2015 VLA Lifetime Achievement Award

Leadership Victoria News Release

Master carver and Songhees First Nation artist Clarence "Butch" Dick (Yux’wey’lupton), an inspiring local visionary trained in fine art who continues to play a pivotal role in youth empowerment and whose tireless commitment to creatively championing the Songhees carving style has touched every generation, is named as this year’s recipient of Leadership Victoria’s highest award for a lifetime of leadership excellence. On Feb. 19 at the eleventh annual Victoria Leadership Awards (VLAs) gala, Butch will accept the 2015 Leadership Victoria Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Il Terrazzo Ristorante.

In his lifelong dedication to art, culture and community service, Butch has become an educator and mentor of many—including his two sons, Clarence Dick Jr. and Bradley Dick whom he taught to carve, and countless students in Victoria School District 61, where he has taught First Nations art and cultural awareness for more than two decades. He firmly believes he is a link between two worlds, explains Kate Mansell, chairperson of the VLAs steering committee. “The Greater Victoria community has benefited greatly from Butch’s beliefs, leadership, mentorship, influence and actions. He quietly performs magic in the background without wanting or seeking recognition. We are honoured this year to recognize his community contributions over the decades.”

Butch believes intrinsically in leading by example. As Songhees education liaison worker and artistic director, he helped launch the Songhees Recreation and Wellness Centre in 2013, with a gymnasium, eldercare, youth centre, adult education centre and youth kitchen. He was also the driving force behind the Indigenous Youth Showcase, where youth from ages 15 to 24 work with artists, mentors and elders to develop an artistic vision and practice a focus on a career path.

Among other works, he designed and created the Signs of Lekwungen Interpretive Walkway—with its seven large unique metallic markers honouring the art, history and culture of the Coast Salish People—along Victoria's Inner Harbour. He was also directly involved in carving the two poles in Spirit Square—which includes a performance stage, market, and gardens with native species—formally known as Victoria’s Centennial Square. An internationally renowned artist, Butch is from the Lkwungen community, better known today as the Songhees First Nation. More on Lkwungen Project

The VLAs ceremony takes place Feb. 19 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Crystal Garden in downtown Victoria. Led by Leadership Victoria, the awards program is a partnership between this organization, the University of Victoria, the Rotary Clubs of Greater Victoria, the Victoria Foundation and the United Way of Greater Victoria. The evening gala will provide the opportunity for those in the wider community to honour this year’s 19 distinguished nominees in eight categories—from youth to lifetime achievement.

At the upcoming ceremony, a local organization will be named as this year’s recipient of the Victoria Foundation Community Leadership award, as well as the individual award recipients in six categories: Rotary Community Leadership Awards; Vancity Youth Award; University of Victoria Community Leadership Awards; United Way of Greater Victoria Award for Collaboration and Partnership; Royal Roads University Leadership Excellence through Coaching and Mentoring Award; and the Leadership Victoria Alumni Award.

Formed in 2000, Leadership Victoria is a community-based, volunteer-run organization for developing, supporting and recognizing outstanding community leaders. It plays a vital role in our region in identifying future generations of leaders and providing them with the practical experience and inspiring support to help build successful communities. Over 250 leaders have graduated from its program to work collaboratively in resolving the complex challenges facing our city.

Previous recipients of the lifetime achievement award include: Mickey and Donna Hajash (2014); Bob Harman (2013); Naz Rayani (2012); the late Alex Campbell (2011); Tom Oshiro (2010); Ted and Helen Hughes (2009); the late Jane Heffelfinger (2008); Ron Lou-Poy (2007); Fiona Hyslop (2006); and Mel Cooper (2005).

A full list of this year’s award nominees is available at www.leadershipvictoria.ca. Follow us on Twitter at @leadershipvicbc and view videos from last year's ceremony on the Leadership Victoria YouTube channel.

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Keywords: Indigenous, award, art, leadership, community

People: Clarence "Butch" Dick

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