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Governors' Gala and Rix Awards 2024

On April 22, 2024 we  hosted our 36th annual Governors' Gala and Rix Awards. 

The Gala paid tribute to the recipients of the Rix Award for Engaged Community Citizenship and the Rix Award for Engaged Corporate Citizenship, both named in honour of the late Dr. Don Rix, a former Chair of the Board of Trade and esteemed philanthropist.

Learn more about the award recipients here:

2024 Rix Award for Engaged Community Citizenship - Ratana Stephens, O.B.C. and Arran Stephens, O.B.C.
The 2024 Rix Award for Engaged Community Citizenship was presented to Arran and Ratana Stephens, in recognition of their life mission to always leave the earth better than they found it. Their journey began over 50 years ago when Arran opened Canada's first vegetarian restaurant in 1967. The watershed moment came in 1985 when they founded Nature's Path, which is now the world's largest independent certified organic cereal and snack food brand, found in over fifty countries. The couple has generously contributed over $40 million to philanthropic and community service efforts, including food banks, hospitals and learning institutions since 2008.

The couple's impact goes beyond business, as they've generously contributed over $40 million to philanthropic and community service efforts, including food banks, hospitals and learning institutions since 2008.

Over their careers, both Arran & Ratana have been recognized with many prestigious awards, including honorary doctorates from UVIC in 2021. Arran was honoured with the Organic Pioneer Award from the Rodale Institute, as well as being named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Ratana has been named one of Canada's top ten female entrepreneurs, and one of British Columbia's most influential women, and has received a YWCA Women of Distinction Award and an Influential Women in Business Award by Business in Vancouver. Together, Arran & Ratana have been inducted into the Canadian AMA Marketing Hall of Legends, and the BC Laureates Hall of Fame, and are co-recipients of the Order of British Columbia (2021).

2024 Rix Award for Engaged Corporate Citizenship - Odlum Brown
The 2024 Rix Award for Engaged Corporate Citizenship was presented to Odlum Brown for their unwavering commitment to exemplary stewardship in all aspects of their operations. Odlum Brown showcases outstanding leadership and community impact in various sectors, including healthcare, the arts, sports, and education. Their community-focused endeavors extend far and wide, encompassing over 150 organizations annually, with a combined commitment exceeding $1.5 million. These initiatives touch upon healthcare, education, arts and culture, youth development, environmental conservation, sports and active living, and community enrichment. The firm proudly partners with influential entities such as the Harmony Arts Festival, Thunderbird Show Park, BC Children's Hospital Foundation, and many more.

Odlum Brown's contributions extend beyond sponsorship. They are highly committed to educational and community advancement as highlighted by the establishment of the Odlum Brown Limited Leadership Awards at UBC's Sauder School of Business and the Odlum Brown Award for Indigenous Learners at Vancouver Community College.

Their dedication to bettering our communities is further illustrated through impactful corporate donations for humanitarian causes, both domestically and internationally. In response to the Okanagan wildfires that affected their team and clients, Odlum Brown made a remarkable aggregate donation of $50,000 to support wildfire recovery. Additionally, the firm acts as a monthly food bank donor in all its branch communities, contributing a substantial $85,000 in 2022.

Inductee into the Council of Governors - Radha Curpen
The Gala also marked the induction of Radha Curpen, ICD.D, 2022-2023 Chair, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, into the esteemed Council of Governors.

Radha Curpen served as Chair of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade in 2022-23. During her time as Chair, she demonstrated outstanding leadership and supported the organization as it emerged from the pandemic and returned to doing business and events in person. 

Against a backdrop of inflationary impacts and increased challenges to doing business, she led the organization through important
advocacy work on behalf of its members. 

Radha led the board to endorse and adopt a Commitment to Reconciliation which outlines the Board of Trade's readiness to support Indigenous Peoples in the communities we serve and work hand in hand towards a shared vision to make Vancouver stronger and a region that thrives on its true history, partnerships, and business landscape. This will pave the way for the GVBOT to
proactively help Indigenous businesses gain more visibility and increase their engagement and connection with the Vancouver
business community. 

The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is grateful to Radha for her leadership and vision.

The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade would like to thank all the sponsors for the 2024 Governors' Gala and Rix Awards for helping make the event a great success.

Rix Awards Sponsor: The Jim Pattison Group
Reception Sponsor: Concord Pacific
Platinum Sponsors:  Air Canada, RBC and CN
Gold Sponsors: KPMG, Scotiabank, Bennett Jones, TELUS, McLean Group, Odlum Brown, Citi, Grain Millers
Silver Sponsors: Boyden, Parkland, Acuitas Therapeutics, Deloitte, Concert Properties, Peterson, Teck, Colliers, Kingswood group, OpenRoad AutoGroup
Bronze Sponsors: Aquilini Group, BGO, BC Children's Hospital Foundation, Bosa Properties, Brains Bioceutical, British Columbia Institute of Technology, CBRE Limited, Century Plaza Hotel & Spa, DIGITAL, Ebco Group, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts – Capilano University, FortisBC, Langara College, LifeLabs, London Drugs, MNP, Nature's Path Organic, PwC Canada, Richberry Group, Simon Fraser University, Shell Canada Limited, TD, TitanStar Capital Corp, Trans Mountain, University of Victoria, Vancouver Airport Authority, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Official Winery: Mission Hill Family Estate

TV Media Partner: Global News
Preferred Media Partner: Business in Vancouver
AV Partner: ProShow AudioVisual

Governors' Gala and Rix Awards 2024
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