Media Contacts

Jen Holmwood

Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
250 818-4881

Ministry of Finance

Media Relations
250 387-1248


Premier's Innovation and Excellence Award recipients

The Province of B.C. congratulates the following recipients of this year’s Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Awards:

  • Evidence-Based Design: The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and partners, including the BC Coroners Service, developed a new approach — unique in North America — to producing data to improve prevention efforts in B.C.’s opioid crisis.
  • Emerging Leader: Christine Bootsma, assistant deputy warden, has led positive change in the Nanaimo Correctional Centre by introducing new programs focused on building connections between inmates and their families, integrating right living and restorative justice practices, and finding innovative educational opportunities for inmates.
  • Innovation: The Kaska, Tahltan and Taku River Tlingit First Nations and the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation formed a unique 3Nations-B.C. regional partnership that represents a substantial change in the Province’s approach to reconciliation, in line with the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Leadership: Jennifer Fraser’s leadership and mentor skills are well-utilized in her role as regional manager, project delivery and director, Trans-Canada Highway Program with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. She has implemented significant process improvement initiatives, resulting in better cross-ministry engagement, improved use of human resources and enhanced relations with First Nations.
  • Organizational Excellence (tie - two recipients): 
    • Emergency Management BC’s Central Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centre in Kamloops was the Province’s key response and recovery hub for the unprecedented floods and wildfires of 2017. Throughout these historic events, staff demonstrated outstanding performance, teamwork and dedication to public safety.
    • Together, the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture are improving the lives and health of Indigenous peoples in B.C. through innovative use of sport and physical activity — the first program of its kind in North America.
  • Partnership: The Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan is an example of an extraordinary partnership and collaboration between the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, First Nations, BC Transit and local governments to provide safe, reliable and affordable transportation for remote communities along Highway 16.
  • Legacy: James (Jim) MacAulay’s 30-year career as a Crown prosecutor with the BC Prosecution Service has benefited B.C.’s environmental integrity as MacAulay has led several high-profile cases that helped shape the boundaries of environmental justice in British Columbia.
  • Legacy: For more than 27 years with the Ministry of Finance, including 14 years as assistant deputy minister of the revenue division, Elan Symes has demonstrated leadership, strategy and compassion, cultivated her organization’s charity mindset and positive workplace culture, and successfully led large initiatives to meet the evolving needs of B.C.’s taxpayers in the digital age.
  • BC Public Service Hall of Excellence: Regarded as a national leader in forest meteorology and climate change adaptation, David Spittlehouse’s work has guided the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development in its mandate to develop policies and programs in an era of climate change to support forest sustainability.