Vivien Symington, Club Aviva

Finalist: Business Leader of the Year

In 1986, Vivien established Club Aviva Recreation Ltd. a large community-based gymnastics centre in the city of Coquitlam, which has been operating in Coquitlam for over 30 years, offering a wide range of programs to promote healthy physical and emotional lifestyles to children all over the lower mainland. Club Aviva offers, Competitive and Recreation, Artistic and Trampoline gymnastics programs, birthdays, drop-ins, sleepovers, day-camps, competitions, events, along with unique specialized programs for vulnerable adults, youth and children with 75,000 children visiting Club Aviva for various programs every year. Vivien has over 45 years of gymnastics coaching experience and dedicates her time with the assistance of her team, to developing best practice strategies for all programs to ensure success and improve healthy development. She believes in inclusivity and the importance of physical activity in a safe and fun environment for children and youth of all physical and cognitive ability.

Along with offering multiple programs, Vivien launched the Symington Endowment Fund which is held in trust at the Coquitlam Foundation, to financially support children with neurodevelopmental delays, youth at risk, and high performance gymnasts. Since 2009 the fund has dispersed over $50,000 in the form of bursaries and grants to enable access to programs encouraging healthy physical and emotional development. To further be a part of the community, Vivien volunteers her time on the board of Festival Coquitlam since its inception in 1991. This society runs family events to reflect spirit in pride in the community. Not only does Vivien help to run the events, but she also sponsors their Annual Teddy Bear Picnic event. Vivien has taken the initiative to do something to help in her community. She has identified a need and started something from scratch to make things better for others, and her work as had a lasting impact on many families in the community.