Dr. Yosef Wosk on how the Carter Wosk Award unites both art and design 

Photo: 2020 Carter Wosk Awardee & Ceramist, Janaki Larsen, Shelter

Dr. Yosef Wosk delivered a thoughtful and empowering speech to the awardees, their colleagues, friends and families the last time the event was held in person for the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design presentation ceremony. 

He spoke of the age-old debate between art versus design, what distinguishes art from design, and how this award unites them both. 

“The artist, the fine artist, the free artist, the pure artist operates more perhaps as a shaman, as a revolutionary, as a transformer and as a lover. Whereas the applied artist’s work is more often thought of as domesticated, as tamed, as practical, as ritualized.

Perhaps the greatest champion and master of applied art and design was Willam Morris, the author, the designer, the printer and the seller of this book from the Kelmscott Press 130 years ago. One of his most famous statements, ‘if you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it, have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. 

There are two different things he’s brought together as we have brought together tonight art and design. ‘Know’ means to understand; it’s a rational idea, it’s logic, it’s most often related to practical design. And ‘believe’ is more transcendent, intuitive, the pure art.  

Those who we celebrate this evening are among the few, the rare, the best who are both artists and designers, mystics and manufacturers. You are the hybrid few who bridge both worlds and allow the rest of us to cross between otherwise unreachable dimensions.” 

Wise words from a patron of the arts, and one of the individuals for whom this is award is named.  

We are looking forward to once again gathering to celebrate the artists and designers who make daily-use products more aesthetically charged. Your chance to see the works of these applied artists is from November 14 – 18 at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver. Pop in for a visit of the exhibition featuring pieces from the 2022 Carter Wosk Awardees and the artwork of the 2022 Fulmer Award in First Nations Art recipients. 

More details will be announced in the coming month! 

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

Indigenous Business Excellence: the legacy of the Award of Distinction designation 

Photo: 2017 Recipients of the Indigenous Business Award

Celebrating excellence since 2009, the Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program boasts over 200 remarkable businesses within its alumni. Presented in partnership with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and generously supported by our sponsorship family the program elevates the stories of IBA awardees, invests in their achievements while shining a light on business excellence and innovation so others may follow their example. 

Within its alumni are a select group of achievers who serve as entrepreneurial change makers within the Indigenous economy. These individuals have received the annual Award of Distinction designation: each is remarkable in their own right and has a story which needs to be held up and shared so their efforts continue to inspire. 

The Award of Distinction is presented to a person who, over his or her career, has made a significant difference in the Indigenous business community through his or her entrepreneurial endeavours and, in doing so, serves as a leader, role model, mentor and inspiration. The individual may be a pioneer in his or her business activities, a successful entrepreneur, or an individual who has been instrumental in supporting or creating Indigenous business activities in the province. 

We salute the past Award of Distinction recipients and their legacy:

2009 Dorothy Grant & Angelique Merasty Levac  
2010 Dolly (Watts) McRae & John Harper  
2011 Chief Clarence Louie  
2012 Chief Councillor Garry Reece 
2013 Chief Commissioner Sophie Pierre & Ruth Williams 
2014 Councillor Garry Feschuk 
2015 James Walkus 
2016 Robert Louie 
2017 Chief Gibby Jacob
2018 Chief Gordon Planes 
2019 Paulette Flamond 
2020 Carol Anne Hilton 
2021 Ken Cameron 

Indigenous Business Award of Distinction recipients serve as examples of resilience and innovation and while delivering a message of hope and optimism for the future. Their legacy, tenacity and hard work, ensures the rightful place of Indigenous businesses in British Columbia.  

Achievement is defined as strength, courage and skill –  and is embodied by the Award of Distinction recipients in their respective lives. The 2022 Award of Distinction designation will be announced next month in concert with the release of the 14th annual Indigenous Business Award recipients. 

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

Announcing the 2022 Indigenous Business Award (IBA) Gala Directors of Ceremonies:
Carol Anne Hilton and Geena Jackson 

In all they do, Carol Anne and Geena elevate, share and inspire everything that is Indigenous Business. The IBA program is honoured to welcome this dynamic duo to the stage to lead the proceedings and celebrate the 2022 award recipients at the presentation ceremony this coming November. 

After what will be a three-year hiatus, the highly anticipated IBA Gala Dinner is back with Carol Anne and Geena leading the way on November 29 at the Hotel Vancouver. These strong Indigenous womanpreneurs have been change makers in the Indigenous economy for the past 20 years. 

No stranger to the IBA stage, award alumna Carol Anne of Nuu chah nulth descent from the Hesquiaht Nation on Vancouver Island, is committed to increasing the visibility and inclusion of Indigenous business and economic growth globally. First recognized with an IBA in 2013, Carol received the program’s Award of Distinction designation in 2020 – saluting her remarkable leadership through the Indigenomics Institute and its accompanying #indigenomics movement. Carol Anne is also the author of the award winning ‘Indigenomics: Taking A Seat at the Economic Table’.   

Geena, a member of the Frog Clan of the shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation on BC’s Sunshine Coast, has contributed to the growth of over 530 Indigenous entrepreneurs, organizations and First Nations communities. She currently is the inspirational innovator and founder of Bear’s Lair – the soon to be aired reality tv show on ATPN TV this fall (Season 1 launches on September 11)! Geena understands the challenges facing entrepreneurs and she is motivated by the sense of accomplishment and pride people feel when they succeed in turning their dreams into reality. A longtime supporter and consistent (and successful) nominator of the IBA program, Geena is a force who passionately empowers others while leading by example. 

Join these two powerful Indigenous women and celebrate the 2022 IBA recipients on November 29 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – tickets on sale beginning September 21! 

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

Understanding Awardee stories Awardees through the magic of film 

Photo: 2019 Awardee, Doreen Manuel

What does it take to tell a story? To make it compelling? To truly reflect the voice of its subject? To inspire others by its message and create a legacy? 

Well, a whole lot goes into creating a film that captures it all. BC Achievement has been producing films on its awardees since 2006! There are close to a hundred short films you can peruse on BC Achievement’s YouTube channel and although their style has evolved over the years, you’ll note that they all have something compelling to share: 

In her recognition film, Doreen Manuel, Fulmer Award alumna, draws us in with her retelling of her grandmother teaching her to bead and its powerful legacy.  

We learn what compelled Indigenous Business Awardee Nicole McLaren from selecting books by Indigenous authors for her book club, to launching a business that shares those books with people around the world.  

And we are inspired by the magical forest setting of ceramicist and Carter Wosk Award of Distinction alumnus, Gordon Hutchens, where he mixes colour, creates shapes and fires clay into beautiful art. 

The film production is itself a work of art and the process begins as soon as the awardees are selected by the independent jury. After contacting the awardees to let them know they have received the award, production goes into high gear with pre-interviews, availability for shooting secured, and meeting with the awardee in person to film and instill their voice into the storyline. Then comes collecting B-roll – images and footage that will supplement the visuals in the film. Finally, the film is edited together, music is selected, graphics are added and voilà, the film is complete. Okay, so not always as smooth as that, but we are very fortunate to work with some very talented filmmakers who make the process pretty seamless. 

Everyone has a story. BC Achievement is privileged to be able to capture it and share it for the awardees of the Fulmer Award, the Indigenous Business Award and the Carter Wosk Award of Distinction.  

Take some time to watch these films and prepare to learn something new and be inspired! 

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

Women-owned and -operated IBA alumnae continue to shine and empower

Photo: Nene Kraneveldt, Imagination FX, 2021 Awardee

IBA alumnae have always been a strength to their communities and serve as examples of tenacity and vision. In the last few years, we’ve witnessed a surge in Indigenous female-owned and -operated businesses in BC. And Indigenous Business Awardees reflect this powerful trend. Take a look at the alumnae businesses run by Indigenous women entrepreneurs: 

Imagination FX 2019 IBA Awardee 
Nene Kraneveldt of Port Alberni has been running her company since 1999. Imagination FX that has created numerous film and video projects for clients, priding itself on its storytelling. Nene’s vision and her continuing education has allowed her to expand her business and now includes leadership coaching and Indigenous language preservation and development, creating multi-generational impact.  

Paulette Flamond 2019 Award of Distinction, IBA Awardee 
Fort St John’s Paulette Flamond was honoured with the 2019 BC Indigenous Business Award of Distinction in recognition of her extraordinary efforts towards economic development and business in the BC. As Executive Director of the Northeast Aboriginal Business Centre since its inception in 2002 and owner of Scoop Clothing Ltd., Paulette Flamond leads by example and strives to improve communities and has served on numerous boards and committees. In July 2019 Paulette joined the board of ICBC marking its first Indigenous appointment. In September of 2020, Paulette ran in the Métis Nation of BC provincial election and won as the Northeast Regional 7 Director. She was appointed thereafter and now serves in the Métis BC Cabinet. 

Nechako Valley Animal Health 2019 IBA Awardee 
Nechako Valley Animal Health Services of Vanderhoof provides quality veterinary care to pets, horses and livestock while offering outreach programs that focus on animal health and well-being in remote and under-served rural and Indigenous communities in northern BC. Dr. Cori Stephens has built her clinic from a one vet to two vet practice; diversified the services offered; and reached out to areas that are in need due to lack of qualified professionals in northern BC. 

Persistence Training Centre 2019 IBA Awardee 
Persistence Training Centre in Merritt, founded by Kylee Street in 2017, offers specialized trainers and coaches to a wide demographic of individuals. Its goal is to increase the overall health and wellness locally and especially within the First Nations community. Kylee opened her first training facility in her hometown and has worked diligently to grow her clients to a point where she has been able to recently sell her business to embark on a new chapter in her life.

There are many Indigenous women-led businesses being built in communities around the province. Get to know them, support them, and help them shine! 

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

Looking for a mentor, an ambassador or a successful business model?

If you want to know who’s making waves in your community, tap into BC Achievement’s online alumni library and explore the leadership resource this province has to offer.  

The online alumni library includes information on each of the recipients of the Indigenous Business, First Nations Art, Applied Art + Design, Community and the BC Reconciliation Awards. For 19 years, BC Achievement has been celebrating the accomplishments of the province’s most inspiring entrepreneurs, innovators, artists, leaders, visionaries, and volunteers, so the alumni library is quite an extensive resource. 

Program alumni are a talented, motivated and inspiring group of individuals and businesses who do amazing things to make their communities better. The recognition they receive is used as a tool to showcase excellence and inspire change. 

Take for example, Elijah Mack, owner and operator of Kekuli Cafe Merritt and recipient of the 2021 Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Indigenous Business Award. Since receiving the award, Elijah has expanded his business and opened a new location in Kamloops. At the same time, he continues to donate to local groups, homeless shelters, and sporting organizations through the friendship centre movement. 

Jeff Martin is a furniture designer and collaborator who opened a large production facility based out of Vancouver’s 1000 Parker Street studio. This space serves as a showroom and makes space for other designers to help promote their work. It is in keeping with Jeff’s mentorship to younger artists and designers that helped earn him the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design in 2020. 

2022 Community Awardee, Baylie McKnight is a champion for those struggling with complex mental health concerns, homelessness, addiction and trauma. Since starting her community service at age 16 as a youth speaker focused on substance abuse, she carried on as a volunteer outreach worker on the streets of Victoria. In 2012 Baylie founded Borderline Personality Disorder Society of BC and has become a support for many in need. Now with a Master’s in Clinical Social Work in hand, she is continuing to serve and advocate for others. 

Crystal Behn (2021 Awardee), was recently selected as the winner of the Tony Onley Artists’ Project Scholarship, an artist residency held each summer in Wells, BC. This Fulmer Award in First Nations Art recipient has been getting noticed for her intricate, traditional beadwork. 

Atomic Cartoons received a 2022 BC Reconciliation Award for their 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. By celebrating stories of Indigeneity, family and community life, Molly of Denali provides an important platform to address racism, colonialism and reconciliation. Atomic Cartoons ensures Indigenous perspectives is included at all levels, with more than 60 Indigenous crew and advisors recruited to work on the series.

BC Achievement shines a light on the incredible accomplishments of its awardees, creating a platform for their story to be celebrated to inspire others. British Columbians can see themselves in these remarkable examples and then take the first step to create stronger, more engaged communities throughout the province. 

We encourage British Columbians from all parts of this great province to reflect on the stories of these individuals and learn from their perspectives and follow in the path they have carved forward.

Want to know more about these inspiring folks? Check out the Awardee Library on our website or view the short Awardee recognition films on our YouTube channel. And contact [email protected] for more information. 

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

Woman-owned and -operated IBA alumnae shine  

There is a growing economy of female-led businesses: owned and operated by Indigenous women. Many of these businesses take traditional ways of being and frame them in a contemporary way that opens them to a new audience. From wellness products to books and to learning opportunities, today’s business leaders are fearless Indigenous women. And these exceptional change makers listed below, are all recent IBA alumnae: 

Sisters Sage, 2021 IBA Awardee
Sisters Sage of Vancouver is an Indigenous brand that handcrafts wellness and modern self-care products inspired by the owners’ culture and traditions.  Founders, Lynn-Marie and Melissa Rae Angus, create soaps, bath bombs, salves, and smokeless smudge sprays that pay homage to their ancestral teachings and combine traditional with non-traditional scents while promoting environmental sustainability. They’ve been keeping busy and receiving lots of media attention for their products and their commitment to social responsibility, raising awareness for causes they believe in. 

Photo: Sisters Sage, Bath Bombs

Carol Anne Hilton, 2020 Award of Distinction, 2013 IBA Awardee 
Carol Anne Hilton is the CEO and Founder of the The Indigenomics Institute  and the Global Center of Indigenomics. Carol Anne leads the line of thought called #indigenomics – the building and strengthening of Indigenous economies and, is the author of ‘Indigenomics: Taking A Seat at the Economic Table’.  Featured in numerous publications and keynote at speaking events, Carol Anne is busy preparing for the inaugural Indigenomics SHE conference: a space for the vision of Indigenous women’s participation in the Indigenous economy. 

Photo: Carol Anne Hilton, MBA, Indigenomics Institute

Raven Reads Books Ltd., 2020 IBA Awardee 
In 2017 Founder and CEO Nicole McLaren launched Raven Reads – a subscription box service that delivers custom, curated books and giftware written or created by Indigenous people from around the world. Born from a desire to educate others about the devastating impact of residential schools on Indigenous people in Canada, Raven Reads aims to create a safe space for dialogue while providing opportunities to learn about other cultures and history. Since its inception, Nicole has grown her company substantially, all while investing over $300,000 into other Indigenous businesses and authors. 

Photo: Nicole McLaren, Raven Reads

Skwálwen Botanicals, 2020 IBA Awardee 
Brackendale based Skwálwen Botanicals is a luxury beauty brand that creates small batch botanical skin care products based on Indigenous Plant Science while honouring traditional Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) plant knowledge. As an ethnobotanist, researcher, and community activist, founder Leigh Joseph aims to contribute to cultural knowledge renewal by drawing on teachings learned from family and community members in connection to Indigenous plants. Her products have a global fan base thanks to profiles in leading beauty and lifestyle magazines. 

Photo: Leigh Joseph, Skwálwen Botanticals

Indigenous female-run businesses are a making a big impact in the economy, locally and globally. These leaders are taking a seat at the table and bringing their ideas and energy to the marketplace. BC Achievement is honoured to recognize and celebrate these businesses. 

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

Community Partners – Creating Opportunities 

BC Achievement is fortunate to be embraced by community organizations and private enterprises who support and elevate the foundation’s work. 

Community partnerships enable BC Achievement alumni to engage in new opportunities. For example, some of our Carter Wosk Award alumni have participated in Crafted Vancouver events allowing greater exposure of their art practice while collectively celebrating superb local craft. 

Partnerships with Denbigh Fine Art Movers support the transport the highly delicate art pieces of First Nations Art and Applied Art + Design program recipients to the Roundhouse Centre exhibition to showcase their work at BC Achievement event ceremonies. The support gives the exhibition curators the confidence and ability to select art pieces which reveal the excellence and commitment of the awardee. 

BC Achievement program partnerships include media outlets: Global BC, Stir, CFNR, First Nations Drum and Frog Radio who have each shared the calls for nominations for the award programs throughout the year. And through their reach, they bring attention to the opportunities for British Columbians to learn about the programs we run which honour and celebrate the best of the province. 

BC Ferries is the latest partner to support our mission and they recently helped transport Community Awardees to Vancouver Island for a recognition ceremony in Victoria at Government House in May. 

As we forge ahead with new community partnerships, we are grateful for their reciprocal opportunities for both the organizations as well as BC Achievement programs and their respective awardees: building awareness, sharing successes and inspiring change. 

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