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UPDATE: Vital recognition doubled for Vernon politician

North Okanagan’s Amanda Shatzko becomes first Canadian honoured with 2022 Vital Voice international fellowship
Regional District of North Okanagan electoral area director and board vice-chair Amanda Shatzko has become the first Canadian woman to join the international Vital Voice fellowship. She was also awarded the Lieutenant Governors Arts and Music Award. (Contributed)

A North Okanagan poitician is racking up the awards.

Amanda Shatzko has been selected as a 2022 Vital Voices Engaged Fellow, becoming the first Canadian to join the international VV Engage fellowship.

The electoral area C director for the Regional District of North Okanagan also earned a Lieutenant Governor’s Arts and Music Award. These one-time awards recognize individuals, groups and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, creativity, community engagement, passion or commitment to fostering and mentoring others in the fields of visual arts, music or performance

Serving as a “venture catalyst,” Vital Voices identifies leaders with a daring vision for change and partners with them to make that vision a reality. It provides connections, increased capacity, a peer network, financial support, skills training, and increased visibility for their work, which ranges from gender-based violence and climate justice to economic inequities and political disempowerment, and more.

“I’m so honoured to be selected to participate in the program, especially having the opportunity to meet and learn from world leaders,” said Shatzko. “As an avid learner I’m always trying to level up my skills so that I can make the best policy decisions possible for my community and region.”

The top 30 winners will undertake the fully funded fellowship to increase their leadership capacity, decision-making power, and effectiveness in politics and government, shifting culture around women’s public leadership and moving towards equality in public representation globally.

“We partner with women who practice leadership that unites and inspires people,” said Alyse Nelson, president and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership. “We invest in leaders because they take on the responsibility to improve their communities, their countries and their societies. By exhibiting visionary thinking and taking risks to innovate, they strengthen laws, create jobs, change cultures, and defend freedoms, making change that ripples out into the global community.

Shatzko will undertake training focusing on political leadership and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals from professors at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Vital Voices Global Network experts, and current and former female heads of state with the Council of Women World Leaders.

Shatzko is one of Canada’s youngest elected women. She is the current elected official for BX/ SilverStar and vice-chair of the RDNO. In addition, Shatzko serves on the board of the Okanagan Regional Library, North Okanagan/Columbia Shuswap Hospital District, BC Municipal Finance Authority, BC Alliance for Arts & Culture, Impact Toolbox and UBC Okanagan Senate.

Before entering politics in 2018, Shaztko was a featured artist and athlete in Vancouver’s film industry, corporate, public, and charity events. She was also recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women (WXN) and BC’s Top Forty Under 40 (BiV).

Members of Vital Voices include Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, U.S. Youth Poet Laureates, Prime Ministers, award-winning innovators, pioneering human rights defenders, and breakthrough social entrepreneurs.

For a link to other fellows go here (

READ MORE: Vernon’s Shatzko named Canadian delegate for UN session on women

READ MORE: Community Champion: Amanda Shatzko leads by opening door for others

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About the Author: Vernon Morning Star Staff

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