top of page

Our Team

Dean Thullner - Veljacic

Founder * Executive Producer

Dean and his husband David Veljacic, are the proud owners of Volume Studio Ltd.

Dean is not only a central figure in Vancouver’s Davie Village, but also on Vancouver Island, which he and David now call home. Empowering and inspiring countless others to join him in giving back to the community. Dean is a veteran hairstylist and salon owner with a 35-year history, as well as being one of Vancouver’s foremost event charity event producers. 

He is passionate about assisting organizations that help individuals with HIV/ AIDS, Mental Health, Addiction and Human Rights.


As well as raising funds and awareness – Dean is driven to actively bringing attention to removing stigmas while recognizing and bringing attention to the importance of all-inclusivity. Each year, with the support of the LGBTQ+ and artistic communities, Dean brings together a multitude of volunteers.  With his enthusiasm for giving back he leads over 400 hairstylists, makeup artists, models, dancers, musicians, and actors all in the spirit of giving back to Vancouver’s challenged communities. Being part of the community and having this chance to give back is something Dean both values and see as essential for creating stronger communities of like-minded people.

"Everything Dean does has an element of back is second nature to this outstanding individual"


Mariel Nichole

Founder * Executive Producer

For 6 years in Vancouver, Mariel ran her company (Spectrum Events) using venues such as Telus World of Science, XY, The Metro. Each one of the events raised awareness and was a fundraiser to give back into the community. 


When not working on ‘Together We SHINE’ Mariel has a fashion line,  is a DJ, has her own artist label, is a Transformation Guide and a Fundraising Consultant.


One of the most important values of Mariel’s is her passion for having spaces for humans, in their beautiful diversity, to express themselves on their own terms and give back to the community on their own terms. This is the value that moved her from model on SHINE Vancouver runway to co-producing.


Mariel is honoured to be able to team up with Dean to produce SHINE. Being a part of the event's past, present and future is how the legacy continues to bring awareness and aid to Mental Health and its importance.


Vanessa Pretty

Assistant Producer

This creative individual is a performance artist and production assistant who has volunteered her time and talent for local entertainment companies and non-profit societies.


Vanessa's combination of her Bachelor of Science Nursing degree and her dedication and compassion to the wellness of others results in a passionate individual who cares about bringing together communities to support awareness. Vanessa is an advocate for mental health, addiction harm reduction and community awareness. 

Vanessa has been both in front of and behind the camera helping raise funds and awareness for a variety of event and causes.


Vanessa has enjoyed time emceeing and hosting different events and fundraiser for the benefit of others.


Teresa Laturnus

Production Coordinator 

This dedicated and invaluable team member is our intrepid production coordinator.Teresa gives countless hours to every project and is crucial to the success of each and every Volume Studio Production.  With style, professionalism and grace Teresa manages countless volunteers. 

Giving back to the community is something Teresa values and therefore dedicates hours of her time to the team.

Teresa has both friends and family members who suffer from mental health and addiction issues therefore, she feels very strong about giving back while being passionate in helping in any way she can.

"Without Teresa, the show would not go on!​​​


Allison Hexter

Director of Public Education


What started out as self-educating due to circumstances, a spark emerged for Allison that became a passion for serving members of her community. She took this opportunity to immerse herself in education surrounding neurodiversity, mental-health and co-morbid conditions. She also gained a deep understanding of what life is like for individuals and their families to navigate multiple community resources to have their needs met. 


Allison has been dedicated to creating awareness to not only the needs of individuals who are faced with diversity but also breaking down the stigma that surrounds it. She has worked in various communities with a range of age groups who have experienced trauma, mental health challenges and a need for life skills. Not only is she passionate about supporting members of her community through education, providing resources and support, Allison is a mother of two brilliant young adults, one of whom is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and she has experienced first-hand what benefits come from having community inclusion and support.


Hemingway Ladouce

Director of Fashion


I have been a part of Volume Studio's events since the very beginning.

I am determined to give back to the community that accepted me with open arms and a non-profit fundraiser like this one, is exactly the way for me to do it. 

We need a platform like SHINE to make sure our voices are heard. 

I get to do what I love while creating these amazing memories and making connections that will last a lifetime.

"Getting to work with amazing designers and talents like the ones you see today keeps me going." 

Cathy JPeg.jpg

Cathy Holmes

Communications Director 

For over 30 years, Cathy has been a part of the entertainment industry.  She is known on Vancouver Island as a radio and television personality, producer, writer, host and activist seen regularly on The Show on Shaw, Community Producers and as host/ producer of Act 3 seen Vancouver Island Wide on Shaw Spotlight and heard on CHLY 101.7 FM. Her expansive career has included such television shows and movies as, The L-Word, Supernatural, Watchman,and various television & media commercials including Coca Cola, BC Hydo, and was the face of Harmony Active Wear. For almost 10 years she has written monthly articles including Tutor Talks and Savvy Seniors in Nanaimo and Voyager Magazine.

When not working in front of a camera, Cathy works with older adults in British Columbia as a provincial coordinator for the expansion of seniors programming helping older adults age in place. She also works internationally, helping adults upgrade their skills and achieve their goals. Her love of people, determination, and desire to build flourishing and inclusive communities finds her volunteering in many capacities including sitting on the boards of Volunteer Nanaimo and Nanaimo Senior Services Network.  She believes in looking people in the eye and says: “Faith, courage, kindness and trust are the building blocks in helping people. All people matter. It’s a privilege to hold space for anyone who feels invisible.” 

When she isn’t in front of the public eye, Cathy enjoys sailing, camping and spending time with her grandchildren.

Hayley Bamford
Director of Set Design and Decor

Hayley started her path in theatre at 8 years old, and has never looked back. She attended the Chilliwack School of Performing Arts for 10 years, before leaving to jump into her career as a design technician. When she’s not working, Hayley spends her time volunteering and educating the younger generation. Hoping to inspire and spread the positive message and lasting impact art has on every human being.

Hayley is excited and proud to be a part of the SHINE team, and see the impact it has on everyone involved.

Suzanne Bateman
Director of Photography

Suzanne started her career in fashion design working for some of Canada's top brand names until her creative focus changed to work behind the camera. Currently she works as a photographer shooting street style outside of the major Fashion Weeks as well as starting her own glamour portrait photography studio.  

_1190083 (2).JPG

Gwenda Lorenzetti
Auction Coordinator

Gwenda is a Vancouver-based actor, whose “day-job” is working for a local non-profit.  Always eager to support a great cause,

enriched by giving back and helping others, Gwenda is excited to return to the SHINE team in support of mentdal Health and addiction.


For years, Gwenda has volunteered her time to a wide variety of local community organizations and charities, including: arts and culture festivals, literacy programs, health and wellness 


Michael Chamberlain

Brand Architect and Communications Expert  


Michael is a seasoned professional in the world of branding and advertising. 

He has worked with some of the world’s biggest consumer brands and government institutions. He has worked on 5 continents with clients such as Bell Canada, Kraft Foods, Mars Corporation, Proctor & Gamble, Mercedes, Pepsi Foods as well as the European Union. 


Michael began in the business as a creative guy and later moved seamlessly into the strategic side of the business without ever losing his passion or his input on the creative process and product. 


He has not only written and creative-directed award winning campaigns but has also directed several television and social media campaigns. 


Michael and his partner moved to Vancouver Island from Europe in 2018 and they are loving living here! 

Michael said “After years of living and working abroad, it’s wonderful to be back home in Canada - and even though I grew up in the east, I feel 100% at home here on Vancouver Island!”. 


Elise Isabel

Administrative Assistant


Elise has worked in the event production industry for many years as well as having grown up around festivals and events such as SHINE and RED. Being a part of all these diverse communities has sparked a passion for working with mental health, queer rights, and the indigenous community.

In addition, Elise's experimentation throughout her youth led to an all consuming love of art, fashion, and music. These experiences have greatly influenced her career and the majority of her favourite pass times.

Combined with her passion for creating positive change her dream is to create a welcoming space for all those to feel at home. Being a part of the SHINE community has allowed Elise to help people find their community, as well as build her own.

Screen Shot 2022-03-25 at 12.48.46 PM.png

Gabriel Vill
Director Of Diversity

Gabriel Vill is a professional actor, dancer, and drag performer  with over 10 years of experience in the performing arts. Gabriel fights racism and the oppression of all minorities by creating safe spaces, content, and shows that feature and elevate Queer PoC performers and amplify marginalized voices. 

Mental Health and Addiction are two subjects that are crucial for the elevation of  minorities. Our minds and bodies are sacred, and the only tool we have to create a change in our environment. Yet, we live in a world where minorities struggle more due to the lack of education, accessibility, and resources around mental health and addiction.

This issue is why Gabriel is so excited to be a part of this magical event. Through SHINE, we can achieve our mission: to help those who need it most, end stigma around mental health and addiction, and show the world that while divided, we are just colors. But together, we SHINE as a rainbow. 

Untitled (1080 × 1080 px).jpeg

Carrie ann Cebuliak
Director Of Makeup

Carrie-Ann is a Jane of all trades. A creative committed fully to living, loving & leading an embodied heart-centred existence. Rooted in her core desire feelings. Constantly learning. Ever evolving.  


"There is such a raw beauty, depth & passion within the SHINE community. To support & hold space with such vulnerability. In service of our communities that suffer through all of the darkness this world holds is an honour. To stand beside and shed light upon those who’s time it is to shine…”

bottom of page