Conference Guest Speakers
Daryl leads FundRazr, an innovative, award-winning global enterprise crowdfunding platform. He is a serial entrepreneur who loves the challenge of building companies from scratch, has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one, Optio Software, to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. Daryl is frequently called upon for expert commentary on nonprofit fundraising and crowdfunding topics for media sites including CBC, CTV, Global News, TVO, PostMedia, BBC, Forbes and Bloomberg. Today, Daryl serves as board member and advisor to multiple Canadian and Silicon Valley based start-ups including Canadian securities crowdfunding site FrontFundr. He is a Director of the PayPal Giving Fund (Canada), Director of the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association of Canada and sits on the Crowdfunding Working Group for #GivingTuesday.
A member of Saulteau First Nations in Treaty 8 Territory of BC, Karen Aird has worked as an archaeologist then in cultural heritage management for the past 23 years on many projects that convey a strong sense of place in Indigenous landscapes, encompassing the stories, legal traditions and the intangible and tangible elements into Indigenous heritage. As a consultant, Karen has worked as the Cultural Heritage Planner for the Treaty 8 Tribal Association, the Tse’K’wa (the Charlie Lake Cave house) Heritage Society and the Nun WaDee (Dane-zaa Caretakers Society); as project coordinator for Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Cultural Heritage Study; and as Curator for the Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park. And, more recently, Karen has embarked on the position of Heritage Manager for First Peoples Cultural Council.
Karen is one of the founding directors and now the President of the National Indigenous Heritage Circle, a non-profit organization focused on the identification, management and conservation of Indigenous heritage.
Gary A. Mitchell is the Provincial Archivist Emeritus, having retired in 2015 after 30 years at the provincial archives. Born and raised near Fort Langley, he started Public Service in 1985 after obtaining his Masters of Archival Studies at UBC. Gary’s contributions were recognized by his peers in November 2001 with “Distinguished Service and Leadership Award” by the UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for “exemplary public service leadership”; in 2012, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for “services to Heritage and Preservation” and this April, the Archives Association of British Columbia granted him an Honorary Life Membership. He continues his volunteer efforts by assisting and supporting: the BCHF; the Diocese of Victoria in restarting its archives and records program; and community archives and heritage groups in navigating the “bewilderment” of Public Service.
Chuck Tasaka grew up in the internment site of in Greenwood, BC. Chuck attended University of B.C. and graduated in 1968 with a B.Ed (elementary). He taught in the Ladysmith/Nanaimo School District 68 for 33 years and coached various sports for 41 years. Retired in 2002, but coached the Jump Rope For Heart Demonstration Skipping Team for another 8 years. He became interested in Nikkei history and was part of the Nikkei Legacy Roadside Signage Committee in partnership with the provincial government. He has written two books on Greenwood, Runny-nosed Brats of Greenwood and My Hometown, My Furusato.
David is a former University lecturer and radio columnist with CBC. Mr. Leverton is a geographer who received a First Class Honours degree from Carleton University and a Master’s degree from University of Ottawa. David is an avid outdoor photographer and has spent over 25 years cruising the west coast of British Columbia and Alaska.
David recently co-authored Those Who Perished: The Unknown Story of the Largest Shipwreck Disaster Along the Pacific Northwest Coast and is a regular contributor of historical maritime articles to BC Shipping News.
Duncan MacLeod is the Curator of the Vancouver Maritime Museum. He was born and raised in Vancouver. He completed his undergraduate degree at UBC, studying ancient history, cultures and languages. While at UBC, Duncan participated in two archaeological excavations: one in Greece and one in BC. After finishing his undergraduate degree Duncan traveled to England to pursue a master’s degree in Classical Archaeology at Oxford University. Upon returning to Vancouver, Duncan began a year-long internship at the SFU Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology where he helped to redesign the displays and layout of the museum. Duncan has been working at the Vancouver Maritime Museum for over three years and has overseen the operations of the curatorial department for the past two years, becoming curator in June 2015. In 2016 he travelled through the Arctic with One Ocean Expeditions lecturing about the European quest for the Northwest Passage.
Paul Gravett has extensive experience working with non-for-profit organizations as an executive director, board chair, and interim manager. As a consultant, Paul has worked with organizations in the arts, tourism and health and wellness sectors, focusing on ways to operate viable and vital businesses, as well as to reach and engage communities through values-driven strategies. Paul is currently the executive director of Heritage BC.
Editor, British Columbia Magazine
Andrea Lister wears many hats. She is the principal of Absolutely Literate, editor of British Columbia History magazine, author of the sold-out book Commitment to Caring: Chilliwack Hospital Auxiliary’s 100 Years, and an avid family historian. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts from UBC and a Technical Communications certificate from SFU. She is the 2015 Maple Ridge Community Heritage Commission winner of the History and Heritage Research and Publication award for her design and indexing work for Looking Back: Volume One published by the Maple Ridge Historical Society. She co-edits the Maple Ridge Family History Newsletter and regularly speaks about researching your family history.
Michelle Willard is the Executive Director of the Cumberland Museum and Archives. She studied at UBC, where she earned her master’s degree, and specialized in museum studies under the guidance of staff at the UBC Museum of Anthropology. Michelle has worked in museums, historic sites, and community centres throughout BC. She is interested in museums as possible agents of social change and she mixes both anthropological theory and critical curatorial practices in exploring the portrayal of Cumberland’s history.
Parks and Outdoor Recreation Coordinator
Village of Cumberland
Kevin McPhedran is the Village of Cumberland’s Parks and Outdoor Recreation Coordinator. As part of this role, he is responsible for implementing the 2014 Coal Creek Historic Park Master Plan, which listed the installation of interpretive signage at the Chinatown and No. 1 Japanese Town Historic sites as priority projects. In working with the Cumberland Museum and Archives as project partners, the Village developed interpretive walking tours in Chinatown (2017) and No. 1 Town (2019) historic sites. In his spare time Kevin enjoys roaming the hills surrounding Cumberland on foot, bike, and skis.
Meaghan is an interpretive guide for the Cumberland Museum and Archives with a passion for storytelling, place making and community building. She is a high energy presenter who delights in sharing the connections between the local and global forces which have shaped our community. She uses built and natural spaces as jumping off points to explore social justice and environmental themes in the Village’s past and present. She is also Executive Director of the Cumberland Community Forest Society, a conservation organization dedicated to purchasing working forests surrounding the Village to protect them for their ecological, social and cultural values. Meaghan has lived, worked and played in the Village of Cumberland for 25 years.
Born and educated in New Zealand, Christine Dickinson is an educator who lived in Northern British Columbia for 34 years. Her passion is for the regional history of the province. She co-authored Atlin. The Story of British Columbia’s Last Gold Rush (1996) with Diane Solie Smith. The book received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award. Christine has lived in Courtenay since 2007, but she has had close family connections to the Comox Valley since 1973.
A graduate of the University of Victoria, Catherine Siba is the Curator of Social History at the Courtenay and District Museum. Catherine has led a number of historic digitization projects and has been involved with museum curatorship and research for many years.
Marianne Bell has lived and worked in and around Cumberland her whole life, absorbing the local folklore both legendary and historical. She has developed tours focusing on the women of Cumberland, the local labour history and on the everyday life and business of the community. Marianne recounts these tales of life, loss, tragedy and comedy in an engaging and considerate manner. She is also a community activist and volunteers for the Cumberland Events Society, The Coal Creek Historic Park Committee and the Cumberland Alleyway Signage Committee.
Pat Trask has had a lifelong interest in the natural world. In 1993, he began a career with the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Center as a programme interpreter. He has assisted with, and led, several significant excavations and is the co-author on a number of scientific publications.
For the last twenty-five years at the Courtenay Museum, Trask has hosted over fifty thousand visitors from around the world on fossil exploration tours to Comox Valley Rivers and waterways. He has also presented lectures at universities and museums across the province.
A founding member of the Vancouver Island Palaeontological Society, he also serves on the executive of the British Columbia Palaeontological Alliance and received the Alliance’s 2014 Rene Savenye Award for contributions to public understanding of palaeontology.
He is the Curator of Natural History at the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Center. On a daily basis, he continues his lifelong interest in natural history and inspires and encourages people of all ages and walks of life to explore the past, present and future natural world around them.