The June 4 annual general meeting of the BC Historical Federation saw a new board acclaimed for 2022-23, including a shuffle of some key positions. We have a new president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and four new directors.
In all, there are five new faces combined with nine returning people for a board of 14. (Plus an honorary and past president who we hope will remain very hands on!)
Rosa Flinton-Brown takes over as president after serving as treasurer since 2019. Rosa says she will “endeavour to continue to build on BCHF’s many strengths, support its diverse and motivated membership, and uphold its values and traditions.”
Moving up from director to vice-president is Anna Irwin, who joined the board last year and chaired the recognition committee, which saw the creation of several new award categories.
Also taking on a key role is Kira Westby, who becomes secretary after serving as director for a year.
Shannon Bettles becomes past president and Jane Watt was appointed to be honorary president.
The new faces are as follows:
• Mary-Margaret Gaye, Treasurer
Mary-Margaret brings 25 years of experience working for government and farm organizations – managing programs, conducting research, and providing advice to Fraser Valley horticultural farmers and their organizations. She retired as the executive director of the BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association. Mary-Margaret recently completed a term as the treasurer of Pathways Serious Mental Illness Society. Her interest in family history — writing and publishing family books — and an unanticipated discovery of a collection of late 19th century glass plate negatives of Nepal, has her currently working with archivists and researchers to prepare and caption the images for public access through institutions in Patan and London. She brings her keen interest in accurately documenting history for current and future generations — and her knowledge of governance and financial management — to the BC Historical Federation.
• Janet Ou, Director-at-large
Janet is a second-year student at the University of British Columbia and has previously worked with the BCHF as a student volunteer, where her responsibilities included assisting in the planning and creation of social media posts to encourage student attendance at the conference. She intends to pursue a degree in interdisciplinary studies through the arts faculty. Her primary interests will be in sociology and history.
• Kennedy Neumann, Director-at-large
Kennedy is the new curator/manager at Heritage Park Museum in Terrace. Before moving to the northwest, Kennedy gained experience working as a museum registrar in Burnaby (where she grew up) and as a collections Intern in Victoria. With her work experience in both cultural heritage and politics, Kennedy is passionate about creating accessible, welcoming, and progressive spaces of museums and using these spaces to represent diverse history and ways of storytelling. Kennedy is a graduate of the Museum Management and Curatorship Graduate Certificate program from Fleming College in Peterborough and has her BA in history with a minor in communications from Carleton University in Ottawa.
• Ron Verzuh, Director-at-large
Ron is a writer, historian and documentary filmmaker. His latest book, Smelter Wars (UTP, 2022), isa history of the wartime struggle to form a union at the smelter in Trail. He is also the author of Radical Rag (Steel Rail, 1988), a history of the 19th-century Canadian labour press, and Underground Times (Deneau, 1989), an account of counterculture newspapers in Canada during the 1960s. His work has appeared in numerous journals, magazines and on websites in Canada and the United States. Ron’s documentary films include Joe Hill’s Secret Canadian Hideout, Remembering Salt (about a Canadian screening of the banned movie Salt of the Earth), and Codename Project 9 (about Canada’s role in making the atomic bomb). Born and raised in the Kootenays, he is married and now lives in Victoria.
• Aman Johal is a long-time site interpretation supervisor at Fort Langley. More biographical details on Aman to come!
The returning directors-at-large are Mark Forsythe, Maurice Guibord, Refano Evan Lumempouw, Greg Nesteroff, Emma Quan, and Elwin Xie.