THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE FOUNDATION was created to foster the preservation of Government House and its grounds; to enhance its decor, character, maintenance, historical and cultural values; and to provide funding for the Lieutenant Governor’s programs and awards that have a positive impact provincewide. Funds donated to the Government House Foundation are placed in a trust account with proceeds directed for the benefit of British Columbians. Gifts in kind may also be accepted for display and use in Government House.
The Foundation has four Honorary Trustees: The Lieutenant Governor and spouse; The Chief Justice of British Columbia; and the Private Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor.
The Foundation’s Trustees are elected to a three-year term. They are British Columbians who represent particular areas of knowledge — law, history, engineering, horticulture, the arts, etc. — as their role is not only to guide the Foundation’s activities but also to serve as advisors to Government House when so requested by the Lieutenant Governor.
MICHAEL O’CONNOR, QC
Michael O’Connor is a senior partner at McConnan Bion O’Connor & Peterson. In his preferred area of practice – civil litigation with a focus on personal injury claims and estate litigation – he has extensive experience dealing with complex cases, including paralyzed clients, brain injuries, and injured children. A graduate of the University of Victoria (BA) and the University of British Columbia (LLB), he was called to the Bar in 1975.
Mr. O’Connor has deep roots in the community and is Past Chairman of the Victoria Hospital Foundation Board, Past Commander of the Victoria Commandery of the Order of St. John, was Co-Chair of the British Columbia Paraplegic Association Spring Fundraiser in Victoria and co-chaired the David Foster Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Gala.
He has held numerous volunteer positions at the local, provincial and national levels, including Vice-President of the Canadian Rugby Union, President of the British Columbia Rugby Union, Chairman of Canada’s First World Cup Rugby Team and Past Vice-Chairman of the 1994 Commonwealth Games held in Victoria. Mr. O’Connor is also the recipient of The Queen’s Diamond and Golden Jubilee medals and has received a Vice-Regal Commendation.
Diana Maughan has extensive experience in board leadership, business and community affairs in Vancouver. After high school graduation, University of BC course work and marriage, Ms. Maughan graduated with a diploma in International Studies from the University of London, England. She is also a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors’ Governance Essentials Program for Directors of Not-For-Profit Organizations.
Ms. Maughan currently is a director of Heathcliff Properties Ltd. and Ronin Management Inc. After many years of involvement in a variety of community endeavours, her focus was on education. Through board leadership and a consulting business, she has worked to improve the governance practices of Canadian independent schools and international schools. Ms. Maughan’s most recent work was with UWC International in London, England, which comes after many years of involvement with and as Board Chair of Lester B Pearson UWC College of the Pacific. In addition, she is involved with Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club Board Committees and enjoys playing competitive golf.
COLIN EARL SMITH, PEng, PE
Colin Smith’s career includes operations and corporate management, entrepreneurship and private practice consulting in the resource and infrastructure sectors and over 15 years of public service.
Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Smith has engaged himself in the leadership of local, provincial and national service organizations including Engineers Canada and Chambers of Commerce. In addition to being
a Trustee of the Government House Foundation, he is currently an active Harbourside Rotarian,
a Commissioner of Greater Victoria’s Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project, a Director of the Victoria Airport Authority, Chief Warden of Iron Ring Camp 23, President Elect of the Canadian Society for Senior Engineers, Chair of the Vancouver Island Branch of the Engineering Institute of Canada, a University of Victoria Engineering Associate, Canadian Private Sector Lead with PNWER (The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region) and a Founding Member of the University of BC Alumni Victoria Leadership Council, among several other organizations.
His service has been recognized with several Fellowships, the 125th Anniversary of Canada and the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals.
Bernard Beck is a second generation member of the RCMP who retired as Commander Federal Crimes, Commercial Crime Section, after years of joint forces operations targeting international organized crime in Canada, the U.S.A., U.K. and South America. After leaving the RCMP, Mr. Beck became Vice President, Director Forensic Investigations at Deloitte & Touche and later CCO at Custom House (Western Union Business Solutions), a commercial foreign exchange and cross-border payments company with operations in seven countries. He is a co-founder and current executive VP of AscendantFX Capital, a non-bank financial institution and FinTech company specializing in foreign exchange hedging solutions and international payments. Headquartered in Toronto (with a satellite HQ in Victoria), it operates in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
Mr. Beck is a past president of the Union Club of B.C. and helped establish its community outreach and scholarship program at UVic. He is currently on the board of Pacific Opera Victoria and co-chaired the recent $2.8-million anniversary campaign. A longtime volunteer, he has worked with children with mental and physical disabilities, school liaison programs, bicycle rodeos, tele-miracles, youth mentorship, and as a director of Vancouver Crime Stoppers and much more.
THE HONOURABLE JUDD BUCHANAN, PC, OC, MBA, LLD
The Honourable Judd Buchanan joined the Government House Foundation as a trustee in February 2004.
Mr. Buchanan’s background includes a career in the life insurance industry followed by federal politics where he was appointed Minister of the Crown in a number of portfolios, including Indian and Northern Affairs, Public Works, Science and Technology, and President of the Treasury Board.
After leaving politics in 1980, he brought his expertise to the tourism industry, leading Silver Star Mountain Resorts Ltd. and, in 1995, he created the Canadian Tourism Commission. Mr. Buchanan received the Order of Canada in 2000.
JOE GARDNER, MB, PAg, MSc
Joe Gardner joined the Government House Foundation as a trustee in 2012. Over the past four decades, he has worked in a wide variety of professional capacities in both the private and public sectors.
Mr. Gardner has served on the Federal Farm Debt Review Board. He is best known for his 40-plus years running the Douglas Lake Cattle Company – Canada’s largest working cattle ranch. He is presently also a trustee of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Foundation. He earned his Master of Science degree in Animal Science at the University of British Columbia, is a commercial-rated fixed- and rotary-wing pilot. In 1986, he received the Medal of Bravery.
GERALDINE HINTON, DStJ
Geraldine Hinton joined the Government House Foundation in 2011, where her interests have aligned with the Lieutenant Governor’s Literacy Program and projects for Music and the Arts. Her background of 40 years in health care has included leadership roles in nursing administration, research, education and clinical practice. She retired as the Director of the British Columbia Government Office for Seniors in 2002.
Active in the community, she also serves on the boards of Beacon Community Services Society, and the BC/Yukon Council of St. John Ambulance. She is currently the Honorary President of the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre Nurses Alumni and holds a two-year appointment as the representative for British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan on the St. John Ambulance National Honours and Awards Committee. In 2003, Ms. Hinton was invested as a Dame of Grace in the Venerable Order of St John. She is also the recipient of both the Gold and Diamond Jubilee medals, the YM/YW Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award and the University of Victoria’s School of Nursing Award of Excellence.
Carol Anne Lee is CEO and co-founder of Linacare Cosmetherapy Inc. The company is headquartered in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown district. With long standing family ties to the history of Chinatown, she is strongly committed to the revitalization of the area and is the Chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, Chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee and Honorary Patron of the Chinese Canadian Military Museum. She serves on several other boards and organizations, including the Faculty Advisory Board of the Sauder School of Business, the Harvard Business School Canadian Advisory Board, the Leadership Council of the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, the Rideau Hall Foundation and Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth. Ms Lee has a Bachelor of Commerce from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Victoria-born Grania Litwin holds an English degree from the University of Victoria. She worked as public relations director at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and then spent 35 years as a municipal politics reporter, editor and feature writer at the Times Colonist newspaper, where she is currently a part-time columnist.
After serving as a longtime board member and then chair of Victoria Hospice, she became a charter member of the Victoria Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation. She then chaired the Victoria Foundation’s Honorary Governors for five years, served on the board of Queen Alexandra Foundation and was board member and president of Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre. In 2000, Grania was named a Woman of Distinction for her communication skills. In 2003, she was given a spirit award by Canwest Global Communications and, in 2012, she received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service. A keen lover of the musical arts, she is currently vice-president of Pacific Opera Victoria.
Principal, McHarg Communications Vice-President,
Strategic Counsel, Hoggan and Associates
Nancy McHarg has worked in media and public relations for 25 years, counselling clients in energy, real-estate development, entertainment, sports and retail, as well as public and private education, academic administration and government. Her areas of expertise include stakeholder engagement and dialogue, crisis and issues management, research, community relations, and media relations.
Ms. McHarg has a passion for sustainability-related issues and led the team at Hoggan & Associates in the design and implementation of the most comprehensive research ever conducted on Canadians’ views on sustainability. First initiated in 2005 and repeated periodically since, the Hoggan Sustainability research has established a rich compendium of insights into Canadians’ views in the context of the shifting and challenging economic, environmental and societal circumstances of the past several years. She has also worked on sustainability related issues with companies such as Shell Canada, Canadian Tire, the North West Cruiseship Association, BC Hydro, Ethical Funds, and the University of British Columbia. Ms. McHarg began her career as a business reporter in Montreal and worked in current affairs research and production for a PBS producer.
Her first public relations job was with McGill University. Other past employers and clients include Bosa Development, BHP Billiton, Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment/Vancouver Canucks, City of Vancouver, District of Kitimat, Whistler Sport Legacies, University of British Columbia, Credential Financial, Tides Canada and Urban Development Institute.
Ms. McHarg is on the Board of West Coast Environmental Law and is a past board member of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. She has a journalism degree from Concordia University and is pursuing a Certificate in Dialogue from Simon Fraser University. She loves yoga, swimming, running, hiking and skiing.
Diane Norton is president of Diane Cunningham Interior Design Associates Ltd. For the past 30 years, she has sat on the board of Universal Packaging Inc. and is actively involved in the company.
Ms. Norton’s passion for the arts and pediatric health care has led to her involvement in numerous boards within the City of Vancouver. She is a past governor of B.C. Children’s Hospital, past chair of the Crystal Ball, and current member of the B.C. Children’s Hospital of Care. Also, Arts Umbrella has been a long-term commitment of hers, and she has served in numerous leadership roles within the organization.
Ms. Norton attended the University of British Columbia, and received her degree in Interior Design from Ryerson University.
Starting in 1975, Richard Osler’s careers included journalism, writing for the Financial Post and appearing as a CBC business columnist on Peter Gzowski’s Morningside program. Having extensive experience in finance, he provided analysis through a major Western regional brokerage house and was president of his own portfolio management company, Aequanimitas Inc.
Mr. Osler, who holds an Honours English degree from Queen’s University, is currently a poet. His first full-length collection “Hyaena Season” was published by Quattro Press in 2016. Mr. Osler is a poetry blogger and poetry-writing retreat leader in Italy, Canada and the U.S. He is also a poetry therapist at a mental health and recovery facility run by a national Canadian health organization in Victoria and in Victoria-based out-patient clinics for men and women in recovery from trauma, and drug and alcohol dependency. He has served on numerous boards for TSE-listed companies as well as non-profit organizations, including Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary and Island Pacific School on Bowen Island. He is a former governor of Brentwood College School in Mill Bay, BC.
PAULINE RAFFERTY, OBC
Pauline Rafferty is the former chief executive officer of the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM). Trained as an archaeologist, her work first centred on archaeology, then on heritage interpretation. Throughout her career, Ms. Rafferty held various high-level positions in government, and was appointed assistant deputy minister at the Ministry of Women’s Equality in 1990. After retiring from the RBCM in March 2012, she has continued to be active on the boards of both national and provincial organizations. She serves as Chair of the board of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and board member of University of Victoria Gustavson School of Business Inc. She is a former board member of BC’s Provincial Health Services, Simon Fraser University, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, as well as former president of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada. Ms. Rafferty has also been honoured for her work in 2014 with an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Victoria. In 2016, she was honoured with the Order of British Columbia and also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
After a successful career in the sugar industry, Brian Rogers retired in 1998, and moved with his wife to Victoria to pursue their passion for gardening.
Mr. Rogers, who grew up in Vancouver, has extensive volunteer experience, including positions such as President of the BC Food Processors where he served on the National Board, Chair and Life Member of the Vancouver Salvation Army Advisory Board, Founding Chair of the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust and he was a member of the Environment Committee of the Vancouver Foundation.
After joining the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, his interest in and enthusiasm for gardening led him to also join the Friends of Government House Gardens Society. Mr. Rogers has since served twice as president of the Society. Currently, he is a member of the board and sits on the Garden Management Board. As a Foundation Trustee, Mr. Rogers has served two years as Chair and sits on both the finance and awards committees.
Michael Ryan grew up in Vancouver and completed his education at the University of British Columbia, graduating with a BCom in 1953. He then started a long career in the investment business in Vancouver, retiring in 2003.
Some of his roles in the investment field include Past President of the Vancouver Society of Financial Analysts, Chairman of the Canadian Council of Financial Analysts, Director of the International Association of Investment Management and Research, and Chairman of the Vancouver Stock Exchange. He was also active in several cultural organizations.
He has maintained ties with the University of British Columbia, being a former member of the UBC Senate and of the Sauder School of Business Faculty Advisory Board. He was one of the three founders of the prestigious Portfolio Management Foundation, where a small team of students serves a two-year term managing a portfolio of more than $4 million.
In his spare time, Mr. Ryan plays tennis, pulls weeds out of his garden plot and fiddles around in the stock market.
Drinda Scott is Community Services Manager for Maynards Art and Antiques. Ms. Scott is the past chair of the Arts Umbrella Foundation, past chair of the Sovereign Order of St. John Vancouver Special Events Committee, past co-chair of the Hospitality Committee of the Canadian Open Golf Championship, past co-chair of the Ovarian Cancer Research Campaign for the Vancouver General Hospital/University of British Columbia Hospital Foundation and BC Cancer Foundation, co-chair of the Mikhail Gorbachev Student Forum and Gala for Science World and past chair of the Marketing, Development and Communications committees for the Vancouver Public Library Board. Ms. Scott has held several positions at the local, provincial and national levels, including member of the UNICEF Canada Board of Directors, chair of UNICEF British Columbia, co-chair of the Arts Umbrella Capital Campaign and Annual Fundraising Campaign, as well as acquisitions chair for the St. John Hospice Art Committee and has been recognized with several community volunteer and leadership awards.
BRANDT C. LOUIE, OBC, LL.D, FCPA, FCA
Under the stewardship of Dr. Brandt Louie, London Drugs has become one of Canada’s most trusted retail brands, and a leading contributor to environmental and social causes. Dr. Louie practiced as a chartered accountant until joining the family business in 1972, applying his financial mind and entrepreneurial energy to growing H.Y. Louie Group. He became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of London Drugs in 1998 and again in 2014. A visionary business leader, he advises North America’s most prominent corporations and public institutions.
For his business and philanthropic leadership, Dr. Louie has been honoured with several awards, including Entrepreneur of the Year, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the Simon Fraser University Business Impact Award, C.H.I.L.D (Children with Intestinal and Liver Disorders) Foundation’s Great Canadian Achievement Award, the Golden Pencil Award, and the Cornucopia Lifetime Achievement Award CCGD.
An elected Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia, Dr. Louie received an Honourary Doctor of Laws degree from Simon Fraser University and served as Chancellor of that institution for six years. He is also a recipient of the Order of British Columbia, the Rix Award for Engaged Community Citizenship and the T. Patrick Boyle Founders Award from the Fraser Institute. In 2015, he was inducted into the BC Hall of Fame Business Laureates and accepted the EY (Ernst & Young) Entrepreneur of the Year Family Business Award of Excellence.
DR. ERIC CHARMAN, CM, OBC, LLD
Dr. Eric Charman, who died March 6, is greatly missed by the Government House Foundation.
Dr. Charman was well known as a philanthropist who organized and led more than 500 charity auctions and a variety of fundraisers that raised millions for not-for-profits in health, education and the arts in all of its disciplines. His background featured a 40-year career in real estate, including stints as President of the Canadian Real Estate Association and Chairman of the Real Estate Council of British Columbia. In 2000, Dr. Charman was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada; in 1999, a Member of the Order of British Columbia; and in 1998, he received an Honorary Law degree from the University of Victoria. He served as a Trustee of the Foundation from 2012 to 2020.
Rudi Hoenson’s life was nothing short of remarkable. He was a prisoner-of-war for three and a half years during the Second World War. He survived the Nagasaki atomic bomb – he was just over one kilometre away from the epicentre of the blast. Following the war, he returned to his native Holland and began to think about what he wanted to do with his life. As luck would have it, he saw an old movie called “Rose Marie,” featuring a Canadian Mountie paddling a canoe through the Rockies. Rudi decided he wanted to live near those mountains so he packed his few belongings and landed in Canada with a few dollars in his pocket. He made his way to Calgary, got in on the beginning of the oil boom, and married the love of his life, Sylvia. After retiring, the Hoensons moved to Victoria and Rudi became a philanthropist. His contributions to Government House are a gift to British Columbia. The beautiful wrought-iron fence that protects the rose garden from deer was Rudi’s first gift. He then went on to provide the funding to refurbish one of the buildings in the Cary Castle Mews to create “Rudi’s Tea House,” a popular summer spot for people from around the world. The tea house is mostly managed by volunteers and the money it raises goes to support the gardens. Rudi gave away millions to various causes, including Broadmead Care which provides care to Second World War veterans and others. Other beneficiaries include the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, BC Cancer Foundation, Victoria Hospice and the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.