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About Us

Board of Directors

Family, community, social justice, travel and fun.

Contact Michelle via e-mail:
mfortin@vancouverpride.ca

Chair
Michelle Fortin

Hi my name is Michelle and I use she/her/elle pronouns. I have been a grateful guest here on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-waututh) Nations for more than 30 years. I am so very proud to be a member of the board of directors here at the Vancouver Pride Society. As an activist most of my life, the work that VPS is doing related to inclusion, reconciliation and equity inspires me. I have had the privilege of time and have volunteered over the years with the Dyke March and Festival, CCEC Credit Union, City of Vancouver 2SLGBTQAI+ Advisory and others. I am lucky that my day jobs have consistently been in the social profit sector, allowing me to live my values through my work. I am currently in the role of Executive Director at Options for Sexual Health and I love that there are so many intersections between it and Pride.

 

John joined the Board in 2016 and is excited to take on the Secretary role. He will also lead the Governance Committee which is reviewing business management strategies and processes.

Contact John via e-mail:
jwhistler@vancouverpride.ca

Secretary
John Whistler

John has been the board secretary since 2016. He leads the Governance Committee which obtained accreditation for VPS with the Imagine Canada Standards Program in December 2020. Passions he brings to the Board include building sustainable urban environments, social equity, justice, and grass-roots community engagement.

John also serves as treasurer on the board of the Green Party of Vancouver and is retired from a career in corporate systems and training programs. His professional experiences complement his volunteer activities which focus on streamlining organizational business processes.

John identifies as a cis gay male. John’s ancestors are from England and settled in the Vancouver area over 100 years ago. He has lived in the West End for over 40 years and has participated in most of the Vancouver Prides, with fond memories of the early years. His favourite pastime is to explore the world by bicycle with his husband.

 

A dynamic performer and inspirational speaker, Orene incorporates the teachings she has learned into everything she does.

oaskew@vancouverpride.ca

Director
Orene Askew

Orene Askew, also known as DJ O Show, is a passionate and energetic DJ and inspirational speaker. She is the recipient of a 2015 Indigenous Business Award and 2018 Stand Out Award from the Vancouver Pride Society.

O Show is Afro-Indigenous and a proud member of the Squamish Nation, as well as a former member of Squamish Nation Council.

 

With years of experience working in the non-profit sector and with marginalized groups, Claire has extensive knowledge and experience that they bring to all work that they do.

Contact Claire via e-mail:
cens@vancouverpride.ca

Director
Claire Ens

Claire has worked in the non-profit sector for their entire career, focusing mainly on homeless, street-entrenched, mental health and substance-affected youth, women and families.

Through their work and involvement with various organizations including the WISH Drop-In Center Society, Fraser Valley Youth Society, and being the President of the Vancouver Dyke March, Claire has gained invaluable experience and knowledge. They practice anti-oppression, trauma-informed and harm-reduction philosophies in all work that they do.

 

With 20 years experience in business management, team development, education and business growth, I enthusiastically look for fresh and creative ways to develop and showcase the pillars of diversity, equality and inclusivity in all facets of my professional and personal life.

Contact Chris via e-mail:
ckennedy@vancouverpride.ca

Director
Chris Kennedy

As someone who was raised in a small northern community, I have lived the rollercoaster of growing up different than those around you. I struggled with body image concerns for most of my adolescent years; I struggled with feeling like I belonged or was genuinely a part of any community; I shied away from expressing myself honestly, openly and authentically.

Fast forward to living in the Lower Mainland for the past 20 years, with 12 of those on the North Shore. I’m open, honest, authentic and transparent; I practice and promote body positivity every day; I celebrate sex positivity; and I’ve found a great community of friends and colleagues to be a part of.

I look forward to bringing my entrepreneurial, event and project management skills to the Board; while building on VPS’ brand, awareness, and involvement specifically to the North Shore communities.

Contact Tabitha via e-mail:
tmcintyre@vancouverpride.ca

Director
Tabitha McIntyre

Tabitha is a proud Scot, who is honoured to call Canada home. With over 10+ years experience in the Events and Tourism Industry, they bring an enthusiastic and pragmatic insight to Vancouver Pride Board of Directors. Having previously been elected as President of Squamish Pride, Tabitha is grateful for the opportunity to serve their community once more. Dedicated to building community, Tabitha is committed to celebrating all realms of our wonderful 2SLQBTQAI+ tapestry and wants to especially make space for our under-represented communities.

Board Privacy and Security

Some VPS Board Directors can’t be shared on this page to protect their personal security and privacy.  They come from countries where homosexuality is criminalized by law, and having their information on this page places their lives at risk.  Feel free to contact office@vancouverpride.ca and we’ll forward your message to these individuals accordingly.

Become a Board Member

Are you interested in running for a position on the Vancouver Pride Society Board of Directors?

Serving as a volunteer Board Member can be a rewarding and fun experience where you can meet a variety of interesting people.

The Board of Directors are elected at the Annual General Meeting, which is held in the late fall, though sometimes Directors may be appointed mid year if there is a vacancy. The VPS Bylaws require a member to be a member for at least 60 days before they can be a Director and to complete a nomination application.

People that are interested in becoming a Board Member should review the Board Terms of Reference and review the VPS Bylaws, prior year Financial Statements and Annual Report on the VPS Public Disclosures and Policies page. We also encourage potential Board Members to attend a few Board meetings in advance to gain a better understanding of the board culture and operations to ensure there is a good fit.

VPS accepts applications to join the Board of Directors at anytime of the year, because the process will often take a number of months. This is also part of a succession strategy to ensure there is board diversity and that the directors have a comprehensive set of legal, financial, personnel management and governance skills.

If you are interested please send an email request for the “Board Nomination and Declaration of Eligibility Form” to nominations@vancouverpride.ca to begin the application process.