Members of the Order of British Columbia: T–Z

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Browse honourees by last name, letters T through Z. Search for a name using 'Ctrl+F' to jump to a specific recipient. Bios reflect achievements at time of appointment.

T

Tamara Taggart

Tamara Taggart has focused more than 20 years of volunteer effort on health care, the well-being of children and people with disabilities.

As anchor of CTV News at 6, she doesn’t just talk. She is a strong community leader who advocates for others, volunteers and raises much-needed funds for many important causes. She has volunteered thousands of hours and sits on the boards of several non-profit organizations.

In 2014, Tamara spoke at TEDxSFU. Her presentation, entitled ‘Two Conversations that Changed My Life’, compares how doctors negatively told her about her baby’s Down syndrome yet were positive and encouraging when they gave her a cancer diagnosis. This talk has struck a chord with medical professionals and universities around the world. It was viewed 55,000 times in just three months.

As chair of BC Womens Hospital’s ‘Hope Starts Here’ campaign, Tamara is committed to raising $17 million for a newborn intensive care unit. In 2014, she chaired BC Cancer Foundation’s Inspiration Gala, which raised $5 million for personalized onco-geonomics. She has agreed to chair the gala again in 2015 and is committed to raising $4 million for immunotherapy.

Tamara is a sought-after keynote speaker on overcoming challenges and being your own advocate.

Tamara Taggart

  • Year: 2015
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Communications

Chief Alver Tait

Alver Tait is an internationally renowned Nisga’a master carver. He is a leader in his community and an exemplary ambassador for the Nisga’a and British Columbia in international venues. As a hereditary Chief of the Eagle-Beaver clan, he is extremely knowledgeable in the culture and traditions of his people and his tireless efforts to improve the welfare of his community have served to focus much attention on BC and the history of aboriginal peoples.

Mr. Tait’s greatest contributions have come from his status as a master carver, illustrating the stories and legends of the Nisga’a people. He has produced many of the signature Totem Poles that adorn the Nass Valley in Northern B.C. He assisted with the carving of two red cedar canoes in 1980, with his brother Norman Tait, who taught him the art and also worked with him on the Beaver Totem Pole that stands at the Field Museum in Chicago. In 2002, he was commissioned to carve a 12 meter Totem Pole for the 250th Anniversary of Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Tiergarten, the world’s oldest zoo.

In recognition of his fine craftsmanship, Alver Tait was selected by the City of Vancouver to carve a Nisga’a Eagle bowl, which was later presented to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. He was recently asked by the British Museum in London to restore a totem pole carved in the 1860’s, which was originally a monument to his great-great grandfather, Luuya’as, carrying the Eagle-Beaver images of his clan crest.

Chief Alver Tait

  • Year: 2006
  • City: New Aiyansh
  • Region: Northern B.C.
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Takao Tanabe

Takao Tanabe is a landscape artist of international reputation and an influential teacher of younger generations of Canadian artists. The son of a commercial fisherman, Tak Tanabe was born in Prince Rupert in 1926. During the second World War, he was interned with other Japanese-Canadians in British Columbia’s Interior.

He has painted and studied in Winnipeg, New York, England, Italy, Denmark and Japan. He has served as head of the art department at the Banff School of Fine Arts and has also served on juries and committees at the National Capital Commission and Canada Council.

Tak Tanabe’s landscapes are evocative of British Columbia at its finest – the rolling hills and grassy meadows of the Cariboo, the lonely seascapes, intriguing cloud formations and breathtaking dawns and sunsets of the coast, and the winter beauty of snow and ice.

Powerful straight-line horizons dominate his works. His skies can be dark and foreboding or brilliantly coloured, sometimes reflected in the water or shading the land below.

Working now from his studios in Errington, near Parksville, and Vancouver, Tak Tanabe’s outstanding achievements in the world of art continue to be recognized and much sought-after by collectors across Canada and around the world.

Takao Tanabe

  • Year: 1993
  • City: Parksville
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Susan Tatoosh

Susan Tatoosh is a respected elder and mentor who, as executive director of the Vancouver Friendship Society, is credited with significant improvements to programing and services for the urban Indigenous community and helping some of the most marginalized populations.

Of Shuswap ancestry and a member of the Hupacaseth First Nation from Vancouver Island, Tatoosh has dedicated her life to working with people, bringing her leadership, governance, planning and management skills to the boards of almost every urban Indigenous organization in Vancouver.

She was instrumental in moving the homeless shelter from the basement and gym of the Friendship Centre to a permanent, well-managed shelter space in the Downtown Eastside. She is also working with the City of Vancouver to construct a second shelter.

She also worked with the City of Vancouver on the Dialogue Project to bring together Indigenous people and new immigrants to build understanding between cultures and alleviate discrimination and racism.

As chair of the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS), she worked with the BC Construction Association to create opportunities for Indigenous people. As a founding member of Urban Spirit Foundation, she assists urban Indigenous people to upgrade their education, find jobs and improve their earning power.

Earlier in her career Tatoosh ran the first outreach program for native women in Canada.

In the 1980s, she moved to Vancouver and worked for Urban Images for Native Women, an employment training organization. She also worked on the federal strategy to increase the economic participation of Indigenous people living in urban centres.

Susan Tatoosh

  • Year: 2019
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

Carole Taylor

Carole Taylor has been in public service virtually all of her life – from her very early career as a journalist covering politics, to serving as a politician herself, to advising politicians, as well as business and community leaders.

As a young journalist, Taylor covered politics and worked as an investigative reporter at the CTV and CBC television networks. For many years she conducted the annual prime ministerial year-end interviews.

Taylor then migrated to politics herself. First, she was elected as an independent Vancouver city councillor in 1986 and she topped the polls four years later. Running provincially, she was elected as MLA for Vancouver-Langara in 2005, and was appointed finance minister, during which time she introduced four provincial budgets and oversaw the implementation of B.C.’s ground-breaking (and controversial) carbon tax.

Taylor has had to make many tough decisions in the public eye. Her colleagues describe her as an individual who can bring diverse people together, an excellent strategic thinker, and a talented communicator. Those skills came together when, as finance minister, she was able to sign up 100 per cent of B.C.’s public sector workers to new contracts before their old ones expired; a $6-billion negotiation covering more the 300,000 workers – BCGEU, HEU, and CUPE members, teachers, nurses and doctors.

Her passion (and talent) for public service is core to her as a person. She and her late husband Art Phillips, former mayor of Vancouver, were both noted for their community calling. “We all have an obligation to serve and work toward making the world a better place,” she’s been quoted as saying.

That calling continued after she left politics in 2008. Taylor went on to chair the national Economic Advisory Council at the invitation of the federal government and in 2011, she became the 10th Chancellor of Simon Fraser University.

Today, she is the Canada Chair for the Trilateral Commission, a non-governmental, policy-oriented forum focused on finding solutions to geopolitical, economic and social challenges.

Taylor also served as chancellor of Victoria University at the University of Toronto, from which she graduated in 1967.

Her past services include chairing the boards of the Vancouver Board of Trade, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Vancouver Port Authority, among others, as well as serving with the B.C. Business Council.

Taylor has been recognized for her public service with numerous awards, including the Order of Canada, the SFU Distinguished Community Leadership Award, and the Peter Lougheed Public Policy Award.

She is also the recipient of four honorary degrees, including an honorary Doctor of Laws from Simon Fraser University and an honorary doctorate of technology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

The breadth and depth of Carole Taylor’s contributions throughout her life makes her most deserving of the Order of British Columbia.

Carole Taylor

  • Year: 2020
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Public Service

Dr. Robert Thirsk

Dr. Robert Thirsk has been an outstanding contributor to British Columbia, Canada and the world, achieving remarkable accomplishments and making our province proud.

Dr. Thirsk was a Grade 3 student in Powell River when he first learned about the wonders of spaceflight. He became fascinated and decided to become an astronaut. After earning degrees in mechanical engineering and medicine, Dr. Thirsk got his chance in 1983, when he was one of six successful applicants to the Canadian Astronaut Program, out of 4,000.

Dr. Thirsk pursued astronaut training, including time at the University of Victoria to enhance his medical skills, conduct engineering research and learn the Russian language. He also found time to earn a Master of Business Administration from MIT.

Dr. Thirsk’s first space flight was aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1996. In 2009, he spent six months aboard the International Space Station. On both missions, Dr. Thirsk performed leading-edge research, including experiments from Simon Fraser University.

Throughout his career, Dr. Thirsk has been a strong role model for youth. He has helped develop space-related curricula for schools, visited universities to discuss his work, and conducted live downlink interviews with students while in space.

He enthusiastically profiles the work of B.C. Aboriginal artists in the space program, including the mission patches for both of his space missions.

Dr. Robert Thirsk

  • Year: 2012
  • City: New Westminster
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Science and Technology

Dr. Harvey Thommasen

The medical profession’s understanding of the unique medical problems experienced by people who live and work in rural and isolated areas of this vast province has been improved by Dr. Harvey Thommasen.

Born in Youbou on Vancouver Island, he worked as a family physician in Bella Coola before moving to Houston in B.C.’s Central Interior. Despite living far from any university, his research has been published by several prestigious medical journals on topics including salmon bite infections, Grizzly Bear maulings and rural physician burnout.

He also writes for the wider public audience and has had several books published including two which won literary prizes – Grizzlies and White Guys: The Stories of Clayton Mack, and River of the Angry Moon: Seasons on the Bella Coola. A comprehensive genealogy he put together for the Nuxalk people of Bella Coola is now used for their potlatches.

Dr. Thommasen has won numerous medical awards. He has been involved in many natural history projects on subjects including the Vancouver Island marmot, the Roosevelt elk, grizzly bears and sea-run cutthroat. Young doctors who have read his writing have learned that practice in rural areas can be rewarding, exciting and full of potential for important research.

Dr. Harvey Thommasen

  • Year: 2000
  • City: Houston
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Professions and other occupations

Dr. Aubrey Tingle

Dr. Aubrey Tingle, a world-recognized researcher in pediatric immunology and viral infections at BC Children’s Hospital, has transformed health research in BC over the last 20 years.

His most notable accomplishment is his critical role in creation of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research which he led as its inaugural CEO for most of its first decade. The foundation built health research capacity in BC so that researchers could attract their share of federal and other external funds while making discoveries that have improved the health of British Columbians.

Dr. Aubrey Tingle also founded, led and grew the BC Research Institute for Children’s and Women’s Health to become the biggest and most successful pediatric health research institute in Western Canada. Now called the Child and Family Research Institute, world-leading research into pediatric diseases continues there today. CFRI has more than 200 investigators attracting more than $40 million annually in external grant funding. Teams working there are making discoveries that are changing the lives of children suffering from cancer, diabetes, mental illness, genetic diseases and infection.

Dr. Tingle’s success in creating a better health research environment has meant more of our best and brightest have stayed or been lured to BC – a brain gain in health research. By keeping the best researchers we also keep the best clinicians who see patients in the hospital and do research at the laboratory bench.

Dr. Aubrey Tingle

  • Year: 2014
  • City: Richmond
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Science and Technology

Dr. Roger Tonkin *

Born in Montreal in 1936, Roger Tonkin studied at the University of Toronto before receiving his medical degree from McGill. He joined UBC’s Department of Pediatrics in 1968. His interests lay in adolescent medicine and eating disorders, where he was an internationally recognized health visionary in standards of practice, curriculum development, and research.

His treatment of eating disorders is practiced worldwide. Since 1977, he served as executive director of the McCreary Centre Society, a non-profit agency concerned with the health of young people in British Columbia. He conceived, built, and ran Camp Elsewhere on Gabriola Island, a refuge for kids with eating problems. In 1981, Tonkin developed the Youth Clinic at B.C.’s Children’s Hospital. Since 1994, he served as president of the International Association for Adolescent Health. Though retired and living on Gabriola Island, his work continued.

Dr. Roger Tonkin

  • Year: 1998
  • City: Gabriola Island
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Community Leadership

Nancy J. Turner

Nancy J. Turner of Victoria is an internationally-distinguished scholar and scientist who has devoted her life to documenting the endangered knowledge of First Nations. As a pioneer in ethnobiology, her more than 25 years of research have focused on the diverse interactions of First Peoples in British Columbia with the ecosystems they depended on and the critical role of plant resources for foods, medicines and materials. Her research will be seen as a most valuable compendium of aboriginal culture and plant lore in British Columbia.

Nancy J. Turner

  • Year: 1999
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Environmental

John W. Turvey *

John Turvey was heroin-addicted at age 13 and rehabilitated in his early 20s, but he never left the streets, choosing to give back and work on the streets rather than live on them. With only a Grade 6 education, he generously educated instructors and students alike during his decades of public and community service.

For more than 35 years, Mr. Turvey worked tirelessly as an experienced, outspoken advocate for the most unfortunate people. His priority was children and youth, and he provided many original, accessible and user-friendly services to them. Frequently with personal and professional sacrifice, he challenged all levels of government to improve the lives of impoverished, vulnerable adults, children and youth.

As executive director of the Downtown Eastside Youth Activities Society for 20 years until his recent retirement, John Turvey was a principled, community-centered visionary, gifted social worker, brilliant educator and respected and elegant public speaker. He was a determined and outspoken defender of socially excluded citizens and a role model for aspiring social workers and community activists.

As a champion of the rights of residents of the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver to live with good health, dignity and opportunity, Mr. Turvey’s efforts often involved new, and sometimes controversial methods. On the cutting edge of providing solutions to social problems that affected many B.C. communities, all citizens of this province have benefited from his tireless commitment.

In 1988, the Atlanta Centre of Disease Control recognized John Turvey for running the most cost-effective needle exchange program in North America. Mr. Turvey was a founding member of the B.C. Aids Network and Vancouver Native Health Society. His leadership of the Downtown Eastside community on the issue of sexually exploited children and youth resulted in Criminal Code changes, development of the B.C. Provincial Prostitution Unit, educated newsrooms and increased public awareness of the issue.

John W. Turvey

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

U


V

Hari Varshney

Hari Varshney is a leading business person who, through his vision, tireless commitment, initiative and philanthropy, has made a significant and sustainable impact throughout British Columbia.

Hari is the founder of Varshney Capital, a merchant banking and venture capital firm which has contributed significantly to the economy of BC, particularly in resources and technology. The firm’s holdings have employed hundreds of British Columbians.

Born in rural India, Hari arrived in Vancouver in 1967 with less than $100 to his name to accept an MBA scholarship from UBC. He was the first Indo-Canadian to achieve a Chartered Accountant designation and the first to achieve the Fellowship designation (FCA) from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC.

Hari has been a leader in the community, multiculturalism, education and in developing new leaders to strengthen the BC economy. He volunteers and contributes financially to a multitude of organizations and numerous charitable endeavours at universities, hospitals and temples.

Hari has brought his considerable leadership to help link academic, clinical, business and philanthropic leaders toward the goal of finding health care solutions that lead to a healthier, more productive population. He has received many awards including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.

Hari Varshney

  • Year: 2015
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

John J. Verigin *

John J. Verigin, the leader of the Doukhobor people, devoted his life to promoting peace and mutual understanding between peoples of different ethnic backgrounds. He helped safeguard the pacifist status of Doukhobors during World War II and was active in the peace movement since the 1960s.

The Doukhobor beliefs of pacifism, vegetarianism and cooperative effort were once foreign, but are now part of the values of many people who live in the Kootenay region. From his home in Grand Forks, John J. Verigin worked tirelessly to counteract fanatical activity and media sensationalism and laboured to integrate the Doukhobor community within the wider Canadian Cultural Mosaic. For this he received the Order of Canada in 1977.

He actively promoted better relations between Canada and the former U.S.S.R., resulting in many cultural exchanges, travel and educational opportunities for people of both countries. In 1989 he was awarded “The Order of the Peoples’ Friendship” by Mikhail Gorbachev.

Mr. Verigin coordinated a six week respite visit to the Kootenay area for children suffering the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear accident and worked with others to collect, transport and distribute critical supplies to needy communities in the former U.S.S.R.

Throughout his life, John J. Verigin was steadfast in his efforts to promote world peace and disarmament, human rights and social justice.

John J. Verigin

  • Year: 1996
  • City: Grand Forks
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan
  • Category: Community Leadership

Arthur Freeman Vickers

Following earlier careers as a fisherman and carpenter, Arthur Vickers devoted himself to art in 1989. Since then, first with paintings, drawings and prints and later with relief work using layers of gold leaf, he has proven to be a talent of international stature.

Mr. Vickers has put his skills and inspiration to good use, donating numerous works of art to charity, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for more than a dozen different charities. His donated artwork has brought record bids in charity auctions.

He has served as honorary chair for the Vancouver Island C.N.I.B. “Eye Appeal” twice, and for the Camp Good Times facility for children living with the effects of cancer.

He regularly visits schools throughout British Columbia and Alberta, sharing with the children his art, history and culture. He has also participated in university education programs helping to teach the power of art and sharing to those who aspire to being teachers.

A First Nations artist of international renown, Arthur Vickers has brought credit to British Columbia through his artwork, and he has contributed equally through support of charity and his work to enlighten and inspire BC children.

Arthur Freeman Vickers

  • Year: 2008
  • City: Cowichan Bay
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Roy Henry Vickers

Born in 1946 in Greenville, B.C., artist Roy Henry Vickers studied traditional art at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art in Hazelton. His father was a Tsimshian fisherman, his mother a teacher of British ancestry. Fond is he of his childhood days spent in the ancient Tsimshian village of Kitkatla. His art evokes the stylized tradition of his Native ancestry, yet it marries the abstraction of that tradition with the realism of European art. Vickers has participated in exhibitions at prestigious art shows in Canada and the United States. His has completed monumental works at the Vancouver International Airport and the Saanich Commonwealth Centre in Victoria. His work is included in the collections of royalty and presidents. Once a victim of substance abuse, in 1992 he initiated VisionQuest, a non-profit organization designed to help those with addictive personalities.

Roy Henry Vickers

  • Year: 1998
  • City: Brentwood Bay
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Dr. Erich Vogt *

In addition to an outstanding career as a top researcher and scientist in the field of nuclear physics, Dr. Erich Vogt was one of the founders of the TRIUMF project at the University of British Columbia, the largest university-based scientific laboratory in Canada for particle and nuclear physics.

Dr. Vogt was a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of British Columbia, where he taught thousands of students who have excelled under his enthusiastic mentorship and influence. Dr. Vogt also served on many high-level advisory committees in the field of nuclear and accelerator science in various world-class institutes. He was an internationally renowned scholar, and published many research papers on theoretical physics.

Dr. Vogt served as chair and director of TRIUMF. He also served as president of the Canadian Association of Physicists, and was the first chairman of the Science Council of BC. In 1991, a physics laboratory at Tel Aviv University in Israel was named in his honour, in recognition of his contribution to physics research.

Dr. Erich Vogt became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1970, and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1976. He received honourary doctorates from six Canadian universities, and was awarded the Centennial Medal of Canada, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, the CAP Medal for Achievement in Physics, and the Chairman’s Award for Career Achievement from the BC Science Council.

Dr. Erich Vogt

  • Year: 2006
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Professions and other occupations

Anthony von Mandl

Anthony von Mandl is a humanitarian and entrepreneur who has dedicated his life to developing the wine industry in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Because of his perseverance, passion and dedication to excellence, B.C. now holds a firm position on the world stage of wine producers. In realizing his vision for the Mission Hill Family Estate winery, he has created a world-class winery destination, where he continues to work at raising the international awareness and stature of agri-tourism in B.C.

Mr. von Mandl’s generous support of the culinary, visual and performing arts has resulted in increased employment and business opportunities in the Okanagan region. On the grounds of the Mission Hill Family Estate he initiated the development of an education centre and outdoor performance amphitheatre, always seeking to further the cultural profile and uniqueness of British Columbia.

Mr. von Mandl was recently recognized as the first Canadian to be honoured as the President Elect of the prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition in London, England.

Anthony von Mandl

  • Year: 2005
  • City: Westbank
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Business

Tamara Vrooman

Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO of Vancity credit union, sees banking as being vital to the well-being of people while contributing to the long-term sustainability of the communities in which they live and work.

The interdependence of economic, social and environmental sustainability – the triple bottom line (TBL) – has informed her thinking. It ensures that the $27.4 billion in assets entrusted to Vancity by its members creates TBL impact.

Under Vrooman’s leadership, Vancity became the first carbon neutral financial institution in North America, the largest private-sector living wage employer in Canada and she tackled the shadow financial system by launching an alternative to predatory payday loans.

All of this was achieved while doubling the assets plus assets under administration and achieving the highest profits in Vancity’s history.

Vancity is internationally recognized for its values-based banking model. It was the first Canadian financial institution invited to join the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), an independent network of the world’s leading sustainable banks. As vice-chair, Vrooman is leading the development of the GABV’s long-term international strategy.

A significant part of Vrooman’s community leadership is focused on removing systemic barriers faced by women in the workplace. She has backed the Minerva Foundation’s Face of Leadership program since its inception, providing research funding and championing its work.

Vrooman’s input is sought by provincial and federal governments while internationally she has been invited by Pope Francis to share her views on the inclusive economy and by the Dalai Lama to discuss business values.

Tamara Vrooman

  • Year: 2019
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Business

W

Jennifer Wade

For decades human rights advocate Jennifer Wade has steadfastly helped those in need and those facing injustices who are often unable to speak for themselves.

A founding member of Amnesty International in Vancouver, she has worked not only on behalf of prisoners of conscience all over the world, but also she has been a public spokesperson and champion for prisoners’ rights, children-in-care, and people facing injustices.

Her involvement in human rights issues began in the 60’s while studying in England, continued in the United States where she worked for the Civil Rights Movement, and has been sustained throughout her life in New York, Pakistan, Halifax and Vancouver.

She has been a supporter and board member of the United Nations Association of British Columbia, the World Federalists, and the Royal Commonwealth Society. She was also on both the local and national boards of the Elizabeth Fry Society, a group dedicated to helping women prisoners and their children.

She helped lead a successful nationwide campaign to have Bruce Curtis, a Nova Scotia teen convicted of manslaughter in New Jersey, serve the remainder of his sentence in Canada. She has devoted years to get Leonard Peltier, an American Indian activist who claims to have been falsely convicted of a murder, released from a U.S. prison. In 2009, she championed the cause of John Graham, who was similarly extradited to the U.S. to be imprisoned although he maintains his innocence in the murder of Anna Mae Aquash. She is also working on behalf of Dr. Wang Bing Zhang, a medical doctor who studied at McGill and is now imprisoned in China for his involvement in a democracy movement.

A retired English teacher, Ms. Wade has regularly assisted refugee families from Vietnam, Burma, Russia, China and elsewhere.

She championed the cause of Romanian orphan children via a project sponsored by EQUILIBRE. She also served as a board member for SOS Children’s Villages, B.C. and has hoped to help develop such a system of foster care in Canada that would create stability and permanency for neglected and abused children.

The Jennifer Wade and Family Endowment Funds provide scholarships and bursaries for students who have undergone great difficulties, or students who are the first in their families to study in B.C. at the post-secondary level. She also established an award in theatre at Langara College and an award in the Scottish Studies Department at Simon Fraser University. Two scholarships are given annually in her name at the University of New Brunswick. Another award — The Jennifer Prosser Wade and Family Award for “Courage: Where Truth speaks to Power” — has been established with the BC Civil Liberties Association.

She is a recipient of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, British Columbia Civil Liberties Reg Robson Award, Renate Shearer Human Rights Award and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of New Brunswick for international justice work.

Jennifer Wade

  • Year: 2017
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Volunteer Service

Henry Hiroshi Wakabayashi

A solid engineering background, commitment to meet deadlines and budgets, and a team approach are some of the things Henry Wakabayashi has brought to some of British Columbia’s most important public projects including North East Coal, the first phase of SkyTrain and the expansion of the Vancouver International Airport.

Interned as a child during WW II because of his Japanese ancestry, he made a name for himself as a basketball player in Kamloops before graduating from UBC in 1958 with a degree in chemical engineering. Jobs in his chosen field were scarce, so he took a job at the Pacific National Exhibition selling motorcycles and other consumer products made by the Mitsubishi company. He eventually conceived and built the Crestbrook Pulp and Paper mill in Skookumchuk, British Columbia – the first major joint venture by Japanese and Canadian interests.

He became well known as a successful manager of mega-projects and has played a major role in construction of large projects throughout British Columbia through his company Pacific Liaicon and Associates Inc.

Henry Wakabayashi has been involved in charitable work of many kinds, particularly to further the relationship between Canadians generally and those of Japanese ancestry. The Momiji Garden in Vancouver and Nikkei Cultural Centre recently completed in Burnaby stand as physical testaments to his hard work and dedication in building bridges of cultural harmony. He has also been a strong leader and spokesman for healing the bitter memories and potential frictions emanating from the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War.

Henry Hiroshi Wakabayashi

  • Year: 2000
  • City: Burnaby
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Professions and other occupations

Lawrence James Wallace *

Lawrie Wallace’s early career was in teaching. Eventually he was persuaded to join the provincial government’s service, where he truly distinguished himself.

He dedicated his life to public service. As deputy provincial secretary and deputy minister to two premiers, Mr. Wallace organized seemingly flawless Royal visits to British Columbia and worked tirelessly over two decades to enhance British Columbia’s communities.

The success of major Centennial celebrations in British Columbia between 1958 and 1971, events which made major contributions to communities throughout this province, was due, for the most part, to the unflagging efforts of their chairman, Lawrie Wallace. In the late 1970s, as B.C.’s Agent General in the United Kingdom and Europe, Lawrie Wallace became known as “Mr. B.C.”: they made him a Freeman of London. Even in his retirement, Lawrie Wallace assisted many charitable and cultural organizations. For example, in 1987, he headed the fund-raising campaign that enabled renovations to Victoria’s Theatre.

The list of Mr. Wallace’s honours is long; among them is the Order of Canada, an honorary degree from UBC, a Queen’s Jubilee Medal and the Canadian Centennial Medal. But the list of his involvements and accomplishments is much longer and stands as a testament to his great contribution to the life of this province.

Lawrence James Wallace

  • Year: 1991
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Public Service

Dr. Carl J. Walters

Dr. Carl Walters, an icon of the world’s fisheries science community, conducted research and developed computer models that are considered to have had an important impact on the development of fisheries science in the last 50 years.

During his career at University of British Columbia, Dr. Walters’ approach to quantitative ecology used computer simulations to generate dynamics of populations and ecological systems that help to set research priorities, test hypotheses and evaluate fisheries management options.

His seminal writings on adaptive management and fisheries assessment are widely used throughout the world by ecologists, scientists and managers. Drs. Hilborn and Walters’ 1992 book on assessment science is the third-most cited text in fisheries research.

While he remained at the forefront of both the development and application of mathematical modelling in various fields of ecology, two common threads ran throughout his research: innovation and application to real‐world problems.

A sought after expert, every commission of inquiry into fishing activities in B.C. has relied on Dr. Walters’ advice. At the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Declining of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River, he served as a scientific expert and witness, even offering fisheries workshops to lawyers representing small-scale fisheries.

Dr. Walters’ appeared as a scientific expert for the defendant in the landmark Sparrow case, which led to the Supreme Court of Canada’s affirmation that First Nations have an existing Aboriginal right to fish under the constitution.

Dr. Walters was a 2006 recipient of the prestigious Volvo Environment Prize for outstanding innovations or scientific discoveries and of several outstanding achievement awards from fisheries organizations. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Dr. Carl J. Walters

  • Year: 2019
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Science and Technology

Barbara Ward-Burkitt

Barbara Ward-Burkitt has committed almost 40 years to the Aboriginal Friendship Centre movement in B.C., at the local and provincial levels, advancing many issues that impact urban Aboriginal families. She is a proud Cree woman from Fort McKay First Nation in northern Alberta, but has lived in B.C. since she was a small child.

Mrs. Ward-Burkitt’s tireless efforts to find long term solutions to homelessness have led to the development of an Aboriginal women’s housing program and Friendship Lodge which has 30 units of supported housing to address the needs of adults who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless due to mental illnesses, physical disabilities or drug and alcohol addictions in Prince George.

As Executive Director of the Prince George Native Friendship Centre, the largest of 120 Friendship Centres in Canada, Mrs. Ward-Burkitt acts as a strong advocate for Elders, children and families, ensuring services offered in her community focus on a holistic approach in a culturally appropriate atmosphere.

Mrs. Ward-Burkitt is a committed community volunteer, serving on the Northern HIV/AIDS Task Force, the Executive Committee of the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, as President of the Prince George Métis Housing Society, as well as other literary endeavours, Elder functions and cultural events.

Mrs. Ward-Burkitt possesses a deep commitment to and belief in the empowerment of Aboriginal people. Her personal philosophy and strong work ethic have helped her advocate for individual and community opportunities that are life preserving and enhance personal growth, employment and education for all people regardless of race, creed, gender, age, socio/economic background or sexual orientation.

Barbara Ward-Burkitt

  • Year: 2010
  • City: Prince George
  • Region: Cariboo
  • Category: Community Leadership

Dr. Harry V. Warren *

Dr. Harry Warren might well be described as a 20th Century “renaissance man” – athlete, Rhodes scholar, sportsman, scientist, researcher and teacher. He was renowned in all of them.

In 1928, while a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, he went to Amsterdam to become a member of the Canadian Olympic team as a sprinter. He has held high office in rugby, cricket and field hockey organizations, both men’s and women’s. He was the founding president of the Canadian Field Hockey Association and did much to promote the sport in British Columbia. He received numerous awards for his support of sports organizations and was named to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.

Dr. Warren was associated with the B.C. and Yukon Chamber of Mines since 1932 when he first taught at the Chamber’s annual prospectors training classes. He was vice-president of the Chamber from 1939 to 1951 and president from 1952 to 1954. The Chamber gave him it’s “Spud Huestis” award in 1986 to recognize his contributions in bringing together the academic and industrial worlds.

From his position at the University of B.C.’s department of geology, he pioneered the field of applied geochemistry in mining exploration and continued to be a leader with innovative work. At 87, he retired as a Professor Emeritus at UBC. He was recognized with an “Award of Distinction” by the Prospector and Developers Association of Canada for his contributions to exploration.

Dr. Warren is also a member of the Order of Canada. Dr. Warren’s public service activities benefitted a diverse array of organizations, from the Vancouver Board of Trade to the United Nations Association of Canada. He made many outstanding contributions. British Columbians are fortunate that he chose this province in which to make them.

Dr. Harry Warren

  • Year: 1991
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Science and Technology

Dr. Linda Warren

Serving British Columbia with excellence as a radiologist, Dr. Linda Warren has distinguished herself as one of the driving forces behind the founding and continued excellence of the Screening Mammography Program of B.C.

Her strong leadership resulted in a world-class screening program – North America’s first – which has since served as a model for jurisdictions around the world.

Dr. Warren worked hard to promote the concept of screening and to encourage other jurisdictions to follow British Columbia’s lead.

Her leadership in this field began with individual initiative, as Dr. Warren travelled at her own expense to visit world leaders in the field of mass screening – in Sweden and San Francisco.

She brought back knowledge of how to introduce high quality, low cost, life saving screening mammography at a province-wide level, and campaigned hard for its introduction in B.C., which took place in 1988.

Working today as B.C.’s Provincial Chief Screening Radiologist, Dr. Warren contributes to the ongoing administration of the program, and to province-wide education on breast cancer screening.

Dr. Warren is a clinical professor in the Department of Radiology at the University of British Columbia. In this role, she has been responsible for training most of the radiologist’s currently practicing radiology in the province.

Dr. Linda Warren

  • Year: 2009
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Professions and other occupations

Pauline Hilistis Waterfall

Pauline Waterfall is a member of the Heiltsuk Nation, a proud ambassador for her people, and an advocate of access to education for all First Nations people.

For 35 years, Mrs. Waterfall has worked to establish adult learning centres in Bella Bella. This work has resulted in the Waglisla Adult Learning Centre, which offers adult upgrading; and Heiltsuk College, which offers post-secondary courses.

These two centres have taught three generations and more than 600 Heiltsuk people. Approximately 21 per cent of students going through the Adult Learning Centre have transitioned to public post-secondary institutions in the past decade.

Mrs. Waterfall has also served as is a founding member of the Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association, which represents 36 adult and higher learning First Nation institutes in the province. She is a former Chair of the Board and currently serves as Treasurer.

Mrs Waterfall is known as a “keeper of the knowledge” in her community. She has documented Heiltsuk history and customs, written articles, gathered knowledge on traditional foods and medicines, and is frequently called upon as an orator in cultural ceremonies and events.

She has played a significant role in revitalizing the Hailhzaqv language. This work is especially important as only three per cent of the Heiltsuk people are fluent speakers today.

Mrs. Waterfall has remained true to her Heiltsuk name, Hilistis, which means “starting a journey and staying on course to complete and coming full circle”.

Pauline Hilistis Waterfall

  • Year: 2010
  • City: Bella Bella
  • Region:
  • Category:

Dr. Andrew Weaver

One of the world’s leading authorities on global warming and climate change, Andrew Weaver is the author of numerous articles on climate change and has served as a lead author on the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Born and raised in British Columbia, Dr. Weaver is a professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria and holds the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis. He serves as editor in chief of the Journal of Climate, the world’s leading journal in the field. He tirelessly shares his knowledge in an effort to educate people about the science behind climate change.

A member of British Columbia’s Climate Action Team, Dr. Weaver has played an important part in developing our province’s leadership position in addressing climate change.

He has played an active role in the creation and establishment of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, and the School Based Weather Station Network, which helps children at 100 BC schools learn about climate and weather.

Dr. Weaver’s exceptional research achievements, scholarly writing, and efforts to share his knowledge are truly remarkable and have been critically influential world-wide and at home.

Dr. Andrew Weaver

  • Year: 2008
  • City: Victoria
  • Region:
  • Category:

Dr. Hal Weinberg

Professor Hal Weinberg, nationally and internationally renowned for his contributions to brain function research, served in local government for three decades.

Hal Weinberg served as an electoral area director and then as the first mayor of Anmore when the village was incorporated in 1987. He was committed to the idea that a small group of citizens could choose local autonomy while participating in a regional context.

Now retired, Professor Emeritus Weinberg contributes to research in brain function related to information processing. It is intended to benefit a wide range of people, from those in high stress jobs, to cognitively disabled children, to people with brain injuries. He established Simon Fraser University’s Brain Behaviour Laboratory which was at the forefront of in the development of magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography research. He was Director of the SFU Office of Research Ethics for 15 years and played a longstanding role in developing and implementing university research ethics policy in BC and Canada.

As a member of the board of the Down Syndrome Research Foundation, he helped the foundation move from a trailer to a new facility where he helped to develop research and educational programs.

His awards include the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for Contributions to Building British Columbia, Science Council of British Columbia Career Achievement Award, Natural Science and Engineering Council Synergy Award, and The Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal for Aboriginal Affairs.

Dr. Hal Weinberg

  • Year: 2014
  • City: Anmore
  • Region:
  • Category:

Winnifred Ariel Weir *

Winnifred Ariel Weir was a writer, historian, newspaperwoman and community leader. In the 1930s she organized amateur theatre in Invermere, writing and directing plays such as the annual Christmas Pantomimes of the 1940s which continued into the 1960s. She published Tales of Windermere, a history novel depicting the life and times of early settlers in the upper Columbia Valley.

She founded the Windermere District Historical Society, was volunteer curator of the museum for many years and was instrumental in saving many old buildings and artifacts in the Windermere district. She was a member of her local school board for 14 years, a Girl Guide leader and in 1998 was recognized for 50 years of continuous service to the British Columbia and Yukon Cancer Society.

Winnifred Ariel Weir

  • Year: 1999
  • City: Invermere
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Community Leadership

Ellen White *

Mrs. Ellen White was a teacher, author, story-teller and medicine woman widely known for her dedication to education as key to social change and community building.

Also known as Kwulasulwut (“Many Stars”), Mrs. White was a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo. She worked as a social activist for 60 years, successfully campaigning to get electricity onto the reserve, to establish schools closer to the reserve, as well as the establishment of a substance abuse rehabilitation facility and the Friendship Centre in Nanaimo, B.C.

Mrs. White worked in the school system to bring cultural education to native and non-native students through traditional teachings, Hulquminum language lessons, dance, stories, foods and lectures. She published books of Coast Salish stories in English, building bridges between cultures. She also wrote about native plants and created one of the first English – Hulquminum dictionaries.

Mrs. White worked with the Nanaimo Museum on First Nations’ artifacts. She served as Elder in Residence at Malaspina University-College, now Vancouver Island University. She spent ten years lecturing to native students at summer programs of the University of British Columbia. She was named Nanaimo’s Woman of the Year and Mother of the Year.

After a long and distinguished career serving her community and her province, Mrs. White retired in 2006 at the age of 83.

Ellen White

  • Year: 2011
  • City: Nanaimo
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Community Leadership

Howard White

Howard White is the owner and president of Harbour Publishing, which for the past 25 years has published hundreds of outstanding books about British Columbia. Beginning with a magazine about B.C. history called Raincoast Chronicles, Harbour Publishing has gone on to publish such local classics as Donald Graham’s two lighthouse volumes, Keepers of the Light and Lights of the Inside Passage, Edith Iglaurs’s Fishing with John, Howard White’s own Stephen Leacock award-winner Writing in the Rain, Alan Haig-Brown’s Fishing for a Living. By publishing books such as these, Howard White has brought the little-known fishing villages, logging camps, and coastal settlements to the public’s imagination, thus giving the coastal culture a permanent place in B.C history and literature.

Mr. White has demonstrated his commitment to Canadian literature by featuring the writing of over 200 emerging writers, most of them from B.C. He has logged hours of volunteer work for the arts and cultural industry of Canada by serving on the executive and committees of the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia (as President), and the Association of Canadian Publishers.

Howard White

  • Year: 1997
  • City: Madeira Park
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Arts and Culture

Marjorie White

Marjorie White is a pioneering community builder who changed the framework of supports for Aboriginal peoples leaving reserves.

She was one of the founders of the first Aboriginal service agencies in Canada to assist Aboriginals migrating to urban centres. That social innovation evolved into a national Friendship Centres movement that now serves hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal peoples.

Today, there are 25 Friendship Centres in British Columbia and, collectively, they make up the largest network of service-providing agencies in BC, providing direct services and advocacy for off-reserve and urban Aboriginal peoples. They also serve as bridges between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous people throughout BC’s towns and cities.

Marjorie also helped found the Circle of Eagles Society, a halfway home for those leaving incarceration, which provides a link to cultural supports, teachings and guidance from appropriate service programs.

She was the first Aboriginal person appointed as a Citizenship Court Judge in Canada and the first woman and first Aboriginal person appointed to the Vancouver Police Commission.

Marjorie has received many awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal. She is recognized by her own Huu-ay-aht First Nation as a cultural leader and a high-ranking Matriarch in the Potlatch system.

Marjorie White

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

Mervyn Wilkinson *

Mervyn Wilkinson was a champion of sustainable and selective forestry practices for over 60 years. He harvested the first cut on his woodlot in 1945, and because he harvested trees at their growth rate, still had the same amount of timber he started with. For more than 14 years he taught his methods to school children, college and university classes, environmentalists, journalists, film crews and foresters from around the world. He was a faculty member of the first School of Eco Forestry in Oregon.

Mervyn Wilkinson

  • Year: 2001
  • City: Ladysmith
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Environmental

Lorna B. Williams

Lorna Williams is a First Nations woman whose goal has been to help people from all heritages understand each other.

Born in Mount Currie, in the St’at’yemc Nation, Lorna Williams first trained at BCIT to become a nurse, following in the tradition of her mother, who was a health care giver in the community.

Lorna Williams subsequently moved to education, where she has been involved in improving the lot of First Nations children in the public school system. In 1973, after taking local control of the administration of the Mount Currie Community School, she worked to develop a teacher training program to provide First Nations teachers for the school, who could teach in their own language.

Her work as a First Nations specialist with the Vancouver School Board has allowed he to influence educational opportunities for urban native youths in the Vancouver area.

Her education continued with a teaching certificate from Simon Fraser University, followed by a Bachelors of General Studies; a Masters degree in education is next. In 1982 she finished her book Exploring Mount Currie, which became a prescribed text for the Grade 2 Social Studies curriculum in the province.

Lorna Williams has worked to get First Nations involvement in the Canadian constitution, both in Ottawa and in Europe where she was part of a team that met with governments and media to encourage them to include First Nations people in the constitution.

Lorna B. Williams

  • Year: 1993
  • City: North Vancouver
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Other

Ruth Williams

Ruth Williams was born in Big Bar Creek, a remote and isolated community, and raised by a single mother with six other siblings. When she moved to an urban setting, it was a complete culture shock.

She took her hardships and became a determined, visionary, and selfless individual who has striven to do all within her powers and abilities to improve the lives of Indigenous people. Williams may be soft-spoken but she has learned to stand up for what she believes in, has gained the courage and confidence to speak out, and be heard.

Williams’ passion and dedication for improving the health and well-being of Indigenous children and families can be seen through the following:

Involvement in numerous community and government committees for advancing a health care system that supports Indigenous people; supporting families and children in care; promoting early child education for Indigenous children; and developing health programs and services for Indigenous people.

  • Founding member and active board member on the first Urban Native Housing Society, which has 103 affordable and safe housing units in Kamloops and 94 units within the Thompson, Okanagan and Kootenay regions.
  • Advocacy work to increase the number of Indigenous graduates and students pursuing post-secondary education and decrease the number of student dropouts by ensuring supports were in place for them. This included the development of an Urban Native Alternate School to support the re- entry of drop-out Indigenous students and for single parents who needed flexible hours and access to daycare.
  • All Nations Trust Company, an Indigenous-owned shareholders lending institute for Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs. Since its inception, the company’s shares have increased from $10 to $87. She has also been influential in ensuring First Nations’ connectivity through Pathways to Technology and provision of business service through All Nations Development Corporation.
  • Consulted by all levels of federal and provincial governments to gain knowledge and insight into the issues, challenges and barriers faced by Indigenous people, which has resulted in a change to government policies, processes and structures.
  • Development of a daycare centre designed to promote Indigenous programs and culture for all children age groups.

Her influence is shown by the variety of awards that she has received, including an honorary doctorate of laws from Thompson Rivers University and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Medal. She received the Kamloops Rotary Club Paul Harris Award, the City of Kamloops 100 Year Confederation and Distinguished Service Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from B.C. Aboriginal Achievement Awards, and numerous business awards.

Williams has a special gift to see the potential in people. Many friends and staff members will tell you that she challenges you to be the best person that you can be. She is supportive, an inspirational mentor and a role model. Not only has she directly impacted so many Indigenous lives but she has worked for majority of her life to improve the systems and policies that negatively impact Indigenous people.

Ruth Williams

  • Year: 2020
  • City: Kamloops
  • Region: Thompson/Okanagan
  • Category: Community Leadership

Jan and Ken Willoughby *

In 1992, when Ken Willoughby was diagnosed with prostate cancer, useful information about choices of treatment and basic facts about the disease were hard to find so Ken and his wife Jan Willoughby organized the Prostate Support Association. They helped set up 15 similar associations in the province, and sent startup information kits to England, China and Australia. In 1996 the Vancouver Island Prostate Cancer Research Foundation was incorporated to stimulate research into prostate cancer causes and treatment, and to encourage public awareness of the importance of early and regular testing.

Ken Willoughby, Jan Willoughby

  • Year: 2001
  • City: Victoria
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Community Leadership

Peter Wing *

Peter Wing was born in Kamloops in 1914 and lived all of his life in that city. At the age of twenty he became the youngest member of the Kamloops Board of Trade and pursued an active role in the business life of the community as an orchardist and realtor.

He became an alderman in 1960 and went on to serve three terms as mayor of Kamloops, beginning in 1966. While serving as mayor he was also elected President of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.

Mr. Wing’s success in civic life is significant in that he was the first mayor of Chinese descent in North America, as well as being the first native-born mayor of Kamloops.

Mr. Wing is regarded with respect and affection throughout the Kamloops area by virtue of his enviable record of service for the well-being of his community.

Peter Wing was made a Freeman of the City of Kamloops in 1972 and a Member of the Order of Canada in 1976. He was also a recipient of the Human Relations Award of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews in 1977.

In many ways, Peter Wing led the way in exemplifying to Chinese-Canadians full participation in the public life of his community and Province.

Peter Wing

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

Milton K. Wong *

Milton Wong was a leader in business, volunteer service, health research, culture and sports, and a key fundraiser for the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Science World and the YMCA. He was a founding member of the Laurier Institute and was co-chair of the B.C. Cancer Foundation millennium campaign, an advisory board member with the Salvation Army and a contributor to SUCCESS. Wong initiated the Dragon Boat Festival, an outstanding cultural community event. Wong received an honorary doctorate from, and served as chancellor of, Simon Fraser University. In 1997, he was awarded the Order of Canada.

Milton K. Wong

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

Dr. Peter K.K. Wong

Dr. Peter K.K. Wong is a community leader, businessman, philanthropist and a physician who serves a large number of patients with multicultural backgrounds in Vancouver.

Peter has been involved with a range of significant community organizations, including the Vancouver Police Board and the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver. He led the recent successful rezoning of Vancouver’s Chinatown and the start of its economic and historic revitalization. With his father-King Wong’s leadership they successfully rallied to prevent the building of the Georgia viaducts through Chinatown, negotiated the acquisition of land from BC Hydro to build the Vancouver Chinatown parkade, and fought the restriction of Chinese barbecue foods by the federal government.

In addition to his thriving medical practice, Peter has launched several successful businesses in various industries and has been an influential advocate for strong trade relations with China, participating in a number of trade missions with all levels of government. The government of China thru the Consulate General has appointed him a member of the Western Returned Scholars Association. He also serves as a special advisor to the Musqueam Nation for Asia-Pacific affairs, working to increase partnerships and trade opportunities.

Peter is a strong advocate of education; a founder of West Point Grey Academy and its foundation, the non-profit school has more than 900 students enrolled and promotes global citizenship.

Dr. Peter K.K. Wong

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

Morris Wosk *

Born in Russia, Morris Wosk moved to British Columbia in 1928. His hard work and strict adherence to honesty, fairness and respect for all, earned him success in business, a success he shared widely with the people of B.C.

Over the years, Morris Wosk became known internationally as a philanthropist, community leader and founder of many civic programs, not only in B.C. and Canada but in the U.S. and Israel.

During more than six decades as an owner of retail furniture stores, hotels, and as a developer in Vancouver, he gave generously of his time, energy and financial support to a wide cross-section of his community.

His support encompassed education, youth health care, culture and science. His dedication to British Columbians is illustrated by the fact that he never invested or developed outside of the province.

In 1980 he was the third Canadian ever to be honoured with the Prime Minister’s Medal of State of Israel, and in 1985 he received the Human Relations Award from the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews. In 1993 he was appointed to the Order of Canada.

There can’t be many British Columbians the equal of Morris Wosk as a philanthropist… with the growth of his wealth, there also grew a sense of responsibility, and a genuine desire to help mankind.

Morris Wosk

  • Year: 1994
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Community Leadership

Dr. Yosef Wosk

Yosef Wosk is a rabbi, philanthropist, author, community leader, religious art consultant, bibliophile, musician, businessman, and an academic who is director of interdisciplinary programs in the department of continuing studies at Simon Fraser University. Recently named one of B.C.’s premier intellectuals, he was identified as one of the top 10 thinkers in B.C. at the beginning of the millennium. He founded the Academy for Independent Scholars as well as the Philosophers’ Cafe, one of SFU’s most successful programs, which has grown to be one of the largest series of cafe discussion gatherings in the world.

Dr. Yosef Wosk

  • Year: 2001
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Other

X


Y

Sing Lim Yeo

Sing Lim Yeo is a devoted volunteer, embodying excellence, achievement and distinction. He is an exceptional volunteer who gives wholeheartedly at many different levels, assisting the causes he supports through his time, leadership and community influence, as well as financially.

Over 30 years of volunteerism, Sing has raised more than $20 million for numerous non-profit organizations. He targets causes in health care, social programs, multiculturalism and heritage interests, and international disaster relief. In 2011 alone, Sing helped raise $3.5 million for local charities, including $1.6 million for earthquake relief in Japan.

As co-owner/broker of Royal Pacific Realty Corp. and New World Realty, the largest independently owned and operated real estate company in BC, Sing has founded two important, long-term charitable initiatives within BC’s real estate industry: BC Children’s Hospital REALTORS Care Endowment Fund and the Canadian REALTORS Care Foundation. He remains a leader in the foundation and has significantly contributed to the continued success of the Realtors Care Blanket Drive for homeless people.

Sing also contributes to the Tapestry Foundation for Health Care, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and the Chinese Cultural Centre, playing a fundraising and leadership role. He contributes an average of more than 600 volunteer hours per year.

Sing Lim Yeo

  • Year: 2015
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Volunteer Service

Dr. Eric M. Yoshida

Dr. Eric Yoshida is recognized throughout Canada and around the world for his clinical care and research excellence in liver disease.

Following medical school in Toronto, he came to BC for his residency in 1989 and remained here. As medical director of the BC Liver Transplant Program, he found a way for patients with hepatitis B to have successful liver transplants and established the first program in Canada to allow HIV patients to have liver transplantation.

He discovered that BC’s First Nations communities suffered disproportionately from primary biliary cirrhosis and autoimmune liver disease, destroying the stereotype that alcoholic liver disease was the problem, and clearing the way for First Nations patients to undergo liver transplantation.

He is an outstanding teacher, committing many hours to convey the sophisticated knowledge of hepatology and hepatitis to medical trainees of all levels. He has worked with S.U.C.C.E.S.S., a large multicultural social agency, to bring its clients awareness that hepatitis is a silent disease until the latter stage and early diagnosis is critical.

Eric has published more than 220 peer-reviewed papers. He has received many awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Clinical Excellence Award from the Vancouver General Hospital.

Dr. Eric M. Yoshida

  • Year: 2016
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Professions and other occupations

Z

Melvin Zajac

Mel Zajac has devoted more than 50 years of his life to giving back to the community and has raised more than $25 million for charities and community projects.

A successful BC businessman and one of the originators of modern development in Vancouver’s West End, Mel has constructed 22 buildings.

He is a hard worker and generous person who responded to the tragic loss of both his sons to sporting accidents within a few months of each other by dedicating himself to bettering the lives of children with special needs and seniors with disabilities.

Through the Mel Jr. and Marty Zajac Foundation, created to honour his two sons, Mel has raised millions and spearheaded community projects throughout British Columbia. He sponsored Mission’s Sandcastle Developmental Preschool for children with special needs, the Variety Park Playground, Zajac Norgate House in North Vancouver for seniors with disabilities and renovation of UBC Hospital’s In Vitro Fertilization Laboratory.

Mel’s most ambitious project has been the Zajac Ranch for Children at Stave Lake. Since 2004, the ranch has welcomed thousands of children with medical needs who would otherwise not be able to go to camp.

Mel, a Member of the Order of Canada, is an outstanding example of putting service ahead of self.

Melvin Zajac

  • Year: 2015
  • City: Vancouver
  • Region: Mainland/Southwest
  • Category: Volunteer Service

Wolfgang Zimmermann

Wolfgang Zimmermann, the victim of a logging accident, overcame his misfortune and took up the cause of safety in the workplace and the rehabilitation of injured workers.

He was born in Dortmund, Germany and emigrated to Canada in 1977. The spinal injury he suffered soon afterwards, only five days on the job, left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. He rehabilitated himself to the point where he now walks with a cane.

Wolfgang Zimmermann retrained in business administration and returned to work with MacMillan Bloedel, this time as an accountant. But it was his determination to reduce industrial accidents, through greater awareness of safety in the workplace, that opened up a whole new career path for him. Wolfgang Zimmermann is now the Executive Director of the Disabled Forestry Workers of B.C.

His personal experience and perseverance have resulted in a graphic documentary film entitled “Every Twelve Seconds” which vividly brings to the attention of the general public, the unions, the employers and government, both the personal and financial costs of industrial injuries. He was also instrumental in the development of the CBC Journal/National news documentary called “Insult to Injury.”

Wolfgang Zimmermann’s work has made a real difference in the life of many British Columbians; he is devoting his life to promoting safety so as that no one out there should go through what he has.

Wolfgang Zimmerman

  • Year: 1992
  • City: Port Alberni
  • Region: Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Category: Other

George B. Zukerman

Surrey resident George Zukerman is a performer and impresario, a person of extraordinary imagination and initiative who has distinguished himself as a solo bassoonist and as an artistic manager.

Before Mr. Zukerman achieved success in his solo career, the bassoon was seldom seen anywhere except in the back ranks of a symphony. He was the first soloist on the instrument ever invited to tour with symphony orchestras and in recital around the globe.

While one of the most widely travelled Canadian solo artists, George Zukerman has also devoted many years to the development of audiences in British Columbia’s smaller communities. He has placed special emphasis on the needs of isolated and remote areas in organizing thousands of concerts, giving the residents opportunities to appreciate, enjoy and participate in the performing arts.

Well respected throughout the Canadian music scene, he has contributed, over the past four decades, to the career development of many young British Columbia artists. In 1993, Mr. Zukerman received the Order of Canada and the annual National Arts Centre award for “distinguished contribution to touring in Canada”.

George B. Zukerman

  • Year: 1996
  • City: Surrey
  • 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.