Together our Board, staff and volunteers make a team of people who work to achieve our mission and give visitors the best experience possible.
Board of Directors
The Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society is a non-profit charitable organization contracted by Parks Canada to operate the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. The Society is lead by a volunteer Board of Directors elected annually at the AGM each spring.
Dave Semple, Chair
Dave Semple recently served as General Manager of the Community Services Department for the City of Richmond. He has over 30 years of experience in the field demonstrating his passion for community. Formerly a professional football player in the CFL, Dave understands and embodies the values of strong leadership and team. As a husband, father and grandfather, Dave strives to create a great future for the next generation.
Kit Grauer, 1st Vice Chair
UBC Professor Emerita, Dr. Kit Grauer is actively involved in art education organizations at the local, national, and international levels. Although retired, she continues to pursue her research interests in the use of artistic pedagogical strategies in teacher education, museum education, and community-based new media education. Raised in Richmond, Kit and the Grauer family have played an important role in the community’s history and development for more than a century.
Ken Flores, 2nd Vice Chair
Jim Kojima, Treasurer
Ryan Garnett, Secretary
Ryan has been involved with the GOGCS in a variety of roles over the past 10+ years and joined the Cannery board in 2014. Currently he’s employed as a fundraising consultant working with many large charities across the country. He’s always had a passion for charities and is excited to put his talents to work as a member of the board.
Ralph Turner, Past Chair
Ralph Turner has been in a ‘fishing family’ for most of his life, having worked on his father’s fish collector “Princess Aleta” as deckhand and cook and commercially gillnetted for ten years on the Fraser River and in Rivers Inlet. A neighbour to the Cannery site since 1951, Ralph brings firsthand knowledge of the fishing industry and a passion for preserving Steveston’s heritage community to the Board.
Eileen Carefoot comes from three generations of family in the fishing industry. A founding member of the Society, she has worked to preserve Steveston history for many years. Now retired, she was a partner in a construction company for many years. This company donated two heritage houses to Britannia Shipyard heritage site.
Everett Pierce worked for 40 years for Canfisco fishing company. He started in 1948 collecting fish on fish boats around BC. He then worked as an engineer in canneries in Butedale and Prince Rupert before retiring as plant manager from the home plant in Vancouver. Everett is a long time board member of the Society and serves on the Collections Committee.
These board members also chair a number of operational committees including the Audience Engagement Committee, Finance and Fund Development Committee, Collections Committee, Maintenance Committee and Membership Committee.
For more information on volunteering for one of the Society’s Committees or Board of Directors, contact Executive Director Stephanie Halapija
Stephanie Halapija, Executive Director
Ontario grown, Stephanie moved to BC three years ago to run the Nisga’a Museum, following her passion for museum leadership, curatorial work, and indigenous social issues across Canada. A lover of creating exciting stories and forging new connections with wide audiences, She has dedicated her entire career to shaping a stronger Arts and Culture industry in Canada and BC. She has spent the majority of her time in the field of curation and development and has contributed/curated exhibitions at the Museum of Anthropology, The Nisga’a Museum, the Canadian Museum of History, the British Museum and the Bill Reid Gallery. A strong believer that museums can change the world, she is excited to work with the culturally diverse and significant presence of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society staff, community and family.
Rob Hart, Senior Manager, Operations
Raised in Richmond, and a graduate of Steveston High, Rob left the area to work in heritage tourism and transportation with BC Rail. He was pleased and surprised to return to work in Steveston at a world-class site like the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. Rob has a B.A. in Asian Studies and manages the Cannery Store, rentals, and administrative functions for the Society.
Heidi Rampfl, Collections Manager
As a lifelong lover of all things historic (as well as a bit of a packrat), Heidi has found her ideal job working with the artifact and archival collections here at the Cannery. She believes that you can never know too much about the collection and is always ready to roll up her sleeves and do a little research. If you’ve got a question or have something new to add to our collection, she’s the one to talk to.
Mimi Horita, Marketing and Visitor Services Manager
An extensive background in tourism and hospitality has prepared Mimi for her role at the Cannery, which includes marketing and social media for the site and its events, membership, and managing a fantastic front-line team to provide the best visitor service experience. Her favourite part of the job is the daily interaction with visitors to the Cannery, society members, volunteers, and local community (and the walk to work on sunny Steveston days!).
Shannon King, Manager of Audience Engagement
From salmon and sturgeon to silt and sea views, Shannon loves everything about the Fraser River estuary. With a background in interpretation and informal education, Shannon enjoys creating opportunities for visitors to explore their own connections to the Fraser River .
Wilf Lim, Education Programs Coordinator
Wilf is proud to become part of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery family. He has an archaeology and an education degree from Simon Fraser University. He has worked in tourism at the Burnaby Village Museum, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Classical Gardens, among other museum institutions. Wilf was a classroom teacher for the past nine years and is ready to start the next chapter of his adventures. Fun fact: Wilf has learned the art of Blacksmithing, how to fight with swords (Italian Rapier Fencing), and archery.
Trish Falkstone, Events and Market Coordinator
A graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland with a BFA, Trish feels quite at home right on the water, surrounded by the deep history of the Cannery and the vibrancy of Steveston Village. In addition to running the Cannery Farmers’ Market, Trish is excited to employ her background in performance production and event logistics, alongside her passion for inspiring community connection and collective joy, to bring exceptional events to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery.
Tara Miller, Volunteer Coordinator
Kim Anderson, Maintenance Officer
A former fisherman, Kim has extensive experience working in engine rooms. Kim has an uncanny ability to construct exhibits, repair virtually any part of the Cannery building, and drive a forklift. Kim’s favourite part of his job is working with all the great people on staff. His personal motto is, “I would rather just go build something!”
Abigail, Head Interpreter
Favourite part of my job: Getting to meet people from all around the world on a daily basis and being able to share with them the history that I am passionate about.
My one superpower would be: flying!
I speak: English
Favourite part of my job: Meeting people from different places and walks of life while sharing our heritage.
I’m inspired by: Local history and stories.
I speak: French and English fluently. I can say “thank you” in at least 8 other languages!
Andrea, Head Interpreter
Favourite part of my job: Connecting visitors to the history of Steveston. I also like raising the flags in the morning and opening the receiving door and soaking in the view on a sunny day.
When I was little I wanted to be: A marine biologist. I completed my BSc in Biology and spent the next eleven years sharing my passion for ocean life with Aquarium visitors.
I speak: English, a bit of Spanish, Pig Latin and Foo.
When I was little, I wanted to be: A teacher
I’m inspired by: My lovely co-workers
My one superpower would be: Invisibility
I speak: English
Favourite part of my job: Surprising visitors with awesome Cannery facts
I’m inspired by: Nature & music
My guilty pleasure is: Anything chocolate & Taiwanese chicken nuggets
I speak: English
Andrew W., Senior Interpreter
My one superpower would be: shape-shifting, so I could experience life as different people and creatures.
When I was little I wanted to be: a “comics creator,” a singer, and an actor.
I speak: English, French, and little bit of html.
Cathy, Senior Interpreter
Favourite part of my job: Learning more about Richmond and the Cannery every day I come to work. I also enjoy hanging around the Ford display dancing to the tunes and laughing at the jokes on the “radio” (they are leg-slap worthy!).
My guilty pleasure is: Reality TV
I speak: English, Mandarin/Taiwanese, French and a bit of Danish
No matter how much I try, I can’t stop: humming to a beat
My one superpower would be: Superspeed
My guilty pleasure is: Fish & Chips
I speak: English and Spanish
Elizabeth, Cannery Store sales associate
Best part of my job: meeting with and talking to customers.
I love trying out different restaurants around Richmond, especially sushi!
I speak: English, Filipino, and Mandarin.
Emily F., Senior Interpreter
Best part of my job: Sharing the diverse history of Steveston and its people
When I was little, I wanted to be: A tow-truck driver (no, really!)
No matter how much I try, I can’t stop: buying books upon books, my room is filled to the brim with books.
I speak: English y Español.. mas o menos!
When I was little, I wanted to be: An astronaut so I could see inside a Black Hole (eventually)
I’m inspired by: My amazing grandparents
My guilty pleasure is: Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and watching Scandal
I speak: English, a bit of Spanish, Cantonese, and French
My one superpower would be: Teleportation, so I could travel the world
When I was little, I wanted to be: A paleontologist, because I loved dinosaurs
My guilty pleasure is: Watching bad movies
Julia, Senior Interpreter
Favourite part of my job: Meeting new people from all over the world!
No matter how much I try, I can’t stop: Baking late at night — it drives my mom crazy!
My guilty pleasure is: Collecting anything related to Lilo and Stitch
I speak: English and French
When I was little I wanted to be: A writer! I still do want to become one.
I’m inspired by: My mom
I speak: English, French, Korean and a little Japanese
Lynne, Cannery Store sales associate
My passion is the Cannery Store…I love seeing positive sales result from good merchandising (so keep your hands off my displays).
I love the site and still enjoy giving a public tour.
No matter how hard I try I can’t stop: asking Mark to name that tune!!!
Tara, Head Interpreter & Volunteer Coordinator
Favourite part of my job: Sharing stories and knowledge
No matter how much I try, I can’t stop: Planning elaborate meals that I never make (because I eat all of the ingredients ahead of time)
I’m inspired by: Dance/movement – really good circus shows
I speak: English, French (and very bad Dutch – it’s bad but I can try!)