2019 VCLA Winners


Outstanding Leadership Award

Advancing personal leadership that stands out and changes the world, starting here in Victoria.



Angela Adamson 

Angela was selected by her peers from the graduating class of the 2019 Community Leadership Development Program for her outstanding leadership. Angela’s passion stems from her values of diversity and inclusion, whether it is helping women groups in Kenya with sustainable projects or assisting with fundraising events for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Angele is proactive and enjoys making a difference.

Arts & Culture Award

Connecting and engaging Victoria to a significant array of arts and cultural opportunities. Sponsored by Victoria Foundation


Rebecca Hass

Jane Chadwick 

Rebecca’s passion for communication and her natural leadership ability drives her to promote diversity and inclusion in the arts. She recognizes that persons of colour, of different faiths and of Indigenous communities are often underrepresented or invisible in many arts organizations and programs. She works with various arts and culture organizations to deepen their understanding of diversity and the obstacles they need to overcome. As the Community Engagement Coordinator at Pacific Opera Victoria (POV) and as a key member in the Arts and Culture Diversity Advisory Committee (ACDAC), she ensures that our arts and culture community is open to all.   Jane creates a caring and inclusive community that uses creative arts to form connections among individuals in Victoria. She has recognized that social isolation is one challenge that can prevent those with disabilities or health issues from fully participating in their communities. Art is an avenue to provide both social and educational benefits and as an instructor at ArtsREACH and the Lead Facilitator at Pandora Arts Collective, Jane creates a welcoming space for all abilities.  

Belonging & Engagement Award

Connecting our residents in a meaningful community so we experience a sense of participation and belonging. Sponsored by Royal Roads University

Annette Wall

Dr. Rhonda Hackett

Annette’s dedication and passion for collaborative leadership are shown through her role at HeroWork. As the organization’s current board chair, she has faced and overcome challenges of creating a viable and sustainable governance structure, securing funding for a new charity, and building and leading a strong board. HeroWork’s radical renovations and transformative community-building events greatly benefit from Annette’s special brand of leadership.   Dr. Rhonda Hackett’s experiences have led her to educate others and become a passionate advocate for the community challenges of immigration. Rhonda is an African and Caribbean social work scholar whose work is informed by extensive social work experience and the theory of critical race theory, black feminist and Indigenous thought. Her scholarship is focused on advancing the understanding of the lived experiences and knowledge of African Caribbean peoples living in Canada.  

Thriving Children & Youth Award

Supporting and promoting social, mental, physical and cultural wellbeing for people under 30. Sponsored by Coast Capital Savings.  

Jacquelin Green

Kim Breiland

Jacquelin has been working with families in our area for more than 20 years and is the current Executive Director of the Young Parents Support Network (YPSN). By encouraging collaboration and creating a network within the community, Jacquelin has been able to access vital resources, from healthy foods to brain development parent programs and trauma-informed practice.   Today's youth face different challenges that earlier generations did not. Since the opening of Stages School of Performing Arts in 1980, Kim has constantly adjusted her leadership style to keep pace. As the school’s Artistic Director for the past 39 years, Kim instills the values of fun and dedication to each class, and her studio gives students an opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive during a time that can be challenging for teens.  

Healthy Safe Environments Award

Innovating and ensuring our built and natural environments are beautiful, safe, sustainable, and accessible. Sponsored by Bayview Place.



Jane Devonshire

Rebecca Wolf-Gage

Every day, Jane channels her love for our West Coast environment and her passion for a sustainable future into concrete actions that inspire and support others to act as well. Jane was one of the first Dogwood volunteers to organize teams to act against the threat of the Northern Gateway pipeline and mentored UVIC student members of the Dogwood Club to organize events in support of environmental advocacy Rebecca’s activism started in kindergarten, where she raised money for classmates who didn’t have enough food. Inspired by Sweden’s Greta Thunberg, Rebecca has become a fearless advocate for our climate. In December 2018, she organized the first Youth Climate Strike in Victoria. Soon after, she organized an Enviro School, recruiting an impressive line-up of teachers, including Mayor Lisa Helps, MLA Sonia Furtenau, and Frances Litman.  

Getting Started in Our Community Award

Engaging and welcoming newcomers to our community and leaving a great impression for visitors to Victoria. Sponsored by Vancity 

Adrienne Carter

Ruth Mojeed

At a time when Adrienne might have considered retirement, she instead created VICCIR in 2015- the only provider of psychological assistance to immigrants and refugees on Vancouver Island and where she donates an average of 60 hours a week as a counselor, consultant, and trainer. Throughout her long career working for Médecins Sans Frontières and the Centre for Victims of Torture, Adrienne understands that mental illness among immigrants and refugees can lead to problems with integration and starting new lives in our communities.    Ruth’s most recent development, The Inclusion Project, aims to engage stakeholders on issues of diversity, equity and inclusiveness across civil society, public and private sectors, specifically to develop new initiatives focussed on gender equality, racial inclusion, and youth engagement. Recently, her work to promote diversity and cultural understanding in the region inspired the Victoria African Cultural Society and the City of Victoria to name Ruth a Black History Month 2018 Laureate.  

Health & Wellness Award

Improving access to enjoyable and effective fitness, healthcare and food security. Sponsored by Victoria Foundation

Lee Fuge

Terry Edison-Brown 

As a founding member and manager of the International Women’s Catering Co-op and a board member for the LifeCycles Project Society and the Victoria Downtown Public Market Society, Lee is an avid supporter of local farms and food on both a personal level and through her work in the retailing of natural and organic foods. She is a founding member and manager of FoodRoots Co-op has hosted the Pocket Market Network, the Sustainable Feast series, and Cinema in Season. Terry provides hope and encouragement for those in our community who are living in extreme poverty, often without homes and suffering addictions. After turning his life around and becoming sober, Terry worked as the House Coordinator at Anawim House where his selfless service and community leadership has resulted in remarkable success in his current position as Executive Director of Anawim House.  

Lifelong Learning Award

Providing attainable formal or informal learning throughout life for personal or professional development. Sponsored by the University of Victoria

Peggy Wilmot

Tracy Humphreys

 A lifelong educator, Peggy has inspired students in classrooms from Winnipeg to Edmonton to Victoria. She has given back to her community in many ways and has volunteered at Project Connect, Together Against Poverty Society, Faith in Action, the Food Bank at St. Johns, Downtown Service Providers, and Greater Victoria Acting Together.   Tracy believes that all children and youth deserve to be supported to reach their fullest potential. Tracy’s Exclusion Tracker calls attention to the systemic exclusion of children with disabilities and creates a safe space for families to support each other and teaches them how to advocate. She started BCEdAccess that continues to support families, share information and provide education to families, allies, professionals, and students to promote equitable access to education and inclusion for every student. Tracy’s work has directly impacted how children with developmental disabilities are treated in schools across the province.  

Healthy Standard of Living Award

Ensuring stable employment and resources for a healthy community with access to secure and sustainable housing. Sponsored by BC Transit.  

Elysia Glover

Emily Rogers

As the Executive Director of Community Micro Lending (CML), Elysia Glover connects local lenders to local borrowers in Southwest British Columbia so that a diverse range of small businesses can continue to contribute to strong economic development in our local economy. Most recently, CML has created a program for Syrian refugee men and women and a program with the Metis Nation of Greater Victoria for Indigenous youth.   In 2017, Emily and Yuka Kurokawa realized there was no organization in Greater Victoria providing peer support and advocacy by and for tenants. The pair secured funding and started the Victoria Tenant Action Group which has advocated for policy changes, built community, and now operates independently of the Together Against Poverty Society. She works collaboratively with people across our community to make our region vibrant, accessible, and inclusive.  

Extending Reconciliation Award 

Deepening and improving the relationship between the various nations that make Canada home. Sponsored by the City of Victoria. 

Dr. Billie Allan

Monique Gray Smith 

Through education and practice, Billie explores the importance of black and indigenous solidarity in decolonizing efforts in Canada and across Turtle Island. As a Two-Spirit Anishinaabe scholar, her scholarship navigates the topic of Indigenous health and wellbeing which includes the impact of racism and child welfare on the health and wellness of Indigenous peoples.   Monique wants a better and brighter future for Indigenous people and sees them as our future leaders, lawyers, teachers; or whatever they want to be. For many years, Monique has supported them through early childhood development and is passionate about Aboriginal Heart-start programs in addition to other programs and services that support Indigenous children and families. Author of “Speaking Our Truth”, Monique’s words have been instrumental in starting Truth and Reconciliation discussions in Canada.  

Innovative Science & Technology Award

Developing and sharing technology for the community to connect and make a local lasting difference now and into the future. Sponsored by Victoria Foundation.

Samarth Mod

As an immigrant and CEO of FreshWorks Studio, Samarth knows that a lack of networks and projects can be disastrous and is committed to making an impact in ways that assist the most vulnerable. FreshWorks designs and develops innovative apps for Fortune 500 companies, enterprises, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs and the public sector. Partnering with Lighthouse Labs, Sam provides mentorship to young programmers and developers to help them get career-ready before getting a job.  


Click here for video, photos and images from the event