Local realtor Vivien Sears has been awarded a Realtors Care Award by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board.
VIREB says the award is “handed out to recognize the ongoing efforts of individual realtors who have made exceptional contributions to their community and who have helped to elevate the quality of life in their area.”
Sears, of Re/Max First Realty, is well known in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region as a major supporter of the arts. She is currently serving her second year as president of The Old School House (TOSH) gallery’s board of directors in Qualicum Beach.
“It’s great to be recognized and its great to see the arts recognized too,” Sears told The NEWS.
Sears moved to Qualicum Beach in 2000 from Prince George where she was involved in a host of arts organizations. She was here barely a month before she answered an ad asking for people to sit on the board of TOSH.
“I knew it was an area I had some expertise and it was a way for me to get to know the community,” said Sears. “And it was a way for me to indulge my passion for the arts.”
Sears’ volunteer work and philanthropy extends beyond TOSH. She has sponsored events such as the Bard to Broadway Summer Theatre, Echo Players Community Theatre, music on Sunday at TOSH, as well as numerous events at VIU’s Milner Gardens.
Sears has also served as an executive member of the Canadian Federation of University Women of Parksville/Qualicum for several terms, helping with the organization of book sales, which fund scholarships for graduating students and mature women. She is also an active member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority, serving as an ambassador at the Parksville Beach Festival each year. The funds raised by this group help to support youth activities and school music programs.
While the arts are Sears’ focus, she said she is also passionate about improving the business community, stepping up as past chair for the Oceanside Women’s Business Network. She is also an active member of the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce.
The Realtors Care Award also came with a $500 cheque that goes to the winner’s choice of charity or organization. Sears said TOSH will get that money.
— NEWS Staff