Our Team

Brian Vidler


Making an impact on the community in which we live is the core of Brian’s passion.  Having lost a family member, Brian realized the incredible value that the Burnaby Hospice Society provides to members of our community who are navigating the end of life you journey, as well as their family members left behind.  He believes strongly in the team approach to service provision and problem solving, and humbled to work with such an incredible team of talented and dedicated staff and volunteers as we look to grow our community impact. He has lived in Burnaby for the past 21 years with his wife, two teenagers, and one spoiled dog!

Mellanie Wakeland

Administration Coordinator

Passionate about giving back, Mellanie loves working with a great team. She uses her experience and education to coordinate the office and plan events and fundraisers. She is married with two great kids.

Curtis Lee


Any inquiries for the Thrift store, please contact Curtis Lee at the above number.

Julie Vanderyagt

Palliative Programs Coordinator

Julie believes that the world turns with the help of volunteers, and that the passion and energy of volunteers is integral to a thriving community. 

Working at Capilano University for the past 20 years, Julie has seen the power of volunteers while coordinating the pan university events, where she was responsible for the recruiting, training, and engagement of up to 100 volunteers a day per event.

She is beyond thrilled to put her skills to use for such a important organization. 

Elizabeth West

thrift store clerk

I first came to the Burnaby Hospice Society through an employment preparation program offered by the YMCA. After I finished my work placement, I felt the desire to stay and volunteer to help a worthy cause. Shortly after, I was hired as a part time employee. I am a loyal fan of the Vancouver Canucks and I purchase as much Canucks merchandise as possible to help support the team.  GO Canucks, GO!


Min Chi Chen (Violet) She/Her


Violet supports clients as a clinical counsellor and professional art therapist. She believes that the complexity of grief is sometimes beyond words, but never beyond love. It is her hope to meet you and honor your grief with compassion, love, and a true desire to listen. Her deep passion and devotion to walking alongside you in this challenging time stem from her own personal experience of a significant loss.
She holds a master’s degree in counselling psychology with a concentration in art therapy from Adler University. She is a certifying clinical counsellor with BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, a Professional Art Therapist with Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA #62875896), and also an EMDR trained therapist (completed EMDRIA-Approved Training).

She thrives in providing trauma-informed talk therapy and art therapy. She is committed to providing culturally sensitive and gender-affirming services to people with diverse backgrounds. She is trained in multiple modalities and dedicated to meeting you where you are at in your unique experience of grief. If you are interested in art therapy, you do not need to have any prior experience or training in art, Violet can guide you step by step to release the deepest grief that is beyond words and discover your own authentic creative expression. She offers counselling and art therapy in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Taiwanese.  

Wenda Nairn


Wenda facilitates Expressive Arts Therapy sessions with clients of Burnaby Hospice Society. She is a graduate of the Langara College Expressive Arts Therapy certificate program.

A life-long writer who works part time developing funding proposals for charities, Wenda is passionate about creative expression and supporting others to tap into their imaginations to navigate their life experiences.

Wenda developed her compassion for bereavement through a series of deep personal losses, and trained as a grief group facilitator and traumatic loss support group facilitator with the BC Bereavement Helpline.

Her expressive arts therapy sessions aim to spark the healing energy of creativity in a non-critical and supportive setting where no previous art experience is needed. Wenda honours the unique life experience of each client and shares ideas, techniques, courage and inspiration.

Board of Directors

Gary Mackenzie President

John Milobar Treasurer

Aaron Morrison Secretary

Richard Hancock-Ex-Officiate

Anna LaPorta

Keith Hodgson

Carol Park

Eric Wong


​We do not currently have any openings for staff positions.

In the meantime, why not apply for a volunteer position?