The Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (VAHMS) features a wonderful Board of Directors with a passion for bringing together the Asian Canadian community and others to share in unique intercultural events through explorASIAN during the month of May, and throughout the year.
Ken McAteer, President
Ken McAteer, B.Comm. M.Ed. is a former secondary school principal who has been active as a volunteer in various capacities. Community Awards: United Way Van Dusen Award for Outstanding Community Service and the AMSSA Riasat Ali Khan Award for Lifetime Dedication to the Promotion of Cultural Diversity. He is a Past President of the BC Principals and Vice Principals Association, Past Member Board of Directors of the Laurier Institution and Past Chair of the Advisory Council for the Provincial Ministry of Multiculturalism and Immigration. Scouts Canada Service: Past Commissioner BC and Yukon, Past Commissioner Pacific Coast Council and Past Member Board of Governors. For several years Ken assisted the Ismaili scholarship program by adjudicating submissions for the Youth Leadership Awards. Ken is the current President of VAHMS and believes in the need to stress identity for individuals, integration into the Canadian community, the hybridity of heritages and empathy for others in Canadian society.
Beverly Nann, Vice President
Beverly Nann, MSW, is a recipient of the Order of BC in recognition of a commitment of over 30 years to providing leadership in pioneering the development of organisations, programs and services in the multicultural and immigrant service sector including the Laurier Institution and the Vancouver and Burnaby School District Multicultural Home-School Liaison Workers. She has served on many national, provincial and local multicultural advisory bodies including the Immigration and Refugee Advisory Panel, the Provincial Advisory Council for Multiculturalism for the Minister of Multiculturalism and Immigration and the United Way. She is the Past Executive Director of the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC and she served as the first president of Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society. She is currently a Vice-President of VAHMS.
Patricia Lim, Secretary
Patricia Lim, B.Comm, MLIS, is currently working in the Legal Services Society Publishing department and was formerly managing editor of Ricepaper magazine. She has volunteered with Union Gospel Mission, YMCA, and the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. Patricia believes that VAHMS is important in its role of encouraging pride in the cultural heritage of Canada as well as opening the dialogue about what it means to be a multicultural society and community.
Allan Cho, Director
Allan Cho is an academic librarian at the University of British Columbia. He received his M.A in History, and M.A in Library & Information Science from UBC. Born in Vancouver, he is a second-generation Canadian whose research interests are in Asian Canadian and overseas Chinese history. Allan has been involved in several community organisations including the Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden, where he volunteers as a cultural interpreter. He has volunteered at explorASIAN for a number of years as well.
Esaine Mo Verney, Director
Esaine Mo Verney has been a Settlement Worker with the VSB SWIS Program since its establishment in 2007. She previously worked as an Executive Secretary in Hong Kong before moving to Canada in 1997. Upon her arrival, she immediately started working as an Administration Officer in the logistics industry. However, her career path quickly changed and became more in sync with her appreciation for multiculturalism and passion in supporting the community after working as a career facilitator with ISS of BC. Her experience working for multicultural diversity has further expanded along with her volunteer work on the board of Pacific Immigrant Resources Society (PIRS) and her ongoing role as a committee member with Parent Support Services of BC for over 15 years. On a personal level, Esaine has been very active in lots of social and community events playing various roles as MC, coordinator and planner, as well as singing on stage.
Leticia Sanchez, Director
Leticia Sanchez is the Head of Arts and Exhibitions at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Leticia is known as a proactive supporter of education and arts. Originally a teacher and Language Teachers Coordinator in Mexico, she taught grades 1 to 9 for over 20 years, acted as a MEX-TESOL Treasurer, and was awarded the Best Teacher of the Year award at Instituto Cenca in Mexico City for five consecutive years. Certified as an Overseas Teacher of English from Cambridge University via the British Council and a Masters in Education from Anahuac University in Mexico, she has trained teachers and staff since 1996. Leticia is the founder of the Arts and Exhibitions Committee at the Classical Chinese Garden and a freelance curator. Leticia’s business vision has helped her improve the quality and productivity at the Garden Retail Department by selecting art and literature sold at the Museum Shop. Leticia’s strong interest in supporting the fine arts has led her to bring many successful national and international exhibitions and book launches to the Classical Chinese Garden. Ms. Sanchez is part of the Board of directors at the Asian Heritage Month Society of Vancouver and an advisor for the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Exhibits & Programming advisory Committee at UBC. “Embracing Multicultural Languages” 2015, “Following the Silk Routes and Beyond in Vancouver” 2016 projects are her most recent curated exhibitions displayed at the Chinese Cultural Centre, and Immigrant Services Society of BC. Her next projects, Phase two of Following the Silk Routes and Beyond in Vancouver and “Chinatown 150” Exhibitions, will be ready in April and July 2017 respectively.
Ariadne Sawyer, Director
Ariadne Sawyer, MA, C.C., is the author of three books, a speaker, poetry judge and movie reviewer. She is the president of the World Poetry Reading Series Society, co-host and co-founder of World Poetry and related areas (www.worldpoetry.ca) Ariadne is the radio show co-host and producer of The World Poetry Café CFRO 102.7 FM, a weekly venue, promoting multilingual, intercultural poets, filmmakers, dancers and musicians. Ariadne enjoys creating special events such as festivals and her dream is to create a multilingual, intercultural travelling show and film on creativity. She believes that VAHMS brings together intercultural groups and gives them the support they need to empower themselves. As a director she will work towards empowering individuals and groups. Ariadne was the winner of the $5,000 prestigious MacLean Hunter award for programs of excellence for The Brain Bulletin Series, seven CD’s which have played on radio stations across Canada. She is currently working on her first novel, Journey of Love and Agony, and a book of dream poems called Love Poems to the World. She has done workshops on Creative Dreaming, the Immune system, how to use more of your brain, and several research projects. Her poems have been published internationally. As a Neurotherapist and Peak Performance Trainer, Ariadne loves doing research on the brain and seeing people transform themselves. firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.ariadnepeakperformanceplus.net.
Candie Tanaka, Director
Candie Tanaka (@candietanaka) is a Writer and Artist and currently the Executive Director at ICOAAT (International Centre of Arts and Technology – A Literary Makerspace). They have experience in startup culture, literature, art, 3D printing, makerspaces and various forms of technology. Candie has a BFA in Intermedia and studied Sculpture with Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. They also have a certificate in New Media Design and Web Development from BCIT and recently completed the Writer’s Studio Program at SFU.
Toni Zhang McAfee, Director
Toni Zhang McAfee received her M.A. in Arts Administration and M.A. in Museology in the U.S. She has curated exhibitions of various arts and of Chinese residential architectural heritage. Since 2008 she has been working in Vancouver with local artists, historians, curators, designers, collectors and cultural organisations, including VAHMS, in the production of multicultural community arts programs. She has served on the boards of the Richmond Art Gallery and Cinevolution Media Arts Society. In her free time, she has organised cultural activities for the Grandmothers’ Support Group at the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre.
Bessie Chow, Director
Bessie Chow is an administrative professional with extensive experience in a range of industries, including corporate media, professional regulation, small and medium-sized enterprise, real estate and not-for-profit. She is currently Board Secretary and Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer at the Vancouver Art Gallery. With a BA in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Victoria, she has a keen appreciation for the significance of organizational structure on motivation and productivity and is apt at translating visionary statements into actionable priorities. As a second-generation Canadian, Bessie has been a passionate advocate for diversity for many years and has volunteered with numerous organizations in promotion of
cultural sensitivity in the media, including the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society, Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, Canadian Women in Communications, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (Toronto), Strategic Alliance of Broadcasters for Aboriginal Reflection – Canadian Aboriginal Festival, and the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. She looks forward to supporting greater dialogue on the ever-evolving subject of Asian-Canadian identity, while celebrating the ground-breaking achievements of those who came before, through explorASIAN.
Lalia Fraser, Festival Coordinator (ex-officio)