Community worker Eve Reinarz is being recognized today with a Widening Our World (WOW) award from CLBC for her exceptional contribution to developing community services that build independence and connect people to their community.
Eve was nominated by Wendy Hall, a Family Support Institute parent and volunteer. In addition to Eve’s ongoing work to support self-advocates in leadership roles, Wendy highlighted Eve’s work in Nanaimo to support independent living, access to healthy food through the Good Food Box program, inclusive art at Start with Art Nanaimo (SWAN), and an upcoming documentary called Setting the Tables.
Three other British Columbians who are making inclusion a reality for people with developmental disabilities were presented with a WOW award. They 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.
- Saanich – Peggy Nancarrow, community member, for providing the people CLBC serves with opportunities to build relationships and confidence through music.
Each year, British Columbians are invited 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 and winners were chosen by an evaluation committee of community members, CLBC community council members, staff and people served by CLBC.
Background and Quotes
- In 1991, Eve created Supportive Apartment Living (SAL) with the help of CLBC funding. SAL started as a two bedroom apartment stepping stone to support adults with diverse abilities to build skills to help them move into their own home, and to build connections and friendships. In 1997, SAL became an outreach program that now assists more people to build skills for independent living and to avoid social isolation.
- With SAL’s move to the Foodshare building in early 2000, collaboration began with them to restart the Good Food Box. This partnership not only gives SAL advocates and community volunteers an impressive and much needed contribution to their community with access to healthy food, but has created a positive ripple effect for the community as a whole.
- In 2006, Eve became part of Start with Art Nanaimo (SWAN) and one of the founding members of Studio 366 on Selby Street, an inclusive community art space where people of all abilities are welcome to create and exhibit their art.
- In 2017, in collaboration with Foodshare, Eve began working with Paul Manly, a local filmmaker, self advocates and Seniors Connect on a documentary project called Setting the Tables. The film highlights what it means to be a self-advocate and the benefits of being involved with a community food program. It is expected to premiere in Nanaimo this month.
Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction:
“Eve’s work in helping others to recognize their full potential is the very motivation behind the WOW Awards. On behalf of our government, I would like to thank Eve for her contributions in making her community and our province more inclusive.”
Leonard Krog, MLA for Nanaimo:
“Eve is a true community champion who has made the community of Nanaimo much richer for her contributions. Congratulations Eve on your well-deserved recognition.”
Seonag Macrae, CEO, Community Living BC:
“Congratulations to Eve on receiving a WOW award this year. It is clear she works tirelessly and passionately to make our communities more inclusive. She is a true champion of inclusion, and embodies how one person through their actions can make a real difference.”
Eve Reinarz, WOW Award Winner:
“It’s such an honour to receive this award. I believe that building community, connecting with one another and “being part of something good” is not only at the core of our work, but at the very core of human existence and our day to day life. Study after study proves belonging is our deepest need. We all want and need to know that we matter, that we belong and that our voices are heard. As we’ve witnessed first-hand here at Foodshare, so much good happens in that power of connection and creation of comm-unity!”
Wendy Hall, Nominator:
“Eve’s work is never limited to just “people with diverse abilities” – she truly works with community, many of which happen to have diverse abilities. She truly believes in all people being part of their community!”
Community Living BC