Civic Volunteer

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The Civic Volunteer Award recognizes outstanding commitment by individuals and teams who go above and beyond on a Vancouver City Council approved board, agency or committee.

2018 recipients

Nushaiba Nanjiba

Individual youth category

Nushaiba Nanjiba embodies what it means to be a youth leader and role model for her peers and young children. In fact, most adults who are familiar with what she does are in awe of her work ethic, dedication to the children she mentors, and commitment to making her community a better place.

As a Grade 11 International Baccalaureate student at Britannia Secondary School, Nushaiba maintains high grades, is involved in school extra-curriculars, and contributes at least eight hours per week to volunteer programs in her community which promote diversity, inclusion, and empowerment for children and youth in East Vancouver. She is also a member of the LEO Club, the youth branch of the Lions Club.

Through programs like Girls+ Got Game and Skater Girls+ Nushaiba helps young girls gain confidence and learn important skills. She is also the creator of Cook It Up! a program that teaches cooking, kitchen safety and life skills to children, and she genuinely enjoys the time she spends with her young protégés.

Through Nushaiba’s involvement in all manner of community activities she is a wonderful ambassador for youth and an inspiring example of how young people can make a difference in their communities.

Lillian Howard

Individual category

Bringing people together to create understanding and foster inclusion is something Lillian Howard has been doing for many decades as a tireless advocate for social justice and healing in Vancouver.

She is a proud member of the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation and of Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwaka’wak and Tlingit ancestry, who has made a difference in the lives of many by creating opportunities for their voices to be heard and stories to be told.

Lillian has served as co-chair of the City of Vancouver’s Urban Indigenous Peoples’ Advisory Committee since its inception in 2011, co-chair and founder of the Uplifting Indigenous Families Fund with Vancity Credit Union, and has dedicated countless volunteer hours to many other community and grassroots organizations.

She has been instrumental in ensuring issues that are important to Indigenous peoples receive the hearing, engagement, and consultation they deserve. 

Reconciliation discussions and the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls are particularly important to Lillian. She was instrumental in the City of Vancouver’s Year of Reconciliation (June 2013-2014), and counts among her recent achievements: a city hosted gathering of over 50 organizations to develop a work plan to support Indigenous families and survivors at the National Inquiry in Vancouver, the 2017 Gathering of Canoes, The Drum is Calling Festival, and the Walk for Reconciliation event.

West End – Coal Harbour Community Policing Centre

Organization category

Thanks to the thousands of volunteer hours contributed by engaged members of the community, the West End - Coal Harbour Community Policing Centre (WECHCPC) is helping to reduce street crime and disorder, and increase personal safety in its neighbourhoods.

The WECHCPC helps thousands of individuals and businesses live free from fear and lead productive, active lives by engaging community members to take an active role in their community’s safety and contribute to Vancouver being Canada’s safest large city.

Volunteers participate in community patrols, graffiti removal, community clean-ups, ongoing outreach, and community events while the West End Coal Harbour Community Policing Centre serves as a community hub.

With a spirit of collaboration and genuine interest in making their community better, the staff and volunteers work with other community members to play an active role in community safety. 

In 2017 alone, over 170 volunteers provided in excess of 1200 hours of community outreach in addition to over 3300 victim assistance hours, and over 1900 foot/bike patrol hours; a clear testament to the organization’s belief that an active community is a safe community!

2017 recipients

Shawna Turai, individual youth category

With a passion for giving back to her community since she was a child, Windermere Secondary School Grade 12 student Shawna Turai has devoted herself to empowering others by ensuring they reach their potential in whatever capacity they serve. Through her many leadership initiatives she has demonstrated her passion at her school, and by working with numerous community groups including the Salvation Army and Three Links Care Centre. 

As a Renfrew-Collingwood community member, Shawna has put in countless hours on projects with the award-winning Collingwood Junior Business Improvement Association where she bridged youth and small businesses through unique marketing opportunities that build on the presence of local businesses. One example of the group’s work is a project where members of Shawna’s group worked with Vancity Credit Union staff to develop ideas to make the Collingwood neighbourhood a more engaged community.

Shawna’s group promoted community gardens, movies in parks, and a recycling program for elementary students. Unwilling to slow down, Shawna is as determined as ever to continue her volunteer efforts which she hopes will include projects with the City in the future.

Lorna Gibbs, individual category

Southeast Vancouver seniors will soon have a seniors’ activity centre in their community, a vision community resident Lorna Gibbs had over a decade ago. As the president of the Southeast Vancouver Seniors Centre Society, her campaign efforts were rewarded in 2014 when Canada’s three levels of government came together to fund the construction of the centre. Ground-breaking is expected in 2017.

A Vancouver resident for over 30 years and an active and determined community volunteer, Lorna has continually connected seniors from diverse ethnic backgrounds to gather, translate, edit, and publish stories in her books Stories of Southeast Vancouver, and the illustrated cookbook, Meals and Memories. Those who participated in the production of both books said the work inspired happiness, greater understanding, and friendship.

Throughout her volunteering career Lorna has received numerous awards. In 2012, she received the Community Achievement Award and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2016, she was presented with the Senior Leadership Award from the Simon Fraser University Gerontology Research Centre and the Volunteer of the Year Award from BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie.

Brock Fahrni Volunteer Team, organization category

For 23 years, the Brock Fahrni Volunteer Team has escorted elderly veteran residents of the Brock Fahrni Pavilion each November 11 so they can personally witness each Remembrance Day Ceremony at Victory Square in Vancouver. This service is highly anticipated by the surviving veterans who live at Brock Fahrni Pavilion and is greatly appreciated by their families and the Pavilion caregiving staff.

Over the years it has become an emotional and positive demonstration of admiration and respect. The presence of the residents of Brock Fahrni has become an intrinsic part of the Remembrance Day program which wouldn't be possible without the dedication and commitment of the 25-member team.

2016 recipients

Nicole Hou, individual youth category

Nicole is a grade 11 student attending Eric Hamber Secondary School. She has been volunteering in Vancouver since 2014, for a total of 1000 hours and counting.

By using her business background and leadership skills along with her passion for eradicating injustice, she has successfully managed countless initiatives and inspired her peers to do the same.

Her accomplishments include founding and chairing Reel Causes' Youth Advisory Council, founding and leading the Learning Disabilities Career Conference, board directing for Kids Sing Vancouver, grant reviewing at McCreary Centre Society, and youth advising for Science World and YWCA Metro Vancouver.

Through her contributions, she has advocated for the inclusion of individuals in their communities, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, and economic status. She hopes to continue igniting sparks and helping others overcome adversity.

Rob Haynes, individual category

Volunteering for the City started early as Vancouver born Rob Haynes performed in the Collingwood Community Concert Party raising money for community needs.  It is this dedication to volunteerism at an early age that became the foundation for his adult life. 

With notable civic volunteer achievements he made a decision when retiring to give back to the community that support him.  Rob volunteered to produce the Vancouver Spectacular in our sister city of Yokohama for Expo 89.

He has been recognized by Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau for his volunteer contribution to Grey Cup productions in Vancouver.  He founded one of Vancouver's first talent agencies and served as Vice Chair of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

Recognizing the need for the protection of artists, he founded the Vancouver Association of Talent Agents.   He produced the Vancouver Woman of Distinction Award shows that celebrate women in our community.   Beyond his duties with the Vancouver Civic Theatres, he produced the re-opening gala of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Entertainment heritage is paramount to Rob and he serves as President of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame.  In 2013 he led the fundraising efforts to create a new StarWall in the historic Orpheum and organizes all tours of the Orpheum for the City.  He sits as Chair of the Vancouver Civic Theatres Board and has worked tirelessly to assist in the positive transition of the VCT.

Rob Haynes has dedicated his life to supporting individuals and organizations in arts and cultural communities. 

Vancouver Emergency Community Telecommunications Organization (VECTOR), organization category

VECTOR designs and builds backup emergency communications infrastructure based on Amateur Radio and other wireless communications systems to support the City of Vancouver in times of emergency.  While our organization is deeply involved in the development and deployment of communications technology, it is our members - their skills, experience and capabilities - that are our most important asset.  Founded in the late 1990s, our all volunteer not for profit organization has engaged hundreds of VECTOR radio operators along a continuum of emergency management training ranging from communications skills to Incident Command System and served agency specific curriculum to ensure our communicators can be effectively integrated into a larger civic response team when called upon.

VECTOR raises funds to construct and deploy backup emergency communications solutions throughout the city such that they can be activated even during power outages and on short notice. Our group also maintains an emergency communications vehicle that can act as a mobile command post or be put into service as a communications bridge between city functions or to external agencies.

VECTOR participates in Emergency Management British Columbia's emergency radio services plans, and is a voice in local and national Amateur Radio affairs. Whether it is supporting the communications needs of community events each year; planning, training and exercising in preparation for emergencies big and small; raising funds and implementing communications solutions, VECTOR volunteers give many thousands of hours of service annually of direct benefit to the City of Vancouver.

2015 recipients

Linh Diep, individual youth category

A member of the Vancouver Police Department Cadets, Linh Diep is recognized as a leader among her peers and superiors. Joining the cadets in 2014, the Templeton High School student has consistently led by example. She has headed up many of the organization's projects such as community clean-ups, assembling Christmas hampers for those in need, and handing out supplies on the Downtown Eastside.

One of only three female cadets to receive the organization’s Athleticism Award, Linh has also demonstrated considerable academic muscle, winning a VPD post-secondary scholarship.

Positive, kind and friendly, she encourages other cadets in all their activities, both inside and outside of the organization. At her VPD Cadets graduation, she received the VPD Cadets Service and Athletic Award for her hard work, dedication, and leadership as a Sergeant and VPD Cadet.

The Civic Volunteer Award (Youth) recognizes Linh Diep’s abundant volunteer contributions to the newly formed VPD Cadets.

Mary Lynn Baum, individual category

Mary Lynn Baum is a consultant who has been a tireless volunteer in the areas of education and the arts. A founding member of the Gifted Children’s Association of BC, she was an active member of the Vancouver School Board’s District Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee from 1985 to 2006. She also spent a decade on the board of Theatre Terrific, a theatre company for people with disabilities.

As chair of the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) Board, Mary Lynn is committed to engaging and connecting the city’s citizens through the use of technology, multi-language materials, and programming that address the needs of all library users. Through the progressive projects and policies she champions, she works to ensure that the VPL system remains an integral part of community life.

The Civic Volunteer Award (Individual) recognizes Mary Lynn Baum’s extraordinary contributions to education and the arts, including the Vancouver Public Library.

Members of the Citizens’ Assembly on the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan, organization category

The Citizens’ Assembly on the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan was formed to allow greater public engagement concerning the development of that neighbourhood. Forty-eight randomly chosen individuals committed more than 100 volunteer hours each to create a plan that addresses both the realities of civic growth and the need to preserve the neighbourhood’s unique character.

The Citizen's Assembly members met over 10 Saturdays to suggest, discuss, and assess ideas concerning the area’s growth over the next 30 years. The group presented the resulting 75-page report to City Council on June 24, 2015. With more than 40 pages of recommendations, on everything from economy and heritage to housing and community well-being, it is a blueprint for a community planned by its members.

The Civic Volunteer Award (Organization) recognizes the extraordinary volunteer commitment the Citizens’ Assembly members made to develop a plan that makes sense for Grandview-Woodland.

2014 recipients

Mabel James, individual youth category

Mabel James is a Grade 12 student at Britannia Secondary School and is from the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nation. She is a passionate volunteer on the City's Urban Aboriginal People's Advistory Committee.

James is a youth leader with Red Fox Healthy Living Society, supervising children in after school programs and recreational activities, and is a member of the Vancouver Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Council.

She is passionate about educating people in Vancouver about the concerns members of the aboriginal community population are facing.

Wendy Williams, individual category

Wendy Williams is a registered nurse with a lifetime of social activism as a feminist. She has used her expertise in women's issues and her administrative skills to build a highly effective Women's Advisory Committee for the City of Vancouver.

Under Williams's leadership, the committee has worked collaboratively with other advisory committees within the City and external organizations to increase civic leadership, representation and participation by women and girls, economic equality and opportunity, and social inclusion and safety.

Williams currently works at the charitable organization Health and Home Care Society of BC, which provides Meals on Wheels in Vancouver and Richmond.

Vancouver Remembrance Day Committee, organization category

The Vancouver Remembrance Day Committee, made up entirely of volunteers, organizes and conducts the annual Remembrance Day Service at Victory Square.

Chaired by Cameron Cathcart, the committee consults with no fewer than 40 veterans and related groups, numerous service and civic organizations, the military, and RCMP.

The ceremony is the oldest continuing annual ceremony in Vancouver, and marks its 90th anniversary in November 2014.

It is the second largest Remembrance Day ceremony in Canada, attracting approximately 15,000 people to Victory Square, rain or shine, annually.

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