Volunteer BC's 40th Anniversary Celebration

Guess what? It’s our Anniversary…

Volunteer BC was incorporated as a society October 15, 1979.

We are celebrating 40 years as the provincial leader and the voice for promoting the value and impact of volunteerism in BC.

Check out out this year’s Annual Report – celebrating Volunteer BC’s accomplishments.

Here’s some of our favourite moments from over the years!

We celebrated our anniversary at Volunteer Futures 2019 with a slide show – highlighting our past board members, events & accomplishments over the years. Enjoy the trip down memory lane.

Where are they now?

Let’s start celebrating our anniversary by highlighting past board members who made contributions to Volunteer BC and the sector!

Pat Gillis, MA CAVR

Manager  I Volunteer Resources

BC Children’s Hospital & Sunny Hill Health Centre BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre 

When did you first join the Volunteer BC board?

I was elected President of the BC Association of Volunteer Centres (to become Volunteer BC) in 1993 and served for 2 years. We went through lots of changes with bringing together the other Volunteer Centres in the lower mainland and the Fraser Valley.

Why did you join the board of Volunteer BC?

Been very involved since 1980 in learning/leading in the profession. Once I met colleagues engaged in the Volunteer Centres – I saw the divide – between what Volunteer Centres were doing and the disconnect Managers of Volunteers had with their centres. It seemed logical for us to be working together – going in the same direction to promote volunteerism, institute some practice standards and grow the volunteer sector.

Why did you choose this career in volunteer management?

Honestly who knew this was even a job?  I didn’t really ‘choose’ – most of us in the 80’s fell into it. The auxiliary volunteer who was coordinating volunteers left and I thought it would be interesting plus it was now a paid position! I had no idea this was a real career – and here I am 40 years later!

What do you like the most of this area?

It is absolutely the BEST JOB in the world – I love the human resources role, the charitable sector engagement and the feeling that no 2 days in this job have ever been the same or boring!   What other profession offers so much breadth of knowledge, practice and engagement with people.

Lawrie Portigal,

has been Volunteer President since 2010. He is a Retired Member of the Alberta Bar. He moved to Richmond in 2002. Lawrie is active in the volunteer sector and is a Director and Vice Chair of Richmond Cares Richmond Gives (formerly Volunteer Richmond); a Director of the Touchstone Family Association and a Director and Past Chair of Volunteer Canada.

Why did you join the board of Volunteer BC?

I strongly believe that to be a part of a community, volunteering must be a part of one’s life, as it contributes to making change and helps make healthy communities. Volunteering transforms a community into an engaging and inclusive nation of people.


For more than 50 years, Volunteer BC Past-President –  David Kimpton has given unselfishly of his time in order to improve the quality of life for those around him.

Thank you to David for his many decades of committed service to the community!

Where do you work?

I retired for the second time over two years ago, I am currently Board Secretary for Health and Home Care Society (since 2001) and Board Secretary for the Dugout Drop-In Centre in Gastown (since 2006). I am also part of the Friends of The Vancouver Welshmen’s Choir and the founding Chair of the Municipal Pension Retirees’ Association (Richmond District). I am actively involved at St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Richmond.  So, I have a few things to keep me active!

Why did you join the board of Volunteer BC?

I joined in 1994 and was a Director for six years and President for three of those years.

Why do you enjoy being a volunteer?

I enjoy volunteering because of the wonderful people you meet in the course of one’s work.  The reward is knowing that your efforts are appreciated by those one serves and the feeling of making a positive difference in peoples’ lives.

Career highlight?

In 2018, I received the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, which recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians in Victoria from the Governor-General Julie Payette.

Justin Ho

Director of Membership Engagement and Collaboration, having started at the Vancouver Division of Family Practice (VDoFP)

When did you first join the Volunteer BC board?

I began my time on the board from 2002-2009. While on the board I worked on the partnership with 2010 Legacies Now leading up to the 2010 Vacouver Olympic Games. I ended my time on the board as president, serving in that role for the last 1.5 years.

Why did you join the board of Volunteer BC?

Start of my career was in the volunteer centre movement – running the volunteer and information centre in Richmond. Then I moved to Ottawa to work for Volunteer Canada and when I returned two years later, I was approached by two former board Presidents (David Kimpton and Carol Biely) to join the board. Knowing the importance of Volunteer BC, I was honoured to be asked to serve.

Why do you enjoy being a part of the voluntary/non-profit sector?

We live in a world that is very individualistic and where actions and incentives are motivated by the self. The voluntary/non-profit sector has a more collective DNA that drives and informs the work of every organization on making change in their worlds. That intentional togetherness is what brings me back to the sector time and time again.

Career highlight?

Highlights tend to be when I get to work and play with people that are driven by pushing the boundaries by doing things better together. Rallying with my fellow board members at Volunteer BC during a particularly challenging period while I was board President – that experience I carry with me to this day.