Our Staff

The day-to-day operations of The Learnary are managed by our Co-Principals, Surya Govender and Sam Mills. You can find at least one of us at the space anytime we’re open, or online at becurious@thelearnary.ca.

Surya Govender

Photo Credit: Darlene Tandon

I have been plotting variations on The Learnary since the turn of the century (ie. 2000)…and am super excited to have folks with their own visions, ready to make this happen!

As I wound my way to this project, I’ve tried my hand at more than a few jobs, from personal shopping, community garden building, and tractor driving to health research, government bureaucracy, and most recently, university instruction. At my core, though, I am an educator, writer, and maker of things. As an artist, as in life, I love to play with textiles, colour, and, of course, learning new things all the time.

I am also the parent of two small children and the co-manager of a tiny homestead in the middle of the city (aka my house). I hail from Vancouver, and am so excited to be offering a new way for our beautiful city to find connections and grow community.

Sam Mills

Photo credit: Ro Cran

The Learnary is my dream project.

I am an educator and an unschooler.  I have a master’s degree in Educational Studies, with a  focus on democratic education and co-created pedagogy. My favourite thing to do is to work with people to co-create spaces, systems and activities that allow people to support themselves and each other.  So often, when we collaborate with others we can create things that function and nourish more deeply than we could have imagined working alone.

For over fifteen years, I have had the profound delight of developing my practice under the mentorship of Helen Hughes.  Amoung other things, she has taught me about deep respect and the important work of paying attention to the sparkle in people’s eyes.

Some of the projects I have been involved with include:  Windsor House Democratic School, Playgroup Co-Facilitator, Village Free School, Capilano College Adult Basic Education, Humanities 101, and Bamfield Community School.

The Learnary holds so many of the threads that I value in one lovely space within my East Vancouver home:  inter-generational, curiosity based, hospitality, nourishment, play, creation, and doing good work together.  I am thrilled to step into the role of co-principal of The Learnary. I am super curious to see what we will all make it grow into.