Each Lieutenant Governor develops unique projects and initiatives that highlight their interests and backgrounds. Often provincial in scope, they bring awareness to issues affecting British Columbians.
2022 was the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II — an event which marked her extraordinary 70 years on the throne. To celebrate this special occasion the Foundation was immensely proud to support several awards through the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. They were the following:
The Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellowship
In the spirit of supporting a healthy democracy with a thriving journalistic community, a Journalism Fellowship was created. The 2023 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellowship is Kim Bolan, an experienced and award-winning journalist who has covered gangs in British Columbia for the past 25 years. Bolan has been awarded funds to produce a series of articles on the increasing international tentacles of BC gangs and organized crime groups. Her work is scheduled to be published in the Vancouver Sun in January 2024.
In 2022, the inaugural fellow Francesca Fionda, an investigative and data journalist, was awarded $25,00 to explore the gaps in supports for evacuees of disasters in British Columbia through long-form reporting. Click to read Francesca’s series “Bracing for Disaster” in The Tyee.
The Fellowship will be awarded for three consecutive years with the third recipient to be announced in Fall 2024.
The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Maritime Achievement
A collaboration between the Government House Foundation and the Maritime Museum of BC, this award replaces the annual SS Beaver Awards for Maritime Excellence. This new award will recognize and acknowledge individuals and organizations along BC’s coast and inland waterways who have made noteworthy contributions to BC’s maritime interests. The expanded scope of the award will also recognize Indigenous and traditional practices, environmental stewardship, and ensure diversity in nominees, recipients, and award administration.
A unique award medallion featuring the artwork Nusi Ian Reid, a member of the Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella, will be awarded to each recipient.
Lieutenant Governor’s Arts and Music Awards
The Arts and Music Awards recognized individuals, groups and organizations throughout BC who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, creativity, community engagement, passion, and commitment through fostering and mentoring others in the fields of Visual Arts, Music and Performance: 11 individual recipients and 17 organizations received a monetary award and certificates in support of their achievements. Click here for the List of Recipients.
Other awards, among the many that have been presented recently, include the following:
British Columbia Reconciliation Award:
To recognize individuals, groups and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, integrity, respect and commitment to furthering reconciliation or inspired others to continue reconciliation efforts, the Lieutenant Governor, in partnership with the BC Achievement Foundation, has launched the British Columbia Reconciliation Award. Her Honour Janet Austin is grateful for the leadership of the Honourable Steven Point, former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, who is the founder of this award.
Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Inclusion, Democracy and Reconciliation:
In 2019, in partnership with the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, eligibility for the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal was expanded to recognize post-secondary students with outstanding contributions in support of inclusion, democracy or reconciliation, on or off campus, and now includes students in diploma and degree programs.
Her Honour Janet Austin has focused on these themes and more during her time in office:
1. Democracy and Public Institutions: Her Honour is increasingly concerned about the erosion of respect for democracy and the institutions that support it and of the decline of civility in public discourse. In the spirit of supporting a healthy democracy with a thriving journalistic community, the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Journalism Fellowship encourages the development and support of local journalists in British Columbia through financial support for long-form reporting.
2. Inclusion, Diversity, Pluralism, Gender Equality and Social Justice: Lieutenant Governor Austin continues to build on her extensive previous professional and volunteer work with groups including the YWCA, Big Sisters, the Moose Hide Campaign, Dr. Peter Aids Foundation, the United Way, the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation & the Chinatown Storytelling Centre, Pacific Autism Family Network.
3. Reconciliation: Inspired by the work of previous Lieutenant Governors, Her Honour seeks to promote respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. This includes recognizing Indigenous communities working hard to provide economic opportunities for their people, ensure the survival of their languages and culture, and be good stewards of the environment.
The Government House Foundation also supports Legacy programs initiated by previous Lieutenant Governors.
Stewards of the Future – Under the Honourable Judith Guichon, 29th Lieutenant Governor of BC
Stewards of the Future supported and encouraged emerging leaders to connect with their environments, explore their own communities, and investigate stewardship initiatives. Funding was available for youth to go on field trips, visit local sites of interest and engage in stewardship projects in their communities.
Write to Read – Under the Honourable Steven Point, 28th Lieutenant Governor of BC
Write to Read is a partnership-based program working with Indigenous communities to provide access to literacy materials and resources in areas without a designated nearby learning centre or library. Working with the Lake Cowichan First Nation, the 26th library and learning center opened recently. For more information about Write to Read please visit their website.
The BC Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards – Under the Honourable Iona Campagnolo, 27th Lieutenant Governor of BC
The oldest wine judging competition in the province, the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards recognized excellence in winemaking and was judged by a rotating panel of respected experts from across the industry. The awards helped to showcase the best quality products the province has to offer.