Gate House Community Association is founded on hundreds of hours of Volunteer work. Our unsung heroes have given their time, energy, resources, and talents to make it what it is today.


Below are the people behind Gate House Community Association for the 2022 season! 

After the elected positions everyone is listed in alphabetic order by last name. 

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Gord Oppen


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Mary-Louise Albert

Board Member 

Mary-Louise is the Artistic & Executive Director and co-founder of the BC Movement Arts Society. She was the Artistic Managing Director of the Norman Rothstein Theatre and the multidisciplinary international Chutzpah! Festival for 15 years having left the position in February 2020. Now based full-time in Sointula, she is dedicated to the growth of BC Movement Arts (one of the few professional dance organizations based in and serving rural and remote communities) and its annual professional contemporary dance series and creation residencies. A former professional dancer, she worked for 20 years nationally and internationally as a solo dance artist and as a company member with the Judith Marcuse Dance Company, Anna Wyman Dance Theatre, Karen Jamieson Dance Company as well as apprenticing with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens. Albert has performed work by choreographers such as Mark Morris, Crystal Pite, Lar Lubabvitch, Robert North, Serge Bennathan, Allen Kaeja, Judith Marcuse, Grant Strate, Peter Bingham, Tedd Robbinson, Judith Garay and Christopher House, to name a few. She has an extensive teaching background that includes Arts Umbrella, Sessional Positions at Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts, Harbour Dance Centre, Goh Ballet as well as adjudicating for dance festivals throughout Western Canada. Transitioning from professional dance at the age of 45, she won the nationally awarded funding from the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, including the Eric Bruhn Memorial Award, to attend Capilano University and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) School of Business, graduating with an Advanced Arts and Entertainment Management Diploma and a Post Diploma of Technology in Business Administration respectively. She is the recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts’ John Hobday Award for Excellence in Arts Management, one of two awarded annually nationally and was an appointed member of the City of Vancouver’s first Arts and Culture Policy Council. She sits on a Program Advisory Committee for the BCIT School of Business and is a Board of Director of the Sointula Museum Historical Society and the Gate House Theatre. www.bcmovementarts.com


Cheryl Hamilton


Cheryl Hamilton moved to Port McNeill with her family in 1990. She has been involved with the Gate House Theatre since 2013. She started doing books and then answered a casting call for a costume maker for 'The Revenge of Smee'. A mixed cast play that was performed in 2015. This resulted in her attending rehearsals and also making props, sets and costumes for every play since. Soon after she became a board member and began organizing fundraisers and events including a local Fashion Show, Mrs. Claus' Sweet Shop, Silent and Loonie Auctions and more.


Gate House Community Association and bringing the Arts to the North Island is a passion of hers and she is grateful for the community of volunteers that is such an integral part of the organization.


Dawn Briscoe

Board Member 

Gord is our Gate House Theatre’s current president.  Gord is a long-time supporter of all forms of artistic expression, with a focus on live music.  Gord brings to the theatre a lifelong interest in sound and lighting technology, as well as audio and video recording.  Gord has established McNeill Media locally to provide audio and video recording services.  He and his family also operate a Bed and Breakfast in Hyde Creek.  Gord is committed to local volunteerism having served time with the Rotary Club, North Island Music Festival, A-Frame Church, and Hyde Creek Fire Department. 


When not at the theatre, or driving the Zamboni,  Gord spends his time attempting to fish every Trout Lake on the North Island.

Dawn Briscoe (She/Her) is an emerging dance artist. She has recently completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honours in Dance from Simon Fraser University. Upon completion of her degree, Dawn has moved back to her hometown that is located on the unceded territory of Kwakwaka’wakw territories of the ‘Namgis, Kwakiutl, and Mamalilikala Nations (Port McNeill BC) to start her career. Being from Port McNeill, sparked a passion for bringing more dance and creating opportunities for community engagement in remote areas. Dawn is also the Vice President for the Vancouver Island Youth Dance Theatre Association board which supports Dancestreams Youth Dance Company and is Project Coordinator: Youth Project Rural/Remote BC, Promotional and Admin Support at Dance West Network. Dawn is excited to be a part of the Gate House team and bringing more dance to the North Island. 

Photo: Bee Kent

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Sequoia Coe

Board Member

Sequoia Coe (she/her) is a lifelong theatre lover. When the Gate House Theatre first started back in 2011, she instantly became involved as an actor. Over the years being an actor and director of plays she found herself on the board. Sequoia is now the coordinator for both after-school drama programs and is the instructor of the Gate house's Senior Drama program. In addition to that, she is also the chair of the education and theatrical selection committee. She is thrilled to live in a community that also has an appreciation for live theatre and can't wait to see what is in store for the arts and the North Island.


Dave Ripka

Board Member 

Dave has lived in port McNeill many years. He is a fan of live performances. His skill set includes maintenance of the facility.

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Kat Hunt

Board Member

Kat Hunt joined the Gate House Community Association Board and the Marketing Committee in 2021. Born in Alert Bay; Kat is a member of the Kwakwakaʼwakw; 'Na̱mg̱is First Nation.

Kat has lived on the North Island most of her life except for when she attended Capilano University and the Justice Institute bringing her to the lower mainland.


Arts & Culture have always been of interest to and appreciated by Kat. Performing and volunteering in school and community shows and fundraisers instilled a sense of service and belonging in Kat from a young age.


Now; residing in the small oceanside community of Port McNeill; Kat looks forward to being of service through volunteering with the Gate House Community Association.

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Hannah Bennett

Board Member

Hannah immigrated to BC from England where she was raised playing both classical violin and piano, often performing publicly until leaving the UK in the early 2000s. Raised with a love of both the visual and performing arts, she feels  that communities benefit from live music and theatre. It's this reason that she gladly offers her support and time to the Gate House as it continues to grow and brings in a variety of artists to perform for the residents of the North Island.

Board members, not pictured above: Hannah Bennett, Crystal Cyr, Taryn Walker, and Andrew Wilson.