Meet our 2023-2024 Board members!
Brigid Portner – Chair
Brigid has been a member of the Foolish Operations Board of Directors since its inception in2011 and currently serves as Chair. She first became connected with Julie Lebel a decade ago when, as a new mother, she brought her 3-month-old to a Dancing the Parenting class. Brigid and her (now two) children were part of the DTP weekly ensemble throughout their early years. When she is not volunteering or growing with her family, Brigid supports research at Simon Fraser University. As the Research Grants and Projects Coordinator in the Linguistics Department, she administers grant funding, enables student opportunities, assists with proposals, supports alliances, and organizes special events. She especially loves building partnerships, visioning for the future, and charting a path to success.
Originally from Ottawa, Brigid (née MacAulay) has lived in Vancouver since 2004. She is a former professional dance artist and trained at Canada’s National Ballet School, School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and Dancetheatre David Earle. She has had the privilege of working with choreographers Peggy Baker, David Earle, James Kudelka, and Molissa Fenley; as well as with contemporaries Julie Lebel, Julia Carr, Janet Johnson, Lindsay Zier-Vogel, and Susan Kendal Urbach, among others. She has a background in sustainability, program management, writing, and editing.
Adriana Contreras – Vice-Chair
Adriana is a bilingual graphic recorder, illustrator, and designer (English/Spanish). As a visual practitioner, her role is to listen deeply, help make connections, capture information, tell stories and communicate ideas. Through her work, Adriana has supported projects in the fields of migrant justice, racial equity, cultural safety, health, education, among others. Adriana was born in Bogotá, Colombia and immigrated to Canada, with her family in 1998, at the age of fifteen. She completed her BFA at SFU School for the Contemporary Arts in 2006 and has worked and volunteered with numerous Arts, Culture and Community organizations for 20 years.
Miriam Esquitín – Treasurer
Miriam Esquitín is both the Director of CityStudio Vancouver and the Finance Manager of the organization. As Director, Miriam takes a strategic commitment to developing, implementing and evaluating programming that truly advances the needs and priorities of our partners City of Vancouver, UBC, SFU, Langara College, and BCIT. She is guided by the curiosity of the multiple ways of collaboration, learning, and innovation between our civic leaders and youth to address Vancouver’s pressing issues. She has had this role since summer 2020.
As Finance Manager, she takes care of the entire cycle of finances, from budgeting to controls, processing and reports, as well as policies and procedures. Passionate about social change, she studied both her BA and MA in Social Anthropology and proceeded to work locally and internationally in education, sustainability, agriculture, economic development, and justice system reform. She has a thing for understanding, strategic relationships, evaluation, numbers and processes. She moved to Canada in 2003 from Mexico, first to live in Edmonton and in Vancouver since 2010.
As an immigrant, Miriam recognizes there are privileges she enjoys from a history of colonialism, more so working at the intersection of two settler power institutions, so individually and through her work she is committed to decolonization learning and transformation. Miriam is also a dancer, an innovator in contemporary ensemble improvisation. With a great partner, she launched Polymer Dance in 2012, a community-based troupe that promotes dance for everybody and dance for everywhere.
Ingrid Broussillon – Secretary
Once upon a time, a baby girl was born in Guadeloupe, a French island far, far away in the Caribbean.cWhile growing up she loved listening to storytelling and she would read the same tales over and over.cBut tales and storytelling would not make a living for her (at least that is what she had been told). Then she moved to France to complete her studies in Business Management, got a job and started to live an adult life. Something was missing, and she knew it was the joy that she used to find in the books she read or the storytelling she listened to. As soon as she could, she took acting and storytelling classes alongside her day job. In 2017 she decided that she wanted to be fluent in English, so she moved to Vancouver. Living there, she realized that Vancouverites would love to speak French, while she would love to speak English herself. She realized that due to her accent, it would be very difficult for her to pursue her passion for acting and storytelling. So she decided she would overcome this obstacle and create her own opportunities. Late in 2018 she created Griottes Polyglottes a business where adults and kids can master French by using their entire body and emotions.Her dream is to provide a place for everyone to speak several languages while having fun and being creative.
Astrid Pedneault – Director at Large