Board of Directors

Co-Chair - Charmaine de Silva

Charmaine is excited to serve as Co-Chair of the Vancouver Pride Society's Board of Directors. Raised in Vancouver, she has always been passionate about highlighting the city's diversity and promoting human rights. Charmaine is best known for her work as an award-winning broadcast journalist. Although she covers every "beat" from politics to crime, she particularly loves sharing stories that educate the mainstream about issues impacting the LGBTQ2+ community.

When she's not breaking news or volunteering with Pride, Charmaine loves spending time with family and friends. She can can be found strolling the West End with her partner and baby daughter, cheering her son on at one of his gymnastics competitions, or embarking on a great Vancouver culinary adventure.

Contact Charmaine via e-mail: cdesilva@vancouverpride.ca


Co-Chair - Michelle Fortin

Family, community, social justice, travel and fun. As a queer woman living in Vancouver I am honoured to have the opportunity to be part of this renewed Pride board. I have been involved in community activism most of my life and bring a background of both board (Dyke March/CCEC Credit Union) and non-profit executive management to the position. My goal is to stay curious while being strategic in the role and I'm committed to supporting staff and the organization to be a stronger reflection of our incredible and diverse community. Thank you for the chance to serve.

Contact Michelle via e-mail: mfortin@vancouverpride.ca


Treasurer - Darius Burbidge

Darius Maze is a Development & Marketing Manager at The Bloom Group, where he is responsible for fundraising, marketing, events, and communications. An advocate of social justice, equality, and inclusion; he serves as Co-Chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals' (AFP) Diversity & Inclusion committee and dedicates much of his time to supporting local causes and events that foster these values.

Originally from Ontario, Vancouver Pride was Darius' first volunteer experience after moving to BC in 2012 and the community that participates in it quickly became a second family for him. After serving as a volunteer Captain for four years, and participating in the Parade working group for three, he now manages the organization's finances as Pride's Treasurer. In addition to Pride, Darius has served on the boards of Western Society for Children and the BC Council for International Cooperation, and regularly volunteers for AFP, PeaceGeeks, and the Fringe Festival.

Contact Darius via e-mail: dburbidge@vancouverpride.ca


Secretary - John Whistler

John joined the Board in 2016 and is excited to take on the Secretary role. He will also lead the Governance Committee which is reviewing business management strategies and processes.

Passions he brings to the Board include building sustainable urban environments, social equity, social justice, and grass-roots community engagement.

John is a third generation Vancouverite, graduated in Business Administration at Simon Fraser University and is now retired. He is also a director of PEDAL which operates Our Community Bikes, is the Treasurer of Green Party of Vancouver and the Vancouver Centre Green Party Electoral District Association. John's favorite activity is to explore the world by bicycle.

Contact John via e-mail: jwhistler@vancouverpride.ca


Director - Alan Jernigan

Alan has volunteered with the Vancouver Pride Society since 2012, having served as Finance Coordinator, as Treasurer, and as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors. Currently chairing the HR committee, Alan is committed to supporting the staff of the Vancouver Pride Society in creating a vibrant, collaborative, and empowering workplace which reflects the city and community we live in.

In professional life, Alan is Co-Founder and Managing Director at Charm Games, a game development studio creating the next generation of entertainment in virtual reality. Outside of work and volunteering, you can find Alan on the ski slopes, running in a local 10k, or out and about in Chinatown with his partner.

Contact Alan via e-mail: ajernigan@vancouverpride.ca


Director - Azza Rojbi

Born and raised in Tunisia, Azza moved to Vancouver in 2010. Since then she has been working to bridge the gap between the immigrant and refugee community and the LGBTQ2+ community in Vancouver. She was a project coordinator of Routes to Roots, a youth-led project for LGBTQ2+ newcomers of colour, running out of QMUNITY.

Azza is committed to social justice activism, human rights and the struggle for LGBTQ2+ rights across the world. She is excited to be serving on the Vancouver Pride Society Board of Directors and looks forward to a brighter future for LGBTQ2+ communities around the world!

Contact Azza via e-mail: azza@vancouverpride.ca


Director - Nicola Spurling

With experience in project management, construction, sales, economics, research and marketing, Nicola brings a unique variety of skills to the table. Nicola chairs the Outreach Committee, which travels throughout Western North America, providing information about the Vancouver Pride Society and local resources, collecting signatures for the Trans Equality Now Campaign, supporting other pride events and fielding LGBTQ2+ related questions. She is passionate about inclusivity and human rights, and will be working tirelessly to continue The Vancouver Pride Society's efforts of bringing all members of our community together, in a safe and respectful way. With great strides being made every year, she looks forward to the future and the positive change that it seems certain to bring with it.

Contact Nicola via e-mail: nspurling@vancouverpride.ca


Director - Catherine Jenkins

Catherine previously helped with the Vancouver Pride Society Parade Working Group before joining the Board. She volunteers with the organizing committee for PFLAG Vancouver and works part-time supporting trans and gender-diverse youth. Her passions focus on community and peer supports for LGBTQ2+ persons and their family & friends as well as human rights. Catherine is also an award-winning scientist who is currently finishing her PhD in cell biology, through which she has gained experience with governance in graduate student associations.

When not providing peer support, volunteering with Pride, or in the lab, Catherine loves to support activism, volunteer in political campaigns, and learn new things. She enjoys collecting records, painting and considers herself a cinephile.

Contact Catherine via e-mail: cjenkins@vancouverpride.ca


Executive Director (Events) - Andrea Arnot

Diversity, inclusion and anti-oppression work have been woven throughout Andrea's entire career. Before coming to Pride, she was a Program Manager at Richmond Multicultural Community Services where she designed and implemented events, conferences, workshops, dialogues and opportunities for new immigrants and existing residents to interact, often using arts-based methods of engagement.

In her work at VPS and volunteer work as an event producer with the Greater Vancouver Interactive Arts Society, Andrea gets the most excited about creating the "container" for others to express themselves. She spends a lot of her spare time in costume and enjoying her west end neighborhood. A giant stuffed unicorn has become a permanent fixture in her dining room.

Contact Andrea via e-mail: aarnot@vancouverpride.ca


Executive Director (Operations) - Kieran Burgess

Major international events have been the focus of Kieran's career. Formerly with international triathlon brand Ironman Kieran has produced events in the Asia-Pacific, Northern Europe and North America.

Kieran has a passion for sport, social justice and the outdoors. When not at work he can be found exploring the local breweries in East Van/Mount Pleasant or one of the local mountains.

Contact Kieran via e-mail: kburgess@vancouverpride.ca