Join our Board of Directors!

Our Board Members

The Board of Directors at GEMS is a governance board that oversees our organisation’s decision-making, as well as our legal and financial operations. The Board also maintains the organisation’s accountability to our membership, and the broader community that we serve. We encourage expressions of interest from any voting members in good standing, and in particular anyone with a background in nonprofit governance, HR and staff management, accounting, fundraising, project or event management, community building, or advocacy!

This is a volunteer opportunity that requires Board Members to meet once per month for about 2 hours on Zoom. Board Members are expected to attend the monthly meetings, the occasional additional meeting, as well as promptly respond to emails. Please email with a resume, a brief introduction, your role in the industry, and what you can bring to the board!


Laura Arboleda
Elected on 2022-09-20

Laura is a Colombian filmmaker and programmer currently based in "Vancouver". Her documentary practice explores shared memories and spaces through a process-based experimental approach. She is committed to advocating for equity and representation in the film industry through her programming work at the Vancouver International Film Festival, DOXA, GEMS, and Vancouver Short Film Festival.

Alyssa Aussant (she/her)
Writer and Producer
Elected on 2023-09-27

Alyssa Aussant is a writer, producer and content creator. As a writer, she was selected for the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s Scripted Series Lab in partnership with Netflix, the WIFT Toronto Scripted Digital Series Incubator, and the Banff & Netflix Diversity of Voices Initiative. Alyssa’s also a disability advocate, and has learned to embrace her own neurodiversity in her career and personal life. With over a decade of film industry experience, she’s recently turned her focus towards short-form content creation. She co-created Caution Great Content, and has amassed over 300 million views online.

Marena Dix
Elected on 2023-09-27

Marena Dix is an award-winning film professional working out of Vancouver, BC. Her dedication, organization and communication skills have helped her excel in her eight years working in film. After working on notable short-form works, such as the Gotham-nominated web series Inconceivable, Marena moved her focus to post production. Over the last five years she has honed her skills on many popular series and independent features in post and is excited to work on many more in the future.

Gwen Haworth, Treasurer
Project Manager
Re-elected on 2022-09-20

Gwen completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in film production at UBC, and toured internationally with her feature documentary 'She's a Boy I Knew' from 2007-09. Gwen currently works as a project manager with the Provincial Health Services Authority overseeing initiatives that use film, new media, and other learning modalities to enhance cultural competency in care providers and health literacy in British Columbians accessing care.

Shaelyn Johnston, Secretary
Writer and Teacher
Elected on 2022-09-20

Shaelyn Johnston is an award-winning writer from Vancouver, BC. She is a recipient of the Governor General’s History Award, was one of 30 filmmakers chosen for Telus Storyhive’s inaugural Indigenous Storytellers Edition, and has participated in the Netflix/BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative and Whistler Film Festival Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship. Her short film, The Healing Dance, has screened at numerous festivals across Canada & the US, won Best Short Film at the Weengushk International Film Festival, and recently surpassed over 11k views on YouTube.

She coordinates and co-facilitates Gender Equity in Media’s Tricksters & Writers Screenwriters Program, of which she was previously a participant; Capilano University’s Filmmakers in Indigenous Leadership Management & Business Affairs (FILMBA) Program; and is coordinator of the UBC Scripted Media Career Accelerator in the UBC School of Creative Writing, where she is currently working through her MFA as an optional-residency student.

Shasha McArthur, Vice-President
Elected on 2022-09-20

Ą́ba wašte, my name is Shasha McArthur. I’m a Nakota and Nehiyaw filmmaker based here in Vancouver, BC on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam people. I joined the film industry to contribute to changing the under-representation and often misrepresentation of Indigenous crew, talent and creatives within the film industry. Sharing Indigenous narratives and traditional stories whether they’re fiction, or nonfiction often requires protocols and respect for the nation from which the story came. A respectful and mindful preservation of tradition is what I want to achieve with each project I undertake. I would like to say Thank You to the amazing Indigenous creatives that came before me, their tenacity and passion is what has created the path we all walk today.

“Nothing about us, without us.”

Carmen Siegers (she/her)
Writer and Production Coordinator
Elected on 2023-09-27

Carmen has twenty years of experience in film and television production in Vancouver and is a member of IATSE 891, Directors Guild of Canada, and Teamsters Union Local No. 155. Prior to joining the industry, she was a television journalist at CTV Calgary. Storytelling is a lifelong passion and has taken the form of television news, short story, and screenplay writing. She has had her short stories published in an anthology, ‘A Dozen Truths’ and most recently, Geist Magazine. A firm believer in creative collaboration, bringing all the voices to the table, and remembering to “send the elevator back down”, she is committed to supporting the work GEMS is doing to facilitate more inclusive, representative media.

Attend our Annual General Meeting

Our next Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 20, at 6:30pm (PST) via Zoom. Please note that members in good standing are eligible to vote and run to become board members. Make sure your membership is up to date by logging into your account and checking your status. We look forward to seeing you soon!

In addition, working committees of the board and member volunteers help to carry out all of GEMS' goals and activities. For information on volunteering for a GEMS committee contact