Alumni Award of Excellence
This award recognizes specific, recent accomplishments of GPRC alumni (in approximately the last 12 months prior to the nomination deadline). The accomplishments may take the form of local, national or international honors, major championships, appointments to high office, etc. This award was first presented in 2014.
The nominees must be alumni of GPRC. The candidates have demonstrated oustanding excellence in his/her profession, community or society and is therefore an example of alumni excellence for GPRC. Alumni currently serving the College as Board members are not eligible.
Nominations will be accepted from the public and the College Community. Nominations will be reviewed and selected by a committee of the Alumni/Foundation Board. The recipients will be contacted in advance so he/she may attend the event to receive their award.
2020 Alumni Award of Excellence Recipient: Brian Calliou
Brian Calliou is the first in his immediate family to pursue a degree. Originally from the Sucker Creek First Nation near High Prairie, Calliou was a certified journeyman plumber and pipefitter who developed a dream for higher learning. GPRC’s small campus-appeal enticed Calliou to attend from 1986 to 1988 before going on to the University of Alberta, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts and then a Master’s degree. He has currently applied to pursue a PhD in law and society.
Calliou has earned a Master’s in law, is an author, a prominent advocate and international speaker on Indigenous issues and culture, as well as Director of Indigenous Leadership at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. There he develops programs and training which help Indigenous leaders learn how to move into their inherent right to self-governance, including drawing on Indigenous wisdom, values and culture to develop stable communities, economies and businesses.
Read Brian Calliou's Acceptance Speech
I humbly accept this award from GPRC. I want to acknowledge GPRC, where I started my academic career and its amazing professors who inspired me to want to learn more. It was Scott McAlpine, my political science prof who suggested that we begin reading the academic journals, even though it would be difficult to understand them at the start. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at GPRC, where I worked on the school newspaper, the Tapestry, and we also started the Aboriginal Students Association.
Past Alumni Award of Excellence Recipients
Alumni Award of Excellence 2019: Brett Hart
Brett Hart completed his Motorcycle Mechanic Certificate from GPRC Fairview in 2006. Since graduating with top marks and landing a Head Technician role at Blackfoot Motorsports, Hart has competed in the biennial Yamaha Technician Grand Prix competition since 2012.
This year’s competition, Hart achieved the Canadian Champion title and was sent to Japan to compete against the head technicians from all over the world. With his skill and passion for the trade, Hart successfully bettered all the competition and was named the first Canadian to have the World Champion in the Sports Model Class title. Hart’s positive and hard working attitude is an inspiration to all and embodies that nothing is impossible when you follow your dreams.
Alumni Award of Excellence 2019: Kelly O'Hallahan
Kelly O’Hallahan, achieved much success in her Wolves career during her time at GPRC and hasn’t stopped breaking barriers since. During her time at GPRC she was honoured with the 2013 Female Athlete of the Year, named a two-time ACAC All-Conference player and a CCAA All-Canadian.
O’Hallahan left Grande Prairie to play professional basketball in Ireland, has made her mark and persevered through injury. She was named the 2017 and 2018 Basketball Ireland Player of the Year and her significant contribution led her team, the Marble City Hawks, to win the Ireland Division 1 National League Championship in 2017. O’Hallahan is a dedicated and passionate player who has helped change the future of ladies basketball both in Grande Prairie and Kilkenny, Ireland.
Alumni Award of Excellence 2018: Geoff Walker
Walker graduated in 2006 from GPRC with his Business Administration diploma, and has made an impact on the curling community locally, nationally and internationally.
Walker, who played for the Wolves curling team during his time as a GPRC student, now plays lead for Team Gushue and has played in events on the World Curling Tour and Grand Slam of Curling, as well as the Canadian Olympic Trials. As a member of the Gushue team, Geoff has won the 2017 and 2018 Tim Horton's Brier championships, as well as the 2017 World Championships.
Alumni Award of Excellence 2018: Arlin Sansome
Sansome completed his Motorcycle Mechanic Certificate from GPRC Fairview in 2001. Since then, Sansome has achieved his Journeyman Red Seal accreditation in motorcycle mechanics, opened his own motorcycle repair, customization and fabrication shop, as well as taught motorcycle and marine mechanics.
Arlin has set the record for developing the world’s fastest front wheel drive electric car and has been featured on the Discovery Channel as an innovator in electronic controller development for electric vehicle propulsion. In 2015 Sansome formed Underground Electrics as a corporation dedicated to developing and promoting high performance electronic vehicle technology.
Alumni Award of Excellence 2018: Shauna Hanson
Hanson was a student of GPRC from 2011 to 2015, achieving her Bachelor of Commerce Degree, Accounting Major through Athabasca University’s collaborative program with the College.
Currently, Hanson works as a Chartered Professional Accountant with MNP and is one of nine Alberta students who made the national honour roll for their outstanding performance on the three-day National Common Final Exam (CFE) for the Chartered Professional Accounting program (CPA) in 2017.
Alumni Award of Excellence 2017: Gerald Auger
Gerald is a Canadian actor, of Woodland Cree descent, who has left his mark on the community as a producer, writer, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. Auger has a long list of Hollywood acting credits to his name and he recently teamed up with a group of his fellow GPRC alumni to produce the independent short film, Bohemian Blood, which has been screened at film festivals internationally.
Gerald received his Marketing Management diploma and Small Business Management certificate from GPRC in 1995. He served as President of the Students’ Association, Student Society for Alberta Vocational College and the Circle of Aboriginal Students while at the College. Among his many awards Gerald received the Charles S. Noble Student Leadership Award from Advanced Education and the Province of Alberta.
Alumni Award of Excellence 2016: Mirelle Martens
Martens represented Canada at the 2015 World Cross Country Championships in March 2015 in the Junior Women’s race. She also represented Canada in the 2015 Pan American Junior Track and Field Championships in Edmonton where she won the silver medal in the 3,000 metre with a personal best time of 9:41. Martens also won the bronze medal at the 2015 Canadian Junior Track and Field Championships in the 5000 metre.
Alumni Award of Excellence 2016: Tom Sallows
Tom Sallows competed at both the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier and 2015 Ford World Men's Curling Championship as a member of the Canadian national curling team. The team won the 2015 Brier and won bronze at the Worlds.
Alumni Award of Excellence 2014: Jon Goldie
GPRC is very proud to recognize two of our Alumni this year who brought attention to our College and to our community at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke Quebec when Team Alberta won three straight sets in Men’s Indoor Volleyball against host province Quebec for the Gold Medal. Jon Goldie served as Head Coach for Team Alberta, and was supported by Wolves Coach Mike Lauzon.
GPRC Alumnus Jon Goldie is one of the top young coaches in Alberta. He is entering his eighth year as an assistant coach at Mount Royal University. He teaches at Middle Lake School in Chestermere, Calgary.
Alumni Award of Excellence 2014: Mike Lauzon
Wolves Coach Mike Lauzon is also an alumnus of GPRC, and is well-known for his commitment to building his team on the strength of local players. He helped Jon coach Team Alberta to Canada Games Gold. Mike is currently Vice-Principal at Peace Wapiti academy in Grande Prairie.