2021 Board Members
Belva Stone is an early childhood educator with a deep love for the outdoors. A twenty year veteran of the early childhood education field, she holds both a Montessori Diploma and a Forest School Training Certificate along with her ECE Certification. As director of Muddy Boot Prints Outdoor Early Learning program, Belva is pioneering outdoor learning in an urban setting, connecting children with nature by being in local Vancouver parks.
Belva also holds a certificate in physical theatre from Dell’Arte International in Blue Lake CA, and infuses her love of singing, dancing, and laughing throughout her life and work with kids.
When she’s not wrangling the wee ones of the world in the great outdoors, she can be found spinning fibre, working in her many gardens, and wrestling with knitting needles.
jil.p.weaving is an artist, writer and cultural strategist. She is a mother and grateful to be living with her family on the ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She believes deeply in the uniqueness of the life story and creativity of every being and of the importance of artists in the making of meaningful works. She was employed for a number of years with the Vancouver Parks Board during which time environmental arts, deeply engaged community art, intercultural understanding and relationships with indigenous communities advanced. She also worked with Canada Council, Vancouver Foundation and BC Arts Council on funding approaches and research in these areas of interest. She highly recommends watching the Documenting Engagement; Stanley Park Environmental Art Project; Arts & Health: healthy aging through the arts; and ICASC Artists Speak videos as well as those of the EarthHand Gleaners.
Karen Barnaby has two great passions: spinning and cooking. She will try to spin anything if it looks spinnable and cook anything if it looks edible. By day, she works as the Product Development Chef for the Gordon Food Service Strategic Alliance. She is a Vancouver Sun food columnist, popular Lower Mainland cooking teacher and acclaimed author of four cookbooks. Karen volunteers for Vancouver’s Community Kitchens, sat on the board of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, and is past president of Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter. She is the recipient of a Minerva Award for Community Leadership and the Back of the House Award from the British Columbia Food and Restaurant Association.
Nicole Jahraus is a designer and community organizer whose work explores the materiality of our environment and what humans leave behind, and their potential to be transformed. Some of her recent projects include starting construction of an aluminum kayak inspired by traditional Aleut designs, co-creating communal portable saunas, and building community through skill sharing at the Pender Street Mend & Friend. Nicole currently works for a community-oriented and women-led architecture firm in Vancouver. She was project coordinator for community development at Evergreen, and contributed to the board of directors of the Vancouver Tool Library and Sprouts Cooperative. Nicole holds a bachelor’s degree in global resource systems from UBC and a bachelor of environmental design from Dalhousie University.
Susan Gerofsky brings experience in a number of fields to bear in an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to curriculum theory, mathematics education and environmental education. She holds degrees in languages and linguistics as well as mathematics education, and worked for twelve years in film production, eight years in adult education (including workplace and labour education), and eight years as a high school teacher with the Vancouver School Board. Dr. Gerofsky has been involved in interdisciplinary research and teaching involving mathematics education, garden-based education, applied linguistics, and film. She is one of the founders of the UBC Orchard Garden, a project where teacher candidates and experienced teachers learn to teach across the curriculum outside the four walls of a classroom, with a garden as co-teacher.
Jennifer Brant is an interdisciplinary artist whose emergent research and material-based practice tries to concurrently experience, facilitate and chronicle interactions with the more-than-human world. She explores systems and relationships, marginalized spaces, complicated emotional states and futurity. Using installations and interventions, field studies, textile practices, writing and drawing, she encourages and documents moments that bring an awareness of interconnection and kinship, gently interrupt passivity and cultivate alternative narratives to our current mythologies of progress and nature.
Born and raised on the West Coast of Canada, an uninvited guest on the traditional, unceded territories of the Tslei-wa-tuth, Squamish and Musqueam people as well as the territory of the Tla-amin people, she divides her time between Vancouver and a small, off the grid island. Brant holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, a B.Ed from the University of British Columbia and an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Founding Executive Director:
With a “one mile diet” approach to sourcing art materials, Sharon works to discover the inherent material potential in a local landscape. Involving community in connecting traditional hand techniques with invasive species,tended plantings and garden waste, she creates site-specific installations that become ecological interventions. Graduating from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 1996 she began working materials from the land in 1999 and has exhibited and engaged communities with her practice in Ireland, Spain, Mexico and throughout the United States. At home in Vancouver Canada, Sharon works with Vancouver Park Board, Stanley Park Ecology Society. One of the primary stewards of Means of Production garden since 2009-a community garden that grows art materials as well as Trillium North Park. Sharon has received numerous Canada Council and British Columbia Arts Council grants for both studio based and community focused projects. Her work has been acknowledged as the 2010 recipient of the Brandford/ Elliott International Award for Excellence in Fibre Arts, Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Studio Design: emerging artist, and the Vancouver Mayors Award Recipient for Studio Design in 2017.
Her book, Common Threads: weaving community through collaborative eco-art, was published by New Society Publishers in 2014 and is used in many post secondary programs as a model for creative engagement in shared green spaces.
2021 Artists in Residence:
T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss is an ethnobotanist, media artist, educator, and activist of Skwxwu7mesh/Stó:lō/ Hawaiian/Swiss ancestry. She has been traditionally trained by Indigenous knowledge keepers and Elders. She has been a practicing media artist for over 25 years, producing work nationally and internationally.
Jolene Andrew is Gitksan Witsuwiten and has worked with The Urban Indigenous Community in the Lower Mainland for 18 years. Her specialization is in strategizing to build resilient communities through Indigenous approaches. Community and systems engagement, community planning and designing initiatives, and organizational development are some of the ways she works in community. She is also an artist and has a passion for land based practices to promote health and culture.