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ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT:Carol Anne Hilton, CEO and Founder of The Indigenomics Institute, hopes to grow Canada’s Indigenous economy to $100 billion over the next five years. Dedicated to building the economic influence of Indigenous peoples locally and abroad, Hilton fronted the inaugural Indigenomics By Design Conference, Research Forum and Gala that recently took place at Richmond’s River Rock Resort and Casino.
Over three-days, Indigenous leaders, business and community leaders, academics, decision makers and change agents from across the country and beyond made the scene to support the notion of a vibrant Indigenous economy.
Among those in attendance, Shane Gottfriedson, former chief of Tk’emlups First Nation in Kamloops, who along with other Indigenous leaders is spearheading Indigenous ownership of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Calling itself Project Reconciliation, the group aims to get Indigenous groups in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan to sign up as majority shareholders of the controversial pipeline project.
“This is about creating real jobs, creating real wealth for our people and real streams of revenue,” said Gottfriedson at the gala banquet. “Economic sovereignty is sovereignty.”
Hosted by actress Andrea Menard, highlights of the evening included a keynote by celebrated musician Buffy Sainte-Marie, a fashion show by Yolanda Skelton, and the reveal of the 10 To Watch List.
Arts Umbrella Nicola Wealth Golf Invitational
FORE KIDS: Jennifer Podmore Russell and Conor Kinsella once again steered Arts Umbrella’s Nicola Wealth Golf Invitational. A full field hit the Point Grey Golf and Country Club fairways to support Canada’s preeminent visual and performing arts school. They would be joined by non-golfers back at the clubhouse for the awards dinner and charity auction. As always, a musical number by Arts Umbrella students kicked off the evening’s festivities — a reminder to everyone why they were gathered.
Not lost on David Sung, the president of Nicola Wealth Management sparkplugged the evening of philanthropy with a match gift of $20,000 earmarked for Arts Umbrella’s Bursary Fund. Attendees immediately followed suit. Between the paddle raise, silent and live auctions and sponsorships, the golf gala would net a record-setting $250,000 to ensure more young people can access an arts education regardless of financial barriers they may face.
“This year alone, more than 80 per cent of the 24,000 Metro Vancouver students we serve will access our programs free of charge through bursaries, and scholarships,” said Paul Larocque, CEO of Arts Umbrella.
“Thanks to our sponsors, donors and committee members, staff and students, we are able to raise critical funds, implement programs and expand our reach.”
This year, a new initiative will see Arts Umbrella engage some 500 students in B.C.’s remote North. In 2020, the art organization will move into an expansive new building — the former Emily Carr University of Art + Design South Building — on Granville Island. Since its inception 40 years ago, Arts Umbrella has provided arts education and inspired creativity to half a million young people.
Lions Share Concert and Fundraiser
DECORATED LIONS: Hot off the heels of receiving the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, North America’s most prestigious choral award given by the professional association Chorus America, Chor Leoni was back in the spotlight, hosting it’s yearly spring benefit.
A high-spirited crowd gathered for Lions Share, a riff of American Idol, The Voice and Pitch Perfect. Three teams of talented choral members pulled out all the stops to capture the attention, imagination and votes of celebrity judges and 400 fans who convened at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for the singing competition. Global TV’s Sophie Lui, celebrity chef Vikram Vij and drag artist Symone had the pleasure of judging the riotous contest.
Belting out classics from Broadway to rock ‘n‘ roll, the men had the entire room in stitches with three rounds of unforgettable performances. Voting with their dollars, fans would eventually crown Team Tonal Kaleidoscope led by Greg Martin. The night of hilarity and music would net the men’s choir $25,000 capping off a successful season that includes multiple prizes at the Bali and Singapore International Choir Festivals, a commission commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War armistice, and tour of Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
ASTTBC Technology Awards
HIGH TECH: Technologists, technicians and technical specialists achieve professional recognition through the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. (ASTTBC).
The eighth largest self-regulating association in B.C., ASTTBC has 10,000 registered technology professionals. The industry recently gathered to shine a spotlight on its own. Yours truly served as master of ceremonies of the annual Technology Awards. Held at the Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond, the event highlighted members and peers who have dedicated their work to protect the public’s interest and safety.
An esteemed celebration of their achievements, from cybersecurity to responsible demolition to green building technology, six individuals and two firms were honoured this year at the noon hour hootenanny. Receiving congratulations from president Sarah Campden, the 2019 awards honourees were: David Leversage, Advanced Technology; Barry Brooks and Janaka Rathnayaka, Professional Achievement; Riza Castro, Women in Technology; Geoff Sale, Volunteer of the Year and Trent Reid, Lifetime Achievement. R.F. Binnie & Associates received the Employer Award, while Inventys was honoured with the TechGREEN citation.
Editor’s Note: Fred Lee is heading out on hiatus for the summer. His column will return on Sunday, Sept. 15