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 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.
He never played for the BC Lions but Jack Farley has the unique honour of having the Lions’ number 83 jersey retired in his name, a tribute to his exceptional service to the team. He was president of the BC Lions Football Club, the Canadian Football League and chairman of the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum where his leadership and drive were instrumental in fundraising for the facility now at BC Place. Over the years, Jack has been active in a variety of educational and cultural organizations, serving on the board of governors of Simon Fraser University, and as a Director of the Vancouver Opera Association. Jack Farley continues to give generously of his time and remains passionate about preserving the history of sport in BC.
Lilo Petermann’s dedication to her students has contributed substantially to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of the many seniors who have taken her classes. For the past 25 years Lilo has been teaching the “Yoga over 50” class twice weekly, at the West End Community Centre. She does this on a voluntary basis, in order to keep the classes affordable for her students. Her classes are fun and designed for the needs of seniors, giving particular attention to maintaining flexibility and balance while also dealing with specific mobility and joint problems. At 90 years young, Lilo’s personal vitality is a testament to the contribution to overall health and well-being made by exercise, diet, a balanced lifestyle and a positive outlook.
Ella Fraser has served Fort St. John and surrounding area with vision, commitment and energy. She has been a member of city council, president of the chamber of commerce, executive director of the Peace River Alaska Tourism Association, member of the Celebrate Canada committee, and an active volunteer at the Salvation Army soup kitchen. Her dedication exemplifies the personal contribution that is required to foster growth in our BC communities. Ella always found something positive in everything she did even when times were difficult. A holistic view of community and relentless efforts toward building pride in her fellow citizens are what makes Ella Fraser a true inspiration and mentor.
Jude Platzer’s work has a simple goal: to prevent suicide. After the tragic loss of her 15 year old son, Jude founded the Josh Platzer Society for Teen Suicide Prevention and turned her grief into action. She is dedicated to ‘breaking the silence’ and removing the stigma of suicide through open conversations with parents, youth, educators and medical and social service professionals. Jude’s efforts have ensured the success of three major forums on suicide prevention and she has motivated students to distribute 10,000 wrist bands, imprinted with a special crisis line phone number and website. Through her ongoing and expanding efforts, Jude Platzer has made a profound and lasting impact on the health and well-being of BC’s youth.
Anna Fung has a strong belief in community volunteerism. Her roster of public service includes president of the Law Society of British Columbia, chair of the People’s Law School, president of the BC Association of Chinese Canadian Professionals, president of the BC Autism Association and a director of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund. All of these underline her strong support of equality and diversity and her commitment to protecting the public interest in the administration of justice. A compassionate champion, Anna inspires both her peers and those she serves.
George Puil is one of the most active and passionate citizens of Vancouver. He has had a profound influence on the City, the region, province and the country. A total of forty years of public service, first as a parks board commissioner and for 26 years as an elected Councillor, George was the founding chair of the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority and also served as the Chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. His grasp of issues, his ability to identify practical solutions and his tenacity in pursuing the course of action that best fitted his sense of the public interest, have created critical legacies for future generations.