Our Board

Our board is comprised of  volunteers who are dedicated to BCSPEI’s vision, mission, and values.

Our Board of Directors

Curly-haired woman wearing orange tank top standing next to a blue house

Claire Byrne is an Afro Latinx woman from Charlottetown.

She is a worker, a student, and a community advocate. With the many roles she plays in her family and community she is so excited to start this role with the Black Cultural Society of PEI as the Interim President of the board of directors.

Alongside Tamara Steele, ED of BCS, and with the support of many Island organizations, Claire helped facilitate the first iteration of the BCS BIPOC Girls Group back in 2020 and she is so happy to watch the youth group expand and to continue to deepen her relationship with BCS.

Claire is proud to be a Black Islander and so honoured to be on the Board of BCSPEI.

Close up headshot of Black woman with her hair in long twists
Vanessa is a Nigerian-born, engaged PEI community member who is interested in enhancing outcomes for community members on Prince Edward Island. She serves as the Vice President of the Immigrant and Refugee Services Association Prince Edward Island and the Vice President of the Canadian Parents for French Prince Edward Island. Vanessa is working on her doctorate degree on the human rights of immigrants and has worked in every sector in the Canadian community over the past 26 years. Vanessa lives in Charlottetown with her family.
Headshot of young man smiling

Tyler Murnaghan was born and raised in downtown Charlottetown, and currently resides in Cornwall with his partner, Kyle, and their three kitties; Rick, Lila, and Lily.

As a community organizer, most recently serving as Executive Director for Pride PEI, Tyler has spent over a decade working with a number of diverse communities to grow capacity, increase services, and raise awareness of the barriers that exist, centering those with lived-experiences.

Tyler is a white settler on Epekwitk, and is honoured to be able to contribute to building a more inclusive province as part of the Black Cultural Society of PEI’s Board of Directors.

Keyshawn_Website Photo

Keyshawn Bonamy hails from Nassau, Bahamas. He moved to PEI to study at the University of Prince Edward in 2016 and has since called the Island his home.

As the current Executive Director of the Voluntary Resource Council, Keyshawn has worked consistently within the non-profit sector on the Island and has seen how the Island’s rapidly changing demographics are also influencing the sector itself.

Keyshawn is proud to be on the Board of the BCSPEI and looks forward to contributing his skills and experiences to the organization.

Man wearing a beanie hat holding a baby, standing next to a river
Anthony is a Black Islander from Scarborough, Ontario with a unique cultural background. Their father is a Jamaican immigrant, and their mother is of British and Ukrainian heritage. Anthony’s interests include playing tabletop role-playing games (TTRPGs) and playing guitar.
Anthony’s passion for youth work and community advocacy inspired them to join the Black Cultural Society of PEI. They saw the opportunity to be a positive role model for young Black youth and show them that it’s possible to be in positions of authority. As a board member, Anthony plans to contribute their skills developed through the Child and Youth Care Worker program at Holland College, where they have completed the first of two years.
Anthony is proud to be a Black Islander and honored to be part of such a great community. They recognize the importance of representation and the impact it can have on young people’s lives. By being active in their community and serving on the Board of BCSPEI, Anthony hopes to inspire future generations to be active in their communities, value their cultural identity, and work towards positive change.
Medium headshot of Black woman with curly hair

Dawn developed a love for teaching many years ago and specializes in numerous styles including Tap, HipHop, Afro Styles, African Dance, Musical Theatre, Caribbean Movement, Lyrical and Contemporary. She trained with the Bahamas Dance Theatre and The Allegro School of Music where she developed her love for the stage. She’s an alumnus of both the Theatre Performance and Dance Performance programs at Holland College, and studied Theatre Production, English Literature and Sociology at Acadia University. Dawn has also completed levels 1-8 with The Royal Conservatory of Music. She has obtained certification in African Dance and Education, Stage and Drag Makeup Artistry, and Acrobatics.

Dawn has shared the stage with many artists such as Popcaan, Destra Garcia, Cardi B, and has featured in multiple stage productions in the last decade such as Oliver Twist, Dreamgirls, & Hairspray.

In 2014, she founded the Hurricanes Dance Team at Holland College, where she coached for 7 years. After moving permanently to PEI in 2018 with her husband, Joe Dames, and daughter, Dior Dames, the dynamic pair have cemented themselves as key figures in the Charlottetown arts landscape. They remain dedicated to elevating and diversifying the styles taught, practiced, and performed on Prince Edward Island.

Dawn has directed and performed in shows on the Island such as Kings and Queens with The Island Fringe Festival and Street Fusion, Munschables & Island Vibe with The Confederation Centre of the Arts, where she was recently appointed as the new Associate Artistic Director for the Charlottetown Festival. She is also one of the Artistic Directors and Choreographers for Black-owned dance company, Xclusiv Crew; a diverse dance company run by her and her partner. They recently had the opportunity to perform for the 2023 Canada Games Opening Ceremony.

Dawn is currently preparing for her role as “Annie” in The Play That Goes Wrong, I’m Every Woman as one of the writers, & Munschables as co-director and choreographer for the 2023 Charlottetown Festival.


Medium headshot of Black woman with medium length twists in her hair, standing in front of a bookshelf

Nia Strachan was born and raised in the beautiful islands of The Bahamas to
a Jamaican mother and a Bahamian father.

She attended The University of Prince Edward Island with a Mathematics,
Computer Science, and Business background. During her studies, she was
treasurer of Rotaract and The Caribbean Society.
Beyond the Black Cultural Society, she is dedicated to contributing positively
to the broader community. She is involved in mental health advocacy as part
of her commitment to giving back and making a meaningful difference.
She is a firm believer in lifelong learning and personal growth. She is
committed to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in her field and
sharing her knowledge with fellow members to help them all grow personally
and professionally.
Nia enjoys playing video games, reading, programming, and spending her free time with family and friends.

Do You Want ToJoin Our Team?