Coast exhibition in Holland with Rande Cook.  

In 2017, Cole performed for the opening of documenta 14 in Athens, Greece where he contextualized Beau Dick’s works in the exhibition through a re-telling of the Undersea Kingdom story. In July of 2017, he participated in the exhibition in Kassel, Germany as Beau Dick’s apprentice. Cole’s work has also been exhibited at NADA Art Fair in New York and at Santander Cultural in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2018.  

Jaalen Edenshaw, Haida

A member of the Kayaahl ‘Lanaas Eagle Clan of the Haida Nation, Jaalen has always been surrounded by Haida art. At a young age he started studying the discipline of Haida form-line design under his father Guujaaw’s guidance and later he carved with James Hart. He has also spent countless hours in museums studying the old masters. He owes his understanding of the art to these experiences. 

Jaalen is known for his carving of monumental cedars. His 35 foot “Gyaluu” pole stands in Old Massett, the 43 foot “Two Brothers Pole” carved with his brother Gwaai stands in Jasper AB, and his 45 foot “Gwaai Haanas Legacy Pole”, in Hlk’ah GawGa. He is currently putting the finishing touches on a 33 foot Haida canoe.  

Haida stories and language guide his work. He delves into the old Haida stories before he carves out the narrative. He and his brother co-founded K’alts’ida K’ah (Laughing Crow), a collective to tell Haida stories and promote Haida language through art. They wrote and produced, “Sinxii Ganguu”, dramatizing an old story performed in Haida. He collaborated on several Haida stop motion animations, the latest of which won best music video of 2015 at the ImagiNative film festival and co-wrote “SGaawaay K’uuna” (Edge of the Knife), the award-winning Haida feature film of 2018. 

Although Jaalen has pieces in collections and museums around the world, he considers his most important works to be the ones that stay on Haida Gwaii. He feels a great debt to his homeland and has worked to highlight the environmental importance of land and sea and the Haida way of being. 

Lou-ann Neel, Kwakwaka’wakw

Lou-ann Neel descends from a rich history of artists on both sides of her family. She comes from the Mamalilikulla, Ma’amtagila, and Da’naxda’xw on her mother’s side of the family and ‘Namgis, Kwickwasutaineuk, and Kwagiulth on her father’s side of the family.  

Lou-ann has been practicing in Kwakwaka’wakw design for over forty years in various forms – jewellery, textiles and hides, paintings and prints, and vector designing in multiple applications including animation, storybook illustration and 3D printing. 

In addition to her artistic practice, Lou-ann is a community arts’ advocate – always seeking to build solutions that will enable Indigenous artists to balance their respective rights, responsibilities and obligations with new, contemporary expressions of their work. Lou-ann serves as Curator, Indigenous Collections, and Acting Head of Indigenous Collections and Repatriation Department at the Royal BC Museum working closely with BC First Nations communities to address repatriation matters.

Kelly Robinson, Nuxalk/Nuu-chah-nulth
Bella Coola 

Kelly Robinson’s roots and family origins are in Bella Coola with descendants from both the Nuxalk and Nuu-chah-nulth Nations. As a child his curiosity in his culture was piqued and Kelly became determined to learn and refine the art — specifically the unique design forms of the Nuxalk.  

Under the guidance of his uncle, noted Master carver, Alvin Mack, Kelly developed his own techniques in creation of two and three-dimensional art forms. In 2010 he graduated from the Northwest Coast Jewellery Arts program at the Native Education College in Vancouver. Immediately following graduation, Kelly began an apprenticeship with Haida artist Jim McGuire to continue his understanding of design and the twenty-first century contemporary art market. Soon after, he completed another apprenticeship with renowned Nuu-chah-nulth artist Gordon Dick.  

In 2012 Kelly graduated from the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art. He continued his studies under a mentorship program with master carver Tim Paul, during which time Kelly enlightened himself with Nuu-chah-nulth stories and perfected his mask making abilities in the Nuu-chah-nulth style.  

Kelly uses his art to tell stories of the Nuxalk and Nuu-chah-nulth people, their land and culture. He examines stories of the supernatural, potlatch societies, and the land and sea in his artwork. He is currently working on two lineage totem poles that will represent two of four villages within the Nuxalk Nation. “Through the art, I will begin my educational journey in recapturing the culture we once had. It is a very exciting time to be a First Nations artist in Canada.” 

Nathan Wilson, Haisla

Nathan Wilson is inspired by his Haisla family history which drives him to continue to keep alive a long line of carving traditions. A graduate of the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art, Nathan extended his skills as a carver, painter and tool maker. The carvings he has worked on since are inspired by events and understanding the natural world we live in. From encounters with grizzly and black bears, mountain goats and whales, to attending feasts and totem pole raising ceremonies, these are all important in finding a deeper meaning to becoming a First Nations Artist.  

Nathan was commissioned by Mount Elizabeth Secondary School to carve an eight-foot totem pole, where students could observe, participate and carve onto the pole under Nathan’s supervision at the beginning stages. He has also joined the communities of Kitamaat Village and District of Kitimat to help raise the “Palaa-Gwa-La” pole in the main entrance of another school. This was the first totem pole to be raised for either community in several decades.  

Working alongside his mentors Stan Bevan, Ken McNeil and Dempsey Bob, Nathan is an instructor at his alma mater in Terrace. He continues to create masks, sculptures and relief carved panels for various galleries, as well as private commissions with various collectors. 

Evelyn Vanderhoop, Haida
Award of Distinction 

Evelyn Vanderhoop comes from a long line of Haida weavers, including her grandmother Selina Peratrovich and her mother, Delores Churchill. She has also studied weaving with Cheryl Samuel.

An accomplished weaver in the Naaxiin (more commonly called Chilkat) tradition, Evelyn studied the origin of this technique by reading journals of the early explorers and their accounts of the first contact with the Haida as well as learning from the stories of her ancestors. She has studied the old robes in museums around the world and learned their complexities. Evelyn has mastered the art of Naaxiin technique where weaving not only moves across horizontally, but vertically as well, creating curves, slopes and circles with multiple braids enclosing the formline shapes.  

Parallel careers as a weaver and watercolour artist have marked Evelyn’s success. She studied watercolour painting in Europe, and one of her paintings was chosen by the United States Postal Service as a reference for a stamp to commemorate Native American dance. Evelyn has also been chosen as an artist in residence at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.  

Alternative spaces for artists

Across the world people are practicing self-isolation and shifting how they interact with others. Thankfully artists are accustomed to being creative and finding unique ways to share their art with diverse audiences. 

More and more we see artists showcasing their work online through virtual exhibits and digital gatherings. They’re relying on social media platforms to help them sell their art exclusively online, shipping it to clients directly and therefore, maintaining physical distancing. 

There’s no substitute for the experience of a real-time live art show which allows intimate access to the fine lines of the brushstroke, the smell of a cedar carving, or the texture of a custom fabric. However, until we can gather together again, the remarkable tools of social media and online viewing will direct the art lover’s experience.

There are lots of local artist talks and online galleries available to peruse while you’re at home–vancouver/art-exhibit/ 

Give your local artist some love and like and share their work. 

Resilience and the Indigenous Economy

Modern Indigenous economies are revitalizing traditional practices, developing new skills, and helping share knowledge between communities. And there’s no better place to look to see examples of this than the Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program, now in its 12th year of honouring and recognizing business excellence.  

Indigenous businesses like those recognized through the IBA program, provide goods and services to their local communities, create employment opportunities for Indigenous people and serve as leaders, mentors and trailblazers for others seeking to create their own business. 

Indigenous businesses are leading the way in building a stronger economy in Canada and BC. A pre-COVID report from RBC this spring found that the number of Indigenous business owners was growing at five times the rate of self-employed Canadians. And Indigenous women were becoming entrepreneurs at twice the rate of non-Indigenous women. Indigenous businesses are expected to grow exponentially and continue to be a powerful force in the provincial economy.  

The Indigenous Business Awardees announced this week serve as examples of resilience and innovation during this tumultuous year. With their tenacity and hard work, Indigenous businesses will continue to be a driving force in British Columbia. 

BC Achievement applauds these exceptional businesses and the people who share in their success. Congratulations to the 2020 Indigenous Business Awardees! 

Longhouse Media serves local, national and international clients. Longhouse provides customers with synergistic digital solutions that add value to businesses and personal brands.  Awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year. 

Raven Reads is designed as a safe space to learn about other cultures, about history and to discover beautifully crafted products made by Indigenous entrepreneurs from around the globe through the use of Subscription Boxes.  Awarded Business of the Year – one-to-two person enterprise. 

Sḵwálwen is an Indigenous business creating botanical skin care products based on Indigenous Plant Science and honouring traditional plant knowledge.  Awarded Business of the Year – three-to-ten person enterprise.  

OneFeather Technologies  is an Indigenous technology company  that offers digital services for modern nation-building including election and voting services, data sovereignty, community engagement, and now a full suite of banking solutions for the individual.  Awarded Business of the Year – 11+ person enterprise. 

Alkali Resource Management (ARM) is an integrated forest management company that was established in 2001 to manage the forest licenses, woodlot and community forest on behalf of Esk’etemc (Alkali Lake).  Awarded Community-Owned Business of the Year – one entity. 

Lil’wat Holdings Limited Partnership is the holding company for all the economic development companies of  Lil’wat Nation (known as Lil’wat Business Group).  Awarded Community-Owned Business of the Year – two or more entities. 

Nupqu is a full-service resource consulting company owned by the communities of the Ktunaxa Nation.  Awarded Business Partnership of the Year. 

Outstanding Business Achievement is awarded to Top of the Line Catering, for their traditional First Nations catering business in Burns Lake.  

The IBA program was launched in 2008 to honour and celebrate business excellence and has recognized over 200 remarkable businesses within its alumni.  

2020 Indigenous Business Awardees Announced

VANCOUVER – The Awardees of the twelfth annual Indigenous Business Award (IBA) were announced today by the BC Achievement Foundation, the program’s presenting organization. This November, the Awardees will be celebrated in a series of digital campaigns and films honouring their achievements.

“Each year, the Indigenous Business Award program recognizes Indigenous enterprises that create and expand opportunities, relationships and communities, all with the goal of a more inclusive and prosperous future,” said foundation Chair, Anne Giardini. “I am particularly inspired by this year’s Awardees. All of them exemplify resilience and innovation during this time of challenges. This year’s Awardees demonstrate that integrating the practices of the past with the economies of the future benefits us all.”

The IBA program was launched in 2008 to honour and celebrate business excellence and, in its 12th year, boasts over 200 remarkable businesses within its alumni. A total of eight Indigenous businesses, entrepreneurs, partnership entities and community-owned enterprises will be recognized from across the province of BC.

Selection of the Awardees was made by members of the 2020 jury panel, which includes Kim Baird, Jacob Beaton, Jessie Ramsay and Laurie Sterritt.

The Indigenous Business Award program is presented by BC Achievement in partnership with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and is generously supported by: Program Sponsor – TD Bank Group; Category Sponsors – Enbridge, New Relationship Trust, Ovintiv Inc., Teck, Vancity, and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority; Supporting Sponsors – ANTCO, BC Hydro, BC Transit, CN, FortisBC, and Shaw; and Media Sponsors – BIV, CFNR and First Nations Drum.

BC Achievement is an independent foundation established in 2003 to celebrate community service, arts, humanities and enterprise.

2020 Indigenous Business Awardees

  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year:
    Longhouse Media, Langley
  • Business of the Year – one-to-two person enterprise:
    Raven Reads Books Ltd., Merritt
  • Business of the Year – three-to-ten person enterprise:
    Swálwen Botanicals, Brackendale
  • Business of the Year – 11+ person enterprise:
    OneFeather Technologies, Victoria
  • Community-Owned Business of the Year – one entity:
    Alkali Resource Management Ltd., Alkali Lake
  • Community-Owned Business of the Year – two or more entities:
    Lil’wat Holdings Limited Partnership, Mount Currie
  • Business Partnership of the Year:
    Nupqu Resource Limited Partnership, Cranbrook
  • Outstanding Business Achievement:
    Top of the Line Catering, Burns Lake

Detailed information about the award and a list of past awardees is posted on the Foundation’s website.


Cathryn Wilson, Executive Director
BC Achievement Foundation | 604.261.9777