June is Nominate Now month 

Photo: Lawrie Mack, 2022 Community Award recipient (far right)

June is Nominate Now  month at BC Achievement.   

It’s almost time to #nominatenowbc and recognize the accomplishments of BC’s entrepreneurs and artists and celebrate extraordinary people doing exceptional work. 

BC Achievement runs five annual award programs that recognize the accomplishments of individuals, groups and organizations in the areas of community leadership, applied art + design, First Nations art, Indigenous entrepreneurship and reconciliation.  

On June 1, 2022 the nominations will open online for submissions to three of these award programs: 

Indigenous Business Award 
Fulmer Award in First Nations Art 
Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design 

For 19 years, BC Achievement has celebrated the province’s finest. The only organization of its kind in Canada to honour entrepreneurs, artists, leaders, visionaries and volunteers. BC Achievement shares the singular stories of these exceptional individuals. 

Photo: Stan Bevan, 2021 Award of Distinction recipient, Fulmer Award in First Nations Art

But it’s always been about more than the individual. It’s about understanding and investing in the communities that carry them, the people and places that make up our province. Every one of our recipients is a conduit for change. The effects of their work rippling outward, building momentum while impacting countless lives. BC Achievement programming sparks a movement that captures the best of BC and carves a path forward for others to follow. 

So, if you know an artist or entrepreneur that fills the bill, or you are one yourself, nominate now for one of the award programs! 

Indigenous Business Award – Elevates excellence within Indigenous-owned businesses. Categories are: Business of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Community owned; and Business Partnership of the Year. Online nominations for the Indigenous Business Award program are open until June 30, 2022. 

Fulmer Award in First Nations Art– Celebrates artistic excellence in traditional and contemporary visual arts by First Nations artists. The Fulmer Award in First Nations Art nominations are open until July 7, 2022. 

Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design – Honours excellence in functional art and design. The Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design is open until July 14, 2022.  

Be part of it — elevate excellence in BC –  and nominate a deserving individual or business for one of these awards! 

Nominations open June 1, 2022 at bcachievement.com 

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

Mitchell Award of Distinction recipient,
Dr. Faisal Khosa 

Photo: 2022 Awardee, Dr. Faisal Khosa

Dr. Faisal Khosa is a champion for diversity and inclusion in educational institutions and employment. His remarkable achievements have been commemorated with the Mitchell Award of Distinction as a recipient of the 2022 Community Award. The Mitchell Award of Distinction recognizes Faisal’s unique and selfless leadership that empowers others to lead. His commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) has created a lasting legacy in his community and province. 

One of the standout things about Faisal is his passion in seeing his mentees succeed. Despite his busy schedule as an award-winning radiologist, scholar, and clinician-scientist, he provides insightful advice and is always available to provide guidance and support. He often mentors and supports aspiring physicians from developing countries achieve clinical fellowships in Europe, USA, and Canada.  

With more than 240 peer-reviewed scholarly publications, Faisal’s research has catalyzed initiatives to increase the accessibility of higher education and achievement for underrepresented groups including female, refugee, BIPOC and those with physical and mental disabilities. His efforts have produced actionable guidelines for institutions in BC and beyond and helped create an equitable space that allows for inclusion of all students, educators and physicians. 

Photo: Dr. Faisal Khosa, 2022 Mitchell Award of Distinction

Faisal is a leader in reducing systemic barriers. Through hands-on EDI and anti-racism workshops and seminars he has empowered others to become ambassadors for EDI, ensuring a sustainable legacy of inclusive excellence in BC.  

With a purpose to ensure a level playing field, Faisal enables those who have been historically marginalized with the opportunities to shine. He is committed to reducing systemic barriers and it is this devotion to community service and his motivation to help others excel that embodies selfless service.  

He teaches us that equal opportunity leads to inequality and treating everyone equally maintains inequity. Equity and equality while used interchangeably are different entities and lead to dissimilar results. When we treat everyone equally, we treat everyone the same, but when we treat everyone equitably, we focus on individual needs and tailor-made solutions. Equity asks us to acknowledge that everyone has different needs, experiences, and opportunities.  

For more information about Dr. Faisal Khosa, see bcachievement.com  

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

2022 Community Awardees Announced 

Photo: Baylie McKnight, 2022 Community Award recipient

The recipients of the 19th annual Community Award were just announced! The BC Achievement Community Award program recognizes extraordinary British Columbians who build better, stronger and more resilient communities. 

Representing communities and interests from around the province, the recipients are examples of dedication and service. Their contributions to their organizations, neighbourhoods, and communities are invaluable and life-changing.  

The 2022 Community Award recipients are:  

Carol Camille, Lillooet 
Jim Good, Prince George  
David He, Burnaby
Herman Ho, MB, AdeC, Vancouver 
Dr. Faisal Khosa, Vancouver  
Chin uook Kim, New Westminster 
Suresh Kurl, Richmond  
David Amrik Lau, Saanichton 
Lawrie Mack, Invermere
Baylie McKnight, Victoria 
Anders I. Ourom, Vancouver
Carmen Rosen, Vancouver 
Kamal Sharma, Surrey  
Robert Tanaka, Coquitlam  
Dr. Tracey Thorne, Gabriola Island 
Charissa Tonnesen, Tumbler Ridge
Dr. Vivian W. L. Tsang, Vancouver 
Wayne White, Courtenay
Sqwulutsultun William Yoachim, Nanaimo  
Anthony and Nancy Yurkovich, Richmond 

The recipients were selected by an independent committee, whose 2022 members include Mayor Maja Tait of Sooke, Mayor Clara Reinhardt of Radium Hot Springs, and past recipients Aisha Amijee and Kal Dosanjh.  

“The past two years have been challenging for all of us. It’s heartening to see these community leaders, visionaries, innovators and volunteers continuing to work to make the world a better place while lighting a path of achievement for other British Columbians to follow.” Anne Giardini, OC, OBC, QC, Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation. 

The Mitchell Award designate of the Community Award is selected by the BC Achievement Foundation Board in consultation with the local community. The award recognizes an individual who, through their work and volunteer activities, demonstrates an unwavering commitment to elevating people around them. This year’s Mitchell Award of Distinction recipient is Dr. Faisal Khosa, a mentor, educator and advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion, whose selfless leadership style empowers others to lead and excel.  

“This year’s Community Award recipients have supported their communities during exceptionally difficult times and are an inspiration to us all,” says Premier John Horgan. “They have dedicated their time and energy to helping their friends and neighbours, and British Columbia is a better province because of them.” 

The 2022 Community Award recipients will be recognized in a formal presentation ceremony held in Victoria, BC, this month in the presence of the Honourable Janet Austin, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Each awardee will receive a certificate and medallion designed by BC artist Robert Davidson, OC. They will also be celebrated through an online campaign #shinethelightbc to commemorate their excellence and inspirational achievements positively impacting British Columbians.  

You can read about each of these awardees and their accomplishments at bcachievement.com 

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

BC Achievement Foundation names recipients of the 19th Annual Community Award

Vancouver, BC: Premier John Horgan and Anne Giardini, Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation, today named the recipients of the 19th annual Community Award. The program, presented by BC Achievement – an independent foundation that honours excellence and inspires achievement throughout the province – recognizes extraordinary British Columbians who build better, stronger and more resilient communities.

“We are incredibly proud to celebrate the work of these 20 individuals, who shine as examples of dedication and service,” says Anne Giardini, OC, OBC, QC, Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation. “The past two years have been challenging for all of us. It’s heartening to see these community leaders, visionaries, innovators and volunteers continuing to work to make the world a better place while lighting a path of achievement for other British Columbians to follow.”

The Community Award recipients are selected by an independent committee, whose 2022 members include Mayor Maja Tait of Sooke, Mayor Clara Reinhardt of Radium Hot Springs, and past recipients Aisha Amijee and Kal Dosanjh. This year’s recipients include:

Carol Camille, Lillooet
Jim Good, Prince George 
David He, Burnaby
Herman Ho, MB, AdeC, Vancouver
Dr. Faisal Khosa, Vancouver 
Chin uook Kim, New Westminster
Suresh Kurl, Richmond 
David Amrik Lau, Saanichton
Lawrie Mack, Invermere
Baylie McKnight, Victoria
Anders I. Ourom, Vancouver
Carmen Rosen, Vancouver
Kamal Sharma, Surrey
Robert Tanaka, Coquitlam
Dr. Tracey Thorne, Gabriola Island
Charissa Tonnesen, Tumbler Ridge
Dr. Vivian W. L. Tsang, Vancouver
Wayne White, Courtenay 
Sqwulutsultun William Yoachim, Nanaimo
Anthony and Nancy Yurkovich, Richmond

The Mitchell Award designate of the Community Award is selected by the BC Achievement Foundation Board in consultation with the local community. The award recognizes an individual who, through their work and volunteer activities, demonstrates an unwavering commitment to elevating people around them. This year’s Mitchell Award of Distinction recipient is Dr. Faisal Khosa, a mentor, educator and advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion, whose selfless leadership style empowers others to lead and excel. 

“This year’s Community Award recipients have supported their communities during exceptionally difficult times and are an inspiration to us all,” says Premier John Horgan. “They have dedicated their time and energy to helping their friends and neighbours, and British Columbia is a better province because of them.”

The 2022 Community Award recipients will be recognized in a formal presentation ceremony held in Victoria, BC, on May 10 in the presence of the Honourable Janet Austin, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Each awardee will receive a certificate and medallion designed by BC artist Robert Davidson, CM, OBC. They will also be celebrated through an online campaign #shinethelightbc to commemorate their excellence and inspirational achievements positively impacting British Columbians. 

Interviews with representatives of the BC Achievement Foundation, as well as Community Award recipients, are available upon request. Awardee bios and high resolution images are available here.

For more information about the BC Achievement Foundation or Community Award program, please visit www.bcachievement.com.

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About BC Achievement

BC Achievement is an independent foundation established in 2003 that celebrates the spirit of excellence in our province and serves to honour the best of British Columbia. By recognizing the accomplishments of our province’s entrepreneurs, artists, community leaders, youth and volunteers, its award programs pay tribute to exceptional people, doing exceptional work, while carving a path forward for others to follow. 

www.bcachievement.com

Media Contact
Gemma Bishop
Bishop PR
T: 604-375-6953
E: [email protected]

2022 Community Award – Backgrounders

Carol Camille, Lillooet 

Carol Camille is the Executive Director of the Lillooet Friendship Centre Society (LFCS), serving her community for the past 13 years. She has organized and led the LFSC team with courage and energy to support hundreds of clients and members. Carol has been at the helm through significant challenges: the pandemic, economic hardships, fires, floods, landslides, road closures, homelessness and more. Because of her strength and dedication, the LFCS stayed open through the pandemic providing much needed services to the community.  

Carol also works with the food bank and local grocers to provide food for those in need. These food sharing services reach neighbouring communities including Bralorne, Fountain and Goldbridge. When nearby Lytton was ravaged by wildfires in 2021, the LFCS was transformed into a dormitory with meals, medical attention and counselling offered to evacuees. As a proud Secwepemc woman from Tk’emlups, Carol ensures traditions and culture are actively featured and promoted in every way at LFCS.  

Jim Good, Prince George  

One of Canada’s original naturalists, Jim Good has been developing Goodsir Nature Park located just north of Prince George for the past 30 years. A designated Canadian Botanical Conservatory, Goodsir offers 160 acres of plant exploration highlighting a national collection of species. Jim purchased the land with the intent to create a space where his passion for nature and botany could be shared with all. He collected the specimens himself, driving across Canada sourcing tree, plant, flower, and other native botanical species. This enormous effort has resulted in Goodsir serving as an educational hub in his community and one of the most remarkable and beautiful botanical parks in the world.  

Devoted to conservation issues, Jim single-handedly built Goodsir as a hobby nature park and funded it in addition to raising a family on a modest salary. A naturalist museum is part of the Goodsir experience, and it includes another of Jim’s passions, a collection of over 35,000 records for the public to enjoy. Jim provides all these cultural services to his community at no cost and gives freely of his time to guide individuals through both the park and the museum.  

David He, Burnaby 

As a high school student and a second-generation Canadian, David is passionate about making his community more inclusive and equitable for all. In 2017, he founded The Global Spotlight Foundation, an international student initiative that transforms youth into changemakers through stories and mentorship. Since then, David has led numerous community projects, including human libraries, conferences, and town halls. He has proudly delivered three TEDx talks and represented Canada through the Human Rights Conference in Copenhagen, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the 2019 Vimy Pilgrimage Award and as a Yale Young Global Scholar.   

Last year, David was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to provide policy advice to the Government of Canada through his Youth Council. As one of its leaders, David successfully advocated for the national conversion therapy ban and for increased funding for marginalized communities in the federal budget. Today, David is studying on a scholarship at Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific, before heading to the University of British Columbia this fall. 

Herman Ho, MB, AdeC, Vancouver 

For over 40 years, Herman Ho has engaged in a range of volunteer activities improving the quality of life of those around him. His community service began at an early age and after serving with Scouts and Rovers, Herman became a volunteer with the Salvation Army. At the age of 17 he formed the Traffic Auxiliary Corps through collaborations with the Vancouver Police Department and Insurance Corporation of British Columbia on campaigns directed at youth on drinking and driving, seatbelt use and pedestrian safety. Herman subsequently became involved with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards as a leader and assessor for 15 years where he supported over 1,000 youth to achieve the Award. 

Herman volunteered with St. John Ambulance (British Columbia and Yukon) for over 30 years serving as Provincial Chair and Provincial Commissioner. In 2007 he was appointed an Honorary Aide de Camp to the Lieutenant Governor and has served three consecutive Lieutenant Governors culminating to his current appointment as Chief Honorary Aide de Camp. In addition to his outstanding volunteer service to his community, Herman displayed tremendous courage by saving a man from drowning in the Fraser River in 1993 and was recognized with the Medal of Bravery.   

Dr. Faisal Khosa, Vancouver  

An award-winning radiologist and scholar, Dr. Faisal Khosa excels as a clinician-scientist. His work as a mentor, educator and advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) has created a legacy for his profession and also the larger BC community. With more than 240 peer-reviewed scholarly publications, Dr. Khosa’s research has catalyzed initiatives to increase the accessibility of higher education and achievement for underrepresented students. He has created actionable guidelines for institutions in BC and Canada for the equitable inclusion of students, educators and physicians.    

Dr. Khosa serves as a mentor for students belonging to underrepresented groups including female, refugee, BIPOC and those with physical and mental disabilities empowering them through hands-on EDI workshops. His purpose and dream are to ensure a level playing field and enable those who have been historically marginalized with the opportunities to shine.  

Chin uook Kim, New Westminster 

Chin uook Kim is a hero in the Korean Canadian community. A true success story of immigrating to Canada (1969) and starting a business, Mr. Kim is a committed, strong advocate and role model in his community. In 2014, he received an award from the President of the Republic of Korea for being one of the outstanding Korean leaders in the Greater Vancouver area. He resurrected the Korean Society of BC for Fraternity and Culture (KSBC), a non-profit organization servicing over 80,000 Koreans living in Metro Vancouver. In 2018 he formed and chaired the Emergency Measure Committee to maintain the KSBC when the organization’s leadership was in peril, and his efforts had the KSBC functioning again by 2019 as a community strength.  

After successfully leading this role, Mr. Kim continued his service as Vice President of KSBC further demonstrating his dedication. He also served as the Korean Senior Society chairman in 2014 and 2015, developing educational programs for Korean Canadian seniors. Mr. Kim’s constancy and leadership has earned the respect and gratitude of community members and encouraged the next generation to step up and volunteer for the KSBC. 

Suresh Kurl, Richmond  

For over four decades Suresh Kurl has connected with his fellow British Columbians through his articles and essays on culture, equality, justice, and faith. These pieces have appeared in the Vancouver Sun, Province, Huffington Post, Georgia Straight, Richmond News, Link Newspaper, and Darpan, Mehfil, Aaj magazines amongst others. His energy and drive have contributed to improved understanding and dialogue, in the areas of citizenship, multiculturalism, race relations, and interfaith harmony.   

A community builder, Suresh presents in forums where he shares his unique and rich experiences and challenges his audiences to adopt oneness rather than otherness. Until recently he was an active member of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and he remains a regular contributor to and participant in the annual Raise Your Hands Against Racism event. At 81, Suresh is a member of the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act, assembled July 2020. 

David Amrik Lau, Saanichton 

David Lau has made significant contributions to Greater Victoria. In 2012 he became the Executive Director of the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) and led the transformation of the struggling organization by innovating its programming and human services, stabilizing its finances and workforce, and making it a nationally recognized centre for trauma-based services and collaboration. His service has enhanced the community for immigrants, refugees, and Canadians-in-waiting while enriching connections to existing communities through multiculturalism, anti-racism, business, culture, and the arts.   

In 2017, David conceptualized and led the formation of the Victoria Social Innovation Centre (VSIC). This first-in-BC organization unites like-minded human service agencies to create a collaborative enterprise. A notable service of the VSIC that David led is the Little Phoenix Child Care which helps preschool children learn how to manage early traumatic memories. David also established Vancouver Island’s first refugee housing project, a multi-building project with embedded re-settlement services that provide a safe, welcoming community environment for refugees. 

Lawrie Mack, Invermere 

The Columbia Valley Food Bank (CVFB) is indebted to Lawrie Mack for his exceptional work in the local community. During his four-year tenure as chair, his leadership increased the organization’s profile, accessibility to services and inclusivity. The CVFB went from a small community organization to one with an active, engaged board and volunteer base. Lawrie instigated a delivery program to include more remote communities, reaching individuals and families who were previously unable to access services. 

Lawrie was instrumental and highly involved in tackling another integral initiative  - a new facility for CVFB. He took the lead in negotiating an agreement with the district to finance and build on land owned by the town. Lawrie wrote multiple grant proposals to cover building expenses, oversaw the hiring of a project manager to handle the construction, encouraged the provision of “in kind” donations from businesses and organizations, and became the face of the biggest project the CVFB had ever undertaken.   

Baylie McKnight, Victoria 

A passionate advocate for people living with complex mental health concerns, trauma, substance use disorders, and experiencing homelessness, Baylie McKnight fills an unmet need for support in a vulnerable population. She began her community service work at age 16 as a youth speaker, focusing on substance use education in schools in 2005. She carried on as a volunteer outreach worker on the streets of Victoria at night for four years. In 2012, Baylie co-founded the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Society of British Columbia, a transformative and innovative charity supporting people living with BPD and their loved ones.   

Baylie has worked in various organizations in different capacities, including outreach, non-profits, and health authorities for over 15 years. She is an incomparable resource for those in her field as she has lived experience as well as education to back up her many skills. Baylie recently completed her Master of Clinical Social Work at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan so that she could continue to serve and advocate for others. In addition, she is comprehensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and is undergoing an intensive three-year program to become a Somatic Experiencing trauma practitioner. Baylie is currently developing and implementing an affordable DBT multi-skills group and starting a private practice in counselling. 

Anders I. Ourom, Vancouver  

Anders Ourom began serving BC’s climbing and mountaineering community while a student at the University of British Columbia and remains actively engaged to this day. As a young volunteer, he led training trips and taught rock climbing at Squamish and elsewhere. He has continued this with the BC Mountaineering Club, which he has been active in for over 50 years. Anders’ efforts introduced many people to rock climbing and mountaineering, and he has been a mentor to many climbers. An expert rock climber, his 1980 guidebook to rock climbing at Squamish systematized and collected all the information available to that point. 

A founder and long-time president of the Climbers’ Access Society of BC, Anders was one of those instrumental in persuading the provincial government to create Stawamus Chief Provincial Park in 1995 and Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park in 2010. A founding member of the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival in 1997, Anders has been involved as a volunteer, director, and strategic adviser. Anders was an early member of Mountain Equipment Co-operative. He started as a volunteer at its tiny first store, then served nine years as a director, including three years as chair. 

Carmen Rosen, Vancouver 

As an artist, co-creating art is at the core of what Carmen Rosen strives to achieve through her work at the Still Moon Arts Society. When Carmen moved to the Renfrew Collingwood neighbourhood in Vancouver, she discovered a hidden treasure, the Renfrew Ravine, a remnant woodland with a small section of Still Creek running through it. Carmen joined the neglected ravine clean-up crew and was inspired by its natural beauty to create an event to recognize its value. Still Moon Arts Society was born and the Moon Festival began.   

Noting the community demographics, Carmen took the Asian Mid-Autumn Moon Festival for inspiration initiating the creative integration of community, arts and environment. Her engagement strategy included youth and seniors, the cultures around her, community organizations and schools. In 2017, Carmen published What Comes to Light; Stories of Still Creek Lost and Found. Motivated by the health of the ravine, Carmen sought out environmental partners such as the Evergreen Foundation, BCIT Rivers Institute, Environmental Youth Alliance, and City of Vancouver Planning. Carmen’s leadership has inspired youth and residents to participate in the removal of invasive species, plant native trees, monitor water quality and continue clean-up efforts. 

Kamal Sharma, Surrey  

For over 40 years Kamal Sharma has been involved in the entertainment business, bringing together South Asian communities. He identified a need in the local population to help bridge the gap between South Asian entertainers, entertainment news and the fast-growing new immigrant population in the lower mainland. He provided a platform to engage with BC youth and nurtured their appreciation for the culture and talent from India. From hosting TV shows, to renting and selling Bollywood movies to presenting sold out concerts to thousands of people, Kamal has remained true to his roots and shared his love of South Asian culture, entertainers, music, and Bollywood stars.  

Through his work, Kamal has helped thousands of people stay abreast of the latest entertainment out of Bollywood. With his experience behind him, Kamal founded KVP Entertainers & KVP Heritage, whose goal is to revive arts presentations from South Asia in BC. Kamal and KVP Heritage have sponsored many community events and fundraisers, supported young people as well as up and coming future stars. 

Robert Tanaka, Coquitlam   

The city of Coquitlam and the strength of the community is indebted to the commitment of volunteers like Robert (Bob) Tanaka. Bob has sat on many local boards, notably the Coquitlam Public Library and the Coquitlam Foundation and shared his skill set as an accountant to further the goals of the organizations he serves. In these roles Bob held various positions, including Treasurer, applying his expertise to steer the financial well-being of the boards while demonstrating the importance of engagement and what it can accomplish. 

Bob has also lent his leadership skills to more regionally based organizations such as the Domestic Abuse Services Society, the Crossroads Hospice Society and Foundation and the Tozenji Japanese Culture Centre. In his many volunteer endeavours, three things remain constant to Bob’s volunteerism: his willingness to serve, the effectiveness of that service, and the good will he creates as part of that service.  

Dr. Tracey Thorne, Gabriola Island  

Dr. Tracey Thorne is a dedicated leader of the Gabriola Chapter of the Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice. Dr. Thorne pushed for rural communities, and their healthcare providers, to get the support they needed during the pandemic. She was instrumental in creating a position for a Mental Health and Substance Use Nurse and a social worker, both of whom are now embedded in the community of Gabriola Island. Embracing the range and needs of family practice medicine, Dr. Thorne also partnered with a local service agency to create a palliative care program on Gabriola Island and initiated a community-based organization, the Gabriola Health and Wellness Collaborative. 

Dr. Thorne has also served the Youth Wellness Clinic in Nanaimo and was on the Advisory Board for the Adult Mental Health and Substance Use Spread Network with the Nanaimo Division of Family Practice. In 2019, she was awarded a BC College of Family Physicians’ Social Determinants of Health grant to develop the Mama Mood program, a facilitated counselling and support group for mothers on Gabriola Island. 

Charissa Tonnesen, Tumbler Ridge 

Charissa Tonnesen began working in Tumbler Ridge in 2000, after graduating from the University of British Columbia (UBC) as a pharmacist. She made Tumbler Ridge her home seven years later, remaining a beacon of hope and community devotion through tough economic times. Charissa has served on numerous board committees, including the Tumbler Ridge Museum and its UNESCO Global Geopark, and the Community Arts Council. An accomplished singer and guitarist, Charissa has been a member of the community choir for many years. She supports local youth through her involvement with the annual TR Junior Idol competition, hosted by the Arts Council, and the Northern Rockies Karate-do. Charissa is a karate champion and encourages youth to achieve their best in sport as well.    

In 2019 she took over the running of Flatbed Loops for the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society. Her commitment to teaching is evident through her voluntary work as preceptor for UBC Pharmacy students. Many such students have passed through her Tumbler Ridge pharmacy and experienced the challenges and rewards of being a rural pharmacist.    

Dr. Vivian W. L. Tsang, Vancouver  

Dr. Vivian Tsang advocates for a world with equitable access to healthcare. Through her charity, the HOPE Initiative Foundation, Dr. Tsang has developed a platform for youth to get involved in community service that helps reduce stigma and healthcare barriers for vulnerable citizens in BC. Her creation of HOPE has engaged and trained over 3,000 BC youth eager to be changemakers who can make a difference. Dr. Tsang leverages these experiences to inspire others by speaking on topics from educational reform to stigmatization and the opioid overdose, to over 40,000 youth across Canada.   

Prior to the municipal election, Dr. Tsang sat on the City of Vancouver’s Child Family and Youth Committee. She was chosen to Chair the Faculty of Medicine’s Policy Development Committee in 2018, developing a policy paper to advocate for increased resources for youth mental health to the provincial government. During the pandemic, Dr. Tsang also co-founded the BC COVID-19 Medical Student Response Team, a group that eventually expanded throughout Western Canada to mobilize thousands of medical students to assist with contact tracing, contactless delivery of medications for seniors, and the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.   

Wayne White, Courtenay  

 Wayne White has contributed to the quality of life and protection of the environment in the Comox Valley for more than 40 years. Exceptional at building partnerships, Wayne gets people involved while fostering positive action. In addition to his work in environmental monitoring, Wayne served on the Comox District School Board for six years and was a founding director of the Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Society on Hornby Island. He also helped form the Tsolum River Task Force in 1995, an early multi-stakeholder effort to develop a plan to remediate the mine site.  

 Wayne was a founding director of the Tsolum River Restoration Society in 1998 and has served as its president since 2012 ensuring that the society’s mitigation efforts remain effective. A volunteer for the Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association (CDFGPA) for over 10 years, Wayne serves as chair of the Conservation Committee and sits as CDFGPA’s representative on the Comox Lake Water Protection Group. Wayne’s recent achievements include negotiating land and water use agreements and constructing a freshwater fish hatchery at Comox Lake.   

Sqwulutsultun William Yoachim, Nanaimo  

In the field of child and family services for Indigenous youth and families on Vancouver Island, Sqwulutsultun William (Bill) Yoachim is a transformative leader. Having dealt with trauma in his own life, Bill understands the importance of providing an environment required for children and their families to overcome barriers. At Kwu’mut Lelum Child and Family Services, Bill has been the Executive Director for 16 years, and under his leadership, the agency has helped children and families in nine First Nations as well as urban centres. This has involved the development of cutting-edge programs and policies that are informed by Big House Teachings which ensure all First Nations youth be cared for and served.   

In the fall of 2021, Bill, in collaboration with the nine Kwu’mut Lelum First Nations, officially launched the Kw’umut Lelum Community Foundation. The Foundation provides a mechanism capable of attracting and distributing charitable and philanthropic resources to youth. This new, First Nations owned and controlled community foundation, provides a self-determining charitable approach to support programs, generate ideas, and invest in community creativity, while encouraging engagement, entrepreneurship, and social and economic prosperity for youth, families, elders and their communities.   

Anthony and Nancy Yurkovich, Richmond 

Anthony (Tony) and Nancy Yurkovich are pillars of Richmond’s philanthropic community. True community champions, they consistently continue to step up and encourage others to consider how everyone might contribute to building a better community. In addition to being strong advocates for medical causes, including mental health, home care and end of life care, Tony and Nancy support local and international projects through their membership in the Rotary Club of Richmond.  

One of their achievements is the establishment of the first, free-standing community hospice in Richmond, Rotary Hospice House which opened its doors in 2005. They are steadfast supporters of Pathways Clubhouse in Richmond and in 2006, made a landmark gift to VGH for a new medical library giving patients greater access to medical information. In 2012 they provided start-up funding for VGH’s award-winning pilot program to successfully transition patients to home. The Yurkovichs have supported agriculture and food sustainability programs at the University of British Columbia and made the single largest donation in Richmond Hospital’s history to construct a much-needed new Acute Care Tower.