As a young entrepreneur, Erica Ryan-Gagné identified the need for nail care services in the area of Skidegate. With a clear vision, she left the island to complete her education in esthetic services and upon her return successfully launched Eri-Cut & Nailed, a home-based nail care business. Erica currently provides services to over 200 clients and is planning an expansion to her salon, which is scheduled to open in March, 2012.
Heiltsuk artist Shawn Hunt is a multidisciplinary artist who works in red cedar, sterling silver, paint, glass, water and fire. By engaging the contemporary context with art forms rooted in rich, historical traditions, Hunt tells his stories and challenges his audience. He apprenticed with his father, J. Bradley Hunt, and also received his BFA at UBC and a studio art diploma from Capilano College. Shawn’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the McCord Museum in Montreal, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, as well as the Bill Reid Gallery and Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver.
Chief Louie was elected Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band in 1985 at the age of 25. Under his leadership, the Band has built a multi-faceted corporation that owns and manages nine businesses, including Nk’Mip Gas and Convenience Store, Nk’Mip Construction, Oliver Ready-Mix Ltd., Nk’Mip Daycare, Nk’Mip RV Park, Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, Sonora Dunes Golf Course, Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort and Spa, Nk’Mip Cellars, the first Aboriginal winery in North America and most recently, the Senkulmen Business Park.
John deCourcey Evans is a successful businessman, community leader and volunteer who has a passion for the arts, education and for improving the social welfare of British Columbians. He has served on the boards of the University of Victoria, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Canadian Craft Museum. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Dr. Peter Centre and serves as the chair of its foundation, ensuring its continued service to the community.
Jim Milina is a national ambassador for the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Wheels in Motion event leader in the Comox Valley. Jim demonstrates every day his courage to move on after a life-changing injury and in so doing inspires others through motivational speeches and presentations to schools. Jim was the first quadriplegic to ascend Mt. Kilimanjaro, where he set a world altitude record.
Kwakwaka’wakw artist, Sonny Assu has created a strong voice in the First Nations’ artistic community through his innovative technique of combining traditional and contemporary forms. A 2002 graduate of Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a degree in Print Media, Painting and Digital Arts, he displays a respect for older traditions through the lens of popular and contemporary culture in his multi disciplinary art practice. Assu’s work can be found in the Museum of Anthropology in BC, the Seattle Art Museum and the National Gallery of Canada.
CSC Electric Ltd. employs 31 electricians and provides quality service to residential, commercial and industrial clients. Significant growth has been realized since 2009, when the company focused on the industrial sector, specifically mining companies in the Kamloops area.
Tanveer Gill, a first-year student in Nursing at UBC Okanagan, is committed to community activism and social justice. From founding diversity clubs to coaching to mentoring students to supporting worldwide initiatives addressing hunger and poverty, Tanveer is a positive role model for youth in British Columbia.
John Murphy has been an active community volunteer for as long as Vanderhoof residents can remember. Contributing his knowledge, skills and enthusiasm, he is a 15-year volunteer firefighter, a community and recreation fund raiser who led the effort to build a much-needed thirty-three unit seniors’ residence and activity centre.
With formal training at the Kitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art in Hazelton and an apprenticeship with his uncle, Dempsey Bob, Stan Bevan, for over thirty years, has produced an impressive body of work which includes masks, poles, bowls and frontlets created in the Tsimshian and Tahltan-Tlingit style. Stan is a dedicated instructor at the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art in Terrace. He has received significant provincial, national and international commissions and his work is widely exhibited.