Board of Directors


Board of Directors

The Vancouver Maritime Museum is registered non-profit governed by a board of directors. The executive director implements board policy and manages the operation of the museum.


Tom’s practice includes representation of employers and employees in all aspects of the employment relationship with an emphasis on human rights, employment standards, harassment, judicial reviews and wrongful dismissal matters. His employment law representation also includes workers’ compensation and labour relations (management side) matters. Tom acts for professionals in complaints before their regulatory boards and members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in employment matters.

Tom’s practice has included litigation in all levels of courts in British Columbia, the Federal Court at trial and appellate levels, and the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as participation in arbitrations and mediations as counsel. Tom regularly appears before the Human Rights Tribunal of B.C., the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Employment Standards Branch of B.C. and the Employment Standards Tribunal of B.C.

Tom has written articles on human rights, judicial review and employment law for the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC for many years and is a regular speaker at other professional continuing education conferences. Tom is also a frequent speaker on underwater archaeology, diving and maritime history in B.C. and beyond.


In August 2013, Paul joined Seaspan as Vice President & General Manager of Vancouver Drydock (VDC), bringing with him over 15 years experience in the ship repair and conversion industries.

He spent the majority of his career at A&P Falmouth in the UK, moving up the ranks to Operations Director. During that time and with responsibility for 50+ refits and drydockings annually plus the upkeep of a 50-acre site, Paul developed and implemented strategies and systems to deliver large returns on sales, implement safety cultural shifts, and revive operations.

Paul holds an MBA from Herriot Watt University and a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Birmingham. Following A&P Falmouth and prior to working at Seaspan, Paul founded Marine Business Management Services Ltd., a technical and commercial support company for the marine industry.

As VDC Vice President & General Manager, Paul is accountable for the profitable, productive and safe operations of the yard. In addition, he is responsible for customer satisfaction with all ship repair and conversion projects and business development activities.


Alexandra Anaviapik is an artist, researcher and over-thinker from Pond Inlet, Nunavut. She is the great granddaughter of Joe and Letia Panipakuttuk, whom she is named after.

Currently, she is working full-time as the Ilinniarvimmi Inuusiliriji (School Guidance Counsellor) at the Ulaajuk Elementary School where she has a ton of fun interacting, teaching and learning from the students she works for. Working full-time is a big adjustment since she previously operated on a project-by-project bases for various organizations and companies, such as Ikaarvik: Barriers to Bridges as a Youth Research Mentor, Ocean Wise Ocean Bridge, and Expedition Companies as an Inuk Guide though the Northwest Passage. In-between projects and employers, she would take time to create drawings, paintings, and small handicrafts such as traditional hair ties.

Through her journey, learning and growing as a person, much of her ambitions and objectives have evolved, though her core values such as cooperation, communication and flexibility, have largely been realized. She hopes to continue to grow, learn and experience as much as she can from everyone she meets while serving as an Inuk intermediary between Inuit and Western experiences.


Delani was born and raised in St.Paul, Alberta. It was there that her love for sailing began at just four years old. She sailed on the northern lakes with her father. Delani’s mother being in the Navy drove her passion for sea exploration. At the age of 12 she joined her local sea cadet corps to compete in regattas around the country. At 14 she travelled to Victoria, BC and started training in a 2.4mR with Stephen McBride as her coach at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

In 2013 Delani moved to the west coast to maximize her time on the water and begin her coaching career at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. Delani’s most recent success and personal best was at the 2019 Para World Championship in Puerto Sherry, Spain where she finished in 13th overall and 2nd female.

Delani works as the Program & Communications Manager for the BC Sailing Association and continues to compete on the Canada Sailing Development Squad.


Sarah is from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and is paving the way for her people by connecting traditional teachings with the tools gained from her educational journey to advance priorities for the betterment of the future generations. Sarah worked for her own Nation for over a decade where she created a Communications department from the ground up while earning her Bachelor of Communications Degree from Capilano University. Her most recent educational accomplishment was earning her MBA with a special focus on Indigenous Business and Leadership from Simon Fraser University. This is not the end of her educational goals; she knows she is going to be a life-long learner and hopes to share her knowledge with her community. Sarah holds a number of leadership roles in the community where she volunteers her time with various board and committees, including her most recent appointment on the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) Vancouver chapter as the Director of Communications.  She has an impressive CV spanning multiple organizations, including most recently with the Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping, where she is connecting Indigenous and western knowledge into her learning and work.


Paul is a CPA, CA and is Group Vice President of Finance and Administration at Cloverdale Paint Inc., North America’s largest family-owned and operated coatings manufacturer and seller.  Paul also has and continues to serve on several for-profit and not-for-profit boards. Paul is passionate about Vancouver Maritime Museum’s role in facilitating and communicating our shared heritage of the Pacific and Arctic oceans and how this maritime heritage continues as we together value, understand, work in, and preserve these important “lands.” 


Coll Thrush is professor of history and Killam teaching laureate at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place (2007), Indigenous London: Native Travellers at the Heart of Empire (2016), and numerous articles on Indigenous-settler relations and place-based history, especially on the Northwest Coast. Coll’s current research is a cultural history of the “Graveyard of the Pacific,” using shipwrecks to think critically about colonialism in the region. Raised in the treaty territory of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe in Washington State and holding a PhD from the University of Washington, he has lived in Vancouver since 2005.


Matti’s expertise includes corporate partnerships, community & stakeholder engagement, brand marketing, communications and events management.

Her governance and fundraising experience related to not-for-profit entities includes providing leadership and guidance relating to the creation of a new museum. In 2011, she was appointed by the City of North Vancouver as a Commissioner representing the North Vancouver Museum and Archives (NVMA). She went on to chair the Fund Development Committee and, as part of the leadership team, led the creation and development of North Vancouver’s new museum, MONOVA, which opened its doors to the public in 2022

Currently with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, she oversees the corporate partnerships for national events such as Canada Together (largest Canada Day event outside Canada’s capital) and the strategic brand marketing for Canada Place. She also sits on the community investment committee and provides strategic direction regarding community goodwill and sponsorship funding initiatives throughout the 16 municipalities within the port authority’s jurisdiction.

Lilah Williamson

Lilah Williamson is an inspiring young climate activist who is currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Toronto.

Lilah started organizing climate strikes in Vancouver in 2019, before co-founding the youth climate organizations Sustainabiliteens and Climate Strike Canada. Lilah co-organized the September 27, 2019 climate strike that mobilized over a million people across the country. In 2022, Lilah co-founded the organization Youth Stop TMX, which aims to mobilize high school students to stop the Trans-Mountain Pipeline Expansion.

Bruce MacDonald

Bruce Macdonald is a life-long sailor who has logged over 100,000 nautical miles in waters all over the world, primarily aboard traditionally rigged or tall ships, and often in command. 

Macdonald has had articles published in over two hundred magazines worldwide; has contributed to numerous books primarily on nautical subjects and is the author of three books dealing with Canadian maritime history with a particular emphasis on Canadian Arctic sovereignty; Canadian Arctic history; Inuvialuit ships and the fur trade. He has made numerous cross-Canada and USA lecture tours on nautical subjects and regularly works with the Canada Mint to offer his expert opinion on coins with vessel images. Macdonald has regularly given hands-on workshops on subjects ranging from marlinspike seamanship to celestial navigation.  He holds an honours degree in Psychology and English and worked for many years as a mental health counsellor at a child and youth psychiatric hospital on Vancouver Island. 

His paintings and wood carvings are held in collections across Canada and he has had many solo shows in art galleries on the west coast. 

He and his late wife, Sheila raised their two daughters and their two long term foster children aboard their Arctic tall ship North Star of Herschel Island and voyaged as a family up and down the west coast for 18 extended seasons. For the past eleven years he was the wharfinger at the Vancouver Maritime Museum’s Heritage Harbour. He has recently temporarily relocated to Ontario to assist a family member and is now (again, temporarily) living ashore for the first time in 28 years. 

Deborah Webster

Deborah Kigjugalik Webster is a researcher (RCMP Inuit Special Constables), author and guest lecturer. She is currently an Advisor to the Vancouver Maritime Museum (VMM) and Aldrich Pears and Associates on the development of the St. Roch Gallery and is an Advisor for the VMM’s Educational Programs.

Highlights of her career include being a former Curator of Heritage Collections, Government of Nunavut, Advisor to the Diefenbunker Museum for An Inuit Story: the DEW Line and Canada and the Cold War exhibitions. She worked as an Advisor to TELUS World of Science (Edmonton) and Blue Rhino Design for the design and development of the Arctic Journey Gallery. Deborah was a Senior Researcher at Inuit Qaujisarvingat: The Inuit Knowledge Centre, at Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and was a Northern and New Parks Archaeologist with Parks Canada where she had an office at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife. 

Deborah’s board experience includes; current member of the Inuit Heritage Trust’s Exhibits and Programs committee, recent former Member of the Nunavut Joint Planning and Management Committee for Nunavut Territorial Parks, Member of Library and Archives Canada Services Consultation Committee, Member for the Truth and Reconciliation Archives Task Force, and her most rewarding board position was President of the Inuit Heritage Trust in Nunavut for eight years. 

Bitten by the travel bug, Deborah loves to travel in her Inuit homeland and abroad and can tout that she was a lecturer on board a cruise ship travelling from Greenland to Alaska through the Northwest Passage. Deborah lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Dylan Burrows

Dylan Burrows is an Anishinaabe historian, father, and federal public servant at Employment and Social Development Canada.  Hailing from Gaa-waategamaag, or the Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario, he is connected to the Algonquins of Greater Golden Lake through his paternal grandmother. He is reconnecting to his culture, language, history, and territory as a generational process of reclamation.  His doctoral work reimagines nineteenth and twentieth-century British and Canadian Arctic sovereignty patrols as generational iterations of settler colonialism in Inuit territory. Since 2013, he has lived, worked, and played on the unceded territories of territories of the sḵwx̱wú7mesh,  sel̓íl̓witulh, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Nations in what is now Vancouver. 

Sean Connaughton

Robert Lewis-Manning

Erika Laanela

Erika has academic training and professional experience in marine archaeology, heritage conservation planning, management of museum collections, and public policy. Her previous positions include working as a consultant archaeologist in BC, serving as the Marine Heritage Advisor for the Ontario Ministry of Culture, and working for Parks Canada’s Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate, the BC Heritage Branch, and the BC Archaeology Branch. Erika is a certified divemaster and enjoys sailing in the Gulf Islands. After some time living in eastern Canada and the U.S., she returned to live in Snuneymuxw territory in 2020. A lifelong learner, Erika is currently a student in the Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas planning program at Vancouver Island University and works for a First Nation on Vancouver Island. She is interested in supporting the recognition and revitalization of Indigenous knowledge, protocols, and laws for cultural heritage stewardship and is excited to be part of the work that the VMM is undertaking towards reconciliation, diversity and inclusion, and creating a place for dialogue and storytelling about marine heritage.

Contact us

(604) 257-8300



Monday - Sunday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Statutory Holidays (excluding Christmas): 10:00 am to 5:00 pm


1905 Ogden Ave.
Vancouver, BC
V6J 1A3

CRA# 119261147 RR0001

Board of Directors