Celebrating community spirit and volunteers

Here are the 2020 Community Spirit Award recipients

An important annual tradition of community schools across B.C. is to recognize and celebrate people who make a difference in each of their communities. During these challenging times we might not be able to gather together in-person for the annual volunteers’ tea but thanks to the voice of the local newspaper and social media and the sponsorship of the Community School Association (CSA) we are still able to recognize people and organizations that make a positive difference in the community by distributing the BICS Volunteer of the Year Award and the Community Spirit Awards (formerly ACEbc awards) and sharing the stories of how the recipients have been making our community a better place.

 The Community Spirit Awards for 2020 recipients have been announced:

The recipient of this year’s Youth Leadership Award is in grade four. Eden Currah has been volunteering at community events, most notably at the Bowen Farmers’ market, Applefest and Bowfest for more than three years. She shows up just to help out however she can. She is an enthusiastic and responsible member of the BICS Student Council, as well as exemplifying the pillars of Order of BICS. She has a keen interest in the arts and has set up an informal fine arts apprenticeship, as well as a keen interest in fitness; proposing and leading various physical literacy opportunities for her peers. As a well-rounded, keen, curious and contributing youth, Eden deserves recognition for her community spirit and youth leadership!

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Eden Currah received a youth leadership award. - Submitted


Whales. Anchovies. Understanding the waters of Howe Sound. Mapping. Investigating. Videoing. Educating. Sharing. Caring and promoting understanding of our environment, from our social and cultural environment to the science of our ecology. The man with the video camera, the kayak, wet suit, endless curiosity and the big heart is Bob Turner who has spent many years writing about, creating films, books, essays and mapping our environment on many levels. Bob shares his passion through education at the community school, from the BICS Welcome Pole documentary film, to endlessly being a resource about geology and ecology to students on field trips and in-class talks, as well as at the community level. He has contributed so much, we wish we could give him an award every year!

 “We’d like to paint a whale. A really big whale.” BICS collaborated with Squamish host nation elders and held its first Kulelakum ‘Whale Day’ in 2012 to celebrate and deepen our understanding of yew yews, (orca whales,) and to learn about and celebrate the importance of whales through First Nations culture and traditions, science, local history, geography, and ecology. 

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Sara Bryant received a BICS volunteer of the year award. - Submitted

In 2013, to deepen our understanding of how we are all part of a bigger, interconnected picture that was symbolized by a large whale mosaic that was about 20’ long and 10’ high and comprised of over 300 canvases, each one painted by a BICS student. How are we going to do this? We applied to Opus Art Supplies’ program that supports community projects and when we wanted to make a 50’ x 50’ reusable canvas labyrinth with clay domes, they supported that project too! And when the CSA wanted to create a fundraiser and community-wide youth art show, Opus Art Supplies supported us not once, but twice. Opus Arts Supplies is a recipient of one of this year’s Community Spirit Awards for their enduring support of cultural education in the community school and the community. We have so many ideas, and we couldn’t do it without the generosity of Opus. Thank you for providing the support and material for so many young imaginations at the community school and in the community.

In addition to the Community Spirit Awards, this year’s BICS Volunteer(s) of the Year Award goes to our PAC co-chairs: Sarah Cormier and Sara Bryant, who are stepping down after serving their full terms as Parent Advisory Council co-chairs and are greatly deserving of the award after many years of volunteering on a myriad of traditional and new fundraisers and special events. From the Family Fair, to the Yogathon, parent education talks, card projects, photos with Santa, the Friday Lunch program and more. Sarah and Sara have enthusiastically collaborated and supported the PAC, CSA, BICS students and staff and so we would like to thank them and recognize them for their many contributions to the community and community school.

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Sarah Cormier received a volunteer of the year award. - Submitted


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