The Assembly is made up of 48 residents, business owners and property owners randomly selected to broadly represent the diversity of Grandview-Woodland. They have each volunteered to devote a significant amount of personal time over eight months to listen, learn and deliberate on community planning issues affecting Grandview-Woodland. We thank them, and all others who volunteered, for their commitment to the community.
Read the members’ personal statements below.
Assembly Composition Quick Facts
There are two business owners and one non-resident property owner on the Assembly.
Seven members of the Assembly have also affirmed their identify as a member of an aboriginal community.
In addition to the over 500, 215 additional residents responded that they were unable to participate but wished to receive periodic information concerning the Assembly.
How Were Members Selected?
Invitation letters were mailed to 19,000 area residents, property owners, and business owners in late June 2014. In addition, hundreds of invitations were handed out at street corners, community centers, service centers and other key locations in Grandview-Woodland.
The 48 members of the Assembly were selected through a blind draw from the pool of over 500 volunteers. The blind selection process ensured an equal number of men and women; representative numbers of members from six neighbourhood zones; representative numbers of members from each age cohort; and, representative numbers of members who rent their home, own their home or reside in a co-op. Volunteers were asked to identify if they are Aboriginal to make certain we have representation from this community. In addition, two seats were reserved for business owners in Grandview-Woodland and one seat was reserved for a property owner who does not reside in the neighbourhood study area.
Review the official civic lottery package (pdf).
Photos from the First Meeting of the Assembly
Assembly Member Personal Statements
Keith Anderson I was born and raised in Coquitlam and moved to Grandview-Woodlands only about a year ago. I have a BA in Communications with a Minor in Dialogue and a Certificate in Sustainable Community Development. I’m driven by sustainability, arts, and culture. I’ve had a lifelong interest in urban planning and greatly enjoyed exploring how the urban form affects our lifestyles in both my certificate program and CityStudio’s ‘Access to Nature’ semester of working on green projects for the City of Vancouver. I make my living as the Marketing Manager for a small tech company on the North Shore and I’m currently trying to teach myself how to garden. I look forward to engaging with my adopted neighbourhood and hope to have a positive impact!
Larissa Ardis I am a freelance editor with a BA in Communications and, as of June 2014, a Master of Resource Management (Planning) degree from SFU. In addition to editing, I’ve worked as a researcher, communications consultant, and news reporter. Most of my research and communications work has been for non-profit organizations with a social and/or environmental mission. I am as interested in the issues that will be discussed by the citizens’ assembly–particularly the challenge of accommodating more people in the future while retaining the essence of what makes this community great–as I am by the process itself as a method of planning. I’m sure all assembly members have something to teach me, and I look forward to meeting you all.
Sam Bailey I grew up around Commercial Drive, getting coffee with my father almost everyday is one of the earliest memories that I can recall. I am currently a student at Simon Fraser University and I am studying History with a minor in Political Science. One of my favorite things to do is walk around trout lake, either by myself or with other members of my family. I am deeply interested as to the direction this community will go and I hope to be a part of the process. Once I saw the letter sent around asking for volunteers I jumped at the opportunity, I hope to get to know everyone else who was chosen in the upcoming months.
Simon Baker I grew up in the small town of Ailsa Craig, ON and moved to Vancouver 8 years ago. I studied forestry and was employed at a provincial park. Since moving to Vancouver I have been a cafe manager, a bartender, a vintage furniture salesman, and am currently employed as a fleet technician at a car sharing company. I make digital art and have had my animations showcased within blogs as well as shown at galleries and events in Vancouver, New York, London and Berlin. I have explored the geography, history, and local politics of Vancouver and believe that the Grandview-Woodlands area is perhaps the most “livable” part of Vancouver and I will be a voice in securing that for its inhabitants.
Dorothy Barkley I am the Executive Director of the Architecture Foundation of BC and have been a senior executive in the Not-for-profit sector for the majority of my working life, including advocacy, safety and regulation realms. Having regulated the architects of BC for over 10 years, I gained a great respect for the role and responsibilities of a regulator, especially that of protecting the public interest. I continue to be involved in the sector, working on behalf of the BC College of Pharmacists. I was born in Vancouver, but have lived in many places: the Caribou, the far North (Yellowknife), old Ontario (Kingston) and Europe (the Hague), before settling back in Vancouver to raise my family. Grandview Woodland has been my home since 2005, initially with my 3 children, now on my own. When I moved to GW, I immediately explored it on foot with my dog and through those walks got to know the neighbourhood and forged many friendships, which in turn led to my becoming involved in Grandview Woodland’s community issues. I now participate in a number of local organizations which has led to my participation in Vancouver wide groups. I am a dedicated and determined daily runner, if slower than I would like, and a happy, dog owning gardener.
Ladan Bayani-Mehrabadi I was born and raised in Vancouver. I lived up in northern BC for 4 years for nursing school (Prince George, Vanderhoof, Haida Gwaii) and then returned here in 2010 to work as a Registered Nurse with Vancouver Coastal Health in mental health and addictions, and currently in emergency. I have been living in the Grandview-Woodlands area since 2010 and have seen the many changes of the neighborhood since my return to Vancouver and within the past 4 years. I am a harm reduction advocate, and I care about community, sustainability and the environment.
Larissa Blokhuis I am a professional artist working in glass and mixed media. I use fluid lines and natural themes to reflect an appreciation of natural beauty. I am interested in a diverse range of topics, including nature science, politics, psychology, and history. I was born and raised in Calgary. I have a BFA with a major in Glass from the Alberta College of Art and Design, the only school in Canada to offer that program. In 2009 I moved to Vancouver, to Grandview-Woodland. I would like to engage in the policy of the neighbourhood without having to become a politician.
David Bouck I was born and raised in Vancouver in 1960 and have been living within a few blocks of Commercial Drive for the last 25 years. We rented for 16 years then bought our house from the landlord in 2003. I’ve worked as a tree planter, in construction, as a fishing guide, and in the film and tv industry. In 2005 I opened the office for our TV commercial service production company across the street from Joe’s.
Eric Buchanan I am a public servant, runner, outdoor enthusiasts and a community volunteer. I was raised in Port Alberni and moved to Vancouver last summer after living in Victoria for seven years. I am an administrative clerk in the provincial government. I always found value involving myself in the community I live in and helping others. I came to this neighbourhood for its diversity and rich culture. As a public servant, I take pride in serving my community to the best of my ability and providing a voice for my neighbours.
Hilda Castillo I immigrated to Vancouver 9 years ago. I work for a non-profit organization as an Instructor. The agency I work for is located in East Vancouver. Through my work I help all kinds of citizens to find employment, I find my work rewarding. I have lived East Vancouver for 5 years and I am planning to reside in the same area for a while. I am interested in becoming more involved with my community. Also, I am part of the strata council of the building where I live.
Ken Ciochon I was born in Flint Michigan. I have a degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University and worked as an engineer in California. I came to Canada in 1998 and have lived in Grandview Woodlands since then. My partner and I served five years on the Britannia Community Centre Board of Management. I am retired.
Scott Clark I am Coast Salish from the Beecher Bay First Nation. I am a founding director and currently the executive director of Aboriginal Life In Vancouver Enhancement (ALIVE), which promotes full Indigenous inclusion in all Vancouver’s 24 communities in all progressive social, economic, and environmental actions that supports empowering all vulnerable populations. I previously was the President and Vice President of United Native Nations BC for 7 years, President of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre, President of Circle of Eagles Society, director of Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, and on the executive of National Aboriginal Housing Association, to name a few of the roles I’ve done over the years. I recently worked on the Downtown East Side Local Area Plan, which City of Vancouver adopted and got elected to Britannia Community Centre’s board of management. I look forward to bringing my expertise to the table to support building inclusive, engaging, accountable, and reflective community in Grandview Woodlands and city-wide.
Elisa Coelho I was born and raised in Vancouver and have lived in the Grandview-Woodland area for most of my life. I currently work at Simon Fraser University in the Student Services Department. For 10 years I worked at a business law firm on marketing, communication, and business development initiatives. I have a B.A. in Communications and a Liberal Arts Certificate. While completing my degree I participated in my faculty’s co-op program and worked at Industry Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, as well as a technology focused non-profit. I look forward to taking part in the planning process for the future development of our neighbourhood.
Lawrence Cofield I am originally from Victoria, B.C. and have lived in Vancouver since 1986. For the past 10 years I have made the Commercial Drive area my home with my wife and 2 children. I run a small business from home doing IT consulting and project management. During the Vancouver 2010 Olympics I volunteered and assisted with keeping their computer network running smoothly. I am a member of the Woodland Community Garden. I am very interested in community and would like to do my part to make this wonderful neighbourhood even better.
Guillaume Colley I was born and raised in France, where I graduated from University with a Masters Degree in Math and Modelling. I have been a Data Analyst at the BC Center For Excellence in HIV/AIDS (Providence Health Care) and living on Commercial Drive since I moved to Vancouver 5 years ago. As a new dad, I am thrilled to be involved in the Citizen’s Assembly to help plan the future of our great community. I have lived in Paris, France and London, UK, so I have a good understanding of the needs and concerns of various communities. I am in favour of sustainable transportation, thriving local businesses, public services and green spaces within an affordable neighbourhood.
Lawrence Cotnoir I have lived and worked from east Vancouver for going on forty years my original profession is carpentry working the gamut of all the varied forms of construction, most being high rises–six years coal harbor, fourteen years Centreville. I have also worked various industrial jobs, such as casear connector, Seymour seismic upgrade, VGH addition, A380 extension, YVR and a number tilt job around the GVRD. I am currently semi retired and operate a small contracting company as well as represent officer status in a ltd software company.
Erin Crisfield I was born and raised in Alberta, lived for short periods in Vancouver, Ontario and Ghana and have lived in Vancouver since 2000. My husband and I moved to the Grandview-Woodlands area in 2012 and live in the Watershed Co-op community. I hold a B.Sc. in Ecology and an M.A. in Adult Education. I am an educator, researcher, writer and administrator focusing on sustainable, simple, intentional living.
Monica Dare I am an American (New Yorker) by birth and a Canadian by choice. I’ve lived in the same place near Commercial Drive since 1988. I love my neighbourhood and I hope to retire here, so I have a great deal of interest in its future. I shop locally wherever possible. I am a licensed Strata Manager by profession and I balance that somewhat draining work by supporting and/or volunteering for a number of community groups including Pivot Legal, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Grandview Woodland Area Council, Grandview Woodland Community Policing Centre, Out On Screen and others. I have no immediate family in Vancouver and so I have created a chosen family from the wonderful and supportive people who I am fortunate to call my friends. I am delighted to have been chosen for the CItizens’ Assembly and look forward to the experience.
Asher deGroot I was born and raised in the Vancouver area. Having studied in Edmonton and Halifax, I completed a Masters of Architecture and Bachelor of Environmental Design at Dalhousie University. Since returning to Vancouver I have become a registered Architect in British Columbia and have led design and construction teams for projects throughout Canada and beyond. This includes the development of a primary school in Sierra Leone, West Africa, working with local community groups and learning from local building materials and techniques. My varied travel, study and work experiences have given me a solid understanding and love of the built environment, from the details of construction to the fabric that makes up our neighbourhoods . I truly believe that thoughtful and artful design and city planning can help to shape a healthier place to live and a better future for Grandview-Woodland.
Carl Desbiens I grew up in Germany/Ontario and moved here about 20 years ago to play in the mountains. I work as a shipper/forklift operator at a construction business but am looking for something that is more personally fulfilling and interesting. Over the years I have worked in ski/snowboard shops, bike/outdoor shops and have also put in a few years as a Carpenter’s helper. In my down time I like to ride my road bike, read and watch documentaries.
Dirk Duivestein I am an immigrant who has lived in our own home in Grandview Woodlands for 35 years and intend living here for the next 35 years. Our children grew up in GW and currently live here as adults. I am a semi retired civil engineer but am unconflicted as I do not work on projects in Vancouver. Regarding volunteering, I served on committees at our children’s local elementary and high school and also as a youth soccer coach at local clubs and the Britannia Community Center. As a long term resident who has observed changes to GW, I am keen to be involved in the plans for the future.
Terry Fuller I was born in San Francisco, California, and grew up in the Bay Area. I moved to Vancouver in 1982 with my son, who was 10 at the time. I am a dual citizen of both Canada and the United States. I have a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology from San Jose State University. I have worked primarily in the postsecondary system in British Columbia, Saskatchewan. I spent two years in Oman, and two years in San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico. I have been retired for 4 years, and have never been busier! My main interest is photography and I spend a lot of time in this fine art. I have lived in Vancouver off and on since coming to Canada, and have lived and owned property on The Drive for many years. My son grew up in the area. I served on the Grandview-Woodland Area Council in the late 80s.
Marina Glass I was born in Zagreb, Croatia and moved to Canada from the Netherlands. I am a forty year resident of Vancouver and have lived most of those years within walking distance of Commercial Drive. This neighborhood has always had a huge mix of peoples from differing, backgrounds, ethnicities and opinions and I value the ebb and flow of the various influences we all bring. Grandview Woodlands has always been my favourite neighborhood and there was no question about where I wanted to settle and raise my family. I live with my husband of 16yrs, our two kids and a menagerie of pets. My background is in Mediation and Project Management. I have run a home-based consulting business for 15 years and hope that my perseverance in identifying issues, finding and connecting people with resources will be put to service so that vision and ideation can become a realistic plan.
Riley Godard I am a software engineer working in the Videogame industry. I was born in Nanaimo, moved to Vancouver in 2011, and I have lived in Grandview for about a year. I am a graduate of the Vancouver Film School where I spent a year studying game design, I’m very passionate about games and believe they can educate as well as entertain. Having never attended a formal computer science program, most of my programming knowledge is self-taught. I am a strong advocate for open-source technology, computer code that anyone can download, share and sell. I am also interested in Science, Education (especially teaching programming and increased computer literacy), Politics and the Environment, I hope to leverage my skills as a critical thinker to bring a unique perspective to the Grandview-Woodland assembly.
Tracy Hoskin I grew up in rural Southwestern Ontario, and have now lived in Vancouver for 5 years with my husband. We are expecting our first child and look forward to raising our baby in the diverse neighbourhood of the Drive. I have a Masters in Public Health and work as a Community Health Specialist. My job is focused on supporting communities to become healthy and sustainable through the adoption of healthy public policies and programs. I have also had the opportunity to do community development work in Africa, Asia and Central America, most recently in a remote area of Northern Cambodia. I look forward to working alongside other community members to develop a neighbourhood plan that reflects the uniqueness and character of our community.
Rory Johnson Originally from Alberta, I have lived in Vancouver for ten years and in Grandview-Woodland for most of this time. I am a Simon Fraser University graduate student who does health services research in the Department of Geography. My work has involved directly consulting workers and users of health systems to better understand their experiences with emerging policies and practices. I am excited to be participating in research and policy development from the other side of the table and hope that participating in this process will help produce a plan reflective of our community’s needs and goals.
Jennifer Kassimatis I grew up in Port Moody, BC, but now live in Vancouver with my husband and our two young daughters. I have a BSc in Chemistry and a BTech in Environmental Health and currently work for Vancouver Coastal Health as an Environmental Health Officer within the Healthy Built Environment program. As the subject of healthy communities is one that I consider every day, I look forward to being able to participate in a group that will help to shape the community in which I live. I strongly believe that the planning of neighbourhoods requires a health lens to ensure that all its residents lead happy, healthy lives for many generations to come.
Karen Li personal statement coming soon
Marcia MacDonald I grew up in North Delta, BC and currently live near 5th and Commercial, from which I commute by bike to work at a non-profit research organization along the Broadway corridor. I spent 17 years as a renter of various types of housing in Vancouver, BC and Kingston ON, including low/mid-rise buildings, suites in heritage houses, and student residences. In 2007, I joined Rising Star Housing Co‑op, which finally provided me with secure, good quality, affordable housing in a vibrant community with a diverse range of backgrounds, incomes, and special needs. Our co-op has been working with the City of Vancouver since April 2012 to extend our land lease so that we can re-negotiate our mortgage and secure our co-op’s future. As a strong supporter of the BC-STV proposed voting system recommended by the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform, I am looking forward to learning more about deliberative democracy.
Dan Martell I have a College degree in Business Administration and have worked in the travel industry as a Client Manager for the last 17 years. Like many Vancouverites I am not originally from the west coast, I have Maritime roots, grew up in Montreal, spent a few years in Toronto then moved to Vancouver 24 years ago. It took me quite a while to feel at home here, it only really happened 11 years ago when I moved from the West Side to my current address in beautiful Grandview-Woodland. I coach hockey & baseball, have 3 teenage children & care deeply about the issues being addressed by this panel. Growth must be managed carefully and thoughtfully, Grandview-Woodland is home to a fascinating mosaic of residents and it has a unique character that must be preserved.
Mark Matthews I am 60 years old and have been living in the neighbourhood for about 19 years. I am interested in bringing down barriers and sustaining the quality life here in Grandview-Woodland. Presently, I am on disability and so I am trying to give back and be involved in the community. I belong to the working group Under One Umbrella, which is a group of concerned citizens working on homelessness and drug abuse in Grandview-Woodland. I have also volunteered with different youth groups over the years. Originally, I worked in the fishing industry, and was a labor activist.
Christine McCallum I was born and raised in Brandon, Manitoba and Calgary, Alberta respectively. I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Victoria. For three years post graduation I spent summers working in Dawson City, Yukon and winters traveling the world. I moved to Vancouver in 2003 and have been working as a learning and development professional in the technology industry ever since. I lived first in Kitsilano, then in Mount Pleasant and most recently in Grandview-Woodland. I absolutely love the neighbourhood as I find it to be the friendliest, most vibrant, and diverse area of all the places I have lived in Vancouver. I am looking forward to spending the next twenty years raising my family here and witnessing the evolution of the neighbourhood. Planning for the future of Grandview-Woodland is something I am passionate about on a personal level, and find fascinating from a process perspective.
Levente Mihalik I’ve lived in the Hastings Sunrise/ Grandview Woodlands area my entire life. I am a Capilano University film school graduate and have been teaching film since 2006 at SFU’s Summer Camps. I’ve also been an Instructor, Technical Assistant, and in-house editor/filmmaker at Tarlington Training from 2010-2014. I work as a visiting artist with the Vancouver School Board, running film workshops at various elementary and secondary schools. I’ve been working in film since 2004, and have continued to maintain constant professional work since then, including work in the Vancouver Film Studio’s Editorial Department. My business partner and I have founded a Youth video production program called Young Moviemakers, where we teach film on a weekly basis at different venues. I have also worked in the Vancouver Nightlife Industry for the past five years as a host/ club promoter. Growing up in my neighbourhood as well as working in a field where I’ve interacted with countless members of the community, I have met a diverse range of people from all cultures and social classes. It has allowed me to understand the importance of thinking about the needs and the identities of remote communities.
Faith Moosang I have lived and worked in the Commercial Drive area for over 25 years. I have an MFA from Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts. I am an artist, curator, writer and researcher, focussing on history, art and art history.
Monica Morgan personal statement coming soon
Jen Moses I have lived in the Grandview Woodlands area for 32 years. In that time, I rented, belonged to 2 housing coops and, for the past 17 years, I have lived at 2nd and Garden in the house I own with my partner. My partner and I have one daughter who was born and raised in Grandview Woodlands, attending Hastings Elementary, Van Tech High School and Kiwassa Out of School programs. I am an Early Childhood Educator and have worked directly with children or in childcare related areas for 30 years. Currently, I teach Early Childhood Education at Capilano U. I have always been active in the community with a focus on issues of inclusion and diversity. I am passionate about and am committed to the health and well-being of all people in neighbourhoods and communities.
Gene Nagy Born in Hungary, near the end of WW2 and left after the 1956 Revolution. After a short stint in Trieste, where I learned Italian, I went to live in SW London, England, where I lived for all my teenage years. I arrived in Canada with my fresh British Citizenship in 1964 and in Vancouver by 1965. My first sleep in Vancouver was a few doors down from the Cultch. I graduated from BCIT in Survey Technology, now called Geomatics, in 1970. From surveying I gravitated towards municipal engineering and contract supervision on projects in most of the Lower Mainland municipalities. In 1992 moved to Nakusp, BC, from a house we owned in Marpole for 15 years. My wife, Chris, was born in Nelson, raised in Nakusp; we were married in 1966. We have two kids, James who lives in Oakridge and Sue, who lives in Strathcona. A few years ago we bought a condo in Kits but last year we sold it and purchased a house on Graveley Street. At the moment the place is stripped inside and out and we hope to restore it to modern standards but try retain the period look, which is early 1900. Massive job! I have been active in Rotary International through which I was involved as volunteer, joint project manager on a seniors’ housing project. The $2.2m, 14 unit complex was completed in 2011. I have visited many European countries, most of US States as well as a short visit to Rio, Brazil. I have been to Sydney, Australia and toured New Zealand on a motorcycle. Since our move to Vancouver, I want to get more involved with local issues, in particular GW. The daunting issues around transportation, city-scape planning, affordable housing and accommodating the imminent arrival of many, many more people in the next two decades needs a well thought out plan. I hope my ideas will be useful.
Apidi Onyalo I was born in Ontario and have lived in Vancouver since 2006. I have spent the last decade working in real estate, and over the past five years as a licensed Realtor specializing in servicing the downtown and East Vancouver areas. I also have a strong passion for the arts and after taking a one year Arts and Entertainment Management Certificate at Capilano University, have begun immersing myself in the world of Artist Management and Fashion Design. Raised by social activists and having a great understanding of Vancouver and the East Van neighbourhoods over the past eight years makes me very excited to be a part of this experience.
Shawn Preus I have lived in Grandview Woodlands for more than 30 years and been an active community member. I love the diversity of Grandview Woodlands, the buildings, the businesses and the people. One of my volunteering roles is on a board of a non-profit society providing affordable housing in the lower-mainland, including several buildings in Grandview Woodlands. During my 40 plus working years I have been active in the Vancouver arts, social service and housing co-op sectors. My experiences and training has centred on my core values of social justice and sustainable building practices. I just completed certification as a sustainable building advisor (CSBA). I believe this skill, along with and my values which are strongly aligned with social justice, will bring a valuable role to this committee. “The most sustainable building is one already built.”
Dylan Rawlyk I grew up in Saskatoon and have now lived in Vancouver for eight years. I have a bachelor’s of science in plant biology and work to restore natural biodiversity throughout Metro Vancouver. I am going back to school for my B. Ed. in September. I’m happy to be able to be a part of shaping my community.
Mandy Scanga Since moving into the Grandview-Woodland area in 2011, I have grown to love the community and its vibrant culture. Being an active member of the arts community, as well as holistic nutritionist, I’ve found in Grandview-Woodland a neighbourhood that represents many of the values which I hold dear. You can often find me walking along Commerical Drive, checking out the many markets and eclectic shops, or at Trout Lake, either at the farmers’ market or just enjoying the park with our dog, Boston.
Rasmus Storjohann I have lived in Vancouver since the mid nineties, and in this neighbourhood for almost 15 years. My partner and I own a condo here and I’m on the Strata Council in our building. I love living in this neighbourhood. I like the mix of people, being close to down-town but not too close, and lots of independent businesses. I’ve recently become a regular at Britannia to try and get in shape. In the summer a lot of our food comes from the Farmers’ Market. My education is in science and I work in software development. I’m interested in social issues such as understanding democratic processes, cultural and market forces and how they form our society. Originally from Norway, I guess I still have a bit of an outsider’s view, but Vancouver is definitely home.
Edward Stringer Born in Vancouver in 1957, my family moved many times until settling in Nelson, BC, where I grew up, leaving in 1975 to attend SFU. After attaining an B.A. I worked prior to completing teacher training. Jobs being scarce I moved to France in 1984 and upon returning to Canada began a teaching an elementary school teaching career which has encompassed French Immersion, English stream and currently Intensive French. I am a gay white male, married to my partner of 19 years. Grandview Woodlands has been my home since 1994 and I am very grateful to have been able to purchase a condo while housing was affordable in the neighbourhood. I am currently in my 2nd year of a 2 year term as a board member of the Britannia Community Services Centre.
Betty Tronson I grew up in the woods in Okanagan, and moved to Vancouver for the freedom in 1967. I have one son who is a longshoreman who also lives in the neighbourhood. I worked in different kinds of jobs, and in the 1980s I became a Native Family Support worker as well as a childcare worker. I have been an actor–I was once on Beachcombers, as well as in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure–and I love all the arts, as well as writing. About 20 years ago I had bad accident, and since I have been recovering in many ways. I now know I am going to make it.
Amy Turton I moved to Vancouver seven years ago, after finishing an undergraduate degree in philosophy at the University of Victoria. After coming here I worked in the tech industry and took additional post-secondary courses at SFU. I’ve been a regular volunteer with local progressive groups for about five years, and for the past two years I’ve worked downtown as a project coordinator. As someone who commutes to and from work on the bus, I have a first-hand understanding of how important public transportation and community services are to our city.
Walter van der Kamp I am a single 48 year old carpenter. I live in a rented apartment in the Sunrise Hastings neighbourhood. I was born in Scotland and raised mostly in Ladner B.C. I have 3 years of general arts university education a carpentry ticket and a diploma in wooden boat building. I worked as a carpenter and a home builder in the Victoria Area until two years ago when I moved back to the lower mainland. I currently do carpentry and construction work for a variety of customers in the Vancouver area. By participating in the citizens’ assembly I hope to contribute something to the wellbeing of this community.
Sam Wiebe I was born in Vancouver and have lived in the GVRD all my life. I’m an author of crime novels–my first, Last of the Independents, comes out this August. I also teach literature and composition at a small college in Coquitlam. I have an MA from SFU in English Literature.
Heather Williams I grew up on Vancouver Island with my sisters and mom. I was successful with dance and ultimately followed my passion, becoming a professional dancer and singer. The early years I trained at the Canadian College of Performing Arts then began dancing and singing locally, provincially and internationally. July 14, 2001, 7 months into my contract with Universal Studios Japan, I was hit by a taxi and acquired a traumatic brain injury. I spent 8 weeks in a coma then 3 months at G. F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre. Presently, I live in Vancouver with my partner, Ronald. I am also writing my memoirs of my traumatic experience. I have taken a creative writing class at Trout Lake Community Centre and hope to shed light on brain injury and share my journey to recovery.
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