Richard was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta and studied Music Education at Concordia College and the University of Alberta. He also studied Jazz Performance at Grant McEwan College where he met his wife Gail. In 1985, after several years working as a semi-professional musician, he and his young family moved to the Bulkley Valley.

Richard is a founding member of the Bulkley Valley Hospice Society and Driftwood Foundation; he also sits on the Board of the Bulkley Valley Community Arts Council. Presently, Richard works as an instructor at Northwest Community College and continues to be active in the Smithers Arts scene, as a performer, organizer and advocate.