The Gabriola Arts Council is being honoured with the Islands Trust Community Stewardship Award in the Organization Category. The Islands Trust Council announced the recipients at its June 22nd meeting on Lasqueti Island. Trust Council recognized four individuals and four groups from among 18 nominees for their support for the Islands Trust’s mandate to protect and preserve the Trust Area and its unique environment and amenities.
“Taking care of our unique island communities is a shared responsibility. The Community Stewardship Awards let us thank islanders for their dedication and commitment to this important role,” said Peter Luckham, Chair of the Islands Trust Council. “This year we received the highest number of nominations, making it tough to choose a few recipients from among all the deserving nominations. While we formally recognize eight recipients through the awards, we are grateful to every nominee and every individual who supports the special mandate of the Islands Trust.”
Charlie Cheffins, President of the Gabriola Arts Council, acknowledged the honour by saying, “This award recognizes two decades of hard work and dedication by hundreds of Gabriola Arts Council board members, staff, and volunteers. Together, these people have built a thriving Arts Council that is committed to creating a community that provides a rich cultural life. This award is testament to the value our community places on arts and culture, and will inspire the current staff and directors to even greater things in the years to come. As we near the end of the renovation project at the Arts & Heritage Centre—a true example of community stewardship—we’re already looking ahead at how we might serve Gabriola even better in the future.
“The GAC board would like to thank the Islands Trust Council for this honour and recognition; our nominators Susan Yates and Judith Plant (both previous recipients of a Stewardship award); and especially our members and supporters in the community for enthusiastically participating in our events and programs.
“Our hats are off to all of the nominees and winners, and especially to Liz Ciocea, our fellow Gabriola award winner, with gratitude for her many years of tireless and committed work on behalf of local wildlife and the environment.”
Susan Yates, one of GAC’s two nominators, said in her nomination document: “[GAC] has supported, promoted, expanded, and in every way enhanced arts and culture on Gabriola Island for 20 years … I can think of no other agency that has contributed so greatly to the artistic and social growth of our island. They bring beauty, joy, pride and cohesiveness to our community in every way imaginable, while contributing greatly to economic and social growth in ways that are environmentally sustainable … I feel so privileged to live on an island where the well-being of the community is considered in the broadest sense by the Gabriola Arts Council. I admire and love all that they do to encourage innovation, inspiration, education, collaboration, and participation in events and projects that foster the very best in human endeavors.”
Michelle Benjamin, GAC Executive Director, says, “This month we expect to register our 700th member—an impressive achievement for an organization our size. Our goal is 800 members by the end of this year (20% of the population for our 20th anniversary year), so we’re hoping that anyone who is not already a member will be inspired by this award to sign up right away.”
The award will be presented at a Local Trust Committee meeting on Gabriola this Fall.
For more information, contact:
Peter Luckham, Chair, Islands Trust Council | 250-210-2553
Clare Frater, Director, Trust Area Services | 250-405-5192
Michelle Benjamin, Gabriola Arts Council | 250-247-7409 | firstname.lastname@example.org