We invite you to join us virtually on September 30th, 2020 as a community that supports the potential of girls and youth and to celebrate six amazing women who exemplify the Big Sisters’ legacy and shape our future.  Over the coming weeks, we look forward to profiling our six Luminary Award recipients – showing how each extraordinary individual exemplified the values of Big Sisters and have worked together to make a BIG impact in lives of girls throughout the Lower Mainland.

Joanne Brown

Joanne knows firsthand the challenges faced by young girls. Growing up, she struggled with a lack of self-confidence and learned quickly how valuable it is to find your cheerleader. For Joanne, she found that person in her childhood sweetheart.

Joanne met Peter Brown at the young age of 13, and in him she found her future husband and biggest mentor. She credits Peter for encouraging her to set goals, believe in herself and broaden her horizons. “He’s always been my mentor, he’s always been there for me,” she says. “Best decision I ever made.”

 Together, the Browns have built a reputation of excellence and high achievement, and a life centred around giving. Since raising two children, Joanne has dedicated her time and resources to the welfare of others. Through the Peter & Joanne Brown Foundation, the Browns have supported hundreds of local and provincial initiatives that improve the health and vitality of our community and its residents. But it is Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland that is especially close to Joanne’s heart.

For over 30 years, Joanne has provided key financial support to Big Sisters – taking title sponsorship of our annual fundraising galas year after year, and playing a crucial role in the purchase of our Big Sisters House. Most recently, we relied on Joanne’s support to put our PenPal Project into action to support the Little Sisters most affected by social isolation and the pandemic. Joanne was also among the first members of our Honourary Advisory Board and has served as a volunteer to Big Sisters since 2006. She believes that mentorship is the most important thing in the course of a young person’s life. She believes that the early teenage years are particularly hard, and that having the right person as a guide to stay on the right path is the foundation for the future. Just as she did.

Joanne is valued among her peers for her down-to-earth nature, and for setting a tone for doing the right thing and doing it well. She is being honoured as a Luminary for her dedication to Big Sisters, for being a simple phone call away in our greatest times of need – for doing the right thing by vulnerable girls in our community, and doing it well. 

Our 2020 Luminary Award Recipients

Her Honour, Janet Austin
Joanne Brown
Kay Gray
Linda Parsons
Patricia Shields
Susan Mendelson