Board / Staff


Kristy Woodcock – President

A storyteller, wordsmith and lover of unreason, Kristy holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Calgary and an MLIS from the University of British Columbia. She is currently working on her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature (MACL) at the University of British Columbia and writing a book for children.

Kristy works as a librarian in the Greater Vancouver area, and she recently curated the exhibition Charles van Sandwyk and the Children’s Literary Tradition at UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections.

This is Kristy’s first year on the board of the Vancouver Society of Storytelling and she is delighted to be surrounded by such a luminous group of storytellers.

Pierre Gauthier – Vice President

Pierre is a video producer and independent documentary filmmaker. He has produced and edited documentaries and commercial projects,  including television commercials, feature length specialty travel DVDs, various online projects, events, commissioned documentaries and concerts. He has learned over the years that what one does best is what makes one the happiest. This would be evident in the level of practical knowledge, dedication and professionalism applied to perfecting the craft that is guided by one’s heart and soul. He is  a storyteller who uses film as the medium and filmmaking is his craft.

Layla Naquin – Secretary

Layla is a story-listener and story-teller from southeastern Louisiana working as a librarian in the Lower Mainland, on Coast Salish territory. She is interested in cultivating connection through storytelling–with people, place, and the past. She is very excited to be serving on the board for the first time!

Narges Govahi – Treasurer

Born in Iran, the Islamic revolution and war between Iran and Iraq changed her perspective on life. Narges became a refugee of war in her own country at the age of 12. She achieved her bachelor in theatre from Tehran University, and her masters in dramatic literature from Art University, both in Tehran, Iran. At the age of 35, she became a refugee again; this time because of religious and social persecution. She left her country of origin and came to Canada with her family. But, she brought with her the knowledge of ancient Persian literature and folktales. No one is able to take this one from her.

Nadine Pluzak – Membership

Nadine is an existential detective whose current passionate explorations include storytelling and clown. She is excited to help steer the VSOS on its mythic journey – on the board for the first time.

Donna Chen – Member at Large

Chinese Canadian, Donna interest with the VSOS is in fostering intergenerational storytelling within extended families.  On board for the fourth year!

Abegael Fisher-Lang – Member at Large  

A long time professional storyteller, Abegael has performed widely as Mythopoetica Storytelling.  As a community arts passionata, she has initiated many community events, including World Storytelling Day, Cric? Crac! Sundays and the first story-focused Death Cafe in Vancouver, launching in May.  Abegael feels that the great world myths long for, and call forth our own life stories, and are the richer for it.  Currently a certified Life Passage Celebrant, she has just been invited onto the faculty of the Celebrant Foundation, as an instructor in story-based family and children’s ceremonies.  She is thrilled to be back on the board with this lively bunch of creative cultural thinkers, committed to local telling, and the greater impulse to building a healthier, more compassionate world through sharing story.

Melanie Ray – Member at Large

Upon turning 67, Melanie realized that nearly half of her life has been spent telling stories professionally.  Lucky!  Before that she was acting in plays and raising a child, so really, not a bad life.  Some of the energy generated by these realizations led to joining the Board for the third time since 1991, when she was among those people who helped Helen O’Brian found the Vancouver Society of Storytelling.  Thank you Helen!  She is grateful to all those who have put their strength and creativity into the VSOS ever since, and to those who were already meeting to share stories for adults back in the 80s, with the first Cric? Crac! and then the Vancouver Storytelling Circle.