Excellence in Culture Award

This award is presented to an organization or individual that has achieved regional and/or national recognition and is recognized as a “Nanaimo artist", demonstrating excellence in their field, and a significant inspiration to others.

This award category presents the community with the opportunity to recognize people and groups they believe have made a significant contribution to making Nanaimo a culturally vibrant city.

2024 Recipient: Paul Roland Gogo

Paul Roland Gogo
Photo Credit: Sean Fenzl | @fenzlstudio

Paul Roland Gogo won the 2024 Excellence in Culture Award for his achievements as a “Nanaimo artist” and demonstrated excellence in his field. For nearly thirty years, Paul has been a keyboard player and multi-instrumentalist, for recently-inducted Canadian Hall of Fame Band Trooper.

Paul’s parents were both prominent Nanaimo musicians, and his commitment to Nanaimo and our cultural community began early as a child dance performer and musician. Over the course of his remarkable career, Paul has made significant strides in music, especially as a member of Trooper, having joined the band in 1996. Never missing or being late to a show Paul has played an excess of 1500 shows, always being introduced as being from our very own Nanaimo.

Some memorable performances with Trooper have included playing the Grey Cup in 1998, and BC Place in 2010 for the Winter Olympics. With Paul on keyboard, Trooper has played every province, territory, and corner of Canada. The band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2023, and that same year, inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. At that time, Paul also received a Lifetime Achievement Juno award. 

Paul has also actively contributed to the cultural community through a variety of music projects where he has served as songwriter, producer, and videographer, and made a significant impact on a local level through performances at Nanaimo schools and seniors residences. In fact, Paul has shared a lifelong passion for volunteer work, giving his time to countless music events, mentoring individuals and groups in the music scene no matter how big or small, and regularly volunteering to perform at local senior’s residences – events that are greatly anticipated by the residents who describe him as talented, funny, and warm. A proud ambassador for Nanaimo, Paul’s extraordinary career is a reflection of his commitment to arts, culture and community.

Past Recipients

  • Bryan Stovell, Nanaimo Concert Band (1998)
  • Diana Krall (1999)
  • Lynne Bowen (2000)
  • Ingrid Jensen (2001)
  • Marlin Wolfe (2002)
  • Sandra Good (2003)
  • Carole Martyn, Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts (2004)
  • Joelle Rabu (2005)
  • Francine Peters (2007)
  • VI International Children's Festival (2008)
  • Carmella Luvisotto (2009)
  • David Gogo (2010)
  • Steve Jones (2011)
  • Jillian Vanstone (2012)
  • Vancouver Island Symphony (2013)
  • Pat Coleman (2014)
  • Grant Leier & Nixie Barton (2015)
  • Susan Juby (2016)
  • Jacqui Kaese (2017)
  • Rick Scott (2018)
  • Devon Joiner (2020)
  • Ay Lelum (2021)
  • Brendan Tang (2022)
  • Joel Good (2023)


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