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LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020 Celebrating and Recognizing Amazing Individuals of Campbell River.


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Campbell River is full of heroes, that is what makes it an amazing community, one that Mowi is proud to call home. Mowi—Farming salmon in B.C. for over 30 years

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Celebrating Our Local Heroes For the third year in a row, the Campbell River Mirror – in partnership with MOWI – has recognized and celebrated those among us who make a positive difference in the community. The annual Local Heroes event, held last week at the No. 1 Fire Hall, is our chance to poll the community and find the coaches, healthcare workers, emergency services

workers, community builders, advocates for the arts, for seniors and for diversity. Along with our community partners, we create a list of finalists, who we invite to a huge party – most years, anyway – and let them know their community thanks them for what they do. This year the event looked a little different. We went through the same process, but

instead of a big two-hour party we had them join us for a more private affair with those closest to them, held in segments over the course of a full day. Because even a global pandemic isn’t going to keep us from celebrating the difference makers in Campbell River. In fact, it’s never been more important. So please join us in celebrating the recipi-

ents of this year’s iteration of the Local Heroes Awards. In the following pages, you’ll have a chance to learn a little more about them and what they do, and maybe get inspired to make a positive impact on your community yourself. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners. And thank you for being who you are.

Thank You to all of our community’s Local Heroes! 1710 Island Hwy, Campbell River • 250-286-6132

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CONGRATULATIONS Warren Warttig & our nominees! There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about!

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ANIMAL ADVOCATE sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

TOP HONOUR

TOYOTA

Warren Warttig has been Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society’s president since 2004, overseeing the organization’s expansion into a new property on Merville that includes such features as this flight pen. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

WARREN WARTTIG O

n a bright summer morning at a countryside property in Merville, Warren Warttig moves comfortably through a construction site. There’s a lot of work planned for the day: new shingles on student volunteer trailers, building the visitor centre kiosk and planting Douglas fir seedlings around the property. As he walks the property, he comes up to one of its newest additions: a flight pen. The project has been in the works for some time and with Warttig’s leadership, both as president of the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) and the impromptu captain of the charity’s construction projects, it’s coming to fruition. The pen is impressive, featuring two long sides that can be partitioned into several configurations depending on the patients in care. A heron needs a different space than owls or eagles, Warttig explains. But the piece de resistance is a second-storey outdoor platform that offers a view into the eagle side of the pen. Here, visitors can watch as eagles approach them dead on, pulling up with their impressive wing span only to land on a post just feet away from wide-eyed humans. “You rarely see an eagle flying right at you and then fan out just metres from you to land on a perch,” he says. A biologist by trade for more than 20 years, Warttig came by

his interest in biology and the environment honestly. He was seven and living in Williams Lake. There was a nearby rescue centre for moose and he got to bottle feed a calf. His father’s best friend was an ungulate biologist and Warttig would accompany both his father’s friend and his dad – himself a helicopter pilot – on projects tagging and netting big horn sheep. He realized pretty early on that an office job was not in his future. “Even when I was in kindergarten I’d wander outside after I’d been inside too long just to go stand outside,” he says. “I’m still that way. I can’t stay in the office for too long, I have to get outside and do something.” Warttig first went to school for forestry and then went back for biology. He moved to Vancouver Island in the 1990s to design and manage large-scale ecosystem restoration projects in Clayoquot Sound and other coastal areas. It was after his transfer to Campbell River with Interfor that he was introduced to MARS. He’d seen it advertised and saw that an open house was coming up. So he went for a visit, never having any intention of joining. But Mary Jane Birch, known to many as Maj, MARS Wildlife Rescue’s founder, had other ideas. “She immediately had the fly fishing out, then brought me

in to see some of the animals,” says Warttig. He was sold. Warttig has been the group’s president since 2004, helping guide it through various transformations. Maj passed away in 2015, just a few months after a new 11acre property was purchased for the facility. It was time to move it off her property but continue the tradition of “preserving and protecting the wildlife and habitat of the Comox Valley and northern Vancouver Island.” Every year the centre sees more and more patients come through its doors. In 2019, nearly 1,000 patients were tended to by volunteers and staff. They expect that number to grow. Warttig credits the success to a large base of dedicated volunteers. “This is definitely bigger than just me,” he says. “It feels good to be giving back.” Stop and talk to Warttig for long enough and he’ll have you signing up to volunteer with MARS. “We’re always looking for volunteers,” he says. “We just finished our broom bashing, which we’ve had for four years now and it’s really looking good.”


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ANIMAL ADVOCATE sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

TOYOTA

EIKO JONES

JENNIFER LESTAGE

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f you you’ve ever seen underwater salmon pictures from Campbell River, chances are they’ve come from the camera of Eiko Jones. The self-taught photographer has been capturing scenes underwater for the better part of 30 years. Originally from New Zealand, Jones got his first camera when he was 14. But it wasn’t until a shark diving trip off the coast of Mexico that he truly fell in love with underwater photography. “From there it’s been pretty much a constant PHOTO BY KIM ISLES journey just becoming full-time in the photography side of things,” he says. While he got his start in warm saltwater locations, it’s his freshwater images that have netted him notice. Jones’ first magazine clipping was with National Geographic. His images occupy the space between real life and art. This one, called “Cloud of Tadpoles, Canada” features dusty autumn tones behind silhouettes of a school of tadpoles. Jones is careful not to pigeon-hole himself as a conservation photographer. “I don’t spend a lot of time telling people what to think or how much danger the fish are in or how bad we’re treating the watersheds and things like that,” he says. “I try to do more about showing the watershed as it is, showing the amazing life that’s in there and do it through evocative art and art that creates emotion and then hopefully people care by seeing that or understand a little bit more about what is under there and it’s not just blank water.” Now with years of still photography experience under his belt, Jones has turned his attention to a new challenge: moving pictures. He and Kim Isles have released two movies under the Nourish Journey Productions label this year: Heartbeat of the River and Salmon Capital Campbell River, both showcasing the beautiful scenery around Campbell River and the creatures that occupy a bit of it.

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ennifer Lestage always thought she would run a pet store. Paired with small business management courses, her environmental sciences degree prepared her well for the world. But the realities of the pet store business did not align with her personal beliefs. “They’re a product and that’s not OK with me,” she says. She was much more interested in the breeding and genetics of the animals and started her company, Vancouver Island Creature Teachers, PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIFER LESTAGE in 2012 because she was getting known around town as “the reptile lady.” People would drop unwanted pets off on her doorstep. For example, there’s a snake named Jaymie. The albino boa had been accidentally poisoned by its previous owner and was slithering upside down. But after Lestage treated him, he’s now a healthy snake who’s popular with young kids. The only sign of his previous condition is a slight head tilt. There’s also a Nicaraguan boa constrictor named Solstice. Lestage rescued him from a basement where he’d been abandoned – his enclosure was covered in mold, with a bone-dry water dish and no heat source – on winter solstice. His was one of the quickest recoveries she’s ever had. Lestage’s rehabilitated creatures join her for events. “Everyone wants to see turtles and tortoises,” she says. “I’m not sure why, because I’m a snake girl.” The events allow her to share her cool animals with others and also to educate people about reptiles. But her favourite thing is introducing kids to reptiles. “When a kid has never touched a reptile before,” she says. “and their eyes just light up.” The business is taking a break over the summer but Lestage hopes to be back up and running this fall.

Congratulations to all Local Hero Award nominees and recipients! Thank you for your vital contributions to our community! 301 St. Ann’s Road Campbell River, BC V9W 4C7 Telephone: 250-286-5700 info@campbellriver.ca www.campbellriver.ca

Jennifer Lestage is a finalist in the Animal Ambassador category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards.

Eiko Jones is a finalist in the Animal Ambassador category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Kim Isles accepted the honour on Jones’ behalf. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror


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ARTS ADVOCATE sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

HEATHER GORDON MURPHY

BROADSTREET PROPERTIES LTD.

SUSIE MOSCOVICH

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hen Susie Moscovich arrived in Campbell River 19 years ago with her husband, they brought along with them a strong love for music and eather Gordon Murphy has been the desire to be music patrons. a prominent performing artist in Since then Moscovich has raised over Campbell River for the past 57 $120,000 worth of scholarship funds for stuyears. dents to pursue music. The 62-year-old moved here when she was Moscovich and her husband Michael a little girl and spent her early life and career founded the Margaret Gracza Music Scholestablishing herself as a dancer. arship and Margaret Gracza Fine Art Award She founded a prominent dance school and in 2001. after it closed, she co-founded the RainCoast PHOTO BY KIM ISLES PHOTO BY BINNY MARY PAUL “The whole journey has been an exciting School of Musical Theatre 10 years ago. The one,” said Moscovich as she proudly recollects the names of some of the young student school offers a unique combination of dance, theatre and voice training. As a teacher, Murphy understood that every student learns differently and so she uses dif- recipients who went on to study at reputable institutions such as The Julliard School or became acclaimed musicians over the years. ferent approaches to help each student through different stages of their artistic journey. “Campbell River has so many talented people, especially students,” said Moscovich. She considers it a gift to be able to teach others. She also makes a conscious effort to buy and promote local arts and musicians. Her pet “Helping people learn to dance, that’s who I am,” said Gordon. Despite facing a tough period in her life where she battled with alcoholism, Gordon rein- project, the Rotary Honours Concert that started nine years ago, is her “gift to the community.” It brings award winning artists to Campbell River. vented herself by focusing on the arts which, according to her, have the power to “heal.” Music is “time travelling” for Moscovich. It gives one the opportunity to connect with Gordon also runs a program for people with an intellectual disability and it has been one artists and musicians from another era altogether. of the most “rewarding” experiences for her as a teacher. She is happy to see that in Campbell River, more people are realizing the need for “more arts.” “Art makes us a better society too,” she said. Being recognized as an advocate for arts, was a “humbling and wonderful,” experience said Gordon and added, “The arts are what I live for, it keeps me sane.”

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To all of our community heroes:

Warren Warttig received the Animal Ambassador of the Year Award from Jami Harris of Campbell River Toyota at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Valerie Berry accepted the award on Warttig’s behalf. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

Thank you for all that you do

Rachel Blaney  250-287-9388  Rachel.Blaney@parl.gc.ca Heather Gordon Murphy is a finalist in the Arts Advocate category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

Member of Parliament North Island-Powell River


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ARTS ADVOCATE sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

TOP HONOUR

BROADSTREET PROPERTIES LTD.

Bill Henderson has also been instrumental in teaching the art of carving to the next generation of carvers in his family. He also takes an active role in teaching carving to school children in town who often come to his carving shed to watch him turn cedar into art. Photo by Mary Binny Paul – Campbell River Mirror

Bill Henderson M

any of Bill Henderson’s signature artworks are on display around Campbell River. From a whale plaque that he carved for his teacher at Campbellton School when he was seven years old, to the many poles displayed around town, Henderson’s artistic vision has always been a welcome sight in the city.  In his carving shed, where everyday he comes in to make wood talk, the carver keeps his father, legendary carver, Sam Henderson’s memory alive. For Bill Henderson, carving is not just art but a legacy passed down from his father and his people, the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation.  Mythology inspires him and is visible in his masks, totems and plaques. He enjoys making masks, he said, and brings to life some notable supernatural figures such as the wild woman.  Although he learned carving alongside his father at an early

age, Henderson did not take it up professionally until his late teens when he realized its economic potential. Despite that, Henderson said that money has never been a motivating factor. “It’s more about being able to spread the culture of my people to other parts of the world.” Henderson’s next project is a big house in Port Hardy. “I am extremely happy to be working on that project for my people,” said Henderson for whom the town holds a special place in his heart. His father’s people are from Blunden Harbour and moved to Port Hardy and settled there after their traditional village was burnt in 1964.  He has retained traditional methods of carving wood and makes his own tools and blades. While practice is essential to become a good carver, he also said that the flexibility of the “thumb” decides it all. 

Henderson has also been instrumental in teaching the art of carving to the next generation of carvers in his family. His nephews, Junior and Greg Henderson, acclaimed carvers in their own right, trained under him at one point. He also takes an active role in teaching carving to school children in town who often come to his carving shed to watch him turn cedar into art. Throughout his professional life, he has attended art exhibitions all across the globe and some of his totem poles have been commissioned and erected internationally. Recently, in June 2020, a totem pole made by Henderson was commissioned by a museum in Osaka, Japan.


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Congratulations to the 2020 2019 local Hero award Finalists – Coaches Category

top Honour recipient: roy tippenhauer with Koreen gurak (strathcona regional District representative) epr as a sponsor of the coaches’ category of the local Hero awards, the strathcona regional District recognizes coaches are inspirational role models in our community who create a Top Honour Recipient: positive environment for Strathcona Regional District Representative Kelly Uzzell healthy development and instill a life-long love of As a Sponsor of the coaches’ category of the Local Hero Awards, the physical activity.

Strathcona Regional District recognizes coaches are inspirational role We celebrate the dedication models in our community who create a positive environment for healthy and commitment of all development and instill a life-long love of physicalthe activity. exemplary individuals who inspire, innovate and

Wecelebratethededicationandcommitmentofalltheexemplaryindividuals share knowledge of sport who inspire, innovate and share knowledge of sport with others. with others.

https://www.strathconagardens.com


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COACH OF THE YEAR sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

TOP HONOUR

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STRATHCONA REGIONAL DISTRICT

Kelly Uzzell is a volunteer coach with the Campbell River Minor Hockey Association. She’s involved in coaching several teams including the female programs. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

KELLY UZZELL K

elly Uzzell can still remember being the only woman on the ice. Her long hair would get pulled. She didn’t have many skating skills. But still, she kept skating, practising with the boys. Today, Uzzell is a volunteer coach with the Campbell River Minor Hockey Association. She’s involved in coaching several teams including the female programs. You could say she came by her hockey IQ honestly. But it was through passion and hard work. Uzzell grew up at the rink. She worked at Strathcona Gardens, worked in the skate shop and taught skating lessons. Uzzell took that knowledge and put it into hockey, saying she’s always been surrounded by great coaches. Uzzell doesn’t have any kids of her own but coaches her niece and nephews. “Kelly is such a selfless person,” said one nominator. “For a woman who doesn’t have children of her own in hockey, she is always helping and giving back with a smile on her face. “We are so lucky and grateful to have her in our hockey family.” That gratitude is shared by all of the people who nominated Uzzell for this award. She is consistently called an inspiration and her dedication to the sport hasn’t gone unnoticed.

In addition to coaching minor hockey and the girls’ programs, Uzzell also laces up to play women’s recreation hockey. “It’s a great way to go out and be with friends,” she says. “It’s competitive and a great way to enjoy doing something – I just love it.” And, she says, it’s a great influence on the kids. “You can do this for a lifetime,” she says. “Girls are just as strong and good as the boys. I’m all about girl power for them.” Uzzell loves seeing the improvement in the younger skaters she coaches over time. “(For) Some of them, it’s not a very good experience for them,” she says. “I have a way about making them feel confident and I think all my years teaching tiny tots skating. It’s about making them forget everything else and just making them feel comfortable in what they can do.” She’ll take a skill and then break it down. “Like taking steps on the ice,” she says. She’ll take her feet, turn them out to the side and walk like a duck – complete with the quack-quack soundboard for the littlest ones. “It makes them forget about being scared or anything on that line,” she says. Uzzell is thankful the hockey association is investing in its female skaters. They have dedicated ice time once a week that

they don’t need to share with the boys. Many skills can be practised by both but the girls-only ice time lets the girls be girls, says Uzzell. “It’s hard to explain but it’s based on fun and being friends and having a good time and laughs and everything and the girls being able to bond as female players,” she says. “A lot of them do get dominated when they play mixed.” But something is working. The girls program continues to grow and there’s more older skaters as role models for the younger ones making their way up through the ranks. “You can see a difference,” says Uzzell. “You make a difference.”


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COACH OF THE YEAR sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

https://www.strathconagardens.com/

STRATHCONA REGIONAL DISTRICT

MARK TAYLOR

CHAD BRAITHWAITE

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ike many Canadian kids growing up in the prairies, Chad Braithwaite played hockey. It was a different game back then, he says, remembering outdoor rinks, versus the indoor barns of Vancouver Island, where he moved in 2001, but there was always that face-to-face connection on the ice. No phones. No video games. No screens. Just fun on the ice. Braithwaite was coached by his dad growing up and now volunteers to coach programs in Campbell River Minor Hockey Association, which his own kids are a part of. “For me, I’m not the best skater, I’m not the best hockey player,” he says, “but I just want to give back.” He says he took up the sport because of this father. “It’s different having a parent as a coach. They’re definitely harder on you than they are on most of the kids on the team,” he says. “If it wasn’t for my dad, I’m not sure I would’ve played hockey.” Now, Braithwaite uses his knowledge and passion to build an active, healthy community. “I can’t imagine living in a city that didn’t have sports,” he says. “I don’t know how it would ever run.” As the owner of Fitness Etc., as a leading volunteer with the over-35 hockey league, and the slo pitch leagues and as a coach of kids hockey, he’s creating opportunities for the community to connect face-to-face, put down their social media for an hour and be present. “I’d like to see more people actually get out there and do something,” he says. “You don’t have to play a sport. Just go for a walk, put on some rollerblades, throw the ball around with your family. It doesn’t have to be major.”

very year between August and April, Mark Taylor eats, sleeps and breathes curling. “I love this sport,” he says. “I live this sport.” Though Taylor has been a longtime coach in other sports, including Special Olympics 10pen bowling, bocce and softball, he’s a relative newcomer to curling, having started playing about 10 years ago. He was looking for something new to do. “What can I join that I haven’t tried yet that I can really enjoy?” he asked himself. He remembered watching curling games on TV with his late uncle. “It wasn’t an unwelcoming place,” he says of his first experience playing at Campbell River Curling Club. “As an adult, it’s a very social sport. Afterwards, you go upstairs and you’re laughing. You meet everybody and you get to know everybody...Lots of laughing. Lots of fun.” He was spending more and more time at the club and so when they were looking for someone to take over the junior program, Taylor stepped up. He began with coordinating times and helping out on the ice but soon realized he wanted to coach. He got his certification and has been growing the program for the last seven years. He hopes to instill his love for the sport into his athletes. “I want the kids to love the sport as I love it,” he says. “It’s the kind of game you can play for your entire life.” But it’s also about positively influencing young people. “Sports, they’re good for physical activity, but they’re also good for social activity,” he says. You learn lifelong skills like perseverance. “You apply all these skills you have learning how to be competitive, you’re going to succeed. “I love every second of it.”

Susie Moscovich is a finalist in the Arts Advocate category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

Bill Henderson receives the Arts Advocate of the Year Award from Amanda Raleigh of Broadstreet Properties at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

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Congratulation to all of our Local Hero’s! www.riverink.ca 250-287-2427 #2-1040 9th Ave

Mark Taylor is a finalist in the Coach category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror


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COMMUNITY BUILDER sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

CORY EVANS

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ory Evans had a big goal. He wanted to raise $1 million for the BC Children’s Hospital. It’s a huge number to the 20-year employee of E.B. Horsman and Sons who is also vice-chair of the company’s “Giving Back Committee” which took on that goal. But the crazy thing is, the company hit that fundraising target this year. While Evans is involved in many community organizations, he has a personal connection to BC Children’s Hospital. PHOTO BY MARISSA TIEL – CAMPBELL RIVER MIRROR As a teenager, his cousin was bitten by a dog while out trick-or-treating. “He had to go in and out of BC Children’s Hospital with surgery on his face,” he said. “If you see him today, you’d have no idea that he almost had his whole face ripped apart.” Evans combines his passion for poker with fundraising for causes important to him. One of Evans’ nominators said they’ve had the “pleasure” of watching the dedication he puts into every challenge, “knowing that at the end of the challenge, one of our local community organizations are going to benefit because of it.” “If there’s a way that we can make a positive change in our local community, I’m all about it,” Evans said. He aims to affect positive changes in people no matter their walk of life. “If I can make everyone else happy,” he says, “I’m going to be happy.”

Chad Braithwaite is a finalist in the Coach category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

THRIFTY FOODS

OSCAR WOLFGANG & IAN BOYD

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hen you meet Ian Boyd and Oscar Wolfgang, it’s easy to forget the pair recently graduated from high

school. The 2019 Timberline graduates were instrumental in creating another opportunity for creative youth into the community. During their graduating year, on top of juggling school assignments and jobs, they spent hundreds of volunteer hours planning a film PHOTO BY MARISSA TIEL – CAMPBELL RIVER MIRROR festival. They young filmmakers had already screened a few of their creations at festivals down-Island and were approached by Volunteer Campbell River to create a youth-led film festival for Campbell River. “Oscar and I were very much into that,” said Boyd. It was already one of their goals to return to the community someday and have a film festival here. “It happened a lot sooner than we thought it would,” he said with a laugh. In January, after months of planning, the event came to fruition. They welcomed young filmmakers from across the Island and screened about a dozen of their creations for the first Vancouver Island Youth Film Festival Awards Night. It was important to the pair that everyone be recognized for their efforts. “Everyone won something,” said Wolfgang. “Everyone walked away with something.” The pair hopes to make the event a yearly addition to the calendar.

Kelly Uzzell receives the Coach of the Year Award from Craig Robertson of Strathcona Gardens at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

He’s BAAAAACK! CBI Health is thrilled to welcome David Pechter back to the clinic. David is one of our most experienced Physiotherapists. He’s returning to our clinic after a 1 year sabbatical year with his family living in France. David has advanced training in manual therapy, and IMS/dry needling. He runs our pool-based hydrotherapy program and has a special interest in treating shoulder injuries. Call our Willow Point office to book your appointment with David! Cory Evans is a finalist in the Community Builder category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

HEALTH CENTRE

2315 S. Island Hwy., » 250-923-3773


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You’re my Hero! Thank you to our local heroes that help make this a great community to live and work in.

Thrifty Foods is a proud supporter of the local Heroes Award.

thriftyfoods.com Ironwood Mall: 1400 Ironwood Street

Connect with us Customer Care: 1.800.667.8280


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COMMUNITY BUILDER sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

TOP HONOUR

THRIFTY FOODS

Carol Chapman has helped organize lots of events and fundraised for many groups in Campbell River Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

CAROL CHAPMAN A

special piece of art hangs in the foyer of Carol Chapman’s business. The painted Canadian flag pallet is kissed by soot along its edges. It’s one of the few possessions she still has from her home after it was engulfed in fire about three years ago. The artwork is a symbol of both Chapman’s love for Canada and her resiliency in the community. Born and raised in Campbell River, Chapman could be the city’s biggest fan. “I put Campbell River at the top of the list for being such a great community where everybody gets together and gets along so well,” she says. Chapman was born at City Hall, which, 65 years ago, was the city’s hospital. She remembers when there was just one paved road in town: Main Street. She’s watched the town grow. Her children are now raising their own kids in the community. Her father, Neil Oppel, was a volunteer firefighter and president of the Lion’s Club. Volunteering, she says, was a learned behaviour and its a passion shared by her husband, Ron. “We just really put our heart and soul into community,” she says. “Why don’t you help people where you can? It comes from the heart.” Over the years, Chapman has come to be known as the community’s “quintessential fundraiser.” She’s helped organize

events and fundraise for so many groups in Campbell River including Hospice, the Salmon Festival, Cops for Cancer and Canada Day celebrations. Back when the Inland Highway was being discussed, Chapman played a part in making it four lanes instead of the two that were preposed. A petition with more than 21,000 signatures was presented to then-Premier Glen Clark. A few years later, when she found out no barricades were planned for the road, she got 5,000 signatures on another petition and sent it down to Victoria. She recalls then Premier Ujjal Dosanj calling her at work. “You got your barricades,” he said to her. “Stop your petitions.” When the highway was finally opened some 20 years ago, Chapman held a party on the highway. Chapman has been recognized by the community many times over the years. In 2008, she was recognized as a community builder by the City of Campbell River for her fundraising and volunteer work, including raising money for the RCMP building’s gym equipment and the thermal imaging camera for the fire department. In 2011, she received a Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary Club of Campbell River. “Every community needs a Carol Chapman,” said one of the

rotarians. “But we are the lucky ones, we have her.” Chapman is no stranger to the Local Hero awards either. She’s been recognized as a community builder for the past three years, since the awards’ inception. She’s not showing any signs of slowing down. “There’s so much negative and so much bad out there,” she says, “if you can do one little thing to put a smile on a face, that’s who I am.”


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Congratulations 2020 Local Heroes Community Volunteer Finalists. Thank you for your efforts.

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COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

TOP HONOUR

CHANCES & ASSOCIATES ASHCROFT

Paula Anderson got started as a volunteer with the Campbell River Hospice Society when she told them she’d be happy to weed their garden. From there it blossomed into a multi-faceted contribution of her time to anything and everything the society needs. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror

PAULA ANDERSON V

olunteering with the Campbell River Hospice Society is a natural fit for Paula Anderson who has worked all her life in the helping field. When Anderson moved to Campbell River to retire with her husband, she did so with her ailing father. His passing provided Anderson with her first contact with Hospice and it left an impression on her. But first, she spent the first couple of years of her retirement travelling and doing things she didn’t have the time for to that point. But she remembered Hospice when she started looking around for some way to contribute to the community. “I actually heard that they were looking for somebody to weed their garden,” Anderson said. “So, I remember phoning them and saying, ‘I’d love to weed your garden, I love gardening.’” Well, she did that but the Hospice Society offers many other opportunities to help out and “one thing led to another,” Anderson said. That’s when she learned about a training course that Hospice offers. She signed up for it and that gave her a taste of what Hospice does. It convinced her to get more involved. “I met with everybody up there and thought, yep, this is what I want to do,” Anderson said. “And that’s how I kind of got into it. “It’s just kind of a natural progression. I knew I’d be at the hospital or Red Cross or something because I’ve always

worked with people. “Yeah, that’s how I got involved…just one phone call saying can I weed your garden?” From there, her involvement blossomed into a generous commitment of her time. Over the last couple of years, Anderson has been involved with the David Rennie Memorial Golf Tournament fundraiser committee. She also looks after the Sally Wellman Gardens with a couple of other women. “I kind of took that project on and a couple people have come on board with me and we weed it and water it to clean it all up five times a year. And then we help weed and look after the gardens up at Hospice House on Evergreen,” Anderson said. On top of that, she does hospital visitation for Hospice and she is an end-of-life companion at Yucalta Lodge, both of which she does twice a week. With her husband assisting, they pick up items donated for Hospice’s annual fundraising auction. She also works at Hospice’s annual vigil held in December. The picture you’re probably getting is that Anderson does, “Basically, honestly, anything they asked.” She said her husband is also “a great help.” “I just don’t know how to say no because I don’t want to say no, I love it,” Anderson said. “The people are amazing and the stories you hear and, especially the people at the end of their journey…you become part of their story at the end.

And that’s a memory you always have with you and you’re truly blessed (by it). “So, yeah, basically, if they ask, I try to do it for them.” Oh, and yes, don’t forget about the “Soul Cyclers.” “Yeah, I’ve been a member of Soul Cyclers for three years now.” Soul Cyclers is a 200 km ride organized by the Victoria Hospice Foundation and is normally held on the third weekend in July. Each rider is expected to raise a minimum of $1,000. The local team has raised approximately $59,000 so far. Two years ago, she had a major accident on her bike and had to miss out on last year’s fundraising ride. “So, I became their fundraiser and I organized all their fundraisers and I kind of did, you know, the money and the receipts and all that sort of thing. So I could still be part of the team.” She’s also been involved with the Ride to Conquer Cancer since 2010. She’s a two-time cancer survivor and rides with a team of compatriots from the Lower Mainland whom she got involved with. So, it’s obvious that Anderson is a ball of energy who is committed to her cause. “Oh, yeah, I love to be busy, so it’s good. I’m not complaining, please don’t think that...It’s wonderful to be able to give back that way.”


B18 Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Campbell River Mirror

www.campbellrivermirror.com

COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

BONNIE BLACKHALL

B

onnie Blackhall tirelessly helps people in need get the tax benefits they deserve. As coordinator of the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) at Opportunities Career Services Society, Blackhall commits what can only be described as fulltime hours on a volunteer basis. She has been volunteering with the Opportunities Career Services Society and other organizations for over 30 years bringing a professional background in the banking and PHOTO BY ALISTAIR TAYLOR – CAMPBELL RIVER MIRROR financial service industry to her volunteer work. She complimented that banking background with a social work degree brought on by a later change in life direction. After her retirement, that led her to coordinate the CVITP which is currently overseen by Opportunities Career Services Society. Blackhall helps people get the tax benefits they deserve. The disability tax credit, for example, was one. If you have a taxable income, you get a higher tax refund. But for people who are low income, they’re entitled to what’s called a Registered Disability Savings Plan, which is like an RSP. And the government puts $1,000 a year into the plan up to $20,000. “So most people don’t even know that this exists. Like when I say ‘do you have the disability tax credit?’ I get that clouded-over look and I go ‘I already know what the answer is.’” She also helps people who haven’t done their taxes for a long time, or if they owe money or need help liaising with the government. “So, I love doing that kind of stuff. And going to bat for our clients.” She helps with these tax issues with seniors, persons with disabilities and First Nations people. In recognition of the thousands of tax returns that she has completed for her clientele over the years, she received the Governor General’s Sovereign Award for Volunteers in 2018.

CHANCES & ASSOCIATES ASHCROFT

PETE PETERSON

A

fter retiring from a career as a glazier, Pete Peterson wanted to do something to keep himself busy. Luckily, Habitat for Humanity needed people and Peterson and Habitat became a match made in heaven. That was back in 2009 and Peterson has been with Habitat ever since. He first started as a site supervisor on Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North’s Maple Street build where they put together a house and matched it with a soon-to-be homeowner, fulfilling Habitat’s goal of helping people get PHOTO BY ALISTAIR TAYLOR – CAMPBELL RIVER MIRROR into the housing market. Peterson found it very satisfying helping people find a way to become a homeowner. “It makes you feel good,” Peterson said. Besides helping on the building site, Peterson also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity’s Campbell River ReStore both out front on the sales floor and in back, imparting his knowledge to volunteers and staff. Peterson moved to Campbell River in 2007 when he retired. He didn’t take long to get immersed in his then-new home. “I kept looking around for things I could do,” he said. “I like to keep myself busy.” At a meeting about one of Habitat’s house-building projects, Peterson got enlisted to being site supervisor. After that project, he made himself available to the ReStore. But Peterson’s contributions to the community didn’t stop there. He has also volunteered with Citizens on Patrol for 10 years. But it doesn’t stop there, Peterson has also volunteered with Campbell River CrimeStoppers and other volunteer organizations. And if that isn’t enough, for 11 years he has volunteered with the Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle program. Every Christmas, you’d find him at Canadian Tire or Superstore staffing the kettle two-to-three days a week.

From left, Oscar Wolfgang and Ian Boyd are finalists in the Community Builder category at the MOWI – Campbell Carol Chapman receives the Community Builder of the Year Award from Councillor Colleen Evans on behalf of Thrifty Foods at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

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Bonnie Blackhall is a finalist in the Community Volunteer category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror


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Campbell River Mirror

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 B19

COURAGE AND BRAVERY sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

STEVE MARSHALL FORD

DARYL BECK & KEEVA Daryl Beck and his disaster search dog Keeva shared many adventures on the North Island as they participated in search missions for Campbell River Search and Rescue (CRSAR). Beck brought Keeva home when she was eight weeks old. When she was 18 months old, Beck’s son saw a story about training for International Disaster Search Dogs offered in Campbell River. He decided to give it a try. After the training, they joined CRSAR and received RCMP validation for search missions in B.C. Keeva, a flat-coated retriever, had the drive PHOTO BY KIM ISLES to be a successful search dog, Beck said. She was keen to find objects and was a persistent searcher. “We rappelled down cliffs, rode in helicopters and walk through the bush on wet, dark nights. She never refused and kept going.” Keeva was also courageous and intuitive – effective traits for this kind of work. “The main difference which separates a search dog from other dogs is the ability to courageously follow the handler’s direction without prompts. Keeva would be aware of the direction of travel I was on and keyed off me and air scented in that direction.” Beck himself has a strong desire to help people who find themselves in difficulty and he enjoyed the interaction with his dogs. He also likes the adventure and challenges each call to Pete Peterson is a finalist in the Community Volunteer category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local help someone brings. “CRSAR is fortunate to have numerous resources, training opportunities and ‘like-minded’ Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror individuals that can be depended on.” Sadly, Keeva passed away last fall but Beck continues to volunteer with CRSAR and is focusing more on organizing and directing search and rescue efforts. “Keeva and I had a great career and some wonderful experiences,” Beck said. “We definitely felt the appreciation for our efforts.”

Daryl Beck and Keeva (dog, not pictured) is a finalist in the Courage and Bravery category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

Paula Anderson receives the Community Volunteer of the Year Award from Dominique Longpre of Ashcroft & Associates at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

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B20 Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Campbell River Mirror

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Campbell River Mirror

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 B21

COURAGE AND BRAVERY sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

TOP HONOUR

STEVE MARSHALL FORD

Nicholas Wall and his friend Brandon Archibald (picture not available) stepped up to the plate one night when they saw a police officer in trouble, coming to his aid as well as taking steps to ensure an impaired driver did not get away. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror

NICHOLAS WALL & BRANDON ARCHIBALD A situation that turned scary in the blink of an eye didn’t stop two Campbell River men from assisting an RCMP constable in trouble. Nick Wall and Brandon Archibald were driving home through Black Creek late on Nov. 17 with their girlfriends when they saw a vehicle on the side of the road that had crashed into a tree. They pulled over to make sure everybody was okay. “I instantly knew (the driver) was drunk,” Wall said. Being a bartender, he was familiar with inebriated people. They called the police who indicated they would attend the scene and asked if Wall and Archibald could stay with the driver. The driver was upset and seemed to know he was in big trouble, saying things like this was not going to be good for him. Wall said he felt bad for the guy being of a similar age to Wall and Archibald. The first officer to arrive was Const. Cameron Wallis and Wall and Archibald watched from their car as the officer approached the impaired driver. Being dark, it was difficult to see what exactly happened, Wall said, but in an instant the conversation between the two changed into the driver “freaking out” on Wallis who reached for his Taser. “I watched the man tackle the constable down,” Wall said. They rolled around on the ground and very quickly the impaired driver ended up on top of Const. Wallis and began

hitting him. “Next thing I knew, Brandon and I were outside of the vehicle sprinting at him,” Wall said. Archibald said, “A llittle scuffle ensued and (the imparied driver) ended up on top of the constable. That’s when Nick and I decided to jump out and go help.” Archibald, Wall and Const. Wallis were able to subdue the driver by wrestling him to the ground. Wall and Archibald secured his arms and legs while Wallis attempted to get handcuffs on him. There they were for about five or ten minutes before other police officers arrived and took charge of the situation. “It was very intense,” Wall said. Archibald echoed those very same words. “Yeah, it was pretty intense,” he said. After that, the police took statements. Wall and Archibald acted in the spur of the moment. Wall said, “It’s just one of those moments, right? Fight or flight kicks in and you just get out of the car and just run at the guy.” “I was terrified. But, like more just for Wallis. I saw blood, I saw this man getting hit and I was terrified, We didn’t know what was happening, right?” Wall said Archibald said he doesn’t remember having any thoughts

about it as it happened. “It was just kind of like, oh man, let’s go!” he said. Wall and Archibald’s actions went above and beyond what most people do, Const. Wallis said. The police received a call from a member of the public before Wall and Archibald’s but the first caller didn’t provide much information, no licence plate or anything like that. Wallis and Archibald, however, stayed on the scene and maintained visual contact with the suspect. “So, that already kind of goes above and beyond what most people do but the reason I nominated them (for Local Hero recognition) was that once I got on the scene and started my investigation, the male obviously became quite violent and started attacking me,” Const. Wallis said. “What then happened, these two guys, rather than just sitting there or (rather) than videotaping it and putting it on social media, they jumped in and they helped secure him until further police officers arrived. “So that definitely goes above and beyond what the average person would do.” Wallis is grateful for the duo’s intervention. ‘Yeah (I’m) certainly very thankful for what they did,” he said. “They helped not only protect me but, I mean, (they also) prevented an impaired driver from fleeing the scene which is always, you know, really important for public safety.”


B22 Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Campbell River Mirror

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2020 Diversity & Inclusion Advocate Award

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Campbell River Mirror

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 B23

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION ADVOCATE sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

TOP HONOUR

GRIEG SEAFOOD

Besides playing great music for any occasion, Inclusion makes a statement about respecting people’s abiities. Inclusion photo

INCLUSION T

hey’re a mainstay on the local music scene and have helped raised many dollars for charitable causes. They make a statement about respecting people’s abilities, hence their name. The Inclusion Band or simply, Inclusion, involves up to nine musicians (the number can vary) and includes people of different abilities. The group got started back in 2005 when guitarist John Hollywood came across a video of a local keyboard player, Andrew Wilkes, which revived an idea that had been rambling around Hollywood’s head for some time. He had worked professionally in empowerment for people with disabilities in Ontario. Later, after seeing Wilkes’ video, Hollywood met a young musician with a developmental disability who played an instrument call the QChord. Hollywood was at a singalong downtown when he met Justin Fong. His mother asked if Justin could play along, to which Hollywood agreed. “And he played every song that I played and did a great job,” Hollywood said. Then Hollywood wondered what would happen if he, Fong and Wilkes got together. So, he got all three together one day. In about 20 minutes of getting together, “a song popped out.” It worked, so Hollywood said let’s keep moving. The trio was given an opportunity to play at an event about three weeks later. At that event, Dwayne Bryant dropped by

with his djembe, or African drum, sat down and joined in. “We did about three songs and, so, that was how the original group got organized.” But, of course, Hollywood then realized they needed a singer and initially had Kim Schmid join them in the early years. Gail McIntosh was asked to join the band a bit later. Then Schmid left and Helen Fryer joined for a few years but also moved on. The group’s current line up includes Hollywood, Wilkes, Fong, Bryant, McIntosh, J.L. Hollywood on drums, Richard Franklin on bass, Jody Williams on guitar and Tim McLellan on drums and accordion. The group is often seen as a project of the Campbell River and District Association for Community Living, for example, but it actually is an organic coming together of the band members who have an interest in making music and finding a venue to perform in. The band is an independent entity that’s together as friends. “We’re not part of any group. We’re not a non-profit. We have had groups that support us like the Association (for Community Living) and then later on the Community Centre. Folks were really supportive. But we’re independent. We’re just, you know, people who like getting together and making music. That’s what we’re about.” Hollywood said the musicians in the band are always keen

to play whenever and wherever to help out in the community. “They’ve been willing and able to play whenever they could to help raise funds or, you know, just entertain,” Hollywood said. Like any group, the lineup of songs they play is arrived at through a mixing pot of suggestions. Some people will bring songs to the group to consider and they’ll collectively work on finding the chords and the key that the singers can sing in. “The guys are pretty versatile. They can learn different keys really fast. And, so, then we just try it out and if it works, we keep it, if it doesn’t we put it in maybe some other time.” The group’s repertoire is a mix of rock and roll and folk music and a little bit of country. “More or less whatever. Whatever anyone brings in, we kind of give it a try.” The band members have an easy working relationship with each other which is not surprising considering how long they have been playing together. “It’s a little bit of a family feel. It’s kind of, you know, we’re pretty close friends at this point.” The group is a team, a small music community that connects with each other, Hollywood said. The group is always looking for opportunities to play. If people need music somewhere, they can be contacted to perform. Call Hollywood at 250-923-5654.


B24 Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Campbell River Mirror

www.campbellrivermirror.com

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION ADVOCATE sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

JUNE JOHNSON

J

une Johnson is deeply aware of how closely language is tied to culture. That’s why, when she started teaching Likwala to children, she took them to her traditional territory and taught them the traditional lifestyle of their people. And through learning their lifestyle and traditional knowledge, they learned the language. “I took all my regalia and culture stuff and was able to just teach the youth the culture,” Johnson said. “They learned how to strip cedar and they were just learning how to fillet fish to put on sticks and they learned the names and then they learned names of the dances in the language and that’s where it really got so big.” Johnson, currently an Elder-In-Residence at North Island College, began teaching her Native language more than 10 years ago thanks to the urging of her sister Daisy Sewid-Smith. Before her sister passed away she insisted Johnson continue the work of teaching young people the language. The sisters had been fortunate that their father had insisted on speaking their language in their home. Even though many residential school survivors lost their languages, he didn’t. “He never gave up the language,” Johnson said. Johnson wasn’t so sure about taking up the mantel of teaching the language at first but she attended the University of Victoria and got the teaching training she needed and began teaching in the Campbell River School District. Now it’s her passion and it consumes her life because she loves it so much. Her language teaching has acheived great success and has taken her to such places as Seoul, South Korea to record it so it can be used as a resource to teach for generations to come. Now she teaches anybody and everybody, children and adults, her language. It is her passion and it brings her great pride to see young people of all cultures – not just First Nations people – learning her language.

Hats off to our Local Heroes Doctors, Nurses, Fire Fighters, RCMP, Paramedics and Front Line Workers!

920 Island Hwy., Campbell River V9W 2C3 250-286-3554

GRIEG SEAFOOD

LISA PETRUNIA

L

Isa Petrunia is a tireless advocate for not only at-risk and LGBTQ2+ youth, but also members of the community currently experiencing homelessness and/or addiction. She is a founding member of the North Island Pride Society and helped launch the North Island Pride Festival. Plus she works with AIDS Vancouver Island (AVI) doing outreach and art therapy with at-risk, marginalized youth in the community. Petrunia has a passion for community building and helping people feel valued and accepted. “I do feel compelled to give back to the community,” Petrunia says. “I think that it’s important when we find ourselves amongst, you know, certain communities that aren’t necessarily as represented, that we work together to bring that to the forefront and to create things like a pride festival and stuff where diversity can be celebrated.” The North Island Pride Festival was into its sixth year this year and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be held in a virtual format. It started with a group of passionate volunteers organizing the festival but it evolved into incorporating as the non-profit North Island Pride Society. The festival is the main focus of the group but it has expanded into other, smaller events. There are six directors involved in the festival and Petrunia usually organizes the performers and the entertainment. Petrunia says it’s a small event but keeping it community-oriented is their goal. “I just think it’s really important, especially in a small town, for, you know, people from the LGBT community to see representation and to feel safe. And so it’s been nice to have something grow because there really was no pride happening before this.” An emerging artist herself, Petrunia has also been involved in running community art-based youth groups.

June Johnson is a finalist in the Diversity and Inclusion category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

Lisa Petrunia is a finalist in the Diversity and Inclusion category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror


www.campbellrivermirror.com

Campbell River Mirror

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 B25

EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

RAY ALLAN

T

CERMAQ

LUISA RICHARDSON

B

o Ray Allan, it’s all about the experience of getting out and doing something yourself. Allan volunteers with Greenways Land Trust as an environmental educator. He works with kids of all ages, bringing them out to the natural areas around Campbell River and giving them hands-on experiential learning that he hopes will foster a deep love of the world around them. “Experience is where you tend to make a deeper connection. That’s what I love about doing this kind of work, it’s allowing these kids to have that experience right? They’re involved in planting trees, involved in cutting down blackberries and that sort of thing,” he says. “That experiential learning is where you have a change of heart. “You become deeply involved in nature. If you’re not deeply involved in nature, you’re not going to protect it. You’re either going to love it, or it’s just not on your radar.” Growing up, Allan had trouble with regular schooling. He most remembers the hands-on learning, and that is why he has made that his focus. Through his career as an educator, he has always tried to keep his students active in their learning, because those are the lessons that really stick. Allan has been an educator all his life. He previously worked with young adults and other educators but in retirement has been focused on teaching the younger generation. “The younger you are, the more opportunity there is for an opening,” he says. “Making that connection early is really critical because thats the time to do it. Kids are just naturally curious.” Allan has had a lifelong fascination with nature, and is trying to pass that on. He says the most rewarding part of what he does is “when you see the brightness in somebody’s eyes, when they tune into something that they really didn’t tune into before. When you get that it’s like ‘Whoa!’”

uilding a sense of place has always been important to Luisa Richardson, and she works to foster that feeling of connection and stewardship of the land with young people all over the Campbell River area. Richardson is a facilitator for WildBC, a group that helps create programs for teachers to bring their students outside of the classroom and into nature for hands-on, experiential learning. She describes her work as taking a natural system like watersheds and distilling that concept into lessons that can be taught to children of all ages. “It’s cross curricular, but since it’s science-based, it’s about answering questions. Do you have a question pop up in your head about what you see or feel, and how could you find out more about it? What are some ways? Can you do an experiment or do some research, can you find out more?” Richardson was part of the team that brought more hands-on education to the provincial K-9 curriculum and has been working with schools in Campbell River to build their environmental learning programs. “Its very easy for all of us to get caught up in our social and economic systems. We all live from them. We have kids who might work at Walmart or in retail, and all of those people are relying on the economy for their well-being,” Richardson says. “I think it’s really important for students to recognize the value of nature, not from a human perspective, but from a morethan-human perspective. Then they too will become stewards of the future.” She hopes that if children learn that humans are actually a part of nature rather than in opposition to it, more will be done to protect it. “We’re more than just urban creatures,” she says. “We’re part of nature and nature’s part of us. That’s why I do it. I love it, and kids love it too.”

Gail Mcintosh and Tim Mclelan receive the Diversity and Inclusion Hero of the Year Award from Katie Maximick and Marilyn Hutchinson of Grieg Seafood at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

Luisa Richardson is a finalist in the Educator category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

William J. Alder receives the Educator of the Year Award from Linda Sams of Cermaq at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

Cst. Julie Clelland is a finalist in the Emergency Services category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror


B26 Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Campbell River Mirror

www.campbellrivermirror.com

Educators open young minds and inspire a better future Our youth deserve nothing less than a bright future which is why we are partnering with the United Nations to support its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Action Platform on Sustainable Ocean Development. Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to creating sustainable development. In addition to improving quality of life, access to inclusive education can help equip individuals with the tools required to develop innovative solutions to the world’s greatest problems. We are so thankful for all of our educators who help shape dreams, chase the “what ifs”, and push to challenge the status quo.

We are honoured to support the 2019 Educator of the Year award and would like to acknowledge all of our teachers for the role they play in shaping a better, more sustainable tomorrow


www.campbellrivermirror.com

Campbell River Mirror

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 B27

EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

TOP HONOUR

CERMAQ

Bill Alder brought the U.S.-based TeenFlight program to Campbell River, originally, to introduce young people to aviation through building kit planes with the hope that they would eventually find a job in the field. However, Alder saw the program could also develop his young protegés’ life skills. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

BILL ALDER B

ill Alder is not fazed by a hangar full of airplanes in various states of repair. He’s been working on planes for 50 years. Although he may think of the world of aviation as just another day in the office, the students he helps through the Campbell River TeenFlight program are getting their first glimpses of an exciting and dynamic new world. “I got introduced to it by a friend of mine who was a customer from the states,” he says. “We’d been trying to get new people into the industry, and he said that what we should do is talk to schools and get the TeenFlight program up and running.” Alder’s day job is to repair small private aircraft and ensure they are ready to fly. Alder brought the U.S.-based TeenFlight program to Campbell River, originally, to introduce young people to aviation through building kit planes with the hope that they would eventually find a job in the field. However, Alder saw an opportunity to build more life skills and knowledge into the program. “The biggest thing was just making people aware of aviation, whether they come into the world of aviation or not, it doesn’t matter. The kids have to develop good working relationships with each other and also with adults. I think the kids get a lot from it,” he says. “It’s been really rewarding.” When kids sign up for TeenFlight, they are signing up for

more than just a few days building a wing. They learn about aviation, the science behind it as well as the practical experience of actually working on an airplane. Since the program started, Alder and the kids have built two complete planes, and are currently working on their third. “We have a curriculum set up, and our organization is now a charitable organization,” he says. “To become one, we had to be well organized on that end of things. We have a really good system in place, really good people behind us backing it up, and when we crank up again, it’s going to be really good.” Though he would like to see all of his students working in aviation, Alder says that the rewarding part of the job is helping the kids learn valuable life skills. To ensure they get the most out of it, the kids are required to sign a commitment to the project and to the team. “They get satisfaction out of what they’re doing, they’re not just showing up because mom and dad said they had to.” To Alder, the best part is seeing his young protegés flying the plane they’ve built. “It’s seeing their satisfaction when they actually build something that controls a certain thing, or finish an airplane that goes flying it’s just like ‘wow, we did that,’ ” he says. “For a teenager to actually build an airplane and get to go ride in it is amazing.

“It’s an incredible experience.” To Alder, the best part is seeing his young protegés actually getting to fly in the plane they’ve built. “It’s seeing their satisfaction when they actually build something that controls a certain thing, or finish an airplane that goes flying it’s just like ‘wow, we did that,’ ” he says. “For a teenager to actually build and airplane and get to go ride in it is amazing. “It’s an incredible experience.”


B28 Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Campbell River Mirror

www.campbellrivermirror.com

WE WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE all of the NOMINEES, the FINAlISTS and TOP HONOUR WINNER

Devon Garat Financial Advisor

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Devon and Darlene are proud to

These nominees make a positive contribution by going the extra mile. They are exemplary in the area of emergency services, and unselfishly shoulder enormous responsibility while accepting the potential risks and challenges of the job.

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2020 lOCAl HEROES. Cst. Jackelynn Biller in the Emergency Services category

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Const. Kackelynn Biller says that being able to help people come through their challenges and have a positive outcome is what allows her to keep doing what she’s doing.

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onst. Jackelynn Biller rarely knows what she’s going to be facing on any given day. Biller, who worked in the Campbell River RCMP serious crime unit in 2019, could spend the day doing filling out simple paperwork or she could be helping people through the most difficult time in their lives. “Unfortunately, there are days where you know exactly what you’re going to deal with. It could be an interview lined up and you know what is going to be discussed with that person and you know it’s going to be really horrible,” she says. “You’ve got to look at the good, because I think if you just always looked at the bad you’d become very dark. You’ve got to force yourself to see the little rays of light and what you can do to help people.” As part of the serious crime unit at the detachment, Biller would deal with missing persons cases, sexual assaults, homicides and other serious offences. But Biller is more than just a uniformed officer, she helps people navigate the investigation process through to the court, ensuring they have the proper channels in place for success afterwards. “if we didn’t follow through and see that there’s positive growth for them too — it’s not just about the court process, but getting them to victim services and the resources that help them actually survive and prosper. It’s really great,” she said. She had originally planned on becoming a lawyer but saw a

RCMP recruitment poster in university in 2003. After working general duty until 2007, she transferred to the serious crimes discipline. “I think that it’s really hard dealing with what we have to deal with, especially child sex offences,” she said. “I don’t care how tough you think you are, dealing with that on an ongoing basis is pretty hard. When you have a chance to make a young child smile, to see something positive, and for them to have a positive relationship with a police officer, not just having to tell the worst thing that’s ever happened to you. To get her to smile and be proud of how brave she was to come forward, then yeah, that’s a real bonus.” Though it can be challenging to deal with serious crimes every day, Biller says that being able to help people come through their challenges and have a positive outcome is what allows her to keep doing what she’s doing. That job, however, cannot be done alone. Biller relies on her team: the new special victims unit, and the increased capacity for collaboration with other agencies to ensure people end up in a better place than they started. “I’d be very naïve to think that as a police officer, I’m the one that goes in to help people,” she said, adding that it was due to “the resources and the team that we have in the community to help people through domestic violence, sexual offences and

mental health issues, and being able to work as a team. If we didn’t do that, then people wouldn’t get the help that they really require.” “Some people might say I’m intense at times, but I take it very seriously and I 100 per cent commit. If someone comes in and wants to tell their story, then I’m 100 per cent committed to following through and doing everything I can do figure out what happened,” she added.


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EMERGENCY SERVICES sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

JULIE CLELLAND

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elping people in tough situations is just part of who Const. Julie Clelland is. “For me it was just something I kind of drifted towards. It was an easy transition to me, because that’s just part of who I am. I want to help,” says Clelland, who was Campbell River RCMP’s domestic violence coordinator in 2019. “What little bit I can do to help somebody in a tough situation is what I gain out of it. Being able to know that I’ve done my best for them.” Clelland’s position has recently been moved to a new special victim’s unit at the detachment, which allows her and her partner to coordinate resources to help high-risk vulnerable victims in Campbell River. She reviews the detachment’s domestic violence-related files, and takes over investigations that involve high-risk situations. However, her role does not stop there. She also helps the people involved through the entire investigation and court process so that they have access to healing and support systems afterwards. “There are a lot of dynamics in domestic violence, and ultimately, sometimes it doesn’t end up being reported but my role is to take down some of those barriers to make it a bit less difficult to report, and to give support to people along the way as well,” she explains. She does not work at it alone either. Clelland and her team at the detachment also coordinate with other agencies in the city like the Transition Society and Community Victim’s Services. She says that one day, she would like to see the stigma around these kinds of calls gone and more awareness about changing behaviours around sexual and domestic crimes. Clelland has been policing for 20 years and four of those have been in domestic violence. She says that the challenge of helping people deal with difficult parts of their lives is what drew her to the specialty. “I simply do it because I know I wouldn’t want to be in that situation and know that there’s nobody out there,” she said.

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JAKE FLETCHER Advanced life support paramedics have a tough job. They see people at both the best parts of their lives and the worst parts of their lives and have to keep their cool no matter what the day throws at them. To Jake Fletcher, it’s all about being able to help. “Sometimes it’s the worst part of their lives but oftentimes, we get to see the best part of their lives too, things like delivering babies and helping people through stressful situations,” he says of the job. “I am really grateful to be able to get to do that.” Fletcher followed a fairly typical career path for those in the emergency services field. His first foray into this kind of work was as a lifeguard. From there he went on to work as a paramedic first in Sayward and then in Campbell River as he became more specially trained. After watching his father do similar work, Fletcher now helps other new responders deal with the stresses of the job, often on their first calls since becoming certified. “[Coaching and mentoring is] something I’m really passionate about. As much as I can I try to do that. I just find it’s really beneficial. I wish that I had somebody doing that when I first started. I didn’t have the benefit of having an advanced care paramedic where I started in Sayward. It’s just something that I thought was super beneficial to get as a new paramedic,” he explains. Though the stakes can be high responding to high acuity calls (things like car accidents, cardiac arrests and life-threatening conditions), Fletcher relies on the depth of his training and the experience of his team to help him through stressful situations. The fact that he can help people keeps Fletcher coming back to work every day. “More rewarding is relieving people’s pain and making sure that we’re doing everything that we can for them or their loved ones, just relieving their worry, stress, anxiety, pain, and fixing whatever’s going on with them,” he says.

Cst. Jackelynn Biller receives the Emergency Services Hero of the Year Award from Darlene Garat of Garat Financial at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

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Cory Cliffe is a finalist in the Environmental Leadership category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror


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FINALIST

CORY CLIFFE

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even generations. That’s how far First Nations people are looking into the future when it comes to land stewardship. Cory Cliffe is one of those people and he is working to make sure the Campbell River estuary is protected and sustainable for his descendants seven generations from now. “A lot of people call it environmental protection and so forth but the First Nations’ term for it is stewardship. A lot of people think that we believe that we own the land but, traditionally, we don’t own the land — we’re responsible for a certain territory and it’s our responsibility… to make sure that seven generations from now, our descendants will still be enjoying the same luxuries that we do.” Cliffe is a member of the Wei Wai Kum First Nation. Though he did not grow up on his traditional territory, he says he felt drawn here and has found his purpose in life through environmental stewardship. “I didn’t have the privilege of being born here among my people, and I grew up very disconnected from the land. Something always told me to come back here,” he says. His work in the field started after he joined an archeological reconnaissance job on Quadra Island. From there, he kept coming back to stewardship work. He eventually took the Resource Management Officer Training course at VIU and has intertwined that passion for the environment with his strong sense of culture. “That’s what made me realize what my true passion was,” he says. “It wasn’t so much environmental work but it was stewardship. It’s not just environment, it’s not just being involved culturally. It’s a little bit of everything.” Now he is passing that passion on to the next generation, taking his daughter and nieces out with him when he peels cedar or harvests medicine. He is teaching them to love the envi-

HEALTHYWAY

BARBARA PHIPPS

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arbara Phipps has lived in Campbell River for 50 years and has spent most of that time working to ensure there’s a future here for the following generations. Phipps is a Nunns Creek Steward and has volunteered on various commissions to ensure planning and development happens sustainably in Campbell River. She says her goal is to make sure that the environment is protected so that those who come after can be a part of a sustainable community. “The world is getting really crowded, and there’s going to be more [planning and development]…happening now and in the future. We need to think about how we want to live. Do we want to make it sustainable? Or do we not care?” From protecting Nunns Creek to pushing for more environmental regulations for developers, Phipps has had a lot of success. Part of her advocacy work has been in revisiting zoning bylaws and the Official Community Plan so that they make the community more sustainable. “I’ve been on a bunch of commissions and I always keep an eye on development, especially in this area and any area, really,” she says Phipps pointed out trees that she remembers as saplings that now stretch to the canopy above and recalls seeing the city grow up around her. “We need to have a long-term plan. It needs to be something like 20 years,” she says, adding that decision-makers “have to stop thinking about whether they’re going to be elected next term and more about what kind of world they want to live in and what kind of world their children and grandchildren are going to live in.”

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Barbara Phipps is a finalist in the Environmental Leadership category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

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CONGRATULATE all the nominees, the finAList and the toP HonoUR ReCiPient. In our business we strive to promote and encourage sustainable and healthy living. tHeSe nomIneeS SpenD tHeIR LIVeS ADVoCAtInG FoR enVIRonment AnD eCoLoGICALLY SoUnD pRACtICeS. thank you for your commitment to the future of our community.

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Permaculture is one of Chuck DeSorcy’s passions. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

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huck DeSorcy took a break from the garden beds in Charstate Parkas Dark as clouds loomed to the south, one day earlier this year. But DeSorcy knows dark clouds mean a chance of rain. Rain that, thanks to some clever land design, would nourish the rows of free edible plants that provide just a bit more food security to Campbell River. DeSorcy is the vice president and one of the founders of Greenways Land Trust and as such, he can make his passions a reality. Permaculture is one of those passions and the food forest near the Mountain View Community Gardens shows just how easy it can be to grow our own food. “Most of my projects are projects that anyone could do. I think a lot of people don’t do them because they don’t know what’s going on,” he says. “I hope people are getting more aware of the importance of being in touch with the land and what it can give us as people. It’s not something we should run herd over, but something that we should work with.” Permaculture is the design of agricultural systems to increase the resilience of the ecosystem. It is allowing nature to do most of the work for you and building systems that help the environment improve itself. After taking permaculture design

courses, he is now able to pass that information on in the food forest, which is used as a hands-on outdoor classroom. “Knowing the information that I know about permaculture and how important it’s going to be, it’s really nice to be able to share that,” he says. “The whole idea of planting like a forest is so that your long-term maintenance goes down. Who goes out and waters a forest? Nobody. Does it continue to grow? As long as we don’t mess with it, it continues to grow. That’s what we’re trying to implement through this whole process.” DeSorcy has tried to improve the environment in and around the city since the mid-90s. If it involves environmental protection in Campbell River, chances are DeSorcy has had something to do with it. “As you get more involved in [environmental work] you realize that you’ve been driving for how many years, flying all over the place, those are all impacts on the natural environment,” he said. “We have a responsibility to pay those back. That’s kind of where all this comes from. I do it because it’s my responsibility because I was part of impacting it.” Though a few food-producing community gardens are now up and running in Campbell River, DeSorcy would like to see that expand to all appropriate public spaces.

“Campbell River is kind of sad in terms of growing food. We have a real food security issue in town,” he says. “If we have permanent culture that everybody can use, there’s always food coming out of the ground. I can leave this tomorrow and never look at it again, here would be food growing here continually.”


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Emily Smith and Rebecca Hoegler are dedicated to making the lives of dementia patients better. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

DEMENTIA DREAM TEAM E

mily Smith and Rebecca Hoegler just wanted to make the lives of residents of Yucalta Lodge’s dementia ward a bit better. The pair are the lodge’s Dementia Dream Team and have built a program that brings the outside world into the dementia ward that is locked adding a bit of normalcy and comfort to the people living there. “We are trying to make a difference for the residents at Yucalta,” Hoegler says. “To give them the opportunities that they would not usually have at a nursing home.” The goal initially was to give the residents a sense of home and to reduce the institutional feel of the facility. Over the past year, the Dementia Dream Team has held multiple farmers markets for the residents, brought in DVDs and entertainment, redecorated the residents’ rooms and added a lemonade stand, a bus stop and other features. All of these are designed to help with some of the major issues with dementia patients. “Its really difficult on evening shifts with sundowning if you don’t have the tools to help with some of the behavioural problems,” says Smith. “It just makes our jobs and their lives a lot easier.” “We needed more tools that we could use for the residents that were not just medication,” adds Hoegler. “We wanted it to be something easy.”

One of the biggest hits of the program is the farmers markets. The markets are held seasonally. On market day, the dementia ward is opened up, allowing residents to come out into the halls and peruse items at grab-and-go tables set up for them. “We’ve had the dementia ward open up, which never happens,” Hoegler explains. “We close all of the other units’ doors and then we open up that to the dementia residents and they just love it. We have tables that are grab-and-go. We have a lemonade stand that was built for us by an employee’s husband that they just love coming to to get drinks and goodies. We have a whole bunch of volunteers that help us out throughout the farmers market.” “[The residents] get to come down, eat a bit, shop,” Smith adds. “We’ve done four in the past year. We did a spring, summer, fall and our big one was a Christmas one.” At that Christmas market, Smith and Hoegler were able to give each of the residents a Christmas present. The program is funded by the Yucalta Auxiliary, which has laid out five years of funding to get the program up and running. While many of the steps taken are small things, Smith and Hoegler say they make a big difference in the minds of the people living there. “When we see them shopping together, they’ll pick up jewelry and match it to each other. It’s really sweet to see them shop

together,” Smith said. “It’s really nice to see them settle in, open up to the other residents and open up to us. It becomes a big family, and they all feel like we’re all one family.” “To see people with dementia to come out of the secured unit smiling happy and relaxed is really nice,” added Hoegler.


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HEALTHCARE HERO sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

CR HOSPITAL FOUNDATION

KERRY HAMMELL

DR. AREF TABARSI

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erry Hammell does not consider herself a hero. She’s only doing what she’s always done: helping people. Hammell has been a registered nurse for 45 years and is currently going into her 30th year with the John Howard Society and Foundry in Campbell River, where she works as a youth and family substance abuse counsellor. What that means is she helps youth deal with substance abuse, whether its their own or that of someone in their life. “I do this work because I am supposed to. I decided at 2.5 years old that I wanted to be a nurse and I never changed,” she says. “I just feel very very privileged that I have been able to meet that goal in life and to be a nurse. I think when I retire, I will still be a ‘retired nurse,’ because that’s what I was supposed to be. It has been wonderful to be able to fulfill that lifelong dream.” “I enjoy watching the spark come alive in [the youth]. The confidence, the changes that they make that they can take credit for 100 per cent is what is rewarding for me. It’s about seeing them get the credit because they’re doing the work,” she says of her work. “It is a privilege to work alongside youth who are courageous enough to want to explore a really difficult area of their lives. That’s what keeps me here.” She is often asked by people in the communities she serves what the success rate is for young people dealing with these issues. To her, it’s more than just a hard number of people who get off drugs, and she sees every case she works as a complete success. “Not all of us turn 18 and are perfect adults. We spend our lives working towards perfection and none of us get there. The work that I see the youth doing, I see them striving to be different and have more quality and happiness in their life. To me, that’s 100 per cent better and It’s a real honour to be invited into that circle and to be trusted in that way,” she says.

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r. Aref Tabarsi has been leading the fight to keep medical services in the Campbell River area since he moved here more than 15 years ago. Tabarsi works as a pathologist in the Campbell River hospital lab, a portion of the hospital that has been slowly chipped away at as the Vancouver Island Health Authority centralizes its services in Victoria. “The community is growing. You can’t have part of the community grow and not have the other part grow with it. If the services stay here, we can employ more people, we can be more sustainable,” Tabarsi says. “I want this lab to stay sustainable but if we keep giving parts of it away and the work goes up, then we have to give more next time. It just becomes a domino effect. What VIHA is doing, as soon as our work goes up, instead of hiring another person, they take the work and hire someone there.” Though the fight to keep lab services in Campbell River is the latest front in the battle for medical services in the city, it is not Tabarsi’s first time standing up for this kind of thing. Originally from Iran, Tabarsi moved to Canada to escape persecution as a Bahai and to have the freedom to pursue the life he wanted. He moved to Campbell River after doing some work in Calgary. That’s when he became embroiled in the politics around healthcare. He was an early advocate for keeping hospital services in Campbell River when VIHA was looking to consolidate the Comox Valley and Campbell River hospitals and stayed on as the figurehead ever since. “That’s the battle going on right now. I’m in the midst of it. I don’t know if we’re going to win that battle or not,” he says. “To me it’s not the Canada that I love, why I came here and I distinguish from my native land. If I see something that reminds me of that, to me it’s not fair. I know this country is built differently and that kind of behaviour should not happen.”

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The Dementia Dream Team ( Jae Yon, middle, and Rebecca Hoegler (far right) receive the Healthcare Hero of the Year Award from Keltie McKale and Myra Egan of the Campbell River Hospital Foundation at the MOWI – Campbell River Local Mirror Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

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todaysdrive.com Kerry Hammell is a finalist in the Healthcare Hero category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror


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MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

CAMPBELL RIVER MIRROR

ELAINE & NICK BORTNICK

TRACY MASTERS

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racy Masters and her sister started the Masters of Hope group in Campbell River in 2019 to provide outreach for laine and Nick Bortpeople in danger of succumbing to addictions nick have been passionate menor mental health. tal health advocates in CampThe group, a safe place for people to come bell River for over three decades.  together and talk about grief, loss and any issue In 1986, after learning that a co-workthat may be troubling them was started two ers’ child had schizophrenia, Nick began volmonths after Masters lost her own daughter unteering with the Mental Health Reto an intentional overdose.  She wanted to do covery Partners North Island (previoussomething purposeful in the community to deal ly known as BC Schizophrenia Society).  with the increasing instances of overdose deaths. Since then he has volunIn 2006, Masters lost her husband to a suicide after battling alcoholism and mood disorders teered and served with many organizations that advocated for mental health.  and in 2010 her oldest son died from a brain aneurysm. Nick was instrumental in helping the Eagles and Mental Health and Sub“I wanted people to talk about it,” she said. The stigma surrounding addictions and mental stance Use (MHSU) organization raise funds for a housing facility for people with mental health issues in Campbell River. He also helped with the maintenance work of the buildi- health often make it hard for people to talk about it. “My husband and daughter both isolated themselves and lived in denial. It’s not fair for ng until a few years ago. He is also a board member for the Campbell River Beacon Club.  anyone to go through this alone.” Elaine was instrumental in bringing the mental health puppet program to CampIt has almost been a year since Master’s started the online group and she said that people bell River. She used creativity to educate school children about mental illnessnot just from the Island, but also from the U.S. and Eastern parts of Canada, get in touch es at an early age to help them and their family members. Her efforts significantly rewith her for support. “They want to know how I handled it,” said Masters . duced the stigma associated with mental health. She also connects people to resources that can further help them and does so with the help of the Campbell River Action Team. “Instead of shaming and stigmatizing people, we just need compassion,” she said.

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Dr. Aref Tabarsi is a finalist in the Healthcare Hero category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

The finalists of the Mental Health Advocate category are seen at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. From left, Mental Health Advocate Hero of the Year Kerry Hammell, finalists Nick and Elaine Bortnick and finalist Tracy Masters. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

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CAMPBELL RIVER MIRROR

Working with young people has been a fulfilling experience for Kerry Hammell. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

KERRY HAMMELL I

t has been 45 years since Kerry Hammellll graduated as a registered nurse with psychiatric specialization. And even today, the 66-year-old considers it a “blessing” to come in to work every day and help youngsters deal with their pressures and mental health struggles. Hammell works with the John Howard Society as a Youth and Family Counsellor for Substance Abuse at FOUNDRY. Last month, on June 5, she completed 30 years with the John Howard Society. In her long serving career as a mental health advocate she has seen a lot of changes. “There’s an optimistic and a pessimistic side to it,” said Hammell. According to her, mental health struggles have significantly increased among young people. “I don’t remember dealing with youth 30 years ago, but today almost 9 per cent of people she deals with are young people who are dealing with personal addictions or affected by other people’s addictions.” But the upside to it, is that now people are talking about it and are more vocal about mental heath issues, she said about mental health issues that were once taboo topics. Working with young people has been a fulfilling expe-

rience for her, especially since she has seen many of them grow up in the community. “Certain youths crawl into your heart and stay there.” But there were also unique challenges, especially with regards to maintaining anonymity when you live in the same community. “In order to avoid breaching confidentiality, I’ve always told my clients that I will not show recognition if I see you outside,” said Hammell. Similarly when her children were growing up, she had trained them to move away from her if any young person approached her in public to talk. “They would be within eye sight, but they understood that the other person required my help.” As a counsellor, there have been many defining moments for her, especially when she has helped youngsters navigate through life and death choices. “When I see those individuals, I’m always grateful that they chose life,” she said and added, “I’m not responsible for their choices, but I’m glad I played a role in them.” As a counsellor she has provided a safe space for youngsters dealing with substance use, depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. “I never tell them what to do, that is

not what counsellors do, I can only offer them a safe space to be heard. On a personal level, the work can affect you too, said Hammell. “Having a good life balance and a strong support system of my husband and children has always helped me go home and find peace after a difficult day.”


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Marlene Jordan never tires of serving other people and the community. Photo by Binny Paul – Campbell River Mirror

MARLENE JORDAN F

or decades, Marlene Jordan was fondly known as the ‘gingerbread lady’ in Campbell River. “I used to make the gingerbreads for the school kids to use in raffles for fundraising,” said Jordan as she fondly recollected the days when she drove a school bus. The 70-year-old is also known throughout the community as a “selfless volunteer” who makes a positive difference in many peoples’ lives. She started volunteering with the Fraternal Order of Eagles 50 years ago and since then has been encouraging people to join the club if they’re looking to volunteer. “It’s an incredible club and they are people helping people and that’s what got me started with them,” she said. A pet project Jordan and other club members are involved with right now is raising money for the food bank. Jordan said that they raised over $10,000 and gathered a lot of food in the last two years. Jordan also volunteers with the Campbell River Hospital thrift shop. She never tires of serving other people and the community. She considers it a “wonderful feeling” to get up each morning and be driven by purpose and the zeal to help others.

“The motivation is being productive, being helpful and giving back to the community, it’s good to be able to help those who are less fortunate.” She encourages everyone to find out what’s important to them and “to go with it.” “It’s pretty rewarding when you can do something in your own community where you’ve lived your life and you can help somebody else,” she said. When Jordan speaks about Campbell River, she is filled with love and pride for her community. “This is God’s country, there’s no other place like Campbell River,” she said about her beloved city. “The city is filled with so many good people.” While Jordan’s long-standing service to the community has been acknowledged by many groups, she is modest about it. “It’s nice but also a little weird, because when you volunteer you don’t do it for recognition or the award.” After almost four decades of non-stop volunteering, Jordan was forced to slow down by the pandemic. In the past four months, she kept herself busy with gardening. But now that society is reopening after four months of resting she is ready to get back to her routine of helping others.

Jordan has made a huge difference in many people’s lives and when they tell her about it she is humbled and overwhelmed with emotions. “It makes your’s heart flutter and it just makes you so proud that you did something that made a difference to somebody. It’s a wonderful feeling.”


B42 Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Campbell River Mirror

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SENIORS’ CHAMPION sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

ALAN & CAROL NELSON Alan and  Carol  Nelson  have used their green thumbs and immense passion for gardening to look after the Mountain View community garden and food forest since 2019. “I’m just a gardener at heart,” said Carol and added that both of them enjoy gardening.  Throughout  summer,  the  Nelsons  – who  are  in  their  70’s  – meet  and  take  care  of  the  food  forest, sometimes  even  take  on  the  monthly  duties of other gardeners and remove invasive creepers from the  surrounding area in Charstate Park.  “We  realized  that  both  of  us  had  skills  that  could  be  useful  at  the  community  garden,” said Carol.  As  a  couple,  working  together  on  the  community  garden  and  food  forest  project has been “easy” said Carol.  The food forest will include fruit trees planted for public to come and pick up fruits and vegetables when they are ready.  “I  look  forward  to  spreading  awareness  and  helping  people learn that food comes from other places than the grocery store too,” said Carol.  “Alan  is  a  hard  worker,  has  lot  of  skills  and  he’s  a  great  problem  solver,”  she  said  and  added  that  their  skills  complement  each  other.  They  are  also  excited to see that people are slowly understanding the concept of a community garden.

BERWICK BY THE SEA

PAT GRONO Pat Grono was in the second grade when she started helping out people. “My mum always said ‘if you see someone who needs help, help out.’” The 67-year-old has been restless since COVID-19 forced her to pause her volunteering activities and cannot wait for things to normalize so that she can get back to helping other people. “I love being with people and giving back to the society.” Grono has been on the board of directors at Campbell River and North Island Transition Society for the past 23 years. She also volunteers in their thrift shop. In addition, Grono also volunteers at the Grassroots Kind Hearts Society feeding people on the streets or living in poverty. Her love for children led her to volunteer at a local daycare.  The zeal to help others is deep rooted within Grono.  “There are people who are hurting and sometimes the best we can do is give them a hug,” she said and added that she loves hugging people.  Volunteering and helping people out is something that Grono will never get tired of, she said. “It keeps me young.”

Tracy Masters is a finalist in the Mental Health Advocate category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

Nick and Elaine Bortnick are finalists in the Mental Health Advocate category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

Kerry Hammell receives the Mental Health Advocate of the Year Award from Artur Ciastkowski of the Campbell River Mirror at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

Alan and Carol Nelson are finalists in the Seniors’ Advocate category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror


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Campbell River Mirror

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 B43

YOUTH VOLUNTEER sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

WAYPOINT INSURANCE

PHILLIP MCLEOD A Campbell River teenager has made it his special project to make the community a more welcoming place, especially for its youth. Phillip McLeod, 18, is involved with several volunteer initiatives aimed at making Campbell River a better place. “Having a sense of community and not just everybody being out there on their own,” he says when asked why being an active member of the community is important to him. “Having the feeling that everybody is in this together is honestly one of my main drives. That’s what’s most important to me is having everybody feel comfortable with each other and helping each other out.” The Robron student is a member of the City of Campbell River’s Youth Advisory Council. McLeod, the vice-chair of the committee, said their goal is to make youth feel more at ease in Campbell River. “We hope that we can help some of the youth here feel more comfortable,” he says. “Personally, I’ve gone through a few times where I didn’t feel very welcome by the rest of the people in my community.” The avid volunteer is also a member of the cadets. He volunteers rain or shine every Remembrance Day and has held vigil at the cenotaph. He’s been named the Ceremonial Sergeant Major, second in command, with the local Army Pat Grono is a finalist in the Seniors’ Advocate category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Cadet Corps. 2943 PPCLI. Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror He knows he’s looked up to as a leader in the program and aims to set the best example he can for fellow cadets. The program has allowed him to be himself and explore leadership roles. “Just being able to be myself but also being able to have a leadership position has been really helpful for me,” he says. “My main drive, being in the cadet program, is leadership and healthy lifestyle.”

Phillip McLeod is a finalist in the Youth Volunteer category at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

Marlene Jordan receives the Seniors’ Champion of the Year Award from Teri Fillion and Jaye Ann Roy of Berwick at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

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Ryver Santos Cegnar receives the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award from Shoshana Nickerson of Waypoint Insurance at the MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards. Photo by Marc Kitteringham – Campbell River Mirror

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B44 Wednesday, October 7, 2020

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Congratulations to the

YOUTH VOLUNTEER AWARD NOMINEES: Ryver Santos Cegnar and Phillip McLeod

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Campbell River Mirror

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 B45

YOUTH VOLUNTEER sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

TOP HONOUR

WAYPOINT INSURANCE

Ryver Santos Cegnar is onboard with anything that can help make Campbell River a better place. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

RYVER SANTOS CEGNAR Y

ou’d be hard-pressed to find a school activity that Ryver Santos Cegnar isn’t involved in. The 16-year-old soon-to-be junior at Timberline Secondary is in the musical theatre program, the leadership program, the sport leadership program and the stage craft program. He’s also in the earth club and the eco club and founded the knitting club. “Essentially any club you could imagine,” he says. Outside of school, he volunteers with Youth Can 2020, a division of Volunteer Campbell River with a focus on young adults. It’s helped introduce him to many of the nonprofits in town including the Discovery Passage Aquarium, the food bank and the ReStore. Last summer, the youth members spent July volunteering with them. Santos Cegnar is also a familiar face on the stage. He was Robertson Ay in Shoreline Musical Theatre’s Mary Poppins, Nicky in Timberline’s Avenue Q and he produced his very own rendition of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, which he also starred in inside his living room during the pandemic. He began volunteering in Campbell River not long after his

family relocated from Sudbury, Ont. His first gig was an Easter Egg Hunt downtown. “I loved the city,” he says. “I loved it. It was – I just wanted to give back to the community as much as possible.” Anything he can do to make Campbell River a better place, he’s on board with. “I want to make this place a nice place to live,” he says. “I want it to be where people can just go out and enjoy themselves and not have to worry about there being garbage on the streets, or just little things like that.” Santos Cegnar will also seek out other opportunities. He’s volunteered for Campbell River’s roller derby team, the Rink Minx, during summer bouts and is the youngest member of the community’s weaving group, the Midnight Shuttles. He stands out from his peers. “He is respectful, sincere and honest,” says one of his nominators. “The volunteers at the Transition Centre and the Volunteer Centre also have kind words of Ryver,” says another nominator. “He has been described as a warm, responsible and a likeable man, who stands out as an adolescent.” Santos Cegnar says other students should consider volunteer-

ing. He’s even had a few job offers come his way because of it. “It’ll make you feel better and it will also make the community better,” he says. It’s also an opportunity to spend time with friends while making a difference. “I love meeting new people especially through volunteering because it’s just new people I get to meet, especially in this small community of ours, I always end up running into them somehow,” he says. “I love volunteering with my friends, especially because we’re able to both hang out and help people, which is like two birds with one stone.”


B46 Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Campbell River Mirror

www.campbellrivermirror.com

Congratulations to Carol Chapman, Campbell River Hero of the Year!

Mowi—Farming salmon in B.C. for over 30 years @mowicanadawest www.mowi.com/caw


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Campbell River Mirror

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 B47

HERO OF THE YEAR sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

TOP HONOUR

MOWI

Carol Chapman has been named Campbell River and area’s Hero of the Year. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

CAROL CHAPMAN E

arlier this year when the pandemic forced event cancellations left, right and centre, things weren’t looking so good for Campbell River’s Canada Day celebrations. But a full-on cancellation of the July 1 downtown festivities didn’t sit so well with the organizing committee’s chairperson, Carol Chapman. “You can’t stop loving your country because there’s a virus,” she says. Instead, she went to her team and they brainstormed. The result was a virtual Canada Day celebration. With most everything cancelled, people needed something to look forward to. “It takes a team to make anything happen,” she says. “It’s never about one person. It’s about the entire community. I’m just blessed that I get to be a leader of those people because they’re pretty awesome people.” The committee, which Chapman has been involved with for the last 20 years, invited the community to participate. They asked for submissions from kids and parents and grandparents. A decorated bike or garden, perhaps a song. The result is a nearly five-hour-long video program that has been available to watch since the afternoon on July 1.

It wasn’t the usual shoulder-to-shoulder celebration that would see downtown packed with people but it gave them something to be excited about. Chapman starts planning for Canada Day more than nine months in advance. She applies for a grant with help from the mayor’s assistant. “I can do anything but don’t give me a computer,” she says. “I am not your girl.” By Jan. 2, everything is organized. And after two decades, it’s pretty textbook. The team normally looks for ways to make the celebration different each year. This year’s was a gimme. “It gives people something positive to think about,” she says. Chapman would turn many a child’s smile upside down as they’d sit in her chair at A Cut Above – she’s been a hairstylist for the better part of three decades. She’d hear how dance or hockey or soccer had been cancelled, but would then ask if they’d decorated their bike for the parade. “It lifts people’s spirits,” she says of the virtual Canada Day. “And that’s what I’m all about.” And this year, she didn’t need to fundraise. The organizing committee had businesses coming to them.

“Bringing the community back together, like the entities in the community, melted my heart, more than you can ever imagine,” she says. “Just watching everybody work together. It takes a village. It takes a lot of minds to make something like a virtual Canada Day happen.” With 2021 up in the air, Chapman still has a few months to take a break before planning starts in November. No one knows what the new year will bring but with Chapman at the helm of the Canada Day planning committee, it’s sure to be another event for the books.


B48 Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Campbell River Mirror

www.campbellrivermirror.com

HERO OF THE YEAR sponsored by: LOCAL HERO AWARDS 2020

FINALIST

MOWI

CHUCK DECORCY

BILL HENDERSON

Chuck DeSorcy has been a tireless advocate for the natural spaces in Campbell River. His enthusiasm for the environment and nature education is infectious. His hands-on mentality is outstanding. Since he has retired, DeSorcy has volunteered on an almost full-time basis, donating hundreds of hours annually with Greenways to mentor school groups working on local restoration projects. DeSorcy spearheaded restoration work at Millennium Park (Willow Creek Estuary), supervising many school sessions of invasive plant removal, native plantings, and watering to sustain the plantings. His work has greatly enhanced that salmon habitat. Concurrently, DeSorcy has championed restoration of Kingfisher Creek, which had lost its quality spawning habitat. Through DeSorcy’s multiyear commitment, fish habitat has been greatly improved, allowing for the largest chum spawning seen in decades. For more than 20 years, DeSorcy has been an active Greenways Board member, providing expertise and guidance with many aspects of environmental management in Campbell River, thereby mentoring new volunteers to develop the community’s environmental literacy.

Many of Bill Henderson’s signature artworks are on display around Campbell River. From a whale plaque that he carved for his teacher at Campbellton School when he was seven years old, to the many poles displayed around town, Henderson’s artistic vision has always been a welcome sight in the city.  In his lifetime he has carved more than 50 totem poles, innumerable masks that make appearances during cermeonial potlatches, paddles and plaques that are mounted all over the world. In his carving shed, where everyday he comes in to make wood talk, the carver keeps his father, legendary carver, Sam Henderson’s memory alive. For Bill Henderson, carving is not just art but a legacy passed down from his father and his people, the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation.  Mythology inspires him and is visible in his masks, totems and plaques. He enjoys making masks, he said, and brings to life some notable supernatural figures such as the wild woman. 

CONGRATS TO OUR HEROES! The staff of the Campbell River Mirror are proud to put together this showcase of Campbell River and area’s wonderful volunteers and professionals who make this community such an awesome place to live. We hope the stories you have read in these pages have inspired you and given you a deeper appreciation for your community and the great people who live here. The MOWI – Campbell River Mirror Local Heroes Awards are a pleasure to put together because the stories and the individuals recognized with the help of our partners and sponsors provide ample proof that we live in a great community. We would like to take a moment to thank our Community Partners and sponsors, particularly our title sponsor MOWI, for their support in putting this project together. We also wish to extend our thanks to the people in the community who nominated these wonderful individuals for the various categories. Great deeds are done throughout the year and although 2020 was a different one, to say the least, we recognize the importance of giving people the pat on the back they deserve. And let’s do it again next year!

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