Dean Thullner - Veljacic

Founder • Executive Producer

Dean and his husband David Veljacic, are the proud owners of Volume Studio Ltd.

 

Dean is not only a central figure in Vancouver’s Davie Village, but also on Vancouver Island, which he and David now call home. Empowering and inspiring countless others to join him in giving back to the community. Dean is a veteran hairstylist and salon owner with a 35-year history, as well as being one of Vancouver’s foremost event charity event producers. 

He is passionate about assisting organizations that help individuals with HIV/ AIDS, Mental Health, Addiction and Human Rights.

As well as raising funds and awareness – Dean is driven to actively bringing attention to removing stigmas while recognizing and bringing attention to the importance of all-inclusivity. Each year, with the support of the LGBTQ+ and artistic communities, Dean brings together a multitude of volunteers.  With his enthusiasm for giving back he leads over 400 hairstylists, makeup artists, models, dancers, musicians, and actors all in the spirit of giving back to Vancouver’s challenged communities. Being part of the community and having this chance to give back is something Dean both values and see as essential for creating stronger communities of like-minded people.

"Everything Dean does has an element of charity.....giving back is second nature to this outstanding individual"

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Vanessa Pretty

Assistant Producer

 

This creative individual is a performance artist and production assistant who has volunteered her time and talent for local entertainment companies and non-profit societies.

 

Vanessa's combination of her Bachelor of Science Nursing degree and her dedication and compassion to the wellness of others results in a passionate individual who cares about bringing together communities to support awareness. Vanessa is an advocate for mental health, addiction harm reduction and community awareness. 

Vanessa has been both in front of and behind the camera helping raise funds and awareness for a variety of event and causes.

 

Vanessa has enjoyed time emceeing and hosting different events and fundraiser for the benefit of others.

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Mariel Nichole

Assistant Producer

 

For 5 years in Vancouver, Mariel ran her company, Spectrum Events, using venues such as Telus World of Science, XY, The Metro. Each one of the events raised awareness and was a fundraiser to give back into the community. 

 

‘Out on Screen, Out in Schools’; Vancouver Rape Crisis Center, Foundation of Hope: STRUT are a few of recipients. 

 

When not working on ‘Together We SHINE’ Mariel has a fashion line, owns & operates a custom silk-screening company, is a DJ, has her own artist label, and is a Project/Business Manager for a historic building in East Van. 

 

One of the most important values of Mariel’s is her importance upon having spaces for humans, in their beautiful diversity, to express themselves on their own terms and give back to the community on their own terms. This is the value that moved her from model on SHINE Vancouver runway to co-producing.

 

Mariel is honoured to be able to team up with Dean to produce SHINE. Being a part of the event's past, present and future is how the legacy continues to bring awareness and aid to Mental Health and its importance.

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Teresa Laturnus

Production Coordinator 

This dedicated and invaluable team member is our intrepid production coordinator.

Teresa gives countless hours to every project and is crucial to the success of each and every Volume Studio Production.  With style, professionalism and grace Teresa manages countless volunteers. 

Giving back to the community is something Teresa values and therefore dedicates hours of her time to the team.

Teresa has both friends and family members who suffer from mental health and addiction issues and feels very strongly in giving back while being passionate in helping in any way she can.

"Without Teresa, the show would not go on!"

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Sammar Charif

Marketing & Brand Management

 

Born and raised in Southern Ontario, Sammar left her corporate marketing career to pursue a life on the west coast. She now lives in beautiful Tofino and works as a full-time remote freelancer, specializing in brand strategy and digital marketing. 

 

Coming from corporate agency experiences, Sammar has finally found her truest passion: working with small businesses looking to establish themselves using the power of digital and social media. She specializes in managing brands and building fully integrated marketing strategies to help small businesses grow.

 

Outside of her work, Sammar has dedicated over 8 years to minor hockey. Growing up in small-town Ontario, she played competitively until the age of 17 and moved on to volunteer 6 of her 7 evenings a week at the rink. Whether she was sitting on the board of directors for her local association or on the ice-running non-profit youth development programs, she has always loved to support youth in her community. 

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Hemingway Ladouceur

Director of Fashion

I have been a part of Volume Studio's events since the very beginning.

 

I am determined to give back to the community that accepted me with open arms and a non-profit fundraiser like this one, is exactly the way for me to do it. We need a platform like SHINE to make sure our voices are heard. 

I get to do what I love while creating these amazing memories and making connections that will last a lifetime.

 

"Getting to work with amazing designers and talents like the ones you see today keeps me going." 

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Cathy Holmes

Communications Director 

For over 30 years, Cathy has been a part of the entertainment industry.  She is known on Vancouver Island as a radio and television personality, producer, writer, host, and activist seen regularly on The Show on Shaw, Community Producers and as host/ producer of Act 3 seen Vancouver Island Wide on Shaw Spotlight and heard on CHLY 101.7 FM. Her expansive career has included such television shows and movies as, The L-Word, Supernatural, Watchman,and various television & media commercials including Coca Cola, BC Hydro, and was the face of Harmony Active Wear. For almost 10 years she has written monthly articles including Tutor Talksand Savvy Seniorsin Nanaimo and Voyager Magazine.

When not working in front of a camera, Cathy works with older adults in British Columbia as a provincial coordinator for the expansion of seniors programming helping older adults age in place. She also works internationally, helping adults upgrade their skills and achieve their goals. Her love of people, determination, and desire to build flourishing and inclusive communities finds her volunteering in many capacities including sitting on the boards of Volunteer Nanaimo and Nanaimo Senior Services Network.  She believes in looking people in the eye and says: “Faith, courage, kindness, and trust are the building blocks in helping people. All people matter. It’s a privilege to hold space for anyone who feels invisible.” 

When she isn’t in front of the public eye, Cathy enjoys sailing, camping, and spending time with her grandchildren.

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Carolyn Butula

Director of sponsorship

Carolyn is a musician, model, business developer and social advocate. She believes in giving back to her community and this time it is through SHINE. She currently resides on Vancouver Island but has lived in Victoria, Vancouver, and Powell River where she has always been active in volunteering and the West Coast Arts community. 

Carolyn has performed as an artist in the UVIC Philomela Choir, various bands, a dancer in the Miss Ellen Q Drag show and participated in various festivals such as: Kathaumixw; the Townsite Jazz Festival; the San Francisco International Choir Festival and as a solo artist at various venues across Canada and the United States. She was in the Vagina Monologues performing at the MacPherson Theatre raising money and awareness for woman’s rights and currently released her first single on a Music Label calledEmengyDeep. 

Carolyn’s diverse background brings a skill set perfect for SHINE. Her experience in corporate and small business development/fund raising as well as Human Protection makes her a natural fit for her role as the SHINE Director of Sponsorship. Her work serving the MCFD as a contractor put her in the front lines of working with vulnerable children and youth in the Lower Mainland. Her schooling in sociology helped her develop empathy for people of all walks of life making her an easy person for people to talk to and get along with. Her work as a Naval Reservist shows how much she cares about protecting the well-being of others. 

 

Carolyn truly wants the best for everyone, and she brings as much sunshine as she can to the people she meets, no matter their background, in a hope to bring unity, compassion and understanding so there can be more peace in this world.  

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Brad Mitchell

Interior and set director  

 

Brad Mitchell is an accomplished award-winning Interior Designer, Creative Director, and Event Producer. Upon completing studies at Ryerson University in Toronto Brad launched a career focusing on commercial and high-end residential interior design. Brad has worked for several prestigious design firms and organizations, within Canada, the US and Europe in various capacities. Entertainment being his first love Brad followed opportunities to direct his career into the event-planning industry. He soon became recognized for his ability to merge great design with quality entertainment.

 

From gala fundraisers, prestigious affairs, and fashion runways, Brad creates some of the industry’s most dynamic and progressive design and entertainment. Brad also works occasionally in the film/ television industry as a set decorator/designer with over 100 film and television projects to date.
 

In 2005, Brad had worked with HGTV as a television personality for one of their national design programs, "Love It or Lose" which is in syndication worldwide and currently running on Amazon Prime in Canada. In 2010 Brad was commissioned to direct/style a photo-shoot for Mr. Gay World which won him a prestigious double page spread in the international lifestyle magazine DNA.
Brad’s personable nature, strong leadership skills are the fundamental tools to his effective team building which translates into quality projects. He has worked with the SHINE team for several years and is excited and honored to continue to support this very important cause. 

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Gwenda Lorenzetti
Auction Coordinator

Gwenda is a Vancouver-based actor, whose “day-job” is working for a local non-profit.  Always eager to support a great cause, enriched by giving back and helping others, Gwenda is excited to return to the SHINE team in support of mental health and addiction .

 

For years, Gwenda has volunteered her time to a wide variety of local community organizations and charities, including: arts and culture festivals, literacy programs, health and wellness 

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Bruce Gerrish

Musical Director-Singer, songwriter, performer and music producer.

Bruce Gerrish writes his own distinctive brand of catchy, curious, and heartfelt songs that celebrate a diversity of musical styles appealing to people from all ages and backgrounds. Bruce has been playing to critical acclaim for many years and has a repertoire that spans multiple genres from catchy originals to exceptional renditions of classic standards presented in his own inimitable style. He is a versatile vocalist, entertainer and accomplished musician who accompanies himself on acoustic guitar and piano.

 

He works as a solo performer or as the leader of The Shinolas- an eclectic "good-times" group that combines first rate instrumentation with an abundantly fun stage presence.

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Suzanne Bateman
Director of Photography


Suzanne started her career in fashion design working for some of Canada's top brand names until her creative focus changed to work behind the camera.

Currently she works as a photographer shooting street style outside of the major Fashion Weeks as well as starting her own glamour portrait photography studio.  

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Allison Hexter

Director of Public Education

 

What started out as self-educating due to circumstances, a spark emerged for Allison that became a passion for serving members of her community. She took this opportunity to immerse herself in education surrounding neurodiversity, mental-health and co-morbid conditions. She also gained a deep understanding of what life is like for individuals and their families to navigate multiple community resources to have their needs met. 

 

Allison has been dedicated to creating awareness to not only the needs of individuals who are faced with diversity but also breaking down the stigma that surrounds it. She has worked in various communities with a range of age groups who have experienced trauma, mental health challenges and a need for life skills. Not only is she passionate about supporting members of her community through education, providing resources and support, Allison is a mother of two brilliant young adults, one of whom is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and she has experienced first-hand what benefits come from having community inclusion and support.

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Gabriel Vill
Director of Diversity 

Gabriel Vill is a professional actor, dancer, and drag performer  with over 10 years of experience in the performing arts. Gabriel fights racism and the oppression of all minorities by creating safe spaces, content, and shows that feature and elevate Queer PoC performers and amplify marginalized voices. 

Mental Health and Addiction are two subjects that are crucial for the elevation of  minorities. Our minds and bodies are sacred, and the only tool we have to create a change in our environment. Yet, we live in a world where minorities struggle more due to the lack of education, accessibility, and resources around mental health and addiction.

This issue is why Gabriel is so excited to be a part of this magical event. Through SHINE, we can achieve our mission: to help those who need it most, end stigma around mental health and addiction, and show the world that while divided, we are just colors. But together, we SHINE as a rainbow. 
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Carrie ann Cebuliak
Director Of Makeup

 

Carrie-Ann is a Jane of all trades. A creative committed fully to living, loving & leading an embodied heart-centred existence.

Rooted in her core desire feelings. Constantly learning. Ever evolving.  

 

"There is such a raw beauty, depth & passion within the SHINE community. To support & hold space with such vulnerability. In service of our communities that suffer through all of the darkness this world holds is an honour. To stand beside and shed light upon those who’s time it is to shine…”