The Maritime Museum of BC is run by a small staff with many dedicated volunteers, including those who serve on the Board of Directors.
Executive Director – Brittany Vis (she/her)
Brittany is a third generation Dutch immigrant originally from Stó:lō Nation territory in Abbotsford BC. She has a BA in English and History from the University of Victoria and a Master’s of Library and Information Science degree from Western University. In addition to her library background, she has specialized training in archives and museums, including exhibit design. She loves all things ocean related and is a big fan of stories and uncovering hidden secrets in the Museum’s collection.
Brittany has been involved with the Maritime Museum of BC since 2012 and has held a variety of roles with it since then. She currently serves as Executive Director, overseeing museum operations. When she’s not at work she can be found exploring Vancouver Island sites, walking her dog, or curled up with a good book and a mug of tea.
Covering for maternity leave
School and Public Programs Manager – Stephanie (she/her)
Stephanie is originally from the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (“Vancouver”). She holds a B.Sc. (honours) in Environmental Science & Geography from Queen’s University and a Master’s of Museum Education from the University of British Columbia. She is also a Certified Volunteer Administrator.
Previously, Stephanie coordinated learning and education opportunities at museum and science centre settings in Vancouver and the United States. Her interests are in educational program design, inquiry learning, youth leadership, and all things ocean! She believes strongly in encouraging curiosity and a shared sense of community with everyone she works with. In her spare time, you’ll likely find her digging around the intertidal zone looking for wiggly creatures.
At the Maritime Museum, Stephanie creates and leads curriculum-based school programming, public programs for toddlers, adults, and seniors, and manages the delivery of outreach and onsite programming to members of all of Victoria’s diverse communities.
On maternity leave
School and Public Programs Manager – Laura Robin (she/her)
Laura is originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where she received her B.A. in History and B.Ed. from the University of Saskatchewan. A teacher by training, Laura worked in elementary school classrooms for 5 years before moving closer to the ocean and coast she now teaches about at the Maritime Museum. A great love of museums and informal education environments led Laura to complete her Master’s of Museum Education from the University of British Columbia in 2019.
At the Maritime Museum, Laura creates and leads curriculum-based school programming, public programs for toddlers, adults, and seniors, and manages the delivery of outreach and onsite programming to members of all of Victoria’s diverse communities.
Collections and Exhibits Manager – Heather Feeney (she/her)
Heather is originally from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario – home of the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Germany.
She received her B.A. in Art History nearby at the University of Guelph, followed by a diploma in Museum Management and Curatorship from Fleming College in Peterborough.
Shortly after graduating, she found herself drawn to collections management, working at a variety of large and small museums as well as historic houses. After a number of years amongst the dinosaurs in Drumheller, Alberta, Heather moved to Victoria in 2022.
As the Collections and Exhibits Manager, Heather now cares for the Museum’s collection, manages a dedicated team of volunteers, and works to create upcoming exhibits.
Membership and Donation Coordinator – Maleah Schmitke (she/her)
Maleah has a BA (Hon) in History in Art, and a diploma in Cultural Resource Management, both from the University of Victoria. She is a lifelong resident of Victoria and has always loved both the ocean and museums since she was a child. Born and raised in Victoria, and the granddaughter of a Navy man, Maleah has a natural and life-long connection to the Ocean.
Maleah has been involved with the Maritime Museum of BC since autumn of 2014 when the Museum began the process of moving from Bastion Square. Since then she has been involved as a volunteer and later as a member of the Museum staff. Since she first started at the Maritime Museum of BC, Maleah has assisted in the collection, managed the giftshop, and assisted in coordinating Volunteers. She currently holds the position of Membership & Donations Coordinator.
Events and Development Coordinator – Anya Zanko (she/her)
Anya is from Ridgeway, Ontario–the site of the 1866 Battle of Ridgeway–on the lands of the Haudenosaunee people, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and the Attiwonderonk.
She received a B.A. (Hon.) in English Literature and History from McGill University and a Master’s of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. After working for a few years in professional development and conference management, she moved to Lekwungen territory in 2020. Previously, she worked in community museums and with genealogy groups, focusing on database and archival management.
When not at work, she is patterning and making textile objects from secondhand materials, and going for walks by the ocean.
She is the Crabtoberfest crab mascot, and manages the logistics for all of the Museum’s exciting events throughout the year, and assists with grants, marketing, and social media.
Collections Intern – Jacob Coats (he/they)
Jacob grew up on the lands belonging to the K’ómoks First Nation, which encompasses the territories of the Pentlatch, Sathloot, Sasitla, Ieeksen, and Xa’xe.
He has a B.A in History from the University of Victoria, and has been living on Lekwungen territory since 2014. Jacob has a deep interest in using physical objects to explore and humanize the day-to-day lives of people from the past.
Previously, Jacob worked at the Greater Victoria Public Library, and in the legal field as an assistant.
Outside of work, Jacob is busy singing, practicing guitar, playing D&D with friends, practicing make-up, or cleaning up antique finds from thrift shops.
Jacob is thrilled to be a part of the crew at the Maritime Museum of BC as the Collections Intern.
Events and Marketing Assistant – Ashlee (She/Her)
Ashlee was born and raised in the unceded traditional territories of the Syilx (Okanagan) People in Kelowna, BC. She is currently finishing up her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Victoria and will be moving to the territories of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation to the city of Prince George for work upon graduation.
Ashlee has previously worked at the Pender Islands Museum on Pender Islands and at numerous wineries both in the Okanagan and on the Coast. Outside of work, you can find her going to wine tastings, hikes or reading a big book on rainy days. She is excited to join the team at the Maritime Museum of BC and to aid with their marketing and events.
Public Engagement Intern – Naomi Duska (she/her)
Naomi was born in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta (aka “Calgary”), which includes the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, and the Métis Nation (Region 3). Having recently completed her BFA in Theatre and Writing at UVic, Naomi is a playwright and performer whose work blends the bittersweet with the hilarious. Naomi is interested in how we choose to represent history, in particular ways in which theatre and historical interpretation can serve as tools to present the past in engaging and accessible ways. In her spare time, Naomi writes love songs, eats croissants, and swims in the ocean pretending to be a mermaid. She is excited to join the team at the Maritime Museum of BC as the Public Engagement Intern.
Volunteer Librarian – Judy Thompson (she/her)
“I started working in libraries in the early 1960s but didn’t get my MLS degree (Master of Library Science) until 1981 (at UBC). My undergraduate degree (BA) was from the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to my retirement, I spent about 15 years as an international election administrator in over 20 countries coming out of war or dictatorships. After retiring, I started volunteering as a librarian for various groups so I could use my skills again. I joined the team at the Maritime Museum in 2012.”
Contacting Us About Donations
As a non-profit museum, we accept different kinds of donations. Here’s your quick guide to the best person to contact for the kind of donation you would like to make:
For donations to the Collections, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For donations to the annual Massive Marine & Outdoor Garage Sale, please contact Anya Zanko at email@example.com.
For year round donations of marine goods, contact Steve Ohman at Tradewinds Boaters Exchange at 778-351-0011
To make a monetary donation, please contact Maleah Schmitke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We thank you in advance for any donation you wish to make!