Hitomi Gilliam has been awarded the City of Mission’s very first Community Excellence Award.
In the 1970s, Gilliam established a wholesale greenhouse business in the Hatzic Prairie and went on to become an internationally recognized floral designer.
With her greenhouse that specialized in over 300 varieties of fuchsias, Gilliam soon opened Satsuki’s Growers on 1st Avenue in Mission and became a full-time florist.
By the 1980s, she began attending trade shows and winning competitions. Gilliam has now won numerous international competitions, and her floral works are showcased worldwide in art galleries, museums and major events.
Her work has been featured by the International Olympics Committee, the Vancouver Art Gallery Monet Exhibit and Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York City.
Gilliam is currently the owner of Design358 Floral Event & Management and has published several books.
Now living on Bowen Island, she continues to teach and share her insights, offering Master Class workshops, one-on-one private coaching and educational content to the international floral industry.
You can follow some of Gilliam’s tutorials on her YouTube channel.
The Community Excellence Award recognizes the city’s most outstanding citizens through their regional, provincial, national or international achievements.
The award was established by former city councillor Jenny Stevens, who wanted to see Mission’s past or current residents get the credit they deserve.
Stevens felt that volunteering and athletic achievements were being acknowledged, but arts and culture, academic and humanitarian milestones were not.
Nominees for the award must have spent their formative or creative years in Mission, lived there for 10 years, and must demonstrate one or all of the following traits: empathy, humanity, social responsibility, and sustainability.