BC Achievement Foundation Names Recipients of the 20th Annual Community Award
Premier David Eby and Walter Pela, Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation, named the recipients of the 20th annual Community Award. The program, presented by BC Achievement – an independent foundation that honours excellence and inspires achievement throughout the province – recognizes extraordinary British Columbians who build better, stronger and more resilient communities.
“This year’s Community Award recipients demonstrate exceptional commitment to making their communities – and our province – healthier, happier and more hopeful,” said Premier David Eby. “From ambitious students to established entrepreneurs, the honourees show us how everyone can have a hand in building a stronger BC. Their stories are sure to inspire British Columbians across the province.”
“We are privileged to showcase and celebrate the contributions of these outstanding recipients who shine as examples of leadership, dedication and selflessness,” said Walter Pela, Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation. “Communities are shaped and strengthened by people who willingly share their talents, passion and time in the service of others,” he added.
The Community Award recipients are selected by an independent jury panel, whose 2023 members include Mayor Sarrah Storey of Fraser Lake, Mayor Maja Tait of Sooke, and past recipients Kal Dosanjh of Surrey, Julie Fowler of Penticton, and Sqwulutsultun William Yoachim of Nanaimo. This year’s recipients include:
Connie Cocchia, West Vancouver
Dr. Amy Gilchrist, Victoria
Jack Gin, Burnaby
James Harry Sr., Burnaby
Kat Hartwig, Brisco
Simon Daniel James, Bowen Island
David Lemon, Delta
Meeka Morgan, Ashcroft
Gerry Nellestijn, Salmo
Kim North, Lillooet
Don Philip Peters, North Vancouver
Stephanie Quon, Vancouver
Esther Rausenberg, Vancouver
Sahara Shaik, Vancouver
Jessie Sutherland, Richmond
Upkar Singh Tatlay, Surrey
Gary Thandi, Surrey
Kiranjot Kaur Toor, Surrey
Spencer van Vloten, Vancouver
Kihlyahda Christian White & Candace Weir-White, Masset
The Mitchell Award designate of the Community Award is selected by the BC Achievement Foundation Board in consultation with the program’s community. The award recognizes an individual who, through their work and/or volunteer activities, demonstrates an unwavering commitment to elevating people around them. This year’s Mitchell Award of Distinction recipient is Kat Hartwig of Brisco, a champion of environmental conservation, whose selfless leadership style empowers others to lead and excel.
The 2023 Community Award recipients will be recognized in a formal presentation ceremony held in Victoria, BC, on May 10 in the presence of the Honourable Janet Austin, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. The Community Award ceremony will be live-streamed on BC Achievement’s website, through its Vidflex platform. Watch live beginning at 2:00 p.m. on May 10! The presentation ceremony will also be aired on TELUS’ Optik TV Channel 126 – Indigenous Voices and Channel 345 – Community Connections after the event.
Each awardee will receive a certificate and medallion designed by Robert Davidson, OC, OBC. They will also be celebrated through an online campaign #shinethelightbc to commemorate their excellence and inspirational achievements positively impacting British Columbians.