Advisory Committee – South Asian Canadian Historic Sites
Dr. Kanwal Singh Neel is a career educator who has served as a teacher with the Richmond School District, and the Associate Director of Professional Programs in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University (SFU), Canada. He is currently a coordinator with SFU’s Friends of Simon, an outreach program where university students tutor and mentor immigrant and refugee children after school.
Kanwal is an internationally acclaimed mathematics educator, speaker at many international conferences, host of the award-winning television series Math Shop and one of the authors of Mathematics Makes Sense textbook series published by Pearson Canada.
Highly engaged in his community, Kanwal has been a tireless volunteer for over 50 years in the South Asian community. He was coordinator for the 75th Anniversary of the Komagata Maru Incident, and during the centennial of the Incident he served as an advisor to the Komagata Maru: Continuing the Journey Project with the SFU Library. He is well known in the sports world as an international track and field official.
Kathryn Gagnon has been the Curator/Manager of the Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives since 2004. She collaborates with diverse communities, and local governments and organizations on museum exhibitions as well as offsite interpretive signage installations. Kathryn has partnered with Simon Fraser University’s Dr. Donna Gerdts (Linguistics) on Hul’q’umi’num’ language preservation exhibits and programming, the South Asian Studies Institute’s Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project, and the University of Victoria’s Asian Canadians on Vancouver Island and Landscapes of Injustice research projects. Kathryn works to position the museum as an advocate for the tangible and intangible history and heritage of the Cowichan Valley.
Kris Foulds started her career at the MSA Museum Society. She spent 25 years there, rising from a Young Canada Works summer programs assistant, to Project Manager for collections management, site restoration and community engagement programs, and finally to Curator responsible for care for the collections and the interpretation of community narratives. In 2008 she joined the staff of The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford as Curator of Historical Collections. She continues to engage with the community to move The Reach collections, exhibitions and programs toward being truly representative of the history of Abbotsford. She coordinated the extensive digitization project undertaken by The Reach to make the photographic collection and contextual content widely available.
Kris participated on the City of Abbotsford committee to develop The Reach and its opening exhibitions to celebrate the community through the memories of its citizens and creative expression of its artists. She has served the community on the ad-hoc Friends of Abbotsford Public Art committee that successfully engaged the City in establishing a public art policy. She chaired the City’s Arts and Heritage Advisory Committee and served on its Heritage Working Group to advance awareness of community heritage assets and advocate for a framework for local heritage preservation. She participated in the Gur Sikh Temple’s centenary celebrations and on Sikh Heritage Museum advisory council. She brings her shared passions for heritage, community and gardening to her role as Vice Chair of the City’s Communities in Bloom committee and has recently returned to serve the BC Heritage Fairs Society as board Chair.