Deryck Thomson Award

“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."

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.


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

Download a Nomination Form

Recent Recipients

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

  • 2021/2022 The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nations, The Savage Society, Julia’s Junction, Walk With Me and Linda Lavallee 
  • 2020/2021 Positive Living North Buckley Valley (PLN BV), Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Phoenix Choir Chamber, The Indian Residential School Survivor’s Society (IRSSS) and A Way Home Kamloops (AWHK)
  • 2019/2020 All Nations Driving Academy, Ocean Legacy Foundation and Unity Centre Association for Black Cultures (UCABC)
  • 2018/2019 North Okanagan Community Chaplaincy, Port Alberni Shelter Farm Project and The Fort Nelson Aboriginal Friendship Society
  • 2017/2018 Some Assembly Arts Society and the Roundhouse Youth Theatre Action Group (RHYTAG)
  • 2016/2017 West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)
  • 2015/2016 The Cinderella Project
  • 2014/2015 The Coastal Family Research CoalitionJason 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 Rawlin
  • 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 SocietySome Assembly Arts Society and the Roundhouse Youth Theatre Action Group