Board of Directors
President: Valerie Smaller
Vancouver-based and raised, a communications and event management consultant. Valerie held the position of Senior Manager, Corporate Partnerships at the Rick Hansen Foundation, and has been a consultant to a broad range of not-for-profit and corporate clients in the arts, retail, sports, healthcare and science. She began her involvement with CACV in 2012 as the inaugural event organizer of SWITCH!, a fundraiser raising nearly $700,000 over 7 years. Valerie studied communications at Simon Fraser University where she earned a degree in Communications and Publishing; and a Marketing diploma from Capilano University.
Valerie believes we all possess creative abilities, not limited to self-proclaimed artists who earn a living from pursuing their passion. She enjoys a vast array of artmaking projects, with an emphasis on photography. The magic happens when we apply our talents and begin our creative journey – start anywhere, just start.
Vice-President (interim): Brittany Downey-MacDonald
Vancouver-based writer, accessibility advocate and educator, Brittanny is the founder of the Judy Jamieson Foundation for Education, and the Play4EveryBody project — dedicated to building universally accessible, public play spaces. She held positions with Calgary Magazine (Red Point Media) and Transcontinental Media before striking out on her own as a freelance copywriter, editor and language educator. She has worked on projects ranging from short fiction and screenplays to legal textbooks and Ph.D. dissertations. Her last park project became a model for the Rick Hansen Foundation Schools Program. She serves as a panel judge for the annual About Love Playwright Festival. Brittanny studied creative writing at UBC where she earned degrees in Literature and Education.
Secretary: Jason Chan
Jason Chan is a communications professional with experience in internal and external crisis communications, social media, project management, stakeholder, and government relations. He has held positions in several industries in Vancouver and Toronto, including not-for-profits, real estate, transportation, and engineering/construction. In Vancouver, he worked as the Public Affairs Manager for Canada LIne, Corporate Sponsorships Manager for the Rick Hansen Foundation, and was the Corporate Programs Manager for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and has a Social Media Marketing Certificate from Northwestern University. Jason is a member of the Board of Directors of Red Housing Society – an affordable housing society for low-income families in the Lower Mainland. He has a lifelong interest in music and the arts.
Member At Large: James Carter
James Carter has contributed to the community as a Board member for many organizations including Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Economic Partnership North Vancouver, St.John Ambulance and the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. James’ artistic ability is well known as a member of the Chor Leoni Men’s Choir for nearly 25 years, the Vancouver Chamber Choir and, more recently, the Phoenix Chamber Choir.
Member-at-Large: Pierre Leichner
Between Arts and Sciences, I first chose science. Curious about the mind, I eventually became a psychiatrist. But my frustration with the business mentality that has infiltrated health care led me back to question my early decision. I received my BFA from Emily Carr in 2007 and my MFA from Concordia University in 2011. I am presently a full-time interdisciplinary artist with a socially engaged practice. My works have focused on environmental and mental health issues. I am a member of the Gallery Gachet and the Art Is Land collectives, a board member of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver and the Emily Carr Alumni.
Member-at-Large: Kristen Larsen
Kirsten Larsen is a BC-born artist and creative consultant, currently residing in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is deeply committed to collaborative projects that benefit the Arts and Culture community.
Her passion for art has always been at the forefront of her career portfolio which includes: brand and business development, art curation, social media strategies, graphic design, event production, and fundraising. Using her background in business and art Kirsten works closely with corporate, private clients and not for profits, connecting them to their new favourite artists. Past clients include Disability Alliance BC, LuluLemon, The Social Concierge, Dilawri Group and the Waterfall Building.
Collaborator, advocate, business mentor and volunteer; she is the founder and artistic director of Vancouver Art Attack, a creative consulting agency founded in 2013, now specializes in curated art experiences, acquisitions, artist representation and the Vancouver Art Attack Award of Excellence in Visual Arts at Emily Carr University of Art & Design.
Currently, she sits on the board of directors at the Vancouver Biennale, Vancouver’s only Outdoor Public Art Museum featuring world-class art from around the world.
Member-at-Large: Andrew Dawoud
A business development and marketing professional since 2010, Andrew Dawoud has built a skill set for developing, implementing, and managing a broad range of business development, marketing, communications, brand management, and client relationship initiatives that support strategic objectives. Andrew has overseen and developed the implementation of strategic plans and budgets to acquire new business and expand existing client relationships in his positions in regional, national, and global law firms, and most recently, in the tech sector.
His highlights include business writing, competitive analysis, market research, client service, digital marketing, advertising, and brand awareness. In his spare time, Andrew can be found appreciating local art installations, playing sports, or dining at a new restaurant. Originally from Cairo, Egypt, Andrew came to Vancouver, BC at the age of 5 and has been a true West Coaster ever since.
Executive Director: Eric Rhys Miller
Program Manager: Johnny Trinh
Communications Coordinator: Patrycja Kamska
Festival Coordinator: Oin Nicholson
Bookkeeper: Barbara-Lynn Pollard
Artist-Facilitators for Reframing Relations:
Ronnie Dean Harris