Board of Directors

  • Christianne Wilhelmson, board of directors, PuSh Festival


    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.

  • Stevenson_Michael100X100

    Vice-President Internal Communications

    Michael Stevenson is President Emeritus of Simon Fraser University. His academic career was an improbable plan C following an undergraduate preoccupation with the dramatic society and student government, twin passions stifled under South Africa’s Apartheid regime. He is delighted after a lengthy detour in scholarship and university leadership to devote much of his energy to the support of the arts. He is particularly thrilled to be engaged again with politically acute theatre of the kind that makes PuSh festivals so exciting.

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    Born and raised in Vancouver, Rodger possesses all of the attributes for a career in the performing arts except for talent and a tolerable singing voice. Having accepted these (minor) shortcomings, he now spends his working days crunching numbers and analyzing spreadsheets.  A Chartered Accountant, Rodger is currently Senior Manager, Tax Services at the international accounting firm, Ernst & Young LLP.  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.

  • 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.

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    Dawn Boblin is a lawyer practicing criminal law as Crown counsel in Vancouver. She graduated from the Faculty of Education in Alberta in 1986 and from the Faculty of Law at UBC in 1992. She is a fitness enthusiast and enjoys a variety of physical activities in her free time, including cycling, running, hiking, skiing and snow-shoeing. She has been a supporter of the arts in Vancouver for many years and believes wholeheartedly in the importance of art and culture to achieving a healthy, balanced community.

  • PeterDickinson2013a_100x100

    Peter Dickinson is Professor of English at Simon Fraser University, where he teaches courses in modern drama, performance, and film. His most recent book is World Stages, Local Audiences: Essays on Performance, Place, and Politics (Manchester University Press, 2010). He blogs at, and his own works for the stage include: The Objecthood of Chairs (SFU Woodward’s, 2010), Counting to Infinity (Solo Flights, Vancouver, 2012), and Positive I.D. (InspiraTO Festival, Toronto, 2012).

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    Marie-Claire Dy is a tax lawyer with Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP. She graduated from the faculty of Arts at McGill University and the faculty of Law at UBC. After law school, Marie-Claire worked as a corporate/commercial lawyer but then realized tax law was for her. She has legal experience working with various societies and non-profit organizations. Marie-Claire has always had a passion for the arts and grew up dancing ballet and playing piano.

  • Kent Gallie, board of directors, PuSh Festival

    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 4 years, chairing peer juries administering municipal grants to Edmonton festival organizations.

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    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.

  • Hecht_Paul_100x100

    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).

  • Heeny,Michael100X100

    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.”

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    Chris’ career has consisted of leadership roles in the both the arts and sustainability fields; always balancing business concerns with artistic, social and environmental ones. Currently Chris is the Director of Strategy at ISIS, a research centre focused on sustainability and social innovation at the Sauder School of Business at UBC. In his performing arts past, he has been lucky enough to work with talented artists in the US, Germany and Canada with a highlight being his seven years leading Blue Man Group – Chicago. A MBA from UBC’s Sauder School of Business rounds out his work experience. Chris is excited to play a role in bringing diverse, high quality performing arts to his favourite corner of the world.

  • PaulaMartin_100x100

    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.

  • AlexandraMontgomery_100x100

    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.

  • Nolan,Leslie2100X100

    Leslie is the CEO of The Organizational Culture Group Ltd., a boutique west coast training and development firm. She is also the Managing Director of FairWinds Press Publishers. For the past 15 years Leslie has harvested the expertise and talents of North American thinkers and moved them to a platform of global influence. Educated thoroughly in piano and dance as a youth, Leslie furthered her education in Healthcare Management and Business Marketing prior to starting her companies. As a parent of four (25, 21,18 and an 11) she has ensured that her love and learning from the arts was an integral part of family life. Much can be taught to youth through various art forms. They listen, they hear and they learn faster when it isn’t coming from parents. Further, many lessons the youth need to learn are often found in the storytelling of the arts. The arts help us create rich diverse dialogue that ensures our connection to the next generation.

  • Gayle Pastrick, board of directors, PuSh Festival

    For over 30 years, Gayle has been in design and advertising in Los Angeles and was Saatchi & Saatchi’s first female ACD on the Toyota account. She’s developed creative campaigns for many global brands through ad agencies and her own production company. Before moving to Canada, as Creative Director for Catapult Marketing, she successfully rebranded Pedigree Dog Food and all other Mars Pet Brands. Gayle spent the majority of her life in Los Angeles and called that home until moving to Vancouver’s West End four years ago. In Vancouver, Gayle has been an active member on the board of the West End Community Centre Association. And, as an avid skier, skater and outdoor enthusiast, enjoys all BC has to offer.

  • Slater,Laine100X100

    Currently Marketing Director for the Vancouver International Film Festival and Vancity Theatre, Lainé has worked as an arts marketer for over 16 years. A graduate of the University of Toronto’s Arts Administration program, Lainé has been involved in the marketing and publicity for numerous arts organizations, festivals and broadcast media including: The Vancouver East Cultural Centre, The Vancouver Chamber Choir, MusicFest Vancouver, The Vancouver International Children’s Festival, CBC Radio and Television, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Six Stages Festival in Toronto, Prague and Glasgow, Live Nation (Commodore Ballroom’s Anniversary and Tom Waits concert) and Robert Lepage at the Vancouver Playhouse.

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