Annual General Meetings

Our Annual General Meetings (AGMs) are held every year in late November or early December. As well as the formal business meeting we always include a guest speaker presentation or talk.

Information about past Annual General Meetings is below.


After the 2023 AGM’s formal business meeting we continued with a presentation by Bob Turner, a retired scientist, former island mayor, filmmaker, and a director of the Bowen Island Conservancy. Bob spoke on the topic “What is the Future for Wild Nature on Bowen?

Bob’s talk addressed our island’s remarkable Wild Nature, and questioned how we as a community can help Wild Nature thrive. Bob also introduced a new Conservancy project that intends to gather and harness biological information so that we better appreciate what we have, and so that Wild Nature’s needs are taken into account in our decision-making processes. Bob’s new movie–My Adventures with the Wild of Home–was screened as part of his talk.


Our 2022 AGM was held in person, and after the formal business meeting we had an Update on the Wild Coast Nature Refuge. Mark Edmonds and Bob Turner talked about our work in the Nature Refuge, and answered questions.

Bob presented a short video of his first impressions of the Nature Refuge, made in late 2020. Mark updated everybody on what has happened since the Conservancy purchased the lands. He shared some beautiful photos, and some insights into further work.


Our 2021 AGM was held via a Google Meet meeting, in accordance with the BC Government’s default position as of May 2021 under the Societies Act (s. 83(1)), namely that a member may participate in an electronic meeting called by a society “unless the bylaws of a society provide otherwise.”

Our guest speaker was Ruth Simons, President and Executive Director of the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society. Ruth talked about the Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region.

UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) Biosphere Regions are areas of global ecological significance, that make an ongoing commitment to the United Nations to strive for sustainability. They are not parks, and they have no legal authority. They are places where people are inspired to find ways to live and work in harmony with nature. And Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound is now one of them.

View the AGM minutes and slides presented


Our 2020 Annual General Meeting was via a Zoom meeting, in accordance with the BC Government’s Ministerial Order No. M116. After the formal business presentation, we continued with some presentations about the newly-acquired lands at Cape Roger Curtis. We talked about some important aspects of the lands, and answered questions.

  • Owen Plowman gave an overview of the area and the park, and how this park became a reality
  • Bob Turner showed a short video about the park
  • Sue Ellen Fast spoke about the ecosystem on the coastal bluffs and why it needs to be protected.


After our formal business meeting, our guest speaker was Jon Chiang, who showed his film Sound Water. From the Headwaters of the Elaho River, down the Squamish and into Howe Sound, Sound Water is a film that questions our pursuit for adventure, our relationship with nature and with ourselves. Jon’s curiosity about Howe Sound/Atl’Kitsem led to the creation of Sound Water, his first outdoor short documentary.

A beautiful film, Sound Water begins by asking a simple question” “Where does the water come from?”. It leads to a more complex series of questions: “What does our connection to water mean?”, “What about our connection to nature?”.

A director based in Vancouver, Jon’s work focuses on creating intimate and moving branded films for his clients. His previous short documentary ‘The Lion’ was awarded the People’s choice award at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. It has also been screened at the Asian American International Film Festival and Vancouver Short Film Festival.

We are grateful to the Knick Knack Nook Small Grants Program for their financial support for the film presentation at this event.


Our guest speaker in 2018 was Dr. Andrew Wright, who talked about his exhibit “GroundTruth: Anatomy of a Pipeline“.

“In 2012, I became very concerned about the potential impact of the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline on the pristine Great Bear Rainforest. This lead me to an expedition from the oil sands of Fort McMurray, south to Edmonton, west along the proposed pipeline route through Vanderhoof and Houston, and on to Kitimat and the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. 20,000 km of travel on land and 100 days in a boat led me to a clear picture of the inhabitants of those regions and what they hold important: the vibrant biodiversity that exists in their respective ecosystems. My exhibit (shown at Science World earlier this year; see photos below) documents that journey.

“While the arguments for the Northern Gateway Pipeline have been settled, debates (often devisive) for and against pipelines continue, often tearing at the essence of what it means to be Canadian. What is frequently lost in these debates is that all Canadians have a reverence for prosperity provided by the providence of the land, albeit expressed very differently, across the country.

“Our economy supports a prosperous life, but it is also dependent on the extraction of resources. In a world of accelerating climate change and diminishing biodiversity, we need to ask ourselves ‘How does Canada transform its economy, in order to preserve its prosperity and contribute to the conservation of the country and the planet?‘”

Dr. Andrew Wright is a former high technology entrepreneur and currently an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University, in the Faculty of the Environment. Since 2007 he has actively engaged in promoting enhanced inner city childhood education programs and ecological conservation efforts. In addition to directly supporting the Great Bear Rainforest agreement via donation, he has played a direct technical role in advancing land-based closed containment salmon aquaculture in BC. The development of the Namgis Kuterra FinFish aquaculture farm is a result of these efforts. He is involved in a wide range of conservation endeavors and sits on the boards of various groups and initiatives. Andrew is a passionate conservation photographer and has produced two books: Emeralds at the Edge (featured at our 2012 AGM) and Faltering Light, both arguing the case for increased conservation in BC.


After our formal business meeting we heard about “Our wild salmon“. Recently several salmon-related issues have been in the news: open-net salmon farms, the escape of 300,000 Atlantic salmon from a salmon farm in Puget Sound, and friction between federal and provincial scientists about the integrity of salmon farm disease lab results.

Bob Turner, citizen scientist, explorer of Howe Sound, and Bowen Island film maker, and Tim Pardee, salmon enhancement volunteer with the Bowen Island Fish & Wildlife Club, addressed some of these issues, and presented two short films that bring to life salmon runs in Howe Sound: one on the 2016 Bowen Island Chum run, and one on the 2017 Stawamus Pink run. They also provided an update of activity at Bowen Island’s Terminal Creek Salmon Hatchery, and led a discussion of issues impacting wild salmon.


Because global macro trends relate in some way or another to the environment and sustainability, island resident Jae Mather joined us after the formal business meeting to discuss the question “Is sustainability still an option or is it now a necessity?

Jae is a Director of Sustainability at the Carbon Free Group, where he influences senior leaders to move beyond theory to the practical application through innovating new technologies, training, and services. He designs and implements energy efficiency and climate change strategies across the built environment, government and NGO sectors.


Our guest presentation in 2015 was “Safe and Sustainable Shipping–What does it Take?”, presented by Richard Wiefelspuett, Executive Director, Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping.

Clear Seas is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides impartial and evidence-based research to inform the public and policy makers about marine shipping in Canada, including risks, mitigation measures, and best practices for safe and sustainable marine shipping. Clear Seas’ vision for safe and sustainable shipping is holistic, encompassing environmental, social and economic impacts of the shipping industry. Richard made his presentation available to us (this copy does not include the embedded video).


We followed our usual format and enjoyed a guest presentation after our formal business meeting. In 2014 the topic was “What’s going on in Howe Sound?“, presented by Stephen Foster.

Much is going on in Howe Sound, but few people know what the “big picture” looks like, and how initiatives are coming together. Stephen talked about work being done by individuals, and organizations such as the Squamish Streamkeepers, Squamish River Watershed Society, the Future of Howe Sound Society, Save Howe Sound, and the David Suzuki Foundation, as well as the Squamish Nation.


Our guest presentation was “Howe Sound: its natural wonders and environmental change”, presented by Bob Turner. Howe Sound, our glacier-carved fiord, is a mosaic of the extraordinary. This talk pays homage to its island archipelago, its mountains and volcanoes, salmon rivers and estuaries, forests and marine ecosystems. It also looks at environmental recovery since the early 1990’s. The recent return of herring, dolphin, and whales signal new health to Howe Sound’s waters, and we need to celebrate our remarkable backyard.

Bob Turner, a scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada, and former Mayor of Bowen Island, has been exploring the Sound and surrounding mountains for 20 years. He was the lead organizer of the 1991 Howe Sound Environmental Science Workshop. He is also the author of Vancouver, City on the Edge, a popular book on the geology of the region, and Sea to Sky GeoTour, a guide to the geology and landscapes along Highway 99 from Vancouver to Whistler.


We continued our tradition of a guest presentation after the formal business meeting, and we followed that with a pot luck dinner. Dr. Andrew Wright presented “Emeralds at the Edge: a multimedia journey through the Great Bear Rainforest of BC and Haida Gwai”, Dr. Wright also arranged for us to see the film “Groundswell”, a beautiful collaboration between the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Patagonia, Inc.


Our formal business meeting included two special topics: (1) a proposed change to the Membership Fee policy, and (2) a proposed change to the Conservancy’s Bylaws concerning Notices to Members (Special Resolution).

Our guest speakers, who talked about “Bogs, Fens and Crazy Boggers” were Laurence Brown and Gerry Mignault of the Camosun Bog Restoration Group. They discussed the successful restoration of Camosun Bog and what it can teach us about the protection and preservation of wetlands, information that may be of help in areas such as Fairy Fen.


During this meeting we discussed the Conservancy’s Mission and Purposes, the proposed National Park, protection of the Huszar Creek Watershed, and membership fees. Unfortunately, because of snow in Vancouver, our guest speakers, Laurence Brown and Gerry Mignault (leaders of the team that rescued and rehabilitated Camosun Bog in Vancouver) were unable to attend the meeting; instead they presented at the 2011 AGM.