Director Edwin Grieve, Comox Valley Regional District (L) Father Charles Brandt (centre) Chair Bruce Jolliffe ® Father Charles Brandt believes that it is humanity’s great work to transform our disruptive influence on the earth to a benign presence. As a leading member of the Tsolum River Restoration Society, in partnership with other groups, he spearheaded a campaign to get the old copper mine site capped at a cost of $4.5 million, which enabled the immediate return of salmon to the river. Father Brandt has also volunteered with the Oyster River Enhancement Society contributing to the return of salmon and trout stocks to the once decimated river.
Award Year: 2017
Fred Robbins is dedicated to uniting all communities of the Cariboo Chilcotin to ensure the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School and its survivors are not forgotten. During his time as Chief of Esk’etemc First Nation he initiated public events, workshops and seminars, as well as a monument at the school and in Williams Lake’s Boitanio Park, and was also instrumental in the development of Orange Shirt Day, which continues today. Through his vision, Fred, a residential school survivor, brought together First Nations, Tribal Councils, local government leaders, school districts, and former students to remember, recover and reconcile. He continues with his message today and has given voice and hope to the Truth and Reconciliation process in British Columbia.
All About U Arts Ltd.
All About U is owned and managed by Ben Davidson, a 5th generation Haida carver. The business specializes in contemporary Haida art and Ben works with emerging and established Haida artists to provide a contextualized, commercial platform for the art. He also mentors fellow entrepreneurs in the art of doing business and is a gateway for tourists to learn more about the Haida culture.
Ben’s belief is that the art business starts with visibility – imagery where people will see it: Airports, Ferries, Museums, Gift Shops and other high profile and high track businesses. It’s all about U!
Sierra Helicopters Ltd.
Melanie Cadden is the General Manager of COCO Cafe, a project of Cedar Opportunities Co-operative. COCO’s mission is to operate a successful social enterprise that supports employment, training, and socialization opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. Under Melanie’s leadership, COCO’s team of less than 10 employees has grown to over 40 and the café now runs a full catering department. Soliciting donations from the community and exhausting grant funding when available, Melanie is an integral part of COCO’s success and a skilled community leader.
For more than a decade, Birgit Sharman has championed a number of key impact events for the Tumbler Ridge community. Through her work with the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society since its inception in 1992, Birgit organized the Ridge Ramble Cross Country Ski Race and has served on the Emperor’s Challenge Mountain Run Organizing Committee for fifteen years, helping it to become the largest off-road running event in BC. In addition, Birgit supported and serves on the Board of Directors of the community’s most exciting development, the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark, which is one of 111 such UNESCO Global Geoparks worldwide, and only the second in North America.
Bar S Ventures
Bar S Ventures is a full-phase logging business owned by Shelley Stewart. In 2012 the company owned six logging truck/trailer units. Today, it employs 28 people to operate nine logging trucks and 16 pieces of logging equipment. It is proud to be a full “stump to dump” logging operation. Since 2010, the company’s revenue has increased more than tenfold.
Shelley Stewart has thrived in this challenging, male-dominated, industry. Bar S Ventures has won awards and been featured in trade videos, journals and commercials. Shelley has become an excellent role model providing guidance to other Indigenous entrepreneurs.
Thuy'she'num Property Management
Daphne Cole has been making a difference in the lives of young people in BC for the past 30 years. As founder of the BC Children’s Hospital Auxiliary to help support families, patients and hospital staff in 1982, Daphne is a champion for the hospital and its mission. She is a significant donor to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, and served a six-year term as a Governor. These efforts, along with her extensive volunteering have made her a child health ambassador for the entire province and crucial to the achievements and continuing excellence of the BC Children’s Hospital.
Barbara Stewart embodies the spirit of Variety – the Children’s Charity of BC, which states that “together we can be there when families need us most” through her four decades of remarkable commitment to the charity. She has served as a volunteer with Variety holding every significant office in the organization and contributing in a range of ways. She’s been President, assisted every fundraising effort, been a member of the President’s Circle for Variety International, introduced and chaired the Gold Hearts campaign and raised more than $5 million for children with special needs. Barbara is an invaluable part of Variety and continues to inspire by her commitment and actions.