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Prince George residents to receive BC Achievement Community Award

Jim Terrion, centre, when he announced last August that he had raised $755,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation over the past 30 years.

Two current Prince George residents and one former resident are among 25 British Columbians receiving a BC Achievement Community Award this year.

Receiving the awards are Jim Terrion, who is working on raising $1 million for the Terry Fox Foundation; Myles Mattila, a former junior hockey player and now mental health advocate; and Carolyn Duerksen, who formed the School District 57 Tapestry Singers a dozen years ago.

“These days more than ever, our communities are made stronger by British Columbians who go above and beyond,” said Premier John Horgan, in a news release. “Thanks go to all of the BC Achievement 2020 Community Award recipients for helping build a better province for everyone.” 

An independent committee selects the recipients of the BC Achievement Community Award. The 2020 selection committee members are Mayor Lee Brain of Prince Rupert, Mayor Michelle Staples of Duncan, and past recipients, Lolly Bennett, Aart Schuurman Hess and Andy Yu. 

The recipients of the 2020 Community Award will be recognized in a formal presentation ceremony in Victoria, in the presence of the Honourable Janet Austin, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Each recipient will receive a certificate and a medallion designed by BC artist Robert Davidson, OC, OBC. Due to COVID-19, the ceremony planned for the end of April has been postponed to a future date to be announced.  

The BC Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established in 2003 whose mission is to honour excellence and inspire achievement. The BC Achievement Community Award was the first initiative of the foundation, followed by the Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art and Design, BC’s National Award in Canadian Non-Fiction (2005-2018), the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art, and the Indigenous Business Award. 

Jim Terrion

Jim Terrion has been fundraising for the Terry Fox Foundation for more than 25 years and, with more than $800,000 raised, is setting his sights on raising $1 million.

Terrion has been raising money for a good many years and most of it is done by canvassing door-to-door. It can be difficult as Terrion was born deaf.

He communicates mostly by writing down what he wants to say or by using sign language. It can be a frustrating and slow process. Especially for new people he meets on the street or those who open their doors when he’s out canvassing.

That has never stopped him though from raising whopping amounts of money for charity events and causes he holds dear to him like the annual Terry Fox Run.

Originally from Prince Rupert, he spends a couple of weeks there prior to that community’s Terry Fox Run and raises funds.

In 1990 he walked across Canada and back, 6,300 miles in eight months, on a fundraising mission to raise awareness for people with hearing disabilities.

Carolyn Duerksen

Carolyn Duerksen is an elementary music education specialist Prince George.

Carolyn Duerksen

Carolyn taught general music education at Quinson Elementary School for 25 years. Her school choir, the Quinson Senior Choristers, received local, provincial, and national praise for their technical skill, as well as their ability to passionately communicate meaning and emotion to their audiences. In September 2019, Carolyn began teaching general music education at Southridge Elementary School.
Twelve years ago, Carolyn formed DISTRICT 57 Tapestry Singers, a non-auditioned choir that included singers from throughout the public – school district. In July 2019, this choir began a new chapter in their history, working independently of the school district, asPRINCE GEORGETapestry Singers.

Myles Mattila

Myles Mattila is the project developer and spokesperson for the MindRight for Athletes Society (MindRight), which has teamed up with concussion reporting and management software company HeadCheck Health (HeadCheck) to advance athlete health and wellness.

MindRight is an online platform which uses hockey as a medium to try and connect individuals seeking help with direct access to mental health support and reduce the stigma behind mental illness.

The organization was created by Mattila who became involved with mental health advocacy at a young age.

Myles Mattila, left, shakes hands with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, May 28, 2018. MP Stephen Fuhr watches the exchange. Mattila was in Ottawa to speak about youth mental health. (Office of the Prime Minister of Canada)

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