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 r 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.