Our History


2015 Ambassadors – left to right – Shelagh MacKinnon, Noah Pryce-Jones, Piers Hayes, Louise McIntosh, Brian Biddlecombe, Darryl Deegan, Mary Letson, Katherine Gish, Paulo Arreaga & Ted Spear (absent: Donna Scorer, Kevin Manning & Erwen Smith)

Once upon a time

In 2000, a group of Bowen Islanders–Bruce Greyell, Hans Behm, Ross Carter, Jane Kellett, Dean Maidment, and Ted Spear–started work on creating a local community foundation. A bit later, Murray Atherton joined in. In 2001, the Bowen Island Community Foundation came into being as an incorporated non-governmental organization.

In 2002, the Foundation received its charitable tax status. We were off and running, with Bruce Greyell as the founding Chair of the Foundation Board, which he led for six years alongside Vice-Chair and consummate Bowen Island enthusiast Murray Atherton.

Early gifts

According to Murray Atherton, the Foundation’s first gift to its original endowment fund was a plastic baggie, filled with loose change gathered by Murray and by Bruce Greyell from anyone and everyone they could nab. The second gift was from the Bowen Island Municipality–$10,000 from the whole community to seed what would become the roots of the endowment fund. From there, a group of founding members came forward with gifts to continue building the endowment–and that generosity has led to Bowen Islanders of all ages and all levels of financial ability supporting the Foundation over the years.

Read detail about our early history here

The first decade: a sampler of giving stories

Maggie Cumming left her beloved island a nest egg to carry on her work of preserving its natural beauty while increasing the network of trails–a residual benefit from her estate. Jean Cleator decided “I don’t really need the money I could get from shares I have” and gave the Foundation its first gift of unrealized shares. The students of Bowen Island Community School collected 194,440 pennies in large plastic water jugs for the benefit of the Caring Community Fund. Nicolette McIntosh welcomed the community to her home for a sale of the artwork she had created over the years, donating the proceeds from a generous selection of these pieces to the Foundation. Bruce Russell celebrates the lives of his friends and acquaintances by steadily contributing to what has become the Bowen Island Golf Association Scholarship Fund.

Our second decade: is underway.

Take a look at our news stories here.

Bowen Island Community Foundation Directors (Earliest to most recent)

1. Bruce Greyell (Chair)
2. Hans-Christian Behm
3. Jane Kellett
4. Lise Kirchner
5. Dean Maidment
6. Ted Spear
7. Murray Atherton (Chair)
8. Adam Taylor
9. Penny Scott
10. Randall Yip
11. Edward Chiasson
12. Deborah Kirby
13. Kim Brooks
14. Annette Maguire
15. Elizabeth Ballantyne
16. Joyce Ganong (Chair)
17. Dee Elliott
18. Keith Ewart
19. Mardy Duncan
20. Sally Freeman
21. Alan Morse
22. Sue Hoffar
23. Bob Andrew
24. Shari Ulrich
25. Dave Witty
26. Daron Jennings
27. Colleen O’Neil
28. Mary Letson
29. Andrea Verwey
30. Kathy Bellringer
31. Soren Hammerberg (Chair)
32. Kristen Watson
33. Julia McCaig
34. Kim Stephens
35. Neil Boyd
36. Jennifer Hall
37. Joanne Gassman
38. Jennifer Pardee
39. Michael Cornelissen
40. David Podmore
41. Henry Campbell