Established in 1999, the Denise LeBlond Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual whose dedication and vision have furthered the cause of affordable housing in BC.


To recognize an individual whose dedication and vision have furthered the cause of affordable housing in British Columbia.


The nominee for this award may be any individual who has contributed to affordable housing in BC. The nominee does not have to a member but does have to be from the housing sector. Both volunteers and employees are eligible. The person nominating needs to advise the nominee that their name is being submitted for this award. The committee will notify the successful nominee by September 2024. 

Award Criteria

Outstanding leadership and commitment to affordable housing

  • Has spent a significant portion of their career in the housing and homelessness sector.
  • Has held leadership positions in housing organizations and/or in the community.
  • Has worked to improve access to housing for vulnerable community members and/or expanded housing options in BC.
  • Has shared knowledge with peers and young professionals to ensure learning and succession in the sector.
  • Has advocated for the expansion of affordable housing in BC.
  • A commitment to sector organizations in BC.

Vision and creativity in fostering a community development approach in the delivery of affordable housing

  • Has incorporated resident engagement into housing programs and new projects.
  • Has developed strong partnerships to better meet the needs of residents and communities.
  • Has created and implemented new approaches to housing delivery.

Nomination Process

The BCNPHA Awards Committee will review the nominees on a rolling basis throughout the nomination period and will contact the nominator for more information if the nominee meets the eligibility and criteria for the Denise LeBlond Lifetime Achievement Award.

Deadline for nominations is August 16, 2024. If you require assistance completing the online nominations form below, or have any questions, please contact

  • Nominee

  • Nominator

2023 Award Recipient: Darrell Burnham, Retired CEO, Coast Mental Health

As CEO of Coast Mental Health for 35 years, Darrell Burnham transformed the way we deliver housing, programs and services for people with mental illness. He drove the creation of more than 20 housing developments for people with mental health issues, and grew the organization from a small non-profit to one of the leading voices in the sector.

Previous Recipients

  • 2022 – Pat Buchannon
  • 2021 – Ken Zeitner
  • 2020 – Gary Glacken
  • 2019 – Kaye Melliship
  • 2018 – Lorne Epp
  • 2017 – Charan Gill
  • 2016 – Bonnie Rice
  • 2015 Danna Locke
  • 2014 – John Crean
  • 2013 – Janice Abbott
  • 2012 – Claudette Plante
  • 2011 – Janice Ivan
  • 2010 – Alice Sundberg
  • 2009 – Linda Thomas
  • 2008 – Barbara Bacon
  • 2007 – Judith Lloyd
  • 2006 – Luke Stack
  • 2005 – Bob Nicklin
  • 2004 – Linda Ross
  • 2003 – Karen O’Shannacery
  • 2002 – Liz Evans
  • 2001 – Frank Rushton
  • 2000 – Jane Dewing
  • 1999 – Judy Graves

Denise LeBlond (1948-1995)

Denise LeBlond devoted her career and personal time to help make a difference in her community, across BC and nationally. She worked tirelessly to advocate for affordable housing on a community level, to develop new provincial housing programs, and to keep non-profit housing on the national agenda.

As General Manager of the Capital Region Housing Corporation from 1984 to 1994, Denise took the Corporation in many new directions. She spoke to municipal councils, church congregations and service clubs about the importance of adequate, appropriate and affordable housing for all residents. In 1994, she was appointed as the Assistant Deputy Minister for Housing, where she was instrumental in the design of the Homes BC program.

Denise LeBlond was always a strong supporter of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association and earned an Honorary Membership in the Association in 1995. She passed away in 1995 after a brave fight against cancer. The Denise LeBlond Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who, like her, devote their career and volunteer time to affordable housing.