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.
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.
Growing up in a small town in rural Australia, Jemima learned about the value of community from a very young age. She learned the importance of spending meaningful time with people, and that everybody can contribute to make for a better community.
Jemima has worked in the disability field for 13 years, pushing the boundaries of traditional service delivery. She has a Bachelor degree in Speech and Language Pathology and a Masters degree in Developmental Disability. Jemima specialises in inclusive post secondary education, social skills, community development, arts and disability, and social inclusion initiatives.
Jemima came to Vancouver in 2018, to immerse herself in the Canadian context and to grow her passions. She enjoys working with individuals to get them involved in their community, whilst also working with the community to see the potential of all people. When Jemima is not working as a Connector, you will find her collaborating on an art and disability project, going on hikes, face timing her family back in Australia, snowboarding and exploring beautiful British Columbia.
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.
On a leap of faith and a hope for a bit of magic, Peter and his family relocated from Saskatchewan to Vancouver in 2016. Like many, they could not resist the pull of both beauty and opportunity in the Pacific Northwest. Peter has definitely found opportunity in working as a Community Connector and couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Coming from years of leading both group homes and day programs, he is excited to draw on his past experience, while continuing to work towards building more inclusive communities.
Peter knows innately what community feels like from his upbringing in a small town of 1,200 people; he also knows how isolating and community-less the big city can feel. That being said, he wholeheartedly believes the vast majority of people require connection, seek connection and ultimately thrive when they have a community supporting them. Like most good things, finding one’s community takes time. This is what drives Peter to meet people where they are at and work within each individual’s comfort zone, to build the trust required to move beyond it.