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 a Human Services Counsellor, with focus on Addictions and Mental Health since 1991. He is a volunteer group facilitator with ACT, and has been a volunteer with the AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Project of Ontario (ABRPO) since 2005. Brian’s community engagement experience includes working with ABRPO Survive & Thrive Project and bringing it to long term survivors into a group and think tank “Survive to Thrive”.
Brian has been living with HIV/AIDS since 1987, and is currently living as a bilateral above knee (AK) amputee. He is a volunteer for U of T’s Physical Therapy Dept. for the Bridging Program for International Students and the various student day events with Rehab facilities. He has also participated in a recent CBE study with Kelly O’Brien and the YMCA researching exercise and HIV. In addition to joining the Board in September 2019, Brian is a current volunteer as needed with Realize and various working groups dealing with Aging and HIV and a focus on accessibility and Abelism with community members and stakeholders, and a member of CIHRRC.
Brian does extensive training for marathons such as the Longboat Run and Achilles Foundation as part of my rehab. He has a specific interest in documentaries and our communities’ histories and archiving the rich lives of the mentors /volunteers and activists that have moved 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.
Stéphanie Morin - Board member
Stéphanie was born and lives in Québec City. She has been involved with MIELS-Quebec, a community-based HIV organization based in Québec City, for the last 20 years. Stéphanie has participated in many projects, including projects related to health promotion and fundraising, and has sat on several committees. Over the years, she has also been involved in many events related to HIV. She has been a member of the Info-traitements Committee of COCQ-SIDA. Stéphanie sits on the Board of MIELS-Québec, of which she has been the vice-president since 2017. She joined the Board of Directors of Realize in 2019.
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.