Our Staff

Julia Aoki
Executive Director

Julia is an administrator, writer, researcher, educator and advocate. She has served as General Manager and Programming Director of the Powell Street Festival, the General Manager of VIVO Media Arts Centre, and volunteered with advocacy groups and organizations, such as the DTES SRO Collaborative. Her writing on cultural expressions and community formations that are overlooked and underserved by commercial and political mechanisms and practices, can be found in TOPIA, Space and Culture and a collection by Lexington Books. She spends her spare time playing tennis with more enthusiasm than skill, and thinking about what to eat for dinner. 




Paula Carlson
Managing Editor

For the past two decades, Paula Carlson has worked as an editor and reporter at various newspapers throughout the Lower Mainland, contributing stories and stick-handling special projects that have won more than 50 industry awards for news, feature and opinion writing, page layout and design. Her work has appeared across B.C. and Canada. Having been affected by many of the issues that are the focus of Megaphone, she’s also explored deeper spiritual pursuits, and is a certified trauma-informed yoga teacher. She's fairly certain a good cup of coffee improves almost anything.





Nicolas Crier
Storytelling and Community Networking Liaison

Nicolas Crier is an adoptee of Cree heritage and a freelance writer. At 40 years old he has spent approximately half his life surviving in the streets and more than a decade in the Downtown Eastside. It never occurred to him that being a drug user would ever be useful, but he’s parlayed his street smarts and community connections into a successful career as an overdose responder and outreach worker. In 2018, became a coordinator and facilitator for the Speakers Bureau at Megaphone. He sends love to his six-year-old son, Money.




Tracey Draper
Program Manager

Tracey will be working with Megaphone's Speakers Bureau and Vendor program. While studying with UBC in web development/multimedia and Langara’s CE film program, they worked continually in an administrative capacity for various non profits. This led to program coordinating Atira’s Enterprising Women Making Art program and program managing the Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society. Tracey’s passion lies with continual evolution of story sharing, medicine practices, food sovereignty, homelessness, traditional ceremony and land practices in their indigenous, trans and two spirit community in the DTES. When they are not in the office, you will find them writing, arranging, producing music and post production for film. Tracey also DJ’s many community events pre-covid and looks forward to continuing the fun when the floors open up.


Will Pearson
Operations Manager

Will (he/him/his) coordinates Megaphone's operations in Vancouver and Victoria. Will holds a master's degree in Public Policy and a BA in Art History. He has a background in social research and program management and focuses on contributing to initiatives that work to address social and health inequity. As a former Megaphone and Hope in Shadows volunteer, he is excited to be contributing full time. In his off time, Will enjoys skateboarding, fishing, riding his bike, and putting olive oil and salt on tomatoes. 




Holly Sakaki
Development and Public Outreach Coordinator

Holly is a born and raised Vancouver local with deep roots in the DTES Vancouver neighbourhood. Her family owned property on East Cordova, just down the street from Megaphone’s office, prior to the internment and dispossession of Japanese Canadians in World War II. For the past few years, Holly has worked with social enterprises in the community as an administrator, program developer, and frontline worker. She cares deeply about seeing people experience empowerment through meaningful work and self-expression and is excited to connect with you about how you can be part of changing the story of poverty with Megaphone. Some fun facts about Holly: she is an aspiring spoon carver, is always working on a sewing project, and dreams of opening a community laundromat one day.

312 Main St
Vancouver, BC
V6A 2T2