Each Year Community Futures British Columbia recognizes the outstanding acheivements of its volunteers, staff and partners with a number of awards:


Volunteer of the Year

The commitment, vision and concern of our volunteers measure the success of community-based organizations like Community Futures. The annual Volunteer of the Year award is given to individuals in Community Futures office who have demonstrated outstanding service in the field of community and business development. 


Al McCracken Memorial Award 

 Al McCracken was known for his tireless promotion and advocacy for Community Futures across Canada. No matter where he was, he never missed an opportunity to promote and explain to everyone what the Community Futures program was about and what benefits it could provide to individuals, businesses and communities. Al spoke about the Community Futuresprogram on national radio, local TV and did several newspaper interviews.

Al’s favourite 'targets' were politicians. No politician no matter what party or level was safe from his efforts to inform them about the Community Futuresprogram and to garner their support. Many a Minister of Parliament, Members of the Legislative Assembly or Cabinet Minister experienced the 'McCracken Blitz'regarding the importance of the Community Futures program.

Despite his persistence, many of these politicians ended up buying him a beer; or in most cases, several beers.Al had oncemade a trip to Ottawa (at his own expense) to promote the program to the Minister of the then Human Resource and Development Canada. Al felt he did not fully understand the value of the program. He was granted 15 minutes and ended up spending 37 minutes.

Al traveled extensively around Western Canada on personal business and always made time to make appointments with local and provincial politicians to talk about the Community Futuresprogram. He did all of this at his own expense.

Al was a founding member of Community Futures Development Corporation of Nadina starting beforethe officewas incorporated in 1992. Al never missed a board meeting until he became ill, and even then he remained an active board member until his passing in August 2006.

Community Futures Nadina had been recognizing outstanding volunteers in British Columbia with the Volunteer of the Year Award.  These were recent and present Board members whose tireless dedication to Community Futures principles, passion for the Community Futures Network, and promotional efforts on behalf of Community Futures really drove the program forward.In 2007, with Al’s passing, the province-wide award was renamed for him, while the individual offices continue to recognize people locally. 

Today the Al McCracken Award continues to show our appreciation to those who offerup their business skills, development expertise and continuallymake incredible contributions to forwarding Community Futures Network.


Don McMillan Memorial Award

Don McMillan was the driving force behind the Nanaimo Community Employment Advisory Society (NCEAS) in April 1975. NCEAS was a solid indication of Don’s forward thinking and true care for the community he loved.  It was founded in an effort to fight the region’s high unemployment and stabilize the economic base through economic diversification.  
In June of 1987, the NCEAS was selected to act as the federally-funded Business Development Centre (BDC) of the then newly-established Central Island Community Futures Committee –and the stage was set for Community Futures Central Island to become one of the first Community Futures Offices in Canada.
Much of Don’s life was committed to community activism.  Although originally trained and employed as a welder, Donspent many years helping and counseling individuals as the Manager of a Crisis and Drug Treatment Center.  Don became convinced however, that long term social change could only be achieved if those traditionally excluded from economic decision making could become economically empowered.  Thus, Don and a small group of local individuals came together to form NCEAS.
For the next 22 years, Don served as the General Manager of NCEAS nurturing it into one of the most successful CED organizations in the country.  NCEAS received national and international attention as a model for community development and is often credited with helping to establish the CED program now known as Community Futures.
In building the NCEAS into a highly successful organization, Don never lost his focus and passion for helping the INDIVIDUAL, and assisting those segments of the community left out of mainstream development.  In the words of one of Don’s friends: “Don devoted his working life to helping the less fortunate among us, and working with the unemployed.  He approached the issue with three clear philosophies:
First, Don believed that local problems are solved by people working together to find local solutions.  We know what is best for Nanaimo, and we must take control of our own destiny. 
Second, he believed that local solutions were just around the corner if we could only find a way to cooperate more amongst ourselves. 
Third, he believed in action.  Progress is only possible if we act.  He was always seeking the answer to the question: What next?  What else can we do?”
In April 1997, Don passed away.  The Don McMillan Award is given to an individual or group (staff or volunteer) in recognition of an outstanding contribution to community development.

Investment Fund Portfolio Award

This is awarded to a Community Futures office that has demonstrated excellence and a robust investment portfolio, with significant growth. One that assists in the expansion of new and innovative businesses across sectors and at different business stages, is accessible to all members of the community


Community Futures British Columbia Award for Excellence and Innovation

Further information to follow.


Partnership Award

Further information to follow.





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About Community Futures

For over 30 years, we’ve been fostering entrepreneurship in rural BC. We offer small business loans, business counseling and specialized programs to help you start or grow a business, and to help communities become more resilient and dynamic. Find out more…

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#C230 - 7871 Stave Lake St.
Mission, BC  V2V 0C5

T: 604-289-4222
T: 1-888-303-2232


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