The Tribute Series is a dedication to a Canadian for an outstanding achievement in their field. Each year, the Meyer Family will donate $5,000 toward a non-for profit foundation, endowment or scholarship as a way of encouraging or honoring the legacies of these Canadians.
Our list of honorees:
2010 – Sonja Gaudet
2009 – Kenny McLean
2008 – Steve Yzerman
2007 – Bill Reid
2006 – Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design
Born and raised in BC, Sonja currently resides in Vernon, in the Okanagan Valley, with her husband Don and their two teenagers, Alysha and Colten.
Sports and being active has always played an important part in Sonja’s life but a horse accident fourteen years ago resulted in a complete spinal cord injury. Sonja quickly embraced the concept of Paralympism: aspiring to achieve your full potential through sport, whatever form life’s challenges make take…
Immersing herself in an active lifestyle, Sonja learned how to ski, play basketball and tennis, bike, swim, and do many other things that she loved to do before. Then in 2003 Sonja was introduced to the sport of Wheelchair Curling.
Since then Sonja Gaudet has gone on to represent Canada internationally, competing and training as an athlete on the Canadian Curling Associations’ National Wheelchair Curling Team. She is a Bronze, Silver and Gold National Champion, a Two-time World Champion in 2009 & 2011 and Two-time Paralympic Games Gold Medalist in Torino 2006 and Vancouver/Whistler 2012.
Sonja is an integral part of the paralymic Movement and works to bring much needed attention and awareness to the Paralpic Games and the athletes. She passionately encourages other to strive for excellence in their own lives and to believe that giving up is NOT and option! Her personal motto, ‘Always believe in yourself’, supports others to understand that abilities can be enhanced, disabilities overcome and life fulfilled.
Meyer Family Vineyards is proud to honour this outstanding athlete and Canadian for this year’s Tribute to Excellence. Sonja has directed the Tribute to be awarded to a high-school graduating student from Vernon’s School District #22 who, regardless of the challenges in their own life, continues to strive for excellence and role models that giving up is not an option.
Kenny McLean was born May 17, 1939 in Penticton and resided in Okanagan Falls. He started breaking colts for his dad when he was just 12 years old and went on to rodeo competitions at the age of 17. He joined the Canadian Rodeo Cowboys Association (now the C.P.R.A.) in 1959, and in his first year of professional rodeo competition, won the first of his record three consecutive Canadian Saddle Bronc Championships. In 1961, he was named Rookie-of-the-Year in the United States, and in 1962, McLean rode his way to the World Saddle Bronc title.
He later won two more Canadian Bronc riding titles in 1968 and 1969.
McLean was the Canadian All-Around champion in 1967 through 1969, and again in 1972, the year he also won the Calf Roping and Steer Wrestling titles and was runner-up in the Saddle Bronc event. The BC cowboy also earned the High Point award in 1967 and 1968, and still holds the Canadian record for most major championships – 14. He was the first recipient of the Bill Linderman Award which goes to rodeo’s finest all-around contestants, who qualify by winning at least $1,000 in each of three events including a roughstock and timed event.
Kenny McLean was inducted into the Canadian Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame and was the only rodeo cowboy to be inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame. He also received Canada’s’ highest honor, the Order of Canada, again the only cowboy to receive such an honor. He was inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City where he was selected by the RHS Board of Directors to receive the 2005 Directors Choice Award.
During his life Kenny McLean sponsored and ran rodeo schools, particularly for the young, training many future champions and many champions returned time after time to improve their skills at the sport. He encouraged young competitor’s right up until he passed away on July 13, 2002. He died of a heart attack while on horseback at the National Senior Pro Rodeo at Taber, Alberta, 63 years and 60 days from the day he was born on a ranch near Okanagan Falls, British Columbia.
Nearly eight years after his final ride, Canadian Rodeo legend Kenny McLean was back in the saddle again. A life sized bronze statue of McLean on the great bucking horse Warpaint was unveiled in his home town of Okanagan Falls May 8, 2010 in Centennial Park
Kenny McLean’s family has directed the Meyer Family Vineyards donation of $5000 be awarded to a BC High School Rodeo Scholarship to support young rodeo riders.
Kenny McLean photo compliments of “Okanagan Archive Trust Society”
This year we pay tribute to Steve Yzerman, member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, three time Stanley Cup winner, Olympic Gold medalist, the longest serving Captain in major league sports history and the Executive Director of Canada’s National Men’s Hockey Team for the 2010 Olympic Winter games.
Steve has directed the donation of $5000 from Meyer Family vineyards to the Cranbrook Minor Hockey league where he got his start to support “Cranbrook Minor Hockey Association Let a Kid Play Fund”. Like our Tribute Series Chardonnay, Steve exemplifies the very spirit of excellence.
The 2007 Tribute honours Bill Reid for his extraordinary contribution in restoring much of the dynamic power, magic and possibility to Haida art. In his honour, the Meyer Family will donate $5,000 to the Bill Reid Foundation established in 1999 after his death to preserve his art and perpetuate his legacies.
“Art can never be understood but can only be seen as a kind of magic, the most profound and mysterious of all human activities. Within that magic, one of the deepest mysteries is the art of the Northwest Coast.”
Bill Reid 1981 Goldsmith, sculptor, and author, Bill Reid (1920-1998) was born of a Haida mother of the Wolf clan of the Raven moiety of Tanu and a Scottish-German North American father. Regarded as one of Canada’s most influential artists of the 20th century, he embraced many art forms over his fifty-year-long career (1948-1998). Two powerful artistic traditions flourished in Bill Reid’s work: that of the Haida and that of his Euro-Canadian heritage.
It is this harmonious fusion of the two worlds, traditional Haida artistic conventions with those of Western modernism that created his own unique style and the expansion of boundries that, in the process, restored much of the dynamic power, magic, and possibility to Haida art.
For more information go to: www.billreidfoundation.org
Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design
The 2006 vintage paid tribute to Emily Carr, one of the greatest western Canadian artists and as such, commemorated the launch of our first vintage in February of 2008 at a reception at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. The reception showcased 15 finalists of the Meyer Family Vineyard painting competition.
Over 80 submissions were received and $5000 cash awards were dispersed to five deserving, emerging artists who were selected by a distinguished jury.
The works submitted for the competition were shown during a special exhibition at Emily Carr Gallery from February 12-16, 2008. The top three entries shared in a prize of $5000 which was announced in mid February 2008.
1st Prize $2500 Nayeob Kim
2nd Prize $1000 Jay Gazley
Chun Hua Catherine Dong $500
Chad Durnford $500