Our Team

The Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (VAHMS)

The mandate of Vancouver Asian Heritage Month is to feature and celebrate PanAsian Canadian arts, culture and heritage. Our signature annual explorAsian Festival in May and our programs represent the values of diversity, inclusion and pride among Canadians.
VAHMS is a a nonprofit incorporated society in British Columbia serving the Lower Mainland.
Please feel free to reach out to us through our contact form.

Dr. Shahid Abrar-ul-Hassan

Vice President

Dr. Shahid Abrar-ul-Hassan has been working as a language educator and researcher for over two decades at institutions in several regions of the world and currently in Vancouver, BC. He has also served as a subject expert with the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education and Future Skills. Previously, Shahid has served in several leadership roles with professional and non-profit organizations in Canada, USA, and South Korea. His work received many honors including an Alumni Achievement Award (2018) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California (USA), which is his alma mater. He completed PhD Education at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Shahid is eager to promote as well as celebrate the Asian heritage in the Lower Mainland.

Dr. Shahid Abrar-ul-Hassan
Screenshot_2
June Chen McIntyre
5

June Chen McIntyre

Treasurer

June Chen McIntyre has been working as a civil engineer in the construction industry since 1988. With a long experience in the building railing industry in Burnaby, she now operates her railing fabrication business and runs a consulting service located in Coquitlam. She has been an active volunteer in the community and has served on the Multiculturalism Advisory Committee board for the City of Coquitlam and Event Committee for the Coquitlam Foundation. June also was elected as a community leader representative in 2017 for the FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities). Her dedication to her profession and community service underscores her commitment to making a positive impact on the socio-cultural landscape of the Lower Mainland.

Carol Hamshaw

Board Member

Carol Hamshaw, BA Honours, DAP (Sauder School of Business, The University pf British Columbia), is an advanced bookkeeper, tax consultant, and grant writer. She has been serving VAHMS in a number of roles over the past 25 years. As a former Managing Editor of The Capilano Review, she has written grants and consulted with RicePaper Magazine/ACWW, Video In, VAHMS, Theatre in the Raw, Edgewise ElectroLit Society, and individual artists. Carol has served on several boards and worked for nonprofits as well as charities including the Rivershed Society of British Columbia and Tri-City Transitions Society. She brings skills, experience, and community leadership to the support of Pan-Asian arts and multiculturalism.

Carol Hamshaw
President Carol Hamshaw
Patricia Woroch
1

Patricia Woroch

Board Member

Patricia Woroch, MA (Simon Faser University), RSW, (Order of British Columbia, 2023), has over three decades of senior-level executive experience leading social service organizations in diverse sectors including legal, health, community, and immigration. A pro-active supporter of disenfranchised clients, she has been instrumental in developing and implementing services throughout the province and has consulted nationally as well as internationally on social service programming. She oversaw development of the first Welcome Centres for immigrants and refugees. She is a recipient of several awards including YWCA Women of Distinction award (2017) and Community Social Service Awards of Excellence (2019). Patricia has been serving VAHMS for more than a decade and strongly believes in the value arts bring to community.

Jimmy Yan

Board Member

Jimmy Yan, BSE, MEd, is working as the Project and Information Officer of Access Pro Bono in Vancouver. He is a columnist of the City Post of Singtao News and has been a media commentator on issues of public legal education and information since 2008. He is also a research assistant at the Centre for Education, Law, and Society in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University and a CELS educational advisor to the Chinese community in the Lower Mainland. Moreover, Jimmy has served on the Boards of several organizations including the Royal Commonwealth Society (Mainland BC Branch) as well as the Royal Society of St. George (BC Branch).

Jimmy Yan
2
Maryam Rostamy
6

Maryam Rostamy

Board Member

Maryam Rostamy, MA Education (University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur), has been working as an English language educator, and she currently teaches English language and communication courses at universities in Vancouver. Since 2009, Maryam has served with different community organizations, and she started an English conversation circle in Toronto’s Centennial library to assist immigrants in language skills development. As a dedicated marathon and ultra-marathon runner, she achieved fourth place in a Victoria Ultra-Marathon and served as an official pace leader for the BMO Vancouver International Marathon. Fluent in Turkish, Farsi, and English, she advocates for diversity and promotes Asian arts in the Lower Mainland community.

Dr. Nessim Tariq

Board Member

Dr. Nessim Tariq has been working as an instructor of mathematical sciences for over four decades at post-secondary institutions in several countries around the world and across Canada. He currently teaches at Fraser International College, Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, and as an educator, he has been recognized for teaching excellence. He received BSc as well as MSc from King’s College, University of London in London and PhD (Mathematics) from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. He has supported various community and cultural organizations throughout in several roles in the Lower Mainland. As a multilingual and multicultural professional, Nessim is committed to promoting the diverse Asian cultures by serving VAHMS.

Dr. Nessim Tariq
4
Cristiana Ripeanu
7

Cristiana Ripeanu

Board Member

Cristiana Ripeanu, a theatre director and educator, has been staged at several state theatres in Romania and performed in multiple languages at festivals across Europe, such as Balkan Theatre Festival, International Theatre School Festivals (Greece, Netherlands, Albania), and Freistil Festival (Germany). She has been an acting teacher and director for independent theatre companies and organizations in Canada and Germany. She also works in community-building and social outreach programs with sociocultural organizations in Germany. After living and working in Germany, she relocated to Vancouver where she contributes to the Canadian theatre scene. Co-founder of Exact Resemblance, which is a Vancouver based theatre company, Cristiana has co-produced and directed a highly successful first season and runs two mentorship programs for emerging directors. 

Jason Jin

Festival Coordinator

Jason Jin, BA in psychology and creative writing (The University of British Columbia), has his educational journey extended to acting at the Vancouver Film School and technical arts at British Columbia Institute of Technology. Having served as a production assistant for films in theaters, he discovered the powerful role of cinema in fostering diversity. With an international cultural background that spans Canada, China, and Japan, Jason brings a unique perspective to his professional work. His passion as well as expertise for diversity is evident through his commitment to promoting the Asian heritage from local communities to the global stage

Jason Jin
9
Parm Sandhu
10

Parm Sandhu

Consultant

Parm Sandhu is an expert technology executive with over two decades of multifaceted professional experience across diverse sectors and jurisdictions. He has held executive positions within many organizations to lead digital transformation initiatives and business modernization projects. He has offered result-oriented service in serval areas to non-profit entities to support the causes of the organizations. As a community leader, he has also served on numerous boards and committees to foster positive changes within both corporate and philanthropic sectors. Parm holds a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science (Birmingham City University, UK) and many certifications including Governance Essentials (Sauder School of Business), Board Governance (Institute of Corporate Directors), as well as Director of Business (Rotman School of Business).

Ken McAteer

Advisor

Ken McAteer, BComm, MEd (The University of British Columbia), formerly served as a school principal, president of the BC Principals and Vice Principals Association, member Board of Directors of the Laurier Institution, chair of the Advisory Council for the Ministry of Multiculturalism and Immigration, and commissioner BC-Yukon as well as member Board of Governors for Scouts Canada Service. He has assisted the Ismaili scholarship program for youth, and his work has been widely recognized including receiving United Way Van Dusen Award for Outstanding Community Service and the AMSSA Riasat Ali Khan Award for Lifetime Dedication to the Promotion of Cultural Diversity. Ken advises in various capacities as a Past President of VAHMS, especially to support the hybridity of heritages in Canadian society.

Ken McAteer
11

Partnership

The Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society (VAHMS)