VIRL Board of Trustees Welcomes 28 New Trustees, elects Executive Committee, and Officers of the Library Board at 2019 AGM

January 25, 2019

On January 19, 2019, the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) Board of Trustees held its Annual General Meeting and elected its officers and Executive Committee members for the year.

Brenda Leigh, who represents the Strathcona Regional District and has been on the Board for three years, was elected as Board Chair. Leigh has 16 total years’ experience on the VIRL Board of Trustees. She previously sat on the Board from 1995 – 2001 representing the Comox-Strathcona Regional District. From 2008 – Present (with a one-year mandatory break after eight years of service) she has represented the Strathcona Board as their Library Trustee.

Mayor Gabriele (Gaby) Wickstrom, from the Town of Port McNeill, was elected as Vice-Chair. This is Wickstrom’s second appointment to the Board. Both Leigh and Wickstrom will lead the Executive Committee as part of their duties.

The following nine members at large were also elected to serve on the Executive Committee:

  • Penny Cote (Alberni Clayoquot Regional District)
  • Manno Theos (City of Courtenay)
  • Daniel Arbour (Comox Valley Regional District)
  • Mary Marcotte (Cowichan Valley Regional District)
  • Rob Johnson (Town of Ladysmith)
  • Erin Hemmens (City of Nanaimo)
  • Evan Putterill (North Coast Regional District)
  • Debra Toporowski (Municipality of North Cowichan)
  • Fred Robertson (District of Port Hardy)

As a reflection of the significant change ushered in by the 2018 municipal elections in BC, 28 Trustees are serving in their first term with VIRL, or are returning to the Board after several years away. They are:

  • Nicole Minions (Town of Comox)
  • Vickey Brown (Town of Cumberland)
  • Brenda Patrick (Village of Gold River)
  • Rob Johnson (Town of Ladysmith)
  • Jamie Wilson (District of Lantzville)
  • Terry Carty (Village of Masset)
  • Erin Hemmens (City of Nanaimo)
  • Debra Toporowski (Municipality of North Cowichan)
  • Jack McClintock (District of North Saanich)
  • Teresa Patterson (City of Parksville)
  • Ron Paulson (City of Port Alberni)
  • Bruce Lloyd (Village of Port Alice)
  • Ian Gould (Village of Port Clements)
  • Gabriele Wickstrom (Town of Port McNeill)
  • Adam Walker (Town of Qualicum Beach)
  • Jesse Embree (Village of Queen Charlotte)
  • Joyce Ellis (Village of Sayward)
  • Barbara Fallot (Town of Sidney)
  • Jeff Bateman (District of Sooke)
  • Lynda Llewellyn (Village of Tahsis)
  • Duncan McMaster (District of Tofino)
  • Penny Cote (Alberni Clayoquot Regional District)
  • Jayme Kennedy (Central Coast Regional District)
  • Daniel Arbour (Comox Valley Regional District)
  • Andrew Hory (Mount Waddington Regional District)
  • Vanessa Craig (Nanaimo Regional District)
  • Evan Putterill (North Coast Regional District)
  • Andrew Fall (qathet Regional District)

The Vancouver Island Regional Library Board of Trustees, which is comprised of elected representatives from 28-member municipalities and 10 regional districts, administers a budget of more than $38 million.

For more information about the 2019 Board of Trustees, including elected officers, please visit us at

For more information
David Carson
Director, Corporate Communications and Strategic Initiatives
250.753.1154 ex 248
Cell: 250.327.3651