Outstanding Canadians on the Peninsula
White Rock Outstanding Canadians on the Peninsula Legacy Program is the primary program for recognizing the contributions of citizens in making White Rock a successful, vibrant and harmonious community. The Outstanding Canadian on the Peninsula represents the highest form of recognition the City can extend to it's residents. Contributions from the Award Recipients may be related to arts, culture, environment, business and commerce, humanities, recreation, community service, education, health or medical fields.
2022 Outstanding Canadian on the Peninsula Award recipient, Ramona Kaptyn, has served the White Rock community as a volunteer and advocate for more than a decade. Ramona’s advocacy focus is on improving quality of life for seniors. She is President of Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) White Rock/Surrey and is on the Steering Committee of the Semiahmoo Seniors Planning Table. Both organizations bring a variety of educational and social events to the community to prevent older adult isolation and inspire friendships. Ramona is also Chair of the Seniors Advisory Committee of Seniors on the Move which aims to activate better transportation options for older adults. She serves on a variety of other committees and recently completed seven years on the board of the South Surrey/White Rock Chamber of Commerce.
A graduate of both Ryerson University (Journalism) and the University of Toronto (Education and Political Science), Ramona has worked as a reporter, travel writer, editor, teacher, hotel managing director, event planner and fundraiser in Canada, Australia, England and Spain. From 2002 to 2008, she worked in international development in Southeast Asian countries to contribute to a more equitable world.
Ramona currently works from her home office as B.C. representative for Toronto's Sheraton Parkway Hotel. She landed in White Rock/South Surrey quite by accident in July 2009; she loves it here and feels “home at last”.
2022 Outstanding Canadian on the Peninsula Award recipient, Marie Sabine, has been both a White Rock resident and an unwavering supporter of inclusive affordable housing for most of her adult life. Inspired by the need to find inclusive affordable housing for her disabled adult daughter, she continues her work to ensure that housing options are available for the disabled, low-income seniors, front line workers and those experiencing homelessness in White Rock and South Surrey.
Marie is passionate about the rights of people with developmental disabilities and has done advocacy work in the area of inclusive affordable housing, independent living and the need for rent supplements to provide opportunities for individuals to grow and thrive in their own homes. She has served as Chair of the Community Living BC (CLBC) Surrey/Delta/White Rock Community Council and has been a member of the Provincial Advisory Committee. She sits on the Peninsula Homeless to Housing Task Force and the White Rock Housing Advisory Committee. She is also a Board member of UNITI (Semiahmoo House Society, The Semiahmoo Foundation and Peninsula Estates Housing Society).
Prior to retirement, Marie served as Manager of Administrative Support Services with the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service for sixteen years. She attended Capilano University, receiving a Certificate in Local Government Administration, and more recently she completed training in advanced policy governance and person-centred thinking.
She and her husband enjoy being near the ocean and the many parks and hiking trails in the White Rock and South Surrey area, as well as being close to her daughter who is living independently with support.
Upkar Singh Tatlay
2022 Outstanding Canadian on the Peninsula Award recipient, Upkar Singh Tatlay, is a tireless advocate for vulnerable and underserved citizens. His journey in community service began during adolescence where he volunteered at local non-profit social service organizations. Through these experiences, he saw an overwhelming need for accessible programming for children and youth, and particularly for families facing socioeconomic challenges. As a result, in 2013 he founded a non-profit organization to provide free athletics, mentorship, outdoor adventures, and academic assistance to Lower Mainland youth; this organization is now known as the Engaged Communities Canada Society (ECCS).
Since 2013, ECCS services have evolved significantly to offer programs to address gaps related to health, social and economic factors in underserved populations. Populations served include children and youth, racialized individuals, migrant workers, those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and individuals/families experiencing challenges related to mental health and substance use. Services provided include food delivery, hygiene supplies, personal hygiene services, health education and resources (including opioid poisoning response and vaccination clinics), extreme weather response (cooling spaces and warming shelters), and youth programming. ECCS programs currently support over 400 children, youth, individuals, and families annually.
Upkar performs his role as Executive Director of ECCS in an unpaid, volunteer capacity. In addition to his role as President at DIVERSEcity and as the former Board Chair at Surrey Libraries, Upkar has also volunteered time to local White Rock/South Surrey committees and tables, and most recently ECCS operated White Rock’s Daytime Warming Centre in the winter of 2022 under Upkar’s leadership. He does this work in addition to balancing his role as Chief Technology Officer at Oxus Machine Works, all while raising his own young family.
Upkar has been a resident of the Semiahmoo Peninsula community for the past six years.
Dr. Roy Strang
Edith and Alan Webster
|2006||Edith "Granny" Vidal|
George and Beth Scott
Margaret and Dick Lower
Bill and Mary Macgregor
Recipients of the Outstanding Canadians on the Peninsula award are recognized annually during the City’s Canada Day by the Bay celebrations and during a Regular Meeting.