Beth Applewhite

As founder of the first Secondary Black Student Committee in western Canada, Beth Applewhite promotes awareness and understanding amongst all students while fostering pride, dignity and inspiration in those who directly identify with Black/African heritage. As Vice-Principal at Pine Tree Secondary, Beth builds strong, strategic relationships with other community-based groups and coordinates annual youth events that have a profound impact on the lives of those she touches. Her energy and passion have reshaped cultural and racial understanding in her community.

Dr. Biju Mathew

Dr. Biju Mathew is a psychiatrist, researcher, and author of the book Super 30 – Changing the World 30 Students at a Time. His determination to help marginalized individuals struggling with mental illness and addiction is reflected in his contributions as Director of the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation and President of the BC Psychiatry Association. As founder and president of the Ridge Meadows South Asian Cultural Society, Biju has dedicated his philanthropic efforts to highlighting the outstanding contributions made by South Asian immigrants to Canada and to raising awareness about mental health and its impact on communities.

Michelle Stoney

The recipient of this year’s Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist Award, Michelle Stoney incorporates the traditions of her two distinct First Nations cultures: form line from her Gitxsan heritage and bright colours with black outlines from her Cree heritage. Recently painted murals in her hometown of Hazleton, as well as in Terrace and Vancouver reflect Michelle’s innovative painting style as well as her goal to create unique First Nations art. In addition, Michelle has been learning the fundamentals of jewelry-making from established artists and contributing positively to the future of First Nations Art.

The Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist designation was established in 2019. Named in honour of Brenda Crabtree, Director, Aboriginal Programs, Emily Carr University and the late Bill McLennan (1948-2020), Curator Emeritus, UBC Museum of Anthropology, this recognition aims to highlight and support emerging talent.

Don Bassermann

Don Bassermann is a dedicated leader and an active member of the Prince George community. An educator and school administrator, Don served six terms as a city councillor, retiring from office in 2011. During his tenure, Don’s committee work oversaw construction of many important civic facilities including the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre, the CN Centre Arena and the Two Rivers Art Gallery. An avid gardener, outdoorsman, and advocate for sustainability and food security, Don is known for his enthusiastic commitment to his community.

Sandra McPherson

Sandra (Sandy) McPherson’s history of volunteer service includes climate change initiatives, local lending, women in politics and aiding those less fortunate in the community. Prior to moving to the Cowichan Valley, Sandy served two terms as a municipal councillor in the Capital Regional District. As a member of North Cowichan’s Environmental Advisory Committee since 2012, Sandy is a champion for the municipality’s Climate Action and Energy Plan and a mentor for the Cowichan Chapter of Earth Guardians. Sandy acts to build community resilience and is a steadfast community leader.

Persistence Training Centre

Persistence Training Centre, owned by Kylee Street, offers specialized trainers and coaches to a wide demographic of individuals. Its goal is to increase the overall health and wellness locally and especially within the First Nations community. Kylee opened her first training facility in her home and has worked diligently growing her clients to over 100 strong while opening a professional training centre two years ago.

Gordon Hutchens

Gordon Hutchens first became intrigued with pottery at the age of 14 during a visit to Japan where he watched potters at work and saw the revered position of pottery in that culture. Following this path, Gordon studied ceramics at the University of Illinois and, for the last 46 years, he has gained a reputation as a master of his craft in British Columbia. Gordon is also an esteemed instructor sharing his knowledge throughout the province, across Canada and internationally through classes, workshops and exhibitions. Since 1999 he has taught ceramics at North Island College, School of Fine Art and Design. Based on Denman Island, Gordon produces a variety of work from sculptural to functional and utilizes an extremely broad range of techniques. His studio is open to the public where museum quality pieces among more utilitarian works can be viewed. Gordon formulates and blends all his own clay bodies using many different clays from across North America as well as clay from his own property. His work is well known for the depth and diversity of his glazes and the strength and refinement of his forms. Gordon’s pottery allows everyday objects to transcend their practical nature with magic and beauty.

Neil Brewer

For nearly three decades, Neil Brewer has gone beyond the call of duty as a member of the Kent Harrison Search and Rescue (SAR) team. Known throughout the province by other SAR teams for his determination, skill and exemplary leadership, Neil has been involved in more than 600 SAR tasks. As a board member of the BC SAR Association, Neil volunteers his time helping secure vital funding for essential equipment for provincial SAR groups. His efforts led to the establishment of the new Kent Harrison SAR headquarters in Agassiz.

Sukhmeet Singh Sachal

Sukhmeet Sachal’s achievements reflect his dedication to promoting acceptance and diversity among all students. After graduating from university, he spent six months in Inuvik, NWT volunteering at the local school and tutoring Indigenous students in math and sciences. While there, Sukhmeet developed the program Break the Divide to encourage cross-cultural dialogue between Indigenous youth in the Northwest Territories and BC high school students. An advocate for inclusiveness, gender equality, mental health and survivors of domestic violence, Sukhmeet is a change maker who leads by example.