Best of BC

The recipient of the prestigious annual Best of BC Award is the individual or team thought to have best represented British Columbia, nationally or internationally, male or female, in either a professional or amateur sport.

Christine Sinclair (2017)

Christine Sinclair is the most successful soccer player to ever compete for Canada.  She made her debut with the senior national team as a 16-year-old at the 2000 Algarve Cup where she also scored her first international goal.  Since then, she has accumulated more than 160 career goals, ranking her second all-time but first among active players.  Sinclair has competed at two Olympic Games, winning bronze at London 2012 where she was the tournament’s leading scorer with six of Canada’s 12 goals, including a hat trick in the controversial semifinals extra-time loss to the United States.  For her efforts, she was named Canada’s Closing Ceremony flag bearer and become the first soccer player to win the Lou Marsh Award as Canadian Athlete of the Year.  In 2013, she was inducted to Canada’s Walk of Fame.  Sinclair first came to national prominence during the 2002 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Edmonton where she won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s leading scorer with 10 goals (including five against England) and the Golden Ball as tournament MVP as Canada finished second.  A year later, she competed at her first of four FIFA Women’s World Cups, scoring three goals and helping Canada reach the bronze medal game.  In 2011, she showed her determination to compete after breaking her nose in Canada’s opening match, forcing her to wear a face mask for the rest of the tournament.  Later that year, she led Canada to gold at the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, following up on her bronze medal in 2007.  Sinclair was named Canada Soccer’s Female Player of the Year 11 straight times from 2004 to 2014 and is a multiple time nominee for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.

Carey Price (2016)

Carey has shown perseverance and dedication throughout his entire NHL career.  As a BC native of Anahim Lake, his work ethic has carried him and both his teams; the Montreal Canadians and Team Canada; to great success.  The winner of the William M. Jennings Trophy, Vezina Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, Hart Trophy, NHL First All-Star Team, Lou Marsh Trophy and the Lional Conacher Award represents a humbling and down to earth candidate of the Best of BC Award. In October of 2015, Carey showed his support of the community that raised him in the game by donating $10,000 worth of goalie equipment to the Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association.

Canadian Men’s Hockey Team (2015)

The men who represent BC on the Men’s Canadian Olympic Hockey Team are Carey Price (Anahim Lake, BC), Shea Weber (Sicamous, BC), Dan Hamhuis (Smithers, BC), Duncan Keith (Penticton, BC), and Jamie Benn (Victoria, BC).  The work ethic of our Canadian players carried them through their undefeated rounds in Sochi, Russia and a shut-out against Sweden to win the Gold Medal.  Canada has produced the World’s Best Ice Hockey Players especially as the defending champions, they were able to live up to their expectations allowing only three goals in six games! When the opportunity to put its best players on ice is offered, Canada is the best of the best.

Jon Cornish (2014)

Was born in New Westminster and played his high school football at Saint Thomas Moore Collegiate in Burnaby.  He played college football at the University of Kansas where he set the KU single season rushing record with 1,457 yards and was selected First Team All Big XII in his senior year.  During his collegiate career, Jon was also selected Team Offensive MVP in both his junior ans senior year.  He waws drafted 13th overall in the 2006 CFL draft.

Professionally, after taking over starting duties from Calgary’s all-time leaing rusher Joffrey Reynolds midway through 2011, Jon rushed fro 611 yards in the final seven games of the season, averaging 7.7 yards per carry.  In the Stampeders only 2011 playoff game versus the Edmonton Eskimos, he ran for 128 yards and a touchdown while averaging 9.2 yards per carry.  Those eight games were enough to garner him the 2011 Calgary Booster Club Male Athlete of the year award and a CFL West all-star.

In his first full year as a starter, Jon led the CFL in rushing with 1,457 rushing yards in the ground.  He also broke Normie Kwong’s 56-year old single-season rushing record for the Canadians.  This led to Jon behing selected the 2012 Most Outstanding Canadian as well as being runner up for the Most Outstanding Player award.

The running back bettered this in 2013, rushing for 1,813 yards to lead the CFL and win the Most Outstanding Canadian award.  Jon was also named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player and is the first Canadian to win the award in 35 years in the American-dominated league.

In December 2013, Jon was awarded the 72nd Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete, amateur or professional, male or female, narrowly defeating tennis player Milos Raonic and bobsledder Kaillie Humphries.  He is the first CFL player to win the Lou Marsh since 1969 when Russ Jackson won.

Christine Sinclair (2013)

Burnaby native Christine Sinclair is currently the captain of the Canadian National Soccer Team and will be suiting up for the Portland Thorns FC in 2013. In 2012, Sinclair led Canada to a bronze medal at London’s Summer Olympic Games in spectacular fashion, scoring an Olympic record of six goals to win a Golden Boot, an award given to the top goal scorer in women’s professional soccer.  She also recorded a hat-trick in a 4-3 extra-time semi-final loss to the United States. As Canada’s all-time leading caps and goal scorer, she is the reigning Canada Soccer Player of the Year, Canadian Press female athlete of 2012 and the Lou Marsh Award recipient.


Mario Gutierrez

In 2006, Mario Gutierrez left his homeland in Mexico and immigrated to Canada, where he began riding at Vancouver’s Hastings Racecourse.  In 2012, he was given the opportunity to ride his horse I’ll Have Another at the Robert B. Lewis Stakes in Arcadia, California, delivering a victory in his first ride for the stable. His I’ll Have Another mount turned into a dream come true for Gutierrez as his fan base quickly grew, watching the pair proceed to win the Santa Anita Derby and the classic 2012 Kentucky Derby, permanently etching Gutierrez’s in the Thoroughbred Racing record books. His horse I’ll Have Another went on to defeat all odds to win the 2012 Preakness Stakes to earn a shot at the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes.

Ryan Cochrane

Victoria native and Canadian Olympic Team member, Ryan Cochrane is one of the world’s leading forces in distance events and he has two Olympic medals to prove it.  He followed up his 2008 Olympic bronze medal in the 1500m freestyle with a silver medal performance at the 2012 London Olympic Games, bettering his own national record. It was Canada’s top finish in the pool. With his second medal at his second consecutive Olympics, this cemented Cochrane as Canada’s pillar athlete to build its swimming team around for the future. Cochrane’s next endeavor is to work towards swimming for Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Currently holding the spot of team captain on Canada’s World Junior U20 Hockey team, nineteen-year-old Burnaby native Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is one of the leading young players in the NHL. In his debut game with the Edmonton Oilers, Nugent-Hopkins scored the game-tying goal with less than 5 minutes left – the Oilers won that game. Despite missing 20 games in his first NHL season, Nugent-Hopkins tied for the most points by a rookie and was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy. Ryan also led Team Canada as team captain with 15 points in six games at the 2013 World Junior Tournament.

Ryder Hesjedal

2012 was a standout season for Victoria cyclist, Ryder Hesjedal. Placing 6th at the Giro di Lombardia and 9th at the Liege-Bastogne-Liege were amazing accomplishments; but what really set Hesjedal apart from the rest was his First Overall Classification win at the Giro d’Italia, taking home the maglia rose jersey – this completed his journey of becoming the first Canadian to win a Grand Tour. Hesjedal was later named Garmin’s team leader for the Tour de France and Canada’s rider in the 2012 Olympics.  Hesjedal was also presented with the Lionel Conacher Award, an annual award given to Canada’s male athlete of the year.

Willie Mitchell 

Port McNeill native and LA Kings defenseman, Willie Mitchell is known as the player with the longer than usual hockey stick and his notable leadership qualities.  In his 13th National Hockey League season, Mitchell signed a two-year extension deal with the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings made it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993 – and the first time for Mitchell in his career. Holding the blue line during the final game, Mitchell helped the Kings defeat the New Jersey Devils to win the Stanley Cup Trophy.