Comox Valley Art Gallery honors lifetime contributions to the arts – Comox Valley Record

Carolyn Kirk-Albert and Roger Albert received the Nonny Milne Award for 2020. Photo provided.
K'ómoks eldest child Barb Whyte receives the 2021 Nonny Milne Award. Photo providedK’ómoks eldest child Barb Whyte receives the 2021 Nonny Milne Award. Photo provided
Stu Barry (seated) receives the 2022 Nonny Milne Award from CVAG President Jasmin Badrin.  Photo providedStu Barry (seated) receives the 2022 Nonny Milne Award from CVAG President Jasmin Badrin. Photo provided

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, the Nonny Milne Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts is back.

The award was established by the Comox Valley Art Gallery in 2015 in honor of the late Nonny Milne – a former CVAG Chairman and longtime champion of the arts who was instrumental in moving the gallery to its current site at the old downtown fire station. Courtenay.

The Milne Prize is awarded annually to an individual, family or collective who has made an outstanding contribution to the arts. Due to COVID restrictions which prevented in-person gatherings in 2020 and 2021, the presentation of the award has been delayed.

But this year, the gallery presented a triple-header at its annual general meeting at the end of May.

Roger Albert and Carolyn Kirk-Albert received the award for 2020. The dynamic couple have served the Comox Valley arts community in many ways over the years. Roger is a past president of CVAG and Carolyn served on the board for many years. They are both instrumental in the Cumberland Museum Society, and Roger’s blog (Always a Sociologist: Now Living With Myeloma) is a powerful and frank discussion of living with the disease.

K’ómok elder, Barb Whyte, received the award for 2021. Whyte carries the Coast Salish healing wand. She works with food and plants for medicine and was part of the North Island Hospital Development Project for five years, coordinating the All Nations Hall and the Medicinal Plant Garden of the hospital. She guided the planting of a traditional Aboriginal garden in the CVAG plaza, she is a key member of CVAG’s “Walk With Me” project, and as the keeper of traditional knowledge of District 71, Aboriginal education has given many presentations to teachers, students and the wider community.

Accountant Stu Barry received the award for 2022. For a decade, he presided over dramatic growth and increased complexity in CVAG’s finances, helping to ensure greater transparency and accountability. CVAG Executive Director Glen Sanford described Barry as “an unsung hero” because the work often goes unrecognized, but is essential to the survival and growth of the organization. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without his dedicated service,” Sanford said.

CVAG President Jasmin Badrin was re-elected for a two-year term at the annual meeting. She sits on a 12-member volunteer board that oversees the Comox Valley Art Gallery.

The Museum’s next exhibition will feature the work of internationally acclaimed Newfoundland artist Marlene Creates. The exhibition runs from June 15 to September 10, with the opening event taking place on Thursday, June 16 at 7 p.m. For more details visit

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