Our heartfelt congratulations go to Laura Kalina, founder of the KFPC, on a most well-deserved recognition of exemplary service by the City of Kamloops! The Overlanders/Pioneer Spirit Award is only presented in exceptional circumstances and for extraordinary accomplishments. The statue commemorates the arrival of the Overlanders in 1862 and depicts Catherine and Augustus Schubert and one of their seven children. It represents the pioneer spirit and the strength of character of those who built our community.

In Laura’s words:
I am still feeling the love and support after receiving the Overlanders/ Pioneer Spirit Award Monday night, surrounded by my colleagues, friends and family. After 30 years of work in community food security, it was an honour to be recognized by the city. It was especially touching to be presented with the award by Mayor Kenneth Christian, as we have not only worked together at IH for years, but he and his wife Brenda have been long standing family friends. And, of course, to be surrounded by the support of all my friends on council, Dieter Dudy , Tina Lange , Donovan Cavers, Arjun Singh, Pat Wallace, (and my dear friend, the late Marg Spina) — who have all worked in partnership on various projects over the years to improve food security in Kamloops. Great to see Mel Rothenburger there as well who created the award many years ago.

I am so proud to have founded the Kamloops Food Policy Council over 2 decades ago and thrilled to see the leadership and momentum continue. Thanks so much to my colleagues Hebden Carole Local Matters, Glenn Hilke and Heidi Coleman for celebrating the evening with me. Your dedication to social justice, equality and community wellness inspires me daily. It is the tireless efforts of community leaders such as them and programs such as JUMP, Interior Community Services — Mount Paul Food Centre, Community Gardens/Kitchens, and the Kamloops Food Bank — Food Share, Gardengate, Farm to School and Gleaning, – that better our community and raise awareness around food security within the community.

I am incredibly blessed to be sharing this award with all my colleagues, dear friends and family who continue to fuel my spirit. I will cherish this evening forever.

Thanks to Peter Olsen for all the great photos.