Premier's Innovation and Excellence Awards

Last updated on February 14, 2024

The history of the Premier's Awards

The Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Awards program is an annual celebration of the finest examples of what the BC Public Service has to offer.

This provincial recognition is awarded to the most outstanding projects, teams or individuals in the public service showcasing distinguished examples of professionalism, innovation and collaboration.

The diverse contributions of past recipients have made lasting impacts in B.C. and enriched many lives and communities across the province.

2023 marks the 19th year of the most prestigious recognition event in the BC Public Service.

Premier’s Awards adjudicators and judges determine the finalists and award recipients.

2023 Award recipients by category

Emerging Leader

The Emerging Leader award recognizes a BC Public Service employee 40 years and under and at or below the level of director who has made a significant impact in their ministry, division, workgroup or the greater BC Public Service early in their career. Emerging Leaders are chosen by BC Public Service employees through a vote.

Recipient: Connie Chapman, Ministry of Forests

Evidence-Based Design

The Evidence-Based Design award recognizes groups, teams or organizations in the BC Public Service whose work is outstanding in the area of evidence-based or evidence-informed policy or program development, and the process by which the policy or program was designed. This category showcases excellence in policy or program development for internal government or citizen-facing initiatives.

Recipient: Clean Transportation, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation


The Innovation award recognizes groups, teams or organizations in the BC Public Service who have developed and transformed new ideas into tangible initiatives, programs or projects. By applying a user-centric or citizen-centric approach, innovations streamline business processes, leverage technology or pursue creative solutions to fulfill organizational mandates.

Recipient: Strengthening British Columbia's Evacuee Emergency Supports, Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness


The Leadership award recognizes a BC Public Service employee who demonstrates the highest levels of integrity and exemplary leadership abilities either leading a team or organization, or a substantial project, process or initiative.

Recipient: Carling Helander, Ministry of Municipal Affairs


Recipient: Christie Harvie, Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation



The Legacy award recognizes individuals who have made exceptional and lasting contributions to the BC Public Service and the province during a public service career of at least 15 years. The contributions may cover a nominee’s entire career or portions of it, provided the contribution has a lasting and ongoing positive impact.

Note: during the judging process, a Legacy finalist may be considered for the BC Public Service Hall of Excellence.

Recipient: Marj Hallihan, Ministry of Health


Recipient: Deborah Schwartz, Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills

Organizational Excellence

The Organizational Excellence award recognizes one or more BC Public Service organizations that have delivered a program, service or initiative resulting in substantial benefits to their organization(s), the public service or citizens.

Recipient: BC Corrections: Connecting and Healing Through Culture, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General


The Partnership award recognizes joint ventures or multi-party initiatives between BC Public Service organizations and organizations in the broader public sector, other levels of government, Indigenous communities or in the private or non-profit sectors.

Recipient: Indigenous Jurisdiction in Child and Family Services, Ministry of Children and Family Development

Regional Impact

The Regional Impact award recognizes groups, teams or organizations within the BC Public Service who have developed and delivered programs, projects and initiatives benefiting citizens in a specific location (town, city, municipality or region). 

Recipient: Working Together: Protecting the Great Bear Sea, Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship

Adjudicators and judges

Premier’s Awards adjudicators and judges are government, business and community leaders outside of the BC Public Service. These individuals volunteer their time to determine the finalists and recipients of the Premier’s Awards, according to criteria for each of the categories.

2023 Adjudicators

  • Clint Fraser, CEO, Northern BC Tourism Association
  • Genesa Greening, CEO, Vancity Community Foundation
  • Maya Kanigan, Founder and President, Women in Leadership Foundation
  • Laurie Keenan, Director of the Centre for Accessible Learning, University of Victoria
  • Alexa Young, former Vice President, Government & Public Affairs, BC Council of Forest Industries & Business in Vancouver
  • Azra Hussain, COO, Surrey Hospitals Foundation
  • Terry Yung, Chair, Board of Directors, S.U.C.C.E.S.S

2023 Judges

  • Wendy Hurlburt, President and CEO, Life Sciences BC
  • Celeste Haldane, Chief Commissioner, BC Treaty Commission
  • Merran Smith, Founder, Clean Energy Canada
  • Olga Stachova, CEO, MOSAIC
  • Dr. Philip Steenkamp, President and Vice-Chancellor, Royal Roads University
  • Richard Zussman, Reporter, Global News, BC Legislature