“We're engaged in a noble profession with a significant past and a challenging future. 
While forces and events may swirl about us, our objectives have been the same - to develop the human condition while protecting its weakest from harm. 
The ways in which we go about the task may differ, but the goal remains constant.”
Deryck Thomson Award

Deryck Thomson Award

The Deryck Thomson Award is given annually to nominated individuals and organizations who share SPARC BC’s values and commitment to building a just and healthy society for all and who have made a significant contribution to social planning and social justice in BC.


Individuals and organizations that will be considered for the Deryck Thomson Award include those who have contributed to:

  • Building or enhancing community capacity and community well-being and supporting innovation contributing to positive change for people and communities;

  • Advocating for equity, fairness, and dignity for all through inclusion, integrity and learning.

  • Advancing policies or initiatives that integrate social, cultural, economic, and environmental planning, decision-making and action;

  • Advocating for improved social policies and programs;

  • Ensuring that those who are most affected by the decisions have a voice in determining and implementing policies and programs that impact them and their families;

  • Raising public awareness and consciousness about the importance of
    social and community well-being.

Nomination Process

Nominations of individuals and organizations are accepted each year in December. The PDF nomination form for individuals can be downloaded here. The PDF nomination form for organizations can be downloaded here.The successful recipients will be announced by the SPARC BC Board of Directors at their Annual General Meeting in June.

Past Recipients

For a more detailed description of past recipients download the Past Recipients PDF.


2016 / 2017 West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)
2015 / 2016 The Cinderella Project
2014 / 2015 The Coastal Family Research Coalition
Jason DaSilva
2013 / 2014 British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS)
2011 / 2012 Organizational Award: Storytellers’ Foundation, Hazelton
2010 / 2011 Brandon Hughes
2009 / 2010 Peer Net BC
2008 / 2009 John Talbot
2007 / 2008 Mabel Jean Rawlins
2006 / 2007 Alex Michalos, Community Planning Council of Prince George
2005 / 2006 Michael Clague
2004 / 2005 (no award conferred)
2003 / 2004 Elizabeth (Bunny) Shannon
2002 / 2003 Cindy Carson, Provincial Coordinator, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition
2001 / 2002 Randy Lambright, Municipal Social Planner, City of Kamloops
2000 / 2001 Walter Paetkau, Abbotsford Community Services Society
1999 / 2000 (no award conferred)
1998 / 1999 Eugene and Rhoda Kaellis, New Westminster
Phyllis Bentley, Penticton
1997 / 1998 Sandra Henson, Penticton and District Community Resources Society
The Ladysmith Resources Centre Association
1996 / 1997 Paul Taylor, Editor of Carnegie Newsletter, Vancouver
Laura Acton, Victoria
1995 / 1996 Sharon Burdeniuk, Healthy Communities, Fort St. James
1994 / 1995 Dorothy Livingston, Victoria
Society of Organized Services of Regional District 69 (SOS), Parksville
Richmond Community Services Advisory Council
1993 / 1994 Ms. Patsy George (former Provincial Advisor on Community Development to the Ministry of Social Services)
1992 / 1993 Mavis Henry, Community Worker with the Pauquachin Band
Chilliwack Community Services Society