Women-owned and -operated IBA alumnae continue to shine and empower

Photo: Nene Kraneveldt, Imagination FX, 2021 Awardee

IBA alumnae have always been a strength to their communities and serve as examples of tenacity and vision. In the last few years, we’ve witnessed a surge in Indigenous female-owned and -operated businesses in BC. And Indigenous Business Awardees reflect this powerful trend. Take a look at the alumnae businesses run by Indigenous women entrepreneurs: 

Imagination FX 2019 IBA Awardee 
Nene Kraneveldt of Port Alberni has been running her company since 1999. Imagination FX that has created numerous film and video projects for clients, priding itself on its storytelling. Nene’s vision and her continuing education has allowed her to expand her business and now includes leadership coaching and Indigenous language preservation and development, creating multi-generational impact.  

Paulette Flamond 2019 Award of Distinction, IBA Awardee 
Fort St John’s Paulette Flamond was honoured with the 2019 BC Indigenous Business Award of Distinction in recognition of her extraordinary efforts towards economic development and business in the BC. As Executive Director of the Northeast Aboriginal Business Centre since its inception in 2002 and owner of Scoop Clothing Ltd., Paulette Flamond leads by example and strives to improve communities and has served on numerous boards and committees. In July 2019 Paulette joined the board of ICBC marking its first Indigenous appointment. In September of 2020, Paulette ran in the Métis Nation of BC provincial election and won as the Northeast Regional 7 Director. She was appointed thereafter and now serves in the Métis BC Cabinet. 

Nechako Valley Animal Health 2019 IBA Awardee 
Nechako Valley Animal Health Services of Vanderhoof provides quality veterinary care to pets, horses and livestock while offering outreach programs that focus on animal health and well-being in remote and under-served rural and Indigenous communities in northern BC. Dr. Cori Stephens has built her clinic from a one vet to two vet practice; diversified the services offered; and reached out to areas that are in need due to lack of qualified professionals in northern BC. 

Persistence Training Centre 2019 IBA Awardee 
Persistence Training Centre in Merritt, founded by Kylee Street in 2017, 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 hometown and has worked diligently to grow her clients to a point where she has been able to recently sell her business to embark on a new chapter in her life.

There are many Indigenous women-led businesses being built in communities around the province. Get to know them, support them, and help them shine! 

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

Community Partners – Creating Opportunities 

BC Achievement is fortunate to be embraced by community organizations and private enterprises who support and elevate the foundation’s work. 

Community partnerships enable BC Achievement alumni to engage in new opportunities. For example, some of our Carter Wosk Award alumni have participated in Crafted Vancouver events allowing greater exposure of their art practice while collectively celebrating superb local craft. 

Partnerships with Denbigh Fine Art Movers support the transport the highly delicate art pieces of First Nations Art and Applied Art + Design program recipients to the Roundhouse Centre exhibition to showcase their work at BC Achievement event ceremonies. The support gives the exhibition curators the confidence and ability to select art pieces which reveal the excellence and commitment of the awardee. 

BC Achievement program partnerships include media outlets: Global BC, Stir, CFNR, First Nations Drum and Frog Radio who have each shared the calls for nominations for the award programs throughout the year. And through their reach, they bring attention to the opportunities for British Columbians to learn about the programs we run which honour and celebrate the best of the province. 

BC Ferries is the latest partner to support our mission and they recently helped transport Community Awardees to Vancouver Island for a recognition ceremony in Victoria at Government House in May. 

As we forge ahead with new community partnerships, we are grateful for their reciprocal opportunities for both the organizations as well as BC Achievement programs and their respective awardees: building awareness, sharing successes and inspiring change. 

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

Making a difference: With thanks to the IBA program sponsorship family 

In its fourteenth year, the Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program boasts over 200 remarkable businesses within its alumni. The IBA program serves to: 

  • raise the voices of Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses who are building significant socio-economic opportunities and generating cultural resurgence across the province 
  • facilitate increased Indigenous representation in the business sector 
  • create a platform for sharing stories of resilience and ingenuity to help ‘shift the narrative and deficit that are often at the forefront of news stories’ and  
  • foster strategic partnerships with key stakeholders that lend their support to elevating excellence and inspiring achievement in Indigenous business. 

Recognizing Indigenous businesses that are generating economic development opportunities, creating partnerships and shaping communities is a one of the key goals of the IBA program. BC Achievement is privileged to showcase Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs, share their stories of achievement and continue to inspire change. It is the inspiration which defines another goal of the IBA program – as these business success stories lead the way for others to follow. 

A film archive dedicated to the IBA program speaks to the ongoing and developing importance of Indigenous business in B.C.’s economy. The archive serves as a resource and learning tool accessible to all through BC Achievement’s YouTube channel.  

We are indebted to the program’s sponsorship family who share our collective goals to elevate excellence, share success and, in doing so, inspire change and thank them for their ongoing involvement.

Presented by BC Achievement in partnership with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, the IBA program is generously supported by the 2022 sponsorship family. Their commitment elevates the stories of IBA awardees, invests in their achievements while shining a light on business excellence and innovation so others may follow their example. 

Indigenous Business awardees serve as examples of resilience and innovation and each entrepreneur delivers a message of hope and optimism for the future. With tenacity, hard work and a passion to reclaim their Indigenous practices, these businesses will continue to be an economic force in B.C. and beyond. 

Achievement is defined as strength, courage and skill – and each IBA awardee embodies this in their respective lives. As we consider the time in which we live and its many challenges, IBA program awardees are leading the way, building stronger more engaged communities. 

Thanks to our partners, sponsors and supporting organizations for your commitment and investment in the 2022 Indigenous Business Award program. We look forward to celebrating the 2022 recipients at a Gala Dinner presentation in late November in Vancouver. 

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

Appreciation for the nominators

Thank you to nominators for leading the way! Your submissions have been coming in since June 1 when nominations first opened and you’ve opened the door for so many people to be seen, recognized and celebrated. We are grateful to be able to share these many stories of success. 

After six weeks BC Achievement’s fall award programs closed their respective calls for nominations. The Indigenous Business Award closed its call for nominations on June 30, followed by the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art on July 7, and the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design  followed a week later on July 14. It has been a busy and rewarding nomination phase! 

We commend the commitment and effort taken in the preparation of each nomination package. 

“When we celebrate and steward outstanding British Columbians and elevate their stories, we help to ensure that we truly see the enormous range of potential and achievements all around us.”
Anne Giardini OC, OBC, QC – Chair, BC Achievement Board 

It’s important to elevate excellence through nominations for award programs – it raises awareness of the powerful things happening in our communities and sets the path for innovation, change and leadership. Nominating an individual, artists, organizations or businesses for an award, showcases their creative initiative, their dedicated commitment to their practice, their tenacity and their excellence in their chosen field. The process demonstrates respect and gratitude for someone who achieves excellence in their endeavours and whose story can inspire others through this recognition.  

What are the benefits of a successful nomination to an awardee? Most importantly, it helps raise the profile of the awardee and the community they serve. It reinforces that the awardee is on the right path, and it helps validate all the efforts they’ve put into their chosen field as being worthwhile. A successful nomination also helps share experiences with others in the field, creating role models and establishing platforms for change while bringing people together over common interests and passions. 

By recognizing the accomplishments of our province’s entrepreneurs, artists, community leaders, youth and volunteers, BC Achievement’s award programs pay tribute to exceptional people, doing exceptional work. Recognition serves as a tool that can contribute to growth and development of individuals, communities and organizations throughout the province.  

Thank you to  the  nominators, the champions, who put in the time to support the work of the leaders, volunteers, makers, organizers, and doers. This province is a better place to live because of your efforts and we thank you for leading the way!  

To learn more about the programs BC Achievement offers, check out  bcachievement.com 

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

Carter Wosk Award program nominations close July 14 #NominateNowBC! 

Photo: 2021 Awardee, Nick Purcell, furniture designer

The Carter Wosk Award program recognizes excellence in applied art and design and has been doing so since 2005. Applied artists and designers create works that have a practical or functional application but yet offer so much more through their design aesthetic. In 2021 the award was presented to a ceramicist, a furniture designer, a textile artist and a craniofacial prosthetics artist. Each awardee creates pieces that are both functional and pleasing to the eye.  

Open to artists who create works that include, but are not limited to, furniture, textiles, jewellery, ceramics, weaving, glass, fashion, and industrial design, the program shines a light on functional art. Art that enhances day-to-day life while enriching our collective experience. It celebrates British Columbians whose work directly contributes to the cultural and economic fabric of the province. 

“These acknowledgements honour individuals and groups who dedicate their lives to creating a vital society of art and culture. It is important to preserve the integrity of artistic expression and, in turn, perpetuate the cycle of inspiring one another.” 2021 awardee Elen Danielle, inaugural recipient of the Judson Beaumont Emerging Artist designation, Carter Wosk Award Applied Art + Design.   

If you, or someone you know deserves recognition for their dedicated effort, expert skills and undaunted courage to create functional art, nominate them for the Carter Wosk Award. Elevate excellence and inspire achievement and share the stories of BC’s creative economy. 

“I feel truly honoured to have received the Carter Wosk Applied Art + Design Award of Distinction. There are so many talented artists working in BC, to be recognized by my peers fills me with gratitude.” 2021 awardee Ann McLaren, Award of Distinction, Carter Wosk Award Applied Art + Design.  

BC Achievement is grateful for the generosity of the Yosef Wosk Family Foundation toward the Carter Wosk Award program.  

Nominate now for the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design! Nominations are open until July 14, 2022 at bcachievement.com Elevate excellence in BC and nominate a deserving individual for this award. Together we can inspire achievement through recognition. #nominatenowbc #elevateexcellence 

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

Remembering the late Bill McLennan (1948 – 2020) 

Photo: William (Bill) McLennan (1948-2020)

William (Bill) McLennan, renowned for his vast knowledge of Northwest Coast First Nations art, was a change maker for many First Nations artists and their practices throughout British Columbia. If you are engaged with the First Nations art community in any way, you will have undoubtedly come across his name, his writings and, if you were lucky enough, Bill himself. 

Bill held a deep passion and intimate knowledge of Indigenous peoples and their art and their histories. It was Bill’s discovery through extensive research that infrared film could reveal Northwest coast paintings that had disappeared under the patina of age. The research led to an exhibit and ultimately the influential book he wrote with colleague, Karen Duffek, The Transforming Image: Painted Arts of Northwest Coast First Nations. Just before his untimely death, Bill had completed another book with Karen Duffek and Jordan Wilson, Where the Power Is: Indigenous Perspectives on Northwest Coast Art

Bill fuelled his passion for First Nations art through his work with museums, non-profit organizations, and youth. He had a close working relationship with artist Bill Reid and helped numerous artists through his mentorship, advice, or even offering up his home to those artists who needed a place to stay while visiting Vancouver.  

An advocate for repatriating First Nations Art to its rightful owners, his goal was to bring back Northwest Coast art to British Columbia from wherever it is currently housed. Speaking at the BC Achievement Artists’ Talk in November 2019, Bill shared his determination to repatriate First Nations Art objects with the audience:  

“They are the history of the Northwest Coast. Those pieces need to come back because of the knowledge that’s embedded in there. The knowledge can be extracted by contemporary First Nations artists.”  

Bill took pride in celebrating First Nation Art in BC while supporting emerging and established artists. He was a committed advisor for over 15 years to BC Achievement’s First Nations Art program.  

Bill was celebrated through an online tribute coordinated by the Museum of Anthropology. His knowledge, kind spirit and guidance is greatly missed by the many he lifted up, but his legacy continues to elevate and inspire us all. 

The Fulmer Award in First Nations Art  celebrates artistic excellence in traditional and contemporary visual arts by First Nations artists. Nominations are open until July 7, 2022 at bcachievement.com 

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

Last day to nominate for the 2022 Indigenous Business Award #NominateNowBC 

The 2022 Indigenous Business Award program is open for nominations until midnight, June 30. 

Since 2009, the IBA program has served to identify and recognize successful Indigenous businesses. It honours excellence and celebrates Indigenous business throughout the province. And in doing so, it supports and sustains Indigenous entrepreneurship while inspiring others to strive for the same. 

Any person, group or organization can submit a nomination and business owners can even choose to self-nominate. As long as the business is at least 51% Indigenous owned and operated, is based in BC and has been in operation for at least two years, it qualifies. 

Photo: 2021 Indigenous Business Awardee, Sisters Sage, soap bombs

An independent jury panel representing Indigenous business expertise throughout BC evaluates nominations based on the documentation provided. The panel selects the recipients in the categories of: 

  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year 
  • Business of the Year – 1-2 employees 
  • Business of the Year – 3-10 employees 
  • Business of the Year – 11+ employees 
  • Community-Owned Business of the Year – one entity
  • Community-Owned Business of the Year – two or more entities 
  • Business Partnership of the Year

The Indigenous Business Award program aims to cultivate innovation while leveraging mutual interests. It creates an authentic space where collaborative and strategic partnerships can thrive together.  

Nominate a deserving Indigenous business! Awardee recognition gives voice to Indigenous entrepreneurship while modelling success for other aspiring entrepreneurs to follow. Be a part of elevating excellence and inspiring success. Nominations are open until midnight June 30, 2022 at bcachievement.com 

BC Achievement is excited to announce the return of the Indigenous Business Award Gala Dinner where the 2022 recipients will be honoured and celebrated at the end of November in Vancouver!! Stay tuned for more information on ticket sales and event details.  

Elevate excellence in BC and nominate a deserving business! Together we can inspire achievement through recognition. #nominatenowbc #bepartofit #elevateexcellence 

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

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.