BCHS Board of Directors
Dominga Passmore is a first-generation Filipina Canadian who has worked at Selkirk Montessori School as an educator since 1983. She graduated from the University of Baguio with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. Dominga holds a BC Teaching Certificate and Montessori Teaching Credentials.
Dominga is the President of the Bayanihan Cultural and Housing Society. She was awarded the Maharlika Leadership Award in 2015 and earned the title of Honorary Mayor of Folkfest in 2003.
April Empig Nonesa
April Nonesa is a second generation Filipino, born and raised in Victoria. She has a deep connection to Filipino culture and traditions, including speaking her family’s mother-tongue - Hiligaynon, and frequently visiting the Philippines.
A Critical Care trained Registered Nurse working in the Heart Health specialty, April’s involvement with the Victoria Filipino Canadian Association and the Bayanihan Cultural and Housing Society began as a child through dancing at multi-cultural events and volunteering in the VFCA food kiosk. As a board member, she passionate about sharing Filipino culture and contributing to a welcoming and inclusive community for all generations.
Andrea Johnson immigrated to Canada from the Philippines at a young age. She completed her education in Food Service Supervisor from SAIT, Alberta and Human Resource Management at Camosun College. She currently work as Clinical Data Analyst for a Clinical Research Organization. Andrea is an active Executive Board member for Victoria Filipino Canadian Association and Bayanihan Community Housing Society. Andrea strongly believes in supporting the programs of the association, this include fundraising, marketing, and community outreach.
Laila Pires is a graduate of Stella Maris College High School, Quezon City, Philippines and the University of the Philippines, Bachelor of Science in Food Technology. Before her retirement in 2010, she worked for more than 25 years as a legal secretary with Considine & Company, Morley & Ross, Lovett & Westmacott, and Brewin Milne & Morley.
She and her husband, Ben Pires, immigrated to Canada in 1969 and have lived in Victoria since 1972. She has been involved with the Victoria Filipino Canadian Association (VFCA) since her arrival – first as a folk dancer, then a folk dance teacher, cultural coordinator and, for many years, as a board member. Community involvement is a family affair. Along with her husband, their three children, Karl, Jason and Serena, were also involved with VFCA growing up. They treasure memories of Folkfest, cultural performances, festivals and participation in the Commonwealth Games. Their multicultural family are proud and thankful to be Canadians.
She is also one of the founding members of the Bayanihan Cultural & Housing Society in 1991. She spearheaded the grant application to the BC Government in 2001 to establish the Philippines Bayanihan Community Centre, the first Centre in Canada to be owned by Filipino Canadians.
She was awarded the Maharlika Award in 2011 by the Filipino Canadian Cultural Heritage Society of British Columbia and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 for leadership in the Filipino community.
Ana de Lara
Dan Ryan Velasquez