Charissa Tonnesen

Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia

Charissa Tonnesen began working in Tumbler Ridge in 2000, after graduating from the University of British Columbia (UBC) as a pharmacist. She made Tumbler Ridge her home seven years later, remaining a beacon of hope and community devotion through tough economic times. Charissa has served on numerous board committees, including the Tumbler Ridge Museum and its UNESCO Global Geopark, and the Community Arts Council. An accomplished singer and guitarist, Charissa has been a member of the community choir for many years. She supports local youth through her involvement with the annual TR Junior Idol competition, hosted by the Arts Council, and the Northern Rockies Karate-do. Charissa is a karate champion and encourages youth to achieve their best in sport as well.

In 2019 she took over the running of Flatbed Loops for the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society. Her commitment to teaching is evident through her voluntary work as preceptor for UBC Pharmacy students. Many such students have passed through her Tumbler Ridge pharmacy and experienced the challenges and rewards of being a rural pharmacist.


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I feel proud and honoured to have received this award and I enjoyed meeting and hearing the stories of the other recipients. The response to the news in my community has been truly amazing. I appreciate having had the opportunity to help out in the ways that I have, and I hope that this recognition will spur more people on to give their time to a cause that is near and dear to their hearts. Volunteer work is vitally important for the health of a community.