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Capilano University 2024 Alumni Awards of Excellence honours CapU legacy leaders

Capilano University annually honours five alumni who lead by example, drive social change and inspire people to push boundaries
2024 Alumni Awards of Excellence recipients James Beck, Barbara Gregusova, Brad Baker, Jordan Kallman, and Esther Thane (pictured left to right).

This year, Capilano University is pleased to recognize the following recipients of the 2024 Alumni Awards of Excellence: James Beck, Unified Award; Esther Thane, Luminous Award; Brad Baker, Enduring Award; Barbara Gregusova, Confident Award; and Jordan Kallman, Creative Award.   

The 2024 awards show on Wednesday, March 27 at the Polygon Gallery is hosted by past award recipient Andrew Kopecki and features a performance from comedian Erin Jeffrey and talk show-style discussions with the inspiring award recipients.

Winners of the 2024 Alumni Awards of Excellence

Squamish Nation member James Beck is the Associate Dean of Academics at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT). With a deep commitment to Indigenous knowledge, culture and tradition, Beck is dedicated to advancing learner-centered education that builds academic excellence and community relevance. Through his continued involvement with Capilano University, he is helping to bridge understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and supporting the university in ongoing steps towards decolonization.  

Music Therapist Esther Thane is passionate about supporting people with autism and diverse developmental needs in ways that foster connections and create a positive ripple effect in the community. She has published, authored a curriculum that is used globally in treatment with autistic children, and received numerous awards. As the proud owner of ET Music Therapy Inc., a multi-location practice in Greater Vancouver she has local influence. Her additional work with a therapy intelligence company and cloud publishing partner Mundo Pato is having a global impact for her profession. 

Tsnomot Brad Baker, a member of the Squamish Nation, is an educator with province-wide impact. He currently serves as Associate Superintendent of Indigenous Education for the Ministry of Education and Child Care. During his 26-years career with the North Vancouver School District, first as a teacher then District Principal of Indigenous Education and Safe and Caring Schools, he helped create a vibrant learning community and brought Squamish ways of knowing into the school district to support all learners. A former soccer, rugby and lacrosse player, today Baker is a Class B Member of the Canadian Olympic Committee and a board member for ViaSport BC. He serves as an Appointed Trustee for the Squamish Nation and adjunct teaching professor for the Faculty of Education at UBC.

Coming from a family of artists, today Barbara Gregusova is an award-winning costume designer with over 100 credits across film, television and theatre productions. In particular, her contemporary, period, sci-fi and horror costumes have garnered attention and acclaim, including several Leo Awards wins and nominations for Best Costume Design and multiple award nominations from the Canadian Alliance for Film and Television Costume Arts and Design. As a member of the Slovak Association of Textile Artists, Gregusova’s designs have been included in exhibits around Europe.

As co-founder of The Social Concierge, Jordan Kallman is responsible for increasing the fun in Vancouver. With a mission to create unique events and community gatherings that enhance the culture and spirit of Vancouver, Kallman and his team are responsible for many of the city’s iconic events including Dîner en Blanc, The Deighton Cup and Harvest Haus. The company also hosts fundraising events that have raised millions of dollars for local charities. Previously, Kallman served as the president and executive curator for TedEX Vancouver, and as board chair for the Capilano University Alumni Association.  

Highlights following the Capilano University Alumni Awards of Excellence event can be found on the Capilano University website. 

This event is proudly sponsored by Neptune Terminals, the North Shore News, Clark Wilson LLP, Quay Pacific Property Management, DIALOG and affinity partner TD Insurance and premium perks app partner Bell.