The BC Lions Football Club have launched a program to recognize British Columbians whose notable efforts make a positive impact, by awarding them with the “Heart of A Lion” Award.

To have a “Heart of a Lion” means to be a leader in the community, to give to those in need, to educate, and to inspire others to participate. The BC Lions, along with partner Amacon, would like to recognize and celebrate our local heroes with your help, our fans, by nominating someone you believe has the ‘Heart of a Lion’.


Dino Bernardo


April 1, 2021

Whether it’s healthcare, sports, or making the city’s parks a better place for families to enjoy, Dino Bernardo has likely played a huge role in the volunteering and fundraising efforts. As our tenth and final Heart of A Lion award recipient, Dino is certainly someone who demonstrates all of the great attributes in any of his fellow honourees.

Dino is a major player in the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation where he contributed greatly to the hospital’s new fundraising campaign.

Where Dino has really made an impact is in the amateur sports world. He served as president of the Kamloops Broncos of BCFC for ten years, a position where he was proud to develop his players in areas outside of the game.

“What I am most proud of is helping young men excel on and off the football field. I’m proud now to see former players becoming teachers, lawyers, starting their own businesses and succeeding in life after football!” Bernardo stated.

Dino’s contributions to sport also include a stint as team manager of the Thompson Rivers University men’s soccer team. It is at TRU where Dino is also a member of the athletics advisory board and the alumni board.

Always a believer in promoting activity and ensuring Kamloops has great outdoor options, Dino also serves on the City of Kamloops Parks and Recreation Committee.

Congratulations Dino!


Elizabeth Lumley - Heart of a Lion Heroes Award Recipient


March 24, 2021

Elizabeth Lumley was born into a family of seven kids in Denver, Colorado. She eventually earned a degree in Elementary Education. After earning her degree in Elementary Education, she got her first teaching job at age 21 in the province of Ontario. She then spent time in Saskatchewan before moving to the Lower Mainland of BC where she taught kindergarten.

As a child, she was motivated by seeing her parents taking care of people and reaching out to those in need. This helped form her own life of service to others that has had an incredible impact on the lives of many. Elizabeth’s personal mission statement is “You don’t have to do great things; do small things with great love.” Her life displays a faithful commitment to this statement.

Elizabeth has been a foster mom to hundreds of youths out of detox, on probation, and handicapped people since 1976. She has provided many young women who are struggling with a safe and loving place to live. Some of these women now have kids of their own and consider the support system that Elizabeth provided as the example of love and patience that taught them to care for their own kids. She sends boxes of supplies and toys to orphanages overseas, plays piano in a nursing home, collects recycling to pay for food and clothing for others, teaches people to sew clothes, and provides life coaching.

Every Sunday night she organizes sandwiches to pass out to those in need on the downtown east side. She also regularly bakes cinnamon buns and delivers them to people in the community, including local Front Line workers, out of appreciation for their work. Recent health challenges have not hampered her enthusiasm and drive for generously giving and making a difference in the lives of people in need in her community and beyond!

Her gift of recognizing people in need of help and encouragement, and taking action, has benefitted many. Without asking anything in return, she has been a shelter for those in need in the city of Vancouver. Those who know her describe her as kind, compassionate and non-judgemental – and with a giving streak that knows no bounds.

New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services - Heart of a Lion Heroes Award Recipient


March 3, 2021

Dana Fedor has made a major impact as a front-line worker during COVID-19, but her Heart of a Lion attributes date back way farther than that. Since becoming a Nurse at VGH in 2008, Dana has been giving exceptional care to some of British Columbia’s most severely ill patients.

Early in her career, Dana’s focus was on helping patients recover from brain injuries and illnesses that ranged from head trauma to various neurological conditions. She then earned her critical care diploma in 2013, which enabled her to undertake the challenge of working in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

One of her toughest and most courageous rescue efforts came in October of 2019 when she treated and rescued Desiree Envacio from horrific injuries suffered when she was run over and dragged from a car outside Shark Club in Downtown Vancouver.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit the lower mainland, Dana took note of how coordinated the entire VGH staff was in their efforts to thoroughly treat patients in the safest manner possible. She credits the love of her Vancouver community for motivating her to battle on every day and help those in need during these difficult pandemic times.

Throughout her career, Dana has definitely characterized all of the Heart of a Lion attributes!

Sources: VGH Hospital Foundation

New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services - Heart of a Lion Heroes Award Recipient


February 12, 2021

Late at night on the evening of September 13th of last year, the New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services responded to a call unlike any other they had received before. The city’s historic pier had caught fire and those on duty needed to respond quickly. Over the course of the next two weeks, crews worked tirelessly to put out the massive blaze.

“Start to finish, this was the longest, most tenacious and most stubborn fire to extinguish,” said long-time New Westminster Fire Chief Tim Armstrong. “Our crews worked tirelessly, all hands on deck to get this job done. We also couldn’t have done it without the help of our neighbouring departments from Vancouver, Delta, Coquitlam and Richmond.” Despite being both land and water-based, the pier fire resulted in no injuries for any of the firefighters. Armstrong noted that’s a credit to everyone coming together and working professionally. New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services thanks their entire community for supporting their rescue efforts.

The BC Lions Football Club is proud to make New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services the latest honoured recipient of our Heart of a Lion Award, presented by Amacon. Everyone involved with the efforts to put out the pier fire demonstrates these necessary attributes.

Trisha Berg - Heart of a Lion Heroes Award Recipient


January 27, 2021

Since being born three months premature in 1966, Trisha Berg has demonstrated the versatility that comes with having the Heart of a Lion. She pulled through despite being given only 48 hours to live and from that day since, has made a big difference in her amazing life.

Before re-locating to Canada, Trisha grew up in Ilkey, West Yorkshire in the United Kingdom and first became a registered nurse in 1988. Upon moving to Canada, she eventually graduated to team lead on the floor of her care home she worked at for ten years.

Trisha was left to raise her six children on her own- the youngest being just two weeks old- when her husband left in 2007. Trisha then returned to school in 2010 to re-instate her nursing qualifications so she could better support her children.

It was at the start of 2021 when she began working at Fraser Health and immediately became a front-line worker during the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in British Columbia. Trisha has also overcome personal tragedy on her journey.

In 2005, her young son was stillborn. That loss led to her further helping spread the awareness of baby loss. Trisha is always a mother first and supportive of her children’s dreams. Daughter Hayleigh followed in her footsteps as a nurse, another daughter Ashleigh is in Radiography.

Her four sons have all chose different paths: Ryan is a carpenter, Adam just completed his training in masonry, Luke is in the process of joining the military, while the youngest Noah has aspirations to play for the British Columbia Lions! Through it all, the memory of Evan who they lost as a baby will forever live on.

Congratulations Trisha on being our latest Heart of a Lion winner!

Susan Wallace - Heart of a Lion Heroes Award Recipient


January 15, 2021

For over 30 years, Dr. Susan Wallace has served her local community as an eye doctor. Yet her “Heart of a Lion” has been best demonstrated when serving those less fortunate.

For 16 years, Dr. Wallace has coordinated a meal service that provides food to those struggling on the downtown eastside of Vancouver.

On top of providing meals and donations, Dr. Wallace recruits and organizes other volunteers. This dedicated group makes meals for hundreds of those in need every Sunday and Tuesday.

Sue’s impact has also been felt internationally. She has worked to establish and run a medical clinic in Africa that provides free eye care- including surgery- to people across Zambia. The high quality of care has also attracted patients from neighbouring Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Her work at the clinic has also involved the recruitment of volunteer surgeons and the fundraising necessary to obtain the needed drugs and supplies.

Dr. Wallace is also the director of a charity organization that was founded to ensure the clinic’s long-term success. They continue to train local physicians and staff to continue ongoing care.

Sue’s actions have no doubt had a profound impact on countless individuals in need. Congratulations Dr. Wallace!

Ken Arkell - Heart of a Lion Heroes Award Recipient


December 6, 2020

Ken Arkell suited up for the BC Lions as a lineman in 1956 and 1957, yet that’s far from the only impressive note on his resume.

After starting out in law enforcement, being accepted to medical school and spending 30 years as a Judge on various levels of provincial courts, Ken can definitely say he has the Heart of a Lion!

Ken left his family farm in Southern Ontario and decided to join the RCMP. It was the Mounties that first brought Ken to British Columbia, where he was first posted in Ocean Falls, a small Northern BC community that was policed entirely by boat.

He then moved to New Westminster and primarily worked prison escort duty between BC Penitentiary, Okalla Prison Farm and BC Supreme Court.

It was while he was still playing football when he started studying Law at UBC, noting that Friday and Monday games made it hard to get to class and keep up with fellow students.

Ken still managed to get his degree and it was back up north to Dawson Creek where Ken began practicing law. A few years later, he was appointed Provincial Court District Judge for the Peace River Region.

During his time as Associate Chief Judge of the British Columbia Provincial Court, Ken authored the new Provincial Court Act in 1975 which would establish new rules in regards to salaries, pensions, security of tenure and administrative independence, all based on his own research.

He finished his career by serving on the Supreme Court of British Columbia from 1990-1999 in Vernon and Kelowna. Since his retirement, he has enjoyed time with his wife of 60 years, Olivia, his children and grandchildren while spending most winters in Texas and then Arizona before returning to Kelowna full-time.

Tracy Porteous - Heart of a Lion Heroes Award Recipient


November 23, 2020

Tracy Porteous is a Registered Clinical Counsellor in BC active in the anti–violence field for over 30 years. She became the Executive Director of the Ending Violence Association of BC in 1995, a provincial association that supports over 220 anti-violence programs across BC who specialize in responding to sexual and domestic violence, child abuse and stalking.

In 2011, Tracy led EVA BC to a long-standing partnership with the BC Lions who teamed up to deliver the Be More Than A Bystander program to help break the silence on gender-based violence. Today, the Be More Than A Bystander program has expanded to include other teams in the CFL as well as other organizations. Here in BC, the Lions continue to partner with EVA BC to raise awareness and provide education related to gender-based violence. More than 205,000 people have heard the program’s crucial message delivered by the Lions’ players and EVA BC primarily to students in high schools across British Columbia.

Tracy is a member of the Provincial Integrated Recovery Council of BC, the National Victim Policy Centre’s Advisory Committee and was appointed to the Canadian Delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Tracy was one of five women from across Canada honoured with the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case. Most recently in 2020, she deservingly received the honour of the Order of BC. Tracy truly represents what it means to have the Heart of a Lion.

David Sinclair - Heart of a Lion Heroes Award Recipient


November 11, 2020

Our newest honoured recipient of the Heart of a Lion Award is a true Canadian hero and major pillar of his local community. David (Dave) James Sinclair started in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Korean War in 1953 and would go on to serve in the RCN for 25 years in a number of key roles.

Along with serving on numerous ships in the Pacific, Dave also served on the Australian Aircraft Carrier HMAS Melbourne and was also loaned to the United States Navy where he served at Pearl Harbour in a naval communication facility.

After leaving the Navy, Dave joined Communications Canada as a radio inspector where his main duties were technical inspections for the broadcast industry which included radio, television and cablevision systems. He also became senior radio inspector for deep sea shipping on Vancouver Island where he was in charge of foreign freighters, passenger ships and drill ships and was promoted to Operations Manager for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands for the remaining six years of his career. Immediately after his retirement in 1994, Dave was the supervisor of all 675 vehicles at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria.

Dave also held multiple volunteer positions at the Royal Canadian Legion, both locally and nationally.

In November of 2012, Dave was elected President of the BC Seniors Living Association (BCSLA), a position he held for two years.

Dave also served six as the President of Legion Manor Victoria, a 143- unit housing complex located in Central Saanich, BC. During his term in office he was instrumental in raising over $14 million dollars and built a 68-suite ($8.6M) assisted living complex for low-income seniors on their 5- acre property in Central Saanich. Presently (January 2019) he is working to develop another seniors housing community on the Saanich Peninsula following on the success of Legion Manor.

Dave’s community involvement also included 32 years of coaching baseball from the mini-minors five years of age to senior Babe Ruth little leaguers aged 17.

Dave met and married his wife Anne in 1957. They have two children, two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

David Braley - Heart of a Lion Heroes Award Recipient


November 5, 2020

You would be hard pressed to find anyone that epitomizes the phrase “Heart of a Lion” more than our late owner and champion, David Braley. Affectionately known as “Mr. B” to those in the Lions organization, he took over as caretaker of the franchise in November of 1996, ultimately rescuing British Columbia’s oldest and most successful sports franchise from financial turmoil.

He is also an honoured member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, BC Football Hall of Fame and McMaster Hall of Fame. Not only did Mr. B’s ownership result in one of the greatest turnarounds in CFL history both on and off the field, the Lions became great pillars in communities across the province and regularly visited 150 schools per year prior to 2020.

Mr. B was also a champion when it came to his community work and philanthropic contributions, donating over $125 million to various organizations during his career. These included $50 million to McMaster University’s medical school and $10 million to Hamilton Health Sciences for a new cardio, vascular and research institute.

In his honour, the Lions will not only continue to win football games but also carry on the legacy of being great leaders and ambassadors in the community. Mr. B truly did possess the Heart of a Lion!



Province of BC