2021 Virtual Gala Award Presentation


Please join us to honour the recipients of our 2021 Annual Champion of Child and Youth Rights Award: Carole James and Katherine McParland.

About our 2021 Event:
First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition has, for many years, hosted an annual gala dinner event early in the year. In addition to providing a wonderful opportunity for our community to gather and celebrate, the gala dinner has been our primary annual fundraising activity.

This year, in-person events are not possible so we invite you to join us at this virtual event to honour the 2021 recipients of our Annual Champion of Child and Youth Rights Award.

Hosted by Kathryn Gretsinger, we’ll hear from Carole James and from Katherine McParland’s friend and colleague Kira Cheeseborough.

About the award recipients:

Carole James
Carole James has been a community activist all her life, working, volunteering and serving the community she grew up in, raised her children in, and now spends time in with her grandchildren.

She has been recognized for her work and leadership through her many appointments, locally, provincially, and nationally, and was elected to serve her community at both the school board and provincial level for over 25 years.

Carole was Leader of the BC NDP and Leader of the Official Opposition in BC for seven years, and was appointed Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier for the Government of BC in 2017.

She is an honourary life member of the Vancouver Island Cooperative Preschool Association and the B.C. School Trustees Association, and served as a foster parent for over 20 years for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Carole retired from provincial politics at the end of 2020, and continues to be active and engaged in her province and community.

Katherine McParland (Posthumously Awarded)
Katherine co-founded and served as executive director of A Way Home Kamloops Society and co-founded the BC Coalition to End Youth Homelessness. Katherine completed a human services diploma from Thompson Rivers University and a Master of Social Work Leadership from the University of Calgary.

In 2019, Katherine was appointed to the Board of BC Housing. As a youth who had herself aged out of care and into homelessness, Katherine spent several years living on the streets of Kamloops.

She dedicated herself to supporting youth from care and preventing youth homelessness as an advocate, organizer, mentor, and friend. Katherine was a shining light to all who knew her.

Fundraising for policy change is challenging at the best of times but advocacy on behalf of children youth and their families has never been more important.

If you are able to make an additional contribution to our work, we are deeply appreciative. You can donate to us and receive a tax receipt here.

With thanks to our event sponsors.

  • Boyden
  • CUPE BC
  • HEU
  • Kinsol
  • Parc Retirement Living
  • UFCW
  • Vancity Community Foundation
  • Vancouver Foundation

There is still time to sponsor this Event. Click here to download our Sponsorship Kit.