Our Team


Brooke Oxley, inclusion Powell River

Brooke has lived in Toronto, Guelph, Cortes Island, Victoria and Vancouver – and moved to Powell River in February 2019! She has been a Community Connector since 2013, and became the Community Connector practice Lead in 2018. Brooke has a certificate in Permaculture Design and a Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting. She enjoys hearing people’s stories, swimming, taking acting classes and puttering in her garden. A lifelong learner with a curious mind, Brooke believes that there is much power in people getting to know their neighbours and communities, slowing down a bit and listening to each other, asking each other for help, and pitching in when we can.

Christine Townley, Inclusion Powell River

Christine Townley, Inclusion Powell River

Christine to most, Chris to some, Chrissy to only one but her favorite title is by far ‘mom’ or ‘mommy’, for her biggest passion and accomplishment is family.  She’s a happily married,  tomato loving, ‘true gemini’ who loves anything outdoors.  Born with the innate quality of a genuinely good heart, Christine is described as quirky, unique and filled with a intuitive kindness that has often drawn people toward her since time unmemorable. Christine believes in the power of kindness and feels deeply she was put on this planet to help create happiness.

Galen Robinson-Exo, posAbilities

Galen grew up in Portland, OR, and moved to Vancouver in 2007 to attend school at the University of British Columbia. He has since made the city his home, joining the Connector team in 2018. Galen has a degree in Sociology from UBC, and is particularly interested in issues of social justice and community engagement. BCC has given him an opportunity to learn from a diverse group of individuals, and exploring Vancouver’s many subcultures. He enjoys being a part of BCC participants’ journey toward building and strengthening relationships based on trust, honesty and mutual respect. Galen is passionate about many things, including live music, travel and the outdoors, but his strongest affection is for photography, which takes up a good portion of his free time. He is curious by nature, and loves to discover new places, people and ways of seeing the world. He loves to help people explore their interests, hone their talents, and seek new experiences.

Spencer, BACI

Spencer landed in the Community Connector role as an individual who embraces change. An enthusiasm to learn new things, meet new people, and take on risks, has led Spencer into a life rich with experience. The growth and resilience that come with being engaged with many diverse communities, have also meant overcoming unique challenges towards sustaining community connections.

A seasonal worker for many years, Spencer is skilled at adapting to new situations and communities. Born and raised in South-Eastern Ontario within a complex family system, Spencer moved to the Rockies the day after high school to become a self-taught skier and ski instructor. After several years of getting cold feet, leading teams into winter backcountry wilderness, Spencer relocated from Banff to Vancouver, and continues adventuring to discover places, known and less known here on Coast Salish land.

With a diploma in Interactive Media from the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto, Spencer knows how to effectively collaborate with diversity, produce and experiment with creative technology, prototype story-driven user experiences that are person-centred and meaningful. This continues to be Spencer’s practice today in their current Connector role: as artist, athlete, ally, advocate and activist for social justice and human rights.

Never shy of talking with strangers, feel free to say hi if you see me out and about.

Nathan Salangsang, posAbilities

Nathan has a passion for helping people. When he moved from the Philippines to Manitoba he immediately volunteered for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Winnipeg. After finishing a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts from the University of the Philippines Los Banos, he started a Bachelor’s Degree in French Studies at the University of Winnipeg. But due to his restlessness to help people, he decided to try to become a paramedic and then eventually became a lifeguard incorporating his love for swimming and saving the lives of people. As the Senior Lifeguard Supervisor, together with his team, he is proud to have rescued and saved the lives of 200 people in the course of their work on a cruise ship. It’s the kind of fulfillment he values the most. Currently he is earning a diploma in Behavior Intervention at Douglas College. He enjoys photography, exploring nature and meditation. He also studies the philosophy of Buddhism. He has travelled to Nepal, Mexico, Thailand and Cambodia, and took meditation classes with gurus and monks. He believes in the principles of Metta Meditation which is the simple practice of benevolence, loving-kindness, friendliness, amity, good will, and an active interest in others. He joined BCC towards the end of 2018 and enjoys helping people achieve their goals.

Emily Hein, posAbilities

Emily grew up in the Okanagan, spending most of their time in the outdoors – swimming, hiking and biking. After highschool Emily spent some time volunteering and traveling through Ghana and Burkina Faso, and eventually moved to Vancouver in 2006 to attend UBC. Since graduating in 2011 with a Bachelor in Human Geography and minor in Critical Studies in Sexuality, Emily joined various bicycle-focused organizations including the Our Community Bikes, the Bike Kitchen, and HUB Cycling. There Emily honed their skills as a bike mechanic and community builder.

As an active collective member at PEDAL, Emily was involved in spearheading After School Bike Clubs which provide bikes and teach both mechanical and safe cycling skills to youth with limited resources and coordinated the Pedals for the People Program which continues to provide free bikes to folks with barriers to transportation. In their work at HUB, Emily delivered safe cycling instruction to new immigrants and children across the Lower Mainland. Emily became a Community Connector in 2019 and is excited to meet new folks and continue connecting people with their passions.

Kaia Kent – posAbilities

Kaia loves kayaking, hosting community events, and everything to do with nature. She has a background in permaculture design, coordinating community gardens, guiding sea kayaking and hiking trips, and volunteering in her neighbourhood to secure small grants for community events. Her personality is naturally kind, and she likes to listen to other’s perspectives. She is always curious to learn more about people and is not afraid to go on new adventures. Kaia likes to bring energizers to meetings to keep things fun. She brings an optimistic attitude and through studying Reiki, yoga, and meditation, she has learned how to stay centered and calm when facing chaotic situations. Kaia knows what it is like to live with someone with varied abilities, as one of her two sons is on the autism spectrum. He has spurred her on to work in this field since 2014. Kaia’s passion is finding new ways to overcome barriers and grow inclusive communities in all aspects of her life. She enjoys sketching, painting, sculpting, and most recently, designing and painting murals in her neighbourhood.

Caitlin Costello, BACI

Originally from a small town in Southwestern Ontario, Caitlin has always had a passion for helping others. Caitlin is interested in animals, crafting, and all things comedy! She started her career in nursing but quickly learned that her heart was leading her elsewhere. Caitlin relocated to Vancouver in 2015 and dove into the community experience with unstoppable enthusiasm and vigor. Since arriving she has had the honour of working with many unique individuals in the field and her passion grows more and more each day. In 2019 she found her way to Building Caring Communities, and is enjoying learning and growing with the team.

Esteban Gonzalez, BACI

Esteban joined the Connector team in 2019. He is a life-long learner always looking for opportunities to grow and learn. He studied English Literature at Simon Fraser University. Before becoming a Connector, he worked as a tutor with students of all ages and abilities. This work has taught him the importance of meeting people where they are at and creating a supportive environment where individuals can challenge themselves and reach their goals. Esteban loves to curl up at home with a book, ride his bike, cook a meal for his friends, and go for adventures in the woods.

Sharon Smiley, posAbilities

Sharon was born far far away from here, and for someone that ran a long long way to get to this spot, Sharon does not seem tired enough! Until now Sharon has managed to:

• Learn how to Swing and Salsa dance

• Study about Brains and Molecules in University

• Bake Croissants and Pies in a professional bakery

• Have conversations in Spanish, ASL and Hebrew

• Play Soccer and learn to fix a flat tire on Bobbert (the Bicycle)

• Start to Illustrate (but never finish) 6 children books

Juggle apples and manage a galley (“galley” is the name for a boat kitchen) on a Theater Ship

Travel alone around Eastern Europe

If you have a passion that you are scared, you’ll never be able to do, Sharon will probably tell you that that’s ok, because everyone is scared of something! The most important thing is to try. Guess what?! Sharon LOVES trying new things!

Ishita Khosla, BACI

Ishita (she/her) is a racialized settler on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, where she works and plays alongside the friends she has found on these lands. She seeks to be a voice that will disrupt the colonial and patriarchal systems that surround us- an activist striving to build communities that prioritize people over power. She loves meeting new people in her work as a Community Connector with BACI and is also a Behavioral Interventionist working with kids on the autism spectrum here in Vancouver.