Executive Director - Ian Bushfield
Ian Bushfield was the first Executive Director for the BC Humanist Association and lived for two years in the UK where he worked on campaigns with Sense About Science. He has a background in physics and non-profit management and grew up in Alberta. In 2017 he joined the BC Civil Liberties Association's Board of Directors.
Vancouver Meetings Technical Assistant - Brent Cooper
Brent Cooper is the Founder and Executive Director of The Abs-Tract Organization. His primary training is as a political sociologist, focusing on knowledge-power dynamics and elite-mass relations. He holds a BA in International Relations from UBC, where he won the Mack Eastman United Nations Essay Prize and received a Graduating Student Leader Award. He subsequently earned an MSc in Political Sociology from the London School of Economics, where he crystallized a critical worldview. His varied work experience includes studying renewable energy markets at the National Research Council (Canada), internships at the Simons Centre for Disarmament and the Canadian International Council, and self-employment. He has several book manuscripts in the works covering the topics of abstraction, systemic conspiracy, and religion. Brent is also an accomplished filmmaker, and has written, directed, edited, and produced over an hour of cinematic content, including The Abs•Tract: Core Philosophy, a satirical short film about a mystery school that lays the groundwork for a dramatic paradigm shift.
Board of Directors
The 2017-18 Board consists of:
I have a BA, BSW and MSW from UBC and an MA of Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University. I am currently close to obtaining a PhD from Fielding in which I am studying implicit race bias. I have had a varied professional life working as an organizational change consultant; a clinical counsellor; an undergraduate and graduate instructor; and a public educator.
J B Bell
I’m a past President of BCHA, with experience on several non-profit and co-op boards advocating for voices that often go unheard. I have a BA in Justice Studies from Royal Roads University.
Colin Crabbe (Treasurer)
From small town Saskatchewan, I was born into a rigid Mennonite family. The teachings did not make sense to me. I found church was a very uncomfortable place and I was often frightened by what I was taught. I could find no useful function for religion in my life as I grew up and I feel that it contributes to dysfunction in families.
I attended business administration courses at SAIT and attended University of Calgary, graduating with a degree in Sociology. As a parent of a child with Downs Syndrome with severe congenital heart and lung disease, I was affected by government and health bureaucracies and came to realize how random their policies and decisions were. These arbitrary decisions affected funding and access to programs and health care, which were badly needed. I served on the board of the Post Secondary Education Society, which provided the opportunity for differently abled high school graduates to attend university and socialize with their peers. I was also a member of the Alberta Association for Community Living, as it was called then, which advocated for the rights of all persons with differing abilities.
I am now semi-retired in Vancouver, employed as office manager of my husband’s medical corporation. I am now pursuing some of the goals I was unable to pursue earlier, such as piano and art. I am an artist, working in both oils and acrylics. I am an avid physical fitness enthusiast, engaged in cross fit, hiking, running, yoga, cycling, and skiing. I also enjoy reading about and debating social issues.
Helio Da Costa
Even though I have been in Canada for 43 years, I am originally from Brazil, therefore being born under a humanist motto, since the Brazilian flag contains the dictum “Order and Progress” from the Positivism of August Comte, who can be considered a precursor of Humanism. My personal journey into Humanism reflects in general lines the positivistic evolution from the theological to the metaphysical and finally positive or scientific stage. I am a staunch supporter of secularism and specially interested in this topic.
I was born and raised mostly in the Vancouver Eastside, until I joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1971. I have lived in various places from Ottawa, Inuvik, Masset, Alert NWT, and then Toronto. After getting my BAA in Admin & Information Management, my partner and I moved back to Vancouver in 1997. We worked for the Federal Public Service until we retired in May 2015.
About five years ago I realized I was an agnostic in terms of what I know, an atheist in relation to supernatural forces, and a humanist in how I approach living my life in this world. I am very interested in understanding this world we live in, especially the people. This has led me to learn about the many diverse religions and philosophies that so many people orient their lives around. I believe “understanding,” not agreement is essential to improving this world.
Life is also about having fun. I enjoy learning to play my guitar (I’m a work in progress for sure), cooking and baking (aloo gobi to rustic no-kneed bread), reading all sorts of books, and contributing to worthy causes (like the BC Humanist Association – YEAH!).
Gail Miller is a retired social worker living in Surrey. During her 20 years as a social worker, she worked in child protection, hospitals and mental health. She also advocates for an autistic person to obtain services for him.
Gail has been active in secular activities for the past 10 years. She co-founded The Critical Thinking Project with Dr Christopher Di Carlo. This organization teaches basic critical thinking skills to students in developing countries. She is treasurer for Atheist Alliance International and is heading up their billboard campaign.
Gail is married to Mike and they have two sons.