2018 VCLA Winners

Lynn Thornton, VIDEA

Beangka Elliot, Project Reclaim/ Victoria Sexual Assualt Centre 

Lynn has been the Executive Director of the Victoria International Development Education Association (VIDEA) for 16 years. Through her guidance, youth have built cross-cultural competency, learned about social justice, activism, garnered confidence and leadership skills. Beangka is from the Tsartlip Community. Her vision and leadership are the foundation of Project Reclaim. The project is a youth-driven, land-based project that will engage youth from the Tsartlip Nation to lead their community in healing from, resisting, and preventing violence. 

Dave Friend, Friendly Organics

Shazia Rashid, BC Muslim Association

Dave is the leader of Friendly Organics and Growing Young Farmers, organizations committed to food security and community education. Dave’s goal is to increase the amount of food being grown on Vancouver Island and has set his sights on educating the youth on the importance of gardening and local food security.  Shazia has been the BC Muslim Associations’ Youth director for close to four years. Shazia started a youth activities program, also known as the YAP!, in which she created a safe space for youth girls in the community. 

Colleen Hobson, Saanich Neighborhood Place

Estelle Paget, KidsCare Canada Society

Colleen is the Executive Director of Saanich Neighborhood Place and is the embodiment of a community leader.  She has helped to create service to families’ lives while being approachable, empathetic, and filled with humor  Estelle is the founder and executive director of KidsCare Canada.  KidsCare Canada has built a solid reputation among health care professionals, educators, and parents. Estelle championed the concept of social and emotional health and figured out a way to make it accessible and inclusive for parents, especially the most “at-risk”.  

Siobhan Robinson & Denis Donelly, Getting Higher Choir

Dr. Lara Lauzon, University of Victoria

The Getting Higher Choir, co-directed by Siobhan Robinson and Denis Donnelly, are retiring after 20 years of building and directing this community choir. Siobhan and Denis are an exemplary team, who model inclusivity, collaboration, and excellence that inspires others. Each year 200-300 people come together in the spirit of creating community through music.   Dr. Lara Lauzon has contributed to a healthier Victoria. As an associate professor for the past 11 years, Dr. Lauzon has inspired and educated thousands of students to understand how health and wellness contribute to a stronger community. Dr. Lauzon has shown exemplary leadership through her commitment to and modeling of community-engaged and inclusive learning.  

Dr. Bruce Wallace, University of Victoria 

Dr. James Tanaka, University of Victoria 

Dr. Bruce Wallace is an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria’s School of Social Work and a Collaborating Scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR).  

Dr. Tanaka is a professor in the Psychology Department and Neuroscience Program at the University of Victoria, and he is the Director of the Different Minds Lab. 

Kate Longpre, Cultural Association of Victoria

Lori McLeod, Eldercare Foundation

Kate Longpre approached Google Translate with the idea for the We Speak Translate project. The project utilizes the Google Translate App as a tool for refugee resettlement and integration. While the project focus started in Victoria, interest in the project has expanded across Canada and beyond.  

Lori is a key player and stakeholder behind Raising the Profile, a program meant to highlight the key role played by non-profit and municipal community-based seniors’ services to support seniors socially, physically, and mentally. 

Debra Bartlett, Shelley Mann, Sandy Webb, Kim Sabourin, Lynn Henshaw, Catherine Mustafa, 100 Women Who Care 

Robyn Quinn, Women in Science and Technology 

This is a program led by the team of Debra Bartlett, Shelley Mann, Sandy Webb, Kim Sabourin, Lynn Henshaw, and Catherine Mustafa. The purpose of the program is for 100 women to meet four times per year, for one hour and committing a $100 donation per meeting. In just 12 hours, or 12 meetings, 100 Women Who Care Saanich Peninsula has raised $163,000. All monies raised go directly to charities in the Greater Victoria area.   Robyn is a leader with the Island Women in Science and Technology (iWIST). Robyn transformed a casual bi-monthly meet-up group into a dynamic community of 400 members. There are now four events each year that offer opportunities for women to network in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  

Lee Herrin, Fernwood Neighborhood Association

Kristi Fariholm Mader, Scale Collaboration 

Lee has been the Executive Director of Fernwood Neighborhood Resident Group for the past 10 years. During that time, Lee has provided leadership to the neighborhood organization by providing innovative services to benefit the local community.    Kristi is one of the co-founders of Scale Collaborative, an organization dedicated to helping non-profits diversify its revenues and scale their impact. Within her work with Scale, Kristi has been the driving force behind the Social Enterprise Catalyst events over the past few years. 

Cathy Armstrong, The Land Conservancy

Vince Greco, Vancouver Island Soccer League

Cathy has been the Executive Director of the Land Conservancy of BC since 2015. She brought with her a background knowledge of real estate, conflict resolution, political experience, business acumen and team building to the TLC. The Land Trust movement was impacted by the successful completion of TLC creditor protection process.  

Vince has been involved with the Vancouver Island Soccer League since 2000 and for the last seven years, he has been President of the League. Under Vince’s leadership, the League has grown in stature and is a part of the weekly reporting from both print, radio, and social media. His desire to have people active in sport, particularly soccer, is what drives him.  



 Nicole Chaland, Cook St. Village Residents Network

Dr. Jessica Rourke, Restorative Justice Victoria 

Nicole believes in sustainable and inclusive communities directing their own social, economic, and environmental futures. She founded the Cook St. Village Residents Network and is leading through action to demonstrate how to complete positive and progressive community conversations.  

Dr. Jessica Rourke is a Case Manager at Restorative Justice Victoria. Jessica has taken on several leadership roles in restorative justice. As an example, she secured funding and designing various advanced training that enable Restorative Justice Victoria to respond to incredibly challenging cases referred from Crown Counsel and probation.