Linda Perry winner of 3rd Annual Big Picture Award


Vela Microboard founder has help hundreds of B.C. families
Friday October 7, 2011 — Deb Bartlett

Linda Perry, founder and executive director of the Vela Microboard Association, will be receiving the 3rd Annual Big Picture Award on Friday, Oct. 14 at the Vancity Theatre.

The presentation will precede the Canadian premiere of Benda Bilili as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Richard Faucher, executive director of Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI), says Linda’s name was mentioned separately by both the first and second winners of the Big Picture Award.

“Linda is the most amazing person in terms of commitment towards people with a disability and continues to work well with like-minded individuals and organizations ,” he says.

The award, presented by BACI and posAbilities, recognizes change-makers in the Community Living movement.

A Vela Microboard is a committed group of family and friends that create a small non-profit society that addresses the planning and support needs of person who has a disability.

Richard says microboards are “a pretty innovative way to provide service. It’s as close to individualized funding as it gets.”

All microboard members must be in a close, voluntary and committed relationship with the person for whom the board is created.

Richard says Linda has been overseeing the development and management of Vela Microboard, so she’s supported hundreds of families in setting up microboards across the province.

There are a few families supported by BACI who have set up microboards, and the process is working well, says Richard.

It is a personalized way of providing support and creates a safety net around the person.

The microboards allow for the customization of services for the person they support, and the money often goes straight from government to the boards, which spend it in the best interest of the person.

“It’s quite progressive . . . and it’s worked really well for hundreds of families across the province,” says Richard.

The film being shown in conjunction with the Big Picture Award is Benda Bilili (in English, See Beyond), a documentary about a group of street musicians from Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The musicians play music that is rumba, rhythm and blues and reggae on homemade instruments, and are backed by abandoned street children.

A European filmmaker saw the band, and created the documentary.

“It is quite the story, and it is quite the film,” says Richard.

Tickets to the event cost $25 (includes reception and film) and can be purchased at or by calling 602-299-7851.

For more information on Vela Microboards, visit

To comment on this story, contact Deb at 800-294-0051 ext. 30, or e-mail deb(at)


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