Jill Hayward has infinite pride for the community of Barriere and its surrounding area. Editor of the North Thompson Star Journal, Jill has never backed away from a challenge and has never failed to gather a team together that will succeed. North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association, McLure Wildfire Monument Society, Rural Crime Watch, and Learning and Literacy have all benefitted from Jill’s leadership. But it is her commitment to the North Thompson Agriplex that is exceptional. This state of the art facility attracts agricultural and trade show events and serves as a community centerpiece. Jill was critical to its development and she continues to grow its reputation.
For more than thirty years, Pat Wahlstrom has enriched her community of Quesnel through her dedication to the arts. First with the Quesnel Art Society and then for 21 years with the Quesnel Art Gallery as its volunteer coordinator, Pat made sure there was a public place for art in her community. She oversaw every aspect of keeping the Art Gallery at the forefront – administration, planning, promotion and fundraising. Pat also mentored and counselled the artists, encouraged their work and then mounted their shows and organized opening festivities. She opened the gift shop and she managed the volunteers who ran it. Pat deserves this recognition for her volunteer work in the arts and culture in Quesnel.
Selen Alpay is known in his community for his huge heart. He is a leader, a philanthropist, he champions youth and sport and he advocates for healthcare. Selen has a ‘can-do attitude’ all the time. He has served on the boards of Northern Healthcare Foundation, Elizabeth Fry Society and the Baldy Hughes Therapeutic Community, and he is a major supporter of Cops for Cancer Tour de North. As a Canadian Tire store owner, Selen not only ignites his staff to participate in community causes but also donates to countless events and groups. As important…is the personal time Selen donates to others. Selen’s mission is to improve the quality of life for Northerners.
Carol Hunt has made a tremendous difference in the Cowichan Valley with her positive attitude, her outstanding ability to communicate, to mobilize, to unite and to connect with people. She has been a strong advocate for seniors, launching initiatives in supportive housing and transportation. She served as executive director of Cowichan Seniors Community Foundation and the Valley’s Hospice Society. As well, Carol has contributed to the wider community through her board membership in organizations such as the Duncan Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures Cowichan and the Cowichan Community Health Network. She is recognized as a trusted advisor and a catalyst who makes positive things happen in the Cowichan Valley.
Nineteen years ago, Dr. Miriam Yu retired from an academic career at Memorial University in Newfoundland and settled in Vancouver. Since that time, she had made major contributions in the fields of education, seniors, multiculturalism and philanthropy. President of the Chinese Cultural Centre, Miriam also founded the Centre’s Progress Club for Retirees, enhancing quality of life for the elders of the Chinese community. Miriam established Sage Elder College to promote life-long learning and social interaction and today is its President. She has successfully fundraised through the Tapestry Foundation to provide equipment for Mount Saint Joseph Hospital and is also involved in supporting BC Children’s Hospital, The BC Cancer Foundation, St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation and S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
Cathy Ashurst has had a tremendous impact on the Village of Burns Lake, the Burns Lake Band and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako. For 25 years, Cathy was regional manager then Director of the Lakes District Campus of the College of New Caledonia. As a direct result of her skillful leadership and foresight, the college increased its enrollment one thousand percent, expanded its courses to meet the community’s needs and became a significant driver of the local economy. Another of her major achievements is her groundbreaking work on the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Her success lies in a remarkable alchemy of qualities; hard work, a passion for education, and a belief in the community working together to achieve great things.