Historic Joy Kogawa House Society Board of Directors

Todd Wong, Past Chair of the Board of Directors at Historic Joy Kogawa House Society

Todd Wong, co-founder and member at large
Director since 2007

Todd is a founding director, having worked tirelessly in 2005–2006 to protect the house from demolition.

A library worker and community activist, he also leads Asian Canadian Writers Workshop, hosts the annual Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns–Lunar New Year dinner, and documents his misadventures in multiculturalism – arts, culture, food, dragon-boating, travel, and more – at gunghaggis.com.

Joan Shigeko Young, Education Chair

Joan Shigeko Young, co-founder and education chair
Director since 2008

Joan is a founding director, who became interested in Historic Joy Kogawa House when she taught Joy Kogawa’s children’s novel, Naomi’s Road, to her class of Grade 3 and 4 students in Richmond, BC. Joy Kogawa’s stories resonated with her because her mother and family were among the 22,000 people of Japanese descent who were stripped of their possessions and forced to spend the war years in internment camps.

Joan believes that this dark period in Canadian history needs to be told so that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated. As the descendent of a survivor, she brings a unique perspective to the Board.

Joan Shigeko Young, Education Chair

Matt Canute, past chair
Director since 2014

Matt notes that the art of writing is an incredibly underrated skill these days, and at the same time, he finds that the most effective way to improve something is to join with others who devote their lives towards improving skills and abilities in this area.

Other reasons to get involved are that the story behind the house offers an incredibly important message today and that preservation as a place of writing means that similar stories are shared.

Todd Wong, Past Chair of the Board of Directors at Historic Joy Kogawa House Society

Tāriq Malik, member at large
Director since 2023

Tāriq is a poet and novelist interested in highlighting issues of social harmony, healing, and reconciliation, and interacts and facilitates author residencies at Joy Kogawa House. His involvement in social events and his own writing expand on issues of social injustice.

Tāriq is a member of the editorial board of Polyglot magazine and secretary of Pacific Canada Heritage Centre – Museum of Migration Society.

Todd Wong, Past Chair of the Board of Directors at Historic Joy Kogawa House Society

Alexis Beamon, member at large
Director since 2022

Alexis Beamon is a writer who served as our July 2021 writer-in-residence and has continued to participate in our weekly writing group and in addition gather a social group of ukulele players who welcome beginners and more experienced musicians as well as those who just want to sing along each month.

Lenore Rowntree, Member at large of the Board of Directors at Historic Joy Kogawa House Society

Kevin Eng, treasurer
Director since 2022

Born and raised in the Vancouver area, Kevin is interested in advancing social justice causes and amplifying Asian Canadian stories and histories. He became interested in the Historic Joy Kogawa House as a space uniquely positioned to advance diverse voices in the Canadian literacy scene and preserve a delicate piece of Vancouver’s shared history.

Kevin is a working chartered professional currently employed with a firm specializing in charities and non-profit organizations.