Polygon Homes and BC Achievement renew partnership honouring First Nations art in BC

Photo: James Nexw’Kalus-Xwalacktun Harry, 2021 First Nations Art Award Recipient

“We must continue to inspire the next generation of Indigenous people to pursue their dreams. Showcasing people who took risks and followed their passion will continue to inspire the future generations to do the same.” 

James Nexw’Kalus-Xwalacktun Harry, 2021 First Nations Art Award Recipient 

Highlighting the significance of First Nations art and its place in British Columbia, Polygon Homes Ltd. and the BC Achievement Foundation have renewed their collaboration to deliver the annual BC Achievement Polygon Award in First Nations Art (FNA) program for the next three years. The foundation salutes Polygon Homes for its generous donation with grateful thanks and is excited to embark on this shared endeavour to elevate excellence and inspire change in our province. 

The FNA program will recognize artistic excellence while honouring First Nations traditions that permeate the artists’ work, and in doing so, create a platform for engagement, mentorship and storytelling. Since 2007, BC Achievement has celebrated the FNA recipients through year-long amplification of recipient stories using its online film library, digital campaigns (since 2020), and recipient art exhibitions and presentation ceremonies at The Roundhouse (since 2017). A culture of celebration and storytelling has been developed through the lenses of program recipients and alumni. The BC Achievement and Polygon Homes collaboration aims to provide an authentic space where recipients and their communities are honoured and celebrated with a goal to elevate excellence and inspire change.  

In addition, the FNA program is connected to the BC Reconciliation Award program which is presented by BC Achievement in partnership with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of BC. Each year, the FNA emerging artist is commissioned by BC Achievement to design a paddle, emblematic of their understanding of reconciliation. The original paddle is housed at Government House and framed photographs are presented to the recipients of the BC Reconciliation Award program. 

Current award celebrations include an art exhibition which will culminate in a Presentation Ceremony Dinner honouring the recipients of the 2023 Polygon Award in First Nation Art on November 16, 2023 at The Roundhouse, Vancouver. The dinner celebration will include the premiering of films showcasing each of the 2023 awardees’ accomplishments. More details including ticket purchasing options will be available in the early fall. In 2022, the foundation’s two art programs (FNA and Applied Art + Design) combined in a successful joint exhibition – open to the public, and we are pleased to announce that this practice will be repeated for 2023. 

The 2023 Polygon Award in First Nations Art marks the 17th annual offering of the program which stands on the excellence of the 95 recipients who have received this important recognition and the philanthropic community which supports BC Achievement’s programming. For more information visit bcachievement.com 

“I’m honoured to be recognized for the Award of Distinction. I feel it acknowledges and encourages the positive direction in the progression of the art here in the north. It is important to recognize excellence to set standards and inspire the next generation.” 

Stan Bevan, 2021 Award of Distinction, First Nations Art Award 

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

Polygon Homes Donates $300,000 to the
BC Achievement Foundation  

Three-year gift will support annual award program that honours artists and their communities 

Vancouver, BC (April 25, 2023): BC Achievement Foundation (BCAF) is pleased to announce that Polygon Homes has donated $300,000 over the next three years to support the annual First Nations Art Award. The funds represent an ongoing investment in a program that honours artists and their communities with a goal to elevate excellence and inspire change.  

The three-year collaboration will allow each recipient to receive a $10,000 prize and a short film highlighting their artistic journey. In addition, their work will be showcased in the annual program’s art exhibition and presentation ceremony. Eligible recipients are First Nations artists in BC who have demonstrated a commitment to their practice, accumulated a body of work, and are recognized in their communities for their craft. 

“It’s a privilege to align with Polygon on the delivery of the First Nations Art Award program and BC Achievement is grateful for their generous support,” said Walter Pela, Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation. “Our shared partnership underlines the importance of supporting and celebrating the artistic achievements and remarkable contributions by First Nations artists to inspire all British Columbians. Polygon’s multi-year donor commitment means BC Achievement can shine a light on First Nations art for years to come.” 

“At Polygon, we are delighted to continue partnering with the BC Achievement Foundation to support the First Nations Art Award. We believe that supporting the arts is important for community building, cultural enrichment and education and we look forward to honouring First Nations artists,” said Neil Chrystal, President of Polygon Homes. 

This renewed collaboration builds on nine years of previous support from Polygon Homes towards the BC Achievement First Nations Art award.  

The 2023 Polygon Award in First Nations Art marks the 17th year of the program, which stands on the excellence of 95 recipients and the philanthropic community that supports BCAF’s programming. Nominations for this year’s award will be accepted through BCAF’s website from June 1-30. Recipients will be announced in October, with an exhibit of their selected works taking place November 15-22 at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in downtown Vancouver. 

For more information about the BC Achievement Foundation or the First Nations Art Award program, visit www.bcachievement.com.  


About BC Achievement Foundation 

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. www.bcachievement.com  

About Polygon Homes 

With over four decades of homebuilding in British Columbia, the Polygon family of companies has built more than 33,000 homes throughout the Lower Mainland, earning a reputation for quality design, sound construction and exceptional customer service. www.polyhomes.com 

Media Contact 
Gemma Bishop 
Gather Public Relations 
T: (604) 375-6953
E: gemma@gatherpublicrelations.com
W: www.gatherpublicrelations.com

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

Pushing the Boundaries of Furniture Design: Applied Art + Design Awardee, Sholto Scruton 

Photo: 2019 Applied Art + Design Award recipient, Sholto Scruton

Sholto Scruton received a BC Achievement Applied Art + Design Award in 2019 for his outstanding talent, dedication to furniture design and public installations, along with his contributions to the arts and culture community in British Columbia.  

As a Vancouver-based furniture designer Sholto has been making a name for himself in the industry for his unique and innovative designs as well as his commitment to promoting the value of locally-sourced products. 

Sholto’s passion for furniture design began at a young age and he pursued his interest by completing a Visual Arts degree from the University of Victoria (Canada) and then a Masters degree in Industrial Design At the Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), where he honed his skills and developed a keen eye for detail for sculpture and industrial design. As he began working in the industry, designing and building first sofas for manufacture, then furniture for clients including Global affairs, his work gained recognition for its unique aesthetic and impeccable craftsmanship.  

Since 2001, Sholto has been dedicated to designing exceptional furniture and public installations. His career includes beautifully detailed wooden furniture, customized metal structures for public spaces, and exciting and engaging pieces for exhibitions. The focus of Sholto’s work is on people and how they use and interact with their environment. 

Photo: Sholto Scruton, Cauldron, digital design

Sholto’s work is characterized by its clean lines, minimalist aesthetic, and use of natural materials such as wood. His commitment to social and environmental responsibility is apparent in all his projects, as he uses local crafts people along with regionally sourced natural materials to achieve a beautiful and intended design integration. 

Currently, Scruton is working on a number of new projects, including a line of furniture inspired by the versatility of upcycled materials, particularly materials from the West Coast. He is also exploring new materials and techniques, experimenting with the use of tube laser cutting and welding, 3D printing and other cutting-edge technologies to push the boundaries of what is possible in furniture design. 

In addition to his work as a furniture designer, Sholto is also a dedicated teacher and mentor. He has taught numerous workshops and courses on furniture design and woodworking and is committed to sharing his knowledge and experience with others. He is currently working as a part time Product Design Instructor at the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen University’s Richmond campus.  

Recently, Sholto was selected to design the cauldron for the 2023 Canada Games, hosted in Prince Edward Island from Feb 19 – March 5. The cauldron held the flame for the duration of the games and was designed not only for its functional purpose, but also for its symbolic value. “The perpetual ring of fire symbolizes the ongoing inspiration that athletes have continually drawn from each other and pass onwards. The black spruce, silver birch, sweetgrass and red cedar span Canada and represent our unity and our diversity.” 

The project is a testament to his dedication to promoting the value of handmade and locally sourced products, and his belief in the power of design to inspire and unite communities. The cauldron was designed in Vancouver and manufactured in Prince Edward Island by Charlottetown Metal Products, less than 10 kilometers from where the first Canada Games were held in 1967, and the place where this cauldron starts its new life. The cauldron will travel to subsequent games for the foreseeable future. 

Sholto’s work is now primarily focused on public spaces and particularly the outdoors and furniture. Collaborating with local companies, creatives and institutions on furniture and accessories for outdoor public spaces. 

Nominations for the Applied Art + Design Award open on June 1, 2023. 

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

Evelyn Vanderhoop’s masterful weaving brings First Nations stories to life 

Photo: Evelyn Vanderhoop, 2019 Award of Distinction

Haida weaver Evelyn Vanderhoop is an artist, cultural ambassador, and a keeper of traditional knowledge. In 2020, Evelyn was recognized with the First Nations Art Award of Distinction for her lifetime of achievement as an accomplished weaver. 

Born in Masset, BC, Evelyn learned the art of weaving at an early age from her grandmother, Selina Peratrovich and her mother, Delores Churchill who were both skilled weavers. She also studied weaving with Cheryl Samuel who helped resume the lost practice of Chilkat weaving in the 1980’s. 

Evelyn was inspired by her mother’s weaving in the Naaxiin (more commonly called Chilkat) tradition. “There are lots of masters in my family; both my sisters, my mother, my grandmother. Watching my mother doing these beautiful geometric weavings just inspired me to learn more.” 

Evelyn studied the origin of this weaving technique by reading journals of the early explorers and their accounts of the first contact with the Haida as well as learning from the stories of her ancestors. She studied the old robes in museums around the world and learned their complexities. Evelyn mastered the art of Naaxiin technique where weaving not only moves across horizontally, but vertically as well, creating curves, slopes and circles with multiple braids enclosing the formline shapes. 

Photo: 2019 Award of Distinction for Lifetime Achievement, Evelyn Vanderhoop

Evelyn’s dedication to preserving First Nations history and stories is evident in her weaving. She believes that every basket, every design, and every stitch tells a story. She weaves stories of her ancestors, the Haida people, and their connection to the land and sea. Her work serves as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage of the Haida people. Evelyn’s latest creation, the Diving Whale Robe entails a laborious process and took her two years to weave. 

In addition to her weaving, Evelyn also teaches and shares her knowledge with others. She has held workshops and demonstrations at museums and galleries across Canada and the United States. 

Evelyn has had successful parallel careers as a weaver and watercolour artist. She studied watercolour painting in Europe, and one of her paintings was used as a reference for a postage stamp by the United States Postal Service to commemorate Native American dance. She has also been chosen as an artist in residence at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.  

Evelyn’s influence extends beyond her art and workshops to her daughters, weavers and artists in their own right. They have been inspired by their mother’s dedication to preserving Haida culture and have followed in her footsteps. Together, the three women have created collaborative pieces that showcase their unique styles and shared cultural heritage. 

Evelyn is passionate about preserving and promoting Haida traditions and stories and has played an influential role in passing these down to future generations. “The audience is the Haida people. I want them to know that this art – that is our art.” Watch her short film and find out more about this inspiring artist. 

The First Nations Art Award program opens for nominations on June 1, 2023. 

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

The Indigenous Business Award program opens for nominations May 1st  #nominatenowbc

Photo: 2022 Indigenous Business Award recipients

The 15th annual Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program is set to open its call for nominations on
May 1, 2023, inviting Indigenous entrepreneurs to be recognized for their outstanding business achievements. The IBA program acknowledges and honours Indigenous-owned businesses that demonstrate remarkable success while contributing to their communities. 

To be eligible for the award, businesses must be Indigenous-owned, operational for at least two years, positively impacted their community, and demonstrated financial stability and growth. The business must be located in BC. 

Categories are:  

  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year  
  • Business of the Year 
  • Community-owned 
  • Business Partnership of the Year 

Nominating an Indigenous-owned business for the award has many benefits. It provides recognition for the business and the owner(s) and promotes the growth and success of Indigenous entrepreneurship. The award acknowledges the unique challenges that Indigenous entrepreneurs face and the resilience they demonstrate in overcoming these challenges. 

IBA nominations provide an excellent opportunity to showcase the success stories of Indigenous entrepreneurs and promote their businesses. By sharing their stories and achievements, it encourages other Indigenous individuals to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career path. The Indigenous Business Award is also an avenue to support reconciliation efforts by acknowledging and celebrating the critical role Indigenous entrepreneurship plays in British Columbia’s economy. It promotes understanding and respect for Indigenous cultures and highlights the importance of supporting Indigenous-owned businesses. 

IBA programming and its annual Award Gala presentation together provide a platform for networking and building connections within the Indigenous business community and beyond. These relationships can lead to collaboration and partnerships, which drive further growth and success for Indigenous-owned businesses and build a stronger provincial economy.

This year the Call for Nominations period has moved from its usual June dates and nominations for the 2023 IBA program will open on May 1 and close May 31. All eligible Indigenous-owned businesses are encouraged to submit an online application. Anyone who knows an Indigenous business deserving of the recognition, can also submit a nomination on their behalf. Details on eligibility, key dates and the program can be found at bcachievement.com.  

Be part of it and share these stories of building business excellence by nominating worthy Indigenous businesses for the 2023 program.  

Contact IBA Program Director, Angela Marston  

angela@bcachievement.com for more information


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