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.
Krista Butler is currently developing Megaphone's new Speakers Bureau program. She holds a degree in both Psychology and Environmental Studies, with a background in health research and non-profit program development as well as frontline support work for those experiencing homelessness and addiction. She is passionate about spiritual health, social equity, and building community. In her spare time, Krista is a trauma-sensitive yoga teacher, end-of-life doula and novice but determined skateboarder.
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.
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.
Speakers Bureau Lead Facilitator
Sekani Dakelth is from the Tl'azt'en Nation and calls the Downtown Eastside home. She is passionate about trans rights, sex worker rights and harm reduction. Like many of her peers, Sekani knows firsthand how stigma around drug use acts as a barrier to accessing health care. She has worked as a Megaphone vendor for years and officially joined the team in 2018 to help build Speakers Bureau. Through that work, she’s dedicated to spreading awareness of everyone’s right to health care and challenging audiences to look past the sometimes narrow ideas they have of drug users.
A prolific grassroots Urban Indigenous Organizer of the Downtown Eastside, Sammy Pranteau is an instrumental force in the indigenization of support services in the community. As a Community Connector they always encourage those around them to work from a place of respect, inclusivity and honour; while engaging with the community around them.
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.
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.