Members of the Order of British Columbia: A–B

 

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Browse honourees by last name, letters A through B. Search for a name using 'Ctrl+F' to jump to a specific recipient. Bios reflect achievements at time of appointment.

A

Deborah Abbey

Deborah Abbey is an author and media spokesperson who has been an early and steadfast champion for responsible and sustainable investing. She inspired some of the largest financial institutions in Canada to increase their financial due diligence through enhanced environmental risk analysis and disclosure to reduce the impact of climate change on key areas of business.

She began her mission in the mid-1990s — long before it was mainstream — and within five years she launched Real Assets Investment Management, Canada’s first investment company to focus exclusively on responsible investment and offer fossil-free mutual funds to average retail investors.

She pressured the big five banks to pay more attention to climate change by being an active shareholder although owning just one share. Through her articulate, persuasive argument, she swayed big five bank shareholders that climate change is a risk that the banks need to pay attention to.

In 2013, she accepted the role of CEO of the Responsible Investment Association (RIA), Canada’s membership network dedicated to the advancement of responsible investing. Operating under a different name at the time and at the brink of bankruptcy, she turned the membership organization around, doubled its membership and revenues, and enabled it to continue its mandate of promoting the integration of environmental, social and governance factors into Canadians’ investment decisions. Today, more than a third of all investments in Canada are guided by responsible investing principles.

She is the co-author of The 50 Best Ethical Stocks for Canadians and the author of Global Profit and Global Justice: Using Your Money to Change the World, which promotes the idea that it is good business for companies to improve their environmental, social and governance performance. She was a regular columnist for Investment Executive magazine as well as a regular contributor to several other publications. As well she has been featured in Maclean’s magazine and quoted by dozens of media organizations including CBC and the Globe and Mail.

Her commitment to social and environmental concerns run deep; she was one of the first staff members and the first project director of the David Suzuki Foundation. As a board member and vice-chair of Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, she encouraged many businesses across Canada to adopt and implement sustainable social, environmental and governance policies and practices.

Deborah Abbey

  • Year: 2018
  • City: New Westminster
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Business

Joan Acosta

Joan Acosta‘s accomplishments have helped introduce the joy of the written word to hundreds of thousands of British Columbians. Born in Guatemala, she taught in Ontario before moving to B.C. in 1979 to become an English-As-a-Second-Language instructor at Capilano College.

Twelve years ago, Joan Acosta was appointed editor of the Westcoast Reader, an ESL source of local, national and international news stories for adults and teens who are improving their English reading skills.

Her vision and determination as the paper’s only staff member took the newspaper from a struggling publication with no funding, to a literacy tool highly valued by teachers and treasured today by more than 65,000 new readers.

Joan Acosta’s expertise and innovative ideas have been emulated worldwide. As a result, she’s in constant demand for workshops across North America. She is the editor of the critically acclaimed “Newcomer’s Guide to Resources and Services in B.C.”, has published her own best-selling “Coast-to-Coast Reader”, and served on boards of several ESL organizations.

Her ability to turn complex material into something easily read and understood by new readers has extended into special issues such as an AIDS newspaper unit now distributed worldwide. Most importantly, her skill and dedication are appreciated daily by those discovering the world of literacy.

Joan Acosta

  • Year: 1994
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Communications

Bryan Adams

From a humble musical beginning at age sixteen in Vancouver to international stardom, composer, producer and vocalist, Bryan Adams has become our musical ambassador to the world.

With album sales exceeding 10 million, Bryan Adams has established himself as one of the world’s most successful music talents. His schedule of concerts which takes him around the world is frenetic. He has performed several times to live audiences in excess of 100,000 and to millions on television.

His array of musical awards attests to his artistry. Bryan has won eleven Juno Awards (including 5 for best vocalist and the first-ever, publicly-nominated Canadian Entertainer of the Year); he is recipient of the Canadian Diamond Award (in recognition of over one million records sold by a Canadian); the PROCAN Crystal Award as composer of “Straight From The Heart” and winner of the Bob Geldof Humanitarian Award.

In the United States, Bryan reached the number one position in the music industry in 1985 with his album Reckless and with his single Heaven. Five other songs from the same album made it into the top 10 single category – a feat only two other artists have ever achieved.

The proceeds from his composition “Tears Are Not Enough”, recorded in 1985 with other Canadian performers, has raised over two million dollars for African famine victims. In 1987 Bryan headlined the Prince’s Trust Charity Concert at Wembley Stadium.

Through it all, he has not forgotten his British Columbia roots. He continues to consider Vancouver his home and works closely with organizations involved in saving and maintaining our environment, recently performing benefit concerts for local environmental groups and for leukemia research.

Bryan Adams

  • Year: 1990
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Chief Joe Alphonse

Chief Joe Alphonse comes from a long line of hereditary leaders. He has given expression to his lineage of leadership by being re-elected seven times in a row.

Chief Joe led his people to the major Supreme Court of Canada 2014 Aboriginal land title win. This led to work on recognition at the federal level, as well as paved the way for the acceptance of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the federal and provincial levels.

After the 2014 court win, Chief Joe supported advocating for the exoneration of the six Tŝilhqot’in chiefs who were unjustly executed more than 130 years ago. Chief Joe was on the floor of the House of Commons to hear directly the acknowledgment of the prime minister of this historic wrong. The Province of B.C. also exonerated the six war chiefs.

Chief Joe championed support for establishment of the Tŝilhqot’in Women’s Council, which forms a part of the Tŝilhqot’in National Government structure.

He is tireless in his efforts to support issues with his people in all socio-economic areas, is adept at navigating the often difficult field of politics including at the global level having presented at the United Nations permanent forum on Indigenous issues.

Chief Joe speaks his language fluently. He is also sought out to give speeches and provide support to other First Nations people and issues, and is particularly supported and recognized for his efforts to support women’s issues.

Chief Joe is a fierce and determined protector of his people and land and achieved wide acclaim for his courageous leadership during the wildfires of 2017.

Chief Joe Alphonse

  • Year: 2021
  • City: 150 Mile House
  • Region: Cariboo
  • Category: Indigenous Reconciliation

The Honourable David Anderson

An Olympic silver medalist at Rome in 1960, lecturer, writer and advocate, the Honourable David Anderson has served the people and the environment of British Columbia and Canada.

As Member of Parliament for Esquimalt – Saanich from 1968 to 1972, Anderson identified the issues surrounding oil drilling, pipeline developments, and oil tanker traffic on the west coast long before they became widely shared public concerns. He founded and chaired the Special Committee on Environmental Pollution and his legacy stands to this day both in the awareness he raised and the moratorium on oil drilling off the coast.

He resigned his federal seat in 1973 to run provincially. He won the seat of Victoria, and was elected leader of the provincial Liberal party. After his defeat in 1975, he continued conservation efforts as an environmental consultant and adjunct professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, focusing on coastal and wetland protection and marine pollution from oil transportation and exploration. As well, he served as the sole commissioner for an inquiry into Fraser Valley Petroleum Exploration, special advisor to the Premier of British Columbia on Tanker Traffic and Oil Spills, and on the panel appointed to investigate the impacts of mining on fish habitat in the Yukon.

In 1993, he returned to public office as Member of Parliament for Victoria and had a number of federal cabinet appointments: Minister of National Revenue, Minister of Transport, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister of Environment. He served as the senior minister for BC for eight years. His achievements include securing an allocation agreement under the US/Canada Pacific Salmon Treaty which aided in salmon stock protection; establishing Canada’s first Marine Protected Areas; and securing Canadian ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change and Canada’s first endangered species legislation — the Species at Risk Act.

He did not seek re-election in 2006. He continued pursuing his passion for the environment on the board of the World Fisheries, becoming its president the following year. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, an honorary citizen of the City of Victoria, and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

He is the only Canadian to be elected president of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environmental program. Rowing Canada has honored him for his achievements in sport and public service. He has been the recipient of numerous national and international conservation awards including the 50th anniversary International Conservation Award from the Atlantic Salmon Foundation and the Roderick Haig-Brown Conservation Award.

He has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Victoria and an Honorary Doctor of Science from the Wilfred Laurier University.

David Anderson

  • Year: 2018
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Environmental

Peter Anderson

Professor Peter Anderson is an emergency communications expert whose work has improved emergency planning and response world-wide. He advises emergency responders on protecting populations from fires, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes and other disasters.

As Associate Professor and Director of the Telematics Research Lab at Simon Fraser University, BC’s Provincial Emergency Program relies upon him for unique solutions. During the Okanagan fires of 2003, he supervised the protection of mountaintop telecommunications repeaters and other critical lifeline communications systems needed to support community evacuations and emergency response coordination.

He developed a tsunami-warning toolkit for coastal communities and is researching a public all-hazards warning system. He developed ‘AMECom’, a self-contained, mobile, telecommunications research laboratory for communications support during emergencies. It was deployed on many occasions, including during the Fraser Valley’s Avian Influenza outbreaks and at Whistler during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Professor Anderson played a pivotal role in developing a system to bring medical information to the South Pacific, a communications system in war-torn Sudan, the first Internet systems for U.N. disaster relief operations, and an emergency warning system for Sri Lanka. He designed and implemented an Internet-based system to facilitate civil emergency planning among the 22 countries of NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme. He’s currently working on new rapid-deployable communications systems for use across Northern Canada.

He works with community organizations in BC on disaster risk reduction activities including improving the effectiveness of West Coast tsunami warning in the aftermath of the October 2012 Haida Gwaii Earthquake.

Professor Anderson’s contributions to the application of telematics in spaceflight has resulted in communication solutions and innovative technology for planetary and lunar explorations. His expertise is sought around the world, yet he generously helps search and rescue and other community organizations across BC.

Peter Anderson

  • Year: 2013
  • City: Pitt Meadows
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

Jean Jacques André

The work of Jean Jacques André of Victoria has helped make the Royal British Columbia Museum a world leader in exhibit design and one of Victoria’s major tourist attractions. He designed the Old Town exhibit, the First People’s Gallery and Living Land–Living Sea. His dioramas and open exhibits recreate a complete environment — often including sound, smell and light in fine detail — where even the smallest space can help create imagery in a person’s mind. Acclaimed around the world for the sense of wonder about British Columbia they transmit to visitors, more than 30 million people have visited these exhibits since they opened.

Jean Jacques André is a conceptual designer on the leading edge of museum design. His work is an inspiration to many others in his field and has established British Columbia as a leader in museum and multi-media design. His exhibits have increased public awareness and appreciation of nature and history — an awareness which is critical to their preservation for future generations. His unique vision is the basis for more than 70 museums and workshops and can be seen in museums throughout British Columbia and across Canada, as well as in 15 American states, Sweden and Hong Kong.

Jean Jacques André

  • Year: 1999
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Gerald Andrews *

A teacher, an engineer, a forester, a land surveyor and a writer, Gerry Andrews was truly one of British Columbia’s great trail blazers.

Born in Winnipeg, educated in Vancouver, Toronto, Oxford, England and Dresden, Germany, Gerry commenced his career as a school master at Big Bar Creek and Kelly Lake in 1922. Teaching gave way to land surveying in 1930. He was Chief of Party, Flathead Forest Survey – 1930; Tranquille and Niskonlith Survey – 1931; Shuswap Forest Survey – 1932.

He initiated the use of air photography in 1931 and supervised air surveys for the Province in Nimkish Forest, Kitimat, Okanagan, the Kootenays and the Rocky Mt. Trench.

Mr. Andrews’ career as a surveyor was interrupted by distinguished war service overseas between 1940 and 1946 wherein he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He developed improved air cameras for the Canadian Army and undertook depth soundings of Normandy beaches by wave velocities determined from air photos. His army service took him on liaison missions to some eighteen countries and he was awarded an M.B.E.

Returning to British Columbia, between 1946 and 1950 he served as Chief Air Survey Engineer for B.C.; and as B.C. Surveyor General & Director of Mapping and Provincial Boundaries Commissioner from 1952 to 1968.

He has acted as a consultant to several countries including the Mekong River studies in 1958.

A keen historian of British Columbia, Gerry Andrews is the author of some 50 publications, and wrote articles for the B.C. Historical Society.

Among many honours and awards, he received the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Association of Professional Engineers of B.C. and, in 1988, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from the University of Victoria.

Gerry Andrews: truly one of British Columbia’s great pioneers.

Gerald Andrews

  • Year: 1990
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Public Service

Mark Angelo

Mark Angelo is a river conservationist, a teacher, and a writer.

He has volunteered countless hours to environmental issues affecting waterways ranging from creeks and streams in his own community to the major waterways of B.C.: the Fraser, the Nechako, the Tatshenshini.

He founded B.C. Rivers Day, the biggest event of its kind in North America. Last year more than 20,000 people helped in stream cleanups and fishery enhancements.

He writes regularly in newspapers and magazines, has helped organize nearly every major river conference in Canada since 1980, and is a much sought-after speaker. He was also influential in British Columbia joining the Canadian Heritage River System.

He is the B.C. representative on that national board and chair of the B.C. Heritage Rivers program. He was the inaugural recipient of the “Ten Year National River Conservation Award” as Canada’s outstanding river conservationist.

Mark Angelo

  • Year: 1998
  • City: Burnaby
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Environmental

F. Gordon Antoine *

Gordon Antoine, who was Chief of the Coldwater Indian Band for 17 years, devoted much of his adult life to creating a better life for Aboriginal people throughout B.C.

Knowing that First Nations people needed education to take their rightful place in Canada, as highly productive and highly regarded individuals, he started the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. With an initial enrollment of only 10 students, the institute has grown to accommodate more than 300 students and now offers distance education courses to others as far away as Yukon and the Maritimes. More than 80 per cent of the student body graduate directly into waiting jobs. No other institution in North America can boast of such a success rate.

Aware as well that First Nations people could not achieve self determination without economic independence, Gordon Antoine passed on his knowledge of business and industry through membership and leadership in such agencies as the Western Indian Agricultural Corporation, and the Nicola Valley Indian Development Corporation.

Though taken from his Nlaka’pamux culture at a young age and placed in a residential school, where he was forbidden to speak his language or practice his customs and traditions, Gordon Antoine adopted concepts such as the medicine wheel to show all cultures how to overcome discrimination and racism, to heal the wounds of the past and reach towards a brighter future.

F. Gordon Antoine

  • Year: 1993
  • City: Merritt
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan
  • Category: Other

Luigi Aquilini

Mr. Luigi Aquilini is a quintessential British Columbia success story. Having come to Canada from Italy in the mid-1950s, he started his own construction company, working in East Vancouver during the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, he bought and sold older buildings in Vancouver, Ontario, and Quebec and then began buying land to build new condominium towers.

Through business skill, careful stewardship and strategic moves, Mr. Aquilini built one of Canada’s most successful businesses, Aquilini Investment Group, owning commercial and residential buildings, hotels, farming operations, golf courses, restaurants, a global renewable energy enterprise, and the Vancouver Canucks professional hockey team.

Amidst this success, Mr. Aquilini has been among British Columbia’s most generous philanthropists. He and his wife Elisa have contributed to the building of the Italian Gardens at Hastings Park and created the Aquilini Land Conservancy, a 100-hectare nature preserve in the Fraser Valley.

He along with his three children and 14 grandchildren, have supported causes related to children such as B.C. Children’s Hospital, Juvenile Diabetes Research and the Canucks for Kids Fund. His family formed the Canucks Autism Network.

Mr. Aquilini has been honoured by the President of the Republic of Italy with the extraordinary title “Commendatore.” He currently serves as Vice President of the “Comitato Degli Italiani All’Estero.”

Luigi Aquilini

  • Year: 2011
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Business

Dr. Finley Armanious

Dr. Finley Armanious is a dedicated health professional, a strong patient advocate and a true Renaissance man.

In over more than 30 years of intensive care service at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, Dr. Armanious touched the lives of thousands of Okanagan patients and their families. While he has not received widespread acclaim for his accomplishments, his care and compassion will long be remembered by his many patients, their loved ones and their communities.

Even after his retirement and at the age of 86, Dr. Armanious continues to be consulted on many intensive care cases by other physicians. It was his vision that led to the new intensive care unit and the intensive and cardiac care floor of the Polson Tower at Vernon Jubilee Hospital, where lives are saved and families are reunited during their most challenging times.

Dr. Armanious’ personal service goes well beyond his profession. In retirement, he continues to find new and different ways to support his community, working with the local hospital foundation and various fundraising initiatives.

Following his own tragedy – the loss of his son in a 1992 car crash – Dr. Armanious’ passion and determination led to the establishment of the Dr. Peter Armanious Walk and Run, which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for cardiac care at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

The general medical staff of Vernon Jubilee Hospital – including 250 physicians, nurses and midwives – pledged $250,000 for the naming of the Intensive and Cardiac Care floor in honour of Dr. Armanious, acknowledging his leadership and excellence.

Dr. Finley Armanious

  • Year: 2013
  • City: Vernon
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan
  • Category: Public Service

Joseph James Arvay *

B.C. lawyer Joseph Arvay dedicated his life’s work to defending the constitutional rights of Canadians. He helped breathe life into the Charter of Rights, helping not only his clients but assisting in the development of civil liberties and saving lives as a result of his legal defence of Insite and other harm reduction programs.

He achieved extraordinary success in Charter of Rights cases, many of them focused on the rights of the poor and disadvantaged and pivotal in the development of Charter jurisprudence.

Supreme Court of Canada cases engaging the Charter, and in which he acted as a main party include:

  • Carter v. Canada [2015], assisted dying
  • Canada v. Downtown Eastside Sex Workers [2012], public interest standing
  • Canada v. PHS Community Services, [2011], safe injection site
  • Withler v. Canada, [2011] – section 15
  • Health Services and Support v. BC [2007], collective bargaining
  • Little Sister’s Book v. Canada, [2007], advanced costs
  • Same Sex Marriage [ [2004]
  • Blencoe v. BC, [2000], section 7
  • Chamberlain v. Surrey School District [2002] – same-sex parented families and school materials
  • Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium v. Canada, [2000] Charter right to receive expressive material

Throughout his career Arvay showed willingness to take on lengthy but important cases where there was no prospect of adequate or any remuneration. His defence of the Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium in its years-long dispute with Canada Customs is one example, as is Carter v. Canada 2015 SCC 5, which established the right to physician-assisted suicide for people in unbearable pain.

In addition to his legacy created by precedents set by his legal victories, Arvay mentored young lawyers, giving guest lectures at law schools and continuing education conferences, and was a visiting teacher at a number of law schools.

He was recognized for his achievements by being awarded Queen’s Counsel, an honourary degree from York University, the Walter S. Tarnopolsky Human Rights Award, and the BCCLA’s inaugural Liberty Award for legal advocacy in service of human rights and civil liberties. He was named as one of the top 100 best lawyers in Canada for several years and in 2013 was named Vancouver Lawyer of the Year in Public Law and Administrative Law. He was also a bencher of the Law Society of British Columbia. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2017 for his significant achievements in the field of law.

Joseph James Arvay

  • Year: 2017
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Professions and other occupations

Nava Ashraf

At the time of appointment, Nava Ashraf was the youngest person ever to be awarded the Order of British Columbia, demonstrating that Canada’s younger generation has the resources and motivation to generate creative ideas and new solutions for the challenges of the future.

Nava Ashraf was born in 1975 to a Baha’i family in Iran. Five years later, her family fled to Canada to escape religious persecution. In her adopted country, Ms. Ashraf has overcome many obstacles to achieve an unparalleled record of social service and academic excellence.

Graduating from her high school in Kelowna first in her class with an A+ average, and winning the Governor-General’s Award for Academic Excellence, Ms. Ashraf was the only graduate to complete the rigorous International Baccalaureate program at the same time.

In addition to these impressive academic achievements, she has worked energetically to start and lead many community service groups such as the environmental group LIFE and Students for Global Awareness. She has demonstrated leadership and dedication in working for the betterment of her community.

Among the many benefits left behind in her home community of Kelowna as she pursues her higher education at Stanford University on a full scholarship, is a computer program she developed to assist immigrant students with learning English as a second language.

Nava Ashraf

  • Year: 1995
  • City: Kelowna
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan
  • Category: Other

Shashi Assanand

Shashi Assanand is a visionary and pioneer in founding the Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Service Society. Since 1991, VLMFSS has been providing multicultural, trauma-informed, culturally responsive services to immigrant, refugee and visible-minority women, children and families who face domestic violence. This vulnerable population often faces barriers such as the lack of ability to speak English or a lack of understanding about the Canadian legal system.

Once a woman separates from an abusive partner she also loses the support of her family and the community. Many victims and survivors do not access the transition houses and other supports due to these multiple and intersecting barriers. It is within this context that VLMFSS came to be through the vision of Assanand to provide free and confidential services in more than 20 languages by workers who speak the same language, hail from the same culture as the women seeking help and understand the immigrant experience. Through this model VLMFSS has been able to make more than 780,000 contacts and serve more than 43,500 women over the course of its 29 years.

In the early years, Assanand recruited immigrant women from various ethnic communities and trained them one-to-one to enable them to serve the women in their communities. Each new worker opened the door to that community and Assanand supported every worker and empowered them to develop ethno-specific strategies to assist the women within their community. The workers in turn empower the women they help through a trusting, respectful, safe, women-centered and strength-based approach. These were the days when domestic violence was a topic that was taboo to discuss openly. Assanand has brought domestic violence to the fore, increasing its awareness across all cultures through VLMFSS, an organization run by immigrant women for immigrant women.

Assanand, a refugee from Uganda, has a pivotal role in spearheading crime prevention programs for immigrant and refugee women and creating a safe place for community dialogue. For this, she received the Anthony J. Hulme Award from the Province of B.C. Her calm, accepting, non-judgmental demeanor percolates through all her interactions with the workers, community partners, funders and clients. In true multicultural spirit she is a role model for acceptance of individual and cultural differences and is focused on the positives and strengths of all individuals.

Assanand served 16 years in the settlement sector and 27 years in the anti-violence sector. Her participation in numerous advisory bodies, committees, panels, boards of community, government agencies at provincial and national levels, and research projects, has lent a voice to immigrant women in developing policies and programs that affect vulnerable immigrant women while creating equal access for all immigrants and building an egalitarian society. She has received the many awards and medal including YWCA Women of Distinction Award.

Shashi Assanand

  • Year: 2020
  • City: Richmond
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

Michael Audain

A philanthropist and businessman, Michael Audain has a long history of activism and generous support for visual arts and culture in British Columbia. As an art collector, he has assisted many B.C. artists by purchasing and promoting their work.

As past-president of the Vancouver Art Gallery and chair of the Vancouver Art Gallery Foundation, Mr. Audain has dedicated himself to ensuring the success of major exhibitions and programs at art galleries in Vancouver and Victoria.

He is a Governor of the Business Council of BC and past-president of the Urban Development Institute. Mr. Audain has been a benefactor of the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, the Evergreen Cultural Centre, and the Belkin Art Gallery.

He supports a program of awards, carrying his name, for lifetime achievement in the visual arts. He also has supported the Artists for Kids Trust, which provides art enrichment to thousands of Vancouver school children each year.

Mr. Audain has contributed greatly and generously to the promotion of art in our province, putting into action his belief that art can play a hugely positive role in the well being of individuals and their communities. Personally, through his company, and through the Audain Foundation, he has actively promoted art in British Columbia for many years.

He has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of Canadian art and Canadian artists, thereby enriching and helping preserve the cultural heritage of our province and our country.

Michael Audain

  • Year: 2007
  • City: West Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Jacob (Jack) Austin

As a Senator emeritus, member of the Federal Cabinets of Prime Minister Trudeau and Prime Minister Martin, and an Honourary Professor, Jacob (Jack) Austin is also recognized for leading B.C. in the field of public policy for more than 45 years.

Mr. Austin has been involved with many of the major initiatives that have defined B.C. over the last third of a century including northeast coal devlopment, Expo 86, the Nisga’a Final Agreement and the Pacific Gateway Strategy.

A Vancouver-based lawyer, Mr. Austin assisted the provincial and federal governments early in his career with issues such as labour relations on major dam construction projects, and negotiations with the U.S. on the Columbia River Treaty.

He was recruited to serve as a federal deputy minister in 1970, a rare appointment for a British Columbian. He went on to serve as Prime Minister Trudeau’s principal secretary. In 1975 he was appointed to the Senate, where he served until his retirement in 2007.

Mr. Austin has been a leader in building a strengthened relationship between Canada and China and was a member of the first official visit to China in June 1971, following participation in the recognition process. He initiated the establishment of the Asia Pacific Foundation in 1984. He has also worked for progress in relations between B.C. and First Nations.

Mr. Austin has rendered great service to B.C. through a lengthy career.

Jacob (Jack) Austin

  • Year: 2010
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Public Service

Janet Austin

The CEO of one of the province’s largest non-profit organizations and the former chair of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, Janet Austin has reached the highest level of achievement in both the social and business sectors.

Janet has guided YWCA Metro Vancouver through a number of transitions that have put the organization at the heart of the lives of tens of thousands of British Columbians using its services and programs and supporting their physical and mental well-being at more than 40 locations.

Over the past decade, Janet has spearheaded community-focused initiatives at the YWCA, expanding its geographic and social reach in order to increase access to affordable housing for low- income single mothers and women leaving abusive relationships, supporting youth in foster care to transition to independence, and broadening services for marginalized women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

A champion of social change, Janet volunteers on several committees and boards including the Big Sisters honorary advisory board and the City of Vancouver Healthy City for All Leadership Table. She is a passionate mentor and role model for women across BC.

She received an honorary degree from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Medals.

Janet Austin

  • Year: 2016
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

Joe Average

Joe Average, born Brock David Tebbutt, has been an important contributor to the B.C., Canadian and international art scene since the mid 1980s, when an HIV diagnosis, complete with an uncertain life expectancy, moved him to focus exclusively on his art. He changed his name to Joe Average after being inspired by artists in Canada’s Western Front who adopted stage names like Dr. Brute and Sally Peanuts. His easily recognizable pieces, featuring images of flowers, animals, insects and people, have captured the interest of international art critics, royalty and celebrities, while remaining accessible and meaningful to local collectors and supporters.

Joe’s work has been described as “a visionary kaleidoscope of colour, creativity and compassion” and has come to symbolize love and inclusivity. Over the years he has received numerous awards and honours, including civic merit awards, the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award (1998) and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Outstanding Community Achievement (2002). In 2002, then Mayor Philip Owen issued a civic proclamation designating Nov. 3, 2002 as Joe Average Day. In 2004 Joe became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy (RCA) of Artists and won its prestigious RCA award. In 2019 he designed the Equality Coin for the Royal Canadian Mint. Also in 2019 Joe received the B.C. Medal of Good Citizenship.

Joe’s art transcends mere placement on gallery walls. His images have come to symbolize hope to millions of people living with HIV/AIDS. Despite his well-documented long, painful health struggle, he has quietly and consistently donated prints and photographic works to charitable causes across the province serving children and those living with terminal illness. For years he has designed posters and t-shirts for Vancouver’s annual AIDS walk, helping raise funds for local service organizations like A Loving Spoonful. 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. Joe’s commitment was evident throughout the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic as sales of masks featuring his most iconic images raised $10,000 for BC Children’s Hospital.

In addition to Joe’s significant contributions as an artist and philanthropist, by sharing his personal story, he has quietly raised awareness of what it means to live with HIV /AIDS. His moving, painful honesty has encouraged his fellow Canadians to support community projects and has helped raised the profile of men and women who have struggled with isolation, rejection and stigma associated with AIDS.

Joe Average

  • Year: 2021
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Arts and Culture

B

Unity Bainbridge *

The face of British Columbia has gone through many changes during the last 60 years. Unity Bainbridge captured those changes in her art.

During the 1930s, Unity Bainbridge travelled alone through the interior of British Columbia, up and down the coast and across to Vancouver Island for the sole purpose of painting the native peoples in their own environment.

Carrying all her painting supplies herself she hiked many miles in the wilderness and paddled rivers and lakes to get to the locations where she worked. Unity Bainbridge was fiercely determined to make a record of what she was seeing.

Her art records places long gone: squatters’ shacks, Japanese villages and native villages. She painted intimate portraits of people, young and old, rich and poor. What made her style so unique was her ability to actually compete her work on location.

In addition to teaching art-appreciation to secondary school students, Unity Bainbridge produced three illustrated books on the Province.

To paraphrase the late Lauren Harris of the Group of Seven: “Unity Bainbridge has concentrated all her energies on making a Canadian statement in art, in British Columbia terms.”

Unity Bainbridge

  • Year: 1993
  • City: West Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Dr. Raghbir Singh Bains

Dr. Raghbir Singh Bains immigrated to Canada in 1990, and has since worked tirelessly as a volunteer, community activist and educator for many organizations to promote cultural understanding and mutual respect between the Indo-Canadian and other communities in B.C.

Dr. Bains has presented at seminars and conferences worldwide on the subjects of AIDS awareness, drugs and youth, environmental issues, multiculturalism and world peace. He is the author of the Encyclopedia of Sikhism, an educational reference that covers Sikh religion, history, culture and heritage. Dr. Bains produced and programmed the Multimedia Sikh Museum in India, the first of its kind in the world, using new technology to make it easily accessible and interactive for all.

Dr. Bains has produced many publications on drug and alcohol addiction, its prevention, and treatment. He has also written on many other wide-ranging topics, from HIV/AIDs awareness, to poverty, and world peace. He is an active volunteer and role model in the Indo-Canadian community, acting as an interpreter and assisting new immigrants to become accustomed to Canadian living.

Dr. Bains has won more than 60 local, national and international awards. He was declared Scholar of the 20th Century by the Government of Punjab, and received the Order of Khalsa, the Bhai Gurdas International Award, the Wisdom of Age Mentorship Award, the Good Citizen of the Year Award from the City of Surrey, and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding community service.

Dr. Raghbir Singh Bains

  • Year: 2005
  • City: Surrey
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

Kim Baird

Kim Baird is a remarkable leader. Fearlessly determined and deeply committed to social justice, she has relentlessly pursued her dream of a prosperous self-governing Tsawwassen First Nation, free of the shackles of the Indian Act and the reserve system.

Serving as elected chief for six terms, she negotiated and implemented the first modern treaty in the BC Treaty Negotiation Process. Her community is now on the road to prosperity and self-sufficiency by creating employment opportunities and attracting millions of dollars of investment. Kim initiated the Tsawwassen Mills project, a commercial real-estate development valued at $780-million.

The Tsawwassen First Nation treaty negotiations are recognized as a model for effective negotiations throughout Canada and the world. Much sought after as a motivational speaker, Kim makes herself available to any and all seeking advice on First Nations.

Kim’s experience, knowledge and impact on creating change for First Nations governance continues to be instrumental in opening doors and creating relationships and opportunities which would otherwise not exist.

She serves on many boards including Clear Seas, Canada Public Policy Forum, and the Premier’s Aboriginal Business Investment Council. Kim is a member of the Order of Canada and received the Indspire Award in 2015, which represents the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows upon its achievers. She has also received an honorary degree from Simon Fraser University.

Kim Baird

  • Year: 2016
  • City: Tsawwassen
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

Dr. Patricia Baird

Dr. Patricia Baird is an internationally known and respected geneticist who has made outstanding contributions in the field of clinical medicine, research and education.

Born in Great Britain, Dr. Baird moved to Canada where she received her education and medical training at McGill University.

In 1978 Dr. Baird became the head of the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia. Under her leadership, the Department grew from a small group of pioneer scientists and clinicians to an internationally known resource.

She is the first woman to chair a clinical medical school department at the University of British Columbia, and the first woman to be elected to the Board of Governors.

Her medical genetics course, regularly voted the best course by UBC medical students, is an outstanding model for teaching genetics to physicians of the future. The American Society of Human Genetics has used this model in the development of medical genetics courses for medical students in North America.

Dr. Baird’s research in the area of mental retardation, Down’s Syndrome and birth defects is widely quoted and respected. She has counselled thousands of families, offering compassion and advice for the family as well as treatment for the individual affected.

She was instrumental in developing the prenatal diagnostic program for women in British Columbia and is now the Chair of the Federal Royal Commission on Reproductive Technology.

Dr. Patricia Baird

  • Year: 1992
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Professions and other occupations

Peter Norman Baird

Peter Baird has played an extraordinary role in advancing the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, bringing British Columbians together in many different ways.

Mr. Baird was at the forefront of treaty negotiations in British Columbia as an integral member of the federal team that negotiated the Nisga’a and Tsawwassen treaties. He has promoted respect for Aboriginal aspirations and achievements through youth development programs, education initiatives, arts exchanges and festivals.

He has also promoted organ transplant campaigns for children, assisted youth participation at a Haida Gwaii wilderness program, was a founding Director of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, an early proponent of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation and a long-time supporter and contributor to the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards.

Mr. Baird also helped guide the development of Canada’s leading Aboriginal financial institution.

He has shown skill and understanding internationally – spearheading projects involving Canada and Russia, Austria, Japan, Mexico, Brazil and many other countries. He is equally lauded here at home for his compassion in helping British Columbia’s young Aboriginal people overcome prejudice and aspire to great goals.

Mr. Baird championed aboriginal representation at the 2006 Winter Olympics and the Squamish First Nation’s involvement with the 2010 Games here at home.

Peter Baird is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the Federal Head of Public Service Award and the Russian State Committee Medal for the promotion of Youth Tourism.

Peter Norman Baird

  • Year: 2011
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Other

Sudarshan Kumar Bakshi

A highly respected member of British Columbia’s South Asian community, Sudarshan Bakshi is widely known for his community leadership and volunteer service.

Following his arrival in Canada in 1967, Mr. Bakshi worked as a forklift operator and operated his own small blueberry farm for many years. As the father of five daughters, he decided to help young women in Canada and India. In 1988 he began sending money to Indian charities to help poor young women and families struggling to deal with the dowry system and helped young women learn skills like needle-work and sewing that would make them financial contributors within their family units.

By the 1990s, Mr. Bakshi took his charitable efforts to the lumber mill where he worked, organizing a charity lunch to benefit BC’s Children’s Hospital. Success led him to found the Janta Sewal Society, dedicated to assisting under-funded charities.

Through this society, he has raised more than $400,000, supporting a range of charities, including the Canadian Red Cross, Delta Hospital Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, and many others.

Mr. Bakshi has continually identified new causes and new fundraising ideas. He is a founding member of the Five Rivers Community Services Society, the largest funeral home in Canada. He has also worked to increase understanding and tolerance between cultural groups. He is a founding member of the South Asian Human Rights Organization, which works to build bridges between various factions, religions and countries.

Mr. Bakshi’s leadership, volunteerism and hard work have enhanced the quality of life for many people in British Columbia and India. He is a working person who has spent every spare penny and minute helping others and working toward a united community.

Sudarshan Kumar Bakshi

  • Year: 2007
  • City: Richmond
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Communications

Dr. Geoffrey Ballard *

Geoffrey Ballard is acknowledged worldwide as the father of the fuel-cell industry. One of the founders of Ballard Power Systems in 1979, his vision was to create an alternative non-polluting source of energy. In 1993, the world’s first hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered, zero-emission transit bus was introduced at Science World in Vancouver. He retired as chair of the company in 1997 and, two years later, formed a company called General Hydrogen Corporation to provide energy-delivery technologies, systems and infrastructures for fuel-cell vehicles and devices. He has numerous publications and patents to his credit, has been granted honorary degrees from six Canadian universities and is a Member of the Order of Canada.

Dr. Geoffrey Ballard

  • Year: 2003
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Science and Technology

Dr. Peter Banks *

Dr. Peter Banks of Victoria was respected by his colleagues not only for his medical acumen and devotion to the patients coming under his care, but also for his demonstrated sense of obligation to the relationship between the medical profession and the public.

Particularly noteworthy is the vital role Dr. Banks played in the formation of the British Columbia Medical Plan. In the mid sixties, he served as Chief Negotiator and Signatory of a landmark agreement between the medical profession and the government. This agreement, the first of its kind in North America, was to provide medical coverage to all British Columbians. After the formation of the Medical Services Commission, Dr. Banks went on to serve as one of its original commissioners.

His contributions to his profession were extensive: in addition to servicing provincially as President of the B.C. Medical Association, and nationally as President of the C.M.A., Peter Banks was also President of the British Medical Association. When not practising medicine in its various forms, our recipient found the time for community service, including serving a term as president of the United Appeal of Greater Victoria.

Dr. Peter Banks

  • Year: 1996
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Professions and other occupations

Brenda Baptiste

In the late 1990s the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB), largely through the efforts of Chief Clarence Louie, established itself as an economic force in the South Okanagan. However, very little was evident from an Indigenous cultural perspective so chief and council embarked on the feasibility for a cultural centre that would not only help preserve Syilx (Okanagan) culture but present this cultural richness to the greater public.

In 2003 Brenda Baptiste was hired to coordinate the planning and operations for the $10-million first phase of the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre (NDCC) that would celebrate Syilx culture and life in the desert context. The OIB had limited financial resources to subsidize the cultural centre and decided to open the NDCC to the public to assist with financial operations and to celebrate Indigenous Sylix culture, truly a precursor for reconciliation. The centre went on to win numerous awards and is now in a phase two expansion for which Brenda is guiding the Indigenous story. The completion of this next phase will further anchor the centre as one of the leading cultural attractions in B.C.

Following the inspirational success with the NDCC, Brenda was elected to the board of the then Aboriginal Tourism BC (AtBC), which was a young financially strapped organization of 12 members and one employee. It now has 500 members and 12 employees.

For Brenda three issues became evident:

  1. Indigenous cultural tourism would need to become not only an economic opportunity for B.C.’s Indigenous communities but would provide “pride-of-nation” and a powerful path to reconciliation for Indigenous communities as they chose what cultural elements to protect and what to share and celebrate with visitors, ensuring cultural authenticity.
  2. For Indigenous cultural rebirth a clear road map was imperative and as a result she worked in collaboration with a team to develop a blueprint for the growth of Indigenous cultural tourism in B.C., and the first of its kind in Canada. The strategy was the catalyst for incredible growth in Indigenous cultural tourism — 20 per cent each year on average, including revenues of more than $1.2 billion and 7,400 full-time jobs.
  3. The vision for a potent Indigenous cultural presence had to include a strong B.C. identity, which would celebrate the rich cultural life of Indigenous people. This collaborative effort would be sustained through meaningful partnerships with the B.C. government and tourism industry partners.

Brenda was also the director of the Aboriginal Business Showcase for the Four Host Nations during the 2010 Olympics. This venue hosted over 500 Indigenous cultural businesses and artisans from across Canada. The vision was to create an opportunity for visitors reflecting dynamic and diverse Indigenous cultures, thereby facilitating the growth of cultural opportunities for all Indigenous Nations in Canada.

Recently, Brenda led the coordination of a holistic cultural program for Indigenous inmates at the Okanagan Correction Centre. She has implemented cultural events for those often in most need to build pride in their essence as a native person. She has implemented Syilx cultural programming, including spiritual counselling, smudging, singing and drumming, sweat house ceremonies, Syilx language and crafts.

Brenda Baptiste

  • Year: 2021
  • City: Osoyoos
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Irving (Ike) K. Barber *

Ike Barber was one of B.C.’s pre-eminent foresters, entrepreneurs and business leaders. He was also a generous benefactor who gave $900,000 to the University of Northern British Columbia to endow a forestry research chair and build a forestry laboratory, and $2.5 million to UBC to establish a diabetes research chair. Barber received the Forest Excellence Award in Communications for his book, The Working Forest. He also received the Distinguished Forester of the Year Award, and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award to recognize the building of his company into one of North America’s most successful forest companies. In 2002, he was granted an honorary doctor of laws by the University of Northern British Columbia.

Irving (Ike) Barber

  • Year: 2003
  • City: Delta
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Industry

Dr. Roger Barnsley

Dr. Roger Barnsley, founding president of Thompson Rivers University, is an outstanding leader. As president of the University College of the Cariboo from 1998 to 2004, he effectively and passionately communicated the importance of a university for Kamloops and the region to its citizens and the government. The powerfully coordinated “Friends of UCC” led to the establishment of TRU in 2004.

Thompson Rivers University is recognized as a progressive leader in forging partnership opportunities with business and industry to support the education and training needs of the region and province. TRU responded to the needs of First Nations students by developing and implementing a comprehensive Aboriginal education plan in consultation with First Nations communities. Enhancements to campus facilities, academic courses and programs were made in support of Aboriginal students’ achievement and success.

Dr. Barnsley’s vision and guidance facilitated the emergence of Kamloops as a university city and facilitated the strategic development of TRU World. TRU annually enrolls up to 2000 international students from over 80 countries. It supports strategic partnerships around the world that include over 1000 offshore students studying to earn TRU degrees in their home countries. TRU World also provides opportunities for TRU students to participate in study abroad.

Since retiring in 2008, Roger Barnsley has served as Co-Chair of the British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfers and as a director of Island Health.

Dr. Roger Barnsley

  • Year: 2014
  • City: Parksville
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Education

David Barrett *

Mr. Dave Barrett was one of the chief architects of British Columbia as we know it today. Some of the great institutions that make our province unique – PharmaCare, the Agricultural Land Reserve and ICBC, for example – exist thanks to his leadership. He created Canada’s first guaranteed income program for seniors, in addition to a provincewide ambulance service, question period in the Legislature, Hansard and full-time Members of the Legislature.

Mr. Barrett accomplished all of this in just three years as Premier, from 1972 to 1975.

Born in Vancouver in 1930, Mr. Barrett was a child of the Great Depression, growing up in a politically active, working class family. It was not long before he was challenging the system and proposing a better way.

Mr. Barrett’s legacy to future generations is the equal to that of Premiers who served for decades. First elected to the B.C. Legislature while still in his twenties, he was British Columbia’s first New Democrat Premier – at the age of 41 – and also served as a Member of Parliament in Ottawa.

Courageous, fearless, funny, dynamic and inspirational, Mr. Barrett believed that government has a moral obligation to care for our most vulnerable and ensure equality. His exceptional ability as a public speaker, his quick wit and his plain-spoken style enabled him to forge a strong connection with British Columbians.

David Barrett (no photo available)

  • Year: 2012
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Community Leadership

Dr. Vivien E. Basco

After attending university in the 1950s and 1960s, in England and in British Columbia, Dr. Vivien Basco began practicing radiation oncology in this province in 1966. From that time to the present, she has consistently shown leadership in her field of practice. Dr. Basco introduced lymphography into British Columbia and was the first to use radiotherapy techniques in the treatment of Hodgkin’s Disease; she was instrumental in launching the first national clinical study of that disease.

She has saved countless lives and has been an inspiration to several generations of medical students. Dr. Basco has headed many specially focused medical groups such as the Lymphoma Tumor and Breast Tumor groups of the British Columbia Cancer Agency. Outside of her regular working duties and hours, Dr. Basco recognized the life-saving potential of screening for early signs of breast cancer and set her goal to make the technology available to all women in British Columbia.

She provided the leadership and impetus to bring together the diverse group of individuals – family physicians, patient advocates, radiologists, epidemiologists, oncologists, pathologists, administrators and government representatives – who would shape the screening mammography project.

Her persistence, diplomacy and persuasiveness have resulted in a unique, cost-effective screening mammography program, years ahead of others in North America.

Dr. Basco also contributed her time freely to teach groups of specialists, family practitioners and the general public. On a personal level, she has become a sensitive, caring physician in the difficult and emotional field of cancer medicine. Her years of dedicated, unselfish work have benefitted all and will continue to benefit thousands of British Columbians in a direct and significant way.

Dr. Vivien E. Basco

  • Year: 1991
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Professions and other occupations

Robert Bateman

After teaching high school geography and art for 20 years in Ontario, Robert Bateman retired in 1976 to paint full time. Since the 1960s, he has been an active member of many naturalist and conservation organizations, and has used his wildlife paintings and prints to raise millions of dollars for these causes.

His artworks hang in permanent collections all over the world, his most notable one man exhibition having been held at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

He has received many honorary doctorates and awards, and was named to the Order of Canada.

Robert Bateman

  • Year: 2001
  • City: Saltspring Island
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Iain Baxter

Iain Baxter came to British Columbia in 1964 and from there built an enviable world-wide reputation as an artist specializing in photo conceptualism – a form of art that emphasizes ideas over images.

This was the first global art movement of the post Second World War, and Mr. Baxter led what became known as the Vancouver School, a generation of photo-conceptual artists whose works are appreciated and prized around the world.

Mr. Baxter is Canada’s first conceptual artist, making innovative use of photography and pioneering the use of plastics in art. His highly regarded conceptual installations and environmental projects have earned him the label the Marshall McLuhan of the visual arts. His works are in the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Belkin Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague.

Mr. Baxter was born in England, came to Canada at age one, studied in the United States and Japan before choosing British Columbia as his home. He taught at U.B.C., Emily Carr College, S.F.U, where he designed the university logo and set up Visual Arts in the Centre for Communications and the Arts. From his base in Vancouver, he traveled to lecture elsewhere in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Now, retired from his academic career, Iain Baxter remains active as an artist. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and has received the Order of Ontario, honorary doctorates from UBC and the University of Windsor, the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, the Canada Council Molson Prize for the arts and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize – both for Lifetime Achievement.

Iain Baxter

  • Year: 2007
  • City: Vancouver, B.C. & Windsor, Ontario
  • Region: Out of Province
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Dr. Richard Beamish

Dr. Richard Beamish has been called a captain of science-one of those few who scorn precedents and strike out in new directions, undeterred by doubts or the criticism of their peers.

As a graduate student in 1969, Dr. Beamish co-discovered the problem of acid rain in North America. His work at the Fisheries and Oceans Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg forced INCO Ltd. to reduce its emissions. He highlighted the role that atmospheric processes play in transporting contaminants, and the potential effect this may have on marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. A leader in the world’s scientific community, his work has been instrumental in encouraging governments and others to address these problems.

Dr. Beamish has also been at the forefront of other types of research. He is one of the pioneers examining how climate changes affect marine fish populations, which has significant implications for the management of Pacific salmon and other species. He pioneered novel approaches to determine the age of fish, and the methods he developed and verified are now routinely used around the world. He is one of the world authorities on parasitic and non-parasitic lamprey in North America.

He has authored or co-authored more than 250 scientific papers and reports. An educator and mentor to the next generation of potential scientists, Dr. Beamish has served as a director on the Foundation Board at Malaspina University College, and taught a fisheries management course there for 10 years. He makes science fun, exciting and challenging, and has been described as “the standard for everything that is good about teaching.”

Currently the senior scientist at the Pacific Biological Station, Dr. Beamish has received national and international awards and recognition. Among them is his appointment as a member of the Order of Canada, election to the Royal Society of Canada, and an international award for “significant contribution over the past 20 years to the field of population biology.” He represents Canada on a number of prestigious international panels and commissions.

Dr. Richard Beamish

  • Year: 2004
  • City: Nanaimo
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Environmental

Ryan Beedie

Ryan Beedie exemplifies the Order’s purpose of recognizing British Columbians who have made significant contributions to making our province a better place to live.

Under his direction, Beedie Development has become the market’s leading industrial developer in western Canada and widely recognized as a reputable residential builder in British Columbia. Beedie Development prides itself in operating a business that lives its motto: Built for Good. Ryan is a leader in B.C.’s business community, and in 2009, he was recognized as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in the Pacific Region.

Ryan is making his mark beyond business: he has established himself as one of our leading philanthropists, creating one of the province’s largest post-secondary scholarship foundations, leading fundraising efforts for hospitals, supporting neighbourhood support services, and representing Canada in international efforts to end extreme poverty and preventable disease.

For Ryan, it’s about giving back and building up the communities where he lives and works. That starts with education. He has established Beedie Luminaries, a $50-million scholarship fund for bright, driven students. The creation of the fund was inspired by a belief that education is life-changing and that students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds should be given an opportunity to fulfill their potential. This past year, the Beedie Luminaries funded 80 students from 43 high schools in B.C. with $40,000 each to pay for their education. The fund will grow to provide scholarships to over 100 students per year.

Beedie Luminaries is the most recent investment in education made by Ryan and the Beedie family. In 2011, they made the largest ever contribution to Simon Fraser University, establishing the Beedie School of Business.

It’s not just education: Ryan chaired the fundraising campaign for the new medical and surgical centre at North Vancouver’s Lions Gate Hospital, raising $100 million in under two years including a $2.5 million personal contribution. He and his wife Cindy have donated more than $1 million to Children’s Circle of Care at B.C. Children’s’ Hospital and sponsored B.C. Children’s’ fundraising efforts. He has also made a substantial contribution to the expansion of Burnaby Hospital.

In 2019, Ryan was named by the Together We Can – Addiction Recovery & Education Society as a Canadian Champion for going “above and beyond to help others.” He sits on the Canadian Board and the Global Leadership Council for the ONE Campaign, a global movement to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030. He is a contributor to the YWCA, the Vancouver Police Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, the St. James Community Service Society, Street to Home, Covenant House Canada, the Sarah McLachlan School of Music and many other charities and foundations.

Ryan has received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, was named Association of Fundraising Professionals “Philanthropist of the Year” (2015), received the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s 2018 Rix Award for Engaged Corporate Citizenship, and the SFU Service to the Community Alumni Award (2018).

Ryan Beedie

  • Year: 2020
  • City: West Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

Frank Beinder *

Frank Beinder came to Canada as a youth but returned to England to serve in the British Army during the Second World War. He returned to Canada in 1947 and went to work on the public relations staff of Cominco in the Trail area until his retirement in 1975.

Mr. Beinder served as chairman of the Trail School Board and as president of the British Columbia School Trustees Association. In this latter capacity, he took a leading role in establishing the Educational Research Institution of B.C. and the Teacher Qualification Board, two bodies which continue to provide important services. In addition, he served as chairman of the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

To people throughout British Columbia, Frank Beinder was known as Mr. College. He was passionate in his conviction that learning should be available to people throughout the province and, over the span of 30 years, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to that goal. He was intimately involved in the formation of Selkirk College and served on its board and as its chairman for many years. He helped to found the B.C. Association of Colleges and spent nine years as its executive director, two as its president.

During that time, the college system blossomed in British Columbia. Blessed with a magnificent speaking voice and a commanding platform presence, Frank Beinder has argued the case for education in general and community colleges in particular to every corner of the province and across Canada and the United States. Few have contributed as much to the community college system in British Columbia as Frank Beinder.

Frank Beinder

  • Year: 1991
  • City: Rossland
  • Region: Kootenay
  • Category: Education

Jack T. Bell *

Jack Bell was born in 1913 in Montreal. He attended the University of British Columbia and received a degree in 1934. He served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War and on his return to Canada, became involved in the peat moss industry.

He pioneered cranberry farming in the province; he was the first commercial grower, planting three acres in 1946. He founded Greenacres Golf Course in the Lower Mainland and was a director on the boards of the Vancouver General Hospital Foundation, the Richmond Foundation, Dr. Sun Yat Sen Society and the Jack Bell Foundation.

With the ample fruits of his life-long labour, Jack Bell set about to see that his resources benefitted those around him. The results are seen across the spectrum of British Columbia society: he contributed most generously – to the Vancouver General Hospital research centre that bears his name, to gerontology at the hospital, to a longhouse for Native Indian students at UBC, and to UBC itself.

The list is much longer. His life was characterized by his generosity and support of others. And he made a difference in the course of many lives, whether it was a business associate or a student receiving an anonymous gift of desperately needed tuition money.

Mr. Bell took a very human and personal interest in the care of the elderly and the terminally ill, through the foundation that bears his name. This involved many years of hard work, investing his own money to do research and talking to the medical profession. Jack Bell’s kindness and compassion set him apart as a very rare and outstanding British Columbian.

Jack T. Bell

  • Year: 1991
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

Larry Bell

Over a distinguished career, Larry Bell has made an extraordinary contribution to British Columbia. He has advised and participated in the creation of public policy and the reshaping of government, he has provided strong leadership to service organizations and critical public institutions, and he has contributed to his province as a volunteer.

Mr. Bell has served several times as a deputy minister for British Columbia’s government, and has provided outstanding leadership as chair and CEO of B.C. Hydro. As board chair, he leads that corporation with the same vigour as when he joined B.C. Hydro nearly 20 years ago.

He served on the board of governors of the University of British Columbia, including four years as chair. Mr. Bell also served on the boards of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Vancouver Board of Trade, the Conference Board of Canada, and a variety of corporations. He has been chair, president or CEO of several of these.

Mr. Bell has also served with distinction in a variety of volunteer positions, including on the boards of Vancouver Hospital Foundation and the B.C. Transplant Society Board of Trustees, and acted as general campaign chair for the United Way of the Lower Mainland.

Mr. Bell has been recognized with a number of honours for his contributions. He is a passionate, energetic and rigorous agent of change and transformation, always motivated by the broader interests of British Columbia and Canada.

Larry Bell

  • Year: 2007
  • City: N/A
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan
  • Category: Public Service

The Honourable Henry P. Bell-Irving *

Brigadier The Honourable Henry Bell-Irving has served his country and his province with great distinction.

A member of a distinguished pioneer family, Mr. Bell-Irving went overseas with the first contingent of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada in December of 1939 and commanded a company of the battalion in Sicily and later in Italy and northwest Europe before succeeding to the command of the 10th. Canadian Infantry Brigade. He was awarded the D.S.O. and bar, the O.B.E. for bravery in action and was twice mentioned in dispatches. Mr. Bell-Irving has served 57 continuous years with the Seaforth Highlanders and until recently was Honourary Colonel of the Regiment. In short, he was one of Canada’s most distinguished and decorated soldiers.

In business, Mr. Bell-Irving was known for his integrity and enthusiasm. In addition to the executive positions he occupied with his own Bell-Irving real estate concern and its successor, he was President of the Vancouver Real Estate Board and of the Canadian Real Estate Association as well as President of the Vancouver Board of Trade.

As Lieutenant Governor from 1978 to 1983, His Honour will be remembered for his extensive travel throughout the Province to remote communities, including native villages, to bring the Vice-Regal Office to British Columbians who had seldom – if ever – enjoyed the opportunity to meet Her Majesty’s official representative.

If there is an activity that particularly characterizes his term, it was his strong support of youth-related activities and programmes, – both officially and personally – including helping young people from disadvantaged situations find a productive and fulfilling role in society. In these tasks he was graciously supported by Mrs. Bell-Irving.

Mr. Bell-Irving’s community interests included long service with the Provincial Council of the Boy Scouts of Canada, the Children’s Hospital and the B.C. Corps of Commissionaires. He is an officer of the Order of Canada.

Henry P. Bell-Irving

  • Year: 1990
  • City: West Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Public Service

Frances Belzberg

Since arriving in B.C. over 40 years ago, Frances Belzberg has championed numerous causes, from health care and medical research to education and nurturing the next generation of Canadian leaders. After her husband of 68 years, Samuel Belzberg, OC, OBC died in 2018, Frances continued their family’s lifelong legacy of community leadership here in B.C. Now in her mid-90s, Frances’ commitment remains unwavering.

In 1976, Frances co-founded the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF), with the mission to advance research, promote awareness, and support the well-being of those affected by the disease. In his testimony, Dr. Anthony Lang, OC, chair for Parkinson’s research at the University of Toronto explains that “[the] establishment of the DMRF essentially revolutionized the field” and that “Frances has been an active driver and supporter of the work of the foundation.” Forty-five years later, Frances is still actively involved in the foundation.

In the early 1990s, Frances was instrumental in the establishment of the Think Aids Society to advance research and funding, and raise awareness for HIV/AIDS. According to Dr. Julio Montaner’s, OC, OBC, , “without the dedication of community leaders like Frances Belzberg, the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS would not have become Canada’s largest HIV/AIDS research organization and a world leader in the fight against HIV.” In 1995, Frances was awarded the Order of Canada in recognition of her numerous achievements.

In 2003, the Government of Canada partnered with the Belzberg Family to create Action Canada, a joint initiative to inspire and support young Canadians and future public policy influencers.

As a champion of education, Frances and the Belzberg family have made transformational impacts to UBC and SFU. In 2016, Frances and Samuel Belzberg were honoured by SFU with the President’s Distinguished Community Leadership Award “for their many years of philanthropy and commitment to education, leadership and equality,” as described by Professor Andrew Petter, CM, OBC, QC, President Emeritus.

Frances Belzberg

  • Year: 2021
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

Samuel Belzberg

Hugely successful in international business Samuel Belzberg is also one of British Columbia’s most forward-thinking philanthropists.

Mr. Belzberg specializes in ambitious and innovative solutions to pressing issues, focusing his exceptional efforts on causes that appeal to his deep caring for humanity.

He is the founder and chair of the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, which has invested more than $25 million in research and outreach.

He inspired and led Simon Fraser University’s first fundraising campaign, which raised $68 million in three years. He has invested time and money in the humanitarian work of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

He established, in partnership with Canada’s federal government, the Action Canada fellowship program, which fosters leadership among up to 20 outstanding young Canadians each year.

In banking, real estate and investment, Mr. Belzberg built a strong reputation for success including founding Gibralt Capital, which today owns and manages more than $250 million of real estate and capital investments.

Mr. Belzberg’s enlightened and generous contributions have been acknowledged through numerous awards and honours over the years, including an honorary doctorate from Simon Fraser University.

Mr. Belzberg is a member of the Order of Canada and was promoted to the Officer category in 2002.

Samuel Belzberg

  • Year: 2009
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Business

Brad Bennett

Brad Bennett has made significant contributions to business and its development in B.C. He has significantly promoted advanced education and is an avid supporter of community and provincial initiatives.

Mr. Bennett is President of McIntosh Properties Ltd. based in Kelowna and serves as a director of a number of public and private corporate boards.

Mr. Bennett currently is a Director of the Premier’s Technology Council and the UBC Properties Trust Board. He is a trustee and member of the Executive Advisory Board of the Fraser Institute and member of the BC Business Laureates Hall of Fame Cabinet.

Mr. Bennett, honouring a strong tradition in his family, has dedicated himself to community service. Past positions include five years as Chair of the University of British Columbia, Chair of the Okanagan University College, and Chair of the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation. He served as co-Chair for the Central Okanagan Hospice Building Campaign, co-Chair of the Okanagan Partnership Cluster Competitiveness Strategy and Chair of the Central Okanagan Rotary Centre for the Arts Building Committee.

Mr. Bennett is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, the City of Kelowna’s Businessman of the Year, and the Honorary Alumni Award from the University of British Columbia.

Brad Bennett

  • Year: 2010
  • City: Kelowna
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan
  • Category: Business

The Honourable William Richards Bennett *

William Bennett served as Premier of British Columbia from 1975 to 1986, leading our province through a challenging economic time and left office with the province poised for success in a modern, global economy.

Mr. Bennett’s legacy has stood the test of time, as his stewardship of the province left British Columbia with numerous great assets – such as Expo 86, Skytrain, the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre, the Coquihalla Highway, the development of Whistler Resort, and the Alex Fraser Bridge, to name just a few.

Born and raised in Kelowna, Mr. Bennett was a key member of the small business community in the Okanagan and was an active volunteer. He served as president of Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and Kelowna Toastmasters and was campaign director for Kelowna and District Chamber of Commerce.

Upon his father’s resignation from the legislature after twenty years as premier, Mr. Bennett successfully ran for a seat in the British Columbia Legislative Assembly in 1973 and, in 1975, was elected Premier of the province. He was re-elected Premier in 1979 and 1983, and retired from politics in 1986 – after more than ten years as Premier.

Mr. Bennett was a builder, an optimist and always held a clear vision for British Columbia. The new Okanagan Lake Bridge, currently under construction, has been named William R. Bennett Bridge, recognizing his service to the province.

William Richards Bennett

  • Year: 2007
  • City: Kelowna
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan
  • Category: Public Service

Peter Bentley

Peter Bentley has been an industrial leader in British Columbia and a Canadian spokesperson for our world renowned forest industry. He always understood the importance of community in the forest industry. The safety of his employees was always his number one priority.

Mr. Bentley led Canfor as CEO from 1975 to 1995 and continues to serve as a director. Canfor is not only one of BC’s largest home-grown enterprises. It is arguably one of its most formative because the forest industry built many of the communities and much of the infrastructure across this vast province. His long tenure at the helm of one of the most significant contributors to the BC economy has made an indelible impact on the prosperity of the province and has touched the lives of tens of thousands of people who build their lives around a career at Canfor.

Peter Bentley served as Chancellor of the University of Northern British Columbia from 2004 to 2007. He received honorary Doctor of Law degrees from the University of BC and University of Northern BC.

Mr. Bentley has served on major company boards and was a past chair of the BC Business Council. He founded the Vancouver General Hospital Foundation in 1980. He is member of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, having won the WAC Bennett Award, and a past chair. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Peter Bentley

  • Year: 2014
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Industry

Larry Berg

Mr. Larry Berg has played a major role in the remarkable transformation of Vancouver International Airport, from an airport Charles Lindbergh refused to visit back in 1927 saying the city had “no fit field to land on”, to today’s position as one of the world’s top-rated airports.

In 20 years at YVR, the last 15 as President and CEO, Mr. Berg has been a strong leader, responsible for developing a culture and management team that ensure the airport will continue to flourish in the future.

He joined the airport as it became one of Canada’s first community-based airport authorities, a change that enabled the airport and leaders like Mr. Berg to introduce innovations and improvements that have included new runways, terminal upgrades, the Canada Line and an economic impact that has grown to nearly $2 billion a year.

In 2012, YVR was named Best Airport in North America for the third year in a row and ranked in the top ten in the world.

In addition to his superlative efforts on behalf of YVR, Mr. Berg has consistently given back to his industry and his community. At the airport, he helped create and nurture the growth of the YVR Art Foundation, fostering the development of BC First Nations art and artists.

Beyond YVR, he has led business and industry associations such as the Business Council of BC, the Canadian Airports Council and Airports Council International. In the community, he has served on the boards of the Vancouver Symphony and the VGH-UBC Hospital Foundation.

Larry Berg

  • Year: 2013
  • City: Richmond
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Business

Thomas R. Berger *

For more than 40 years, Thomas Berger was one of the pre-eminent legal figures in the history of this province. He was counsel for the Nisga’a nation of B.C. in a case in which the Supreme Court recognized the place of aboriginal rights in Canadian law. He was the youngest judge appointed to the Supreme Court in the 20th Century, and served for 12 years.

During that time, Mr. Berger headed many inquiries, including the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, to determine the social, environmental and economic impact of the proposed Arctic Gas pipeline to be built from Alaska through the Mackenzie Valley to metropolitan centres in Canada and the U.S. Upon his recommendation, the Government of Canada rejected the proposal and approved an alternate route. Canada also adopted his recommendation to establish a wilderness park in the Northern Yukon to protect one of the last great caribou herds of North America, and to impose a moratorium on major development in the Mackenzie Valley to enable aboriginal land claims to be settled. His commission report, Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland, is the best-selling document ever published by the government.

Mr. Berger’s public intervention in 1981 was instrumental in the inclusion of aboriginal rights in the new Canadian Constitution. He wrote Fragile Freedoms, a study of human rights and dissent in Canada, which was published in English and French.

After he resigned from the bench in 1983, he led the Alaska Native Review Commission, sponsored by two international organizations of aboriginal peoples. The report was published as Village Journey. For three years, he taught at UBC, then returned to practicing law in Vancouver. In 1991 he wrote A Long and Terrible Shadow, examining European values and native rights in North and South America from 1492-1992, published in English, French, Japanese and Spanish. In 1991 to 1992 he served as vice-chairman of the World Banks’ Sardar Sarovar Inquiry in India. In 2003, he wrote One Man’s Justice, an account of his work as a lawyer.

Mr. Berger held honorary degrees from 13 universities, and received the Order of Canada in 1990. In 1992 he was made a Freeman of the City of Vancouver.

Thomas R. Berger

  • Year: 2004
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Professions and other occupations

Leon Bibb *

An international performer with a long and distinguished career, Leon Bibb played an influential role in the development of British Columbia’s arts community.

Along with his colleagues, he contributed to the early success of Vancouver’s Musical Arts Club Theatre when he obtained the rights to the musical review Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. He was part of the successful run of the review at the Arts Club. He was also part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of that review at the then newly established Stanley Theatre.

Mr. Bibb’s cantata, “One More Stop On The Freedom Train”, documenting the journey of black slaves to Canada, was presented in Vancouver at Expo 86, and was developed as a television special.

He was an outspoken advocate for minority rights, and in 1992 founded ‘A Step Ahead’, a program that provides a forum for youth to discuss issues of diversity, racism, bullying and multiculturalism. The program has been performed in over 120 schools across Canada and with Mr. Bibb’s support, a foundation was established to fund it.

With multiple screen appearances, recordings and awards to his name. Mr. Bibb appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and toured with Bill Cosby. He was the first black performer to host his own talk show on NBC.

Among his honours and achievements, Mr. Bibb is an inductee to the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, a recipient of the 2002 City of Vancouver Cultural Harmony Award, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, and the Harry Jerome Lifetime Achievement Award.

At the age of 87, Mr. Bibb continued his activities in musical theatre as well as both performer and director of the school program ‘A Step Ahead’.

Leon Bibb

  • Year: 2009
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Dr. Gary Birch

Dr. Gary Birch is a Canadian Paralympian, an expert in brain-computer Interface technology and executive director of the Neil Squire Society.

Following a 1975 auto crash that left him a quadriplegic, he became fascinated with assistive technology and the possibility of developing new technologies that would improve the quality of life for people living with physical impairments. Dr. Birch earned his degree in electrical engineering at UBC and went on to earn a doctorate in electrical engineering. His research and development achievements have changed the lives of people with disabilities in B.C. and elsewhere in Canada.

Under his leadership of the non-profit Neil Squire Society, over 10,000 people with disabilities have developed computer skills, found sustained employment, and have become more active members of their communities. Employment specialists and career practitioners help clients prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. Occupational therapists and assistive technology specialists find the most effective ergonomic or assistive technology solutions to target each individual’s specific needs. The Society has revolutionize how people collaborate on assistive technology projects. They bring together makers and people with disabilities to join forces and create open-source, affordable, assistive technology solutions.

His specific areas of expertise are assistive technologies, EEG signal processing, direct brain-computer interface, digital signal processing, human-machine interface systems, biological systems, robotic control systems, environmental control systems and service delivery programs for persons with disabilities. Dr. Birch continues to lead a team of researchers developing and deploying innovative assistive technologies. He sits on many advisory committees and boards,
playing an important role in furthering the independence of people with disabilities in Canada.

Birch was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame by the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons in 1998. He became an officer in the Order of Canada in 2008 and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Dr. Gary Birch (no photo available)

  • Year: 2017
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Science and Technology

Dr. John (Jack) Patrick Blaney

In 1997, Dr. Jack Blaney was named Simon Fraser University’s seventh president. He pioneered the SFU downtown campus and designed the fundraising campaign that raised $65 million to build the facility. He has served on many boards and is currently chair of the Fraser Basin Council. Blaney received the Distinguished Educator Award from the University of Toronto for his leadership qualities, and is also the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Excellence in Public Service, given by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada.

Dr. John (Jack) Patrick Blaney

  • Year: 2002
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Education

Dr. Francis John Blatherwick

A catalyst and innovator for public health in British Columbia, Dr. John Blatherwick has served as a medical health officer in B.C. – and a strong voice for improved health – for 36 years.

Dr. Blatherwick is a persuasive champion of public health, and a force of influence in his community. He is Canada’s longest serving medical health officer, having held his current position in Vancouver for 23 years.

Not hesitating to take controversial positions when he has believed doing so was important to public health, Dr. Blatherwick is known for his strong stands on tobacco use in the workplace, harm reduction programs for injection drug users, safe sex, and AIDS care, among many others.

Dr. Blatherwick pushed for drinking water treatment in the Vancouver area, introduced new immunization programs, and school health initiatives that have improved the health of school children.

He took the lead for Vancouver Coastal Health in Olympic medical planning, served for 39 years in the Canadian Forces Reserves, and represented Canada for six years at NATO as the head of the Canadian Forces Reserve Medical Group.

Dr. Blatherwick has been uniquely skilled at turning complex medical information into straightforward messages he has delivered with skill to the public.

Even with his demanding and high-profile work life, Dr. Blatherwick has also been actively involved as a volunteer. This has included sitting on numerous community boards, while also playing, coaching and refereeing sports.

Dr. Francis John Blatherwick

  • Year: 2007
  • City: New Westminster
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Professions and other occupations

George Bowering

Novelist, poet, editor, professor and historian, George Bowering was recently named the first Poet Laureate of Canada. A native of British Columbia, Mr. Bowering has made an outstanding contribution to arts and culture in this province. While he has a prominent international and national profile, his work is inescapably rooted in BC, with stories of growing up in the Okanagan, haunting poems of urban Vancouver, and his innovative treatment of historical B.C. events.

Mr. Bowering has authored more than 80 books and his work has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese and Romanian. His writing includes books of poetry, fiction, autobiography, biography, collaborations and youth fiction. His award-winning titles include: George Bowering Select, Rocky Mountain Foot, The Gangs of Kosmos, Burning Water, and, His Life: A Poem.

In 2001, he retired as a professor at Simon Fraser University where he taught and inspired two generations of young writers. Mr. Bowering supports the work of other writers as a generous mentor and literary critic. He continues to act as a Canadian literary ambassador at international conferences and readings and recently published Stone Country, A History of Canada.

Mr. Bowering has received two bp Nichol Chapbook Awards for poetry; a Canadian Authors’ Association Award for poetry, and Governor General’s awards for poetry and for fiction. UBC awarded him an honorary degree and their 75th Anniversary Award for distinguished alumni.

George Bowering is the recipient of three Canada Council Senior Arts awards as well as visiting professorships in Germany and Denmark. In 2002, the Vancouver Sun recognized him as one of the most influential people in British Columbia. Mr. Bowering was invested into the Order of Canada in 2003.

George Bowering

  • Year: 2004
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Denny Boyd *

Denny Boyd was a long-serving print journalist of the Vancouver Sun, renowned for his wry observations of public personalities in sports and politics, and for sharing with the public the trials and successes of his own struggles with illness.

Mr. Boyd began his writing career as a sports writer and editor and worked his way up to become a daily news columnist, detailing the characters and adventures in Vancouver. His style of journalism was an inspiration to many faithful readers. Though sometimes considered controversial, Mr. Boyd’s columns on sports, gossip and philosophical humour were always clearly pointed and enjoyable. He told the true stories of British Columbians for posterity, with kindness and generosity.

Mr. Boyd’s factual and straightforward method of handling problems was a role model for those trying to overcome adversity. As an individual, he battled illness responsibly and successfully. His forthright manner in allowing the public to view aspects of his personal life was rare and admirable. Mr. Boyd gave selflessly of his time and energy to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the West Vancouver Public Library, and many alcohol and drug rehabilitation organizations.

Denny Boyd spent 30 years at the Vancouver Sun. He published four books, and continued to write in his retirement. In 1997, he was honoured with the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award.

Denny Boyd

  • Year: 2005
  • City: West Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Communications

Dr. David A. Boyes *

Spanning thirty-eight years, Dr. David Boyes’ medical and administrative career was an outstanding example of dedication and humanity. That his work was a remarkable contribution to the health of Canadians is undisputed nationally and internationally.

Dr. Boyes began his medical career with a country practice on Saltspring Island, followed by a residency in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia from 1952-1956. In 1960, he joined the B.C. Cancer Institute and decided to commit a significant amount of time to cancer research and thought that he might serve in that capacity for ten years.

Twenty-seven years later, he retired as Director of the Cancer Control Agency of British Columbia, having built that organization into a world-class institute. He was uniquely qualified for this task having been trained as a gynaecologist, radiation oncologist, cytologist, and has become one of the world’s leading authorities on cervical cancer. Largely through his efforts, the incidence of cervical cancer in British Columbia has been sharply reduced thus saving many lives. The Pap smear program in British Columbia is recognized as the leading program of its kind in the world.

Not surprisingly, Dr. Boyes has acted as consultant to British Columbia, other Canadian provinces and foreign countries including visiting professorships and has been in great demand as a guest speaker at many international conferences.

He has an impressive list of 60 medical papers, journal articles and numerous other publications to his credit, is an Officer of the Order of Canada and was a winner of the Canadian Medical Association’s FNG Starr Award, an honour shared with Banting, Best and Collip and other legendary figures of Canadian medical history.

Dr. David A. Boyes

  • Year: 1990
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Professions and other occupations

Beverley Boys

Beverley Boys, Canada’s most successful female diver and diving coach, is the major driving force behind BC Dive, the organization responsible for developing and promoting diving throughout British Columbia. Her energy, organizational ability, and her tough-minded will to succeed have made it the successful organization it is today.

Beverley began her diving career in 1962 in Toronto and went on to win provincial championships in Ontario, BC, Manitoba and Quebec. She is a 34-time Canadian national champion and a three-time Olympian. She won three gold, three silver and two bronze medals at four Commonwealth Games and was chosen as Canada’s Athlete of the Year in 1969 and in 1970.

Since her retirement from competitive diving, Boys has served as a coach and official in competitions around the world, judging at the highest levels including four Olympic Games, five World Championships and six Commonwealth Games.

Beverley has been an active teacher of the sport from Learn to Dive beginners to national team members. She has coached many successful Canadian divers and worked to improve the expertise and consistency of Canadian judges. She began diving clubs in White Rock and Surrey, an important training centre for BC divers.

Beverley is a member of the Order of Canada.

Beverley Boys

  • Year: 2016
  • City: Surrey
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Sports and Recreation

Geraldine Braak

Geraldine Braak has been legally blind since 1971. By 1976, she was instrumental in establishing a Canadian Council for the Blind (CCB) White Cane Club in Powell River. With the exception of one three-month period, she has been President ever since. Mrs. Braak’s efforts on behalf of the blind have extended beyond the local to a provincial, national and international level. For example, since 1986 she has been National President of CCB; she is Vice-President, North America/Caribbean Region, World Blind Union and has participated in World Congresses in Spain, Egypt, Poland, Hong Kong and Jamaica.

She was a member of the Premier’s Advisory Council for People with Disabilities.

Mrs. Braak is listed in the 1997 edition of Who’s Who of Canadian Women.

Geraldine Braak

  • Year: 1997
  • City: Powell River
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Public Service

Dr. Debra Braithwaite

Dr. Debra Braithwaite was the community physician during her 34-year career at Victoria Hospice. When she started in 1984, the field of palliative care was in its infancy in Canada, as was the Victoria Hospice organization.

Dr. Braithwaite decided early in her career that caring for those at end of life was important. She wanted to focus on helping people to die well at home. At that time, for many, end-of-life was dealt with in a hospital setting and did not involve family.

Prior to 1984, Victoria Hospice was a pilot project with temporary funding. Now it has garnered an international reputation as a pioneer in palliative care. For many years Dr. Braithwaite was the physician who registered every patient with Victoria Hospice, which grew from 30 patients in the beginning, to over 400 at any one time now. She became the public face of palliative care in our community.

Dr. Braithwaite then spent the next 34 years educating herself as well as health care professionals, volunteers, patients, and the community, about palliative care. Through workshops, university courses, protocols, manuals, and mentoring, she formalized the discipline while remaining flexible as the body of knowledge grew.

Dr. Braithwaite also cared for every child who connected with Victoria Hospice, being available 24/7 for patients and families. Prior to retirement, Dr. Braithwaite helped transition additional colleagues to continue this important work.

Dr. Braithwaite has been acknowledged both locally and nationally by her peers and her community for the contributions she has made to the development of palliative care, they include:

  • C.F.P. – Honorary degree from the Canadian College of Family Physicians for contributions to the field of palliative medicine in Canada
  • Women of Distinction – Health and Medicine
  • Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for contributions to the development of palliative care in Canada

Dr. Braithwaite is now officially retired but her contribution to the field of palliative care will be her legacy.

Dr. Debra Braithwaite

  • Year: 2021
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Public Service

Dave Brewer

Dave Brewer’s leadership, vision and determination have contributed greatly to a B.C. ground search and rescue (SAR) system that is considered one of the most effective in the world.

A SAR volunteer since 1965 and a founding member of North Shore Rescue, Brewer has been involved in more than 600 SAR operations, devoted countless hours to teaching volunteers, and co-authored the first search management course in the province.

Brewer was appointed as the first volunteer provincial search and rescue coordinator and chaired the provincial search and rescue advisory committee from its formation in 1990 through 2003. He was named president of the B.C. Search and Rescue Association when it was created in 2004.

Brewer developed the SAR response review process and, as a volunteer, coordinated reviews of large and complex searches. The review process he designed remains in place today, having gained national recognition and being adopted for reviews of responses to other types of critical incidents.

Brewer was also a key, early supporter of AdventureSmart, the national education program for preventing SAR incidents among Canadians and visitors who take part in outdoor recreation. The program has reached hundreds of thousands of people since it started, reducing risk and saving lives. Agencies in other countries have frequently relied upon Brewer’s expertise. He has been a keynote speaker at the New Zealand Police Services’ annual conference. He did an audit and needs analysis for the New Zealand search and rescue operations and helped to set up their response review process.

Brewer acknowledges that no one goes from zero to hero without the support of many and recognizes the role of Linda West-Gaudet in making the vision of a well trained, effective and efficient British Columbia Volunteer Search and Rescue Service a reality.

Dave Brewer

  • Year: 2019
  • City: North Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Volunteer Service

Barbara Brink

Barbara Brink’s efforts have directly and indirectly contributed to the well being of many British Columbians. Science World owes its existence to her determination, creative vision, and willingness to get involved and make a difference. For 12 years she was the driving force behind its creation. Twice she served as President of the Board of Governors and as CEO. She spearheaded the campaign to obtain the Expo Centre, and $12 million in public sector funding, and oversaw the $19-million retrofit and a major restructuring and repositioning some years later.

Some of her other accomplishments are:

  • Founder and Chair of Leadership Vancouver, a program to train and encourage the best of the community’s emerging new leaders under her leadership the program is now in 20 other Canadian communities.
  • First Canadian to serve on the Community Leadership Association Board of Directors,
  • Vice-Chair of the Board of the Laurier Institution,
  • Board member of the Salvation Army of Greater Vancouver,
  • Board member of the Provincial Capital Commission,
  • Vice-Chair of the Vancouver General Hospital Foundation,
  • Member of the Western Canada Wait List Panel, and
  • Vice-President of Applied Strategies Ltd., a management consulting firm.
  • Served twice as general campaign chair of the United Way of the Lower Mainland, and was a volunteer trainer for the United Way Volunteer Leadership Development Program.
  • Chaired the BC Cancer Agency’s Capital Campaign and has chaired or co-chaired a series of fundraising World Affairs Dinners.
  • Director of the BC Heart and Stroke Foundation; The Opportunity Rehabilitation Workshop; the Community Arts Council; the Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific; the West Vancouver Foundation; and KCTS Public TV.

Barbara Brink’s leadership, dedication and organizational skills have earned her

  • the Order of Canada;
  • the Golden Jubilee Medal;
  • a YWCA Women of Distinction Award; and
  • Simon Fraser University President’s Club Distinguished Leadership Award.

BC Business Magazine named her one of BC’s 12 most powerful women, and The Vancouver Sun named her one of 130 people who have made a significant contribution to B.C.

Barbara Brink

  • Year: 2004
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

John Brink

Lumber industry leader and innovator John Brink built the largest secondary lumber manufacturing company in North America and helped diversify the country’s lumber markets.

Brink came to Canada from the Netherlands in 1965 with few resources and a dream of building a sawmill. A decade later, he started Brink Forest Products in Prince George, a lumber remanufacturing plant. As fibre became scarce, he pioneered finger-jointing in Canada, a process of gluing shorter pieces of lumber, which were considered waste products, together.

Unwilling to use glue that was potentially toxic, Brink created an environmentally conscious adhesive. Thirty years later this glue survived a regulatory challenge and finger-jointing and lamination were solidified as an industry in North America.

In the 1980s, Brink went to B.C. Supreme Court and successfully argued that lumber grading rules were not being applied fairly across North America. The fight came at a cost, as some of his raw material suppliers cancelled supply contracts in light of the litigation. In the end, the court decision leveled the playing field across the continent.

Brink is the longest serving director on the B.C. Council of Forest Industries. He has been involved in all five of Canada’s softwood lumber disputes with the United States, representing the secondary re-manufacturing industry. In 2001, he was the founding president of the B.C. Council of Value Added Wood Processors, an organization that represented eight associations and up to 800 members.

Brink and the College of New Caledonia jointly purchased a building for a trades and technology program that, in 2002, officially opened as the John A. Brink Trades and Technology Centre.

In 2019, John received an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from the University of Northern British Columbia in recognition of his past 50+ years of commerce, philanthropy and community involvement.

John Brink

  • Year: 2019
  • City: Prince George
  • Region: Cariboo
  • Category: Business

Dr. Vernon C. Brink *

Vernon C. “Bert” Brink was born in Calgary, and educated at the universities of British Columbia and Wisconsin. His life was dedicated to conserving and enjoying our natural environment.

Bert was one of those unique individuals who combined a love of the natural world with the training and expertise of a scientist. As a respected university professor for 35 years, he taught hundreds about the need for sound management of our renewable resources. With boundless energy, he guided many graduate students in agronomy and range and vegetation ecology. Many of these graduates now have responsible positions in government, academia and industry where his values and philosophy continue to influence their lives and the management of our natural resources.

Bert was a tireless worker in many agricultural, recreational and conservation-based organizations, always seeking shared visions of wise use of our living resources. He had consistently tried to be a positive critic of government policy and to work with existing processes to accomplish his ends.

As an ardent naturalist, he dedicated thousands of hours in volunteer services to natural history organizations sharing his extensive experience and knowledge of the province. Long before the phrase became popular, he advocated for, and believed in, the interdependence of a sustainable environment and a sustainable economy.

Dr. Brink has devoted his life to making British Columbia and Canada a better place in which to live, not only for ourselves, but for generations to come.

Dr. Vernon C. Brink

  • Year: 1990
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Education

May Brown *

May Brown was the role model for community involvement. Her contributions over the years in teaching, physical education, sports and public service were a matter of record to British Columbia.

Starting in the field of parks and recreation, while raising her family, she worked with young people in training and coaching athletic teams.

In 1972, she won election to the Vancouver Parks and Recreation Board and in 1976 to Vancouver City Council. On that Council, May Brown took the initiative and provided leadership on many, many boards and committees.

Several other organizations benefited from her involvement: she served on the Minister’s Sport and Recreation Advisory Council, the U.B.C. Athletic Council, the National Advisory Council on Fitness and Amateur Sport, the Boards of the Vancouver Symphony and of St. Paul’s Hospital …the list goes on.

The Victoria Commonwealth Games Society recognized her talents early on, for May Brown being vice chair of its Board. Here she won the respect of her fellow Board members through her no-nonsense attention to central issues and through her ready willingness to find solutions.

As an appropriate postscript, it needs to be added that May Brown became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1986.

May Brown

  • Year: 1993
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Public Service

Sister Nancy Brown

Sister Nancy Brown is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable in British Columbia: homeless youth and young people at risk for human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Having grown up in a respected Vancouver family that believes in giving back to the community, Sister Nancy has spent most of her life doing just that. She works with homeless youth in her position as Pastoral Counsellor and Ombudsperson at Covenant House Vancouver. Many of these young people are fleeing abusive home situations, living in poverty and suffering from addictions and mental illness.

Before joining Covenant House, Sister Nancy spent five years volunteering at a women’s shelter. This inspired her to earn certificates in addictions counselling and working with abused young women, as well as those who have been abusing women.

Since then, she has taken a leadership role in fighting sexual exploitation and human trafficking over 13 years working for Covenant House.

Sister Nancy works directly with young people on the street, while also serving on numerous committees focused on preventing youth homelessness and the exploitation of women and children. She has raised the profile of these issues, highlighting the very real danger of youth exploitation and trafficking.

Working tirelessly to help vulnerable young people, Sister Nancy has consistently demonstrated her dedication and passion for peace, social justice and non-violence.

Sister Nancy Brown

  • Year: 2012
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

Peter Brown

Peter Brown founded Canaccord Capital in 1968, built it into the largest independent investment company in Canada and played a vital role in financing hundreds of B.C. businesses. While he was chairman of the University of British Columbia, his conviction resulted in the university’s most successful fundraising campaign to date.

Brown served as chair of the B.C. Enterprise Corp. and B.C. Place Corp. and was Vice Chairman of Expo ’86. He was also chair of the Vancouver Stock Exchange and is on the board of trustees for The Fraser Institute. He was the recipient of the Pacific Area Entrepreneur of the year award.

Peter Brown

  • Year: 2003
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Business

Rosemary Brown *

Everyone who has heard Rosemary Brown speak, or has read her weekly column in the Vancouver Sun, can attest to her power and passion as a voice for human rights and the rights of women around the world.

Jamaican-born, Rosemary Brown was a social worker before becoming the first black woman elected to a Canadian legislature when she became a member of the B.C. Legislature in 1972.

In Victoria, she lost no time in setting to work creating a committee to eliminate sexism in textbooks and educational curricula. She was also instrumental in establishing the Berger Commission on the Family, and in introducing legislation which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex or marital status. Her efforts contributed directly to an increase in the number of women represented on boards, commissions and directorates.

Ms. Brown remained an effective and popular representative for her Vancouver riding until 1986, when she left politics to become a professor of Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. Her passion for justice and equality undiminished, she became a professional speaker in demand both nationally and internationally.

In 1993 she was named to the Canadian Security Intelligence Review Committee for a five-year term, and in held the position of Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission from 1993 to 1996.

Rosemary Brown

  • Year: 1995
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Public Service

Dr. Robert Conrad Brunham

Dr. Robert Conrad Brunham is a professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at UBC. He is also head of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and is an internationally recognized authority on infectious diseases.

Dr. Brunham approach links active research with public health decision-making. This approach was successfully demonstrated when he led B.C.’s tactical and strategic response during the 2003 SARS crisis, and during the avian influenza outbreak and the second wave of pandemic H1N1.

A B.C. native and a UBC graduate, Dr. Brunham’s academic career began at the University of Manitoba where he led the Department of Medical Microbiology and helped develop global collaboration.

As a direct result of his work with a maternity hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr. Brunham helped discover that administering antimicrobial drops into a newborn baby’s eyes prevents infection which can cause blindness. This is now standard procedure worldwide.

Dr. Brunham’s research centres on the immunology and epidemiology of sexually transmitted diseases and on the origins of emerging infectious diseases. Much of his research deals with Chlamydia and developing a vaccine for it.

Dr. Brunham has received international recognition and awards including the 2004 Thomas Parran Award from the American Sexually Transmitted Disease Association, the 2005 CIHR Partnership Award for leadership in the SARS Accelerated Vaccine Initiative, and the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology Nicole Award in 2007.

Dr. Robert Conrad Brunham

  • Year: 2010
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Science and Technology

Bernard O. Brynelsen *

Bern Brynelsen‘s contributions to the mining industry have had a major impact on British Columbia’s economy.

His legendary instinct for detecting profitable mines resulted in many major mining enterprises; one of them is one of Canada’s most successful — Brenda Mines.

His conviction in a property’s viability was often put to the test – to help keep the Brenda project alive when the big mining companies weren’t interested, he mortgaged his house.

Virtually everyone in the Vancouver mining community seems to have worked for Bern Brynelsen at one time and, remarkably, virtually all seem to cherish the memory.

His perennial optimism and good humour were an inspiration and encouragement to thousands. It persuaded Noranda to invest in the province’s economy on a sustained basis and to get involved in the forest industry here as well.

In 1980, Bern Brynelsen received the H.H. “Spud” Huestis Award for mining exploration and in 1990 he was awarded the Edgar A. Scholz Award for mine development.

Bernard O. Brynelsen

  • Year: 1991
  • City: Langley
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Industry

Dana Brynelsen

Dana Brynelsen is a visionary in the field of early childhood intervention.

She has maintained for over forty years an unswerving dedication to the well-being of infants and families in British Columbia. She pioneered the Infant Development Program of BC and has been an educator in BC, Canada and abroad. She has focused on the individual in finding effective support and resources for families and children as well as for the professionals who serve them.

BC’s Infant Development Program grew out of the birth of a baby with Down Syndrome. When Pamela Vickers was born in l969 there were no early intervention services for her or her family. Conventional professional advice at that time was to institutionalize infants with intellectual disability. Pamela’s mother started the first Infant Development Program in Canada and in 1973 Dana Brynelsen was hired as supervisor of the Vancouver/Richmond IDP.

From 1975 to 2009, Ms. Brynelsen was instrumental in establishing programs throughout BC. Since then and under her stewardship there are 55 family-centred, home-based IDPs that have served more than 80,000 families. She received an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from UBC in 2004 in recognition of her work.

Inclusion rather than isolation of people with special needs has resulted in a stronger and more humane society. Dana Brynelsen has been an exemplary contributor to the movement toward a culture of opportunity for all and a more positive future for the generations yet to come.

Dana Brynelsen

  • Year: 2014
  • City: Halfmoon Bay
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Professions and other occupations

Michael Bublé

It’s hard to overstate the impact of Michael Bublé’s music. His music is loved by millions of people around the world who attend his sold-out concerts. He is one of the world’s most successful artists, selling more than 65 million records worldwide. His music has won 13 Juno awards and four Grammy awards.

Bublé was born in Burnaby in 1975 and still makes his home in the neighborhood where he grew up and where he played street hockey with the neighbourhood kids. His children attend the same elementary school he attended. Bublé has said he dreamed of becoming a singer from a very young age, a dream that lived alongside his wish to become a professional hockey player. He says as a kid he attended every single Vancouver Canucks home game, a devotion that today is expressed in his support for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. Michael also supports the B.C. Children’s Hospital as an Ambassador, The Burnaby Hospital Foundation and The Burnaby RCMP. His efforts supporting international charities include Dog for Dog, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital in Argentina. Buble is part owner of the Vancouver Giants junior hockey franchise.

Bublé’s father was a fisherman and he spent six summers, from the age of 14, working as a commercial fisherman. He learned his love of jazz and the great American songbook from his grandfather. Bublé says: “My grandfather was really my best friend growing up. He was the one who opened me up to a whole world of music that seemed to have been passed over by my generation. Although I like rock and roll and modern music, the first time my granddad played me the Mills Brothers, something magical happened. The lyrics were so romantic, so real, the way a song should be for me. It was like seeing my future flash before me. I wanted to be a singer and I knew that this was the music that I wanted to sing.”

Bublé won the Canadian Youth Talent Search while in his teens. In 1997 he became a regular guest on CTV’s Vicki Gabereau Show, a live national talk show, where Bublé made himself available to fill in when other guests had to cancel, using the opportunity to improve his skills as a live performer. He was introduced to musician and record producer David Foster in 2000 who eventually signed Bublé to his 143/Reprise record label. Working with Foster, Bublé’s self-titled debut studio album was released in 2003 and reached the top 10 in Canada and the UK.

His second studio album, It’s Time, was released in 2005 and spent 104 weeks on the Billboard jazz chart including 78 weeks at number one. In 2009, his album “Crazy Love” debuted at number one.

Bublé won the 2010 Juno Awards for album, pop album, and single of the year. At the Grammy Awards, “Crazy Love” won best traditional pop vocal album of the year. His string of successful recordings continued, releasing his 10th studio album in 2018, “Love,” written as a heart emoji. Michael Buble has had 5 TV Specials on NBC and 3 specials on PBS. In addition, multiple appearances on Saturday Night Live, The Today Show, The Tonight Show, and David Letterman, plus major television shows around the world including The Social and Marilyn Denis in Canada. Michael also hosted the Junos in 2018 and 2013 and performed in the 2010 Olympic Games Opening ceremony. Recently, Michael has been very active with healthcare workers throughout BC and Canada doing what he can to spread the word about the dangers of Covid.19 and how the public can protect themselves from this pandemic.

Michael Bublé

  • Year: 2020
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Hart Buckendahl

A one-time councillor and mayor in the community of Oliver, Hart Buckendahl‘s passion extends far beyond the local government council chamber. Mr. Buckendhal has made it a priority in his life to educate people about energy efficiency.

For 21 years Mr. Buckendahl championed the need to reduce electricity consumption, and educated consumers by performing home energy audits, installing water saver kits and recycling inefficient fridges.

The owner of a construction company, he was an early adopter of technology that brings higher levels of energy efficiency into new and existing homes.

In 1988, Mr. Buckendahl began working with West Kootenay Power – now Fortis BC – and enthusiastically publicized energy-saving tips on radio, TV, home improvement shows and door-to-door.

His tireless efforts to bring Compact Florescent Lights to greater use by consumers resulted in sales jumping from 5,000 to 50,000 units annually, and effected a significant transformation from incandescent lights in 2003.

Mr. Buckendahl has also served on numerous local boards, and was an instructor and supporter of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and Scout Movement.

He was elected to Oliver town council as a councillor and subsequently served two terms as Mayor.

Hart Buckendahl

  • Year: 2009
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan
  • Category: Science and Technology

Dr. Ron Burnett

Ron Burnett is one of the world’s most distinguished academics in the areas of media, arts and communications.

Ron has served as president of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design since 1996. Recognized as one of the top art and design institutions in the world, he has raised the profile of the university and brought attention to the importance of the Arts to people’s well-being. Ron has also written three books, most recently, How Images Think.

Ron also had significant roles at Vanier College and McGill University in Montreal, York University in Toronto, LaTrobe University in Australia, University of Otago in New Zealand, and Ben Gurion University in Israel. Known for his work in media and distance education, Ron served on an “eminent persons panel” at UNESCO to provide advice on Internet resources in developing countries.

Ron was inducted to the Royal Academy of Art, has received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee medals and is a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2010, he was invested into France’s prestigious Ordre des Arts and des Lettres for his work to strengthen the cultural relationship between Canada and France.

Dr. Ron Burnett

  • Year: 2015
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Helen Burnham

More than eleven years ago they dreamt of a place where women could escape the ravages of alcoholism. Seeing the crucial need for a womens’ centre for recovery from alcohol and drug addictions, Virginia Giles and Helen Burnham worked to create a safe, healthy environment for women to make their own decisions and leave behind the patterns and life styles of dependency.

In 1989, after countless hours of organizing, fundraising and managing, their dedication helped them overcome society’s denial of alcoholism’s destruction and open the doors to the Avalon Women’s Centre in Vancouver. A second centre in West Vancouver was opened in 1997.

Thanks to the vision and leadership of Virginia Giles and Helen Burnham, the centres have flourished as a safe haven for the newcomer and for lifelong support for second-stage recovery and secondary issues. Treatment centres throughout North America confidently refer recovering alcoholic women to Avalon Women’s Centre for outpatient care. Thousands of women have recovered at Avalon and their recovery has helped many thousands of children and other family members.

Virginia Giles and Helen Burnham each chose the work of building Avalon as their passionate lifelong vocation. They gave years of selfless service to the women of their community, making it possible for them to totally change their lives for the better.

Helen Burnham

  • Year: 2000
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

Beverley Ann Busson

Deputy Commissioner Beverley Ann Busson‘s visionary leadership and communication skills have earned the respect of citizens, government officials, and her colleagues in police forces across Canada.

In 1974, she was a member of the first class of 30 women to become Regular Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and in 2001, the first woman in the history of the RCMP to achieve the rank of Deputy Commissioner. She has actively supported community, justice and student programs, as well as the Aboriginal Cadet Program. She served as Aide de Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan and as a security officer for Her Royal Highness, Princess Margaret, during two Royal visits to Canada.

Deputy Commissioner Busson established BC’s highly respected Organized Crime Agency. As the Commanding Officer of the RCMP in British Columbia, she has been instrumental in the evolution of the RCMP’s Pacific Region Training Centre and the establishment of Canada’s first undergraduate degree in Criminal Investigation at the University College of the Fraser Valley. She is a member of the RCMP Senior Executive Committee and proudly serves as co-chair of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, in support of BC Special Olympics.

Deputy Commissioner Busson has been awarded the RCMP Long Service Medal for 30 years of Good Conduct, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Canadian Forces Vice Chief of Defence Staff Commendation for her support of the Canadian Cadet Movement. In 2004, she was invested as a Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces and also received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University College of the Fraser Valley.

Beverley Ann Busson

  • Year: 2006
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan
  • Category: Other

James Byrnes

An award-winning blues musician and actor, Jim Byrnes’ early career included playing along side of blues greats such as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and Taj Mahal and Robert Cray. In his 20s he had both of his legs amputated following a car accident — an event that created considerable financial and physical obstacles for a young person just beginning their adult life. Despite this, Mr. Brynes has created an arts and philanthropic legacy that reaches across North America.

In 1986 he was cast as a regular in a CBS television series Wiseguy as a double amputee in a wheelchair working for the FBI. It was ground-breaking in television for an actual disabled person to be cast in a role. He performed at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Paralympics Games in Turin, Italy and represented British Columbia by performing at the BC Police and Fire Games in Adelaide, Australia in 2007 and in Vancouver in 2009.

The list of organizations benefitting from his volunteerism and performances is long:

  • The Sunnyhill Hospital
  • GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre
  • Vancouver Adaptive Music Society
  • Vancouver Food Bank. Canuck Place
  • Access to Music Society
  • AIDS Vancouver
  • All Weather Homeless Society
  • Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society
  • St. James Musical Academy
  • First Impressions Theatre
  • SEVA, Aunt Leah’s Place
  • Challenger Baseball
  • Music Heals
  • Vancouver School Board, and
  • in his native city in the U.S., the St. Louis Variety Club.

Many will recognize him as Scrooge in Bah Humbug, a version of the Christmas classic set in the downtown eastside of Vancouver. Proceeds from this play — well over $8,000 to $10,000 each year — support local groups.

He is a founding member of Face the World, helping to raise funds for many deserving charities; a member of Variety — The Children’s Charity; and is on the board of the Odd Squad Production Society, a charitable organization recognized as a leader in the field of drug and gang education for youth.

For his charitable contributions he has been given the Heart Award from the Vancouver Varity Club and the Champion for Kids award from the St. Louis Variety Club. His musical achievements have been recognized with awards including the Juno multiple Juno — five times. Maple Blues Awards — four times. As well, several Canadian Folk Music Awards and Western Canadian Music Awards. He has been inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame.

James Byrnes

  • Year: 2017
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Arts and Culture

* Denotes deceased. The Honours and Awards Secretariat relies on family members to notify us if members have passed.