Thank you nominators  

Thank you to nominators for leading the way! Your submissions have opened the door for so many people to be seen, recognized and celebrated. We are grateful to be able to share these many stories of success. 

BC Achievement’s fall award programs closed their respective calls for nominations for the 2024 program, but…nominations are now open year-round! So, you can still submit a nomination for the 2025 award program.  

The 2024 Indigenous Business Award closed its call for nominations on May 31, followed by the 2024 Polygon Award in First Nations Art, and the 2024 Sam Carter Award in Applied Art + Design on June 30.  It has been a busy and rewarding nomination period! 

We commend the commitment and effort taken in the preparation of each nomination package. 

It’s important to highlight excellence through award nominations – it shines a light on the amazing things happening in our communities and paves the way for innovation, change, and leadership. By nominating individuals, artists, organizations, or businesses for an award, we celebrate their creativity, dedication, tenacity, and excellence in their chosen fields. This process is a gesture of respect and gratitude for those who achieve excellence and whose stories can inspire others. 

What are the benefits of a successful nomination for the awardee? Most importantly, it elevates the awardee’s profile along with the community they serve. It validates their hard work and dedication, affirming that they are on the right path. Additionally, a successful nomination shares their experiences, creating role models and fostering positive change while bringing people together over shared interests and passions. 

By recognizing the achievements of our province’s entrepreneurs, artists, community leaders, youth, and volunteers, BC Achievement’s award programs celebrate exceptional people doing extraordinary work.  

A heartfelt thank you goes out to the nominators, the champions who dedicate their time to support the leaders, volunteers, creators, organizers, and doers. Your efforts make this province a better place to live, and we thank you for leading the way! 

“I challenge you to identify the heroes from your communities and Nominate Now for the 2025 award programs – If you know of candidates who would be ideal for BC Achievement’s award programs, please consider nominating them – we have recently announced year-round open nominations to allow greater accessibility to the process. #nominatenowbc! Walter Pela, Chair, BC Achievement Board 

To learn more about BC Achievement award programs, check out

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

Inspired stories: Artist Michelle Loughery, 2005 Community Award alumna  

Photo: 2005 Community Award alumna, Michelle Loughery (photo credit: Chris Hsiung)

2024 marks the 21st anniversary of the BC Achievement Foundation and the Community Award program. 

What does that mean? It’s a testament to the best of BC – the program has told the inspired stories of over 680 British Columbians who have carved a path forward through their community achievement for others to emulate and in doing so, built stronger and more engaged communities. 

One such awardee is 2005 alumna, artist Michelle Loughery who designed and painted over twenty-five historical murals in downtown Vernon, a project which was an outstanding success as it celebrated the area’s heritage and culture and continues to be a major tourism draw. Michelle’s talent is unquestionable, but it was her creation of this art on the street that was so significant in her community. It mobilized citizens to work together with a sense of pride. Most importantly, Michelle involved 75 youth at risk in that project.  

Michelle is more than an artist, she’s a mentor to the community’s youth and a public relations ambassador for Vernon. She incorporates the strength of community to the art process bringing people together to create iconic images, telling stories through murals.  

Since receiving the Community Award, Michelle has continued to receive accolades for her iconic community art projects. Over her 30-plus-year career, Michelle has created numerous award-winning mural projects, and raised millions for communities through her innovative Wayfinder art project

Michelle created the Wayfinder Art Model of building infrastructure placemaking with public art and youth employment and training programming. This model has been emulated across the globe and has been cited as an innovation for rural communities that all communities should emulate. 

Michelle recently recorded a podcast episode about what has inspired her creativity. The following is taken from AR:T ROUTE Radio podcast – The Muralist Chapter One E042. 

“My passion and love for murals has deep roots. I come from a very, very creative immigrant family from all different parts of the world and it’s through those connections that I have been honoured with the dream life of being a muralist.” 

“My journey starts with a little girl with braids and knobby knees…in a little town, a coal mining town, so I truly am the coal miner’s daughter. I watched my parents live, struggle, love, laugh, and teach their children to use their hands, and to use their hands to build community.” 

As someone who identifies as neuro-divergent, Michelle recognizes that “Perhaps there were so many neurodivergent people that just felt the system wasn’t for them or they felt shame, and it didn’t work for them. The system works for many people – many people excel at school, but many people don’t. I was lucky enough to find a way to make a living through extraordinary life lessons and careers and opportunities.” 

“My projects were about bringing young people together and old people and exchanging skills. I may call it Wayfinder art – which is what it is – it’s finding your way through art. It was the energy and knowledge of those young people and the old people coming together in this orchestration of magic. I keep using the term magic because I think that’s what the world has lost in these last years. The magic has been dimmed; our imagination has been dimmed; our colouring box has all become these gray crayons but we are this massive 64 pack Crayola colouring box! All we have do is open the box.” 

“So, I’m going to start with the orange crayon. I painted my first picture with an orange crayon and then I continued on my bedroom walls, and continued on community walls, and I have been taking it to the wall for over 35 years, well over 60 years now, because I have been colouring on the walls since I was a child.” 

Nominations for the 2025 Community Award program are welcome throughout the year at

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

2024 Community Awardees Celebrated 

The Community Award (COM) program recognizes extraordinary British Columbians who build better, stronger and more resilient communities. 

On May 8, 2024, the recipients of the 21st annual Community Award were celebrated at a formal presentation ceremony held in Victoria, BC in the presence of Her Honour, the Honourable Janet Austin, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia,  

Emceed by BC Achievement Board Chair, Walter Pela, with citations delivered by alumna T,łalisam Kim van der Woerd (2018 Mitchell Award of Distinction and 2018 Indigenous Business Awardee), the ceremony was a powerful and emotional testament to the strength of community from throughout the province. Each awardee is an outstanding British Columbian whose dedication, leadership and actions inspire the next generation. 

Marcus Mosely, this year’s Mitchell Award of Distinction recipient, speaking on behalf of the 2024 recipients, delighted all guests with a presentation that filled the room with musical inspiration sharing: “Compassion, empathy and a willingness to meet people where they are motivates each of us. And kindness and a desire to be of service is our common goal.” 

For the first time in its two-decade history, the 2024 award program recognized Emerging Leaders* as a separate category, highlighting the contributions of young people in this province. Walter Pela remarked that “all these exceptional individuals embody the essence of leadership, dedication, and selflessness, serving as beacons of inspiration. Communities thrive when individuals generously share their talents, passion, and time in service to others, and these awardees exemplify the transformative impact of such contributions.” 

This year’s recipients selected by an independent jury include: 

Troy MacBeth Abromaitis, Richmond 
Prof. Nemkumar Banthia, Vancouver 
Devon Black, Victoria 
Earl Blacklock, Parksville 
Robin Dawes, Williams Lake 
Jane Devji, Delta 
Doreen & Wayne Hewitt, Salt Spring Island 
Christopher Lee, Vancouver* 
Siân Lewis, Kamloops 
K. Brian McConaghy, Delta 
Connally McDougall, Vancouver* 
Marcus Mosely, North Vancouver 
Coralie Nairn, Vernon 
Alison O’Toole, Prince Rupert 
Jazz Pabla, West Kelowna 
Len Pierre, Surrey 
Rishika Selvakumar, Richmond* 
Wendy Toyer, Richmond 
Mary Trentadue, New Westminster 
Janna Wale, Gitanmaax/Hazelton* 

Watch the recording of the event here.

Click here to view photos from the presentation ceremony. 

BC Achievement thanks the nominators for their commitment to acknowledging those who make a positive impact in our community and serve as inspiring models for others to follow. And to the award recipients, their journey with BC Achievement is just beginning! 

Together, we tell the stories of what makes our province, and its communities, achieve excellence and, in doing so, inspire change. 

Nominations for the 2025 program are open and throughout the year at until February 15, 2025 

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