Hall of Innovators

On Thursday, November 24th, the third annual Hall of Innovators Awards ceremony was held at the Yukon Transportation Museum.

The evening was a beautiful celebration of innovation, honouring a group of incredible Yukoners who are transforming systems, who are innovating to empower youth, to tackle complex challenges like education, food insecurity and climate change, and working to build a sustainable and equitable future for all of us.

Stay tuned in late 2023 when nominations will open again!

2022 Award Recipients


Lifetime Achievement Award

We are honoured to present Bob Sharp with the very well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award. Between his work developing innovative approaches to teaching through experiential learning, mentoring young educators, and continuing his transformative work in his retirement by creating cold-climate greenhouses and supporting Yukonstruct’s Makespace, Bob’s efforts have inspired generations of Yukoners.

Go here to read our profile of Bob Sharp


Lifetime Achievement Award

As a member of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation, Jackie Olson has chosen to spend most of her life in Dawson City. However, the impact of her work and her innovative spirit has reached much farther. We are happy to present her with the Lifetime Achievement Award for championing economic and community development and her transformative reimagining of age-old Yukon practices as an inspired new way of creating art.

Go here to read our profile of Jackie Olson


Notable Innovators Award

We are thrilled to present Angela Drainville with the Notable Innovators Award. Theatre can be a transformative experience, for the audience and for those on stage and behind the scenes. That is what Angela Drainville and @yukontheatreforyoungpeople have done for Yukon youth. Thanks to her vision, there’s a brighter future for the Yukon’s young performers. Not only is she the driving force of this vision, but her innovative approach with this youth-driven organization generates a self-sustaining legacy of youth who become the leaders and mentors for the future.

Go here to read our profile of Angela Drainville


Notable Innovators Award

It is our pleasure to present the Notable Innovators Award to Shadelle Chambers. The submission nominating Shadelle for this award referred to her as exactly who the Elders meant when they wrote the historic document Together Today For Our Children Tomorrow. Through her innovative spirit, she not only is upending colonial systems that never should have been but is also rebuilding in their place. Her career is a master class in challenging the status quo, in leading with integrity, and listening with intent.

Go here to read our profile of Shadelle Chambers


Youth/Emerging Leaders Notable Innovators Award

Right here in the Yukon, an innovative group is approaching climate action in a new and innovative way. We are proud to present the Youth Innovator Award to the Yukon First Nation Climate Action Fellowship. The fellows, through their work and plan, are breaking ground to develop solutions for the biggest challenge of our time. They are showing us the path towards improving the lives of northerners, now and into the future.

Go here to read our profile of the Yukon First Nation Climate Action Fellowship

Past Hall of Innovators Award Recipients



Lifetime Achievement Award

At 93 years old, this is Rolf Hougen’s fourth-lifetime achievement award honouring his decades of tireless commitment to the Yukon he calls home.

Ever since he started managing the Hougen family store at the age of 19, Rolf has always seen the investing potential of the Yukon. He grew the family store into a major department store that expanded into today’s Hougen Group of Companies, holding real estate and business ventures throughout Yukon.

Go here to read our profile of Rolf Hougen


Notable Innovators Award

An innovator and a builder at heart, Greg’s main goal is creating and growing a new economy for Dawson and he has the uncanny ability to bring a clear blueprint of what is needed to achieve it. His proven reputation as someone who finishes what he starts while putting his community first cements his place as one of the Notable Innovators this year.

Go here to read our profile of Greg.


Notable Innovators Award

Harold Johnson and Meta Williams turned the traditional Southern Tutchone camp Harold built from scratch into an educational site.

In May 1995, Kwäday Dän Kenji (“Long Ago People’s Place”) welcomed the public to its grounds. For more than 20 years, Harold and Meta have helped people gain a deeper appreciation for the First Nations way of life.

Go here to read our profile of Harold and Meta


Notable Innovators Award

In 1998, Beverley Gray opened Canada’s most northern herb shop, Aroma Borealis, it filled a gap in the Yukon’s natural health and herb markets with a wide range of locally harvested herbal health products that she skillfully formulated including teas, salves and skin creams–created and manufactured in-house. She then scaled up the business with an online storefront, which was uncommon in her industry at the time. Beverley’s continuous early-adopter mindset makes her one of this year’s Notable Innovators.

Go here to read our profile of Beverley


Youth Innovator Award

Shadunjen van Kampen’s historic achievement sets her apart as the Youth Innovator this year. Her trailblazing perseverance in the face of mounting odds will serve as an inspiration for First Nations and Yukon women of future generations.

The Youth Innovator Award is presented by The Western Arctic Youth Collective.

Go here to read our profile of Shadunjen.

Check out this beautiful video featuring 2021 Hall of Innovator Lifetime Achievement recipient, Rolf Hougen.



Lifetime Achievement Award

Gord Duncan received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in building Total North Communications and for doing so in a way that inspired an enthusiasm for innovation in his team and the broader community. Dan Johnson, current President of Total North Communications, and Gord’s son, Brandon Duncan, accepted the award and spoke about Gord’s contributions.

Read more here.


Notable Innovators Award

Ben Powers of Solvest, and Carl Burgess, and Tarek Bos – Jabbar, of sister company ColdAcre Food Systems, received a Notable Innovators Award for the incredible work they are doing to bring renewable solar energy to the North, and to address the issue of food security, expanding local options, growing fresh food year-round, and providing all-season growing systems for northerners.

Read more here.


Notable Innovators Award

Gina Nagano received a Notable Innovators Award for her inspiring work to implement Community Safety Officer Programs and crime prevention projects through environmental design in many First Nation communities across the Yukon.

Read more on the blog


Notable Innovators Award

Sean Secord, Co-Chair, accepted a Notable Innovators Award on behalf of Ride for Dad Yukon for being a national leader in the crusade to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer.

Read more on the blog


Notable Innovators Award

Sydney Oland received a Notable Innovators Award for her work in establishing Yukon Provisions.

Sydney took her experience and knowledge gained from building the first chocolate factory north of 60 and used it to develop and open a complete commercial kitchen and food manufacturing facility that provides other small food startups an opportunity to grow in an affordable space with access to support and expertise.

Read more here.

Check out this short video to hear from the 2020 Hall of Innovator Award recipients, and to check out the Hall of Innovators Installation at NorthLight Innovation.

The Hall of Innovators is brought to you in partnership with Government of Yukon.

Northlight Innovation

2180, 2nd Avenue, Whitehorse
(867) 457-0150

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We acknowledge that we live, work, and create within the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.