Engagement that elevates excellence, shares success and inspires change

Photo: 2022 FNA Award of Distinction, Reg Davidson, Frog Sculpture

BC Achievement’s partners are vital to the sustainability of its programs. The work we are doing now builds the foundation for future artists, community leaders and entrepreneurs and we are grateful for those who support this vibrant community and celebrate the best of our province. It is a straightforward equation – the more British Columbians who engage with BC Achievement programming the more our programs can share the success of their awardees and inspire real change. 

Today – we want to express our sincere thanks to The Fulmer Foundation (TFF) which, through the leadership of BC Achievement alumnus, 2010 Community Award recipient and past board director, Yuri Fulmer, has supported the First Nations Art (FNA) program for the past five years. 

TFF’s multiyear commitment, which has fulfilled its term, allowed the FNA program to thrive and sustain itself before, during and after the immediacy of the pandemic. Now, as BC Achievement plans for the 17th annual offering of the award, the FNA program is well positioned to grow and develop. We are excited to begin this next phase of the First Nations Art award program, expanding its reach and impact. 

BC Achievement is grateful for TFF’s investment in the work we do. It allowed us to lead and deliver the First Nations Art program with the stability, vitality and originality it demands during unprecedented and unusual times. New avenues were pursued and added to the program including BC Achievement’s annual paddle commission with the FNA emerging artist recipient. This commission serves as the recognition piece for the BC Reconciliation Award program and both new commissions are housed in Government House representing the artists’ understanding of the reconciliation journey. 

As an independent, registered not-for-profit, BC Achievement relies upon corporate and philanthropic support for all five of its programs. Every contribution makes a difference, and we invite you to join the movement – #bepartofit and invest in the innovative work of program recipients and, in doing so, inspire achievement.   

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

Honouring an Award of Distinction Recipient, Robert Anderson

Photo: 2022 Applied Art + Design, Award of Distinction, Robert Anderson

In recognition of his extraordinary and sustained accomplishments as a master luthier, Robert Anderson was named the 2022 Award of Distinction recipient for BC Achievement’s Applied Art + Design Award program. Robert Anderson is a Victoria, BC based master luthier committed to hand-building stringed instruments that are objects of beauty and acoustic design. We caught up with him recently to find out what receiving this award has meant to him. 

“It is important to draw attention to the work of craftspeople in applied arts and design by honouring them with these kinds of awards for excellence in their field. It is a public endorsement and reminder of the value of hand crafting which celebrates individual achievement over mass manufacturing which dehumanizes it. I am tremendously honoured to have received the Award of Distinction.” 

With much humility, Applied Art + Design awardees often point to how receiving this award is more than just a recognition of their own skills, experience and the work they are doing in field; it’s about the impact of the recognition on others. Robert follows the traditions of the old masters, using carefully selected and aged woods, hide glue and dovetail neck joints. Over 25 years of instrument making has deepened his understanding of materials, acoustic design and hand-building methods, resulting in subtle, incremental changes which improve tone, volume and ergonomics. 

Photo: 2022 Applied Art + Design, Award of Distinction, Robert Anderson

In an age when cheap, factory-made instruments are overwhelming the market, Robert also instructs and mentors aspiring instrument builders in the tradition of luthiery, keeping alive the spirit of inquiry and skill development fundamental to the craft. “I am inspired daily by the materials and designs I work with and by the unflagging enthusiasm of my students.” 

Robert feels fortunate to work in a field where he can create the tools that enable musicians to fully give expression to their art. “I hope to continue designing and making instruments and passing the knowledge on to my students for a good many years to come.” He is also fortunate to share his talent playing the guitar when he performs with his band, Backyard Boulevard. 

In its 19th year, BC Achievement’s Applied Art + Design award program shines a light on functional art and celebrates the vigour of BC’s creative economy. The awardees of the Applied Art + Design program enhance day-to-day life while enriching our collective experiences. 

To date, over 83 applied artists and designers from across this province have been recognized by the program including 19 receiving the lifetime Award of Distinction honour. You can find a film produced by BC Achievement on Robert Anderson on our YouTube channel. Films on awardees are available as part of an online archive library – please watch and share.  

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

IBA Films: Catalysts for Change and Opportunity – Watch them today! 

Photo: 2022 IBA recipient, Sasuchan Development Corp & IBA alumnus, Nolan McAllister

Beginning its fifteenth annual offering in 2023, the Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program continues its mission to recognize and celebrate excellence in Indigenous business throughout British Columbia. Sharing powerful stories of innovation and persistence – stories which serve to inspire other Indigenous entrepreneurs as they forge their own path to excellence.  

These awardee stories have been captured on film by BC Achievement, to serve as both a tool for the awardees to use to advance their business venture, and to serve as inspiration to others of the commitment and possibilities of Indigenous entrepreneurship. 

In shining a light on BC’s Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses, BC Achievement has illuminated aspects of their work which create economic opportunity, increase Indigenous representation, and foster cultural resurgence in communities across the province.  

Photo: 2022 IBA recipients, Ashley & Dustin Kucher, Dark Arc Welding Inc.

“I represent my ancestors that came before me, walk beside me and will come after me. I am proud to represent the Indigenous population, women in business and the category for Young Entrepreneur of the Year.” Ashley Kucher, Dark Arc Welding Inc. 

In 2022 a total of eight Indigenous businesses, entrepreneurs, partnership entities and community-owned enterprises were recognized from across the province, joining more than 200 distinguished alumni to be honoured since its launch in 2008.  

The short films produced on each awardee since 2014 are part of an online archive library which can be viewed on BC Achievement’s YouTube channel.  

Watch the stories of these Indigenous Business Award alumni who belong to a vibrant community, are bound by purpose, and are working towards a better future.  

Watch the films of the 2022 IBA recipients here, and please share: 

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: 

Dark Arc Welding Inc., Dawson Creek 

Business of the Year – one-to-two person enterprise: 

dk Architecture, North Vancouver 

Business of the Year – three-to-ten person enterprise: 

Culture Shock Life, Alert Bay 

Business of the Year – 11+ person enterprise: 

Warrior Plumbing, North Vancouver 

Community-Owned Business of the Year – one entity: 

M’i nuw’ilum DBA Cheanuh Marina, Sooke 

Community-Owned Business of the Year – two or more entities:  

Sasuchan Development Corporation, Takla Landing 

Business Partnership of the Year:  

Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd., Williams Lake 

Award of Distinction for Lifetime Achievement:  

Chief David Jimmie, Chilliwack 

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

Watch the films on BC’s First Nations artists  

Photo: 2022 Award Recipient, Latham Mack

BC Achievement’s First Nations Art Award (FNA) program honours BC artists for excellence in traditional and contemporary First Nations Art. Whether that’s carving, painting, beading, or basket weaving, over 16 years of exceptional First Nations artists have been celebrated for their respective practices. And not just those who have years of experience under their ‘carving’ belt, as the Crabtree McLennan designation has been recognizing emerging First Nations artists since 2016. Emerging and established creators have been celebrated for their skills, many of which have been passed down to the artist from aunties, uncles, grannies and granddads, moms, dads and community elders. That’s what makes this award so unique. The skills, the inspiration and the stories expressed by these artists are an evolution from many generations and it’s through today’s artists that we see these traditional art forms thrive. 

Preserving these stories and these artistic techniques is an important practice for all British Columbians as these stories are part of our province’s collective history. The learnings enrich our culture, strengthen the ties between communities, and increase understanding and reconciliation. 

Photo: 2022 Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist, Jamie Gentry

Collecting these stories of BC’s talented First Nations artists has been BC Achievement’s practice since 2006. For each artist receiving a BC Achievement First Nations Art Award (that’s a total of 95 artists over 16 years!) we have gone to the artist’s home and studio to produce a short film which captures their practice and its influences.  

The film highlights the artist’s inspiration, their style of work, what drives them, their challenges and their successes and their dreams for future generations of artists. No small task to complete in an under-5-minute film! But these stories are worth telling and worth sharing. They serve as a capsule holding immense knowledge, stories and skills of each artist and are valuable not just to preserve history, but as a way to look forward. A way for other artists to look at those who’ve paved the path before them and follow in their footsteps. And these compelling stories inspire young First Nations students to take pride in their traditional artistic practices while teaching non-Indigenous learners a diverse and traditional way of life. 

We have made these films available as part of an online archive library for the public on BC Achievement’s YouTube channel. Please watch and please share.  

Watch the films of the 2022 First Nations Art awardees here: 

Jamie Gentry – Kwakwaka’wakw, Sooke – Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist  

Latham Mack – Nuxalk, Kamloops 

Qwul’thilum Dylan Thomas – Lyackson First Nation, Victoria 

Reg Davidson – Haida, Masset – Award of Distinction for Lifetime Achievement 

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