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Kim Regala and the Power of Saying Yes to Opportunity

February 02, 2023

SFU School of Communication Alumnus Kim Regala is passionate about a great number of things. Kim’s commitment to saying yes to new opportunities has allowed her to pursue a number of interests and wear many hats across the SFU community and beyond.

“I took plenty of opportunities to get involved in my different areas of interest. I wrote for The Peak, SFU’s student-led newspaper, helped organize the 2020 Skoden Indigenous Film Festival and the 2020 TEDxSFU conference, and did social media and podcast work for SFU Surge. Immediately after graduating, I joined SFU Public Square, a community engagement initiative centered around bridging the university and community to tackle complex social issues through dialogue.”

Kim found pursuing both a major in Communication and a minor in Film allowed her to pull from both perspectives to create a deeper understanding of the connections between the two programs and how they intersected with one another. “Each program offered me unique approaches and theories to studying media,” she reflects, “yet they still overlapped in many ways.”

Already interested in film and film festival programming, Kim didn’t hesitate when she heard about a course being offered through SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts that involved organizing the Skoden Film Festival. She jumped on the opportunity and enrolled. Along with eleven other students, split into teams, Kim was able to work on both the programming and marketing of the festival.

“Every week, we would gather in class to review hundreds of film submissions, deliberate on which films stood out most for our programmes, then curate the films according to the themes we identified. It was a very rewarding experience to witness the works of emerging Indigenous artists and filmmakers and provide them a platform to showcase those works.”

Since graduating from SFU in 2020, Kim has spent time working with SFU Public Square on a number of projects including the Press Pause pop-ups – creating creative spaces for SFU students to talk about mental health and accessibility – and co-leading the 2021-22 Peer Education Program. Her past experience sparked a passion for using digital media to engage communities and foster crucial conversations.

“Most of my work with SFU Public Square was building relationships with community organizations, but through this program, I got to engage directly with SFU’s student communities. Many of the students who attended Press Pause expressed so much gratitude. It’s moments like those that I cherish most, where you feel that your work has truly made an impact.”

Kim passion for the arts and engaging local communities continues with her recent work with emerging community-arts space Eighth & Eight Creative Spaces, developing events that centre accessibility and inclusion in their programming. The opportunity to help position underrepresented artists at the forefront of the community is something Kim is excited about.

“As an aspiring creative myself with deep ties to various marginalized groups, amplifying the work of artists in BIPOC and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities is a big part of the work that I strive to do. I’m excited to have the opportunity to do that now.”

Among all her work, Kim still finds time to keep up with her creative hobbies, ranging from film and photography to writing, music, and dance. She hints that few personal projects lay on the horizon. Kim credits her ability to pursue so many projects and passions with learning to let go of any fear of failure or perceived inadequacy that might get in her way.

“Once I pushed myself to let go of that fear, I was able to discover new passions, gain skills that I still utilize to this day, and create genuine connections with people who continue to motivate me to pursue those passions.”

To students interested in pursuing the arts, she offers words of encouragement.

“It’s incredible how a simple “yes” can go a long way.”