Howard Blank

Howard Blank uses his talents as a superb auctioneer raise funds for charity initiatives in our Province. Howard has a way of telling a story and motivating an audience. Over the past thirty years, Howard has helped raise over one hundred million dollars benefitting organizations such as Coast Mental Health, Variety, Canuck Place, Honour House, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Greater Vancouver Jewish Community. Exceedingly generous with his time not only as an auctioneer but also as a community board member, Howard is passionate about philanthropy and community well-being for British Columbians.

Sandra Lavallie

Sandra Lavallie is an inspirational instructor and Career and College Prep coordinator at the Houston campus of Northwest Community College.. As a community advocate, Sandra supports Houston Link to Learning, Houston Community Services Association and Community Futures Nadina.

Kelly Austin

Kelly Austin is an emerging ceramic artist from Vancouver, BC who has had an active creative practice since 2007. A graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2011, Kelly is currently working on her Masters of Philosophy in Ceramics at the Australia National University in Canberra. Kelly’s work ranges from the directly functional object – used in restaurants, cafés and the home – to engagement with conceptual ideas of relationships between objects, still life and architecture.

RiverFresh Wild BC Salmon

RiverFresh started as a demonstration fishery with a storefront operation in 2013. It holds the only commercial salmon fisheries license in Kamloops Lake and the Thompson River and provides the only locally caught salmon products in the region. Today, selectively harvested Sockeye and Chinook salmon are processed, packed and shipped to customers all over the world. RiverFresh products are increasingly available in wineries and a variety of restaurants and retail outlets.


Thomas Budd

We honour Thomas Budd today for extraordinary philanthropic support for charitable organizations in the Central Okanagan. From his success in the Alberta investment sector, Tom gives back to his chosen community of Kelowna in a big way and has done so, often quietly, for many years. Through the Thomas Allan Budd Foundation, he supports the BC Cancer Agency Sindi Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior, the SPCA, Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, and the ‘Be An Angel Campaign’ among many others. Tom believes in Kelowna, and he believes in giving. Through his generosity, he inspires others in his community to do more.

Donna Macdonald

Donna Macdonald has had a profound impact on the city of Nelson and indeed on the entire Kootenay Region through her extensive public service. Serving 19 years on Nelson City Council, Donna spearheaded many beneficial initiatives. In addition to her municipal leadership, Donna was active in the establishment of the Cultural Development Commission to enhance arts, culture and tourism, affordable housing, social planning, recreation facilities and the development of Nelson’s waterfront pathway. Donna is a champion for all aspects of her community and she has created legacies to be enjoyed by countless citizens and helped shape a future for her region.

Renée Macdonald

With no formalized program of study available for shoemaking in North America, Renée Macdonald created her own educational path to learn her craft. Renée honed her skills and learned about shoe construction, design and materials through completing an introductory shoemaking course, working as a shoe retail associate and, finally, as a shoe repairer. In 2012, Renée opened her one-woman shoemaking practice called Westerly Handmade Shoes, from which she designs and crafts her bespoke shoes – offering her clients beautiful shoes that can be worn and loved for years to come.

Skyride Bike and Board Inc.

A father-son business enterprise, Skyride Bike and Board Inc. has evolved from its beginnings in the garage of the family home to a flourishing day-to-day retail enterprise. Well established as the Okanagan’s premier mountain bike business, the company expanded in 2012, selling snowboard equipment at its Silver Star Mountain site. Its marketing and branding strategies have made Skyride a destination attracting customers from throughout BC, Alberta and Washington.


Alexander (Sandy) Burpee

Sandy Burpee works tirelessly to ensure that those in the Tri-Cities of Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Port Moody affected by homelessness and poverty are receiving the assistance they greatly need. He is their champion and through his leadership, identifying goals and finding solutions, he has made a tremendous difference. Food Bank Depot, Tri-Cities Housing Coalition, Homelessness Task Group, Metro Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness are examples of organizations which have benefitted from Sandy’s commitment. Sandy is a one of a kind volunteer dedicated to the less fortunate in his community.

J. Reid Maxwell

In the words of his nominator… “Reid Maxwell eats, drinks and breathes pipe band drumming”. Reid is the most influential pipe band drummer outside of the United Kingdom and a driving force behind the success of the pipe band movement in British Columbia. Reid has been a cornerstone of the SFU Pipe Band for over 20 years, helping the band win six World championships, overseeing the drumming side of its juvenile band program and now acting as its manager. He is a gifted teacher who has taught hundreds of students across the Province and at the annual Piping Hot Summer Drummer Camp he co-established in Vernon.