Vivian Berkeley is a two-time World Blind Lawn Bowling Champion who is recognized as the greatest Canadian athlete of all time in her category (B1 blind lawn bowler). After proudly carrying the Paralympic Torch on its way to Atlanta, this world-class competitor went on to win silver at the 1996 Paralympic Games. Berkeley’s successful 21-year career also includes a 2002 bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games. These distinctions highlight only part of her incredible career achievements, with 60 total medals won, including 17 at the international level, 21 national golds (defended for 16 straight years), as well as 22 straight provincial golds. Additionally, Berkeley has helped to build her sport for people who are blind and living with vision loss in Canada and abroad.
Frank Folino has been an enduring leader and advocate for the Deaf community. Born Deaf himself, he currently serves as President for Canadian Association of the Deaf-Association des Sourds du Canada (CAD-ASC). In this role, he carries out community outreach and advocacy initiatives to promote the rights of Deaf Canadians from coast to coast who use American Sign Language (ASL)/English and langue des signes Québécoise (LSQ)/French. Among his notable successes, Folino was a passionate advocate to include Sign language in the landmark Accessible Canada Act. Additionally, he was an interim board member for Administrator of Video Relay Services and currently serves as an advisor to several government, non-profit and human rights organizations in his role as CAD-ASC President. Folino has also received awards recognizing his volunteer service.
Hon. Carla Qualtrough
Honourable Carla Qualtrough is a successful lawyer, committed volunteer and Paralympic swimmer who is dedicated to advancing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Currently serving as Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, she was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Delta, BC in 2015. Professionally, she has practiced human rights law at the federal and provincial levels and chaired the Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility in British Columbia. She has been of significant service through sport and volunteerism, including with the International Paralympic Committee and for the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. Visually impaired since birth, her athletic achievements include three Paralympic and four World Championship medals. She has also been named one of Canada’s Most Influential Women in Sport numerous times.
Tim has been involved in youth work and the non-profit sector for almost 30 years. As an outdoor enthusiast and previous camp counsellor supporting young adults with disabilities, he saw an opportunity to combine nature with adventure to help people of varying abilities build confidence, make connections, and achieve their dreams. Tim founded “Power To Be” with that idea and a small government grant in 1998. It has since grown to reach more than 8,000 children, youth, and families, empowering them to learn new skills and reach their full potential through a variety of adapted outdoor activities. In keeping with his passions, Tim’s recent activities have included climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and travelling to support Haiti relief.
Martha Sandoval Gustafson
Martha competed for Mexico at the 1976 and 1980 Paralympic Games, winning 12 medals. After moving to Canada, she wore the maple leaf at the 1984 and 1988 Games. Competing in athletics, swimming, and table tennis, she increased her medal count to 19, including 12 gold and seven silver. This achievement ranks her as Canada’s second most-decorated Paralympian. She remains an active parasport athlete and has 200+ medals from international, national, and provincial events. Now in her late 60s, she still competes in athletics and swimming and has even tried two distinctly Canadian sports – curling and wheelchair rugby. She boils success down to a simple philosophy, “Compete against yourself and always try to do your best.
An award-winning disability rights advocate, transformative leader, and champion of accessibility and inclusivity, Meenu has made an incredible impact professionally and as a volunteer. Currently serving as the first-ever executive lead for equity, diversity and inclusion at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Meenu is also the founder of “Accessibility for All,” a non-profit organization that works to identify, address and meet the needs of marginalized communities. She is a sought-after speaker who has travelled the world providing education on disability-related topics ranging from mental health and cultural competencies to parenting and race. A devoted volunteer, Meenu has served as a board director for Punjabi Community Health Services, the Center for Independent Living and ARCH, among others.