2019 Courtenay Recognition awards presented at annual conference

Recognition awards presented at annual conference

A suite of awards was presented at the BCHF annual conference last Saturday in Courtenay.

Awards of Recognition – Kyle Kusch

Vice-President Caroline Ross and President Shannon Bettles present award to Kyle Kusch of Nakusp

Kyle Kusch, Archives Technician with the Arrow Lakes Historical Society (Nakusp), is a recipient of an Award of Recognition.

Kyle is a bright, unflappable “doer” with a passion for local history and a brain full of historical facts and stories that he can call forth at will. In his time with the Arrow Lakes Historical Society, Kyle has provided exceptional service to the community of Nakusp through two major projects: the digitization of over 15,000 images; and the production of a 90 minute presentation called “Our Coloured Past: The Arrow Lakes in Colour, 1940-1980”.

Over the course of two years (2016-2017), Kyle digitized some 15,000 slides, negatives and old photographs of Nakusp and area. He created an online, searchable database of the images on the Arrow Lakes Historical Society website, thus making thousands of rare photos accessible to the community.

Kyle developed a 90-minute presentation called “Our Coloured Past: The Arrow Lakes in Colour, 1940-1980,” which combines over 150 colour photos from the Arrow Lakes Historical Society collection with rare colour Super-8 film footage of Nakusp taken during the 1950s-60s. The presentation helps reframe ideas about both archival holdings and Nakusp’s history.

Award of Recognition – Linda Peterat, Patti Wild and Elaine Gruenwad

Linda Peterat, Patti Wild and Elaine Gruenwad of Vernon are recipients of an Award of Recognition. The award will be presented to the recipients at the Silver Star Mountain Museum (SSMM) on Saturday, May 29th.

Linda Peterat, Patti Wild and Elaine Gruenwad were recognized for the exceptional service they have given to their community in the creation and operation of the Silver Star Mountain Museum. The museum, created in 2015, is a satellite museum of the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives (GVMA). The Museum is a community initiative and partnership between the Silver Star Dreamweavers Society, SilverStar Mountain Resort, and GVMA.

The recipients have provided the following leadership as volunteers: Patti Wild as event organizer and exhibit creation and display; Elaine Gruenwald in research, technology management, digitization of videos and photos, and video displays; Linda Peterat in research, exhibit creation, administration and management.

Each year the SSMM contributes at least 3500 hours of volunteer labour to Museum operations. In four years of operations they have raised over $65,000 for exhibit development and future building development. The nominees provide leadership for a 10 member Liaison/Advisory Committee, 15 summer volunteers who staff the Village museum, and 10 winter volunteers who assist with events.

Award of Recognition – Jack Bates

For the past 19 years Jack Bates has worked tirelessly promoting the military history of Work Point Barracks —the site of the first army presence on the West Coast (1887)—and Fort Macaulay — the first defence fortification established in 1878 declared redundant in 1956.

Jack’s efforts in preserving history are exemplified by the activities taking place at these sites: Fort Macaulay Day is held every year in May on Swiftsure Race Saturday and serves to broaden a deeper interest in the history of the Fort. At Work Point Barracks, Jack was instrumental in saving the original 1891 guardhouse. The building now has a use other than military with its new owners, the Esquimalt First Nation.

Sherri Robinson, who nominated Jack for the award, comments: “It is easy to see that Jack Bates love of military history, particularly army history, began with the stories passed down by his father, a PPCLI veteran of the First World, stationed at Work Point Barracks for many years and his own Peace Keeping experiences in the Congo. Jack is a hard working, quiet, get things done, usually behind-the-scenes person”.

Award of Merit – Vancouver School Board Archives and Heritage Commission

The Vancouver School Board Archives and Heritage Committee is a recipient of an Award of Merit.

Chaired by Derek Grant, the Vancouver School Board Archives and Heritage Committee was started in 2004 by a group of retired teachers and administrators who volunteered to preserve the history and legacy of the Vancouver School District.

The committee has assembled countless filing cabinets in the basement of the Vancouver School Board (VSB) with photographs and other collectables from Vancouver primary and high schools. The  team worked tirelessly digitizing school photos, most of which have been donated by former students and community members. The images are now digitally preserved on the VCB Heritage website: https://blogs.vsb.bc.ca/heritage/archives/

The BC Historical Federation’s Award of Merit may be given to groups or individuals who have made a significant contribution to the study or promotion of British Columbia history. The award may be for an individual project or for an activity over time.