The Board of Directors holds fiscal responsibility for the BGCA and provides strategic oversight to the activities and operations of the Burnside Gorge Community Centre. The board is made up of a team of volunteers who live, work, or own property or businesses in the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood. Individual board members lead community-focused committees, in key areas such as land use and engagement. Board members may also represent BGCA on various community partner tables such as the Victoria Community Association Network, Community Advisory Committees, and Gorge Waterway Initiative.
The Land Use Committee (LUC) is a sub-committee of the Board that plays a critical role in all applications for rezoning in the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood. Membership on the LUC is open to residents of Burnside Gorge. The LUC strives to ensure community members hear about upcoming development proposals and have an opportunity to share feedback on proposals with the City of Victoria before decisions are made. The Land Use Committee meets monthly to review development proposals and also hosts monthly community meetings which provide a forum to gather feedback from residents. This information is collected and shared with the City of Victoria to add to the pool of information guiding their ultimate decision on rezoning applications. To learn more about the Land Use process please see our Land Use pages.
2021/2022 BGCA Directors
Greg Arnold – Treasurer
Greg and his family moved to Victoria and the Burnside Gorge area in November 2018 after living in California for 8 years. Greg is a Chartered Accountant and is the Managing Director of a firm offering outsourced finance and accounting guidance in the start-up tech sector. Prior to this, he worked with Ernst & Young in both the Vancouver and San Diego offices, working in the audit practice with a number of private and public companies. Greg was seeking a way to give back and become involved in his new community and is enthusiastic about serving on the Board alongside such a passionate and experienced team. When he isn’t working, you can find Greg exploring the incredible amount of outdoor activities and opportunities that the Island has to offer with his wife and two daughters.
Sara Maya Bhandar – Director
Sara Maya is a current UVic Law student. She has an undergraduate degree in Sociology, Public Administration, and Indigenous Studies. She has previously served on the City of Victoria’s Youth Council, the UVic Pride Coordinating Committee, the UVic Student Society Board of Directors, and the UVic Board of Governors. She has worked in various positions in the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood since moving here in 2013, from child-care, to office support, to retail. She currently lives with her grandmother and pet rabbit, in the home her family grew up in.
Elizabeth Cull – Chair
Elizabeth and her husband moved to Burnside Gorge in the summer of 2017 after living for over 30 years in Fairfield and Oak Bay. Elizabeth has a MA in Community and Regional Planning from UBC and worked for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing before deciding she could have more impact on public policy as an elected member of the Legislature. First elected to the BC Legislature in 1989 in the riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head, she was re-elected in 1991, and served as Minister of Health, Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations. After leaving elected office in 1996, Elizabeth established her own consulting firm, assisting private and public sector organizations understand the public policy process. Besides a passion for politics and public policy, Elizabeth is an avid gardener and owned a gardening business in Oak Bay before “retiring” to Burnside Gorge. Elizabeth has taught part-time at Royal Roads University in the areas of leadership development, systems thinking, public policy and the political process. She is currently on the faculty of the United Way of the Lower Mainland’s Public Policy Institute where she assists non-profit organizations make effective presentations to decision-makers. Elizabeth is also a regular media commentator on provincial political affairs.
Kirsten Mah – Director
Kirsten is new to Burnside Gorge and Victoria. She recently moved here from Edmonton with her husband. In Edmonton she served as secretary of her community league and volunteered as a mentor with Big Sisters/Big Brothers. She has numerous years of experience working in program evaluation and policy development for the non-profit and public sectors. She believes the most effective way to build community is by creating connections across different groups of people and supporting everyone to tell their story in their own words. She works in program evaluation at the Ministry of Children and Family Development. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, biking, drinking tea and embroidering.
Michelle Peterson – Secretary
Michelle lives in the Burnside Gorge community with her husband, twin boys, dog and a cat. Michelle works for the Ministry of Children and Families and initially became connected to the Burnside Gorge Community Centre in 1998 when she became involved as the community social worker. Since that time Michelle has moved on to different positions within the ministry but has always maintained her connection to the association in an informal way. Michelle and her husband moved to the Burnside Gorge community in 2006 and Michelle became involved with the board at that time. Being a contributing member of our community is important to her not only because she lives here but also because she believes in the goals of the community association, community development and connection.
Avery Stetski – Vice-Chair
Avery is a retired Architect and Project Manager in the field of commercial construction and development. Having settled in the Selkirk Waterfront in 2012, Avery looks forward to sharing his expertise with the Board of Directors to ensure that Burnside Gorge grows as a viable and vibrant community. Avery has been a Director since the fall of 2013. As a member of the Land Use Committee, Avery enjoys being part of the development of the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood.
Christine Troskie – Director
Christine is new to Victoria and to the community. She recently moved to Victoria with her family and is currently working as a high school teacher. Prior to becoming a teacher, Christine completed her MSc degree in genetics and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome at UBC. She has several years of experience volunteering with underserved children and youth in Vancouver, Calgary, and South Africa. Christine also sits on the Education Advisory Committee for Genome British Columbia, where she helps to make recommendations for science education outreach programs across BC. In her spare time, she enjoys running, biking, and spending time with her dog.