Elected Positions

Nicole Porter

President | Communications Team

Membership in the BCATA offers us community. The richest resource we have as teachers is each other and the BCATA offers us opportunities to share, grow and support each other in art education. I currently teach art at Fleetwood Park Secondary in Surrey. I love what I do. It feels right to put my apron on each morning, roll my sleeves up and get ready to work alongside my students. Being a part of helping students to grow as a young artists, to help them find their visual voice, to provide a safe space and opportunities that foster creative thought is inspiring, energizing and gives me purpose. Teaching art means I have messy hands all the time and my clothes have paint stains marking the passing of assignments long after they have been completed. Teaching art means I have a hive of creative activity in my classroom that to others looks like chaos but to me looks beautiful. I love what I do.


1st Vice-President | Treasurer | Communications

I acknowledge that I live, work, learn and create on the ha-houlthees of the Hupač̓asatḥ and Tseshaht Nations. I am thankful to be able to live in the beautiful Alberni Valley, on Vancouver Island, surrounded by mountains, forests, and water, which inspire and breathe life into my creative spirit. I am an Artist Teacher or Creative Facilitator to Grade 8-12 Artists at Alberni District Secondary School. I look forward to entering the studio everyday excited to make messes, explore creative possibilities and participate in Artful discoveries with young Artists. Studio 120 where I teach, transforms each semester from a 2D studio, with Drawing, Painting, Printing and everything in between, into a 3D studio with a focus on Ceramics. Life in the studio is always exciting. I teach mainly Studio Arts 2D 11 and 12, Studio Arts 3D 10-12 and one block of Grade 8 Art Elective.

In 2020 I completed my Masters in Art Education, with a focus on vulnerability in the studio and the influence being vulnerable has on the studio community as well as practice and process. This research has changed the way I facilitate in the studio. I have notice that I take more creative risks and that my students are more comfortable with being vulnerable in their creative process.

As an Artist, I take lots of Artful walks looking at the small vulnerable bits of nature or made materials. I reflect on the discoveries and treasures I find during these walks when I am creating. Thinking about how discarded items can be so beautiful when you stop to look at them or find the right angle. This is a direct representation of my own journey in life and my search as a Transman for that one part of me in the mirror that I identified with pre-transition.

I absolutely love my “work” as an Art Educator, maybe not the cleanup part or the switching of studios.

Being a member of the BCATA has opened up a community for me as an Art Educator, which can be a isolated place when you work in a small community.

BRANDON GABRIEL- Kwelexwelsten
Indigenous Curriculum Rep

Born and raised on the Kwantlen First Nation Reserve in Fort Langley BC, Canada. He was educated in Cultural Anthropology, Visual Art, and Marketing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, then received his Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Art from the prestigious Emily Carr University of Fine Art and Design (2006).

Brandon is a multi-talented contemporary mixed media artist who specializes in painting, drawing, graphic design, architectural design concepts, and public art installations.

His work has been exhibited in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, USA, and across Canada.

Gabriel specializes in:

  • Architectural Conceptual Design
  • Public Art Installations
  • Graphic Design
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Consulting
  • Education Modules for all ages and institutional settings

Intermediate Curriculum Rep

After teaching for quite awhile now, I continue to feel happy walking in to work with students every day. That said, I'm happiest when students are painting, working with clay, or taking photographs. Kids amaze me with their creativity, their engagement with arts-based methods, and their ability to learn through the arts.

Why you view membership in the BCATA as important:
Membership in the BCATA is important for ongoing professional development. I continue to be motivated to be a better teacher because of BCATA fall conferences/workshops, and, also, because of the amazing people I've met in the BCATA. In particular, the educators I've met on the executive are a constant source of inspiration.

Graduation Curriculum Rep | Communications Team

I'm currently working for the Surrey School District as an Art Teacher and Fine Arts Department Head at École Salish Secondary where I teach students ranging from Grades 8 to 12. I've also taught at Frank Hurt Secondary for 16 years and North Surrey Secondary for a year prior to that. I'm currently the Surrey Art Teachers Association President. On October 23rd 2020, I was awarded Art Educator of the Year (Graduation Years) by the BCATA. For the past 20 years. My favourite activities outside of school are traveling, photography, reading, making art, spending time with my family and friends. I think being an Art Teacher is the best job in the world! It is very rewarding to see my students create new things and reach new heights. In my class I am always looking for students who are trying new things, and most importantly, trying their best!!


Visually Speaking Editor

Past positions: Membership, President, Past President, Treasurer, Webmaster, Conference Co-Chair
I teach art at Westsyde Secondary in Kamloops, which is also the high school I attended. Although I work mainly in acrylic in my own studio practice, my work is defined more by the element of colour than it is by a particular medium or genre.

Why membership in the BCATA is important:
I value membership in the BCATA because it connects me to inspiring visual arts educators around the province. I’ve been hooked every since I attended my first BCATA conference.

Photography & Media Curriculum Rep​

Bob St-Cyr teaches Photography and Studio Arts at Rick Hansen Secondary School in Abbotsford. Along with teaching Bob has remained active in his own professional development through various photographic opportunities to present his work in Fraser Valley galleries as well as showing his images abroad in countries such as Japan and France and having work published in various magazines. The BCATA is an encouraging place for the Art teachers of British Columbia to collect and share ideas within a welcoming Art pedagogy.

Matthew Sinclair

Past President

Teaching in the Arts has been an incredibly fulfilling, humbling and enlightening life for me. I teach Art and Photography courses at King George Secondary School in downtown Vancouver. Though teaching takes up the majority of my time, I've found continuing to practice as an artist has strengthened my enjoyment in the classroom and passion for finding new opportunities for my students. I work in many mediums including painting, drawing, photography, music and sculpture. I also love bikes of all kinds, but particularly BMX.

Why you view membership in the BCATA as important:
I view membership in the BCATA important because so many art teachers work on islands in their schools so to speak. There is often only one or two per school and that few in some districts. It can be hard to network, find new information or simply just find peers and the BCATA is an excellent source for that along with all of our other forms of professional development.

Appointed Positions

Advocacy | Recording Secretary | Art in Public Places

Past positions: President, Past President, Conference Co-Chair, Intermediate Rep, District Rep
An artist/educator who has taught K-12 and post secondary studio art and curriculum classes, most recently at Royal Bay Secondary SD62 and University of Victoria.
Currently a member of arc.hive, an artist run centre in Victoria.
Why you view membership in the BCATA as important:
The BCATA is welcoming group of professional artist / educators devoted to promoting quality arts education K-12 and post secondary. Belonging to this association connects us, enriches us, and reminds us why we create art, and find joy in mentoring others to discover and develop their ‘inner artist’.

david sandquist


I currently teach at DW Poppy Secondary and enjoy painting as my primary art form although I have been expanding my carving practice (wood and stone) over the past few years.  I think our PSA offers art teachers a host of benefits in the shared knowledge and experience of our membership, whether it is from our publications filled will helpful ideas for the classroom or our Conferences that provide both practical profession development as well as collegial collaboration and camaraderie.  I have personally benefited from my membership in the BCATA, and I look forward to giving back in my role on the executive.

Victoria, BC Representative, University of Victoria

Current Status: Dr. Bill Zuk, Professor Emeritus. Art Education, University of Victoria. Active studio practice: Multimedia artist specializing in print, sculpture and film. See some of my work at: www.zukart.ca and www.intotheice.ca

Why you view membership in the BCATA as important:
My membership allows me to advocate for the vital role that creativity and the imagination play in our lives. It also allows me to promote Indigenous art and culture in this province where more than half of the 50 languages and cultures in Canada are represented. The province of British Columbia is culturally very rich.

Retired Teacher Rep

I have been fortunate to have enjoyed a lengthy career teaching art in public schools in West Vancouver, at all the grade levels. In my recent years, I have become involved in offering the Advanced Placement (AP) Art and Design courses. I am currently involved as an AP consultant, workshop presenter, and scoring team member for AP Art and Design. I very much value working with teachers and first-year faculty who are located across the US and in a variety of countries.

In my current BCATA position, I am working to promote inclusion, networking, and an exhibition opportunity for our retired members.


Vancouver Island University Representative | Secretary

Artist, Teacher, Researcher, Professor of Art Education at Vancouver Island University. Heather teaches Art Education for pre-service teachers in the Faculty of Education at Vancouver Island University.

Why I am a member of the BCATA…
I have been involved with the BCATA executive since 1992 - an organization that I feel very passionate about! The executive members of the BCATA are hard working professionals and like minded advocates for art education. As members of the BCATA, we have the opportunity to collaborate and implement change for positive growth and development of art in education, not just locally and provincially, but globally, through our network of art educators and art organizations all over the world. Our annual conferences, newsletters, and journals are the best- extremely well thought out and designed with the needs of our provincial classroom teachers and learners always at the forefront.

The BCATA is a welcoming professional organization that offers so many opportunities for teachers to explore their love for art, teaching, creativity, and commitment to children and students in the K-12 system and teacher education in our province. My involvement in the BCATA, over many years, has endured many changes in curriculum models and delivery of art education throughout all of the grade levels. However, the BCATA members through affiliation and collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the BCTF, have ensured that art education remains at the “heART” of education and a critical component of our children’s education in BC. Many BCATA members are my longtime friends and colleagues, and my career has been enriched because of their friendship, and commitment and dedication for art in education.

Art in Public Places- Vancouver

Archives | UBC Vancouver | Recording Secretary


Webmaster | Communications

Donna Usher taught Photography, Graphic Design, and Arts & Activism at the Langley Fine Arts School for over 24 years. During that time, Usher also produced the Arts Matter lecture series for 10 years, co-organized Compassion 2 Action Conference, co-founded Project Kenya Sister Schools (now PA-MOJA), lead the LFAS Photographic Mosaic Mural, initiated “This is Kwantlen” public art installation, and curated countless photography exhibitions and projected shows.

Now Donna has recently retired to explore new creative possibilities and is now living on Galiano Island.

The BCATA is a great venue for BC Art teachers to connect and share the art of Art teaching.