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Mission, BC – The City of Mission Council has awarded the first Community Excellence Award to Hitomi Gilliam an internationally recognized floral designer who got her start in Mission.

The Community Excellence Award recognizes and honours Mission’s most outstanding citizens who through their achievements and extraordinary efforts have made exemplary contributions regionally, provincially, nationally and/or internationally.

Nominees for the award must be born in Mission or spent their formative or creative years in Mission, lived in Mission for a minimum of 10 years, must demonstrate the qualities of any or all of these: empathy, humanity, social responsibility, and sustainability and fall into one of these three categories: Arts and Culture, Academics or Humanities.

The award was established at the urging of past City Councillor Jenny Stevens who wanted to see many of the extraordinary past or present citizens of Mission recognized for their achievement. She felt volunteers and sport were recognized through programs but not the arts and culture, academic and humanities sectors.

In the 1970’s Hitomi established a wholesale greenhouse business in the Hatzic Prairie, specializing in over 300 varieties of fuchsias. She started Satsuki’s Growers on First Ave in Mission and became a full-time florist. In the 1980’s she began attending trade shows and winning competitions. She is the owner of Design358 Floral Event & Management, published several books

Over the years she has won numerous international competitions and had her floral works showcased worldwide in art galleries, museums and at major events including for the International Olympic Committee, the Vancouver Art Gallery Monet Exhibit and Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York City to name just a few. She continues to share her talents offering Master Class workshops, one on one private coaching and educational content to the international floral industry. She currently resides on Bowen Island.

To find out more about Hitomi, visit

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Media Contact

Stephanie Key
Deputy Director Parks, Recreation & Culture