James, sixty two, is a sincerely committed community leader, being on the Executive of two community organizations as well as President for the local chapter of a major provincial political party. Upon moving to New Westminster in 1990, he helped to reorganize the Sapperton/McBride Residents Association and restart Sapperton Days. This festival is now one of the city’s premier events. James served as a Board member and Vice President of New Westminster’s Hyack Festival Association, as well as the director in charge of Sponsorship, Volunteers, the Uptown Street Fair and the Christmas Parade of Lights. Hyack is one of the largest festival associations in British Columbia.
If you attend any of the City of New Westminster workshops you would often find James involved from parks and recreation to traffic, official community plans to crime committees. He ensures that the voices and ideas of area residents are heard and communicated. His leadership contributes to the everyday lives of our residents by providing new ways to help make New Westminster a better community and BC a better Province. During his past campaign efforts, James hosted ‘Citizen Chat’ forums providing people an opportunity to collectively put forth ideas and to work on challenges affecting our liveability. He was nominated for Citizen of the Year 2007 – New Westminster Chamber of Commerce.
James has recently finished a decade as a Founder and an Executive of the Quayside Community Board (QCB). His leadership has helped build the largest resident association in New Westminster, BC representing 2330 condo owners, nearly 5000 residents or 8% of the city’s population. The Quayside Community Board is committed to improving the quality of life for its members in the neighbourhood. James was the senior organizer of the Quayside Boardwalk Festival and Sale for a decade ending in 2016. This event attracted nearly 10,000 people and was the largest outdoor recycling opportunity in the Lower Mainland. Today this event is now known as the Quayside Boardwalk Sale and brings the community together to raise money for groups such as the Royal City Musical Theatre, the Group of Five and the Royal Westminster Regiment and other worthy organizations.
James was also the QCB representative for the board in the court action with the Canadian Transportation Agency against all four major Rail Companies. This action attempted to eliminate rail noise and vibration, giving the residents of New Westminster some peace and quiet for at least 8 hours at night. After this action, James handed over the files to the city who are working on the objectives highlighted by the QCB and area residents.
As a strong advocate for the arts, James also serves as a director on the Arts Council of Surrey [ACS] and the Surrey Festival of Dance [SFD]. On the ACS board, James provided guidance on the financial statement and business plan to ensure the successful operation and future of the NEWTON CULTURAL CENTRE which opened in October, 2010. James also served as the Chair of the ‘C50C’ [Celebrating 50 years Committee] which culminated in the ACS and city working together to create ‘Art Spots’ at two intersection in the city – a first in any North American urban setting.