Celebrating 15 years of the Indigenous Business Award program – thanks to our sponsorship family 

Photo: Vancity, IBA program sponsor

Since 2009, the Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program has celebrated over 220 Indigenous businesses, showcasing their courage, skill, and strength that reflect the growing Indigenous economy in British Columbia. 

BC Achievement is honoured to uplift these exceptional entrepreneurial models and set a course for others to follow, made possible by our steadfast and evolving sponsorship family. 

Today, we express our heartfelt appreciation to the numerous supporters and partners of the IBA program. With each passing year, our sponsorship family grows, and we are grateful for their belief in and active support of the program’s goals. Together, we have invested over $2.5 million in Indigenous businesses since the launch of the IBA program. 

The 2023 IBA sponsorship campaign is in full swing, and we extend a big thank you to all those supporting the 15th annual IBA program to date. We eagerly anticipate celebrating the 2023 awardees together at the Gala Presentation Dinner in Vancouver on November 1, 2023. Stay tuned for ticket details! 

The theme for this year’s IBA program is ‘building community’ and our sponsors are leading the way.

We extend our thanks to the following funders to date: 

  • Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation 2023 Program Partner – since the 2009 launch (multi-year funding agreement) 
  • Vancity 2023 Awardee sponsor – since 2009 (multi-year funding agreement) 
  • Teck Resources Limited 2023 Presentation sponsor – since 2010 (multi-year funding agreement) 
  • TD Bank Group 2023 Alumni sponsor – since 2013 
  • Ovintiv Canada 2023 Elders’ & Dancers’ sponsor – since 2010 

IBA program 2023 film sponsors: 

  • New Relationship Trust (2010) 
  • BC Hydro (2009) 
  • BC Transit (2019) 
  • Seaspan (2021) 
  • Simpcw Resources Group (program alumni 2019 and sponsor since 2022) 
  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (2020) 
  • West Fraser (2018) 

IBA 2023 supporting sponsor: 

  • Fortis BC (2018) 

IBA 2023 community and media sponsors: 

  • BC Ferries 
  • Bear’s Lair 
  • BIV 
  • CFNR 
  • Frog Radio 
  • GlobalBC 
  • Indigenous World Winery 
  • Miss604 
  • Stir Magazine 
  • World Trade Centre 

Empowering Indigenous businesses is at the core of the IBA program’s vision. Sponsorship funding and in-kind support enable BC Achievement to amplify Indigenous entrepreneurship excellence which serves as a model of success for aspiring entrepreneurs to follow. 

Join us for the 2023 IBA sponsorship campaign and support Indigenous business excellence in BC. 

To sponsor the Indigenous Business Award program, please contact Angela Marston, IBA Program Director, at indigenousbusiness@bcachievement.com. Let’s create opportunities together! 

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

Kat Hartwig, striving to inspire

Photo: Kat Hartwig, 2023 Mitchell Award of Distinction designate

Kat Hartwig of Brisco, BC inspires those she leads through an unwavering commitment to freshwater protection. As the founder of Living Lakes Canada, and its Executive Director for two decades, Kat recognizes that global water challenges caused by climate change need to be addressed locally. She’s played an instrumental role in many large-scale, environmental conservation initiatives including the Jumbo Wild campaign and the Columbia Wetlands.  

Her work has positive effects locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. And because of her exceptional commitment to elevating her community while empowering those she leads, Kat received the 2023 Mitchell Award of Distinction designation. Kat delivered the awardee address on behalf of her cohort of 20 awardees at the 2023 Community award ceremony at Government House in Victoria. With Her Honour, the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of BC presiding over the ceremony, along with the BC Achievement board of directors, friends, family and colleagues the 2023 awardees were honoured and celebrated for their efforts in building stronger and more engaged communities.  

The 2023 Mitchell awardee shared what inspires her work, feeds her passion and gets her up in the morning. 

“It is a distinct privilege to speak on behalf of my fellow award recipients whose stories and achievements are both uplifting and inspiring. It has been heartwarming to learn about the commitment, kindness, and vision embodied in the work of the award recipients.   

It can feel as though this remarkable work is eclipsed by the seemingly insurmountable challenges facing society today — so celebrating our successes through the BC Achievement Community Award helps to bolster our fortitude to carry on. 

My parents emigrated to this country after World War II and I grew up on our family ranch near Invermere where my bond with nature was firmly established.   

I have been privileged enough to find a path of work in environmental and water stewardship. This work has been deeply rewarding despite the overwhelming sense of urgency to address the climate and the biodiversity crises we have put ourselves into.   

Fortunately, we also find ourselves in a long overdue era of applied reconciliation, where we have been given another chance to heal relationships with the original people of this land. Perhaps through this process we will learn how to cultivate more respectful relationships with the land and water that we ultimately all depend on. 

So, in service to our communities and by mentoring applied optimism for our young people, we may rejoice in the collective action we all strive to inspire.   

Today we celebrate work that addresses inclusion, accessibility, equity, health, creativity, for the most vulnerable in our province.  From Masset to Salmo, from Victoria to Lillooet, from Surrey, Richmond, Delta, Vancouver, Burnaby, Bowen Island to Ashcroft and Brisco.  

To quote Tao Yuanming, a Chinese poet born over 1600 years ago: ‘Though I am different from you, we were born involved in one another, not by any means can we escape the intimate sharing of good and ill’. The BC Achievement Community Award program provides the space and the platform for us to gather to share and celebrate the good with our families and friends and inspire achievement.” 

Congratulations once again to each of the 2023 Community Award recipients. You can watch the celebration of the 2023 awardees at this link. If you know someone who deserves recognition for their commitment to their community, nominate them starting December 1, 2023 at bcachievement.com 

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

With gratitude to the nominators of BC Achievement’s art award programs  

Thank you to the nominators! Submitting nominations for the Polygon Award in First Nations Art and the Applied Art + Design Award is invaluable and makes a difference. Your commitment and enthusiasm in recognizing outstanding artists and designers supports nominees and the greater community. 

Nominating individuals for recognition holds immense benefits for the nominees and the broader community. Nominators play a pivotal role in shining a light on deserving individuals whose stories need to be told. By taking the time to nominate someone for an award, the nominee’s exceptional skills, creativity, and contributions to their respective fields are being actively acknowledged. Nominations serve as a testament to the artist’s talent and dedication, motivating them to continue pursuing their passions and sharing their story. 

The act of nominating also fosters a supportive and encouraging environment. By highlighting the achievements of individuals through nominations, we collectively share in the celebration of talent and excellence. This, in turn, encourages others to strive for excellence and sets a standard of achievement that can inspire the entire province. Nominations are a powerful tool to create a positive ripple effect, inspiring others to follow a similar path to reach their full potential. 

Receiving a nomination is an uplifting experience for the artist. It validates their hard work and commitment to their craft, instilling a sense of pride and accomplishment. Being recognized for their skills boosts self-esteem while signifying a career milestone, opening doors to new opportunities and collaborations. Nominations can act as a catalyst for growth, propelling individuals to further excel in their fields and make even greater contributions. 

The act of acknowledging and appreciating talent creates a ripple effect within the community. It creates a culture of support and collaboration, encouraging individuals to share their knowledge, skills, and experiences. The increased visibility of talented individuals also serves as an inspiration for younger generations, nurturing their aspirations and cultivating a rich artistic and creative heritage. 

BC Achievement is grateful to all the nominators who play such a meaningful role in recognizing and celebrating artists. Your nominations have brought deserving individuals into the spotlight where their stories can be told while empowering them to continue making a difference in their respective fields. By supporting and acknowledging the achievements of others, you have contributed to the growth and vibrancy of the cultural community of our province. 

Watch this space for updates this Fall as the awardees of each program are announced. Thank-you nominators, and best of luck, nominees! 

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