Eclipse Awards turns 21: An Origin Story

Jun 05, 2019 | All Blog Posts

21-anniversary-med61bceb7322116d35ac40ff0000b7111bWow, Eclipse Awards is all grown up and turning 21! From our austere beginnings in a tiny Yaletown studio to one of the world’s most respected awards companies, it’s been an amazing journey. Along the way, we’ve witnessed the transformative and uplifting power of recognition time and time again. Indeed, it’s powerful because it is intentional positive energy. Through this lense, we’ve seen leadership cultivated, people elated, organizations elevated, communities created, economies animated, industries reactivated, and the human spirit celebrated!

"Recognition, appreciation, praise, support, encouragement and acknowledgement are all just business words for love

We’re honoured to support and learn from so many organizations that have embraced the power of recognition, appreciation and celebration. Thank you, we salute you. To mark our 21st anniversary, I wanted to share the origin story of Eclipse Awards, in two parts.

The first chapter of this story begins in a bubble bath in the 1970’s. As a tiny child, mom used to bathe us in the tub every Sunday. I remember being fascinated with the bar of soap because it seemed like you could produce an endless amount of bubbles just by rubbing it - the more you rubbed the soap, the more bubbles it produced. So I imagined that this was how you would run a soap company - by rubbing a single bar of soap to produce an endless amount of soap and bubbles! At some point I realized this wasn’t the case, however that idea of creating endless value from essentially nothing has stuck with me throughout my life, eventually becoming the philosophy of our approach to sustainability at Eclipse Awards: creatively generate the most value and beauty from the fewest resources.

Fast forward to the mid ‘90’s for chapter two. I’d just finished school at UBC and travelled the world for a few years before landing a job at a small company exporting log homes to Japan. My boss there had a side hobby making trophies and awards for his friends, but more often than not he was busy with other things. So I learned how to design these awards, and then how to sandblast them, and in the process found that I loved making beautiful things with my hands! However, the big lightning moment came once I’d started attending the events where these awards were being presented. At first, I was always surprised by how happy people were upon being recognized and appreciated...many were overwhelmed with happiness and beaming with exhilaration, some could barely speak or contain their delight, others cried tears of joy! I too would often shed tears of happiness for people I didn’t even know, seeing them recognized and appreciated in front of a group of peers. I experienced this over and over again and ultimately realized that there was something deep and powerful happening when people were being recognized, appreciated, and seen. I didn’t fully grasp the depth of this revelation at the time, but it felt immense, primal, and beautiful and I knew I wanted to create more of it in the world. In that moment I vowed to start Eclipse Awards, then in 1998 I actually did.

So there you have it. Two simple yet profound insights that have guided me through most of my life. The dual ideas of creatively making beautiful things to recognize and celebrate people, while also generating layers of value, are infused into everything we do at Eclipse Awards. The journey to understanding the power of recognition has been far richer and deeper than I ever imagined and it continues to drive us forward. Thank you for being a part of this caravan as we enter our third decade…onwards good people!