Martin and Esther Kafer have been central to British Columbia’s mountaineering community for more than 50 years. Leaders and participants in almost all aspects of the BC Mountaineering Club, they have led mountain safety and rescue education programs, organized the construction of huts and emergency shelters for climbers and have been actively involved in lower mainland and Whistler mountain rescue groups.
For over 30 years, Reverend Al Tysick has been a frontline advocate for those in need throughout his community. Through his organization, the Open Door, he provides over 600 homeless individuals with daily food, shelter and support services. He has recently collaborated with other social agencies to build Our Place, a new $12-million social services facility.
Frédérique Philip, the co-owner of Sooke Harbour House, is deeply involved in the community of Sooke through her bold initiatives and caring attitude. A supporter of unique opportunities for youth, an active member on many community boards, a strong advocate for the local cultural and arts community, Frédérique uses her endless energy for the best interests of her community.
A master Tahltan-Tlingit carver for more than 30 years, Dempsey Bob’s prolific totem poles and sculptures are seen in galleries and in private, government and corporate collections around the world. Using alder, cedar and bronze, Dempsey’s work is inspired by history and reflects the richness of the Tahltan culture. Dempsey’s work is celebrated in many collections including the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Museum of Ethnology in Japan.
Barbara Kaminsky, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, BC & Yukon Division, is committed to health care and the prevention of cancer and other diseases. She has been instrumental in changing the way government agencies, health care professionals and individuals view their role in preventing these diseases. Barbara has led the BC Healthy Living Alliance in developing the Winning Legacy, a plan to assist the province realize its dream of being the healthiest host of any Olympics.
Ellen White, ‘Kwulasulwut’ from the Snuneymuxw First Nation is a strong voice for issues affecting her community, province and country. She promotes cross-cultural relations and is an advocate for education. She is a teacher, author, activist, language specialist, storyteller, herbalist and elder. Ellen has served as ‘Elder-in-residence’ at Malaspina University College and also at UBC’s high school youth programs.
Since moving to Mayne Island in 1993, Tosh Saito has made a significant contribution to the quality of life on Mayne Island. He has actively organized and directed a wide variety of public construction projects and, most notably, Tosh was instrumental in the creation and development of the island’s renowned Japanese Commemorative Garden where he continues to be an active volunteer in the garden’s upkeep.
Robert Davidson is known throughout the world as a master carver of totem poles and masks as well as a printmaker, painter and jeweler. Davidson learned the art of carving from his father and grandfather and has evolved into a leading figure in the renaissance of Haida art and culture. He remains committed to using cultural knowledge to celebrate the present as well as commemorate the past. Davidson has received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada.