Dopson, Richard

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Dopson, Richard

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Richard Hart Dopson was born 22 October, 1945, in Winnipeg. He moved to Vancouver in 1975, and was hired as a school psychologist by the Vancouver School Board (VSB). He remained with the VSB for the duration of his professional career. After practising as a school psychologist for six years, he became a teacher and counsellor in a program for street youth in Downtown Vancouver for fourteen years. He then became a teacher in Distance Education, coaching teenagers on how to complete courses online, until his retirement. In addition to his work as a psychologist and educator, Dopson was also active within the community of professional psychologists. He was on the executive of the British Columbia Psychological Association (BCPA) for many years, and was also chair of the BCPA’s Promotion of the Profession (POP)/Marketing committee in 1999. From 2000 to 2001, he was president of the BCPA, as well as a member of the POP media subcommittee and chair of the BCPA Legislative Committee.

Outside of his psychology career, Dopson was an active member of the community. He was a past chair of the Family Court/Youth Justice committee and was also involved in politics, serving as the communications chair on the Vancouver Centre Liberal Executive from 2006 to 2007 for MP Hedy Fry. Despite these contributions, Dopson is perhaps most recognized within the gay and lesbian community. He played an integral part in developing gay and lesbian sports in Vancouver: Dopson helped found the Metropolitan Vancouver Athletic and Arts Association (MVAAA), which was established to bring the Gay Games to Vancouver and outside of San Francisco for the first time. Through the MVAAA, and in preparation for the Vancouver bid to host Gay Games III in 1990, Dopson was a leader in the organization of the Vancouver Gay and Lesbian Summer Games from 1983 to 1986. Following the announcement that Vancouver had won the right to host Gay Games III, Dopson became co-chair of the Celebration ’90 Gay Games III and Cultural Festival.

Dopson remained affiliated with the Gay Games after Celebration ’90, becoming a board member of Team Vancouver, Vancouver’s delegation to the Gay Games, and also the Vancouver representative to the International Federation of Gay Games. His contributions to Vancouver gay and lesbian athletics extend beyond the MVAAA and the Gay Games, however: he was chair of the Vancouver Gay Volleyball Association (VGVA) between the years of 1982 and 1984, and was also chair of the Vancouver Gay and Lesbian Centre for a period of time. His interest in the gay athletic community also led to his involvement in the Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival, as well as the police/gay-lesbian liaison committee.


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Metropolitan Vancouver Athletic and Arts Association (1984-[1990 or after])

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Richard Dopson was the Chairman of the Board of the Metropolitan Vancouver Athletic and Arts Association.

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Revised 2014-02-20, SW




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