Jonathan Hanvelt – President
Jonathan is a Vancouver-based lawyer, practicing labour and employment law and general civil litigation. While a lawyer by trade, Jonathan comes to the Firehall as an avid fan of the theatre and a deep desire to be involved in it. This desire previously led to him working at Bard on the Beach, sitting on the Board of Horned Moon Productions, and launching a short-lived and entirely unspectacular career as a high school actor. Jonathan holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in sociology from the University of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Victoria. He also currently sits on the Board of PEDAL, a local cycling organization.
Kelly Samuels – Vice-President
Kelly Samuels is a partner of the law firm Edwards, Kenny & Bray LLP where her practice focuses on corporate and business law. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Kelly obtained a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in geological sciences and worked in the mining industry in both geological and corporate communications capacities. Kelly was born and raised in the lower mainland and enjoys being active in her local community. She is passionate about the arts and regularly attends local theatre, opera and dance productions. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys reading, walking the seawall, and spending time with her husband and young daughter. Kelly has served on the Firehall Theatre Society board since December 2011.
Jesus Wong – Treasurer
Jesus Wong brings to the Firehall Board his diverse business background. His previous experiences include being a trusted business adviser for 6 years at KPMG LLP, in delivering tax, assurance, and accounting services to public and private entities, and non-profit organizations. Prior to that, Jesus co-founded a Vancouver based design studio and luxury clothing company. He is now currently employed at Orbis Investment Management, a privately-held global investment firm. Jesus holds both Canadian Chartered Accountant and U.S. Certified Public Accountant designations, and has completed the first two levels of the CICA In-depth Canadian Tax program. He obtained his Bachelors of Commerce degree with Honours at the University of British Columbia. Jesus has always had an affinity for the arts (originating from his early days as a graphic and fashion designer) and is passionate about promoting and enjoying them.
Brian Paterson – Secretary
Brian Paterson is an arts marketing specialist who chairs the Firehall Arts Centre’s Marketing Advisory Committee and contributes insights on communications strategy, advertising, and digital media to the board. Brian is Head of Marketing + Digital and Partner at Murray Paterson Marketing Group, a boutique agency dedicated to the arts + culture sector, where he works with a range of clientele including Bard on the Beach, Vancouver Opera, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Museum of Anthropology, among others. Originally trained as a classical actor, Brian later shifted to marketing and received an Honours Bachelor with High Distinction from the University of Toronto’s Arts Management Program. Prior to MPMG, Brian leant his marketing prowess to such organizations as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Leonard Cohen, The David Suzuki Foundation, The Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts, Parks Canada, The Radio City Rockettes, and Ballet BC.
Heather Blakemore has a background in the Performing Arts as a Theatre Manager for Simon Fraser University’s School for Contemporary Arts. In 2010 Heather was part of the team that developed the SFU Cultural Unit for the university’s newly built facility in the downtown eastside, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, where she was Events and Audience Services Manager until her retirement in 2015. Heather has always had a passion for design and for over 30 years combined her work in the management end of the theatre with designing and constructing costumes for the stage, working with performers in theatre, dance, film and music. Her volunteer work includes being on the Board of Directors for Rumble theatre and the Firehall Arts Centre, as well as her strata council, a Burnaby housing cooperative, and since retirement, her community garden, where she is chair.
Elizabeth Snow is an active volunteer board member with a deep interest in the arts. She is thrilled to have been elected to the board of the Firehall Theatre Society. She has been on the board of the Eastside Culture Crawl since 2011 and served as Chair since 2012. Previously she has also served on such community arts boards as the Contemporary Arts Society of Vancouver, Associates of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the YVR Art Foundation and the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. She is retired from a career with the federal government. She has a BA from UBC and an MA from UofT.
Ilze Bebris – Past President
Jack Vickery – Past President
Donna Spencer – Ex-Officio