Each Lieutenant Governor develops unique projects and initiatives that highlight his or her interests and background. Often provincial in scope, they bring awareness to issues affecting British Columbians.
This year 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. It awarded $25,000 to investigative and data journalist Francesa Fionda who will explore the gaps in support for evacuees of disasters in British Columbia, through long-form reporting.
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.
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.
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.
The BC Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards – Under the Honourable Iona Campagnolo, 27th Lieutenant Governor of BC
As the oldest wine judging competition in the province, the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards recognize excellence in winemaking and is judged by a rotating panel of respected experts from across the industry. It showcases the best quality products the province has to offer.