2017 WOW Award Winners Have the Courage to Include
Four outstanding people will receive a 2017 Widening Our World (WOW) award for their courage, leadership, innovation and dedication in supporting their communities to more fully include people with diverse abilities.
This is the ninth year Community Living BC (CLBC) has held the WOW nomination process, which invites people to nominate a person or organization whose work is building communities where people of all abilities feel welcome, valued and respected.
In October and November 2017, people across the province submitted 47 nominations for consideration of a WOW award. All nominations recognized nominees for their efforts to build inclusion, create employment opportunities, and increase access to community and social networks for people with developmental disabilities. Selection of the four award winners was completed in December 2017 by a committee of community members, CLBC community council members, CLBC staff and people served by CLBC.
This year’s recipients are:
- South Surrey – Alexander Magnussen, self-advocate, for building awareness and creating greater understanding at provincial and national levels to help schools and community better include people with diverse abilities.
- Langley – Nick Nuraney and John Archibald, employers, for their leadership over the last 20 years in hiring people with diverse abilities in the Langley area.
- Esquimalt – Peggy Nancarrow, community member, for providing the people CLBC serves with opportunities to build relationships and confidence through music.
- Nanaimo – Eve Reinarz, service provider, for developing services and grassroots community building initiatives that build independence and connect people to their community.
The awards will be handed out and celebrated in each winner’s home town in February and March.
Since 2009, CLBC has presented WOW awards to recognize British Columbians who are creating opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to lead full lives, have rich relationships, choices in how they live, and employment opportunities.
Nominations of inclusion champions were submitted throughout Community Living Month this past October.
Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction: “I would like to congratulate all of the award winners and nominees for their commitment to helping make our communities inclusive and engaging for people of all abilities. It is because of your efforts that people with disabilities are able to continuously improve their quality of life through engaging community activities, employment, and recreation opportunities.”
Seonag Macrae, CEO, Community Living BC: “Congratulations to the winners and everyone who was nominated this year. It is inspiring to see the wealth of innovative ideas, activities and initiatives being spearheaded by community champions across the province. These efforts not only raise awareness about inclusion but help everyone see that acceptance of diversity makes our communities and our lives richer.”