2017 Stewardship Awards go to Liz Ciocea and the Gabriola Arts Council

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, June 27 2017

The Islands Trust Council announced the recipients of the 15th Islands Trust Community Stewardship Awards at its June 22 meeting on Lasqueti Island. 

Among the winners were Gabriolan Liz Ciocea (in the individual category); and the Gabriola Arts Council (in the groups category).

Ciocea was recognized for 30 years of advocating for wildlife and the environment - both as an individual and with the Gabriola Rescue of Wildlife Society (GROWLS).

The Gabriola Arts Council was recognized for 20 years of supporting and enhancing the artistic, cultural and social environment.

Heather O’Sullivan, Gabriola Island Local Trustee, said, “This year, there were a record number of nominations from across the Trust Area....five were from Gabriola and Mudge Islands.

“Of these worthy nominees, I’m thrilled that both GAC and Liz Ciocea have been formally recognized for their outstanding efforts. Congratulations!”

Melanie Mamoser, Gabriola Island Local Trustee, said, “I want to congratulate Liz and the Gabriola Arts Council for winning the 2017 Islands Trust Stewardship Awards and thank them and all the nominees for their contribution to preserving and protecting our islands environment and communities.”

Charlie Cheffins, GAC President said, “This award recognizes two decades of hard work and dedication by hundreds of board members, staff and volunteers. Together, these people have built a thriving arts council that is committed to creating a community that provides a rich cultural life. This award is testament to the value our community places on arts and culture, and will inspire the current staff and directors to even greater things in the years to come. The GAC board would like to thank the Islands Trust Council for this honour and recognition; our nominators Susan Yates and Judith Plant (both previous recipients of a Stewardship Award); and especially our members and supporters in the community for enthusiastically participating in our events and programs. 

“And our hats are off to Liz Ciocea, our fellow award winner, with gratitude for her many years of tireless and committed work on behalf of local wildlife and the environment.”

In hearing that she was one of the winners this year, Liz Ciocea said, “I am honoured and touched to be the recipient of the Islands Trust Community Stewardship Award. My name was alongside others who are just as deserving. Many other people share in this award, working together with me for the betterment of island wildlife who do not have a voice. I want to recognize the founders of GROWLS Dar Mace and Michelle McMillan for their vision.

“My parents instilled in me a sense of decency and kindness and that all life matters. If you saw an injustice, stand up to it, if you saw someone doing a good deed, tell that person.

“My childhood dream was to live in a little house in the deep woods and I am living my dream on Gabriola Island. Every morning when I look out my window and see the big trees, a deer at the pond, hear eagle cries , raven calls, frogs singing and see the lushness of the salmonberry bushes I am blessed.”

“Thank you Islands Trust and thank you Gabriola community for your continuing support.”

Activities recognized this year include community services, developing a natural burial cemetery, promoting arts and culture, wildlife rescue and conservation projects.

“Taking care of our unique island communities is a shared responsibility. The Community Stewardship Awards let us thank islanders for their dedication and commitment to this important role,” said Peter Luckham, Chair of the Islands Trust Council. “This year we received the highest number of nominations, making it tough to choose a few recipients from among all the deserving nominations. While we formally recognize eight recipients through the awards, we are grateful to every nominee and every individual who supports the special mandate of the Islands Trust.”

In all, Trust Council recognized four individuals and four groups from among 18 nominees for their support for the Islands Trust’s mandate to protect and preserve the Trust Area and its unique environment and amenities.

The other recipients of Stewardship Awards are:

Individual Category

• Bob Turner of Bowen Island for raising awareness and promoting conservation of Howe Sound.

Organization Category

• Denman Island Memorial Society for creating the Denman Island Natural Burial Cemetery.

Enduring Achievement

• Bob Weeden of Salt Spring Island for 21 years of leadership in conservation and environmental stewardship.

• Everhard van Lidth de Jeude of Bowen Island for 30 years of fostering ecological sustainability.

• Hornby and Denman Community Health Care Society for 38 years of providing health care services.

• Saturna Community Club for 80 years of promoting social and environmental well-being.

Recipients of the Community Stewardship Awards will be recognized at local trust committee or island municipality meetings.

Since the inception of the awards in 2002, the Islands Trust Council has recognized 84 individuals and organizations in the Trust Area.