Our network is entirely volunteer-led. Here are the good people who have taken on leadership of our organization for this year.
At our Annual General Meeting each year we elect our leadership group. Our 2020 AGM has been delayed by the pandemic – we are tentatively planning for an AGM in September 2020, possibly using an online platform.
It’s easy to get involved – get in touch!
Board of Directors
Here’s our 2020-21 Board of Directors:
Ray Straatsma (President)
Ray has over 15 years experience as a consultant and advocate for walkable and bike-friendly cities. As Principal with RStreets Urban Strategies, Ray provides advisory services and design expertise – from concept to communication to implementation – on active transportation and complete streets planning.
Ray also provides specialized skills in public engagement, strategic communications, research and writing services. Ray values collaborative approaches to urban planning, public engagement and the art of the possible.
Ray lives in Saanich.
Jim LaMorte (Secretary-Treasurer)
Jim brings an Urban Planning background and 40 years of consulting in emergency preparedness to the GVPN. He loves projects that turn public spaces into places where strangers can get to know each other, breaking the barriers between social silos. After growing up in Los Angeles, he is dedicated to repairing the damage done to communities by worshipping the car. Among many people and texts of inspiration, the book “Happy City” by Charles Montgomery continues to offer guidance. Jim has contributed to several GVPN projects, including boulevard gardens, street paintings, block parties, and building portable street furniture.
Jim enjoys living in and building the North Jubilee neighbourhood.
Katie lives in vibrant North Park and is passionate about making streets better for people – streets that aren’t just safe, but are a joy to experience. She loves urban gardens, community forests, and unexpected public art.
Michelle is a children’s author whose latest book, Home Sweet Neighborhood: Transforming Cities One Block at a Time, led to a whole bunch of changes in her own neighbourhood. Her Fairfield street is now home to book exchange box, a seating area, a boulevard garden, and one of Victoria’s first traffic-calming road murals.
Dean is a former 3-term Saanich Councillor and CRD Director. He teaches Political Science at Camosun College and is Provincial Lead for Healthy Communities at the Ministry of Health. Dean recently started a podcast about community building and placemaking called Amazing Places.
Adina is an urban and environmental planner by trade and an explorer of cultures, cuisines and wilderness. Other than being an avid promoter of great public spaces –green, blue or grey– Adina loves creating beautiful maps, collaborating through co-design and experiencing urban nature. Adina relocated to Victoria from Cape Town, South Africa, and currently lives in Vic West.
Alessandra has a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Manitoba and works as a Building Technologist at Praxis Architects. She thrives on constantly learning, including recent Future Cities MOOCs from ETH Zurich. Last year, her passion for people, the urban environment & active public spaces led her to explore IAAC’s global summer school in Barcelona and Placemaking week in Amsterdam. She initiated the “My Blue Bridge” campaign to salvage steel from the Johnson St. Bridge for public art, along with and as a founding member of the Victoria Design Nerds.
She is in love with the idea of living in a playful city that immerses us in experiences where locals and tourists alike can spontaneously (re-)discover places with awe and wonder.
She lives in the heart of Fairfield: Cook St. Village.
Teale Phelps Bondaroff
Teale is passionate about placemaking, and in particular little free libraries and road safety. He first got involved with the GVPN as a volunteer, working on building our little free library map. For their efforts mapping little free libraries in the CRD, Teale and his partner Stephanie Ferguson were awarded a Victoria Leadership Award.
Teale is the Director of Research of OceansAsia, a marine conservation organization working to combat illegal fishing. He is also the Research Coordinator for the BC Humanist Association, the Chair and co-founder of the AccessBC Campaign for free prescription contraception, and runs the The Idea Tree, a consultancy that specializes in strategy, research and communications for environmental organizations and campaigns. He has a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge, and his academic research examines the strategic use of international law by non-state actors and illegal fishing.
Teale helps stock little free libraries around town with books, plays hockey, volunteers as a high school debate coach, and loves community. He is active in politics at all levels. He joined the board of the GVPN in 2017.
Teale lives in Saanich, near the Rutledge Park little free library.
GVPN founder Lorne Daniel won the Thinklandia / Victoria Mayor’s Medal for Public leadership in 2015.
As a community engagement and urban change consultant, Lorne has received awards from the Canadian Institute of Planners and the International Downtown Association. He is now retired and enjoys learning the nuances of place through writing, drawing and first-hand exploration.
Lorne lives in the Fairfield neighbourhood.