Crystal Behn, Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist for the Fulmer Award

Photo: 2021 Awardee, Crystal Behn, I Am My Father’s Daughter, moose hide purse

This year’s Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist designation in First Nations Art was presented to Crystal Behn, an artist of Dene and Carrier ancestry, for demonstrating excellence in the early phase of her career.  

Crystal, an artist from Fort Nelson First Nation, learned the art of beading, moccasin making and traditional harvesting as an adult. When her mother passed away, Crystal realized the beading tradition her mother had engaged in had to be carried on, so she took it upon herself to learn the art and her culture from her grandmother. But first she made sure she was addiction-free  so she could start focusing on her art and her culture under her grandmother’s direction. “I was over there as much as I could, absorbing as much culture and tradition as I could. She was always encouraging me and giving me the opportunity to learn.” 

“I learned a lot in a short period of time. I sat with my grandma every day on the couch, beading. It was such an honour to sit there and have that time with my grandma because now she’s gone,” Crystal says in her interview with CBC’s Sheryl MacKay. 

And now, Crystal is passing on her teachings to her own seven-year-old daughter. “Teaching her is one of the most important things to me. Seeing my daughter pick up beads and knowing she’s going to keep it going is the most amazing feeling.” 

2021 Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist – Crystal Behn

Crystal started out with traditional works including moccasins and mukluks and has now expanded to making headbands, purses and clothing, always trying to incorporate new ideas. Crystal uses as many different natural materials as possible including hand smoked moose hide, moose antler, porcupine quills, glass stones, caribou hair, fish scales, birchbark and beads.  

Working with these materials gives Crystal an important connection to the land and reflects her commitment to honouring the process that goes into creating the hide from hunt to finished art piece.  

Whatever she can envision, she makes and that pushes her to keep creating and passing on her traditions. She is now teaching others as the Indigenous Programmer at Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George, where she works on small projects with the community. Crystal is one to watch as she continues her beading journey. See her work on social media at IG: @InherFootstepsdenedesigns or on FB: @InHerFootsteps AuthenticDeneDesigns 

The Crabtree McLennan designation aims to support, mentor and highlight emerging talent. It is named in honour of Emily Carr University Director, Aboriginal Programs, Brenda Crabtree and the UBC Museum of Anthropology’s Curator Emeritus, Bill McLennan. 

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.   

2022 BC Reconciliation Award nominations open November 15 #nominatenowBC

Poised to launch its second year of showcasing individuals and organizations whose work demonstrates a willingness to ‘paddle together’ on the reconciliation journey, the BC Reconciliation Award program is ready to elevate excellence and inspire achievement with nominations opening on November 15, 2021. After a year of acknowledging painful truths, now more than ever, reconciliation efforts need to guide the path forward. 

Rooted and inspired in the work of the Honourable Steven Point [Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl], 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, the program aims to highlight reconciliation success models and inspire change: “we all must paddle in the same canoe”. 

2021 awardee xaȼqanaǂ ʔitkiniǂ (Many Ways of Doing the Same Thing) Research Team, through Dr. Christopher Horsethief, project co-lead and Ktunaxa scholar, shares the impact of receiving the BC Reconciliation Award: 

“The ultimate goal of our project is a parity between Western and Indigenous conceptualizations of health, wellness and resilience. This is reconciliation through the lens of scientific and academic research—Western and Ktunaxa counterparts calibrating themselves in response to each other’s input, enunciating conclusions that are robust in the sense that they describe the phenomenon in valid terms for both sides. The British Columbia Reconciliation Award has shone a light on a project that will not preference Western research over Ktunaxa research, or vice versa, thus supporting the idea that both are valid.” 

When it came to developing a community-driven and culturally informed approach to decolonizing relationships between health systems and Indigenous Nations, the xaȼqanaǂ ʔitkiniǂ (Many Ways of Doing the Same Thing) Research Team recognized early on that commitment to respectful engagement and co-learning would be crucial to success.  

The result is a truly reciprocal partnership between the Ktunaxa Nation Council, Interior Health, the University of Victoria and later the University of British Columbia founded on mutual goals of understanding and implementing what reconciliation means and looks like for community health in the Ktunaxa Nation.  

For their innovative contributions to reconciliation xaȼqanaǂ ʔitkiniǂ Research Team was awarded the inaugural British Columbia Reconciliation Award in April 2021. A partnership between BC Achievement and The Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, the award program recognizes extraordinary individuals and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, integrity, respect, and commitment to furthering reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in the province of British Columbia, or inspired others to continue reconciliation efforts. 

“Reconciliation builds relationships and bridges the gap between two worlds through the efforts of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. By recognizing the truths of past wrongs and showcasing examples of how to make things right, others will be inspired to follow,” said BC Achievement Foundation board member Judith Sayers. “The British Columbia Reconciliation Award celebrates innovative and empowering ways to embark on this journey, designed and decided by Indigenous peoples, allowing them to thrive while making the world a better place.”  

Nominations for the 2022 BC Reconciliation Award open November 15, 2021 until January 15, 2022 at #nominatenowbc 

Photo: Hands of Elders and team members holding a bucket of bitterroot, a visual embodiment of Reconciliation in coming together, exchanging cultural knowledge, and connecting through a shared activity.

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.   

Sisters Sage IBA Awardee: Lynn-Marie Angus leading with authenticity and integrity

Photo: 2021 Awardee, Lynn-Marie Angus, Sisters Sage

Lynn-Marie Angus along with her sister, Melissa-Rae Angus, are co-owners of Sisters Sage the 2021 Indigenous Business (IBA) of the Year in the one-to-two-person category!  

Resolute about collaboration and her company’s embrace of the quadruple bottom line, Lynn-Marie espouses a mantra that Sisters Sage inspire other Indigenous women to be financially independent. This has been a core value of the company since its inception.  Launched with the goal of being their own bosses, Sisters Sage is cutting a path forward for other Indigenous women to follow with four clear goals: 

1. Financial Independence
2. Inspire and motivate other Indigenous women and youth to define their own financial futures through business
3. Showcase Indigenous people and culture in a positive way
4. Environmentally and socially conscious enterprise

Clarity in her purpose as a role model guides Lynn-Marie in advising others to lead with authenticity and integrity. In a recent interview on the Pow Wow Pitch Podcast with Sunshine Tedesco, Lynn-Maire boldly states that she chooses collaboration over competition and encourages others to hoard community not money.

Community is a key factor for Indigenous businesses and the 2021 IBA awardee cohort each demonstrate this commitment to giving back and it is an important consideration in the nomination and selection process. Lynn-Marie shares that community is inculcated into her DNA, influenced by the pot latch culture and she has woven these concepts into her business model as part of a shared value system. She states that it is super powerful to be a part of inspiring other entrepreneurs. Her ambition is to give back by sharing her expertise and taking the time to provide tips, and to be generous while honestly documenting hard lessons, both the good and the bad.

Photo: Sisters Sage soap bars – all products are vegan or vegetarian

Lynn-Marie attributes her focus and strengths to the inspiration she gains from her own role models pursing their entrepreneurial dreams. She actively participates in a peer-to-peer group The Lift Circle which is part of the Indigenous Lift Collective founded and led by Teara Fraser, owner of Iskwew Air, featured as Wonder Woman in the DC Comics “Wonderful Women of History” graphic novel, IBA alumni and an entrepreneurial force. The weekly zoom calls are a constant in Lynn-Marie’s life as she leads Sisters Sage into its next phase.

Congratulations to Sisters Sage on their IBA recognition!! Lynn Marie’s words of wisdom encouraging all aspiring entrepreneurs “to be that authentic person – who is not just a tokenized version of ourselves because we are looking for role models, people the younger generation can look up to” are imbued in her own entrepreneurial journey and serve as a proven and valuable message.

When Sisters Sage started, Lynn-Marie was given some helpful advice: “always keep talking about your business allowing it to evolve organically and the value proposition will be apparent.”

Keep talking Lynn-Marie! It all rings true, and we can’t wait to hear what Sisters Sage will do next!

Join us NOVEMBER 4 at 10:00 a.m. for the release of the Sisters Sage film as part of the premiere of the 2021 IBA Awardee recognition films on Follow Sisters Sage on their social media at IG: @sisters_sage; FB: @indigenousbathproducts; TW: @SistersSage3; or LinkedIn Lynn-Marie Angus

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

Judson Beaumont: his impact, his legacy and its future – Elen Danielle the inaugural Judson Beaumont Emerging Artist #judsonbeaumont

Photo: Judson Beaumont (1959 – 2020) “My rule is: if you can draw and design it, you can build it.”  

Paying tribute to Judson Beaumont’s legacy, talents and entrepreneurial creativity, BC Achievement is honoured to introduce the inaugural Judson Beaumont Emerging Artist designation as part of the annual Applied Art + Design award program. Known for his enthusiasm, kindness and generosity, Judson exemplified the meaning of excellence, and continues to shine as a model of success and inspire other applied artists and designers in British Columbia and beyond. 

An insatiable drive for excellence fuelled Judson’s ability to commit 110 per cent to every task he undertook. He distinguished himself as a leader in his field by combining his talent and skills with passion, determination, and commitment.

For more than 30 years, Judson created whimsical, imaginative and masterful furniture pieces. Inspired by kids and their liberal acceptance of the bizarre, Judson’s work was renowned for its bold, colourful, expressive, functional design. A graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Judson founded Straight Line Designs Inc. at 1000 Parker St. His company completed unique design projects and installations throughout North America and around the world including pieces for children’s hospitals, airports, museums, libraries, Disney Cruise ships and various exhibitions. 

In 2009 Judson received the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design and, five years later, was recognized as the 2014 Award of Distinction Laureate for his extraordinary and sustained accomplishments in Applied Art + Design. In 2015, Judson was a key part of the Canada House exhibition- Design in Canada: Outstanding achievement from British Columbia, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Carter Wosk program and its awardees. The exhibition was part of the September 2015 London Design week.

A long-time friend of BC Achievement, Judson served as a jury member for the 2018 Carter Wosk Award program and as a moderator at the 2019 BC Achievement Artist Talk on ‘The Intersection of Applied Art and Design: Functional Art and BC’s Creative Economy’.  

It was at that 2019 Artist Talk that Judson shared his artistic passion and what aspect of his work makes him get up each morning:

“For me, I’m a nut because I can’t wait to work in the morning. I just absolutely love it – I’m nuts for it.  I’m up before my alarm at 5:00am, go for a quick run then I’m back down at my studio, I’m drawing, I’m sketching and planning the day. Planning for my clients and what they’re expecting and then my staff come in and I get them set up. I love that time from 6:00am – 7:30am when I have time to be by myself – where I have time to be creative – I just love it – it’s been like that for 30 years!”

A mentor to many aspiring artists and designers, Judson enjoyed sharing his experiences and ideas with students.

“I tell young people you’re going to have ups and downs…successes and failures, but you just need to learn from it, you just need to keep moving ahead.”

When asked what receiving the award from BC Achievement had meant to him, Judson stated, “(awards) give you confidence…they’re just little points to say ‘stick with it, keep doing it, good or bad’…we all have bad days and we all have good days in the art world…you just don’t stop, you can’t stop…the awards are just like icing on the cake, it’s a little extra thing that makes us special.” 

The Judson Beaumont Emerging Artist designation recognizes that a thriving cultural community includes artists and designers who choose to build their careers in BC. The intent of the award is to bring recognition and awareness to artists who demonstrate excellence in the early phase of their careers.

The 2021 inaugural Judson Beaumont Emerging Artist is Elen Danielle. Danielle is a textile artist and designer with over fifteen years of experience creating clothing, accessories, and other soft treasures. Each of Danielle’s handmade pieces is one-of-a-kind, feather-light, and has a timeless look consistent with her “slow living” design principle.

Danielle shares that her art practice relies on traditional methods, but she is rebelling in a way as she is using those methods in an unconventional way. She adds that receiving the Carter Wosk award is an affirmation of her hard work and being recognized as the inaugural Judson Beaumont Emerging Artist “is very humbling and means a lot to me and makes me feel that I have really big shoes to fill…I strive to make things people have never seen before and I think I will always push myself”.

Congratulations to Elen Danielle, the 2021 Judson Beaumont Emerging Artist! Check out the 2021 Carter Wosk awardee film – here and please share this tribute to Judson and help amplify his legacy #judsonbeaumont

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

2021 Indigenous Business Awardees Announced

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

“The Indigenous Business Award program recognizes and inspires business achievement. This year in particular, the program also signifies hope as the economy strengthens and diversifies. The Indigenous enterprises being recognized with an Indigenous Business Award provide new opportunities and stronger relationships, and help make all of our communities more resilient, inclusive and prosperous,” said foundation Chair, Anne Giardini. “Each year, the award program shows ways we can all benefit from integrating the practices of the past with the economies of the future.”

The IBA program was launched in 2008 to honour and celebrate business excellence and, in its 13th 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 2021 jury panel, which includes Jessie Ramsay, Leah George-Wilson and Jeff Ward.

Jessie is Métis, a partner with Baker Newby Law in Chilliwack and sits on the board of directors for Stölo Community Futures and Chilliwack Community Services. 

Jeff is the founder and CEO of Animikii and two-time IBA alumnus. He is Ojibwe and Métis, originally from Manitoba, and now lives and works in Victoria, BC on Lekwungen territory.

Leah practises Indigenous Law with Miller Titerle + Company in Vancouver and is a member and past Chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. When she was Chief, Leah received IBA recognition on behalf of community-owned businesses in Tsleil-Waututh. Currently, pursuing a Master of Laws at UVIC, Leah is also an elected Co-Chair of the First Nations Summit, a Director on the Land Advisory Board and an appointed member of the First Nations Health Council.

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

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

2021 Indigenous Business Awardees

Young Entrepreneur of the Year:
Elijah Mack-Stirling – Kekuli Cafe Merritt

Business of the Year – one-to-two person enterprise:
Sisters Sage, Vancouver

Business of the Year – three-to-ten person enterprise:
Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., Port Coquitlam

Business of the Year – 11+ person enterprise:
Tsawwassen Shuttles Inc., Tsawwassen

Community-Owned Business of the Year – one entity:
Thunderbird RV Park & Cottage Resort, Campbell River

Community-Owned Business of the Year – two or more entities:
Gitmaxmak‘ay Nisga’a Economic Development Corporation, Prince Rupert

Business Partnership of the Year:
Salish Seas LP, North Vancouver

Award of Distinction for Lifetime Achievement:
Ken Cameron, Moberly 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 | 604.306.1026

2021 Indigenous Business Awardees

Young Entrepreneur of the Year:
Elijah Mack-Stirling – Kekuli Cafe Merritt

In 2018 Elijah Mack-Stirling, just 22 years old, fulfilled his dream by becoming an entrepreneur and the very first Kekuli Cafe franchise owner. With its official slogan, “Don’t panic… we have bannock,” Kekuli Cafe Merritt is listed as one of the best places to eat in town. Kekuli Cafe Merritt provides a traditional Indigenous ambience with light pow wow music and First Nations art while reflecting the owners’ passion for cooking and creating a space where all are welcomed and acknowledged. Kekuli Cafe Merritt offers employees flexible schedules and encourages them to pursue opportunities to develop their talents and skills. With a focus on community service, Kekuli Cafe Merritt opens its doors to patrons for a free breakfast and dinner on Christmas Day and donates to local groups, homeless shelters, and sporting organizations through the friendship centre movement. 

Business of the Year – one-to-two person enterprise:
Sisters Sage, Vancouver

Sisters Sage is an Indigenous brand that handcrafts wellness and self-care products inspired by the owners’ culture and traditions. Founders, Lynn-Marie and Melissa Rae Angus, believe strongly in building community, honouring culture, respecting the land, and amplifying the voices of other Indigenous entrepreneurs. Their homemade soaps, bath bombs, salves, and smokeless smudge sprays pay homage to their ancestral teachings and combine traditional with non-traditional scents while promoting environmental sustainability. Sisters Sage donates its products, time, and money, to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, WISH, UNYA, and Vancouver’s Overdose Prevention Site DTES. The sisters ran a successful fundraiser this summer providing over 70 back to school backpacks full of school supplies to inner city Indigenous youth returning to school. Their success and visibility empower people who are eager to connect and identify with a meaningful brand. Hardworking and dedicated to economic reconciliation, Sisters Sage is a story of resilience, which expresses pride in their Indigenous roots, a love for the land, for what they do and for the products they create.  

Business of the Year – three-to-ten person enterprise:
Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., Port Coquitlam

Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. (ICT) “provides training to get everyone Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples® in their day-to-day jobs and lives.” ICT does this by facilitating a safe training environment for learners to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to be effective. Founded in 2002 by K’axwsumala’galis – Bob Joseph, Jr., ICT shares knowledge and information through its many training courses, Indigenous Relations Academy, blog, Indigenous Relations Bulletin e-newsletter, and many other free tools and resources with the purpose to make the world a better place for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike. ICT helps thousands of people and organizations every year build informed, effective, and respectful relationships with Indigenous Peoples and communities. 

Business of the Year – 11+ person enterprise:
Tsawwassen Shuttles Inc., Tsawwassen

Operating in Tsawwassen/Delta since 2011, Twassassen Shuttles Inc. (TSI) first started as Stark Transportation offering marine services for environmental and fisheries research. The business has since evolved to meet the growing demands of the market. Fully committed to providing a wide range of land and marine charters, TSI’s team of licensed professionals hold steadfast in ensuring the highest standards of safety and business practices in all transportation services. TSI’s 4 Pillars of Operations (safety, reliability, adaptability, and customer service) are integrated in all aspects of the business and the training received by employees is highly integrated to ensure service delivery to the highest standard. TSI honours its roots as an Indigenous-owned, Delta-based business by hiring locally, offering training and equity options to employees, and supporting the work of local organizations such as Reach Child and Youth Development. 

Community-Owned Business of the Year – one entity:
Thunderbird RV Park & Cottage Resort, Campbell River

Thunderbird RV (TBRV) Park and Cottage Resort is a community-owned business operated by Wei Wai Kum Nation at its picturesque seaside location in Campbell River. For over 40 years, TBRV Park and Cottage Resort has provided year-round accommodations, and now features 95 fully serviced RV sites including spacious big rig friendly pull-through and ocean view sites. The addition of four beautifully appointed cottages each with private hot tubs and amazing views has created a whole new market for tourists. The cottages are set up in a small village type setting overlooking the Campbell River Estuary in an area called TL’A DEECE which means ‘Where the fresh water meets the salt water’ and each cottage is adorned with carvings created by local artists to reflect the name of each cottage. TBRV Park and Cottage Resort offers a distinct cultural opportunity for people from all over the word and has become a premium go-to vacation destination for guests resulting in increased employment opportunities and revenue for the Wei Wai Kum Nation.  

Community-Owned Business of the Year – two or more entities:
Gitmaxmak‘ay Nisga’a Economic Development Corporation, Prince Rupert

The Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Economic Development Corporation (GNEDC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society (GNS), a non-profit organization responsible for delivering language and culture revitalization programs for the approximately 1600 Nisga’a citizens living in Prince Rupert. GNEDC operates a portfolio of businesses including a garden centre, floral studio, fish & chips food truck, convenience store and has plans to open a café and a commercial salmon smokehouse. Since its creation in 2013, the GNEDC has grown from four employees to thirty-two and from just under $200,000 in annual revenue to more than $1.2 million. In Fall 2020, the GNEDC began operations of a state-of-the-art hydroponics greenhouse, offering a fresh greens subscription box to the community and donating the surplus harvest to Nisga’a elders on a weekly basis. GNEDC considers itself to be a quadruple bottom line business, meaning performance is judged not by just the financial outcomes, but also the social, environmental, and cultural dimensions. 

Business Partnership of the Year:
Salish Seas LP, North Vancouver

Salish Seas Fisheries LP (Salish Seas) focuses on the management of commercial fishing licenses and the marketing of high-quality seafood products. Salish Seas operates both in and for the three partnering Nations: the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Tla’amin Nations. Through discussions around the Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative program, the Nations decided to work together to establish an organization with a size conducive for success in the increasingly consolidated fishing industry. The partnership has instilled a strong sense of ownership, purpose, and cooperation among directors, staff and fishers. By working together, each partnering Nation benefits from the innovative and unique fishery model focussed on long-term revenue generation for the three nations, First Nations involvement in the commercial fishing industry, capacity building and environmental sustainability.  

Award of Distinction for Lifetime Achievement:
Ken Cameron, Moberly Lake

Ken Cameron is the former Chief of the Saulteau First Nations. From the beginning of his entrepreneurial ventures, Ken’s goal was to change the perception of Indigenous companies by promoting employment and training opportunities for Indigenous people.  

As Chief, Ken led important initiatives in business, clean energy, wildlife preservation, government regulatory policies and community health. He was part of a team behind the revitalization of Saulteau’s civil construction company 4 Evergreen Resources as well as the development and establishment of Saulteau owned companies Aski Reclamation, a reclamation services company, and Northwind Supplies, an industrial supply company based in Chetwynd, BC.

In 2017, the Twin Sisters Native Plants Nursery business partnership between Saulteau First Nations and West Moberly First Nations was recognized with a BC Indigenous Business Award. Established in 2012 with a goal of being a leader in native plant propagation and distribution in the province, Twin Sisters serves as a model for other Nations to emulate. In his acceptance speech, Ken respectfully  referenced how fitting it is that women, known as ‘life-givers’, were leading the way with this important reclamation venture. 

Under his leadership, the community was awarded a multi-million dollar grant for the construction of a new Cultural Centre and took steps to address food security and sustainability. In 2018, he led the development of the largest First Nations majority-owned wind energy project in BC and implemented a solar project in his community, installing photovoltaic panels on Elders’ homes. 

A mentor to young Indigenous entrepreneurs, Ken has spent his life committed to improving the lives of people in his community and beyond, mandating maximum procurement on projects to benefit the Saulteau First Nations partnerships and member-owned businesses. Ken continues to support community-based initiatives such as the “Linda and Krystina House”, a transition house for women and children in need of safe housing. 

With a deep knowledge and respect for his Indigenous culture and the natural landscape of the region, Ken has made a positive impact in one of the most important economic regions in the natural resources sector, while balancing environmental sustainability and economic growth for Indigenous communities. 

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 through an online campaign #shinethelightbc honouring their artistic excellence in traditional, contemporary or media art. 

“We at the BC Achievement Foundation are delighted to take this opportunity to recognize the six 2021 recipients of the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art. Their work builds on deep traditions while also illuminating new pathways,” said BCAF chair Anne Giardini. “This year’s awardees join eighty-five artists from the Award’s past fifteen years. Fulmer Award alumni help to make British Columbia a place for innovation and creative success,” she added. 

The 2021 recipients, chosen by an independent jury, are: 

Crystal Behn, Dene & Carrier – Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist
Sgaanjaad Sherri Dick, Haida & Kootenay 
James Harry, Squamish & ‘Namgis 
Dean Hunt, Heiltsuk 
Shawn Karpes, ‘Namgis 
Stan Bevan, Tahltan, Tlingit, Tsimshian  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, BIV, CFNR, First Nations Drum, Frog Radio, Global TV and Stir Magazine for their support of the award program. The foundation is also grateful for its community partners: Crafted Vancouver and Denbigh Fine Art Services each of whom play a key role in elevating excellence and inspiring change in their support of the Fulmer Award program. 

Members of the 2021 jury include: Maynard Johnny Jr., Coast Salish/ Penelakut Tribe and 2019 awardee; Meghann O’Brien, Haida/ Kwakwaka’wakw and 2014 awardee; 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 2021 recipients and a list of past awardees is posted on the foundation’s website at  

Rup Kang, Communications Director
BC Achievement Foundation | 604.261.9777 Ext 102 

2021 Fulmer Award in First Nations Art – Awardee Backgrounders  

Crystal Behn, Dene & Carrier 
Prince George
Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist

An artist of Dene and Carrier ancestry, Crystal Behn specializes in traditional and modern beadwork that is both customizable and unique. Born and raised in Treaty 8 territory, Crystal learned the art of beading, moccasin making and traditional harvesting from her grandmother. Crystal uses as many different natural materials as possible including hand smoked moose hide, moose antler, porcupine quills, glass stones, caribou hair, fish scales, birchbark and beads.

Working with these materials gives Crystal an important connection to the land and reflects her commitment to honouring the process that goes into creating the hide from hunt to finished art piece. From beaded poppies, cuffs, mukluks to shawls, her creations reflect her vision and embrace the knowledge passed down from her mother, auntie and grandmother. 

Crystal’s home-based business In Her Footsteps Authentic Dene Designs was built one bead at a time and, as an artist for Manitobah Mukluks, her pieces continue to sell out. A pair of Crystal’s beaded mukluks were part of an exhibit entitled Reconciliation at Two Rivers Gallery in 2019. Crystal has received accolades for her work including a scholarship to Island Mountain Arts, people’s choice award and chosen award at the Peace Liard Juried Art Exhibit.

Sgaanjaad Sherri Dick, Haida & Kootenay 

Sgaanjaad Sherri Dick is a traditional Chilkat and Raven’s Tail weaver, an ancient form of wool weaving that dates back over 10,000 years. Inspired by her great grandmother Isabelle Edenshaw, Sherri started weaving at the age of 25, first with spruce root and then later cedar. Sherri was introduced to wool weaving at a workshop hosted by Evelyn Vanderhoop and shortly after began a three-year apprenticeship studying with her mentor William White.  

Sherri’s work consists of blankets, leggings, aprons, headdresses, potlatch and medicine bags – all used in traditional ceremony. Her pieces have been presented at the Museum of Northern BC in Prince Rupert, Bill Reid Art Gallery in Vancouver and Haida Heritage Museum in Skidegate. Sherri was commissioned to produce a full regalia mannequin in pounded cedar and Raven’s Tail which is on permanent display at the Haida Heritage Museum. 

In addition to Chilkat, Raven’s Tail, and cedar weaving, Sherri practices beadwork, fan making, applique button blankets, and ceremonial medicine. Sherri shares her knowledge with students, nurturing and cultivating their talents, and encouraging them to become major producers of Haida traditional regalia.

James Harry, Squamish & ‘Namgis 
West Vancouver 

James Nexw’Kalus-Xwalacktun Harry is of Squamish (Skwxwú7mesh) and European decent (Scottish, and German). James’ work stands on the foundation of his experience growing up as a member of the Squamish Nation and reflects his multifaceted identity.

In secondary school, James began his career as an artist by carving the doors of the BC Aboriginal Sports Hall of Fame. He later attended Emily Carr University of Art and Design, obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 2014. The YVR Art Foundation honoured James with the Career Artist Scholarship in 2011 and resulted in “From Sea to Sky”, a 6’ high aluminum totem pole that emits LED lights through Coast Salish iconography cut by water jet. By combining the use of modern tools, materials and techniques, James integrates the traditional with the contemporary. 

For the last decade, James has worked in different school districts, the City of Vancouver and non-profit agencies to produce community-based art projects reflecting Canadian heritage, culture, and ideologies. With a unique capacity for developing thematically significant work that connects all people to the ecology of place while building a greater understanding between cultures, his process brings people together, changes ideas, and leaves a legacy to remind the community that transformations can occur. 

Dean Hunt, Heiltsuk

Dean Hunt is a visual artist, traditional tattoo practitioner and music producer from the Eagle Clan of the Heiltsuk Nation, Waglisla (Bella Bella). Dean underwent a formal five-year apprenticeship with his father Bradley Hunt and older brother Shawn Hunt, where he learned the skills of Heiltsuk carving and design. Dean uses the tools and techniques his ancestors fought to hold onto through times of hardship and oppression, not only in his more traditional art practices, but also in his contemporary use of sound.  

Constantly pushing the evolution of Heiltsuk art forward, Dean is a part of the movement to modernize the art form. Dean balances innovation with his desire to stay true to the ancestors’ ways of doing things. A storyteller, Dean often depicts narrative scenes on his jewellery which is highly sought after by collectors from all over the world.  

Dean’s work has been part of notable exhibitions such as Continuum: Vision and Creativity on the Northwest Coast at Bill Reid Gallery; Shore, Forest, and Beyond: Art from the Audain Collection at the Vancouver Art Gallery; and Satellite Gallery’s Cindy Sherman Meets DzunukwaArt from the Michael & Inna O’brian Collection. In 2017, the Lattimer Gallery hosted an exhibition titled Hálúɫ (Fresh) featuring Dean and fellow Heiltsuk artist KC Hall. 

Shawn Karpes, ‘Namgis  
Alert Bay  

A member of the ‘Namgis First Nation, Shawn is a descendant of the Alfred, Hunt, Scow and Innis families. He also has blood ties to the Tlingit, Nuu-cha-nulth and Heiltsuk First Nations. Shawn’s late father, Gus (artist, musician, writer and outdoorsman) is Dutch and immigrated with his family to Canada from the Netherlands shortly after World War II.

Shawn began his training in the Victoria public school Native art program, with George Hunt Jr. and Victor Newman, both of whom are members of Shawn’s family. During this period, he was introduced to the culture and history of the Kwakwaka’wakw and other west coast First Nations. He learned design, painting and basic carving. Early in his career, Shawn had the opportunity to work under Tony Hunt Sr., Tony Hunt Jr., and John Livingston in the “Arts of the Raven” carving shed. Moving back to Alert Bay, he also learned jewellery making from Fah Ambers while continuing to study carving from Beau Dick and Wayne Alfred. Shawn has also worked with, and alongside, many of his peers and younger artists, some from other First Nations: “Good friends influence good art”.  

For five years, Shawn was part of the carving program at the Royal B.C. Museum and in 2001 volunteered to work on the ITUSTO project, restoring the world’s tallest freestanding totem pole at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria. Shawn’s desire to continuously refine his skills and knowledge is the driving force behind his art. Known for his generous spirit, Shawn has become a keeper of his First Nation’s rituals, knowledge and traditions, and is often called upon to help with community potlatches and projects. By giving back, Shawn honours those who shared their teachings with him. 

Stan Bevan, Tahltan, Tlingit, Tsimshian 
Award of Distinction for Lifetime Achievement 

Stan Bevan (b.1961) is an established Northwest Coast Artist recognized for his superbly innovative design and his impeccable attention to detail. Born in Terrace, BC, Stan was raised in the nearby village of Kitselas on the Skeena River. He is Tahltan-Tlingit through his mother’s side and her home village is Telegraph Creek, BC. His father is Tsimshian from the village of Kitselas. Stan was inspired to pursue an artistic career by his uncle, Dempsey Bob, one of the foremost master artists of this generation. 

Stan began his training at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art at ‘Ksan in Hazelton in 1979, after which he completed an extensive apprenticeship with Dempsey. During his apprenticeship, Stan assisted Dempsey with a number of major commissions, including a 31-foot pole in Ketchikan, Alaska and a 12-foot house post in Saxman village. In 1987 after participating in the exhibit, “Hands of Creation”, he made the important decision to become a full-time artist. Since that time Stan has produced an impressive body of work and is credited with bringing about a revival of Tlingit art and design. 

In 2006, Stan was instrumental in the creation of the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art on the campus of the Northwest Community College (now Coast Mountain College) in Terrace. He has held the position of head instructor/program coordinator where he leads the program management and curriculum delivery while overseeing numerous initiatives such as a visiting artist program and creating an international educational network. Stan is part of the Bill Holm Advisory Board and has been an active board member for the YVR (Vancouver International Airport) Foundation which oversees grants for young artists completed under the mentorship of a master artist and the opportunity to have their work displayed at the airport as part of the Artist Showcase. He has served as a mentor for numerous artists who have been chosen to receive one of their grants.  

One of Stan’s most significant projects has been the design and creation of the artwork at the Kitselas Cultural and Interpretation Centre at the Kitselas Canyon National Historic site for the Kitselas Development Corporation. He has carved many totem poles for private, corporate and international sites including The Emily Carr University of Art and Design and the MACP Office Building in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stan Bevan was recognized in 2011 with the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art. 

2021 Fulmer Award in First Nations Art recipients to be named

After a summer receiving and processing outstanding submissions to the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art (FNA) Award program, it is time to share the achievement of these artists with all of BC. On October 12, the awardees of the FNA program will be named including the recipient of the Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist Award as well as the distinguished Award of Distinction for lifetime achievement.

Since 2006, the FNA program has celebrated the intersection of art and culture, while honouring First Nations artistic traditions. The program recognizes artistic excellence in traditional or contemporary visual arts by First Nations artists and aims to create an authentic space for community engagement, mentorship and storytelling. In this space traditions are passed onto younger generations and shared with a BC-wide audience. So far, the program has shone a light on 85 outstanding artists.

“Holding up artists that have worked for years to become standard bearers is important in the perpetuation of excellence in the traditional arts. New upcoming artists can see in the award honouree’s art and life work what standards to strive for. This can only help in upholding artistic excellence for the cultural practice of the arts in British Columbia and beyond.” Evelyn Vanderhoop, 2020 Award of Distinction

Highlighting the artistic skills of First Nations artists helps to advance the collective conversation around art in this province and serves as a platform to share cultural history with fellow citizens.

“It’s important that our generation continues to put them (poles) up…these things bring us forward and makes a statement that we are still here.”  Jaalen Edenshaw, 2020 Awardee

BC Achievement will be shining a light on the 2021 FNA Awardees through a digital campaign and films celebrating each of the recipients. We would like to express our gratitude to The Fulmer Foundation for its generous support of the First Nations Art program.

Watch for the announcement of the 2021 First Nations Art Awardees on October 12 on BC Achievement’s website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels!

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

Award recipients of the 2021 Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design to be announced

October 18 marks the day the 2021 awardees of the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art and Design (AAD) program will be announced. The AAD program is unique in that it celebrates an often-ignored field of design. Applied artists and designers create works that have a practical or functional application while offering so much more through their design aesthetic.

“The world of art and design is extremely saturated and at times, it is hard to stand out. With social media and everything being digital there are a lot of copycats. To be recognized for the dedication we put into original design, attention to detail, and innovation brings us to the forefront and gives credibility to the work we have achieved.” Karen Konzuk, 2020 Awardee

These details and originality in the nominations for the 2021 Award did not go unnoticed by this year’s independent jury. Jurors noted the beauty of the work presented, the technical skill required to execute the piece, the diversity of pieces and the artistry and handwork that goes into the work.

Supporting artists, designers and makers, the AAD award program works in partnership with organizations such as Crafted Vancouver, in advancing craftsmanship and creativity. The partnership also serves as an opportunity to share the works of BC Achievement art awardees with a new audience while collectively elevating the province as a hub for craft and those who practice it.

The AAD program shines a light on functional art which enhances day-to-day life for individuals while enriching our collective experiences. It also celebrates British Columbians whose work directly contributes to the cultural and economic fabric of the province and drives innovation in functional art.

BC Achievement will be shining a light on the 2021 AAD awardees through a digital campaign and films celebrating the recipients. Join us and watch for the announcement of the 2021 Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design on October 18 on BC Achievement’s website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels!

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

2021 Indigenous Business Award program Awardee announcement coming soon

While we celebrate Indigenous entrepreneurship every day, October is the time of the year that we collectively raise our hands to these business leaders. The 2021 Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program will be announcing its awardees selected on October 25. Submissions received during the nomination process in June and July were reviewed by an independent jury in late summer. Now BC Achievement is getting ready to shine a light on the awardees later this month with a digital campaign and the launch of a film on each awardee.

The IBA program creates space for Indigenous entrepreneurs to share their dreams, their hard lessons and, give a new definition to what success means in their world. The program recognizes businesses that are generating economic development opportunities, helping to create partnerships with industry, and shaping communities to build a prosperous economic future.

“It is crucial to acknowledge excellence and increase Indigenous representation in the business and entrepreneurship space. Representation matters. The more Indigenous businesses that are successful, the more inspiration there will be for up and coming Indigenous entrepreneurs to pursue their entrepreneurial path.” Leigh Joseph, Sḵwálwen Botanicals, 2020 Awardee

Over the past 12 years, the Indigenous Business Award program has showcased 43 community-owned enterprises; 95 small, medium and large businesses; 25 successful young entrepreneurs and 28 partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses!

“Success breeds success and recognizing Indigenous organizations builds awareness of Indigenous leadership, models a path for others, and inspires further success.” Carol Anne Hilton, 2020 Award of Distinction.

Watch for the announcement of the 2021 IBA Awardees on October 25 on BC Achievement’s website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels!

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

Outstanding BC Applied Artists and Designers honoured with Carter Wosk Award

VANCOUVER – The BC Achievement Foundation announced today the 2021 Awardees of the Carter Wosk Applied Art and Design program. 

“Even during a time of challenges, this year’s awardees of the Carter Wosk program have delighted us with artistic works and designs that demonstrate the vigour of BC’s creative economy,” said BCAF chair Anne Giardini. “These award-winning creations blend art and function with ingenuity and imagination. It is always an honour to showcase objects that are both beautiful and functional,” she added.

BC Achievement is pleased to announce the establishment of The Judson Beaumont Emerging Artist designation. Named in honour of the late BC-based furniture designer, the award celebrates Judson’s legacy, talents and entrepreneurial creativity. Known for his enthusiasm, kindness and generosity, Judson had an insatiable drive for excellence which fuelled his ability to commit 110 percent to every task he undertook. The recognition aims to support, mentor, and highlight emerging talent within BC’s thriving cultural community of artists and designers.

Recipients of the 17th annual award program are selected by an independent jury and include:

Elen Danielle, Judson Beaumont Emerging Artist, textile art and design
Janaki Larsen, ceramics
Nicholas Purcell, furniture design/making

The board of the BC Achievement Foundation named Ann McLaren as the 2021 Award of Distinction Laureate honouring her career and lifetime achievement in craniofacial prosthetics.

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

The above artists and designers were selected by the 2021 jury: past recipients, 2010 Awardee Toby Barratt, Propellor Design a multi-disciplinary design studio; 2015 Awardee Renée Macdonald, Westerly Handmade Shoes, and 2018 Awardee Claudia Schulz, hat design. BC Achievement is grateful to the leadership of Ron Kong, BC craft advocate, who served as an advisor to the 2021 jury.

Awardees will be celebrated in an online campaign culminating in a recipient film and a tribute production to the 2021 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

Rup Kang, Communications Director
BC Achievement Foundation | 604.261.9777 Ext 102

2021 Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design – Awardee Backgrounders

Elen Danielle, textile art and design, Roberts Creek
Judson Beaumont Emerging Artist

Danielle is a textile artist and designer with over fifteen years of experience creating clothing, accessories, and other soft treasures. Having grown up steeped in nature, the wild and pristine environment of the West Coast instilled in Danielle a devotion to natural beauty, spirituality, and preservation, and a desire to create physical manifestations of these values to share with others.

While studying Industrial Design at Emily Carr University, Danielle focused on sustainability and the challenge of applying it to her growing interest in fashion. Following graduation, she worked in the local industry gaining hands-on experience in responsible production methods resulting in thoughtful, zero-waste “slow fashion”. In 2018, Danielle began her own entrepreneurial practice, Elen Danielle, using old-world techniques and her interpretation of goldwork embroidery to create wearable works of art.

Each of Danielle’s handmade pieces is one-of-a-kind, feather-light, and has a timeless look consistent with her “slow living” design principle. Through her designs, Danielle savours the opportunity to share the healing power of art with those who have invited her into their lives.

Janaki Larsen, ceramics, Vancouver

Janaki is a ceramist and founder of Janaki Larsen Studios or as she refers to it Studio of Imperfection. It’s where she creates graceful bowls, plates and vases that reconnect users with the physicality of their world.

Influenced by the Japanese Wabi-Sabi philosophy, Janaki sees her role not to change or control the material but merely to observe it, honour it and coax out its unique essence. While her collections might suggest similarities, each piece is unique, made to be used daily, showing their traces of time and recording their history of use. Janaki is often inspired by a single visual concept – a flash of light across the wall, the colours along the decaying edge of a leaf – and her passion lies in producing functional objects imperfect in nature.

Janaki has collaborated with world-renowned chefs to bring their vision to life and had her work featured in major publications. She is also the mastermind and co-owner of the beloved Vancouver coffee shop – Le Marché St. George. Under Janaki’s creative direction Le Marché has become the launchpad for multiple artisans and entrepreneurs.

Nicholas Purcell, furniture design/making, North Vancouver

Owner of Nicholas Purcell Furniture, Nicholas’ dedication to his craft is evidenced in the exacting joinery and meticulous attention to detail given to each piece he creates. Both design and quality of making are paramount in the work he produces. 

With an early background in painting, woodwork and graphic design Nicholas would later pursue furniture making full time, studying in England under renowned tutor and maker David Charlesworth. Believing in the intrinsic value of good design and the handmade object, Nicholas creates bespoke work for discerning clients as well as exhibition pieces for select galleries and showrooms.

Most recently Nicholas has been experimenting with new materials, forms and techniques and values collaborating with the local community of gifted makers. Nicholas believes in the need to encourage emerging artists to seek out constructive criticism, strive for original design, be thoughtful in the development of concepts and to carefully edit their ideas so that they are producing their best work and can find their own voice in the design community.

Ann McLaren, craniofacial prosthetics, Vancouver
Award of Distinction

Ann studied figurative sculpture at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. A former co-owner of Third Dimension Studios, Ann specialized in making life-like recreations for international museums such as the Florida Museum of Natural History, the DNA Learning Center in Cold Springs New York, and the NASA Space Center in Houston, Texas. For 16 years Ann worked as a special make-up effects artist on A-list feature films and television productions and helped create memorable characters such as X-Men’s Mystique. In collaboration with FXSmith Studio in Toronto, Ann helped pioneer silicone filled prosthetics which revolutionized the entire effects industry. She later explored new avenues of her medium by studying forensic facial reconstruction and employed these skills in creating portraits for a Missing Persons Unit.

As an instructor in the Media Arts Department at the Art Institute of Vancouver, Ann introduced real-world sculpture skills to 3-D computer students. In her own art practice, Ann combines her love of figurative sculpture using different materials. Her pieces, which reference art history, prehistory, and popular culture, have been exhibited at Vancouver’s Artropolis, the SAG and the Community Arts Council of Vancouver.

Ann found her passion in anaplastology while visiting a clinic in the U.S. where she learned to make custom breast prosthetics. She later volunteered her skills back home in Vancouver at the BC Cancer Society’s Wig and Breast Prosthetic Bank. More recently, Ann joined the Craniofacial Prosthetic Unit at Sunnybrook Health and Science Centre where she’s taken her lifelong experiences and applied them in a practical way that makes people’s lives better.