The Board of Awkward Stage Productions (ASP) is made up of a diverse group of innovative, courageous people dedicated to ASP’s mission:
To deliver high-quality, inclusive, relevant theatre programming, excite audiences, and provide young and emerging artists with rewarding performance and production opportunities and mentorship.
BARBARA GOBIS – President and Chair
Having worked for the past 25 years as an executive, consultant and agent of change, Barbara’s specialty is leading large-scale change initiatives within health care.
Currently Barbara is the Director, Pharmacists Clinic – UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences; Executive Coach, UBC Academic leadership Development Program; and Organizational Coach, Coaching@UBC. Prior to joining UBC, Barbara held leadership roles at the BC Ministry of Health, Network Healthcare and Pharmasave Drugs (National) Ltd. Barbara comes from a family of performers and understands the vital role the arts play in the development of healthy young people, communities and societies. Selected recognition includes: Top 40 Under 40 (BC Business), 5 x recipient of the Commitment to Care award (Rogers Media), Ben Gant Innovative Practice Award (BC Pharmacy Association), and BC Patient Quality and Safety Council award for Patient Care. A pharmacist by training, Barbara attributes much of her success as a health care executive to the skills she developed through her exposure to the arts.
BARBARA GRANTHAM – Vice President and Vice Chair
Barbara Grantham was appointed President & CEO of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation in 2013. A long-time Vancouver resident, Barbara has over 25 years’ experience as a successful senior executive and consultant in the non-profit and philanthropic sectors in BC and nationally. She has held executive positions with the Vancouver Foundation, Streetohome Foundation, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Mental Health Association. Barbara also has extensive experience as a senior consultant, excelling in strategic planning, organizational assessment, project management, board governance, financial sustainability, and public policy issues. Barbara is a member of the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, the largest ‘on the ground’ social service organization in BC. She also serves as a member of the National Advisory Council of Imagine Canada. Barbara holds a BA degree in Political Studies from Queen’s University, and a Masters degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Carleton University.
RAYMOND ZHANG – Treasurer
Raymond Zhang is an Associate Vice President in KPMG’s Corporate Finance group, providing Mergers and Acquisitions advisory services to private company clients. Prior to joining the Corporate Finance team in October 2013, Raymond spent three years in the audit practice with KPMG’s Burnaby Enterprise office. Raymond has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University, and is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Business Valuator. Raymond enjoys staying active and plays recreational basketball, golf and tennis. His passions and hobbies include travelling, experiencing new cuisines and volunteering for local charitable organizations.
EMILY OSWALD – Director and Chair, Development Committee
Emily Oswald has been passionately involved in The Arts since the age of 2; working as a performer, director, choreographer and instructor and is excited to share this enthusiasm with Awkward Stage. Graduating from the University of Ottawa and Algonquin College before making the exciting move to British Columbia, she has many years of professional and volunteer experience in event management and fund-development.
CLAIRE RICE – Director and Artist Representative
Claire was trained in Toronto at Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. She has since performed and taught musical theatre in Toronto, Switzerland and England, and here in Vancouver. She founded DRAMAgination, a play-based creative drama program for children. She teaches drama, singing and dancing classes from preschool to high school, directs children’s musicals and plays, coaches private singing lessons and audition preparation, and performs at children’s parties.
TRACY DEFOE – Past Chair (ex-officio)
Tracy Defoe is an adult educator, mostly so she gets to stand up in front of small crowds of people and do her thing. Tracy wants Vancouver to be a creative hub for live theatre and music so sees Awkward Stage Productions as an important bridge to sustainability in Canada’s live theatre community. Where will the young ones learn? She invites you to join the company, or join the audience and supporters of live musical theatre in Vancouver at an Awkward Stage Production soon.