Elizabeth Snow – President
Elizabeth 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.
Mary Carmichael – Treasurer
Mary Carmichael joined the Board of Directors for the Firehall Arts Centre in 2020 and currently serves as its treasurer. She loves the Arts and considers artists to be essential in keeping communities strong, compassionate, and healthy. Art provides the potential to improve people’s wellbeing, to connect, and to promote dialogue and as such, Mary is eager to support artists in the Vancouver community to the best of her ability through the Firehall. For the past fifteen years, Mary has been director and treasurer for several non-for-profit, public and private boards and has a MBA, CPA, and PMP designations.
Erin Windross – Secretary of the Board
Prior to joining as a Director in late 2019, Erin worked with the Board to shape the Firehall’s five-year strategic plan with his colleague David Cooper. He is passionate about the performing arts and the vitality it brings to urban communities. In his professional life, Erin works as a senior planner at TransLink working on accessibility initiatives. In his free time, Erin enjoys water polo, fitness, and exploring the wilderness around the BC south coast.
Jo Swann – Director at Large
Jo is an avid theatre and arts supporter, and a recent retiree from a lifetime career in Information Technology. For her last 24 working years, Jo was co-owner and Vice President of a software development company in Richmond BC, responsible for Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, Strategic Planning, and Software Implementation. She also held positions in marketing, software development, and product management. Jo has a BA in Art History from UBC and an MBA from the Executive MBA program at SFU.
Chris May – Director at Large
Chris has planned, managed and provided strategic direction for major live events in hundreds of cities, in more than 90 countries on 6 continents. From live concerts, musicals, TV telethons, and special events, to international touring logistics Chris has ensured the successful execution of events selling in excess of 7 million tickets, and free public events attended by millions more. Career highlights include tours with the Dave Matthew Band, Jack Johnson, and Xavier Rudd. Before joining SDI Chris spent 5 years with the incomparable Cirque Du Soleil as Senior Director of Touring Operations responsible for arena touring shows Saltimbanco, Alegria, and Varekai. During his time with Cirque Du Soleil Chris managed the companies first tours to numerous countries. Chris is driven by the belief that audience and artist experience is the key to any successful event, and ensuring unforgettable memories and a world class product has kept him in this industry his entire life.
Chris also leads a global team who develop long term entertainment and major event strategies for a combination of existing and new clients. In addition Chris leads SDI’s delivery and production group, a world class team of 100+ producers, makers, and logistics experts who bring our projects to life each and every day. Chris lives in Vancouver with his Husband Matt, and their son Aphex and believes in giving back to the communities in which we live. Closer to home Chris works extensively with Embers, a Social Enterprise based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside that provides employment opportunities in the construction industry to humans with barries to employment, Chris is the Secretary of the Board of Directors.
Karen Marler – Director at Large
Karen received her undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba, studied architecture at the Architectural Association in the UK, and graduated with her professional degree from the Technical University of Nova Scotia. She was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 2010 and a Cascadia Green Building Council Fellow in 2014, and is a former member of the UBC Advisory Urban Design Panel. Karen is a frequent guest critic and thesis advisor for the UBC School of Architecture and has presented HCMA’s work to numerous educational institutions and professional associations.
She has been instrumental in the growth of our practice which employs over 90 individuals and has offices in Vancouver, Victoria and Edmonton. Currently, she oversees the financial unit of the practice while being responsible for the delivery of institutional and private sector projects.
HCMA’s work encompasses a broad range of project types, including recreation, education, civic, residential, and cultural. The firm believes that better buildings, created by leveraging the power of design, contribute to better, stronger and healthier communities. This dedication to design excellence has been recognized by several Canadian Governor General Awards, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Awards, and Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence.
Lindsay Chen – Director at Large
Lindsay is passionate about supporting the arts in Vancouver and has served on the Firehall Board since November 2019. Her professional experience includes over 15 years of live and digital event management and production as well as over 10 years in various marketing roles. Currently she leads marketing and communications at a global engineering firm. Outside of work, Lindsay dedicates her time to various volunteer opportunities as has served on a number of Boards and Committees for various non-profits around Vancouver. In her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors with her partner and rescue dog, Bowie, testing out new recipes and cross stitching.
Jacqui Mendes – Director at Large
Jacqui joined the board of the Firehall Arts Centre in late 2021. Giving back as a volunteer board member is one of her personal commitments, and she has served on non-profit community boards to support the arts, affordable housing and seniors. Jacqui is currently the Executive Director of the Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS) which provides legal assistance to address the critical needs of those who are disadvantaged or facing discrimination in BC. Her experience includes strategic planning, stakeholder relations, advocacy, governance, operations, human resources, finance and communications. Her career has included supporting the arts and the theatre at the Tate Gallery and the Royal Court Theatre in the United Kingdom and working in the private sector in retail and wholesale distribution in her home country of Guyana, South America. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of London, UK.
Natasha Himer – Director at Large
Natasha joined the Board in late 2021. Natasha is committed to giving back to community and serving as a volunteer on not-for-profit community based boards. She sees a strong role for arts and culture in promoting local social and economic goals and vibrant communities. Natasha enjoys exploring learning though the arts with her two young children and values the arts as a forum for cross cultural dialogue. Natasha is a lawyer by background and a governance consultant at WATSON Advisors where she helps boards and committees establish effective and sustainable governance structures and practices.
Donna Spencer – Ex-Officio