Board and Staff

Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (VAHMS) has a Board of Directors and staff 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.


Leticia Sanchez
President, Partnerships & Programming Committee Chair

Leticia Sanchez, M.Ed. Anahuac University, Mexico City, certified COTE from Cambridge University via the British Council in Cambridge, England. Leticia is an experienced independent art exhibitions producer, curator, gallery administrator, and teacher’s trainer. She led the Language Department at CENCA, Mexico, and has worked as the Head of Cultural Experience, and founder of the Arts and Exhibitions Committee at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver, where she helped lead the operational reorganization of the museum. She joined the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society board of directors in 2015 and was appointed President in 2019.

Leticia has acted as an advisor to the 2nd National Asian Heritage Month Symposium Satellite Working Groups & Digital Platform 2020, and the University of British Columbia’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Exhibits & Programming Advisory Committee. She is a member of The BC Museums Association, the Canadian Society for Asian Arts, Semiahmoo Art Society, the Chinese Canadian Historical Society. She has produced and curated exhibitions and community projects for various non-profit organizations including The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden where she curated exhibitions for Wayne Nagn, Raymond Chow, Yi Yu Tang, Water Poon, and many other artists. For VAHMS, she has produced: “Embracing Multicultural Languages”, 2015; “Following the Silk Routes and Beyond in Vancouver”, 2016-2018; “Interconnected: A Touring of exhibitions”, and VAHMS Connections The program, 2020-2021.

Leticia remains committed to promoting cross-cultural interactions, respect, equity, and an appreciation for Asian and Canadian arts, culture, and heritage.

Screen Shot 2020-03-01 at 9.50.14 PMCarol Hamshaw
Vice President, Resource Development & Fundraising Chair

Carol Hamshaw, BA Honours English, completed her accounting degree at UBC’s Sauder School of Business after nearly a decade as Managing Editor of The Capilano Review. Now a freelance consultant to small businesses, sole proprietors, and non-profits in the areas of accounting, finance, tax, marketing, administration, and capacity development, Carol is also experienced in non-profit administration and arts and culture grant writing. She is VP of Financial Resources for Asian Heritage Month Society and helps organize the tri-cities Writers in Our Midst reading series at Gallery Bistro in Port Moody. Carol has extended experience in the non-profit sector, especially in literary and visual arts. She is an experienced financial manager and grant writer. Carol has been one of VAHMS and Rice Paper Magazine Board of Trustees. Her interest in coming back to VAHMS is to work and support an evolving community movement that accomplishes real change and tangible results. Carol can contribute his financial, grant writing, and administrative skills to support the financial and partnerships committees.

1467050817083Jimmy Yan
Secretary, Programming Committee

Jimmy Yan, BSE, MEd., is the Project and Information Officer of Access Pro Bono.  Jimmy is a columnist of the City Post of Singtao News and has been a media commentator on issues of public legal education and information since 2008. He is also a research assistant of The Centre for Education, Law, and Society in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University and a CELS educational advisor to the Chinese community. Meanwhile, Jimmy has served on the Boards of many committees with the Royal Commonwealth Society, Mainland BC Branch as well as the Royal Society of St. George, BC Branch.

Clara Lo

Clara Lo, CPA, CGA, is a designated Chartered Professional Accountant. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto and a Diploma in Accounting from the University of British Columbia. She is currently a Financial Accountant at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). Born and raised in Ontario, she is an avid traveler and foodie and loves immersing herself in different cultures, learning new languages, and trying new cuisines. She’s excited to join VAHMS and take on the role of Treasurer and learn more about non-profit accounting and immerse herself in the local community, Asian culture, and events.

Shahid Abrar-ul-Hassan
VAHMSconnections Chair & Programming Committee Co-Chair

For about two decades, Shahid has been a language educator and researcher in multiple roles for institutions of higher education in several regions of the world. He is currently a professor of language education and works in Vancouver, BC. He has taught at the University of British Columbia and the University of the Fraser Valley. He serves as a subject expert with the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Vancouver, BC, and as an affiliate faculty at public universities in China and the USA. Shahid served as Secretary of TESL Canada Federation and Chair of TESL Canadian Educational Foundation. He has also performed several key leadership roles with international professional associations of language educators located in the USA and Korea.  In 2018 Shahid received the Alumni Achievement Award by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California, USA, which is his alma mater. Shahid is eager to promote the diverse Asian heritage and serve society. 

photo-fred-linked-inFred Soofi
Programming Committee

Fred Soofi studied Hotel Management and Economics at the University of Regina. Restaurateur Pasta Polo in Coquitlam and Club Ilia Eatery & Lounge at SFU Burnaby.  

A Canadian resident since 1974, small business owner/operator, and community advocate.  Past Board of Directors of the following non-profit organizations: Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, Coquitlam Foundation, Laurel Foundation, ACCESS Youth Services, Advisory Committee on Light Rapid Transit, City of Coquitlam Multicultural Advisory Committee, Chair of the Tri-City Iranian Cultural Society. At the present, on the Board of Directors of the Port Moody Seniors Friendship Society, Coquitlam Heritage Society.  

Awards: Federal government Citation for Citizenship award (1994); nominated for the Order of Canada (2000); Spirit of Community Volunteerism Award (2004) and the Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2005), Port Moody Heritage Award (2007 and 2012), recipient of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012), Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year (2012), Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award (June 2016).

Screen Shot 2020-03-01 at 9.49.39 PMBert Monterona
Programming Committee

Bert Monterona is a Filipino-Canadian visual artist living in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Monterona is actively involved as an educator, cultural worker, and active artist working in a wide variety of practices, including design, illustration, painting, murals, sculpture and installations. He also makes sets and builds props for stage performances and television shows. He just recently exhibited his Tapestry paintings in Gisors, France as guest artist during the GRAND BAZ’ ART International Art Festival and in Hong Kong at Jockey Club Creative Arts Center. Internationally acclaimed, Monterona is a recipient of numerous grants and residencies between 1995 and the present, including the Western Australia Department of the Arts and the Australia Council for the Arts Grant; the University of Western Australia School of Architecture and Fine Arts and Australian Embassy Philippines Residency Grant; and the Asian Artists Award of Vermont Studio Centre and the Freeman Foundation, U.S.A. Aside from his studio painting activities for galleries and art collectors, he is also active in social development advocacy work for non-governmental organizations and institutions by giving arts and cultural services for their education and information programs and campaigns.

Patricia Woroch
Programming Committee Co-Chair

Patricia Woroch, ISSofBC Chief Executive Officer, brings over 30 years’ senior-level experience leading social service organizations. She has led organizations in diverse sectors including legal services, victim/witness services, health care, community services, and children services.
Patricia has a BA, MA, RSW and has been a Registered Social Worker since 1975, and is a Fellow of Community Shift, Ivey Business School. Over the years, Patricia has been a pro-active supporter of disenfranchised clients and has been instrumental in the implementation and development of new programs and services throughout the province. She has consulted on both national and international social service programming. Patricia serves on numerous boards and committees including Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration, Corrections Canada REAC, TRAC – Tenants Resource & Advisory Centre, and Immigrant Integration Coordinating Committee. Under her leadership, ISSofBC has expanded its services from two locations to 14 locations and has been selected one of the 50 Best Workplaces in Canada for seven years. In 2017, Patricia received the YWCA Women of Distinction award for Non-Profits and the Community Social Services Awards of Excellence – Legend – in 2019. She has been and continues to be, an active volunteer in a variety of capacities within her own community.

Valentine Ostaszewski
Marketing & Communications Chair

Valentine Ostaszewski was born in Montréal, Canada, and has been moving around the world ever since she was young. She has lived in the U.S.A., United Kingdom, Ottawa (Canada), Japan, South Korea, and now Vancouver. She came to Vancouver first in 2009 to complete her Bachelors in East Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia. While studying in Vancouver, she also volunteered as a Director of the Asian Area Studies Association at UBC and worked as an employee at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

As soon as she graduated, she moved to Kyoto, Japan to pursue graduate studies in International Relations at Ritsumeikan University. Once finishing her degree, she moved back to Vancouver to work at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. She helped in various projects that promoted Asia-Canada relations, one of the largest projects being the Investment Monitor, which visualizes and analyzes Canada’s investment relations with the Asia Pacific region. In 2017, she decided to go on a new adventure and moved to Seoul, South Korea. Here, she worked in sales for a technology company and in consultancy for one of South Korea’s largest cosmetics companies.

In 2020, she returned back to Vancouver and is working as a business consultant at a consultancy that helps Hong Kong immigrants set up new businesses in Canada through the Start-up Visa Program. She is excited to take on this new role to help VAHMS promote Vancouver’s rich diversity to the public.

Jasper Sloan Yip
Executive Director

Jasper Sloan Yip is a musician and radio producer from Vancouver, BC. After studying History and English at UBC, Jasper spent a year traveling throughout Europe. While abroad, he committed himself to start a career in music  which began in 2007 when he played his first show on a stage he built in his own back yard. From there, he went on to put together a seven-piece band behind him with whom he has released three albums, toured Canada, Europe, and the United States. Their most recent release, 2017’s Post Meridiem, landed Jasper a Western Canadian Music Award nomination for “Pop Artist of the Year” and an invitation to lecture at UBC’s creative writing department. Jasper and the band are currently preparing to release their fourth album in the fall of 2021. When he is not on stage or in the studio, Jasper serves as the Programming Director at CiTR 101.9 FM and Discorder Magazine. He also hosts and produces three podcasts: a performance and interview show called Noise Complaint, a curated music program called Listening Party, and a guest-curated playlist show called Phone Bill.

Jeffrey Chan

Jeffrey Chan is a retired pharmacist, after an accomplished and rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Born and raised in Vancouver he has worked and managed pharmacies at Woodwards, Safeway, Macdonald’s Prescriptions, HBC Zellers and Target. He was a Director for the HBC Pharmacy Division. He strived for positive healthy outcomes for all his patients and has taken this passion for success to his future endeavors. As a patron of the arts he attends the VSO symphony, VAG events and various charitable events regularly. He brings this love for arts and culture to VAHMS by supporting and committing to showcasing the Asian-Canadian culture. A key player in the silent auction gala fundraiser he has contributed to its growing success in recent years. With his many contacts in the social landscape of the city he strives to make each VAHMS fundraiser an overwhelming success.