Six volunteers and advocates were recognized by the province during an emotional ceremony in Vancouver on Thursday.
They were among the 21 recipients of the 2023 Medal of Good Citizenship, which is handed out annually to British Columbians who the province says "have acted in a particularly generous, kind or selfless manner for the common good without expectation of reward."
B.C. Premier David Eby said at the ceremony that the 2023 medal recipients represented the "best of us" and had helped make the province a better place.
Coquitlam resident Vishad Deeplaul was given a medal for his volunteering efforts, which included efforts to make food for seniors and reach out to people experiencing feelings of isolation. (Nav Rahi/CBC)
"I think if there were an award ceremony to lose your wallet at this year, this is probably the one," he joked. "A lot of Good Samaritans."
Some of the medals were handed out posthumously.
David Reid of Squamish created and maintained 18 mountain biking trails in his hometown over 15 years before he passed away in August 2022.
"These trails draw more than a million trail enthusiasts annually and contribute more than $10 million to the local economy," said Jordan Sturdy, MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky.
"David was more than a trail builder, he was a role model in his field and he will forever be remembered as a community weaver in the district of Squamish."
Reid's wife Petra received the medal on his behalf.
Premier David Eby and West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy presented David Reid's medal to his wife Petra. Reid was recognized for fostering community connection by building and maintaining bike trails in his community. (Nav Rahi/CBC)
Many recipients were active in setting up non-profits and advocating for causes within their community.
Burnaby's Navjit Moore was recognized for her role in advocating for those with Crohn's disease and gut diseases.
She is the president of the Crohn's and Colitis Canada Fraser Valley East chapter, and also volunteers at Burnaby Hospital.
Premier David Eby and Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart gave Johannes Mulder a medal for his efforts in coordinating the emergency response in his community of Laidlaw following major floods in November 2021. (Nav Rahi/CBC)
Other recipients were involved with coordinating emergency responses.
Johannes Mulder provided aid and arranged emergency operations when the community of Laidlaw, just west of Hope, was affected by floods in November 2021.
"Johannes's leadership and proactive measures prevented significant damage to residences, farms and critical roadways," said Jackie Tegart, Fraser-Nicola MLA.
Premier David Eby and Culture Minister Lana Popham presented Ricky Tsang a medal for his efforts in spearheading health-care causes, especially for children's health. (Nav Rahi/CBC)
Culture Minister Lana Popham says there are plans to have multiple ceremonies throughout the province to honour individual winners.
A full list of the 2023 medal recipients' achievements can be found on the province's website.
Premier David Eby and Vancouver-Mount Pleasant MLA Joan Phillip presented Brian DeBeck with his medal for his efforts in fostering the arts and fighting on behalf of the Retail Wholesale Union. (Nav Rahi/CBC)
Here are the 2023 Medal of Good Citizenship recipients:
Andrew Tom, Smithers.
Brian DeBeck, Vancouver.
Brian Ironmonger, Elko.
Craig Evans, Nanaimo.
David Reid, Squamish.
Gail Elder, Winlaw.
Jim Sawada, Nelson.
Johannes Mulder, Hope.
Joyce Bueckert, 100 Mile House.
Madison Fleischer, Surrey.
Mohammad Aminul Islam, Surrey.
Navjit Moore, Burnaby.
Parminder Virk, Saanich.
Rhoda Taylor, Duncan.
Ricky Tsang, Vancouver.
Ruth Billmann, Cranbrook.
Spring Hawes, Kelowna.
Talia Lorincz, Vancouver.
Tim Cormode, Victoria.
Vishad Deeplaul, Coquitlam.
Vivian Edwards, Ashcroft.