Networking Week

Networking Week, which takes place during reading week, provides you with six hours of career exploration workshops as well as a (virtual) informational interview with your choice of 20+ professionals working in arts & culture, municipal & federal government, not-for-profit, and postsecondary education.

Interviewees from February 2022

Aftab Erfan (she/her)
Chief Equity Officer, City of Vancouver
As the head of the Equity Office I provide leadership, coordination, monitoring, and advisory supports to advance diversity, inclusion, decolonization and anti-oppression within the City of Vancouver. The Equity Office acts as an expertise hub, and drives strategic change initiatives to shift the City’s internal structures and workplace culture in the direction of equity. The core purpose of the Equity Office is to reverse marginalization. We work at the systemic level on behalf of those who have been institutionally excluded.
My education: PhD in Community and Regional Planning
My LinkedIn profile
I'm from an equity-deserving group: I identify as a racialized woman.
I'm free at the following time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am PST on Thursday 24 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Alyssa Martens (she/her)
Program Manager, ArtStarts in Schools
Writing Workshop Facilitator, DAREarts; Megaphone Magazine; Arts & Health: Healthy Aging Through the Arts
- In my role at ArtStarts, I oversee the strategic planning of all gallery and public programs and providing curatorial vision for our biannual exhibitions, which are designed in alignment with the BC Curriculum, First Peoples Principles of Learning, and centre creative problem-solving as well as place-based and inquiry-based pedagogies. I also supervise our weekend family programs, including ArtStarts Explores and ArtStarts on Saturdays, and ArtStarts Ignites, which is our annual Artist-in-Residence program for early career artists.
- Outside of my work with ArtStarts, I also facilitate creative writing workshops with youth from underserved communities through DAREarts, folks undergoing addiction recovery through Megaphone Magazine, and older adults through Arts & Health: Healthy Aging Through the Arts.
My education
: BFA from Concordia University, MEd in Education for Sustainability from UBC
My LinkedIn profile
I'm from an equity-deserving group: I am a woman
I'm free at the following times:
- 3:00pm - 5:00pm PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
- 3:00pm - 5:00pm PST on Thursday 24 February 2022

Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Anna Lidstone (she/her)
Founder and Director, Hands-On Innovation Consultancy
I support individuals and organisations with complex problem-solving, creativity and innovation. I also have a background as a professional writer, using storytelling and narrative to help build organisational cultures.
My education: BA (University of Queensland); PhD (Philosophy at UBC); various accreditations in innovation process
My LinkedIn profile
I'm from an equity-deserving group: I'm queer and also have a disability.
I'm free at the following time: 3:30 pm - 7:30 pm PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Annie Moore (she/her)
Research Education and Grant Facilitator, Island Health
I manage Island Health’s internal granting program, and identify external funding by maintaining a list of current opportunities, seeking funds for specific projects, and supporting applicants through the process. I also organize and advertise workshops, lectures, and other collaborative learning opportunities, and manage departmental communications.
Managing Editor, Postmodern Culture
I am responsible for tracking and responding to all submissions and queries; communicating with the editor, authors, board members, and journal staff; coordinating reviews, edits, and final proofs of accepted submissions; and finalizing each issue for online publication in a timely manner.
Founder and Editor, The Magic Word
Please see the above link for information about the services I offer through The Magic Word.
My education: BA (Hons) English and History, UBC; MA Peace Studies, Lancaster University (England); MA and PhD Comparative Literature, University of California at Irvine
My LinkedIn profile
I'm from an equity-deserving group: I am a woman.
I'm free at the following times:
- 11:00 am - 1:00 pm PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
- 11:00 am - 1:00 pm PST on Thursday 24 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Belle Cheung (she/her)
Senior Cultural Planner, City of Vancouver
- Working across urban/community planning, cultural, social, and heritage planning with anti-racist and equity-informed approaches to develop policies and planning practices that serve equity-denied communities.
- My role focuses on arts, culture, and heritage in a cultural space & infrastructure context (ie: new developments, policies to enable growth of arts & culture, recognize/support cultural expression of equity-denied communities) and will be focusing specifically on Vancouver’s historic Chinatown and related Chinese diaspora and Chinese Canadian communities.
- Role includes policy development, land use planning, cultural development, community engagement My education: PhD in Community and Regional Planning
My education: UBC BA Hons, Theatre Studies; UBC MA, Geography
My LinkedIn profile
I'm from an equity-deserving group: I am Chinese.
I'm free at the following time: 11:00 pm - 12:00 midday PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Beth Martin (she/her)
Project Manager and Research Coordinator, FutureSkills Research Lab, University of Toronto
- Project Management: Develop planning documents (e.g., work breakdown structures, GANTT charts) and populate management platforms (e.g., Slack, Asana) to facilitate the tracking and advancement of projects; schedule meetings between various stakeholders.
- Communication and Knowledge Mobilization: Design and maintain research lab’s website; distill and translate work of lab for different audiences via articles, annual reports, newsletters, and media blasts; copyedit and design reports.
- Research Support: Conduct literary reviews and content analyses for team leads; liaise with student researchers to develop effective search strategies
- Grant Application: Copyedit, assemble, and provide research support for grant applications; design and maintain cost management plans for successful grants.
My education: PhD, Victorian Literature
My LinkedIn profile
I'm free at the following time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Brianna Wells (she/her)
Research Development Officer, UBC
I work one on one with research faculty to identify and prepare competitive grant funding applications, and work with campus partners to enhance research capacity for Social Sciences, Humanities and Creative/Performing Arts research at UBC Okanagan.
Managing Director, Opera Kelowna
I manage all aspects of a small opera company in Kelowna as counterpart to the company’s Artistic Director.
My education: PhD in English from the University of Alberta (2017)
I'm from an equity-deserving group: I identify as a woman.
I'm free at the following times:
- 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
- 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm PST on Thursday 24 February 2022

Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Danielle Barkley (she/her)
Educator, Career & Professional Development, UBC Centre for Involvement & Careers
My responsibilities include one-to-one advising with current students and recent alumni, facilitating workshops on career-related topics, planning for events and programming, supervising student staff (Work Learn students).
My education: PhD in English Literature from McGill University
My LinkedIn profile
I'm free at the following time: 10:00 am - 12:00 midday PST on Thursday 24 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Elissa Gurman (she/her)
Managing Consultant, MacPhie Consulting
- I develop and maintain relationships with key clients, serving as a trusted advisor who listens to, understands, and responds to client needs.
- I collaborate with internal team members and external partners to develop and deliver team and leadership development programs, strategic planning, strategic communications, brand definitions, qualitative research, and executive facilitation.
- I actively contribute to a positive internal culture, through mentorship and supervision of junior team members, as well as defining relevant internal systems and processes.
My education: PhD (English) from the University of Toronto; MA (English) from Dalhousie University; BA Hons (English) from McGill University.
My LinkedIn profile
I'm free at the following time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm PST on Thursday 24 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Eric Fredericksen (he/him)
Head of Public Art, City of Vancouver
Curator, writer, administrator, planner, and public art program manager working in Vancouver, Seattle, and elsewhere.
My education: BA Theater, Williams College
My LinkedIn profile
I'm free at the following time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm PST on Thursday 24 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Erin Williams (she/her)
Senior Program Manager, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
I oversee APF’s education and youth-engagement initiatives, but have been involved in other projects related to economics, diplomacy, security, and so on. I also am part of our organization’s editorial team.
My education:  M.A. Asia Pacific Policy Studies (UBC), M.A. International Relations (Boston University), B.A. Asian Studies, Hispanic Studies
My LinkedIn profile
I'm free at the following time: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Jacky Leung (she/her)
Program Director, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation
I look after a number of programs that support the wellbeing of seniors and immigrants, such as non-medical services that support seniors who live independently, COVID 19 response, health education, etc.
My education: BA from UBC (2011)
My LinkedIn profile
I'm from an equity-deserving group: I'm East Asian, originating from Hong Kong
I'm free at the following time: 10:00 am - 12:00 midday PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Joe Bardsley (he/him)
Coordinator, Music Programs, Creative BC
I am a grants manager and program coordinator for Creative BC, a provincially-aligned music funding agency.
My education: BA, Journalism (Mount Royal University, 2006)
My LinkedIn profile
I'm from an equity-deserving group: I am a gay male.
I'm free at the following time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

John Estabillo (he/him)
Publisher, Nelson Education
As literacy and social studies publisher for Nelson, I research how to best support K-12 teachers across Canada and create business cases for new publications to provide that support in digital and print media. I then work with subject matter experts, authors, educators, editors, and reviewers to launch approved projects.
My education: PhD - English, University of Toronto (2017)
My LinkedIn profile
I am a mixed-race person of colour, but I am not sure if my personal experience meets the criteria for equity-deserving.
I'm free at the following time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm PST on Thursday 24 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Jonathan Newell (he/him)
English Instructor, Langara College
I'm an English instructor teaching academic composition and literature courses to 1st and 2nd year students.
My education: BA (UBC), MA (Queens), PhD (UBC)
I'm free at the following time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022

Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Julia Nelsen (she/her)
Principal Policy Analyst - Academic Senate, University of California, Los Angeles
I advise, consult, and coordinate with academic committees to establish and assess undergraduate and graduate programs at UCLA.
My education: PhD, Comparative Literature (2017)
My LinkedIn profile
I'm free at the following time: 11:00 am - 12:00 midday PST on Thursday 24 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Kay Slater (they/them)
Program Facilitator, Preparator (art handler/gallery installations), ArtStarts in Schools
Kay works at ArtStarts to develop and challenge the traditional gallery experience to reflect the ever changing and ever present need for public space, specifically focused on accessibility and youth. Working both as a facilitator for ArtStarts public programming, and as a digital creator, Kay is passionate about making space for hands-on, process-based learning and critical thinking for humans of all ages. Kay has been designing and building gallery exhibitions for ArtStarts In Schools (as well as other galleries on unceded Coast Salish Land) for the past 5+ years. Kay founded and leads the weekly online programming ArtStarts Explores; our province at play, which can be found here: https://artstarts.com/explores-online . Kay also produced the community workshops series Non-Auditory Access: Captions and Transcripts in partnership with grunt gallery and ArtStarts In Schools in 2021 as a free, low barrier co-learning series. They continue to work as an accessibility consultant for multiple organizations including the city of Vancouver.
My education: Emily Carr Certificate of Fine Arts, UVic English/French Literature, VCC College (ASL)
My lived experience: Employed as an Arts Worker for 10 years at Contemporary Art Gallery (CAG), Richmond Art Gallery, Gallery Gachet, grunt gallery (current), Roundhouse Community Centre, and Carnegie Community Centre and DTES Small Arts Grants Program (current).
My LinkedIn profile
I'm from an equity-deserving group: I am hard of hearing and queer.
I'm free at the following time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm PST on Thursday 24 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Kyle Demes (he/him)
Research Intelligence Consultant, Elsevier Publishing
I serve as a trusted advisor to institutions across Canada supporting the use of Research Intelligence (bibliometrics, benchmarking, trends in collaboration, etc.) in research strategy, development, and management.
My education: BS, MSc, PhD (Biology)
My LinkedIn profile
I'm from an equity-deserving group: I am gay/queer.
I'm free at the following times:
- 11:00 am - 2:00 pm PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022

- 11:00 am - 2:00 pm PST on Thursday 24 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Leif Schenstead-Harris (he/him)
Acting Manager/Senior Policy Analyst, Environment and Climate Change Canada - Strategic Policy Branch
Responsible for strategic sustainable development policy related to the Federal Sustainable Development Act, including planning and reporting on federal commitments in sustainability.
My education: BA (English, Saskatchewan), MA (English, Dalhousie); MPPPA (Concordia), PhD (Western)
I'm free at the following time: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Maria Pontikis (she/her)
Chief Communications Officer, City of Vancouver
I lead the team that delivers all communications and civic engagement for the City of Vancouver, which includes media relations and crisis communications, strategic communications planning, marketing, creative, and digital strategy, civic engagement, and corporate and internal communications.
My education: BAH, Political Studies, Queen’s University at Kingston
My LinkedIn profile
I'm free at the following time: 4:00 pm - 4:30 pm PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Marybeth Curtin (she/her)
Manager, Secretary of the Cabinet Communications, Ontario Public Service
I manage a small team dedicated to supporting Ontario's Secretary of the Cabinet’s communications. I’m responsible for delivering strategic planning and content development.
My education: PhD, English, University of Toronto
My LinkedIn profile
I'm free at the following times:
- 12:00 midday - 1:00 pm PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
- 11:30 am - 12:30 pm PST on Thursday 24 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Neal Wells (he/him)
Manager of Communications, City of Vancouver
At the City I lead strategic communications planning and implementation for urban planning, housing, sustainability, development and licensing. As part of the role I direct efforts of communications staff in media relations, issues management, and digital strategy across the web, engagement platforms, social media and advertising.
My education: BA (UBC); MA (University of Amsterdam)
My LinkedIn profile
I'm free at the following time: 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Paneet Singh (he/him)
Director of Programs, ArtStarts in Schools
Oversee Programming Department and staff at ArtStarts to deliver our Province-wide Booking & Touring Program and Granting Programs which allow artists to take their work into schools and communities to engage with young people; as well as overseeing the staff of our Gallery space and relevant family programming. Play an active part in the leadership team at the organization. Lead Professional Development and Systems Change initiatives.
My education: 2 years Faculty of Arts at Simon Fraser University. Diploma in Film Production from Vancouver Film School
My website
I'm from an equity-deserving group: Punjabi-Sikh; South Asian.
I'm free at the following time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm PST on Thursday 24 February
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Serbulent Turan (he/him)
Public Scholarship Coordinator, UBC's Public Scholars Initiative
I run the PSI scholarship program for UBC Doctoral Students, and the Killam Connection Program for UBC Faculty.
My education: PhD
I'm free at the following time: 10:00 am - 12:00 midday PST on Thursday 24 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Tony Fong (he/him)
Senior Communications Manager, Diversity and Inclusion, TELUS
As Senior Communications Manager, Diversity and Inclusiveness (D&I), I’m responsible for how we share our progress with internal and external audiences. Reporting to the Director of Communications for People & Culture, I work closely with our D&I team and Advisory Board to help build and support a diversity and inclusiveness mandate that matters.
My education: PhD in English
My LinkedIn profile
I'm from an equity-deserving groups: I am Asian and LGBTQ2+
I'm free at the following time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

Winnie Tam (she/her)
Interim Executive Director, ArtStarts in Schools
As Interim Executive Director, I support the ArtStarts team in building their capacity, resilience, and leadership skills to empower them to fulfill ArtStarts' mission. I work with staff and Board of Directors top ensure that ArtStarts' strategic direction, financial and operational management, fund development, programs, and community engagement and outreach are robust and values-aligned in service of promoting the arts as essential to life and learning.
My education: BA (Sociology) and BEd
My LinkedIn profile
I'm from an equity-deserving group: BIPOC/IBPOC cis-gender female
I'm free at the following times:
- 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm PST on Wednesday 23 February 2022
- 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm PST on Thursday 24 February 2022
Register your interest by filling in the form at the bottom of this page.

F.A.Q.

Q: Will everyone who applies be able to take part?

A: We will do our best to accomodate as many applications as possible; however, because there are only limited numbers of hosts, we may not be able to accept all who apply.

Q: Do I increase my chance of being able to take part if I apply first?

A: No. We will review all applications after the application deadline. We'll prioritize graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the Faculty of Arts, and then work through all applicants based on the availability of interviewees.

Q: Why are there six hours of mandatory workshops?

A: We've learned that participants in job shadow experiences get the most out of their conversations after they've done some reflection on their options and potential career trajectories. We've designed these workshops to enable you to extract the maximum benefit from your conversation with your interviewee. The post-info-interview workshop will help you to figure out how you might want to sustain a professional relationship with your interviewee or create leverage from your conversation.

Q: What else can I do to prepare for job shadow week?

A: Consider trying out our Building Professional Relationships self-paced training module, available through the Arts Amplifier Training Hub.