Calling all applied artists and designers, the Carter Wosk Award program is now open for your nominations!

Photo: 2021 Awardee, Nick Purcell, furniture designer

The Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design honours excellence in functional art and design. Nominate now for the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design. Whether nominating yourself or another artist, by recognizing the accomplishments of our province’s artists and designers this annual award program pays tribute to exceptional people, doing exceptional work.  

Janaki Larsen calls herself a potter and a mess maker. But to most of us, she’s an incomparable ceramics artist who creates beautiful plates and bowls that elevate functional items into showpieces. 

Her path, like that of many artists the award recognizes, did not start with a plan to be the artist she is today. “I didn’t want to be a potter and I didn’t want to be a painter since that’s what both of my parents did. So, I went into sculpture which led to signing up for a ceramics class because of a leak in my studio. And I had this idea that I wanted to catch this leak in a vessel that would disintegrate onto itself. I sat down on the wheel on the first day and I thought ‘this actually makes sense to me.” 

Photo: 2021 Awardee, Janaki Larsen, ceramist

Janaki’s work is often described as having an energy to it and that comes from the artist working each piece often until it’s at the brink of collapse, and the marks and imperfections are what makes her work unique. Janaki’s art is innovative, but she defines it as re-using or re-working something that already exists, not necessarily creating something brand new. “Innovation is often thought of as inventing something new, instead of working with what we have. Having a material that you can get from your backyard and turning it into something you can use on a daily basis is very exciting.”  

Making something that hasn’t been created before is both a risk and an innovation. For applied artists and designers, that’s often a risk worth taking. Not just for the art they create, but for the impact it has on their greater community whereby they are able to inspire others to take the risk, to be creative and seek innovation. “One of the most amazing things is for people to be inspired to pursue a career that is not the most guaranteed outcome. It’s an amazing feeling to receive an award like this for something that feels quite personal and to realize it has impacted on a larger scale.” 

To all the makers out there, the vulnerability you show by taking the risk to create is applauded and encouraged. Share your creativity and inspire others through your work. #nominatenow for the 2022 Carter Wosk Award Applied Art and Design. Nominations close July 14 at bcachievement.com

Online nominations are also open for two other BC Achievement award programs. Do you or someone you know, fit any of these categories? If so, nominate now!  

Indigenous Business Award – elevates excellence within Indigenous-owned businesses 

Fulmer Award in First Nations Art – celebrates artistic excellence in traditional and contemporary visual arts by First Nations artists. 

Elevate excellence in BC and nominate a deserving individual or business for one of these awards! Together we can inspire achievement through recognition. #nominatenowbc #bepartofit #elevateexcellence 

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

The Fulmer Award in First Nations Art  program is now open for your nominations! 

Photo: 2021 Awardee, James Harry, Dream Weaver, collaborative work with Lauren Brevner

The Fulmer Award in First Nations Art  celebrates artistic excellence in traditional and contemporary visual arts by First Nations artists.  

Nominating an artist for this award program whether it’s a self-nomination or one from a third-party, helps elevate excellence. It raises awareness of the good things happening in our communities and inspires innovation, understanding and leadership. Nominating an artist for this award showcases their ongoing initiative, their dedicated commitment to their practice, their tenacity and their excellence in their chosen field. 

One such person who has demonstrated all of the above is 2021 awardee, Squamis/’Namgis artist, James Harry. His story is one of innovation, commitment, and excellence. James grew up in a home where painting, beading and wood carving were normal activities. He moved out of his family’s home at age 17 going from one dead end job to another until he realized he had to make a change for himself. Applying to Emily Carr University was a defining moment for James and opened the opportunity for him to work with his dad, his mentor, Xwalacktun, OBC also a First Nations Art Award recipient. This allowed him to surround himself with art again.  

Photo: 2021 Awardee, James Harry

After years of mentoring, learning and creating, James’ art is celebrated as innovative; he’s translated First Nations art into modern forms, using technology to render drawings, and hiring fabricators to create distinctive art he now creates. “I decided to go into public art because a lot of our land is unceded territory. I really want every piece to be about our ways of thinking.” His large-scale bodies of works can be seen throughout Greater Vancouver – reflecting First nations stories, bringing people together through shared teachings and building understanding. “We’re at a really exciting time right now for Coast Salish Art to be recognized in our city bringing the conversation of Coast Salish art to the forefront.” 

James Harry knows the value of receiving the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art and how that can help inspire others to pursue their dreams. 

“We must continue to inspire the next generation of Indigenous people to pursue their dreams. Showcasing people who took risks and followed their passion will continue to inspire the future generations to do the same.” 

Nominate now for the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art! Nominations are open until July 7, 2022 at bcachievement.com 

Online nominations are also open for two other BC Achievement award programs. Do you or someone you know fit any of these categories? If so, nominate now!  

Indigenous Business Award – elevates excellence within Indigenous-owned businesses 

Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design – honours excellence in functional art and design  

Elevate excellence in BC and nominate a deserving individual or business for one of these awards! Together we can inspire achievement through recognition. #nominatenowbc #bepartofit #elevateexcellence 

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

Honour Indigenous innovation and reclamation: nominations are now open for the 2022 Indigenous Business Award program!

Photo: 2021 Awardee, Elijah Mack, Kekuli Cafe Merritt

“Innovation isn’t always about creating new things. Innovation sometimes involves looking back to our old ways and bringing them forward to this new situation.”   The Honourable Murray Sinclair, OC  

Nominate Now!

Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program alumni have long demonstrated strength and resilience while defining their unique styles of entrepreneurship whether it’s as a youth awardee or a repeat awardee.  

Photo: IBA program alumnus, Jacob Beaton, Tea Creek

The incredible journey of the program’s first youth entrepreneur recipient is one such example. Jacob Beaton now leads the work at Tea Creek – whose mission is to ‘is to revitalize the culture of economic interdependence and food production that was a central part of life for Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas’. 

Photo: IBA program alumnae, Carol Anne Hilton, Indigenomics Institute

2013 Outstanding Business Achievement and 2020 Award of Distinction recipient, Carol Anne Hilton whose Indigenomics Institute may have launched as a hashtag but has since evolved into a progressive movement, creating space while propelling Indigenous entrepreneurs to activate the financial architecture of the $100 billion-dollar annual Indigenous economy.

Photo: IBA program alumnae, Inez Cook, Salmon ‘n Bannock

Fellow 2013 alumnae Inez Cook and her outstanding restaurant Salmon ‘n Bannock has been leading the way in the food industry for over a decade, reclaiming Indigenous culinary heritage and recently receiving the Georgia Straight’s Golden Plates 2022 recognition. In 2018, Kukpi7 (Wenecwtsin) Wayne Christian accepted the IBA on behalf of Yucwmenlécwu (Caretakers of the Land) and shared the importance of reconnecting tomorrow’s generations with the cultural practices of the past and the need to walk in two worlds: 

“You’ve got the western science on one side and, on the other side, is our own science, or traditional knowledge…and you need an understanding of both so that the balance is there all the time.  We cannot forget that the knowledge of the land is thousands of years old.”

Photo: IBA program alumnus, Kukpi7 Wayne Christian, Yucwmenlécwu, Caretakers of the Land

Indigenous entrepreneurs are leading the way in developing new approaches to business achievement, reclaiming their heritage and practices, supporting their communities and carving a path forward for others to follow.  

June 1 marks the opening of the 2022 Call for Nominations for the Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program. Now in its 14th annual celebration, the program boasts over 200 outstanding models of Indigenous business excellence. Help tell the stories of the reclamation of exceptional Indigenous business practices and achievement throughout the province. The online nomination form is open and BC Achievement staff is ready to assist with the process.  #Nominatenowbc 

2022 Indigenous Business Award Gala is BACK!! 

BC Achievement looks forward to welcoming the recipients and guests to the 2022 Indigenous Business Award Gala planned for late November in Vancouver. Please stay tuned for more details about the return of this long awaited in person celebration! 

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

June is Nominate Now month 

Photo: Lawrie Mack, 2022 Community Award recipient (far right)

June is Nominate Now  month at BC Achievement.   

It’s almost time to #nominatenowbc and recognize the accomplishments of BC’s entrepreneurs and artists and celebrate extraordinary people doing exceptional work. 

BC Achievement runs five annual award programs that recognize the accomplishments of individuals, groups and organizations in the areas of community leadership, applied art + design, First Nations art, Indigenous entrepreneurship and reconciliation.  

On June 1, 2022 the nominations will open online for submissions to three of these award programs: 

Indigenous Business Award 
Fulmer Award in First Nations Art 
Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design 

For 19 years, BC Achievement has celebrated the province’s finest. The only organization of its kind in Canada to honour entrepreneurs, artists, leaders, visionaries and volunteers. BC Achievement shares the singular stories of these exceptional individuals. 

Photo: Stan Bevan, 2021 Award of Distinction recipient, Fulmer Award in First Nations Art

But it’s always been about more than the individual. It’s about understanding and investing in the communities that carry them, the people and places that make up our province. Every one of our recipients is a conduit for change. The effects of their work rippling outward, building momentum while impacting countless lives. BC Achievement programming sparks a movement that captures the best of BC and carves a path forward for others to follow. 

So, if you know an artist or entrepreneur that fills the bill, or you are one yourself, nominate now for one of the award programs! 

Indigenous Business Award– Elevates excellence within Indigenous-owned businesses. Categories are: Business of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Community owned; and Business Partnership of the Year. Online nominations for the Indigenous Business Award program are open until June 30, 2022. 

Fulmer Award in First Nations Art– Celebrates artistic excellence in traditional and contemporary visual arts by First Nations artists. The Fulmer Award in First Nations Art nominations are open until July 7, 2022. 

Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design – Honours excellence in functional art and design. The Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design is open until July 14, 2022.  

Be part of it — elevate excellence in BC –  and nominate a deserving individual or business for one of these awards! 

Nominations open June 1, 2022 at bcachievement.com 

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

Mitchell Award of Distinction recipient,
Dr. Faisal Khosa 

Photo: 2022 Awardee, Dr. Faisal Khosa

Dr. Faisal Khosa is a champion for diversity and inclusion in educational institutions and employment. His remarkable achievements have been commemorated with the Mitchell Award of Distinction as a recipient of the 2022 Community Award. The Mitchell Award of Distinction recognizes Faisal’s unique and selfless leadership that empowers others to lead. His commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) has created a lasting legacy in his community and province. 

One of the standout things about Faisal is his passion in seeing his mentees succeed. Despite his busy schedule as an award-winning radiologist, scholar, and clinician-scientist, he provides insightful advice and is always available to provide guidance and support. He often mentors and supports aspiring physicians from developing countries achieve clinical fellowships in Europe, USA, and Canada.  

With more than 240 peer-reviewed scholarly publications, Faisal’s research has catalyzed initiatives to increase the accessibility of higher education and achievement for underrepresented groups including female, refugee, BIPOC and those with physical and mental disabilities. His efforts have produced actionable guidelines for institutions in BC and beyond and helped create an equitable space that allows for inclusion of all students, educators and physicians. 

Photo: Dr. Faisal Khosa, 2022 Mitchell Award of Distinction

Faisal is a leader in reducing systemic barriers. Through hands-on EDI and anti-racism workshops and seminars he has empowered others to become ambassadors for EDI, ensuring a sustainable legacy of inclusive excellence in BC.  

With a purpose to ensure a level playing field, Faisal enables those who have been historically marginalized with the opportunities to shine. He is committed to reducing systemic barriers and it is this devotion to community service and his motivation to help others excel that embodies selfless service.  

He teaches us that equal opportunity leads to inequality and treating everyone equally maintains inequity. Equity and equality while used interchangeably are different entities and lead to dissimilar results. When we treat everyone equally, we treat everyone the same, but when we treat everyone equitably, we focus on individual needs and tailor-made solutions. Equity asks us to acknowledge that everyone has different needs, experiences, and opportunities.  

For more information about Dr. Faisal Khosa, see bcachievement.com  

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

2022 Community Awardees Announced 

Photo: Baylie McKnight, 2022 Community Award recipient

The recipients of the 19th annual Community Award were just announced! The BC Achievement Community Award program recognizes extraordinary British Columbians who build better, stronger and more resilient communities. 

Representing communities and interests from around the province, the recipients are examples of dedication and service. Their contributions to their organizations, neighbourhoods, and communities are invaluable and life-changing.  

The 2022 Community Award recipients are:  

Carol Camille, Lillooet 
Jim Good, Prince George  
David He, Burnaby
Herman Ho, MB, AdeC, Vancouver 
Dr. Faisal Khosa, Vancouver  
Chin uook Kim, New Westminster 
Suresh Kurl, Richmond  
David Amrik Lau, Saanichton 
Lawrie Mack, Invermere
Baylie McKnight, Victoria 
Anders I. Ourom, Vancouver
Carmen Rosen, Vancouver 
Kamal Sharma, Surrey  
Robert Tanaka, Coquitlam  
Dr. Tracey Thorne, Gabriola Island 
Charissa Tonnesen, Tumbler Ridge
Dr. Vivian W. L. Tsang, Vancouver 
Wayne White, Courtenay
Sqwulutsultun William Yoachim, Nanaimo  
Anthony and Nancy Yurkovich, Richmond 

The recipients were selected by an independent committee, whose 2022 members include Mayor Maja Tait of Sooke, Mayor Clara Reinhardt of Radium Hot Springs, and past recipients Aisha Amijee and Kal Dosanjh.  

“The past two years have been challenging for all of us. It’s heartening to see these community leaders, visionaries, innovators and volunteers continuing to work to make the world a better place while lighting a path of achievement for other British Columbians to follow.” Anne Giardini, OC, OBC, QC, Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation. 

The Mitchell Award designate of the Community Award is selected by the BC Achievement Foundation Board in consultation with the local community. The award recognizes an individual who, through their work and volunteer activities, demonstrates an unwavering commitment to elevating people around them. This year’s Mitchell Award of Distinction recipient is Dr. Faisal Khosa, a mentor, educator and advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion, whose selfless leadership style empowers others to lead and excel.  

“This year’s Community Award recipients have supported their communities during exceptionally difficult times and are an inspiration to us all,” says Premier John Horgan. “They have dedicated their time and energy to helping their friends and neighbours, and British Columbia is a better province because of them.” 

The 2022 Community Award recipients will be recognized in a formal presentation ceremony held in Victoria, BC, this month in the presence of the Honourable Janet Austin, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Each awardee will receive a certificate and medallion designed by BC artist Robert Davidson, OC. They will also be celebrated through an online campaign #shinethelightbc to commemorate their excellence and inspirational achievements positively impacting British Columbians.  

You can read about each of these awardees and their accomplishments at bcachievement.com 

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

FIVE Reasons to Nominate an entrepreneur for the 2022 Indigenous Business Award 

Photo: 2021 Awardee, Steven Stark, Tsawwassen Shuttles Inc.

While the past two years have been tough for all BC businesses with COVID shifting the economic landscape, Indigenous businesses throughout the province have demonstrated their respective resilience in remarkable ways. Indigenous businesses help generate cultural resurgence and build significant socio-economic opportunities across the province, and it’s important to recognize their efforts and strengths. The IBA program provides a platform for these successes while modelling best practices. 

For the past 13 years, the IBA program has represented Indigenous entrepreneurship from throughout the province, honouring and sharing the impact of over 200 businesses recognized for their excellence. Starting June 1, nominations will open for the 2022 Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program, marking its 14th annual presentation. Here are five reasons to nominate, from IBA’s most recent alumni. 

Five Reasons to Nominate for the Indigenous Business Award 

ONE: Instilling a sense of pride 

I feel it is very important to acknowledge excellence in Indigenous business entrepreneurship because with positive encouragement it inspires and motivates people to want to strive to do a good job, they feel pride in what they are doing which in turn builds strength in oneself to take their visions and grow to see where it will take you. 

Sandra Malone, Thunderbird RV Park & Cottage Resort, 2021 Alumni 

TWO: Creating possibilities

People like me are making a difference and encouraging other companies to make space for growth. I know for myself I have proven that anything is possible, knowing what it’s like to live on the streets and be affected by trauma, to begin rising up spiritually and create opportunities out of nothing; so winning this award for our people shows anyone can do it.  

Steven Stark, Tsawwassen Shuttles Inc., 2021 Alumni 

THREE: Inspiring entrepreneurship

The light you shine on this business and others is an important beacon for other Indigenous entrepreneurs looking to begin their journey of a lifetime.  

Bob Joseph, Indigenous Corporate Training, 2021 Alumni 

FOUR: Benefits to local communities and the province

When we raise each other up, everyone benefits. Business is an opportunity for everyone to provide value to the community in the way that they know best. The more we can encourage entrepreneurship, the bigger benefit to everyone in our local communities, province and country.  

Keenan Beavis, Longhouse Media, 2020 Alumni 

FIVE: Representation matters

It is crucial to acknowledge excellence, and increase Indigenous representation, in the business and entrepreneurship space. Representation matters. The more Indigenous businesses that are successful, the more inspiration there will be for up-and-coming Indigenous entrepreneurs to pursue their entrepreneurial path. The more stories of resilience, strength and innovation that are shared from Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs the more we as a society shift the narratives of trauma and deficit that are often at the forefront of news stories amid ongoing anti-Indigenous racism that exists in our country.  

Leigh Joseph,  Skwalwen Botanticals, 2020 Alumni 

#nominatenowbc 

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

 

How partnerships have helped bring attention to reconciliation 

Highlighting excellence has always been about more than the individual. For 19 years BC Achievement has elevated the communities that nurture and benefit from the people we recognize. The effects of their work ripple outward, building momentum and enriching countless lives.  

BC Achievement continually forges new relationships and adapts its programming to recognize new areas of excellence. The foundation is honoured to partner with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia to recognize those, who from a place of deep respect and understanding, work to further reconciliation in our province.

The British Columbia Reconciliation Award represents BC Achievement’s mission and values, underscored by a deep and urgent sense of purpose. It is a mission shared by the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of BC, who has chosen reconciliation as one of the key priorities of her mandate. This commitment includes participation in promotion of public awareness of the ongoing journey of reconciliation. 

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

Members of the organizing committee, along with Honourable Steven Point, led in the creation and design of the BC Reconciliation Award, ensuring the award is founded on Indigenous culture and knowledge. 

The reconciliation journey strengthens relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Recognizing past colonial injustices and healing those wounds with positive actions will lead to a brighter future. Lasting and meaningful change will take continued, consistent and committed effort. The partnership between the BC Achievement Foundation and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of BC elevates those leaders who inspire, and teaches us all how to paddle in the same canoe. 

We look forward to announcing the 2022 Reconciliation Awardees. Learn more about the inaugural BC Reconciliation Award here. 

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

The Community Award jury steps into a difficult task 

With so many incredible nominations to read through, the task assigned to the jury members of the 2022 Community Award program was daunting.  

The Community Award program nomination period wrapped up January 31, and without much delay, this year’s jurors were put to work. 

The independent jury had a difficult, demanding and unenviable task. Nominations were reviewed, evaluated and then collectively discussed. Each jury member engaged in a vigorous selection process which culminated in a virtual jury meeting where deliberations were lively, passionate and thorough. Of the completed nominations submitted, the jury selected who best reflects excellence within the program’s unique focus; whose stories are elevated to share their success to all; and whose stories can and do inspire change. 

Jury members shared with us that, above all, their experience fills them with optimism and hope. That the privilege of reading each of the nominations teaches them of the remarkable individuals who are contributing daily to the fabric of the province. One jury member offered, “This nominee has dedicated their entire life and used their platform to inspire others in the city giving back in so many ways and capacities.” Another recognized that “the impact in small towns is different where everyone knows each other, and one person can become such an inspiration.” While another noted that “it’s interesting to see what can happen in a community with less resources.”

From Deas Lake to Invermere, Haida Gwaii to the West Coast Trail to the Lower Mainland and every corner of this province, people are committed to building stronger, more engaged communities. BC Achievement stewards that hope and optimism into action through elevating excellence that inspires achievement. Beginning with efforts of dedicated nominators to the decisions of committed jury members – the process is an active exchange of ideas and reflections on the remarkable and constant community commitment taking place throughout BC. 

We look forward to sharing the 2022 awardees and their stories next month! Keep in touch with us on social media to hear the announcement and learn the stories of these inspiring community leaders! 

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

An Indigenous Business partnership that is growing food sovereignty, trades training and youth empowerment

Last year we told you about Indigenous Business Award alumnus Jacob Beaton. Jacob and his wife Jessica, run Tea Creek on a small farm near Kitwanga, between Smithers and Terrace. During COVID, their region was particularly hard hit by food insecurity.  

Jacob and Jessica knew they had to help increase local agricultural production. They set on a mission to make produce more accessible and more affordable to their local community partly by helping train others to use agro-ecological techniques to increase food production. 

To take it a step further, Jacob began collaborating with local First Nations to offer them agricultural training. However, there was a shortage of skilled workers to farm the land so Jacob started a pilot project, called Indigenous Youth Works, teaching agro-ecological techniques and self-reliance. 

Taking it a step-further, Tea Creek has now partnered with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) through their non-profit, the Indigenous Food Sovereignty Association, to help strengthen trades training and employment opportunities for First Nations communities in the North. This growing partnership is a natural for both organizations. It supports Tea Creek’s vision for resilient, healthy communities and economies built on land-based programs through training local community members, and encouraging food sovereignty in those communities. And it aligns with ITA’s goal to connect employers with apprentices, training and opportunities in the trades. 

According to Stats Canada, Indigenous youth is the fastest growing demographic in the country and with a young and growing Indigenous population in BC, Indigenous youth are a resource to drive the future of the economy. The ITA helps bring trades training to youth and by doing so, they are also helping the Indigenous economy by supporting this growing Indigenous youth segment.  

Thanks to the efforts of ITA and its community engagement in 2019 over 3,000 Indigenous apprenticeships were underway in BC. In 2021 Tea Creek trained over 150 youth in Indigenous Food Sovereignty as part of their Indigenous Youth Works program. Sharing mutual goals, a benefit to First Nations community members in the north, and a far-reaching impact of economic resiliency, Tea Creek and ITA are a progressive force in this province.

ITA was featured in IBA’s ‘Spotlight Series’ launch at the 2019 Indigenous Business Award Gala, developed to honour and celebrate those organizations who play a vital role in cultivating innovation and powering BC’s growing Indigenous economy.  

Jacob Beaton was presented with the Indigenous Business Award as Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the inaugural 2009 Indigenous Business Award Gala for his innovative full-service Indigenous communications company. 

The 2022 Indigenous Business Award program launches on June 1. Nominate at bcachievement.com

This post is sponsored by Indigenous Business Award (IBA) 2021 Category Sponsors BC Hydro, BC Transit, CN, Enbridge, NRT, Ovintiv, Seaspan, and Vancity. BC Achievement thanks these organizations for their support of the IBA program. 

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