Community Awards recognize the efforts and commitments of individual volunteers and/or groups who use their time and talents to build a stronger community and contribute to our quality of life.
The annual Community Awards ceremony honours dedicated community members in the following five categories:
- arts & culture
- community commitment
- health, wellness & activity
Questions about the Community Awards program?
Events and Film Liaison
Arts & Culture Award
In recognition of individuals or groups who make exceptional contributions to the visual, literary and performing arts, or who advocate for cultural diversity and vitality.
Community Commitment Award
In recognition of unsung heroes, individuals or groups who make outstanding contributions to the community, lead others by example, and inspire excellence. This award recognizes civic commitment in dynamic participation, leadership, and active citizenship.
In recognition of individuals or groups who make significant contributions in environmental stewardship, protection, or education.
In recognition of individuals or groups who make noteworthy contributions toward the preservation of West Vancouver’s natural, built, and cultural heritage through conservation projects, education, awareness, or advocacy.
Health, Wellness & Activity Award
In recognition of individuals or groups who make exceptional contributions toward enhancing health, well-being, and active lifestyles in the community of West Vancouver.
Award recipients will be recognized at a Special Council meeting ceremony.
Congratulations to our 2018 Community Award recipients! Awards were presented on November 29, 2018, at the Kay Meek Arts Centre.
ARTS & CULTURE – Hey Jung Choi
Hey Jung Choi is being recognized for her exceptional contribution to the performing arts.
- Hey Jung Choi is an accomplished concert pianist with a Bachelor of Piano Performance and a Master of Music Piano Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in California, now giving her time, skill and knowledge to enrich the musical experience of members of the community
- Hey Jung supports the choirs at Hollyburn Elementary School and the West Vancouver School District Honours Choir
- Hey Jung hosts private concerts at the Silk Purse, performs at Kay Meek Arts Centre fundraisers and helps with seniors’ sing-a-longs at Summerhill and Hollyburn Retirement Homes
ARTS & CULTURE – Karen Fowlie
Karen Fowlie is being recognized for her exceptional contribution to the performing arts.
- Karen has created and assisted in many community events to establish performance opportunities for musicians of all ages
- From 2010–17, Karen co-created nine variety shows showcasing the talents of local musicians in Hugo’s Restaurant and Caulfeild Cove Hall
- In 2017, Karen created the Fowlie and Friends Entertainment Society with a mission to foster and support the growth of live music and developing musicians. The society brought a free concert honouring the Canadian Women in Song to Horseshoe Bay’s Canada Day celebrations
- In 2017, Karen wrote and produced a Christmas play featuring 14 local talents that was performed at Kay Meek Arts Centre
HEALTH, WELLNESS & ACTIVITY – Bill Sparling
Bill Sparling is being recognized for his exceptional contribution to enhancing the mental, physical and emotional well-being and active lifestyles in the community.
- Bill has dedicated countless hours to soccer in West Vancouver leading soccer teams at the provincial and national level, serving on the board of the BC Youth Soccer Association for 35 years and, in 1969, he helped found the national Canadian Youth Soccer Association
- In 2010, Bill became President of the West Vancouver Football Club with a focus to build community and inclusion
- In 2017, Bill was awarded the President’s Award for soccer at Sport BC’s Athlete of the Year Awards for his contribution of volunteerism, dedication, commitment and energy to the sport in BC
- In recent years, Bill assisted with the renaming of Ambleside Field B to the Fred Jopson Field in honour of the long-time West Vancouver resident and contributor to youth soccer at the local, provincial and national levels
ENVIRONMENT – Sherry Parrott
Sherry is being recognized for her significant contribution to environmental stewardship, protection and education.
- Sherry has acted as Chair of the Coho Society of the North Shore for the last six years, and she has dedicated her time to organizing the Coho Festival
- Sherry spends, on average, 200 hours per year organizing the logistics of this widely popular event which attracts over 10,000 attendees
- Sherry spearheads the Coho Festival’s Organizing Committee, transforming the way the event is organized and managed
- In addition to her work with the Coho Festival, Sherry has volunteered for the West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society and has sat on the board of the West Vancouver Memorial Library
ENVIRONMENT – Hugh Hamilton
Hugh is being recognized for his significant contribution to environmental stewardship, protection and education.
- Hugh has a long and illustrious history of volunteering with stewardship organizations since 1999. He has played many key roles such as President of the West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society, President of the Old Growth Conservancy Society and Funding Director of the West Vancouver Nature House Society
- Hugh has been a member of Nature Vancouver since 1997, leading summer camps and acting as a resource for locating camps. In recognition of his dedication amongst many other contributions, he has been awarded the Ney Award for lifetime exemplary service
- Hugh contributes significantly to environmental education at the secondary and elementary school levels to help raise awareness of the risk of polluting streams
- Hugh holds educational guided tours for the Old Growth Conservancy Society and volunteers and has led the annual Christmas bird count for decades
COMMUNITY COMMITMENT – Nassreen Filsoof
Nassreen is being recognized for her excellence through community commitment, leadership and active citizenship.
- Over the last 30+ years, Nassreen has spent countless hours volunteering for the betterment of the community, acting as the Director of the West Vancouver Community Foundation and assisting in fundraising and outreach to the Iranian community
- Nassreen started her volunteerism by introducing the first Iranian New Year Norooz celebration at Sentinel Secondary School, a multicultural celebration still celebrated at the school to this day
- Nassreen became the Vice President and the Fundraising Director of the Iranian Canadian Cultural Association
- In 2005, Nassreen established the Canadian Iranian Foundation with an aim to facilitate the social and cultural integration of newly arrived immigrants to Canada
- Nassreen’s dedication and commitment to volunteer work and efforts to enrich our community have won her many prestigious awards and nominations
COMMUNITY COMMITMENT – Christine Banham
Christine is being recognized for her active citizenship and outstanding dedication to the community.
- Christine is a member of the District of West Vancouver’s Community Grants Committee and, in 2017, she spearheaded the work to revise the policy framework for the Community Grants Program with a goal of making it more accessible to organizations without charitable status
- Christine is a volunteer Director and Treasurer at the West Vancouver Memorial Library
- Christine chaired Metro Vancouver community engagement for the new sewage treatment plant in North Vancouver
- Christine is an engaged citizen who has served West Vancouver well by listening, seeking to understand the issues, and proposing workable, balanced solutions
COMMUNITY COMMITMENT – Christopher Loat
Christopher is being recognized for his outstanding dedication and leadership to local community organizations.
- Christopher has served on the Rotary Club of West Vancouver for approximately 18 years, actively educating youth on values and ethics
- Christopher participates in many community events and projects such as Community Day, West Vancouver Police
- Pulling Together Canoe Journey, PumpkinFest, Operation Red Nose and North Shore Rescue
- Christopher is involved with the West Vancouver Otters Swim Club and is a strong voice for the Ambleside Youth Centre
- As a board member of the West Vancouver Community Foundation, Christopher oversees the growth and stewardship of donated and managed funds and the distribution of grants
COMMUNITY COMMITMENT – Steve Allen
Steve is being recognized for his outstanding contribution and tireless efforts at North Shore Emergency Management (NSEM).
- Steve has been a volunteer with NSEM since 2011 and he is often the first NSEM volunteer to arrive at disaster events
- Steve is one of the lead volunteers on special projects such as disaster transportation for NSEM
- Steve always puts others’ needs first, whether helping evacuees after they have lost everything in a house fire, supporting his team of volunteers or assisting in the safe operation of community events
- Steve has spearheaded the creation of a safety plan for all volunteer groups under the NSEM umbrella
COMMUNITY COMMITMENT – West Vancouver Police Victim Services Volunteers
The West Vancouver Police Victim Services team is being recognized for their outstanding contribution of community support and community commitment.
- Volunteers of the West Vancouver Police Victim Services provide immediate on-scene crisis intervention and follow-up support to those impacted by crime or trauma
- They work alongside police officers to deliver needed emotional support and practical assistance when a tragedy occurs
- These dedicated volunteers give two to three shifts per month and a 12-hour on-call shift to provide crisis response 365 days per year, 24 hours per day to the West Vancouver community, putting in 5,616 hours of standby time per year awaiting calls to assist police and the community
- Volunteers also put in approximately 416 hours per year in the office providing administrative support and follow-up
COMMUNITY COMMITMENT – Julia Zhou
Julia is being recognized for her active citizenship and outstanding dedication to the community.
- Having worked as an environmental lawyer internationally, Julia has excellent communication skills in both English and Mandarin and has volunteered her time providing translation, both written and verbal, to assist the Chinese-speaking community with participating in the wider community
- Julia is a volunteer Director of the British Properties Area Homeowners’ Association and has volunteered on the West Vancouver Community Engagement Committee, providing translation and extensive outreach to Chinese residents in the community
- Julia collaborated with the District’s Director of Engineering & Transportation to organize and translate a workshop on transportation issues on the North Shore
COMMUNITY COMMITMENT – Victoria Mendes & Kyra Williams Smiljanic
Victoria Mendes and Kyra Williams Smiljanic are being recognized for their dedication and outstanding contributions to our community.
- In 2012, a group of École Pauline Johnson parents created the PJ Outdoor Learning & Community Park Committee to create a forward-thinking, multi-use outdoor environment for educational innovation
- Kyra and Victoria were instrumental in spearheading the project through community partnerships and member involvement
- Through Kyra and Victoria’s vision and dedication, the PJ Outdoor Learning & Community Centre became a reality for community members to enjoy the outdoor amphitheatre, wetlands, Grand Allee and healing circle
Arts and Culture – West Vancouver Community Arts Council Volunteers
West Vancouver Community Arts Council volunteers are being recognized for exceptional contributions to visual and performing arts.
- The Silk Purse Gallery (home of the West Vancouver Community Arts Council) relies on the 45 volunteers who donate over 1,700 hours per year.
- Most volunteers have given between 5 and 25 years of service.
- Volunteers greet visitors to the Silk Purse, provide information about exhibits, process sales in the gallery and Art Box, sell tickets to concerts, and install art exhibits.
- Volunteers raise the profile for the arts by bringing awareness to the greater community.
Community Commitment – Dal McCrindle
Dal McCrindle is being recognized for his active citizenship and dynamic participation.
- Dal conducts the annual Remembrance Ceremony at the West Vancouver War Memorial and serves as chaplain for the Royal Canadian Legion.
- He has been an enthusiastic Fit Fellas Instructor for many years.
- He leads the Senior Senators, a group of senior men recuperating and dealing with infirmity.
- Dal is an Honorary Pastor for Fit Fellas, conducting services or offering prayers for members who have passed away.
Community Commitment – Wendy Janz
Wendy Janz is being recognized for her leadership and outstanding contributions to our community.
- Wendy has dedicated her talents and provided leadership at the Seniors’ Activity Centre (SAC) for 17 years.
- Wendy initiated SACS on 21st, a gift shop at the Seniors’ Activity Centre featuring donated items available for purchase.
- In the first 12 months of operations, SACS on 21st raised $60K that was used to fund projects within the Seniors’ Activity Centre.
- Wendy spends approximately 30 hours a week in the centre and countless hours outside working with the business sector, other volunteers and residents.
Community Commitment – Dianne Allan
Dianne Allan is being recognized for her long history of outstanding volunteerism in a variety of organizations throughout the community.
- Dianne has been involved with Girl Guides for 30 years in a variety of positions including volunteering at the Nature House in Lighthouse Park.
- Dianne volunteers at the Lions Gate Hospital Thrift Shop and uses her skills to educate in the hospital’s diabetes clinic.
- She works in the kitchen and as a cashier at the Seniors’ Activity Centre.
- Dianne has volunteered backstage, working with props and sets, at Theatre West Van for the past three years and has volunteered extensively at a local church.
Community Commitment – Jo-Ann Wood
Jo-Ann Wood is being recognized for her dedication to and leadership in local community organizations.
- Jo-Ann is the current chair of the North Shore Hospice Society and the North Shore Hospice and Palliative Project.
- Jo-Ann is a member of the board of directors and Planned Giving Committee of the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation.
- She chaired many events as a member of the West Vancouver Library Foundation Board of Directors and the Library Strategic Planning Committee.
- Jo-Ann was a three-year term chair of the board of directors, chair of the 25th Anniversary Committee Celebrations and chair of the Grants Committee of the West Vancouver Community Foundation.
Community Commitment – Eric R. Keller
Eric Keller is being recognized for his active citizenship and dedication to the community.
- Beginning in the mid-1970s, Eric encouraged boys and girls towards competition, skill learning and sportsmanship through his many roles in the West Vancouver Soccer Club.
- As a dedicated Lion, Eric has served virtually every position including Club President, Zone Chair, Youth Exchange Director, Council-of-Governors and more.
- As a result of Eric’s leadership and hours of volunteerism, the Ambleside Tiddlycove Lions Club has raised approximately $100k, each year, for the last few years from projects such as the Christmas tree sales in Ambleside Park and managing the overflow parking lot in Horseshoe Bay.
- Funds raised have supported many community projects including the Ambleside play area, Hollyburn Family Services, North Shore Search and Rescue, West Vancouver Lawn Bowling and many more.
Community Commitment – Goli Massah
Goli Massah is being recognized for her active citizenship and a commitment to improving quality of life.
- Goli noticed excess foods being discarded by grocery operators so she organized and convinced stores to donate their excess produce and food to her organization ‘Why Waste?’ for distribution to those in need.
- Weekly, Goli and her team of volunteers collect food from IGA in Dundarave to deliver to shelters and charities.
- The North Shore Lookout Shelter has benefited from these food donations for over five years.
- Some of the food is donated to the group, The Cascadia Society for Social Working, a life sharing community for people with special abilities in North Vancouver, who prepare soup for the less fortunate.
Heritage – West Vancouver Fire Service Museum and Archives Society
The West Vancouver Fire Service Museum and Archives Society volunteers are being recognized for their exceptional contributions to preservation of West Vancouver’s heritage.
- 50 -60 dedicated retirees from the West Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services (WVFR) are committed to maintaining and sharing the heritage of the West Vancouver Fire Department with the community.
- In 2004, volunteers constructed the Fire Museum Building, which is currently manned by a core group of 6-10 volunteers.
- The Museum is available for public viewings and tours by schools, groups and clubs.
- Volunteers are active participants in parades and special community events.
- Volunteers are constantly engaged in ongoing restoration projects of original WVFR equipment.
Heritage – Elaine Graham
Elaine Graham is being recognized for her contributions to the preservation of heritage through education and advocacy.
- Elaine helped establish the Nature House at the Lighthouse Park and founded an ongoing nature program to train guide leaders.
- In 1998, Elaine created the Lighthouse Park Preservation Society, and currently sits on the board, edits the society’s newsletter, and coordinates a speaker series at the West Vancouver Memorial Library.
- As a member of the Point Atkinson Light Station subcommittee, she acquired the Heritage BC grant to preserve the iconic lighthouse, World War II powerhouse and fog alarm building.
- Elaine set up the open house of the light station to celebrate the Canada 150; a celebration including tours, storytelling, informative talks and even a puppet show for the kids.
Health, Wellness and Activity – Vi Roden
Vi Roden is being recognized for her contributions to physical and emotional well-being and encouraging active lifestyles in the community.
- As an active Seniors’ Activity Centre Board Member for 13 years, Vi worked at program development, such as the Keep Well program and the Seniors’ Mall Program, to help keep seniors active, healthy and living fulfilling lives.
- Vi successfully applied for and received grants that helped fund services for the frail and shut-in seniors.
- Vi spearheaded the first fundraiser for the Seniors' Activity Centre raising $100K in six months and enabling the centre to purchase the first seniors’ bus. Vi later helped fundraise $300K to expand the centre to include the lounge and cafeteria.
- Vi was appointed to the Youth Drug Prevention Municipal Task Force for the West Vancouver School District that resulted in the hiring of the professional staff member dedicated to the prevention of drug use and providing education programs for teachers and parents.
Health, Wellness and Activity – Barrie Chapman
Barrie Chapman is being recognized for volunteer contributions enhancing mental, physical, and emotional well-being, and encouraging active lifestyles in the community.
- Barrie took leadership of the Fit Fellas program in the 1990s and has grown membership from 70 to 190 participants today.
- Barrie leads classes twice per week and has trained seven other instructors.
- Under Barrie’s leadership, the Canadian Federal Government recognized the Fit Fellas as one of the most successful senior men’s exercise programs in Canada. In 2016, the Fit Fellas were honoured by the UBC School of Kinesiology.
- Barrie builds relationships among men with diverse personal and professional experiences and has fostered a group of active men who raise funds to give back to community organizations.
Health, Wellness and Activity – Meals on Wheels
The Meals on Wheels volunteers are being recognized for contributions enhancing the mental and healthy well-being of vulnerable individuals.
- The majority of the team of 40 volunteers have been delivering meals for at least 5-10 years.
- In 2016, volunteers prepared and delivered 3,500 meals in West Vancouver, making an average of 30 home visits each week.
- Volunteers pick up meals from a restaurant supplier and deliver them to the kitchen where they assemble meals for deliveries by volunteers.
- When delivering meals, volunteers take the time to develop a relationship with the person receiving a meal. Volunteers may be the first to notice if something is amiss with the client and are able to pass the information on to loved ones.
West Vancouver honoured seven individuals and three groups with Community Awards on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, at a special awards presentation at the Kay Meek Centre for Performing Arts.
The awards were presented by members of West Vancouver Council, with winners selected by the District’s Awards Committee.
Arts & Culture
- Ferry Building Gallery Volunteers
- Joan Townsend
- Mary Bayes
- Michael Markwick
- West Vancouver BC SPCA Volunteers
- David Cook
Health, Wellness & Activity
- Hershel and Marguerite Hardin
- Bas Collins
- Hollyburn Lodge Renewal Project volunteers
Arts & Culture
- Liane Dickson
- Chris Stringer
- Urszula Sulinska
- Ambleside Tiddlycove Lions Club
- Rotary Club of West Vancouver Sunrise
- Robert Clark
- James Stout
- Carolanne Reynolds
- Friends of the Library
- Alexandra Mancini
Health, Wellness & Activity
- Jane Baynham
- Mike Cupit
- David Barker
- Merla Beckerman
- Doug MacCaulay
- Elspeth and Ray Bradbury
- Elizabeth Hardy
- John Nightingale
- Environmental Protection Network
- Shoreline Preservation Society
- Rod Day
- Alan Bardsley
- John Barker
- Tara Stafford
- Katharine Steig
- Walter Thorneloe
- Hollyburn Ridge Association
- West Vancouver Historical Society