North Cowichan community activist Sandy McPherson has joined 23 others in the province as a recipient of one of the 16th annual BC Achievement Community Awards.
A presentation ceremony was held May 2 at Government House in Victoria.
“McPherson’s history of volunteer service includes climate change initiatives, local lending, women in politics and aiding those less fortunate in the community,” said a news release issued by the province. “Prior to moving to the Cowichan Valley, Sandy served two terms as a municipal councillor in the Capital Regional District. As a member of North Cowichan’s Environmental Advisory Committee since 2012, Sandy is a champion for the municipality’s Climate Action and Energy Plan and a mentor for the Cowichan Chapter of Earth Guardians. Sandy acts to build community resilience and is a steadfast community leader.”
North Cowichan Councillor Rosalie Sawrie took to Facebook to congratulate McPherson.
“I’m so thrilled Sandy McPherson was one of 24 (out of 150 nominees!) to receive the BC Achievement Community Award,” she wrote. “Sandy is a true gem in our community. I feel blessed to be able to call her a friend.”
McPherson was nominated by a group of local environmentally minded folks including staff and councillors from the Municipality of North Cowichan, Judy Stafford from Cowichan Green Community, One Cowichan’s Jane Kilthei and others.
“I didn’t even realize that I was nominated until I got the phone call…that I was going to be the recipient,” McPherson said. “I think really the fellow who spoke on behalf of all award recipients said it so well that those of us who received the awards were a little taken aback that we were even nominated because what we do is what we do every day.”
For McPherson it’s creating a more resilient community through relationship building.
“Building relationships in community is part of building community resilience,” she said. “The world is changing and we are going to be facing crisis after crisis and those relationships are going to become essential; building that resilience and that strength in community is important and I think North Cowichan recognized that it’s how I live my life, along with my husband Alan.”
McPherson will continue along the path she’s created for herself.
“I don’t wake up every day thinking oh, what can I do?” she said. “You just open your heart and let it flow.”
Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin and BC Achievement Foundation Board members presented each recipient with a BC Achievement Community Award certificate, medallion and citation.
McPherson was the only Cowichan resident and one of three Islanders to receive the honour.
“It was quite something and the ceremony itself was amazing,” she said. “They made us really feel very special.”
The BC Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed by the province of B.C. to celebrate excellence in the arts, humanities, enterprise and community service.