Staff & Volunteers

Anaïsa Visser (she/her/they/them)
Interim Executive Director

Patrycja Mila Kamska (she/her)
Events & Programs Manager

Shalyn (Shay) Ferdinand (she/her)
Communications & Outreach Manager

Joan Macbeth (she/her)
Screenplay Competition Coordinator

Board of Directors

Laura Arboleda
Elected on 2022-09-20

Laura Arboleda is a queer Colombian-Mestizo filmmaker and programmer. She holds a B.F.A. in Film Production from Simon Fraser University and is an alum of Vancouver International Film Festival’s Mentorship Program. Her previous short films have screened in festivals and venues across North America, Asia, and Europe. She continues to expand her film practice, making short documentaries and process based experimental films. Her work explores themes of shared memories and spaces. Laura is the Senior Programmer with Vancouver Short Film Festival.

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.

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.”

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.

George Finley, Director

Elected on 2023-06-24

George Finley is a trans non-binary member of Vancouver's film community. They got their start in the industry after completing a screenwriting program in 2016. They were soon adopted by the sound department, and spent 5 years working in the sound department. While they primarily worked on IATSE sets, they were also a frequent face in the independent film industry. Here, they did solo sound recording, as well as writing, producing, and some AD work. In 2021 George was taken on as a union rep by IATSE 891. Here they work to support the members of the industry and create a safer environment for us all. In addition to this, they have done a lot of committee work. In 2019, Shauna was elected to be the co-chair of the BCFED young workers committee. At the local IATSE level, they chair both the young workers committee, and pride committee. At the recent BCFED convention, they were elected as the alternate representative of the 2SLGBTQIA+ caucus to the BCFED executive council. In the little free time that remains, George is the front person for local post-punk band Rougaroux. They frequently plan shows, and enjoy being a purveyor of the local punk scene. Their hobbies include painting, and baking.

Regina Leung, President
Business Consultant & Campaign Producer
Re-elected on 2022-09-20

With over 15 years of experience in the software industry, she is skilled in digital branding, client development and project management. She is a managing partner of HyBird Media Group, and responsible for corporate development, investment strategies for start-up and enterprise technology companies and the implementation of digital marketing and branding strategies targeting North America and Asia.

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