2021 City Awards Recipients

Duncan BC, The City of Duncan presents awards each year to Cowichan Valley citizens who demonstrate excellence in the fields of arts, sports, and long-term service to the community. On December 6, 2021, the annual awards were presented a little different.  Council members had an opportunity to present a couple awards in-person last week, however the meeting was live streamed through the electronic meeting platform.  It is available for public viewing through the City’s portal (https://duncan.civicweb.net/portal/).  This year’s awards were provided to:

2021 Perpetual Arts Trophy – Alora Killam

With many dedicated years of training, dance, and school, she has competed a several times in the Cowichan Valley (and beyond), but also shares her amazing gift by training others through a myriad of volunteer activities.

She has volunteered at the Cowichan Musical Society as a choreographer, helping a large team in the community put on great shows such as “Anything Goes” and recently “Mamma Mia” at the Cowichan Arts Centre.  This act of dedication requires many nights per week (around school and her own training). Her shared acts of kindness have always been delivered with a smile, and with a willing to always help her cast members learn tap, jazz, and hip hop (from little ones through 80!). The shows were a hit in the Cowichan Valley and her energy radiated throughout.

During the pandemic, she dressed as Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” to surprise local children on lock down and stand on the road/driveway waving and chatting to the little ones to brighten their day for their birthday.  Smiles were all around.

Congratulations Alora Killam as this year’s 2021 Perpetual Arts Award.

We thank the Cowichan Valley Arts Council who worked closely with the City in selecting this year’s recipient.

Councillor Brooke – Alora Killam – Mayor Staples

2021 Perpetual Trophy for Excellence and Sportsmanship – Don Bodger

You may know him as the face of sports reporting in the Cowichan Valley or through many teams, coaches, trainers, referees, and fans.

As a child, he played hockey, and then went on to play basketball in high school. Those pursuits gave him an appreciation for teamwork and sportsmanship throughout his life.

He has covered sports for some 30 years with the former Cowichan News Leader Pictorial, then for the Duncan Free Press and now reports sports and news as editor of the Chemainus Courier newspaper.

He has gone far beyond merely reporting sports; games, facts, figures, and faces of locals and professionals alike but he is also community minded.  He also has organized the popular annual sports banquet for his News Leader Sports Athletes of the Week, honouring local student athletes, and with his brothers he started the annual Georgina Falt Memorial Music Trivia fundraiser for local Alzheimer’s programs.   Sports are in his blood, as a pastime and lifestyle.   To him, everyone wins in local sports.

Congratulations to Don Bodger as this year’s 2021 Perpetual Trophy for Excellence Sportsmanship.

Councillor Bruce – Don Bodger

2021 Scroll of Honour – Mike McKinlay

Mike was born in July of 1962 to proud parents Bob and Beverly McKinlay. He was the 2nd youngest of 6 kids. The McKinlay and Evans families were pioneers of Duncan and the Cowichan Valley.   Mike played every sport growing up and has been very involved in all aspects of sports throughout the years but was especially passionate about baseball. He married his beautiful wife Tina in 1984 and they welcomed daughter Michelle and son Dylan to their family.

You could always find Mike giving back to the community.  He coached all ages of baseball and softball. He started off coaching his daughter Michelle and continued to lead his son Dylan’s team to a provincial championship. He served as Duncan junior baseballs president for 5 years.

Mike started a career at the City of Duncan Public Works in 1991. He did every job from garbage man, backhoe operator, parks, roads and eventually in the Utilities department. Mike is passionate about his job providing water, sewer, and storm services to his community. He excelled in this field and took on the role of Utilities Foreman. He has been instrumental in upgrading the cities systems to better serve the community and is proud and excited to be retiring in the spring of 2022.

Mike found his passion to become a firefighter in 1987 when he joined the Duncan Fire Department. He moved up through the ranks and inevitably became the Fire Chief in 2008. He has served his community fearlessly and has been a great mentor to many firefighters throughout the years. He recently retired as Fire Chief in August of 2021 after serving 34 years.

Mike lovingly welcomed his son in law Mike and daughter in law Megan to the family. His greatest passion though are his grandkids, Ben, Mairi, and JD as well as his grand dog and best buddy Frank. Mike is a member of the St. John’s Church and is always willing to lend a hand where needed.

We are honoured and privileged to be awarding Mike McKinlay the Scroll of Honour for 2021 and would like to acknowledge, appreciate and thank him and his family for everything he has contributed to making Duncan and the Cowichan Valley a better place to live.  Congrats Mike and well deserved.

Councillor Newington, Mike McKinlay, Councillor Bruce


If you would like to nominate an individual for a 2022 award, please download an application form from the City’s webpage: Forms & Applications.