The NW-ACE program wins again!

The NW-ACE program wins again!

The collaboration of UVic’s Gustavson School of Business, TRICORPService CanadaBG Group and Spectra Energy in delivering an Aboriginal entrepreneurship program – Northwest Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs (NW-ACE) - has won the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business (ICAB) 2014 Partnership and Collaboration Visionary Award.

ICAB was founded to facilitate dialogue and relationship-building between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses and communities throughout British Columbia. The Aboriginal Business Recognition Awards were established to celebrate and recognize the successes of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal corporations and individuals who have worked together to create economic opportunities for each other. Brenda Ireland, ICAB’s CEO, says that this “innovative community-based program is indeed worthy of acknowledgment.”

BG Group is a world leader in natural gas development. Spectra Energy’s natural gas operations connect people and communities with energy, jobs and economic development opportunities.  BG Group is working towards construction of an LNG facility on Ridley Island in Prince Rupert BC and Spectra energy is their pipeline partner. The Tribal Resources Investment Corporation (TRICORP) provides a wide range of financial services to First Nations entrepreneurs in Northwestern British Columbia. Service Canada helps Canadians acquire the education and training they need.

UVic’s Dr. Brent Mainprize has been a critical force in developing and implementing NW-ACE.  Earlier this year, his work with NW-ACE earned him the national 2014 Desire2Learn Innovation in Teaching and Learning award for his fresh ideas in curriculum development and delivery.

There are two key innovations central to the NW-ACE partnership: UVic Gustavson professors travel to Prince Rupert to deliver the curriculum in the community and the program actively seeks Aboriginal students with skill-sets that can be leveraged to start a business and tap into the many projects set to launch in the area.

Aboriginal communities and companies hold immense potential for entrepreneurial growth as well as generating prosperity working alongside major national and international firms in developing projects in Northwest BC.

The awards ceremony gala took place Thursday, July 17, 2014, at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver.

(Photo above from left to right: Doug Bloom, President, Spectra Energy; Dr. Brent Mainprize, Gustavson NW-ACE Director; Frank Parnell, CEO TRICorp; Brenda Ireland, CEO ICAB; Kathleen Williams, Local Content & Social Investment Analyst, BG Canada; Alison Olney, Service Manager Service Canada.)

Contact: Moira Dann, Communications & Public Relations Officer