Paul Curwin - Co-chair
Paul is a certified group fitness instructor living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but is originally from New Brunswick. Paul was involved with BCPWA (Vancouver) and ACCM (Montreal) and was on the board of directors for SIDA/AIDS Moncton. Paul first became involved with realize in 2006 through the work of the Episodic Disabilities Network. He was heavily involved in Realize’s development of a network devoted to work issues important to HIV+ people, a network that ultimately became the Episodic Disabilities Employment Network (EDEN) social networking website. Paul was a member of the Realize Board of Directors, including serving as treasurer, from 2009 until 2012. Paul rejoined Realize‘s Board of Directors in 2015 and is excited to be serving as co-chair as of June 2018.
Gayle Restall - Co-chair
Gayle is an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Manitoba who lives and works on Treaty 1 territory. She is a registered occupational therapist and has a PhD in Community Health Sciences from the University of Manitoba. Gayle is a teacher, mentor and researcher. Her research work in HIV has focused on community-based approaches to exploring rehabilitation service delivery options, HIV-related stigma and discrimination, and interventions to live well long-term with HIV. Gayle currently sits on the Board of Directors of Nine Circles Community Health Centre in Winnipeg. She previously served on Realize’s Research, Education and Practice Advisory Committee.
Brian Ellison - Secretary
Brian has been involved in the AIDS movement since the late eighties. He was a Human Services Counsellor in the area of Addictions and Mental Health and became active in facilitation for community support groups and long term survivors of HIV/AIDS. More recently he had been actively involved with the AIDS Bereavement & Resiliency Project of Ontario (ABRPO). Brian has been living with HIV since 1987, and is a bilateral, above knee (AK) amputee. He has been an active volunteer for the Dept. of Physical Therapy at U of T in the Bridging Program for International Students and various Rehab student bridging programs. He was actively a participant in a recent CBE study with Kelly O’Brien on Exercise and HIV, and is a member of CIHRRC.
In addition to joining the Board in September 2019, Brian is involved in working groups dealing with Disability/Aging and HIV and advocacy to raise awareness of the inequities affecting all people with disabilities and the struggles they face with accessibility and Ablism.
Brian keeps active in training for marathons such as the Longboat Run and Achilles Foundation. He has a specific interest in documentaries and our communities’ histories and archiving the lives of the mentors/volunteers and activists that have helped in moving us forward and enriched our lives.
Shanti Gidwani - Treasurer
Shanti Gidwani is a Healthcare Business Leader with a diverse international clinical background and 20+ years’ experience. In her early professional life, Shanti was also an HIV/AIDS Nurse.
Gail Mahood - Board member
Gail Mahood has a background in teaching, social work and community- based program development. She is a member of the Canadian HIV Stigma Index Project Research and Community of Practice Committees. Her interests lie in furthering research and programs to enhance the needs of women living with HIV, particularly with the complexities of the aging process, stigma, and prevention of HIV.
Shaun Proulx - Board member
Shaun Proulx is a Toronto-based media personality, speaker and coach whose current endeavours include hosting the weekly talk show The Shaun Proulx Show, heard weekends across North America on SiriusXM, and publishing Canada’s longest-running LGBT digital platform, TheGayGuideNetwork.com. He has reported the subjects of HIV and AIDS throughout his career, and volunteered for the cause for a variety of ASOs over the years. He co-produced the award-winning documentary: DecAIDS: Anything Is Possible which chronicled the making of the 20th anniversary of Fashion Cares. He loves his dog Ella with all his heart. More: shaunproulx.ca
Nicole Salmon - Board Member
Nicole is a listener, learner and leader as well as a skilled presenter and communicator. Her work style is collaborative, she values family and community and continually works to ensure her interactions are guided by a social justice and equity lens, respect, integrity, openness and trust. Nicole brings over twenty-five years of direct fundraising experience during which time she effectively managed a number of fundraising programs including Annual, Leadership, Corporate, Employee and Monthly Giving programs. In 2014 she founded Boundless Philanthropy, a consultancy specializing in providing charitable organizations with transitional (interim) senior leadership support; fund development strategizing, planning and execution; creating enabled, healthy and effective operational environment; and coaching and mentoring staff. Prior to founding Boundless Philanthropy, Nicole was the Director of Fund Development at Oxfam Canada. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the National Fund Development Department, she was a member of the organization’s senior management team. A self-described sports consumer and enthusiast, she possesses an inquisitive mind always searching to challenge and expand her perspectives and experiences. Currently, she is a member of the board of Wellfort, a local community health centre operating in Peel Region.
Daniel Sands - Back-up Co-chair
Daniel Sands is a proud gay and proud 2 Spirit friend who uses they/them/their pronouns. As a grandchild of a Cree Metis residential school survivor, their spirit is indomitable. Daniel has survived and continues to thrive in spite of having challenges of being bullied, mental wellness, poverty and homelessness, 28 years of substance use, cancer, and living with HIV.
Naomi Sayers - Board Member
Naomi Sayers is an Indigenous lawyer and Indigenous feminist with a strong history of advocating for social change that positively impacts Indigenous, racialized and criminalized communities. Naomi’s history with HIV organizing began when she was a research assistant on several research projects that examined the connection between environmental racism and health outcomes in Indigenous communities throughout Canada between 2012 and 2014. From there, she was asked to speak on a panel in Australia on the link between criminalizing Indigenous youth and their health outcomes at the International AIDS Conference in 2014. Over the years, Naomi has advised and consulted institutions and governments across Canada on policy, law reform, governance and compliance issues. Naomi is called to the Ontario bar and the Alberta bar. Naomi is well-published and highly sought after for her simple yet impactful solutions.