About JIBC

November 29, 2018

JIBC Foundation Gala recognizes awards honourees

Inspiring event raises over $115,000 for Justice Institute of British Columbia students and celebrates 40 years

JIBC Foundation Gala

The Hyatt Regency Vancouver ballroom was lit up on Nov. 15 by a sea of twinkling red, blue, and white lights from flashing pins worn by guests in the shapes of ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars. The Justice Institute of British Columbia Foundation Be the One Gala, featuring the Justice & Public Safety Awards, showcased the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC), Canada’s leading public safety educator, in an incredible evening of celebration. The pins, fittingly representing some of the program areas at JIBC, illuminated the room in support of raising funds for JIBC students. Presented by Rocky Mountaineer, the event celebrated JIBC’s 40th anniversary and raised more than $115,000 to support student awards and learning.

The Justice & Public Safety Awards recognized individuals and groups that have shown tremendous commitment to impacting lives in justice, public safety, and community leadership. Dr. Michel Tarko, JIBC President and CEO, expressed heartfelt appreciation to all the honourees for choosing to ‘Be the One’ whose significant contributions have been life-changing.

Dr. Tarko described the honourees as “people who can see what needs to be done and are undaunted by the challenge that lies ahead. Through their work and volunteer roles, they have impacted the lives of many, and each shares a connection with JIBC.”

The Justice & Public Safety Awards honourees were:

Dr. Joseph H. Cohen Award
BC First Responders Mental Health CommitteeDr. Joseph H. Cohen Award
Accepted by Trudi Rondou, Chair, BC First Responders Mental Health Committee

“We know that there is a higher risk of mental-health conditions in first responders and we’re actively working to promote positive mental-health.”


Anthony P. Pantages, QC Award
Marvin R.V. Storrow, QC, LLD
Anthony P. Pantages, QC Award
“Working for First Nations in Canada over the past 40 years, I’ve considered to be an honour. Because, frankly, 41 years ago there wasn’t much work being done for them.”


The JIBC Foundation Community Leadership Award
Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia, OBC, LLD and Sergio Cocchia, OBC, LLD
The JIBC Foundation Community Leadership Award
“What being Canadian is about is meaningful inclusion for all Canadians – the understanding of the unique challenges that people in our communities’ face, like those faced by those in the Autism community.”


The JIBC Foundation Heroes & Rescue Award
Franjo Gasparovich and Megan Rook
The JIBC Foundation Heroes & Rescue Award Franjo Gasparovich and Megan Rook  
“I would like to thank…the amazing instructors who provided me with the lifesaving skills and practice I needed in order to perform that day.”


The JIBC Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
Heather Lyle (posthumous)
Douglas Eastwood, QC (posthumous)
Accepted by Christine Lyle and Jonathan Macfarlane

“Heather was loyal and devoted to all her commitments, both within her family life and her career. She put in countless hours towards them. The manner in which she spoke encouraged people to listen and she had an organic ability to lead and organize effortlessly.”


Douglas Eastwood, QC (posthumous)
The JIBC Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award Heather Lyle (posthumous)
Accepted by Ellen Eastwood

“Doug devoted his professional career to public service simply because he believed that every citizen should do whatever they could to make the world good, a place they wanted to live in…he made an impact on those around him, including myself, inspiring us to try to make the world a little bit better.” 

Following an earthquake simulation using JIBC’s award-winning Praxis computer simulation technology, Dr. Tarko spoke of the Institute being established to create a more collaborative model for educating and training justice and public safety professionals. “It was an innovative concept, bringing together training for several justice and public safety fields in one institution with a common objective to contribute to safer communities and a more just society.” 

Since its inception, JIBC has grown to become recognized provincially, nationally and internationally for its leading public safety applied education, training, and research. Dr. Tarko reflected on how over 295,000 students have enrolled in JIBC. “While our students come from a wide range of ages, backgrounds, education, and work experiences – they all share a commitment to helping others and a desire to contribute towards a stronger community,” added Dr. Tarko. 

Bernie Magnan, Chair of The JIBC Foundation, said “JIBC plays a critical role in educating and training volunteers and professionals who work throughout British Columbia in the justice and public safety fields. These are the people who keep our communities safe – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” The JIBC Foundation has been assisting JIBC students over the course of almost 25 years, and to date, “more than $13 million has been contributed towards funding equipment, innovative programs, research, and over 2,000 awards, bursaries and scholarships,” Magnan noted.

Guests were encouraged to “Be the One” giving to student success during the “Fund A Need” portion of the evening, aimed at increasing financial support to JIBC students. To kick it off, Constable Shauntelle Nichols of the Saanich Police Department, a JIBC graduate, shared how important JIBC student awards were for her education and career. The student bursaries and scholarships, made possible by donors, helped her graduate as the top academic student in her cohort and “shine above, to become the one that helps those in need.” “Every time I get ready for duty, I stand tall and proud in my uniform, the donors are with me,” reflected Constable Nichols. “Every time I go to a call, no matter how big or small, the donors are by my side.” 

An exciting live auction led by Marc Bergevin, Adesa Auctioneer, allowed attendees to bid on exclusive JIBC experiences. The item with the highest bid was the “Ultimate Driving Experience” which includes defensive driving lessons from JIBC instructors, the chance to drive laps in luxury vehicles from North Shore Exotics at the JIBC Driver Education Centre campus in Pitt Meadows, a ride in a police vehicle, and a drive in a luxury vehicle provided by Scenic Rush on the Sea-To-Sky highway. Other contributors to the live auction included: C|Prime, Dana Hospitality, JIBC Centre for Leadership, JIBC Fire & Safety Division, JIBC Paramedic Academy, JIBC Police Academy, and Township of Langley Fire Department.

Visit the JIBC Flickr Album for photos of this year’s gala. Visit JIBC’s YouTube Channel for video of the event.


The gala was supported by generous event sponsors. “We are deeply grateful for our gala sponsors who were integral in bringing the event together,” said Magnan.


  Presented by:  


    Presented by Rocky Mountaineer


  Justice & Public Safety Awards Sponsor:  


Awards Sponsor CN




 Awards Sponsor Peter & Joanne Brown Foundation


  Supporting Sponsors:   


    Supporting Sponsor BCLC


       Supporting Sponsor Cambie Surgery



         Supporting Sponsor LifeLabs


        Supporting Sponsor Lindsay Kenney


Supporting Sponsor City of New Westminster

  Honourees Reception Sponsors:  


     Honourees Reception Sponsor Blakes


    Honourees Reception Sponsor E-Comm


Dr. Robert Quartermain, DSc
 Former Member, JIBC Board of Governors




Ambulance Paramedics of BC-Cupe 873









Media Sponsors:



Media Sponsor Global BC 


Media Sponsor New Westminster Record


About The Justice Institute of British Columbia Foundation

For 25 years, The Justice Institute of British Columbia Foundation (The JIBC Foundation) has been inspiring giving for important needs that enhance education, training, student learning and applied research at JIBC. These needs most often include student scholarships and bursaries, new equipment and technology, and other tools related to student success. The JIBC Foundation is proud to be building meaningful relationships with communities to support Canada’s leading public safety educator.

Tags: gala, JIBC Foundation

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Last updated June 6, 2019