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Recognition Awards honour societies, organizations, Individuals

7 May 2024 4:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

On May 4, the BC Historical Federation presented its annual recognition awards in Chilliwack at the 2024 BCHF conference. The BCHF is proud to present the award winners across a number of categories.  

Award of Appreciation

Emma Quan and Mark Forsythe were honoured for their time serving on the board of directors of the BC Historical Federation, each with an award of appreciation. Emma was instrumental in managing the organization's Instagram account and contributing to decisions of the board at regular meetings and Mark served as vice-president and spent many hours interviewing local historians and organizations, sharing history through video and in British Columbia History magazine. Mark continues to work with British Columbia History magazine as a columnist.

Award of Merit

Awards of Merit are awarded to individuals and organizations who have made a significant contribution to the study or promotion of British Columbia history.

Earning an Award of Merit at this year's gala is the BC Black History Awareness Society for its 30 years of work creating awareness of Black history in B.C., celebrating historical and contemporary achievements and contributions. Recent projects undertaken by the Society include the development of the Hope Meets Action travelling exhibition in partnership with the Royal BC Museum, and the BC Archives Black History Records Research Guide in partnership with the BC Archives. Jamila Douhaibi accepted the award on behalf of the Society.

Also earning an Award of Merit is Dr. Lorne Hammond who was recognized for his work as curator in the history division at the Royal British Columbia Museum, spanning more than 25 years.

A fountain of knowledge and integral to the development of many popular exhibitions at the RBCM, Dr. Hammond’s expertise actively informed exhibitions including Festa Italian: Celebrating BC’s Italian Communities, Gold Rush: El Dorado in British Columbia, Century Hall and recently, Orcas: Our Shared Future. Lorne has written and lectured extensively on the energy and resource sectors in British Columbia and has been a staunch advocate and guide for younger generations of museum workers.

Award of Recognition

Awards of recognition are given by the BCHF to individuals who have given exceptional service for a specific project in the preservation of British Columbia’s history.

At the awards gala, the Maple Ridge Museum and Archives was recognized with an Award of Recognition for its exhibition: "What was Taken: The Forced Dispersal of Japanese Canadians in Maple Ridge." The exhibition, which explores the impact of internment on both Maple Ridge’s Japanese Canadian community and Maple Ridge itself, has provided a springboard and meaningful experiences for Japanese Canadian visitors to learn about their family histories. Many of these histories were not discussed by relatives who were interned. The exhibition has since been converted to a permanent exhibition.

Bright Light Awards

Each year, the BCHF awards organizations and individuals with three themed awards marking achievements in the access, preservation, and interpretation of BC history.

The Advocacy Award recognizing initiatives and projects that create positive change in the world, was awarded to Debbie Jiang for bringing awareness and voice to Japanese and Chinese Immigrants' contributions to BC and Canadian history through Kayak Magazine Issues #82 and #85, Beyond Gold Mountain – Canadians of Chinese Descent. Motivated by her desire to see minority groups' stories told as a part of Canadian history, Debbie has worked to uncover, teach and write about lesser-known stories yet to be found in Canadian textbooks. As a result of her advocacy work, the missing names of two Japanese Canadian soldiers will be added to the First World War honour roll on the City of Richmond cenotaph.

The Cultural Resources Accessibility Award, honouring those working to connect cultural heritage resources with people, was awarded to Catherine Clement, curator of the exhibit: “The Paper Trail to the 1923 Chinese Exclusion Act.” As a result of Catherine’s work and advocacy,  along with June M. Chow, Project Archivist, Library and Archives Canada opened up access to Chinese Immigration (C.I.) records, and their work led to the creation of a community archive of the C.I. certificates at the University of British Columbia.

The Storytelling Award, recognizing storytelling in non-print formats, was awarded to filmmakers Hayley Gray and Elad Tzadok for the documentary film “Unarchived”. The film, published by the National Film Board of Canada and made publicly available, examines the gaps in British Columbia’s documented histories and highlights the work of community archivists and historians who are fighting to create inclusive spaces and narratives for all.

Awards Chair Anna Irwin poses with Hayley Gray and Elad Tzadok, winners of the BCHF Storytelling Award. 

British Columbia Historical Federation
PO Box 448, Fort Langley, BC, Canada, V1M 2R7


The Secretariat of the BCHF is located on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish speaking Peoples. 

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