114 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 1 JANUARY 2021
more remarkable achievements that culminated in her appointment to this
Born in Montreal during Expo 67, this first-wave Gen Xer describes herself
as her parents’ “centennial project”. She was raised in Scarborough,
Ontario, on the literal edge of the figurative centre of the universe: Toronto.
Growing up in Scarberia with her parents, Lenore and Howard, and brother,
Douglas, Sandra was raised with close affinity for the CBC, where her father
worked as a television and radio engineer. When other children were producing
puppet shows, she and her brother, with the help of surplus TV
equipment, would broadcast their live television shows to the adjacent
basement rec room for the entertainment of family and neighbours. Doug
went on to become an award-winning film and television production manager.
Sandra’s career took a different path.
Sandra’s first visit to the West Coast was during a cross-country family
camping trip in 1978. She fondly remembers a visit to the Vancouver Public
Aquarium on that trip. Later, she parlayed the talents she had developed for
her intended career as a graphic designer to win an Expo 86 poster design
contest that enabled her and her mother to visit Vancouver again for the
world’s fair on Sandra’s first trip by airplane.
Sandra has a large extended family and regularly attends family reunions
(COVID’ed in 2020) at the historic family farmhouse in Williamstown,
Ontario, home of Canada’s longest-running town’s fair. There is a long tradition
of marking significant events in her family with bagpipe accompaniment.
Despite this, Sandra obtained a second nickname, “Mix”, which
acknowledges her skill for creating event-specific mixtapes1 for any occasion
(and honours her expertise as a mixologist).
Sandra is a literal team player. She has been an avid soccer player (ACL
and meniscal tears); she played club volleyball for many years with the
Scarborough Solars (shoulder/ankle injuries and finger “stove-piping”); and
she even tried her hands (and feet) at Gaelic football (you name it). However,
it was playing hockey (lower back trauma) that made her realize she
was destined for the bench.
As noted above, Sandra had early exposure to
trans-Canada travel. She has, over the years, visited
every province and territory, except Nunavut
(despite multiple efforts). An avid outdoorsperson,
Sandra has camped all over B.C., having made
many off-season camping trips to Tofino to tent in
the rain and share food with the cougars and bears.
She has also enjoyed camping and canoeing trips in other parts of B.C., the
Yukon and the Northwest Territories (where, after she had crossed B.C. and