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Tim Jones Award

Co-presented by VIMFF and North Shore Rescue

The Tim Jones Award is awarded annually to a person or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the BC outdoor community. Tim Jones, a paramedic by profession, spent a quarter of a century leading North Shore Rescue. Tim’s energy, enthusiasm and courage pointed out the necessity of careful planning and respect for those engaging in backcountry activities. The legacy of Tim is measured in lives saved and increased respect for our adjacent wilderness areas.

While this award has so far been awarded to residents of the North Shore and Howe Sound/Whistler corridor, it is recognized that there are many worthy recipients throughout British Columbia whose contributions and inspiration have impacted the much broader outdoor community. As such, the award is being opened to those who serve British Columbia.

The award represents Tim’s legacy and serves as an inspiration to selflessly help others. The mission of the award is to educate and share the passion for nature and the love for our mountains and waters.

The winner of the 11th annual Tim Jones Community Achievement award is:


Ellie: bear and dog whisperer

Ellie has been a tireless wildlife advocate for bears in our province. She is a member of many volunteer organizations that educate British Columbians on bear behaviour and safety precautions. Ellie’s dedication to peaceful co-existence between humans and bears and her expertise is making a difference across the North Shore and the province. Her persistence has meant the lives of bears, including many orphaned cubs, have been saved. Ellie is affectionally known as the bear whisperer and has been a bear-viewing guide for over 26 years. She’s an invaluable source for media.
Ellie has also been a member of North Shore Rescue since 2014. She is also known as a dog whisperer and works hard with the busiest search and rescue team in the country. Ellie and her dogs Nan (RIP) and Dreki, assist the team by tracking missing people and being important participants with the North Shore Rescue Education team. There is considerable training involved with Ellie, Dreki, and the other two human and dog partnerships on NSR.

This was the first year we added three Honourable Mentions:

vimff tim jones award honourable mention Steve McTaggart x

Steve McTaggart from North Vancouver for his efforts for over 22 years with Scouts Canada and the 21st Capilano Scouts. Steve is a huge believer in safety and the best interest of youth in the outdoors. He started the MedVents to get youth trained in first aid.

vimff tim jones award honourable mention Duane Young x

Duane Young from Nanaimo for 23 years of contributions to ground SAR in Nanaimo. He takes care of the maintenance of all the vehicles, he leads the rope and swift water team, kickstarted the mountain bike and e-bike teams, fundraised over 1.5 million dollars, is head of operations, and serves on the board.

vimff tim jones award honourable mention David Reid x

Post humously David Reid from Squamish. Dave passed away in a tragic kayak accident last year. If you’ve ever ridden a mountain bike trail in Squamish, good chance Dave built it as he built hundreds of them. He also made access trails to rivers and SAR-specific access points in difficult-to-reach places. Dave carved a legacy into the BC mountains. Dave is missed in his community. His wife Petra received the award his memory.

We want to thank everyone who made nominations this year.


The nominees for this award should meet the following criteria:
  1. Active in the British Columbian outdoor community
  2. Has made an outstanding contribution in a social, environmental, educational or public safety capacity
  3. Has not received direct remuneration for their volunteer work or performed the services as part of their regular business or professional activities
  4. Is an ‘unsung hero’ (received little in the way of public recognition for their accomplishments)

All submissions will be adjudicated by a jury consisting of Lindsay Jones, Peter Haigh and Richard Walton, who will select a recipient from the eligible submitted candidates.

For more information please contact Sieneke Toering: sieneke@vimff.org

History & Past Recipients

2023: Anne Bethune

Please enjoy reading Anne’s nomination letter by Amelia Gillies:

For over 35 years, Anne has been an unstoppable force volunteering her time to make the North Shore mountains more accessible to all. Since 1986 Anne has dedicated herself to building an inclusive, accessible winter sports community on the North Shore through her leadership of Vancouver Adaptive Snowsports (VASS).

Moving into her role of the president of VASS in 2005, Anne built a tiny organization into Canada’s largest adaptive ski club, operating on all three of Vancouver’s ski resorts. Anne leads over 530 VASS volunteers to teach adults and children with any form of disability to ski, snowboard or sit ski, and fully participate in winter sports. This season under Anne’s guidance, VASS will be providing over 4800 hours of lessons, to 320 students, and preparing for its 50th anniversary in 2024.

Anne built a strong community of support for VASS, developing partnerships with Grouse Mountain Resort, Cypress Mountain and Mt Seymour Ski Area, allowing VASS to operate on all three of the North Shore’s local mountains. Anne was instrumental in finding a permanent home for VASS on Grouse, overseeing the building of the famous VASS Yurt in 2016.

Anne is the definition of a hands-on leader. In addition to her voluntary role as president of the board of directors, Anne is a dedicated volunteer ski instructor. In fact, she’d probably say it is her most important role at VASS. In the ski season you’ll find Anne on Grouse Mountain in the distinctive green VASS jacket, teaching students with disabilities how to ski. Anne is a talented, kind, and engaging ski instructor, and any student is lucky to have her. Anne takes a person-centered approach to supporting students with any form of disability, finding creative and supportive ways for anyone to be included in the winter sports community.

Many VASS instructors themselves have been privileged to learn from Anne, who trains and certifies dozens of new instructors every season. From the moment a prospective instructor joins a course run by Anne, they are inspired by Anne’s can-do attitude, her commitment to keeping safe on the ski hill, but having fun while doing it.

Anne has lead VASS with a strong vision, while welcoming advice, input and mentoring newer members of the leadership team. Throughout COVID Anne lead VASS’s board to safely operate a reduced season in 2021/2022, building a strong foundation to restart fully in 2022/2023. Throughout many late-night zoom sessions, Anne truly lived up to her nickname of “adaptable Anne”, guiding VASS through each new public health guideline and update, devising ways to run lessons and keep students and instructors safe.

Anne does not limit herself to the “small” task of running VASS, but channeled her passion for helping others into her former career as an occupational therapist, and continues to teach and mentor future OTs at universities across the lower mainland. Anne volunteered with adaptive sailing programs and volunteered at the 2010 Olympics. She is a proud mother of three sons, rides a very cool motorcycle and runs her own successful business.

Over the last 35 plus years, Anne Bethune has spent an immeasurable number of volunteer hours teaching students with disabilities how to ski, mentoring the next generations of VASS instructors, fundraising, building community partnerships and paving the way to a more inclusive, accessible, and welcoming mountain culture on the North Shore. Most importantly, Anne makes all this FUN and brings a spirit of joy and excitement, has inspired hundreds of others to join her mission at VASS. Anne calls this spirit of fun and learning the “VASS magic”, but really, we should call it the “Anne magic”. Anne Bethune has dedicated more than half her lifetime volunteering with VASS to make the North Shore mountains accessible to all.

vimff tim jones community achievement award jay macarthur x

Jay MacArthur: A born and bred North Vancouver mountaineer and community leader!

Growing up on the North Shore in a house his grandfather built along Mount Seymour Parkway, MacArthur joined the Alpine Club of Canada and the British Columbia Mountaineering Club while he was still in high school.

A student at UBC, he joined the Varsity Outdoor Club and found the opportunity to teach other members basic mountaineering skills.

MacArthur later joined the executive of the Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia and in 1980 he served his first term as president and took on the position of ACC Vancouver assistant chair. At the same time, he served seven years with the Whistler-Blackcomb volunteer ski patrol.

He also became a founding member of the Southern Chilcotin Mountains Wilderness Society. Representing the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C., and working closely with Chief Roger William of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, this work eventually led to the establishment of two B.C. Provincial Parks: South Chilcotin Mountains and Big Creek.

Through his work on the Recreation & Conservation Committee of the FMCBC, MacArthur was involved in most of the hiking trail projects that took place on the North Shore. As early as 1980, Jay was instrumental in obtaining federal government grant money for work on the Howe Sound Crest Trail. More recently, Jay has worked on establishing the Grouse Mountain Regional Park and improvements to the trail system at Cypress Provincial Park.

MacArthur’s mission is to train first-time enthusiasts in safe backcountry skills, including winter avalanche safety. He has inspired others to follow in his path of being a custodian of the mountains through land preservation, trail development to lessen impact on the land, and ongoing maintenance of the trails.

Marilynn Hunter and Howard Rode wrote, “throughout his years of volunteering Jay has maintained a quiet humility, rarely if ever seeking attention he just stepped up and got the job done, repeatedly!”

Bruce Fairley, veteran climber, wrote, “Personally, I feel very fortunate to have encountered such a steady and capable climber early in my climbing career. Jay was a great inspiration to me and a stellar role model in terms of his enthusiasm, knowledge and high level of competence.”

Jay MacArthur passed away in October of 2022.


Myia was nominated by Sandy Ward, who works with her at Indigenous Women Outdoors:

“Myia is a member of the Squamish nation and plays a very important role in getting Indigenous Women involved in the outdoors. She strives to break down the barriers that keep these women from recreational sports, including high costs of equipment and access to knowledge. She provides a safe space for these women to learn and thrive within a very tough industry.”

As the founder of Indigenous Women Outdoors, she has succeeded in her goals of reconnecting local Squamish Nation women to their traditional territories. IWO started out as a hiking group on the North Shore and Squamish areas and Myia has turned it into so much more. She has branched out into ski/snowboard touring, snowshoeing and many more summer sports to come.”

The Awards jury consisted of Richard Walton (former mayor of District of North Vancouver); Lindsay Jones (wife of the late Tim Jones); and Peter Haigh (North Shore Rescue member).

Richard Walton:

“Myia’s contributions to the strong social fabric of the North Shore are well documented. The encouragement and mentorship she provides within her community is of immense worth. Reconnecting Squamish First Nation women with their traditional territories, through outdoor activities requires leadership, funding and role models. Her groundbreaking energy and initiative provides opportunity and builds confidence, in a safe and nurturing environment. Her founding leadership of Indigenous Women Outdoors will hopefully be a catalyst for many similar initiatives: this selfless leadership allows more within her community to better connect with the local rich natural heritage of their traditional lands. Myia is a worthy recipient of the Tim Jones Award as a steward of the land, an educator and a community leader.

Peter Haigh:

“Myia is re-introducing members of her society who would typically not learn to enjoy the great outdoors that some of us love. She is active in the outdoors and encouraging others to experience the healing powers. Her name should become better known, so she can encourage more participation.”

Lindsay Jones:

“She shares her passion for nature and the outdoors. She selflessly helps other Indigenous women feel safe and supported while inspiring them to reconnect with their ancestral land. Many of the outdoor activities take place on the North Shore mountains. I think she is a wonderful role model.”

More about Myia Antone:

She is currently a student in an advanced Skwx̱wú7mesh sníchim (Squamish language) program. Being 1 of ~40 speakers means she carries a lot of responsibility revitalizing and passing down her language.

She recently founded the non-profit Indigenous Women Outdoors, to break down barriers that exist for Indigenous women and folx to get out on the land and try new outdoor activities. She is passionate about (re)connecting Indigenous peoples to their lands and roots because it allows an opportunity for healing.

Past years have seen older recipients for the honour, and it was more regarded as a lifetime achievement award. With Myia being the youngest winner ever, the award shifts focus to a younger generation, to inspire everyone that making a change and contributing to society does not come with age, but with passion and tenacity.

A resident of Lions Bay for almost 50 years, John Dudley developed his love and knowledge of the local steep hiking trails as a volunteer for the Lions Bay Search and Rescue during the 70s and 80s. In the late 1990s, John was out in his back garden one day when he got the idea that it would be wonderful to create a few small hiking loops around the village, giving the residents accessible hiking options to avoid the steep grinds of the logging roads.

Today John’s legacy includes 15 kilometres of networked trails, many named after other Lions Bay residents insisting that he doesn’t need his name on anything.

Now in his late 70s, John can still be seen setting off into the forest almost daily, clippers and rebar in hand, to check on a section of trail, make improvements and come up with fresh new ideas for loops and view spots.

John’s contribution to Lions Bay and to the North Shore hiking community is immeasurable.

For almost three decades, Enzo Federico has selflessly dedicated his time and energy toward the Kneeknacker Trail Running Race in North Vancouver. Having co-founded the iconic race in 1989, he continues to be involved in the community and on the race committee. Enzo sets an example through his vision, his generosity, and his volunteerism. The countless volunteer trail building hours that have become synonymous with participation in the Kneeknacker have set a standard to envy. Besides impacting the lives of thousands of trail runners at the finish line, Enzo raised over $100,000 for various charities since race inception.

Born and raised on the North Shore Jay Piggot could always be counted on to show up for those in need. As a member of North Shore Rescue he enthusiastically donated his time and skills to make the team a stronger, more efficient organization. Along with his work as a paramedic he has touched countless lives for the better. He could be often be seen at rescue bases organizing equipment, training hard for tasks or pushing the team to improve on existing structures, even after he was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma in December 2015.

This award is especially fitting, not only because of Jay’s outstanding contributions to the outdoor community but Tim Jones was also a mentor to Jay and he did his best to follow in Tim’s very large footsteps. Sadly, Jay passed away in December 2017 and his loss is felt deeply by his family, teammates, colleagues and the community, which he so selflessly cared for.

Jennifer Hewlett received the award out of the hands of 2016 winner Shaun Hollingsworth. Jennifer founded the organization Fresh Air Life twenty years ago, a group dedicated to introducing women of all ages to the beauty of the North Shore mountains. She created a culture of wellness and inspired a community of inclusiveness. She is a guide, a mentor and motivator. She has volunteered her time in many charitable endeavors.
VIMFF tim jones achievment award conservationist receives
Shaun Hollingsworth receives the award in 2016 out of the hands of Tim Jones’ son Curtis Jones. Shaun is the president of the Seymour Salmonid Society, co-chair of the Skagit Environment Endowment Commission, a director for the B.C. Conservation Foundation and past president of the North Shore Fish and Game Club.
Tim Jones receives the award posthumous, and his daughter Taylor Jones accepts the award on Tim’s behalf.

North Shore trail builder Todd Digger Fiander receives the very first award, presented by mountain bike “freeride Godfather” Wade Simmons. In 2015 the award was renamed ‘The Tim Jones Community Achievement Award’, in memoriam of the late and great Tim Jones, paramedic and chief for over 24 years of North Shore Rescue. The award was renamed to continue Tim’s legacy and to keep on inspiring community members to selflessly help others.

The VIMFF Initiatives

VIMFF supports the local outdoor community with the following initiatives:
vimff photography competition CTA xvimff womens summer climbing program xvimff tim jones award x no CTAvimff arcteryx film grant xvimff coast mountain adventure grant arcteryx xvimff new voices grant x
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