Meet the Picture Sooke (OCP Review) Advisory Committee

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 –The OCP Advisory Committee (OCP-AC) provides Council with meaningful and integrated input to support the creation of the District of Sooke’s OCP. They ensure the community is collectively represented and engaged in this important planning process. The OCP-AC is comprised of individuals who represent Sooke as residents, neighbours, and talented professionals bringing their remarkable experience to enhance this important planning process. 


The District of Sooke is pleased to introduce you to the OCP-AC (in alphabetical order):

      Norman Amirault: Career firefighter with the Department of National Defence; former elected councillor with the town of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, where he also chaired the Public Works Dept. and served on the planning commission; former owner/operator of Belvista Retreat B&B in Sooke.
Terry Cristall: Former CEO of Number Ten Architectural Group with offices in Winnipeg & Victoria; extensive CV includes dozens of commercial, residential and institutional projects topped by the Winnipeg Convention Centre expansion; current board member with Harmony Project Sooke and trailblazing collaborator with the District and the JDF Community Trails Society for three new signed public pathways now in the works.
Steve Grundy: Newly retired as VP Academic and Provost at Royal Roads University while remaining a professor in its School of Environment & Sustainability; served with Sooke’s Economic Development Commission; ex-board member with the Sooke Chamber of Commerce; ex-chair of the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee; Saseenos resident and mountain biking enthusiast.
Ellen Lewers: Local force of nature and super-engaged citizen who served on Sooke’s two previous OCP Steering Committees, chairing the 2008-10 edition; member of Sooke’s Board of Variance since its foundation in the early ’00s; former president of the Sooke Fall Fair; founding board member with Sooke Region Food CHI; owner/operator/grower-in-chief at Mrs. Lewers’ Farmhouse, among much else.
Linda MacMillan: Another much-respected Sooke mover/shaker dating back to when she supervised the Sooke Cooperative Preschool in the 1980s; former board member with EMCS Society, Sooke Family Resource Society, Sooke Fine Arts Society, Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, the Classical Boating Society and the Chamber of Commerce; and Remax realtor (1992-2018) who shared an untold number of listings around town with her husband Bruce (who himself was on the 2001 OCP committee).
Siomonn Pulla: Academic and specialist in Indigenous rights, governance and language revitalization; Associate Professor with the Doctor of Social Sciences program at Royal Roads; former senior research associate with the Conference Board of Canada; family man with three young children living in the town centre.
Helen Ritts: Marketing and communications professional with Local Practice Architecture who telecommutes from Sooke while focusing on sustainable buildings and infrastructure for such clients as Metro Vancouver, the CRD, the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University; former Marketing Director with Bing Thom Architects in Vancouver; smart growth champion for the town centre.

Councillor Al Beddows is council’s non-voting appointee. Mayor Maja Tait will participate as is her ex-offico right with all District committees and commissions. Sooke’s Senior Planner Katherine Lesyshen and the DIALOG consultancy team led by Jennifer Fix will work closely with all of the above. Also part of the team are specialists with Sustainability Solutions GroupColliers InternationalWATT Consulting Group and, for the critical mapping sections of the OCP, Licker Geospatial Consulting.

The District recognizes the remarkable contribution members of the OCP-AC are making to the community and extends appreciation to all residents who have and will be participating in this collaborative process.

To learn more about Picture Sooke and participate in the community visioning survey (available until November 6th), please visit

Media Contact:
Christina Moog, Communications Coordinator
Tel: 250.1634, ext. 678