Past Medal of Good Citizenship recipients

Read the latest Medal of Good Citizenship announcements and find information about the newest recipients.

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2019 ceremony

2018 ceremony

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Budd Abbott

Philip Henry Abbott, a retired businessman known to most as Bud, received the medal for his commitment to local service with his involvement in worthy causes like Rotary, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Meals on Wheels and the Salvation Army.

The big-hearted resident was active for years in the Cranbrook Community Theatre and often still shows up with friends at an office building or two to sing Christmas carols or Happy Birthday. Bud has sung regularly at local senior’s homes for 40+ years and "Buddn Frenz" and at the time of this recognition was continuing to sing three times weekly for the "old folks" in Cranbrook and Kimberley.

picture of Budd Abbott - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Cranbrook
  • Region: Kootenay

Ray Abernethy

Ray Abernethy was honoured with the medal for his dedication to helping women in transition, single moms and dads on income assistance, new immigrant families, refugees, fire victims, seniors and others in Burnaby by providing basic household necessities to relieve the cost of establishing and maintaining a comfortable home.

From its humble beginnings over 35 years ago in Ray’s garage, the Helping Families in Need Society has blossomed into a local organization that operates out of a 585 square-metre (6,500 square-foot) warehouse and helps more than 1,300 families a year. At the time of recognition in 2017 more than 65 Lower Mainland agencies and government offices rely on the Helping Families in Need services by referring clients to the organization. As Ray himself says, "One person can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone."    

picture of Ray Abernethy - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Burnaby
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

The People of Ahousaht First Nation Community & The Community of Tofino

The Community of Tofino and the People of Ahousaht First Nation Community were honoured with the medal of good citizenship for the selfless dedication demonstrated in October 2015 when coming to the assistance of the families and victims of the sinking of the Leviathan II in Tofino.

The community selflessly banded together to help the survivors and their families, the victims’ families and all those involved in the rescue and recovery effort. Despite the incident leaving the community shocked and in mourning, residents opened their houses to strangers, shared food and blankets, and stood in solidarity beside the victims’ families during the candlelight vigil organized by the community to honour and remember those who perished.

The two communities are the first communities ever to receive the Medal of Good Citizenship.


  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Ahousaht & Tofino
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Selen Alpay

Selen Alpay moved to Prince George just over a decade ago. Today it is difficult to find a good cause in our city that he has not contributed to or quietly supported, and the line of people who have been touched by his philanthropy, generosity of spirit or personal kindness is lengthy. He is known for his compassion and enormous heart, and one does not need to know him for long, before one realizes that Alpay is a man on a mission to make his world a better place.

As a person, Alpay models good citizenship and humanity to everyone he meets, giving generously of his time to multiple volunteer boards and organizations in the city and beyond; spending time with elders in care at Simon Fraser Lodge; and supporting and mentoring youth within his company and the community. A new branch of the Boys Club Network is being proposed by the Aboriginal Education Department in our school district, and already Alpay is engaged and involved. Any young man enrolled in this new program will benefit from his deep compassion, kindness and wisdom. 

In 2017, he was named a Citizen of the Year by the Prince George Community Foundation in recognition of how he goes above and beyond in volunteerism and philanthropy. As a lifetime volunteer, he has a deep appreciation for community members who give back, and he frequently endeavors to recognize their efforts. Last year's long and difficult fire season saw Prince George receive and host more than 10,000 evacuees from the Cariboo region. Alpay was a key supporter behind an event to recognize the local volunteers who helped during the crisis. 

As a corporate citizen, he sets an exceptional example of social responsibility for other organizations through his wide ranging support of youth, sport, arts, culture, healthcare and social causes. His quiet personal philanthropy extends to his belief in corporate philanthropy, and his company is his most visible way of giving back to the community through sponsorship of, and donations to, countless organizations and events.

As an employer, he truly believes that good culture starts at the top. In recognition of this, in 2017, his Canadian Tire store was presented the award for Outstanding Corporate Culture at the Prince George Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

picture of Selen Alpay - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: Prince George
  • Region: Cariboo

Judith Armstrong & Nicholas Marsden

Judith Armstrong and Nicholas Marsden, both Victoria residents, received the medal for their decades of dedication to British Columbians with developmental disabilities. They have helped create joy and life enhancing experiences for people with disabilities and inspired hundreds of volunteers to work alongside them.

The seeds of volunteerism began early with Judith when she assisted a Kiwanis-supported Oak Bay high school club that helped people with disabilities followed by work with the Easter Seal Camps. Observing that there were limited opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in events fueled Judith to launch a large, annual track and field event in Victoria where every competitor is matched with a counsellor for the entire duration of the event. She also founded the Handicapped Recreation Society, again with a goal of increasing access for persons with disabilities.

Her volunteer contributions reach beyond the national borders as she serves on the board for the Canadian Foundation for the Children of Haiti which provides funds, materials and expertise to two orphanages, a home for children with disabilities, three schools and a hospital in Port au Prince. She regularly travels with a team to Haiti to deliver supplies to the Hope Home for young people with disabilities.

Nicholas’ volunteerism extends to many arenas. He is part of an army of volunteers who band under the District of Saanich’s Pulling Together Volunteer Program to remove invasive plants and restore ecosystems, and for years he served on the Gordon Head Soccer Association board. For more than 15 years he has helped co-ordinate the annual Math Challengers Contest held at Camosun College, opening the door for participating students aged 13 to 15 to discover the wonder and fun of mathematics.

For more than 45 years, Judith and co-recipient Nicholas have organized Operation Trackshoes, a volunteer-run sports festival geared towards British Columbians with developmental disabilities. Under their leadership, the festival has grown to become a highlight on the provincial calendar that welcomes some 500 competitors between the ages of six and 80. Operation Trackshoes fosters comradery among the participants, who look forward every year to a weekend of races, games, social activities and giving representation to their home communities. Approximately 600 volunteers, including counsellors, nurses and officials, work to make the event a success.

Judith takes charge of counsellor recruitment and competitor care for the event, while Nicholas is the track and field administrator, ensuring events run smoothly by taking care of a myriad of details including writing the computer programs that assist the efficient scheduling of the hundreds of participants and recording their scores.

picture of Judith Armstrong - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

picture of Nicholas Marsden - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Debra Arnott

For more than 40 years, Debra Arnott has dedicated her life, both personally and professionally, to ensuring that rural communities in B.C. have the support they need to thrive, particularly during times of crisis and economic upheaval. As the former manager of Community Futures Sun Country, she fought tirelessly on behalf of small businesses and communities that were impacted by the devastating wildfires in 2017 and 2018, and the fire that destroyed the Village of Lytton in 2021. In her efforts, Deb did whatever it took to find the resources needed to help those communities.

When Deb and her husband were being evacuated from their home during the Elephant Hill wildfire in 2017, she was on the phone, making sure that friends, neighbours, clients and colleagues were safe and calling on government agencies for help. She recruited two of her colleagues and hit the road, driving to Vancouver to meet face-to-face with key stakeholders. Her passion and persistence resulted in more disaster relief for small businesses devastated by the wildfires.

This is just one of dozens of instances where Deb has gone above and beyond the call of duty to make sure the communities in her region are well-served. Deb has also stepped in to ensure the annual Christmas Parade through downtown Ashcroft went ahead after losing its longtime organizer. She volunteered to develop the McAbee Fossil Beds in collaboration with Bonaparte First Nations and Heritage B.C., as an Indigenous Destination Site after it was closed to the public. And when her town’s only medical clinic was in danger of closing, Deb rolled up her sleeves and took the lead in helping to refurbish the clinic and keep its doors open.

Having grown up in Cache Creek, Deb understands that many small rural communities lack the resources and services found in larger, more populated centres. In addition to managing the Community Futures office that supports businesses throughout the Central Interior of B.C., Deb has volunteered for several non-profit organizations and societies, including the Regional Literacy Group, Thompson Rivers University, the historic Hat Creek Ranch, the McAbee Fossil Beds, Thompson View Manor and the District Health Care Auxiliary. Additionally, Deb served as a member of the B.C. Rural Advisory Council, which provided input on government policies for rural communities.

Deb immediately impresses with her energy, enthusiasm and passion. She inspires others to do more to support rural communities and businesses. Her willingness to step in during difficult times and her unrelenting service to not only her community, but her region, province and nation was recognized with the B.C. Achievement Community Award in 2011 and makes her a recipent of this year’s BC Medal of Good Citizenship.

picture of Debra Arnott - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: Cache Creek
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan

Pat Ashton

Pat Ashton was honoured for the incredible mark he has made on Slocan, improving its vibrancy, physical landscape and economic health in the 12+ years he has resided there.

Starting at town hall meetings, Ashton created community enthusiasm and built a 40-member volunteer squad to paint and renovate a former school to include a community gym and install new landscaping. He oversaw the relocation of the village cenotaph to the square and is now involved in planning the landscaping around the cenotaph and grounds. The beautification of the village is an ongoing part of Ashton’s volunteering and includes litter pick-up around the information site and repairs and painting of the village sign.

Pat also devotes energy to improving the area’s economic health, serving for four years on the Slocan Economics Committee where he oversaw the contract to create a plan for a sustainable future for the Slocan.

His service to community and countless hours of volunteering include serving on the Spirit of Slocan Committee. Many community celebrations have benefited from his ongoing involvement. He plays Santa at Christmas events, helps organize Halloween Hoot fireworks, and every Boxing Day he organizes a family skating party.

As president of the Slocan Valley Legion Branch 276 and as part of his support for the legion he organized renovations for the village-owned legion/community hall and researched grants that helped complete them. He does the yearly Poppy service at the school and officiates the community Remembrance Day service.

picture of Pat Ashton - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Slocan
  • Region: Kootenay

Joe Average

Joe Average is a Vancouver artist, philanthropist and internationally recognized HIV/AIDS advocate.

A self-taught Canadian pop-art artist, for the past 40 years Average’s bright, playful work has been featured on everything from international HIV/AIDS conference posters to celebratory LGBTQ street banners in Vancouver’s West End, the body of an electric car and a commemorative Canadian stamp. 

Diagnosed HIV positive in 1985 Average considered it a wake-up call, giving him a renewed sense of purpose. Now 61, he has spent the past 33 years raising awareness through his distinctive artwork, donating at least twice as much art than he’s sold. 

Despite his own struggle with the disease, which eventually prevented him from making new paintings, Average continues to donate prints and newer digital photographic work to support community-based arts, health care and children’s programs. 

Along the way he has helped raise HIV/AIDS awareness. He continues to help reduce stigma around the disease by publicly sharing his personal story. 

In 1991, Average was one of 50 Canadians invited to dine with the late Princess Diana at Rideau Hall in Ottawa and was asked to meet with her privately, which he describes as the experience of a lifetime. 

Average’s work has been described as “a visionary kaleidoscope of colour, creativity and compassion” and it has come to symbolize love and inclusivity for all members of our community. 

Average has received many awards and honours, including civic merit awards, the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in 1998 and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Outstanding Community Achievement in 2002. In that year, Mayor Philip Owen issued a civic proclamation designating November 3, 2002 as Joe Average Day. 

Average became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Artists in 2004 and won its prestigious RCA award. His images have come to symbolize hope to millions of people living with HIV/AIDS. 
He has used his considerable talent to help his fellow British Columbians. Over the last 35+ years, there has seldom been an HIV/AIDS fundraising event that did not feature at least one Joe Average piece on the auction block. 

Average’s impact on our gay and straight communities has been enormous. His significant contributions as an artist and philanthropist have been helpful to researchers seeking government and private sector financial support as well as the political will to end the global AIDS epidemic.

In 2019, Average designed the new Canadian loonie, celebrating 50 years of LGBTQ rights in Canada.

picture of Joe Average - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest


Troy Becker

Troy Becker, a resident of West Kelowna, was honoured for contributions to making his community a safer place and helping to create life-enhancing opportunities that build confidence for people with disabilities.

A professional firefighter and volunteer search and rescue member since 2001, Troy created the Community Recreation Initiatives Society to benefit people with disabilities wanting outdoor experiences like kayaking, zip lining, bicycle riding and mountain climbing. He and his organization also run annual camps throughout the province for various groups like Spinal Cord Injury British Columbia and families with children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

His creativity and dedication to his community help people of all ages and disabilities, including some with life-threatening illnesses, gain confidence. As well, his passion has inspired many others to volunteer and bring joy to the lives of individuals and their families.

Picture of Troy Becker - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: West Kelowna
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan

Andrew Beckerman

Andrew Beckerman’s personal involvement in the struggle against discrimination as a gay man, near-death from complications of HIV, a suicidal depression from an HIV medication drug trial, and what he describes as a “a lucky break from a banker” to build his first house while a graduate student , inspired and allowed him to become an impassioned volunteer and philanthropic leader on Vancouver Island.

Andrew was board chair of AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI) and volunteered weekly at the front desk to interact and learn from clients. In 2010, the Victoria Cool Aid Society and AVI partnered to purchase a 15,000 square-foot property in downtown Victoria for a Community Health Centre and AVI education and support services. Andrew’s support in honour of his mother expanded the amount of food available for his HIV+ peers at “Cafe Blanche”. His contributions to Cool Aid total more than $500,000 and his powerful advocacy has inspired other to give. Cool Aid’s Homecoming Gala, aided by Andrew’s leadership, raised $394,000 in three years.

A retired architect and businessman, Andrew works long hours raising funds for local charities. His philanthropy and efforts are focused on equality, elevating leadership, promoting health and human rights for the LGBTQ+ community, encouraging post-secondary education and strengthening cultural institutions. He is a passionate advocate for people marginalized in the Capital Region, but also provincially and internationally.

Andrew has also been involved philanthropic endeavours including the Nature Conservancy, the Rainbow Railroad (saving the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals facing death and severe discrimination in their home countries by providing a refugee route to B.C. and elsewhere), the WITS Programs Foundation and National Philanthropy Day.

Andrew has a strong desire to change the world into a better place for all his neighbours whether they are born in Canada or are refugees or immigrants like himself.

Picture of Andrew Beckerman - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Richard Bergen

Richard Bergen was honoured with the medal for his deep capacity to serve the Forest Grove community that benefits many of its citizens.

His service to community and countless hours of volunteering include a myriad of every day chores done with enthusiasm. His volunteerism includes helping with fire hall operations, mowing lawns and clearing snow for seniors and in public spaces, and volunteering at community activities. He is a regular volunteer at school track-and-field events and he helps coach students in shot put.

Richard, who has limited use of his right hand and arm and requires a brace on his right leg following a devastating motor-vehicle accident at age seven, is a powerful role model for exemplary citizenship, making meaningful contributions throughout the community and supporting citizens of all ages.

Always willing to lend a hand, he helped found the Forest Grove 94 Lions Club, is involved with the Forest Grove Community Centre and helps organize a senior walking club, providing social time to a group of seniors. He is also an invaluable volunteer at the Forest Grove Fire Department, looking after dispatch, keeping the hall clean, preparing reports and ordering supplies.

picture of Richard Bergen - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Forest Grove
  • Region: Cariboo

Alberta "Wadzeed" Billy

Alberta Billy is an Elder of the We Wai Kai. One of four tribes of the Laich-Kwil-Tach First Nation . We Wai Kai is a large sea worm that lives in the ocean and can never be destroyed. Her given name is Wadzeed meaning “Precious One”.

Alberta showed leadership at a very young age. In 1981, her and colleagues Thelma Davis and Stan McKay were invited to the General Council Executive of the United Church of Canada. This is when Alberta asked the United Church for an apology for their role in residential schools. This led to an historic moment for Canada when, in 1986, the United Church of Canada became the first religious organization to apologize to Indigenous peoples for its part in colonization. Her request for the apology and the delivery of that apology set the stage for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Alberta has dedicated her life to helping and teaching others and has gained the respect and admiration of everyone who meets her. She trained to help those who have experienced trauma and helps many on their path toward healing.

She is a mentor and a role model to many people and inspires Indigenous women to use their voices to speak out against injustice.

Carrying on and sharing traditional knowledge has been a lifelong commitment for Alberta; it has guided her life.

She has travelled across Canada co-facilitating the Building Bridges Through Understanding the Village experiential workshop. This teaching circle shows how all of us are connected and interconnected and is a transformational experience that helps healing and reconciliation. Alberta's co-facilitation and mentorship of The Village has led many to stepping fully into understanding and reconciliation.

Alberta continues to guide and mentor by serving as an Elder on the Board of Laichwiltach Family Life Services, the Elder Advisory Circles for MCFD Aboriginal Child and Youth Mental Health and the John Howard Society's Elders Council.

picture of Alberta Billy - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: Quathiaski Cove
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Irene Bischler

Irene Bischler has been described as one of the most compassionate, selfless and empathetic people who has ever worked at Cranbrook’s Amy Woodland Elementary School.

Irene is the first person in the building every morning. She sets up the breakfast club for the school feeding 30 to 40 kids every morning and greets kids who may not have otherwise been fed or had a positive interaction that day. She has made connections with restaurants, service groups, grocery stores and other community members and gathers donations on her own time to ensure the breakfast club runs smoothly.

After breakfast Irene starts social emotional support groups where kids cook, do carpentry, sew, decorate cakes and cookies, quilt blankets and dozens of other activities. She supports teachers in classrooms and often takes kids into the community for activities. Her goal each day is to ensure kids are happy, emotionally regulated and connected to the school community.

Irene has supported every level of athlete through her power skating and figure skating coaching. She has given respite care to kids to help out families in crisis. Irene has also worked with individuals with special needs for many years. She mentors young teachers and education assistants and has worked in Alternate Programs with School District #5’s kids. Irene is the local president of the CUPE Union and is constantly working to ensure her members are supported despite the high stress situations they find themselves working in.

Irene’s mission is to ensure the people around her have a better day, greater opportunity, feel empowered and valued and have a deeper purposeful connection with their community. The lives of students, staff, families and coworkers are richer and more fulfilling due to her endless energy and efforts.

picture of Irene Bischler - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: Cranbrook
  • Region:  Kootenay

Joan “Bays” Blackhall

The historic village of Fort Langley is regarded as a charming reminder of a gentler age and a slower pace of life, evoking a time when neighbours supported one another and worked for the common good. That Fort Langley has built and sustained this enviable reputation is largely due to the efforts of a single person, Bays Blackhall.

Fort Langley was Bays’ passion; promoting, enhancing, and protecting the village’s character was her mission. Whenever there was a need, Bays was there: developing strategies, soliciting resources, and building partnerships among diverse interest groups.

Bays was resourceful, doing whatever it took to get the job done. Elected officials knew that to resist her was futile. She was always respectful and respected in return. She would suggest, request, coax, and more often than not, her advocacy succeeded.

Although Bays’ involvement in community-building began as a school girl, her innate interest in environmental stewardship, the arts, and heritage conservation took hold and blossomed in Fort Langley.

She mobilized the community to halt the development of a sanitary land fill at the historic Derby town site. She successfully lobbied for the relocation of a planned Fraser River crossing to protect the site of the original Fort Langley. She led community opposition to B.C. Hydro’s plan for a high voltage transmission line along the village’s southern boundary. Bays was a creator as well as a critic, helping to organize the Derby Reach-Brae Island Park Partnership Association and managing the construction of the Houston Trail at Derby Reach Regional Park. She was an original member of the Fraser Valley Eco Museum Steering Committee and the local liaison for the construction of the Trans-Canada Trail Pavilion in Fort Langley.

Bays was active in both heritage and the arts, creating and managing the Fort Langley Grand Prix and Summer Fair and the Fort Festival of the Arts and Summer Strings program for youth. She served on the boards of the Fort Langley Legacy Foundation, the Fort Langley Community Improvement Society, the Langley Heritage Society, and the Langley Community Music School and its capital campaign committee.

Bays’s devotion to Fort Langley was legendary. She worked as a docent and exhibit assistant at its community museum. She was a fervent supporter of Fort Langley National Historic Site: founding the Friends of the Fort, establishing and fostering the site’s volunteer program, and developing the gift shop. She raised funds to construct the site’s reproduction York boat, a bastion, a gallery, and a squared-log building. She founded and administered the Fort Langley Tourism Information Centre and oversaw the ongoing restoration of the Fort Langley Community Hall. She chaired the C.N. Station Committee, coordinated its volunteers, and masterminded the acquisition of an historic rail car and caboose to complement the site.

Bays was one of a kind; a mentor and team builder – visionary, determined, hardworking and caring. She anticipated needs, seized opportunities, and built capacity in others. She laboured long and hard for many endeavours, not for personal gain, but for the benefit of the community. She was, in short, an extraordinarily good citizen.

picture of Bob Blackhall

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: Langley
  • Region: 

Kristi Blakeway

In 2009 Kristi Blakeway was a school counsellor in Coquitlam wanting to find a way to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Project HELLO (Helping Everyone Locate Loved Ones) came to light when Kristi rallied more than 50 students and teachers to create handmade cards and head to the Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver. They invited homeless people to fill in the cards with messages intended for long lost loved ones. Kristi and her students then began searching for those whom the messages were for, often with only a name and a city to work from. To date, Project Hello has reconnected more than 700 families through greeting cards, phone calls and face to face reunions.

Project HELLO blossomed into Beyond HELLO, a year-round initiative involving students and staff from multiple schools. Kristi recognized that there were rich stories to tell and connections to be made with those who society often dismisses or ignores. Each month, Kristi and her students take a homeless person to lunch to hear their story in an effort to shift the perception of homelessness.

Kristi is exceptional in her ability to make those often ignored feel valued. Seeing those on the fringes of society and bringing their stories to light is her gift of compassion. Under her leadership, countless students of all ages have been enriched by their experiences helping others.

Now an elementary school principal, Kristi is currently working towards a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership specifically looking at ways that schools can connect with compassion and understand the needs of all students.

picture of Kristi Blakeway - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: Maple Ridge
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Suzanne Bolton

Philanthropist and dedicated hands-on volunteer Suzanne Bolton has, for over five decades changed the way British Columbia’s communities operate through her compassion and generosity. 

A summary of her dedicated work includes:

  • 40 years with YWCA Metro Vancouver, as a lead donor and former board member, key member of the single mother’s bursary selection committee, and volunteer at Focus@Work where she delivers inspirational support and guidance to women job seekers
  • 15 years with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver where she served on the board and mentored young women exiting prison to re-enter the work force.
  • 23 years of support to children and families suffering from loss and trauma through her role on the board and volunteer of the PACE Child and Family Society.
  • Support to at-risk youth through Covenant House Vancouver through raising awareness, contributing financial resources, and volunteering in the clothing room for 14 years
  • 23 years of involvement in the hiring and retention of every PACE employee, contributing to the organization’s exceptionally skilled and caring team
  • After 17 years serving on the Board of the Greater Vancouver Community Service Society she has moved on to the board of the Boys and Girls Club of South Coast BC

Both Suzanne and her husband have donated generously towards numerous capital campaigns, but she always insists on naming the facilities after individuals who have inspired her. The Maida Duncan Centre — serving marginalized women and children — was named after a long-time volunteer. More recently the second floor of YWCA Cause We Care House was named in memory of Linda Mitchell who was at the forefront of literacy across Canada. Suzanne has also established several bursaries for single mothers and named them after long-time friends who are active in not-for-profits.

Suzanne envisioned a supportive and viable program for women aimed at changing the arc of the lives of their young children. Through her vision and financial support, the YWCA Futures in Focus project was launched in 2014. As a long-time committee member of the YWCA Single Mothers bursary program, Suzanne and her husband created the YWCA Futures Bursary program in 2017 that provides single mothers access to post-secondary education. Unlike other bursaries, the Futures Bursary provides a wrap-around service until individuals complete their education and reach their employment goal. 

Suzanne and her husband have been funding YWCA Focus@Work in its entirety since 2014. It is the only employment program of its kind in Vancouver. Hundreds of women have successfully found employment and financial stability for themselves and their families through this program.

picture of Suzanne Bolton - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: 

Trudie BonBernard

Trudie BonBernard was honoured with the medal for her leadership and compassion benefiting children, vulnerable citizens including long-term care residents, hospice and hospital patients, youth at risk, and comforting families under stress.

Her service to community and countless hours of volunteering have helped to promote and significantly expand the service provided by the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program to Kamloops residents facing a variety of challenges. At the time of recognition, 66 dog-therapy volunteers contribute more than 8,000 hours annually at more than 26 facilities in the Kamloops area. Dog-therapy teams attend community events, join library and school reading programs, visit group homes, university students, and long-term care and mental health facilities. Most recently they are visiting patients at a community dialysis unit.

Under her leadership and work on the volunteer executive of the program, Trudie has developed and implemented a plan for program growth, member retention, community awareness and greater diversity of facility assignments and community events.

She has also inspired a volunteer to do a master’s thesis on the benefits of therapy dogs for at-risk youth in schools and has created learning and educational opportunities for all therapy dog team members.

picture of Trudie BonBernard - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Kamloops
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan

Charlotte Brady and Anastasia Castro

Charlotte Brady and Anastasia Castro have been involved with environmental issues since they were in middle school. 

In 2012, the two students joined Fin Free Victoria, an organization focused on educating the public about the plight of world shark populations and the need to regulate the sale of shark fin in Canada.

Brady and Castro have spent many hours collecting signatures and engaging and educating the public on declining shark populations worldwide. Their efforts led to an increased awareness of the issue, including by local restaurant owners, and shark fin is no longer sold in the Victoria area.

In the process, Brady and Castro realized the importance of working with federal politicians to achieve their goals. They had an opportunity to do so during the tabling of the Federal Bill to ban the sale of shark fin in Canada. In June 2019, Canada became the first G20 country in the world to ban the import and export of shark fins.

Along the way, Brady and Castro have taken every opportunity to educate and inspire younger students by giving presentations at schools. 

During their Grade 8 year they became aware of and concerned about the issue of ocean plastics. They discussed the issue with their teacher and decided to mount a campaign to ban the use of plastic bags in Victoria. 

In 2017 Castro won a Canada-wide Science Fair prize for her project on the Fluctuation of Oceanic Microplastics at Depth and Effects on Marine Ecosystems.

Their efforts to ban plastic bags included making presentations to councils in the Capital Regional District area, speaking at local schools to educate and inspire other students, participating in beach clean-ups, and creating a plan to ban the use of plastic bags in the Victoria area. 

Brady and Castro spent a year working with the City of Victoria council to implement their plan and worked to educate the public at local markets, petition signing events and school presentations. The City of Victoria ultimately banned the use of plastic bags in December 2017, and other Capital Regional District municipalities are following. 

Brady and Castro are currently developing a program to make all schools in B.C. free of single use plastics. 

Throughout the past five years, Brady and Castro have worked and continue to work diligently on their campaigns.

picture of Charlotte Brady - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

picture of Anastasia Castro - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown was honoured with the medal for his service to Campbell River and his countless hours of volunteerism.

Daniel uses his passion for history and his experience from 39 years of working in the forest industry to educate and entertain people of all ages. At the museum in Campbell River, Daniel gives public school students lively presentations on pioneer, fishing and logging history. When the museum’s 1930 Hayes-Anderson logging truck appears in parades and at local events, it is because Daniel has taken on its care and maintenance.

The narrator for historical boat tours, Daniel has produced several presentations on the local history of the area. These presentations are given at the museum, Elder College and around town and it is his voice narrating an episode of Canada Over the Edge about the Ripple Rock explosion on the Knowledge Network. Local senior groups have been enthralled by his presentation of the Yorke Island West Coast defence site (1939-45) that he created for the Year of the Veteran.

Daniel has been a steadfast member of the Knights of Columbus since 1963, serving as financial secretary and on its Community Christmas Hamper Project Committee. He organizes ushers for special celebrations and co-ordinates student bursaries and participates in fundraisers that help the less fortunate. He is also assembling a 50th-year historical book that to tell the story of the Campbell River Knights of Columbus.

Daniel is active in other community groups including the St. Patrick’s Parish, Employee and Family Assistance Program (now known as the Upper Island Assessment and Referral Service), the City of Campbell River Parks and Recreation, the Age-Friendly Committee and the Multicultural and Immigration Services Association.

picture of Daniel Brown - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Campbell River
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Daniel Brown

If you said, “Thank you” to Daniel Brown he’d be quick to defer such accolades to his volunteer team. As the driving force behind a free meal program, Daniel has selflessly volunteered innumerable hours to make an undeniable impact in the lives of underprivileged, marginalized and street people within Vancouver’s West End.

In 2018, Daniel saw that many living on the streets of his local community rarely had a decent meal. Beginning by recruiting a few friends to make and deliver sandwiches, soon he was spending hours pursuing food donations from local businesses and coordinating a larger team of volunteer help to deliver bi-weekly hot meals.

Daniel's service always came without judgment, full of compassion with the simple gift of hot, delicious food for those in need. “We don't judge,” was his mantra driven by his goal to get food from those who had it to those who most needed it. He never expected reward or recognition.

When fall weather worsened in 2019, he re-envisioned the meal program, taking it inside the Central Presbyterian Church. Using its commercial kitchen and serving area with his culinary skills, the program expanded to four-days a week.

Daniel pursued food donations, receiving texts or calls at all hours to come pick up or receive groceries. He made friends with staff at local business establishments for ongoing donations. Others within the community were inspired to donate money to assist with the work. If he couldn't find a donation, Daniel used his own personal funds to purchase groceries.

The team grew to more than 20 volunteers. Several people who received meals began volunteering with preparation or clean up, strengthening and deepening their own connections to the community. Patiently, Daniel found a way to include and help others find meaning in making a collective difference.

picture of Daniel Brown - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Landon Douglas Brown

Landon Brown is the co-founder of Bear and Landon's toy and tablet drive for the kids being treated at BC Children’s Hospital. For the past two years, Landon, along with last year’s Medal of Good Citizenship recipient, Jonathan “Bear” Yeung, have led successful toy and tablet drives that gathered thousands of new toys and hundreds of new electronic tablets. These toys and tablets keep up the morale of  children receiving treatment and help keep them connected with their loved ones especially due to strict COVID-19  protocols. The items help alleviate some of the boredom the kids face as they bravely endure treatments at the hospital for serious injuries, cancer, and other serious diseases.

Over the past two years, Landon has worked hard, using his free time to send out countless emails and make calls. Landon has taken part in toy drives around the Lower Mainland and even soldiered on in terrible weather conditions, because he knows sickness doesn’t take holidays, and wanted as many kids as possible to know they were cared for.

Through his efforts, sense of purpose and perseverance, Landon has inspired people of all ages as well as leaders of some of the world’s largest companies. His service has garnered the respect of Canadian Tire, the Dilawri Group, Lego and Bell that have joined forces with him.

2023 will mark the third toy drive, which has grown steadily since its inception. At only 20 years old, all that Landon has and continues to accomplish through this toy drive, is as remarkable as it is admirable. This achievement is why Landon is one of this year’s recipients of the BC Medal of Good Citizenship.

picture of Landon Douglas Brown - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: North Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Bobby Bruce

Leanne Bruce

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows is the founder of The Dugout, a small drop-in center in Gastown which he and three other clergymen (Anglican, Roman Catholic and Central City Mission) started in 1967. Bob is an exceptional candidate for public recognition for his outstanding service to the people of B.C. Bob is known for his unbroken dedication and his vision for the guests of The Dugout. No matter how disadvantaged or under-privileged guests are, all are welcomed at The Dugout. After being active for 55 years in the Downtown Eastside, the Dugout is a well known institution but very few know of the role of its founder Bob Burrows.

Bob's initiative in establishing  the Dugout, illustrates his understanding and passion for the needs of people living on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. It also shows his personal commitment to these people that has sustained The Dugout to this day.

The Dugout has always been non-religious, non-exclusionary and non-judgmental. It was named after the dugouts which were part of the trenches of the Great War as places of refuge and some nourishment before heading back to battle. Likewise, The Dugout is a place of refuge for those living on the streets of Vancouver, offering a safe community space with free coffee and baked goods.

Bob has led a life of helping people in need. Before coming to First United Church he was captain of a mission boat based at Ocean Falls and pilot of a float plane at Alert Bay, in these years reaching out to isolated communities and Indigenous villages. Since official retirement he has authored two books on the missionary services of the United Church and devoted countless hours to the Dugout, becoming a great friend to residents of the Downtown Eastside.

Bob has been successful at keeping the services of The Dugout going both in its early years and again in recent years. His generous personality and the relationships he has formed, mean that people are never afraid to ask for support. Through The Dugout, Bob focuses on creating a safe, and welcoming place where people can overcome isolation and loneliness. It’s very important to Bob that The Dugout accepts everyone regardless of challenges like mental health and substance use. Most workers and volunteers at The Dugout are from the Downtown Eastside and take pride in helping out as they are able. This visionary insight of Bob's is one of the reasons The Dugout is as important today as it was 55 years ago.

picture of Bob Burrows - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

W.A. "Sandy" Burpee

Sandy Burpee was honoured with the medal for his tireless work done on behalf of those in need in the Tri-Cities of Port Moody, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam. Among his many contributions, Burpee has been instrumental on initiatives that have a lasting impact to the community and organizations he supports.

Sandy founded the Tri-City Area "Together Against Violence" committee and chaired the committee from 1994 to 1998. TAV was a non-partisan group dedicated to facilitating the development of proactive solutions to violence in the Tri-City area through an annual violence prevention month. He subsequently chaired a steering committee to implement a restorative justice approach to youth wrongdoing in the Tri-Cities and New Westminster and was the founding chair of the resulting Fraser-Burrard Community Justice Society, now known as the CERA Society.

As the founding chair of the Tri-Cities Housing Coalition, Sandy has advanced the cause of affordable housing in the region. He joined the Tri-Cities Homelessness Task Group as chair in 2006 and subsequently amalgamated the two organizations.

His efforts saw the creation of temporary shelter space and emergency cold weather shelters. He has been instrumental in the creation of a permanent shelter located in Coquitlam which opened in December 2015. The permanent shelter took ongoing collaboration with levels of government and non-profit organizations, all the while overcoming contentious opposition during the public-consultation process. Sandy continues to support the operation of the shelter, a low barrier facility, as a volunteer and to promote the facility in the community at every opportunity.

As a housing advocate, Sandy has served continuously since 2003 on housing task forces and committees in the Tri-Cities and across the Metro Vancouver region. Most recently in 2015, Sandy was nominated interim chair of the Metro Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness, and subsequently has been working with others on the creation of a collaborative regional approach to homelessness in Metro Vancouver.

In 2004, SHARE Family and Community Services Society added a Food Bank Depot in Coquitlam. Sandy took on the role of volunteer co-ordinator until 2014, organizing, staffing and managing the new depot. He supervised the weekly distribution of food, developing the operating procedures that are still used today. His role also included organizing space to allow for efficient processing of the SHARE Christmas Hamper program.

In 2006, Sandy joined Coquitlam Search and Rescue, the fifth-busiest SAR team in the province. With an average of 40 tasks a year, Burpee, who retired from the team in January 2017, has been a reliable team member, deploying into the field on most tasks and taking many training courses to become a proficient SAR member. He has served on the Coquitlam Search and Rescue Society’s executive as treasurer, establishing better accounting practices and leading the team’s funding and grant application program.

Sandy led the SAR team in a partnership with Coquitlam Alternate Basic Education (CABE) high school in an innovative outdoor education program motivating students to pursue high school graduation. Most recently, Sandy has taken a leadership role in fundraising over $400,000 and helping to plan the construction of a new mobile command vehicle. Recognizing the need to retire the existing command vehicle, the new state-of-the-art command vehicle will serve as the hub of team search activities for the next quarter century.

picture of W.A. Sandy Burpee - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Coquitlam
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest


John Cameron

John Cameron is a community leader and activist who has devoted the last 40 years of his life to addressing the needs of individuals with AIDS, hepatitis and substance abuse problems.

From 1980 to 1994, while working full-time, he volunteered to help his peers during the emerging AIDS crisis. In 1994 he was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS and was unable to work due to chronic and episodic AIDS-related illnesses, aggravated by a hepatitis B infection incurred in a car accident in 1969.
Cameron is known as a results-oriented renegade. Using logistical and organizational skills, acquired from his engineering and forestry background, he has brought people together to establish AIDS and harm reduction infrastructure and programs. 

His endeavours include: co-founding the Downtown Eastside HIV/IDU Consumers’ Board (Canada’s only entirely peer-operated needle exchange); founding and facilitating the Carnegie AIDS Support Group organizing Canada’s largest community-driven World AIDS Day event organizing Canada’s first (and subsequent) World Hepatitis Day event; spearheading major changes to Vancouver’s disabled parking bylaws; organizing and assisting with countless AIDS, hepatitis and harm reduction events, forums and workshops; and sitting on numerous boards and committees.

In his hometown of Richmond, Cameron was the first person to come out publicly as being gay and having AIDS. He started a local AIDS support group that brought together others infected with and affected by AIDS, which served as a springboard for the establishment of AIDS services in Richmond.
As a recovering alcoholic and someone who resided in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside during his drinking years, Cameron has used his street smarts to assist his peers at the street-level. 

His efforts include assisting with paperwork such as income tax, disability, housing and community grant applications, transportation to medical appointments, hospital visitations, feeding people and weekly delivery of Cobs bread to AIDS Vancouver and the Downtown Eastside.

picture of John Cameron - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Richmond
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Clayton Cassidy

Clayton Cassidy was honored with the medal for his extensive community leadership and his dedicated service helping Cache Creek residents stay safe and return to their homes following the devastating flood in May of 2015. Whether it was performing back-breaking rock and mud shoveling or assisting with the overall co-ordination of clean up and recovery, Cassidy was there for the community and its citizens. 

A member of the Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Department for more than three decades, Clayton took on leadership roles in the essential service organization including Fire Chief for 10 years, from 1992 to 2002. Under his leadership the department achieved significant milestones including building a new fire hall, purchasing a new fire truck, installing a breathing air compressor, and having 10 members receive their volunteer fire fighting certificate.

His service to community and countless hours of volunteering included coaching minor hockey, soccer and minor softball, and serving on a myriad of community committees including the Cache Creek Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee, and the Cache Creek Graffiti Days Committee.

Tragically, he lost his life in 2017 after being swept away by flood waters. Chief Cassidy was commemorated at the 5th annual Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation memorial ceremony in Ottawa.

picture of Clayton Cassidy - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Cache Creek
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan

Anastasia Castro

Neil Cook

Neil Cook has been a driving force in his community of Cranbrook and the East Kootenay. During the 26+ years he has lived in Cranbrook he has chosen to volunteer his time with many organizations and projects, all with the goal of helping people and improving his community.

Over the years, Cook has shared his knowledge and experience by serving on the boards of the local Canadian Mental Health Association, the Cranbrook Family Centre, Cranbrook Society for Community Living and the Cranbrook United Way.

Cook was instrumental in founding the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation in 2003. Now known as the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies, this successful organization currently holds $2.5 million across 37 permanently invested endowment funds, and supports many community services and organizations.

Serving as president and then director of the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies over 17 years, Cook contributed a great deal to the organization’s success and its vision of supporting local communities to be better places to live, work and play.

Volunteering much of his time with non-profit organizations, Cook served for seven years as the volunteer Chair of the East Kootenay Homeless Coalition. During this time he has worked tirelessly to build a 24/7 homeless shelter in Cranbrook. That work is ongoing. 

Known throughout the community as someone who is kind, inclusive and generous, Cook and his wife Marilynne have welcomed 24 foster children into their hearts and home over the years. 

Cook’s service work extends to local services clubs. He has been a member of Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary, the Cranbrook Rotary and Kinsmen. 

Cook’s other volunteer contributions in his community include 22 years of volunteering with the Cranbrook Community Christmas Dinner as a fundraiser and chef, and a ten-year member of the Church Committee at Christ Church Anglican. 

With many other interests Cook continues to play a key role in supporting community fundraisers and events from SPCA to the Cranbrook Children’s Festival, to the Canadian Cancer Society and Juvenile Diabetes.

picture of Neil Cook - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Cranbrook
  • Region: Kootenay

Robert Cruickshank

Through Robert “Bob Shanks” Cruickshank’s words, intentions, actions and unselfish deeds he is making B.C. a better place to live and play.

Bob is a 29 year old living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In 2012, he was introduced to the Canucks Autism Network (CAN). As a result of his passion for the Vancouver Canucks and his innate tendency to want to help others, Bob immersed himself in becoming a community leader through his grassroots fundraising and participation in CAN events.

Since 2012, Bob has made it his mission to raise as much money as possible to assist CAN in providing programs that allow ASD individuals and their families to build the confidence and skills necessary to enjoy a lifetime of sport and physical activity. Bob tells his story to grow his network of support for CAN and push the province forward towards autism acceptance.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a new set of challenges for Bob.  All of CAN’s fundraising events and in-person programs were cancelled. Bob took it upon himself to work even harder and demonstrated resilience, innovation and creativity in providing the CAN community the support they needed. Bob's fundraising continued through phone calls, emails, text messages and social media.  He raised $20,000 in 2020 and at least an another $39,000 in 2021 to support CAN’s programming during the pandemic.

Through his charisma and sense of humour, Bob has created a new network of people talking and learning about autism acceptance. His selfless dedication and drive have ultimately touched and enriched the lives of many across B.C., particularly those living with ASD and those who are vulnerable or less able to help themselves. Bob's mantra, “It’s for the kids,” fuels his fundraising efforts and is his motivation.

picture of Robert Cruickshank - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Bruce Curtis

Bruce Curtis has been a community leader and volunteer in several fields for over 50 years. Since 1996 he has been a central volunteer and leader of the Community Justice Centre for the Comox Valley. Curtis served on the steering committee that founded the centre, as a volunteer facilitator and, for the past 13 years as its chief administrator. 

Over the years, he has inspired and supported volunteers to resolve up to 150 referred cases annually, which provides them opportunities to develop their restorative justice skills.

Curtis has also built important relationships on the Comox Valley’s Community Justice Centre’s behalf and deepened the application of restorative justice in his community. He has expanded the Community Justice Centre’s referral sources, dramatically increasing the impact of restorative justice throughout the community.

Curtis is the originator of the Community Justice Centre’s flagship public education venture, the Campagnolo Lectures in Restorative Justice. The lectures attract 300–500 residents each year. Started in 2011, the Campagnolo Lectures have attracted many stellar lecturers, including former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin. 

From 2007–18, Curtis developed and led over 30 Community Justice Centre projects related to combating racism, hatred and homophobia.

Curtis has provided leadership and voluntary service in water safety/lifesaving, trade unionism, the hospitality sector, humanitarian aid, restorative justice and community-based action around human rights and combating racism, hatred and homophobia. While the range of issues has been broad, Curtis’ dedication has not flagged. The impact of his service work is evident in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

Curtis has written over 90 papers and provincial and national speeches on labour relations, humanitarianism, volunteerism and restorative justice over the past 40 years and was invited to address the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Officers.

Curtis has been recognized for his extraordinary service to his community over the years, including: 

  • Dr. Liz Elliott Restorative Justice Memorial Award 
  • Hummingbird Award (Simon Fraser University), Centre for Restorative Justice 
  • Queen Elizabeth ll Jubilee Medal 
  • 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal
  • Order of the Red Cross
  • Distinguished Service, Canadian Red Cross 
  • Medal of Recognition, Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth Council

picture of Bruce Curtis - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Courtenay
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast


Kamal Dhillon

Kamal Dhillon, a survivor of severe domestic violence, was honoured with the medal for her courage to transcend her suffering from domestic violence to bring a powerful message to the public about domestic violence, offer hope to other victims, and advocate for changes in laws.

Her service to community and countless hours of volunteering include support to victims of domestic violence and willingness to travel to conferences and communities where she brings awareness of the devastation exacted by domestic violence to classrooms, police departments, business and community organizations, and churches. Whether speaking to officials at the World Bank, The International Monetary Fund, or a local group of educators, her inspirational message brings understanding to the complex issue, and hope to victims of domestic violence.

Although Kamal still has residual suffering from her injuries, she remains a tireless advocate for changes in laws, better services for victims, and training for police, social workers, educators and others who may see evidence of someone being abused. In particular, she lobbied for the federal government to bring in the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act and today would still like those laws to be toughened. Her personal story, told in her book Black and Blue Sari, has raised the issue on the international front and helped those on the front line to better recognize domestic abuse and provide victims with the support they need.

picture of Kamal Dhillon - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Langley
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Edward Dickins

Ed Dickins epitomizes the definition of volunteer on behalf of his fellow citizens. From the day he volunteered for service with the British Columbia Dragoons (BCDs) in July 1940 to his continued service to the citizens of BC at the Okanagan Military Museum in July 2016. Ed served Canada as part of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps in England, Italy and Northwest Europe including being wounded during World War II. Upon his return to Canada, he continued his service with the Army Reserves until his final retirement in 1975.

Ed has volunteered and served as: Commanding Officer with the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, President of Branch 26 Royal Canadian Legion, President of the BCD Regimental Association (Whizzbangs), President and founder of the Kelowna Veendam Sister City Association, Provincial President of Junior Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chair of the Kelowna Cenotaph Improvement Project, and founding Director of the Okanagan Military Museum Society (OMMS).

In addition to his leadership roles in all of the above organizations, he was a volunteer veteran representative at Remembrance services at 20 Senior's Homes for 16 years, spoke to numerous schools about his military service, spoke at multiple Citizenship Ceremonies with respect to understanding the history of Canada, and assisted in 2016 (at age 93) in the Okanagan Military Museum Society's refurbishment of a historic World War I Field Gun. It is only in very recent years that Ed has been unable to act as a docent at the Military Museum but he does continue to work on mailing newsletters for the Whizzbang Association in spite of his near blindness.

Ed defines good citizenship. He has spent the last eight decades of his life doing good deeds on behalf of the citizens of this country and this province. Ed's hard work, entailing thousands of hours of volunteer time, is demonstrated by results such as: the Veendam Walk in Kelowna City Park, a new inclusive Cenotaph to recognize those locals who paid the ultimate sacrifice, the Okanagan Military Museum, the BCD Mural at the Military Museum and generations of Canadians that value those who have served their country honourably.

Dickins continues to exemplify good citizenship even in his advanced age. Our British Columbia is a better place because of the compassion, dedication and tireless commitment of Ed Dickins.

picture of Edward Dickins - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: Kelowna
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan

Dave Dickson

Dave Dickson was honoured with the medal for his wide-ranging volunteer contributions made in the Williams Lake and Chilcotin Cariboo region, many of which have helped to make the community safer, reduced crime, and ensured those who are in need or vulnerable are taken care of.

His service to the community and countless hours of volunteering have benefited the Williams Lake Community Policing unit, Canadian Red Cross, Williams Lake Rotary Club, Northern BC Mobile Support Team with the Provincial Emergency Program, the local emergency support services team and the Canadian Cancer Society.

Among his many other contributions, Dave was also instrumental in establishing several programs including the Mounted Citizens on Patrol, a first-of-its-kind program that sees local citizens ride horseback to patrol areas that are difficult to observe; Wandering program for those at risk of going missing; and the Positive Ticketing Program which rewards children for being positive citizens. He has been a member of the Cops for Cancer Tour de North team for a number of years, is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and has been involved in several international projects.

picture of Dave Dickson - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Williams Lake
  • Region: Cariboo

Rachel Dong

Rachel Dong is an environmental leader who has inspired hundreds of youth across Metro Vancouver. She has been involved with the Vancouver School Board Sustainability Conference since Grade 9, where she empowers youth with the knowledge and skills needed to enact sustainable change. As Chair, Rachel leads a team of 30 students from across the district who share her goal of raising environmental awareness and fostering the next generation of climate advocates.

During the pandemic, Rachel continued to create opportunities for her peers to learn about important community issues. Through resilience and innovation, she hosted seven online mentor sessions and two full-day conferences that connected 1,000 secondary school students from across the province. Her team provided the opportunity to engage in action-oriented workshops, networking sessions, and meaningful dialogue. Rachel continues to advance sustainability at school and in the larger community through various service projects.

Rachel has also been working diligently to reduce the environmental impacts of food waste. As club president of Kitchen-on-a-Mission at Eric Hamber Secondary, she coordinated an end-of-day food program by developing partnerships with bakeries and homeless shelters across Vancouver. Rachel mobilized a team of 50 volunteers to collect surplus goods to donate to people in need. Since 2019, her club has provided more than $35,000 in food to support at-risk communities in the Downtown Eastside.

As a child, Rachel experienced gender bias as the only female in her science class. This inspired her to start a non-profit, the Eureka Foundation, to promote diversity in STEM. Rachel successfully applied for $3,500 in grant funding and collaborated with secondary school volunteers to design and deliver free STEM camps for underprivileged youth. Throughout the year, her team has built an inclusive community that empowered over 70 children to break down barriers in STEM. Rachel Dong is a role model who consistently demonstrates exceptional leadership skills in supporting others as they strive for personal and professional growth. As a mentor to others, she cultivates active, engaged leaders who are motivated to positively impact their community.

picture of Rachel Dong - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: North Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest


Greg Ehman

Greg Ehman has been a key leader in the Golden Rotary Club for many years. During the COVID-19 crisis, he took on the challenges of finding new ways to support and benefit his community. His efforts since March 2020 include:

  • Developing online videos to provide advice, guidance and application assistance at no charge to support people in receiving access to CERB and other financial supports.
  • Developing online videos to provide advice and guidance to local businesses in developing COVID-19 safety plans and access to government funding.
  • Starting the "Mask up Golden" initiative and coordinating the production of nearly 4,000 masks to distribute to community members at a subsidized price point.
  • Successfully adjusting the annual Interact Club of Golden's Project Anti-Grinch to meet COVID-19 requirements. Working with the Interact Club to cook and prepare nearly 200 turkey dinners on Christmas Eve for vulnerable community members.
  • Introducing and coordinating the Rotary Giving Tree program with the Golden Interact Club - ensuring 77 deserving youth in the community received presents on Christmas Day.
  • Organizing and delivering four separate youth training programs where 40 students learned valuable employment and team building skills to assist in future job opportunities. Students gained certificates in multiple work skills and gained valuable service experience through community volunteering. During the program, as part of their learning, the youth provided more than 1,000 meals to vulnerable and at-risk community members and isolated seniors.
  • Proposing and drafting the Golden Guidelines project with the Kicking Horse Chamber of Commerce.

When COVID-19 restrictions were introduced in B.C. in March 2020, many volunteer organizations fundraising efforts ceased and valuable community support operations were in jeopardy. In April 2020, in response to this need, Greg led the Golden Rotary Club to start 'Rotary Community Online Bingo'. This online fundraiser has grown to include 16 other Rotary Clubs participating across 14 B.C. communities. More than $1.8M has been raised to date to support valuable community programs and volunteer groups across B.C.. The online fundraiser remains a resounding success today and continues to provide financial support for various groups and projects.

picture of Greg Ehman - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Golden
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan

Aysha Emmerson & Jasper Johnston

Two initiatives spearheaded by Aysha Emmerson and Jasper Johnston, are noteworthy. The ways in which these siblings draw their peers into leadership roles and provide supported platforms for others are remarkable and making a real difference in their communities.

Their first initiative, the Co-VID Student Support Network was a community-based, non-profit effort that digitally connected university student volunteers with K-12 students, to help ease the burden on parents and educators in Canada amid social-distancing requirements.

Since it started on Vancouver Island, between March 2020 and January 2021, the project has assisted approximately 75 families representing more than 25 schools and raised thousands of dollars through voluntary contributions for COVID-19 relief. Along with founding the network and empowering dozens of youth volunteers, Jasper and Aysha served as peer supporters themselves, directly supporting the socio-emotional and educational needs of K-12 students.

Their second initiative, Dear Canadians, is a national, bilingual and digital platform designed to connect Canadians of all ages during this unique period in our country's history while supporting COVID-19 relief efforts. Teaming up with five of their university classmates, Aysha and Jasper launched / on July 1, 2020. 

Through the platform, Canadians can write and share virtual postcards with images and messages of hope, hardship, gratitude, or lessons learned. To date, thousands of people representing every province have visited the site, with hundreds sharing cards. Thanks to partnerships with Historica Canada, cards will be included in the national “Canada During Covid-19” archives. The team also partnered with TELUS, which helped to promote the platform and donated $10,000 to Canadian COVID-19 relief efforts in recognition of the project.

Many of the cards posted reflect a clear appreciation for the platform and the way it lifts up diverse voices from across the country. The project has also received coverage from CBC for its positive impact and was recognized by National Philanthropy Day via the Vancouver Island Giving Hearts Honour Roll.

picture of Aysha Luena Johnston Emmerson - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

picture of Jasper Doyle Catcheside Johnston - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Kevin England

Kevin England was honoured with the British Columbia Medal of Good Citizenship for his leadership and volunteerism for many non-profit and worthwhile initiatives in Vancouver and around British Columbia. Some of these include the B.C. Women's Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Campaign, Collingwood School, The Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education, Tibetan Nun Project, various recovery fellowships. He has also provided direct support to individuals and their families in recovery.

Kevin’s support and fundraising efforts have especially helped people struggling with addiction. His support helped establish the therapeutic community model of treatment in British Columbia. Specifically, he is the co-founder and president of the British Columbia New Hope Recovery Society which in 2007 established Baldy Hughes Therapeutic Community, a 65-bed, residential recovery centre located 30 kilometres southwest of Prince George. Baldy Hughes offers a long-term, abstinence-based, community-as-treatment recovery program in a remote farm setting. The program provides men recovering from addiction a unique opportunity to regain their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, and remove barriers to their long-term health.

picture of Kevin England - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Barry English

Barry English is an outstanding member of his northern community of Terrace. His dedication and kindness impact far reaching communities. As a volunteer of the Northern Animal Rescue Alliance (NARA) his contributions are simply invaluable.

To support fundraising goals, Barry converted his garage into a recycling depot so community members could drop off returnable recycling 24-hours a day. He drives over the area collecting returnables from those unable to deliver and single-handedly sorts them all and cashes them in. In the last four years he has raised $79,413.75. Every cent goes to NARA. That’s more than 1.5 million bottles and cans collected! It’s a very unpleasant job -- cans are usually unwashed and often contaminated, but he dons his PPE and gets on with it in all weather, never complaining.

On top of this, Barry fosters the oldest, unwanted dogs. He loves them like they are his own and often goes on to adopt them. He has a heart of gold, and the animals seem to understand and take comfort in this.

In addition to his involvement with NARA, Barry volunteers as what the community refers to as a snow angel. Terrace has huge snowfalls and Barry is well known to leave early to clear driveways for seniors and those with physical challenges.

Barry recently retired from the Terrace Pipes and Drums Society after 40 years of teaching youngsters how to play and perform in a marching band. He takes great pride in watching his students thrive, participating at important ceremonies in his small, diverse and geographically spread-out community.

Lately, Barry has undergone surgery for a life-threatening illness and yet continues to volunteer for up to 10 hours a day, seven days a week to help the lives of companion animals in critical need, supporting community members in need and mentoring children. In the last five years he has single-handedly raised $125,000 and continues to care for the elderly unwanted animals needing a loving home.

Barry received the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers in 2016. For all his contributions, he is considered a genuine asset to Terrace, the Northwest and British Columbia.

picture of Barry English - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: Terrace
  • Region: Northern BC


Chad Farquharson & Wayne McGill 

Chad Farquharson and Wayne McGill were honoured with the medal for being unrelenting advocates for B.C. families who have children with medical needs, and have provided hundreds of families with healthy snacks while they care for their hospitalized children.

Their life-changing journey began when their newly adopted son Grayson was diagnosed with an extremely rare metabolic disorder. After spending time in the intensive care unit and on the ward, Chad and Wayne became passionate advocates, doing countless hours of public speaking and engagements in support of B.C. Children’s Hospital, The Rare Disease Foundation, and Canadian PKU and Allied Disorders.

But their commitment to others doesn’t stop there. Having spent time in ICU with Grayson, they know that eating properly, or at all, takes a backseat when your child is critically ill and needs you. So, they started a program called “From Our Family to Yours” and for more than a year, twice per week, they have been dropping off food baskets of healthy snacks to the B.C. Children’s Hospital ICU and the BC Women’s Hospital NICU for families to help themselves to while they are caring for their child.

They provide much of the funds themselves but have also reached out to others through a GoFundMe page to allow other families and individuals to help support the food basket program.

picture of Chad Farquharson - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

picture of Wayne McGill - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Surrey
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Edwin Findlater

Edwin Findlater was honoured with the medal for his dedication to the needs of veterans, persons facing special hardships, and the elderly.

Since taking up residence in the Southern Okanagan Valley over 32 years ago, Edwin has served his community and the province in numerous voluntary and leadership positions, including president of the Penticton Red Cross, chair of the Okanagan Falls Legacy Fund, president of Branch 227 Canadian Legion for six years, chairman of the South Okanagan/Similkameen Legion Zone, chairman of the BC Yukon Legion Command for 15 years, chairman of Okanagan Falls Helping Hands, chairman and board trustee of Okanagan Falls United Church, past superintendent of St. John’s Ambulance, director for BC Summer Games in Penticton, and the security chief for BC Winter and Summer Games.

In addition, he has been a member of the RCMP Auxiliary for over 10 years, volunteer for Iron Man Canada for 23+ years, coach for Special Olympics, founder of Citizens on Patrol in Okanagan Falls and Penticton, an Air Cadet instructor, volunteer with Okanagan Falls Visitors Centre, and an organizer for Okanagan Falls Community Policing.

Among his many other contributions, Edwin was also instrumental in establishing the South Skaha Housing Society with the goal of developing affordable housing for seniors living in Okanagan Falls, and because of his vision and leadership, the project is becoming a real possibility.

Arising from his 35 years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces, and subsequently with the Royal Canadian Legion, Edwin has received the Minister of Veteran’s Affairs Commendation and the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award.

picture of Edwin Findlater - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Okanagan Falls
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan

Stephanie Fischer

Stephanie Fischer has been integral in establishing Nelson and area as a cultural hub in British Columbia and was the project manager and visionary behind Nelson’s newest cultural cornerstone, Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History.

Stephanie was an early champion and founding director of the City of Nelson’s Cultural Development Committee, which has helped develop long term cultural plans and policies for the city. She has been a steadfast volunteer on numerous boards and steering committees including: the Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, Nelson and Area Economic Development Partnership, Selkirk College, Oxygen Art Centre, Nelson Artwalk and the Social Planning Action Network. 

For Stephanie, the value of culture and its contribution to the vibrancy and strength of a community is fundamental. Her enthusiasm has inspired countless individuals to become active in the arts alongside her. Her contributions have created a culture of accessibility within the arts in the region while encouraging and celebrating excellence. 

A student of architecture in Germany, Stephanie completed an internship in the former East German city of Dessau and is credited as key in the planning of a new culture centre for Dessau, that went on to win the Alfred-Toepfer Foundation Award for innovation and initiative of cultural development. 

Of note is Stephanie’s involvement in projects around reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples through partnerships and cultural programming. Her goal is to provide opportunities for our community to learn and appreciate Indigenous culture through artistic expression. For example, an Indigenous dance event offered a learning opportunity for the greater community to build relationships with Indigenous Peoples in the region. 

As executive director of the Capitol Theatre, Stephanie helped raise over a quarter -million dollars to renew the systems and equipment. The 30-year-old institution is now thriving, with increased patron and season package memberships, a steady increase in audience attendance of a broad spectrum of live theatre events, and the provision of space to serve as a performing arts resource and referral facility for the community. 

In recognition of her contributions, Fischer received a special citation from the City of Nelson, and the Community Futures and CIEL Community Innovation Entrepreneur Award. She also received the BC Touring Council award for Presenter of the Year in 2019.

picture of Stephanie Fischer - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: Nelson
  • Region: Kootenay

Shannon Fisher

Shannon Fisher is an entrepreneur and a humanitarian who achieved her success while taking care of her staff and her community. Shannon is a member of Canada Nurseryland, a group of independently owned and operated garden centres in the agricultural industry that provide essential products and services to their local communities.

Shannon is an inspiring business leader. There are many incidences where Shannon has gone beyond the norm. She has lent money to staff for vet bills to avoid interest charges. She's lent company equipment so staff can help elderly neighbours, and offered jobs to people who desperately needed them even if she didn't have work available.

Beyond this, Shannon is a model for the way that she cares for her seasonal agricultural workers from Mexico. Most of her workers have been returning to the Top Crop Farm for several years. Shannon pays them more than minimum wage, provides a home with full amenities, a truck to use, and takes them to local events to experience the community while they are in Canada.

There are also numerous examples of Shannon's support for local farmers and gardeners at the expense of her own business. This includes committing to a whole semi-load of hay during the severe shortage in 2021, then selling it at cost. She has also spent hours to mitigate price increases so local people could grow their own food and feed their animals more easily, especially during COVID-19. As well, Shannon is always the first local business owner to lend out her trailers and trucks to help those who may need to move livestock due to wildfires.

Shannon has built up a strong social media presence on Facebook, which she uses to promote other local businesses and events that enrich the community. Some examples include the annual Rotary Turkey Drive; Christmas gifts for seniors; and fundraisers for local animal rescues. Shannon has personally driven orphaned black bears up to Golden. If it's the right thing to do for the community, Shannon is involved.

And most recently, to address homelessness in Cranbrook, Shannon has mobilized the business community and secured more resources to help protect local RCMP officers and keep everyone in the community safe. Shannon’s valuable services have benefited the lives of both people and animals, while inspiring hundreds in the East Kootenay region.

picture of Shannon Fisher - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: Cranbrook
  • Region: Kootenay

Fran Fowler

Fran Fowler has dedicated many years of volunteer service in her community in a variety of areas including: health care governance, multiple all-age sports activities, the arts, and programs specifically for youth and seniors. 

Her service to community and countless hours of volunteering include significant involvement with the Haida Gwaii Arts Council, Balance Rock Community Justice Program, an RCMP restorative youth justice program, Queen Charlotte Seniors Club, Queen Charlotte Community Club, Literacy Haida Gwaii, Willows Golf Club, and the Queen Charlotte Hospital Day Organizing Committee.

Since moving to Haida Gwaii in the 1960s Fran has thrown her passion and energy into supporting a myriad of community activities from literary and musical events, outdoor hiking, golf, geocaching, and food foraging. Her inspired leadership and can-do approach to helping community organizations has strengthened the social fabric of the islands.

Concerned that the islands’ historical past is being lost, Fran has fostered a project, Saving and Sharing Our Stories, aimed at collecting and preserving for the future, the stories of Queen Charlotte on the seniors’ website. Another project, Aging on the Islands, is focused on collecting stories to advocate for improved services for seniors on the Islands.

Among her many other contributions, Fran has also been an instrumental force in a group of citizens calling themselves Operation Refugee Haida Gwaii who have sponsored a family of eight Syrian refugees and continue to support them as they settle into their new life in British Columbia.

picture of Fran Fowler - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: Queen Charlotte
  • Region: Northern BC

Joyce Fraser 

Joyce Fraser is a visionary leader who has worked within the communities of Princeton, Coalmont, Tulameen and Heldley to enhance services for seniors and people with disabilities.

Beginning in 1972 she spearheaded the formation of the Princeton and District Community Services Society (PDCSS) and has now led the not-for-profit agency for 32 years, developing more services and programs to support the vulnerable along the way. 

Today the society operates low-cost housing for seniors and families with children, and seniors assisted living. Its New Beginnings Day Program for adults and youth with intellectual disabilities offers respite services, self help skills, residential services and employment development. Joyce has also found innovative ways to ensure that the community has trained employees to support the needs of PDCSS clients.

With Joyce as its administrator, the PDCSS converted the former Mine Rescue building into a drop-in centre and workshop. Over time the site became the Mini-Chef Restaurant where people with disabilities get job skills training. A popular enterprise, with many repeat customers, it provides the society with a reliable source of income to meet its goals.

To create housing for persons with disabilities, Joyce led an initiative to purchase and renovate a three-storey apartment building and an additional six units were constructed in a partnership with BC Housing. Another partnership with BC Housing, the Interior Health Authority and the Town for Princeton resulted in the development of Vermilion Court in 1997 with 18 housing units for seniors and vulnerable adults - the first assisted living facility in the Province.

Recognizing that PDCSS clients need trained support, Joyce organized a community-based social services certificate to be instructed locally. She also worked with Okanagan College to bring a care aid course to Princeton, enabling many local residents to be trained locally and ultimately helping seniors remain at home as long and as safely as possible. 

Joyce also germinated transportation services for those who are vulnerable first by using her family vehicle to transport residents to medical appointments and to the grocery store. When demand exceeded her capabilities, she spearheaded a drive to raise money for a wheel-chair accessible van that operates as a partnership between the Village of Princeton, BC Transit, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and the PDCSS.

Joyce has been recognized with a British Columbia Community Achievement Award and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

picture of Joyce H. Fraser - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: Princeton
  • Region: 


Joann Gabriel

Joann Gabriel, a retired public-school teacher, was honoured with the medal for volunteer service spanning 56 years to the community of Princeton.

Her service to community and countless hours of volunteering include serving on the board of the Princeton and District Community Services (PDCSS), a non-profit organization, to meet the needs of the elderly and mentally challenged. Joining in 1979, Joann has been treasurer for eleven years and chair for 24 years, under the administration of three executive directors. She is committed to the work the society does under its twelve programs, which include home care, meals-on-wheels, transportation, housing for the elderly and developmentally disabled, an adult day center, and an activity center with employment opportunities for mentally challenged in the community.

Among her many other contributions, Joann was also instrumental in developing the programs run by the Princeton and District Community Services, demonstrating a passion for making sure that those less fortunate in her community are visible and function in a way that incorporates them into their community as productive members.

Besides PDCSS, Joann has also volunteered and served the executives of the Princeton Curling Club, Royal Purple, Kinettes, Princeton Library, Kokanee Summer Swim Club, Princeton Recreation Commission, Vermilion Forks Field Naturalist Club, Princeton Arts Council and St. Paul’s United Church Board and Women's Group over the past 56 years.

picture of Joan Gabriel - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Princeton
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan

Gambier Grocery Group

Gambier Island in Howe Sound has a small full-time population. The community has no on-island services such as stores, gas stations, medical clinics or schools and relies on a 40-person water taxi, the Stormaway, for access to all essentials including groceries.

In mid March 2020, as BC Ferries closed routes to essential service only, it became apparent that ongoing water taxi trips would pose a health hazard to passengers and crew.  Leanne Bruce, a long-term resident of the island, organized and executed a complex venture to deliver groceries twice a week from stores in nearby Gibsons.

Islanders ordered online and Leanne coordinated delivery services with return water taxi runs so Grocery Group volunteers could get to Gibsons to load the orders onboard the Stormaway. Upon returning to Gambier, the Grocery Group would quickly unload the water taxi. Boxes were taken up a ramp from the float to a shed on the pier. The orders were sorted and distributed, or, in many cases, delivered to homes across the southwest peninsula.

Leanne volunteered to coordinate this service along with her husband Bobby to support the Gambier Island community. Despite the stress of losing their own livelihood as entertainers to the pandemic, Leanne and Bobby got this critical service running smoothly and kept it going free of charge until July 2021.

The Gambier Grocery Group relied on several volunteers, including Terry Hall and Joley Switzer who volunteered for almost every run. Rain or shine, high tide or low, heat dome or southeaster – these dedicated people spent several hours a week hauling grocery orders on and off the Stormaway and up the gangway.

Leanne and the other volunteers kept the local community safe and protected the Stormaway crew from getting sick by offering this service and following through with the details. The Gambier Grocery Group has been a lifeline for this island.

picture of Bobby Bruce - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

picture of Leanne Bruce - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

picture of Terry Hall - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

picture of Joley Switzer - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Gambier Island
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Abbe Gates

Abbe Gates was honoured with the medal for spearheading initiatives aimed at improving life experiences and inclusion for children, teens and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities. Through her fundraising efforts and ability to bring a community together, Abbe founded a soccer sporting team and has created social experiences that have empowered people with special needs all over the Lower Mainland and nearby communities.

Her service to community and countless hours of volunteering have been focused on gathering the support, monies and resources required for hundreds of players with a variety of developmental and other disabilities, aged four years and up, to play soccer. Nine years later, the Blazin’ Soccer Dogs and Pups, along with the Rain City Wolves, have provided enriching, inclusive and confidence-boosting experiences for participants.

Abbe has also served on the Down Syndrome Research Foundation board and was an effective fundraiser for the organization. More recently, she is an active volunteer helping to promote autism awareness and the creation of the Pacific Autism Family Centre.

Among her many other contributions, Abbe annually mounts The Night to Remember Gala, which provides an annual dance and red-carpet experience to more than 150 young people, aged 15 to 35 years, with development disabilities. As well, she helped establish a social group for teens through the Vancouver Parks board, called Friday Friends. She is now collectively working on establishing the same kind of program for all these young people who are now adults.

picture of Abbe Gates - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Lorna Gibbs

Lorna Gibbs is a dedicated community volunteer and vocal advocate for improving the programs, services and facilities of Vancouver South. She has participated in numerous community development issues, committees and agencies, focusing especially on seniors’ needs.

In addition to her service on a range of boards and committees, Lorna is a founding member and president of the Southeast Vancouver Seniors’ Centre Society. In this capacity she is a leading voice to reach out and capture the needs of thousands of seniors through her advocacy for a new senior’s recreation centre in Southeast Vancouver. Through her work on a variety of seniors’ programs, services and issues, Lorna has changed the lives of many seniors and has inspired many more to contribute to their community. In 2014, Lorna was rewarded for her efforts to bring all three levels of government together when funding was secured to build a Seniors’ Activity Centre in South Vancouver.

A resident of Vancouver for more than 30 years, Lorna has also brought seniors from diverse ethnic backgrounds together to gather stories, including translation and editing, which has resulted in two published books: Stories of Southeast Vancouver, and Meals and Memories, an illustrated cookbook. This work brought happiness and greater understanding and friendship to the hundreds of seniors who were involved.

Other volunteer services given by Lorna include:

  • Board director of Champlain Heights Community Association and the Killarney Community Centre Association
  • Chair and president of Southvan Neighbourhood House
  • Member of the Citizen Advisory Committee – Victoria Fraserview Killarney, East Fraserlands Committee, and the Everett Crowley Parks Committee

picture of Lorna Gibbs - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Lori Girard

At the beginning of the pandemic, Lori Girard began the Riverside Response Innitiative. She created and empowered a team of volunteers from Riverside Church (where she is a volunteer pastor) and the local community to pick up and receive donations of food. They also received monetary donations and purchased groceries. Riverside Response created packages of groceries that those in need could pick up for themselves and their families. Deliveries of groceries were also made available. 

Through Riverside Response, some volunteers were able to run errands for those who couldn't drive or were self-isolating. They also made connections with people who were out of town and were able to check on family members for them. More than $95,000 worth of food has been given to those in need to date.

A few months later, Lori could see many people were negatively affected by the pandemic, both emotionally and mentally. She created Hope Calls, a telephone service many people have used when they need someone to talk with.  They have been offered hope, compassion, prayer and external resources where necessary.

Lori then found out about another community need leading to the Welcome Home Initiative. Many families transitioning from shelters or community programs and moving into their new homes have no furniture, linens, dishes, or sense of community belonging. Lori has made many contacts with individuals and businesses in the Tri-Cities to collect items, clean and restore them, and move them into the home for the family.  The goal for each family is to surprise them with a beautiful ‘REVEAL’ when possible.  There is partnership with a volunteer designer to create a gorgeous, proud home environment for families. Beas Kloset now partner with the Welcome Home Initiative to provide household items that family’s needs.  Social workers have noted the uniqueness of this program and all three of these outreach projects created by Lori are still ongoing today.

picture of Lori Girard - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Pitt Meadows
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Shirley Gratton

Shirley Gratton’s deep pride in her heritage and selfless contributions to her community have contributed greatly to the growth and development of Prince George and the North Central region over the past 70 years.

Gratton’s contributions embody the characteristics of good neighbour and citizen. Her interest in helping others, along with a willingness to work for the betterment of families and community, is reflected in the many awards and recognition she has received.

Gratton’s connection to Prince George and area goes back to her pioneering parents who settled in Salmon Valley in 1933. A desire to share her talents for the benefits of others, along with a strong interest in her family’s heritage, led to her work with the Prince George Heritage Commission where she helped document and ensure the legacy of many historic buildings and sites. 

A steadfast champion for heritage promotion, education and awareness, Gratton has dedicated countless hours to develop and promote interpretive signs for local heritage sites and compile an inventory of heritage trees.

Gratton’s compilation of recollections and history in Saga of a Pioneer’s Dream, which tells the stories of settlers to the Salmon Valley region in the early 1900s, has helped create a permanent record of the Cariboo region’s vast history. 

Gratton served on the Prince George City Council for 13 years. She was a founding member and president of the Prince George Fibre Arts Guild, a founding member of the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame, a founding member of the PG Hydro Power Pioneers and a founding member of the Parish Pastoral Council that established Christ Our Saviour Church.

In 2004, Gratton chaired Prince George’s Communities in Bloom committee. She is still involved in the Civic Pride Action Group, which conducts an annual litter clean up, as well as the Adopt-a-Block Program where volunteers work to keep the community litter-free. 

Gratton’s fundraising efforts have helped build a tennis court at Kelly Road Secondary School, the Hart Highlands Ski Hill and the Nechako Babe Ruth Heather Road Complex. She also donated an 18th century log loom to the Huble Homestead/Giscome Portage Heritage Society.

Gratton has received the following awards in recognition of her many contributions:

  • Mother of the Year from Kelly Road Home & School 
  • Eagles Mother of the Year
  • Inductee to both the BC Babe Ruth Sports Hall of Fame and the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame
  • Jeanne Clark Memorial Local History Award
  • Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Commemorative Medal
  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2004 Citizen of the Year 
  • 2011 Outstanding Volunteer 
  • Freedom of the City of Prince George

Picture of Shirley Gratton - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Prince George
  • Region: Cariboo

Ronald Greene

For five decades, Ron Greene has demonstrated the ideals of good citizenship through the generous sharing of his time as a volunteer and leader of various organizations. These include coaching youth volleyball, leading local and provincial historical societies, contributing administrative and research expertise to the field of numismatics (the study and collection of coins and paper currency), and supporting community heritage activities.

Ron’s involvement with volleyball began in the late 1960s as a coach at Victoria’s YWCA. His girls teams competed successfully provincially and nationally. He has also assisted the coaches of the men's volleyball teams at UVIC and Camosun College. He contributed to the administration of the British Columbia Volleyball Association (BCVA), occasionally serving as President. For many years, he volunteered as a referee and trained over 500 new referees. In 1987, Ron was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in the BCVA.

Ron has also been inducted into the BC Volleyball Hall of Fame in the Co-Builder category.

A great interest of Ron’s is the study of BC's historical coins and paper currency. He has been a member of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) since 1956. Providing a British Columbia perspective, he has organized conferences, edited books, established special interest groups, and served as an executive. In 1986, Ron received the highest award in Canadian Numismatics, the J. Douglas Ferguson Medal; in 2015, he was deemed a RCNA Fellow.

Ron’s interests in supporting the history of Victoria and British Columbia are outstanding. For example, in 2012 and 2013, he organized symposia on the 150th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Victoria and the 170th anniversary of the founding of the HBC’s Fort Victoria. This involved countless hours of recruiting volunteers and speakers, organizing field trips, and hosting visitors. He has served the Victoria Historical Society and the British Columbia Historical Foundation as either their President or Treasurer.

An accomplished researcher, in 2015 he published the award winning book, Carlo Gentile, Gold Rush Photographer, 1863-1866. Ron is fully aware that archives and museums need support, whether through volunteer or financial aid. At the Provincial Archives, he helped create the Friends of British Columbia Archives, for which he has raised money in support of research collections, organized lectures, and arranged and led special events of the Archives. 

The Greene family’s business, Capital Iron, is located on Victoria’s historic waterfront. Ron restored the company’s buildings, earning Capital Iron a Heritage Canada Regional Award in 1982. Subsequently, through talks and freely-given advice, he has inspired others to conserve Victoria’s built heritage by sitting on the City of Victoria’s Heritage Advisory Committee and later serving as a Board Member of the Victoria Civic Heritage Trust, acting as Chair for two years.

For over five decades, Ron Greene has made outstanding contributions to various organizations. His selfless volunteer work and many leadership positions have supported thousands of young volleyball players and hundreds of historical enthusiasts, enabling them to participate in well-run and highly-appreciated community activities. Not least, Ron is widely respected by his peers. This is demonstrated by the citations and awards bestowed upon him that honour both his volunteerism and leadership.    

picture of Ronald Greene - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Amber Gregory

Amber Gregory worked to assist many not-for-profits that were unequipped through their infrastructure to serve or distribute food. She negotiated a partnership with a major restaurant chain where food could be purchased and served to the community. She organized volunteers who provided food to those who could not attend the more traditional food banks, including seniors, those with disabilities and those grappling with the loss of their livelihood.

Concurrently she created, “Porch side visits” with more than 100 nursing students who were at risk of losing their graduation criteria because there were no practicums available.  The students gave back 5,000 hours in porch side visits, attending and supporting individuals who were grappling with deteriorating mental health. Materials and resources were made available by another team of practicum students. Amber used these resources to help prepare training on compassion fatigue for frontline health care workers.

Amber knew the more traditional approaches to engage youth in mental health services were not going to be effective during COVID-19.  She connected a group of innovative basketball coaches that engaged more than 300 youth over a six-month period enabling them to provide the tools the youth needed.

Amber brought networks together so actions could be taken, not just discussed. She never took no for an answer and broke many barriers, but she knew that in this unprecedented time, there needed to be an unprecedented response.

picture of Amber Gregory - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Coquitlam
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest


Terry Hall

Zeeshan Hayat

With the misfortune of losing his parents at a young age, Zeeshan was given the opportunity to immigrate to Canada to be raised by his grandparents. This led him to making a life-commitment of leading a life of impact by supporting poverty, homelessness, and healthcare initiatives.

In 2007, he started gathering friends and family to engage and deliver meals to the homeless community in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside. The initiative flourished into a volunteer organization called 100 Meals a Week, delivering over 200,000 meals, blankets, clothing, and hygiene products to date.

Believing that healthcare is a human right and should be accessible to all members of society, he co-founded Prizm Media and RxtoMe to solve healthcare inefficiencies and improving the health outcomes of over 20,000,000 patients through digital technology.

Zeeshan has inspired his colleagues to participate in community outreach with paid volunteer days and allocates 2.5% of company profits towards local charities.


  • joined St. Paul’s Future Leaders – a committee of young professionals who dedicate their time to raise awareness and funding for St. Paul’s foundation; and co-founded Pixel Moments, an interactive AR photo mosaic generated by selfie uploads to bring micro donations to the forefront, making philanthropy more accessible and attractive for a younger generation through Art & Technology.
  • was behind the foundation of creating the Muslim Food Bank and Muslim Care Centre
  • sits on the board for Islam Unraveled, facilitating interfaith dialogue against Islamophobia, bringing together communities, and eradicating hate speech.

As homelessness and substance addiction continues to grow in British Columbia, Zeeshan plans to build a foundation in honour of his late mother - to house; rehabilitate; provide food and personal necessities; and build capacity for people suffering from homelessness and transition them back into society and off the streets permanently.

picture of Zeeshan Hayat - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Dr. Bonnie Henry, O.B.C.

"Be kind, be calm and be safe." Dr. Bonnie Henry has used this phrase to guide British Columbians through the COVID-19 pandemic in her role as Provincial Health Officer.

She has been a beacon of light throughout this pandemic. With her gentle spirit and strength, she has encouraged the people of B.C. to stay strong, and has been provider of hope.

Dr. Henry has extensive experience in public health including responding to other significant health challenges such as the SARS outbreak in Toronto, the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, the Ebola crisis in Uganda and polio eradication in Pakistan. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her extensive knowledge and experience in public health.

She has performed her duties tirelessly throughout this pandemic and has brought the community together in the fight against the COVID-19 virus standing firm at her post, encouraging patience, and educating the public in a clear and calm manner.

She has remained positive in the face of adversity and has continued to put her community first, through aiding and educating British Columbians. Not only has her expertise been demonstrated over the course of the pandemic, but her kindness, optimism and professionalism have been far reaching.

Dr. Bonnie Henry has played an integral role in guiding the residents of B.C. through this difficult time.

picture of Dr. Bonnie J. Fraser Henry, O.B.C. - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Karen Hira

Karen Hira is a young woman raised by a single parent on long-term disability due to a traumatic brain injury that left her mom with significant cognitive challenges. Karen’s mom was supported by Karen’s grandparents and aunt and uncle who helped raise her and her older sister. At 16, Karen moved out of her grandparents’ home to escape childhood trauma in search of independence. She was cut-off from the family as a result. Since then, Karen has financially supported herself and her mother as well as covered expenses related to her educational goals by maintaining multiple jobs.

Karen’s education and employment reflects her commitment to bettering lives in communities that have been racialized and marginalized. In 2015, Karen completed a bachelor of social work degree with distinction at the University of Victoria, went on to complete a master of public administration degree in 2018, and currently, a PhD in Public Administration.

After obtaining her B.A., Karen was a case worker for newcomer women fleeing domestic violence at the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) for several years. She then continued to support the organization through grant acquisitions as she worked as a policy, audit, and research analyst – all while completing her master’s. Her efforts resulted in more than $4 million in provincial and federal support for VIRCS newcomers’ programs and funding to open the first trauma-informed daycare in Canada. At the Victoria Police Department, Karen leveraged her knowledge of, and experience working with newcomers to strengthen relationships between police and newcomer communities.

Three years ago, Karen became the executive director of the Oasis Society, a non-profit organization serving Indigenous adults experiencing multi-generational trauma. Oasis was on the brink of closure due to the pandemic and high staff turnover rates. Karen stabilized the organization, by securing a record amount of funding that ensured the sustainability of health, cultural, wellness and spiritual wellness programs. These programs are integral to Indigenous peoples in Victoria as Oasis is the only organization providing these services. In September 2021, Karen was hired as the executive director of VIRCS, and again stabilized an organization quickly crumbling from poor leadership and the weight of the pandemic. Karen rebranded the organization and supported the agency to double its organizational revenue, increasing staff by 35%, replace old and outdated organizational policy, and secure funding to complete an IT infrastructure renewal project. Her connections with Indigenous communities and academia have fostered innovative opportunities for collaboration. These accomplishments are remarkable considering Karen is completing her PhD, supporting University of Victoria as a graduate research assistant, and as a sessional instructor, and still acting as executive director of the Oasis Society.

picture of Karen Hira - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Dr. Kendall Ho

Dr. Kendall Ho is an emergency physician at Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), and a digital emergency medicine researcher. He is also an accomplished and decorated health professional and UBC professor in the Faculty of Medicine.

Dr. Ho has made outstanding contributions in two specific areas relevant to COVID-19.

COVID-19 challenged our health system as a new and poorly understood disease, creating anxiety for the general public and challenges in disease management for the health system. In March 2020, telephone calls to 8-1-1, a B.C. service for the public to get health information and advice, experienced a seven fold increase. Dr. Ho set up a new virtual physician service to complement the 8-1-1 line, answering callers’ concerns with medical expertise using videoconferencing. This diverted three out of four callers safely away from visiting emergency departments. As of January 2022  the physician team under Dr. Ho’s leadership has provided advice to more than 65,000 callers.

Rapid communication with the public to disseminate accurate health information about COVID-19 is vital for individuals to stay well and control community spread.  VCH invited him to volunteer as a medical spokesperson on COVID-19 using his command of Chinese languages to provide information and advice to Chinese communities. Through his dedicated service during the pandemic, many Chinese community members experiencing language barriers have benefited.

These services are above and beyond Dr. Ho’s usual work and help B.C. to meet the needs of citizens for COVID-19 information and service gaps. Dr. Ho has provided timely, relevant, and impactful contributions to help address the COVID-19 pandemic.

picture of Dr. Kendall Ho - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Dave Holmberg

Dave Holmberg received the medal for his ongoing volunteer and philanthropic contributions to the city. Dave has been actively involved in dozens of community projects and services including the building of the 10 km Discovery Trail in Abbotsford. He has worked tirelessly for countless fundraising drives, many of which have resulted in bursaries and major equipment and building projects for organizations such as the Salvation Army, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley, Ledgeview Golf and Country Club and the 4-H Club.

Dave’s efforts have resulted in the building of the first free-standing hospice facility in Abbotsford on the Campus of Care. He and his wife, Lee, spearheaded the fundraising activities and contributed significantly through their personal donations after they tragically lost a son to illness in 2011.

Holmberg House, named in memory of Dave Holmberg Jr. is a gift to the city of Abbotsford and was built by the donations and gifts-in-kind from many generous volunteers, staff, civic and provincial governments and community members – but it would not have been possible without Holmberg.  

picture of Dave Holmberg - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Abbotsford
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Christopher Horner

Christopher Horner (gudangaay k’uuk ahl iiwaans) is the Elders Center Coordinator with Old Massett Village Council and provides supports for elders including adults with ability challenges. He has incorporated the food bank into the program that services all of Old Massett, Masset, New Town, Port Clements, and Tow Hill Rd Community. As pantry coordinator under ‘Local Food 2 School’, Christopher teaches life skills and incorporates client participation in support of the program. In his work he is also involved with The Warrior Program (funded through Gwaii Trust and Old Massett Village Council) where he facilitates mental health wellness programming for young and adult men.

Christopher has led the greenhouse and community gardens programs teaching children all aspects of greenhouse operations from planting to harvesting. Through knowledge sharing and intergenerational participation, children learn about building community food stocks and how to grow, harvest and preserve food. They gain skills in canning, jarring, dehydrating, smoking and vacuum sealing. This program was responsible for providing 259 raised garden beds at homes in Old Massett, Masset and New Town and if requested, seeds, education and support with germination, planting and harvesting was provided.

Since the onset of the pandemic Christopher has overseen these programs every week and has chosen to continue working in the evenings and weekends consistently. He always finds time to particpate in evening community meetings, grant proposal writing or whatever is asked of him. 

Chris’ work has made a positive impact on the residents in this community.

picture of Christopher D. Horner - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Masset
  • Region: Northern BC

David Horton

David Horton is one of the directors of the Ness Lake Bible Camp and was immediately put out of work when COVID-19 hit. Rather than sit idly by, he began putting together free events that would be permitted by Northern Health for the entire community.

He started by purchasing and borrowing the equipment needed to put on FM transmitted drive-in movies playing his first free showing on the side of the local Canadian Tire for 200 vehicles. Seeing that his community was hungry for safe ways to gather he started regular movie nights, drive-in trivia and kids drive-in trivia nights. He then offered his technical services to any person or group that needed help to make their events happen. This led to weddings, funerals, church services, bridal showers, birthday parties, graduation ceremonies, annual general meetings and more.

Dave also created three free city wide events (Candy Cruise, The Family Day Adventure Cruise and The Most EGGcellent Cruise) that ranged from a Halloween drive-thru to massive scavenger hunts. These  events combined, engaged hundreds of volunteers, raised over $10,000 for charities, created $75,000 of economic impact, safely entertained over 9,000 participants and gave opportunity for dozens of companies and non-profits to give back to the community safely.

David has to support six children of which four are adopted and one having severe disabilities, so the financial impact has been hard on them. He did not allow his own financial struggles to stop him from spending most of his free time doing events throughout the pandemic.

With the help of a local city councillor and friend, David hosted the first approved outdoor community concert called Rooftop Rock which had over 7,000 attend. In total he hosted 65 free activities and events that were all vetted and approved by Northern Health.

When you consider that in northern B.C. there are not as many opportunities to be around people as there are in the south, we are most fortunate that this gentle and humble man almost single handedly kept the community from feeling much of the isolation and impact that COVID-19 brought with it.

picture of David Horton - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Prince George
  • Region: Cariboo

Patricia Housty

A pillar for the community, Patricia Housty was honoured with the medal for being a generous volunteer, role model and community caretaker within the Heiltsuk First Nation and all of Bella Bella. Patricia has offered many quiet acts of kindness ensuring impoverished families have food and is a powerful mentor and champion for the community’s youth.

After the loss of the community’s grocery store in a fire, Patricia took the lead in having an interim location set up at the United Church building. Thanks to her quick thinking and resourcefulness, the store was back up and running in two days and the residents of Bella Bella were able to shop for food and supplies.

Her service to community and countless hours of volunteering include mentoring youth; serving as a Heiltsuk Tribal Councillor; fundraising for the local basketball team, now the pride of the Heiltsuk First Nation; and facilitating food service for important community gatherings including weddings, funerals and potlatches. Patricia was the first Indigenous person to receive the honour.

picture of Patricia Housty - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Bella Bella
  • Region: Northern BC


Song Hu

Song Hu has daily updated the Chinese community about COVID-19 since March 2020.

When B.C. declared a public health emergency due to COVID-19 the province entered a social lockdown – workplaces, schools, theatres, recreation centres, restaurants were all closed. Any social gathering was banned.

As a realtor in Victoria for many years, Song is deeply-rooted in the community and well-connected with many members of the Chinese community. He immediately identified a great need for comprehensive and ongoing updates on COVID-19 in Chinese. Without delay Song posted the latest statistics and news about COVID-19 on his personal website ( and more widely shared these updates with the Chinese community through the WeChat social media platform.

Song’s computer skills enable him to compile the data into tables that clearly show the number of new cases in different regions in B.C., with a separate table dedicated to Vancouver Island where he lives. His expertise in biochemistry helps him to answer people’s questions about vaccines, treatments, symptoms and variants of COVID-19 virus. More importantly, Song provides timely information on travel rules, latest research on COVID-19 vaccines, and other critical news such as requirements for international travelers, how to get a vaccine passport, quarantine and information for international students.

Song has quietly and dependably updated COVID-19 information, reaching thousands of people who have greatly benefited the Chinese community.

picture of Song Hu - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Saanich
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Fawzan Hussain

Fawzan Hussain is an eighteen year old technology enthusiast, social innovator, and compassionate leader who believes that youth have the power to positively change their communities. He has demonstrated engagement and leadership in his community of Surrey.

Fawzan provides help where it is needed and goes above and beyond in his support. When he saw a call for help from the Neil Squire Society’s Makers Making Change Program looking for 3D printing help, Fawzan self-funded his own 3D Printer.

Fawzan researched and secured a grant from the Government of Canada and TakingITGlobal to purchase 3D printing filament in order to produce 150 assistive devices that were distributed to people with disabilities across North America. These devices are designed to help people with disabilities overcome physical barriers.

By learning about the needs of people with disabilities through his work with Neil Squire Society’s Makers Making Change Program, Fawzan investigated how he could help people using his technical skills. He did an independent research study on the role of technology in helping people with disabilities by creating a prototype brain computer interface. As part of his work he consulted with an expert of the subject, Dr. Gary Birch, a champion of accessibility who works in assistive technologies at the University of British Columbia, the Rick Hansen Institute and the Neil Squire Society.

In September 2019, Fawzan attended the MILSET Expo-Sciences International 2019 in Abu Dhabi, UAE where he showcased his Brain Computer Interface Communication System to youth from around the world. Fawzan also participated in several workshops including one on Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace and represented Canada in the closing ceremonies.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fawzan 3D Printed and delivered 1,545 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) devices to over 30 organizations across British Columbia.

picture of Fawzan Hussain - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: Surrey
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Jack Hutton

Jack Hutton has dedicated 48 years to serving disadvantaged and often marginalized people, while pioneering services for them in the area between Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. The lives of thousands of mentally challenged individuals and troubled youth have been improved because of his work in the Cowichan Valley.

Jack served as the first director of the Duncan Mental Health Centre and had a hand in developing many of the non-profit societies, primarily around youth and mental health support, that have evolved. His greatest legacy has been the establishment of Providence Farm, which uses horticulture as therapy for those with mental health issues. 

Under his leadership, the Vancouver Island Providence Community Association has re-built the farm to provide community-based programs for the disadvantaged, including a seniors’ program, alternate school, community college classes and a therapeutic riding centre which sends riders to the Special Olympics. 

Providence Farm attracts delegate tours from across Canada and Japan, China, Korea and Europe. In 2009 the Sisters of Saint Ann, who had owned the land since 1864, transferred stewardship of the 400-acre parcel of land to the Vancouver Island Providence Community in trust that its mission: to serve disadvantaged and disabled persons, who are not served elsewhere in the community, will continue in perpetuity.

Jack is now working with a group to develop a village at Providence Farm that will have inclusive, multifaceted housing for an integrated community. 

Jack’s contributions to society have been recognized with many awards, including: 

  • Dr. Phillip Long Cup Award from the Vancouver Mental Health Support Society
  • Cowichan Valley Black-Tie Service Award
  • City of Duncan Scroll of Honour and the Heritage Days award for his commitment to rescuing and restoring buildings at St. Ann’s School and Providence Farm
  • Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • Rotary Club Service Award for exemplary service
  • In 2019 the Vancouver Island Providence Community Association received the B.C. & North region Canada Volunteer Award for Social Innovation

picture of Jack Hutton - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Duncan
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast


Gayle Ireland

Gayle Ireland has proven to be an outstanding leader in the community as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gayle has been president at the Goldstream Food Bank for 20 years, and a volunteer for more than 35 years. Her unwavering dedication to the community has never been demonstrated more than this past year and a half when unforeseen challenges arose during the COVID-19 global pandemic. As quoted by Gayle herself, “We have to keep calm and carry on.” Despite the unknown of where the pandemic was headed, Gayle altered the regular operations of the food bank to ensure the safety of both clients and food bank volunteers by adhering to all B.C. health regulations and guidelines.

Under Gayle’s leadership, the need to continue and provide food to those suffering financial hardship was immediately identified. Campaigning for community and municipal support was increased to guarantee they could sustain its charitable service during the pandemic. It is estimated that more than 6,000 food hampers have been provided during the period of the pandemic. Her success was exhibited in never having to shut the food bank’s doors or turn anyone away.

Between Gayle’s organizational skills, immense compassion for the community and the extraordinary team of more than 50 volunteers, the Goldstream Food Bank is unstoppable. Gayle Ireland has displayed outstanding leadership in such unprecedented times.

picture of Gayle Ireland - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Langford
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Cole Izsak

In 2004 Cole Izsak was deported to Vancouver from the United States where he had lived for 41 years. Cole arrived in B.C. with $20 and absolutely nothing else. He had never been to Vancouver and didn’t know anyone here. Ultimately, addiction and homelessness brought him to his knees and in 2011, he finally surrendered and sought rehabilitation.

Cole was so fully committed to change that, at six months clean, he borrowed $5,000 from his family, rented a home, and recruited other recovering addicts to come live with him as he pursued a better life through abstinence. Seven homes and 1,600 clients later, Cole is now the owner/operator of Back On Track Recovery and is nearly 10 years clean.

Most of Cole’s clients come from the Downtown Eastside or jail, and all are on welfare or disability. He often takes clients in with no funding and his 65 beds are accessible to a segment of society who otherwise could never afford the quality of service Back On Track provides.

Hundreds of young men have turned their lives around because of Cole’s guidance and inspiration. He ensures they get medical/dental attention, reunites them with family, encourages them to pursue their education and/or career training and supports them as they venture life on life’s terms. Back On Track Recovery is fully licensed with the city and registered with the Ministry of Health.

Cole has risen from the depths of despair to a place where he can be an inspiration to others who might wish to take his extended hand of friendship toward a better life through recovery.

picture of Cole Izsak - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: Surrey
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest


Guul Jiit Jaad

Guul Jiit Jaad (Bernie Williams) is a long-time Downtown Eastside (DTES) resident, artist and activist. She is a passionate advocate and rallies against the discrimination, abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking and exploitation of Indigenous women and girls. Guul Jiit Jaad was an integral part of initiating the Women's Memorial March in 1992, now held annually on February 14. This grassroots event honours and remembers the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous woman and girls. Thanks to her dedication to keeping the memories and legacies of these women alive, the event now draws thousands of marchers every year.

She also co-founded Walk4Justice in 2006, an organization that creates awareness about the escalating violence toward Indigenous women and girls and gives a voice to their families. The organization brought national awareness to the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls all across Canada, with a particular focus on the often forgotten Highway of Tears and Vancouver's DTES. The organizers and volunteers have walked across Canada calling for action on seven occassions so far, and have walked from Vancouver to Prince Rupert three times, calling specific attention to the Highway of Tears. One of the most significant projects that Guul Jiit Jaad created while mentoring nine women from the DTES was the Survival Pole, which was unveiled in 2016 at Pigeon Park. The pole represents survival and healing from social and racial injustice and symbolized the community's struggle for survival and inclusion. It has become a symbol of unity to bring all cultures together.

Additionally, Guul Jiit Jaad is well known in the community at a local level for giving back to others. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Guul Jiit Jaad has lead a team of volunteers making home cooked meals to feed people who are homeless in the DTES. Guul Jiit Jaad and her team are known as the Moccassin Mafia, and provide food for hundreds of people a night or 6000 meals a month for those living in the DTES and surrounding areas. Since March 2020, when the DTES community and surrounding areas began being devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with current housing, gender based violence and overdose crises, she has committed her life's work to frontline service, searching for missing family members throughout the DTES and lower mainland.

Guul Jiit Jaad persists in the fight to bring an end to the ongoing suffering and effects of colonization, patriarchy, misogyny, gender-based violence, exploitation, Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, and the ongoing intentional genocide of Indigenous people. Her involvement has had a profound impact on people beyond just the DTES, spanning across B.C. and Canada. Her passion for helping women and girls and her determination to lift them up, to support them in living their lives without fear of violence, is done without expectation of recognition. She is a Haida warrior who fights with all her heart. We need to see more people like her, whose leadership is selfless and exemplifies the meaning of paying it forward to those who have been left behind, silenced and unloved, but are never forgotten.

picture of Guul Jiit Jaad - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Jasper Johnston


Donna Kane

Donna Kane is a highly regarded writer and thinker within Canada’s arts network and is recognized nationally for project excellence. In 2017, in her position as Executive Director of the Peace Liard Regional Arts Council, she initiated and carried out a trio of 75th Anniversary Alaska Highway Arts projects and events that demonstrated her ongoing commitment to building regional community and establishing links with the provincial and national arts scenes.

The three projects were:

  1. The Alaska Highway song writing contest and CD, which engaged regional musicians and was showcased in communities along the highway.
  2. Multi-community readings by author Lawrence Hill (The Book of Negroes) who travelled the highway researching African American soldiers’ involvement in its construction.
  3. “Emergence”, a new piece of public art made from a six-tonne trencher used to dig ditches for the highway in 1942. Permanently displayed next to the Dawson Creek Art Gallery, “Emergence” was a collaborative work by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists.

Donna possesses an enormous commitment, work ethic, innovative mind and modesty in fostering community. This is combined with her ability to connect the rural and remote northeast region of B.C. with the provincial and national arts and culture world. She has greatly influenced rural and remote peoples to take ownership of their interwoven unique heritage and embrace ‘place.’

Donna spent 15 years as Northern Lights College Foundation’s executive director and is presently Peace Liard Regional Arts Council’s executive director, part time positions that she converted into more than full time work with huge volunteer hours and passion.

Donna Kane has an exceptional dedication to discover community potential and empower ownership through arts and culture. She exemplifies the good citizen who enhances community through acting both as external ambassador and internal catalyst for the Peace and Northern Rockies Districts.

picture of Donna Kane- BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: Rolla
  • Region:  Northern BC

Renée Katz & Dr. Stan Shaw

When COVID-19 hit, the Jewish Food Bank saw an immediate and dramatic rise in demand for food from seniors and families. It was clear from the start that the existing facilities could not meet the demand for and frequency of food distributions. Renée Katz and her co-chair, Dr. Stan Shaw, immediately took on the task of finding proper space to expand the program and applied their professional expertise to oversee the planning, renovations, permit applications and facility set up.  Over an eight-month period Renée was the public face of the project with civic officials and licensing staff while at the same time maintaining her own architectural practice while Stan was the liaison between the staff and the volunteers.

Not only did Renée and Stan take on the responsibility for this project, they provided extensive professional services at no cost. The beautiful new space opened in March 2021. As a result, the Jewish Food Bank has gone from distributing food from a small cramped space in a rented facility that had to be set up on a weekly basis, to having a purpose built, fully integrated food centre with a large warehouse and loading bay, a kosher kitchen, a children’s play space and offices for professional staff.

This inviting new space not only enables Jewish Family Services to serve many more clients, it can now offer a range of other programs and services to support families and seniors and expand both their social and nutritional options.

This new space, called the “Kitchen” has become a flagship program in the Jewish community and could have never happened without the hard work and untold volunteer hours freely given by Dr. Stan Shaw and Renée Katz.

picture of Renée Katz - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

picture of Dr. Stan Shaw - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Aditi Kini

During the past year, people have struggled to keep their jobs, families have worked hard to make ends meet, businesses have grappled to survive, and kids have faced the challenges of new teaching methods and restricted interactions in cohorts. Despite these odds, high school student Aditi Kini has helped several affected communities through her mission to make a difference in her local community.

In the past year, Aditi has helped several affected communities impacted by COVID-19 through her implementation of 17 plus service-related projects raising around $50,000 to help hundreds of individuals and families in the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour community, Indigenous youth in Northern B.C., school districts, the SPCA, hospitals, homeless shelters and single moms across B.C. Furthermore, she started a sandwich making initiative at her school Seaquam Secondary, to provide meals for the homeless.

An example of her initiative is when she partnered with a local SPCA location to aid in their efforts to accommodate their increase of abandoned animals during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, she virtually mobilized a team of youth who worked tirelessly to purchase quality food alongside various other items and find suitable storage sheds to help prevent food wastage.

In addition, Aditi learned that due to COVID-19, hospitals were not allowing visitors to see patients, impacting their mental health and recovery. To counteract this, Aditi purchased, designed, packaged, and delivered entertainment packages consisting of puzzles, sudoku, word searches, amongst other things, to keep patients in the Royal Columbian Hospital happy and their minds engaged.

Moreover, she has set up a not-for-profit organization, “The New Horizons Foundation”. Her first global initiative was to raise funds to provide e-learning opportunities and basic sanitary supplies to 12 schools in Southern India to promote girls’ attendance in schools. Aditi has built several networks with partner charitable organizations to support her post-pandemic cause.

Aditi currently mentors and guides youth to identify opportunities to make a difference and connects them with organizations that require support. She is a role model for reflected servant leadership, exceptional attitude and perseverance. She inspires people around her to never stop giving.

picture of Aditi J. Kini - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Surrey
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest


Esther Lang

Esther Lang defines good citizenship and is a volunteer extraordinaire. She has a remarkable pulse on her community and on the world around her and respects the rights and values of others.

Esther has chaired and currently chairs a number of non-profit and charitable organizations. She spent seven years on the board of the local Thompson View Manor Society, a home for elders. She is active in her local church and in overseas missions. She is currently chair of the local Community Resources Society and Community Christmas Food Hamper program.

Esther worked tirelessly to ensure that no one fell between the gaps during the pandemic. She was an integral part of establishing the COVID-19 Care Helpline. This collaboration of local community organizations joined together and created a call-line where people in need could get connected with the help they required such as grocery pickups, a listening ear and prescription pick-ups. Esther not only helped to answer the phone line and attend the regular roundtable, but she also headed a network of volunteers who provided countless services for those in need. Throughout the pandemic, she has been a lifeline for elders and persons with special needs. She respects and cares for people where they are at and gets them connected to the things they need to thrive.  She does all this while she is an elder herself.

Where some may have opted to cut corners or not to try at all because of COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, Esther instead spends the time researching, crossing her “Ts" and dotting her "Is". She finds a way to fill the needs and gaps within safety restrictions and guidelines.

Esther steps up time and time again and does so much for so many with a wonderfully humble attitude.

picture of Esther Lang - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Ashcroft
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan

Michael O. Langridge

Michael Langridge is an adult with an intellectual disability, born in BC and currently residing in Victoria. I have known Michael for 12 years. He has successfully overcome many challenges to become an active and successful member of his community.

Michael's early community involvement began as a Navy Cadet. He proved to be an eager volunteer in all fundraising activities, most notably the annual Poppy Drive. Michael reached the rank of Petty Officer 2, a significant achievement for someone with with limited spoken and written communication skills. Michael received the Commander's Cup, a prestigious award given to cadets who best exemplify the values and standards of the Navy Cadet program. 

Michael's affiliation with the military came also through his brother's service in the Canadian Forces. Unfortunately, his brother suffered PTSD and took his own life. In the face of great loss, Michael channeled his emotions and is supportive of efforts by the Royal Canadian Legion to raise awareness of issues surrounding PTSD. Michael recently needed to downsize. Through the Military Family Resource Centre, he donated many items including his most precious possession, the big screen TV his brother had bought on his return from Afghanistan. Each year, Michael stands proudly at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day and helps his ‘Silver Cross’ mother lay the wreath that honours his brother and all those who have served their country. 

From 2007 to 2012, Michael was a Director on the board of People First of Canada, a national non-profit organization for people with intellectual disabilities who support each other to claim their right to be recognized as full citizens. Michael volunteered for the organization for over six years.

Michael's leadership and dedication led him to join the advisory board of Community Living British Columbia (South Island Community Council) from 2009 to 2016. The group's mission is to encourage, inspire, lead and support inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of the community. Michael was a role model to young people transitioning out of the system, showing them how to become involved in their community. Finally he served as Vice-Chair of the Community Council and was being nominated for Chair of Council but his term was ending.

Michael joined the Special Olympics 15 years ago. The organization provides sports programs for people with intellectual disabilities so they can develop physical fitness, life skills and friendships. Michael gives back to Special Olympics by volunteering for its fundraising activities such as "Free the Fuzz", "Staples Give a Toonie" and "Torch Run", and is frequently the DJ at Special Olympics dances. 

Michael's sport performance won him a place on Team Canada where he represented British Columbia and Canada at the 2017 International Special Olympics Games in Austria. He is extremely proud that he wore the Canada flag, just as his brother did overseas. He won two Gold medals for Canada. That fall Michael travelled to Parliament Hill where he was honoured along with the Team by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Sports and Persons with Disabilities. 

In 2018 Michael was the proud recipient of the provincial Athletic Achievement Award from Special Olympics B.C. He was described as; “A great teammate and an inspiring leader.”

picture of Michael Langridge - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

The Laur Family (Darren, Beth and Brandon)

For over ten years, Darren, Beth and Brandon Laur, known as “The White Hatters”, have visited more than 350 schools throughout B.C. and Canada, and just about 100 schools in the U.S.A. (connecting with just over 430,000 students in total), to share their pro-active message of social media safety and digital literacy with students, principals, teachers, school counsellors, parents and law enforcement officials. 

Even though the Laur family run a for- profit company, they spend hundreds of voluntary hours every year assisting schools, tweens, teens, parents and law enforcement with information and guidance when it comes to everything and anything to do with safety, security and privacy as it relates to the digital world. 

Never did the Laur family expect their company to become a digital outreach to those who they present to, but it has. To date, the Laur family have been directly involved in 183 successful interventions of teens who have connected with them with cyberbullying or sexting gone wrong challenges, and who were considering, or in the process of self-harming or suicide. 

All this outreach has been done free of any financial or material gain. Every year a portion of the Laur family business profits are given back to the community, to help financially support two not-for-profit organizations that are dedicated to helping youth in need when it comes to bullying and suicide prevention – Need2 and Bullying Ends Here. The Laur family believe they are a for profit company, striving to do well, by doing good things for others in their community.

The Laur family makes the following promise in all their presentations at schools, "If there is any student or young adult in the audience who is online and needs help, and you don’t know who to connect with, you can connect with us and we will help, and if we can’t, we know someone who can." This is why the Laur family will take phone calls, emails and text messages anytime day or night, and all this is done on their own time and at no cost. The Laur family also dedicates hundreds of hours every year to students who would like help in securing their social networks. To date thousands of students, and even teachers and parents from across British Columbia have taken Darren, Beth and Brandon up on this offer.

picture of Brandon Laur - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: Langford
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Peter Lawless

Peter Lawless was honoured with the medal for being a passionate advocate for sport as a means to transform community and his leadership and dedication has been vital to numerous initiatives becoming reality.

While his accomplishments are many, SoldierOn is one program where he has made a specific and notable difference. When hearing about this Canadian Forces program that assists ill and or injured members in their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration through sport, Peter, the vice president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, used his sports experience and connections, as well as the facilities in the Victoria area, to create a meaningful sport experience for these military members.

Peter set up a multisport camp that hosted over 30 athletes from across the country. He connected the military athletes with high-performance coaches from the Paralympic Team and arranged for fully funded access to Victoria’s high-performance training centre with financial assistance from PacificSport Victoria.

He next volunteered to coach for the 2016 lnvictus Games in Florida. He facilitated free access to the new high-performance training centre in Toronto and arranged for various Olympic Champions to give motivational talks and coaching to the Canadian lnvictus team.

Upon his return from lnvictus Games in 2016, he arranged for every single B.C.-based athlete to receive a Bravo Zulu commendation from the admiral in command of Maritime Forces Pacific. His passion, enthusiasm and success further resulted in him being asked to be the head coach for the entire 2017 Canadian team.

picture of Peter Lawless - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Peggy Lee

Peggy Lee is a humanitarian and role model who broke both gender and race barriers. Despite the societal obstacles that lay in her path, she remained patriotic and went on to help make Canada and British Columbia a better place.

Her volunteer spirit showed itself early when, during the Second World War, she volunteered with the Women’s Ambulance Corp (St. John Ambulance Women’s Corp in Canada). At the age of 19 she was the youngest member of the only all-Chinese Women Platoon in Canada. Her war efforts have in recent times served as examples of the diversity that helped win the war. In 2008 she was a panelist along with Major Harjit Sajjan, now Canada’s Minister of National Defence, in a veteran’s multicultural event called Unity within Diversity at the Vancouver Public Library. 

But more significantly for Canadians, war contributions like those of Peggy and other Chinese Canadian veterans, helped change attitudes and ultimately gain Chinese Canadians their full citizenship rights with the passing of the 1947 Canadian Citizenship Act.

Raising four children, including triplets, starting her first salon at age 17, and growing a hairdressing and beauty business to four salons in Vancouver, charity remained close to her heart. She devoted hours to organizations like Variety-The Children's Charity, Canuck Place and helped raise money for the African Pikin Foundation to promote education and build schools in Sierra Leone. She co-founded the Vancouver Chinese Canadian Activity Centre Society, which over the course of her 36-year involvement, went on to build a daycare and seniors’ residence serving Chinese Canadians. For 28 years she volunteered first as one of the original directors and then sat on the Board of the Chishaun Housing Society, which operates Oakridge House, a high quality residence for low income seniors. She is a founding member and active fundraiser for the Chinese Canadian Military Museum Society, the only museum in Canada devoted to Chinese Canadian Veterans’ history.

Her contributions have been featured in books and documentaries that highlight the contributions of Chinese Canadians during the Second World War, including The Power and the Grace: WWII, Heroes Remembered, The Memory Project, Chinatown: Then and Now; and Celebration: Chinese Canadian Legacies in British Columbia. She was also one of the veterans photographed in the travelling exhibit One War. Two Victories shown in the War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario and the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, BC. 

An abbreviated list of awards and recognitions given to Mrs. Lee include: the Variety Telethon fundraising trophy for Canuck Place; Variety Clubs International Life patron trophy; and a recognition certificate from Prime Minister Stephen Harper for her selfless acts of service and sacrifice during the Second World War in defence of Canada and our shared values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

picture of Peggy Lee - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City:  North Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Joan LeMoine

Joan LeMoine was honoured with the medal for her contribution to many Parksville organizations and events touching a range of citizens from young people with special needs to senior citizens living alone, as well as to those looking for family fun.

Her service to community and countless hours of volunteering include working with organizations such as:

  • The Society of Organized Services (SOS)
  • Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock fundraising campaign
  • Branch 49 of the Royal Canadian Legion
  • Tim Hortons Camp Day fundraising campaign, which helps send children with special needs to camp
  • Coffee with Council, which provides an opportunity to spend one-on-one time with the Mayor or council members

Through the Oceanside Community Safety Volunteers, she calls seniors living alone to ensure their well-being and offer friendly conversation.

Among her many other contributions, Joan was also instrumental in re-establishing the Parksville Beach Festival Society that now organizes a world-famous sand-sculpting event. She and her late husband helped form the Parksville Beach Festival Society in 1999 and convinced the city that a family-friendly event would be, once again, viable. Last summer, the festival broke all attendance records with more than 104,400 people from all over the world attending.

Joan put in countless hours over her 15 years as volunteer co-ordinator of the society and helped grow its solvency. Today the society diverts a portion of ticket sales to other philanthropic groups and, to date, close to $350,000 has been distributed to other non-profits and community projects.

picture of Joan LeMonie - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Parksville
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

James Lester

When the pandemic began many people and organizations found it nearly impossible to source the alcohol-based cleaners and hand sanitizers they needed. James Lester, co-owner of Sons of Vancouver distillery, immediately recognized the role that he could play in this situation.

He saw there was a shortage of hand sanitizer in North Vancouver and how it was affecting care facilities and first responders. His company had the ability to produce sanitation grade alcohol. James had been contacted by a needle exchange, care homes, women’s shelters, municipalities and others asking for help. His dilemma was that producing it would technically not be in compliance with the law. The sense of urgency he felt around the issue caused him to advocate and push hard in all the ways that he could. Fortunately in the days that followed, provincial and federal leaders made the necessary changes for production.

Soon Sons of Vancouver was not only producing sanitation grade alcohol and hand sanitizer, but also giving it away for free to the public and organizations across the region. They hosted sidewalk giveaways to allow individuals and families to get free hand sanitizer every week and partnered with local grocers to sell bottles of hand sanitizer to raise money for Lions Gate Hospital. The local constituency office distributed thousands of litres of hand sanitizer to child care providers and non-profit organizations.

Throughout this process, James never demanded nor expected any gratitude or attention in return for his business’s generosity. Even tax receipts for donations in kind from eligible charitable organizations were an afterthought for him and his team. He has since returned Sons of Vancouver to the core business of liquor production, but countless individuals and organizations benefited from the rapid pivot he made at the start of the pandemic.

picture of James Lester - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: North Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Ping Li

People in need have been assisted through Ping Li’s consistent and outstanding volunteer work since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Even before the first wave of the pandemic was officially declared in B.C., Ping was part of a group of volunteers that provided support for those in self-isolation after travelling, such as airport transportation to their home and food drop-offs.

After the start of the lockdown, Ping was inspired to contact local grocery stores and bakeries for food donations and organized bi-weekly food pick-up and drop-offs to receiving charity sites. She organized multiple groups to help distribute the donated food in two different ways. She had one group organize the food donations into family sized boxes filled with some perishable and non-perishable products that were then delivered to families and people in need. Another group met bi-weekly at her home to prepare, cook and package perishable foods such as sandwiches, rice boxes, wraps and stews. The prepared foods were then delivered to homeless shelters, Downtown Eastside homeless people and to health care workers for lunch. This started in May 2020 and she has not missed a week since.

Ping has never stopped working and has now provided more than 20,000 meals since the pandemic began.

picture of Ping Li - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Dr. Imogene Lim

Imogene Lim is a Vancouver Island University professor who has achieved numerous accomplishments as an educator and community activist. For the past two decades, she has established herself as a strong voice for heritage, especially for communities who lack representation in the current population. On her path to activism she has maintained a focus on issues of diversity and equity.

As a descendant of a Chinese head-tax payer, Imogene advocates for social justice through the lens of Chinese Canadian history. She advocated for lands now known as Coal Creek Historic Park in Cumberland that encompassed the former Chinatown and #1 Japanese Town. She was recognized as a “Present-Day Pioneer” in a Themed Issue of The Scrivener Magazine, 2002 and in that same year was presented with a Ruth Masters Hero Spoon, awarded to those who help their community, for her advocacy and community activism.

In Nanaimo, Imogene collaborated with a team of community members to create one of the city’s first heritage plaques, Nanaimo’s Chinatowns that represented the voices of the earliest Chinese Canadians. Through her community engagement in places on Vancouver Island and beyond, she has been sought as a board and committee member, locally, regionally and provincially. Often, she is the lone voice outside of larger metropolitan areas and reminds her colleagues that when speaking about the province, it is more than Vancouver or Victoria.

Imogene, in 2017, co-developed a travelling exhibit, 150 Years and Counting: Fighting for Justice on the Coast. In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, she is collaborating on a project with Nanaimo Museum, Nanaimo Community Archives, and Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives on Central Vancouver Island: Racism in Our Communities (working title). Her community engaged activism continues to bring silenced histories and stories of marginalized peoples to light.

picture of Dr. Imogene Lim - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: Nanaimo
  • Region:  Vancouver Island/Coast

Beverly Lore

The Bayview Market has operated for more than 60 years as a local grocer in rural and remote Port Clements, Haida Gwaii. Beverly Lore was an employee when she purchased the store in 2008 because she wanted to keep it locally owned and operated. This personal dedication to community has meant that the Bayview is not just a grocery store, but the hub of the community.

Beverley recognized the risk her employees took every day being on the front lines during COVID-19 and immediately increased wages.

Bev and the Bayview are icons of community spirit. Through it, Beverly sponsors community, sporting and church events and has helped purchase playground equipment for Port Clements’ children.

Bev provided free grocery delivery service to seniors and the frail. Since COVID-19 hit, all Bayview customers receive this service. At the peak of COVID-19 Bev and her family were providing free delivery service to other communities as far away as Masset, 40 km to the north and Tlell, 25 km to the south.

There are no pharmacies in Port Clements so the Bayview serves as a prescription pick-up location. Prescriptions are delivered to the store where they are held for residents to claim. This valuable community service allows vulnerable people to live in their home community longer.

When delivery drivers can’t find an address or no one is home to receive a package in Port Clements, Bev will accept parcels for people through the store – again without asking for anything in return.

In the very early days of COVID-19, Bev set up a hand-washing station outside her store, complete with warm water. Her community spirit shone through this dark time as she provided lyrics for people to sing while they washed their hands. Spirited acts like this are the essence of Beverly Lore.

picture of Beverly Lore - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Port Clements
  • Region: Northern BC

Chief M. Jason Louie

Chief Jason Louie was first elected as Chief of the Lower Kootenay Band in 2010. Currently serving his third term as leader of the Ktunaxa people, he is known as a strong leader dedicated to building an economy where his people are self-sufficient, while retaining harmony with Ktunaxa traditions and values. 

Born in Creston, Louie has worked collaboratively to build positive relationships with neighbouring communities and the Regional District of Central Kootenay. Through his commitment and persistence, Louie has developed a friendship between the Ktunaxa people and their neighbours.

Louie’s welcoming policy invites select individuals to share in the experiences and culture of the Lower Kootenay Band to participate alongside him, his family and the Ktunaxa people–in even the most sacred ceremonies.

For over 30 years, Louie has been involved with the Lower Kootenay Band Annual Pow Wow, one of the few remaining Pow Wows in North America. He also organizes and participates in many Ktunaxa youth initiatives and is passionate about preserving the Ktunaxa language. 

Louie is well respected for his openness about his personal struggle with PTSD and depression and is a tireless advocate for mental health awareness. He regularly leads traditional ceremonies for First Nation people living with mental illness and addictions. 

Louie is known for his open and respectful dialogue between the Lower Kootenay Band, the Town of Creston, the Regional District of Central Kootenay, the RCMP, Canadian and US Border Services and a wide variety of volunteer groups and community service organizations in the Creston Valley. 

Louie served his country in the Canadian Armed Forces, Army Reserve, from 2004–2012. In honour of his many contributions and achievements, Louie received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, and in 2013 was a recipient of a British Columbia Community Achievement Award.

Under Louie’s leadership the Lower Kootenay Band has made some important acquisitions. In 2015, the Band acquired Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort, bringing traditional lands back into the community and providing local jobs. Through an Incremental Treaty Agreement, the Band has also acquired 475 acres of lakefront property on Kootenay Lake. 

Other positive developments under Louie’s leadership include a $1.5 million water system for the Band; construction of a $1.5 million addition to the Yaqan Nukiy school, over $300,000 in renovations to Lower Kootenay Band housing units, construction of a traditional Round House in the Ktunaxa community and a farming program to raise and produce beef for community food stores.

Louie has also been a driving force in the development of a health facilities building and an alcohol and drug treatment centre to serve the Lower Kootenay Band. 

Above all, Chief Louie is passionate about creating a future in which the Lower Kootenay Band become equal citizens, in a province and country that includes and recognizes First Nations Peoples as autonomous neighbours, within the traditional lands that we all call home.

picture of Chief M. Jason Louie - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Creston
  • Region: Kootenay


Farouq Manji

For more than three decades Farouq Manji has provided voluntary service to the Ismaili Muslim community in the lower mainland. He has worked tirelessly alongside internal and external stakeholders to further the community and its relationship with the people who live in these cities. Volunteerism has been a key value instilled in him from his family and being a part of the Ismaili community. He has led initiatives such as Ismaili CIVIC that yearly sees Ismailis give back to the broader community by volunteering at food banks, cleaning up the shoreline or planting trees. During the pandemic, Ismaili CIVIC sewed over 3000 cloth face masks and donated a collection of over 2000 lbs of food to local food banks.

Farouq has spearheaded initiatives at the community level that foster and encourage open dialogue inviting senior government and civic leaders to participate in thoughtful debates on Islamophobia, civic engagement, art and its contribution to the world, and academia and its role in lifelong learning. Farouq shows pride and pleasure in innovating new ideas and working collaboratively as a team to deliver on them.

Farouq is the Chief Marketing Officer for Sleep Shop, a family owned and operated retail business that was established in 1979. Mental health and the importance of sleep are key to what drives his passion for the business. Knowing that poor sleep and sleep disorders lead to an impaired quality of life, Farouq initiated an awareness campaign and partnered with UBC’s Sleep Disorders Clinic where his team was trained to understand the issues associated with sleep.

The impact of mental health on people and communities is also important. Farouq spent close to two years giving time and knowledge to a working group through the Canadian Mental Health Association’s B.C. Division. Farouq has also served on several committees including the United Way’s Success by Six campaign and several Ismaili Walk campaigns.

picture of Farouq Manji - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: Richmond
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Andrei Marti

In 2018, when he was only nine, Andrei Marti received the National Philanthropy Day for Youth in Philanthropy award, age 5-11, for the second time. Andrei’s accomplishment is certainly noteworthy. He is raising thousands of dollars as a City of Victoria busker by turning handstands at the rate of a dollar per minute for tourists on Government Street. His mission is to raise awareness about Type One Diabetes and raise funds for a local children’s charity “Help Fill A Dream” as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

Never to miss an opportunity, Andrei spoke comfortably during his acceptance speech, using a metaphor to issue a fundraising challenge. His engaging words sparked an invitation for his participation in the Power of Youth: Giving Hearts Workshop, which is aimed at inspiring youth and philanthropy. In 2019 at this event, Andrei inspired 220 of his peers at the Oak Bay Secondary School theatre to use the $100 Canada Helps charitable gift cards they had been given on one of the approximately 80,000 Canada Revenue Agency approved charities.

At such a young age, Andrei has already raised over $50,000 for local charities that help children and youth. Each year Andrei challenges others to match $500 to the charity of his choice, which is often Help Fill a Dream Foundation. Andrei gives freely of his time and talents, inspiring others, as he fundraises.

Turning handstands is not the only arrow that Andrei has in his fundraising quiver. Andrei has an incredible can-do attitude. He also collects bottles, creates crafts and goods to sell, and speaks to youth and adults. With all that he does, it’s easy to imagine Andrei achieving his dream of raising a ton of money to improve the quality of life for others.

Andrei’s service to his community has lead to the establishment of the Andrei Marti Inspiring Community Leadership award. Each year, the scholarship bursary is presented to a Camosun College student to assist with the cost of post-secondary schooling. This is a befitting honour for Andrei who has given so much to his community.

picture of Andrei Marti - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: Saanichton
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Nicholas Marsden

Stan McCarthy

Stan McCarthy was a great community-minded citizen, dedicating many years to the protection of his community. When Williams Lake and 150 Mile House were hit by wildfires in 2017, McCarthy went above and beyond what was required to help anywhere and in any way he could to protect citizens, homes and local structures.

McCarthy was the fire chief for the 150 Mile House Volunteer Fire Department. He’s been a pillar of the 150 Mile community since the 1970s. He was one of the founding members of the fire department and has been the fire department's chief since the 1990s.

During this time, McCarthy helped create a vibrant fire department focused on community service and constant improvement. He advocated for and led the department through professional training and certification for members. This ensured their safety and at the same time, provided a professionally trained core of volunteers ready to respond to the community.

Training now includes the National Fire Protection Agency's 1001 accredited training standard, an accomplishment that many volunteer fire departments do not achieve. McCarthy was also one of the first leaders to see the need to add medical aid for the community and started the fire department’s medical first responder program.

McCarthy also organized social activities. He helped create a skating rink at the fire hall that the community has enjoyed for two decades, and he plowed the rink after every snowfall so members of the community could take full advantage of it. Since 1982, McCarthy  led the fire department in the annual Halloween event. It has now grown into a large community-focused celebration where McCarthy ran the BBQ and served hot dogs to residents and provided treats for the children.

McCarthy was one of the responding members who travelled to Kelowna to assist the province in the emergency response during the 2003 firestorm. In 2017, he once again faced a firestorm, this time for five weeks in his own community. He led the department through this challenging time ensuring all fire department members’ needs were met while protecting citizens of the community, along with their homes.

McCarthy reached out to the community and offered extra help wherever possible ensuring the little things were looked after while managing the huge responsibilities that came with the fire response efforts. Notably, he initiated efforts to help the community's animal population left behind during the evacuation by arranging for food and water to be delivered by fire department members.

McCarthy's ability to see the big picture and ensure the fire department's high level of training and professionalism saved the community in its darkest hours. Its members were able to use their training to respond and indeed excel, during the long weeks of fire response that summer. Because of McCarthy's foresight and vision, the fire department was able to thrive during the fire event and keep the community safe. 

picture of Stan McCarthy - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: 150 Mile House
  • Region: Cariboo

Wayne McGill

Jeffery McLellan

During COVID-19, “I Love Port Moody” on Facebook became a resource for isolated and elderly people. Jeff McLellan, who ran the site, always stepped up to the plate to help anyone by picking things up for them, taking them places, or simply being there to talk. He started fundraisers in the community to help those with lost income and encouraged residents to “shop local.” He posted about local restaurants, suppliers to purchase from, and encouraged the community to support local food trucks so the merchants would survive. Jeff's connected network also engaged volunteers and local business to help build a new sustainable garden on the community's oldest resident's property.

Jeff also started a fundraiser for SHARE and picked up and delivered hanging baskets to raise money for the food bank.

Jeff does so much more for the City of Port Moody than anyone sees or even knows. Over the holidays, he and his daughter Madison dressed up in Christmas gear, supplied the sound system and music, and sang carols outside the hospital for staff and patients. He is on many committees to further the betterment of Port Moody and still finds time to promote local business and be involved in almost every activity, event or promotion that encourages a sense of community.

Jeff's heart, energy and kindness kept the community going, and we will forever be grateful to this absolutely incredible man, with energy and the time for everyone. If you ask him why he does all this, he simply states, “Because I can.”

picture of Jeffery McLellan - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Port Moody
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Robert (Bob) McMinn

Bob McMinn is a community builder, leader, benefactor, conservationist, negotiator, innovator and super-volunteer whose record of community service would be hard to equal for duration, depth and diversity.

Bob’s community leadership began in the 1960s, when the area now known as the District of Highlands, a beautiful, rugged, wooded region at the southwest corner of Vancouver Island’s Saanich Peninsula, was threatened by development.

With a vision of protecting the area as greenspace for the benefit of the whole Capital Region, Bob gathered a group of like-minded residents in 1967 and founded the Highlands District Community Association. Over the following years, Bob led the drafting of a land use plan for the district and the study that led to incorporation in 1993. He was the District’s first mayor.

Bob organized the Highlands Heritage Park Society, which restored the 1883 Caleb Pike homestead and reconstructed the 1893 Highlands Schoolhouse to provide community gathering places, and built the Highlands Museum to showcase the district’s history. He started the Highlands Parks and Recreation Association and was founding chair of the Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society (GVGS).

GVGS began its initiative to acquire Mary Lake as a nature sanctuary in 2009. Bob was not only chief negotiator, but brought worldwide attention to the cause as the “octogenarian who Tweets.” Now GVGS, which Bob chairs, is partnering with Tsartlip First Nation to develop the sanctuary as a teaching place for fusing Indigenous wisdom with western scientific knowledge.

During 53 years of community service, Bob has contributed more than half a million dollars in land, cash and materials and put in tens of thousands of volunteer hours to conserve greenspace and promote community relations. At age 96, Bob still serves on a council committee and the boards of all the societies he founded.

picture of Robert (Bob) McMinn- BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: Victoria
  • Region:  Vancouver Island/Coast

Niis Miou (Travis Angus)

Niis Miou (Travis Angus) is a Nisga’a Two-Spirit Indigenous person, a single foster parent of three young aboriginal children. He has lived in Vancouver for many years, and now lives in south Vancouver and has a close relationship with the area’s Indigenous community of approximately 50 plus families.

At the start of COVID-19 Niis saw food security needs for the Indigenous families and his immediate neighbours. There was limited access to transportation, extreme stress and anxiety of the unknown, the uncertainty and fear of leaving their homes so single parents with young children were homebound and elderly people were not able to use transit. Niis addressed these needs by providing non-perishables from his own pantry and fresh vegetables from his own backyard garden as he continued to offer support to families to help their day go by with ease. 

After finding out about Niis’ endeavours to offer a hand up to community and neighbours, in April 2020, South Vancouver Neighbourhood House (SVNH) approached Niis to inquire about the needs in his neighbourhood. This became a partnership where Niis was the voice of the community and bridge between families and SVNH resources  through trust building, consistent communication and support to his neighbours during these very difficult times.

In the first week, five Indigenous families were identified and food hampers prepared by SVNH and distributed by Niis. He continued reaching out to his neighbours that could use the hand up instead of just a hand out.  It became clear for him for SVNH to assist the families in the community, a trusting relationship needed to be quickly built within the diversity of the neighbourhood.  Every week, Niis dropped off SVNH flyers about resources while continuing to reach out and support families in the community. Niis then built on the relationship by having conversations about resources that SVNH was providing. He recognized that without cultural understanding, consistency and trust, he was not going to make any headway in providing food.

As the relationships with the neighbours grew stronger, the food program expanded to 40 plus families.  SVNH food hampers were personalized according to cultural and dietary needs reflecting the deeper understanding of the community.

Niis stands as a symbol of service for his Indigenous community and neighbours.  He exemplfies the true meaning of how cultural inclusion can co-exist with diversity.

picture of Judith Armstrong - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Adrienne Montani

Adrienne Montani’s work over 35 years has focused on women’s and children’s rights, cross-cultural awareness and racism, and the impacts of social exclusion on children and youth due to poverty and inequality. 

Montani Adrienne has worked in many capacities, from grass-roots community activism in the not-for-profit sector to ensuring adequate resources for the most vulnerable children, as a locally elected school board trustee, to advancing public policy solutions through research and policy. 

Since 1976, Montani’s Adrienne’s advocacy on child poverty, inequality, early childhood development, child care and public education, among other issues, has played an important role in the development of policy and legislation that has improved the quality of life for children and youth in B.C.

Her determination and collaborative leadership has resulted in positive changes to provincial public policy, including support for single parents on social assistance. Recently, the B.C. government announced a new child tax benefit–a measure for which Montani Adrienne has advanced and organized support over many years. 

Montani Adrienne joined First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition in 2000, she became the Provincial Coordinator in 2005 and has guided its advocacy work ever since.

Under Montani’s Adrienne’s leadership, the First Call Coalition has grown to over 100 organizational members. Her reasoned and respectful style demands attention to important issues and is always mindful that true beneficiaries of positive change are our children and their families.

Prior to working with First Call, Montani Adrienne served as the Child and Youth Advocate for the City of Vancouver and as the chair of the Vancouver School Board for three of her six years as an elected school trustee. 

Some of her earlier leadership positions included serving as the executive director of Surrey Delta Immigrant Services Society for 11 years and as the executive director of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland for six years. She has also served on the boards of the Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children, The Society for Children and Youth of BC, and the Canadian Cancer Society BC and Yukon, as well as on the advisory committees of several projects and programs focusing on women and youth. 
Over the past decade Montani Adrienne stewarded the Living Wage for Families Campaign as a First Call hosted project that has now certified dozens of private sector employers and a growing number of municipalities as living wage employers.

For her tireless advocacy for women, children, youth and their families, Montani Adrienne has received recognition and awards, including:

  • The Bill McFarland Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Child Welfare from Parent Support Services Society in 2018
  • The Above and Beyond Award from the Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks in 2012 
  • The MOSAIC Human Rights Award in 2010
  • The United Way’s Excellence in Action for Early Childhood Development Award in 2009
  • Federation of Community Social Services’ Award of Excellence in 2008

In addition to her work at First Call, Montani Adrienne currently serves on the board of the Community Legal Assistance Society and the Institute for Public Education BC. She is also a key partner in Campaign 2000, a national anti-child poverty initiative.

picture of Adrienne Montani - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest


Dr. Lois Nahirney

Lois Nahirney is a pragmatic visionary and tenacious activist for gender equality and the economic advancement of women. Her work has accelerated the pace of change and impacted thousands of women and girls to be champions of equity for themselves and others. As a lifelong volunteer and community leader, Lois has founded and/or chaired numerous organizations dedicated to advancing women including the Women's Executive Network, Premier's Women's Economic Council, WE for SHE and Women in Technology to promote, educate, implement and accelerate systemic change for women.

In addition to her extensive volunteer work, Lois is a trail-blazing senior female executive in male-dominated industries including forestry, shipping and technology, pioneering change within the workplace. She saw the importance of developing champions, sponsors and advisors to elevate women's careers and has been an activist in this area for 20 years. Now, as the CEO/Founder of a DNA company, dnaPower Inc., she employs a team of women scientists and managers in the rapidly changing biotech world to apply personal genetics in the areas of diet, fitness and wellness to help people live healthier lives.

Lois is best known as the active chair of the Women's Executive Network in BC for 15 years, as the innovative inaugural Chair of the Premier's Women's Economic Council, a founding member of the WEB Alliance and the visionary co-founder and co-chair of WE for SHE, bringing the focus of women and gender equity to the forefront in BC. She has changed companies, advised government and inspired thousands of women in advancing their place in the economy.

As the co-creator of WE for SHE, Lois led an unprecedented collaboration of over 25 women's organizations, representing 10,000 women across the province, to create groundbreaking annual forums and action plans for government, business and individuals focused on advancing senior women, entrepreneurs and women in non-traditional and emerging sectors. This annual forum brings together 1400 people -- high school girls along with business leaders to inspire both young and senior women to be bold in their careers. It has spawned other events and mentoring programs around the province and has drawn in corporate, government and community partnerships to collectively take action.

Wherever Lois goes, she selflessly and tirelessly contributes to her community in many ways. She was a volunteer and director with Junior Achievement for over 10 years, Chair of the Vancouver Economic Development Commission for five years and is part of a family charity, Vietnam Education Society, that supports children in Vietnam and has built over 10 rural schools, sends hundreds of at-risk girls to camp each summer and provides 50 scholarships to girls each year. She is also proud to be a transgender advocate in support of her son. Lois loves travel, hiking the BC forests and living in North Vancouver together with her husband, Tom and twin teen children Levi and Kailyn.

picture of Dr. Lois Nahirney - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: North Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Shawna Narayan

Shawna Narayan created Empower The Future (ETF), a non-profit organization that connects inner-city students with post-secondary students to encourage personal and academic growth. She recognized that many inner-city students like her do not have the support, knowledge, or resources needed to continue their learning whether it is through full-time careers, volunteering, or higher education. She wanted to provide these students with the same opportunity that other students have. She connected with the Surrey School District to make a difference in Surrey students’ lives. Being a young woman from a diverse city, she showcases what the next generation is capable of by helping inner-city students with similar difficulties that she overcame. 

She organized the Life After High School Project where students are mentored on five main topics: dealing with financial stress; finding credible information about post-secondary education; preparing to enter the workforce; searching for quality volunteer opportunities; and caring for yourself. Her Life After High School Project gained the support of the University of British Columbia through a $10,000 Innovation Grant. Other supporters of the Life After High School Project include the Vancouver Foundation and the Government of Canada. This year, over 300 students have participated in the Life After High School workshop. She also launched a Women in STEM project to encourage more inner-city females to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics fields which was supported by a Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) grant. 

Shawna has volunteered over 4000 hours for ETF and other initiatives while attending UBC for full-time studies for a Bachelor of Science in Physics. 

She has consistently demonstrated exemplary volunteer work, academic excellence, and a strong commitment to helping others and making a difference in the community around her.

picture of Shawna Narayan - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: Surrey
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Dr. Peter Newbery

Dr. Peter Newbery is a long-time, much respected physician who serves in the northwestern area of British Columbia. 

During his lifetime he has worked with kids at risk on the streets of downtown Toronto, served as a minister and physician for the United Church in small central-coastal communities in B.C., provided management support to five hospitals and eight clinics in rural and isolated communities in B.C., Alberta and Newfoundland, and served as a physician at Wrinch Memorial Hospital in Hazelton. 

Through his connection with UBC and the medical school there, Newbery influenced the formation of the University of Northern British Columbia. He subsequently worked with Dr. Charles Jago to establish the Northern Medical Program which now provides doctors, nurses and other health care providers to many northern communities.

Newbery is a man who exemplifies integrity, openness, compassion and creative leadership in a way that has inspired health care workers throughout this province and much of Canada.

For his contributions to society and his community Newbery has already received many awards including:

  • The Order of Canada 
  • The Order of British Columbia
  • The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal
  • UBC Faculty of Medicine Golden Jubilee Medal
  • Doctor of Divinity from the Vancouver School of Theology

About seven years ago, in the early years of his retirement, Newbery was invited to work with the Upper Skeena community as chair of the fundraising committee for a new, much needed recreation centre. 

Newbery accepted the role and was instrumental in raising over $5 million in community and philanthropic contributions. That resulted in a federal and provincial grant of $12 million towards the new $20 million recreation centre.

Thanks to Newbery’s tenacity and leadership the centre is now open. It includes a professional-sized indoor ice rink with seating for 500 spectators, a multi-purpose gym, fitness centre, meeting and social areas, and a kitchen.

The Upper Skeena Recreation Centre, also known as the Heart of the Hazelton’s, will serve as the region’s centre for sport and cultural activities. The facility will provide programs and services for all ages and abilities to address the educational, health and social needs of the surrounding communities. 

Newbery’s community has nominated him for the 2019 Medal of Good Citizenship as a way of expressing their gratitude, and to pay special tribute for his many contributions that support individuals and families in the Northwest region.

picture of Dr. Peter Newbery - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: New Hazelton
  • Region: Northern BC

Leon Ng

Leon Ng has taken critical action to support his community and continuously impresses with his hands-on approach to community involvement. His actions in response to the pandemic saved lives and improved the mental well-being of his community.

Leon is the founder and CEO of LNG Studios, a creative visualization studio offering a full scope of services including 3D printing. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, all project work at the studio came to a halt. Leon quickly redirected his team to use the 3D printers to produce reusable face shields for frontline workers. Leon set up a GoFundMe page and successfully partnered with plastic suppliers, business sponsors and more than 400 3D printing professionals to support the cause. Within the first few months of the pandemic, 10,000 face shields were sent to local hospitals and by September 2021, 157,314 pieces of personal protective equipment have been delivered.

Leon is a founding member and co-chair of the Future Leaders for St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation. Since 2014, the Future Leaders have committed to raising awareness and financial support for the foundation. In the last seven years, the leaders have raised more than $1 million.

In response to the global wave of mental unwellness caused by the pandemic, Leon co-founded and led the Pixel Moments campaign with the Future Leaders team. A collaborative community initiative that raised awareness for mental health, the campaign influenced open discussion of mental health and symbolically brought a community together. The campaign collected micro donations and selfies or pixels. These were compiled into a large-scale photo mosaic mural displayed in downtown Vancouver. Socially distanced markers were placed on the site so the public could safely experience the mural, spotting their selfies. The campaign raised close to $300,000 with 100 per cent of the proceeds benefiting St. Paul’s Foundation.

picture of Leon Ng - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Steven Ngo

In April 2021, Steven Ngo was accosted by two Caucasian males with anti-Asian insults and threats. He tried to report this hate crime to the Vancouver Police Department and noticed the online form on the VPD website to report hate crimes was only available in Chinese. Steven, who is part Vietnamese and whose first language is English, cannot read or write Chinese.

Rather than give up in frustration, Steven made this glaring deficiency known, not only to other Vancouverites, but to the entire world. His story has been captured in over 30 media outlets, including the Globe and Mail, The Guardian, CBC, Global TV, CTV, the Vancouver Sun, the Province, among many others. He gave interviews, he created a comprehensive website:, and he participated in dozens of speaking engagements, including the National Forum on Anti-Asian Racism hosted by UBC and events hosted by the Bank of Montreal, Salesforce Canada and Law Society of Ontario. Through his relentless efforts, the VPD has now expanded its online hate crimes reporting forms to be available in 14 different languages and has also translated its website into over 100 languages. Steven has not stopped there. He is working to help make the reporting of hate crimes more accessible and user-friendly in cities across all of B.C. and Canada.

picture of Steven Ngo - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Burnaby
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Paul & Terry Nichols

Paul and Terry Nichols devote themselves to bringing awareness to the difficulties Canadian soldiers can face when they transition back into civilian life. They also have developed a program to help returning veterans overcome operational stress injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) incurred from military deployments.

When Paul returned home from serving with the Canadian military on a United Nations Peacekeeping mission in the former Yugoslavia, he came home to a wife, family and community who had little understanding of his experience as a contemporary veteran. There was also little understanding of PTSD and the important role that community plays in the wellness of their veterans.

During a chance meeting with a survivor of the siege of Sarajevo, Paul heard for the first time that his own contribution in the Balkans made a difference and was thanked for his part in a Canadian mission that had saved countless lives. Through this discussion he realized the power of a shared story.

Paul and Terry understood that their struggles and their story are very similar to hundreds of others across Canada. They believed they had the skills and experience to make a difference.

Paul and Terry operate a farm in the Quesnel area where Paul found therapy while taking long, solitary rides on his beloved horse Zoe. Terry, a therapeutic riding instructor, used horses for her own rehabilitation after a traumatic injury left her wheelchair bound for many months. Together they know first hand the healing power of horses. Knowing that thousands of soldiers return from combat zones with physical and mental injuries, they began to see a vision to bring awareness to the difficulties facing returning soldiers as they re-enter our communities.

In 2014, Paul and Terry formed the Communities for Veterans Foundation and set a plan into motion that would see Paul ride across Canada on horseback to collect and share stories and to raise awareness. On April 15, 2015, they started out from the Parliament Buildings in Victoria with a seven-person crew, eight horses and a route from British Columbia to Newfoundland. Along this route, after successfully completing an in-depth riding lesson with Terry, Canadian veterans were invited to join Paul on the ride through their own communities.

During the ride veterans interacted with the public and were encouraged to share their own stories and thoughts as they discussed the challenges that our veterans face. Eleven thousand kilometres and 211 days later, 363 veterans had ridden with Paul and hundreds more had taken part in Terry’s program. Thousands of veterans and tens of thousands of Canadians came out in support of the Nichols’ mission.

Back home, their veteran program operating on the farm gives veterans from across Canada tools to deal with PTSD while helping to build stronger relationships and families. The Nichols have reached out and invited the community to assist in running the program, as they believe that for our veterans to find support in communities, a societal shift in understanding and appreciation must happen; an investment in veterans will lead to stronger veterans and stronger communities.

picture of Paul Nichols - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

picture of Terry Nichols - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Quesnel
  • Region: Northern BC


Sylvie “Silvakantie” Pather 

In 1973, Sylvie Pather and her family left South Africa and emigrated to Canada due to the Apartheid Regime in the country. She experienced firsthand the poverty that the black population endured. Working as a nurse she also developed a love, caring and empathy for people marginalized in the community. On arrival to Canada, Sylvie worked at Lionsgate Hospital in nursing for 30 years. During that time she participated in various social activities at the hospital including the organization of retirement, Christmas and farewell staff parties. She has worked with various organizations dedicating almost 40 years of her life to serving the community. 

Her volunteerism has included working with the Franciscan Sisters Benevolent Society for over 23 Years. She donated eggs and cold meats to the society, which was a luxury to the clients, and participated in weekly preparation of sandwiches for the homeless and those in need in the Downtown East side community. She also helped to serve dinners during the Christmas season. 

Sylvie volunteered for the North Shore Crisis Services Society (NSCSS), (formerly known as Emily Murphy House), where she volunteered for four years and later became their Public Relations person for 10 years. She campaigned with United Way (affiliated with NSCSS) for funding and took her booths to social events to make women aware of NSCSS and all relevant information they needed. She also took part in campaigning and fundraising for a new and safe transition house on the North Shore, where women in crisis can be safe leaving their abusive situation. 

For 15 years Sylvie organized the Diwali Celebration also known as The Festival of Lights. This event encouraged much of the South-Asian community to come together with those of other cultures in celebration.

She volunteered for five years donating food to support the work of Harvest Project on the North Shore. The Harvest Project is an organization that helps people through difficult transitional periods in their lives such as job loss, divorce, illness or injury. At Harvest Project, she volunteered as an ambassador to the community, where she helped support the food-drive program with schools and other groups by giving presentations on the North Shore. At the grocery depot, she helped create a welcoming and inclusive space for clients. Her work has helped transform the lives of hundreds of North Shore residents such as single parents, new residents and other people who are transitioning through serious crises in their lives. The contributions made by her enabled individuals and families to reconnect and become more productive members of the community. 

Presently with North Shore Neighborhood House, Sylvie continues to demonstrate tremendous dedication in her volunteer work and commitment to their service program. She continues to faithfully volunteer her time with St. Andrew’s Church in the community kitchen making sandwiches and distributing them to people as part of their meal program which has just been discontinued. 

Sylvie also continues her volunteering efforts with the Highland’s United Church Saturday Lunch Program where she helps in the kitchen serving soup to people. Her warm personality exudes hospitality to the guests, among them being the unsheltered homeless. Her friendliness and compassion has touched many people’s lives. Every year she contributes to the food hampers assembled for guests. 

At the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, Sylvie volunteers as an ambassador and greeter and helps transform a potentially stigmatizing space into a welcoming, non-judgmental environment where people are treated with dignity and respect. She demonstrates a considerable amount of competency when engaging with people who have experienced a number of different life difficulties, along with the food insecurity and poverty that bring them there. The food bank has an edible food garden where clients can purchase vegetables at a nominal price and if they do not have any money, Sylvie will cover the cost of the food. She has shown great amounts of empathy for people who are living with various challenges in their lives.

Sylvie believes that the satisfaction of volunteering outweighs every other job that you can do. “It is just so satisfying.”

picture of Sylvie Pather - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: North Vancouver
  • Region: 

Kris Patterson

Kris Patterson has helped raise more than $1 million for literacy programs in the Alberni Valley. He has published eight books and donated the proceeds towards various community organizations including the local museum, community arts council, and Compassionate Friends Society. 

Kris has a passion for local history. He writes a weekly historical column for the local newspaper and spent 500 hours digitizing radio interviews that his late father conducted about the history and growth of the area. He donated the interviews and a collection of historical photos to the Alberni Valley Museum. Kris received the 2013 Heritage Award for his commitment to the preservation of cultural heritage. 

For more than 25 years, Kris has been a long-standing volunteer with several Port Alberni organizations including: 

  • The Raise a Reader Campaign 
  • Canada Day celebrations 
  • Junior A hockey 
  • Port Alberni Non-Profit Housing 
  • Compassionate Friends Organization 
  • Alberni Valley Museum 
  • Chamber of Commerce 
  • Dragon Boat Society 
  • Community Arts Council 
  • Young Professionals 
  • Alberni Clayquot Regional District Solid Waste Planning Committee 
  • Alberni Valley Hospice Society 

Kris transformed the pain and loss of losing his child into a grief and loss book, which was welcomed by the Compassionate Friends Organization and the library at BC Children’s Hospital. He also personally donated a child heart monitor to Children’s Hospital. 

Patterson has a reputation for serving his community to the fullest. He has been recognized as a “Top 20 under 40” finalist three years in a row.

picture of Kris Patterson - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2018
  • City: Port Alberni
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

John Phare

John Phare, a Roberts Creek tree faller, was the first recipient of the Medal of Good Citizenship.

John, who was honoured posthumously, spent his entire working life in the logging industry and worked as a faller, felling danger trees on the Old Sechelt Mine fire during the unusually busy 2015 fire season. The 60-year-old father of three died while fighting the Old Sechelt Mine fire on July 5, 2015.


  • Year Awarded: 2015
  • City: Roberts Creek
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Amber Price

The Book Man’s owner, Amber Price is a bright light of progress and positivity in Chilliwack. With a downtown business, she’s witnessed the devastation of the opioid crisis, homelessness, increased property crimes, violence and fear that was driving residents away from the once vibrant downtown. She didn’t despair. Instead, Amber is instilling vibrancy, inclusion and civic pride in Chilliwack.

Amber organized cleanup crews and alongside the volunteers she recruited, she swept the sidewalks and picked up garbage in Chilliwack’s historic downtown. Amber saw the core needed basic necessities and pushed for city funding. She inspired others and crowd sourced money through GoFundMe for murals and property improvements.

Compassion also drives her. Amber co-organized the collection of 8,000 bottles of water, sunscreen and aloe vera that were provided to the needy during the heatwave. Public lighting downtown has improved immensely because she saw the need, and took the initiative to apply for grants to solve the problem.

She started fundraising for bike helmets to ensure all kids could safely use the new public Pump Track. She fundraised and curated public art to show diversity and acceptance making the downtown more vibrant.

One weekend, when demonstrators protested COVID-19 vaccines and safety precautions at the hospital, Amber saw that hospital workers’ morale was low. She organized a community delivery of thousands of dollars of donated gift cards, gift baskets and snacks for the healthcare workers to show appreciation for their dedication and relentless sacrifices.

In her store Amber has hung rainbow flags and promoted the October Purple Lights campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence. Amber is inspiring Chilliwack to embrace diversity and inclusion through her Rainbow Crosswalk Initiative after city hall’s bylaw denied one. Her same progressive and positive attitude is one that she shares on the boards she is on.

picture of Amber Price - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Chilliwack
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest


Stephanie Quon

In August 2017, Stephanie Quon founded the Sprouts Initiative, a community organization focused on three pillars: environmental action, accessibility and mental health advocacy. The Sprouts Initiative was inspired by Stephanie’s desires to preserve and protect the environment, increase accessibility for all, and contribute to mental health and wellness initiatives in the community.

The Sprouts Initiative has involved leadership and volunteer participation from more than 100 youth, and has collectively received more than $26,000 in grants.

With the End-of-Day Bread Project, product was collected from bakeries and stores and donated to local shelters, both minimizing waste and supporting marginalized populations. As of August 2020, the initiative has successfully donated more than 10,000 meals to those in need. With the Reusable Straws Project, reusable straws were given out to community members, with the goal of hosting positive conversations about sustainability and plastic use. This initiative also distributed 2,250 reusable straws, free of charge to the community.

For the past two years, Stephanie has independently partnered with organizations to initiate projects centred on accessibility. So far, she has received two $10,000 grants to upgrade automated doors at a Vancouver hospital and at Neil Squire Society, a $6,000 grant to fund sensory resources for Canucks Autism Network, a $3,000 grant to fund resources for students with developmental disabilities at her past high school, and $2,500 towards the new Sunny Hill Rehabilitation Centre at BC Children’s Hospital.

Stephanie founded the Hidden Messages Project, an interactive art initiative that features art from local artists printed on cards hidden around the world for people to find. Over the past year the project has printed and distributed 13,000 pieces of art across Canada. Stephanie also organized a mental wellness care package project for high school students, called “self-sustainability” kits, and distributed 300 packages to high school students.

picture of Stephanie Quon - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest


George Reifel

George Reifel is the catalyst who has worked quietly and diligently in the background, applying his business acumen to pull together the partners, the funding, the agreements and finally the securement of thousands of hectares of conservation properties, protected forever for British Columbians.

He has provided volunteer leadership for almost four decades to Ducks Unlimited and the British Columbia Waterfowl Society, three decades to The Nature Trust of British Columbia and two decades to the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

George continues to serve as an Honorary Director of Ducks Unlimited Canada, on the Advisory Board of The Nature Trust of British Columbia and as a Director Emeritus of the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

George is the strength behind the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta. This magnificent and internationally significant wetland was created by his grandfather, dedicated to Canada by his father and George continues to provide oversight and financial support through the British Columbia Waterfowl Society which has managed the Sanctuary since 1963. Over 100,000 people now visit the Sanctuary annually, including thousands of school children discovering wildlife and wetlands through its nature education and interpretive programs.

As a Director of Ducks Unlimited Canada and The Nature Trust of British Columbia, George was responsible for the securement of many high profile conservation properties in B.C., including the South Arm Marshes complex and several agricultural properties in the Fraser River Delta, the 10,000 acre Hoodoos property in the Kootenays, Widgeon Valley in Coquitlam, Englishman River riparian, Buttertubs Marsh in Nanaimo, DL 1375 on Savary Island, the Koeye estuary near Bella Bella and Kumdis Slough in Haida Gwaii.

In the 1980's, George established and chaired the B.C. Corporate Campaign for the Canadian Cancer Society and served as the Chair of the Real Estate and Finance Division for the United Way.

picture of George Reifel- BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Ron Rice

Ron Rice is a dedicated Indigenous community leader, volunteer and board chair, exemplifying good citizenship and a commitment to delivering to those in need. He is a role model, innovative and makes a huge difference, especially for underserved urban Indigenous peoples.

Ron has been the executive director of the Victoria Native Friendship Centre (VNFC) for the past five years, after serving as volunteer board chair for 14 years. During his time as chair, the centre went from an organization recovering from deep debt, to one with an operating budget of $8 million with three buildings for affordable housing. As the board chair, this took grit, hard work, a certain amount of risk-taking with a strong belief in the core values of the organization and the community. During his tenure the centre's budget and staff have grown annually by 30 percent. Ron was determined to expand funding sources to include the private sector, beyond cyclical government funding. His vision has been realized as now 25 percent of all funds for urban Indigenous programing are from private sources. This is a first for the VNFC.

While leading the charge at the VNFC, Ron served on the board of the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness, the Raven Investment Impact Foundation and at Camosun College for six years during a time of great expansion for the college. Now he is on the board of Island Health, overseeing a budget of $3.1 billion, expanding health services for Indigenous peoples, as well as changing the culture of racial discrimination that has plagued the health care system by holding a seat on the provincial In Plain Sight Task Team. Ron provides the selfless, steady, Indigenous leadership and insight that has been missing.

In his spare time, Ron organizes the Back to School Picnic province-wide. Children and families look forward to the annual picnic, which pre-COVID, delivered school supplies to 3,500 Indigenous children in 11 B.C. communities. Ron raises the funds for the supplies, the food, and the games. Then the circus goes on the road with Ron at the wheel of the rental truck. Hundreds of volunteers are needed for this fun day. Everyone is happy to be involved and to see underserved children be thrilled with their backpacks. What started out as a poverty relief program to provide school supplies to underserved urban Indigenous families, has become a way of looking at going back to school differently. The picnic has changed how elders view school, helping to heal the pain of the past and breaking the cycle of trauma experienced at residential schools. It is true reconciliation.

picture of Ron Rice - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Rory Richards

Rory Richards started the 7 p.m. cheer for health care workers at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. That cheer was simply one of countless acts of activism, community mindedness, and quiet heart-led leadership that have defined her for decades.

Here are just a few of the people who Rory has positively affected:

  • A nurse who speaks to the impact to the health care community of the 7 o'clock cheer.
  • A film and TV producer who was drawn into supporting refugee rescue efforts by Rory's calls to action.
  • A rabbi who praises Rory's activism as “holy impatience”.
  • A retired social worker who felt she was still able to contribute to her community and the world due to Rory's example of good works.
  • A businessman who praises Rory's entrepreneurial skill that balances building successful companies with supporting her employees and the wider community.

She is the rare epitome of servant leadership. She listens. She cares. She serves quietly and leads by example time and again. It happened when she raised awareness about social issues by shopping local or reducing use of single use plastics. It happened when she got a “Group of Five” to sponsor a Syrian refugee – and then kept going, quietly sponsoring and putting together more and more citizen led circles. She continually points the spotlight towards others. 

Rory is incomparably generous with her time, an unsung hero whose selflessness, positive attitude and unwavering commitment to modelling conscious care for people and our environment are done in her “spare time”.

She is a proud Jewish and Indigenous woman who is decolonizing business as usual, and living her vision of a world where our actions reflect the truth that we are all interconnected, and our survival relies on doing the right thing for each other and our planet more often.

picture of Rory Richards - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Joseph Roberts

As a homeless youth trapped in drug addiction and living on the streets of East Vancouver in the 1980s, Joseph Roberts made two promises: (1) if he was ever able to escape his fate, he would do something to turn his life around, and (2) he would pay it forward. 

In 1991 Roberts entered recovery and by 1996 made the Dean's List as an Honour Roll Graduate at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario. He graduated with a 3.94 grade point average and earned two business diplomas.

As fate would have it, Roberts became a successful entrepreneur by 2000, and made his first million in sales before he turned 35. 

Since his own recovery, Roberts has inspired hundreds and thousands of Canadians with his personal story of transformation. He has written several books including Don’t Buy the Lie About Getting High (for school students), Fred the Cat (a cartoon of Roberts’ story) and his best-seller: 7 Secrets to Profit from Adversity.

Roberts left the corporate world in 2003 to pursue his passion for public speaking. His words have filled people with hope and inspiration: Despite what adversity you find yourself in, you have it within yourself to overcome. 

In 2016/17, to pay it forward Roberts pushed a shopping cart across Canada over 17 months in a campaign called The Push for Change. His goal was to raise funds and awareness to prevent youth homelessness.

In preparing for his 17-month walk across Canada, Roberts volunteered for over three years to build the campaign – it was 100% funded by sponsors before the launch. 

Roberts walked 24 kilometres per-day for 517 days. During this time, he engaged thousands of Canadians with his personal story and message: Prevention is the key to ending youth homelessness. 

The walk raised $570,000 which was donated to charitable partners like Raising the Roof.

For his achievements and contributions to youth homelessness, Roberts has received many awards, including:

  • The Governor General of Canada's Meritorious Service Medal in 2018 
  • Senate 150 Anniversary Medal in 2017 
  • OPP Highest Civilian Honour in 2017 
  • OPP Honorary Doctorate from Laurentian University in 2016 
  • Ontario Premier’s Award in 2004
  • Courage to Come Back Award in 2003

In 2003, Roberts was nominated by Maclean’s Magazine as one of 10 Canadians that make a difference. His story was also included in the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario’s 150 stories published for Canada’s 150 Anniversary. He received Business in Vancouver’s 40 under 40 in 1999 and Zoomer Magazine’s 45 over 45 in 2012.

picture of Joseph Roberts - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Langley
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Dr. Patricia Roy

Dr. Patricia E. Roy is a pioneering scholar. She has published eight books, three edited volumes and 47 journal articles and book chapters about the history of British Columbia’s politics, economy, and the causes and effects of racism encountered by its Chinese and Japanese communities. Roy was among the first scholars to write extensively about Asian immigration to B.C. 

During her 40-year career as an educator at the University of Victoria, Roy helped British Columbians better understand themselves and their institutions. She has continued that work in retirement by publishing the biography of Richard McBride, premier 1903-1915, and a commissioned official history of the Royal British Columbia Museum and Archives. 

Roy’s research and service have been recognized in Japan and by B.C.’s Japanese Canadian and Chinese Canadian communities. Her scholarship has also worked its way into the common knowledge of British Columbians through grade-school textbooks. 

Roy’s contribution to the province extends beyond her academic career to her remarkable voluntary service in promoting public interest in B.C.’s history. She has served as president of the Victoria Historical Society, is a past president of the Friends of the BC Archives, and is a past president and past honorary president of the BC Historical Federation. Through the University of Victoria Speakers’ Bureau, she has given many talks on historical subjects to local seniors’ groups and service clubs.

Roy has served on the boards of the Chinese Canadian Historical Association, the Canadian Historical Association, the Organisation for History in Canada, the Canadian Studies Association, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. 

In recognition of her expertise, she has been invited to advise Parks Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. She has served, and continues to serve, on the editorial boards of BC Studies, and Historical Studies, a publication of the Canadian Catholic Historical Association.

Roy has improved our understanding of B.C.’s past and continues to contribute to the understanding of modern B.C. through her scholarship, teaching and service.

picture of Dr. Patricia Roy - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Marilyn Rushton

Marilyn Rushton was honoured with the medal for her inspirational life of service to the visually impaired community, her contributions to families with blind and visually impaired children, and her energetic support for the musical community.

Blind since birth, Marilyn is a powerful role model, teacher, and gifted musician. She has volunteered countless hours with the Maple Leaf Singers; and is the director and accompanist for The Tempos, a choir for blind and partially-sighted children, youth and adults. Marilyn is the president of the BC Vision Teacher's Association and this year served as chairperson for the Canadian Vision Teachers’ Conference entitled Seeing Beyond the Horizon. She serves on the board of Blind Beginnings, a non-profit that supports B.C. families with blind/partially-sighted children.

Among her many other contributions, Marilyn was co-director and accompanist for the Burnaby Children’s Choir, has been a governor on the Douglas College board, and a board member for the Burnaby Hospice Society. In the 1990s she was a Burnaby school trustee and effectively used the role to advocate for diversity and equity in public education. Her contributions in education are recognized through her membership in DKG International, an honorary society of women educators; and PEO, a North America-wide organization which provides educational opportunities for women.

picture of Marilyn Rushton - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Burnaby
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Ken & Lou Ryan

Ken and Lou Ryan were a dynamic North Burnaby couple that for decades stepped up to either organize or volunteer for a myriad of events and services in the community. Ken passed away in 2017 but the community legacy created by him and his wife Lou will continue.

For the past 23 years they were the engine behind the Burnaby North Community Fair in Kensington Park, which promotes businesses and organizations and gives families a chance to come together in the summer time, ride the midway and listen to live music. Every year the couple ran a Christmas Holiday hamper program, approaching local businesses and community members for donations to fill gift hampers with non-perishable food items and other everyday essentials for low-income families.

The couple regularly rolled up their sleeves to help at food banks, school hotdog days, and at the Lochdale Community School Christmas pancake breakfast. In the course of serving during Homelessness Action Week, they met a homeless man who made such an impact on them that they invited him to live in their home and join them in their community volunteer activities.

That man, Wes Thompson, passed away this year as a loved member of the Ryan family, no longer homeless and no longer isolated.

In the 1990s Ken created Comshare, a North Burnaby Community Association summer camp program that provides six weeks of camp experiences and outdoor adventure for children in Grades K to 6. He also served over the years as the acting treasurer of the BNCA, president of Burnaby Optimists, as well as Block Watch Captain, working closely with the local RCMP.

Under the auspices of the Optimists, Ken and Lou organized Burnaby’s Got Talent performances which helps fund bursaries for deserving children within Burnaby, as well as the Optimist Communication Contest, a scholarship for deaf and hard of hearing students.

Together Ken and Lou were very active with Volunteer Burnaby and the Lochdale Community Association.

picture of Lou Ryan - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Burnaby
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest


Lita Salanski

Lita Salanski passed away in September 2015 and her legacy to her community will continue for future generations. The posthumous honour, accepted by her family, recognizes the impact she had on Grasmere, its ranching and farming community, educational infrastructure and spiritual foundation through her involvement with the Triangle Women's Institute (TWI), the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, Canadian Council of Cattlemen, East Kootenay College Board and Grasmere United Church.

At the same time Lita was adjusting to married life, raising a family and building and running a business, she became involved in the many projects of the TWI. Her leadership skills along with her enthusiasm played a major role in TWI's success in bringing a modern highway, electric power and telephone to the isolated community of Grasmere. She spent countless hours writing letters, lobbying the government, knocking on doors and selling the idea that the residents of Grasmere were part of British Columbia and needed to have the amenities others took for granted.

She was passionate about the need for education and became a local school board trustee and later became the chairman of the board. Lita was a founding member of the East Kootenay Community College board and later an honorary member of its board. She worked to improve the economy of the area through her involvements in local farming organizations, leading her to become the first female president of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association. She also served on the Canadian Council of Cattlemen board.

Her service to her community extended to many other organizations like 4-H and the Grasmere United Church and she was instrumental in ensuring the congregation established a place of worship within the community.


  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Grasmere
  • Region: Kootenay

Marion Sallenbach

Marion Sallenbach, a resident of Winfield, was honoured for her many years of volunteerism within the community, her selfless actions having a tremendous impact on countless families in the Okanagan.

An active volunteer in the community for over 50 years, Marion began volunteering with the Hospital Auxiliary in Winfield in the late 60’s, her efforts helping to raise thousands of dollars for the Kelowna General Hospital. Ten years later, she helped bring the Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) to Winfield and over the next four decades the impact of the BC HELP program grew, loaning 170,000 pieces of equipment – such as crutches, canes, walkers and wheelchairs – to 94,000 British Columbians in 2014-15 alone.

In addition to her work for the hospital, Marion has also volunteered with the Winfield Community Church, the Red Cross, and the Independent Order of Foresters, through which she has donated her time and expertise in a myriad of ways, which includes helping with the ‘Wheels to Meals’ for seniors, bookkeeping services, and assisting the ‘Adopt‐a‐Road’ initiative.

Now in her ninth decade, Marion continues to dedicate her time to the community, her volunteer work also complimented by the assistance of her two daughters, Joanne Galigan and Sharyn Fiwchuk, making her contributions a family affair.

Picture of Marion Sallenbach - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Winfield
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan

Winston Sayson, K.C.

Winston Sayson, K.C., is a distinguished Filipino-Chinese Canadian who personifies the Medal of Good Citizenship virtues as demonstrated through his three-decade long legal career, steadfast service to victims of crime, dedication to the rule of law, and volunteer work.

As a teen, Winston immigrated to B.C. from the Philippines. His strong work ethic and street smarts made him the successful lawyer and community leader he is today. Winston, now retired, was an exceptional criminal barrister whose trials were prosecuted to the highest standards. Winston recognized that victims of crime frequently come from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds with many intersectional vulnerabilities. He understood how testifying could re-traumatize victims and was always able to communicate effectively with witnesses and victims to give them the strength and resiliency to take the stand. He was a pioneer in combining wellness practices with legal work and taught lawyers trauma-informed practices to minimize re-traumatization. He worked many hours above and beyond his normal workday to ensure victims were well supported.

For over three decades, Winston’s work dealt with violence which, included cases of vehicular homicide, domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. This took a toll on him. He experienced PTSD, anxiety and secondary trauma resulting from the nature of his work and the threats he received. Yet he was always courageous. As Winston healed, he shared his experience to teach lawyers, criminology students, and victims about self-care and resilience. He advocates for bringing mental wellness to the forefront in the legal profession. While a full-time Crown Counsel, he successfully studied to be a counsellor and mentor.

Winston’s outlook is similar in his personal life. He is a consummate helper for families and children at his church and community.

Winston’s dedication and valuable service to his community has been recognized. He is the recipient of the following awards that speak to the wide breadth of his impact. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Police Victim Services Criminal Justice System Leadership Award (2010)
  • Recognizing Excellence Award, BC ProsecutionService (2014)
  • Vision Award, International Association of Forensic Nursing, for assisting the advancement of Forensic Nursing (2015)
  • Leadership Award, BC Prosecution Service (2018)
  • Award of Excellence, Surrey Women’s Centre (2019)
  • Lawyer of Distinction, BC Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (2019)
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (2022)

Winston has the honour of being named a Queen’s Counsel in 2011 for exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession. At the time, Winston was the only Filipino-Canadian Crown Counsel in the province. The influence he has had on his community is immeasurable. One example includes taking another Filipino-Canadian under his wing to mentor. Winston understood the inequities in the legal culture, and his mentorship not only made the individual a better lawyer, but instilled a hope that all lawyers could be a strong voice for justice and make a positive difference in the lives of British Columbians.

picture of Winston Sayson, K.C. - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: Richmond
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Rishika Selvakumar

As a youth, Rishika Selvakumar gives others hope for a better world in the future. She is an avid member in the community and commits to everything she does. She's a changemaker, exemplifying the importance of taking initiative and leadership.

At the young age of 20, Rishika has accomplished and supported the community in multiple ways. Seeing a lack of mental health and wellness resources, Rishika founded the first Mental Health Club at her high school, Little Flower Academy while still in grade 10. After high school, she continued on in mental health advocacy by starting The Wellness Proposal. This virtual campaign was hosted by UBC students and aimed to create a positive mental health environment through many projects, including youth-run events and mentorship programs that served nearly 40 undergraduate students.

Beyond this, Rishika supports mental health de-stigmatization by increasing access and awareness of available mental health supports for youth, adults, and seniors as a Youth Network Lead at Anxiety Canada, as a Youth Advisor and Scholarship Panelist for CMHA-BC, and as a Co-Facilitator and Communications Volunteer for CMHA-VF.

Rishika is a passionate advocate and a force for positive change. While pursuing a Bachelor of Science from UBC between 2019 to 2022, Rishika volunteered with World Vision UBC and Right to Play UBC, worked to support undergraduate students as an Advisor and Teaching Assistant, and highlighted the Sustainable Development Goals as a Campus Director for the first UBC Chapter of the United Nations’ Millennium Fellowship program. Within her community of Richmond, Rishika has supported fundraising initiatives and celebrated cultural events as a Bharatanatyam dancer for over 15 years. Previously, she has volunteered with the Family Services of Greater Vancouver in Richmond to support immigrant families to de-stigmatize poverty during COVID-19 by organizing educational panels and donation drives with Ignite the Warmth Society. As an Olympic Experience volunteer with the Richmond Olympic Oval she supported youth volunteering and increased awareness of Olympic history for the public and tourists. Additionally, since COVID-19, Rishika has transitioned to volunteering for virtual projects with the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association to create educational resources to address accessibility concerns for those that are hard of hearing, and support tutoring and volunteer recruitment with the Mentoring the Stars Foundation. She acted as Vice-President of the Acne Education Project to coordinate presentations around acne management and prevention to over 1500+ elementary school students in the Lower Mainland in 2022 alone. Within her career, Rishika continues to show her interest in the mental health field with her work to support program management for the Heartwood Centre for Women, a treatment facility for those struggling with substance use and mental health challenges.

For her efforts, Rishika has been awarded the Academic and Artistic Achievement Award from the Mihika Arts Foundation, U-ROC Outstanding Youth Teamwork Award from the City of Richmond, and the Shooting Star Award from Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives.

Every organization she becomes involved with is driven by her enthusiasm to create change. Every person who meets her is astounded by the positivity and kindness in her heart.

Rishika’s efforts to serve her community are moving and inspirational. She truly is a good citizen who refuses to stop even during COVID-19, instead connecting virtually to help anyone. When asked what motivates her, she simply says it is what she is passionate about. She wants to make a difference in at least one person's life. She has more than succeded. She has changed the lives of many people, creating a community wherever she goes.

picture of Rishika Selvakumar - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

John Scott

John Scott was honoured with the medal for his wide-ranging and selfless contributions to the community of Prince George, enriching the lives of youth, comforting those through illness and trauma, focusing well-deserved attention on the sacrifices veterans have made for Canada, and helping to revitalize the local branch of the Canadian Legion and neighbourhood commemorating veterans.

His service to community and countless hours of volunteering include support for a myriad of organizations including the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43, 2618 Canadian Army Cadets, and chairman of the Cadet League for Cariboo North, former district commissioner of the Nechako Scout district and Scout trainer II and the Legion’s Connaught Youth Centre. He is also president of the Prince George and Northern BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping.

The veteran peacekeeper has been instrumental in helping revitalize Prince George’s Veterans’ Land Act neighbourhood and galvanizing support for new facilities for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43. John also helped steer the Connaught Youth Centre to becoming a non-profit society that now supports a range of youth programs in the city. He is currently serving the Royal Canadian legion as a vice-president of BC/Yukon Command.

picture of John Scott - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Prince George
  • Region: Cariboo

Dr. Stan Shaw

Patricia Shields

Patricia Shields is a former teacher and principal who is well-respected in the education community for her leadership in advancing public education and pioneering innovative programs that benefit children within and beyond the school system. 

In her 30-year career with the Vancouver School Board, Shields went above and beyond to develop various education programs within the public-school system and for the community at large. 

Shields is known for implementing Welcome to Kindergarten TM, a province wide program designed to support the transition of families into the public-school system. This program engages children, parents, caregivers, school staff and communities, and equips parents with resources to make early learning a priority at home. The program has touched 22,000 vulnerable families in British Columbia. 

Shields has also shown her deep commitment to children through her work with various non-profit organizations. She set up the YMCA’s Education Advisory Committee and was involved in the creation of their after-school programs: Welcome to My Life and Boys 4 Real. 

Shields currently serves as the chair of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Education Advisory Committee. She chaired the committee to establish the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music and recently timed off that Board. She served on the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for several terms and assisted in developing VSO Connects, an elementary and secondary school-based program involving the Maestro, UBC music students and members of the orchestra.

She was the driving force behind the Vancouver Opera Society’s Music! Words! Opera! an education program available to lower mainland school districts. Shields is also a member of Telus Vancouver Community Board’s education sub-committee which supports youth through grants to local charities.

For the past 20 years Shields has been a champion of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland. She created the group’s Education Advisory Committee and co-developed their Study Buddy program which helps at-risk youth from low-income households receive the tutoring support they need to excel in school and beyond. 

Since its inception in 2002, Study Buddy has served over 2000 at-risk youth, and continues to benefit many more. Some participants have reported they would not have gone on to apply for post-secondary education without the confidence and skills they gained through the support of their Study Buddy. 

Shields’ vision, commitment and dedication to the well-being of children has enriched the lives of countless at-risk youth, their families and communities. She continues to contribute to the Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland chapter as an Honorary Advisory Committee member.

Shields is passionate about the well-being of children and making sure they have every opportunity to succeed in school. Without her leadership, commitment and passion to bettering the lives of youth through education, many at-risk children would lack the opportunity to overcome their struggles.

picture of Patricia Shields - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

John Simpson

John Simpson was honoured with the medal for his pioneering services that he offered free to people with acquired brain injuries (ABI). For more than three decades John devoted thousands of hours of service and emerged as an influential advocate in the field that resulted in the formation of local and provincial supporting organizations.

It has been estimated that John has provided more than 16,000 hours of free support to individuals with acquired brain injuries and their families since the 1980s. Many of the people he helped had no funding and no one else to help them.

He set out to educate the community and professionals about ABI, establishing the first annual brain injury conference in 1982, which ran for 25 years. John was also instrumental in establishing what is now the BC Brain Injury Association, which has the first Lower Mainland drop-in centre for people with ABI and now bears his name.

In 1997, he founded the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association and he is still active with the group that serves more than 150 clients each year in five cities.

In 2014, under his leadership, the Brain Injury Alliance was formed, to better serve the estimated 22,000 British Columbians who have ABI. Through his advocacy, the Province contributed $3 million for services provided by community-based brain injury associations. The alliance also received a $1 million endowment fund for education, employment and training for people with ABI.

picture of John Simpson - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Chilliwack
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Cara Sinclair

Cara Sinclair now dedicates her life to improving the welfare of at-risk, often homeless, youth in Vancouver. Her goal is to help these young people exit the street and break the chain of entrenched homelessness. With this in mind, Cara founded H.E.L.P. for Youth Canada Society, a registered charity, where she volunteers fulltime. H.E.L.P. has two initiatives: Project Backpack (PBP) and funding educational bursaries.

Founded by Cara in 2005, PBP purchases backpacks, donates them to schools in the lower mainland, educates the participating students about Vancouver’s homeless crisis, arranges for the packs to be stuffed with essential items including new clothes, toiletries, rain gear and other personal effects, and delivers these packs to shelters for distribution.

Last year more than 530 packs were distributed to those in need. Since its inception, thousands of packs have benefited these youth and shelters.

Under Cara’s guidance, H.E.L.P. also awards bursaries to at-risk youth who are ready to go back to school. Bursaries have been awarded to students in 14 different occupational fields including: plumbing, pipe-fitting, early childhood education, marine engineering, dental assistance, electrical engineering, TV production and social work.

Cara has spoken at numerous events and to thousands of people. She has educated and inspired others to help. In May 2016, on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Cara addressed hundreds of members of the BC Nurses Union about Vancouver’s homeless youth crisis and her dream of how to make a difference. As she spoke, 260 backpacks were stuffed and donated by the nurses.

Cara’s vision and efforts have directly improved the lives of thousands of disadvantaged youth, educated thousands of others about youth homelessness, and made Vancouver a kinder place to live.

picture of Cara Sinclair- BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Natalia Skapski

Natalia Skapski has gone over and above contributing to the safety and well-being of the Capilano University community during the COVID-19 pandemic. As well, she has a long history of volunteerism locally, nationally and internationally as part of a life dedicated to the health and safety of others.

Since the pandemic began, Natalia has dedicated herself to the safe operations of all campus locations and engaging as a citizen in reconciliation through her extended canoe family.

No safety question is insignificant to Natalia; she offers equal time and patient consideration to calming an anxious employee with factual information; reassuring a student worried about attending an in-person class; or supporting a manager seeking guidance for their team. Natalia’s leadership, her guidance to others, her mentorship of a fledgling Emergency Operations Centre crew and her absolute commitment to the safety of others is awe-inspiring.

In the Fall 2021, new and returning students owe their welcomed return to CapU in-person learning to Natalia’s leadership, perseverance and personal sacrifice. Natalia collaboratively worked through a deluge of information to keep the campus safely moving forward. She has built trust by working alongside members of the community and demonstrated tenacity, fairness and unwavering commitment to public health.

Natalia volunteered for 15 years with the Red Cross both in Ontario and in B.C.. In 1993, she was deployed as a volunteer to aid the Red Cross mission to the Mississippi Floods. Natalia was one of six Vancouver-area Red Cross volunteers who assisted in the response to the 9-11 tragedy in Queens, New York.

More recently, Natalia began actively volunteering with Team Rubicon Canada. In December 2021, she was able to dedicate time to mucking-out flooded homes in the Sumas Prairie area of Abbotsford, B.C.  

Natalia's life is deeply entwined with local First Nations and Indigenous values of family, caring, community and responsibility. She is a founding member of the Sema7maka (Snowbird) Squamish Nation canoe family, a member of the Pulling Together Society of canoe families. Natalia actively lives the values of uniting as people on a journey of reconciliation to make the world a better place.

picture of Natalia Skapski - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: North Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Dr. Michal Smialowski

Dr. Michal (Mike) Smialowski is a rural B.C. Family Physician (CCFP), GP Anesthetist (GPA) and Sport Medicine Physician (Diploma Sport Medicine) who lives in a remote area of the West Chilcotin called the Tatlayoko Valley. For the past decade he has been dedicated to providing medical care to residents of this area who otherwise would have to endure the six hour round trip to Williams Lake to consult a physician.

He and his wife Leslie moved to the Tatlayoko Valley because of their love of the mountains, the lakes and the wilderness. They have stayed because of the strong sense of community. Initially practising from an office in his home, he soon expanded to the West Chilcotin Health Centre in Tatla Lake where he joined the RN (Ruth Kuehl-Venn) to form a two-person medical team.

As a rural doctor, he was essentially on-call 24/7, 365 days a year. He was British Columbia's first volunteer Community Response Doctor with the BC Ambulance Service and was dispatched to many emergencies over the years ranging from home deliveries to critical injuries and urgent medical complications.

Although now retired, Dr. Smialowski has become an advocate for improving medical care along the Highway 20 corridor (500km Williams Lake to Bella Coola) a region which, in his estimation, has traditionally been neglected by the relevant Health Authorities. This advocacy has been facilitated through the West Chilcotin Health Care Society (WCHCS) which has raised over $90,000 (including a Health Ministry grant) to purchase much needed medical equipment for the West Chilcotin Health Centre. In addition, the Society successfully petitioned the Interior Health Authority (IHA) to place Tatla Lake on their physician manpower plan thus making it a permanent position.

Before retiring, Dr. Smialowski and the WCHCS successfully recruited a replacement physician (Dr. Rob Coetzee) who has now served the community for nearly three years. Monthly meetings now occur in collaboration with local Health Care Providers (RN, NP and MD) the Interior Health Authority (IHA) and First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) to develop an effective Medical Emergency Response Plan (MERP) for the Highway 20 corridor. A good portion of this effort is aimed at ensuring basic standards of care as well as baseline needs of emergency equipment and ongoing training.


  • Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Tatlayoko
  • Region: Cariboo

Tom Smithwick

Tom Smithwick is a retired lawyer living in Kelowna. Throughout his life, Smithwick has demonstrated concern, compassion and leadership to those who need emotional, financial and often physical support to thrive in society.

Smithwick’s Tom’s philosophy has been: There is always a way to get things done, a way to raise money and a way to help people. In the face of adversity, and often when others gave up, Smithwick Tom has persevered and succeeded–always to the benefit of his fellow citizens.

The creation of The Resurrection Recovery Resource Society is a reflection of Smithwick’s Tom’s determination to provide housing, counselling and support for men suffering from addiction and other mental health issues.

Now known as Freedom’s Door, this organization owns the largest group of recovery homes in B.C. Currently it can provide services for 67 men in seven purchased duplex homes. Many of theses men have come from life on the streets or jail. 

Since retiring from his legal practice Smithwick Tom volunteers at Freedom’s Door and oversees fundraising and public relations for the organization, which offers free treatment. He continues to be a mentor to the residents; through counselling and support many go on to become contributing members of society. 

In 1981, as founder and chairman of the Kelowna Boat People Refugee Committee, Smithwick Tom was instrumental in bringing the highest per-capita number of refugees in Canada to Kelowna. The personal success of many refugees and their families is directly related to Smithwick’s Tom’s leadership and compassion.

Smithwick Tom was also a founding director of the Kelowna Terminally ill Children’s Holiday Society. This organization was eventually replaced with the Make-A-Wish Organization, which continues in the area.

Over the years Smithwick Tom has worked tirelessly to build relationships within the community through founding, participating in or raising funds for many community organizations.

Smithwick Tom was a director and fundraiser of the Mission Creek Greenway project which raised money for improvements to the public walkways along Mission Creek. He was also a founding member of the Share Depot, a community resource selling used goods at a low price for community members who require assistance.

Smithwick’s Tom’s top priority has always been the welfare of others. Over the years he has received many awards in recognition of his service work, including:

  • Caring Canadian Award by the Governor General of Canada in 2005
  • Kelowna Man of the Year Award in 2000
  • 125 Anniversary Medal by the Governor General of Canada in 1992

Picture of Tom Smithwick - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Kelowna
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan

Farhad (Fred) Soofi

Farhad (Fred) Soofi has earned the respect of his community. At an event, one can witness a bow wave ripple, marking his passage through a crowded room. People will turn, smile, laugh, and greet him with enthusiasm – and he will greet them back with the same friendliness, and genuine warmth, connecting with everyone he meets.

Fred has incredible passion for his community and all its members. Many people care for others based on status, wealth, close connection - not Fred. He has been a volunteer, organizer and active member of Amnesty International for the past 45 years, where he is a constant campaigner for release of prisioners of conscience and human rights for all people, which is a testament to his commitment to inclusion and compassion.

Fred is a supporter of educational initiatives, both big and small. He is cooperating with organizations which provide educational scholarships for newcomers. He is also an integral part of everyday celebrations for local students. Through his restaurant, Fred contributes food to many community, school and sporting events and gift certificates for fundraisers.

Those small gestures may seem tiny in their individual effect, but cumulatively, over hundreds of contributions help build resources, supplies and better education for students and their families.

Fred is a sponsor of refugees from overseas. For example Turkey, a mother with three children from war torn Ukraine arrived in June 2022. Fred provided accommodations for six months rent-free and utilities free of charge.

In 1998, as part of his incredible generosity, Fred donated a five-story office complex to support an Independent Living Centre for adults with disabilities that depended on in house services. The building made possible the creation of a loving, supportive community, that provided skill development, employment, and a rich social life coordinated by the centre.

picture of Farhad (Fred) Soofi - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: Port Moody
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Dr. Rachel Staples

Dr. Rachel Staples of Urban Smiles dentist clinic in Colwood, lost her 16-year-old son to a drug overdose in 2018, while concurrently going through treatment and radiation for breast cancer. After working tirelessly during the pandemic, in December 2020 while cycling to work she was struck by a vehicle and suffered more than 20 broken bones and a major concussion. Despite this she made herself available to her associates, her staff and her patients by phone call, video chat, and text message.

Dr. Staples had the foresight to see that the COVID-19 pandemic was not going to be a two week ordeal. While in isolation after attending the 2020 Pacific Dental Conference, Dr. Staples took the initiative to order plexiglass barriers, hospital-grade air purifiers, face shields, and disposable masks, gloves and foot coverings for her office to ensure her staff were protected, which allowed them to return to work as soon as it was safe.  This also ensured her patients remained safe when they came in for appointments.

During COVID-19, Dr. Staples helped with more than 250 dental emergencies. She performed hundreds of emergency fillings, extractions, and root canals, fielding emergency phone calls in her off-hours, sometimes even returning to the office late at night after a full day of treatment.

Dr. Staples’ willingness to unhesitatingly work to alleviate the suffering of dental emergencies is the very embodiment of the virtue of good citizenship; her selflessness and dedication to the community are a constant inspiration. In the early days of this pandemic, when so much was still unknown and terrifying, she did not hesitate once when someone asked for help.

picture of Dr. Rachel Staples - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Oak Bay
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coastal

Chantal Stefan

After witnessing a man searching in a garbage bin for food on a freezing Edmonton night, Chantal Stefan was so moved that she placed 88 homemade care packages of socks, mitts and sugar cookies in back alleys to be found by the homeless. She had no idea then that the project would one day grow into a not-for­profit organization with local, national, and even international impact. Since its inception in 2004, Chantal's Everybody Deserves a Smile project (EDAS) has brought holiday cheer to people experiencing homelessness.

In 2012, Chantal accepted a teaching contract at Ecole Puntledge Park Elementary in Courtney, bringing her passion for community activism to students and teachers at her school and the district, and creating the after­school EDAS Club for youth. EDAS is a heartfelt endeavour that takes an entire school community to organize, so Chantal created an extensive resource collection connecting project outcomes to the B.C. curriculum. Under Chantal's leadership, students study social justice issues, learn compassion and empathy, and become community advocates for marginalized people. They come face to face with individuals who have experienced homelessness and addiction, many of whom are eager to speak from experience about the importance of education, avoiding substance abuse and listening to one's elders.

Comox Valley support workers and program participants testify to the power of Chantal's work. In the moment that the care package passes from the hand of a teacher or student into the hand of a person experiencing hardship, there is a connection and a key moment of acknowledgement: You are seen. You are worthwhile. You are cared for. To date, Chantal has inspired schools and communities to paint, write, bake, write cheques and donate woolen wear to the tune of 23 000 holiday care packages for homeless shelters, soup kitchens, support agencies, and those living on our streets. Despite the challenges of connecting with the community during the pandemic, Chantal is leading EDAS clubs in delivering care packages to 1355 people this season, with 910 of those benefitting from shelters in the Comox Valley. Other packages will travel to shelters across Vancouver Island, and as far away as Montreal and London, England.

Chantal's project has received several awards for its impact on student learning and community advocacy: the British Columbia Principals' and Vice-Principals' Partnership Association Award, the Comox Valley Record Hero of the Year Award and a Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce Top 40 Under 40 Award.

The Everybody Deserves a Smile project shines holiday light into the lives of individuals experiencing terrible darkness, but above all it impresses upon students - more powerfully than almost any other experience in their school years - the importance of the choices they make today in setting a course for their futures. For her tremendous efforts on behalf of both social justice education in the schools and community members experiencing hardship at Christmas time, Chantal Stefan is one of this year's recipients of the British Columbia Medal of Good Citizenship.

picture of Chantal Stefan - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: Cumberland
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast

Gale Stewart

Gale Stewart’s commitment to providing support to B.C.’s most vulnerable youth and preventing them from becoming homeless spans over three decades. As founder and visionary of Aunt Leah’s Place, an award winning non-profit charitable organization in New Westminster that works at the entry and exit points of the foster care system, Gale has made a lasting and significant difference in thousands of young people’s lives. She is a source of innovative, compassionate leadership, is a generous leader and role model, and has inspired a legacy of care by building a lasting family and community for those who need it most – youth in and from the foster care system.

Aunt Leah’s was founded in 1988, with one year of funding from the Ministry for Children and Families. After that Gale found a way to keep the home open. Aunt Leah’s began independently fundraising and evolved into Aunt Leah’s Tree Lots and Urban Thrift Store that to this day give 100 per cent of their profits to Aunt Leah’s Thresholds Program.

Gale’s positive influence and thoughtful leadership is responsible for the forward thinking culture of care that has inspired a community of support and long term donor confidence. She has put Aunt Leah’s on a continued path of growth in an era where many social services are facing cut-backs and limiting services to those most in need.

The simple concept that remains the foundation of her work is the notion that nobody ages-out from a family. Aunt Leah’s is the only service provider in B.C. with no-age out limit. This is a testament to Gale’s passion and tenacity to the idea that every foster youth deserves a caring and compassionate family member on their side.

picture of Gale Stewart - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2020
  • City: New Westminster
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Joley Switzer


Isabelle Tang

At a very young age Isabelle Tang was inspired by the people around her to give back to the community. She participated in the Children's Hospital 'Balding for Dollars' raising an amazing $19,331. She volunteered her time and organized her friends to assist in the 'Children We Care Gala' and 'Time to Shine Gala'. She has also given piano performances at Villa Cathay Senior Home and South Granville Park Lodge.

Along with her family, Isabelle recognized a need on the east side of Vancouver for protective masks. Masks were supplied to more than nine community organizations. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become very difficult for high school students to participate in volunteer activities within their communities. Isabelle has worked to find safe volunteer opportunities for her friends.

In February 2021, she delivered 500 pink masks to her high school in support of Pink Shirt Day. School staff, administration and students were all encouraged to wear the pink masks.

In May 2021, Isabelle organized the necessary volunteers to assist in B.C. Children's Hospital – ‘Shine Mother’s Day Tea At Home’, preparing the packaging and organizing the delivery. This project raised $31,000.

A June 2021 fundraising project called ‘Villa Cathay Rejuvenation Project - Charity Dragon Boat Dumplings’ was initiated by Isabelle and her family. She assisted with organizing volunteers, packaging and delivering the dumplings. A total sell out, the event raised $15,000.

In September 2021, Isabelle set up the Orange Youth Volunteers with the support of the principal and the administration of her school.  The project created awareness of the impact of residential schools. Orange masks were provided to the staff and students on a donation basis. All proceeds were donated to the Orange Shirt Society.

picture of Isabelle Tang - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Richmond
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Sahib Thind

Sahib Thind was honoured with the medal for his unwavering dedication to human rights.

For almost a quarter century he had been the driving force for a formal Parliamentary apology for the 1914 Komagata Maru incident in which hundreds of passengers from India who sought refuge in the country and province were denied entry to Canada and turned away without benefit of the fair and impartial treatment benefitting a society where people of all cultures are welcomed and accepted.

His foundation, the Professor Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, criss-crossed Canada, and travelled abroad to bring attention to the cause and lobby for an official Parliamentary apology in various legislative assemblies, including those in B.C. and in the Indian State of Punjab. All the travel costs were personally paid for by Sahib.

The Professor Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation lobbied the B.C. provincial government for an apology for its role in this tragedy. After 94 years, the B.C. legislature unanimously passed a motion on May 23, 2008, apologizing for the Komagata Maru incident. “This house deeply regrets that the passengers who sought refuge were turned away,” said Liberal House Leader Mike de Jong.

In May 2016 the federal government apologized for the Komagata Maru incident and for his part in this struggle, Sahib and his organization have been recognized in the Punjab State legislature in India, and in the Canadian Parliament.

With the official Komagata Maru apology in hand, Sahib is continuing his efforts and expanding his actions to include issues faced by many other communities by working to establish diverse curricula in all Canadian provinces.

The non-partisan, non-denominational, human rights foundation hosts the Mela Gadri Babiyan Da in Bear Creek Park in Surrey, with Sahib leading all organizational efforts. The festival, which invites South Asian performers from around the world, is attended by 70,000-100,000 festival-goers. It is all put on by volunteers, and the foundation charges no admission.

picture of Sahib Thind - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  •  Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Surrey
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Louis Thomas

Louis Thomas is a Secwepemc Knowledge-Keeper from the Neskonlith First Nation. He has been walking a path of reconciliation, relationship building and teaching in the Shuswap for over 40 years. 

Thomas’ compassionate nature has been the bridge to help span Indigenous and settler culture groups in his community. His determination to share Secwepemc knowledge and culture with children throughout the region has helped shape school curriculum, art gallery exhibitions, library programs and writers festivals. 

The son of Dr. Mary Thomas, the famed Neskonlith elder and ethnobotanist, Thomas continues his mother’s legacy by staying involved with all aspects of life in the Shuswap region. His efforts to preserve traditional Secwepemc food plants were the centerpiece of a recent exhibition exploring food sovereignty, security and sustainability.

As a community leader Thomas believes that all facets of community: housing, safe walking routes, food security, community building, restoration of the Salmon River delta, respect for the land and economic improvement are all connected. He works to cross-reference his efforts in each of these areas with groups who might be focused on only one thing.

Thomas is also a relationship builder. By targeting positive leaders and teaching through story, traditional knowledge, humour, persistence and gentle persuasion, he has created legacy organizations that are changing minds and relationships in both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities of the Shuswap.

Thomas was one of the trail stewards in a Salmon Arm Arts Centre exhibition and trail exploration project from 2014 to 2016. His impact was immense. He became a leader and helped the Arts Centre navigate the project with a respect for traditional wisdom, language, and story-telling. 

Thomas has also founded several other local organizations, including the Salmon River Watershed Council, the Switzmalph Cultural Society, the Shuswap Trail Alliance and the Shuswap Regional Trails Roundtable. He continues to help advance the national mandate to reconcile Indigenous and settler culture relations. 

His work to support basic nutrition of his people includes outings to traditional food harvesting areas. These trips always include two or three people of Indigenous or non-Indigenous heritage, to whom he will impart his incredible knowledge of the land and its gifts. 

Thomas strives to ensure this knowledge will continue to be passed down throughout the generations.    

 Picture of Louis Thomas - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Salmon Arm
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan

The Community of Tofino 

Vivian Tsang

Vivian Tsang is a medical student at the University of British Columbia, where she is recognized as a National Schulich Scholar, and Major Entrance Scholarship winner. The impetus for her medical pursuits is her vision for the future of healthcare: one that is inclusive and accessible to all Canadians, no matter their past or current circumstances. 

To bring this to reality, Tsang Vivian is dedicating her life to improving healthcare accessibility and reducing social inequalities for vulnerable population groups. 

She founded and serves as the Director of The Humanitarian Organization for Providing Empowerment (HOPE) Initiative Foundation, a non-profit organization that empowers students to work alongside marginalized local and international community groups through mutual aid and interpersonal humanitarianism. 

Tsang Vivian dedicates her time to organizing various events for Vancouver’s homeless community and has created Warmth of Winter Portfolios to highlight the perspectives of clients in various stages of homelessness. She also organizes the HOPE for Success program in the Lower Mainland which annually helps over 3,000 students with their transition into post-secondary education. Tsang Vivian also serves as a peer academic coach initiating city-wide workshops for girls coming from inner-city schools. 

For her work, Tsang Vivian has been awarded the City of Vancouver’s Award of Excellence, UBC’s Premier and Wesbrook Scholarship, and was nominated as a YWCA Young Woman of Distinction.

Vivian is also heavily involved in pediatric patient advocacy through her positions as National Director of the National KidsCan Initiative and on the Board of Directors on the International Children’s Advisory Network–an advisory group that collaborates with researchers and clinicians around the world to improve pediatric research. 

Since starting medical school, Vivian has taken the lead as Co-Chair of the Medical Undergraduate Society’s Political Development Committee and recently represented the Faculty of Medicine in advocating for improved youth mental health with the Minister of Health in B.C. Along with her role on Vancouver City Council’s Children, Youth and Families Advisory Committee, Tsang Vivian is working on advocating for improvements to mental health resources for B.C. youth.

Between her years in medical school, Tsang Vivian worked in South Africa and Zimbabwe to learn about HIV/AIDS infection prevention for populations living in low-resource settings. She supplemented this field work with an internship in Switzerland at the World Health Organization working in Tropical Diseases Research to implement tuberculosis protocols in Zambia. 

With any spare time, she Vivian loves mentoring the next generation of leaders. In particular, she serves as a mentor with UBC Women in Science Club, and with the YWCA in Vancouver out of her passion for the empowerment of young women in pursuit of science.

picture of Vivian Tsang - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest


Spencer van Vloten

Recognizing the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly difficult on British Columbians with disabilities, Spencer van Vloten was determined to make a difference. He put hundreds of hours into developing B.C. Disability – an online information and social hub that connects disabled British Columbians across the province.

Online since mid-2020, between its webpage and media accounts, B.C. Disability has more than 15,000 members. It is a place where persons with disabilities across B.C. can find pandemic resources, provide mutual support and advocate for their well-being.

Spencer personally responds to every inquiry and spends hours each day helping the people who reach out for support, whether it was researching emergency benefits or chatting on the phone with a total stranger who is feeling isolated.

Spencer has also directly contributed to the material well-being of disabled British Columbians by using his 'Show My Work' series to promote local artists with disabilities, which includes purchasing their creations and featuring them in online showcases.

Spencer’s pandemic leadership extends to the boardroom. He chairs Community Living B.C.’s Vancouver Council, where his leadership during the pandemic has been instrumental. Spencer has organized mental health workshops, online social activities to curb pandemic isolation, as well as meetings with MLAs and city councillors so persons with disabilities and their families could ask elected officials COVID-19 related questions.

Every week he volunteered as a greeter at a senior's thrift shop, helping ensure that seniors are safe and following COVID-19 protocols. He worked each day as a Youth Program Leader for Easter Seals B.C., where he developed virtual programs for youth with disabilities across B.C. who couldn't attend in-person programs due to COVID-19.

Spencer has made it his mission during the pandemic to help others, without any consideration of himself or expecting any recognition.

picture of Spencer van Vloten - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Dylan Van Rooyen

Dylan Van Rooyen, who works as a firefighter in Surrey where he was raised, was honoured with the medal for inspirational leadership demonstrated in his involvement with many organizations and events centered on helping Surrey youth and families.

His service to community includes countless hours volunteering at organizations like the Child Development Foundation of British Columbia, Tong Louie Family YMCA, Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society as a director and committee member of its charity golf tournament and Leave a Legacy group.

Through his leadership, participation and fundraising doubled for the Child Development Foundation’s Run, Walk & Roll for our Kids event, resulting in additional help for children with special needs. In nine years with the Tong Louie Family YMCA, he has led numerous charity campaigns to help families, individuals and children who do not have the means to participate in the YMCA’s services such as camps and swimming lessons, in addition to gym and facility access. 

Among his many other contributions, Dylan volunteers as a delivery driver for the Snack Program, which operates in Surrey schools and brings food to children who arrive at school with no breakfast.

picture of Dylan Van Rooyen - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2016
  • City: Surrey
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest


Larry White

Larry White was honoured with the medal for the leadership and volunteer hours he has contributed to a wide range of civic, cultural, historical, outdoors, and youth organizations and activities in the Northern B.C. community.

Since moving to Tumbler Ridge with his wife Crys in 2001 his service to community and countless hours of volunteering include:

  • Serving as vice-president on the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society, White also helps develop and maintain the ski cabin as well as hiking and cross-country trails. He led the partnership with BC Parks in Monkman Provincial Park to build backcountry trails and campsites and runs Itchy Feet, the group’s armchair travel club
  • An active volunteer and director of the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation, White attended training at the Royal Tyrrell Museum to voluntarily participate in B.C.’s first dinosaur excavation and he assists his wife to run the Tumbler Ridge Archives
  • For years he has been the race supervisor of the Emperor’s Challenge on Mount Babcock and the biggest off-road running event in B.C.
  • A member of the Grizzly Valley Saddle Club board of director, he volunteers with trail construction and maintenance and arena maintenance and has an assistant donkey handler for many events
  • He volunteers for the Tumbler Ridge Community Garden and is the president of its Board of Directors
  • He volunteers for the Tumbler Ridge Community Forest and Emergency Social Services (ESS) and has been president of the library board
  • The community can better serve youth through many of his efforts including fundraising for and the construction of the community skate park, obtaining the climbing wall for the teen centre, travelling to the Yukon to bring it to Tumbler Ridge and then helping train volunteers to operate the equipment and belaying of climbers, and coaching baseball and coaching and refereeing minor hockey

In addition to these contributions, Larry was involved from the onset of the drive to develop the Tumbler Ridge Aspiring Geopark, which in 2014 was designated the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark, the second Global geopark in North America. As well as being a director and past vice president of the organization, he is the Geopark’s representative on the Canadian National Committee for Geoparks and attends UNESCO Global Geoparks conferences.

While Larry is being nominated for his volunteer contributions, his professional and political careers were also spent in the service of others. He served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1970 to 1996, qualifying as an engineer, serving in the Persian Gulf, and rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He served for three years as councillor in Tumbler Ridge, followed by three years as mayor, and served on the Board of the Peace River Regional District.

picture of Larry White - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Tumbler Ridge
  • Region: Northern BC

Michelle Renee Wilson

Since her eldest child Tru, came out as transgender at the age of nine, Michelle Renee Wilson has been an avid advocate for trans rights and a champion for queer kids. 

When Tru’s school refused to accommodate or support her transition, Ms. Wilson and her family filed a human rights complaint against the school, and the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese, for not supporting her gender identity. 

In response, and after two years of mediation, in 2014 the Catholic School Board became one of the first in North America to develop a policy to support gender expression. It paved the way for other denomination-based independent schools in B.C. and across Canada to create such policies. 

This opened the door to learning environments that are more inclusive to diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. It also happened before the B.C. government required public schools and districts to have such policies.

Since then, Wilson spends countless volunteer hours speaking at conferences and supporting other families going through their own struggles. 

She has provided numerous interviews on TV and radio, and been asked to speak at events and fundraisers in support of SOGI 1 2 3 and Out In Schools, gender conferences such as Gender Odyssey in Seattle and Proud2Be in Vancouver, teacher training sessions at UBC, and social events such as Grace Club where she shares her story of love and acceptance, reinforcing the importance of supporting queer kids. 

Wilson is a board member of G_Day for Girls and Out On Screen. At every chance she encourages young people to be who they are, and parents to simply love and accept their kids. and She teaches them all that by spreading acceptance and love we can make the world better. 

By setting a path toward acceptance, Wilson has been a force for the rights of transgender youth and their families.

picture of Michelle Renee Wilson - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2019
  • City: Delta
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest

Jody Woodford

Jody Woodford supported the community as a volunteer firefighter for 10 years prior to becoming fire department chief in 2008.

Leading up to and during the horrific historical November 2021 flooding disaster, Jody provided heroic community support and leadership to people facing life threatening situations throughout the towns of Tulameen, Coalmont and three surrounding valleys. While under supreme personal pressure regarding her own home flooding, she focused on coordinating her crew and other volunteers saving countless community members with numerous simultaneous land and water rescues.

Jody never left her post for several long weeks during the most active parts of the disaster, catching a few hours sleep at the hall when exhaustion took over, leading her crew and local residents; directing teams that later arrived from other volunteer fire departments and SARS teams to support her tireless crew. With the fire hall receiving shocked and vulnerable flood victims, some rescued by boat, ATV or who fled by swimming through flood waters at night, she immediately initiated creative sourcing for life support (clothing, medical, food, shelter) to prevent further trauma to victims.

As the full impact of the disaster is still being uncovered, Jody’s unwavering compassion and commitment to these communities has her working long days far outside her official fire department responsibilities with all levels of government and other relief agencies to help. Jody is involved in aiding overwhelmed residences isolated by road washouts, clear their homes and if salvageable, helicopter in food, medicine, diapers, animal feed, clothing, and water; as well as coordinate well water testing to prevent potentially devastating community illnesses. Though her own house was flooded, as the immediate emergency eased she selflessly helped a senior neighbour rebuild her home, before starting work to repair her own.

Jody’s demonstration of passionate, effective caring has inspired her community to pull together and actively support each other through any crisis, whether flood or fire. Jody is a dedicated, visionary community role model. She is considered by those who know her to be one of the most unselfish and caring advocates, leaders and volunteers in the province. Jody received the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers in 2016 and in 2014 she received the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award for her dedication and service to the Coalmont/Tulameen Fire Department. This year, she has been chosen for the Medal of Good Citizenship.


picture of Jody Woodford - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2022
  • City: Coalmont
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan


Jonathan Yeung

Jonathan “Bear” Yeung has actively helped his community since he was five when he started cleaning up beaches.  And that was just the beginning.

In 2017 when he was seven, Jonathan and a friend helped a family in need by organizing a fundraising campaign that raised more than $20,000. 

When COVID-19 first struck this community, Jonathan learned about the embattled and exhausted frontline health care workers.  He responded by using his life savings of $70 to purchase healthy snacks and electrolyte drinks for the team at his local Lions Gate Hospital. When he realized the pandemic was persisting, he engaged his local community along with companies to help expand and maintain his snack drive for over a year. 

When Jonathan heard about a family who was harmed following a major crash on the Sea-to-Sky Highway near his home, he wanted to help.  He didn’t know the family, but knew there were two children involved, aged 10 and five. He raised $20,000 which was enough to buy a safe car for the family.

Recognizing the children being treated at B.C. Children’s Hospital were isolated from their families and friends due to strict COVID-19 visitation restrictions, Jonathan responded by starting a toy and tablet drive with a friend.  Their efforts resulted in successfully collecting 159 electronic tablets, more than 1,000 new toys along with $14,000 in donations worth a combined $60,000 and delivered them in time for Christmas.  In 2021, Jonathan and his friend repeated their efforts and again made their delivery before Christmas, this time with even greater success because the pair’s actions inspired more people and companies to participate. 

Jonathan also provided his local police force in West Vancouver, the Vancouver Police and Transit Police with masks to protect them from COVID-19.

Now at the age of 11, Jonathan has been raising money and donations for several years and is developing a reputation of a community leader.

picture of Jonathan Yeung - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2021
  • City: West Vancouver
  • Region:  Mainland/Southwest

Terry Yung

Terry Yung was honoured with the medal for his devotion to an organization that helps create a world of multicultural harmony and helping newcomers to Canada integrate into society and fulfill their professional aspirations for success.

As one of the largest non-profit social service agencies in British Columbia, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. has a mission to build bridges and foster integration through services in settlement, senior’s care, and affordable housing. Terry has been a strong supporter of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. for twenty years: first as a volunteer, then as an instructor for youth employment training and seniors’ safety programs, and most recently completing a six-year term as a board director where he chaired the Governance, Human Resources and Nominations Committees, as well as serving as vice chair.

As a dedicated individual who is committed to youth leadership development and employment training, Terry has helped youth and newcomers find employment so they could fulfill professional aspirations in their new country and become contributing Canadians.

His service to community and countless hours of volunteering include developing new and effective solutions for process improvement. As an example, he led the review of the society bylaws with the goal of increasing efficiency at the board level. In addition, during his tenure as the chair of the Governance Committee, Terry not only led recruitment for new board members based on the skill sets required, but also ensured succession planning is in place for board continuity and sustainability.

In addition to his community service to S.U.C.C.E.S.S., Terry served on the board of Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver for 13 years, and as president of the Vancouver Cambie Lions Club. Terry also volunteers on organizing committees for community events such as the annual Chinese New Year Parade. He currently sits on the Community Security Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver to build safer and more connected neighbourhoods.

Terry is a member of the Vancouver Police Department.  

picture of Terry Yung - BC Medal of Good Citizenship recipient

  • Year Awarded: 2017
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest