My professional journey follows 2 parallel tracks. For 10 years, I spent the majority of my evenings and weekends as a mentor and organizer in the debating communities of Pakistan and Hong Kong. Over the same decade, I switched careers, going from finance to teaching, curriculum design, and program development in STEM and Debate/Public speaking.
In the 7 years since, I’ve worked with learners aged 4 – 44, from over 30 nationalities, and socio-economic backgrounds ranging from urban slums in Karachi to palatial mansions in Hong Kong. Along the way, I’ve been fortunate to earn a Master of Education (M.Ed) from the University of Hong Kong and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) here at UBC.
My love for the arts comes from my broader love of the humanities. Arts education doesn’t just engage children’s creativity, it provides a developmental space where they explore their own agency and tolerance of failure and discomfort. It provides them with communities of shared passions, and an avenue for life-long neuroplasticity and neurogenesis.
As a child from a lower-income background in Pakistan, it was pure luck when I stumbled into my first debating session 16 years ago. And I’m excited to work towards a world where every child has the opportunity to “luck out” and discover their creative passions, and the support needed to turn it into a life-long creative practice.
My name is Kartik Bharadwa (he, him, his) and I am currently the Vice President of People, Culture and Diversity at Capilano University. My role previous to joining CapU was as the Director of HR & Operations and Chief Privacy Officer at the BC Dental Association in Vancouver. I received my MBA with a specialization in HR Management from Royal Roads in 2014. I also held a short contract role at Arts Umbrella during the pandemic as the Director of HR.
I hold a CPHR designation, am proficient in the Proscii change management methodology and I am also a certified DiSC facilitator. Before my current role I was the Director of Organizational Development & HR at Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited. I’ve worked with organizations in public practice to private and now in not-for-profit industries.
I hold a strong track record of developing leading people programs and creating engaged and high performing organizations. I am passionate about creating ways of working that inspire people, teams and organizations to realize their full potential. Fostering high performance and people-centered organizations is a personal and professional passion and is what inspired me to take the MBA at Royal Roads in the first place.
When I am not at work I am busy volunteering on various committees with the CPHR and Royal Roads University as a Mentor for new MBA students or riding my motorcycle, playing guitar. While I attempt to busy myself with various pursuits, I also tend to think about my golf game far too much. I wish I spent more time journaling.
Tina Lai is the Chief People Officer of Kabam Games, Inc. and leads a team of talented individuals with oversight for all People aspects including people business partnerships, talent acquisition, communications, training & development, and total rewards. Tina is part of the executive leadership team accountable for developing and directing the organizational strategy, operating principles and cultural imperatives at Kabam. As a mom of two, she has seen the powerful impact that art has on unleashing creativity and accelerating learning and enrichment in not only her children but others as well. Further, she believes that creativity is essential to success in all occupations.
Angelique works as a Case Specialist with newcomer refugees and immigrants to Canada at Diversecity Community Resources Society (DCRS), assisting them to settle and integrate well in Canada. As she speaks multiple languages, she is also a contract interpreter with Immigration Refugee Board (IRB); Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
As a passionate dancer/ dance instructor, Angelique considers dance as a form of therapy that heals the mind, body, and spirit. She is dedicated to teaching dance to everyone she comes across and uses her skills to conduct conversation circles with young women who are newcomers, struggling with integration. Her passion led her to serve at ArtStarts as she believes that performative arts are essential for growth, as it encourages human beings to explore their emotions, expand their imagination and helps them develop their own, unique voice.
Pilar Wong Navabi
Pilar Wong Navabi is an informal educator approaching arts and culture with an anti-oppression focus. As a lifelong learner, Pilar is currently decolonizing her views on parenting norms and how children “should” learn and behave. Pilar’s career in arts institutions includes the Cantor Arts Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, Polygon Gallery, and Museum of Anthropology.
Pilar’s work in education and community engagement has been in support of broader accessibility to art and cultural wealth.
Mishel grew up in a small northern Saskatchewan town enjoying the beauty of nature. A life filled with berry picking, hunting and learning from her beautiful Cree grandmother instilled a love of the outdoors, arts and community.
In 1996, Mishel completed her B.Ed. with Saskatchewan Urban Native Teachers Association through University of Saskatchewan. While raising two children she taught a variety of grade levels and subject in both urban and rural settings. Then in 2013, Mishel completed her Master’s Degree at University of Saskatchewan in Educational Foundations. While teaching in Saskatchewan, Mishel embraced many opportunities to bring Arts into the schools.
Mishel is currently District Principal of Indigenous Education in School District No. 83. She looks forward to fostering the opportunities ArtStarts provides in building relationships with artists, students, educators, families, and community.
Suzanne is a retired educator-administrator who has worked with groups K through post-secondary. A key player in the formation of Confederation Park Education through the Arts Elementary school in Burnaby BC, she has a particular interest in arts-integrated pedagogy; she completed a doctorate in education on this theme. A former musician, artist-in-residence, and music teacher, she turned to music composition after suffering a profound hearing loss. Through her children’s operas and musicals she underscores the importance of what history teaches us, as well as focussing on social justice issues, such
as inclusion and acceptance.
Suzanne has been a programme coordinator and faculty advisor at the University of British Columbia, and an adjunct professor at Acadia University, Nova Scotia. Additionally, she has authored three children’s books about ‘Missy the one-eyed dog.’ Suzanne believes that these lifelong arts-embedded experiences will positively contribute to the continued success of the ArtsStarts Board of Directors.
Albert practises Canadian corporate and securities law. He advises public and private clients on a diverse range of corporate and securities law matters, including mergers and acquisitions, public and private financings, private equity transactions, corporate restructurings and commercial agreements. He also provides ongoing advice to clients on a number of related matters, including securities regulatory compliance, continuous disclosure obligations, stock exchange matters and general corporate law.