Board of Directors

Caspar Ryan

Caspar is an award-winning artist driven by his passion for storytelling. As an accomplished video director, producer, and writer, he engages with communities both locally and abroad creating authentic and heartfelt narratives at private events, with numerous non-profit organizations, as well as for global pageants including Miss World. Caspar’s connection with DIGA began with his work as a fundraiser for the Disability Foundation and subsequently as a videographer for all the affiliated Societies. He was previously on the ConnecTra Board and now brings his expertise to the DIGA Board. He envisions for DIGA to thrive with new volunteers and expanding its presence in gardens in neighbouring communities re-invigorating participation and interactions with the community.

Terry LeBlanc

Terry LeBlanc is an active advocate for accessible transit and housing. He first joined the Disability Foundation community as a sailor with the Disabled Sailing Association of BC. He has since become more involved, most recently as Board chair for the Vancouver Adapted Music Society and ConnecTra.

Simon Paradis

A graduate of Concordia University’s Integrative Music Arts program, Simon has been playing in blues, rock, country and roots bands across Canada for 30 years. Simon began developing his skills as a songwriter in the wake of a life-altering accident. In 2015, Simon recorded “Mouthful of Stars”, a debut full-band CD of original music written by Simon and his wife, Kara. Since 2015 Simon and Kara have travelled across the country giving presentations to various organizations, such as Brain Injury Canada.

Jack Tait and Jean Donaldson posing in one of DIGA's gardens.
Long time friends, Jack Tait (Left) Jean Donaldson (Right)

In Memoriam

It is with a very heavy and sad heart that we share the news about the passing of Jean Donaldson. Over the years, Jean was both an avid participant and active Board member for the Disabled Sailing Association (DSA) and the Disabled Independent Gardeners Association (DIGA). 

Jean was an active gardener and a competitive sailor. She participated in the national Mobility Cup regattas representing the DSA over the years. She was passionate about providing opportunities for accessible and inclusive participation for everyone, and she led by example – going regularly from Port Moody to Vancouver to participate in our programs.

During an interview with a summer co-op student writing a profile story about her, Jean shared her personal perspective about barriers she has faced in her life: “I think about whether the situation is worth my energy and if it is, then I would try to do something about it. I try to keep control of how I feel and be constructive in solving problems.” 

Jean certainly saw the importance of DSA, DIGA and the Disability Foundation and we will forever be grateful and better for her voice on the Boards, as well as, direct participation and support for the programs. Thank you for all your support over the years, Jean, we will strive to continue to deliver programs that are participatory and provides a sense of self-confidence and community. 

The program teams are arranging for plaques in Jean’s honour to be placed at the DIGA garden at GF Strong Garden and DSA sailing centre.