Nanaimo Pride Society Board of Directors

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Ajay Booth

President

Originally from Mi'kmaq territory on the East Coast of Canada, Ajay has lived on Vancouver Island and called ...

They/ Them

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Gabriel Villasmil

Vice-President

The queen of Nanaimo, the drag queen that is. He’s a performer, rapper, actor and writer currently working in films, drag ...

He / Him / They / Them

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Jack Bruckman

Treasurer

Jack Bruckman is the founder and CEO of Bruckman Consulting Group and the founder, co-executive producer of TransTation Radio. ...

They/ Them

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Cheryl Lien

Secretary

I am married to my love Olivia and live with our two rescue cats in South Nanaimo. I’ve lived in Nanaimo since Fall 2014 ...

 They / Them

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Faran Berg

Director at large

Faran brings their lived experience as a Two-spirted Metis and Sami individual to their work at Nanaimo Pride Society ...

They/ Them

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Ion Wark

Director at large

Currently the youngest member on the board at eighteen as a director at large ...

 They / Them

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Kerri Isham

Director at large

I started Gen Q with Ajay a number of years ago to fill a much needed gap in the community. I volunteered with Gen Q ...

She/ Her

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Lauren Semple

Director at large

A queer and nonbinary Vancouver Island consultant, artist and community builder who lives and creates on ...

 They / Them / She / Her

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Natalie Stewart

Director at large

I’ve been an uninvited guest on unceded Snuneymuxw land with my wife Jenny since 2011, where we’ve been raising our two daughters, aged seven and five. ...

She/ Her

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Lys Glassford

Director at large

a queer, nonbinary artist and digital services consultant residing in the Harbour City. In 2016 Lys received the Emerging Cultural Leader award from...

 They / Them 

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Corrine Devison

Director at large

serving a fourth term at NPS as a Director helping with Events. In addition to organizing entertainment for NPS, Corinne has been President of the ...

She/ Her

Nanaimo Pride Society Board Member Bio's

Ajay Booth

President

They/Them

Originally from Mi'kmaq territory on the East Coast of Canada, Ajay has lived on Vancouver Island and called unceded Snuneymuxw First Nations territory their home for the past 6 years. Ajay has a background in social work, activism, advocacy, education and community development and has worked as a practitioner for the past 8 years—with 17 years in mental health, addictions, and with marginalized populations. As an active member of their community, they co-founded the Nanaimo based LGBTQ2S+ group and Gender Journeys. Ajay runs a community based business Kaleidosphere Consulting and under the umbrella of Generation Q Ajay created the first ever Queer youth prom.

Ajay identifies as Trans Non-Binary and uses They/Them/Their pronouns, but ideally would identify as a magical trash panda snackasaurus.

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Gabriel Villasmil

Vice - President

He/ Him/ They/Them

Gabriel Villasmil is the queen of Nanaimo, the drag queen that is. He’s a performer, rapper, actor and writer currently working in films, drag shows and music. They are the host of “Dank & Moist” on CHLY 101.7fm. Their drag persona Divine Intervention currently performs and tours around Vancouver Island and the mainland. Their Music persona GVIL is about to begin a mini tour and is dropping a new single titled "Badly" August 21st. They are also the new Vice President of the Nanaimo Pride Society.

 
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Jack Bruckman

Treasurer

They/Them

Jack Bruckman is the founder and CEO of Bruckman Consulting Group and the founder, co-executive producer of TransTation Radio. Jack is the former Executive Director of the BCFMWU in Nanaimo, Executive Director of the Rainbow Community Center in California, Chief Marketing Officer of MyWorkDrive in San Francisco, and Executive Vice President of Good Vibrations/Babeland in San Francisco. They have been involved in and with many political campaigns, non-profits, and social justice movements including LGBTQ Equality, Dyke and Trans Marches, Pride Festivals, LGBTQ healthcare, Take Back the Night, Sex Workers' rights, BLM, Anti racism and anti poverty work, Marriage Equality, and LGBTQ youth at risk in foster care. Jack performs original music under their performing name and has toured and played all over the US and West Coast of BC including most recently at The Vault in Nanaimo. Jack has been an activist for many years since the AIDS global pandemic in the late 80's and they now live in the Southend Community on the unceded traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Jack is married to author, educator Shar Rednour and they are the proud parents of three sons, including two teenage football stars. Jack is honored to serve the community and brings decades of experience to the Society's executive governance.

 
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Cheryl Lien

Secretary

They/Them

My name is Cheryl. I use they/them pronouns. I am married to my love Olivia and live with our two rescue cats in South Nanaimo. I’ve lived in Nanaimo since Fall 2014 after returning from humanitarian work in the US and Vietnam. I graduated from VIU with a BA in Creative Writing. While there, I worked as the Arts & Entertainment Editor for The Nav and began volunteering with Pride. I helped host Queer Night at The Vault and even started Lip Sync Battle—my wife and I met at one of the NPS Drag Bingo events! My hobbies include Tarot, spooky things, growing my own food, superhero movies, training my cat to sneak attack my wife, and all things creative.

 
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Faran Berg

Director at Large

She/Her/They/Them

Faran Berg brings their lived experience as a Two-spirted Metis and Sami individual to their work at Nanaimo Pride Society, and campaigns for marginalized voices and organizational equity. Faran has practiced recovery based on abstinence, cultural care, and collective healing. Their focus revolves around safe spaces for those who are in recovery from addictions, trauma, and mental health. Faran currently holds a B.A. in English and creative writing and is currently pursuing a B.A. in Early Childhood education.  Faran often volunteers to dance with the youth from Tswalk School where they are taught a variety of cultural dances from the Indigenous communities on Vancouver Island. Their foundation of values include inclusion, diversity, and kindness. A quote they live by, “Humankind. Be both.” Unknown.

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Ion Wark

Director at Large

They/Them

Currently the youngest member on the board at eighteen as a director at large. I joined in order to engage with and help our queer, neurodivergent, BIPOC community.

I pick up on most sports quickly as I’ve had training in many areas, but my favourites are road cycling, martial arts specifically taekwondo, and skateboarding. I’m wanting to bike across Canada like my aunt and grandfather.

I will be listening to music as much as possible, while making this it’s one of my new favourite punk bands The Royal They. My three favourite albums are: Spider-man: into the spider-verse OST (also the best movie ever made, OK ORCHESTRA by AJR, The Much Much How How And I by Cosmo Sheldrake which has a very bouncy rhythm to all of their songs.

I hope you come to know, like, and meet our entire board.

 
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Kerri Isham

Director at Large

She/Her

Hey Everyone, I am super stoked to be a part of the Nanaimo Pride society as a Member-at-Large. I started Gen Q with Ajay a number of years ago to fill a much needed gap in the community. I volunteered with Gen Q from 2015-2018 before moving onto other endeavours. I have lived in Nanaimo for many years 1981-1984 and 2014-present and consider myself to be a strong advocate for marginalized people. Through my work and volunteering, I meet a lot of queer youth and their families. I have both participated/volunteered in numerous pride activities. I was a board member of the Nanaimo Women’s Center for 2 years from 2016-2018 with a focus on fundraising. I am community oriented, hard-working and a good communicator. I am fairly solid with social media as I run my own business. In my spare time, I love to read, walk with friends, garden, explore new places, travel and swim. I am looking forward to serving our community!

 

Lauren Semple

Director at Large

She/Her/They/Them

Lauren Semple (she/they) is a queer and nonbinary Vancouver Island consultant, artist and community builder who lives and creates on unceded Snuneymuxw territory. Lauren's professional experience includes the tourism, arts & culture, government, and NGO sectors. As a consultant, they have facilitated LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion, safe space, and customer service workshops. Lauren has worked with community members, municipalities and pride societies to achieve major milestones for the local 2SLGBTQ+ community, including Nanaimo's four rainbow crosswalks and the Nanaimo Pride Parade and Festival. Lauren served on the executive of the Nanaimo Pride Society for three years and continues to produce safe space events and entertainment for the community. Lauren also co-organizes important days of action for the trans and gender non-conforming communities and fundraises for 2SLGBTQ+ organizations and initiatives.

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Natalie Stewart

Director at Large

She/ Her

Hello! My name is Natalie Stewart. I use she/her pronouns. I’ve been an uninvited guest on unceded Snuneymuxw land with my wife Jenny since 2011, where we’ve been raising our two daughters, aged seven and five. Currently employed at VIU, I also serve on the Board of Directors at Haven Society. My hobbies include video gaming, moviegoing, camping, sports, and having enough free time to accomplish precisely none of them.

I’m an openly, visibly queer woman of trans experience, and I’m thrilled to be here. I can’t wait to get to work, making Nanaimo a safer, more inclusive place for our entire community, and working towards equity for those without a seat at the table.

 

Corinne Devison is serving a fourth term at NPS as a Director helping with Events. In addition to organizing entertainment for NPS, Corinne has been President of the local 2SLGBTQ+ allies choir AVIVA Chorus for the last few years, and participates in the Choral Federation of Nanaimo Choirs steering committee. When not found singing, or hiking in the woods, Corinne has been performing as a Drag King: Adam Lamborghini for the last 5 years. Adam has performed at Pride Festivals and venues up and down the island.

 

She/Her

Corinne Devison

Director at Large

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Lys Glassford

Director at Large

They/Them

Lys Glassford (they/them) is a queer, nonbinary artist and digital services consultant residing in the Harbour City. In 2016 Lys received the Emerging Cultural Leader award from the City of Nanaimo for their work using public art for urban rehabilitation. Lys is currently the Artistic Director of the Hub City Walls mural festival, and works as a professional muralist under the alias 'Humanity In Art'. When Lys is not creating they currently help tourism businesses and non-profit organizations across British Columbia as a Digital Presence Coach.  Lys, volunteered with the Nanaimo Pride Society as the Volunteer Coordinator for the 2018 Pride Week celebrations, and served briefly on the board as a director to fill a vacancy. Lys has a keen interest in governance, record keeping and the world of non-profit societies.

 

If you would like to contact the board send us an email at hello@nanaimopride.ca

We meet once a month so our responses may be delayed.