May 25, 2017

Update May 16, 2017: There are more than 240 alumni and friends registered to attend. Please RSVP soon to help us plan for catering.

2017 AGM + Special Presentation

The SFU Alumni Association invites you and a guest to the 2017 AGM + Special Presentation featuring a panel of visionary leaders from Vancouver's dynamic arts and culture scene. With more than 250 alumni and friends in attendance each year, it is a great opportunity to connect with, and expand your alumni community. This event is free, however registration is required.

Thursday, May 25, 5:00 - 8:30 PM

  • 5:00: Registration + networking reception
  • 6:00: AGM, SFU President's update and special presentation
  • 7:30: Networking reception
Complimentary food, cash bar.
Segal Graduate School of Business
500 Granville St.
Vancouver, BC


Vancouver’s art scene is home to visionaries who are cultural leaders that connect the public to new art forms, performers and cultures to entertain, heal, enlighten and educate.  Our gifted panelists will share with us the vision that drives them and what has made them successful.

Photo: Henri Robideau

GARY CRISTALL: Founder, Vancouver Folk Music Festival & Advocate for Arts and Culture

An advocate for arts and human rights, Gary Cristall has been a cultural groundbreaker having co-founded the Vancouver Folk Music Festival in 1978; one of Vancouver’s leading celebrations of cultural expression. He has been seminal in fighting for the rights of artists to be treated professionally with respect while defending their rights to fair performance fees and copyright issues in a highly unscrupulous music industry. A first-rate curator and programmer, Cristall served as Acting Head of the Music Section of the Canada Council for the Arts and was the founding President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the first union at the Canada Council. Today, Cristall continues to serve as an important mentor and educator assisting artists in building their careers, and guiding communities in building dynamic cultural interactions that enrich and benefit a healthy democratic society. 

CHERRYL MASTERS: Senior Cultural Planner at City of Vancouver

Cherryl Masters is a Cultural Planner with the City of Vancouver. She is head of Grants and Awards Programs, a portfolio which provides over $11M in assistance to arts organizations and artists. In her role she develops cultural policy, programs and partnerships in support of the nonprofit arts and cultural community. She grew up in Ottawa where she completed her education in Fine Arts and Arts Administration. She moved to Vancouver and started her career in the nonprofit arts sector and then moved into the public arts funding sector, first with the provincial government at the BC Arts Council and now with Cultural Services at the City.

SIRISH RAO: Adjunct and Visiting Professor (SFU) and Founding Artistic Director of the Indian Summer Arts Society

A writer and former publisher with deep connections to the international cultural world. He spent a decade as Director of one of India’s most respected publishing houses and has worked in international event production in India, the UK and Europe. Sirish was on the jury of the 2015 Ethel Wilson Prize and the 2015 City of Vancouver Book Awards. He has authored twenty books, from commentaries on popular culture to children’s books and retellings of Greek plays. His books have been translated into seventeen languages and won several international awards. Sirish is deeply committed to playing his part in ensuring that Vancouver and BC are at the heart of global dialogues.

  • Adjunct and visiting lecturer at SFU’s Canadian Institute for Studies in Publishing.
  • Founding Artistic Director, Indian Summer Arts Society.  
  •  Founding Partner, Idefix & Co.. (Fine Bookmakers, Wordsmiths and Ideamongers)  


ERICA JOHNSON: CBC Investigative Journalist, Go Public (weekly segment on CBC News: Vancouver, The National, CBC News Network, CBC Radio and

Erica Johnson is a reporter for Go Public, an award-winning investigative news segment featuring stories that hold those in power accountable.

This award-winning CBC journalist is a five-time Canadian Screen Award and Gemini nominee for best host of a news/information series, and winner of Leo Award for best host of an information series.

Johnson began her journalism career in radio in 1987, working at several private radio stations, including CFRB in Toronto, where she reported, hosted and became the first woman at the station to read morning newscasts. Johnson joined the CBC in 1990 as a radio news reporter in Toronto, becoming a national radio reporter and hosting various CBC radio programs, including Radio Noon and Ontario Morning.

Before Go Public, Johnson hosted Marketplace for 16 years.

Although based in television, Johnson still enjoys radio and can regularly be heard hosting various radio programs, and filing for World Report.

Erica Johnson holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson Polytechnic University, as well as a degree from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. She lives in Vancouver.

Available at 6 PM on May 25

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