The Team

Ian Bushfield, Executive Director

Ian BushfieldIan Bushfield has been involved in the BC Humanist Association since 2009 and aside for two years in the UK he has been the Executive Director since 2012. 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.

Pronouns: he/him (what’s this?)


Ranil Prasad, Campaigns Manager

Ranil is a fourth year political science student at UBC, where he studies the relationship between party platforms and legislative activities. In his spare time, he is the Premier of the non-partisan BC Youth Parliament, a youth service organization in which youth engagement and community serviced are emphasized. He also hosts (extremely exclusive!) dinner parties and is an avid Canucks fan.

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Nancy Drummond-Hay, Programs Manager

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Dr Teale Phelps Bondaroff, Research Coordinator

Dr Teale N Phelps Bondaroff is an experienced researcher with a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge and BAs in political science (honours) and international relations from the University of Calgary. He is proficient with in a wide range of social science research methods, which he employs in his research on behalf of his strategy and research consultancy, the Idea Tree Consulting.

With years of experience in the field, Dr. Phelps Bondaroff is a world expert on illegal fishing and organized crime, and currently works as the Director of Research of OceansAsia, a marine conservation organization, and has consulted for a number of marine conservation groups (The Black Fish, the Sea Ranger Service, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and others). Dr Phelps Bondaroff remains active as an academic researcher, with work examining the strategic use of international law by non-state actors. He also cofounded the AccessBC Campaign for free prescription contraception in BC and is active in all levels of Canadian politics.

Since December 2018, he has been volunteering as a research coordinator for the BC Humanist Association. 

You can learn about his numerous projects at

Noah Laurence, Campaigns Assistant

I am a political science student studying at the University of Victoria. My study focus includes Middle Eastern politics, Chinese politics, and the role of religion in the development of political institutions.

In my time at the university, I have worked with the UNESCO Knowledge for Change program, focusing on the co-creation of knowledge in local communities and reaching UN sustainable development goals.

Coming from a highly conservative background, I learned that knowledge only took one shape, and that humanity was only permissible in specific circumstances for specific kinds of people. It has been with great pleasure that I have come to understand that knowledge does not need to restricted, and expressions of humanity do not have to be confined to fixed people, places, or circumstances - it's rather criminal to do so.

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Board of Directors

The BCHA's Board of Directors is elected from our membership at our Annual General Meeting. Read more about their roles and responsibilities and our other policies.

The 2019-20 Board consists of:

J B Bell, President

j_b_profile.jpgI’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.

Pronouns: he/him (what’s this?)


Demi Blakemore

demi-blakemore.jpgAt present I'm a Psychology Major at SFU after having been a chef and kitchen manager for many years. Raised in four provinces and the Yukon, and in Evangelical churches, I became an atheist at the first opportunity. Over the years I've volunteered and more recently advocated for SOGI support in the municipal school trustee and Council elections. Discovering the Humanists gave me a opportunity to engage in social justice causes and to advocate for those who have been marginalised while allowing me to flourish as an individual in a welcoming environment. As a Board member, I look forward to helping others have a similar experience of affirmation and purpose.

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Colin Crabbe, Treasurer

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Kiana Dashtbazi

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Nigel Fish, Vice-President

Nigel FishI'm the CTO of a local technology company, and have a B.A. Honours in Economics from the University of Alberta. I enjoy running and drinking beer.

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Dan Hanna, Secretary

Dan Hanna

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!).

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Katie Marshall

katiephoto.jpgI’m a professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia, where I research and teach in animal physiology and biochemistry. As someone who was raised in a very religious community in small town Ontario, discovering Atheism was an important first step for my eventual path towards becoming a biology professor. I have lived on both coasts in Canada, and after a few years as a faculty member in the US, am very glad to be back in British Columbia. I have extensive experience working with several scientific societies, and am looking forward to bringing that experience to the BCHA.

Pronouns: she/her (what’s this?)

Gary Ockenden

gary_ockenden.jpgI live in lovely Nelson, BC and earn my living through consulting with non-profit and government organizations - mostly in strategic planning, community consultations and board development. I’ve spent time in grassroots and board member roles for decades - working for things I believe in, mostly related to human rights and social justice. Much of this has been through Amnesty International. I also worked for many years for the International and Canadian Red Cross. I visit my grown children when I can, read voraciously, walk every day, enjoy eating (maybe too much) and paddle my canoe when Kootenay Lake is calm and I can find the time.

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