WOW Award recognizes Surrey inclusion champion

Alexander Magnussen is being recognized today with a Widening Our World (WOW) award from CLBC for promoting awareness, understanding and support for people with developmental disabilities.

Alexander, who was nominated by Jillian Glennie from the Semiahmoo House Society, is a leader in self-advocacy and has a passion to make communities throughout B.C. more inclusive and accepting for people of all abilities.

Through Inclusion BC’s Equally Empowered Program, Alexander speaks at local schools to empower young people with intellectual disabilities to graduate and become successful adults and community members.

As part of the provincial voting initiative, “I Am Voting,” Alexander also worked hard to reach more people with diverse abilities to help them understand how they could participate in the voting process.

In addition, Alexander sits on the Voices of Autism Advisory Board to the Pacific Autism Family Centre and the Board at Semiahmoo House Society, is the Chair and Mentor of the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo, and is the Advisory Chair to Inclusion BC. He is also federally recognized as an Accessible Leader for his work with the Enabling Accessibility Fund Youth Pilot Initiative.

Alexander is among four WOW award recipients for 2017. Three other British Columbians who are making inclusion a reality for people with developmental disabilities are being presented with WOW Awards this year. They are:

  • 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.
  • Saanich – 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.

Each year, CLBC invites British Columbians to nominate someone they think is creating opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to lead full lives, have rich relationships, make choices in how they live, and access employment opportunities. CLBC received 47 nominations for its ninth annual awards process and winners were chosen by an evaluation committee of community members, CLBC community council members, CLBC staff and people served by CLBC.

Click here for a full listing of people who were nominated for the award in 2017, and the people who nominated them.


Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson

“Alexander exemplifies the spirit behind the WOW Awards. He inspires others and dedicates his time to building a truly inclusive community where people of all abilities are accepted and welcome. His community, and our province, are a better place because of his efforts. Alexander, congratulations on your award and thank you for giving your time to help make life better for people in our province.”

Seonag Macrae, CLBC CEO

“I want to congratulate Alexander for receiving a WOW award this year. It is clear from the nominations received that there is a wealth of innovative ideas, activities and initiatives being spearheaded by community champions across the province. Alexander has spent many years dedicated to making sure peoples lives are filled with many possibilities. His extensive advocacy work has opened many doors for people and our communities are more inclusive and better because of this.”

Jillian Glennie, Nominator

“I am lucky to know and work alongside Alexander. Alexander’s ability to connect with others is like nothing I have ever seen. He is generous with his time and works tirelessly to ensure that every person he meets is heard and valued. He wants to see others living their best life, making goals, getting jobs and being active in their communities. Alexander is genuinely connected to each person’s dream.”

Alexander Magnussen, WOW Award Winner

“I am truly excited to receive a WOW Award. I am proud to be a self-advocate; speaking up for myself and helping others to realize the power they can have in their own life and in the community. No decisions about us without us. We are stronger together.”


Community Living BC
Phone: 604-209-7608

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