Provincial Awards

Award Categories

BCRPA Honorary Life Member

BCRPA Honorary Life Members

Honorary Life Memberships are a special distinction conferred by BCRPA's Board of Directors upon Members who have made outstanding contributions to the parks, recreation, physical activity and cultural sector. Find out more.

BCRPA Friend of the Sector

Friend of the Sector Award

The BCRPA Friend of the Sector award honours achievement, excellence, creativity, innovation and outstanding collaboration by those outside the field of recreation and parks, in enhancing individual health, community well-being and quality of life that is directly linked to recreation and parks development.

BCRPA members are invited to submit nominations to recognize individuals and organizations as a Friend of the Sector.

This award will be given sparingly and only to those individuals, organizations or businesses that have made a significant and meaningful contribution to healthy living through partnerships with and support of recreation and parks.

The number of awards offered in any given year will be at the discretion of the Board of Directors, based on the strength of the nominations received. The Board further reserves the right not to make an award in any given year.

For more information on criteria selection and procedures, view the document below:

►  Friend of the Sector – Policy, Criteria & Procedures

 

BCRPA Provincial Awards of Excellence

BCRPA Provincial Award of Excellence

Categories include:

  • Citation of Outstanding Achievement
  • Award of Merit
  • Facility Excellence
    • for projects under $1 million in capital costs 
    • for projects over $1 million in capital costs
  • Program Excellence
    • in communities under 15,000 population
    • in communiites over 15,000 population
  • Parks Excellence

►  Learn more about the Provincial Award Descriptions and Selection Guidelines

 

Current and Past Award Recipients

2018 Provincial Award winners were announced on Wed, May 2, at The Westin Bayshore Vancouver, at the BCRPA's Annual Symposium.

Student Scholarship Recipients were also announced. Learn more here.

2018 Award of Merit Recipients

Cathryn Volkering Carlile

Cathrynvolkeringcarlile Web

Cathryn Volkering Carlile was the General Manager of the Community Services Division for the City of Richmond for 16 years. She retired in October 2017 after serving 43 years in local government. Beginning in 1974, Cathy worked in four municipalities - Vancouver, Burnaby, Whitehorse and Richmond. She started her career as a recreation trainee with the Vancouver Park Board and ended up at the top of her field. She led her work life with her values of respecting people, working hard, seizing opportunities, being interested and engaged, letting others shine, being a leader and having fun front and center.   

Cathy was part of leading-edge City-building and the following are two of her very significant accomplishments:

  • She was involved in shaping major events in Richmond. The Richmond Tall Ships event in 2002 attracted more than 400,000 attendees and then the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games hosted the world in Vancouver and Richmond. Cathy brought the concept of the speed skating Oval to Richmond and championed its development as part of the senior leadership team for the City. 
  • More than 550 affordable homes for needy individuals were developed during Cathy's tenure and a new, much needed men's and women's shelter is about to open. She also championed and facilitated the development of artist affordable living units which are now occupied. A further 500 more affordable homes are planned to come with development.

Community Recreational Initiatives Society (CRIS)

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Community Recreational Initiatives Society (CRIS), located in Kelowna, is a unique, non-profit and charitable organization that uses adaptive equipment to enable people of all abilities and disabilities to experience the great outdoors, interact with nature, and live healthier lives. Most importantly CRIS creates memories and experiences, while enhancing quality of life.

The goals of the organization are:

  • Further integration of people with disabilities through participation 
  • Promote equitable access to outdoor activities and wilderness areas 
  • Strengthen awareness of environmental protection and sustainability 
  • Promote diversity 

The participant goals are:

  • Increase self-confidence through improved physical and mental health 
  • Enhance personal growth and self –empowerment by overcoming perceived barriers 
  • Build self-esteem and self-respect through increased independence

CRIS works to make sure dreams become reality; that individuals and groups get to engage in outdoor activities that meet their interests. Options include hiking, kayaking, cycling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, rock climbing, caving and backcountry multi-day hiking and camping trips. The program is continually evolving and expanding to offer more accessible opportunities.

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Current Provincial Award Recipients

City of Trail, Columbia River Skywalk

2018 Parks Excellence Award

The Columbia River Skywalk project specifically addressed issues related to Trail's walkability and connectivity as the West and East communities are separated by the mighty Columbia River. Prior to this project, the only other means to cross the river was via the main traffic bridge's walkway, which was noted as feeling unsafe by pedestrians. The connection to other urban trail systems, the installation of onramps, and the grade and width of the bridge have ensured 100% accessibility to users of all abilities. 

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The Columbia River Skywalk project is built on a cycling and walking route through the community. It features LED lighting, viewpoints, park benches, and connects the two sides of the community. A favourite pastime of residents is to do the 2km "bridge to bridge" walking loop through town; this loop has proven to be a highlight for visitors to the area as well. "Making industry beautiful" is a theme that runs through our community. The Columbia River Skywalk project, named by a resident of the community, demonstrates this theme perfectly. The City turned a public utility need into a spectacular walkway. 

The Skywalk provides an incredible number of direct benefits to the community and surrounding area. Social Benefits:  It encourages active recreation, in particular walking and biking, throughout the community. The pedestrian bridge itself forms part of an urban trail system through the community and directly connects neighbourhoods within the community that would otherwise be divided by the Columbia River. The act of walking is well known to be associated with social participation and mental wellbeing. This amenity is barrier free and fully accessible by people of all ages and abilities.

Economic Benefits:  The Columbia River Skywalk has, and will continue to have, many economic benefits. It attracts tourism to the community, draws people to the downtown core, connects both sides of the community, and it forms part of the downtown revitalization plan for the community. This project also provides opportunities for the community to grow. Projects that contribute to making a city an "active city" have been shown to lead to higher property values and increased investment. Over the past two years, the City has seen marked increases in investment in the downtown core and this could be directly attributed to this project.  

Environmental Benefits:  Ensuring that the risk of pollutants that could enter the Columbia River were properly contained (new sewer line) was a primary objective of this project. This was (is) an environmental responsibility that the City took very seriously. A safe option, which will reduce driving pollutants, is now available for people to walk or bike to work or visit the downtown area. The bridge is a draw for people to get outside and enjoy some of the most scenic natural surroundings. Exposure to this particular natural environment give people an appreciation for all aspects of nature, in particular, the Columbia River. Through the 2013 Parks & Recreation Master Plan people identified that this secondary crossing of the river would contribute to both their physical and mental wellbeing.  

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City of Richmond, City Centre Community Centre

2018 Facility Excellence Award

for projects over $1 million

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The City Centre Community Centre is a vibrant two-storey facility located within a mixed-use development. The LEED Gold community centre offers modern, multi-purpose spaces for a range of community recreation programs and services that are tailored to residents of all ages and abilities. The community centre also features an art studio, music rooms, social room, community living room and fitness centre.

The Centre  includes state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment such as integrated touch panels, flat screen televisions, built-in projectors and screens, music recording equipment, and a listen assist and induction loop system. A portable stage, lights and sound system is available for events, youth DJ nights and talent shows, preschool dance performances and more.    

According to Shannon Crofton with the Richmond Society for Community Living, "the facility has proven to be a welcoming and accessible space that is used by the people their organization supports for a variety of activities including social groups, book clubs, and discussion groups" and has provided "opportunities for artists supported by Richmond Society for Community Living to showcase their talents through an exhibit at the centre." The adapted fitness equipment in the fitness centre has also been well-utilized and a physical, mental and social benefit for many of these groups.  

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City of Taylor, Community Services Hub

2018 Facility Excellence Award

for projects under $1 million

The Community Services Hub was built with inclusivity in mind, with full wheelchair access, including wheelchair accessible doors, counter, conference table, and washroom implements. It also hosts the monthly meetings of the Taylor Access and Inclusion Committee, whose aim is to improve accessibility and inclusivity for the community. 

By housing the Community Services department in the same building as the Taylor Community Hall, which hosts the majority of community events and activities, the Community Services Hub has offered an innovative solution and workspace for the department that has improved resource management. The enhanced workspace allows the Community Services department room for creativity and innovation to work closely with the community and deliver a higher level of service to all stakeholders.  

The Community Services Hub provides a clear point-of-contact to community groups and organizations that allows for the creation and building of important relationships as we move the community forward together.  

Taylor Community Services Hub After Resized

City of Richmond, Pollinator Pasture

2018 Program Excellence Award

for populations over 15,000

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Pollinator Pasture is the artistic creation of a large-scale landscape and community-engaged public art project by the City of Richmond in partnership with Border Free Bees, an ambitious, creative and successful long-term pollinator-focused public art initiative headed by Dr. Cameron Cartiere, Associate Professor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD). The 2.6 acre Pollinator Pasture, itself, is located at the Bridgeport Industrial Park and planted in the pattern of a bee's wings with native and naturalized seed beneficial to a broad range of pollinators. The Pollinator Pasture and supportive free programming raises awareness of the plight of wild pollinators, particularly bees, and empowers communities to actively engage in solutions for habitat loss. The initiative also transforms underutilized urban sites into aesthetically pleasing and scientifically viable pollinator pastures.   The Pollinator Pasture exemplifies how harnessing the power of artistic practices can inspire community action, engagement and stewardship of pollinators in British Columbia. 

The multi-layered approach to Pollinator Pasture, associated programming and community engagement has reached many hundreds of individuals and community groups (from children to seniors and businesses to non-profits). Community members have been introduced to and entranced by the work of bees and encouraged to take action on an individual level.  Programs and events included the following: For All Is For Yourself: For this major gallery exhibition, Border Free Bees brought the Pollinator Pasture to the community with a community-created and installed exhibition at the Richmond Art Gallery from September 12, 2015 to January 3, 2016. Multiple events took place leading up to and during the exhibition, including papermaking workshops to create handmade paper imbedded with pollinator-friendly seed, out of which, 10,000 bee shapes were laser cut for the exhibition. During the papermaking sessions, 300+ community members were educated about the plight of wild pollinators and how they could help. 

The Pollinator Pasture and related programs contribute to community social goals and quality of life through collective opportunities. Moreover, the Pollinator Pasture and community initiatives have contributed significantly to the conservation of pollinators in the community and quality of life. One of the most striking impacts has been a considerable increase in the number and type of pollinators, particularly wild bees, on the Bridgeport Industrial Park pasture site.

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City of Kitimat, i-Can Program

2018 Program Excellence Award

for populations under 15,000

The District of Kitimat, Leisure Services takes great pride in connecting the citizens of the community with opportunities to engage in a healthy, active lifestyle. The I-Can program was started when a gap in service was identified by a number of parents who have special needs children in the community. A unique partnership was formed between Kitimat Parents for Kids with Disabilities, Kitimat Community Development Centre and the Kitimat Leisure Services Department.

Kitimat Ican Summerposter Web

The programs are designed to be inclusive with peers, while offering a unique, physically challenging level of participation that the child can achieve success in while still have fun (based on FLOW theory – finding the appropriate balance of challenge and skill in an activity to make the participant successful).

The program tried to run with a 1:1 child to staff ratio. The benefits of having lower child/staff ratios are to allow the proper adaptations and accommodations to support and guide the child while encouraging independent activities as well. In general, lower child/staff ratios are one indicator of a higher-quality program as staff can be more sensitive and responsive to the individual child's needs. The ability to adapt the programming to the individual needs and level of developmental and cognitive ability of each child makes the activities more meaningful to the child and improves their quality of life both socially and physically. When these children are enrolled into the conventional recreational programs offered through Kitimat Leisure Services, they often become overwhelmed and are unable to cope in the mainstream recreational programming such as youth summer programs or swim lessons.

Kitimat Leisure Services developed the I-Can program to run parallel to the youth programming and resulted in two hybrid programs that were developed; one for swim lessons and the other for youth summer programs. The program met with so much success that more swim lessons and summer programming are underway to accommodate children with disabilities into the leisure services programming at their own pace and comfort level.

Kitimat Rm Painting Web Kitimat Ican Obstacle Course Web

National Award of Merit Recipient

Murray Kopp

Each year, the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association award committee selects a member to receive the coveted National Award of Merit. The award recognizes efforts of individuals/organizations/ community groups/ in each province and territory who have influenced the parks and recreation sector in a national capacity.

The nominee will have had a significant leadership role in an outstanding achievement in the sphere of parks and recreation. Their work is an outstanding contribution that is above the ordinary and done in the spirit of contributing to the public good. This year’s recipient was Murray Kopp.

Murray is the Director of Parks Services for the Central Okanagan Regional District who has served as BCRPA President but is best known for his enthusiasm for parks. His contribution to the parks sector at all levels of government and across allied sectors is far reaching, influential an extraordinary. Murray chaired the CPRA Parks Task Force and is the driving force behind Parks for All, and the “connecting to nature” goal of the national Framework for Recreation in Canada.

Murray is one of only 25 Canadians who completed the highly acclaimed Park System Leadership Course.

Past Provincial Award Recipients

2017

Facility Excellence for projects over $1 million

  • City of Surrey, Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre

Facility Excellence for projects under $1 million

  • City of West Kelowna, Memorial Park Amphitheater and Skateboard Park

Program Excellence

  • West Shore Parks and Recreation, Wild About Wellness

Parks Excellence for projects over $1 million

  • City of Richmond, Terra Nova Adventure Play Environment

Student Scholarship Recipients

  • Amy Cornish, Langara College, Diploma Program
  • Lauren King, University of Victoria
  • Britta Peterson, Vancouver Island University
  • Rachel Venner, Langara College, Bachelor Degree Program

2016

Facility Excellence

  • City of Castlegar, Millennium Park Natural Swimming Ponds

Parks and Open Spaces Excellence

  • City of New Westminster, Saint Mary's Park

PERC Award for Management Innovation and Ingenuity

  • City of Kelowna, Strong Neighbourhoods Program

Program Excellence for municipalities with populations of less than 15,000

  • Resort Municipality of Whistler, Whistler Presents

Program Excellence for municipalities with populations of over 15,000 

  • District of West Vancouver, Keeping Connected

President's Award

  • Dean Gibson

Honorary Life Membership Award

  • Brian Johnston

Student Scholarship Recipients

  • Erin Henneberry, University of Victoria
  • Alexandra Lukac, Simon Fraser University
  • Rebecca Stephen, Langar College/University

2015

Facility Excellence

  • City of Burnaby, Edmonds Community Centre and Fred Randall Pool

Parks and Open Spaces Excellence

  • Regional District of Central Okanagan, Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park

PERC Award for Management Innovation and Ingenuity

  • District of West Vancouver, North Shore QSA Symposium and Network Events Program

Program Excellence

  • Active Communities Group, Active Communities Learn to Skate Program
  • City of Surrey, The Re-enactors: Surrey's True Stories, Heritage Program

Friend of the Sector

  • Doug Perks

President's Award

  • Louise Roberts

Student Scholarships

  • Hiroko Shinozaki, Langara College
  • Sarena Jonah, Langara College
  • Ashleigh Hawes, University of Victoria

2014

Facility Excellence

  • City of Langford, City Centre Park
  • Regional District of Central Kooteny, Crestion and District Community Complex

Parks and Open Spaces Excellence

  • City of New Westminster, Westminster Pier Park
  • City of Prince George, Duchess Park

PERC Award for Management Innovation and Ingenuity

  • District of West Vancouver, Parks and Community Services Division, District of West Vancouver

Program Excellence

  • City of New Westminster, Heart 2 Art Program
  • Corporation of the District of Saanich Parks and Recreation, Education Children Outside (ECO) Nature Preschool
  • Saanich Commonwealth Place, District of Saanich, Moving Forward

Friend of the Sector

  • BC Healthy Living Alliance (BCHLA)

CPRA Award of Merit

  • Chris Nelson

Student Scholarships

  • Blake Mansbridge, University of Victoria
  • Shelly Schnee, Langara College
  • Shannon Bence, Vancouver Island University

2013

Facility Excellence

  • City of Pitt Meadows, South Bonson Community Centre

Parks and Open Spaces Excellence

  • District of Peachland, Centennial Way-Beach Avenue Project

PERC Award for Management Innovation and Ingenuity

  • West Vancouver Community Centre Society & District of West Vancouver, Situational Analysis

Program Excellence

  • District of West Vancouver, Ambleside Adventure Playground Camp
  • DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, Sports & Me Pilot Program

Friend of the Sector

  • Lifesaving Society - BC & Yukon

President's Award

  • Lori Gibbard

Student Scholarships

  • Nicole Barrett, University of Victoria
  • Tara Nazemi, Langara College
  • Jody Phibbls, University of Northern BC

2012

Facility Excellence

  • City of Coquitlam, Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex
  • City of Surrey, Cloverdale Recreation Centre

Parks and Open Spaces Excellence

  • Corporation of Delta, Rotary WaterWorks at Diefenbaker Park

PERC Award for Management Innovation and Ingenuity

  • City of Abbotsford, Safari Kids Zone

Program Excellence

  • City of Burnaby, Circus Program

Student Scholarships

  • Christine Creer, University of Victoria
  • Steven McGee, Simon Fraser University

2011

Award of Merit

  • Joe Iannarelli
  • Bob Pope

Environmental Leadership

  • Township of Langley, Urban Gardens

Facility Excellence

  • District of Maple Ridge, Greg Moore Youth Recreation Centre
  • City of Courtenay, Native Sons Hall

Healthy Choices

  • North Vancouver Recreation Commission, Play Well Eat Well - Healthy Eating Project

Parks and Open Spaces Excellence

  • District of Lake Country, Swalwell Park
  • Township of Langley, Willoughby Community Park

PERC Award for Management Innovation and Ingenuity

  • City of Kelowna, Everybody gets to play - Okanagan Network

Program Excellence

  • City of Kelowna, Recreation Opportunities Coupon Program
  • City of Port Moody, What Swims Beneath
  • City of Victoria, Evergreen Terrace Neighbourhood Playground Program

Student Scholarships

  • Claire Jean, University of Victoria
  • Geoff Langan, Langara College
  • Paul Sharp, University of British Columbia Okanagan
  • Dana Simpson, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

2010

Facility Excellence

  • District of West Vancouver, West Vancouver Community Centre
  • District of Kitimat, Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre
  • City of Kelowna, H2O

Parks and Open Spaces Excellence

  • City of New Westminster, Step up to 12th Street
  • City of Richmond, Garden City Community Park Play Environment

PERC Award for Management Innovation and Ingenuity

  • District of Kitimat, Northern Health & District of Kitimat Protocol Agreement

Program Excellence

  • North Vancouver Recreation Commission, Health and Wellness Project for Newcomers
  • City of Surrey, MOYO - Mobile Youth Outreach

2009

Facility Excellence

  • City of Burnaby, Mountain Air Bike Skills Park
  • City of Nanaimo & Gemelia Design Inc., Oliver Woods Community Centre
  • City of Victoria, Burnside Gorge Community Centre

Environmental Leadership

  • City of Richmond, Terra Nova Rural Park Program

Parks and Open Spaces Excellence

  • City of Surrey, Holland Park

Program Excellence

  • Active Communities Vancouver, Red Fox Active Outreach
  • City of Richmond, Decreasing Barriers, Increasing Wellness

Active Communities Excellence

  • Teck - Trail Operations, Inspiring Wellness and Learning Committee

Student Scholarships

  • Charissa Steel, Kwanteln Polytechnic University
  • Suzanne Vander Wekken, University of Victoria

2008

Active Communities Excellence

  • District of Kitimat, Kick It Up Kitimat
  • Canim Lake Band, Canim Lake Band Active Communities
  • District of Sparwood, Sparwood Active Communities

Facility Excellence

  • City of Surrey, South Surrey Recreation Centre
  • City of Campbell River, Campbell River Community Centre

Environmental Leadership

  • City of Abbotsford, Excellence in the Environment

HIGH FIVE Excellence

  • City of Surrey, HIGH FIVE Committment

PERC Award for Management Innovation and Ingenuity

  • Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, The Stanley Park Storm: From Crisis to Opportunity

Program Excellence

  • North Vancouver Recreation Commission and West Vancouver Community SErvices, North Shore Walks
  • City of Surrey, Greenbrook Kids Clubhouse
  • City of Abbotsford, Diwali Sehat Mela

Student Scholarships

  • Emma Peake, Langara College
  • Leah Warwick, Langara College
  • Graeme Hall, Kwantlen University College
  • Laurel Liesel Beveridge, University of Victoria
  • Jody Lindsay Chan, University of British Columbia
  • Stephanie Walsh, College of the Rockies

2007

Facility Excellence

  • City of North Vancouver, John Braithwaite Community Centre

Environmental Leadership

  • City of Surrey, Surrey's Environmental Extravaganza

Program Excellence

  • District of Kitimat/Kitimat Health Unit, Women's Wellness Community Project
  • City of Surrey/Surrey Art Gallery, Urban Reality
  • City of Victoria, Passport to Skating

Parks and Open Spaces Excellence

  • City of Quesnel, West Fraser Timber Park

PERC Award for Management Innovation and Ingenuity

  • Greater Victoria Inter-Municipal Recreation Managers' Committee

2006

Facility Excellence

  • City of Burnaby, Metro Skate Park

Environmental Leadership

  • Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and LEES + Associates, Everett Crowley Park Management Plan

Program Excellence

  • City of Surrey, REMIXX
  • Township of Esquimalt, Esquimalt Together Against Graffitti

President's Award

  • James (Jim) Marvel

2005

Award of Merit

  • District of Oak Bay, Recreation Oak Bay

Facility Excellence

  • Regional District of Nanaimo, Oceanside Place

Program Excellence

  • The Corporation of the City of Penticton, Pentiction Steps Out