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 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.
At a young age while helping her parents run their business on the roads of Hanoi, Linh developed her love for the rawness of the street and its people. Growing up in a culture where having the sense of community is fundamental, some of her most memorable lessons were stories shared by community members. Linh left home in 2009 to pursue the Bachelor of Science in Economics at the University of Minnesota to better understand the stark divergence of social welfare that she observed first hand. Having had the privilege to work with ethnic minorities, immigrants, refugees and women in marginalized communities, she believes in small changes and big dreams. After exhibiting her superpower in withstanding -40-degree winters, Linh moved to Vancouver in 2014 to further test her power in braving through the incessant rain. She obtained a Master in Economic Development at the University of British Columbia and joined the Building Caring Communities team in 2016. As a community connector, Linh works to honor people’s hidden narratives that push past genres and extend beyond words. Linh may never run for a bus, but she is always willing to go the extra mile for people. In her free time, Linh takes these mantras to the streets. You might have seen her wandering the streets of Vancouver with her cameras, capturing strangers’ faces between strange places. She unwinds by expressing herself through dancing, photography, writing, playing guitar, and teaching mathematics. Linh can’t wait to tell you her stories (in first-person perspective :p) and is looking forward to be inspired by yours.
Matt is a creative jack-of-all trades. He ventured to Vancouver from the plains of Alberta in 2008 to pursue a career in makeup art for TV and film. Several years and a change of heart later he re-focused himself towards working with and for people. This trajectory has led to Matt facilitating outdoor and leadership activities for people of all ages in urban and natural environments, from canoeing on the ocean to snowshoeing in the mountains. He is currently a Community Connector with the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion and is in the process of obtaining a degree in Child and Youth Care Counselling at Douglas College in Coquitlam, BC. Matt is passionate about making visual art, playing music, being emerged in nature, staying connected to his friends, family and community.
Julian was born and raised in Coquitlam. As a lifelong resident of the “burbs” you can find Julian launching his kayak from the many different beaches and launch spots around the lower mainland. He is also an avid martial arts geek, spending a lot of his time watching combat sports. To further his martial arts passion, Julian trains and teaches classes at a Muay Thai Kickboxing gym in North Burnaby, you can catch him there most nights of the week. He is also a committed dog owner, taking his large German Sheppard for off leash adventures every day, rain or shine. Julian currently facilitates a Youth Leadership Council, where council members learn important leadership skills as they transition to different stages in their lives. After graduating from SFU in December 2015 with a degree in Philosophy, he began working as a Community Support Worker. But at the root of it all, Julian embodies what it is to be a student, having a passion for learning and the growth. His friends consider him to be open to new ways of thinking, as he always welcomes fresh perspectives. As one of the newest Connectors, Julian couldn`t be more excited to be a part of the BCC Team!
Christine was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario or as some Windsorites like to call “South Detroit”. When Christine was ten years old her sister was diagnosed with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, and Christine became intrigued about learning and interacting with people with diverse abilities. She began volunteering at a sibling support group as a teenager and later on decided to pursue a career in social work. Christine competed a bachelor degree in Social Work and (dis)Ability Studies at the University of Windsor in 2014, and she is currently studying her masters in social work part time. In August 2015, she and her partner Wes decided to make the big move out west to the beautiful city of Vancouver. Close friends and family of Christine know her as a dancer, cat owner, knitter, yogi, Rubik’s cube solver, hiker, creative, intuitive, empathetic, authentic, determined, and passionate individual. In March 2017, she joined the Building Caring Communities team as a community Connector. Christine can’t wait to meet you to learn about your story and what you’re passionate about!
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 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 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 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.