Language has a special place in Suzy’s heart. Fluent in English, Arabic and French, she sees language as a gateway to access and enjoy a diversity of cultures, celebrating both their uniqueness and commonalities. To her, cultural exchanges and dialogues are essential in promoting greater understanding, and she is inspired by the potential of the new AFV building to create those welcoming and much-needed spaces to gather the community around a shared experience.
Vancouver is already losing so many cultural spaces. Cinemas, galleries, cultural organisations and artist studios are closing down in the face of rising property costs and commercial redevelopment pressures. The Oakridge neighbourhood is undergoing one of the biggest redevelopments in the Lower Mainland, and Suzy is excited by the fact that the new AFV building will help establish a major cultural centre at the very heart of this densification. It will be a centre that not only adds a unique artistic vibrancy to the cultural scene, but also one that is open to the wider community – a place for francophones, francophiles and non-French speakers.
When asked to share what she looks forward to in the new building and one her most memorable moments, Suzy explains:
"It is such a great project for the community. I am particularly looking forward to the art gallery, the new library, attending movies with my family and friends and just have access to a wider variety of art and cultural events. In particular, I enjoy comedies and new experiences such as the RectoVRso@Vancouver, an augmented and virtual reality exhibition merging art and technology. One of my favorite moments was attending the #Franglais show by bilingual British comedian Paul Taylor at Alliance Française Vancouver. Comedians make astute observations on human behaviour and humorously express what we have felt but have not been able to put into words. For example, Taylor’s views on the French culture as an insider and outsider and his experience navigating complex social greeting etiquette rules was very funny. As someone with French roots, but born abroad, I could relate to the experience."
An economist by training, Suzy joined the board in 2018 and used her expertise to help with the financial planning and forecasting needed to accurately assess and present the viability of the new AFV building project to several key stakeholders such as the City and financial institutions. She is currently the treasurer of the Board and sits on the financial planning committee.