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Suzette Laqua
Executive Director/Founder

Suzette Laqua, Executive Director and Founder of Vancouver Web Fest, is an Entrepreneur, Executive Producer, Producer and Writer of TV, Digital Series and Short Films. A graduate of Simon Fraser University, she has had a number of successful businesses. Suzette has also given back to the community as a Volunteer Mentor with PLEA – KidStart; working with teenage girls at risk in the Vancouver area since 2003.

By bringing Vancouver, Canada and the world an international festival & conference that honours international digital content, Suzette has created opportunities that has proven invaluable for content creators, buyers and distributors.


Paula Hoffmann
Director of Development

Paula was first exposed to web series as a voice actor playing the title character (and many others) in the 2006 "The Adventures of Artie the Ant”, produced for APTN.

In 2012 she co-produced the web series BAD SeEDS. BAD SeEDS was an official selection at both the 2013 LA Webfest and Hollyweb Fest. It was at the 2013 LA Webfest that Paula met Suzette Laqua, who soon convinced her to join the Vancouver Web Fest Team.

As Director of Development, Paula develops the panels and workshops with the intention of elevating the web series to a more mainstream genre. She continues to do voice work, and can currently be heard in Season 3 of the Legends of Chima.


Ashleigh Withall
Director of Operations

As Vancouver WebFest’s Director of Operations Ashleigh combines her years of experience in the creative arts and non-profit world with her lifelong passion for storytelling and new media.

Over the years, Ashleigh has honed her community outreach and operations expertise with organization such as Capture Photography Festival, the Vancouver Biennale, Crazy8s Film Society, Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Infocus Film School, Tomorrow Collective Arts Society and the Vancouver Opera Association.

She is a graduate of Demonfort University (UK) with Bachelor of Arts in Media and American Studies and holds a Certificate in Web Design from City College Brighton & Hove (UK).


Shiva Kashi
Program Director

Shiva is a graduate of Vancouver Film School’s Film Production and Directing program with 4 years of work experience in the independent film industry and another 2 years under the umbrella of DGC (Directors Guild of Canada) and IATSE local 212.

Her short film “The Art of Being One” which she directed and produced, appeared in several film festivals and won the “Award of Merit” from IndieFest film festival in California, "Award of Excellence" from Best Shorts Competition, and "Best Short Film" from Short Film Channel.

She is the founder of Eriol Pictures Inc, a Vancouver based film production company currently developing socially-relevant projects.

Shiva also has donated so much of her time to national and global campaigns supporting freedom of speech, civil liberties, and transparency.


Alessandro Di Francesco
Director of International Relations

Movie and theater actor, Alessandro has worked as an organizer and event producer for short films and plays. In recent years he has dedicated his time in organization and production toward the realization of multimedia art projects, both nationally and internationally. Alessandro is a talent scout for various actor agencies, as well as working as an assistant teacher.

As Head of External Relations for the first edition of the Roma Web Fest (2013), a Member of the Technical Committee in the evaluation commissions of Roma Web Fest 2013 and Roma Web Fashion Film Fest 2013, Alessandro brings to Vancouver Web Fest exceptional talent and skills.


Myles Liversidge
Director of IT

Myles Liversidge is a BCIT graduate with an Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Design. He is also Vancouver Web Fest’s IT Director. With his vast knowledge in information technology he has developed, designed, implemented and supported computer-based information systems including software development and installation for over 20 years. When Myles isn’t fixing things, his favourite past time is videography and photography.


Tony Di Giovanni
Event / Volunteer Coordinator

When not working in the private country club industry you can find Tony volunteering around town giving his time, energy and heart to causes near and dear to him and various community events. A cancer survivor for the past 7 years, Tony has spent a lot of his free time with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada helping raise awareness and giving support through his public speaking engagements and charity marathon and triathlon runs. He is also a huge supporter and volunteer with the Health Initiative for Men (HIM) Clinics through Vancouver Coastal Health and the Fraser Health Authority. He is also a supporter of Animal Rights and living a Vegan plant based lifestyle. This past year while volunteering at VIFF he met up with our own Executive Director Suzette and the two hit it off. He is now adding Vancouver Web Fest to his busy calendar of volunteering events! A native of Toronto, Tony now calls Vancouver home with his amazing partner Don and their beautiful daughter Maya. He is super excited to be joining our team this year!!


Liam Callander
Program Assistant

Liam is originally from Scotland, and currently works as a Production Coordinator at Nitrogen Studios in Vancouver. Having worked on the feature film Sausage Party, he is currently involved in Guillermo Del Toro's Trollhunters television series. Liam is also a passionate independent filmmaker and is very interested by content on all platforms, including web series. This will be Liam's second year as part of the VWF team.

Amar Mirchandani
Program Coordinator

Amar studied Business Management at Kwantlen Polytechnic University where he earned a peer award for distinct leadership. So it's only natural that he aspires to help lead the pack in any efforts to promote local entrepreneurs and creatives. He's organized a craft fair and web content screening event to do just that.

Amar is honoured and excited to help VWF coordinate an event featuring local YouTubers and content creators. He also writes for 604Now, a leading Vancouver online publication on the side of his government desk job.


Cleo Yeh
Assistant Volunteer Coordinator

Cleo is an actor making her way in the Vancouver film industry for the last five years. She was lucky enough to have been part of the cast for “The Actress Diaries”, an Official Selection of VWF 2014. Her most recent work can be seen in the feature film “The Interview”. Not only does she enjoy performing, but Cleo also finds what goes on behind the scenes fascinating and therefore devotes some time working crew on certain projects as well. She loves being able to help tell amazing stories and hopes to create some of her own in the near future. Currently, she balances her time between training with some of the city’s talented instructors, seeing patients (she checks on people’s eyeballs!) and hitting up various dance classes.


Gordon Au
Box Office Manager

Gordon Au is an event manager experienced in planning, operations, and logistics and works with event producers to execute their conferences, festivals, seminars, and live events. Gordon recently made the transition into events and has helped with the Car Free Day festivals, Big Data Week, Rifflandia, Music 4.5 seminars, Canada Day London celebrations, and the Juno Awards. He likes the challenge of pushing himself outside of his comfort zone with this transition and enjoys working in the creative and entertainment industries. Gordon most recently became the first paid staff member of the Car Free Day festivals where he will oversee and support all of the Vancouver festivals. Gordon is excited to be a part of the Vancouver Web Fest team.


Kristin Jackson
Graphic Designer

Kristin Jackson is an accomplished graphic designer in print and web, working in the advertising, design, social media and corporate communications fields. She is the Director of Communications for Frostbite Pictures, and has contributed her design talents for the studio's slate of series, from pitch decks to title art.

She also manages the social media needs for Frostbite and several of the series, updating Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with news and announcements, engaging in fan interactions and creating artwork and graphics for the sites. Kristin has been working with VWF for four years, and is very happy to be able to lend her talents to the festival!

Media Team
Stephanie Michelle Scott
Media Director

She entered social media in 2007 after fifteen years working on feature films (like Shooter and iRobot) where she learned from award winning production designers how to fully use visual elements to tell stories.

Stephanie offers to the VWF team her creativity and an eye on digital storytelling trends including the widely popular techniques of transmedia structure, alternate reality games and adding interactive components all with a hyper focus on engaging people not broadcasting to them.

She is an active member to entertainment connectors such as Backstage Vancouver, Crazy TV Talk Podcast and contributes to digital communities Vancouver Transmedia Group, The Social Media Club of Vancouver, the Women Talking Tech podcast among others.


Susie Lee
VWF Correspondent

Susie is a Vancouver based actress in film and television. Her recent appearances include SUPERNATURAL, WHEN WE RISE, FREQUENCY, and IMAGINARY MARY. She’s also been in over 30 commercials in the last few years.

When she’s not on set or hosting one of her travel shows, she’s off on another adventure somewhere around the world.


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