Community Leader Awards: Leader of the Year Curtis McTavish

Community Leader Awards: Leader of the Year Curtis McTavish

The Kelowna Capital News Leader of the Year, sponsored by Okanagan College, is Curtis McTavish

By Mike Straus

Curtis McTavish was named the Capital News’ Community Leader of the Year at the 4th Annual Kelowna Capital News Community Leader Awards, held at Okanagan College, Oct. 23, 2017. The Community Leader of the Year Award is given to a local member of the community who demonstrates exceptional commitment and leadership.

McTavish currently works as the Regional Manager for Axis Family Resources, where he leads a team of community service workers who provide the BC Interior with inclusive community living services, psychological and behavioural support, emergency crisis response services, and youth life skills coaching, among other services.

On the weekends, McTavish volunteers his time as a facilitator at a drug and alcohol counselling program at Valiant Recovery. McTavish currently cares for three foster children (two boys and a girl, ages 3, 5, and 7) and a rescue dog.

McTavish was nominated by Darla Deter of Kelowna, who has known McTavish for over 20 years.

Says Deter: “Curtis just never stops! If you had known him 20 years ago, you may have had a few choice labels for him – but if you met him today…Curtis is a true champion. I can hardly contain my excitement when speaking of him. Curtis has had an impact on the lives of many in our community, and he’s definitely one of my personal real life heroes.”

Deter points to McTavish’s flawless and enthusiastic management of his heavy workload as a trait that sets him apart.

McTavish chose to start working in addictions counselling after his own personal experience with addiction prompted him to change his path and instilled in him a desire to give back to the community. He says that the most rewarding part of his work is seeing program clients meet their goals.

(Picture: Kelowna Capital News leader of the year Curtis McTavish (middle) and sponsors Phil Ashman and Kathy Butler of Okanagan College. – Image: Capital News)

“It takes a community to raise these kids. It’s rewarding to see other service providers and staff come together to help people. I’m not a front-line worker anymore, but I still like to play a part in helping people meet their goals.”

McTavish says that addictions counselling and social work are stressful disciplines where long hours are the norm, as in any caregiver industry. McTavish navigates these challenges by investing in self-care. He’s always trying to learn something new, he says, and relying on those around him for assistance when it’s needed is an essential practice.

McTavish is a motorcycle enthusiast, and he enjoys going on short motorcycle rides on evenings and weekends.

“I love it when I can take advantage of an hour or two every so often to just go ride. I like going to the shows that the bike shops put on. I love hockey, too – both playing and watching.”

A family man, McTavish prizes his time with his spouse, Heather, and their children. He says that Heather is an important part of making his home life and work life work well together.

Says McTavish: “We are the product of the company we keep. The only way I’ve been able to do this is by surrounding myself with like-minded people.”

McTavish’s next priority is to continue growing Axis Family Resources’ capacity as an agency and to continue reaching out to those in need.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Community Leader Awards: Leader of the Year Curtis McTavish

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News file)
Man found dead at Kelowna orchard

Police say the man was working in the orchard at the time of his death; criminality not suspected

Syilx artist Sheldon Pierre Louis contributed a new painting to UBC Okanagan’s public art collection. (UBC Okanagan)
Syilx artist contributes painting to UBCO public art collection

The new painting is titled cax̌alqs — red dress

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Hot and cold water have different pouring sounds

Your morning start for Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Collision slows rush hour traffic in Kelowna

Expect delays at K.L.O. Road and Richter Street on your commute Tuesday evening

A conceptual render of the proposed building at 955 Manhattan Drive. (Contributed)
Height not wanted on Kelowna’s Manhattan Drive

City staff said proposed five-storey building poses challenges

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

Kay Bartholomew, daughter of the founding owner of Wayside Press, Harold George Bartholomew (Bart Sr.). Outdoor enthusiast and longest-standing Wayside employee, Kay worked for the company until she was 97 spanning 80 years.
PHOTOS: A century of service from Wayside in Vernon

The press and printing company, founded by Harold George Bartholomew, turns 100 in 2021

Spiritleaf, Penticton’s first cannabis retailer opened in 2019. (Western News File)
Penticton expands cannabis store hours to match liquor stores

Cannabis stores are now allowed to operate until 11 p.m. in Penticton

Spread out on the staircase of the Kelowna courthouse on June 10, 2021, were several signs with messages calling for justice against Curtis Sagmoen and an end to violence. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News file)
Sagmoen cop assault trial set for 2022

Pre-trial conference set to start process Jan. 26, 2022

Most Read