Courage To Come Back Awards Frequently-Asked Questions

Courage To Come Back Awards Nominations

How do I know who qualifies for a Courage To Come Back Award?

The person must be a resident of British Columbia and give consent to be nominated. Virtually anyone who has overcome difficulties and inspires you or others can be nominated. Visit the (nomination landing page) to read more about the process.

Does the person have to be living to be nominated for a Courage Award?


Can I nominate someone without telling them?

No, the person must agree to be nominated.

Can I nominate someone I don’t know, a celebrity or sports hero I admire?

You can, but it may be difficult for you to get their consent to be nominated.

What are the categories I can nominate someone in?

Addiction, Medical, Mental Health, Physical Rehabilitation, Social Adversity, and Youth. Youth nominees must be under 22 years of age as of December 31, 2015.

What is the last day I can submit a nomination?

The closing date for nominations is February 12, 2016.

Courage Nomination FormWhat if I don’t want to type into the online form?

You can click here to print a PDF of the form and simply follow the instructions.

If I send you the information or phone you, can you type it up for me?

Unfortunately due to limited staff time we cannot.

Do I have to buy a ticket to the gala dinner to nominate someone?

No. Nominations are free.

Can people be nominated again if they don’t win?

Yes, you can re-nominate someone next year. In fact, some people are nominated a few times before being chosen for an award.

Who selects the award recipients?

Several volunteer panels. No Coast staff member is allowed to vote.

What do the award recipients get?

Recipients receive, in addition to media exposure, a special vignette outlining their achievements and an award at the May 5th gala. After the gala, they receive a framed commemorative photograph and a DVD of the event.

Can I nominate someone who helped me through my illness/disability/addiction/life?

If they have helped someone to ‘come back’ they do not quality. It is the person who came back that qualifies for a Courage Award.

Can I nominate a group, organization or couple?

No, at this point we only accept nominations for individuals.

Can I nominate myself?


How much information do you need?

Just enough to tell the story. We don’t need a novel, but we need enough detail so that our independent volunteer panels can assess the submission. Each nomination must have at least 3 letters of support, and if you would like to send in copies of newspaper or online articles they will be added to the nomination form.

Do I have to tell all the details of the nominee’s life?

No, but we do need enough information to understand the nature of the illness, adversity or affliction. Honesty and corroboration are the best policy.

Can I send you my video / DVD / CD / book?

Not at this time. All materials must be able to be scanned.

Can I send in photos?

Yes but again they must be able to be scanned.

When are the award recipients chosen?

Every successful recipient will be contacted in late March. Unsuccessful nominees will receive a thank you letter and printed Certificate of Nomination in late March / early April.

If my name is chosen as a recipient, do I have to appear on television, radio and in print?

Yes, this is a requirement of receiving the award. There is no need to be nervous, however. The interviews are taped so you don’t have the worry of a live blooper, and yours is a ‘good news’ story so the reporters are friendly and sympathetic.

When is the gala dinner / awards presentation?

May 5, 2016 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West.

 To nominate someone who inspires you, visit


Nominations launch – 2016 Courage To Come Back Awards

Courage To Come Back Nominations

Nominations Launch

The momentum behind Coast Mental Health’s annual fundraising gala is starting to gather, with the nomination process having kicked off with a “soft” launch in the first week of December. That introduction is the lead up to the January 6 media nominations launch when things will really start hopping.

“There are a number of changes in store for our 2016 event,” noted Manager, Communications and Events, Patricia Wiggins. “Visit and you’ll see that we’re now able to accept online nominations – this is a first for us and we’re very excited about it. Technology is playing a part in the May 5 gala evening as well. For the first time ever we’ll be using a high-tech tablet pledging system called Givergy (a combination of the words giving and energy). This technology comes from Britain and it’s taken the U.K. by storm . . . we’re very excited to be using it here.”

Patricia encourages everyone to nominate people they feel are deserving of an award. If you know someone who meets the criteria in any of the categories (addiction; medical; mental health; physical rehabilitation; social adversity; and youth), please consider recommending them.

“People are honoured simply to be nominated; they often have no idea how inspiring others find them,” said Patricia. “If you think of someone, but aren’t sure about the nomination process or are struggling with it, call us!”

The 2016 gala will be Patricia’s ninth Courage To Come Back Awards. Her focus right now is to get as many nominations in as possible.

The deadline for nominations is February 12. “Get on it,” encourages Patricia, “February may sound like it’s a long time away but it will be here before you know it.”

Get started with your online nomination today.


Courage Awards – categories

Six Courage Awards presented every year

The annual Courage To Come Back Awards recognize abilities, celebrate differences and give centre stage to six British Columbians who have overcome tremendous challenges, yet reach out to help others in our province. They are our loved ones, our neighbours, our friends, who have faced seemingly–insurmountable odds and who have come through with courage, strength, and a drive to help others.

Courage recipients show us that people can walk again despite the predictions of some of the best medical minds. They teach us that disabled does not mean unable. They prove that hearing voices in one’s head does not mean a lifetime in hospital. These are valuable members of our community despite injury or illness: they are role models.

Addiction: A person who has demonstrated inspirational achievements overcoming the challenges of addiction and who has given back to his or her community. Sobriety must have been maintained for at least the past five years.

Medical: A person who has demonstrated inspirational achievements overcoming the challenges of a serious medical condition, and who has given back to his or her community.

Mental Health: A person who has demonstrated inspirational achievements overcoming the challenges of living with a mental illness, and who has given back to his or her community.

Physical Rehabilitation: A person who has demonstrated inspirational achievements following major trauma or injury which has required extensive physical rehabilitation, and who has given back to his or her community.

Social Adversity: A person who has demonstrated inspirational achievements in the face of abuse, poverty, discrimination or other significant adversity, and who has given back to his or her community. (In the case of new British Columbians, it may be as a result of political upheaval or war experienced before settling here.)

Youth: A young person, under the age of 22 years as of December 31, 2015, who has demonstrated inspirational achievements overcoming illness, injury, addiction or social adversity, and who has given back to his or her community.

The Courage To Come Back Awards will be presented on May 5, 2016 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West.  Buy tickets online today.

To nominate someone who inspires you, visit