Celebrate the season with artwork by award-winning artists 

Photo: 2022 Crabtree McLennan Emergist Artist, Jamie Gentry, moccasins

Now is the perfect time of the year to support a local business or artist and surprise a loved one with a gift made with passion and excellence. Check out the artwork from 2022 BC Achievement award alumni: 

Fulmer Award First Nations Art 

Jamie Gentry – stitches beautiful beadwork on custom moccasins for clients – she’s in demand so book ahead to get a pair 

Latham Mack – his traditional Nuxalk style is infused with a contemporary flair and is found at galleries around the province 

Dylan Thomas – carves wood and stone focusing on Coast Salish sculpture 

Reg Davidson – best known for his traditional ceremonial objects, his work can be found in select BC galleries  

Photo: 2022 Carter Wosk Award Recipient, Louise Perrone, jewellery

Carter Wosk Award Applied Art + Design  

Robert Anderson – creates hand-built instruments worthy of passing down to future generations 

Caine Heintzman – one of three co-founders of ANDlight, a decorative luminaire design studio and manufacturer to light up your spaces 

Louise Perrone – believes special occasions deserve special jewellery like the pieces she builds using recycled textiles 

Cathy Terepocki – produces ceramics that are strongly rooted and reflective of her natural surroundings in Chilliwack 

And there are many more award-winning artists and businesses to check out at bcachievement.com

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change. 

What does engagement mean @bcachievement – #bepartofit 

Photo: Paul Larocque, President & CEO, Arts Umbrella & Yuri Fulmer, BC Achievement Board Member

Many of you have asked the question, “What does engagement mean at BC Achievement?” First and foremost, please consider contributing to the work of the foundation in a way that is meaningful for you. Whether that is by:   

  • submitting a nomination (we cannot thank the nominators enough – your efforts underpin the work of the foundation)
  • sharing the call for nominations and expanding our reach (#nominatenowbc for the 2023 Reconciliation and Community award programs);
  • amplifying recipients’ stories through all your communication channels; and, 
  • by donating through BC Achievement’s website (#donatenowbc). 

There’s no shortage of excellence in British Columbia and for close to two decades the foundation has been honouring the best of British Columbia. Every one of these recipients is a conduit for change. The effects of their work rippling outward, building momentum while impacting countless lives.  

Photo: 2022 Fulmer Award in First Nation Art Presentation Ceremony & Combined Exhibition at The Roundhouse

BC Achievement’s partners are vital to the sustainability of its programs. The work we are doing now builds the foundation for future artists, community leaders and entrepreneurs and we are grateful for those who support this vibrant community and celebrate the best of our province. It is a straightforward equation – the more British Columbians who engage with BC Achievement programming the more our programs can share the success of their awardees and inspire real change. 

As an independent, registered not-for-profit, BC Achievement relies upon corporate and philanthropic support for all five of its programs. Every contribution makes a difference, and we invite you to join the movement – #bepartofit and invest in the innovative work of program recipients and, in doing so, inspire achievement.   

If you would like to explore contributing to the work of the foundation, please contact our Executive Director Cathryn Wilson at [email protected] 

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change. 

BC Achievement Community Award – recognizing service to others #nominatenowbc 

Photo: 2022 Community Award Recipient, Dr. Tracey Thorne

We at BC Achievement believe that our communities are sustained and strengthened by those among us who aspire to excellence. Our vision is to honour and inspire achievement throughout British Columbia. We do this by recognizing, celebrating and supporting outstanding British Columbians and sharing their stories. Every year we are galvanized  by the commitment of program nominees, people from across British Columbia who have taken action, driven by a desire to contribute to their communities.

On December 1st we opened nominations for the Community Award which for the past 20 years has celebrated British Columbians who go above and beyond in their dedication and service to others. It honours individuals who devote their time and energy to making their communities more caring, dynamic, beautiful, healthy and inclusive.  

2022 Community Award Recipients

We are honoured each year to shine a light on individuals who have made their communities more livable, sustaining and inclusive.  Just one example of many is 2022 Mitchell Awardee, Dr. Faisal Khosa. At the Community Award ceremony in May 2022, Dr. Khosa commented on his mission-driven sense of service: 

“All of us have a mission in life, for some of my friends it is changing the world through serving the homeless; for some, it is feeding the hungry and for some, it is giving voice to those traditionally marginalized and underrepresented. My fellow recipients are endowed with both vision and courage which gives me confidence that solutions to hunger, homelessness, and inequality will no longer be an elusive dream.”  

It is this passion and dedication that strengthens communities and deserves recognition. By providing a platform that showcases the excellence that thrives here, the BC Achievement Community Award ignites a movement that captures the best of BC and carves a path forward for others to follow. With every story shared, there is the potential for inspiration to spark elsewhere. It’s this potential and these small sparks that allow hope to rise-up within our province.  

Nominations for the 2023 BC Achievement Community Award are open December 1, 2022 until January 31, 2023  #nominatenowbc 

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change. 

Indigenous Business Award (IBA) Gala 2022 elevates excellence! 

The fourteenth annual IBA Gala presented by BC Achievement on November 29 was a huge success thanks to the exceptional Indigenous Business Awardees and the invaluable people behind each one of them. We’re grateful for everyone who came together to support and honour the 2022 recipients. 

The Gala celebrated and shared stories of Indigenous business excellence and, in doing so, underlined the theme for the 2022 program: thuyshaynum: preparing the path, directing the feet. “We are all working to correct the understanding of Indigenous history with guests in our territory and mindfully building respectful and meaningful relationships to prepare the path.” Angela Marston, IBA Program Director. 

The evening’s hosts Geena Jackson and award alumna, Carol Anne Hilton, welcomed guests and captured the attention of the sold-out room. DJ O Show, another IBA alumni member, kept the atmosphere electric, ushering awardees to the stage with their selected individual walk-up songs. Thank you to everyone who took to the stage or sent greetings to acknowledge the awardees, including newly minted award alumni! 

We raise our hands to the to the 2022 recipients: Dark Arc Welding, dK Architecture, Culture Shock Life, Warrior Plumbing, M’inuw’ilum DBA Cheanuh Marina, Sasuchan Development Corporation, Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd, and Chief David Jimmie. We’re honoured to celebrate your achievements and hear your inspiring stories of hard work and success. These stories have been captured in short films produced on each awardee – premiered at the IBA Gala and now viewable on BC Achievement’s YouTube channel

A huge thanks to all the program sponsors. It was a pleasure having all of you join the awardees and guests at the  #IBAgala, celebrating Indigenous business excellence. 

If you missed the livestream, watch a recording at bcachievement.com or through Telus’ Optik TV Indigenous Channel 126 across BC after November 30. 

Nominations for the 2023 Indigenous Business Award open June 1, 2023. 

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

Installation of two canoe paddles honour the journey of reconciliation

Photo: the Honourable Janet Austin and T’esóts’en, Patrick Kelly

Two canoe paddles honouring the achievements of the 2021 and 2022 BC Reconciliation Award recipients were installed at Government House on November 22, 2022. The installation of the paddles also marks the call for nominations launch for the 2023 BC Reconciliation Award program.

The BC Reconciliation Award is a partnership between the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, and the BC Achievement Foundation, and recognizes individuals, groups and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, integrity, respect, and commitment to furthering reconciliation or inspired others to continue reconciliation efforts.

The BC Reconciliation Award draws inspiration from the work of the Honourable Steven Point [Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl], 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, and a founder of the Award. His hand-carved red cedar canoe, Shxwtitostel, currently on display at the BC Legislature buildings, was created as a symbol of reconciliation, with the understanding that “we are all in the same canoe” and must “paddle together” to move forward.

In honour of this legacy, each year, recipients are presented with a print of a canoe paddle designed by the Emerging Artist recipient of the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art. The 2021 paddle was created by Kwakwaka’wakw artist Cole Speck, and the 2022 paddle was created by Dene and Carrier beader Crystal Behn. The ongoing series of BC Reconciliation Award paddles will be displayed in Government House.

2021 Reconciliation Paddle designed by Kwakwaka’wakw artist, Cole Speck

Paddle description by the artist:
“The sea monster has been carrying people through pre-reconciliation as it travels through the ocean. Now it is climbing out of the waves helping to bridge the gap toward reconciliation. No one has seen the sea monster for centuries but now that we are working towards reconciliation, there is hope that we will see the sea monster once again.”

2022 Reconciliation Paddle by Dene and Carrier artist, Crystal Behn

Paddle description by the artist:
“The traditional hand-smoked moosehide has a story. The moose was hunted, its meat fed many families. Tradition and knowledge were passed on from the hunt right to the art that was created from endless hours of preparing the hide. The beaded flower colours represent every nation. The stitching that runs along the edge represents the mothers and grandmothers that stitched together their children’s moccasins, many of those children did not return home from residential school. The red flower at the tip represents all the murdered and missing Indigenous woman, all our stolen sisters, the life givers. This paddle is bound together in the middle, my hope is that one day all nations will meet in the middle with understanding and compassion for one another. That all Indigenous nations will be accepted and shown mutual respect.”

The nomination period for the Awards will be open from November 22, 2022, until January 20, 2023. Nomination forms are available at bcachievement.com.

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

Open for Nominations: BC Reconciliation Award program #nominatenowbc 

Photo: 2022 BC Reconciliation Award recipient, T̓łaḵwagila – Chief Bill Cranmer

“Reconciliation builds relationships and bridges the gap between two worlds through the efforts of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. By recognizing the truths of past wrongs and showcasing examples of how to make things right, others will be inspired to follow.” BC Achievement Foundation board member Cloy-e-iis, Dr. Judith Sayers 

There’s been much talk of reconciliation and there are many individuals and organizations who are taking action by implementing ideas and programs to move this effort forward. BC Achievement works in partnership with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia to deliver the program and we are collectively honoured to highlight the program recipients and inspired by their achievements. 

Now in its third year, the British Columbia Reconciliation Award recognizes excellence in the area of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in the province of BC. It aims to showcase leadership in reconciliation so others will follow on the journey forward. Last year six extraordinary individuals and organizations were recognized as recipients of this award for their exceptional leadership, integrity, respect and commitment to furthering reconciliation.  

Who will be recognized as the recipients of the 2023 installment of the award?

It is time to start considering who is doing this work and tell the stories of reconciliation in action throughout the province and #nominatenowbc! Submissions will be accepted starting November 22, 2022, until January 20, 2023. We encourage you to look around in your community and make note of who is doing great work and deserves to be recognized so their story can be shared. Nominations will be accepted online at bcachievement.com and they will be reviewed by a selection committee including representation from Indigenous Elders and leadership. 

November 22 marks the day that the two reconciliation paddles, designed by First Nations artists and former recipients of the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art will be installed at Government House in Victoria. These two paddles, one created for each year of the award, symbolize the inspiration behind the award. The inspiration is the work of the Honourable Steven Point [Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl], 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, and a founder of the award, and his hand-carved red cedar canoe, Shxwtitostel, currently on display at the BC Legislature building. It was created as a symbol of reconciliation, with the understanding that “we are all in the same canoe” and must “paddle together” to move forward. 

Watch for the photos from the paddle installment and congratulations to paddle artists Cole Speck and Crystal Dehn on their artistry and their commitment to reconciliation. 

Don’t forget nominations for the BC Reconciliation Award will be accepted November 22, 2023 – January 20, 2023! #nominatenowbc 

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art and Design Recipients Celebrated

We are saluting the four talented recipients of the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design!

Congratulations to:

These awardees demonstrate creativity, innovation and skill in designing and creating objects that are both beautiful and functional.

“These artistic works and designs demonstrate a new strength within BC’s creative economy,” said Anne Giardini, OC, OBC, KC, Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation. “The Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design celebrates and honours BC’s creators for ensuring beauty and function are part of our everyday lives. It is always a delight to us at BC Achievement to recognize new ways of marrying art and function with ingenuity and imagination.”

Come visit the exhibit showcasing the works of these artists and the works of the recipients of this year’s Fulmer Award in First Nations Art. The exhibit runs Monday, November 14 to Friday, November 18 at The Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in Vancouver. You’ll see the stunning art of all these awardees including Caine’s spectacular light fixtures, Louise’s bold textile jewellery, Cathy’s ceramics made from locally sourced clay, and Robert’s one-of-a-kind handmade guitars and violins.

At an award ceremony later this month, awardees will be celebrated amongst family, friends and peers. There they will receive a certificate and medallion in honour of their achievements and will be the first to see two films produced by BC Achievement to highlight their artistic accomplishments.

The Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design is named in honour of BC philanthropist, academic and visionary Yosef Wosk, OC, OBC, Ph.D. and Sam Carter, BC educator, designer and curator.

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

IBA Gala – 14 reasons to be at the 14th annual Indigenous Business Award Gala: November 29

The highly anticipated Indigenous Business Award Gala Dinner is back with Carol Anne Hilton and Geena Jackson serving as co-Directors of Ceremonies on November 29 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
DJ O Show (IBA 2015 recipient) is joining in the production and celebration which will honour the 2022 program recipients. The evening is promising to be exceptional, and BC Achievement recently caught up with Geena to find out why she thinks the 2022 IBA Gala is the place to be. 

Saluting the 14th annual offering of the IBA program – Here are Geena’s top 14 reasons to be there on November 29.

  1. It’s been three long years since we gathered to celebrate the program awardees – kudos to the 2022 recipients 
  1. Cannot wait to celebrate the achievements and successes of Indigenous businesses from around the province: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change 
  1. Networking, Networking, Networking- the best opportunity of 2022 
  1. Carol Anne Hilton: #indigenomics (2013 IBA recipient and 2020 Award of Distinction designation) Trailblazer, influencer, inspirational leader 
  1. DJ O Show: Music, nostalgia, dancing, great vibes and Canada’s DJ of the Year 
  1. Amazing PR opportunity for your company 
  1. Meet established, new and upcoming businesses creating impacts in the Indigenous economy 
  1. Create new connections, new partnerships and meet amazing gamechangers 
  1. Develop long-term friendships who connect you to progressive like-minded thinkers 
  1. Supporting Indigenous business at the highest level 
  1. This event is part of our “Why” – we are all here for the same reason- for Indigenous advancement at every level 
  1. We get to dress up – really dress up 
  1. Vancouver’s most exciting event of the year – ask anyone who has ever attended! 
  1. This is going to sell out – it always does!  Get your tickets and book your tables ASAP to avoid disappointment! 

Geena, a member of the Frog Clan of the shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation on BC’s Sunshine Coast has contributed to the growth of over 530 Indigenous entrepreneurs, organizations and First Nations communities. She currently is the inspirational innovator and founder of Bear’s Lair – the reality TV show currently airing on ATPN TV.  Geena understands the challenges facing entrepreneurs and she is motivated by the sense of accomplishment and pride people feel when they succeed in turning their dreams into reality. A longtime supporter and consistent (and successful) nominator of the IBA program, Geena is a force who passionately empowers others while leading by example.  

IBA Gala 2022. See you there! 

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

Congratulations to the 2022 Fulmer Award in First Nations Art recipients! 

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Fulmer Award in First Nations Art!  

Congratulations to the 2022 Awardees: 

The Fulmer Award in First Nations Art program creates a platform for community engagement, mentorship and storytelling while celebrating the intersection of art and culture and honouring First Nations artistic traditions. This year’s celebration of the 2022 Fulmer Award in First Nations Art recipients includes a series of short films showcasing each awardee’s artistic accomplishments which will be premiered at an award ceremony next month. Each recipient will receive a certificate and medallion in honour of their achievements. 

The awardees demonstrate artistic innovation and creativity, while building on deep traditions. Jamie, Latham, Dylan and Reg have each demonstrated a commitment to their practice, accumulated a body of work, and are recognized in their communities for their craft. 

BC Achievement is honoured to feature the 2022 recipients in a joint exhibition celebrating the recipients of the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art and the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design at The Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre in Vancouver from November 14 to November 18, 2022. 

The Fulmer Award in First Nations Art is made possible through the generous support of the Vancouver-based Fulmer Foundation. The BC Achievement Foundation is also grateful to community partners BC Ferries, Crafted Vancouver, Denbigh Fine Art Services, TELUS and The Roundhouse  and media partners CFNR, First Nations Drum, The Frog Radio, Global BC and Stir, each of which play a key role in elevating change in their support of the Fulmer Award program.  

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

Through the lens of emerging artists Cole Speck and Crystal Behn: paddles for the reconciliation journey 

Photo: Cole Speck, Reconciliation Paddle 2021

The British Columbia Reconciliation Award draws inspiration from the work of the Honourable Steven Point [Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl], 28th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, and a founder of the award program. His hand-carved red cedar canoe, Shxwtitostel, currently on display at the BC Legislature buildings, was created as a symbol of reconciliation, with the understanding that “we are all in the same canoe” and must “paddle together” to move forward. 

In keeping with His Honour’s inspiration and to commemorate the inaugural offering of the award in 2020, BC Achievement commissioned the recipient of the 2020 Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist for the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art, Cole Speck, to create a paddle design representative of his understanding of the reconciliation journey. Cole, a Kwakwaka’wakw artist, designed a paddle emblematic of his vision: 

“The paddle design represents the sea monster, one of the earliest stories of the Kwakwaka’wakw people. The sea monster has been carrying people through pre-reconciliation as it travels through the ocean. Now it is climbing out of the waves helping to bridge the gap toward reconciliation. No one has seen the sea monster for centuries but now that we are working towards reconciliation, there is hope that we will see the sea monster once again.” 

For each subsequent year of the BC Reconciliation Award program, BC Achievement is honoured to commission the Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist for the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art to create a paddle design showcasing their understanding of the reconciliation journey.  

Photo: Crystal Behn, Reconciliation Paddle 2022

Crystal Behn, the 2021 recipient of the Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist designation created a reconciliation paddle using yellow cedar, acrylic, beads, moosehide, fish scales, and caribou hair.  As a Dene and Carrier artist, all of these materials are active components of her practice and the following exposé shares and defines her intimate experience: 

When I worked on this paddle, I experienced many different emotions. What started out as excitement and happiness to be given the opportunity to create and contribute to reconciliation, turned into negative emotions for me.  Reconciliation; 1. the restoration of friendly relations. 2. the action of making one view or belief compatible with another.   

What does reconciliation mean to me? It is a made up hope, an attempt at what colonizers would like to say that is being accomplished. This paddle represents everything reconciliation should be, the freedom to express the culture and tradition that many First Nations were denied. The responsibility of reconciliation is passed onto the children of the future if the lies embedded in Canadian history are not authenticated or brought to light. Why should an entire nation have to keep fighting for equality, the land and their treaty rights while having to face racism head on?  

The traditional hand smoked moosehide has a story. The moose was hunted, its meat fed many families. Tradition and knowledge were passed on from the hunt right to the art that was created from endless hours of preparing the hide. The beaded flower colours represent every nation. The stitching that runs along the edge represents the mothers and grandmothers that stitched together their children’s moccasins, many of those children did not return home from residential school. The red flower at the tip represents all the murdered and missing Indigenous women, all our stolen sisters, the life givers. Women are the strength in our families and communities, why are they being discarded at such an alarming rate? This paddle is bound together in the middle, my hope is that one day all nations will meet in the middle with understanding and compassion for one another. That all Indigenous nations will be accepted and shown mutual respect.” 

Soon, the two paddles will be installed in honour of the achievements of the 2021 and 2022 BC Reconciliation recipients at Government House in Victoria. Recipients will be presented with a limited-edition print at a ceremony planned for January 2023. 

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.