Since Donna has taken on the role of Artistic Director in 2013, VACT has garnered 6 Jessie nominations, for Ga Ting and Empire of the Son. Donna was awarded the Vancouver NOW Representation and Inclusion Award at the 2016 Jessies for outstanding leadership in developing works by 3 Asian Canadian playwrights in The Cultch's 2015-16 season. She was also the UBCP/ACTRA Women's Committee International Women's Day 2016 Honouree in recognition of outstanding contribution to causes of social justice.
Artist in Residence
Called the “the voice of our Azn generation” by Ricepaper magazine, Tetsuro was the first person-of-color to host a daily national radio program in Canada for CBC Radio. A former writer for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Tetsuro now writes for The Huffington Post. Tetsuro can be seen on Spike TV’s reality program The Deadliest Warrior, where he talks smack and kills Vikings. He’s now a PhD student at UBC. Follow him at @tweetsuro.
Annie graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BFA in Theatre Production & Design in 2009 and has worked with several theatre companies in Vancouver as a freelance stage manager. Annie joined the VACT family in 2010 and could not be more ecstatic about the great things in store for the company. Outside of VACT, Annie is the Marketing & Administrative Coordinator at Touchstone Theatre.
Laara is a professional actor having performed in theatres across Canada. She was nominated for a Jessie award for her role in Golden Child and for a Sterling award for Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl. Other credits include The Yoko Ono Project, A Season in Purgatory and Yellow Fever. It has been a privilege for her to be a part of VACT, working beside such visionaries to see it become a major presence in the Vancouver arts scene.
Associate Producing Artistic Director
Anjela is a first generation Canadian originating from the Philippines and graduated from Simon Fraser University with a BFA in Theatre Performance specializing in devising and interdisciplinary collaboration. She is an actor, clown, teacher, co-founder of New(to)Town Collective and formally the Producing intern for Playwrights Theatre Centre. Recent acting credits include Foreign Radical (Theatre Conspiracy), 12 Minute Madness (Centre for Embodied Performance), The Wolves (Withaspoon Theatre), Mis Papás (Rice&Beans Theatre) and Harvey (Western Gold Theatre). She currently lives on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Jenna graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications in 2018. Ever since she was little she’s been attending plays and in her grade 12 year co-wrote a play for her high school production as part of the Edge Festival for Green Thumb Theatre. In 2015 she joined the Vancouver Asian Film Festival as the Community Partner Liaison. Jenna joined the VACT family in 2018 and is excited to help continue promoting diversity along with getting back into the theatre world.
Bahareh was born and raised in Tehran, but has lived all over the world. As a result, she speaks Farsi, Turkish, French and English fluently. She has produced a feature-length film, and several music videos for Persian recording artists that have been seen internationally. She is currently an Artistic Associate with VACT, served as Artistic Associate for Empire of the Son, Dirty Old Woman, and as production manager in numerous theatre development workshops with VACT.
VACT Board of Directors
Andrea is a local actor, theatre producer, and arts administrator. She most recently played Lauren Yee in King of the Yees, (Gateway Theatre in October 2016 and National Arts Centre in October and November 2017). Andrea's work in the theatre has mostly centred around diversity and equity, with much of this work being done through VACT as well as an administrator for Boca del Lupo's 3.7% Initiative. She is a graduate of Studio 58.
Sandy Tanaka is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) who brings extensive corporate and non-profit knowledge to VACT's board, including more than 18 years of senior management experience in finance, IT and strategic planning. Sandy is currently the Assistant Dean & Director of Finance and IT at the University of British Columbia, Sauder School of Business and a member of the PALS Autism Society Adult Advisory Committee. She spent 10 years volunteering and fundraising with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of BC and in 2015 she was the recipient of the Graeme A.G. Stamp Community Project Award for her fundraising work with the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Penny Tham is a retired corporate securities lawyer. She has extensive experience working in senior positions with international financial institutions around the world. After 25 years of living in Washington, D.C., Hong Kong, Singapore and London she returned to Vancouver where she grew up. She is an enthusiastic theatre goer.
Belle comes from a background in arts administration and is a professional trained stage manager for theatre, opera, and live events. She is currently a Social/Cultural Planner part of the Chinatown Transformation Team with the City of Vancouver, part of a specialized team working towards UNESCO World Heritage Status for Chinatown. Belle's work sits at the intersection of arts and culture, and advocates for race, cultural histories, and representation as important factors in arts and cultural policies in order to accurately represent Canada's demographics. Belle holds an MA in Human Geography from the University of British Columbia. Her graduate thesis is titled, "Just add colour": Unintended Whiteness in Vancouver Theatre and Arts and Culture Policies in Canada. Belle's research explores the relationship between Canada's multiculturalism and cultural policies, and how this relationship has resulted in an unintended whiteness in Canadian arts and culture that makes it difficult for diversity to become part of the mainstream.
VACT Advisory Committee
Advisory Committee Member
Claire is the Executive Director of Bard on the Beach and has worked at Soulpepper Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre, and the Canadian Opera Company. Claire is a graduate of Georgetown University (Non-Profit Executive Program), Queen's University (BAH Psychology), and the Income Manager's Program (University of Waterloo). Claire received the John Hobday Award in Arts Management, sits on the Board of the Vancouver International Wine Festival, and is a member of the Labour Relations Committee for PACT and the Vancouver Cultural Services External Advisory Committee.
Advisory Committee Member
Dr. Stanley Hamilton (OBC) is an emeritus professor at UBC Sauder School of Business. After retiring from UBC, Stan served for seven years on the board of directors of the Arts Club Theatre Company including a term as Chair, on the BC Arts Council for seven years, four as Chair and as Project Manager for the BMO Theatre Centre for two years. Stan currently serves as a director of the Stanley Theatre Society and a board member of Ballet BC. We are honoured to have Stan on the VACT Advisory Committee
Advisory Committee Member
Terry is the Managing Partner of Alexander Whitehead Executive Search, a Vancouver-based firm specializing in senior executive search in natural resources and the not-for-profit sectors. Previously, he worked in professional theatre for 15 years as a fund development professional with the Arts Club and Theatre Calgary. Terry is a member of the University of Lethbridge Board of Governors and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Writers Fest and the Vancouver International Film Festival