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.
This is a story about caring for animals and of a community’s well-being. Valerie Ingram has dedicated herself full time to improving the lives of domestic animals along the Highway 16 corridor and the Burns Lake area. She works tirelessly, without compensation, to educate as many people as she can. Through school visits she has taught students to treat animals with respect and to be responsible animal stewards. She builds and distributes dog houses; she works with animal shelters to find homes for animals in need; she coordinates fundraising; and she organizes free spay and neuter clinics. Valerie’s community contribution is helping to build a community of care…one animal…one student and…one family at a time.
Born in Bella Coola, British Columbia, Alvin was inspired at a young age to carve totem poles and ceremonial items in yellow cedar, using traditional Nuxalk art forms. Following graduation from the ‘Ksan School of Northwest Coastal Art where he graduated top of his class in 1985, Alvin returned to Bella Coola immersing himself in the culture of his ancestors while teaching himself to engrave gold and silver jewellery. A leading force in the reawakening of Nuxalk culture through his art projects, Alvin currently teaches at the Acwsaltca School. Working in several mediums, his work has been shown throughout the world.
Amrik Aulakh is a great role model in the City of Surrey for the thousands of volunteer hours he has contributed to the field of crime prevention. He joined the Surrey Crime Prevention Society in 1998 and has maintained an active role since then with Citizens’ Crime Watch Patrol, Counter Attack, Traffic Safety and Speed Watch programs. Amrik is an appointed volunteer Auxiliary Constable for the Province of BC, serving with the Surrey RCMP, where he assists regular police officers with crime reduction strategies. He is an enthusiastic uniformed presence at community events where he brings safety awareness to children, adults and seniors. Amrik is dedicated to the safety of his community.
Dr. Bonnie Ledbeater, Professor of Psychology at the University of Victoria, is being honoured today for her work on anti-bullying programs for primary and middle school children. She is well known for her part in enhancing W.I.T.S., a program that means: WALK AWAY; IGNORE, TALK IT OUT AND SEEK HELP. Launched in Victoria, WITS is now in 170 schools around the Province and 500 schools across Canada. The program trains students, law enforcement, teachers, parents and families to be responsive to children’s requests for help. Bonnie and her team have also made inroads into the challenges of cyber bullying. Bonnie’s evidence-based research and dedicated leadership make our communities stronger and healthier.