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Meet the Participants

April 16, 2013

Follow the links to contact the presenters:

Mayor_Michael_Smith_2012Mayor Michael Smith, District of West Vancouver.

Mayor Smith welcomed everyone to the event.  Mayor Smith is a 50 year resident of West Vancouver and was first elected to Council in 2005 and then Mayor in 2011. Mayor Smith graduated from West Vancouver High School and UBC.  His has had an extensive business career and served on a number of boards involving finance, newspapers, resource extraction.  Mayor Smith’s fondest memories of Howe Sound were participant in the Sun Salmon Derby with his uncle every year.

fm_van_finley_p_wPeter Finley, President, Future of Howe Sound Society.   Peter set the context for the day by giving an overview of the background of the Society and what led to the Forum.  Peter is a Vancouver based lawyer and member of the Douglas Bay Strata Corp. on Gambier Island.  Peter first introduction to Howe Sound was attending Camp Elphinstone at the age of 8 and has been a property owner on Gambier for over 20 years. Peter loves to water ski in Howe Sound on a calm day and loves the peace and serenity of Howe Sound.

Grant LawrenceGrant Lawrence, Canadian Broadcaster, Author of Adventures in Solitude

Grant Lawrence had everyone laughing as he read a passage from his book about Howe Sound and BC Ferry rides everyone could relate to.   Grant grew up in West Vancouver, and has spent his entire life crossing the waters of Howe Sound in tiny motorboats and mammoth BC ferries.  He spent many years of his early childhood on Gambier Island and has circumnavigated both Gambier and Anvil Islands in a canoe at an early age.  Grant is now a broadcaster on CBC Radio and is the author of the best selling book “Adventures in Solitude”.

Bob TurnerBob Turner Chair of Howe Sound Environmental Science Network.  Bob’s talk “Howe Sound:  In Recovery, Still Incredible” (4.Turner April 13 talk11) was accompanied by beautiful photos.  Bob is a geological scientist with Natural Resources Canada. Twenty years ago, Bob brought together the scientific community to assess the environmental health of Howe Sound. During the 1990’s he led the Howe Sound Environmental Science network, connecting scientists and stewardship groups working on environmental issues in Howe Sound. He has written a popular book on the geology of the Vancouver region, including Howe Sound, as well as a GeoTour SeatoSky final on line. For the past decade he immersed himself in politics on Bowen Island, first as councillor, then as a two term mayor. Since he left politics in 2011, he has reengaged his love and attention for Howe Sound.

Panelists represented various interests in Howe Sound: They were asked to tell about their organization and its connection to Howe Sound, and based on their experience and knowledge, what is important for future planning for the Sound.

N. John SmithN. John Smith  As a television producer, John has had a long and very fruitful career with a portfolio that stretches back to the mid-1970?s. Over the course of 18 years, John Smith was the longest running crew member on the Canadian Broadcasting Company adventure series The Beachcombers (1971-1989).  His contributions to the Stargate franchise are innumerable — as he’s been a guiding production force at Bridge Studios in Vancouver since 1997 when his tenure began with the Stargate SG-1 Season One episode “Bloodlines.” John has a long connection with Howe Sound, his family settled in Gibson two generations ago. He is now living near Gibsons and enjoying retirement.

Jeff MarliaveDr. Jeff MarliaveVice President Marine Science,  Vancouver Aquarium. Jeff has worked at the Aquarium for over 37 years. He has a BSc in Fisheries from University of Washington and PHD in Zoology from UBC. His research includes field work supported by the Howe Sound Research and Conservation Group.  Dr. Marliave has produced 75 scientific and technical publications.  Jeff has lives  in North Vancouver  and his fondest memories of Howe Sound include his dives among glass sponges with abundant rockfishes. is a great source of information about what lies beneath Howe Sound.

Kevan Ridgway2Kevan Ridgway:  President & CEO Vancouver Coast & Mountains Tourism Region.  Kevan has extensive experience in Canada’s tourism industry.  In the 90’s he decided to move into the not-for-profit sector to support tourism businesses and was Executive Director of Attractions Ontario. In 1994, Kevan moved west with his family and has been his role for the past 18 years.  Kevan’s fondest memories of Howe Sound are exploring on the water with Sewell’s Marina, first on a guided Sea Safari and then, more slowly, by rental boat.

Edith monitoringEdith B. Tobe, RPBio, AScT, Executive Director Squamish Watershed Society

Edith Tobe is a professional biologist and Environmental Consultant who moved to Squamish in 1992. Edith has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from University of Waterloo and a diploma in Resource Engineering Technology.  Edith has a passion for biology, wetlands, and nature that began at a very early age.  Edith’s many fond memories of Howe Sound are the numerous SCUBA dives she’s participated in over the years but the most recent memory was last September when a pod of rogue Orca’s swam past the boat she was on along southern Gambier Island – what a place we live!!

Tim TurnerTim Turner Executive Director of Sea to Sky Outdoor School is both an educator and Executive Director of Sea to Sky Outdoor School for Sustainability Education based in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast.  Tim has lived at the western entrance to Howe Sound with his family since 1989.   A classroom teacher for ten years, Tim’s lifetime of backcountry adventuring has left him with a contagious enthusiasm, respect and concern for the wild world.   Tim can’t get enough of Keats and Gambier Islands and the important lessons one can learn there.  Tim’s fondest memory of Howe Sound is moving to a home on its wild granite shoreline in May of 1989 and knowing they would be there for life.

Don PrittieDon Prittie: President of BC Marine Trades Association.   Don is past Chair of the Greater Victoria Harbor Authority and is currently President of Canoe Cove Marina on Vancouver Island.   The BC Marine Trades Association owns the Vancouver Boat Show and is the voice of the recreational boating industry and has 24 members businesses around Howe Sound.  Don grew up at Copper Cove and lived in West Vancouver for much of his life. Don began his lifelong love affair with the ocean and all things related to boating starting as a dock hand in 1967 at Sewell’s Marina in Horseshoe Bay.

Jaimie MartinJamie Martin: Past President, Squamish Windsport Society, Jaime A. Martin Designs.  Jamie was raised in the Sea To Sky corridor and now resides in Squamish.  When he isn’t passionately designing awarding winning homes, you can find him with his family on the water or on the mountains. Jamie is largely involved with community volunteering; he was the previous “President”, but now “a Director” of the Windsport Society, is actively involved with Squamish Waterfront Development and has been associated with the Squamish Trails Society.

Mike Wallace:  Retired Professional Forester, President of the Sea to Sky Forestry Society and the Squamish Valley Rod and Gun Club.  began his forestry career with horse logging at home in Quebec. He moved to B.C. and joined the Forest Service in 1965 as an Assistant Ranger at Port Alberni and Gold River and then to Squamish in 1982 as the Resource Officer Timber. Went to private industry in 1989 as company forester, returning to the Ministry of Forests in Squamish in 1993 as Major Tenures Forester, retiring from the Ministry in 1997 then returned to industry for several years as consultant on various forestry projects throughout B.C. He was an Incident Commander on large project fires in B.C.  Mike’s fondest memories of Howe Sound are canoeing and Kayaking along the shores and islands.

Presentations by:

Steve Olmsted, General Manager Planning and Development,Sunshine Coast Regional District.- Steve gave an Overview of Existing Plans (5.Planning for Howe Sound Final Steve Olmsted) governing Howe Sound.  Steve hold a masters degree in community and regional planning and a diploma in urban land economics from UBC.  He has been employed in regional district planning for over 30 years starting in the Cariboo and central Kootenay regions in the 1980s, before moving to the Sunshine Coast in 1990.  One of the major projects Steve was involved with at the SCRD was the West Coast Gas Services LNG environmental assessment and rezoning application at McNab Creek.  In 1999 he moved to the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District as Director of Planning where he was involved with a number of major initiatives including the SLRD Regional Growth Strategy, the SLRD policy framework for independent power production, the Sea to Sky LRMP, the Sea to Sky Highway upgrade and major rezonings and development proposals for Porteau Cove, Britannia Beach, the Callaghan Valley Winter Olympic site and the Garibaldi at Squamish resort.  He returned to the SCRD in October 2011 as General Manager of Planning and Development.  Steve’s favorite memories are of the beautiful views of Howe Sound as he crosses from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale.

Stephen FosterHowe Sound Team Lead, Suzuki Foundation  presenting a proposal for a marine and terrestrial protected area in Howe Sound.  His map (6.HoweSound_Base_Map_Draft4_24X36) was created with the support of the Wilderness Committee and the David Suzuki Foundation, shows a study area boundary meant to stimulate conversation, enthusiasm and food for thought. Stephen has launched a website called Protect Howe Sound where more information can be found.

Stephen has lived on Bowen Island for the past 9 years. Through his involvement in land use issues on the island, he ended up deeply engaged with Parks Canada’s effort to establish a National Park Reserve on Bowen in 2010-11. Stephen led a broad campaign, with the support of the Wilderness Committee, that sponsored numerous public events and culminated in the creation of ‘Partners for the Park’, a broad based coalition that supported the park initiative. And in the forming of that vision the idea of creating a significant protected area in Howe Sound was born.

Stephen’s background is in film and television owning his own production company.  10 years ago he combined he combined an education in Conflict Analysis and Management and worked in East Africa and Indonesia for a few years working with NGO’s and Oxfam.


39c9b66Facilitator:  Sandra BicegoPacifica Blue Consulting.  Sandra is an avid kiteboarder, mountain biker and sailor working, living and playing in Squamish.


Moderator:  Ruth Simons, Executive Director, Future of Howe Sound Society – fRuthormer business executive & Municipal Councillor with a strong interest in civic engagement, Ruth has been a life long resident of Howe Sound.


Visuavril_orloffal Recorder: Avril Orloff, Between the Lines.  Most ideas can be made clearer with a picture. Pictures move us from the abstract to the concrete, show us connections we couldn’t see before, and engage the creative parts of our brain where our best ideas live.




3 Responses so far.

  1. Smithb537 says:

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