Travelling the province with Dom Bautista 

Photo: Dom Bautista, 2020 Mitchell Award of Distinction

Dom Bautista received the Mitchell Award of Distinction designation as part of the 2020 Community Award program. His outstanding work with Amici Curiae Friends of Court provides legal services to vulnerable members of society and provides access to justice.

Upon receiving his award in Spring of 2020 during the initial lock down of COVID 19, Dom made a promise that once the pandemic ended, he would take it upon himself to meet each of his fellow 24 awardees. No easy feat with travel restrictions and the inability to have in person meetings for most of the past two years. However, Dom is determined to keep his word and has already met with two awardees in what we are affectionately calling Dom’s 2020 Community Award Tour. 

The first stop on Dom’s tour is Ivan Sayers. Ivan is the Honorary Curator of the BC Society for Museum of Original Costume and Curator Emeritus, Museum of Vancouver. Specializing in the study of women’s, men’s, and children’s fashions from 1700 to the present, Ivan has produced historical fashion shows and museum exhibitions all over western North America. A lecturer and mentor, his fashion shows have supported countless non-profits over the years.   

The pandemic has had a big impact on Ivan’s work. “All my public work has come to a halt because of COVID, and I’m not working with live audiences, so am doing more exhibitions with galleries online. I like telling stories, but I miss a live audience.” 

When asked what gives him hope, Ivan’s response is multifaceted. “There are degrees of hope; hope for today and hope for the long range. Hope that the world will be a better place tomorrow than it once was.” His hope for British Columbians is resolution for COVID and for fair treatment of First Nations. “These have to be resolved so we can be united and moved forward, that’s what I hope for people.”

As for his hopes for himself, this 75-year-old wants to live to 104! 

Ivan suggests that others can learn about and help with his cause by following his lead: “I started collecting historical clothing because it’s the most personal of artifacts – which can tell you about the society, individual commerce and trade.”  

Currently, Ivan is working on an exhibition opening at the Museum of Vancouver in January 2023 on the influence of Asian cultures in western fashion. He’s energized by the level of support the exhibition is receiving and it infuses his goal to have a clothing and textile museum. His aim is to create a space where all stakeholders can come together to showcase textile collections and house a resource and teaching institution. 

Next stop on Dom’s 2020 Community Award Tour is Dr. Paige Axelrood. As the founder of the Scientist in Residence Program, Paige developed and built an educational program to support teachers and help students discover their inner scientist. Elementary students across the Vancouver School District have experienced hands-on science and discovered the natural world through the program. Paige’s vision to partner teachers with scientists to facilitate hands-on, inquiry-based lessons has helped change the delivery of science education while elevating the learning trajectory of many young students.    

“The program has brought so much to teachers, students and their families. It has brought science to the forefront; and how much students can engage and love science and how they can explore the world and see science as part of everyday life and not limited to ‘scientists’ in laboratories.” Paige’s aha moment came at Queen Elizabeth School Annex when a kindergarten student, upon finding out that Paige was a scientist, asked ‘where is your white lab coat’. 

On the subject of what gives one hope, Paige is optimistic. “I always hold on to hope, it is the way I am. It comes from my family, love, friends, community, nature and the younger generation. These generations are growing up with environmental challenges, which no doubt, they will address with sage ideas.” 

As Dom’s tour of the province continues, he leaves us with these words, “I hope we each find inspiration in the work that we do so we can make British Columbia a better place for future generations. Giving back, no matter how big or how small, will and can make a profound difference to someone.” 

Thank you, Dom, for continuing the journey and empowering others to lead through their ability to give. We look forward to further updates as you cross the province and connect with your next 22 new friends! 

Watch the full interview with Ivan Sayers on BC Achievement’s YouTube channel

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

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