Board of Directors

  • Photo of Mira Oreck

    President

    Mira Oreck is the Director of Public Engagement at the Broadbent Institute. Before joining the Institute, Mira was a senior strategist and organizer on high profile campaigns in the United States and in Canada. As Vice President at Moore+Associates in New York City, Mira managed the production and launch of several campaigns, including the award winning pro-Obama video’s Wake the F*ck Up and Let My People Vote. Previously, Mira served as the Director of Canadian Jewish Congress, Pacific Region and played an instrumental role in the campaigns of current Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson. Mira currently serves on the board of the Jewish Refugee Action Network and as a member of the City of Vancouver Renter’s Advisory Committee. Mira holds a Master’s degree in Urban Policy from The New School and a B.A. in Sociology from McGill University.

  • Christianne Wilhelmson, board of directors, PuSh Festival

    Past President

    Christianne Wilhelmson is currently the Executive Director of Georgia Strait Alliance, a regional marine conservation organization. She leads their government and media relations efforts, along with supporting their strategic campaigns and programs. She has a deep passion for social change and connecting with people across sectors to build a better future for our communities. A strong supporter of the performing arts, Christianne grew up in Ontario amidst seasons at the Shaw Festival and Stratford and trips to Toronto to enjoy the National Ballet of Canada and many other performances. In 1995 she moved to BC to pursue a M.Sc. in ecology at UBC. In addition to being an aunt and godmother, she loves yoga, cooking, baking, kayaking, gardening and sailing with her husband.

  • AlexandraMontgomery_100x100

    Vice President

    Alexandra is a senior leader in the not-for-profit sector with extensive experience in arts and culture. She joined Tides Canada as it first Vice President of Philanthropy in April 2013. Alexandra led the Gardiner Museum in Toronto for fourteen years and oversaw its award-winning capital expansion. She is on the Advisory Council of the Arts Management MBA Program at The Schulich School of Business.

  • Cory Philley

    Secretary

    Cory is a writer, performer, director and producer. She is also the Theatre and Events Services Coordinator at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby where she is the Artistic Director for the Shadbolt’s theatre season, directs the Artist-in-Residency program and manages events and concerts in Deer Lake Park. Cory was one of the founding members and co-artistic director of La Luna Productions (1998-2007) and has worked as a freelance theatre publicist and production manager for such Vancouver-based companies as Ruby Slippers, Neworld Theatre and Boca del Lupo. Cory is a graduate of the Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts and she has just completed her MA in Graduate Liberal Studies program at SFU. Her thesis project was her play, Hoarding Paradise, about a woman with compulsive hoarding disorder.

  • so_rodger

    Treasurer

    Born and raised in Vancouver, Rodger possesses all of the attributes for a career in the performing arts except for talent. Having accepted this minor shortcoming, he now spends his working days crunching numbers, analyzing spreadsheets and writing reports. A Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA), Rodger is currently Senior Manager, Tax Services at the international accounting firm, EY. Originally trained as an economist, he holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Arts from the University of Victoria.

  • Photo of Jane Brindley

    Jane E. Brindley is a clinical psychologist and an adjunct faculty member at the University of British Columbia. Prior to coming to Vancouver, she was Director of the Centre for Psychological Services at the University of Windsor. She has held a number of leadership positions in post-secondary institutions as well as working as an independent researcher, writer, and consultant in Canada and internationally. Jane is a long-time arts and culture advocate. She has served on the boards of the Arts Club Theatre Company, Art Gallery of Windsor, Fringe Nord, Phoenix Theatre, and the Ontario Arts Council and was an International Governor with the Shaw Festival. Jane received the “Spirit of Philanthropy” award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals in recognition of her volunteer and fundraising achievements, and in 2009, the Art Gallery of Windsor honoured her with a named space at the Gallery (the Jane E. Brindley Creative Space) in recognition of her leadership and volunteer contribution to the Gallery.

  • Photo of Frances Dobrzanski

    Frances was born in Vancouver and spent her youth immersed in theatre. She continued to act and stage manage while completing an arts degree at McGill University. In Montreal, Frances discovered her interest in psychology and healthcare. Her path shifted course and she returned to Vancouver to complete a degree in nursing. Frances is now a nurse at St. Paul’s Hospital on the palliative care unit. When Frances is not working, she sings in a community choir and participates in a book club. She attends the film festival, local live music and has been attending the PuSh Festival since 2005.

  • Kent Gallie

    Kent has over 25 years of experience working for arts and cultural organizations and currently holds the position of Performing Arts Manager for the City of Surrey. He has worked for the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, served a one-year term as the Interim Managing Director for the 2011 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and prior to that was Outreach Manager for MusicFest Vancouver. Kent was the Production Manager for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for 11 seasons, which included coordinating the annual Symphony Under the Sky Festival. He also served as community festival liaison on the Edmonton Arts Council for four years, chairing peer juries administering municipal grants to Edmonton festival organizations.

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    Benz was born in Nairobi, Kenya and has called Vancouver home for the past 33 years. He has a background in the financial field working as an investment advisor for 19 years but now is a budding entrepreneur with interests in the private liquor and construction businesses. He was introduced to the local arts community in 2012 serving as the treasurer of The Koerner Foundation for three years and now sits on the National Economic Planning Board for the Ismaili Council for Canada. Benz has been volunteering his time and efforts to various boards and institutions for over three decades and believes strongly in giving back to his community. Benz holds the following designations from the Canadian Securities Institute: CIM (Chartered Investment Manager), PFP (Personal Financial Planner) and AICB (Associate of the Institute of Canadian Bankers).

  • Backtage

    Harry Gray has over 30 years of experience in the post-secondary and health industries where he has worked in a variety of executive administration roles. During his career he has been responsible for human resources, occupational health and safety, facilities management, security, IT, purchasing and emergency management.

    Harry holds a Master of Industrial Relations from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School Business.

    Harry has served on the board of Covenant House Vancouver, where he was Vice Chair and chaired the HR & Governance committee.  Additionally, he has served on the Community Care and Assisted Living Appeal Board and as a board member for the BC Council of Administrative Tribunals.

  • Margo Harper

    Margo Harper’s distinguished career spans over 25 years in broadcasting, mainly in BC. During her tenure at CTV BC, Harper fostered vibrant and mutually beneficial partnerships with the Jazz and PuSh festivals. A graduate of the Carleton University School of Journalism, she began her career at the Vancouver Sun as a print reporter and has since held positions as a reporter, editor, senior producer and news director at: BCTV (now Global), CBC, VTV News at 6 (now CTV News at 6), CTV National News in Toronto and CTV BC. Harper was the recipient of the prestigious Canadian Journalism Foundation fellowship, the Jack Webster Foundation journalism fellowship and has been nominated twice for a Gemini award.

  • Paul Hecht

    Paul Hecht has been working in digital media and marketing for nearly 20 years. His work has taken him across Canada, the US, Europe and Asia. His extensive travels have taught him to appreciate working with diverse team members from around the world and to value all opinions.

    Paul moved to Vancouver from London (UK) in 2010 and has worked with national and international organizations including: Glacier Media, Disney, Visa, the NHL, and Tennis Canada. He has also volunteered extensively and his work for Athletes for Africa took him to Uganda in 2009.

    Paul is currently working with local start-ups in Vancouver, as well as pushing forward on a start-up of his own. He is also presently mentoring local tech companies on behalf of the BC Innovation Council (BCIC).

  • Michael Heeney

    Michael Heeney, is an architect and principal at Bing Thom Architects (BTA) where he has practiced for over two decades. He has played a leadership role on many of BTA’s projects including the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (UBC), Central City/SFU Surrey, Arena Stage (Washington, DC), Tarrant County College (Fort Worth, Texas) and the new Surrey City Centre Library. One of Michael’s earliest passions was the theatre and he draws a connection between producing great theatre and creating great architecture. The need to understand human nature and the energy and intensity required to see a project through are similar in both disciplines and, as Michael says, “In many ways, architecture is a stage set for life.”

  • Jessie Johnston, board of directors, PuSh Festival

    A Vancouver native, Jessie took a decade-long detour around the world before returning in 2008. This Bryn Mawr College graduate then continued her publishing career, begun at National Geographic Traveler magazine. After working as website editor for a Cultural Olympiad project, Jessie completed SFU’s Master of Publishing degree. Now with Agentic Digital Media, she works as a project manager developing websites for social change organizations. Raised in Vancouver’s theatre community, Jessie rebelled by seeking non-theatre creative outlets: she sings in the City Soul Choir, takes hip hop at Harbour Dance, and plays her rickety piano. When not mucky in her garden or rapt at a local show, Jessie spends down time exploring the globe and visiting her many homes away from home.

  • Jill MacGillivary headshot

    Jill Macgillivray is lawyer with Dentons Canada LLP.  She advises clients in the areas of media, communications, entertainment and technology, with respect to corporate matters including financing, mergers and acquisitions, and day-to-day commercial and production issues. Jill is a graduate of the UBC School of Kinesiology and the UBC Faculty of Law. Prior to attending law school, she was a self-employed marketing consultant and worked in event production. Her connection to the arts was sparked at a young age when Jill put on her pair first ballet slippers. Dance continued to be a passion throughout her youth, granting her the opportunity to perform internationally and make life-long friends. These days Jill enthusiastically supports the arts from the front of the house.

  • Paula Martin

    As Advisor to the CEO at Vancity, Canada’s largest community-based credit union, Paula Martin is accountable for ensuring awareness of Vancity’s values-based approach to banking and leveraging its relationship with the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, as well as other national and international organizations. Previously Paula served as Senior Vice President of Member Engagement overseeing marketing, communications, and digital and community engagement and as VP of Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, providing communications counsel to the Vancity Group’s executive leadership team and Board of Directors.

    Prior to joining Vancity, Paula was Director of Public Affairs for the University of British Columbia, where she oversaw internal and external communications, issues management, media relations, and community relations. Paula also has a background in journalism—as a producer for CBC Radio national current affairs and a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press. She studied journalism for four years at Ottawa’s Carleton University School of Journalism and is professionally accredited through the International Association of Business Communicators.

  • Photo of Stephanie Mayor

    Stephanie Mayor is an associate lawyer with Black Gropper, a boutique labour law firm. She provides specialized and strategic legal advice on labour and employment, human rights and administrative law matters, and represents clients before courts and administrative tribunals. She has also previously acted as in-house counsel for the British Columbia Employment Standards Tribunal and the British Columbia Labour Relations Board. Stephanie received her law degree from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies and English from Queen’s University. During school, she worked as Pro Bono Coordinator for the Victoria chapter of Pro Bono Students Canada, and volunteered with the University Association of Women and the Law; the University of Victoria Anti-Discrimination Committee; Together Against Poverty Society; Pivot Legal Society; and the West Coast Legal Education Action Fund. Outside of law, Stephanie has been active in the arts community. She joined a community-based chorus staging original musicals, acted in the Lawyer’s Show, and performed as lead singer for a local band.

  • Glenn Mori

    Glenn is a CPA currently employed as controller for Still Creek Press in Burnaby and also worked for the MUSIC ’91 series of concerts as the senior accountant. He came to PuSh a few years removed from the position of treasurer of the Vancouver Fringe Festival, and still billets performers to support and meet performers (and to earn passes to Fringe shows). He is a member of local writing groups and volunteers as an editorial assistant with Every Day Fiction, a publisher of flash fiction.

    Prior to his accounting designation Glenn majored in music and has a bachelors degree in music education and composition as well as a masters in composition. However, he quit composing and playing for many years, finally returning to play only jazz, which he still does on tenor and alto saxophone and on electric bass. He remains a winning online small stakes poker player, and many years ago performed a combined role as two of the rude mechanicals in a summer theatre production of A Midsummer Nights Dream.

     

  • Nicki Sharma headshot

    Niki Sharma is a lawyer that practices aboriginal law. Her practice focuses on aboriginal rights and title, governance, environmental conservation and residential school claims. From 2011-2014, Niki was elected as a Park Commissioner for the City of Vancouver, where she served as Chair of the Board. During her term in office, she acted as the Park Board liaison to the Arts and Culture Policy Council that advocated for policies to support art and culture in the city. Niki is excited to serve on the Board of the PuSh Festival, a festival responsible for delivering such thoughtful, beautiful and profound performances to this city.

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