Meet the Board

Penny Goldsmith

Penny has worked in the anti-poverty community for over thirty years, as an advocate, as a writer and editor of public legal education materials in plain language. She was the founder and co-ordinator of PovNet, an online information resource, communication network and teaching tool for anti-poverty front line workers and poor and otherwise marginalized people. She is also the owner of a small publishing house, Lazara Press, where she publishes and distributes progressive books and posters. As well as singing with Highs & Low, Penny is also a member of the Solidarity Notes Labour Choir. For her, singing is a way to enjoy life, share with others and to be happy.




Catherine Hembling

Catherine is retired Learning Assistance Teacher in the French Immersion public elementary school system of North Vancouver. She has also taught secondary level science as a CUSO volunteer in Nigeria, cooked in mining exploration camps, prospected, managed a physiotherapy practise, and kept books for an air photo company. Catherine is a lapsed mountaineer and kayaker, a current musician, (English concertina), housing activist, proud granny, and choral singer in love with the harmonies of Earle Peach’s Highs and Lows.



Ans Steenman

Ans hails from Holland and is a recently retired mental health worker of 30 years. Through her work she came in touch with the Highs and Lows Choir and became a singer and supporter of the choir since inception.

She loves to sing and play the accordion.


Vivian Liu

Vivian is a caring mother, a naturalized Canadian, and a settler on the unceded land of the Musqueam People. She is pursuing her social work BSW degree at the University of British Columbia (UBC) while working as a peer group facilitator with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). She has been with the Highs and Lows Choir for more than five years. Singing and meeting people bring peace, joy, and hope to me, and joining the Highs and Lows Choir can bring her many benefits. Vivian brings the practical social work theories of anti-oppression approach, building community, building connection, equity, and inclusiveness as part of her role as a board member, in bringing our participants grassroots voices to the awareness of the public, health organizations, and governments in terms of mental health and continuing support needed for our community. She also like hiking, gardening, and being in nature to be part of her communities.