Board of Directors



Elaine Dicken - I was diagnosed with IBM in 2014 after searching for reasons why I was not walking properly and falling more than I should.  Within in a year I became a Director of Myositis Canada.  I recently became President when Gael James resigned.  Starting a charity for a rare disease is challenging, so my focus for the coming year is to establish how many members we have and attempt to establish support groups in each province.




vacant--could this be you?



A native of Colombia, Adrian is a manager and senior consultant in the tightly regulated consumer health products industry in Canada and around the world. A graduate of the University of Guelph and McGill University, Adrian joins the board of Myositis Canada with the goals of furthering its mandates to raise awareness of myositis in the medical community, supporting individuals with myositis locally and online and improving access to research funding. Adrian lives in Calgary, AB with his partner and two dogs. Contact Adrian at


My name is Barb Power and I have been living with dermatomyositis since 2017 and feel very fortunate that I was diagnosed quickly which has allowed me to receive good treatment. I have recently retired from owning and operating a retail establishment after 30 years. I have sat on a couple of boards in the industry. I hope that my experience will help to bring awareness of myositis as well as offer support to those living with the disease. Contact Barb at


Gael James was diagnosed with Polymyositis in 1995 and is eternally grateful for modern medicine and that she has lived in countries with medicare (Canada, the UK, Australia and Taiwan). Gael's goal for Myositis Canada is to provide a safe and welcoming space for the newly diagnosed; to continue to support (online and in local groups) those living with and supporting those with myositis; and to raise awareness of myositis, particularly within the medical profession.


My name is Bernadette Simms, sister of Barb Power.  I sat on a Community Theatre Company Board for 30 years, including 4 years as President.  I was also a member of a Downtown Board for retail. With Barb, I ran a retail store for 30 years and am newly retired. I hope to be of some help to Myositis Canada and bring this little-know disease to the foreground. Contact Bernadette at



Shannon Venance, MD PhD, FRCPC received her PhD from Queen’s University and completed medical school and Neurology residency at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa.  Dr Venance is an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University. Her clinical expertise is in disorders of muscle. She maintains an active clinical practice and is interested in patient-centered qualitative research in muscle diseases. Dr Venance is a member of the Canadian Neuromuscular Group, a site investigator for the Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry and is a certified electromyographer through the Canadian Society of Clinical Neurophysiologists.


Melissa Anderson

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