Meet The Board
We are a non-profit organization supporting people who identify with the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community. This includes: Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, Pansexual, Intersex, and Asexual/Agender individuals living in the Kamloops region.
Our mission is to promote a more flourishing 2SLGBTQPIA+ community and culture in Kamloops. Regardless of how you identify on the gender identity or sexuality spectrum - we welcome you! We are here to serve the diverse community within Kamloops and strive to advocate on behalf of people who experience discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Through our work, we hope to promote equity for all.
Practice transparency, honesty, professionalism, and informative communication to maintain community trust.
Maintain unconditional consideration for all those we interact with in the business of Kamloops Pride.
Acknowledge intersectionality and work towards equity.
Maintain a sense of celebration in everything we do!
Foster community through a caring, considerate, and consistent presence.
Ashton O'Brien (they/she)
My name is Ashton and my pronouns are they/she. I identify as a genderfluid lesbian, and I live in Westwold but I work in Kamloops and have lived in the area for about 10 years. I volunteered with Kamloops Pride a few years ago before joining as a director. I took a break for a year, and this past year I was elected Vice President. I would like to continue working with Kamloops Pride and so this year I ran, and was elected as President. I am an outdoorsy kind of person, but also an introvert and a bit of a geek. I love to adventure but also love to curl up at home and play video games. I am a big fan of NBA, and I also enjoy hockey, softball, shooting, fishing, and ATVing.
My vision this year is to see Kamloops Pride be more integrated into the whole Kamloops community and I would like to see more partnerships and stronger relationships between the board and both the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community, service providers, and allies here in Kamloops.
Shea Lozinski (they/them)
Shea is a nonbinary artist living in Vernon, BC with their dog. When they are not creating art, they like to go atving, play video games, go shooting, and explore small communities/ghost towns. Although they have done a few fundraisers on their own, they have wanted to join Kamloops Pride since going to their first drag show in 2020. After feeling freedom in an inclusive space for the first time, their goal became to help others feel the same way on a regular basis. Shea hopes to bring more variety and inclusivity to the pride events in Kamloops while they are on the board this year.
Trudy Tanis (she/her)
My name is Trudy and as of 2021 I am a retired grandmother. My lengthy career in the Information Technology field had me working at various corporations including Weyerhauser Canada, Canfor, TRU, and BCLC. Initially, I focused on software programming; however, the second half of my career was spent in several less technical IT roles (i.e. project coordinator, deployment coordinator, change coordinator, technical writer, and business analyst). My hobbies include playing board games with my family, indoor gardening, Sci-fi movies, cooking, and cheering for the Canucks.
I would like to be a more active supporter of the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community, and do more to educate the folks in Kamloops about the diversity of the community, as well as be an example of loving and non-judgmental support.
Alyssa Christianson (she/her)
Alyssa moved to Kamloops at the end of 2021 and is looking forward to participating in and growing queer culture in Kamloops! She is a recent graduate of SFU, holding a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. She previously served on the Castlegar Pride Committee as the Vice Chair and is excited to use her event planning skills on a larger scale. Alyssa can’t wait for a summer full of Pride events!
In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, playing board games, exploring new foods and drinks, and socializing with friends. She is always ready to discuss the NY Times crossword or intersectional feminism.
Sara Berkelaar (she/her)
I’ve lived in the BC interior my whole life, and in Kamloops the last 8 years. Recognizing the importance of building LGBTQ2S+ support in smaller communities, I wanted to join Kamloops Pride to help contribute. I think for me, like a lot of people, 2020 and 2021 were difficult years and really highlighted the importance of mental health and connection with others.
In my spare time, I’m most often enjoying the outdoor activities Kamloops has to offer with my main sidekick, my dog Snoopy.
Riann Munro (he/she/they)
Director/ Volunteer Coordinator
Riann is our Pride volunteer coordinator who has joined us for the 2021/2022 season. They are looking forward to making a bigger difference with the city and our community. Riann has volunteered for pride events in the past and is very passionate. Riann is the parent to two young children aged 6 and 9. Whenever they are together they enjoy being outdoors. You can often find them together as a family at local parks, hiking, swimming, or fishing. Riann also really enjoys photography, drawing, and painting. During the cold winter months they like to game as they are not a fan of the cold and much prefer the spring and summer months. They are excited to have a bigger role and getting involved with future events.
Lisa Hietala (she/her)
Lisa is relatively new to the Kamloops area - having moved here in 2018. In addition to being a staunch ally, she is an animal lover, world traveller and avid reader. She also loves movies, music and gardening.
Lisa joined the board as a way of bettering the community and herself in a meaningful way.
This is her first year on the Board of Pride, and she is eager to work with others who value integrity, inclusivity and diversity in the community.
Pride to her is holding space for everyone, and encouraging everyone to be themselves.
Jesse Ritcey (he/him)
Jesse Ritcey is a gay man who works towards making Kamloops a more inclusive, caring, and environmentally friendly community. Besides serving on the pride board he is also co-president of the Kamloops Food Policy Council and active with the Kamloops Naturalist Club. He works in the non-profit sector, grant writing, event planning, and managing projects. Many of these projects are undertaken in partnership with area indigenous communities and are related to his interests in environmental protection, education, and horticulture/agriculture. Besides working in the community, you'll probably find him out in nature, puttering around the garden, or reading.
Nichelle Penny (she/her)
Nichelle Penney (she/her) moved to the interior in 2012 and has been teaching Secondary Social Studies on the unceded territory of the Secwépemc people, colonially known as Kamloops for almost ten years. As a straight, cisgender settler, she is committed to infusing Indigenous and Queer content into all courses and has recently completed her Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction, in which her final project was a creation of a Queer inclusive sexual health program for high schools. Nichelle is also an active member in her community and union, seeking to bring equality to all aspects of conversations, policies, and events.
Kamloops Pride in Media
Health Canada Approves End to MSM Blood Ban
Radio NL Kamloops
April 28, 2022
with Brett Mineer
PODCAST: The Boss Chick Project: Let's Talk About Gender!
The Boss Chick Project
March 31, 2022
with Cassandra Blackwell