Celebrating Indigenous entrepreneurship: Get your IBA Gala tickets starting August 15! 

Join us at the Indigenous Business Award (IBA) Gala Dinner where the 2023 IBA recipients will be honoured and celebrated! The IBA Gala Dinner and award presentation will take place at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, at 5:30 pm.

In an annual event that is synonymous with business excellence for Indigenous entrepreneurs, the 2023 IBA Gala Dinner promises to be a night of celebration, recognition, and inspiration. While showcasing the immense potential and talent inherent within the growing Indigenous economy, the celebration acknowledges the achievements of the awardees while fostering a sense of solidarity among all attendees, encouraging networking, collaboration, and the sharing of ideas. 

This Gala Dinner will honour seven exceptional Indigenous businesses which have exemplified innovation, tenacity, and excellence in their respective fields. In addition, the 2023 Award of Distinction designate will be celebrated! Recipients are set to be announced next month in the digital #shinethelightbc campaign highlighting the stories of these successful business leaders. 

Photo: 2022 IBA award recipients

Tickets for the event will be available to the public starting August 15, and attendees are advised to act swiftly, as this event sells out quickly each year. Along with celebrating the awardees, the Gala Dinner provides a unique opportunity for individuals and corporations to show their support for Indigenous entrepreneurship and invest in the future of these visionary leaders while inspiring the entrepreneurs of tomorrow to pursue their dreams. 

The 2023 Indigenous Business Award Gala Dinner is not just an event; it is a movement that celebrates Indigenous innovation and empowers the next generation to reach for the stars. By showcasing the triumphs of these exceptional awardees, the IBA Gala Dinner, and the IBA program at large, demonstrates that with determination, passion, and community support, the Indigenous business landscape will continue to thrive and shape a brighter future for all. 

Join us in raising a toast to the visionaries, trailblazers, and change-makers who embody the spirit of Indigenous entrepreneurship. Celebrate their success, embrace their stories, and become a part of this remarkable journey towards a more inclusive and prosperous tomorrow.  

Don’t miss your chance to be part of this unforgettable evening by securing your tickets starting August 15 at bcachievement.com. Let’s come together and celebrate Indigenous business excellence. 

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

First Nations Art Award recipient profile – Latham Mack, Nuxalk carver 

Photo: Latham Mack, 2022 First Nations Art Award recipient

As a 2022 First Nations Art Award recipient, Latham Mack’s artistic journey is documented in a short film produced by BC Achievement. With an intent to preserve and share Latham’s Nuxalk culture while serving as inspiration for other emerging artists and students, the film tells a beautiful story. 

Leading the film’s narrative, Latham re-tells the tale of four brothers and how thunder came to be. “They went hunting mountain goats [when] it got dark on them on the ledge of a cliff, so they set up camp. During the night they woke to the sound of thunder. When they looked up to the sky [they saw] the thunder and in its hands, it held a crystal ball and every time the thunder shook the crystal ball lightning would flash. The youngest brother cut a hole in his blanket, and he watched the thunder dance on the mountain top. He returned to our community, shared the story with one of the carpenters, and they carved a mask. And that is how the Thunder came [to be].” 

Storytelling and tradition are an integral part of Latham’s upbringing, and their influence is evident in his carvings. Equally as influential was growing up in Bella Coola surrounded by artistic family members and attending Acwsalcta School, which exposed him to culture and art at a very young age.  

Latham learned carving from his late grandfather, hereditary chief Lawrence Mack. 

“My grandfather was carving masks for his up-and-coming potlatch and I’d go down after school every day and I’d watch him carve and see him removing this wood and see this figure coming to life. Then one day he finally said, ‘you come here every day you might as well start carving’ so he gave me a block of wood and I carved my first mask at the age of 13.”  

Latham’s dedication and commitment to his art training continued through his studies at the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art followed by an apprenticeship under Bob Dempsey. “He took me under his wing and started teaching me. He’s like a father figure to me.”  

And now, with years of carving experience to back him, up Latham is keen to keep the tradition alive. “Our ancestors never carved our masks to hang on the wall. Keeping the tradition alive I got my own kids now that I’m looking forward to passing down that knowledge for them to carry forward.” 

Watch the short films on each of the First Nations Art recipients on our YouTube channel and prepare to be inspired. 

The recipients of the 2023 Polygon Award in First Nations Art will be announced in October at bcachievement.com and shared across all of our social media channels.

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

Louise Perrone, Jeweller: “using unconventional materials in an interesting way”

Photo: Louise Perrone, 2022 Applied Art + Design Award recipient

Louise Perrone designs jewellery that lives beyond adornment and speaks to innovation, re-purposing, and thoughtfulness. Recipient of the 2022 Applied Art + Design Award (AAD), this jeweller never planned to pursue this path. Despite that, she has left a significant mark in the world of fashion, design, and applied art, more than two decades after immigrating to Canada from her native UK. 

BC Achievement, in preparation for the 2022 AAD awardees’ recognition, interviewed Louise for a short film highlighting her creative process, inspiration and vision for the future of her art. “I’m really interested in making things with my hands and using unconventional materials in an interesting way. One of the things about my work that I found is when I’m wearing it around other jewellers, from a distance they’re like ‘what is that made of’ and they want to come close and can’t figure out whether it’s metal or what it is.” 

Louise’s textile jewellery explores issues of gender, labour, and sustainability by combining goldsmithing traditions with hand-sewing. Using materials derived from domestic and industrial textile and plastic waste, Louise’s work involves altering plastic objects and enveloping them in fabric, inviting a consideration of what jewellery can conceal and reveal about the maker, the wearer, and ourselves. 

“I was making things from found objects like gloves that I picked up in the street, fabric, textiles all kinds of different materials. I was interested and I still am interested in how jewellery is a way of communicating ideas or meaning without having to.”

Her work is a representation of her sense of social responsibility to the world around her. “I’m not interested in making things that already exist or adding to the enormous pile of waste that is already there I’d rather take from that pile of waste and reduce it a little bit and actually draw attention to that pile of waste.” 

Louise’s pieces have been shown in numerous local, national, and international exhibitions, including solo and two-person shows at the Craft Council of BC, and group exhibitions featured in New York City Jewelry Week, JOYA Barcelona, and Athens Jewellery Week. 

This designer is passionate about teaching her skills to others and works as an instructor in the jewellery programs at LaSalle College Vancouver and Vancouver Community College.  

She’s also motivated to create opportunities for artists to thrive and has given back to her community by serving in leadership positions with various artist and craft organizations. “For me my practice is not about selling product, but it is about contributing to ideas about what jewellery can be; about adornment about the value of materials and the value of labour of peoples’ work which is so undervalued.” 

Louise’s plans for the future of her art practice involve going back to her roots. “The way I put things together is very informed by my previous life as a jeweller and metalsmith so now I’m going back in the opposite direction and I’m going to be using those textile techniques in metal, so I’m really excited about that.” 

Watch the short film on the 2022 Applied Art + Design Award recipients on our YouTube channel and prepare to be inspired. 

The recipients of the 2023 Applied Art + Design Award will be announced in October at bcachievement.com and shared across all of our social media channels. 

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