The winners of the City of Port Moody’s 2016 Civic Awards were announced Saturday, January 14 at a volunteer appreciation dinner at City Hall. 

The Civic Awards program recognizes deserving people, organizations and businesses for service to the community in five categories: accessibility, arts, environment, heritage, and sport. The Sports Award, presented to individuals or groups who are positive role models and encourage young people to get involved in sports, will be presented in the spring. Award winners were selected by Port Moody’s civic committees, after a public nomination process. 

Here are the winners of the 2016 Civic Awards: 

Peter Hulbert Accessibility Award – Gabi & Jules Handmade Pies

This award honours an individual, business, community group, educator, or government agency that goes above and beyond expectations in removing barriers for individuals with disabilities.

Gabi & Jules was recognized for its efforts to remove physical and social barriers in the provision of employment opportunities to people with disabilities. Owners Lisa and Patrick Beecroft are constantly working to create opportunities within their bakery for individuals on the autism spectrum, inspired by their eldest daughter, Juliana, who has autism. The focus is on building and maintaining an inclusive work environment, where individuals with autism can gain skills and work experience while being part of a team. 

Arts Award – Gallery Bistro

The Arts Award celebrates an individual, organization, or business that significantly contributes to, and participates in, the artistic/cultural life of the community. Gallery Bistro was recognized for its contribution to fostering the arts in Port Moody, by providing a presentation venue and meeting space where artists can share their talents and exchange ideas. Owners Rainer and Helen Daniels have created an artistic and cultural hub in Port Moody. The Bistro hosts musical jam sessions, concert performances, workshops, and art exhibits, as well as regular meetings for a variety of local groups. Gallery Bistro is the first-ever business to win the Arts Award. 

Environmental Award – Neil Laffra

This award is given to an individual, organization, or business that advances environmental preservation and awareness here in the City of Port Moody. Neil Laffra was recognized for his significant contribution to Mossom Creek Hatchery, where he is a committed volunteer who has donated thousands of hours to projects and activities critical to the hatchery’s success. Mr. Laffra’s ongoing involvement includes supporting environmental education and outreach activities, managing the hatchery’s operations, and training new volunteers. Mr. Laffra is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society, which manages the Mossom Creek Hatchery and Education Centre. 

Heritage Award – Golden Spike Can Can Dancers

The Heritage Award honours an individual, organization or business that advances heritage conservation in Port Moody through special initiatives or projects that preserve, rehabilitate, restore, or create awareness of a cultural resource. The Golden Spike Can Can Dancers, who have been a part of Port Moody celebrations since 1977, were recognized for their advocacy of heritage conservation. They are a non-profit group with more than 30 members, who volunteer their time and energy to perform the can can dance, which came to North America in the second half of the 19th century, and to raise money for different charities, including Variety Club of BC, Crossroads Inlet Centre Hospice, and SHARE Family and Community Services Society. 

“It’s the volunteers who choose to give their time in service to our community who make Port Moody such a special place,” said Mayor Mike Clay. “Congratulations to Gabi and Jules, Gallery Bistro, Neil Laffra, and the Golden Spike Can Can Dancers – your contribution to our city is remarkable, and you help to make our community a better place. Thank you, on behalf of Council and Port Moody’s residents, for all the great work you do.”

Visit to learn more about the Civic Awards program, as well as past and present Civic Awards winners.