Appreciation for the nominators

Thank you to nominators for leading the way! Your submissions have been coming in since June 1 when nominations first opened and you’ve opened the door for so many people to be seen, recognized and celebrated. We are grateful to be able to share these many stories of success. 

After six weeks BC Achievement’s fall award programs closed their respective calls for nominations. The Indigenous Business Award closed its call for nominations on June 30, followed by the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art on July 7, and the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design  followed a week later on July 14. It has been a busy and rewarding nomination phase! 

We commend the commitment and effort taken in the preparation of each nomination package. 

“When we celebrate and steward outstanding British Columbians and elevate their stories, we help to ensure that we truly see the enormous range of potential and achievements all around us.”
Anne Giardini OC, OBC, QC – Chair, BC Achievement Board 

It’s important to elevate excellence through nominations for award programs – it raises awareness of the powerful things happening in our communities and sets the path for innovation, change and leadership. Nominating an individual, artists, organizations or businesses for an award, showcases their creative initiative, their dedicated commitment to their practice, their tenacity and their excellence in their chosen field. The process demonstrates respect and gratitude for someone who achieves excellence in their endeavours and whose story can inspire others through this recognition.  

What are the benefits of a successful nomination to an awardee? Most importantly, it helps raise the profile of the awardee and the community they serve. It reinforces that the awardee is on the right path, and it helps validate all the efforts they’ve put into their chosen field as being worthwhile. A successful nomination also helps share experiences with others in the field, creating role models and establishing platforms for change while bringing people together over common interests and passions. 

By recognizing the accomplishments of our province’s entrepreneurs, artists, community leaders, youth and volunteers, BC Achievement’s award programs pay tribute to exceptional people, doing exceptional work. Recognition serves as a tool that can contribute to growth and development of individuals, communities and organizations throughout the province.  

Thank you to  the  nominators, the champions, who put in the time to support the work of the leaders, volunteers, makers, organizers, and doers. This province is a better place to live because of your efforts and we thank you for leading the way!  

To learn more about the programs BC Achievement offers, check out  bcachievement.com 

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

Carter Wosk Award program nominations close July 14 #NominateNowBC! 

Photo: 2021 Awardee, Nick Purcell, furniture designer

The Carter Wosk Award program recognizes excellence in applied art and design and has been doing so since 2005. Applied artists and designers create works that have a practical or functional application but yet offer so much more through their design aesthetic. In 2021 the award was presented to a ceramicist, a furniture designer, a textile artist and a craniofacial prosthetics artist. Each awardee creates pieces that are both functional and pleasing to the eye.  

Open to artists who create works that include, but are not limited to, furniture, textiles, jewellery, ceramics, weaving, glass, fashion, and industrial design, the program shines a light on functional art. Art that enhances day-to-day life while enriching our collective experience. It celebrates British Columbians whose work directly contributes to the cultural and economic fabric of the province. 

“These acknowledgements honour individuals and groups who dedicate their lives to creating a vital society of art and culture. It is important to preserve the integrity of artistic expression and, in turn, perpetuate the cycle of inspiring one another.” 2021 awardee Elen Danielle, inaugural recipient of the Judson Beaumont Emerging Artist designation, Carter Wosk Award Applied Art + Design.   

If you, or someone you know deserves recognition for their dedicated effort, expert skills and undaunted courage to create functional art, nominate them for the Carter Wosk Award. Elevate excellence and inspire achievement and share the stories of BC’s creative economy. 

“I feel truly honoured to have received the Carter Wosk Applied Art + Design Award of Distinction. There are so many talented artists working in BC, to be recognized by my peers fills me with gratitude.” 2021 awardee Ann McLaren, Award of Distinction, Carter Wosk Award Applied Art + Design.  

BC Achievement is grateful for the generosity of the Yosef Wosk Family Foundation toward the Carter Wosk Award program.  

Nominate now for the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design! Nominations are open until July 14, 2022 at bcachievement.com Elevate excellence in BC and nominate a deserving individual for this award. Together we can inspire achievement through recognition. #nominatenowbc #elevateexcellence 

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

Remembering the late Bill McLennan (1948 – 2020) 

Photo: William (Bill) McLennan (1948-2020)

William (Bill) McLennan, renowned for his vast knowledge of Northwest Coast First Nations art, was a change maker for many First Nations artists and their practices throughout British Columbia. If you are engaged with the First Nations art community in any way, you will have undoubtedly come across his name, his writings and, if you were lucky enough, Bill himself. 

Bill held a deep passion and intimate knowledge of Indigenous peoples and their art and their histories. It was Bill’s discovery through extensive research that infrared film could reveal Northwest coast paintings that had disappeared under the patina of age. The research led to an exhibit and ultimately the influential book he wrote with colleague, Karen Duffek, The Transforming Image: Painted Arts of Northwest Coast First Nations. Just before his untimely death, Bill had completed another book with Karen Duffek and Jordan Wilson, Where the Power Is: Indigenous Perspectives on Northwest Coast Art

Bill fuelled his passion for First Nations art through his work with museums, non-profit organizations, and youth. He had a close working relationship with artist Bill Reid and helped numerous artists through his mentorship, advice, or even offering up his home to those artists who needed a place to stay while visiting Vancouver.  

An advocate for repatriating First Nations Art to its rightful owners, his goal was to bring back Northwest Coast art to British Columbia from wherever it is currently housed. Speaking at the BC Achievement Artists’ Talk in November 2019, Bill shared his determination to repatriate First Nations Art objects with the audience:  

“They are the history of the Northwest Coast. Those pieces need to come back because of the knowledge that’s embedded in there. The knowledge can be extracted by contemporary First Nations artists.”  

Bill took pride in celebrating First Nation Art in BC while supporting emerging and established artists. He was a committed advisor for over 15 years to BC Achievement’s First Nations Art program.  

Bill was celebrated through an online tribute coordinated by the Museum of Anthropology. His knowledge, kind spirit and guidance is greatly missed by the many he lifted up, but his legacy continues to elevate and inspire us all. 

The Fulmer Award in First Nations Art  celebrates artistic excellence in traditional and contemporary visual arts by First Nations artists. Nominations are open until July 7, 2022 at bcachievement.com 

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

Last day to nominate for the 2022 Indigenous Business Award #NominateNowBC 

The 2022 Indigenous Business Award program is open for nominations until midnight, June 30. 

Since 2009, the IBA program has served to identify and recognize successful Indigenous businesses. It honours excellence and celebrates Indigenous business throughout the province. And in doing so, it supports and sustains Indigenous entrepreneurship while inspiring others to strive for the same. 

Any person, group or organization can submit a nomination and business owners can even choose to self-nominate. As long as the business is at least 51% Indigenous owned and operated, is based in BC and has been in operation for at least two years, it qualifies. 

Photo: 2021 Indigenous Business Awardee, Sisters Sage, soap bombs

An independent jury panel representing Indigenous business expertise throughout BC evaluates nominations based on the documentation provided. The panel selects the recipients in the categories of: 

  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year 
  • Business of the Year – 1-2 employees 
  • Business of the Year – 3-10 employees 
  • Business of the Year – 11+ employees 
  • Community-Owned Business of the Year – one entity
  • Community-Owned Business of the Year – two or more entities 
  • Business Partnership of the Year

The Indigenous Business Award program aims to cultivate innovation while leveraging mutual interests. It creates an authentic space where collaborative and strategic partnerships can thrive together.  

Nominate a deserving Indigenous business! Awardee recognition gives voice to Indigenous entrepreneurship while modelling success for other aspiring entrepreneurs to follow. Be a part of elevating excellence and inspiring success. Nominations are open until midnight June 30, 2022 at bcachievement.com 

BC Achievement is excited to announce the return of the Indigenous Business Award Gala Dinner where the 2022 recipients will be honoured and celebrated at the end of November in Vancouver!! Stay tuned for more information on ticket sales and event details.  

Elevate excellence in BC and nominate a deserving business! Together we can inspire achievement through recognition. #nominatenowbc #bepartofit #elevateexcellence 

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

The dedication of the BC Reconciliation Award recipients shines a light on excellence in reconciliation 

“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.” BC Achievement Foundation board member Cloy-e-iis, Dr. Judith Sayers 

The Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, in partnership with the BC Achievement Foundation, recently announced the recipients of the second British Columbia Reconciliation Award. 

The award recognizes six 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. 

The awardees are: 

Individual Recipients:  

Organization Recipients:  

The British Columbia Reconciliation Award draws inspiration from the work of the Honourable Steven Point [Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl], 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, and a founder of the Award. His hand-carved red cedar canoe, Shxwtitostel, currently on display at the BC Legislature buildings, was created as a symbol of reconciliation, with the understanding that “we are all in the same canoe” and must “paddle together” to move forward. 

The selection committee for the 2022 British Columbia Reconciliation Award, including representation from Indigenous Elders and leadership, is: 

  • p̓i·q̓, Dr. Christopher Horsethief – Ktunaxa Nation 
  • T’esóts’en, Patrick Kelly – Leq’á:mel Nation 
  • Nicole McLaren – Métis Nation 
  • Cloy-e-iis, Dr. Judith Sayers – Hupacasath Nation 
  • T,łalisam, Kim van der Woerd – ‘Namgis Nation 

Members of the selection committee, along with the Honourable Steven Point, led in the creation and design of the BC Reconciliation Award, ensuring the award was founded on the principles of Indigenous culture and knowledge. 

Congratulations to the awardees on their commitment and leadership. Their reconciliation achievements serve as examples of what can be accomplished by working together with respect, understanding and a common objective. 

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

The Office of the Lieutenant Governor and the BC Achievement Foundation announce 2022 Reconciliation Award Recipients

Vancouver, B.C. The Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, in partnership with the  BC Achievement Foundation, is honoured to announce the recipients of the second  British Columbia Reconciliation Award. The award recognizes six 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. 

Individual Recipients: 

  • Kwuntiltunaat, Kim Baird (Tsawwassen) 
  • T̓łaḵwagila, Chief Bill Cranmer (Alert Bay) 
  • Brendan Eshom (Prince Rupert) 

Organization Recipients: 

  • Atomic Cartoons in partnership with GBH (Vancouver)  
  • DIVERSEcity – Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (Surrey) 
  • Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and the City of Kamloops (Kamloops) 

“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 Cloy-e-iis, Judith Sayers. “In its second year, the British Columbia Reconciliation Award continues to celebrate 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. On behalf of BC Achievement, we are privileged to announce and honour the 2022 awardees. Congratulations to all the recipients and thank you for your efforts on our collective reconciliation journey.”

The BC Achievement Foundation has several established programs honouring excellence and inspiring achievement throughout British Columbia, including the Indigenous Business Award and the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art.

“For the second year of the British Columbia Reconciliation Award, I have been heartened by the continued focus on advancing reconciliation in BC,” said the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. “The 2022 recipients represent elders and youth, partnership and leadership. They showcase creative ways of educating young generations and new Canadians on the history and culture of Indigenous people, ensuring all are included on the journey of reconciliation. It has been my deep honour to champion the award, and I couldn’t be prouder to share the accomplishments of the 2022 recipients with British Columbians.”  

The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, has chosen reconciliation as one of the key priorities of her mandate. This commitment includes participation in promotion of public awareness of the ongoing journey of reconciliation, and developing a legacy through the creation of this award. 

The British Columbia Reconciliation Award draws inspiration from the work of the Honourable Steven Point [Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl], 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, and a founder of the Award. His hand-carved red cedar canoe, Shxwtitostel, currently on display at the BC Legislature buildings, was created as a symbol of reconciliation, with the understanding that “we are all in the same canoe” and must “paddle together” to move forward. In honour of this legacy, this year’s recipients will receive a print of a canoe paddle beaded by Dene and Carrier artist Crystal Behn to commemorate the award. Crystal Behn is the Emerging Artist recipient of the 2021 Fulmer Award in First Nations Art. 

The selection committee for the 2022 British Columbia Reconciliation Award, including representation from Indigenous Elders and leadership, is: 

  • p̓i·q̓, Dr. Christopher Horsethief – Ktunaxa Nation 
  • T’esóts’en, Patrick Kelly – Leq’á:mel Nation  
  • Nicole McLaren – Métis Nation  
  • Cloy-e-iis, Dr. Judith Sayers – Hupacasath Nation  
  • T,łalisam, Dr. Kim van der Woerd – ‘Namgis Nation 

Members of the selection committee, along with the Honourable Steven Point, led in the creation and design of the BC Reconciliation Award, ensuring the award was founded on the principles of Indigenous culture and knowledge. 

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

For more information about the BC Achievement Foundation or BC Reconciliation 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 Contacts:

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

Amanda Campbell 
Director of Communications, Programs and Outreach 
Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia 
T: 250-480-8948  
E: [email protected] 

2022 BC Reconciliation Award – Backgrounders

Atomic Cartoons in partnership with GBH (Vancouver) 

Atomic Cartoons demonstrated ground-breaking leadership in the production of the animated children’s series Molly of Denali, which airs on CBC Kids in Canada and GBH/PBS in the United States. The program follows the adventures of Molly Mabray, an inquisitive 10-year-old with cultural heritage from three Athabascan groups (the Gwich’in, Koyukon and Dena’ina), as she and her friends explore the epic surroundings and rich Indigenous culture of their fictional home in present day Alaska. Through the eyes of children, this series touches on deeply important topics such as colonialism and the legacy of residential schools, and every story told speaks to resilience, strength and compassion.   

By celebrating stories of Indigeneity, family and community life, Molly of Denali provides an important platform to address racism, colonialism and reconciliation. The series champions diversity at every level and serves as an integral resource that every person – of all ages and backgrounds – can enjoy and learn from. Molly of Denali offers an entertaining and informative perspective that humanizes Indigenous experiences, while informing the next generations about cultural richness. It is also grounded in a trailblazing curriculum focused on informational text, a foundational aspect of literacy education. This provides a wonderful journey for children to learn, while also reinforcing hope in their lives.   

By producing this series, Atomic Cartoons and GBH/PBS recognized the importance of including Indigenous perspectives at all levels. More than 60 Indigenous crew and advisors were recruited to work on the series – including writing, animation, direction, music and voice work – with many gaining their very first opportunity to secure work in entertainment. Atomic Cartoons has championed a growing movement to celebrate and acknowledge Indigenous voices in all their diversity. As our society understands that Indigenous peoples and cultures belong on television, we will all grow to understand that Indigenous voices belong in every dialogue.   

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and the City of Kamloops (Kamloops) 

The First Nation of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (TteS) and the City of Kamloops share a vision and commitment toward reconciliation through relationship building that spans multiple fronts and which has become a recognized example for others to follow. For more than a decade, efforts have been demonstrated through collaborative initiatives in areas of protocol, communication, community-to-community and knowledge-sharing meetings, cultural heritage, celebrations, and through shared service agreements including fire protection, transit, and sanitary sewer management. These opportunities are planned and initiated through transparent processes that acknowledge and celebrate commitments and sharing of TteS’s culture, values, and history to the wider public. One of the first official acknowledgements was the signing of the Statement of Political Relationship by the Mayor of Kamloops and TteS Chief in 1991. The ongoing relationship has paved the way for open and ongoing conversations about shared interests and concerns ever since.  

The unique partnership approach has allowed both organizations to move toward repeatable successes at the community level by being open and responsive, recognizing that bumps along the way are opportunities to learn, and through building trust and shared understanding. The City of Kamloops and TteS are building enduring legacies: physical spaces (parks and trails) for the greater community to recreate together; culturally respectful and mutually beneficial infrastructure and infrastructure agreements; educating staff and officials in the Secwépemc language culture and history; offering community wide classes in the Secwépemc language; shared governance capacity building; honouring special events; and celebrating the relationship successes community wide. The strategic relationship between the City of Kamloops and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc provides inspiration through its growing successes. Future leaders can look to this relationship as a model and will have the benefit of building on the systems, legacies and precedents created.  

DIVERSEcity – Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (Surrey) 

The Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (LIP), funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and run by DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, started the process that led to the creation of the Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers years ago, with the intention of addressing the lack of educational resources about First Peoples in Canada, created from an Indigenous perspective. The first of its kind in Surrey, the 46-page guide provides information on histories and current challenges of Indigenous, Métis, and Inuit people in Canada, and addresses common misconceptions and stereotypes about the First Peoples, and also celebrates Indigenous brilliance and excellence. Led by Jeska Slater from the Fisher River Cree Nation and her team at Littlecrane Consulting, with illustrations and graphic design by the team at Nahanee Creative, the guide uses a community-centered approach to amplify the stories of land-based Nations, urban populations, and Indigenous champions.  

The Guide represents a clear indication of the LIP’s alignment with the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which provides a roadmap to advance truth and reconciliation in Canada. This includes addressing common misconceptions about the First People of this land, a key step in the important work of building solidarity between the Indigenous and newcomer communities in Surrey. Extensive research and a series of community conversations were facilitated to create the resource through roundtables bringing Newcomer and Indigenous communities together, while working closely with several Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Elders, including Chief Harley Chappell of the Semiahmoo First Nation and Chief Marilyn Gabriel of the Kwantlen First Nation amongst others, as a fulfillment of LIP’s vision to sustain the work of building solidarity. As Len Pierre from the Katzie First Nation writes in the forward for the guide, “The importance of documents like this First Peoples Guide…is a progressive step in the right direction towards learning, understanding and respecting the original and First Peoples of the lands you now call home.” The guide is available through LIP’s website and is offered in multiple languages, making it accessible to all. 

Kwuntiltunaat – Kim Baird (Tsawwassen) 

Kwuntiltunaat – Kim Baird is an accomplished leader, a respected advocate for Indigenous people, and is nationally recognized for her work in reconciliation. She is a graduate of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, receiving the Distinguished Alumni award in 2012 and currently serves as the University’s Chancellor. Kim’s life work has provided a foundation that will create the opportunity for the process of reconciliation to exist/thrive. This includes acknowledging that First Nations have a right to self-determination, a quality of life equal to all and in partnership with all people.  

At the age of just 28 years old she was the elected Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN). She held this important position for six terms, from 1999-2012. In that role Kim’s most notable achievements towards reconciliation took place. On behalf of TFN she negotiated BC’s first urban modern treaty, which came into effect on April 3, 2009. The treaty provided unprecedented benefits and opportunities, and her leadership contributed to TFN being one of the most progressive First Nations in Canada. She says, “true reconciliation” means “no longer being tethered to the Indian Act, and gaining access to financial resources and economic opportunities, and to services and programs for TFN members.”  

In the spirit of the BC Reconciliation Award, she believes that respect must go beyond Aboriginal rights and title. It needs to be reflected in laws, policies and in the operations of government and the courts. To support this ongoing quest, Kim now runs her own consulting firm and continues to share her expertise on many public and private boards, working tirelessly to serve her community in both official and unofficial capacities. 

Brendan Eshom (Prince Rupert) 

Brendan Eshom is a member of the Gitga’at (Hartley Bay) First Nation. He graduated from Prince Rupert’s Charles Hays Secondary School as valedictorian in 2020 and is currently studying in the Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia. Brendan is a long-time advocate for Ts’msyen culture and heritage. Brendan took advantage of School District 52’s language education programs to become conversant in Sm’algyax, the language of the Ts’msyen Nation. He became a regular speaker at public events, delivering greetings in Sm’algyax, and providing the English translation of spoken addresses by Elders. 

Throughout 2018 and 2019 Brendan worked with Indigenous speakers of Sm’algyax and educators, preparing for the launch of a website dedicated to sharing the language, one word at a time. The site – www.smalgyaxword.ca – launched in 2019. Since then, the online resource has grown and expanded into social media. In mid-2020, Brendan launched a complementary mobile app that further amplifies his mission to document and share the Sm’algyax language. Further developments include a daily text message subscription service and Braille alphabet. 

Brendan’s language advocacy work has been widely reported by media and recognized by his community as part of a new generation of Indigenous cultural leadership. Through his dedication to the preservation of Ts’msyen heritage, Brendan is connecting the past and present in a way that builds understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. 

“Part of my vision for this project has been to promote dialogue, both in and about the   Sm’algyax language,” Eshom says. “People have all kinds of reasons they want to learn a specific word, and this allows them to share their unique interest with the community of Sm’algyax learners and allies.” 

T̓łaḵwagila – Chief Bill Cranmer (Alert Bay) 

T̓łaḵwagila – Chief Bill Cranmer has been a strong, and vital voice for the sustainment of the ‘Namgis First Nation language and culture. He led the repatriation of cultural objects including masks, bentwood boxes, and regalia that were confiscated under duress in 1921 after a Kwakwaka’wakw potlatch held in the village of ‘Mimkwamlis on Village Island, BC. The confiscation was sanctioned through Canada’s “Anti Potlatch Law” which existed between 1884-1951. Twenty community members were sent to be imprisoned at the other end of the province because of practicing their traditions.   

A fluent speaker of Kwak’wala, Bill worked tirelessly to retrieve the appropriated pieces and raise awareness about need to preserve and maintain language, history and culture. The repatriation of the some of the 750 confiscated items has had a significant, positive impact on the community. He has travelled to Japan, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere to share the story and present on behalf of the Assembly of First Nations and the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation.    

As Chief Councillor of the ‘Namgis First Nation, Bill negotiated economic treaties to develop businesses for his nation to prosper. Bill has spent numerous terms on the Executive Board of the Native Brotherhood of BC and has been an Elder / Cornerpost with the First Nations Health Authority, giving historical and cultural input into meetings. His efforts in the preservation of First Nations’ traditions have gone a very long way towards reconciliation. In a speech at the opening of the U’mista Cultural Centre, which houses much of the reclaimed potlatch items, in 1980 he said, “It’s important to know your past if you are going to fight for your future.”