Arthur Skipsey

Art Skipsey was a member of Qualicum Beach town council for 15 years, serving 12 years as mayor. Art forged vital partnerships between local government and volunteer organizations to provide important infrastructure and recreational legacies, including the purchase of the Memorial golf course and the adoption of the first community plan. Art initiated the establishment of the Parksville-Qualicum community foundation and served as its first president. A longtime Scout leader, Art currently volunteers as president of the Qualicum Beach Historical and Museum Society. The community of Qualicum Beach has truly benefited from Art Skipsey’s strong sense of commitment.

Omer Arbel

Omer Arbel is a Vancouver-based and internationally-recognized designer whose work in furniture and lighting design is strongly influenced by his background as an architect. His pieces are characterized not only by their intrinsic qualities but also by the way they affect the spaces around them. A graduate of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, Arbel’s work has won a D & AD Yellow Pencil Award and has been shortlisted for the IF Product Design Award in Hannover, Germany, and for the Blueprint Best Newcomer award in London, England.

Evelyn Cutts

When an aunt’s death touched the life of eleven-year-old James Coyle, he decided he wanted to do something to stop the pain and suffering of losing friends and family to cancer. He joined the Relay Life Walk for Cancer in 2004 and shaved his head challenging others to donate and join him in this symbolic act. For the next three years, James continued with his mission to raise money and awareness by shaving his hair and encouraging others to join his team, “4 A Cause”. His fundraising efforts have been very successful and his remarkable spirit has inspired his town. James Coyle has helped change the lives of those living with cancer and has done so with infectious eagerness and willingness to be part of a team. He is a true champion.

Melanie McKenzie

Melanie McKenzie is the Executive Director of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation and under her guidance the Foundation has become known as one of Victoria’s leading not-for-profits. With Melanie’s on-going leadership, the Foundation has increased its annual fundraising to $7 million and has undertaken two very successful fundraising campaigns. Melanie achieves success through excellent team building, mentoring and providing important professional development opportunities to her staff. Melanie has supported the Big Sisters and Big Brother organizations for the past ten years and has served as past president of the BCIT alumni association.

Todd Wong

Todd Wong is being honoured today for his devotion to community service, building bridges and cross-cultural understanding. A fifth generation Canadian, Todd is an avid promoter of Asian Canadian arts and literature and was one of the founders and leaders of the successful campaign to save the Joy Kogawa House. Todd created the annual celebration known as Gung Haggis Fat Choy which honours Chinese New Year and Robbie Burns Day. Todd has also contributed to the dragon boat community as a race organizer and coach and he has spoken at Terry Fox Runs since 1993. Wong exemplifies the impact one individual can have to inspire others to be creative, build bridges and span cultures.

John Fluevog

It is a great honour to recognize one of BC’s most innovative and contemporary designers, John Fluevog, for his profound contribution to the field of applied art and design. John Fluevog is known around the world for his distinctive and innovative shoe designs. As a shoe retailer in Vancouver, Fluevog first partnered with Peter Fox in 1970. In the 1980s, he created his own brand, John Fluevog Shoes, which has since grown from its original store in Vancouver to ten locations across Canada and the United States. Unusual shapes, environmentally-conscious materials and humorous inscriptions on the linings and soles characterize his designs. John Fluevog is committed to the art of his designs and the success of his enterprise.

Salina Dharamsi

Salina Dharamsi is a Grade 12 student who through her high school years has made significant contributions to her school and the wider community. She has organized fundraising events such as Legs for Literacy and her school’s first-ever 30 hour famine which raised almost $5,000. She has been a student council member and a peer counselor and tutor and she has been very active in her school’s partnership with an inner city school. An exemplary leader, Salina does not seek the spotlight with her actions but she naturally attracts it exuding an authentic compassion in all her pursuits.

James Chi Ming Pau

A practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine and a nurse of western medicine, Dr. James Pau has provided free and unlimited treatment to the homeless, seniors, drug addicted or those with hepatitis and HIV/AIDS in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. He bridges the gap between them many ethnic groups and marginalized poor through his work with the North American Buddhist Alternative Medicine Centre. Dr. Pau sits on advisory councils to Vancouver and St. Paul’s hospitals as well asto the City of Vancouver. Dr. Pau serves the community with generosity of spirit and, in doing so, improves the lives of Vancouver’s disadvantaged residents.

Mary Michell

Aboriginal artist Mary Michell has been named by Premier Gordon Campbell and Keith Mitchell, chair of the BC Achievement Foundation, as the recipient of the 2008 BC Creative Lifetime Achievement Award for Aboriginal Art. The award recognizes BC First Nations artists whose dedication to their work has had a profound impact on both their community and First Nations culture. “Mary Michell is an inspiration to her community, First Nations and all British Columbians,” said Premier Campbell, a director of the Foundation. “She has demonstrated a lifelong pursuit of artistic excellence and she is very deserving of this prestigious award.” “Mary has been producing beautiful crafts and clothing her entire life, and the BC Achievement Foundation is thrilled to present the second annual Lifetime Achievement Award to such a deserving artist,” said Keith Mitchell. Mary Michell is an 82-year-old Carrier artist from Burns Lake. Her work includes using moosehides and beads to create beautiful crafts and clothing. She began to learn how to prepare and tan moosehides at the age of 13 and has continued to make crafts her entire life. She creates all her work by hand, and each item can take up to three weeks to complete. Through the traditional clan system, Michell has created wedding dresses, vests, jackets, purses, mukluks, moccasins and gloves. In May 2008, Mary presented the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, the Honourable Steven Point (Xwe li qwel tel), with a jacket she made. Other dignitaries who wear jackets made by Michell include: Department of Indian Affairs Minister David Crombie; First Nations politician Elijah Harper; Grand Chief Ed John; Tribal Chief Justa Monk, Tribal Chief Joseph Michell; and Nisga’a politician Harry Nyce