Gerry Juzenas has, for 40 years, worked to advance the rights of people with disabilities along with the community’s understanding of issues specific to this population. Through various advocacy and board roles with organizations such as the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) and InclusionBC, in addition to presentations at local colleges and high schools, Gerry embodies what passion and commitment can achieve in furthering the rights of, and opportunities for, people with developmental disabilities.
Tom Whipps’s volunteer commitment stands out as a much beloved member of the Lantzville community. Lantzville relies on volunteers and ‘neighbours taking care of neighbours’ and Tom embodies this ethic in everything he does. He served for two decades as a Scout leader and continues to help the organization, even though his sons are long since grown up. Active in the community’s sports, its seniors’ group, as well as a dedicated volunteer firefighter, Tom’s efforts are legendary and represent the lifeblood of his town. An ambassador for the community and a good citizen who has made a difference, Tom is a true leader whose example is an inspiration to all.
Homalco Forestry LP – known as HFLP, was established in 2011 to provide Forest Management and Timber Harvesting Services within the traditional territory of the Homalco First Nation. It provides forest management expertise to help ensure that the forest resources are developed sustainably for present and future generations of Homalco people.
The company was built from the ground up with no large capital investment. It continues to grow and stay competitive in the marketplace. Its long-term goal is to provide jobs, training and revenue for the community and its band members. HFLP is an inspiration for all Indigenous communities interested in owning or developing their own logging companies.
A vision of Vancouver as a creative centre for world-class music has driven the commitment of George Laverock through his remarkable career and outstanding community involvement. George has made a lasting difference through his accomplishments in public broadcasting, arts administration and non-profit governance while mentoring the next generation of musicians. His volunteer involvement with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Canadian Music Centre, to name a few, along with countless hours on numerous boards, has created a legacy for musical arts and culture in British Columbia.
George Laverock was named the inaurgural recipient of the Mitchell Award. Named in honour of Keith Mitchell QC, the Mitchell Award recognizes an individual who, through his or her work and volunteer activities, has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to elevating the community in which they live, and those who serve it. The recipient has a unique and selfless leadership style that encourages and inspires the full participation of those he or she leads. Keith Mitchell served as the BC Achievement Foundation’s Founding Chair and guiding light for 13 years. A leader by example and a mentor at heart, Keith brought clarity to the role of the Foundation in its mission to celebrate excellence in British Columbia.
Anita Sikma grew up the daughter of an automotive technician and it is this experience that informs both her design aesthetic and love of handcrafted labour. Her most recent collection is named after her father’s automotive shop in Saskatchewan and features jewellery inspired by muffler clamps, cold connectors and sprockets. With her intuitive understanding of mechanical design, Anita has developed her collections using the traditional process of ‘lost wax casting’, blending contemporary elegance with Art Deco influence to create her androgynous classics. Starting in her East Vancouver apartment and growing into an independent studio space, Anita’s use of raw materials and hand tools supports a shrinking handful of local, family-run businesses. Her work has been featured widely in numerous publications and has a strong following of jewellery lovers and dedicated collectors.
The Huu-ay-aht Group of Businesses is the arm’s length economic development corporation of the Huu-ay-aht First Nation. It initially started with forestry businesses but grew to include an additional six limited partnership operation, comprising of 14 businesses in six years. It started with one employee in 2011 and now has over 120 full time, part-time, and casual employees.
A recent purchase of 11 properties has breathed new life into the community providing additional jobs and revenues for the Huu-ay-aht. As Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. likes to say, “our businesses allow us to manage prosperity instead of poverty.”
Professor Emeritus at Emily Carr University
Sam Carter has dedicated himself to the trumpeting of BC’s vibrant applied arts and design community for the past four decades. Artist, mentor, curator, advocate and educator, Sam has guided and inspired scores of young artists and provided them with international opportunities through his work as Professor Emeritus at Emily Carr University and beyond. Determined to define design in BC, to educate British Columbians and Canadians about the exemplary work happening in their backyard, Sam sees design as a life force, integral to our quotidian tasks and unique experiences. Through his curatorial work, Sam embraces both cutting edge technology and ancient techniques, seeing all excellence in design as worthy of celebration. His efforts have challenged and changed the conversation around local applied art and design and helped focus an appreciation of the role of functional art within the province’s cultural economy. Sam continues to mentor students, serve on civic boards and committees, travel extensively as curator and educator, while devoting his time to art and design initiatives throughout the world.
A recognized community leader, Ken Lepin is ubiquitous in Kamloops, working on boards including the City of Kamloops Board of Variance, Venture Kamloops and the Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Foundation. A visionary philanthropist, Ken’s generosity will have an enduring impact on residents of the community of Kamloops and BC for many future generations. Leading by example, Ken serves as an inspiration through his quiet and unassuming leadership driven by his dedicated passion to give back.
Brad Turner creates sculptural and functional glass objects with a strong focus on conceptual originality, superb craftsmanship, and cohesive intent. He maintains a diverse practice that weaves in-and-out of craft, art and design. While his work displays the care and technical expertise expected of top artisans, it is imbued with a unique design sense. As an object maker, Brad strives to create well-made, thoughtful objects that add relevant content to creative culture. He has steadily garnered recognition for his work, receiving 24 industry awards over the years, and readily pursues artistic development over stability. Brad has quickly become a positive influence within the Vancouver glass scene and is considered a talented and committed artist, designer and craftsperson who contributes his wealth of knowledge to the community.
Life Compass Counseling provides counseling services for children, adults, couples and families with a variety of behavioural and emotional issues. Under its umbrella, Equine Edge offers equine assisted therapy by partnering patients with horses to address those same challenges. Services are provided in an arena surrounded by four legged therapists offering innovative programs for youth where traditional approaches have not worked.
Based in a chronically underserved area of the province, Life Compass Counseling has assisted many families who would otherwise go without support. Since its formation in 2009, the business has grown exponentially in size, scope and has served numerous and diverse patient needs.