2014 Community Award Winners

Oct 28, 2014

On Monday, October 27, West Vancouver honoured nine dedicated individuals and one group with Community Awards in the areas of the arts, environment, heritage, health, wellness & activity,and civic commitment. The awards were presented by members of West Vancouver Council during a special council meeting.

Award recipients were nominated by members of the community and the winners selected by the District's Awards Committee.

Arts & Culture

Jill McRae — For more than 20 years, Jill McRae has been dedicated to fostering community support for visual arts in West Vancouver. As a practising artist, she realized the realities of finding venues for emerging and established artists in our community and the importance of community support for the arts. As chairperson of the Ferry Building Gallery Friends Society, Jill helped raise $48,000 for special projects at the Ferry Building Gallery. She also founded the Ferry Building Gallery Friends Society Endowment Fund.

Making several presentations to Council with various proposals to support visual arts facilities in West Vancouver, Jill has demonstrated passion and dedication to the arts in our community. Her commitment to the arts in West Vancouver is great appreciated.

Civic Commitment

Andy Krawczyk — A long-time resident of West Vancouver, Andy Krawczyk has served as a member of a number of working groups and committees, including the Community Grants Working Group, co-chaired the Community Dialogue on Neighbourhood Character and Housing Working Group, chaired the Youth Services Review Implementation Group. He has also served as Vice Chair of the West Vancouver Community Services Society, and is currently the co- chair of the Upper Lands Working Group. Andy is extremely committed to the bettering of our community and invests countless hours volunteering his time, while also continuing to pursue a highly active international consulting business.

Colin Millar — Born and raised in West Vancouver, Colin and his wife Carolyn raised their family here.The Millar family has a long involvement with soccer in West Vancouver. His uncle Keith was instrumental in starting women’s soccer on the North Shore. His son Daniel coaches for the West Vancouver Soccer Club. Colin has been an active member of the West Vancouver Soccer Club for the last 25 years and has just recently retired from his position as the Club’s Vice President. Beginning as a children’s soccer coach in the late 1980s, Colin continued to coach the “orphan” teams-teams that could not find a volunteer coach, until this year. Colin was instrumental in developing the Club’s vision and its incorporation as a Society. Being an attorney, Colin oversaw many of the legal aspects of the West Vancouver Soccer Club.

Nicole Brown — With a strong commitment to her community, Nicole Brown has contributed her volunteer time in our public library, schools and minor sports programs. Nicole began as a Trustee of the West Vancouver Memorial Library Board in 2004 and four years later she moved to the fundraising arm of the library, serving as Director and ultimately Chair of the Foundation. She led all four major fundraisers from 2008 to 2012 that helped to support many of the extras that make our library so special. Over $1 million has been donated to the library from the Foundation in the past 5 years that has helped fund the new teen space “Room 14", early reading programs, BOOKtopia Children’s Literature Festival and more.

Nicole has also been active in our public schools as the Parent Advisory Council Chair for the past two years at Pauline Johnson Elementary School and is also a member of the District PAC's executive team. In her spare time, she has been the team manager for youth hockey in West Vancouver for six years, both on the field and on the ice.


Jim Torry — Jim has been involved with environmental protection for many years, and has played an integral role in many community initiatives. Jim is the past director of the West Vancouver Streamkeeper Society, and also helped initiate the Spawner Salmon Survey program with students from West Vancouver Secondary School’s Environmental Protection Network. Spending numerous volunteer hours as Creek Coordinator for McDonald Creek, he also established the “Pipe Cleaning Team” that keeps the intake pipes in the Creek’s rearing ponds at Hay and Memorial Parks, flowing free and clear for their year-round residents -- juvenile coho salmon and cut-throat trout.

Jim has been involved in many public awareness programs – if you see a “yellow fish” painted alongside storm drains, or a metal sign outlining salmon and trout habitats – think of Jim!

Mike Castle — Mike has been the leader and key person involved with producing the new Hiking Map for Cypress Provincial Park. His work with the Friends of Cypress, BC Parks, and Cypress Mountain has produced an outstanding map of Cypress Park. A retired civil engineer, Mike became coordinator of the Friends of Cypress Provincial Park Society’s Trail Watch program in 2009, and in 2010 served as project manager for the new map project. the map project was funded jointly by BC Parks, Cypress Mountain and the Friends of Cypress—10,000 copies were printed in 2013 with a second edition of 30,000 more to be distributed this fall. Our community has benefited greatly from Mike’s tremendous dedication, skill and countless volunteer hours in production of this professional quality and useful community map.

Health, Wellness and Activity

Poran Poregbal — Poran is a clinical counselor and social worker who started her volunteer work in West Vancouver as a volunteer for five years within the Victim Services division at the West Vancouver Police Department. She has also gained accreditation as a Child Abuse/Relationship Abuse Prevention Worker through Canadian Red Cross.

In 2006, Poran established her non-profit agency G.V. Counselling and Education Society for Families. The agency is serving both North and West Vancouver with a focus on Farsi speaking communities. This agency came to be a space and forum for community work, counseling, and psycho-education. In 2014, Poran also facilitated a six week program called Demystified Iran at Capilano University’s Elder College in West Vancouver. Poran led this educational cultural program as a volunteer.

RCM SAR Station 1 — The Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue is made up of a team of dedicated men and women donating an extraordinary amount of time and effort to providing life saving rescue services one the waters of Howe Sound and English Bay. In 2013, the RCM SAR Station 1 was tasked by the Joint Rescue Centre in Victoria to 79 rescue missions at all hours of the day and night, in some of the worst of weather.

The 35 active volunteers ensure the boat has a crew available 24/7 and maintain an average response time of just 14 minutes from the Horseshoe Bay station. The crews are involved in every aspect of providing volunteer service including fundraising, boating safety, equipment maintenance, technical and first aid courses, endless training and hours on the water. Hundreds of hours of unpaid service with a clear goal, saving lives on the water. With the help of financial support from within the community, the RCM SAR Station 1 can continue the valuable work they do.

Tim Mason — Tim Mason is the President of the West Vancouver Lawn Bowling Club and has been a member for 10 years. He is a Canadian Champion and part of the National Team, most recently he represent Canada at the Commonwealth Games this past summer. Tim works tirelessly to share this facility with the community and has brought both National and Provincial Championships to West Vancouver.

Tim has created a school program called iLawnBowl “Roll with it” a BC Provincial funded program by ViaSport. For the past 7 years he has hosted his own Charity tournament which raises funds for under privilege kids to attend YMCA Camp Elphinstone. Other charities include Canuck Place and the Cancer Society. He has worked with local organizations like the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts to try the sport. His collaboration with local businesses and community groups has helped a number of charity events take place at the West Vancouver Lawn Bowling Club, including the BC Sick Kids Hospital and hosting this years First Annual Mayor's tournament with the West Vancouver Foundation.


Penny Mitchell — For 10 years, Penny Mitchell has volunteered and supported the West Vancouver Museum’s annual fundraiser: the West Coast Modern Home Tour. This annual event requires countless hours of volunteer work which Penny does year after year. Her love for local architecture and heritage is what drives her passion to support this loved community event and the West Vancouver Museum, a keystone arts venue in our community. Penny also works to raise funds for Museum exhibitions and programs. Working as a full-time realtor on the North Shore, she also volunteers her time at the Kay Meek Centre for Performing Arts and other charitable events. 

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